Purely Elizabeth {Review}

When someone says to me, “you can find our products at Target”, I am immediately intrigued. After all, I’m a happy gal if I like it and I know I will be able to find it at one of my favorite stores!

When I was contacted by Purely Elizabeth, it couldn’t have been at a better time. It was about a month or two before my due date and not only was I concerned with eating well because of having gestational diabetes, but I also knew I wanted to get healthier and back in shape after the pregnancy weight. Purely Elizabeth would help with both!

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I love this quote I found on their website:

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While I don’t expect to ever completely change my entire diet to any one specific guideline, I do want to make better choices at each meal. And I’m going to be completely honest…I’m super lazy at breakfast. I used to just drink coffee. Then I got pregnant and needed to add something to it, so now it’s cereal and coffee. Basically, breakfast is limited to anything that takes less than 5 minutes to make.

I tried a variety of Purely Elizabeth items.

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The first product I tried was the Organic Apple Cinnamon Pecan Ancient Grain Oatmeal, made with quinoa, amaranth and flax and packed with 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

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Oatmeal is fantastic for breast milk production and should keep you full much longer than many other breakfast options. My bowl of oatmeal was ready in less than two minutes and after some milk to cool it down and cinnamon sugar to sweeten it up a bit (hey, baby steps!) it was ready to be enjoyed.

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It was delicious and I really liked the pecans sprinkled in there for some added crunch and the flavor provided by the apples. This would also be great with other fruits added in or almond milk instead of regular milk. Oatmeal is great for variety. :)

 

I also tried the Ancient Grain Granola.

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We have been enjoying creating various “parfaits” with yogurt lately and these granola options went so well with the plain vanilla yogurt we had on hand. It’s such a perfect breakfast, snack or dessert option due to how you can mix up the ingredients to coincide with what you are craving.

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Both varieties had a slightly sweet flavor and plenty of crunch. They would even be great by themselves as a snack!

 

I also tried these little single serve bags of granola. I wouldn’t have thought of it myself, but right on the bag, they suggested to add milk straight into the bag and enjoy as a cereal. What a perfect idea for a working mom on the go!! Especially one that loves cereal!

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This little bag was the perfect size (although, it is 2 servings per bag, so be mindful of any nutritional amounts that you keep track of). Even Trent had a few spoonfuls! You know it’s good if Trent will eat it!

Purely Elizabeth makes it easy to make healthy food choices and the fact that they are available at Target makes it a convenient choice too. Here are some other stores where Purely Elizabeth is sold.

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Right now, they have a coupon code available for $1 off your purchase. Print that baby out and go try it!

 

To learn more about Purely Elizabeth and other products from them, visit their website here.

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Thank you to Purely Elizabeth for sending me these delicious products for review. All opinions are my own and honest. Thanks for reading!

 

Registry Ideas for Baby #2

While not everyone chooses to do so, we had a baby shower for our second baby and I am so glad we did. While some people choose to say “Oh no, we don’t need anything” for their second baby, we definitely needed some stuff! But not only that, we enjoyed celebrating our new baby with family and friends.

I wanted to share some of the items we needed/wanted for our 2nd baby – because even though we needed no where near what we needed for our first, there were items that could use replacement or replenishment.

Of course, since our first was a boy and our second is a girl, we definitely needed clothes, so that was kind of a given and I didn’t put it on the list.

Registry Ideas Baby #2

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight

 

Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller

Our biggest item was a new stroller. Right now, we have two strollers, one for jogging and walking the neighborhood (that we use the most) and one for Disney and smaller spaces. We wanted a double jogging stroller, but all of them are side-by-side, which would be a nightmare in Disney. We really wanted to condense to one stroller, so we opted for the Baby Jogger City Select. It’s one of the only inline double strollers, so it’s still pretty compact considering it will hold 2 kids. It can be put into many different configurations and once Trent outgrows the stroller, it can convert back to a single stroller, essentially allowing us to get rid of the two strollers we have now and also not need to get another stroller in the future.

Diaper Genie Refills

We didn’t get another Diaper Genie, but we got some refills for it because you can never have enough!

Graco Backpack Diaper Bag

We’ve had a regular diaper bag for the past two years, but lately, transporting a toddler and anything else around has become a challenge. Plus, Brett has always thought carrying the regular diaper bag was kinda girly. So now he can feel more manly with a black backpack while also having his hands free to wrangle a toddler and a baby.

OXO Bottle Brush

This is another one of those items that just needs to be replaced every few months.

Replacement Pump Parts (for Medela Pump)

If you pumped for baby #1 and kept your pump, all you need is some replacement parts to start fresh! I am glad to not have to buy a pump again!

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

This is the best stuff, time for a new bottle.

ErgoBaby Carrier with Infant Insert

I debated this one a little. We have a simple BabyBjorn that we used a little for Trent, but I figured I would be using a carrier more with baby #2 so I can have my hands free for Trent. This one had amazing reviews and came at the recommendation of several friends. It can also go into 3 different positions and can accommodate babies for much longer.

Diapers

Because you can never get enough! Same thing for wipes too!

 

I am definitely glad we kept everything from Trent and even bought/asked for neutral items, so that Aubrey can use them too. We have the car seat, swing, crib, and plenty of toys from before that are ready to come out and be used!

Also to note, we created our registry on Amazon. Not only do we love Amazon ourselves, but creating a list on Amazon allows you to add anything from any site, anyone can find your registry and then you even get a 10% discount on most items you hadn’t received and need to buy within 30 days of your due date…how awesome is that?! It’s really easy to create an Amazon Baby Registry (you can use this direct link) and then keep an eye out for your discount within 30 days of your due date! If you are a Prime Member, you can sign up to Amazon Mom for FREE and increase your discount to 15%!

 

What about you? Have any ideas or suggestions for items for a 2nd Baby Registry? Share them in the comments!

 

 

Upgrade: Car Edition

Yesterday was my last day at work until I return after maternity leave. It felt kind of weird to leave before my due date, but I felt that taking the week before my due date off would give us some time to spend with Trent and relax before things get cray-cray. I also thought it would be great to not have to heeve-ho myself out of bed so early in the morning.

I also made the decision to take this next week off back when I had to get in and out of a 2 door Civic twice a day…which was becoming hilariously impossible. Now, I don’t have to worry about that…because about 3 weeks ago, I got a new car…a 2014 Honda CR-V!

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You guys…I am beyond excited to upgrade. I have been driving my 2005 Civic for 9 years now and it’s nice to have something new with more upgraded features….and more room for my family. That’s the biggest thing right there…oh and because it’s higher off the ground, I can get my preggo butt in and out easier! High five for not having to grunt when getting in and out of the car!

I loved my Civic…after 9 years, I only had about 56,000 miles on it, it’s still really clean and has been amazing for gas mileage…I only spent $40 a month on gas! I am glad to pass it onto the next person and I hope it gives them many more miles – we actually sold it to a family member, so I hope our niece loves it as her very first car. :)

I have always wanted a CR-V. I like Brett’s Pilot, but it’s a little too big for me. I just wanted something higher up and with more than 2 doors. And because I am a Honda fan, a CR-V fit the bill.  Although I had wanted to upgrade for a while, I kept putting it off because I didn’t think I NEEDED it. I surely knew I didn’t need a car payment, but after too many days with Brett out for photography work leaving Trent and I “stranded” at the house, I knew I needed an option that Trent AND Aubrey could fit in in case we needed to go anywhere. So, I played around and looked on online at used CR-Vs, and even presented Brett with a 2008 CR-V that I wouldn’t have to have a car payment on…but we passed since it had so many miles on it already. But that little spark was all it took to start the real car search.

Now, one thing I hate most in this world is car dealerships. Sure, I know most people hate them, but when you’ve had an ex-boyfriend that was a car dealer that would come home and tell you how he extremely overcharged this person and that family in order for us to be ok financially, well…it’s hard not to think they are all out to get you. From the moment we even talked about going to a car dealership, my anxiety took over and I was withholding any excitement. I just didn’t want to deal with it. Brett, on the other hand, was so relaxed about everything. He would talk to them about anything and everything….movies, the origin of our last name and the Swedish/Norway feud, completely random stuff…all while my heart goes 1000 miles an hour because I think the salesman is only talking to Brett about that stuff just to get on his good side and team up against me.

Even while driving away from the dealership in my new car, I couldn’t get excited because, in typical Florida fashion, as soon as I signed on the bottom line, it started storming. Was this a bad sign? Too late now!

But I couldn’t be happier. Even though I was extremely indecisive during the process, I am 100% pleased with the options and colors I picked. We already got another car seat for Trent, so he is set to go in both cars, and we will be getting an extra seat for Aubrey in there, as well. We have already taken advantage of this new scenario, with Brett dropping Trent off at my work so he could go to a photography job early and Trent hangs out with me at work until it’s time to go. I even took my first car-selfie while going to work yesterday!

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Ok, so you are probably wanting some photos, right?

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For the interior, I got black leather. Most people would probably think I was crazy getting black leather in Florida, but I wanted the dark, sleek, sporty look with all one color all over (the tan or gray interiors sometimes mixed between the dashboard and the seats and the ceiling). I bought these windshield shades and I park in the shade while at work. So far, I haven’t noticed much of a difference when it comes to the temperature inside after a sunny day in the parking lot.

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I am excited to think about the options that are available now that the kids can fit in my car. I think we should go to Disney World the next time Brett is shooting a wedding all day, what do y’all think? You think he’ll be jealous? hehe

 

May 2014 Walt Disney World Trip Report – Day 2

Welcome to our May 2014 Walt Disney World Trip Report! Click here to start reading from Day 1!

Friday

Today was the day of the 24 hour Rock Your Disney Side event at Magic Kingdom and Brett planned on being there the entire day. He woke up 4am to get ready and was standing outside waiting with a few other people to cross over from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom while it was still dark out.

Us? Not so much.

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I woke up at about 8:30am and then Trent woke up at about 10am. It’s crazy to think that by the time Trent woke up, Brett had already been inside Magic Kingdom for over 4 hours!

Our plan was to be lazy, play by the pool, then meet Brett at Magic Kingdom later on in the day. I had thought we would make the 3:30 pm parade and even had Fastpasses for it, but it was just so hot out that we decided a littler later than that was a good idea.

 

Before I get into our day, here is a little of Brett’s day.

He was one of the first people through the “turnstiles” and watched the Opening Show.

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He was shocked at how many people ran to get in line for the special event merchandise. He said that people were literally running to get there, but when he was strolling around later in the day, everything was still available for sale and nothing had sold out. All the craziness for nothing?

Of course, photographers were far more interested in something that can only happen on this very day…capturing a sunrise over Cinderella Castle! They were all lined up in the same vicinity to capture the unique event.

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But I can’t blame them….it was gorgeous. Brett got some amazing photos of the castle throughout the day.

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He then decided it was time for breakfast, and without me or Trent to think about or sway his decision, what do you think he got?

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A Dole Whip Float, of course! Breakfast of (Disney) champions.

He then took advantage of being solo and wandered around doing whatever his heart desired. He got a locker to store some of his stuff, rode whatever ride he came across, watched the Festival of Fantasy parade twice, and took photos of things/places that he doesn’t normally get with us tagging along. Here’s a bunch of photos from his day.

Have you ever noticed that if you stand in the perfect spot, the crown sits on top of Cinderella’s head in the fountain behind the castle?

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! Have you ridden it yet? I didn’t get to this trip…I was pregnant :(

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Everyone’s favorite bathroom area in WDW. I prefer less crowded locations, but it sure is pretty.

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Doesn’t this next photo look like it could be an official Disney photo? I think it should be!

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I am amazed at how Brett gets such great photos while on rides…especially Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He perfectly captures the castle in the distance. Me? All of my photos would be blurry beyond recognition. I’ll stick to accounting.

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Brett did something we haven’t done in many years…he ventured over to Tom Sawyer Island!

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He also enjoyed lunch at a place we’ve never eaten at before…the Diamond Horseshoe.

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He had not one, but TWO chances to watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade! The characters are so colorful and animated during this parade…Disney did a fantastic job.

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Brett’s favorite part is Maleficent…of course, it’s a fire-breathing dragon!

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One thing Brett had a chance to do was sit back and watch character interactions. His favorite was watching Gaston, but others proved hilarious too.

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The train conductor noticed Brett taking photos, so he let out all the steam as he pulled away from the station!

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A few people were dressed in costume….do you recognize these two from Up?

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There were also some famous people in attendance. These people are from the Disney Channel, but I have no idea who they are because I’m not 12 I guess.

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Brett even got to see Space Mountain with the lights turned on!

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It was a very eventful day for him!!!

But ok, now back to us…

We ate some breakfast in the room, then headed to the pool. Trent was ready.

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It was beautiful out, but very hot.

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We started out in the main pool and then we transferred over to the splash area…one of Trent’s most favorite things ever.

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I played with Trent for a bit and then let him run around on his own while I sat off to the side.

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Other kids would come by for a little bit and he would interact with them, then they would leave and he would have the place to himself. I think he was happy either way.

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After a while, there were a few other kids there and he got bumped into and he fell backwards. When I picked him up, I took the opportunity to end our splash time and head back to the room to change. He was NOT HAPPY about this and I hope that he doesn’t associate him getting hurt with “the fun coming to an end” but picking him up from something is one of the ways we can get him to leave somewhere. The other is bribing, but you can’t bribe this kid away from a splash area.

We changed then headed over to the Contempo Café for lunch. A cheeseburger and fries for me and chicken nuggets, grapes and chocolate milk for Trent. He did pretty well and ate a few chicken nuggets, some fries and all the grapes. He even sat in stroller the entire time without trying to escape.

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We then headed back to the room and took a nap, then woke up and got ready to go meet Brett at Magic Kingdom.

Have I told you before how convenient staying at the Contemporary is? I’m sure plenty of times, including once already in this trip report. But seriously, so convenient. I just wish it wasn’t so darn expensive!

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I hopped onto the monorail without needing to fold a stroller or anything. We arrived at MK around 5:30pm. Brett was going on 12 hours at the park…I seriously don’t know he was doing it.

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We had a Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, one of Trent’s favorite rides, so we headed right to Tomorrowland.

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Then we had a Fastpass for the Tomorrowland Speedway….Trent’s very first ride at meeting a height requirement!! We were so excited for him!

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He got his driver’s license and held onto to it tightly as we walked through the line. I think he was excited, even though I’m sure he had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t stop smiling because I was so excited for him.

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Trent rode with Brett and I rode by myself in front of them so I could turn around and take photos. I was probably holding up the line, but I didn’t care…I was watching my son drive a car with his dad for the first time! Too bad I couldn’t see much of Trent over the steering wheel, other than his trademark Mickey hat!

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Daddy teaching son the basics.

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Son looking at Daddy like he’s crazy.

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After our driving adventure, we stopped for a treat at Gaston’s Tavern…LeFou’s Brew!

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We headed towards Fantasyland and saw no line for the Carousel, so we jumped right on. Although Trent has ridden the carousel numerous times, he flipped out when we tried to put him on a horse. We tried 2 different sized horses, but he wasn’t having any of it, so we sat in the chairs, which definitely are not as fun.

We continued our walk towards Frontierland.

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“Mooooooommm, I hate the stroller! I want to get out and ruuuuuuunnnnnn!”

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We stood on the Splash Mountain bridge while Brett took photos. Every time a boat would drop and the people would scream, Trent would jump up in his stroller and scream too. He had quite a few people around him laughing, including us.

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It was about time for dinner, so we went to check out the taco place in front of Pirates of the Caribbean, but it was so crowded, so we headed back to Columbia Harbour House, where Brett and I both got the chicken fingers/fish and French fries and shared with Trent. Throughout the trip, we also gave Trent plenty of snacks…applesauce pouches, fruit snacks, goldfish, grapes, apple slices…so while we didn’t always buy him his own full kid’s meal, we always split food with him and gave him his own snacks too. In fact, Trent got to enjoy his snacks in some of the best spots…

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Of course, another benefit of the 24 hour event is the chance to get both sunrise AND sunset photos in the same day. Sunset certainly didn’t disappoint either.

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As we finished dinner, it was time to find a spot for Wishes. Brett had a spot in mind, so we headed there only to find another photographer that he knew set up there!

Trent watched Up on the iPad while waiting. He didn’t seem interested in the fireworks either. I didn’t mind as long as he wasn’t fussing.

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After the fireworks, we braved the crowds to head over towards Tomorrowland. I will be glad when the new hub construction is finished…getting anywhere after fireworks is an absolute nightmare…especially with a stroller.

The line for the Peoplemover was the longest we’d ever seen, so we took a detour to the Incredibles Dance Party. Trent danced for a few seconds, then ran up to a guy and hit his butt thinking it was Brett…he quickly got embarrassed and no longer wanted to dance or have fun, so we headed over to stand in line for Peoplemover. While the line was going pretty fast, so many people were cutting in line because they didn’t realize how far back the line started…or they knew and ignored it anyway.

After the Peoplemover, we grabbed some yummy ice cream and let Trent play with the bubble blower we bought at Epcot.

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Since we had Fastpasses for The Main Street Electrical parade in a few days, I decided not to stick around for that and left Brett to walk back to the hotel. After all, he had another several hours left in Magic Kingdom! And to think, he doesn’t even drink coffee!

I got back to the Contemporary around 11pm, where Trent and I got ready for bed and relaxed with some cartoons. Brett met up with some other photographer friends and even got to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train before it officially opened the next week! Here are some more photos of the rest of his day at MK.

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Do you ever stop to look at all the details?

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Early morning dance party!

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One of Brett’s last photos before leaving the park.

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Brett didn’t stay too much past 6am, since he had already gotten some great sunrise photos the prior morning, so he walked back to the hotel and got in around 7am, where he promptly took a shower and went right to sleep.

 

You may also enjoy:

Disney Dream Cruise Trip Report

Trent’s First Walt Disney World Trip Report

Disney Trip Countdown Craft

 

Local Eats: Prime Time

Tallahassee isn’t necessarily the culinary capital of Florida and I must confess that when it comes time to pick something up or go out to eat, we tend to stick to the same few places that are oh-so-conveniently located near our house. Especially with a toddler, we don’t always venture out to new places.

Brett scored one on the husband card last night when he set up a time for me to go out to dinner with his sister and mom and not only celebrate a child-free night before I don’t get one of those for a while, but to also thank them for giving us such an amazing baby shower. He and Trent hung out at home while I went out and enjoyed a new-to-me restaurant, Prime Time.

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Prime Time is located in the heart of what we call “College Town.” Florida State University is undoubtedly the epicenter of town and just has a different feel to it. Luckily, we went during the final week between semesters, so we basically had the place to ourselves. If we would have gone next week, we probably would have waited an hour to be seated and forced to hear screaming college students at one of the many tvs along the wall or the two bars located inside.

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But for this night, we enjoyed a nice, mostly quiet meal in a large booth and with prompt service.

We started out with Gooey Bread as an appetizer: Fresh baked Cerignola and Kalamata olive loaf, fresh mozzarella, Muenster and Fontina cheeses with sweet basil marinara. It was a good starter, a little too “olive-y” for me, but anything is good with cheese.

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I enjoyed the Buffalo Chicken Tacos….two heaping tacos filled with buffalo chicken, romain, tomatoes, buttermilk ranch and fresh cilantro. The menu said “crispy chicken” but it was more like lightly breaded grilled chicken…which was perfect. And the buffalo sauce was just right, a little bit of spice, but not enough to make me sniffle and wipe my nose the rest of the night.

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The tacos come alone, so I ordered a side of sweet potato fries. They are perhaps the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had…battered and crunchy. Too bad I was really full already, but I took these babies in a to-go box.

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My Mother-in-law enjoyed a “Burnout Burger” with jalapeño bacon, Fontina cheese, smoked jalapeños and crispy cayenne onions and jalapeño coffee BBQ sauce. Doesn’t that sound beyond spicy? Well, she said it wasn’t too spicy and it was delicious. She enjoyed it with eggplant fries. Sorry no photo here…the picture came out a little too blurry.

My sister-in-law enjoyed a Buffalo Chicken flatbread. No photo there either…I don’t know what I’m gonna do about those two taking their own photos lol.

We all split two desserts: a Nutella Lava Cake…

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…and a Peanut Butter Pie.

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Both were delicious and consumed entirely. If you twist my arm and make me pick a favorite, I would probably say the Nutella Lava cake because it was warm and had a center of creamy Nutella and would have gone pefect with some vanilla ice cream.

I enjoyed venturing to a new place and spending time out child-free and with two fun ladies. After dinner, even though we wanted to pass out from being full, we ventured to Target where they put together a nice little hospital bag for me.

Bag

Aren’t they the best? :)