Baby Stuff, Baking, and Time with Friends

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who shared some words of wisdom with me and answered my questions. I took much of your advice:
-Huggies sensitive wipes (448 count) were purchased.
-I picked out three nursing tanks from Target: two of these (same ones Liz likes) and one of these.
-We bought two more crib sheets; they were only $9.99, and since the bed converts to a toddler’s, I’m sure they’ll get used eventually.
-More disposable diapers (Pampers Swaddlers most likely) are needed. It sounds like the poops early on are so nasty, we won’t want to deal with cleaning the cloth diaper inserts.
-I may freeze some meals, or maybe double up on some recipes I make in these next few weeks that freeze well. I also want to bake a couple dozen healthy muffins for breakfast.

I had a very lovely weekend and did a decent job taking photos. Weekend recap starting…now.

Brody’s coworkers had a little get-together on Friday night to celebrate our upcoming bundle of joy. It was super low-key and basically a good reason to have everyone hang out, eat good food, and drink.
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Kids were welcome, so obviously O-Dub (aka Owen, who is 6.5 months!) attended the soirĂ©e. He is such a happy, chill baby – plus he apparently likes the Blackhawks and Brody.

After grading for a couple hours Saturday morning, Brody and I took the dogs to the park. For how nice it was (besides the humidity), it was a quiet walk. The pups were stinky after two days at daycare this week, three trips to the dog park, and just general dog scent. They both got baths and a brushing, and now we have clean, soft puppies.

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Moose’s hair/fur doesn’t dry well; Brody gave the hair dryer a shot. Moose was kind of into it, but it would’ve taken at least twenty minutes to dry him completely.

Saturday afternoon included some intense nesting (hanging of baby clothes, putting away of blankets and odds and ends, and acquiring of more baby clothes), grocery shopping, dropping off of cardboard boxes at the dump (they were taking over the garage), and some baking.

The large vat of strawberries from Costco stares at me every time I open the fridge, and as much as I love them, the acidity gets to me. I headed to Smitten Kitchen for some meal planning and found this recipe.

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Considering I have never made biscuits before and don’t really know what it means to overwork dough, I was quite impressed with myself. They are the best the day off, and rather than eat all eleven myself, I gave two to a neighbor (who gave me the baby clothes) and two to the couple we met for dinner later that night.

Speaking of dinner, our jam-packed day ended with a casual evening out at Ale Asylum with our friends Andrew and Melissa. I ordered the spicy black bean burger, and it was so good. The chipotle mayo played a key role in the burger’s success. We luckily landed a table outside and stayed until 9:30pm chatting. Brody and I recognize it may be a little bit more difficult to see our friends and enjoy dinners out in a few weeks, so we’re taking advantage of these opportunities now.

My interest in baking and strawberries continued into Sunday when I made waffles topped with strawberries (duh), unsweetened coconut, and real maple syrup.

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I made one for Brody too, but he ran five miles outside and was a sweaty mess when he got done as it was (and still is) very humid. The smell of baked dough wasn’t very appealing – it looks like breakfast is already made for me tomorrow!

While browsing Smitten Kitchen’s blog, I had also found this vegetable-heavy recipe. Many of her recipes are more involved (ingredient and skill-wise) than I typically go for. However, I can handle chopping veggies. To be honest, I find cutting up fruit and veggies very relaxing. Meat? That’s another story.

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To appease my husband, I omitted the kalamata olives and will add them to my own servings. Isn’t it so pretty? It’s going to taste delicious next to chicken sausages on the grill. Also, you may notice there is feta cheese in this salad. It is made from pasteurized milk, so I feel safe consuming this soft cheese.

Now I sit here with Brody, on our back patio, with our feet up, waiting for the chicken sausages to be put on the grill.
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Not a bad way to end a great weekend.

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Monday, Monday

“So good to me.”

I know a handful of older rock songs from my childhood. My dad loved music from the 60s and 70s, and as he drove me to and from ballet five days a week, that’s the music we listened to. This includes “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas.

How was your weekend? Did you go out, socialize, eat too much, drink too much, or stay up late? Or, was it a relaxing, rejuvenating two days? Mine was the perfect mix of both.

Saturday was Brody’s birthday, and since we had guests coming in to town and other plans Saturday night, Brody’s birthday dinner happened on Friday. He requested pan-style pizza.

There are lots of recipes out there that mimic Pizza Hut’s pan pizza. I found one, bought the ingredients I was missing, and got to work right after school.

Surprisingly everything turned out! I used my Pampered Chef stonewear deep baking sheet and ended up baking the dough without toppings for five-ish minutes before loading it with a chunky tomato sauce, Italian sausage, pepperoni, onions, and cheese.

Post-pizza, I passed out on the couch at 8:30pm while Brody watched Grosse Pointe Blank. I was the life of the party!

We had friends from Chicago come visit this weekend. Adam and Megan arrived around noon on Saturday, and with empty bellies, we hit up The Alchemy for food and beer (obviously none for me). Last time I ate there I had the Matilda sandwich – I passed that recommendation on to Megan and she got it (and loved it). I had the vegetable grilled cheese and devoured it. Brody and Adam each ordered the pork sliders.

Post-lunch, we visited Ale Asylum. The three of them drank delicious hoppy beer (can you tell I miss it a little?) such as Hopalicious, Satisfaction Jacksin, and Ballistic while I sipped water and Diet Coke.

Post-drinking, we ran home to let the pups out and then went to Cooper’s for dinner. I had the fish and chips – not the healthiest (actually quite unhealthy) but it was delicious and I didn’t stuff myself.

Good food and beer = happy people!

Now for the best part of the weekend: the Avett Brothers concert!

The concert was at the Orpheum on State Street in Madison which is where we saw Trampled By Turtles two weekends ago. The line to get in was all the way down the block to Noodles. Once we got in line, though, it moved quickly. Inside we luckily found an area to stand/sit and enjoyed the show. They were amazing performers and so much fun. Even though I only recognized about a fourth of their songs, I was still bouncing, dancing, clapping, or swaying along to everything.

And because this post is getting a little word heavy, I’ll wrap up Sunday in a list: Woodman’s to grocery shop, breakfast of pancakes and bacon and baking and cooking (details coming later).
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It also involved visiting open houses, napping, reading of The Good Soldiers, and some eating interspersed through all of that.

The weekend was the perfect mix of activity and relaxation and time with Brody, friends and myself. I was ready to tackle the day today having had such a great weekend.

I hope you also had a wonderful weekend!

Coming soon…tuna salad recipe and a banana bread recipe.

Questions:
What kind of beer do you like?
Who have you seen in concert recently?
What’s your perfect weekend like?

Weekend Where, What, and Why

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Where? Our family room
What? A lot is going on: JP relaxing, Bridget making faces at Callie, and Scoop feeding his son Mason
Why? We had just gotten back from lunch at Graze and the boys were hanging out before going on a private brewery tour at Karben4

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Where? On the couch in our family room
What? Mason (Booger Face) and me
Why? Because he’s so darn cute (even with the green snot) and I need practice with babies

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Where? Ale Asylum
What? Private brewery tour (which was very special because they don’t officially start offering tours until February)
Why? This was a late Christmas present for Brody (as was the tour at Karben4) – it was awesome and we learned a lot

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Where? Ale Asylum tasting room for dinner
What? Vegetable quesadillas
Why? I needed some veggies – it hit the spot

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Where? Orpheum
What? Trampled By Turtles performing
Why? Our friends from MN (Scoop and Reagan) are neighbors with the lead singer and they make “crunchy” tunes

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Where? Orpheum for the Trampled By Turtles concert
What? Bridget and I unsuccessfully taking a picture
Why? Because we’re friends and we wanted proof we hung out this weekend

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Where? Our kitchen
What? Making a lemon loaf (aka fat loaf) with Bridget
Why? Because we obviously hadn’t consumed enough calories (although mine didn’t come from alcohol) – there were four sticks of melted butter and eight eggs in two loaves this recipe made

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Where? Our kitchen stovetop
What? Dinner (a Wine and Recipe recipe) for JP, Bridget, Brody and me
Why? We like to eat…a lot – especially when hungover and/or tired