Tuesday Treats & Reflections

Happy Tuesday!!!

Traditionally I do not post on Tuesday’s because well it just messes with my blogger mojo, but since it is the last day of the month I am excited to link up with two of my favorite bloggers Katie & Becky for a fun Tuesday post! So lets take a quick look into the past and recap March in a hurry, along with some sweet treats that happened along the way.

Take-Time-Tuesday-Feelin-Lucky-Edition Treat Yourself Tuesday

March started in a hurry with the second of my sisters baby showers and lots of family time. While I loved my travels and visits home it was nice to take a break and spend time in Illinois and not in the car.

Weekending IX

Brent & I have been taking some extra time to focus on US and spend a little more time together without the stress of wedding planning getting in the way. We have been working out together more and more & while in the past we have found it stressful and not so fun, we have recently found a good balance which is super nice!

I was also able to get out and do some running during the warmer weeks that we got around here. It was SO nice to get some extra fresh air, lace up my running shoes and put my metronome to good use. I am excited to start incorporating more running into my regular workout routine as the weather stabilizes.

Tuesday Treats

We were treated with some sweet baby snuggles when our friends Chris & Kristina came to visit. I still cannot get over how small and sweet baby B was. I could honestly hold her all day, it helped significantly that she was less than 10pounds! AND all those baby snuggles made me that much more excited for my sister to pop out that little nugget for me to spoil rotten!

Tuesday Treats

After all our traveling we definitely were not eating the best so we splurged on some supplements to kick start our spring cleaning. Brent had to stick to his old favorites of Optimum Nutrition, although I tried begged and pleaded for Advo Performance line, while I stocked up on my favorite AdvoCare products. There are SOOO many Advo products that I want to try but since $$ is tight going towards the wedding I have been sticking to my old faithfuls, that do the job GREAT!

Tuesday Treats

Talk about house divided 😉

 

Likely the biggest treat that we have given ourselves this month was the treat of our new gym membership!!!! We have officially gone to the new gym 4 times in the past 4 days with plans to go this morning once I press publish. Last night I tried out the Vinyasa yoga class and loved it!!! It was nice to take a “global” gym yoga class in a true studio with an instructor who did a great job. I will definitely be adding some of these yoga classes to my regular routine.

This month we also started our official WEDDING COUNT DOWN!!! I love this board & its fun/scary/stressful to take a day off every morning. I feel like I have a good handle on our wedding stuff but still each passing day I feel like I am missing something more. OH WELL at least we have a cute board 😉

Tuesday Treats

Yesterday I finally cashed in on Brents promise to new dresses. After our weekend flop of dress buying I hit Woodfield after work to check out a couple places. I checked out a few items at Macy’s but didn’t love anything so I headed to my faithful friend Express. WHY didn’t I just go there first?!? I love Express and that I can almost always find something that fits and looks great on, I don’t always love the price tag but thankfully all dresses were ON SALE!! SCORE!

Tuesday Treats

I found two dresses that I think will be great for the events that I have coming up this spring. Between these and the few in my closet I am feeling happier about my wardrobe options!

As it is the last day of march I hope that you can take some time to reflect on what this past month has given you and honor the treats in your life BIG & small!

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Weekending XI

Good Morning Beautiful Friends,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to spend some time doing what you like best!

Since moving to Arlington Heights Brent & I have belonged to a “global” gym that I have hated from day 1. It wasn’t a big deal as we were CrossFitting a few days a week so I never really went to the global gym unless absolutely necessary. Once we tapered off of CrossFit, mostly due to timing of the classes and in an effort to save $$$ for the wedding, I started to lift more with Brent at this black-hole of a gym we were lifting at. Neither of us loved it but it did the job… until I entered a different “global” gym and possibly fell in-love… with the LOBBY.

Yeah I walked in the door and liked the place just from the looks of the entrance, first impressions definitely matter! So Brent did some researching and we went for a “visit” to check the gym out on Friday. Thursday night I looked at Brent and said “SO what happens when you walk in and fall in love and want to get a membership right then??” and his response was “we will practice self-control and wait!!! we don’t need this right now…” famous last words! 

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Friday night we had a super fun date night to check out the gym, we walked around saw all the sights then were let loose to lift on our own. Brent & I looked at each other as we were lifting and said “ahhh peaceful” it was seriously like lifting in a spa compared to where we were working out before. It was a beautiful change of pace! After our workout we were sitting and chatting and Brent goes “I want it!!!!!!! Should we go sign up right now???” So for  ONCE I was the one who practiced self-control and made him wait and sleep on it.

Saturday I had a work event to go to in the morning, so I was up and out of the house by 8. My event was a bit of a bust so I was able to sit and chat it up with one of my coworkers and super sweet friend. We talked about everything and complained about drama, because thats what girlfriends do right?! While we both were super bummed that our event was a flop it was really nice to hang out on Saturday morning and get a jump start on my day.

Lately I have been loving this egg scramble of spinach, tomatoes and eggs. Delicious!

Lately I have been loving this egg scramble of spinach, tomatoes and eggs. Delicious!

When I got home I took Brent up on his shopping trip that he promised me a couple weeks ago so we headed out to the mall. BUT first he told me that the gym called to “sweeten the deal” so we decided that we would pack our gym bags and head there after we shopped. I didn’t find anything at the mall that I could 1. Afford 2. liked. UGH I hate that!!! Nothing worse than going shopping for something you want/need and finding nothing. But I did talk Brent into buying a new pair of tennis shoes which he desperately needed!

After our shopping trip, bust, we headed to the gym and signed up for the gorgeous place that I can now call home. I am so happy to have somewhere that won’t stress me out when I enter it and that has everything I am looking for in terms of equipment, classes and quality. PLUS it is CLEAN looks & feels clean. SWEET!!!

Saturday night we headed to my friends house for a little Beer & Basketball. It was super nice to chill with some friends, play with her sweet pup and enjoy an OBERON!!!! I can’t control my excitement for this beautiful beer returning to my summer life.

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This morning we slept in and had a lazy morning. I should say Brent slept and I caught up on this little blog. We did the usual Sunday stuff including church, groceries, food prep and gym. Nothing exciting on a Sunday and I couldn’t be happier!

So thats a wrap on this little weekend over here. A super relaxed a chill one but next weekend we have a lot in store so it was nice to have one more weekend of chill before life gets a little cray again!

Hope you enjoy the start to your week!

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Wedding Stationary – Wedding Wednesday

Hey Guys!

Are ya’ll ready for a wedding post? I promise I have a lot of wedding posts planned for the future but I want our wedding to happen before I share the details of some of the DIY & creative touches that we are doing…. Professional photos make everything look better 😉

Wedding Stationary

When I was working on figuring out what stationary to use for our save the dates and invitations I saw a Facebook ad for Minted.com. Now I was pretty skeptical about ordering something from an online website but I read the reviews, compared to other online wedding paper sites and deliberated… a lot…

In October we finished our Save the Dates using Minted. I was really happy with the timeliness of the online proof & the ease of creating exactly what [I didn’t even know] I wanted. But I was still worried, would the color look okay? would the quality be okay? would the weight be right? everything you could worry about went through my head. I was just so worried about them looking bad.

Wedding Stationary

Well they arrived at my house in a nice and well packed box & the quality was through the roof amazing. Brent & I were really happy with how they turned out so off they went to our friends & family. And in rolled in tons of complements on the quality, professionalism and personalization of the cards. Everyone loved them! every brides dream!!! 

When it came time for us to do our invitations I immediately went back to Minted. I saw some designs that I liked, fiddled, corrected, searched, saved, lamented, fiddled some more and after having a slight panic attack I decided to look other places. I went to different online websites and repeated the same process of searching, fiddling, correcting, saving, lamenting over each design. I never seemed to be happy with any of the designs.

Then I returned to Minted & found the one, it fit me, suited our style & the wedding and everything kind of fell into place. By this point I had bored Brent to death with the invitations so he just told me “do whatever you want” so I did!

Wedding Stationary

Minted did a great job of packaging everything you would need in an invitation into a pretty little customizable suite. If you needed directions, rsvp, table numbers (for some), escort cards (for some), envelopes, return address stickers, you name it they likely have it & matching your invitation.

Wedding Stationary

Now I am [trying] to be really frugal when it comes to this wedding & the costs so when I could do something to save a little extra I did. for example we skipped the directions cards & added addresses to the ceremony & reception on the back of the invitations. there are definitely things on Minted that they are trying to sell you that you don’t need or you can do yourself for less money, but the basics are amazing & at a great price!

Wedding Stationary

For our invitations I “splurged” and got the skinny-wrap return address labels. I did not get these for our save the dates but they really were the “cherry on top” of our invites & just polished off the whole envelope. Not to mention Minted does the addressing & printing on your envelopes for free!!! Talk about saving a ton of time & frustration!

Wedding Stationary

The one thing that put Minted ahead of the other wedding online stationary sites, to me, was the fact that they let you 100% customize your invitation/save the date/card to the exact way that you wanted it. Don’t like the font? change it! Want the date over to the right? move it! Want some extra words added here or there? you’ve got it! Cant change it on the demo? Put it in the comments and they will do it for you, perfectly!

We are getting feedback on our invitations and guys I have not heard anything negative at all. The comments we get are on the quality of the invitation, they are classic and gorgeous and the quality of the invitation makes them look & feel expensive without being over the top or gaudy (if thats your thing my apologies, I am sure your invitations are great!) Okay so obviously people aren’t going to bash them to my face, DUH, but we have gotten a lot of really positive feedback on the little details that Minted helps you achieve.

Wedding Stationary Floating_edited-1

I cannot say enough good things about the Quality, Professionalism, Polish & Product that we received through ordering our save the dates & invitations through Minted. Oh and the best part is the PRICE, I didn’t even mention it but you guys the price is hard to beat, and I shopped around promise! 

If you are looking for your next card, holiday greeting or are getting married and looking for some high quality product for a very affordable price, I encourage you to check out Minted. I would be shocked if you didn’t find something you loved & truly believe you’ll be able to find something that is as spectacular as your special day!

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This post is NOT sponsored by Minted in any way. I was just extremely happy with my experience with Minted and wanted to share that experience with you! There are referral links in this post (you’ll receive $25 off your order if you use the link!!!) I greatly appreciate your support to me and this blog. 

Weekending X

Happy Monday!

I don’t think I am ever happy for Monday, can’t we have an extra day of the weekend… please?!?! I guess I can’t really complain about this weekend though it was just what we needed.

Friday night I hit up the new Trader Joes in our area on my way home from work to grab dinner. It’s been the buzz around my clinic that the new TJ’s was going in and for good reason, it’s a really nice Trader Joes stocked with all the TJ specialties! I grabbed some salmon burgers and some fixings to make a nice Friday fish dinner.

Salmon Burger with a side of green beans!

Salmon Burger with a side of green beans!

Our romantic Friday date night included deep cleaning our apartment, vacuuming, scrubbing the floors and all the rest, for our friends who were coming over on Saturday… Nothing says romance like the overwhelming scent of Pinesol 😉

Saturday we woke up and headed to the gym. Ever have one of those days at the gym when all you want to do is lift but something (usually life) gets in your head and stresses you out to the point where you cannot lift any more? Well that happened to me on Saturday. It.Was.Bad. I couldn’t focus enough to safely lift and I knew what I had to do. So I dropped my bag with Brent & headed out the door with my metronome beeping for a run.

Weekending X

I didn’t know how far I was going to run but I knew I had to run until my head was clear, my tears were dry & my lungs-n-legs told me they were done. After about a mile I stopped, caught my breath and did some of my Pose falling drills to reset my legs & get my groove back. I ended up running a 5K and I was feeling on top of the world (you know when a good run does that too you?) then I got into our house & realized that I LOST MY KEY! I had grabbed my house key from my keychain when I left Brent at the gym so I could get into the house when I got home, and when I got home it was gone!!! Brent went out and found it while I got ready as we were on a schedule.

We headed to Coopers Hawk, one of our favorite places, to meet our friends Chris & Kristina for lunch. Chris & Brent went to high school together and him & Kristina live in Rockford, so when we all were living there we became good friends. Actually they let me stay at their house a couple nights a week when I was driving back and forth for work. Well in January Chris & Kristina had a baby girl but since I have been so crazy busy with family stuff I hadn’t had chance to meet her, so they decided to come out to us for the day. It was so much fun, lunch was great, we chatted and just caught up on life.

Appetizers at Coopers Hawk

Appetizers at Coopers Hawk

Chris & Kristinas Appetizer at Coopers Hawk

Chris & Kristinas Appetizer at Coopers Hawk

Shrimp Mediterranean Salad... Delicious!!

Shrimp Mediterranean Salad… Delicious!!

After lunch we headed back to our place for what promised to be a riveting match of UNO! When Brent & Chris were planning out the day Chris mentioned he would bring UNO, I honestly thought it was a joke but it ended up being the highlight of the day… well besides the baby snuggles. And I did get a lot of sweet baby snuggles! Baby B was being a little bit needy since she refused to sleep, so while we played UNO we had a few baby breaks to make her happy. After a few rounds of UNO we delt a hand that ended up lasting FOUR HOURS before we finally were just sick of playing. There were 3 times when someone had an UNO but then got slammed with a 15 card draw to get a red so then we were back at square one. It was intense, we moved from sitting to standing, to a few baby naps, and a few baby feeds. I don’t think Ive ever played a longer game of uno in my life AND stayed smiling the whole time. It was awesome!

ALL the sweet baby snuggles!!!

ALL the sweet baby snuggles!!!

We then said our goodbyes and headed out for “dinner”… Brent & I had a huge craving for something sweet, we have been trying to be really good about what we eat so a dessert treat was definitely in order. So our Saturday night dinner was a delicious bowl of FroYo!!! I can’t remember the last time we went and got FroYo and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Promise there is Yogurt under ALL THE TOPPINGS!!!

Promise there is Yogurt under ALL THE TOPPINGS!!!

Sunday was a relaxing “typical” Sunday filled with groceries, church and food prepping. On our way to get groceries I was in dire need of some caffeine so we stopped at Starbucks. Brent coined a new drink name the “Dirty Oprah” when he ordered the Oprah chai tea latte with an extra shot of espresso (dirty) the baristas and us thought it was pretty funny!

The Dirty Oprah

The Dirty Oprah

I was pleasantly surprised when my veggie heavy turkey chili leftovers was enough for most of our lunches this week and I didn’t have to prep anything.

Heres our super exciting meal plan for the week:
Breakfast: Egg Scrambles (Brent will eat em fried, I’ll eat em scrambled with spinach)
Lunch: Salad with deli turkey & turkey veggie chili
Dinner: Grilled Chicken & Roasted Zucchini Carrots & Mushrooms

Sunday evening we headed to the gym for a shoulders workout with our friend Rich. I usually do my own thing when Brent helps Rich workout but I wanted to do shoulders so while I sort of did my own thing at times it was nice to superset two machines and have a rest period too. After we did shoulders Rich wanted to do some legs so I decided to do a core workout. What I realized is my core is SUPER WEAK. Since moving from Rockford and having stopped GPP, mostly due to trying CrossFit & the gym that we workout at right now is not conducive to GPP (which make my heart cry!) my core workouts have significantly decreased and I have definitely felt the results.

New goal – work on your core Allison!!! On a positive note…. My shoulders are on point, even Brent mentioned that they were looking good 😉

Weekending X

I hope you all had a great weekend and have a fabulous start to spring this week!

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Linking up with Katie on this Marvelous Monday! 

Happy Saint Patricks Day!!

I just wanted to pop in today and wish you all a very happy Saint Patricks day!

Saint Patricks Day

Its strange to think that when I was little I would get pinched for not wearing green and now you are looked down upon if you’re not drinking something green.

So if you’re celebrating by pinching or drinking, do so safely &

May the Luck of the Irish be With You Always! 

Saint Patricks Day

Cheers!

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Weekending IX

Hi Guys!

Sorry for going a little M.I.A last week, with all the traveling, overcoming a cold/allergies & the time change I could not get my act together to do much more than the necessary stuff.

Lets flashback to a weekend ago and our last trip to Michigan for a month! We headed back to Ann Arbor for a weekend of fun.

Saturday we did some wedding stuff, like have our 90 day meeting with our venue, meet with the Priest who will be marrying us and work on our invitations. While it was nice & fun to check things off the never ending “wedding to do list” it was also very stressful and slightly dramatic. All I can say is I am glad it is over!!

Weekending IX

Saturday night we headed to an event for my sisters school. They have a silent auction every year and since we were in town we went out to support… or just eat & drink. The theme was masquerade so my step-mom got some fun masks for us all to rock. There was a lot of things being auctioned off, both through a live & silent auction.

Weekending IX

No wine for the Pregnant lady = more wine for me 😉

It was a nice time but the most memorable moment was my brother-in-law who was desperate to win a years worth of unlimited car-washes. He was in a (silent) bidding war with a few other anxious car-washers and at the last minute he thought he lost the one bid so quickly signed his name on the other set of car washes being auctioned. As they were counting down 1…0 I yelled “ERICH NO!!! YOU GOT IT” and at the buzzer he quickly scratched his name off the second sheet. However we weren’t sure if he had just won two of the same prize or if they would honor the fact that he scratched his name off. Needless to say the rest of the night he was slightly on edge, and worried that he just doubled his bid. Thankfully at the end of the night he only had to buy the one action item he wanted. PHEW!

Weekending IX

Sunday morning my step-mom & I finished going through the invitations so I could mail them off then I headed to my sisters second baby shower. My mom’s side of the family threw my sister a shower which was a really nice time. My grandma made a blanket for the baby with all of the handprints of our family members (aunts & uncles & cousins) and we showered my sister with lots of love for the munchkin that is about to change her life! My cousins had a lot of fun planning the games, I’ll spare you the details but to paraphrase…. they were interesting & creative!

My "I just mailed our invitations" face! #success

My “I just mailed our invitations” face! #success

Then it was time to head back to Illinois for a week of catch up!

Flash forward to Friday… Brent & my first weekend in seemingly forever where our plans were minimal and they didn’t include 8 hours of driving! Friday night we enjoyed dinner of roasted salmon & roasted shaved brussel sprouts. It was a yummy & relaxing night at home and knowing that on Saturday we had zero obligations was amazing!

Linking up with Katie on this Marvelous Monday! 

Saturday we had a pretty relaxing day of going to the gym, updating our Crate & Barrel gift registry, window shopping and grocery shopping. We skipped going out for St. Patricks day in Chicago so instead we made a nice dinner of grilled steak & roasted baby eggplant and enjoyed some wine and a dutch apple pie to celebrate Pi Day! It was a really nice and relaxing Saturday… Just what the doctor ordered!

Weekending IX

disclaimer - we only bought 1/2 a pie ;) #portioncontrol

disclaimer – we only bought 1/2 a pie 😉 #portioncontrol

Yesterday I had plans to meet Katie for yoga & breakfast. It was a GREAT yoga class, I swear the teacher knew I had a slight catch in my shoulder because she focused on shoulders and utilizing the musculature appropriately the whole class. I am notoriously hard on fitness professionals who name the wrong muscles or muscle actions, it really eats at me and I lose a lot of faith in their abilities, this yoga instructor did an amazing job at explaining & naming the muscles and their actions!!! She definitely got a gold star! I also loved that she moved the class to the wall and we did some inversion work, I am still a ways from perfecting any inversions but it was nice to work on them with direction in a class, rather than from my phone at home! Breakfast was super good & so nice to catch up with Katie!

Delicious Breakfast after an amazing Yoga class!

Delicious Breakfast after an amazing Yoga class!

The rest of Sunday was spent food prepping, working on our centerpieces, & going to church. Ya’ll i live an exciting life when I am not in a car 😉

Oh & I updated our chalkboard. I am pretty sure the last time I updated it was before Thanksgiving, the qoute was applicable all year ;)… I have been wanting to update this to a wedding countdown for WEEKS but never got around to it. So now that we are 90 days away I decided it was time!

Weekending IX

Now off to enjoy this amazing weather!

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Enchilada Turkey Chili

This enchilada turkey chili gives you a taste of an enchilada while filling you up with all the vegetables and flavors you won’t miss the cheese or tortilla! 

On Sunday when we hit the grocery store I knew I wanted to be able to make a big batch of something that wouldn’t take a lot of work and we could eat all week. With the weather continuing to be super cold I decided a very veggie heavy chili sounded amazing. I had some enchilada sauce in the fridge leftover from my last chicken enchilada bake (SO GOOD) and wanted to use that up, so when we were at the grocery store I went off that.

I really couldn’t tell you if this was going to turn out any good at all, but I just started throwing all the bits & bobs in the pot and hoped for the best. I knew it would be edible, just wasn’t sure if it would be shareable, you know one of those blogger meals that just don’t make it beyond the kitchen onto instagram 😉 Thankfully it was/is shareable and delicious!

I had intentions of topping this chili with some avocado but the avocado this week was $1.50 EACH and this wedding-budget sister won’t pay that much for her beloved avocados.
So if you have an avocado chop it up and throw it in, I bet it will be delicious!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:50]
The other great thing about this recipe is that with about 15 minutes of prep you get a HUGE pot of chili that will feed you for a whole week! We have been enjoying this for lunch & sometimes dinner this week and have made it to Thursday with enough for lunch & dinner tonight (and thats a huge feat in this household!)

Need another reason to try this recipe??? Well it is Paleo, Advocare 24 Day Challenge approved & grain-free! So if you follow any of these this chili is for you!

Enjoy!

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A 15 Hour Trip – Weekending IIX

Happy Monday!!

I was going to try and channel my inner Broccoli & sing you some sweet Guilligan’s Island theme song, because as I typed the title of this post that is what was playing in my head, but after a few attempts I realized I am just not that witty!

This weekend I headed home for the first of my sisters two baby showers. Brent headed to Rock Falls to celebrate his friend Shane’s 30th Birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY Shane!) so I headed to Michigan alone 😦 After a 40 minute delay through Chicago I flipped on some Jillian Michaels podcasts and put my driving eyes on.

A 15 Hour Trip

A quick stop at a truck stop just inside Indiana with the obligatory bathroom selfie & I was home free!

Saturday my dad & I headed to the jewelers so I could see the wax model of my wedding band. I was honestly so nervous to see what the wax looked like and I think I spent 10minutes just looking at the model and trying to imagine the blue wax as platinum bling! After the jewelers we headed across the street to see if our friends shop Pangborn to get a card for my sister, sadly they were not open but thankfully there was a real cute store front next door.

A 15 Hour Trip

We headed into Bed & Butter which very well could be my new favorite store ever, if only I had the money. They have super cute stationary which is not a surprise considering the owner also owns the stationary shop Rock, Paper Scissors but also have dinnerware, bedding, bath, baby, wall hangings and all the cute eclectic stuff that makes a house look extra amazing. Moral of the story… I want it all! I was able to find a super cute card & small gifts for my sister & the little bambino who will be arriving in April!

After falling in love we headed home and spent the afternoon celebrating Stephannie & baby S with family. It was a really nice relaxed shower, with easy & fun games. Mary bought a bunch of baby necessities and had us play “Price Is Right” and guess what the cost of each item was & the total price. It was funny to see how much different people put for items, & I think Stephannie was relieved that her total was too high!

A 15 Hour Trip

We showered Baby S with tons of gifts, snacked on Panera & dug into cookies, cake & ice cream. Our shower gift was a little bottle of champagne with the cutest quote!

A 15 Hour TripSomeone Special
Someone Dear
Someone New
Is Almost Here…
When You Hear
It’s A Boy or Girl
Open Your Bottle and
Send Out A Cheer!!

Once the shower was over we checked the weather and decided that I should head back to Chicago rather than risk going back Sunday to avoid potential snow storms. So literally less than 24 hours after getting in my car to drive to Ann Arbor, I was back in my car driving away.

The benefit of my quick trip was being able to spend Saturday night and Sunday at home & being able to prepare for the week without feeling rushed!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend & marvelous start to the week!! I am hoping to be back a few more times this week with some recipes & treats!

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