Mavis

Five Things

Hey hey! I feel so behind on all things blog-related. I’m here now, and ready to discuss some random things, as always.

1. A date! I think it was a weekend or two ago that Jimmy and I went to Trax Farms here in Pittsburgh for a little afternoon date and it was lovely. Yes, our idea of a date is going to a farm store 🙂

Girl looking at garden and farm store Trax Farms in Pittsburgh, PA

Speaking of Jimmy and I, our wedding anniversary is tomorrow! I can’t believe we’ve been married four years now. It feels like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle, taking pictures, dancing at our reception, going on our honeymoon, and settling into our new life together. Now we have a menagerie of animals and have been blessed with a sweet little girl on the way. I can’t say it enough: God. Is. Good. 

2. Speaking of our pets… Malcolm turned two in May, and Mavis and Lola each turn 12 this month: 12 months for Mavis and 12 years for Lola!

Black cat laying in windowsillCocker spaniel laying on black lab funny

Lola, Malcolm, and Mavis keep us busy and make our hearts full. We’re constantly laughing (and sometimes crying…) because of these three musketeers. Also of note, Mavis finally went into heat! I’ll probably post more about it in a 12 month update for her!

3. Swimming. Guys, I went swimming for the first time in like three years! Long-time readers will probably remember that I was a competitive swimmer growing up, and then swam for fun at the gym during college and for a year or two after. I finally got back in the pool last week and it felt amazing, aside from all the huffing and puffing I did 😉

Swimming kick board, pull buoy, paddles, and Thermos Intak waterbottle

4. Granola. I made some banana bread granola for our neighbors as a thank you for a baby outfit they gave us and I thought I’d share the recipe. It’s a keeper! When I first posted the recipe, I called it banana nut granola, but I think banana bread granola better suits it.

Banana bread granola in a mason jar

I also have a great chocolate granola recipe and peanut butter granola recipe. I thought I had a few more granola recipes here on the blog, but they’re currently living in my homemade cookbook. I’ll have to post about them soon! Some of the flavors are coconut almond, cranberry orange, and oatmeal raisin. Now I want a bowl of granola with milk.

5. A thank you. Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post! Everyone had such great input and I’m glad I decided to post about the tough stuff we had been going through. You guys rock 🙂

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Adventuring and Getting Creative in the Kitchen

Pittsburgh has been getting some warmer weather and sunshine lately! So much so that we mowed our lawn twice this week and it was warm enough for Mavis and I to take a little adventure to a creek near our house.

Cocker spaniel puppy by water

This was her first experience with a body of water and she was definitely curious, but not super into it. Lola enjoys water, so I wish she had been with us to show Mavis how fun it is, but I’m not confident taking two dogs by the water with an almost 20 week baby bump, lol.

The warmer weather has me dreaming of gardening, too. Jimmy and I were back and forth on starting a garden this year since our baby is due in September and we have done like zero things to prepare for his or her arrival, but we figured we’ll just make the garden smaller this year and if it gets neglected, then oh well. We love gardening too much to give it up 🙂

I’ve been having fun in the kitchen lately! I think my favorite way to cook and bake is to see what we have on hand and then improvise and create meals or treats out of those items.

Tabbouleh ingredients cucumber, tomato, green onions, bulgur and quinoa mix, and lemonTabbouleh

I realized we had some of the classic tabbouleh ingredients on had yesterday, so I improvised off of this recipe and our little side dish turned out wonderfully!

I had also bought a container of cocoa powder and was in the mood for cookies, so I made these chocolate drop cookies and highly recommend the recipe. It’s simple and they definitely hit the spot.

King Arthur Flour Chocolate Drop Cookies on cooling rack

Other ways I’ve been creative in the kitchen lately include whipping up my favorite homemade baked beans and adding some extra spices, making a strawberries and cream oatmeal creation, and cooking cereal bars with marshmallow fluff, vanilla Chex, and Mr. Goodbars.

Alright, I better get going. I’m having my mother-in-law, mom, and sister over this evening and need to clean up our house a bit! I got the kitchen all cleaned from the aforementioned cooking and baking, but the rest has been a bit neglected 😉

Do you like to get creative with cooking and baking?