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The Things I Loved This Week

Well, friends, tomorrow is my birthday! And is the case at least 50% of the time, it’s supposed to be cold and possibly even snowy tomorrow. (The other 50% of the time it’s 70 and feels like a heat wave. Ahhhh, April in upstate New York!) So while I’m anticipating a birthday that feels very little like spring at all and should be rather gray, I’m channeling all of the bright, happy spring-like things today in the run up to Easter in a couple weeks.

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15 Fun Friday Night Dinner Ideas

Is anyone else living for the weekend this week? And I know, I know it’s only Thursday but I am kind of counting the hours on this one. Plus, by Thursday at lunchtime Bob and I are usually brainstorming dinner ideas for the weekend. I generally do the majority of the weekly grocery shopping and errands on Thursdays and Fridays, so a little mini menu planning session on Thursday goes a long way.

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Make Me a Cake: Strawberry Poke Cake with Berries + Cream

Hey, friends, it’s my birthday week! On Saturday (which, yes, is April Fools’ Day) I’ll be turning 34. (That happened fast!) That day will also mark the 28th year that my mother has made me the same birthday cake. As she tells it, my sixth birthday was the first time I had a party with some of my little friends from school and she wanted to make a really special cake. She knew I loved strawberries so she decided to make a strawberry poke cake, since apparently poke cakes were all the rage back in the 80s. Who knew? Since then she’s made me this cake every single year, even when I haven’t lived in the same city, even if it’s a week before or a few weeks after my actual birthday.

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10 Beautiful Spaces: Dining Room Decor That I Love

Since things are really coming together with our living room (see the latest update), I’ve started to make plans for our dining room. Since sharing our renovation progress, I ordered and rolled out a big jute rug that really looks amazing in the room. Now it’s all about curtains, some cool wooden blinds and those few extra special touches that really bring a room together. In trying to decide what I wanted to do about window treatments, I was trolling my Pinterest boards for inspiration when I realized that I clearly have a thing for bright, light, mostly white dining rooms with great wood tones and lots of natural textures. Today I’m sharing 10 that all mostly fall in line with those characteristics, all of which make the cut for rooms I really love. Consider this a little dining room decor mashup!

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Real Talk with Real Moms: On Childcare

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, my thoughts almost immediately turned to childcare and how on earth this little babe of ours would get fed and diapered during the day while we were working. Almost as quickly, I knew that at least for the first year I wanted to try really hard to make it work without any kind of full time childcare. Call me crazy, but knowing she would be my first and my last all at the same time, I wanted to have that time with her and I thought I’d regret shipping her right off to daycare. Also, I was really really worried about the finances behind paying for childcare, which is where the “real talk” part of this conversation is about to come into play.

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The Things I Loved This Week

St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and I’ll be popping in with the next edition of our Real Talk with Real Moms series, but in the meantime I didn’t want to skip out on sharing some of my favorite things from around the web this week. A few last minute things to inspire your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, alongside those boozy Irish coffee milkshakes we whipped up yesterday! Also, just a few things that inspired me in general or caught my eye.

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Boozy Irish Coffee Milkshakes

At our favorite Irish pub here in town, they serve an Irish coffee that is the stuff that warms the soul on a cold winter day. Dark, rich coffee steaming hot with big splashes of whiskey and Irish cream. Topped with whipped cream and a little dusting of cinnamon, it’s basically dessert meets cocktail meets some kind of heaven. Is Ireland heaven after all? It may just be, friends, it may just be.

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17 St. Patrick’s Day Desserts Made with Lucky Charms

Friends, it’s St. Patrick’s Day week! In addition to making this super cute DIY sequin shamrock shirt to sport the requisite green come Friday, you should also probably consider eating an overload of Lucky Charms. Because it seems like everyone else is doing it, so why not us? In all seriousness though, I kind of love this trend of adding Lucky Charms to basically any and everything to create the most festive of St. Patrick’s Day desserts and treats. Sometimes you just need a little bit of childhood nostalgia in your life and these recipes will give your day just the right kind of whimsy. Scroll through for seventeen of the best Lucky Charms recipes – from ice cream to cookies, from donuts to cannoli! Don’t forget to pin ’em to save them for later.

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A DIY Fireplace Makeover for Under $30

The brick started kind of a yellowy speckled color that I always knew wouldn’t be long for the living once we were moved in and settled. The chimney is actually the same color and outside I kind of love it, but inside it was doing nothing but taking away from that gorgeous mantle. It instantly grabbed your eye when you waked in the room and definitely not in the good way. It was quite distracting actually. So finally after months of sitting and waiting and being sure I was 100% on the painting train, a few weeks ago I got the job done!

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The Things I Loved This Week

We have a tiny girl who has been pretty miserable this week, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend and hopefully a bit of time to unwind. (You can’t blame the one year old teething and running incessant fevers, but it does make the week feel a lot longer!) We don’t have much on our agenda this weekend, which feels really nice, so we might start getting organized for the next batch of renovation projects we want to tackle around the house.

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Caramelized Onion Dill Pickle Grilled Cheese

Bob and I have this little tradition of making what we call “fancy grilled cheese sandwiches” for dinner on Friday nights. Not every Friday night (far from it actually), but for some reason a great grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of homemade tomato soup is the perfect way to end the week when you’re too tired to want to cook up a more involved meal, but want to attempt something a bit more than delivery. This sandwich is one of our favorite variations! A grilled cheese made with caramelized onions, dill pickle, havarti and munster cheese all on inside-out ciabatta bread.

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