This and That

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1. I came down with a nasty flu this week. It came out of nowhere. I really hope Maria and Caleb don’t get it.

2. We were supposed to move the chickens outside this week, but since I got sick things are on hold. Hopefully, we can get them in their coop this weekend. Maria really doesn’t like having them in our basement.

3. We are doing this little joint “farm” thing we our neighbors, who are awesome! We are sharing the chickens and a huge garden. The garden is looking great! We are going to be eating well this summer!

4. Introducing Ruby  and Riley, the neighbor’s dogs and Caleb’s best friends. We took one of the chickens outside so they could meet and get used to each other. I think they will get along just fine.  They are great dogs.


5. I got a new pair of Nike Lunar Glide’s and Caleb approves. I’m excited to start running again…as soon as I beat this flu.



1. We bought our first cherries of the season! Yay!

2. This is the prettiest potato salad I have ever seen. I can’t wait to make it.


3. I love that our neighborhood put up flags for Memorial Day. Such a great way to remember the men and women that serve and have served our country. I love where we live!

4. What is your favorite vacation spot? Just curious. I am always looking for a new place to go:)


5. We have been juicing up a storm ever since we got our Breville Juicer. It is awesome! Caleb loves being my official juice taste tester. Should we post some of our favorite juice recipes on our site? Let me know if you are interested!

6. I baked a batch of these cookies over the weekend and I fell in love with them all over again! I need to go back into our recipe archives more often. We are always so busy creating new recipes that I forget to make some of our favorites.

7. Foundation update-I bought CoverGirl’s Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation and I am loving it so far. It isn’t cakey at all and you can’t beat the under $10 price!


8. Some nights dinner at our house looks like this! He wanted to wear his Sunday best:)

9. We need vacuum recommendations. Our Dyson is on it’s last leg. We’ve had it for almost 5 years and it is struggling-big time. Aren’t they supposed to last forever? Well, I guess we got a lemon. What is your favorite vacuum?

10. I want a slice of this banana bread. Ok, I’m lying. I want the entire loaf!

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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. If you get up to Oregon again, I love to visit the central and northern Oregon coast regions. You can stay in Newport and visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the lighthouse, as well as see boats and harbor seals in the harbor, then drive north — within 100 miles you can see Depoe Bay, which has what is called the smallest natural harbor in the world — you can take a whale watching boat there; there are whales that live there year-round. Then go up to Lincoln City, and then Tillamook (I recommend the Three Capes Scenic Route for driving,which follows the coastline). In Tillamook there is the cheese factory, which is a lot of fun to visit, and there are some great beaches — Oceanside, Manhattan Beach, and Manzanita.

  2. Hope you feel better Josh! I had a nasty stomach flu this past weekend! Ugh!!! S cute the chickens and the dogs get a long! Great idea introducing them.

    Cherry season is almost over here. Went cherry picking two weeks ago! I love cherry season!

  3. Portland, Maine – one of family faves ever! We stayed in Portland for a week and did a different day trip every day including driving to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We also took the ferry over to Peaks Island- rented old fashioned bikes and picked up sea glass along the shore. Definitely want to go back!

  4. Josh – hope you get well soon! It’s the pits being sick in the spring/summer! Hope you shake it soon!

    And Maria – I know exactly what you mean about dusting off the recipes in the archives rather than just trying to create new ones all the time in regards to the lime/coconut sugar cookies. I need to re-cook things from mine!

    And thanks for linking up to my banana bread in your #10. If you ever make it, I think you’d love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Yes, please post some of your favorite juice recipes! I just bought a juicer and would love some great recipes from a trusted source! As for a vacuum, I love my Kirby. We have had it for over 22 years and still going strong. Yes, they are expensive but well worth it!

  6. Those cherries look delicious – what are you going to do with them? I hope some cherry pie is in the works!

  7. Yes, please post some juicing recipes! We bought a juicer about a month ago and I’d love some ideas!

  8. Oh man, I just finished being violently sick also Josh. As my granddaughter says, “I must have ate a bug!”

    Yes definitely to juicing recipes!!

    We have had a Riccar vacuum cleaner for years and it still works like a champ. In fact we have two, one upright (for the kids) and one canister (for me). I used to have a Kirby – too heavy, noisy, and it seemed like still some of the dust “escaped” from the bag. Anyone who has bought a Riccar has been really happy with it.

    Being from Montana I would like to suggest Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in the Spring before the tourists arrive in droves. You can see the elk and bison calves (along with other animals) and all of the beautiful wildflowers along with some truly awesome mountains and lakes.

  9. Power to the juicers!! I made a smoothie drink this morning using a frozen banana, a mango, strawberries, blueberries and some almond milk. I added some spinach for an added boost. My daughter turned her nose up but she enjoyed it! Love, love, love your blog and seeing your cutie pie Caleb! Get better Josh ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I hope you do post some of your juicing recipes. We have a Breville that is just collecting dust at the moment and could use some inspiration =).

  11. Have you kept up your Dyson per the instructions? Washing out the filter every couple of months? Have you considered a tuneup on it? Mine needs a new roller brush due to operator malfunction and the switch is a bit picky after five years, but both are easily replaced and repaired. And no, I do not work for Dyson. I just really like my Dyson Slim. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. recently bought the 3-1 lift away shark rotator which got better ratings than the Dyson. I love it!! I ordered mine from Bed, Bath & beyond and used a 20% off so it was just under $200 and free shipping. Check out amazon for ratings reviews. Good luck!

  13. Please post your juice recipes. I have a juicer but seem to keep using the same combinations. It could be because I like them so much or maybe I am afraid I might get one that isn’t as good:)

  14. Those cookies from your archive look AMAZING. I found my recipe for the weekend!

  15. Try going to the Black Hills in South Dakota for your vacation.. You have Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Crazy Horse Monument, and Custer State Parkall within a comfortable driving distance..Plan to stay for several days and you will find plenty to do for all members of the family..

  16. You, my friends, are so sweet. Thanks for including my potato salad post on here. And can we just talk about how amazing that Breville juicer is? We have one and it’s magical.

  17. What a coincidence! I just made a batch of those lime coconut sugar cookies last night! YES: delicious!

  18. Be careful with the dogs. We had several chickens killed by neighbor dogs who had never bothered them till one day the dog kill3 and would have gotten more if you hadn’t caught it. Thank goodness for a chicken wire enclosure.

  19. Josh & Maria, as you know I have been cleaning houses for many years now and I have tried all the vacuums on the market. I have “never” liked the Dyson. It’s heavy, hard to maneuver and doesn’t pick up like it should. When I would vacuum a 3,000+ square foot home my back would kill me. I’ve recently been using a Shark Rotator and a Shark Navigator. These vacuums are awesome. Light weight, great suction, the tools are easily on board and available for corners, under the bead, tight places, etc. Easy to clean and you can see what you vacuum up in the see-through tank, which is also very easy to clean. But most important it’s not hard on your back. I highly recommend it. Buy directly from Shark on-line or watch GVC for great deals and you get lots of extra attachments plus you can make 3 monthly payments. I’m sold on this vacuum. I’m a great critic because of my many years of professional housecleaning.

  20. What a rotten time of year to get the flu! Hope you are up and at ’em soon, Josh.

    Maria, please do post your juicing recipes. I’m getting a juicer and, not having the capacity for dreaming up combinations on my own, would love help! As for vacuums, I agree with you. I have a Dyson and can not stand it. I do the frequent maintenance that they recommend and still don’t like it. They say it’s “self-adjusting” for carpet height and that’s a bunch of hooey. Perhaps it’s different with the ball-type upright but with the one I have you have to stand closer to or farther from the thing to either raise or lower the cleaning head, basically using the handle to adjust the height. I could go on but won’t. I have yet to find a vacuum I like. If you do find one, let us know.

    1. Ok, we will post a few juice recipes! I will let you know if we find a good vacuum!

  21. It got real hot and humid here this week. All of by bananas turned too fast. Sad but also very excited for some banana bread!

  22. Averie’s banana breads are fantastic, aren’t they? Just made some of her muffins with coconut oil this past week and they were such a hit!
    And yay for gardening! It’s exciting to think about slashed grocery bills once we see some veggies in our garden ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I don’t know if you can get them in America but I think Meile vacuums are the best cleaners. I used to go through vacuums every three years as I vacuum every day and we have a hairy dog but my Meile is still going strong after 7 years.
    Love your blog and watching your little boy grow up:-)

  24. I hope josh is feeling better and that you and Caleb stay healthy!! Come visit SaratogabSprings NY!!!!! It’s a great place to visit and his year is the 150th birthday of the saratoga racetrack!!!! There are lots of great places to eat and stay as well!!

  25. I have been enjoying cherries as my afternoon snack for the past week. They’re my favorite!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for vacation, we love Port St. Joe, FL. We love that the beaches are pet-friendly and pretty secluded, so we can enjoy it all to ourselves!

    We love our Kirby vacuum! It’s been going strong for the 7 years we’ve had it now!!

  26. I have a Dyson and adore it. Have you tried calling their customer service line? They are very helpful and sent me a new part when one of ours broke, and I also had several co-workers who used their customer service line to solve issues with their Dysons. Just a thought – because they are expensive so perhaps they can offer a fix or send a replacement.

  27. Since I live in the Lake George/Saratoga Springs, NY area, I have to second @Shari’s suggestion of upstate NY for a vacation. I live a little north of Saratoga Springs, NY so I am on the cusp of the Adirondack Mountains – an area that is larger than the Grand Canyon park. Saratoga Springs, Lake George is a great vacation spot. The area is just crazy with lakes, museums, the race track, parks, mountains.

    I am a native New Yorker, but I also lived for 18+ years in New Hampshire – another great vacation area – there’s the coast or the mountains – equally gorgeous and fun – and tax free!. New Hampshire is great because you can also visit Maine or Massachusetts also. (though Maine & Massachusetts are also great stand along vacation areas).

  28. I forgot to add my vacuum suggestion – I have tried many brands & my Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro has been fabulous.

    I am going to pick up the ingredients for the potato salad this weekend. It has finally gotten warm enough here in the “North Country” to start grilling & thinking about summer – the season does not last very long here in upstate NY!

  29. My grandparents have a condo on a tiny little island in the Abaco islands of the Bahamas-it’s called Treasure Cay, and it has the most spectacular beaches.

  30. Please do share juice recipes! I got a juicer right before I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes so I haven’t been able to juice because I couldn’t work it into my diet. Post baby, I plan on juicing it up so I’m looking for recipes!