Austin, TX Part One!

Hey friends! This post is long overdue but one I have been eager to share!

It’s been hard to find time to blog since Daylight Savings ended. Quinn has been waking up with me at my usual 445/5 time when I usually blog, but I hope we adjust here soon! I used to love the end of Daylight Savings for the extra sleep, but no longer now that I have a child lol.

Anyway!!! September 22nd we headed out the door to head to Austin, TX for a wedding and to see my mom and Pete!

I know I’ve said it before, but this carrier is everything. Especially in an airport!

Every time we walk in the airport we’re greeted by the smell of Cinnabon. I’d already eaten at home, but DJ grabbed one for breakfast.

I found a fruit pouch and some snappea crisps as a snack for Quinn before take off.

I also had packed a leftover lunch from home to share with her with corn and chicken.

We still did the lap seat for this flight, but luckily we didn’t have anyone seated next to us in our row. Miss Quinn was loving the independence. I think we’re at the point where we need to buy her her own seat!

And we have arrived! My mom and Pete picked us up from the airport and we battled the traffic until we arrived at the Westin in downtown ATX. I forgot about that traffic! My mom brought along a stroller she found at a garage sale so Quinn could have one for the weekend, it worked out wonderfully! We called it her limo since it was so long, hah!

We all were wanting Mexican, and Pete noted the place right next to us, Micheladas Cafe Y Cantina, had great reviews.

We still talk about how insanely good this meal was! Pete and DJ both got brisket tacos (not pictured) and raved about them. My mom and I split a veggie enchilada and watermelon salad, and the whole gang shared chips and salsa/queso.


Quinnie was alllll about the quesadillas!!

This is a girl that loves to dance, just like her mama!

After dinner, we walked around downtown. It was so hot, I forgot how you just kinda constantly perspire in the summer there, hah. My mom insisted DJ and I go out and enjoy the evening while they put Quinn to sleep. Can’t turn down an impromptu date night!

We wanted to hit as many old stomping grounds as we could- starting with Rainey!

It actually was kind of a bummer- much of Rainey is under construction which dampens the usual vibe, but when all the construction is done hopefully it will be poppin’ again!

We went to one of our old favorites, Bangers, for drinks.

They’ve made some nice changes since we were last there with a gorgeous outdoor bar area.

We received a sweet picture of Quinn reading the book Grammy and Grampy got her from the Biltmore before bed! It’s called A Sunny Spot for Cedric, a book about The Biltmore’s St. Bernard. They also got her the stuffed puppy that goes along with it. She was (and still is!) obsessed!

Back to Banger’s- we enjoyed some delicious beers the bartender recommended based on our preferences. DJ likes more of a sour- I used to like sours but now enjoy IPAs more.

We reminisced a lot and reflected on how much has changed since we moved just a couple years ago.

After enjoying some awesome live music at Banger’s, we walked through downtown noting several new restaurants and shops and then crossed the Congress bridge onto Ladybird Lake trail. The smell of the bats took me back 😅.

Ahhh I miss this!

If we weren’t so darn stuffed, we may have stopped into Aussie’s, one of our favorites, for old time’s sake!

After reliving our youth, back to the hotel we went.

I can’t wait to share about our next day here!



Halloween Roundup: A Cat, A Mouse & Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

Hello hello! I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween. This past weekend into this week has been so much fun, and I can’t wait to share all the festivities!

On Friday October 27th, my sister from Colorado, Andi, came to town!! I dropped off Quinn at daycare in the morning so she could enjoy a couple hours of the fall festival. I sent her as a black cat, a super easy, comfy costume for daycare.

I knocked out folding some laundry and unloading the dishes while chatting away with Andi. Always love our chats so much! We then ran to the grocery store and picked up Nothing Bundt Cakes for the Halloween party planned the next day. Then we picked up Quinnie before nap time! She fought this nap something fierce. We have been battling the infamous 18 month sleep regression. All her sleep regressions have been about a week early, and this one started just when I anticipated it would. It has been the most brutal one yet, but as of yesterday (Tuesday), I think she’s almost out of it! Anyway, we finally got her to fall asleep around 245 pm while on a walk in the stroller.

For dinner, we had an easy, but delicious, dinner of air fryer steaks, corn, salad and sweet potato fries.

We also rang in the weekend with dessert! We went to Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt. This was Quinn’s first time, and it was a hit! I got her the no added sugar vanilla with a couple cheesecake bites, blueberries and sprinkles.

I think this is the best frozen yogurt I’ve ever had! I already have a hankerin’ to go again. I took the more chocolate route with mine, while DJ and Andi went more fruit forward. What do you prefer with Froyo?

You know it’s good when you’re double fisting spoons 😄 (which were color changing!).

Saturday October 28th, we enjoyed a nice, lazy, quintessentially autumnal Saturday morning. We have had such busy weekends lately, so this was much welcomed.

We had breakfast, went on a walk and then got ready for the party while Quinn napped.

She had a nice long afternoon nap, so we were able to get in our costumes and get a couple pics before she woke up!

I set up this little photo op area for kicks.

Time for our costumes! It was DJ’s idea this year to be Pokémon! I was Eevee (my favorite Pokémon when I was younger), DJ was Ash, Quinn was Pikachu and Moose was Squirtle.

Once Quinn woke up we got her in her costume!

Moose was such a trooper. We couldn’t find anything in his size so we had to make-shift a costume with some Velcro.

And of course we had to use a Pokeball for trick or treating!

Andi had to leave before the party that evening, but we made sure to grab a pic before she headed out. I miss her so much already!

Time for the party!! Here are the Bundtinis we picked up.

We displayed the drink options then kept the rest in a Yeti.

It seemed appropriate to get out a bottle of 19 Crimes wine!

More Bundtinis fall themed!

We didn’t have a specific snack to put in the Nora Fleming tray, but it worked great for the napkins. I just had to use the Witch hat mini!

Ok now how cute are these?! Gigi made these adorable ghost fruit skewers and pumpkins.

We also ordered Athena’s Pizza. It was our first time trying it, and we all raved about how good it was!! We got one vegan one too, and it was excellent.

Pic of the kids! 🥰

More family pics 🥰.

Trick-Or-Treating time!!! I just adore these two.

Quinn did not want to be held. So we went very slowly from house to house. It was so much fun though. She held onto one small piece of pizza nearly the whole time (she does this with food and random scraps of paper lol). Hence, we naturally started calling her Pizzachu and called it her emotional-support pizza bite.

At one point she agreed to get in the double stroller with her cousin, Will. We were able to pick up the pace a little after that lol.

Hanging with cousin Kate 💕.

Then October 31st, actual Halloween, we were able to celebrate one last time! Miss Quinn transformed into Miss Minnie Mouse for the evening.

We went to Gigi’s, demolished bowls of her famous chili, cornbread and pumpkin pie, then set out for Trick-Or-Treating with the fam!

Moose came with us! He did a great job. Quinn practiced saying “thank you” in sign language at each house. One time someone thought she was blowing a kiss and blew one back lol!

Quinn and her cousin, Ender (Ryder from Paw Patrol)! Decisions, decisions!

We trick or treated in Mimi’s neighborhood & got to say hi to her which was very special! ❤️

And that wraps our fun Halloween!! 🎃

Questions for you:

– DJ and I were chatting about this- When do “The Holidays” start in your mind? I think they start at Halloween for me.

– What are you looking forward to as we enter into November?




Good morning everyone! I’m chowing down during my lunch break but wanted to fit in a quick timely post before the spooOOoky season gets away from us!

On October 17th, I took Quinn to one of our favorite places to visit in the Autumn- Szalays!

We started by parking at the farm market and then walking the towpath.

It was a beautiful, yet chilly morning. It was a touch misty, so we pretty much had the trail to ourselves.

When Szalays opened around 10, we walked over to check out their Halloween decorations and corn maze.

This corn maze is notoriously challenging! This year was extra challenging in my opinion. ….Probably because I didn’t have DJ leading the way, lol. I’m not even good with directions outside a maze, so trying to read the little map was hopeless 😅. Quinn walked a bit but was over it after a while and just wanted to be held. My arms were like jello by the end, and I should have definitely brought the carrier or Gooseket along.

We found three out of eight pumpkins- not my best year 🥴. When she started signing “all done” I panicked a little because I had no clue how to get out, but thankfully we found the exit without too much trouble.

My little pumpkin in a pumpkin.

We are a big fan of tractors recently. Whenever she sees something with wheels she starts rolling her arms as she motions in “Wheels on the Bus”. It’s adorable!

And she had a ball dancing along to the skeleton marching band.

We also walked around Szalays a bit more admiring the seemingly endless carts of pumpkins.

To end our Szalays extravaganza, we found a toy rollercoaster car to push down a very muddy ramp on a very muddy hill. We were a mess after, but she was having a blast. Hearing her laugh every time she sent the coaster down the track was so worth trekking half of the mud in Ohio back into my car, ha!

We also swung on the giant Szalays swing after!! She was a big fan of that 😊.

And that wraps up our Szalays fun!!

Questions for you:

– What has been your favorite part of fall?

– Did you/do you have plans to dress up this year? DJ chose our costumes this year, will share that post soon 😄.



Ramseyer Farms

Hey hey!!! This past weekend we went to Ramseyer Farms in Wooster, OH.

It. Was. Epic.

This Farm has over 50, yes FIFTY, activities to do for kids. But it was so fun for us too! I told DJ this is one of my all time favorite memories with Quinn.

I cannot wait to make this an annual tradition.

It was one of our chillier weekends of late, so I think it was a little less crowded than it usually is too.

Something that shocked us was how modern, clean and well executed the whole thing was. It was truly amazing.

And there are so many mouth-watering food options with everything- BBQ, grilled items, pizza, etc.

We walked in and didn’t even know where to begin!

Naturally, Quinn was drawn to the Marryott Goat-el. These goats were hilarious climbing all over everything and finding feeders. Quinn was in heaven watching them. You can also feed them for 25 cents.

Onto the next station!

Next, we stopped in their HUMONGOUS corn pit made of corn kernels.

There was a massive tire play place with a climbing wall of tires, an obstacle course of tires that were painted to look like a caterpillar and tire swings!

Next we headed to the John Deer Tractor made of hay!

Quinn loved this- her face lit up in that seat.

DJ and I played best of 5. He won. Which is no surprise. What is extra sad is I didn’t make a single bucket of those 5 🥲. I literally don’t remember how to shoot a basketball 😂😭.

For older kids and adults they have a spud slinger! Yes- slinging potatoes and trying to hit a target!

We did a maze (one of many!) then had to steal a pic in the big Ramseyer Chair.

Quinn ran around a lot too and enjoy the wide open space between the fun stations.

We found another tractor!

Time to see the bunnies that have their own cute little barns to live in.

I think my favorite station was the country coaster. We grabbed a burlap bag at the bottom, walked to the top of the coaster and went flying downhill! It was so much fun.

When it started getting rainy we got some grub. Quinn and I shared some corn seasoned deliciously with parmesan and brisket. She chowed down!!

So good!

And we all shared a couple bites of these donuts from Lerch’s donuts which were hot and delicious.

I also had to share this condiment cow that cracked me up.

We went to the pumpkin patch for a little bit too. You can grab a wagon, load up your pumpkins, weigh them, pay and then load them in your car. Easy peasy!

“I want this one, Mom!”

And that wraps our wonderful time at Ramseyer farms! This didn’t even scratch the surface of all there is to do there too. To see all 50 activities, follow this link!

See you next year, Ramseyer! 😊

Returning to our Undergrad, A Fall Ball & Shoppin’!

Hey hey! I’m so looking forward to sharing about the weekend when we returned to our undergrad university for the first time 🥰. While there, DJ was inducted into the Hall of Honor with his basketball team for winning a National Championship (and for just being amazing humans!). One of my younger sister-in-laws actually goes here now too, so we were very excited to see her!

The morning of September 9th we flew into Indiana bright and early with Sissy, Poppy and my sister-in-law, Kori.

On the drive from the airport, we read a this animal sounds book lots. It’s probably Quinn’s favorite right now! We kept her in her pjs for comfy travels and then changed her before the banquet.

As we drove back on campus it simultaneously felt like we were there a lifetime ago and just yesterday!

The student center is exactly how I remember it!

Quinn was in awe. Hah.

I had to grab a cup of coffee from the spot I used to work as a barista 😋. Oh it was so good.

She loves college!

And just like a college kid, Quinn needed some extra sleep. Quinn’s nap time was exactly aligned with the banquet, so I brought along this carrier for her to conk out in. She officially outgrew her Ergo baby one, so I upgraded to the Omni360. I wish I had sooner because it’s a GREAT carrier!

She woke up right in time for food! Sissy sweetly held her so we could down some pasta ourselves.

It was very special seeing old friends (and their kids!) who we hadn’t seen for years. It really made us reflect on just how fast time flies. DJ gave a speech during the induction, and I could not have been more proud of him!

After the banquet, we headed to the hotel. Quinn played while I got us organized after all the travel, and then it was clear she was very sleepy. She napped a long time, gearing up for the football game that evening!

Your girl is no longer wearing skinny jeans. And you know what, I kind of dig the straight leg/flared look more than I expected!

Before the game, we stopped into Moe’s, a favorite of ours while we were in school. It was as tasty as we remembered!

Time for a football game! They didn’t even have a football stadium when we went there, and it really changed the whole vibe of a Friday night.

We had the privilege of sitting in a suite to watch the game with the other inductees. There was all kinds of delicious BBQ and other food in the suite- so we went ahead and enjoyed dinner round 2 😆.

Quinn was loving watching the game. She’s usually glued to the TV when football’s on, and it was no different in person.

During halftime, all the inductees and their families got to come out on the field. Quinn was about it! I think she thought they were clapping for her 😄👏.

There was a nice little green field that all the kids were playing on. Quinn was trying to keep up with all the big kids. It was adorable.

Being here with her was extra special.

Our night did take a crappy turn. DJ was holding her, but when he set her down his face went from contentedness to horror. He held up his hands and said, “please tell me this is mud. This is mud, right?!”.

In Desperate housewives narrator voice: It was not in fact mud.

The next hour was pure chaos as I cleaned her in the sink at the stadium (I couldn’t find a changing table). I also forgot to pack WIPES in the diaper bag. Another mom who I owe my life to who I am very grateful to helped me out and then DJ, Quinn and I all beelined back to the hotel so we could get cleaned up. It was a mess but one we can laugh about! I don’t even know who ended up winning the game that night 😂.

The next day we took turns going down to enjoy the breakfast buffet while letting Quinn sleep as long as possible. I just love a hotel breakfast.

We headed back home after breakfast!

The next day we enjoyed some pumpkin waffles for breakfast.

That week I received the sweetest housewarming gift from great friends I met here in blog world 🥰. (Shout out to my favorite twins from TN!). This super cute vase was part of the gift- I just had to share!

Quinn loves the blanket they sent and walks around the house with it. She’ll take it with her on our chilly morning stroller walks too.

I have a distaste for social media in general (and this is my only form of it I still use), but seeing what awesome friendships have come from it remind me it’s not all bad 🥰.

Moose and Quinn have started legitimately playing more together. They are both so sweet with one another.

That week during one of our errands, we picked up Moose a donut that he didn’t want anything to do with. Both my kids are so picky! 🤪

We play this game around the house where we hide Quinn’s bumblebee (aptly named “Buzz Buzz”) and then ask her where he is. She loves searching around until she locates him. Sometimes he’s up on top of a cabinet, sometimes he’s on the ceiling fan or behind a plant- ya just never know with him!

One evening I made these naan pizzas from the Feeding Littles cookbook- super easy!

September 12th was my EGD (this is the last I’ll mention it, I promise lol). It was smooth as could be, and I felt totally fine immediately after. Gigi drove me that morning, and we decided breakfast sounded great right after.

Since we’re not in Cleveland often, we decided to take advantage of being amongst great food options and try a popular breakfast spot – Lucky’s Cafe.

We were able to be seated immediately! The restaurant is cozy and the staff is so friendly.

The menu isn’t very big, but I’m sure you can’t go wrong! We ordered the shipwreck- which included hashbrowns, eggs, veggies, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Such a great savory option!

We also tried the rhubarb waffles which were absolutely delicious!!! Anytime I can get rhubarb anything – sign me up!! Also if you ever go here make sure to try their homemade jam and hot sauce!

That evening I made little spoon Thai peanut chicken bowls in the Instapot. I’m always afraid of the Instapot, but it didn’t explode… although the bottom of the pot did burn so still not totally sure about it 😅.

The morning of September 13th we played for a while with sidewalk chalk on the sunshine filled morning.

Snack break!

Oh I also picked up some fun snacks that day that I figured I could share with Quinn. She wasn’t a big fan, but I liked them well enough. Maybe won’t buy again though.

I also made Quinn quinoa cakes. She loves these and it’s the only way I can get her to eat quinoa.

Another day, another taco night! I picked up this mango salsa from Krieger, and it was spicy spicy 🥵. I loved it, but maybe not toddler-friendly.

The evening of September 15th we went to Chick-Fil-A to get a Pimiento Chicken sandwich. It was SO good! Don’t walk, run to try this.

This was Quinn’s first time trying Chick-Fil-A! Big fan!

September 16th, I took Quinn to the Baby’s Fall ball at the library! This was such a cute little event. Unfortunately, DJ couldn’t come because we were getting a security system installed that day, but I took lots of pics to share with him!

We did a fun story/song time then there were various fall inspired stations like bubbles, a music station, a photo op, puppets, a pumpkin coloring station, sensory bins and wagons to ride around the library. Such a cute event!

For lunch, we had pizza from Jet’s! Best pizza in town.

It was a gorgeous day. We have had many chill afternoons and evenings lately just playing with Moose and Quinn in the backyard. It’s so simple, but it fills my heart so much.

September 17th I made Quinn some egg waffles! She doesn’t like regular scrambled eggs, so this is a good way to get her to eat them (along with sneaking in greens).

After church, we went to Poppy and Sissy’s. Aunt Amy was in town with her boyfriend, Chris! We love when they’re in town. Hope they come back soon!!

September 18th was a particularly gorgeous morning for a walk!

That day, I packed away the carrier she’s outgrown since we upgraded to the new one. 🥹 Emotional moments!

An afternoon chillin’ with the ponies!

We met the neighbor who owns them! He gave us the go ahead to give them carrots or apples, so I’m looking forward to taking Quinn out soon to feed them.

That evening, I made sundried tomato pasta with pork.

September 19th was a fun day! We went shopping with some giftcards we had to stock Quinn’s fall wardrobe. We also found this adorable cleaning set at TJ Maxx! She definitely has fun with it.

If this ain’t the truth 😂.

September 20th I treated myself to an au lait from Nervous Dog. Mmmmm!

That evening I made a big batch of veggie pesto pasta. I couldn’t get get enough of the stuff!

I also swapped out the sensory bin for feathers I found at the Dollar Tree.

Quinn’s in an adorable phase where she’ll point to many different things and want me to name them.

She also loves to floss my teeth 😄. I sent this to her Uncle Kevin so he could be proud given that he’s a dentist.

And that takes us to another weekend of travel which I’ll recap next!

Questions for you:

– Do you have plans this Halloween?

– Have you returned to your alma mater?



Labor Day Weekend & Fall Decorations!

Good morning, everyone! It’s 6:24 AM and I have The Golden Bachelor on in the background. I’m about 2 minutes in and already crying! Gerry is a JEM!!! I’m eating cereal and sipping on matcha which I actually was craving this morning over my coffee.

Jumping in! August 31st we incorporated a sprinkle of festive fall decor around the house. I got the pumpkin cart and pumpkins below from the Dollar Tree and the Trick or Treat bucket and salt/pepper shakers from HomeGoods.

And of course, we had to bring out the old trusty (and somewhat dusty!) pumpkins and pumpkin pillow that we’ve had for years.

We stopped into the same local shop we did last year and the owner remembered us!… that’s something I love about living in a smaller town 💕. We picked out some mums and a delicious “wine cellar” candle and then also stopped by Marc’s for a wreath and some outdoor pumpkins.

The beautiful flowers continuing to bloom on our back trees reminded me to hold my horses, as summer wasn’t quite over just yet!

August 31st we started the morning drawing with chalk on the driveway. Sometimes when we go on walks Quinn just holds a piece of chalk in both hands- we call it her emotional support chalk 😄.

That evening I made a turkey chili that she actually ate!!! I was nervous to make eye contact or move a muscle, afraid she’d stop eating with any distraction. But I did sneak a photo hehe.

Labor Day weekend time!!!

September 2nd we headed to Lakeside, OH to spend time with our fam at one of our favorite places on earth 🥰.

When we arrived we ate a scrumptious lunch all together at Ohhh Lala cafe. Then we walked around and soaked up the beautiful day.

Time to head to the beach! Quinn was due for a nap, so we just enjoyed it for a minute. DJ built a sand castle with Chris and our nephew Ender, and I chatted with Renee (who is due in December with a baby girl!). Quinn started signing that she was “all done”, so we knew it was nap time!

A candid captured by Gigi 😊

After nap time we freshened up then headed out again!

We enjoyed a pre-dinner walk around the pier.

Then the family met together for dinner at Hotel Lakeside! Quinn was not wanting to sit at all for this dinner, so we rotated chasing her around the hotel and outside until the food arrived.

Can’t beat eating seafood with a view of the lake!

We put Quinn into her pjs then headed to ice cream followed by fireworks! We wanted to make sure we could transfer her straight to bed since the fireworks would be pretty late.

I opted to get us a soft serve twisted cone. That’s very out of character for me, usually I have to get a new or unusual flavor to try- but this simple classic sounded so good and hit the spot!

Quinn was giggling here playing peek-a-boo with Uncle Chris!

Fireworks time! She was a little unsure at first, but settled in close to me then seemed to enjoy the display. This was her first time seeing them 🥰. Moments like this- being with our family, holding my little one, sitting next to Deej in a very special place make me think “this is what it’s all about”.

After a great night sleep, we went to Coffee & Cream after demolishing a couple patio donuts. Coffee & Cream forever remains one of my favorite coffee shops ever; I have never had a bad cup there!

We went for a gorgeous morning walk snaking our way amongst the side streets admiring the cottages then along the dock.

We headed home in time for DJ to head to his fantasy football draft. It was such a wonderful couple of days there! Truly one of my favorite weekends of the whole year.

The next day, September 4th, we went to Szalay’s for some corn. Quinn was a fan. She has to be though, it’s in her DNA.

We also had some fresh, juicy watermelon. DJ and I used to split watermelon from here back in high school.

That evening, we didn’t have much left in the fridge, but I did make some salmon fish sticks (2 sticks= 1 filet) and salads with beets, goat cheese and crispy beets. The dipping sauce was really easy and tasty- basically a combo of Mayo and coarse ground mustard.

Moose was conked after spending a couple nights at Aunt Marie’s while we were gone!

Taco night was on September 5th! We’ve been using the Chickpea Tortillas from Siete and love them! They make great enchiladas too if you’re looking for a good grain-free alternative.

September 6th Quinn and I tried a new coffee spot called Yada Yada Coffee in downtown Cuyahoga Falls.

It’s in an industrial type building, but the decor and seating is inviting, albeit eclectic.

My favorite part was the kids’ corner! There was a bean bag chair and a place for kids to sit and color or paint.

Now onto the coffee. This was one of the best coffee drinks I’ve had in my life. It was an au lait with oat milk micro cold foam. My goooodnesssss. I may need to get one today.

That evening I made a tempeh masala from the Feeding Littles cookbook.

September 7th Quinn and I drove a little further than usual to Cafe Arnone. I’ve had my eye on this spot for a while since it’s right next to a favorite of ours, Core Life.

This place is adorable. The front side is more of their lunch/dinner seating with racks of wine on display.

The back portion where we sat is the cafe with pastries, an adorable gelato station and, of course, the aroma of delicious coffee.

We flipped through some picture cards and read books while I sipped my coffee.

After nap time, we played outside for a long time with the splash table! She also got such as kick out of drinking out of the hose… classic summertime things 🥰.

September 8th, I went to get a lash lift, my beauty indulgence of choice, with Amaris. I really enjoy our chit-chats! She moved her studio into an apartment and has the coziest, most relaxing setup. I also convinced her to let out her sweet cat, Pancake, during the appointment who then purred on my stomach the rest of the time- it was truly pet therapy 🥰.

And I’ll wrap here before recapping another of my favorite weekends!

Questions for you:

– Have you watched The Golden Bachelor?

– Have you started decorating for fall?



Family Dinners & Majestic Meadows!

Hey all!!! Hope you are all doing splendidly. Did you wake up this morning saying, “I really hope I see a picture of an alpaca today?”. If so, this is the post for you!

Before sharing all about meeting those fun little not so little creatures, I have a few more things to share!

I’ve been really focusing on family meals lately. It’s a toss up if Quinn will actually happily sit in her seat to eat or not, but we try. It’s also just a toss up. Literally. Her food is usually tossed sometime during the meal.

August 21st I made a shrimp stiryfry. Here’s the batch stir fry sauce I made that we all thoroughly enjoyed! I mixed tofu into mine and Quinn’s since we love that too.

We went through a stage where I would put her yogurt in an ice cream cone to get her to eat it. It worked but it was messy, heheh!

This was in the thick of when I had given up coffee, hence it was a matcha latte and oatmeal for breakfast on repeat! I actually should get back to incorporating matcha. It was yummy and sans jitters, it just takes a tiny bit more effort to make with whisking the milk and such.

August 22nd I had a GI appt on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. I found a delicious poke bowl stop to get in a nourishing meal right before the appt. I felt so silly taking a pic of my hospital cafeteria meal, but it was too pretty (and tasty) not to! 😝

That evening I made us some peach, corn and steak salads for dinner from the Feeding Littles cookbook. It sounds like a weird combo, but it came together beautifully! I added goat cheese as well. And bonus- it was easy. DJ and I agree sometimes the easiest meals also taste the best.

I brought out the stir fry sauce again the next night to put together some leftovers.

August 24th, Moose and Quinn spent some time in the morning chasing each other around.

We also picked crab apples off the tree. I just had to pay very close attention that she didn’t try to eat any said apples.

I made Quinn cheesy broccoli roll ups with lunch that she didn’t want, so I ended up eating them…How it goes most days 😅.

Cuddles with Moose during nap time ❤️. Since I’ve cut out working out entirely now, I try to use any leftover nap time outside of chores to cuddle with Moose and give him some undivided attention.

He’s a big fan of the sun-bathing on the deck!

That evening I made us some pasta alla vodka for DJ and me and a veggie sauce pasta for Quinn. She didn’t want hers with all the good nutrients, only ours 🤪.

I was craving a McDonald’s ice cream cone after dinner, so we treated ourselves to a drive through cone. Luckily, Quinn didn’t even see the ice cream since she’s rear facing in the seat, so we got to eat them as we drove home without her asking for a taste of them lol.

August 25th, Quinn and I visited the Akron Zoo, a small but well respected zoo in our area. It is the perfect size for a couple hour outing. We brought along Quinn’s teddy bear with her that actually used to be my teddy bear when I was little 🥰.

Her favorite part was their goat feeding petting zoo!

I couldn’t believe the size of the grizzly bears up close! The picture definitely doesn’t do justice.

We did the carousel and when it rained we sought cover in a Photo Booth 😊.

That evening I kept it easy with salads, burgers and sweet potato fries.

*Record scratch*- you must be thinking to yourself, “Wait, that’s it?! I thought we were going to see alpacas!”. Hang tight! I promise to share them soon 🙃.

August 26th we had over my brother, SIL and our nephews and niece for brunch!

We ordered Bob Evans, and it was so good!!! Their biscuits are just the best.

We had so much fun, and it’s always a joy watching the kids run around and play together.

August 27th I started the day with making cheddar potato egg cups as an easy breakfast. (Also from Feeding Littles).

We’ve been getting back in the groove to going to church on Sundays too. We so missed it! We would like to get more involved there too now that we feel we have found our home church 🙂.

That evening, we went to Applebees! DJ and I went to Applebees so many times through high school and college (you pick two, anyone?!), but haven’t been back since. It was so fun to go there, and we forgot how darn good it is. Particularly I love that the food comes out piping hot.

Quinn has been loving her shopping cart recently. She pushes it everywhere around the house! I’ll put a bunch of produce on the counter and hand her one at a time to put in her cart. She’ll sign “more” until the whole cart is filled up. It’s a fun little game 😄.

One day when I was cleaning up from dinner, I looked outside and witnessed this adorable scene of Quinn on DJ’s shoulders looking for the ponies.

And very exciting… August 29th I took Quinn to HomeGoods for the first time!! We went there and to the Dollar Tree for some fall decor.

Of course, we had to get Moose something too.

Quinn picked out this fox and blanket that is so soft and cuddly. She’ll point back and forth to the dog and pumpkin on it as I say “Pumpkin!” “Puppy!” over and over… and over again hah.

And finally, (cue 21st Century Fox intro sound)- we are finally to the alpacas!! I’m a woman of my word if nothing else!

On August 31st, Gigi met up with us and we drove to Majestic Meadows, an alpaca farm on several truly majestic rolling green acres.

We bought tickets ahead of time, but you can also buy them on site for a little more. You’re able to buy food for the various animals and feed them too. They’re all so gentle and clearly used to the visitors.

I thought there were only alpacas here, but there were so many (unexpected?) animals too! They had camels, turkeys, goats, pigs, kangaroos and wallabies… and more I’m sure I’m missing!

Quinn was not shy! Besides the alpacas, her favorites were the pigs and the wallaby!

Being sweet with the alpaca ❤️.

One of my favorite pics ever of her and Gigi!

All the different alpacas had different personalities, it was kind of funny to see.

As we were leaving, we noticed a little playground for the goats. It’s hilarious to watch them climb around on them! They also do goat yoga here- something I’d like to try sometime.

On our way out, we stopped in the gift shop and Gigi got Quinn this adorable little camel we named Cami!

Well I hope this post gave you your animal fix! Have a great week friends 😊.

Questions for you:

– What’s your favorite animal?

– What’s your favorite chain restaurant? (I think mine may be Cheesecake Factory!).



Our Unique Golden Anniversary Celebration!

Good morning! I am currently writing this at 5 AM with coffee in hand and Love Is Blind on in the background. Let’s get into it!!

DJ and and I celebrated 8 years on 8/8! It was our ✨golden✨ anniversary, made extra golden by the fact that we not only celebrated 8 years on the 8th, but also within the 8th month! Quinnie’s Sissy, Poppy and Aunt spent some sweet quality time with her while we drove to Akron to celebrate 🥰 🍾.

We actually celebrated a little later in the month on August 19th. I made us reservations at Alexander Pierce and rented a “screen suite” for our meal. Basically how this works: You rent a suite that is complete with a table to eat your meal, your own bathroom, and a mini movie theater screen with cozy recliners to watch whatever streaming service your heart desires. There’s also movie theater candy on display available for purchase! (We chose Milk Duds). You’re given a call button any time you need a refill on drinks, etc. (of course, the nurse in me couldn’t help but liken that feature to the hospital ha!).

We started with some delicious glasses of wine. I had the Austin Hope Cabernet. I had tried it the previous year on our anniversary and loved it; it was as good as I remembered!

While we sipped, we had access to play whatever type of music we preferred. We changed the station to something jazzy.

We then enjoyed some decent brussels sprouts while we talked about recipes etched on gravestones. You know, normal anniversary conversation.

Next up.. We ordered the mussels and they were pretty much inedible, unfortunately. They were lukewarm and just bad. We stomached a few to make it look like we made a dent (does anyone else irrationally feel like you’ll offend your waiter/waitress if you don’t love the food? Lol), but yeahhhhhh, no bueno. Do not order these if you go.

I did order the wedge which was yummy!

For our mains, DJ had the Oscar style steak (I had a bite, and it was the best thing ordered), but I had scallops that were pretty lackluster.

I did enjoy the whipped potatoes they came with though!

Overall- we were pretty disappointed in the food! This is shocking considering this place has a truly phenomenal reputation. We agreed it was severely overpriced for what we experienced. But maybe our experience was a one off considering the rave reviews both online and from word of mouth? Also, something to note- the meal was paced out so slowly (which we didn’t mind, it allowed for us to have great conversation), but we never even made it to watching anything in the time allotted. You have the option to pay extra to rent the suite additional hours, but we were eager to get back to Quinnie. It was worth a try and a unique experience, and it quelled our curiosity! Plus, we had our Milk Duds 😄.

For the screen suites- I think the best use would be to rent one for several hours with a larger group to watch a specific show/movie and order appetizers/sides!

Very blessed for 8 years with this one!!

Even though the food was not the best ever, the company certainly was. We are so grateful for any time we get to just talk, laugh and reconnect ❤️. Hard to believe we’ve been together 13 years, and married for 8- where has this time gone?!

If you want to take a walk down memory lane with me, here is our engagement post and here is our wedding post 😊.

Questions for you:

– What recipe would you have etched on your gravestone?

– What’s your favorite movie theater candy? (Mine is probably Cookie Dough Bites or Twizzlers!).



Swenson’s, Sandbox Fun & A Health Update!

Hey hey!! Time to get hustling on these summer posts considering we are already moving into Fall! Woohooo!

August 13th we visited my Grandma Violet at her new place. I always love hanging and chatting with her, and she just beams when Quinn is around. We ordered Swensons which never disappoints (although we did have to relocate where we were eating outside due to some bees finding Swensons irresistible as well).

Here’s Quinn trying a milkshake for the first time! She signed more … and then more.. and then more haha.

We sat out front while we all enjoyed each other’s company, and Quinn had fun looking at the different garden creatures planted around the area.

The rest of the day was chill and just the standard getting ready for the week .

August 14th Quinn started the day playing with a Minnie Mouse kit my mom brought along that was mine when I was little!

My mom and Pete picked up sand and we spent some time unloading the sand into the sandbox.

She is a BIG fan!! The sandbox has been a huge hit- she plays independently really well in it too.

My mom went to the Netherlands a few months ago and made Quinn a book from her pictures there. It reads just like a children’s book, and I told her she could have it published! Quinn loves it!

Sadly the fam all had to leave by that evening, but it was certainly a fun and wonderful weekend together.

The rest of the week was one of my favorites in a while. Our census was low at work, so I wasn’t scheduled that week. I wanted to take full advantage and soak up all my time with Quinn since I’d been sick for the couple of weeks prior to that.

August 15th I made Quinn some mini quesadilla bites with carrots and beans. She didn’t touch the quesadilla 🤷🏼‍♀️.

That day, Quinn was going through our card game drawer, and I thought she might enjoy the What Do You Meme pictures. I tried to make it educational and left out the more questionable photos 😅.

That afternoon we went to the library, said hi to the library turtle and had so much fun in their little playroom.

They rotate themes throughout the year, and it was currently a lemonade theme!

Although a little delayed, my gift for DJ for our anniversary finally came in! The theme for the eighth year is “bronze”, so I got a bronze soundwave art of our wedding song (Lady A’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You). We think we know where we want to hang it in the house, but haven’t just yet. With everything going on we have made little progress on house stuff/decor, but we did finally order a couch yesterday!!

August 16th we woke up all smiles with our smoothie! I make this smoothie for Quinn about once a day either for breakfast or as a bedtime snack with yogurt, avocado, banana and spinach. It guarantees healthy fats, calcium and greens if she eats nothing else that day.

“Here Moose! You should try it!”.

Sandbox time!

For dinner that evening I made pizza crescent roll ups. They were a hit all around!! DJ and I dipped ours in extra pizza sauce 😋.

August 17th we started the day with a brisk walk around the neighborhood and a breakfast cookie. I am so thrilled she now tolerates the stroller so well!! It only took over a year lol. These morning walks really set the tone for the day.

Around 9 AM, we went to get a proper breakfast at Flury’s Cafe. I’d been wanting to try this place out for a long time!

I brought along a coloring book which was a hit.

We beat the rush & enjoyed the cozy establishment with the few other patrons sipping on their morning cups of Joe.

The coffee was superb!

We ordered an omelette, which was good, but the star of the show was this croissant French toast. This was light, airy and full of sweet, delicious flavor!

Quinn only wanted to eat the toast 🤷🏼‍♀️.

That afternoon, we went to Cafe O’Play after Quinn’s nap. She could have spent the whole day there! Oh, also I want to share this video that I think really captures Quinn’s goofy side. I just adore seeing her personality coming to life!

That evening I made a parmesan crusted cod for dinner with asparagus and right rice 😋.

August 18th we started the day with matching ponies to their corresponding color of felt. My mom brought these ponies with her, which were mine when I was little!

We stopped by the store and I found this sponge/paintbrush pack that I thought may be fun to play with. We took the pack on the porch and Quinn pretended to paint the railings hehe. I put a little bowl of water she could dip the brushes into.

I really try to limit our screen time, but the last couple weeks I’ve put on Ms. Rachel for a few mins while I get dinner together. Having family dinners has been so special and a highlight of my day. I say the 20/25ish mins (ok, sometimes a touch more or less depending on the meal 😝) of screen time in order to have a meal together is worth it! Also, Quinn has caught onto praying before meals and will attempt an ‘Amen’ as soon as we bow our heads 🥰.

The morning of August 19th Quinn soaked up the Moose cuddles!

We went to the park on that gorgeous day!!

And I’m almost only a month behind 😅.

I also wanted to share a little health update. I discovered talking about this openly with people close to me, and I guess writing it out on here makes it all feel less overwhelming for some reason.

First, I had my EGD and everything (including the biopsies) was fairly normal with some non specific inflammation present. If I did have an ulcer, it has healed very well and they actually said my esophagus did not look like someone who had long-standing reflux which is excellent news. They even said I could have had a horrible bug for those couple of weeks and not an ulcer, so who knows! Either way, I’ve been symptom free and back to having a little coffee each day with zero issues. I probably will drink cabbage juice at least annually for a couple weeks as a sort of stomach cleanup, because wow, do I feel like that stuff worked!

Second update on the fertility/weight gain/breastfeeding situation: I’m up about 5-7 lbs. and emotionally it’s been a little harder to gain the weight than expected? I still have about 10 lbs. to go. (My benchmark is the weight I was when I was able to ovulate). Some well-meaning friends have said, “oh I’m sure you’re just fine” since I *look* healthy ….but I know my body, and I do have to have more meat on my bones than some to have a cycle. With a history of an eating disorder, I really have to battle some old patterns/thoughts/ways of thinking from returning. This all took me by surprise since I feel like I’ve been “healed” for a while now, but it’s a good reminder that I have to be ready to combat all that. Getting my fertility back is WAY more important. Also, we are finally weaning successfully & down to only a couple times a day/bedtime! I think this has helped me gain a little weight back too. The overnight weaning was the hardest so far, but she’s sleeping better than ever, and it only took a few nights of saying “no” for her to get the picture. I know some women have to wean completely to ovulate again (which I think I may be in that camp), and I am really trying to make sure my body can function properly when that time comes. Even though my BMI/weight is in a healthy range, my body fat % is low (14-15% range). I have stopped all forms of working out except light walking and consume way more food than usual with a focus on upping my carbs. It is tough going through this a second time, but at least I know what I have to do! Overall, I’m trying hard to have a heart of gratitude – I am so blessed to have my Quinnie, and I just need to trust God & let go of control/expectations when it comes to wanting a second baby.

Anyway, thanks for letting me stream of conscious a bit, I know this is all over the place lol.

Questions for you:

– Have you guys heard of the Roman Empire Trend? Basically, people are asking the guys in their life how often they think about the Roman Empire, and most men think about it quite frequently. I asked DJ, and he said a few times a month!

– As summer comes to an end, what was the highlight of yours?

– Are you going to watch the Golden Bachelor? I cannot wait! This is the most excited I’ve been for a season in a LONG time!



A Beautiful Cleveland Wedding Weekend!

Good morning, friends! Hope you all are doing well. I am very eager to share this post. One of my lifelong best friends, Melissa, is married! And this post is all about that wonderful wedding weekend! I’m looking forward to reliving it all as I write and reminisce 😊.

On August 9th my sister Halston arrived in town! Even though she was bogged down with work during the weekdays, we enjoyed meals together in the evenings. The first night she arrived, we had burgers on the air fryer with a mix of regular and Japanese sweet potato fries. We also enjoyed a big salad with goat cheese, dried cherries, balsamic beet strips and a homemade citrus lemon dressing.

Since it’s tough for Quinn to really eat a salad, I gave her some mixed veggies with her burger and fries!

Play time!

My mom and Pete arrived in town August 10th right in time for my botched dinner lol. I was trying to make us pork tenderloin, but I accidentally got a loin because I didn’t know there was a difference. Ya live, ya learn. I cooked it all wrong, and it was dry as all-getout. Everyone was incredibly sweet and said it tasted great (but we allllll know the truth 😜). I served it with some potatoes from The Little Potato company which were actually amazing, and we had some old reliable bag salads (well, not old, you know what I mean 😝).

Just a girl and her sloth and her Grammy!

The morning of August 11th I made Quinn some egg waffles! These were easy peasy and tasty, I even had one myself.

I made a nail appt since I was in the wedding. The fam hung with Quinnie, and Grampy put her sandbox together while I was out of the house!

That evening was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The ceremony was at the stunning Severance Hall in Cleveland where the Cleveland Orchestra plays.

After getting the rehearsal down pat, we had dinner at Michaelangelo’s in Little Italy.

It was such a fun evening, and I loved getting to catch up with Melissa’s family and getting to know Michael’s (the groom’s) side of the family better!

I was basically coerced into giving an impromptu speech by one of Michael’s cousins, but I think it went pretty well! That was entirely out of character; I do not publicly speak on the fly in any circumstance, except, I guess, in this circumstance 😆.

The food was great, but I have to share specifically how yummy these cannolis were! I don’t even like cannolis usually, but these were top notch. And they also served various flavors of gelato- it was phenomenal.

I got back pretty late but still got a great sleep before heading back to Cleveland for the wedding day!!

All the bridesmaids, moms and Grandmas got ready together at the hotel beforehand.