This and That

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1. We decided to make a last minute trek to Illinois to help Maria’s dad with a home renovation project. We stopped in Colorado to see Maria’s brother’s family then headed east. It was a total of about 22 driving hours. I love road trips but have only drove east of the Rockies one other time. In 6th grade my brothers, my dad, and I drove a Toyota truck with a camper shell to Wisconsin for a family reunion. That was a very memorable trip because my dad made me drive half of the trip. You read it right, I was a 6th grader driving my younger brothers who were in the  bed of the truck with a camper while my dad was sleeping in the passenger seat. Needless to say this trip east was much more safe.

2. I am going to start calling our van the man-van instead of the mini-van. There is no reason a man should not love the mini-van (here after known as the man-van.) We drove across country, took half of our house, most of my tools, and my bike. We had plenty of room and were riding in comfort. Once we arrived, we took all of the seats out and put in 4 pieces of sheet rock (10 – 2X4’S), 1 (1- X 8) and 3 doors in. Embrace the man-van!

3. I have a love hate relationship with home renovation. I hate it, but I know how to do it and know how much money one can save. When I finish a project on our house, I always tell Maria I am never doing a project again. Helping others is different though. I actually like helping others with their home projects. I like that I can go home and not live in a mess.


1. I am not a fan of road trips, but I survived our 21 hour drive to Illinois. I think I deserve a star…or a vacation that doesn’t involve being in a car.

2. My dad lives in the boonies and his Internet connection is slower than molasses. I haven’t been online much, which has been kind of nice. I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen so stay tuned for some tasty recipes! I’ve also been to a few antique stores and found some fun props.

3. You have to read Jenna’s fairytale proposal story. It’s the best! Nice work Adam! Congratulations to the happy couple!

4. Yesterday, Jessica celebrated her 30th birthday with Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes. My kind of birthday celebration! Happy birthday Jess! xo

5. We give away a lot of goodies to our neighbors. You think we eat all of those cookies by ourselves? ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to make these Ribbon Wreath Plates. Perfect for cookie gifting-especially during the holiday season.

6. We are on vacation so that means we can eat decadent breakfasts every day if we want. I think tomorrow calls for French Toast Monkey Bread.

7. Hello Professor Caleb! Caleb loves playing with Papa’s glasses:)

8. What are your favorite road trip foods? We are packing a cooler for the ride home. We don’t do fast food:)

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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. You two are so cute….actually you three! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and it’s definitely one of my favorites. I love that Josh said the road trip was 22 hours and that Maria said it was 21! And I can’t stop laughing about the image I have in my head of a 6th grader driving his dad and brothers on a road trip….too funny!

  2. Totally making those wreath plates- too cute!! Favorite road trip snacks? Homemade bars, carrots, trail mix, sandwiches!

  3. I understand about home renovation projects! My Husband can do them, but he always has an excuse not to do them, right I am working on getting him to do some kitchen renovation! Talk about hard!! It'[s a mini one!!! Have fun in Illinois!!

  4. I like cheese/crackers/summer sausage in the car, and things like apples, grapes, etc. And chex mix or cookies too. We have a 10 hour drive to see family each holiday, and we don’t do the fast food either…

  5. I declare you a saint. 21 hours in the car, (even if Caleb was perfect) is brutal! You guys are great for helping your dad out like that. I can’t wait to see what you have been up to in the kitchen! By the way Professor Caleb is freaking adorable!

  6. I usually pack a cooler with hummus and veggies, nuts, boiled eggs, fresh fruit, and a bag of pretzels!

  7. What a sweet treat! And yeah, man van rocks. That’s a brilliant idea to have cooler instead of having junk food. Kudos to that and of course, professor Caleb looks so adorable.

  8. What a car ride! I’m traveling this weekend and thinking about making granola bars…or maybe just granola ๐Ÿ™‚ I also love packing portable fruit like bananas and oranges!

  9. Pasta salads-add chicken or salami to make it more of a main meal, chicken salad on rolls. I get tired of lunch meat in the car I feel the need to make something special for road trips or I end up stopping at a restaurant-time and money I don’t want to spend.

  10. I feel for you, we just returned from a eight hour car trip, though we did it twice in three days, so sixteen hours in the car, in a 54 hour period. It was a sad trip thoughwe had a funeral to attend.

    We do hummus dips with vegetables, fruits, sandwiches, crackers and cheese slices.


    PS if you are looking for another outlet for your baked treats, contact your local high schools thespian troop dept. At our school the parents of the actors make stuff to sell and help raise money for their art dept. Budget cuts in those depts are usually first and this is how they offset costs. Parents make goods to sell, operate the concessions during performances, and cleanup. I bet they would be delighted with your offer and you could probably claim it on your taxes.

  11. oh, my. i love your blog! the proposal story is unbelievable! i am going to make my hubby read it, and it will be interesting to see his reaction! what a lucky girl! altho i feel lucky to have my hubby in my life, even though he is certainly not the most romantic man in the world! i can’t wait to try the monkey bread, and caleb is a doll in those glasses. hope you have a safe trip home!

  12. Homemade lara bars, fruit, cut up veggies in a huge ziploc, and jerky are my favorite traveling foods. Even though I’m rarely organized enough to have all of that on hand!

  13. YAY for your road trip! You know I love ’em, I’m proud of you, that was a long one! As for snacks – we usually always pack sandwiches, pretzels, fruit, granola (or granola bars), chocolate chip cookies, water and Diet Coke. Those are our basics, sometimes more, sometimes less. Have a safe trip home! ๐Ÿ™‚