This and That



1. I have been riding my mountain bike a lot lately and went on my favorite ride this week. It is a ride from Park City Mountain Resort to our home in Salt Lake City. It is a little over a 30 mile mountain bike ride. Here is a picture of me  at about 12 miles into the ride, after climbing 3,500 feet in elevation.

2.  This week Caleb looked up at Maria while she was baking cookies and in all seriousness said, “Mommy, you’re a weird lady.” Ha! We have been laughing at that statement ever since. Kids say the funniest things!

3. This is really cool!

4. Caleb is still doing really well with his potty training. He loves choosing his super hero underwear every morning and sometimes asks to switch his underwear multiple times a day so he can wear a new hero. Ha! What a kid.

5. Pretty much one month until we have a new baby. I am really excited. I don’t think I held an infant until we had Caleb and was possibly the most nervous and over cautious parent in the history of parents. Our pediatrician’s office started answering the phone “Is this Caleb’s Dad?” Hopefully, I am a little more laid back this time.

josh mustache

6. Throwback Thursday picture. Maria doesn’t like this look:)


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1. Summer is in full swing and that means lots and lots of popsicles!

2. Perfect granola for summer!

3. Who has a FitBit? I am thinking about getting one. Are they worth all of the hype? I realize I am having a baby soon and won’t be able to exercise for awhile after giving birth, but I hope once I start wearing it it will motivate me to lose the baby weight. Let me know your thoughts!

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4. I finished Gone Girl. I was hooked from the beginning, but the ending was a little disappointing. I still want to see the movie when it comes out this fall! Has anyone read Flynn’s other books? Are they worth reading?

5. I want to eat an entire pan of these bars.

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6. The French toast at Tulie Bakery is a winner!

7. I painted my toenails this week and it was not an easy task. My belly kept getting in the way! I think it is time I treat myself to a pedicure!

8. This salad. So in love!

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9. Caleb loves cooling off in the sprinklers!

10. What are your 4th of July plans? I love the holiday, but I am not a fireworks person. Never have been and probably never will be. I don’t like going to them because I hate fighting the crowds. Plus, I can never stay up that late. I will light a sparkler and call it good!

11. I need a pitcher of this drink!

12. Making this dessert for the 4th! My belly can’t wait!

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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 really enjoyed all of Gillian Flynn’s books. All disturbing but the grab you from the beginning.

  2. Love my fitbit!!! I have been using a fitbit for 1 1/2 years…if i have not gone my distance I just take that extra walk…using the flex…as i found it easier to wear the band vs the one i stuck in my pocket…it was too easy for me to misplace…you will enjoy it and an easy motivator ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. hahaha- kids say the funniest things! This week, Kaylin looked at Josh and said “Daddy you have a beard and a moustache.” Then she looked at me and said “Mommy, maybe when you get big you can have a moustache too!” hahahaha

  4. I was disappointed by the ending of Gone Girl too!! I feel your pain. I hear the director of the movie requested from Flynn that they change it, so I’m still interested in seeing the movie!

    On that note, I really loved Dark Places by Flynn, way more than Gone Girl. I thought the ending meshed better with the rest of the book and I was captivated by the whole thing. And it’s also being turned into a movie ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. NO TO THE FITBIT! – the Company behind it stinks – morally and ethically. YES to the UP Band by Jawbone! I’ve been living UP since March 2013 and I love it!!! The technology is awesome and the Company has good values & I’ve been impressed with their outstanding customer service.

    Book – Me Before You by JoJo Moyes – you will love this one! Flynn’s books tend to be dark – this one is a real emotional joy.

    Happy 4th of July!!!

  6. I love my fitbit!! I wear the pink flex band. It is a definite motivator. I also use the app on my iPhone. Seeing that pink band is a reminder to get moving. Amy is so right about taking a walk to get to your goal.

  7. I am not a fitbit fan–here’s why–got one and it was great, then lost it. Got #2 and it was a little different so registering it online was no problem. Found #1 in the seat cushion in basement and tried to activate it again for my daughter–NO LUCK AND INADEQUATE COMPANY RESPONSE–hate that!!! Proceeded to lose #2 and refuse to replace it. I went back to my $35 Omron pedometer and it is great. Clips on my belt and big enough not to lose it. I have no idea how I lost #2–I used to clip it on my belt loop. If you get, get BRIGHT color so easier to find and perhapst he bracelet is easier to keep track of. However, in the end, the company lack of support annoyed me and I refuse to give them a cent more. You ought to be able to shift users for something that you buy. And you ought to be able to regisgter more than 1 device on your computer. New companies like this seem to be lacking personal customer service and I just won’t support them. I am lower tech with my pedometer, but it never fails me and only needs a batttery.

  8. I don’t think there has ever been a book that I’ve read where I found NO redeeming qualities in the main characters than I did in Gone Girl. I was addicted to the book but couldn’t wait to get to the end because I hated both of them so much. I did not like the ending at all. I’ve read that there are multiple choices in endings for the movie so I’m hoping that the movie ending is more satisfying than the book’s ending.

    For me, a book is a good one if I can’t stop thinking about it long after I’m done reading it and since I finished it over a month ago and am still thinking about it I’d say it’s a good one. The last one that left me thinking for a long time afterward was “Indiscretion: A Novel” by Charles Dubow.

  9. regarding your fitbit question…I love mine! I got one for me and my busband as a way to get a little competitive as we push to get back in shape. I had surgery last summer and needed to put away the excuses! The app is a great way to stay on track and accountable. That said, if you want to get a bit OCD, you can track every calorie in and every bit of exercise you do, even making “carrying groceries upstairs” count! If you want a good tool to track steps, evaluate sleep quality (may be challenging with the new baby!) and spur friendly competition over who was more active for the day, go for it! I balanced the cost of the fitbit (everything you need comes in the box) with the cost of WW and other programs. The fitbit will last me a long time and it is worth the investment. Check some of your fave retailers for coupons–I was able to get a great deal when I used the store credit card (racked up points) and a coupon. They seem to be the same price everywhere. Hope it was helpful!

  10. I love my fitbit! If you get one get the armband one. It’s worth the extra money. You just put it on and don’t ever have to think about it. A couple of my friends have one and it’s fun competition! It really motivates me!

  11. My husband always gets mad at me because I do NOT get excited about fireworks. Too many people and basically the same thing every year. Haha! Hope you have a fabulous 4th and weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thanks so much for including a shout-out to my Peanut Butter S’mores Bars, Maria! Happy Fourth of July to you and your beautiful family! XOXO

  13. I also read Me Before You too. Excellent. Read Sharp Objects and Dark Places. Good but a bit disturbing.

  14. I hated Gone Girl also, and couldn’t understand all the hype about it. I disliked it so much, I deleted it off my kindle. I guess everyone has different tastes. Maria, let us know what you think when you finish reading it.

  15. Oops, you did finish reading it- apparently I read through your post too quickly lol. Maybe I will like the movie better.

  16. Weird lady – haha that’s hilarious.

    I LOVE my FitBit. I got it to motivate me to get off my butt more. Hard when you spend most time behind a desk, but TOTALLy works. I’ve got my steps up a lot higher since getting this little thing.

  17. I love love love my FitBit. My BFF and I text a photo of our daily total steps to each other every night, keeps me a little more accountable.

    Hated the characters in Gone Girl but I could not stop reading it, I borrowed her other books from a friend and they are getting close to the top of my pile.

  18. I’ve also read “Sharp Objects” and thought it was even creepier than “Gone Girl.” That said, I actually really enjoyed both.

  19. love my fitbit zips! have it linked to our aria scale and
    to the iPhone app. really motivates me to get moving
    and have joined different groups for friendly competitions.
    easy to set up, stays out of my way, and i put it on first
    thing every morning. it’s a habit!
    get one! ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Love your blog and found it through The Pioneer Woman! Wanted to comment on your Fitbit question; I have had one since December and it has changed my life. Apparently I am more motivated than I ever dreamed by the visuals that sync with my phone and my computer. I now walk twice a day and and realized that if I want to walk (which I do, very much, thanks to my Fitbit!) I make time for it. Good luck!

  21. I hate fireworks. I’m super sensitive to loud noises, and fireworks are just waaaaaaaaaay to loud for me. They’re pretty from really really far away, but in general I just avoid them.