Where have you been?

Did I drop off the face of the earth? I might as well have- I am so sorry I have been absent from the blog scene. My life went from on direction to another and another in a matter of weeks and I am still reeling. But this is my attempt to catch up and put all my runaway thoughts in order.

First things first

Texas Trip

The last you guys heard from me was that my sister and I were taking a trip to Dallas/Fort Worth to visit our brother. And that trip(though is had it’s ups and downs) was fantastic success. And I will be doing a recap of it next week. So stayed tuned!


Culinary Cooking Challenge???

I will be doing a wrap-up next Monday, the challenge is coming to an end. I will be replacing it with a new and exciting content but I simply don’t have time for it. I will of course still cook and bake for fun. But for now the Culinary Cooking Challenge is on an indefinite hold.


Cafe au Paír and Bakery

That’s right I am starting a bakery!!!! (Internal freak-out) Right now I am strictly doing local pies for Thanksgiving, but I am opening my bakery’s full menu(breads, rolls, cookies, scones, muffins, hand pies, etc.) up in December. So if you guys live in the south-Eastern WI area get excited! I will be doing a full post in the coming weeks.

Lastly… Er fourthly

I bought a house!

(More internal screaming!!! And maybe some external) This rapid development is what really threw me for a loop! My parents(who are moving to WI) and I bought a house together! They’re gonna live upstairs and I am going to live downstairs. And I am so excited and so happy! And I just can’t wait!!

I know that’s a lot- it’s a lot for me too. Just a lot. (Stress and excitement in equal measure) Anyway obviously more will come in the coming weeks but yes- God is good and moving and just all kinds of things. Until next time…

Lots of love,


Culinary Challenge Week #26

Welcome back to the culinary cooking challenge! And this week we tackled Sleepy Hallow. Let’s get to it!

New England Clam Chowder 8 out of 10

I mean it’s creamy and fishy, so yeah it was amazing. Not the best clam chowder ever(that I got while visiting Door County, WI. read here) but still very good.

Extra Large Dinner Rolls 10 out of 10

And it was even better with these ginormous rolls. They were absolutely fantastic!! Like so fluffy and perfect. I will be making these again and again and again.

Harvest Spinach Salad 7 out of 10

I mean it was a good spinach salad…. But nothing spectacular or anything. Definitely a pretty salad.

Apple Cider Cake 10 out of 10

Speaking of spectacular this is probably my new favorite cake. It is extremely sweet and moist. I think ate most of this by myself… *oops*

Popovers 8 out of 10

First off make sure you really, really grease your pans. These babies stick like crazy. They are also amazingly tasty and uniquely different from my normal breakfast go to fare. So yes I liked them. (Tay did too in case you were wondering)

Walnut+Cranberry Bread

So I botched this recipe(hence why there is no pretty crow on my bread) but it was still a delicious bread. I can’t wait to try this recipe again and do it correctly.

Pumpkin+Maple Scones 8 out 10

Someone say yay! I love baking scones. Probably next to bread in my favorite things to make. These Pumpkin Scone got better with age and the maple icing was by far the best part.

Autumn Chicken and Roasted Veggies 6 out of 10

So this chicken+veggie sheet meal was not nearly as good as other chicken dishes I have made. Just another run of your mill meal.

Gingersnap Stamp Cookies 6 out of 10

Last but not least were theses “okay” gingersnap cookies. I love gingersnap cookies! They’re probably my favorite after snickerdoodle and that’s why these were kinda disappointing. Super cute but in the end lacking.

And that is it! We are out of town this next week, so we will be back with another cooking challenge the week after that. But what did you guys think of our Sleepy Hallow recipes? Let me know in the comments down below.

Lots of love,


Dream Cast for a Sabrina Remake

I know, I know- Remakes are awful. But hear me out on this one. So let me first say I love this movie to obsession. I mean I have-

An goldfish named George.

Sabrina 1954

Because of this I was super hesitant to come up with a dreamcast. But once I got started I found I couldn’t stop.

I think I should also take a moment to mention how much I dislike the 1995 remake. It’s trying to be too much like the original and in that failing awfully. That’s why with my reboot I would change the story ever so slightly. Again trust me! (By the way here is my dreamcast for Mansfield Park)


So this movie’s success and failure depends solely on it’s namesake Sabrina. A role made iconic, timeless and elegant by the one and only Audrey Hepburn. Recasting Audrey is a monumental task. One might even say an impossible one. Her looks and style, her nativity and sophistication are hard to find recapture. But I think I might have gotten there by casting Olivia Cooke the lead role. Have you guys seen her in Vanity Fair? She is awesome! I think her spunky, fun attitude would endear her to the audience and make her a different Sabrina from Audrey.

Olivia Cooke as Sabrina

Linus Larrabee

Talk about another tough casting!! Humphrey Bogart is my all time favorite actor. And is this movie he is fantastic! Going up against William Holden’s ever-lovable David and stealing Audrey from underneath his very nose is a task a lesser actor would have fumbled. But even an older, a little more awkward Humphrey pulled it off. He made you believe in love in the end. In casting a new Linus I wanted an actor who could capture the screen and provide the wit and humor and intelligence needed for the role. That’s why I chose Ben Mendelson. He fits the age requirements and is a very fun actor to watch on screen. I think he would be fantastic!

Ben Mendelson as Linus Larrabee

David Larrabee

Oh David! If I ever have another dog his name shall be David. (I told you I was obsessed) Anyhoo William Holden was terribly charming and adorable as David Larrabee. Even though we pleaded for Sabrina to get over David we understood her fascination. In recasting the playboy we need someone who is handsome and charming and yet not cruel or totally brainless to get with the program at the end. To achieve this I assigned Richard Madden to the role.

Richard Madden as David Larrabee

Elizabeth Tyson

Daughter of a tycoon, Elizabeth Tyson is a multifaceted character, who despite his lack of interest in her genuinely seems to care about David. In the 1995 version she is credit with helping David at the end set up Linus and Sabrina. In a attempt to give her character more of a role. Instead of doing this however, as I like David’s character growth and how his final acts show how much he loves his older brother; I’d make Elizabeth a little bit older and an almost a mirror image of Linus. Where she is the tycoon(or works jointly with her father) and is all for the merger. And despite herself maybe she has been in love with David for a while. They grew up together kinda thing. I also like how since she’s more Linus age and sped Sabrina might see her a rival for both her first fascination with David and her later love for Linus. Anywho I have casted one of my favorite actresses ever Carrie Mulligan as Elizabeth.

Carrie Mulligan as Elizabeth Tyson

Thomas Fairchild

Probably my favorite character in the original film, I struggled to find someone to play Sabrina’s father. I while I love the idea of Dustin Huffman playing Fairchild I feel like he may be a little too old. What do you guys think? I did think the fantastic actor would be able to intimidate Ben Mendelson’s Linus and go toe-to-toe with Mrs. Larrabee(see below)

Dustin Huffman as Thomas Fairchild

Mrs. Maude Larrabee

Okay this is probably my favorite casting- so I think this remake should combine Mr. Larrabee and his wife Maude into one character. Imagine Mr. Larrabee died long ago when Linus was in college, which required Linus with the help of his financial savvy mom(Maude) to take over the empire. Her strong will and deep love for her sons is a running theme throughout the story. She wants to run Sabrina out of town when she comes back after David, but is convinced by Linus’ logical mind to hold off. Never dreaming her eldest son would be in danger from the pretty Sabrina. For this strong woman I have picked the ever intimidating Glenn Close.

Glenn Close as Maude Larrabee

So what do you guys think? Any casting choices you disagree with? Would you ever like to see another remake of this movie?

Lots of love,


Culinary Challenge Week #21

Welcome back! Hope you guys are hungry this week, because Pizza week was a tremendous success. Everything was delicious and not one thing went sideways on me. (Lol)

Breakfast Pizza 10 out of 10

Umm so this bacon and egg Keto, Gluten free breakfast pizza was probably the most delicious thing ever! I would make this/eat this again in a heart beat.

Pizza Soup with homemade croutons 10 out of 10

An interesting concept, when I looked for this recipe, but oh my if it isn’t amazing! Like the perfect marriage of tomato soup and pizza sauce drowned in cheese and topped with absolutely delectable homemade croutons. Frankly I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have store bought croutons again. They have gone the way of Pumpkin Pie. (I can not stand store bought pumpkin pie after making homemade last year- so gross!)

S’mores Dessert Pizza 10 out of 10

Yeah this unfortunately was too good and way too easy to make. Graham cracker cookie crust and a s’mores topping… Yummy!

Italian Green Beans 10 out of 10

Italian Pasta Salad 10 out of 10

And of course homemade Pizza 10 out of 10

Deserves another picture!

Our next word is Swedish. Until next time…

Lots of love,


Culinary Challenge Week #18

Oh my gosh we are two weeks away from the 20th week!!! We might have to do something special when we get there… Until then here(a day late) is a bunch of very delicious Hungarian food!

Sour Cream+Cucumber Salad 10 out of 10

This was probably my favorite thing of the week! Salted cucumbers covered in sour cream, chives, hot pepper and paprika. All the good things in life.

Sour Cream, Cabbage + Pork Casserole 8 out of 10

Oh look my second favorite dish of the week. I mean baked sour cream, how can you go wrong?

Lagos(Hungarian Fried Bread) 7 out of 10

Not as good as the Icelandic Donuts a few weeks back, but these deep fried cakes were definitely interesting. I can see why they’re a staple street food in Hungary.

Hungarian Nut Rolls 8 out of 10

So much like the cinnamon rolls I made(again Iceland week) but less sweet and more breakfast-y. This particular recipe made four(yes four!) loaves and thus a few of my friends and family were gifted rolls.

Worthy of a second pic!

Not pictured this week are the crepes that I tried to make one morning… I have made French crepes before, which one would think would not be too different from Hungarian crepes. However the recipe for Hungarian crepes was no good and we ended up with uneatable, burnt goo patties. Yuck!

Kolaches(blueberry, apricot and ricotta cheese) 10 out of 10

We used to have these every Christmas(my elder sister is the queen of Kolaches) And these were fantastic as all ways!

Chilled Sour Cherry Soup 0 out of 10

You’re lucky I took a picture of this before we threw it away. This was the worst. Plain and simple.

After our failed crepe episode we had Lagos and fruit instead.

As you can tell Hungarian week was a pretty even mix of really good food and just the worst. A very interesting experience to say the least. From here we leave globe trotting as our next word is ingredient based. Everybody get ready for BLUEBERRY week!

Lots of love,


DIY Good Will Fall Wreath

Ah it’s getting to be that time… my absolute favorite time of the year… fall!

With the return of chilly days, crisp smells and crunchy leaves comes the return of Hobby Lobby’s seemingly endless fall wreaths. All drool worthy and all horribly overpriced. Okay well maybe not all of them. Some are worth the buck. And yet why would one drop $80 on a wreath, when you can drop $10 at Good Will and get the same results? I ask you, why?

The supplies…

Growing up my Mom was the master recreator. Any sign, wreath, floral arrangement, etc. you saw in store or on Pinterest she could recreate. Naturally having daughters she taught us also the fabulous art of DIY.

Style #1

One of my favorite diy tasks was to redo my Mom’s ginormous wreath on the side of the house every season. We would cycle it through spring, summer and fall (a giant snowman head replaced it during Christmas and winter) and then back again.

My Mom was ever thrifty so we shopped clearance racks and garage sales for those perfect sprigs you finish off the decor.

Style #2

It’s been a while since I have truly diy’d anything and I loved it! It brought back all the memories. So which style was your favorite? Comment down below!

Leftover bits+bobs!!

Lots of love,


Culinary Challenge Week #15

Another week has passed and the votes are in… Iceland was a very interesting place for our palettes to visit. The word I kept coming back to describe their cuisine was earthy. And I mean that is the very best sense possible. It wasn’t overly spiced and yet it wasn’t ballad. It was hearty and geared to the colder months, but wasn’t heavy. I don’t know if that makes sense at all.

Let’s get to it!

Cod+Potato(Plokkfiskur) Stew 9 out of 10

This was probably the favorite recipe of the week! A very thin stew with just potatoes and cod fish, but it was delicious. Again not super spicy or flavorful and yet it left you wanting another bowl.

Spiced Cabbage+Blueberries(Kryddao Rauokál meo Bláberjum) 7 out of 10

This was amazingly weird. It acted kinda like a pallet cleanser. It’s berry notes and tart aftertaste complementing whatever dish it was paired with. Great over salads, fish or all by itself. Such a unique way to prepare cabbage.

Rye Bread 7 out of 10

So I liked this bread, Tay not so much. It’s definitely different and stands away from all the other breads we’ve made this far. Dense and earthy(there’s that word again) are the two best words I can think of to describe it.

Kleina Fried Iceland Donuts 10 out of 10

On second thought these were the best part of this week! The absolute perfect combination of donut and funnel cake!! We were in heaven. The only downside of course for anything fried is that you have to eat it hot and right out of the oil. No leftovers(ah the sadness) But man did we eat well that night.

Icelandic Caramelized Potatoes 8 out of 10

Kind of like the cabbage these sugar coated potatoes added a cleansing sweetness after some yummy baked fish. Such an awesome idea to pare so much sweetness with a traditionally savory dish.

Baked Cod in Buttery Egg Sauce 7 out of 10

Speaking of savory, this baked cod was pretty good. Not earth shattering good, I have had other fishy recipes I enjoyed more. But not bad. Again on the bland side without ever actually being considered bland.

Icelandic Cinnamon Rolls Toffee and Chocolate 10 out of 10

These were arguably the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had in my life!! Soft, gooey, totally bad for you rolls from heaven. They were gone in a day(spilt among eight so don’t everyone freak out) and I miss them already.

And that concludes another exciting week of eating. What has been you’re favorite week so far? Have you given any of these amazing recipes a try?

Next week is my little sister’s birthday so I am letting her pick the food! She can pick from old recipes or something new and daring. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

Lots of love,


Culinary Challenge Week #14

And welcome back! Last week(read here) Tay and I journeyed to a magical island(Greta Britain) and this week we continued that theme by island hopping to the Caribbean. Get ready for the tropics!

Cabbage Slaw 6 out of 10

First up is this island cabbage slaw, which though very good was not my favorite… yeah it was missing something.

Jamaican Coco Bread 9 out of 10

These were fantastic!!! So buttery and fluffy and soft. The only thing is they don’t keep very well. Just make sure you eat them all in the first two days and you’ll be fine. Which isn’t hard by the way.

Shrimp Curry Soup 10 out of 10

Speaking of eating it in two days… yep we inhaled this soup. Probably my favorite soup during this whole culinary escapade. (Seconded only by the Cioppino Soup in week one)

Coconut Rum Cookies 9 out of 10

These were also amazing! Again super buttery and the sweetness of the coconut paired with the spice of the rum was to die for. I’d definitely make these cookies again.

Ackee+Salt Fish(but really tuna+eggs) 6 out of 10

Okay so there is a whole story that goes along with this breakfast… experiment. So I wanted to make Ackee and Salt-fish a traditional Jamaican breakfast. But for the life of me I could not find either ackee or salt-fish. Like anywhere. What is ackee you ask? Why it is the national fruit of Jamaica and is highly poisonous if not prepared right. Therefore it is illegal in the U.S. except in its canned version. That supposedly Walmart and Target sell… Yeah not any of the Walmart’s and Targets by me. Anyway instead of a traditional Jamaican breakfast we ended up with a tuna helper style… thing.

Nonalcoholic Kiwi Sparkler 5 out of 10

This was just okay. Nothing special, but when in the tropics one must have fancy drinks right?

Pineapple Upside Down Cake 8 out of 10

Yes it tasted as good as it looked. I love all things pineapple and I love cake… so win win.

Pineapple Salsa 7 out of 10
Rice+Beans with Jerk Pork and the above Pineapple Salsa 6 out of 10

The rice and the pork and the salsa(pineapple again) were pretty good, but the beans… were an absolute disaster! It’s the first time I’ve ever tried my hand at using dry beans and I am not sure what I did wrong. I soaked them over night. I followed the cooking directions but still they were hard and disgusting… I’m so sad. I guess I’ll have to stick to canned beans.

Tostones(Fried Plantains) 9 out of 10

I absolutely loved these(and they were super fun to make late one night after work) Tay wasn’t as crazy about them but that’s okay- MORE FOR ME! (Insert evil laughter)

Nonalcoholic Pina Colada 8 out of 10

Again I enjoyed these(didn’t love but liked) and Tay didn’t even finish hers. Not a fan I guess.

And there you have it! Our week in the Caribbean had varying degrees of success. But in the end we enjoyed it. We are going to keep our theme of island hopping as we head north to Iceland for our next culinary treats. Until next time…

Lots of love,


Culinary Challenge Week #12

Hello peeps and welcome back to culinary challenge!! (Cue upbeat theme song) So this past week as you will recall from last week’s post(read here) Tay was on vacation and my Mom came up for visit. So I had her pick a few recipes that she has seen me make(she’s a faithful subscriber to my blog) and I would recreate them for her.

That being said we did eat out locally quite a bit and then a friend of mine gave me a ton of fresh strawberries so I had to create some yummy treats to use up those.

Without further ado let’s get cooking!

Strawberry+Rhubarb Scones with Almond Glaze Icing 10 out of 10

These were incredible!! Like some of the best scones I’ve ever had. And that’s most likely due to the fact that the strawberries and the rhubarb were fresh. Everyone who tried one of these fell in love with them. Even the kiddos who dislike fruit in their sweets.

Fresh Strawberry Pie 10 out of 10

As you can see I am on a pie kick(again refer to last week’s Key Lime Pie) This is actually an old recipe of my Mom’s paired with my flaky pie crust, which is getting better every time I make it. These pies were so yummy! Or as my niece would say, “Nummy, nummy.”

Focaccia Basil+Oregano 200 out of 10

A fav from Italian week, this bread of course again was a smashing success. So crunchy and soft and oily and flavorful. My Mom took the rest of this home with her. (Lol)

Peas+Onions 10 out of 10

Also from Italian week these peas were a triumph as well. Go figure right?

Well that’s it for this week’s cooking challenge. Tay is back and we are ready to go for the coming week. Or coming word is… drumroll please…


This is totally coincidental, because guess where Tay just went on vacation at? Universal Florida and the Magical World of Harry Potter(here is a post I did on my experience at the park three years ago). We couldn’t have planned it better if we tried. Until next week!

Lots of love,


Weight Loss Journey Part 3

Hay everyone it has been a minute! I’m so sorry for being MIA last week. The days got away from me and I just frankly ran out of time. (You know our last post? Yeah I should taken my own advice) Anywhoo I thought it was time just for a really brief recap and update of my health/fitness journey! (Read last post here)

Two years apart… wow

So right around this time last year(original post) I announced my random and spontaneous decision to embark on what would be a life changing journey.

I have never been athletic or fit in any way. And I have always been slightly over weight. Though my health journey was never been about necessarily loosing the weight as it was trying new, and what I at the time thought, impossible things. A year down and I have never regretted my decision to pursue the impossible.

As of date I am at my goal weight(lost roughly 35-40 pounds) and have maintained it for the last five months. Yay! I love long walks, jump roping, weight training, handstands and paddle boarding- Oh and roller skating! Things I never thought I’d say.

My energy level and confidence level have gotten a tremendous boost. I am totally up for trying new things and pushing my body to new heights. I hope this is encouraging to those of you who are going through their own journey, or who are thinking about starting their own incredible adventure. You can do it!

Lots of love,