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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Strawberry-Covered Dark Chocolate Truffles | @stephmwise #GalentinesDay

Remember that cheat day?


To be fair, though, it’s Galentine’s Day. The day when a gaggle of gals get together (or in this case, a gaggle of bloggers get together on the WWW) and share waffles/treats/stories of love and truth and wisdom and happiness. And strawberry covered dark chocolate truffles. So I had a very good excuse for eating all the truffles. I mean, TWO TRUFFLES. OK, fine. I ate three truffles.

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14+ Easy Sweets for Valentine's Day | @stephmwise

So I did something really dumb.

The week before Valentine’s Day, the day of love and of chocolate and of love of chocolate, I decided to cut as much sugar from my diet as possible. That means no refined or added sugars, and therefore no dessert of the chocolate/cake/cookie variety. I just felt like I’d had one too many brownies (I know, is that even a thing?) and I needed to press the reset button on my sugar-loving life.

But then… Valentine’s Day. And all the red velvet and the chocolate and the drippy ganache and the fudge and the ugh. I can barely deal. I just want a cookie to get over my sadness of not having a cookie!

Anyway, enough boo-hooing from me. Instead, let’s look at all the easy-peasy desserts you can make (and eat!) with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day that I’ve collected from the GVD archives, as well as a few from other bloggers on le world wide web. Let’s take a stroll down droolworthy lane, shall we?

Lemon Ginger Panna Cotta Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce | @stephmwise

Cheesecake. Yes, cheesecake is easy — no, THIS panna cotta cheesecake is easy. And it’s flavored with lemon and ginger and topped with a blueberry sauce and love.

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Parker House Rolls and KitchenAid 11-Cup Food Processor {Giveaway} | @stephmwise

(This giveaway is closed.)

Rolls, rolls, rolls! And no, I’m not talking about what happens to my body when I eat too many rolls. Um, awkward.

I’m just saying it’s been a bit of a bread roll party around here, and if that’s OK with you, it’s OK with me. Because when the fluffiest and softest and cuddliest — er, most delicious of Parker House rolls are invited, it’s the best kind of roll party. Whatever that is. Right.

ANYWHO. Let’s talk about (dinner) rolls!

If you’ve never made a Parker House roll from scratch before, now is the time. And if you’ve never eaten a Parker House roll before, the situation is even more dire — because you must. You must try them. They are the epitome of dinner roll goodness. When you think of the perfect dinner roll — all warm and soft and fluffy on the inside with a slight crust and crunch on the outside — you are most definitely envisioning a Parker House roll. You just might not know it. And guess what? They’re the easiest things ever to bake right at home, too. So that’s a win-win-win right there (extra win for the eating part, obviously).

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Saffron Risotto with Shrimp and Pistachios | @stephmwise

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this year to look like — really, what I want my life to look like going forward. I know some people choose a word to define their year and while I did that last year (served with a side of cake, naturally), I felt like it would be too limiting for me for 2015. I just wanted to go into it with intentions: To eat well, to love better, to pray more, to obsess less, the list goes on.

But then the word “legacy” recently popped into my brain one slow afternoon, while my daughter played with nesting bowls on the rug in the center of our living room and I, as I often do, sat on the couch scrolling through photos on my Instagram feed. And it struck me, quite aggressively and surprisingly, actually: Is this the legacy I want to leave for my little girl? Do I want her to remember me as the mother who loved her unconditionally, who showed her the beauty of this world and fed her delicious home-cooked meals and took her on adventures and sometimes even just sat on the floor with her playing with her bowls? Or do I want to be the mother who stared at her phone all day, itching to get back on the computer during naptime to clunk out that blog post, edit those photos, scroll through another feed?

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Parmesan Pesto Skillet Rolls | @stephmwise

Quiz time! (This one is fun, promise.)

Question: What is cheesy and pesto-y and carb-y and one of the best creations to come out of my oven?

If you answered these Parmesan pesto skillet rolls, ding ding ding! You are correct. Gold star for you. No, a roll for you. And one for me, too, because writing quizzes is hard.

You know what isn’t, though? Making and eating these delicious rolls of cheesy, pesto-y, carb-y deliciousness. I know I tell you approximately every day that you need to get A, B or C carbs into your life, but I mean it the most this time. If you’ve got a spare minute to bake this weekend, make that time for these rolls. If you feel like you need to have a side dish to go with that soup on the stove, make it these rolls. If you just want to bake slash eat all the cheesy bread (with extra pesto, please!), get these rolls in your life.

They’re pillowy, they’re tender and soft, they’re filled with cheese and pesto and then also topped with cheese and pesto and you can eat them straight from the oven while they’re still warm and the cheese is ooey-gooey and melty and the light crust is still lightly crusty and no seriously, I’ll be right back because I need to go get another one of these rolls right now. For the love of cheese and pesto.

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