This and That

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1. I have heard Mike Dunn speak on several occasions. His story is so inspirational and moving. A couple of years ago his son and his family moved a few houses away from us. They are now good friends and great people. Mike was the first person to be attacked by a Grizzly Bear in the Teton National park, which is my favorite national park I have been to. Mike has a crazy story and is very fortunate to be alive. He is an Ironman athlete and would like to compete in the Kona Ironman. He is an inspiration of overcoming trials and a great man. Watch this short video and let’s vote him in! He has worked very hard to get to this spot in his life.

2. June 14th was our 5 year anniversary and I wanted to get Maria something she would never forget. But what do you do or get for someone who feels she has everything she needs. Awe yes, you pull a prank on her. So that is what I did for her anniversary present. I always tell Maria I want a puppy (even though I am highly allergic). Maria always says she can not handle a puppy anytime soon. We have some neighbors who foster new puppies untill they are placed and I coordinated with them to borrow a puppy for a couple of hours. So on Friday early morning, before Caleb was awake, I ran over to their home and picked up a cute little puppy. I brought it back with a happy anniversary card and tried to hand the puppy to Maria with the puppy wrapped in a cute pink blanket. She wouldn’t even hold it and was saying, “Josh, is this a joke?” then she was almost in tears as she said “Josh! I just can’t take that responsibility right now.” So I told her it was a joke and it was the neighbor’s foster puppy. Caleb could not have been more happy to play with the little pup for a little bit. Nothing says happy 5 years  like a good prank. Love ya Maria!

3. Wow! Did any of you see game 6 of the NBA finals? What a game!

4. Check out this handsome dude. When did he get so big?



1. I told Josh that my summer goal was to run 10 miles. Well, I did it! I actually have run 10 miles twice now. The second time I wasn’t planning on running 10, but once I got to 8 I figured I could do 2 more miles. I am enjoying my early morning runs. It is good for my body and mind. I don’t know how long I will keep up the long runs, my knees kind of hurt, but for now I am enjoying it.

2. Cookie Stacked Cakes-Whaaaaat?


3. Caleb had a blast helping us plant flowers and herbs for our new raised herb garden! Silly kid!

4. Sweet potatoes are one of my all-time favorite foods. I can’t wait to try these sweet potato boats.


5. We had an outdoor dinner party last weekend and it was so much fun! Make sure you visit our blog on Sunday for a recap and next week we will be sharing some of the recipes from the party!

6. Caleb loves the movie Despicable Me. We’ve watched it a billion times. We are anxiously awaiting Despicable Me 2 so we will have something new to watch. If you are a minion fan, you have to check out these cake pops! They are awesome!

7. I love crisps, crumbles, and cobblers. We all know they are better with ice cream. Well, check out this Berry Crumble Ice Cream. Genius!

8. Caleb’s favorite game is emptying out our kitchen drawers. I just wish he liked putting everything back. He thinks that is mommy and daddy’s game:)


9. Love these free printables for weight conversions for common baking ingredients. They are just darling!

10. We are working on setting up a monthly newsletter. What would you like us to include? We appreciate your feedback!


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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. Congrats on your 10-milers. That’s a great feeling, isn’t it! I always think that anything between 8 to 12 miles feels about the same. Like you said, once you got to 8, may as well do 10. Great job! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Congrats on running 10 miles! I have only done it twice (when 1/2 marathon training and as part of the 1/2 marathon!), that’s a huge achievement! If your knees are bothering you, make sure you take a look at your shoes (if you haven’t already), especially if you want to continue running/running longer distances. Also make sure you’re stretching and foam rolling to keep your IT bands from getting too tight! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Love the puppy story – shame on ya! LOL – 10 miles is a great accomplishment – congratulations! Your son is adorable =)
    Can’t wait to hear about the dinner party. The table looks beautiful!
    Enjoy your day everyone!

  4. Maria, I’m so glad you like the printables! Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congrats on the 10 mile goal (twice)! I’m starting with 6 miles by the end of July and then make it 10.

  5. Congrats on reaching your goal, your 5 year anniversary, AND throwing what looks like an awesome dinner party! Great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Oh my goodness — I can’t believe Josh pulled that prank on you! Talk about a tug to the heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am so impressed with your 10-miler!!! Well done. And your dinner party looks absolutely lovely. Hope that you had a wonderful time!

  7. I would cry too if someone brought me a puppy, it is so much different than a human baby…without diapers..UGH! We got the kids a lab 2 years ago but she was 6! Best thing ever, totally trained and it worked out great. Have a great day!

  8. I saw a picture of your raised garden beds on Instagram–I LOVE them! Can you send Josh down to TX to build some for me? I’ll feed him lots of good Italian food. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can’t wait to read all about your outdoor dinner party. It’s too hot to do that here in TX, but later in the Fall, the weather is perfect. I may just take a few of your ideas! It looked like you out together a beautiful party! Miss you, friend! xo

  9. My son is just a couple of months older than Caleb and his favorite activity is emptying the kitchen cabinets also. Too cute!

  10. I can’t believe that prank!! Cruel! But certainly memorable. ๐Ÿ™‚ And nice run Maria! Have you done a half yet? If you can do 10 in training you could easily pull off 13 in a race!

  11. What a gorgeous picture of the sunlight and clouds! Did you take it?
    And Caleb emptying the drawers reminds me of my nephews when they were his age. Who needs toys when you have drawers to open and STUFF to dump everywhere? ๐Ÿ˜‰