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Baked Chickpea Patties with Yogurt Sauce & Sweet Potato Oven Fries + Nine Months of Motherhood {A Baby Update} #babyledweaning #BLW

Well if that’s not the longest blog post title…

I can’t believe I’m sitting here writing about my experience as a mom for nine whole months. Some days feel like they never end, but overall, cliche as it may sound, the time has flown by. I swear it was just a few days ago when I was watching “Friday Night Lights” re-runs on my computer at 3 a.m. with a newborn who just; just yesterday morning when I was sharing my favorites in baby gear and apps with you guys and snuggling a sweet six-month-old; just a blink of an eye ago when I saw my baby crawl for the first time.

And now, here we are, nine months into this adventure and I’m telling you about the solid foods my little girl is eating all on her own. Sniffle. (And also the fact that we are SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT, glory glory hallelujah.)

Nine Months of Motherhood {A Baby Update} | @stephmwise

Truthfully, though, it’s been so fun to see Avery grow and develop into the lovely little lady she is today. She’s still spunky and headstrong as ever — in fact, we are starting to enjoy the very early stages of protests and temper tantrums when we take her away from things that are, you know, bad for her and dangerous — but she’s also incredibly sweet, gentle, cuddly and hilarious. The girl knows how to make me laugh like no one else with her funny faces, screeches and giggles. And yes, she still loves pulling giant tufts of hair from our poor cat.

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2015 Girl Versus Dough Reader Survey (RESULTS) | @stephmwise

I just want to start this post by saying thank you. No, THANK YOU. And if I could make that text a billion times bigger and make it shoot out confetti and play a song I would do that. And that would only skim the surface of the level of my appreciation.

Seriously though, I am so grateful to each and every one of you who took the time to take my first-ever reader survey last week. To say that I should have done this a loooooong time ago is an understatement. It gave me so much insight into not only who you are, but why you read Girl Versus Dough among the eleventy billion other food blogs out there. I feel like I really got a good idea of what you are looking for when you come here (carbs, mostly. And this is why we get each other), your own kitchen life (loves to bake and cook! Hates small spaces and lack of time! ← oh, do I hear ya) and how we can work together going forward to make this humble space even greater and more useful while also maintaining the tone and recipes and overall environment you seem to love (which, you guys, I totally shed a tear while reading your comments, for real). It makes me THISEXCITED about the future of GVD and I just really want to virtually bear hug everyone right now about it.

Ummmm all right. Let’s get to the details already.

2015 Girl Versus Dough Reader Survey (RESULTS) | @stephmwise

Most of you get here by way of e-mail updates.

This really surprised me, actually — I always thought people came through readers like Feedly or Bloglovin’. A good chunk of you also come directly to the site, whether you have it bookmarked or just remember to check in (which warms my heart that you think to do so). And then there are a few that come by way of Facebook. If you’re interested in signing up for my e-mail list (and getting a free eCookbook out of it, hey-o!), you can do so here. And if you’re interested in following along on Facebook, you can do so here. Otherwise, keep doing how you do. I’m just glad you’re here.

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Girl Versus Dough 2015 Annual Reader Survey | @stephmwise

Ooooohh hai what’s this? A reader survey? Oh ya, you betcha.

I’d been meaning to do this kind of thing oh, I don’t know, a million years ago, but am just now getting around to it because a) I am a procrastinator on these types of things and b) I thought it more important to post about cookies than about surveys. You understand.

But now, entering my sixth (!!!) year of blogging, I feel like it’s mos’ def’ high time I get a pulse on who you are, my dearest reader. I feel like we are friends — nay, kindred spirits? — already, but there is something to be said for knowing just how you use this site, how often, what you like about it, what you don’t (gulp), etcetera, etcetera. I want to know about you so I can make this space better for you. Help me help you. You dig?

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Merry Christmas from the Wises!

Just popping in to wish you all, my dear readers and friends, a very peaceful and joyous holiday season and a very merry Christmas.

Thank you all for being here. Thanks for joining me on this journey of carb love. Thanks for making this the best year yet.

Love to you from Stephanie, Elliott and Avery!


WUSTHOF Classic 7-Piece Block Set {Giveaway} | @stephmwise

(This giveaway is closed.)

Just imagine I’m saying this post out loud in Oprah voice. Ready?

IT’S THE HOLIDAAYYYYYYYS!! And to celebrate such an occasion, a group of bloggers plus I are banding together to spread the cheer with a giveaway. A WÜSTHOF knife set giveaway!! EVERYBODY GETS A —

Oh all right, I’m done.

Anywho, just popping in on this day before the weekend to share this awesome giveaway with y’all for a WUSTHOF Classic 7-Piece Block Set to one lucky reader, valued at $300 (psst — it’s the brand’s #1 selling set during the holidays, so you know it’s good).

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Six Months of Motherhood {A Baby Update} | @stephmwise

Firstly, thank you all for being so kind and understanding about my little blogging hiatus last week. It was much-needed and super restorative and relaxing. We went to my parents’ house in the Chicago suburbs, ate a lot of yummy home-cooked food from my mama and grandmother (and of course, all the Halloween candy) and I got to meet my bestie’s most adorable new puppy, George Washington, named as such because the shelter said he had confidence issues (a.k.a., a fear of squirrels).

It was also good for my soul to get extra snuggle time in with this little one who is, quite unbelievably, SIX months old already. For Avery, six months old looks like a lot of army crawling all over the house (towards anything and everything that is not a toy, of course… we are in serious need of babyproofing ’round these parts), laughing at our funny faces and her reflection in the mirror, lots of talking — or blowing raspberries or squealing or SCREECHING, ahem — a particular affinity for crawling toward our cat Percy and grabbing his tail while squealing (he’s such a good sport about the fact that she pulls out small tufts of his fur every.single.time.) and the early stages of cuddling ← FAVORITE.

Six Months of Motherhood {A Baby Update} | @stephmwise

For me, having a six month old looks like more sleep (do you hear the choir of angels singing?): Avery goes down for bed around 6:45 p.m. and wakes up between 4 and 5 a.m. for a feeding, then goes right back to sleep until 7:30 or 8 a.m. so I cannot complain one iota. It also looks like a little more confidence for me in so many departments: Knowing how to listen to Avery and what her cries mean, anticipating her needs, nursing in (slightly more) public places, going to the grocery store/Target without fear that she’s going to have a conniption fit in Aisle 5 and taking in all the cuddling time I can get, because my girl is already one independent little lady. Oh, and wine. I let myself drink some wine every now and then and it is glorious.

Six Months of Motherhood {A Baby Update} | @stephmwise

The memories of our difficult first few months together cloud over more and more every day with each giggle, smile and reach with those chubby little arms asking for me to hold her. Watching her spunky, headstrong, hilarious and sweet personality develop is just the best. And every night as I am about to put her to bed and she’s cuddled and cozy in my arms, I fall deeper in love with her, never thinking it’s even possible to do so.

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