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Pumpkin Spice Puff Cereal | @girlversusdough

After waking up yesterday morning and putting on a sweater in hopes of cool-weather cozies (I think grown ups call that “hygge” or something?) only to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West in the sun and heat by the afternoon, I think it’s safe to say that I’m ready for fall.

Other signs that I’m ready? I’ve pulled my leather boots out of storage. I smile like a doofus at the changing leaves on trees. And I’m going to town on this Pumpkin Spice Puff Cereal on the daily.

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Thank You Day with Merci | @girlversusdough

Gratitude is something we often have for others, but is not something we often express. I know in our own little family we do our best to say “thank you” as often as we can — it’s important to us to know that we are grateful for each other and thankful for what we do for each other, no matter how simple the act.

But nobody’s perfect. And in the hustle and bustle of life, we often forget to say those two words to those we care about, even if we feel thankful in our hearts. This season of life for us is especially busy — we are building a house, we are working, we are traveling, we are heading from errands to meetings to play dates and back again. I know you probably feel the same way, too. But maybe it’s time to take a moment, just one moment, to show someone in your life that you care about them — with chocolate.

And what better day to do it than today, on National Thank You Day?

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Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars | @girlversusdough

I am sitting on the floor of our apartment writing to you to let you know two things: 1) We are alive! (despite the fact that I’m waist-deep in moving boxes) and 2) These Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars? They’re INCREDIBLE. And they’re gluten free, too!

So maybe that’s more than two things, but the point is this: When you decide to move your entire house into a two-bedroom apartment for a short time, or you need an easy and simple and delicious dessert to feed everyone who is helping you move (MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU, Mom and Dad), or you just have an insane hankering for chocolate chip cookies with a little extra something, these bars are for you.

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Breakfast Egg and Cheese Muffins | @girlversusdough

Hello! I am writing to you from the depths of moving boxes upon moving boxes. Actually, that is a lie — we are far from being fully packed here, and we move out in less than a week. (!) NOT PANICKING. Just gonna sit here and eat another breakfast egg and cheese muffin to prepare myself for all the packing and not panicking.

It’s hard to be motivated to pack when we are relocating ourselves to an apartment for a few months while the new house is still being built, but such is life. The apartment is actually pretty great, and it might even be fun to feel like we’re “camping out” for a while. But I know that, come December, I will be itching like no other to move into our new home. Counting down the days.

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Minty Lemonade Slush | @girlversusdough

Our little family is heading to the Minnesota State Fair today (barn animals! crowds! butter sculptures! foods on sticks!), as is tradition. And it’s the unofficial official last week of summer. This is a big deal, you guys. Let’s soak it all up, minty lemonade slush style.

This tasty bev is actually in part a homage to our dear state fair, as every year I’ve gone I’ve made a beeline to the Holy Land Deli concession stand in the International Bazaar (near the haunted house and the dairy building, naturally) where they sell the most delicious mint lemonade you could ever have. It’s thirst-quenching, it’s refreshing, it’s sweet, it’s minty, it’s tart, it’s everything you always wanted in a summertime drink. I’ll be making that beeline again today for sure, but to know I can also just walk into my kitchen and have the same experience is a heavenly revelation.

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Blackberry Black Bottom Pie | @girlversusdough

The only thing better than pie, in my opinion, is a pie with a layer of chocolate at the bottom. And that’s exactly what this Blackberry Black Bottom Pie delivers.

It also happens to deliver a creamy cheesecake-like layer, as well as a topping of fresh blackberries tossed in a sweet compote. All of this is placed on top of a flaky, buttery crust. It’s exactly what your weekend needs (if you can wait that long). You’re welcome.

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