Howdy all, happy Sunday!

It’s been a very nice day indeed around these parts. :) I slept in, went grocery grocery shopping, did meal prep for the week, then went over to my parent’s house for Sunday lunch. It’s been WEEKS since we’ve all gotten together!

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Aside from getting to see the fam, I also got to revel in my parent’s backyard, which is currently off the heeze in terms of autumnal gorgeousness.

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The colors of their maple trees are eye-popping!

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We’re having a particularly windy day so I’m not sure how much longer these beauts will last. Glad I got to see them before it was too late though.

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The wind pushed me inside where a warm and cozy bowl of Lasagna Soup was waiting for me.

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I featured this soup in a Friday Favorites post a few weeks ago and both my Mom and I have been dying to make it. I actually had it on my meal plan for this week before I found out she was serving it for lunch today!

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The soup is souper (…) unique in that it’s basically deconstructed lasagna with chicken broth to make it slurpy. First you dollop a ricotta cheese mixture into the bottom of your bowl,

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then you cover it with a hearty, zesty soup which includes Italian sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, noodles and Italian spices galore.

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The cheese factor in here was off the chain! Melty ricotta + gooey mozzarella on top = double cheesy delight. :)  Everyone absolutely loved this lasagna soup.

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I brought a Maple Pear Salad to share which included field greens, sliced pears, feta cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries and an unbelievable Maple Dressing. I was slightly worried the maple syrup and extra virgin olive oil based dressing would be way too sweet, but it was perfection. YUM!

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Since this was the first time the whole family has been together since Ben’s birthday earlier this month, we brought out the traditional IGE family cake to celebrate. Finn helped his Papa light the candles…

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(Hey, get outta the way! ;) )

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(ps check out his haircut, ahhh – he looks so grown up now!)

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and the best birthday cake on earth, aka Pepperidge Farms frozen birthday cake, was plunked down in front of my man.

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Wonder what he wished for??

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Probably the whole cake for himself. ;)

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Alas, Ben was in a sharing mood and we all got a sweet slice. :)

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Presents were next, which included a hand-painted watercolor masterpiece from the Finnster himself.

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So thoughtful, and quite the budding artist, wouldn’t you say? ;)

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Back at the casa it’s T minus 1 hour ’til the Trick-or-Treaters arrive, and the candy bowl is set out and ready for ’em.

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A couple people mentioned in the comments of yesterday’s post that they didn’t know kids had to tell a joke to get their candy around here.

Tough love, baby. ;)

Have a great night, and happy (nearly) Halloween – muwahahaha!

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