This and That



1. Saturday, I skied at the home of the Olympic Downhill. This was the location of the start gate for the Men’s Downhill for the 2002 Olympics. It is a very scenic ski run.

2. Do you have a love/hate relationship with IKEA like I do?

3. March Madness is here and we are excited to cheer on the Utes tonight! GO UTES!

4. Mortgage vs. investing.



1. I opened the bag and it was not pretty! These little chocolate eggs get me every time! I did use some of them to make the cutest cookies ever, but I ate those too! Oops!

2. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Are you wearing green? Green is my favorite color so I love this day! And I am excited about sipping on this healthy Green Shamrock Smoothie.

3. Those swirls.

4. I want these shoes for spring. I just can’t decide which color. Help!

5. There was finally a new episode of Nashville on last night! YAY! Did you watch? I won’t spoil anything, but I am SO glad it is back! And we finally had time to watch some House of Cards episodes. Things are getting interesting. And I really want to dress like Claire when I grow up.

6. These milkshakes make me happy! I LOVE that movie, one of my favorites! Do the Freddie:)

7. Let’s talk about couches for a minute. We are trying to find a couch for the great room in our new house and Josh and I can’t agree. It is a big room and it will be the center of our home and entertaining space. Do we get a sectional that can seat everyone or do we go with a more formal look, couch, loveseat, chairs? Thoughts?

8. I love this black and white kitchen.

9. The Five Whys.

10. This is one beautiful bowl!

11. The madness starts today! Do you have your bracket filled out? Josh and I have a friendly competition going on. Wish me luck!

12. Affordable Art.

13. This salad will be happening soon!

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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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This and That

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  1. I had an interview recently where someone described his work like the IKEA concept – so funny you shared that. And yesss those eggs are addicting!

  2. Those Cadbury eggs are far and above the single most amazing candy on the shelf.   I’m not a huge candy eater, but I love them!!  

  3. while I love our huge sectional, it seems like people want their own space to sit in. We have a sectional that seats at least 8, another sofa across the room which seats 3 comfortably, and a love seat for 2 and people choose to sit on the floor 1/2 the time!! So, if you have the room for multiple options, i’d go that way.

  4. love the  lists! Have fun watching March Madness! Oh and Maria I like the white shoes the best! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And yes I am wearing green today!

  5. Oh, my gosh, I am incapable of leaving debt alone and doing financially risky things. I’m one of those who will end up with a paid off house and a slower growing investment account. I don’t know too many people who can throw $200K straight into a home purchase and then make savings deposits instead of mortgage payments. Almost everyone has to have a mortgage, and I cannot see any downside to paying it off early. I know smarter people than me have done studies and run numbers and on and on, but I’m going to do it the old fashioned way.

  6. I agree with the concept of sitting in your own space. The huge sectional is great for snuggling with the youngsters, but if you entertain a great deal with non- family guests, go for separate conversation areas in your great room, the just old lady observations.
    Love the Cadbury eggs! Can’t have them in the house!

  7. Actually…I have a hate/hate relationship with Ikea – I find their furniture over priced for the quality  so it’s definitely not on my list of furniture stores ….now Ethan Allen and La-Z-Boy are a different story for me……nice picture from the mountain.  

    I love the shoes Maria likes – I would probably go for the blue ones because I love blue in the springtime.  The milkshakes look yummy – never saw Troop Beverly Hills – lol- I would go with furniture you can move around and re=-arrange easily in the new living room – and since you have boys – not formal…lol…The roasted veggie bowl looks delish!

  8. We have a 20×20 great room, and opted for a 9 foot sofa, 5 foot sofa and two oversized arm chairs. I like how it looks, and there are plenty of options for entertaining…but, I wish we’d gone with a sectional and one oversized chair. During family time, everyone always opts for a separate piece of furniture, and I’d much rather snuggle up!

  9. I am a huge fan of couch/love seat over sectional. I need an armrest to feel comfy and feel lost on big sectionals. I am a leaner. 🙂

    1. Me too! Sitting in the middle is awkward and not comfy. It might be nice for cuddling with family but not otherwise.

      A sectional can make family time cozy. Multiple couches/chairs work nicer for company. It really depends on what you plan to use the room for.

  10. Having kids and animals, buying a leather sectional for our great room was the best move I ever made.  Wish I had done it sooner.  As they are getting older (and playing video games, sigh) it fits all of their friends as well as allowing for family lounging during movie night.  I don’t worry about spills, it doesn’t trap cat hair, etc.   And I ended up pushing some low bookcases to the back of it (facing the kitchen) and even though I thought it would look crowded it actually opened up the room and defined the spaces better.  Also have two chairs facing it.  Got mine from Room & Board (don’t know if you have those) but this is the link.

    Good luck. I’m jealous that you get to outfit a whole new house!!

  11. Get the black and white pair. Then you can wear the white with browns and navy and dress up the black if you want. That’s how you justify getting two pairs rather than one! 🙂

  12. I love food and I liked the swirls and the cookie milkshake recipes. And the black and white kitchen!!! No words to describe its elegance.. Love to have a kitchen like that.