Just Can’t Stop

From now on when people ask why I run, I’m just going to answer with one word: Sally.

SALLY! What are you doing to me?!?!?!

I CANNOT stop making your recipes. And you have no idea the anticipation I have for your cookbook. I will be pre-ordering the first day that I can.

Yesterday was my Bible study (LOVE), and it was my week to make treats. I got my chance to dive into my ‘must make’ list of Pinterest recipes. By the way, that ‘must make’ list is about a mile long. Looks like I need more people to bake for, anyone interested?! Craig will probably kick me out of the house if I keep baking like this.

Of course more of the baking involved Nutella.

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With the way I’m going through it lately, I should buy stock in the company. Smile At least I could feel good about my constant need to purchase it.

First up, I felt the need to share the Puppy chow love, so I made MORE Salted Nutella Peanut Puppy Chow. Come to my house & this is what I will feed you. You will never want to leave because you CANNOT stop eating it.

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And once again, I had to make sure Craig stayed away from it. I came downstairs after putting Gabriella to bed & I looked at the batch that I had just made & noticed a TRAIL of powdered sugar…and then I looked at Craig. He was being unusually quiet for some odd reason. …his mouth was full of the stuff. Boy is HOOKED. He’s lucky I saved him a little container of it. Wife points Winking smile

And yes, more Nutella recipes.

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There was one recipe I had been eyeing for a while, but didn’t want to make it for just Craig & I only because I KNEW we would eat the whole loaf in a day. YEP, ONE day.

Nutella Swirled Peanut Butter Banana Bread

A recipe worth EVERY.SINGLE.CALORIE. I promise.

Can you see how amazingly delicious this looks?? And even though I really hate the word ‘moist,’ it’s the only way to describe it.

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If you like banana bread, I HIGHLY suggest trying this. And then grab your stretchy pants, because you won’t be able to stop at one slice. Hey, it DOES have whole wheat flour instead of white…so it IS healthy, right?! Winking smile

Last but not least, blueberry muffins.

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Not just any blueberry muffins, but sparkling blueberry muffins. They are ‘sparkling’ because they are topped with sugar. I didn’t have any course sugar like the recipe called for, so I just used regular granulated sugar. I thought they turned out just as well.

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I like how fluffy this muffins were, a nice complement to the heavy (but delightful) Nutella bread. The recipe is intended for jumbo muffins, but Sally also gives instructions on how to make them for smaller muffins- regular size & mini. I used the recipe for regular size, but had extra batter left over so I got 10 mini muffins as well.

As I was taking that picture above, this happened immediately after:
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Oops. Life of a blogger Winking smile 

Remember those extra wife points I earned from the puppy chow? Well, I cashed them in for making SUCH a mess in the kitchen. It’s a good thing Gabriella loves being in the kitchen with me- we had PLENTY of dishes to wash & counters to clean!

After a busy day of running errands & baking, Gabriella was a sleep little thing! We are currently doing ‘sleep training’ with her- more on that in a different post- but she is doing really well & woke up in a happy mood.

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I love a happy baby!! Open-mouthed smile 

Happy Friday to you!

Any fun plans for this weekend? My Mom is coming down to spend the weekend with us, and I’ll be taking her to a ‘CSI’ exhibit- it was part of her Mother’s Day gift. We are looking forward to seeing her & letting her have some Grandma time with her ‘little peach pie.’


Recent Obsessions

I feel like I go through phases with foods and beauty products. I am definitely my father’s daughter because I will get ‘stuck’ on a certain thing & buy it non stop, but then one day I’ll just be completely sick of it. Eventually I come back around & like it again, but it often takes a while.

Today I thought I would tell you about my recent obsessions. I think some of these have to do with the summer season, since it’s SO stinking HOT outside here in Florida. You can’t even step outside without sweating. GROSS!

1. Fruit Salad


I can’t stop eating it. Especially the pineapple. I will make a big batch of it in the beginning of the week, and then eat it for breakfast, with my lunch & then often before dinner. Fruit is just SO good right now. Nature’s candy Smile

2. These two coffee creamers


Salted Caramel Mocha & Vanilla Brown Sugar. I mean really?! Is there even a better way to start your morning than with these flavors?!? Mmmmmm. And since it is summer time, I actually only drink iced coffee. (of course I’ll drink hot coffee if that’s the only thing available, I just prefer iced in the summer) I get a TRENTA iced coffee from Starbucks with NO ice, NO sweetener & NO cream. Just black iced coffee. (If you like iced coffee, try it! Saves money & you don’t have to go out every day to get it! Win win.) Then that will last me for three mornings. The people at Starbucks know me & always have my iced coffee ready to go when I get there. Smile 

3. Summer Nail Polish Colors


They are just so fun! I was only buying Essie for a while, but that’s pretty expensive ($7- $8 a bottle). So I tried the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri & I LOVE it! It lasts for a while, just as long if not longer than Essie, and it’s about HALF the price.

4. Quest Bars


You guys, I have a problem. Do you see the stash above? That’s 20+ Quest Bars. It’s ridiculous. But I promise I have a good reason for having so many. I eat one everyday for breakfast, I’ll just stick it in the BOB & eat it once I’m done running. Gabriella is usually still snoozing & this is the perfect on the go breakfast. I also have water with me, and sometimes I’ll eat a banana too. I don’t know if other people are like this, but I really don’t enjoy eating a huge meal right after running. I have to wait a while and then I’ll have a bigger lunch. My stomach is just NOT into the idea of stuffing my face once I’m done with a run. And the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor is a MUST try if you haven’t yet. You can thank me later. Winking smile

5. Green Smoothies


That’s usually my lunch. A HUGE smoothie full of spinach, protein powder, unsweetened almond milk & usually a big bowl of fruit. DELISH! Open-mouthed smile Another ‘summer thing’ I’m assuming, since cold drinks sound ideal right now.

6. Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 Workout DVD


I do this DVD a few days a week before or after a speed workout. (so my run is a bit shorter) And I must be crazy because it KILLS. I don’t know if it’s because I’m already tired from running, but I DEFINITELY feel it! Of course I had to start with Week 4, because when I do something I have to go all out (good or bad thing…not sure Winking smile ) & I was hurting the next day. A good burn! This is actually the DVD Jillian recommends for at home workouts, she has said that she does NOT recommend the 30 Day Shred anymore. She said it is outdated. I only know this because Jillian & are pretty much best friends. No, I kid, (although I would like to meet her!) I am obsessed with her podcast.

And one thing that NEVER gets old is…

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Did you guess it?!?! I’m sure you all know my too well by now, and I must have a G picture in here somewhere.


My big blue eyed girl. Stole my heart right from the beginning. ❤

Any ‘obsessions’ that you have right now? Please share, I may just have to try something new. Smile

Favorite summer fruit?? I’m torn between pineapple & watermelon. I could eat both of them ALL day every day. I would eat 1/4 of a watermelon nearly everyday while I was pregnant with Gabriella, and she would go NUTS! I figured she must love it, so I gave her some the other day. She COMPLETELY refused it. Turned her little head all the way to the side. Weirdo! Who doesn’t love watermelon?!?! Maybe she overdosed in my belly Winking smile

Spicy BBQ Ranch Burgers

I just want to say Thank you! Thank you for the comments, tweets & emails about yesterday’s post. It was just a topic that really hit home for me, and sounded like it did for you too. Isn’t it funny how God can speak to us in the most mysterious ways?!

Another thing I’ve been ‘learning’ lately is to just kind of sit back & ENJOY life. Take it ALL in! You know how teaches me this the most?? Gabriella.

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I just love how you can see her soaking up the world! EVERYTHING is new for her, and she really does take the time to stop & smell the roses. Winking smile She enjoys just sitting outside playing in the grass, she will just sit & pick at the grass piece by piece. Just observing & feeling the textures. It is just so cool to watch.

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I’m a very ‘go go go’ type of person. It’s rare that I take the time to sit down & just relax. It’s just so important to relax sometimes, just to enjoy the world around you. She shows me how to do this, and I appreciate that.

She also got into some of her Daddy’s old toys that we brought out of storage while we were packing up her infant stuff, and had a blast playing with them. Her favorite was Slimer. Smile

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As I mentioned in a previous post, quick dinners are a Mother’s dream! Nothing like a home cooked meal that you can get to the table in less than an hour, or preferably less than 30 minutes.

While browsing through the grocery store the other day, I saw that Hidden Valley Ranch had a new seasoning mix- Spicy Ranch.

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I have used the traditional mix before. I really love putting the mix on diced potatoes & then roasting them in the oven, it is a great side dish to almost any dinner.

But when I saw the spicy version, I had something else in mind. One of my favorite things to make are chicken burgers- there are SO many different variations that you can make! Using a prepackaged seasoning mix makes this meal EVEN easier! I just added a few other things into the meat & they were on the table in under 30 minutes. The best part is that they were husband approved. (He even went back for another one!)

Spicy BBQ Ranch Burgers


– 1 lb. ground chicken (I used 94% fat free & it worked perfectly)
– 1 package spicy Ranch seasoning mix
– 1 tsp. onion powder
– 2 tsp. minced garlic
– 3 tbsp. of your favorite BBQ sauce
– 4 hamburger buns, sliced in half
– toppings of your choice, I used guacamole, American cheese (for Craig’s) additional BBQ sauce, lettuce & sliced tomatoes (other ideas: Ranch dressing, sliced onions, ketchup, chili sauce)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease or line a baking pan with foil and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.

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3. Divide the chicken mixture into four equal parts, and shape in the form of hamburger patties. Place them on your greased baking sheet.


4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 – 15 minutes, or until the middle of the burger is cooked thoroughly. (Not pink in the middle). Remove from the oven, and add a burger to each hamburger bun. Top with your choice of toppings.

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So EASY! & so delicious!

And for dessert?

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Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, because Gabriella made me do it. Winking smile

Do you have a favorite burger recipe? (one that I can use ground chicken instead of ground beef)
Italian Ice or Frozen Yogurt?

Unanswered Prayers

Yesterday morning I had an awesome run. I definitely got a ‘runner’s high’ about halfway through. I haven’t been feeling well lately, I came down with a head cold last Thursday. I told myself that I would do at least six miles, and if I wasn’t up for anymore then I would head home. Six miles is my ‘minimal number’ of miles that I typically run each day. So I knew I could do it, I just planned to take it easy & just enjoy being outside. (Does being outside make anyone else feel SO much better when they are sick???)

Well, around five miles something just came over me. I just really wanted to run today. Run until my heart’s content. A long run just sounded SO good, and I felt like it’s what I NEEDED. Not only to clear my head of sickness, but just to think. Have some ‘me time.’

Being a Mom having any ‘me time’ is a rare thing, and that’s ok, but our morning runs is my ‘me time.’ Gabriella plays with her toys in the stroller, usually falls asleep, and I just run.

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Sounds silly, but honestly I love this part of the day. I feel like it’s time I get to spend with Gabriella, even though she is snoozing. Once she wakes up we usually go to the park so she can swing. Smile

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Something that I don’t discuss on here often is religion. I know that religion & politics are topics that really should not be discussed in a social situation, but there is a topic I really want to bring up. Feel free to skip this part if you don’t want to hear about my personal beliefs regarding God & religion.

I wanted to mention how much I LOVE my Thursday Bible study. The women that I meet with are such STRONG, inspirational people. Not only do I feel like I’m growing spiritually, but it’s also so nice to meet with other Moms who are going through similar situations or have been through the situation & can offer suggestions & advice.

While discussing our devotionals this week, the topic of unanswered prayers came up. It’s often a thought that we don’t think about. I mean who remembers to say ‘thank you’ to God for NOT answering a prayer request?

I know for me personally, I had really never thought about it. Remember that high school or college boyfriend that you prayed to God about? The one that you would do ANYTHING for to make the relationship work? I know I do, and I think most women can relate to that in one way or the other.

It really put things into perspective. If God had answered my prayers, I would not have the wonderful family that I have today.

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I wouldn’t have my little G baby, and I probably would have never met my best friend, my husband.


(they melt my heart)

It’s EASY to say ‘thank you’ for answered prayers. Getting the new job, positive changes in your health, making it through a day you thought was impossible, & many other things. But what about all of those prayers that God said ‘No’ to. At the time you may have been mad or upset. I know I have, I even pushed away from God for a while.

Now I have to just remind myself that when I do get a ‘no,’ that He may have a better future for me. As I was doing my devotional Monday night, I happened to stumble upon this verse:

“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9

I think He may have directed my eyes to that verse for a reason. God knows our future. He has everything outlined for us. Even in times of despair & heartache, He knows what He is doing and you have to trust in Him.

And I just want to end with a verse for a song I still love, ‘Unanswered Prayers’ by Garth Brooks.

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

How to Win Over Anyone

I’ve been holding out on you all.

I have a recipe that I MUST share. It’s too good NOT to share. If you ever need to get on someone’s good side, or need some extra brownie points, just feed them this.

Before leaving for the beach I made a snack that had been on my ‘must make’ list for a while. Sally’s Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow. When I first told Craig what I was making he looked at me like I had three heads. ‘Puppy chow?! You mean the stuff that comes in the can that you feed to dogs?!?!?!’ Yes Craig, that is EXACTLY what I plan on making & serving to humans. Winking smile

He then tried a handful…verdict? I had to HIDE IT FROM HIM, otherwise we wouldn’t have any left for the beach trip the following day.

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You guys…I am NOT lying when I say you CANNOT eat just one bite. There is NO possible way. I PROMISE you. Not only did we polish off nearly the entire batch, Craig has been begging me to make it again nearly everyday since we have been back. It’s just THAT good. I’m being honest here when I tell you this is one of the BEST recipes I have EVER made. Not only is it incredibly easy to throw together, but I can guarantee everyone will be going back for seconds, thirds, fourths & fifths! That is a very bold statement, but I stand behind every word!

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I have copied the recipe directly from Sally’s blog below, only because my Mom wanted the recipe & I know her well enough that she won’t click the link above to it. So here ya go Mom Open-mouthed smile 

Sally’s Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow

makes approximately 7.5 cups. This recipe is gluten free.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter (or unsalted)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons Nutella (or the entire small container of Nutella)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cup salty peanuts (dry roasted, honey-roasted – whichever you prefer) (I used salted, dry roasted)
  • 6 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and Nutella.  Stir constantly until smooth.  Add salt. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour the peanuts and cereal into a large bowl.  Top with warm Nutella mixture and gently mix it around to coat each piece of cereal.
  3. In a large zipped top bag or covered container, add the powdered sugar. Pour the Nutella covered cereal into the large bag or container. Seal the bag or container and shake until all the cereal is coated with the powdered mixture.
  4. Discard excess powder and enjoy. Store at room temperature up to 2 weeks. (I kept it in the refrigerator, and it was EVEN better cold Smile)



This is my new go-to snack recipe. I CANNOT wait to break this puppy chow out during some Ravens games this fall!

And of course because any blog post would not be complete without it, I must give you a Gabriella update. Smile

The only thing I have to say is she is getting WAY TOO BIG WAY TOO QUICK.

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^ does she not look like a little girl there, rather than a baby?! GAHH! Slow down G, slow down.

This weekend we put away her ‘baby’ stuff, like her swing & her bouncer. She has just outgrown them. The swing we could of maybe gotten another month out of, but she really doesn’t use it anymore…and because she is about 18lbs. (if not more), the things sounds like it is really straining to even swing an inch left to right!

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^teeny tiny baby Gabriella. ❤

When I put her in her bouncer, this is what I would come back to:


Her legs were EVERYWHERE. And she was just not really entertained by it anymore. She preferred to eat the little bird on the top of the light display.

We also decided to lower her crib completely down. There are three settings, a high, middle & low, but since she is trying to pull up on it, I told Craig we should probably just skip the middle & go straight to the low. Otherwise we would probably have to adjust it again in a month, if that.

She also enjoys just sitting in her crib when she doesn’t want to nap. She will just sit there & play with the bumpers.

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I know it’s hard to see, but she is just sitting in the little corner staring at the monitor. Girlfriend knows exactly where to look for the camera. Winking smile

I definitely miss the ‘infant’ days, just watching her lay there & squeak (baby squeaks are the BEST!), but everyday gets more & more fun!! You can just see her soaking up the world ALL the TIME! It’s SO COOL! … I did ask her if she wanted a baby sister or brother & she just looked at me & smiled.  Good sign- guess this just means we’ll have to work on that for her soon Winking smile

And that was our weekend, spending time as a little family & enjoying every second of it! These are the BEST days. ❤

I hope that you have a wonderful day- I know Monday’s are often hard, but just remember Monday means it’s time for a fresh start!

Last, but not least, I HIGHLY recommend you go out & buy this today.

I promise your Monday will probably be the greatest Monday ever. Oh, and I dare you to just eat one serving. HA! Good luck with that one Winking smile

Ever had puppy chow? If you have, what’s your favorite kind?

The kind above is my new favorite, I used to really like the ‘limited edition’ kind that came out around Christmas time, but now I don’t have to wait all year for that one!

Best thing about your weekend?

Watching Gabriella find a new favorite toy. She got a new hand puppet & whenever she sees it she just laughs.

Raspberry Pecan Salmon

Just as ANY Mom will tell you, the concept of a quick dinner recipe is a wonderful thing. I used to be very elaborate when it came to meal planning. I would takes hours to fix a recipe. My favorite spot is in the kitchen cooking or baking or outside running. If I ever have a stressful day, I love going into the kitchen and cooking a big meal.

But having a child changes things. A LOT. Please don’t get me wrong, every change is SO worth it! I still very much enjoy cooking, but these days I head straight to the 30 minute or less recipes. Not going to lie, I love a quick meal that tastes just as good as those meals that I would make that took hours.

One of my very favorite quick dinners is salmon. Not only is it healthy, but you can get it on the table in less than 30 minutes. A recipe that I use often is Raspberry Pecan Salmon. Doesn’t it sound fancy?!

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Even Gabriella was amazed at how good it looked. Winking smile (& no, that’s not a bald spot on her head, it’s just where the sunlight is hitting)

It’s SO easy to put together, and only requires THREE ingredients (if you don’t count salt & pepper.) I try to incorporate salmon into our weekly meals, at least for a night or even two. Recently when I went to get this salmon I asked for a pound, which ends up being perfect for us- with some leftover that I can eat the next day. The lady happened to say ‘it’s a little over a pound,’ I thought no big deal. Well, what I didn’t know was that the salmon actually ended up being 1.2lbs! Eek! When she said ‘little’ I thought maybe I was getting 1.05lbs. I guess I should have been more specific when asking for a POUND. HA! Good thing it won’t go to waste!

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She was ALL about the salmon! She was fascinated. Must take after her Momma, the salmon lover. Open-mouthed smile 

This ‘recipe’ is VERY general. It’s pretty much just use as much as you see fit. I know that doesn’t help much, but there’s really no ‘right or wrong’ way to make this salmon, which is part of why I like the recipe so much.

Raspberry Pecan Salmon

-1 lb. salmon (or however much you want)
-Salt & pepper
-2 tbsp. seedless raspberry jam (increase if using more fish, or less for a smaller piece)
-1/8 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) (again, increase or decrease if you desire)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cover a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. (Using the foil will help get the skin off)
3. Place the fish skin down on the foil, sprinkle with salt & pepper.
4. Take your raspberry jam & smooth it across the fish and then sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
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5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork in the middle or thickest part. (I recommend checking on it frequently after 15 minutes as all ovens are different and overcooked salmon is not the tastiest thing.)
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^ how good does that look baking in the oven?? And your house will smell so good- nice & sweet from the jam.

I served the fish atop a fresh salad. (Romaine lettuce, corn on the cob, chopped pears, apples & strawberries and raspberries.)
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Such a delicious summer dinner! I polished off a big bowl of salad for dinner last night & am looking forward to leftover night to eat this meal again!

In other news, Gabriella found a new favorite toy:

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Our vertical blinds. Girl is into EVERYTHING. It is really funny because the silliest stuff (like these blinds) keeps her entertained for a while

Oh, and another random thing, did anyone else’s kid do this:
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Nice shot of my child’s tush, right?! But she actually prefers to do this over crawling. She will just get into the ‘downward dog’ position & pull herself up instead of crawling. Is she just weird or is this normal?! If it’s weird, then she definitely gets it from Craig. Winking smile 

Guess what?? Tomorrow is F-R-I-D-A-Y! It’s ALMOST the weekend! WOOHOO! Open-mouthed smile

Favorite fish? Favorite fish recipe? Please share, I LOVE new fish recipes!
I love Mahi mahi and salmon. And my favorite fish recipe is the one above.

We Went to the Beach!

Hi!! I promise I’m still here!!

My blog has taken a back seat recently because well, I’ve been busy. Busy with Gabriella, busy with work and just busy with life in general. I think we all have those weeks and months sometimes. Just NON stop.

Gabriella is back to her ‘must have Mommy’ phase. It’s hard for me to even leave a room, even when Craig is here. I’m hoping this is just passes soon because it is SO hard for me to get anything done.

Work has picked up, which is great! I am very lucky that I get to work from home, and currently I have been getting more and more to do. I work before Gabriella wakes up, while she naps & once she goes to bed. Well, I have another issue…she is not napping much anymore. I’m LUCKY if I get an hour in the morning and afternoon. After speaking to other Moms, I hear it is a pretty common thing to happen. Sometimes it feels as thought I don’t even get two seconds to myself, all part of being a Mom though. (& 100% worth it, I can’t wait to do it again too!)

The good thing is that she LOVES the BOB stroller, so we have been doing lots of running & walking. She also loves the pool, which has gotten a lot of use lately. Smile

Anyways this past weekend was a big event in G’s life, her very FIRST trip to the beach!




My sister & her husband invited us to stay with them for the weekend in New Smyrna Beach. They were able to borrow a condo from a friend of theirs and wanted us join in on the fun.


We all VERY much needed some time away, even if it was just for a night! We also found out that our daughter LOVES the beach. I mean LOVES. She didn’t want to leave.


^those thighs…O.M.G…I just love ‘em!

The waves didn’t scare her AT ALL. She almost wanted to attack them. Open-mouthed smile


We spent most of Saturday & Sunday morning on the beach with her.


Her favorite thing was to play in the sand….and eat it. All part of the experience, right?! Winking smile

My parents were also able to make the trip down, so it was great to see them. It had been far too long since they had seen the grandkids and we missed them.



She very much enjoyed our family time, and so did we; it doesn’t happen often enough. We are actually looking at going back to these condos for our family vacation in September- they were SO nice and so close to the beach & pool! Hard to beat.

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Time at the beach with family, plus running on the beach (stroller free!!!!!!!) was AWESOME!!

Since Father’s Day was Sunday, (which we spent at the beach)Gabriella & I had special plans to surprise Craig with a grill (that I had assembled myself- Go me Winking smile ), but I found out once I surprised him with a grill on the porch that he is actually getting a free one from a friend. Bummer. Surprise ruined.

So I really couldn’t think of another gift, but I knew he wanted to get Gabriella’s ears pierced, and that’s exactly what I did.


She did PERFECT! I was a bit worried, but we got both ears done at once; she let out one big scream right after they did it. I handed her a sippy cup of water immediately, she sucked on that, and was totally fine! We actually went shopping afterwards!

I didn’t tell Craig I was going, and when he walked in the door last Thursday it took him a minute to see them. He LOVED them! Open-mouthed smile

Of course I asked our pediatrician about getting her ears pierced before I did them. He actually used to do them in office, but just got tired of hearing Mom’s complain (haha! can’t blame him). He said now was the perfect time to get them done since she won’t realize they are there. (just make sure you get 14K gold earrings!) If we waited much longer, she would keep playing with them. So far, so good! No infections, or inflammation, and she really has no idea that they are there.

Well I’m off! Gabriella has learned to pull up on her crib, so I am on a mission to lower it today! Nothing like looking in the baby monitor to see your child standing there looking at the camera. Haha!

Enjoy the rest of your day! In my next post I have to share with you some WONDERFUL recipes that I tried out while we were at the beach.

Did you do anything for Father’s day?
Moms of daughters: Did you get her ears pierced? If so, at what age?

Andes Crème de Menthe Cookie Bars

Things are looking up around here!

I had my doctor appointment yesterday & good news: nothing but a flare! All of the results from the tests they ran just showed a ‘normal’ flare, no infection or parasites. (<—Gross, but one thing they tested for)

The other good news is that my new medication is really kicking in! This past week I have felt like my old self (*knock on wood*) & only continue to feel better. Thank you all again for all of the kind comments, emails & thoughts and prayers my way. MUCH MUCH appreciated! ❤

Anyways, remember that new wine I showed you on Tuesday? Apothic Rose.


Verdict? Not a fan. I was bummed. It was too sweet for me and had a weird after taste.

But, I’m not one to waste wine.


So I finished my small glass & that was enough for me. I’ll have to find someone that enjoys it. (& No, Mom, this wouldn’t be sweet enough for you…even though it is extremely sweet. I know how you like your sugar water wine. 😉 )

While I was drinking my wine,  I decided to bake. I have three ways that I like to unwind or de-stress: Running (or any form of working out), Drinking wine & Baking. So after the crazy day on Tuesday I was ALL about finding something good to bake. I also wanted to surprise Craig with a treat when he got home from his trip.

I had some chocolate mint baking chips and thought about making cookies with them, but I didn’t feel like having to make a bunch of batches of them. So instead I decided to make cookie bars!


Andes Crème de Menthe Cookie Bars
(recipe adapted from here)

Yield: Approximately 20 bars (depending on your cut size 🙂 )


– 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
– 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2 eggs
– 1 package (10 oz.) Andes Crème de Menthe baking chips
– 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl beat butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla extra & eggs until mixed.
3. Stir in baking chips and then flour. Mix well, until combined.
3. Pour cookie dough into the 9 x 13 inch pan. The dough may be kind of thick, I just sprayed a fork with cooking spray & spread the dough out in the pan so that it was even throughout.

4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.


Craig is a HUGE mint chocolate chip fan and these were right up his alley! As soon as he walked in the door he ate three bars. He loved them! I had a bite of one (mint chocolate isn’t really my thing), and I really liked them too. I really like baking with brown sugar, I think it adds such a good flavor over regular white sugar. Just gives it a boost, if ya know what I mean. 😉

I sent the rest of the bars in with Craig to work and he said they were gone almost immediately! I would say this recipe is a WIN! 😀

Well, I’m off, I have some reading to do for my first Bible study meet up! A group of ladies and I are starting this new study (based on the book ‘Tune In’) and we are meeting every Thursday morning. The kids will be upstairs with babysitters & the Moms will be downstairs discussing the book. I . CANNOT. WAIT!

Enjoy your Thursday!!

Questions for ya:
– Are you a mint chocolate lover? Favorite mint chocolate chip food?
– Are you reading any books right now??


So yesterday never got better. Gabriella was just not a happy baby, but I really think it has to do with teething.

I thought she was teething before, but this is a whole new level. The teething BEAST is here and here to stay. The only thing that made her happy was chewing on an ice cube. So you know what?? Gabriella got as much ice as she wanted!

And because our afternoon walk & park visit was ruined due to the rain, I decided to improvise.

G pool inside

I moved her baby pool inside and put a ton of toys in there for her, while I did Jillian Michaels Killer Abs- level one. Normally I do 8 minute abs everyday, but I needed something new to try.  And I had 30 minutes to kill, so Jillian it was. 🙂 More on the wonderful world of YouTube later in this post.

Once I finished, I fed Gabriella dinner. Remember how I thought cinnamon was the magic fix? Wrong. She is actually allergic to cinnamon, but just a SKIN reaction, not something her little body rejected. It’s called contact dermatitis, and it’s just a topical allergy. It doesn’t even get itchy, she just breaks out in a little red rash wherever the cinnamon touched & it goes away in about an hour.  Not a huge deal, but the recommendation is just to re-introduce cinnamon in a few months to see if the allergy has gone away.

She’s still not the biggest fan of eating solid foods, but I have found an alternative. My sister in law told me about Stonyfield’s YoBaby yogurt. Gabriella LOVED it! I got her the blueberry flavor, since her love for blueberries is out of this world.

And just because I think it’s hilarious, here is a play by play of Gabriella’s reaction.

First bite:

g yogurt2

Mommy I LOVE this stuff, gimme more!!

G yogurt1

& Gabriella with a full belly…and a full face of yogurt:

g yogurt

Too stinking funny!

I also bought the baby smoothies that Stonyfield makes & she enjoyed those as well- got the peach flavor and she pretty much drank half of it in the first minute. Girlfriend LOVES yogurt. She got it from her Momma. 😉

Anyways, more about those YouTube exercise videos. I seriously had NO idea the vast amount of videos that were on their for working out! I mean I always knew about BodyRock TV, and have done many of those exercises, but there is SO MUCH MORE than that!

After my run last week, I was craving a weight workout. (I know, I can be strange sometimes. 😉 ) Since I do ‘8 minute abs’ everyday, I figured I would try the other 8 minute videos.

Here is the workout I did:

8 minute abs
8 minute arms (x 2)
8 minute legs
8 minute buns
8 minute abs (yes, did it again)

I do like the abs video, it’s a good thing to do everyday (along with other ab exercises) to improve your core strength. The arms video is OK, it’s really a good warm up for an upper body workout, that’s why I did it twice. And NO, I did NOT use soup cans, as instructed in the video (haha!). I used my regular weights, and I prefer using heavy weights over light weights. (IE: 20lbs. for curls, 10- 12lbs for shoulder exercises, etc.). The legs video is absolutely terrible, I do NOT recommend it. But the BUNS video, holy ON FIRE buns!! DO THIS if you like to FEEL THE BURN!!!

But as I was on there, I was clicking around on the ‘recommended’ videos on the side bar, and I guess I was just in la-la land, but I didn’t realize how much was out there!!

Here I am actually buying exercise DVDs (just bought Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30) and then I found out you can actually get some of the levels on YouTube for FREE. (like the Killer Abs video) Now where they get you is that you actually don’t get ALL of the workouts, or all of the levels, but just enough to ‘tease’ you to want to actually buy the DVD. But with all of the different options & workouts you really never need to buy a DVD again!

I do realize I am probably WAY late to the game on this, but I just thought I would share my new found love of YouTube. 😉

Since most of my weight workouts are now from home I have enjoyed the variety. I try to get them in at least 3-4 times a week either before or after a run.

Today was actually an exception, I asked Craig if he could watch Gabriella so that I could go to the gym this morning.

me gym

(told you, I live in Lulu shorts 😉 )

me gym 2

(oblique crunches with weight)

& boy was it LOVELY!

I did THIS workout, but not the running parts- I actually finished up with Stairmaster intervals- 30 seconds at level 20 & then came home & ran 3 miles with Gabriella.

‘twas a great start to the morning 😀

Little miss just woke up from her morning nap, so we are going to head out & run some errands. I actually have to return Craig’s father’s day gift. Boo! (more on that later)

This afternoon is also my follow up appointment regarding my Crohn’s flare up. I get all of my test results (they ran a TON), so I will find out if it was more than a flare. Fingers crossed that it’s not! I’ll let you know tomorrow what happens

Have a great day, and thank you for making me feel better about my wine habits yesterday. 😉

How Long Until Bedtime?! ;)

I will be the first to admit.

There are some days that I honestly CANNOT wait to have a glass of wine (or two 😉 )once I get Gabriella to bed.

Today is one of them.

I know it is SO hard to believe that this little chick…

g bed

can really be a bit of a crazy woman sometimes!

Craig has been out of town since Sunday morning and won’t be back until later tonight, so it’s been Me and Gabriella for the past few days. I LOVE my girl time, but when she wants to be a fussy pants, it’s not so fun. 😉

Makes me really appreciate Craig’s help!

I don’t know what her deal was this morning, but NOTHING could make her happy. I mean NOTHING. Not even her favorite toy.

We did our normal morning routine- she woke up at 5:45am & we played for a while and I drank coffee. Then around 7:30am we headed out for my run. Which is what we always do.

I did the ‘30-20-10’ workout from Runner’s World, which I DO recommend- try it out, it can really mix your run up! (2 mile warm – up, 3 x 5 minute intervals + the jogging 2 minutes in between each- and then a 1.5 mile cool down run, totaling 6 miles)

During our run she took a brief nap, about 20 minutes, again, totally normal. Then we went to the park for a bit to swing. She LOVES the swings.

g swing insta

Then we headed back home & that’s where it all began. She just started fussing, which then lead to crying…and then screaming. SO ODD!

It was just one of those mornings. I tried EVERYTHING to make her happy & she just wasn’t having it.

I suppose we all have those days, and it definitely comes with the territory of being a Mom. 🙂 Thankfully now she is napping, not sure how long that will last. (her naps are getting shorter as time goes one…nothing like they used to be, I’m lucky to get an hour or two…I knew it would happen, just didn’t know when)

While her craziness was going on this morning, all I could think about was this:


(my favorite red wine: Apothic Red & their limited release Apothic Rose, which I have not tried yet, but I CAN’T wait to try it! The Red is DELICIOUS, especially chilled for just a bit. It’s hard to have just one glass 🙂 )

Wine. Yep! I cannot lie.

Sometimes you do what you gotta do to get through the day. 😉

Here’s to hoping for a happier little lady this afternoon! She’s a funny little thing. I think she MAY be going through a growth spurt, not too sure, I mean do we ever really know? But she has been extra fussy and seems to want to sleep a lot, even though she will fight sleep with everything she has.

The park always makes her happy, and I always take her in the afternoon too, so at least we have that to look forward to.

Hope you are having a good week so far! 🙂

Please tell me, if you drink wine, what is your favorite?? I’m always looking for new wine to try.