This and That


1. I took Caleb skiing for a day at Park City and we had the best time! He can ski all over the mountains. And we are excited that Sun Valley and Snowbasin will part of the Epic pass next year.

2. A fun way to start Valentine’s Day! The boys love them!

3. I am excited for NBA All-Star weekend, it is always fun to watch.

4. I want to take the boys on a camping trip to a few national parks this summer. I am thinking about getting one of these. Anyone used one?

5. These are pretty cool.


1. New this week, if you like chocolate chip cookies, you will LOVE these! They were a hit at our house. And everyone’s favorite takeout dish that is easy to make at home!

2. Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your day is filled with lots of love and chocolate:) If you are looking for a special dessert for tonight, I highly recommend this one or these! My favorite!

3. This is so good! I used it this week and my skin felt amazing when I woke up.

4. TV talk, I hope you are watching A Million Little Things because it is SO good! I love every single episode and always want more. This Is Us was back this week, still watching but this season is just ok for me. Grey’s is actually surprising me this season, I am kind of into it.

5. Hurry up summer so I can wear these!

6. Did you ever have a pen pal? I had several growing up and loved using my best Lisa Frank stationery and stickers to write my letters. I kind of want a pen pal again, snail mail is the best! And I still have some of my sticker and stationery from when I was a kid. I never wanted to use my favorites:)

7. The best no show socks.

8. Want…and I am not sharing!

9. This is perfect with a jacket, blazer, or cardigan. Lots of color options!

10. Warner Brother’s invited me to a screening of Isn’t it Romantic last week and I loved it. A fun movie for Valentine’s Day!

11. I want to live in this.

12. We are going to Chicago (without the boys) at the end of the month. Send me all of your Chicago restaurant recommendations! It’s been a few years and I am out of touch with the food scene:) What do we need to eat?

13. The boys requested this for dinner this week. No complaints from me!

14. Sweet Peas Meals is accepting new members! Come join us!

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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. We loved Yolk for breakfast in Chicago. We’re going this summer so if you find anything you really love would you please share. Thanks! 

  2. We love Uncommon Ground (in either Lakeview, near Wrigley Field, or Edgewater) for breakfast. AMAZING food. We always make time to go when we visit…even it it’s out of our way.

  3. I was in Chicago about a year ago and had so much good food! Frontera Grill, Avec, Girl & the Goat, Au Cheval, Beatrix, Portillo’s, Wildberry Pancakes, Gino’s, Giordanos, Molly’s cupcakes, Do-rite donuts, Firecakes donuts, Stan’s donuts…to name a few 🙂

  4. Elizabeth’s recommendations of Monteverde, Etta, and PST are spot on!   I would add Momotaro if you like Sushi, 
    Elske if you like Nordic cuisine, Maple and Ash for steak and  SKY for their Cornbread Madelines alone;)!   

    Chicago is a reservation town.   Book NOW, especially if you are coming over a weekend and like to eat between 6-9.  

  5. hey y’all – Happy Valentine’s Day ! great list! The food looks yummy! Maria- I want to see that movie- looks so cool! and I loved Lisa Frank stuff back in the day! ha ha

  6. Hi, I live 30 minutes from Chicago and dine there frequently.  Here are a few suggestions:  Italian-Davonte enoteca, ramen noodle house-Strings, dessert- Nutella cafe, food experiene-Eataly (multiple Italian dining and shopping).  Hope you enjoy your time in Chicago. 

  7. Thanks for a fun food blog with lots of great recipes! Chicago is a diverse city, and that’s really reflected in its cuisine, so there are lots of delicious options. Already some great suggestions on your blog, like Giordano’s, Ema, Yolk, Eataly, Frontera Grill, and Beatrix (one of my personal favorites!). I’ve recently enjoyed Tanta for Peruvian. You might be interested in a website called Check, Please! Based on a show on public broadcasting where Chicagoans recommend their favorite restaurants. You can narrow your search based on cuisine, neighborhood and price. Enjoy your time in the city, and don’t forget to visit Millennial Park’s Bean!

  8. The Chicago Diner on Halsted is a vegan restaurant with amazing food. Ou daughter is vegan, we are not and we still love the food. Enjoy Chicago. 

  9. I’m definitely loving A Million Little Things, also! It provides such a sense of realism and the acting is genuine. I’m also a fan of the show New Amsterdam and that equally has great storylines and incredible acting.

  10. When you go to Chicago, Giordano’s Pizza is the very best pizza ever. You won’t regret it, but you have to wait 35 to 45 minutes for them to make it and bake it. It is totally worth every minute.

  11. Hi Maria! I’m a local Chicagoan and there is so much it’s hard to give a small list but some of my current favorites have been Tango Sur in Lakeview, Siena Tavern in river North, Ramen San in river north, stellabarra in Lincoln Park, parlor pizza in the west loop (and river north) and little goat diner. All over the map but there are just too many good ones lately! Enjoy your trip! 

  12. Doughnut Vault has the best Old Fashioned Doughnuts ever! For something a little different try the Detroit style pizza at Paulie Gees in the Logan Square neighborhood. It is delicious! Also in Logan Square go to Pretty Cool Ice Cream for the most wonderful unique ice cream bars.