The Sweet Start of Summer

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Hey you, I hope you had a nice weekend!

It seems we’ve skipped right over spring and on into summer as it was tank top and shorts weather all weekend long. (I promise there’s shorts hiding underneath the bump!) Upper 80s and sunny – Ill take it!

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Saturday morning I was up at the crack of dawn, destination: Farmers’ Market! I arrived right when the doors opened at 7am to interview a local farmer for Join My Journey. Can’t wait to tell you about an incredible farming family of 12, and their 20+ year farm to market story. Truly inspiring.

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I was in and out within an hour and a half, taking a loop after the interview to pick up veggies and fresh flowers before it got really crowded, then came home and swooped up Ben to go furniture shopping.

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We’re in need of a new bedroom set, outdoor furniture set, and for Heaven’s sake, a blasted rocker! While we struck out  on a bed and outdoor sofa, we FINALLY agreed on a rocker/glider combo from Buy Buy Baby. It’ll take 8-12 weeks to arrive, and we’ve got 10 more to go until the little man arrives, so hopefully the manufacturer can get on that, uh, ASAP. Nothing like waiting ’til the last minute!

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Later we ventured out for a long walk in the heat. It. Was. Glorious. The farthest I’ve gone in a while!

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Fragrant lilacs were blooming everywhere and I couldn’t help but stop and sniff, cough, every single one.

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Good thing I’ve got a patient Paul on my hands. ;)

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It was too gorgeous to stay indoors so a few hours later we invited a couple friends over and fired up the grill for dinner. It was a really the first night where it was warm enough to sit outdoors until the sun went down. Love that feeling!

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Let’s see, what do we have here…a couple pre-made/seasoned burger patties from Whole Foods (wasn’t thrilled with ‘em – I liked my copycat Clubhouse Turkey Burgers much better,) fresh asparagus from the Farmers’ Market thrown on the grates sans oil and seasonings then rotated occasionally until cooked, Roasted Potato Wedges, brats, and fresh blackberries sweetened with a little powdered sugar. ‘Twas a fine, summery feast!

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Today we all gathered at my parent’s place to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. (It’s actually Monday, so if you know him and see him – make sure to harass him just a little bit!)

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It’s tradition for my Mom to make all his summer BBQ faves for the big day, and today was no different.

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So much win on just one plate!

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Including Judy’s Baked Beans (aka the best baked beans. EVER.) her amazing potato salad (<– if you guys want a full recipe post I’ll do one – just let me know!)

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fresh watermelon, and a side salad. Ben bought the watermelon for Saturday night’s BBQ, and I was worried it wouldn’t be sweet enough since it’s still so early, but OMG YUM. Juicy, crisp, and perfectly, summery sweet.

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After dinner Finn, my nephew, helped his Papa open gifts…

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Then it was time for CAKE!

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I feel like it’s been ages since I put my family’s traditional Pepperidge Farms Cake on the blog! The tradition actually started with my Dad.

Many many years ago he forgot my Mom’s birthday until the day of (I know!) and was scrambling to throw her a fine party the evening of. After locating gifts and such he stopped by the grocery store and picked up a frozen Pepperidge Farms Vanilla Cake to dig into a few hours later, not knowing it needed like, 8 hours to thaw in the fridge. When he cut into the cake later that night it was, of course, still frozen and he, of course, was completely busted. ;)

Ever since then we’ve had (thawed) frozen Pepperidge Farms Vanilla Cake for everyone’s birthday. It is SO yummy!

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Family time is the best time!

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The children started melting promptly at 1, so they took off then Ben and I headed outdoors to enjoy the sunshine with my parents.

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It was a lovely (HOT!) afternoon to chat underneath the patio umbrella, enjoying the flowers and the company.

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Happy birthday, Dad! Thank you for being exactly who you are!

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Well, there’s a tornado watch on the horizon so I think I’m staying put indoors for the rest of the evening – one eye on the sky. I hope you had a wonderful weekend – catch ya’ on the flip side!


It’s a Celebration!

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Happy Mother’s Day! Maybe it’s because I’m knocking on the door of Motherhood itself, but I was feeling particularly mushy this weekend. I spent a lot of time hanging out with my Mom, thinking about my Mother-in-Law who lives out of state, and picturing what life will be like when…

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Cajun Chicken with Mardi Gras Salsa

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Cajun Chicken with Mardi Gras Salsa is spicy and sweet. The perfect festive dish to celebrate Mardi Gras with! Hey you! How was your weekend? Mine went way too fast, but at least I got a taste of spring at the Des Moines Home & Garden Show on Saturday! My Mom has…

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15-Minute Puppy Chow

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The holidays are the perfect time of year to enjoy Puppy Chow – a quick and classic treat. Chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar – it doesn’t get much better than that! Today’s post is not so much a new or innovative recipe, as it a PSA/reminder.Let’s talk about Puppy…

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My Favorite Book from 2011

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We’re home sweet home! Although it will be nice to get back into a normal routine, we were really sad leaving Washington DC and my in-laws this morning. Eight days out there completely flew by, and it stunk seeing our vacation come to an end. :( I should really spend…

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