Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat…or GIVEAWAY!!

 

Hello lover butter :)

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10 tbsp of butter to be exact!  This is how my day ended, and this is how my day began

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I can’t believe it’s not butter nooks and crannies!

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with a side of syrup (one tbsp) – TASTY!!

These minis get super crispy, unlike most gluten free waffles PLUS they’re on sale right now at Whole Foods! 3 for $8 :) Got room in your freezer?

Work was busy today. Tomorrow we’re having a HUGE chocolate event at our store. We’re sampling every flavor of Fair Trade chocolate we sell PLUS the staff (all 2 of us!!) and our volunteers are creating chocolate dishes to share. Which brings us back to the butter:

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Flourless Chocolate Decadence from the Joy of Cooking

This is the delicious treat I’m making tomorrow. Lucky for me, I received a package in the mail today that helped me create these little beauties. AND lucky for you, they’re my next GIVEAWAY!!!

GIVEAWAY

yum

Rachael Ray Yum-O Bakeware Set!!

Yum-O Bakeware is Rachael Ray's approach to bakeware...with a creative twist that's all Rachael! With each purchase, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Rachael Ray's charity Yum-O!, which was created to empower kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking.

3 Piece Bakeware Set Includes:

  • 10" x 15" Cookie Sheet
  • 6-Cup Jumbo-Muffin Pan
  • 9" Square Cake Pan

Features:

  • Extra wide handles for a confident grasp
  • Comfortable silicone grips add a splash of color
  • Long lasting nonstick aluminum, inside and out
  • Oven safe to 500° F

I know right?!? If you’ve been reading this blog long, then you know that I LOVE Rachael Ray. I’ve always wanted to try her bakeware, so when the kind folks at CSN stores contacted me about doing a giveaway I said HECK YEAH!!! and of course I would need to “quality control” a set for myself! :)

Have you guys ever heard of CSN stores? Talk about stop shop! CSN consists of 200+ stores, carrying everything from counter stools and pub tables to this INSANELY cute Burton backpack!!!(hint hint Parrish hint) Not to mention their BIG variety of Rachael Ray cookware and bakeware! I also really love Rach’s little ramekins!! Too cute.

The pans are just as awesome as I thought they would be! I almost took a picture of my old bakeware… but it’s too embarrassing. Let’s just say they’re gross and leave it at that.

Want a set of your own?

Leave me a comment or send me an email with one product from CSN that you would love (that shouldn’t be hard!!) and you’ll be entered to win.

Want a second entry? Post the giveaway on your own blog, facebook, or twitter and get an additional entry! Just leave a second comment with the link to your post!

A winner will be chosen VIA the random number generator on Friday November 6th at 7pm.

Good LUCK!!

I’ll let you guys know how the decadence turns out and Happy All-Hallow’s Eve!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hocus Focus

 

This is TOTALLY a drive-by posting, but Hocus Pocus is on ABC Family right now, and well…I pretty much wait for this to come on all year!! (Maybe someone should buy me this movie for Christmas…hint hint Parrish hint)

I just wanted to announce the WINNER of the Tablespoon.com giveaway!

#5 Amy!!!

I'd try the Chocolate-Orange Cake recipe:
http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/chocolate-orange-cake-recipe/2/
And, I'd share, Spaghetti Casserole -- it is better than it sounds!

Congrats!! Email me to claim your prize! (And send me that spaghetti casserole recipe!!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rainy Season

 

This morning I awoke to sunny skies and a brisk chill. Imagine my surprise when I saw this on the morning news:

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This is my dramatic accurately drawn representation. And the weather certainly delivered. By the time I drove home tonight it was wet and rainy.

I was looking forward to coming home tonight to enjoy our first planned meal on our menu: Chicken Tacos!

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Taco Seasoning can actually be pretty hard to find gluten free. Parrish has made it from scratch in the past, but it always take a bit of time to get the flavors spot on. However, in our local Harris Teeter I found Taco Fresca taco seasoning by Nueva Cocina. It even says Gluten Free on the package!

The directions ask to add tomato paste, but we’re not that fancy. We just add 1/3 cup water, and it’s still super tasty! Ground chicken is our taco meat of choice. Lower in calories and fat; PLUS we can’t taste the difference!

Exciting music related news! This came out today:

z rainines 001

Love it! It will never replace the soundtrack to Once, but it’s still SO good! I may or may not have impulsively purchased it at Starbucks…

In other music related news, Parrish and I are going to see Mike Doughty perform tonight! So excited!!!

Don’t forget to enter the

giveaway!!! One day left!!!!

 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Autumn Day All the Way

 

Having lived in Wilmington for 7 years, I had almost forgotten how beautiful autumn can be. On the way to the grocery store this morning, I spied this beauty at the end of our driveway:

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Gorgeous!

At the grocery store, I purchased the items needed for this week’s menu":

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Funnily enough, it’s only day one and we’re already off schedule…but for a good reason! Parrish’s sister-in-law Liz is celebrating her birthday today, and so we’re heading over to their house for supper. :)

Since I was off today, I decided to try a recipe in the new issue of:

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this cute little recipe book that Pillsbury publishes. The recipe that caught my eye:

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I can’t post the recipe because I didn’t change many items. But if you’re a cookie lover, I highly recommend purchasing this publication.

I left the ginger powder out of my batch and substituted the all-purpose flour with 365 Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix. The ingredients are pretty simple:

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Crystallized Ginger :) Sweet and Spicy!

Most gluten free cookie dough comes out super sticky, but this was a very pliable dough.

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The cookies cooked great, and I was pleased with each batch. But let me tell you the best part.

Browned Butter Icing is the BEST icing I have EVER tasted. EVER. Super easy to make and absolutely scrumptious!

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Little bites of autumn…and heaven!

I made an extra batch to take to the birthday girl. :)

However, the icing on top of today was an autumn walk Parrish and I took complete with fall inspired flannel:

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and a crisp Redbridge!

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Max was more than a little excited!

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I’m off to clean the kitchen quickly so we can head out to see the birthday girl!

Don’t forget to enter into the

first giveaway of the week!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wilmy Weekend

 

RECAP!

Our road trip to Wilmington started out like…this:

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LAME! 4pm traffic on a Friday in Raleigh is no bueno. PLUS the white truck in this picture was driving like an idiot. I was a ball of nervous traffic energy! Luckily it didn’t slow us down too much, and we made it to Wilmington just in time to visit with friends!

We had planned to meet a group for happy hour, but we were a few hours behind. Our friends graciously kept happy hour going for us…all night long!

We moved locations a few times. We even managed a pit stop at an old fav dive bar:

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Our last stop was this great pub in downtown Wilmington: The Goat and Compass. We always have a ton of fun there. The weather was great, so we sat outside and played card games just like old times!

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I am the sole gluten free gal in the group, so while my friends “enjoyed” PBR, I enjoyed Firefly Sweet Tea.

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We were had fun reminiscing and partying like it was 2005.

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Alex and Carl were quite good at Texas Hold’em.

On the way home Alex informed me that she had a slightly freezer burnt gluten free pizza in her freezer :) but of course being the old lady that I am, I promptly fell asleep as soon as we got to her house!

If you followed my tweets, you saw that Saturday morning consisted of the necessary basics:

1. Port City Java

2. Farmer’s Market

Parrish and I caught up with my best girl Krista and her too-cute for words son Zigmas. Alex was working at the Farmer’s Market, but as soon as she was finished we went to lunch at Flaming Amys! Home of the BEST salsa EVAH!!!

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Fresh tomato, Pineapple Jalapeno, and Green Tomatillo

PLUS their chips are 100% corn thank you very much!

We spent the afternoon touring my bestie Jessica’s new beach chateau and we may have made a second stop at Port City Java. (They make a Crème Brulee latte that is pretty much the best)

For supper Saturday, we went to Parrish’s mom’s house to celebrate her birthday and enjoy food with the fam. Emily and her husband Jeff are always CRAZY supportive of me being gluten free, so I never have to worry about what I’m eating. Speaking of eating:

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Emily’s Gluten Free Lasagna!! Recipe coming soon :)

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Tasty! Everyone was a member of the clean plate club, so of course we got dessert! Emily has the perfect view of dessert: something really good in a small amount!

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A Wilmington Classic: Carolina Tarheel Toffee SOOOOO good. Simple Ingredients: Butter, Sugar, Milk Chocolate, and Almonds. We each enjoyed a piece, and some went back for seconds. :)

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Yeah, we cleaned that plate too.

This morning we woke up and met Alex, Krista, and Zigmas at my FAVORITE breakfast spot in Wilmington: Saltworks.

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Coffee, Water, and the Funnies. Just like old times :) Diner food at its best!

It was a whirlwind of a weekend! Super quick and definitely not a long enough visit. As soon as Parrish and I parked the car at our house, we were a whirling tornado of cleaning. Team work gets it done faster! :)

Now we’re relaxing by a fire and I’m enjoying a cup of my FAVORITE tea!

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**Not all of Celestial Seasonings teas are gluten free, so ALWAYS read the label!! :)

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Nutcracker Sweet is like Christmas in a cup! Love it!!

I’m off to plan our menu for the week! Parrish and I are experimenting with planning our meals for the week in advance. My sister and her husband are stupendous savers, and they plan their meals for the most part in advance. Hopefully it will work for us too!

**************************************************

Don’t forget to enter the first

giveaway of the week!!!!

 

Let’s get this party started

 

WHHOOOOOSH!

That was this weekends trip to Wilmington! If you follow me on Twitter, then I hope you enjoyed my tweet pics from my new Blackberry Storm! It was fun to be able to add pics to updates.

We just got back home to Chapel Hill, only to be greeted by an overly needy dog and a bit of a messy kitchen…which I may or may not be responsible for. So my recap weekend post will have to wait for tonight BUT I did want to go ahead and get our week of giveaways started! (Yes…there will be MORE giveaways this week, including the BIGGEST Giveaway EVAH on this blog!)

This exciting giveaway comes to you from those kind folks at MyBlogSpark and a new interactive recipe website from General Mills: Tablespoon.com!

When you visit Tablespoon.com, you can:

  • View more than 25,000 of the best recipes on the web
  • Share recipes easily on places like Facebook and Twitter
When you join Tablespoon.com, you can:
  • Add your own recipe creations
  • Create your own version of existing recipes that suit your taste.
  • Save up to $80 every month with printable coupons from brands you love Rate, comment, and save the recipes you try

Bonus! And if that wasn’t enough, if you add your recipes to Tablespoon, your recipe and profile could be featured in a Tablespoon newsletter, which is sent to thousands of subscribers! (Bloggy Love!!) The Tablespoon team will select some of the highest rated member submitted recipes to be featured in the weekly newsletter. If your recipe is highly rated, it could even be the main feature!

Now for the giveaway!

Tablespoon.com Items

To enter, leave me a comment or an send me an email, with a recipe from Tablespoon.com you would like to try, and the name of your own recipe you would like to share. I’ll choose the winner Wednesday at 6pm! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Winner, Winner Gluten Free Chicken Dinner

 

Phew! Where do I begin with this week? Wait…is it only Tuesday?! I’ll start with today and work my way backwards :)

Today was DAY ONE of no Starbucks. Last week I went to Starbucks E-V-E-R-Y S-I-N-G-L-E day!! That’s around $25, and NO, I am not made out of money. The stress of working 10 days in a row was sitting in the back of my mind, and I was using that as an excuse to spend WAY over my budget. I currently budget one Starbucks a week. So I made a French Press at home today, and while it wasn’t the same…it kept me energized until around noon. (Starbucks will keep me going until 2pm)

So knowing that I may need a bit of extra energy this morning, I gave my oats a boost:

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Pumpkin Pie Oats!!

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I used the entire container of yogurt, which made the oats a bit soupy, but they were still great! The yogurt did have 20 grams of sugar which didn’t thrill me, but the taste was spot on.

We’re gearing up for the holidays at work, and we received a shipment of 28 boxes today!!!

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Cuh-razy. I love my job, but having only two staff members (and Executive and Assistant Director) is HARD! Even though I had volunteers for each shift today, my boss ended up staying late and I’m going to go in early tomorrow!

I ate my lunch at 2pm, standing over the computer printing price tags. So for supper tonight I wanted a Southern Standard.

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Gluten Free Fried Chicken Tenders

Dredged in beaten egg and Beth’s Gluten Free All Purpose. Tasty!!

Monday was a blur. I spent all day checking in inventory and re-packing inventory for an off-site sale at a local church. We do about a dozen off-site sales during the holidays, so I’m only beginning! It’s a great opportunity for us, and it’s helps spread awareness of fair trade; so even though it’s a lot of work, I can happily pack with a smile on my face. :)

I worked ALL weekend (the hump of my 10 day stretch), but Sunday night was just as fun as I thought it would be.

Parrish and I went over to his brother’s house to celebrate his wife Katie’s birthday. I was giddy all day on Sunday because I’m pretty much in love with Katie and I couldn’t wait to give her presents!

PLUS her husband (Parrish’s brother) Chuck is AHH-mazing in the kitchen! Sunday morning I packed my camera charger, because I wanted to be sure that I would have enough battery to document the entire meal for you…

…yeah, I forgot to pack my camera.

Ugh.

So my words will have to suffice…although they can never describe how delicious this meal was.

The starter was a large chilled shrimp wrapped in a leaf of wilted basil and cured prosciutto, served with a wedge of lemon. !!!

The meal was STEAK!! Steak Sundays are back!! Chuck created a rub with freshly ground salt and pepper, thyme, sage, and rosemary. He rubbed the steaks SUPER well, and placed them on a HOT grill. That way the rub chars on the edges, preserving the flavor. SOOOOOO good. He served it with roasted potatoes (favorite) and button mushrooms cooked in red wine.

Oops, my mouth is watering!

I wish you guys could have been there. It was divine. I am thoroughly convinced that there restaurant steak can’t hold a candle to steak cooked at home. It’s all about the rub.

This week will be over before we know it, and that’s exciting! Parrish and I have a trip to Wilmington planned this weekend. PLUS, exciting for you, next week will bring about the most exciting giveaway…EVER…posted on this blog!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fly By

 

Eesh, it seems like these past few days have been nothing but

Wake Up, Shower, Oats, Starbucks, Work-Work-Work, Commute Home, Supper, Bed

While work has been awesome lately and really exciting, my eating life has been pretty…boring. I’ve been revisiting past recipes like the Grown Up Macaroni and Cheese, but I’m excited to branch out more this week. I have the latest edition of Cooking Light (it called to me from the check out line) and there are a few recipes that I hope to make this week.

I did make two exciting discoveries at Trader Joes:

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Don’t misunderstand, I am a LARA Bar girl for life, but I’m always up for trying new things. And as I wrote last week, my work life is only going to get crazier between now and January, so I have to get a little creative when it comes to eating on the run.

So far I’ve only tried the thinkThin White Chocolate Chip

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It was SUUUUUPER sweet. Which actually worked out because I was craving a chocolate bar, but I was only able to eat half. Plus it was 215 calories, and I really only needed a 100 calorie snack.

In unrelated to food news, I’m SO excited because tonight we are celebrating my sister-in-laws Katie’s  birthday!! :) I had hoped to celebrate with her on her actual birthday, but she was under the weather. Tonight is bound to be a great time because her husband is an AHH-mazing cook (think Top Chef) and they’re both incredibly warm and funny folks. Expect a FULL recap tonight!

Ahh, I almost forgot to mention:

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Parrish and I did get Blackberry Storms last night!! Looooong story that I won’t bore you with, but getting these phones has been a month long process, but last night at our local Verizon store I had the BEST customer service of my life! $400 later, we walked in with two used Storms and left with two new Storms, but it was no biggie. Parrish and I are happy and we’ve both been a little geeked out playing with our new phones!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Carrot Cake Oats

 

happy birthday emily

Yesterday was my mother-in-laws birthday! Parrish and I miss living in the same town with her…don’t be jealous when I tell you this…BUT I hit the mother-in-law JACKPOT! Emily is fantastic! Sweet, caring, thoughtful, and funny, she is divine! I know my sister-in-laws agree with me. We’re pretty lucky to have her! Parrish and I will be making a trip to Wilmington at the end of October to celebrate with her. Maybe Parrish will make her steak with brown butter! :)

Yesterday was another crazy busy day at work! I’m realizing that the closer we get to the holidays, the crazier it’s going to get. I’m going to have to rethink my lunches. I need something that will sustain my energy and fulfill my hunger, but be able to be eaten in less than 10 minutes…preferably standing!

Breakfasts are going to be VERY important. It’ll be hearty gluten free oats every morning until at least January! And in all honesty, until this week, I didn’t quite understand how important toppings are for oats!

spice oats

Gluten Free Oats with leftover GF carrot cake…no icing!

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Hmmm…I think I may have that again today! Late day at work today. I’m going to need a Green Monster on the Go to get me there :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Little Things

 

Today started like this

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Tall, non-fat White Mocha no-whip – only 2 shots today :)

Being that I was sick last week, I knew that today would be…less than calm, but I have to say, it was pretty crazy! Exciting but crazy.

By the time I was on my way home, I was worn out. I wanted one thing for supper. And in all seriousness when the thought crossed my mind, I couldn’t believe it. I wanted a hot dog.

I made a quick stop at Whole Foods and picked up

applegate-farms-hotdog &hotdogbuns_j

I can’t even remember the last time I had a hot dog…I’m thinking it may have been last December at a birthday party. I remember snacking on a delicious dog, and Alex telling me that they had buns…yeah, she forgot I couldn’t eat them :)

The buns were EXPENSIVE! Over 6 dollars for 4 buns. Crazy expensive. But I figured that if it has been almost an entire year since I’d had a hot dog, I was going to have one on a bun. The buns were great. Best served piping hot from the microwave.

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Tasty!

I didn’t even look at the calories and fat on anything! I wanted to enjoy this meal for exactly what it was, my once a year hot dog, with no worries!

*********

So you may have read in my tweets last night, that Parrish and I had our first fire in our fireplace! It was awesome! Super cozy. Ok. BUT tonight our den smells like the inside of a campfire! Any ideas? I guess I’m going to go ahead and sweep up the ash…hopefully that will help!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It’s ALL about Ella

 

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I started this weekend with my favorite bowl of gluten free oats. Rolled oats prepared with water with a sprinkle of cinnamon and one tbsp. of brown sugar. So warm and So good. I woke up wanting this bowl. I don’t often crave warm oats until the weather really chills; are you guys like that? I’ve always wondered if cereal sales see a decline in the winter.

My plan was to leave super early Saturday morning for Ella’s birthday party, but when my alarm went off I woke up feeling really crappy. So I opted to sleep a bit more and see if it would pass. It definitely helped, but even today I still feel very head coldy.

Good thing the party was SUPER fun!!

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Ella never stopped smiling! I’m not sure if she realized we were celebrating her first birthday, but she definitely enjoyed her house being so full! (I can’t believe it has been a YEAR!! This seems like just yesterday!) My sister and I joke about how much Ella LOVES gluten, so much so, that I nicknamed her Lil Gluten Loves Me.

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And her birthday cake did not disappoint!

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She was beside herself in excitement!

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Yeah…it was terrible :)

Even at such a young age, she’s already a GREAT sharer!

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Come on Alex…you know you want some! Her hands are definitely clean!

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Yummmmmy!

While Ella couldn’t share her cake with me, my sweet Auntie did!!

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Gluten Free Carrot Cake!! Simply Organic GF Carrot Cake Mix

I may have mentioned before that Celiac Disease runs in my family, and my two favorite aunties have been gluten free for years!! Their guidance is the ONLY thing that led to my getting tested.

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Aunt Jeanie, me, my sister Joan, Aunt Suzanne

While my sister is not gluten free, she has a whole host of food allergies, so she totally gets it! Luckily for me and my aunties, my sister always goes to great lengths to ensure that we can eat at family functions. She even made a rockin’ GF corn soufflé! The carrot cake was ahhmazing. Moist with just the right amount of spice, and don’t even get me started on the icing!

The best part of the party was actually the After Party! (of course) When we got to play with Ella in a much smaller group. Much like her Aunt Alex…

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Ella LOVES blocks!

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She tasted each one very carefully to ensure it’s safety.

So. Stinkin’. Cute.

Tonight is Sunday Grill Night, which means that Parrish is in charge of supper :) I can’t wait to share whatever delicious treat he comes up with. Wonder if he’ll top his last supper?