Royal Wedding Slumber Party


Any other crazy people out there who woke up early to watch the Royal Wedding!?


My friend Erica invited me over for a Royal Wedding slumber party, and I was super excited to go. Especially since hubby wasn’t particularly interested in waking up early to watch the festivities. lol


But let’s rewind to Thursday night since that’s when the party kicked off.





Erica’s home was decorated super cute for the special occasion.


I brought over macarons and the Veggie Girl cookies I got in the mail earlier that day (the ones Bailey tried to steal! that dog!). (I know, I know…the macarons are FRENCH! But we don’t have an English bakery and we all really like these macarons)


So, we sipped wine and noshed on cookies and macaroons whilst catching some of the last minute news about the wedding.


Like any good slumber party, we stayed up a little too late chit-chatting. 4:00am came way too fast, and I think I only ended up with roughly 2 hours of sleep. Yikes!


Luckily, we had plenty of coffee.



After waking up enough to be able to think straight, we changed into dresses, big hats, and tiaras to watch the wedding.


I also brought over yummy blueberry muffins for breakfast!


I had so much fun watching the royal wedding with my friends. It was so fun to see everything with people who were as excited about the event as me! :)

As expected, the wedding was absolutely beautiful. I saw a lot of tweets about how this wedding was the kind of happy-occasion, fairy tale that the world needs now, and I agree. Yay for happy times!

And yay for vacation days. I was so happy I took the day off from work, so I didn’t have to go into the office. Phew!

Next up…a fabulous brunch. The festivities didn’t stop here! Check back later for more of my Royal day off!

Did you do anything fun to celebrate the Royal Wedding?

Bailey Takes the Cake…Err…Cookies


On Thursday, I received a special package. At first I had forgotten what it was.


Per the usual, Bailey inspected it.


And then he decided to try to help us open it…




And then, he did something completely unexpected. He took off with the whole box! I mean, he picked up the box with his jaws ‘o steel and carried the thing away! He took it to one room.


Then he passed us as he went for another room. “Look at me mom! Lookie what I haaave!”


At first I thought maybe he’d take it to his basket of toys…


…but he finally gave it back to us.


And as far as what was inside the box…? I got my very first Veggie Girl baked goods! I won these in a silent auction for Mara who was raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

These became part of a special evening! I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it! I have so many fun photos to share…more to come next time! ;) As you may have already guessed, it’s related to the Royal Wedding!

Reader question: Did you watch the Royal Wedding live, whether you had to stay awake late or wake up early or not?

Beer + Cupcake Bloggie Birthday


I had a very fun, and very special event to do Tuesday night.


This photo pretty much sums it up – beer…and cupcakes. A match made in heaven, my friends. ;)


Kristien organized a big blogger get-together at Kennedy’s to celebrate blogger birthdays for Caitlin, Michelle, and Lori.


We first headed upstairs for some eats and drinks.


I had the shepherd’s pie because the menu read “Guiness gravy”, and I thought that sounded pretty awesome. I got green beans for a side. I also selected an Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Copper for my drink of choice.


Jen was a doll and brought cupcakes from Cupcrazed for dessert! I had the vegan vanilla cupcake and it was wonderful.

After dinner we went downstairs to play trivia. I don’t know why I like playing trivia because I’m actually quite horrible at it. But, I generally find it to be a fun activity. I don’t know many answers, but every once in awhile my knowledge comes in handy. Like that time I played with co-workers and no one knew the answer to: “this person’s guest appearance on a children’s TV show was not aired because their outfit was deemed too racy.” DUH! Katy Perry! And who swept in and saved them? Moi. That’s right! Sure, I didn’t know any of the answers related to the sports questions…or history questions…or…ok most of the other questions. But, I had the answer when they needed it! ;)


Allison, me, and birthday girl Caitlin.


And me with the other two birthday girls – Michelle and Lori!

If you haven’t read Lori’s engagement story yet, check it out!

Reader question: Do you do trivia? Which category are you best and worst at?

Seedy Surprise


I hope everyone is off to a fantastic week so far!


After my fabulous oatmeal breakfast, I re-heated some of the veggie lentil soup I made in a big batch on Sunday for lunch.


I know a lot of people don’t like to do soups for meals, but I adore them. My only stipulation is that I must have some sort of carb with it, preferably in the form of whole grain toast with a dab of real butter. Crackers are ok, but not nearly as satisfying to me. I need something I can really chew on. For this particular meal, I re-baked a frozen Twisted Sista bagel and it was perfection!




I went to a fabulous Zumba class Monday night. I didn’t teach, but I really love going to classes of fellow instructors. I always learn a lot and have a great time.

My favorite songs of the class were:

  • Forget You
  • Party People
  • El Truco


Hubby had dinner ready when I got home – kosher, all-natural hot dogs on whole wheat buns, steamed broccoli, corn, and vegetarian baked beans.


And remember those seedlings I planted on Earth Day? I decided to try my hand at planting some seeds, too….lazy-gardener style. ;) Most of these packets said to start the seeds indoors, but I stuck them straight in the ground. We’ll see how that strategy works.

Veggie seeds planted:

  • jewel-toned beets
  • tri-color green beans
  • pattypan squash
  • tri-color squash/zucchini

I planted the beets and beans in my square foot garden, along with the seedlings. I actually planted these same beets last year and though they sprouted ok, they soon disappeared after. I think some critters in the yard got to them. I also planted these green beans last year, although late in the season, and actually managed to get a few to eat. This year, I’m starting the beans earlier, and I’m going to try watering them more. I don’t think I watered the garden enough last year, which led to lower yields.

The squash…sigh. The squash. If you know anything about square foot gardens, then you know that they’re not exactly conducive to growing squash. Most plants in a square foot garden grown in 1 square foot. I believe most squash plants grow to 2-3 feet in diameter. Now, I’ve seen diagrams for squash grown up a netting fixed to the back of the Square foot garden, but I already have tomatoes for my “tall plants,” and I don’t have another box for more. So…I actually don’t have a place for squash. I do however have this odd circle area in the middle of the yard that blooms with daffodils and tulips in the spring. Since those have already bloomed, I planted a couple squash seeds in that circle area to see if anything comes up. Did I mention the circle area consisted mostly of red, Carolina clay? Yea…should be interesting.

It will be a real surprise to see anything actually growing outside of the square foot garden, but I’m hopeful.


I also planted a couple herb seeds (Italian parsley and tarragon) and some spreading petunias. Just like the other seeds, I didn’t start them indoors. I stuck them straight into a couple pots and other areas outside of the house.

*crossing fingers, but not holding breath*

So what do you think? Will any of the seeds grow? Perhaps I should take bets. Over or under? lol :P

Eat Like a Rastafarian


Here’s to the start of a new week friends! Let’s make this one count!


I haven’t been eating nearly as much oatmeal lately as I used to and I’ve started missing it.


Thusly, I made some chocolate oats with rolled oats, unsweetened cocoa powder, sliced almonds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. I used a drizzle of real maple syrup for a sweetener.


I topped the bowl with a Not So Sweet Amaranth cookie for good measure. ;)


If you’ve read my twitter or Facebook page, you probably know about my semi-obsession with the TV show No Reservations / Anthony Bourdain. Anthony’s show opens my eyes to the eating cultures around the world. Well, it opens me up to culture overall, not just eating, but specifically focused around food.

One interesting thing I learned recently is that the Rastafarian diet sounds like it’s somewhat similar to what I strive for. Actually, their diet is very close to a vegan/whole food diet. On Anthony’s show for a visit to Jamaica, I learned that the Rastafarians follow a diet called Ital. An Ital diet is one that consists of clean and unprocessed foods. Apparently, they avoid salt, chemicals, meats, and oils…among other things. Source – Click here to read more about the Rastafarian diet. So fascinating!

Have a great week everyone! :)

Who have you been surprised to learn eats like you? Or visa versa?

Easter + Amaranth Experimenting


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.


Our Easter bunny came Saturday night while we were all sleeping.



There were lots of goodies waiting for us at brunch.


Post-brunch, we took Bailey on a walk.

I took a bunch of photos of flowers around the neighborhood.

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Spider!!!! EEK!

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Later on, we had Easter lunch instead of dinner, since hubby and I had to head home later in the day.


Hubby’s mom put together a feast including roast turkey breast, fennel, mashed potatoes, cauliflower, stuffing bites, and salad.


She even got me a little Easter present.


I thought it looked better on Bailey, though. Can you hear him complaining, “Mo-oooooom! What are you doing to me? Don’t make me wear the ears!”


What a cutie pie!


Hubby and I spent the car ride home talking about food for dinner and the week ahead. I’ve fallen off the wagon as far as preparing foods on Sunday (Sunday Prep Day anyone?), but I want to get things back in order. I’m really sandwiched-out, so my new pan is to make a big soup no Sunday and eat on it during the work week. Soup and a nice piece of heart, whole grain toast is one of my favorite meals. It’s easy, affordable, and filling.


I’ve been pretty disappointed by the soups offered during lunch hours at restaurants nearby, so the solution…make my own! I can make way better soups than they can, plus I can tailor them to my taste buds.

On this Sunday, I made a giant batch of vegetable lentil soup. I originally wanted to just make a vegetable soup – a class fave of mine. But, I added lentils to make the soup more filling, since I’ll be eating it as an entree. I need to write up a recipe, because this one is a definite winner! Full of tons of veggies, with a light flavor, and satisfying thanks to those French green lentils. Mmm…


Remember that Amaranth flour I got a couple days ago? I’ve been really excited about using it in a kitchen project, so I decided to test out some new cookies with my new whole grain flour.

Upon opening the flour, I noticed an interesting smell. The flour smelled kind of like…grass! Yes, like the kind of grass that grows outside. Very odd! I thought maybe the scent would disappear after I mixed the flour with other ingredients and baked it off. Nope…the resulting cookies even tasted kind of like grass…or at least…they tasted like how grass smells.


I love amaranth flour for its whole grain qualities and nutritional benefits, but the taste on its own is something I think would take getting used to. I thought I may be able to use it solo like I do with my fave – SPELT! But, my new plan of action with the amaranth flour is to use it with other whole grain flours to create multigrain goodness.

I’m thinking of putting amaranth into:

  • breads
  • cookies
  • pancakes
  • cobblers
  • anything you bake with four!

But next time, I’ll use amaranth flour as maybe 25-33% of the total flour. ;)


PS: I tried out this cookie recipe with a couple slight variations, and wouldn’t you know…they look just like dough balls! The texture was sort of dough ball-esque, too, but nothing beats the original!

Have you ever tried Amaranth (in any form – flour, seed, etc.)? What did you think?

What’s your favorite flour?

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