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Perfect Fall Weekend – MIMM

Heyheyhey!  Oh.my.goodness it has literally been forever since I’ve been by to say hi.  Last I shared, we had just moved in to our new place and were starting to get settled.  We have made a lot of progress and this place has quickly become “home” to us.  I absolutely love it.  It didn’t take long at all for me to get used to our new place.  We’re getting into a new routine here, and it’s just great.  🙂

So, it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these posts, but I’m really glad to be able to stop by and share some scenes from the weekend with ya’ll again for Marvelous in My Monday!  So, let’s get this party started!

To start off, I want to share some beautiful sunrises/sunsets we had this week.  I’ve been loving my morning commutes on cloudless days and the sunsets, too, have been just gorgeous.

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Friday night was a super relaxed night.  We went out to Panera to get some din-din, which was suggested by Scott.  We were hoping to get him some broccoli and cheddar soup in a bread bowl…but they were OUT OF BREAD BOWLS.  Seriously?!  I think I was more disappointed for Scott than he was.  But, we made the best of it and still had a nice night out together.  Then we came home and spent the evening in, relaxing with each other.  It was the perfect end to the week.

Saturday morning we woke up to SUNSHINE.  Hallelujah!  We were promised a wonderful weekend with sunshine and nice weather and it was off to a great start!  I immediately started some coffee in the pot and went outside in the backyard to throw the ball around with Max in the backyard.  It was perfect.  The sun felt so great.  Scott joined us a little later and he and I took a seat on the deck, and threw the ball to Max from the deck.  It was such a great way to start off the day together, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the beautiful weather!  So perfect!  Plus, this was my first time carving pumpkins!  I was super stoked!! 🙂

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We made a Clemson pumpkin together!

The afternoon went so fast, and we actually found ourselves getting HOT in the sunshine!  Whaaa?  We headed home to drop the pup off at home, and then went to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law, and my parents, to go out to eat at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.  It was SO good and we had such a great evening together!  Plus, we had some tasty margaritas…and when my dad gets a margarita in him, he’s quite entertaining 😉

Sunday morning I woke up a little earlier than Saturday, but the sun was just coming up and it was another gorgeous fall morning.  I made some coffee and then enjoyed it while I read outside on our deck for a while, while throwing the ball to Max, before Scott got up.  The sunshine felt so amazing and I was so relaxed out there.  Such a great way to start off the day.

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 After having a relaxing morning out on the deck, Scott woke up, and we got ourselves ready for church.  We have been trying to get back into a routine of going to church.  Since moving, we are now looking for a new “home” since our old one is about 45 minutes away from where we live now.  Church went fast, and then we headed home, changed, and left to meet up with my friend.  We  had planned to go to a corn maze together!  We both love dorky, fall-themed activities and we had such a good time being out in the gorgeous weather…especially since the last time we went, it was cloudy, windy, and chilly!  I wore a hat, scarf, mittens AND boots!

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Our fun, dorky, fall-themed afternoon went far too quickly.  But I had to head on home, meet up with Scott, and then we headed to the grocery store.  We got done our weekly shopping, hurried home to unload, and then tidied up as much as we could since my brother and sister-in-law and parents were coming over for the Packer game.  The Packer game was definitely a let down, but it was still nice having the company.  It was a great end to a really warm fall weekend!

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Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Focusing on the Marvelous (MIMM)

It feels like I have been a stranger in the blogging world lately!  It’s been quite a while since I’ve taken the time to sit down and write.  Part of me has been pretty much failing to find any words worth typing.  I’ve lost a bit of my inspiration and desire lately…plus I’ve been pretty busy and just let other things take precedent over blogging.  But that being said, I miss it…a lot.  Blogging was one thing I did for myself and really benefit from and when I started crowding it out of my life, I felt the difference.  I didn’t feel as connected or rooted in my life.  I think blogging gives me time to just focus on my life and what’s going on, instead of running around like a crazy person.  It centers me and grounds me.

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So I will probably try to get into a deeper post in the near future, but for now, I’ll share some happiness highlights and hook up with Katie over at Healthy Diva Eats for my favorite link-up of the week…Marvelous in My Monday.  So without further ado, let’s get this party started…

Marvelous is taking a half day on Friday to go meet up with my brother and his wife for the afternoon.  Our initial plans kind of fell apart, but we still made the best of it and ended up having a really fun time, after all.  We went to the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee and took a wonderful hike.  The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a hike.  It was sunny, windy, and around 45-50 degrees.  After hiking, the initial cool breeze felt really welcomed and helped keep us comfortable for our hike.

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After our hike, we went for a late lunch.  Marvelous is…a big bowl of PHO!  My brother loves loves loves pho.  🙂  Jessa also got a durian smoothie…a very marvelous treat for her.  Durian is a fruit from back home in the Philippines which is a much-loved food that is eaten very often there.  But the catch?!  It is the MOST disgusting thing EVER.  The stench of it is so repulsive and the taste…oh…the taste is awful.  For anyone who does not live there and grows up with it, you would never in a million years have the taste for it.  If you are curious about just how stinky it is…check out this short video on youtube.  It is so worth it.  I laughed SO hard.

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I love this picture.  I think it’s because of the naturalness of it.  No forced smiles, no staged appearances.  Just…natural.  They’re diving into the limes right now haha

We had a really fun afternoon together.  It was definitely a much needed break from work and a great distraction from all the other stuff going on in my life right now.  That evening, I went over by my parents for a bit to watch NYPD Blue, then my brother and Jessa came over by my place to watch Full House.  Jessa caught a few episodes and loved it…and obviously my brother and I grew up with it, so it was fun to watch it again.  It’s a cute show.

Saturday was pretty marvelous.  I slept in late (9:15, I’m talking…and that is late for me!)  I had a slow start, just drinking my coffee.  Then headed out to Target.  I ended up hitting the jackpot!  I have been looking for some pants for work for the looooongest time.  Me being short, I can’t find pants that aren’t baggy at my feet.  All the pants I had been finding were either baggy in the legs, baggy by my feet, or baggy in my toosh area.  But I FINALLY found some pants that fit me perfectly!  I snatched as many as I could snag! 🙂  Plus I got some really snuggly sweaters.  I am such a huge fan of sweaters! 🙂  So it was a huge success!

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After that I met up with a dear friend of mine that I haven’t seen in so long.  She was actually a bridesmaid in my wedding.  Marvelous is…catching up with an old friend over coffee.  This was the first chance I had to tell her about the divorce and she was so wonderfully supportive.  I am so glad we had a chance to get together and talk.  She’s a dear friend and I hope I’m able to spend more time with her instead of letting life get in the way.

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I spent the rest of my day and night with myself.  It was actually much needed.  I did some tae bo.  Guys, I have seriously MISSED tae bo.  This used to be my go-to workout back in the day, and I hadn’t done it in forever.  But man-oh-man did I miss it and it is SUCH a good workout!  I’ve been doing it as much as I can the last week and I am loving it.  Not only is it a great workout but it is super therapeutic, too!  Billy Blanks is the man! 🙂

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After my workout, I decided to whip up a batch of these fabulous cookies!  I made some changes to the original recipe, but only small tweaks.  Nom nom nom.  I seriously could have eaten the whole batch of cookie dough and not made the cookies.  Marvelous is…baking and having the WHOLE house smell like pumpkin!

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After making my cookies, I was going to run to the store to grab some sushi for din din…but before I left, I saw how gorgeous the sky was looking, so I grabbed my camera before I hit the road.  That was the best decision I could have made.  I ended up driving and driving and driving just taking in the gorgeous sunset.  It started off beautifully, then just got more gorgeous as time went on.  I drove around some hilly areas near where I live just to try and get the best views I could.  It was not an expected outing, but I really enjoyed it…and got some gorgeous shots, too!  Marvelous is…unexpected journeys and gorgeous sunsets.

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After returning home from my escapade and the grocery store, I hunkered down on the couch with a book I recently got from Amazon, Lessons from the End of a Marriage, by Lisa Arends.  I am so so so happy that this wonderful lady found one of my blog posts and made contact with me.  That allowed me to find her blog and receive such hope and inspiration.  Her story is absolutely heartbreaking.  I was in such shock when I started reading about what happened to her and knew I needed to get her book.  I can’t wait to keep reading and follow her on her journey of processing the loss of her husband in the worst way possible, picking up the pieces, moving forward, and becoming a better and stronger person in the end.  It also shows me that others can truly identify with what I’m going through and that if they are able to come out on the other side, I most certainly can, too!

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I spent the remainder of the evening watching Knocked Up, which was actually a pretty good movie!  I was pleasantly surprised.  Sunday morning was another lazy start to the day, filled with blogging and drinking coffee. The rest of the day consisted of errands, laundry, a visit to church {(more on that at another time)} a nice walk outside, and the Packers game!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and a Marvelous Monday!!! ❤

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Little Bits of Joy

For this week’s link up with Katie for Marvelous in My Monday, I decided to highlight some of the little bits of joy that have come up in my life lately.  As some of you know, a few weeks ago my husband told me that he wanted to get a divorce.  It’s been a rough few weeks, but I’m certainly working on shifting my focus on to more positive thinking and looking forward to the future.

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So that being said, I am going to share some of the positive, happy moments I’ve had lately.

1) My cat…especially when he plops down right next to the top of the stairs when I get home, waiting for me to rub his belly.  I literally LOVE that he does this.  For the longest time he hated whenever I rubbed his belly (as in he would grab my arm and attempt to gnaw it off) But something changed drastically for him, because now he willingly subjects himself to a belly rub everytime I come home (and sometimes in the mornings when I wake up, too!)  I can be in the grouchiest or crabbiest of moods when I walk in that door, but the minute I see him waiting for me at the top of the stairs and then proceed to collapse onto his side, looking up at me with those big puppy-dog (I mean, uh, kitty-cat eyes) waiting for me to rub his belly, I can’t help but feel happy and find myself smiling.

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This is him when on a day when he’s half-heartedly waiting for a belly rub.  He usually rolls around on his back from side to side, stretching out as long and fully as he can, and looking right up at me waiting for me to succumb to his cuteness.  He knows I can’t resist!

2) My amazing parents.  I am all too aware of the sad reality than many parents are not good parents to their children.  I consider myself extremely blessed and fortunate to have the best parents in the world.  They have never failed me.  At times when I was younger I found myself withholding information and things about my feelings, thoughts, etc. in fears that I would disappoint them or somehow upset them.  Throughout the years, our communication has vastly improved and I now feel that I can tell them absolutely anything and know that they will never stop loving me.  When things had initially started off being rocky between Scott and myself, I was very afraid to tell them.  Marriage is a very sacred thing in my family and the upholding of marriage vows is not something that we take lightly.  As such, I felt like I would be a failure to them if I admitted that there were problems in our marriage.  Eventually, I realized I couldn’t hold that information back from and had to tell them, regardless of my fears or worries.  I was so surprised how they handled it and continued to show their never-ending support and love for me.  They have been truly amazing and my two biggest supporters through everything, especially now that the divorce is moving forward.

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3) Watching NYPD Blue with my parents.  I used to watch this show with them years ago when I was younger and it was televised.  (Maybe not the best show for a youth to watch, it was pretty racy and they pushed lots of limits as far as what was on prime-time television at the time)  But regardless, it was a show I used to love watching with my parents in the past and they ended up getting about 6 seasons on DVD (the show was on for 12 seasons if that gives you any indicator as to how good the show really was!) since that’s all that are on DVD..so we started watching them together again.  I’ve been spending time with them a lot more lately, even if it’s just an hour in the evening to watch an episode with them.  I absolutely love the show and absolutely love spending that time with them, like we did in the past.

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4) Fall days.  Especially when they’re nice fall days.  I have been trying to get outside as much as I can because I love love love hiking and being outside in the fall.  Hiking and taking walks in the fall is one of my favorite things to do.  The temperature is perfect.  I throw on a sweatshirt and start off on the walk feeling a bit chilly.  Usually by the end, I’m ready to ditch the sweatshirt.  It’s my favorite weather for walking.  Saturday was perfect.  It started off sunny and with clear skies when they were predicting it to be cloudy all day long.  I had a car appointment in the morning but tried to make the most of the sunshine as possible…so I went for a walk right away when I got home.  The clouds quickly crept in, but I actually didn’t mind too much.  There is something that I still love about cloudy fall days while walking.  Maybe I’m crazy?! 😛

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You can see a huge difference from the beginning of the hike to the end of the hike.  I literally only took about a 45-50 minute walk and there was absolutely no blue sky about half way into my walk.  But it was still a perfect hike.

5) A day for me.  Saturday was just what I needed.  Friday night I ended up binging (which is something I have been surprisingly keeping pretty under control given the mess in my world lately) but instead of beating myself up for the slip-up, I chose to focus on how many nights I’ve been able to resist doing so.  I also didn’t let myself sit around and mope the next day either.  (Usually that’s what happens the next day)  So after my car appointment, I decided I was going to take the day for myself.  I took a nice hike, came home, and got myself all snazzed up (no sweats for this girl, which is my usual Saturday go-to outfit!) and went on my way.  I decided I was going to take myself down to the lakefront and go to a coffee shop that I went to years ago (and loved!) and hadn’t been back to since then.  I just love the place and the building and the whole environment.

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Snapped a pic, couldn’t resist.  The weather was so sketchy all day long.  It was sunny and raining on my way down to the lake…then just as quickly stopped…then started.  It was like that on and off all afternoon!

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The place was crowded when I got there which I fully anticipated.  The line was huge, but I was just really happy to be there.  For so long I wanted to just go and take myself out somewhere…do something on my own, by myself, for myself.  I brought some reading material with me and planned to just sit and read and drink my coffee.  To me, that is just pure bliss.

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Guys, it’s time for a confession.  I am a HUGE National Geographic magazine fan.  HUGE.  I also found the National Geographic Traveler magazine, too, which is also really awesome.  There is something about the NG magazine that i just love.  I love the photography.  I love how the photography is so raw and real.  You can see some pretty disturbing photos in the magazine.  While I don’t like the goriness of it, I love the truth in it.  They don’t doctor up the photos to be all beauty.  They show reality, whether it be ugly or beautiful.  Plus, I love the articles in there.  They shed light on so many interesting topics from across the world that I would never know anything about.  It is by far one of my favorite magazines.  Oftentimes I get so distracted with other things when I’m at home, that I never take the time to read them…so taking myself out of the house was just what I needed to take the time to read some really interesting articles.  I could have stayed there hours upon hours just reading…

 But, I eventually got myself packed up and hit the road on to my next destinations.  I stopped at Whole Foods while I was down near the lake, since there is one just a few minutes from where I was.  I snagged some sushi and some seasonal Clif Bar flavors.  I also stopped at the mall on my way home and got some seasonal scented goodies at Bath and Body Works! 🙂

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Saturday was JUST what I needed.  I had the absolute best day with myself and for myself.  That evening I went over by my parents for (you guessed it) a couple episodes of NYPD Blue and just came home and snuggled with my Dex on the couch.  It was the most satisfying day I’ve had in a while.

 5) Feel-good purchases.  I took myself shopping Saturday evening and Sunday morning to get some needed clothes for fall.  Shopping is something that I always do alone and it’s just ‘me’ time for me.  I found some super cute clothes (including some real adorable sweaters…these I needed BADLY)  I love me some warm cozy sweaters. 🙂

The rest of my weekend was super chill and relaxed.  I did some arranging of my closets which was much needed.  Watched some football.  Made some cookies.  Just a real laid back weekend.  I hope you all had a wonderful re-charging weekend.  Happy Monday!

MiMM

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

It’s Thursday and I have a wonderful and scrumptious recipe to share!  This is one of my mom’s absolute favorite recipes.  It’s literally that good.  She makes it every year in fall and it something I always look forward to.  It’s honestly one of the highlights of fall for me.  🙂  I’m so glad she is the type of lady who will willingly share a tasty recipe!

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My mom always makes me a loaf 🙂  This is the best gift she could give me!  It is the most moist and soft and flavorful bread ever!

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The pictures simply don’t do it justice!

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I highly recommend this recipe!  Whip up a batch and you will NOT be disappointed!!

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Saturday Photo Dump

Since I have a few minutes before I leave with my parents, I thought I’d just take a couple minutes to at least post the pictures from yesterday…since my initial post got deleted TWICE.  So just a picture-recap on some good moments from yesterday.  Happy Sunday e’erbody! ❤

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Target goodies! 🙂

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World Market and Trader Joes’ goodies! 🙂

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the CUTEST mug ever at World Market.  I couldn’t pass this thing up!!

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rainy day meant a perfect day for candles + music + coffee

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plus, rainy day weather is fabulous for reading.  I love this book!

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Dexter tried to eat the kitchen dish towel..

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And also posed for me, too.  I swear, the minute I get up from that desk chair, he pounces on that thing!

Yesterday was a wonderful day.  One of the best I’ve had since the news of my imminent divorce.  It felt good to have a good day again.  I just did things that I loved, going at my own pace, totally unhurried.  I started off the morning with a lit candle, cup (or two) of coffee, and some music…just enjoying my morning.  I finally got myself going and stopped at the library.  There is just something about the library and books that just makes me really happy.  Then, I was out and about at Target, World Market, and Trader Joes.  It started to storm after I finished up at TJ’s, so I came home, did some yoga, read, and snapped some adorable pictures of Dexter.  It was just an all around good day.  I’ve been trying to do whatever I can to focus on any bit of good and happiness, since I’ve been stuck in a depressive place for a while now.  I hate that feeling and now realize I need to try and focus on good things…things that make me happy.  I need to take care of myself in every way possible now, and that means doing things that better my mental, emotional and physical health.

So today, I’m off with the parents to take a little two-day getaway and I am really looking forward to it.  I had gone back and forth for a while about whether I wanted to go or not because I was in a pretty crappy mood and felt that taking the time and spending the money to go somewhere and not enjoy it would be a waste.  But after some persuasion from a co-worker and some thought on it, I decided it would be good for me.  Everything will still be here for me to deal with when I get home, but I think recharging will be really good for me.  So off I go!  Have a fabulous rest of your weekend!

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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No matter how bad things get, look for the good

I could easily have decided to pass on hooking up with Katie this week for my Marvelous in my Monday post, but I won’t miss it.  Life has been nothing short of a roller coaster lately.  It’s been rough…really, really rough.  I’m not going to get into too much detail about it right now, but in time I will, I think.  Plus, you may even figure it out on your own, too.  But the last few weeks have been trying for me, especially the last few days.  But this is a perfect opportunity to show what ‘Marvelous in my Monday’ is all about, focusing on the good despite the bad…showing that even in the worst situations, there are always things to be happy and thankful for.

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Life can hit you hard, when you least expect it.  Sometimes things don’t go how we hope, wish, or expect them to.  Life can knock us down, leave us completely and utterly broken at times.  But it’s what we do in those moments that shows what we’re made of.

Marvelous is…the support and love of family and friends.  I have truly the best support system a girl could ask for.  My family has been so supportive and has been just a blessing to me lately.  They have given me unconditional love and support and have over-extended themselves to be there for me in ANY capacity or level.  My friends, oh, my friends!  I can’t say enough about them.  I have truly seen so much support and love from them.  I can’t thank my family and friends enough for being there for me.  While it doesn’t make the situation go away, it does help knowing I’m not alone and that I have so many people there by my side to help me through.  I really don’t have to go through this alone.  Being with them and hearing their words has helped the pain lessen, even if just momentarily.

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Marvelous is…the power of music.  I have been just literally submersing myself in music whenever I have time to myself.  I can’t express how much music has helped me.  It has the power to make you cry, to express fully words that you can’t vocalize, to make you feel many emotions all at one time.  It can convey hope and inspiration, allow you to feel sadness and emotion.  I have been widening out and listening to music I haven’t heard before or music that I haven’t heard in years.  It has been so soothing to me and has been a real comfort to me.  The silence right now is hard for me, so listening to music is my fix.

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Marvelous is…all things fall!  I got two more fall candles.  I figure you simply cannot have enough.  Plus I got some fabulous fall scented goodies at Bath & Body Works, too.  AND a few fall treats at World Market 🙂

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Marvelous is…these ecards.  I am in love with them.  I’ve been hitting up this website like crazy the last few days.  So I was SUPER excited when I saw this 2014 desktop calendar at World Market.  No hesitation; I knew I needed it!

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Marvelous is…my mom’s zucchini bread!  Mmm.  Perfectly timed, since I just finished her pumpkin chocolate chip loaf!  She is too, too good to me 🙂 AND she hooked me up with the recipe, too!  I can’t wait to make my own batch!

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No matter how bad life gets, there is always, always something to be happy about.  Choose to focus on those things.  Happy Monday!

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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What I Wanna Eat (And Make) in the Fall

Hey hey hey!  Fall is almost here, like literally.  Today is supposed to be 95…and three days from now it’s supposed to be 65.  That’s how we do in Wisconsin…whether we like it or not!  But, as much as I love the warm weather, I admittedly love fall.  Every.single.little.thing. about fall.  So in honor of fall’s approach, I thought I’d share some of the treats I’m looking forward to enjoying this season for this week’s link up with Jenn at Peas & Crayons.

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Mmm I don’t know about all ya’ll, but there is nothing better than a nice warm bowl of oatmeal on a cool, fall day.  I really don’t do oatmeal in summer, but love me a nice bowl in fall and winter!  So having oatmeal back is an exciting thing. 🙂

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I’m not a huge soup fan, truth be told, unless I have a cold or upset tummy and need some chicken noodle soup.  However, I am a huge fan of Panera’s soups.  I love them all!  Especially because you can get them in a bread bowl or you get a nice chunk of baguette on the side.  Panera’s soups go hand-in-hand with a cool, cloudy, chilly fall day.  Nothing better than snuggling up some place warm with a nice, big bowl of hot soup!  (And even better, the one near my home has a nice fireplace, so that is my ideal place to park myself!)

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But I think what my favorite part about eating in the fall are baked goods and desserts.  Oh.my.goodness.gracious.  There are so many baked goods that I love love love.

My mom has two recipes that I look forward to her making every year!  They are to.die.for.  One is her famous zucchini bread and the other is her pumpkin chocolate chip loaf 🙂  I am dying just thinking of them!  I usually hate nuts in baked goods (or ice cream) and will never have anything with nuts in it…but, my mom always makes her zucchini bread with walnuts and that is the ONLY thing that I will make an exception for.  I admittedly would prefer it without, but it is too good to pass up!

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The rest of my treats are all seasonal flavors of pumpkin and apple goodies!  Apple cider donuts, pumpkin pie parfaits, pumpkin dip, and pumpkin pudding dirt cups are all on the must-eat list for this fall.  My best friend actually had the GENIUS idea of making dirt cups with pumpkin pudding!  That’s why I love her 😉

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And of course, fall would not be fall without a generous amount of apple cider (hot and cold!!!)

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I can’t wait!  Fall, here we come!  Ready to get my eatin’ on 😉

I love fall

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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