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Look at me being all last minute and impulsive. After a couple days in the house, closed windows, no fresh air I was ready to get out and after an email of excitement from Auds, her blog post, and then a response from CT telling me to 'live a little' I was in. I mean, we all know I do live a little, but sure I'll prove it. And so began the trek up north to Campbell, CA. Cute little town outside of San Jose and new residence of the da da dunlops. I made it up there in time for Josh's dream pizza and some fro yo. The next day was sleeping in, ahh and off to Los Gatos for the biggest breakfast of your life at Los Gatos Cafe and a walk around the cute little town and into a lot of stores Josh just couldn't get enough of. Who doesn't love little trinkets and mirrors and furniture, oh my. Based on Josh's handy work it was fun to look at a $500 piece of furniture and ask how much it would really cost to make it. Los Gatos is super cute. Very much Chagrin like. I'm a fan of the bay area and it's antique mixed with new architecture and charm. The rest of the afternoon was followed up with an IKEA trip after drafting up my new room and deciding on where things should go. You just can't pass up their items and I'm excited about my classic timeless purchases. More to come on those once said new room is set and pics can be taken. The night had us at Aqui for their signature margs and then to a pub. We're pub girls- sure, put us in a pub. Oh wait, here comes the dj and creepy kevin, and...we're out. (Note- these bottles were never consumed. Promise)


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Guest Post: New Mom (Anytime) Gift Guide

Today's Guest Post is from Michelle Perez of Simply Complicated.  I met Michelle in college and since then she has gotten hitched, had a baby, and lives in Guatemala where her family are doing some great work.  Read more on her blog and until then, check out her gift guide for new moms!  Thanks, Michelle!

I am a new mom to and am still very much in the ups and downs of learning how to how to take care of a very small human and myself. Even though I think all new moms would be happy with a nap, a long shower and a meal on their doorstep I have put together a gift guide that stretches a bit beyond the basic. You could say this is just in time for the holidays, but the truth is, this is an anytime of year gift guide. Enjoy.

1. Sugar & Spice Kitchen Towels We all know new moms like and appreciate home cooked meals. But I was surprised as a nursing mom, how hungry I was all. the. time. Friends of mine were so sweet, because they brought over a meal AND muffins or bread or baked goods …

quesadilla pie

This is a dinner I've been thinking about and trying to figure out when I'll make it next.  It'll probably happen sometime this weekend because it was simple and oh-so-satisfying.  It was a perfect new-mom meal. New-Mom as in I had time to make it, and I'd like to bring it to new mom's too.

I'm tempted to even make a few and stock my freezer with them for when we're hungry or when I need to bring someone a meal, a task I think I'm finally now up for seeing as I've been able to figure out our schedule more and get back in the kitchen.

Apart from pulling apart the chicken this dish comes together really quickly.  The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapenos, an item I thought we had in our fridge but it turns out what I thought were pickled jalapenos were actually molding olives.  Not so great.  Next time I'll add in the jalapenos but they're definitely optional.

So this weekend, you should make this.  Dare I say my mouth i…

canned tomato sauce with basil and garlic

When I think about canning I want to make things that I'll use year round.  I want staples that I can go to that'll make pasta sauce, chili and stuffed peppers that much more delicious.  I want to make a recipe that tastes amazing in large part because the tomatoes used in it were fresh in the summer then preserved.
Although I did can some tomatoes last summer I ended up not using them as often as I thought I would.  I still found myself going to the store for diced tomatoes here and there when I should have been in the mindset to use my canned tomatoes and just crush them into the recipe.  Canning fail.

So, this year I decided to make some sauce.  It was an all day affair, let me tell you, but worth it in the end.  I looked to the Ball website for canning recipes and used their recipe for tomato sauce with basil and garlic.  You can see the original recipe here.  
I did tweak it some.  I didn't strain the sauce but rather pureed it in the Vitamix which really did away wi…