It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we brought our little bundle home from the hospital! it has been truly mind-blowing to see our little baby turn into a little person in the first year of life. To celebrate this wonderful milestone, we had our family and friends over for a birthday party, complete with a petting zoo, lunch, and of course, cake. The party was a blast and we know Gavin had a ball!
The invitation from Joyful Ink:
Animals in the backyard from Cindy’s Petting Zoo:
On the dessert table there was birthday cake, chocolate chunk blondies, and my mom’s brownies. The cakes were from Pint Size Bakery, this delicious and adorable St. Louis bakery. The cakes were designed to match the invitation; the finished product exceeded my expectations for looks and taste! Gavin’s smash cake was white velvet vanilla with vanilla bean frosting. The large cake was one layer of chocolate and two layers of white cake, alternating.
The party favors were Barnum Animal Crackers with tags from InkyInvite:
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and celebrations. We spent 3 days in Los Angeles for a good friend’s wedding, followed by a drive up the coast to Santa Barbara for 2 nights. After California, we attended another wedding in Chicago, my niece and nephew’s birthday party, and then hosted my family in Saint Louis for my son’s 1st birthday party. These occasions have been nothing short of amazing, and I’m so sad that these fun trips and get-togethers are over. Although I haven’t haven’t had a home-cooked meal in 3 weeks, I get to share with you all the fun from our travels:
Brunch at Gjelina
The infamous spicy tuna on crispy rice at Katsuya
Multi colored raspberries at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market
Beautiful Cali scenery
Coolest personalized place settings on terra cotta slabs at the wedding
Balsamic Martini at Olio Crudo Bar in Santa Barbara
Bike ride down the coast to Montecito
Afternoon quest for tacos
Today was a big day! After a month of working part-time, I’ve offically transitioned out of the working world. Tomorrow I’ll swap my black work pants for yoga pants and I’ll be a full-time stay at home mom. Although it feels a little weird to be closing one chapter, I am so excited for the next. Tonight I celebrated with my coworkers at happy hour.
In the last month since I’ve been part-time, I’ve already found some extra time to try out a few new recipes. My new favorite recipe of the minute is this Buffalo Chicken Burger recipe from Cooking Light. I made a few modifications to the original recipe, based on my preferences (aka no blue cheese), but the outcome was finger-licking good. I’ve mentioned before that I love almost all things with buffalo sauce, and these burgers were no exception. The burgers were juicy and flavorful and smothered in amazing wing sauce. Speaking of wing sauce, I’m loving Bella’s Wing Sauce (purchased at Whole Food’s), which is short on weird ingredients but long on taste. My husband and I both agreed we could have eaten two of these burgers – we enjoyed them so much!
Since having a baby almost a year ago, I wake up in the morning absolutely starving. I don’t know if its the earlier wake up time that makes me hungrier earlier, or the nursing – likely both – but beside coffee, breakfast is one of the first things on my mind! While most mornings an english muffin or a quick KIND Bar will do, sometimes I need a little something more.
This PB & J Parfait was born on one of those mornings when I needed something more. We were out of granola and I wanted to add something to my yogurt for a little crunch. Enter crushed graham crackers! The grahams added the crunch I was looking for and I loved that it was different from my usual. The “J” in my parfait is actually fresh strawberries, but you could add jelly to the yogurt or any other fresh fruit. The peanut butter swirled into the Greek yogurt brings this all together, making the parfait a special breakfast treat.
There are only a couple handfuls of recipes on this blog that I make repeatedly, simply because I enjoying trying new dishes. Additionally, the majority of recipes on the blog have been posted after only trying it for the first time. The recipe I am sharing with you today, I can confidently say, I’ve made numerous times before, and it will be made many times again.
I created this Tuscan Chicken with Israeli Couscous Salad after ordering a similar version of this dish at Nordstrom’s Cafe. I loved the salad so much, I had to recreate this at home. The flavorful grilled chicken on top of arugula, couscous, and tomatoes creates a complete meal. Although the marinade and seasoning are all store-bought, the sum of the parts equals a dish that’s too good not to repeat.