This and That

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1. I don’t think this is the best way to get your new tv home in the rain.

2. Last Saturday I broke my snowboard that I had used for a little over ten years. Sad day, but I think it was destiny. When I was coming home, I saw that REI was having a garage sale, where they sell their used returned gear. I found a slightly used snowboard for about ⅛ of the new cost. Jackpot!

3. My aunt and uncle have a Christmas tradition that we are starting with Caleb this year. Each year for Christmas, Caleb will get 3 gifts-one for the body, one for the mind, and one for the heart’s desire. This will help keep things simple, so we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas.


1. Christmas is next week and we are excited because my dad is coming to visit. The other night Caleb was looking at Josh’s phone and saw a picture of my dad. He immediately starting saying Papa over and over. I am sure Papa will be his favorite Christmas present this year.

2. Check out these cuuuute cookie packaging ideas!

3. And if you need a few more cookies to package, how about Salted Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies or Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms?

4. I just finished watching Friday Night Lights, the entire series, for the 2nd time. I know, I am obsessed. I need a new show to watch while I workout on our elliptical. I started One Tree Hill. I’ve only watched two episodes, but I am not that into it. Hopefully, it will get better. Any other suggestions for me?

5. I hope Santa brings me these boots. I’ve been a good girl this year…for the most part:)

6. Caleb can point to his eyes, ears, hair, toes, feet, arm, and nose. Nose is his favorite. He says nose and squishes his nose. Too cute!

7. I wouldn’t be mad if Santa brought me one of these adorable puppies! Caleb would be happy too:)

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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. First of all the picture of your son pointing to his nose brings a little joy to my heart both times I’ve seen it! Kids are so precious and he is at my all time favorite age! Enjoy every minute with him.
    I love the 3 gift ideas, simple is always better and its hard to teach kids the reason for the season!
    Merry Christmas,
    Serena of
    P.s. I totally agree about the t.v. I really hope it made it under their tree ok!

  2. I love your 3 gifts! We do something similar, plus a stocking ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nothing tops Friday Night Lights! But you might enjoy Burn Notice. Or How I Met Your Mother.

  3. Caleb is simply the most adorable little man, right up there with my two boys of course!! Of course mine are now 24 and 37, LOL.. but still my babies!
    I don’t comment that often, but I just wanted to take this time before my family invades for the holidays (wonderful to have my oldest son and his wife for 5 days such a present for me)
    I want to wish you and yours the happiest, merriest Christmas season. Your blog means a lot to me, great ideas, wonderful pictures of places I shall never see, recipes that sound so wonderfully tasty, I only wish I could prepare half of them. (have RA/Osteoarthritis) you inspire me to add so much more to my cooking and my baking.
    May the Joy of the Season bring Peace, Love and Happiness into your home and lives. May God Bless and keep you and yours in the palms of his hands now and forevermore.

  4. Oh no, now you have me wanting a puppy and I have two already!!

    I can’t believe how stupid people are, driving home in the rain with a tv on your roof!!

    Have a great day!!

  5. Have you already watched Parenthood? It’s by a lot of the same FNL people, and even has some FNL actors. Each episode is like 40 minutes long, too, which is a good length for an ellipting show.

  6. We have two dogs. You can borrow my german shorthair. She is my favorite running buddy. You can run with her too. She literally trots 8 minute miles while you are dying behind her. You can borrow her than bring her back. Win! Then josh wont be dying from allergies.

  7. I love One Tree Hill!!! Season 3 is the one that got me hooked!! I really didn’t care for season 2 so stick it out or go on and skip to season 3 ๐Ÿ™‚ 7th Heaven is another one of my all time favorite shows

  8. For shows while exercising, I recommend Castle. Some serious moments, but generally laugh out loud funny moments. The characters are so well written – I really enjoy watching them develop.

  9. I love those boots! I am adding those to my list right now…Santa? are you listening??

    I do a similar 3 gift thing with my kids. They are all young adults now, but it truly did make the meaning of Christmas come through much more than when they were overloaded with gifts.

  10. Have you ever seen Gilmore Girls? It’s quirky but so much fun. It’s one of those shows I could watch over and over again!

  11. Caleb is too cute pointing to his nose like that! I like the idea of 3 gifts for Christmas, wish I had done that when my kiddos were young.
    Love the boots Maria, I hope they are under your tree Christmas morning!

  12. Love the boots! Just remember, those boots will probably be the very first thing that the puppy wants to chew into small pieces!! Merry Christmas to you and your entire family.

  13. Love those boots and they would last a nice long time so in reality- they aren’t that expensive = Girl Math!

    I did the three gifts with my children growing up too. They are all grown and out of the home we will all be together this year. No gifts- just the gift of being together is enough for us. They will really do understand the meaning of Christmas and gifts are not important. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  14. Great boots, congrats on the new board and LOVE your idea for Christmas presents for your son. We do something similar and try to keep gifts to a few special (versus too many). Merry Christmas!

  15. one tree hill gets better! totally reminds me of my college days but i stuck with the season the whole way through–it’s kind of unrealistic (okay, a lot) at times but you fall in love with the characters!

  16. Love the three gifts idea…..I’m going to start it at our home next Christmas. Like another person wrote…Parenthood is a wonderful show. Highly recommend it! Love the photo of Caleb….what a precious bundle of love. Just the best age for Christmas!
    Like the boots alot too. Really enjoy your blog.
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  17. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your family with us. Its a fun break to read This and That and it is a joy to watch little Caleb grow. Thank you for all your delicious recipes you share. May you all have joyous Chrsitmas!
    In Christ’s Peace,

  18. We do 3 gifts too. Baby Jesus got three gifts. We also give a book. The 3 gifts are from Santa and the book is from mom and dad. Caleb is adorable! I love kids at this age. Enjoy!

  19. Yes, Santa (ahem, Santa, are you listening?) needs to bring you a puppy! Preferably a Golden puppy ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for a new show, have you seen Homeland? I just got caught up on the seasons a month or so ago, but OMG, it’s so good! You’ll get addicted instantly!

  20. Definitely Parenthood – watching it makes me wish I have a big family sometimes! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll want to watch some more!

  21. Love the picture of Caleb! I taught our oldest his body parts by putting tape on his nose, and saying “where’s your nose?”, etc. Try elbow – it’s so funny to see how they try and reach for it (they never seem to take the direct route!). Have a wonderful Christmas with your dad!

  22. Caleb is such a cutie! My baby turned 5 today. I miss the baby days, but it only keeps getting better!!

    FNL is one of my all-time favorite shows! But I have also watched (while on the treadmill) Parenthood (amazing, okay not so great for the tread cause you will cry every episode), Mad Men, Downton Abbey, and Pretty Little Liars (also not great for my basement tread cause it’s kinda scary, but sooooo good!) I highly recommend all of these shows. Each so good in their own way.