This and That

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1. I am so excited that Caleb is finally facing forward in his car seat. He loves riding forward and doesn’t fuss anymore in the car. He especially loves looking out the window at the Christmas lights at night.

2. I can’t wait until Caleb and I are pranking Mom. I giggle to myself just thinking of the possibilities. Check this video out. It’s such a good prank.

3. Saturday was my first day skiing/snowboarding and I am so excited for the season. I went to Snowbird, and the weather was really crazy up there. My goggles froze over about 3 minutes after I started down the mountain. We are supposed to get more snow this week. Bring it!


1. Caleb is a little motor mouth:) He learns new words every day and mimics everything we say. It snowed last week and we still have snow on the ground. Caleb points out the window every day and says snow over and over. It is his new favorite word. I guess he loves the white stuff, just like his daddy!

2. The holiday issue of Foodie Crush Magazine is out. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, get cozy, and start reading!

3. Exciting news! I found a ticket to Alt Summit. Let me know if you are attending, I would love to say hi! And I will be honest, I am a little nervous. I hear Alt is quite the fashion show. I usually wear yoga pants and pj’s every day. I need a fashion makeover. Help! I guess I better go shopping!

4. Homemade gifts are the best and I love these Homemade Extracts. You can print the cute labels for free too! Score!

5. I am going to make Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon to balance out all of the cookies I have been eating.

6. Did you watch Parenthood this week? I won’t say much in case you are behind, but I love that show. And it made me happy to hear a little Pearl Jam in the background. I love Eddie Vedder and Wishlist is one of my favorite songs.

7. I want to sit down with a box of Brownie Truffles and watch Christmas movies.

8. I’ve decided I want to be a tea drinker. I’ve never really liked tea in the past, but when we were in Illinois, my stepmom got me hooked on some amazing blueberry pomegranate herbal tea. So now I am on the hunt for fabulous herbal teas. What are your favorites? I am currently loving Gingerbread Spice. Perfect for sipping during the holidays!

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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 am excited for when Wes can be forward-facing…I think he will like riding in the car so much more!

  2. He looks so relaxed, with his feet crossed, reading his book. I’m sure there are bigger and better things headed out of that chair, including some life changing experiences. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. We are big Celestial Seasoning’s fans in our house — their Tension Tamer is a favorite around here for a nighttime cup of tea. I like the Sleepytime teas because I’m not always the best sleeper, and Honey Vanilla Chamomile is also great ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to watch this post’s comments for tea reviews, too!

  4. Maria- I swear we’d be besties if we lived nearby (plus, I’d get to eat all of your cookies ;)). I am in gym clothes like 95% of the time. And I haven’t been able to get into tea! I need to give it another go!! I think you’ve inspired me to turn Kay’s seat around

  5. I love this issue of the Foodie Crush Magazine. I have to sneak a color print out at work so I can read while not at my computer!!! Ohhh, Gingerbread tea sounds good Favorite tea is chamomile and vanilla or peppermint.

  6. Always love to hear Caleb stories and see Caleb pix. He’s a cutie! As for tea, I love Chai, and Celestial Seasonings has a good one.

  7. Caleb is such a cutie! Seems like just yesterday my boys were that little. Now they’re 13 and 16!! I love tea, and Celestial Seasonings has a holiday tea called Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride that is the bomb! You should try that one next. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Great post!
    My son was so happy when he was finally facing forward in the car! It’s a whole new experience when you can watch the world go by! I am very glad to learn that I am not the only Dad out there who enjoys pranking his wife. My son is 6 and is addicted to “April Fools” tricks on his mother (He doesn’t mind doing it in December either, which is great)! I am not sure who enjoys it more, him or me! I think I feel a blog post about that coming on.
    Thank you for introducing me to Foodie Crush. How did I miss her blog? Yesterday, I was wondering if there was a limit on the number of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins ( I should be eating. Will be looking forward to hearing from you how the Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon came out and if it did indeed counterbalance all of the cookies you’ve had. Please let me know!
    Writing Pad Dad

  9. I used to be a tea drinker, until I needed something stronger in the mornings after baby #2 came around ๐Ÿ™‚ I did like Raspberry and peach flavored black teas. I do like lemon for when I’m not feeling well. And I LOVE Parenthood too, although it makes me so emotional!!

  10. My favorite herbal teas are peppermint and I love this blend I have that has vanilla and chamomile. I drink a mug of sleep time every night before bed!

  11. Oh my gosh! I love seasonal herbal tea and there were two Celestial Seasonings teas I could NOT find here in NY – Gingerbread and Candy Cane Lane – I resorted to AMAZON – I buy “almost everything” from them as they deliver it to my door, and sure enough I found both boxes – ordered on Monday night and they will deliver TODAY! No more walking the aisles in the supermarkets, no more waiting in long customer service lines at Walmart, KMart, etc. Glad someone likes this, can’t wait until tonight – listening to Christmas Carols, sipping Gingerbread Spice and reading a Christmas Carol (done every year)… Happy Snowy Holidays!

  12. I’m with Caleb and Josh, I love snow! But then again, I don’t have to live with it all winter ๐Ÿ™‚
    I personally love chamomille tea, calming and relaxing.

  13. Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon sounds deliciously healthy for this time of year! I think I’ll add that to my list for next week as well ๐Ÿ™‚ You should definitely try the Tazo Refresh tea! It is a delicious mint/caffeine-free tea. SO good!

  14. I still can’t believe when I was reading this via mobile this am I skipped over “hers” and thought all Josh wears is yoga pants – ha ha

    Have you tried the sugar cookie sleigh ride tea? That is my favorite seasonal tea tastes just like a sugar cookie!

  15. My favorite tea is black chai spice. I buy the Stash brand. When I first started drinking it, I would add a bit of brown sugar and some milk. Now I drink it black or with just a splash of milk.

  16. I’m with Tom re: having Caleb forward facing. Please check out the AAP guidelines on this subject. Obviously no one knows your particular situation and there may be extenuating circumstances for turning him before age 2, but kids are so, so, so much safer rear facing for as long as possible.

  17. I LOVE tea and I am a big fan of Celestial Seasonings — I like their lemon zinger and all the different berry teas they have. And I second Rachel’s recommendation of TJ’s Pomegranate White Tea — very tasty. I also just discovered The English Tea Shop (at Marshall’s of all places!) and LOVE their Pomegranate Rooibos & Acai Berry Tea and there are so many other flavors I want to try! — I don’t know where else you can find it, but they do have a website ( Nothing better for these cold days & nights than a hot cup of tea ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I was SO excited when our little men turned from their rear-facing car seats too! lol And Maria- I keep putting off this weeks’ episode and I still haevn’t watched last week’s. I’ve heard enough to know that I’m in for a real cryfest. Oy.

  19. I drink green tea every day (we have a Keurig at my office), and I love peppermint tea year round!

  20. Yogi makes a bunch of great flavors…this brand would be great for you..Yogi tea while wearing yoga pants!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I want to like tea, I really do. It’s such a romantic notion, having tea and a little snack in the afternoon. But I go for the coffee every single time. Although I have been drinking gingerbread flavored coffee lately – so that kinda counts, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ And I love a good excuse to go shopping! Early Christmas present!

  22. I love TEA!!! I made the switch from coffee a while back. I buy the tea leaves and just cook in my coffee pot like I did with coffee. Usually, I can get two brew cycles (two mornings) with one dose of leaves. English Breakfast to break the coffee habit, then Blackberry by Lipton for the afternoon.

  23. If you really want to be a tea drinker check out Granted for a newbie it can be rather overwhelming. Since you have a gingerbread tea above…check out Glitter and Gold. Santa’s Secret and Pumpkin Chai are also favourites. I have written posts about tea and will admit I have a serious addiction, with over 100 kinds of loose leaf tea in my house! I will have a cupboard just for my tea once my new kitchen gets finished.

  24. My all time FAVORITE herbal tea is “Fruit Scented Blackberry” a.k.a. Blackberry from Urth Caffe on Melrose (it’s turned every non-tea drinker I’ve had drink it into a tea lover!) With locations only in Santa Monica, West Hollywood & Beverly Hills, CA, you can fortunately order their teas (TONS of delicious flavors, coffees too) here: You get 2 oz. of loose tea for $4.25 and it lasts quite a long time. (Even a year later it doesn’t lose it’s flavor & still smells amazing when you open the can…found some in the back of the pantry I had forgotten I had once.) Amazing w/ a little lemon & honey & makes a brilliant iced tea (sometimes I put canned lychee in the iced version…mmmm…). Really check it out…so worth the $4.25 & like I said since it’s loose tea, 2 oz lasts a while. If you’re ever visiting the LA/Hollywood area, you have to go there! They have the most amazing organic food & vegetarians love it–salads, sandwiches, panini’s and pastas–and the desserts…don’t even get my started!

  25. I dig Bigelow’s Peppermint and Mint Medley teas. Both are available in decaf – I am nursing a 7 month old, so that’s important to me! I also love Bigelow’s Earl Grey and Constant Comment.

  26. Uh oh! My dad was a huge practical joker and always played pranks on my mom – look out Maria! The good news is… you know the old saying about the couple/family that laughs together. So true! I’m not really a tea drinker either, but I did fine some cranberry pomegranate a couple of years ago that was good! I think Lipton made it? It was a green tea.

  27. I am just like you in the sense that I do not like tea (typical tea). I really wanted to like it so I tried a few fruity herbal teas and I love them! I love rooibos, blueberry teas. For grocery-store bought tea, I like Twinings Herbal Unwind line of teas; specifically the Citrus, Cinnamon and Honey and African Honeybush, Mandarin and Orange. Try them, they are great!

  28. Aveda tea is one of my favorite as are Tazo white teas.

    I enjoy Teavana tea as well but have only drank what’s given to me so I can’t recommend a particular flavor!

  29. Candy Cane Lane, which is also seasonal, is so good with a generous dash of vanilla soy milk, or even a bit of half-n-half. Actually, many of the stronger “spicy” teas like Gingerbread, chai, and pumpkin spice are great with milk and just a little stevia. It’s a great substitute for a treat in the evening or mid-morning. I love the tea drinking ritual. Like one of the other posts, I stock up (around a dozen boxes) during the holidays on these flavors.

  30. I love Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime. Don’t get confused with the name thinking it will make you sleepy, it’s just a relaxing tea with great flavors of peppermint and chamomile. I love it anytime of the day or night.