all the things · family life

Life Lately

I’m not really sure how a month has gone by already. It feels like a blur, but could be chronicled by the food baked, so let’s start there.

Last month, Mark and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. Not entirely sure how that happened, but we have now been married longer than we had dated (including engagement). Normally, we would have gone out and put a dinner on the credit card (the occasion deserved a nice night out, right?), but since G still depends on my for bedtime (it will be weird the day she stops nursing – I won’t know whether to dance a celebratory jig, or be sad that she no longer needs me), and since we were down to 1.25 income (apparently, this is the paragraph of parentheticals – I was working as a contract employee until the end of June, just 6 hours per week, hence the .25), we opted to eat dinner found in Ashley Rodriguez’s Date Night In book post-bedtime.

If you haven’t noticed, she is by far my most favorite chef at the moment. She’s a down to earth, mama of 3 who resides in Seattle and does amazing stuff up in the Pacific Northwest. Either way, her recipes, whether in the book or on her blog, have not failed me. They really are perfect. Really. And her cookbook is a great read, for reals.

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Tangent aside, we opted for the “Our Burger” meal. Burger with homemade bun, onion rings and a chocolate malt? I’m not sure how you can say “I love you” any better. It was delicious.

The next big event was the fourth of July and I used that weekend to test run my pigs in a blanket with homemade crescent roll dough and rainbow chip cupcakes for G’s first birthday party. Unfortunately, I failed to obtain any pictures, but again, delicious. (And this is why I am training for a half marathon – to burn all. of. the. calories.) The best part of this weekend? The strange absence of fireworks which meant, we could sleep!

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We then went to our hometown to celebrate both Mark and his twin’s 30th birthday (what?!) and little Miss’s first birthday. Of course, cake was a must. For G’s birthday celebration with my folks, we ate a wonderful green tea cake from U Knead Sweets – a delightful little bakery located in Columbia, MO just down the road from Mizzou. Being Korean, this was the perfect sweet/ not sweet.

For the twin’s dirty thirty (which, mind you, was rather clean, except for all of the yard work and plumbing work they/ we did… and the number of Manhattans consumed… but the later was expected), I made a gluten free carrot cake using, you guessed it, a recipe from notwithoutsalt.com.

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I have noticed that Andrea’s gluten free flour blend is the best cup-to-cup replacement flour. I literally took AshRod’s recipe, and substituted the flour. The result was fabulous.
IMG_2306.2015-07-12_014057This cake didn’t last very long – which is always a good thing! The frosting was a dairy-free cream cheese frosting too. Yay for tofutti!

Next up on the crazy July train was G’s official first birthday. I seriously cannot believe she is already a year old – walking, asking “what’s that?” and constantly on the go. I am still her favorite person, but she gets so excited to see daddy now.

Per Korean doljanchi tradition, we dressed her in her hanbok and had her select her “future” from a handful of objects. She made the wise decision and choose the red string symbolizing long life. It couldn’t possibly be related that she tends to gravitate toward anything red…

IMG_3740.2015-07-19_133049That afternoon, we invited a number of good friends and family over to our backyard for a summer “picnic”, complete with the actual pigs in a blanket, fruit salad and caprese salad – all of which are some of G’s favorite snacks.

And of course, cake. I made, once more, AshRod’s rainbow chip cake, but turned them into cupcakes with a tiny 3″ smash cake. G loved it (and so did we)!

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I may or may not have cropped myself out…

Now, we enter into the season of truly being on one income. My mission, of late, has been trying to figure out where expenses can be cut. With that, I encourage you to take a look at your cell phone bill – you are often paying way more than you need to! We just changed plans to a data share plan and upgraded phones while slashing our monthly bill! So, take the time and do it. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

Well, until I am inspired again, that’s it for now!

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