This and That



1. We had a great Christmas break with Maria’s dad and my brother’s family. It was so fun having everyone together. It was the best Christmas ever for me. These two made it extra special too.


2. We got a lot of snow over the break and had fun playing outside. Well, the boys did, Maria stayed inside. We built a snowman and he is still standing.


3. We also went sledding a few times and the boys had a blast. Maxwell loved sledding down all by himself.

4. We got Alexa for Christmas and she is part of the family already. I am having trouble syncing it to our Lutron lighting. Any tips?

5. The NFL playoffs are here! I am cheering for Kansas City.



1. We spent the holidays with family and friends and had the best time. We loved having our house filled with laughter, love, lots of shared meals, cookies, and kids and toys everywhere.


2. My dad taught the boys how to make his famous cinnamon rolls. They loved helping and of course tasting the final product.

3. The year of quality. I LOVE this! Have you set any goals for the new year? Are you focusing on a word or phrase? This year, my phrase is Be Positive. No matter what happens this year, I want to be positive. Life is not always easy, but attitude can go a long way. I want to always see the bright side of things.

5. You can never have too many bags.

6. I have gotten back into spin classes at the gym. I haven’t spinned in years, but I think I am hooked again. I dread the first few minutes, but then I get going and love my hour on the bike.

7. Soups on!

8. Josh and I went on a date over the break and saw the movie Fences. It is not a lighthearted movie, but we liked it. The acting was top notch. Next on my list, La La Land. Did anyone see it?

9. Gorgeous salad!

10. My current favorite snack-a rice cake with Justin’s vanilla almond butter. SO good!

11. Change the conversation. YES!

12. I am going to LA today for the Golden Globes! I am hosting a luncheon with Lindt Chocolate and will be at the big show on Sunday. I am SO excited! Follow along on Instagram stories for all of the behind the scenes coverage. I will do my best to stalk some stars:) Oh, and don’t forget to make the most EPIC Cheese and Chocolate Board for your party at home.

13. I am taking this book on the plane. Has anyone read it?

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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. My girlies got these amazing tubes from my s-i-l off Amazon and we cannot wait to go sledding!!! They shipped from Colorado and were $60 apiece but are amazing quality. Yippee skipppeeee. Haven’t tried spinning yet but I’m afraid I’ll be the only guy in the class!!!!!!

  2. hey ya’ll- great list! Happy New Year! Love the pics of the boys! So cute! Maria- have fun at the Golden Globes! What are you wearing?

  3. Made your Dad’s cinnamon rolls for New Year’s morning. Made 1/2 a recipe (16 rolls) and froze 8 each in two 9″ pans after cutting and letting rise for 20 min. or so. Took one pan out NY Eve before bed and baked the next morning. They were fabulous–best cinnamon rolls ever! We still have a pan in the freezer and glad to know we can make them ahead.

  4. My word for 2017 is Kindness.  I hope to put it to use all year long.  Have you read It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover?  It was one of my favorite books for 2016.  Happy New Year!

  5. First of all, I thought the post by Chip Gaines was the best thing I have read all year.  A philosophy we should all embrace!   Second, just saw La La Land this past weekend, and absolutely loved it!  So well done, well acted and a throw back to the great old movies.  Definitely a must see!
    Have a great time this weekend!  Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  6. I absolutely love the pictures of the boys – they are so happy and look like they are having a great time. I’m glad you were able to have family at your home and got to spend quality time with them. Will have to watch the Golden Globe and check instagram often.

  7. Lindt chocolates. I made my peanut butter cookie recipe in muffin tins and made wells with thumb. Then after baking them I made the indentation again. After cookies cooled I cut those Lindt balls in half surgically cutting to perfection and put them in the whole. Very pretty and as I get so many as gifts I don’t know what to do with them.