This and That


1. Read with the tune of Johnny Cash “I’ve Been Everywhere Man.” We got a van man. Now we can go everywhere man. We bought our van from Barr because he is the man.

2. My brother, his wife, and their baby were visiting us for the long weekend. Caleb and his cousin had so much fun together. I wish they lived closer. There is nothing like the camaraderie of a brother. I miss him every day we are apart. His wife is equally as awesome.

3. Football season has started! Yahoo! Caleb and I are excited. Go Utes! Caleb wearing a swoop hat-the Utes mascot!


1. Sorry there wasn’t a “This and That” post last week. I came down with a nasty flu bug and had to go to the ER. I will save you from all of the icky details, but they loaded me with fluids and Zofran. It was a rough couple of days, but I am feeling much better now.

2. Back to school time always makes me want to get organized. This week I have been working on getting organized with Martha Stewart’s Home Office with Avery products. I have a little corner in our kitchen that I consider my office and it usually gets pretty messy. To get organized, I used a Magazine File to organize my files. Don’t you love the color and designs of Martha’s new file folders? So fun! I also keep my Martha Stewart monthly calendar in my file box so I can plan my blog posts, keep track of birthdays, appointments, etc. And I love the little tips Martha includes-so helpful! I also added a Dry Erase Decal inside our pantry so we can keep track of our grocery list. Yay for being organized!

Here is a coupon for you all so you can get organized too!

 3. Love these DIY Natural Room Scents! They smell good and they are pretty!

4. So I FINALLY read a book-White Jacket Required: A Culinary Coming-of-Age Story by Jenna Weber. No, it isn’t the first book I’ve ever read, but it is the first book I’ve read since Caleb was born. It felt so good to turn pages again! Jenna writes the popular blog, Eat, Live, Run-one of my favorite blogs, and Jenna is a dear friend, so I knew I would like the book, but I LOVED it. Congratulations Jenna!

5. Josh loves donuts and Crullers are one of his favorite. I think I will get big bonus points if I make these Homemade Crullers for him!

6. Since I was sick and couldn’t eat for a few days, I think I need to make up for lost time by eating cake, cookies, and ice cream…all day long!

7. Caleb’s first birthday is only a few weeks away! HELP! What kind of cake do you make for a one year old? I know he won’t really eat it…and we don’t want him to. We are kind of strict when it comes to sugar for our little guy. He is too young! Someday he will get to taste mama’s cookies, but not for awhile! Let me know if you have any fun birthday suggestions!

8. Our friend, Jake, gave us a huge box of peaches from his orchard. We are all in heaven-including Caleb:) He can’t keep his hands out of the box! I see Peach Salsa, Peach Crumb Bars, and Peaches ‘n Cream Stuffed French Toast happening in the near future. What are your favorite peach recipes?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I love your chalk board saying!!! You are the milk to my cookie, to cute!! Hope your feeling better! Seems there is a nasty flu going around!!

  2. The cake really depends on whether you’ll be having other children at the party or not. In any case, even if Caleb woun’t be eating it, I suggest you make sthg for a big occassion, so when you (and him) look at the pictures 8 years from now, you remember the big day!

  3. You could try making a cake with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup! That way hes not getting all the sugar from a regular cake ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I made a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for my kids firsts. I found recipes that had limited super and I made some adjustments. Good luck.

  5. For a first birthday, I would suggest a vanilla cake with vanilla icing, but does it really matter, since you’re not going to let him have any? Just don’t make it too cute, or he will definitely want some! Pick a theme that reminds you of him, and don’t invite too many people (he’ll most likely get overwhelmed). But then you know your child better than me, so just have fun!

  6. Bought our Honda Fit there at RC Automotive! The guys were extremely helpful and made car buying a breeze!

    What’s your favorite NFL team?

    I’m glad you’re feeling better!

  7. You totally have to do a cake smash – despite the sugar!! Most kids won’t eat a whole lot of it anyway, and just want to play in the cake. I did one with Abbi and those are such priceless photos to me. I’m regretting that I didn’t do one with Easton.

  8. What about a homemade banana bread or something similar in a “cake” pan instead of a loaf pan or an angel food cake with fruit and whipped cream. That is a lighter cake, if you make it homemade you can control the sugar, especially if you are making him his own little cake or even a soft, chewy granola bar made in a small cake pan/

    I was strict about my daughter not having too much sugar – no candy – when she was younger and still (now that she is 13) try to limit it. It does get harder as they get older and go to school and hang with other kids, but I just keep stressing the importance of healthy eating and that ice cream and other stuff is a special treat and, if you eat it every day, it wouldn’t be special anymore.

  9. Congrats on the van. We LOVE ours! I hope you are feeling better. I had flashbacks of living on Stadium Ave reading about your flu. It is so much harder to be sick when you are a mom and have others to take care of.

    I can’t believe Caleb is almost one. I sent a package and when we moved found the card that didn’t make it inside. It was a very belated birth gift. I hope it fit. Definately you want first year birthday pictures so make something. We usually throw most of the cake away. Even a cupcake can be fun. Yeah Caleb!

    We are so needing to get together. Let me know when you are feeling better. I would love to set something up now that I am coming out of “just had a baby” mode.
    Love ya!

  10. SO glad you’re feeling better!!!
    You will love your van…and just know that you won’t be driving one forever ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Thanks so much for linking to my DIY Natural Room Scents. I’m flattered that you like them.

    SO happy to know about the Martha coupon. I’m all over it! Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. My little girl turned one in June and we’re really strict with her sugar consumption as well. For her party I made a small 6-inch plain white cake with vanilla buttercream as her “smash” cake and with the rest of the batter made cupcakes for anyone who wanted cake. She hated having the sticky frosting on her hands and didn’t hardly eat any of the cake (but made a HUGE mess). For her actual birthday I made a simple berry buttermilk “cake” which was really like a fruit quick bread. It was such a hit with her, but she loves her fruit.

  13. My cousin just threw a one-year bday party for her son and she made mini-applesauce cakes. It was basically just a spice cake (I think) with applesauce and she halfed the sugar content and topped them with crumbled gingersnaps. They were so good! She wanted them to look like mud-pies because she always jokes that her son’s favorite toy is dirt. She baked them in small pot pie pans, so they were individual size.

  14. I feel like you were just pregnant with Caleb and we were emailing about baby gear suggestions! How time flies! So for Brandon’s first birthday, I made him and all the other little kids at the party mini cupcakes, then a matching small cake for the adults. It ended up working well since the kids each had their own to destroy. Brandon didn’t even touch his – he was way more into the guacamole (we had it at a Mexican restaurant)!

    Have fun planning his fun day!

  15. We went all out with a homemade funfetti cake with vanilla buttercream icing for our son’s first birthday last year. We went with a loose theme of colors and shapes, and my husband actually created a shape sorter type cake with a smash cake on top for Riley to dig into, which he totally did. No cutting back on the sugar for us (even though the only sugar he had had previously had been mostly fruit), and those smash pics and video were totally worth it. So much fun.

    Here’s my post about his party, in case you’re interested!

  16. I just made a Southern Peach Cake which required cooking 6 peacjes down to a thick ouree(think applesauce). It was really good.
    Glad youfeel better.

  17. Great roundup, is that a Toyota Sienna? If so we were just marveling at how much space they have after looking at one the other day! Glad your well again.
    Take care..

  18. I can’t wait to read Jenna’s book; she’s one of my favorite bloggers too! I love peaches in anything from ice cream to yogurt.

  19. As the mom to two boys, one of whom is turning into a young man right before my eyes….reconsider letting him have the cake. It is his first birthday. He only gets one. He won’t know what to do with any cake and will make a humungous adorable mess that you will enjoy for years to come. We were pretty strict about sugar too, but for special occasions they were OK. Our grocery store had what they called a “smash cake”… a small 2 tier decorated cake about the size of a cupcake. Because that is what my boys did to it….SMASHED it! You are still in control of the food, just because he has a cake doesn’t mean he has to eat all of it, nor will he refuse to eat anything but cake every again. Have fun, enjoy every single minute!!!

  20. Ooh, a peach something cake would be great to use up them peaches and also produce a lovely cake. Maybe a basic layered yellow cake with freshly whipped cream and sliced peaches in the centre. Sounds fab.

  21. I always made cupcakes for our boys’ first birthday. They didn’t have much sugar either and didn’t really eat them, but it was fun to watch them check it out and try some. I always made chocolate so that any tasting would make a nice chocolate smear for cute pictures. =) And, I got to eat the leftover chocolate cupcakes. =)

  22. Lovely photographs. And those two brother’s they look soooo cute!!!

    Also wanted to invite to my game. I am hosting a gala dinner extravaganza, a fabulous linky party for all. Please come and join the fun. You can post anything – appetizers, drinks, soups, stews, desserts, finger foods – anything that takes your fancy. You can also post party decor or other party related ideas.

  23. A van makes life with kids SO much easier, especially if you use infant seats in the beginning. It took us getting use to but we like it now… as much as you can like a van I suppose ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad to hear you’re doing better! I had no idea it was so bad you ended up in the ER!

  24. For my oldest girl’s first birthday, we made a cake that was sweetened with applesauce and just a tiny bit of sugar. For the second, it was a banana cake that mainly relied on bananas for the sweetness. They were both a treat without being too sugary! Good luck!

  25. I did a homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for my little girl’s first birthday, but you could leave off the frosting (or maybe even use yogurt or something???). Either way the boy still needs some cake!!!

  26. For my son’s first birthday, I made his smash cake a banana “cake” only flavored with natural applesauce and vanilla yogurt “frosting.” He loved it and I didn’t feel bad giving it to him. (I made a regular vanilla/chocolate cake for the rest of the party-goers :))