WIAW: The Best {Gluten Free} Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever eaten a mouthful of peppercorns?  They’re those tiny black bombshells that most people grind up to make fresh pepper…  Except me.  Today I took it to a whole new level of crazy and ate what was probably close to 1/8 cup {which sounds even more badass than 2 tablespoons} because I hate letting food go to waste.  Especially meatballs.

When I flipped the plastic cover off and started twisting to grind the kernels, the whole top popped off!  Peppercorns spewed EVERYWHERE – into my bowl, onto the counter, bouncing across the hardwood floors.  It was a spicy mess.  Just when I thought that Charlie would eat anything off of the floor, I was wrong.  He wanted nothing to do with the menacing kernels.

This week my momma and I are having quality mother-daughter time while Ryan is traveling.  Sleeping in my Lily Pulitzer inspired room, having someone to watch The Bachelorette Season Finale with, eating dinner outside on the deck, and being introduced to THE BEST gluten free chocolate chip cookies…  The #estrogenparty has been fabulous!

Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty link-up!

Breakfast yesterday was a bowl of apple pie oatmeal with a side of newspaper, specifically the style section.  Sudoku puzzles make me feel like a wizard, crossword puzzles make me feel dumb.

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apple cinnamon oats + plain Greek yogurt + diced apple + drizzle of maple syrup

I had a tutoring session at 9:30AM so on my way over to the kiddo’s house I stopped by Starbucks for some “teacher fuel” <– that’s what my students from last year called it.

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a banana & a decaf Coffee Light Frappuccino

Between tutoring and a lunch date with my momma, I swung by the gym and did in 45 minutes of cardio.  I don’t remember the elliptical being that hard…?  The backs of my legs are feeling it today.

Lunch was a treat.  My momma and I have been going to the same hole-in-the-wall sushi joint since I was in high school and neither of our orders have changed.  Miso soup, ginger salad, and the #3 lunch special {California Roll, no roe + Cucumber Roll} for me, miso soup and shrimp tempura for her.

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exchanged the California Roll above because it had mayo {blah} for one with real crab

We had no afternoon plans and since it was a nippy 68*F we decided against the pool.  If you’re familiar with the DMV {DC, Maryland, VA} area, you’ve probably heard that the new Silver Line on the Metro started running this past weekend.  There are a total of five new stops and a few of them are right near my momma’s house so we decided to take a test ride and go on an adventure.

After spending 10 minutes figuring out how to get a parking ticket to dispense and another 10 minutes getting my momma a Metro card, Dumb & Dumber finally made it onto the train.  It was hilarious, we couldn’t stop laughing at ourselves and neither could the Metro employees!

We took the Silver Line to the Eastern Market and sampled our way through the outdoor stands before perusing the shops inside.  It was my first time visiting during the week {my momma’s first time ever}, but I was surprised by how few vendors there were compared to the weekend.

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While walking I munched on an apple and some peanut butter sandwich crackers.  We eventually wandered into a baby store, passed by the Capitol Building, and then walked over to Union Station to catch the Metro home.

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Beef burritos were what we planned to make for dinner, but after our big adventure we both agreed to save the cooking for tonight.  I ended up making an orzo dish and served it with a small salad, cheesy tortillas, and a helping of organic ketchup because I currently can’t get enough of the stuff.  It was very random, but satisfying.

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orzo + artichokes + peas + Trader Joe’s frozen turkey meatballs + spices

And since I have to end every day on a sweet note, dessert was eaten while watching Extreme Weight Loss.  OH.MY.GOSH.  A little secret…  Trader Joe’s makes THE BEST gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  Although I typically prefer my cookies to be full of gluten, dense, and chewy, these were delicious – buttery, crispy, very chocolatey, and no icky gluten free flour aftertaste. My momma says that she’s been buying them from years…  I don’t know why she’s now just sharing them with me.

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cottage cheese + banana slices + THE BEST gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Question:  What’s your favorite gluten free cookie?  Homemade or store-bought?

Question:  Extreme Weight Loss or The Biggest Loser – which do you prefer?  I think that I like Extreme Weight Loss better?!  I know that’s a bold statement considering I’ve only watched it once, but I like how the trainers focus on one person and his/her goals, not a group of people.  Also, the weight loss doesn’t seem as dramatic and the contestants seem to be provided with more knowledge than on TBL.

— Allison

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MIMM: 18 Hours in Richmond

Happy Monday, y’all!  Can you believe that Friday is already August 1st?!  School didn’t end until the last week of June and between tutoring a few times each week, spending time with family/friends, hosting a Gender Reveal Party, going on our babymoon Caribbean cruise, traveling for weddings and work, starting to pack for our move, and preparing for a baby…  The month of July has flown by.  This weekend was no exception.

Thanks Katie for hosting another marvelous link-up!

Saturday morning Ryan and I drove down to Richmond for a family friend’s wedding.  Unfortunately, we spent 3+ hours in traffic {beach traffic, most likely} so we entertained ourselves by making up silly songs and playing “I Spy.”  Ryan has a knack for creating silly songs – give him a topic and he’ll make a verse.  The next Weird Al?

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We did make a couple of stops along the way to use the bathroom {pregnancy problems} and buy drinks/snacks, despite having a cooler full of lunch/snack foods…  I can’t go anywhere over a two hours without snacks because when hunger strikes, it strikes hard.  Once we finally got to Richmond around 1:30PM we made a pit stop to see the new Redskins training facility.  It’s rumored to have cost a whopping $10 million dollars.

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Practice starts daily at 8:35AM and as we learned, typically lasts until 11:30ish.  We couldn’t stay for the 4:10PM walk-through because we needed to get ready for the wedding, so we didn’t see the guys in action, but the facility and field were nice looking.  On our way to the hotel, we stopped by my old house where I lived in from birth until I was about 5-years-old.

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Isn’t the key lime front door lovely?

After we primped and prepped, my momma, Ryan, and I drove over to the church.  I wish I could have taken a picture inside the church because the architecture and organ were breathtaking, but the wedding party politely asked for no pictures.  Not to mention, the bride looked stunning.  The last time we saw her she was dressed in her vestments {clothing worn by people who conduct worship services} at our wedding!

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St. James Church

picture via St. James’s Episcopal Church website

The reception was held at The Country Club of Virginia, which again, was beautiful!  No dinner was served, but there were plenty of delicious passed hors d’oeuvres and stations.  The shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, fresh pastas, and beef tenderloin were our favorites.  Towards the end of the evening, the couple cut the cake and served it with the an impressive coffee and tea station – chocolate shavings, real whipped cream, multiple milks/sugars – I felt like I was at a high tea party!

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After a late night of celebrating, waking up at 7AM was tough.  Ryan had a flight to catch so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get home in case we got stuck in traffic {again}.  Thankfully, it took us only half of the time to get home as it did to get down to Richmond so we took Charlie for a walk, ate lunch, and relaxed before getting back into the car to go to the airport.

Even though I see him daily and we haven’t been in a long-distance relationship since I was in college, saying “See ya later!” to my husband is still hard.  I know that I’ll see him again soon and traveling is required for work {gotta make ze monies}, but I’m not sure that it’ll ever get easier – especially after we add a baby into the mix.  While driving home it felt like I had a pair of socks stuck in my throat and the radio magically played all of the sad songs…  Isn’t it ironic?

The rest of the afternoon was spent running errands, going to the gym, and cuddling with Charlie.  PSA to all women: don’t watch the movie Jersey Girl while pregnant.  The first 10 minutes got me all emotional.

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he’s the best cuddler

Question:  Do you prefer hors d’oeuvres {no dinner served}, a buffet, or a plated dinner at weddings?  This was my first experience where dinner wasn’t served, but I didn’t leave hungry.  It was nice having the opportunity to taste a little bit of everything, choose how much I wanted, and munch throughout the evening.  Buffets are nice because like hors d’oeuvres, they give guests the opportunity to taste a little bit of everything and take however much they want, but they also can be frustrating if the food runs out by the time your table is called to eat or if you have to wait in a long line.  Plated dinners typically are more formal and guests don’t have to wait in a line, but sometimes dinner comes out cold or what sounds good when you RSVP months ago may not look good when it’s actually in front of you.  Obviously, each option has its pros and cons!

Question:  What’s your favorite road trip snack?

— Allison

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Baby Szed’s Gender Reveal Party

Good morning, y’all!  Ryan and I are hurrying to get out the door this morning because we’re headed down to Richmond for a wedding.  It’s a quick 24-hour trip, but we’re thankful to have the opportunity to attend this wedding because it’s for a very good family friend…  She has known me since the day that I was born and is the pastor who married Ryan and me almost 2 years ago.  So many wonderful memories!

We’re also thankful for friends who generously offer to come watch Charlie while we’re away because he can be a real buddy sometimes.  Always wanting to cuddle, go for long walks, play, and do tricks for treats – it can get exhausting ;)

Oh Thursday I shared my first Bumpdate: 24 Weeks and thought it would be fun to rewind to our Gender Reveal Party, almost exactly a month ago on June 28th.

Ryan initially thought that I was crazy when I told him that I wanted to have a gender reveal party, some of our friends laughed out loud, and others had no idea what we’d be celebrating at a “gender reveal” party.  They said they first thought that Ryan or I were going to reveal a secret about our gender…  HA!

At the end of the night, everyone had a fun time.  It gave Ryan and I a chance to celebrate Baby Szed with our friends together since we’re planning to have separate showers – a traditional baby shower for me and a diaper party for Ryan.  Diaper party, another party that Ryan has never heard of.  I blame Pinterest for putting all of these silly party ideas in my head.

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Question:  What’s your favorite wedding memory?  I’ll always cherish the beautiful memories from my wedding, but one of my earliest wedding memories is from when I was a flower girl for one of my childhood babysitters.  As I approached the end of the aisle I turned around and scanned the crowd for my parents, simultaneously shouting “I HAVE TO PEE!”  I wish I could remember the look on my parents faces.

Question:  Have you ever attended a gender reveal party?  Or a diaper party?

— Allison

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