An Entire Day of Best Friend Love

G’morning! Hope your weekends left you energized and ready for this week 🙂

Catching up on weekend posts? This weekend I:

Created my 2010 Thanksgiving Menu

I played Bunco, went to a drag show, and went to an awesome spin class!

This weekend, I also spent an entire day with my besties, Kim and Destiny!

I’ve mentioned on the blog before that Kim is getting married next year, and last month she asked D and I to be bridesmaids! Well, Saturday morning was reserved for trying on bridesmaids dresses!

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After trying on several styles:

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In several colors:

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We found the PERFECT color and style for everyone. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! The dresses are so very cute, too – for bridesmaids dresses.

The bridesmaids + bride:

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I couldn’t help but think back to my wedding. Kim’s pretty laid back about it all, but knows what she wants. It’s easy to let other people tell you what you should do, and Kim’s doing a good job of keeping her voice heard – she is the bride, afterall!

While the rest of the girls headed to lunch and shopping, I met up with Shane and his grandma! Both of their birthdays were this month, so some celebrating was in order 😀

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Coincidentally, his grandma lives in the city where we were trying on dresses, so I just met them there at the restaurant, Red Lobster…which had this many –> 0 vegetarian options. Heh. I was about to order the broccoli and baked potato when I asked the waitress if this ever happens, and she recommended the lobster pizza without lobster.

Works for me!

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It was very tasty – a bit greasy – but  I ate all but two little slices!!

And a side salad:

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The food was good, but it was awesome catching up with Shane’s grandma. She’s such an amazing person. She’s a yoga instructor, practices yoga every day, eats different food (like nutritional yeast and whatnot,) and has been a pescatarian for over 30 years. AKA – we had a lot to chat about 🙂

After lunch, I met back up with the girls for what else, but a wine tasting!!

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To Kim – congratulations!!!

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After sampling quite a few pours, we each bought what seemed like a cart full, and then headed to the hotel that Kim was staying (since she lives in Wisconsin) to hang out a couple more hours.

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Since I only live about an hour away, I didn’t get a hotel, and when Kim and her fellow Wisconsinite bridesmaids went out for the night, Dest and I headed on home.

Starving, and not wanting to make dinner, I swung by Moe’s on the way home for a whole grain veggie burrito:

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These are fantastic. Don’t know why I don’t get Moe’s more often. Welcome to Mooooeee’s!

It was such a great day all in all. I definitely think part of healthy living is having a few good friends to share your thoughts, feelings, and good times with. Do you agree?

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Well I’m going to go get geared up for spin. I’ve really been loving spin classes lately, can ya tell? 🙂 It’s such an awesome form of cardio.

I’ve already gotten in my pre-spin class breakfast with my go-to pre workout breakfast as of late:

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So good, so light, and so fueling for a morning workout!

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How’s the Monday outlook for you? Hopefully not too stressful! Hope you guys have short weeks this week too. I’m not working at the BIC this week, but I’m still training clients and playing volleyball.

Go Away Sickness, I’ve Got Plans!

After a solid 11 hours of sleep, I woke up this morning feeling much better and with a fever of only one degree higher than normal!

 

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This is fantastic because…

 

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The Jingle Bell 5K is today!! I know, I know. You guys are probably thinking more rest is in order, and I agree. However, there are several reasons why I’m thinking about running the race anyway:

  1. I feel better than I did yesterday!
  2. I had to drop out of the race last year
  3. The race is only 5 minutes away from my house – on foot
  4. The start time is at 1:00 pm

Yesterday involved little movement. At work, I was actually thankful no one stopped in to inquire about the gym. Once I picked up my race packet and headed home, I remained horizontal for the rest of the night watching VH1’s Entourage marathon. I tried walking Niko <—bad idea. I tried doing laundry <—bad idea. Ergo, I gave in and gave my body what it was loudly requesting –>REST! <—good idea 😉

Plus, my appetite was no where to be found yesterday!! It was craziness. And every time I did eat a little something, I experienced more stomach pain.

 

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I wanted nothing more than to demolish this Fresh Market Vegetarian Pizza!!!

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I didn’t get very far…

Luckily, my stomach troubles didn’t get in the way of the husband’s birthday on Friday.

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While Shane was at work, I was up to birthday mischief!

I think this is his favorite present I’ve ever gotten him. Ever.

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He’s thanked me at least 10 times this weekend. It’s the G25 wheel and clutch/shifter for car games.

Fast forward 5 hours of Shane playing Need for Speed, and it was wine time!

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We caught the very last rays from the sun as it was heading toward the west.

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No, Niko! That’s my wine!

Clarabelle always gives us the stinkeye when she’s the only one not on the back patio.

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After having one small pour on the patio, I took Shane to a little wine cafe here in town called, A Renee’s.

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They have a wine shop attached to it – my favorite wine shop – and this year they opened a cafe!

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While there, we split a cab franc and a petite syrah.

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I loved the syrah! I must buy a bottle soon!

For dinner, we headed to Baxter’s, Shane’s favorite steak restaurant here in town.

 

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It’s a pretty snazzy restaurant located next to the airport.

 

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This is where my stomach started talking to me. However, it didn’t stop me from eating a roll and a half and ordering the only vegetarian thing on the menu:

 

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Salad – imagine that! 😉 It was a delicious salad with apple and smoked gouda, though.

By this point, I wanted nothing more than to end the night with some half caff coffee.

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The perfect way to finish off an indulgent night!

I’m sure glad my sickness waited until the end of the night to rear its ugly head. The weather also did a 180! On Friday it was in the 70’s and today, the high is only 40 something… That will sure make for a collllld run this afternoon! Better bundle up 😀 And after the run, my family is coming up for another birthday celebration for Shane! Hear that sickness? Go away, I’ve got plans 😀

Hey…I think that’s my appetite!! Better go test it out with some breakfast 🙂

Homeboys at Dance Parties

Hi guys!! 🙂

I made it!IMG_0612

With a little help

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from my friends!

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This was right after Destiny gave me stop and go instructions to park in a tiny parallel spot. Yep…not good at that either. Shoot! And also insert a picture of all of you for your fab advice on big city drivin’ 😉

I got to Destiny’s house a couple hours before Kim, and our plans were to go to Trader Joe’s, but Kim didn’t want to miss that trip. So we just hung around for a few hours, talking, laughing, and waiting.

When Kim arrived, we were all gabbin’ it up in the kitchen. By this point, we were pretty hungry, and planned to go to dinner first. But then, Kim said she had a question for us – if we’d be her bridesmaids!!! Of course we screeched, jumped up and down, hugged, and then opened an obligatory glass of red:

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By this time, we were starved! Destiny had never had Indian food, and she wanted to go with me since I have *some* knowledge. We went to Khyber pass

 

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And there was a buffet – for dinner – on a Friday night! Awesome. This ensued:

 

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Plus two big pieces of naan. If my stomach were a balloon, it would have popped guys. I was that full.

Contemplating what to do next, we were all too full to be in public, so we put on our jammies and headed back for a night of cards, dance parties, and tunes.

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I had a Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat – yum! But honestly nothing else would fit in my tummy!

The playlist of the night ranged anywhere from 112 to Lil Wayne to Glee, until Dest’s bf couldn’t take it anymore and added Country to that list. However, the theme song of the night remains, homeboy:

It doesn’t get old, does it?! … Don’t answer that 😉

I was pretty tired from running 8 miles, traveling, and being on the go, but I managed to stay up until 1 or so 😉

—-

Now all the sudden I’m hungry past the point of no return again! I’m the only one up right now and I think I’m going to go find a plan for coffee and breakfast. Story of my life.

Today’s plan includes shopping, dress trying on (for Kim!) picking up race packets, and Trader Joe’s – since we didn’t make it yesterday 🙂 FUN day!

I hope you have a great Saturday!

What type of music do you listen to when you get together with your closest friends? It’s usually rap when I’m with my girls!

Bitter and Sweet

Right as I headed to work yesterday at the gym for a few hours, the rain stopped and the clouds parted. So it made for a sweet sunny view from inside the gym 😉 I knew it was still bitterly cold with the wind blowing the trees around though 😉

On the workout front, I’d planned yesterday as a rest OR cross training day. I suppose it was more cross training than rest.

Activity involved:

Walking Niko for a quick 15 minutes before work

 

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Riding the stationary bike at the gym for an easy 35 minutes while I read my book

 

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A little yoga to stretch out my tight quads and chest

And hours upon hours of pro-style golf on some pretty sweet courses in Hawaii

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Oh wait, that’s Tiger’s activity for the day;) Sidenote: whenever Shane and I play a game together, our “guy’s” name is Paine…Shane + Paine =cPaine. Pretty sweet right? haha Sadly, when I was directing our guy, he played like crap. I was kinda bitter 😉

It’s been quite some time since Shane and I have stayed in on a Saturday night playing video games. But when can I say? The new Tiger is pretttty sweet🙂

Meanwhile, there was dough a-rising:

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And sauce a-cooking:

 

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Pizza night! But pizza takes a long time to make when making the dough and sauce from scratch, so we had a pre-pizza-meal:

 

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This has become one of the husband and my favorite things to do in the evening – enjoy appetizers + wine + conversation.

homemade pico and guac:

 

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Delicious manchengo cheese:

 

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And expensive, fancy wine crackers:

 

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Does anything really beat a Ritz cracker? Don’t answer that… They’re good!

Now back to the pizza. For the dough, I used Kath’s recipe, which is the best crust I’ve made ever. Ever ever ever.

 

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It’s better than any of the premade ones too, obviously.

For the sauce I chopped up a mixture of cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes, simmered them in a pan with a little EVOO + chopped garlic for about 15 minutes, and then added a splash of red wine vinegar, a 1/4 c. fresh basil, s&p, oregano, and about a 1/4 c. of tomato paste, brought it to a boil, and then simmered for another 15 minutes.

 

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SO easy to make at about the same cost as jarred sauce, WITHOUT weird, scary, unknown corn ingredients.

I was inspired by Jenna’s zucchini and ricotta pizza, and decided to use her method of grating a whole zuchinni to be used as my topping:

 

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And Shane had cheese and pepperoni.

Yummm

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Looking forward to leftovers today 😀

And now…I’m about to leave for a 10 mile run. In the bitter cold.It’s 38 degrees!!! Not so sweet…as I’m sitting here in a fluffy robe in the kitchen 😉

And with that, I’m off.

What’s your favorite cracker? You know, I love the fancy wine crackers, and I love Mary’s (Gone) Crackers, and I love Dr. Krackers, but nothing beats a good old Ritz!!

Anniversary Weekend

G’moooooorning! Thanks for all the anniversary wishes, guys. It’s not until Monday but who doesn’t love celebrating early ?? 🙂

I loved reading all of your Friday fill in the blank anticipations!! I hope everyone’s Fridays lived up to your standards 😉

Mine did! By the end of the day, I was RELIEVED. All of the sudden, I was tackling my to-do list, and I even fit in an hour during breakfast and lunch to watch Glee (SO GOOD!!! Can’t wait for next week’s episode :D)

Once the stores were open, I booked it to PetCo to save my cat who was about to die of starvation (remember the tidbid about dramatics?)

And then I saw this… IMG_0394

 

*the clouds parted and sun shown down right after I took this picture*

I walked in, walked around. And around. And walked out. That’s pretty crazy coming from a girl who used to be obsessed with makeup. I think I kept MAC, NARS, and Chanel in business one summer. Obviously, I’ve learned to tame myself. The husband was pretty proud 😉

The rest of the day consisted of a quick four mile run + full body weights, cleaning, writing, putting up a Fitconomy post about low back pain, and training a client. Let me say, that I ran my four mile run at noon and the weather was absolutely perfect. I aimed for an easy four miles, and wound up running 4.14 in 35:57 – average pace of 8:41. All I have to say is that speed work WORKS, guys. I know this isn’t fast for a lot of people, but it’s dang fast for me!

Anyway, so after training a client, when I got home, I walked in to this:

 

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Um, Hiiiii big presents addressed to Paige!

Apparently the husband bought it when I told him we should exchange presents early so we could enjoy them over the weekend 😀

One of the gifts was something totally unexpected, a wine decanter!

 

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I’ve been wanting one of these things ever since our wine tasting 101 class, and was very psyched.

Thus, the bottle  of wine went down.

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(don’t mind the half nude Calvin Klein model…cotton is the traditional gift for second anniversaries 😉 ha!)

 

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Ok, fine. TWO bottle! (two bottles?!)IMG_9493

Luckily, Shane’s friend Jason stopped by to help us celebrate the second bottle.

The second, larger present bestowed even more excitement. Much, much more excitement.

 

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Hint: It made this morning’s breakfast possible

 

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in less than 30 seconds. And I never knew a smoothie could be soooo smooth

 

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CUBS GAME TODAY!! Going with our friends, Kevin and Carmody, and hoping to see one of my fave Chicago blogging girls while I’m up there even if she is a Cardinals fan 😉

Have a fantastic Saturday, everyone!!!

A Five Star Restaurant at Home

Good morning friends! Sorry I left ya hangin’ in the dust yesterday. Had a little mix up in plans and it ended up being a very busy Sunday all day long! Actually, life in general is busy lately. No seriously, there is at least one occurrence every week where I’ve double or triple booked myself…it’s impossible not to!

My oh my was this weekend a good one! After the race, I got to hang out with my parents for a while, and then came back home to try and get some work done.

First, post-race fuel.

 

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I’m going to maintain that smoothies make the best fuel after a hard workout. A. lots o nutrients. B. the food is all ready in liquid form – one less step for the bod! 🙂

But this post-race smoothie had a guest star: Attune granola!

 

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My friend, Annelies of Attune, whom I met at the Healthy Living Summit, offered to send me some of their Probiotic granola, and I had to try out the maple flavor.

Probiotics!

 

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ingredients.

 

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The most important part – taste!

 

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THIS IS AMAZING. Amazing! Perfectly crunchy and has little yogurt like chips dispersed throughout the crunch. Very sweet. Actually, if I had to call out  one con it might be that it’s a wee bit too sweet. but then again, I like to have a sweet granola on hand.

 

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The flavor goes perfectly with pumpkin pie smoothies 😀

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After smoothie-ing and working for just a minute, Shane and I ran some errands. We felt like having a date night, but since the week was a big spending week, we didn’t really want to go out and spend money on an expensive dinner. So instead, we turned our kitchen into a five star restaurant!

For fun, we tried out a couple pumpkin beers to start:

 

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Woodchuck pumpkin beer?! Could it be?!

 

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Put your spirit(s) to the test 😉

Unfortunately, neither of them wowed me. I’ll stick with O’fallon this season. Though I’ve heard Schafly is good too?

I started dinner, which was this fusilli with eggplant and goat cheese. While dinner cooked, we played Uno!

 

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After sticking a bottle of Pinot Noir in the fridge for about 20 minutes, it was perfect temp and we added a little Vino! to our Uno!

 

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And some appies:

 

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When dinner was ready, we put the apps and Uno aside, but kept the pinot along for company;)

 

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Whole wheat fusilli with eggplant, portabella, and goat cheese, with a side of roasted asparagus.

 

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Bad lighting, great food.

 

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We finished it off with some decaf organic coffee and True Blood ( I am LOVING True Blood!!!) and called it a night. TFFD! (Too full for dessert)

What an indulgent night! It felt like a full out fancy date night, but I never left my sweats. Best of both worlds 😀

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How was your weekend? What was the most indulgent thing you did or ate?

 

Have a good Monday, everyone!!

Put Your Skills to the Test

Hey hey hey! Happy Friday! What’s one exciting thing going on in your life today? I’m excited to finally tackle a to-do list that’s about a mile long 😉

Last night I knew I’d be getting home from training a little late for dinner, so I had Shane preheat the oven about 10 minutes before I got home. Because…we were having squash! It finally feels like it’s the weather to start having squash for dinner.

But first…

 

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Putting our newfound wine skills to the test.

Sidenote: Jason, the instructor for the wine class, told us that we should make the first drink of the day a new bottle of wine we’ve never tried before. The husband chimed in, “I usually go with coffee, but whatever you say, Jason!” heheh 😉

I told Shane to go grab a bottle of wine from the wine hutch downstairs, and surprisingly, he came back with an Australian Shiraz (aka Syrah)

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The husband usually picks fruity wines, so I was impressed that after one class, he’d gotten over that! And I knew he didn’t mistakenly think it was fruity, because he mentioned the alcohol percentage. The higher the alcohol, the lower the fruitiness

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 Not surprisingly, this bottle came with a screw cap or a Stelvin closure.

 

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Since this bottle traveled allll the way from Australia, a Stelvin closure makes sense, as they have the lowest failure rate out of the cork, rubber cork, and Stelvin closures. That’s a lot of shipping costs to have to ship back a bad bottle of wine due to a closure 😉

 

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“decanting” going on. I’m horrible at this. I end up inhaling wine which is never a good thing. LOL

45 minutes and a half of bottle of wine later, dinner was ready and we were ready for dinner.

 

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For the squash, I just cut it in half, placed each side upsidedown in a baking dish filled with a half inch of water, and baked at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes. While the squash was cooking, the black beans were marinating in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, and a little sea salt. During the last 10 minutes the squash was cooking, I flipped the sides over and added the beans.

 

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Topped with goat cheese, this dish was FANTASTIC. The flavors went together impeccably!

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However, don’t pair a shiraz with this dish 😉

As we were cleaning up the kitch, look where I found Clarabelle!!

 

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In between the two panes of glass in our dining room table!! Clearly I had to snap a picture before chasing her down and cleaning;)

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Well I’ve got a to-do list to tackle! You – have a fantastic Friday 😀

What’s your favorite squash? Mine’s the buttercup!