Perfect Ending

Despite this past week being as crazy as it was, this weekend was by far one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.

Yes, I am still having issues with my Crohn’s, but I think I can finally say that the new medicine may be kicking in. I don’t want to jump ahead too much, I am thinking positive though. It really is amazing how much positive thinking helps.

Also I cannot say THANK YOU enough for each and every one of your kind words, emails, and comments. Every time I checked my email & saw that I had a new comment, I would read it & it would just make me smile. Most of you I have not even met in person, and yet you still have the nicest, most uplifting things to say. For that I truly cannot thank you enough!

This weekend was time spent as a family. Our little family of three.

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Saturday I actually did quite a bit of cleaning and clearing out my closet. I took a bunch of clothes to Plato’s closet and made some money, always nice to sell more than you were expecting!

After that Craig & I played with her and she is REALLY into hearing her little voice. She will just sit and screech for HOURS. It is hilarious!! Then I will do it back to her & she laughs and does it some more.

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^that would be her mid screech 😉

Absolutely LOVING this age!! She’s becoming more & more aware of her surroundings and really soaking it all in. She is already trying to pull herself up on EVERYTHING. The more & more I look around our house the more ‘hazards’ I see when she starts walking. I think we may have a couple of more months before that, but never to early to baby proof, right? 🙂

Saturday afternoon I actually felt up to going for a run, I wasn’t able to run on Friday (due to the Crohn’s flare up) and REALLY missed it. So the minute I felt like going, I knew I should. I put Gabriella in the BOB stroller and we were off!

It felt SO good to get out and run and NOT have to have any bathroom stops along the way. (Sorry if that was a bit too much information.) Gabriella enjoyed her time too, girl LOVES to be outside. She got her Momma’s love of nature and outdoors! Once we got back, we spent even more time outside- I set her her baby pool and she played for a good hour in there.

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I thought Saturday was great, but then there was yesterday…which was darn near perfect! G woke up at her normal 6:30am wake up call, so after getting dressed and getting her ready, we were out the door for our normal Sunday morning Starbucks run. The baristas love seeing her each week, she made some friends. 🙂

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Once Craig woke up and Gabriella had her morning nap I suggested we go to the farmer’s market on Lake Eola, in downtown Orlando. I really wanted / needed to get out of the house. I couldn’t really go anywhere last week, because of the stomach issues, and I was just feeling a little stir crazy.

My parents were actually going to come down & visit us, but I asked that we postpone the trip, only because I really was not sure if I would be able to enjoy the company. (only because I wasn’t sure if I would be in the bathroom the whole time) Thankfully they understood, and I’m looking forward to seeing them soon.

I figured we would give the farmer’s market a try, and it was right near my office, so I knew exactly where EVERY bathroom was, just in case I needed to make a run for it.

Side note: One of the perks of having Crohn’s disease is that you know where each & every bathroom is at all of the places that you go to – restaurants, grocery stores, departments stores, etc. 😉

I’m so glad we went because we ALL really enjoyed ourselves. Gabriella loved looking at all of the people there, and she had her first encounter with a duck!

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She also got to play with a new toy at the park.

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And we had to get a few Daddy & Mommy pictures in front of the lake too, of course! 🙂

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Girlfriend was MUCH more interested in the swans & ducks than taking pictures, can’t say that I blame her, she pretty much always has the camera in her face. 😉

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I also was able to pick up some homemade Kombucha at the farmer’s market, which made me think of Lindsay :), in hopes that it may also help my stomach. Fingers crossed!

Once we left, we headed home & took Gabriella out to the big pool for a while before nap time. We finished up watching the Orioles win the series against the Tigers! WOOHOO!

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Couldn’t think of a better Sunday! (well, unless the Ravens were playing too 😉 )

I’m so thankful that after such a stressful, rough week that our weekend ended up PERFECT. I’m so thankful for my husband & daughter. They really do know how to cheer this Momma right up!

Do you ever go to your local Farmer’s market?
Favorite part of your weekend? Anyone out there run any races? I know two very special ladies that ran AWESOME races & WON!

Old Bay Shrimp Cakes

Well guys, I hate to say it, but it’s another one of those Mondays. Yuck. It’s true they never get easier, but thankfully once we get past today it always seems to get a bit easier, right?

Today I have a new recipe to share with you, and all of the credit for the idea even popping into my mind goes to Craig. You see he’s a Maryland boy, through & through. He was born & raised there; and most of his family lives there.

He love crabs, crab cakes, Old Bay, & Natty Boh.
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He is a DIEHARD Ravens fan. (well, we both are…but now you know where I get it from)
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(that’s Craig & his cousin Steve after the win over the 49ers on Thanksgiving night. This may be one of my favorite pictures that I have ever captured. Emotion is ALL over their faces & it CRACKS me up everytime I see it 😀 )

I mean he even proposed to me on the Ravens field!
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We are also big Orioles fans. In Craig’s vows to me, one of his lines was ‘in Orioles induced sickness & in health.’ I’m sure if you follow baseball, you will find that pretty funny as well. 😉 Even though the Orioles haven’t been doing so well for the past few years, we still love ‘em.
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Now lucky for us, we can buy Natty Boh in Florida (even though it’s difficult to find sometimes), we can still be Ravens & Orioles fans, and Old Bay is in every grocery store. But we CANNOT find good crabs down here.

If you have ever had Maryland crabs, then you know what I mean. You will never want crabs again, unless they are from Maryland.
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No more ‘k’ krab for this girl. Only ‘c’ crab will work! I guess you could call me a crab snob…and I’m ok with that. 😉

We both love crab cakes, and I hate only being able to have them like twice a year when we make a trip to Maryland. So I decided to come up with a substitution. Shrimp cakes! Even though nothing could ever replace crab cakes, these are do a really good job of satisfying my crab cake craving (say that three times fast 😉 ) …for the time being at least. 🙂 I think it’s because of all of the Old Bay that I used. Love that stuff!!

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Old Bay Shrimp Cakes

Makes 8 shrimp cakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked shrimp
  • 2 egg whites & 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. Old Bay + additional for topping
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • EVOO, for cooking

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a chopper or food processer, take you shrimp & pulse them in the chopper until they are no longer whole. This should be pretty quick, they chop easily.
3. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Once it is well combined, add in the shrimp. Shape into 8 cakes.
4. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle EVOO in pan. Once heated, cook the cakes for about 3 minutes each side, or until slightly browned. You will probably have to cook them in two batches.
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5. Put the cakes on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them liberally with more Old Bay & then bake for about 17 – 20 minutes.
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6. Serve with sweet and spicy sauce (recipe below), if desired.

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Sweet & spicy sauce
(Recipe from Gina)

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation:
Combine all & mix well.

The sauce isn’t necessary, but it adds more more flavor to them. Kind of gives them even more of a kick. I like the whole sweet and spicy combination, and this sauce is just that!

We enjoyed these yesterday while watching the NBA All Star game, which was right here in Orlando! It was pretty cool to see it take place here- only happens like once every 20 years.

Hope you have a great Monday! And if you need a little morning pick me up, you could always stop at Starbucks. I have a few excuses that you could use.