easter baskets & treats with quinn popcorn PLUS A GIVEAWAY!

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’tis the season for easter baskets! we haven’t really gone wild in this department but you gotta have some fun with it, right? last year, we did a little egg hunt in the backyard for miss elinor and it was too funny. she was so excited about finding all those brightly colored eggs. she collected them in her basket and brought them inside to gaze at in wonder. she was so overjoyed with her egg collection. AND THEN! she discovered that the eggs were filled with treats! so you can only imagine the enthusiasm level upon making that discovery…

elinor hasn’t really done much in the sugar-overdose-candy-junk-food department. call us lame-o, if you must. but we are just fine with that. i like that her taste buds find delight in simple pleasures like blueberries and that she has cultivated a sophisticated palate when it comes to special occasion treats. to her, splitting a homemade macaron with her papa is the créme de la créme. and cake and ice cream at a party is just so over-the-top amazing. that’s a good way to live.

so back to last year… when we were deciding on easter egg contents, we stuck to elinor’s favorite snacks and treats. and they just so happened to be mama and papa approved! elinor’s eggs were filled with annie’s organic cheddar bunnies + hail merry chocolate macaroons + organic raisins. and you know what? you would have thought that she won the lottery. and it was nice that she could enjoy her “special treats” without subsequently bouncing off the walls before catapulting into a sugar coma right before we went to church and spent the entire day out and about, sans nap. that would have been an ugly sight indeed.

this year, we plan to do the same for elinor’s basket, with one fabulous addition: QUINN POPCORN

we have the eggs and the basket and all the elements so all we have left is to fill and hide so she can find them and enjoy! stay tuned for pictures from all that because it is bound to be entertaining.

and in other easter food news…for our annual easter egg decorating contest, i am planning to whip up a tasty and festive snack so we can munch while we paint and dye and decorate and then judge each other’s designs (yes, in the spirit of the season, we have a family contest and judge each other. often, quite harshly. and it’s a blast.) i am going to use some QUINN vermont maple & sea salt popcorn as a base for some pinterest-worthy bunny bait. sweet and salty popcorn with some kind of chocolate and definitely nuts. i am betting that it will be wonderfully addictive.

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but now, onto the good stuff. we are pleased as punch to partner with QUINN POPCORN to not only fill our easter basket for elinor BUT to fill your tummies too! the amazing and generous crew at QUINN is providing three boxes of their bestest flavors to one lucky-duck reader! you will receive: 1 box (2 bags) of parmesan & rosemary microwave popcorn + 1 box (2 bags) of hickory smoked cheddar microwave popcorn + 1 box (2 bags) of vermont maple & sea salt microwave popcorn. that’s a whole lot of snackage.

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just comment below and tell me as much or as little about yourself as you’d like. perhaps, your favorite snack? or favorite thing to receive in an easter basket? the giveaway runs from now until THURSDAY APRIL 2 at midnight. short and sweet before the holiday weekend so, get in there! the winner will be randomly selected and contacted on friday morning.

AND, AND! they are also providing a super special discount code for swanky & dapper readers that will give you 20% off your online order! just use SWANKYEASTER at checkout. the code is good from now until monday, april 6. wahoo!

oh, and one last thing. you can also get entries on instagram so head over there to play too!

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gal pals

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three cheers for springtime meet-ups with gal pals! elinor enjoyed a delightful afternoon with a tiny friend and i got to catch up with a longtime friend.

we met up for some flowerchild because, i am obsessed and it is tasty. we enjoyed a surprisingly leisurely (and clean!) dining experience and then, we strolled a bit and explored. we talked about family and life and work and toddlerisms and pregnancy. we window-shopped and happened upon an oversized, super soft, floppy bunny who was a major hit with the littles. but, of course it was. look at that thing!

what a nice time. it is so good to reconnect with an “old friend” and get to experience new stages of life together. gosh, we have come a long way since our college days…

bébé numéro deux | 28 weeks


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progress & countdown: 28 weeks down & 84 days to go. firmly in the 3rd trimester. this is when time simultaneously speeds up and slows down. the great pregnancy phenomenon.

baby size: an eggplant.

food & drink: i am the world’s most boring preggo. no cravings or fun stuff going on around here. and especially during this stage of pregnancy, i am just eating to get proper nourishment and that’s where i like to stop. there is nothing worse than a full belly on top of a belly of baby. ick. so, i have been keeping it light and fresh whenever possible. trying to get in lots of hydrating foods and things with the most nutrient density with an occasional splurge because, that’s fun. but ben is pretty bummed out by my lameness. i keep reminding him that we will let the good times roll once baby arrives because i can pound food like a champ when i am breastfeeding. magical, magical breastfeeding and the extreme volume of food that i put away. good times.

bump stuff: it is feeling waaaaay bigger. i know i keep saying that but seriously. this belly of mine is so darn heavy by the end of the day. and baby is so low! so much lower than with elinor, which is nice for my ribs. no swift kicks to those yet. i am sure it is just a matter of weeks now… and, no outie bellybutton to report OR a linea nigra. we’ll see what the final stretch has in store.

highs: so many things. it was a big week. productive. active. fun. celebratory. i am reveling in God’s tenderness and goodness.

lows: starting to feel my limitations during exercise which makes me kind of crazy. but i am learning to modify and pay attention instead of just pushing through. good life lessons for me.

new developments: baby weighs about 2 1/4 pounds and measures about 14.8 inches from head to heels. baby can blink his eyes…which now sport lashes! with increasingly developed eyesight, baby may be able to see the light that filters through the womb. baby is also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life outside the womb. hurray for life outside the womb!

meaningful moments & hormones & feelings: this week has been a big one. we transitioned elinor to her big girl bed and got down to some nesting business in ridley’s room. his space is starting to take shape and look like less of a messy staging area. the key pieces are in. now, it is just to hang drapes and bring in the rug and put stuff on the walls and make it feel special with all the darling touches that i love so much. i am having such fun dreaming up and executing a space for a little man. it is going to have such a “man cave” feel to it. dark and rich fabrics. cozy items. lots of wood. rugged charm. memorabilia and sports stuff and other items from boyhood. yay! yay!

superficial stuff: i feel like my hips have majorly spread out and the belly has gotten super heavy and intense. i suppose that is to be expected in the third trimester but wowee, pregnant lady! i am grateful that my body is supporting a growing baby and preparing for labor (a little extra real estate in the hip region comes in super handy in the end…) and i know they are good changes, but still. i have moments when i kind of wish that i could just lay an egg and hand it off to papa for some incubation while i go about my nesting business and such. you know, like penguins do. but most days, i wouldn’t trade that wiggly-somersaulty-karate-belly-full-of-baby for anything. it is a pretty cool thing to experience.

looking forward to: my 28 week appointment this week! i get to hear that heartbeat again AND shift from monthly to biweekly appointments. 


oh! and something fun for all of you pregnant ladies or for those of you who know a pregnant lady… the fabulous folks at tiny prints reached out to share their new gender predictor quiz with me and i just had to pass it along. there are a ton of these types of things out there but this one has some fun twists and at least for me, was spot on.

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what about you? did it get it right? does your pregnancy defy the old wives’ tales? do tell.

all you need is love

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pay attention to that sign right up there. it pretty much sums up this entire post.

we went out for a quick dinner of protein bowls with forbidden rice and kale/sweet potato hash with lots of roasted veg and green curry tofu (and a cheese crisp for elinor)…followed by a pitaya bowl to splitsies. and as a delightfully sweet side dish, i was treated to a total lovefest between my man and his little darling.

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seriously though, take a look at this heart-bursting cuteness. one hundred percent guaranteed to make you all misty-eyed and give you all the feelings and leave you verklempt.

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gah! sigh. swoon. i don’t know if it gets any sweeter.

perfection. truly, perfection. i am so blessed to be loved by this guy and watch him love our little lady.

snaps & snippets & blurbs from saturday


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on saturday, elinor and i enjoyed a little mama-daughter time while ben worked from home for the first part of the day. on the menu: a meet-up with miss hallie and her little dude, peyton followed by some strolling and errand running.

the weather was simply glorious which made for an all-around incredible experience. and as you might know, we have been all about the al fresco dining for the last few weeks.

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we grabbed a table at our tried and true, true food, and ordered up some tasty dishes. elinor enjoyed an almond butter + banana + apple sandwich with carrot sticks and some fresh fruit. she gobbled up almost every single morsel. she even used two fingers to scoop up the remaining dip…pretty much licked that bowl clean. this girl and her dip, my goodness.

i had a monster vegan wrap with spicy soy chorizo and salsa and avocado. and the beans! and the sweet potato hash! it is embarrassing how quickly i devoured that plate. i blame it on the baby…

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um, and speaking of baby…would you look at my baby girl and her wispy baby-fine locks of curly goodness? she was having a majorly fab hair moment and it just needed to be celebrated. isn’t she practically edible? too much adorableness.

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oh, and speaking of adorableness…would you look at all that? elinor sitting on miss hallie’s lap and working it for the camera? and the flirting! she was playing all coy with peyton during brunch and it was too much. not sure that the 7-year-old boy was enjoying the smirks and eye batting from the 2-year-old across the table but the mamas were eating that up.

and just to freak out a bit – that lovely lady and i have known each other since we were her son’s age. and there we were, eating a meal with our kids. who are we? when did we grow up? sheesh.

so, yes. it was a delightful morning. after saying our farewells, elinor and i strolled a bit and enjoyed the cool breeze. we window shopped and ran an errand or so and grabbed some juby true juice and a few breakfast muffins to-go. because, there is no way that i would be allowed back in the house without bringing a muffin for ben. those muffins. total crack muffins. addiction level, man. coffee and banana and date and pistachio. all my faves! i keep saying that i am going to make a batch at home, some saturday morning, but that would not be wise. the $3 price tag and built-in portion control at a restaurant are absolutely necessary to keep some kind of barrier between me and those baked goods. my fear of sideways looks from the server when i order a dozen to-go after just eating a full meal is still just enough to deter me from ordering all. the. muffins. so yes, i will not be making these at home. the risk of my eating six or more in one sitting is just too great.

where was i? did i just spend a whole paragraph on muffins? yikes.

anyway…the afternoon was spent napping and resting and getting some stuff done around the house. AND THEN, ben getting into the kitchen to make some fantastic pizza for us to enjoy for dinner.

i give you…this.

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ben’s magical crust made with his whole wheat sourdough starter plus rye and buckwheat and stout. topped with his homemade red sauce + roasted garlic kale + sautéed cremini mushrooms + caramelized onions + fresh, local mozzarella.

folks, it was such a great dinner. and it was such a great saturday.