Behind the Scenes 2014

the baloney bug

I think this year’s card might just be my favorite one yet.  We were a bit intimidated at the thought of trying to get a toddler and a dog to cooperate, but give them a cookie and some cream cheese and you’ve got a sure fire way to keep their attention.

I’ve been tossing around ideas for a kitchen scene for a while, and Jon was never on board.  When I suggested that he could be in the background pouring some booze into his coffee, he was suddenly a lot more interested.  I figured my favorite cards have always been the ones where something funny has been happening (Jon tied up in the Christmas lights and Brady pulling Jon down the street), so we went with it.  The original idea was for us to be dressed up in suit/tie/sparkles but last minute ditched the idea for pajamas.

Adelaide sat on her mark the entire time, happily gobbling down two very large chocolate chip cookies that we made earlier in the week.  I was running back and forth putting cream cheese on the island so Brady would jump up and lick it.  We had to take a small break to get him a step stool, because he was too short to really be seen in most of the photos.

This was our first year using lights.  We don’t get great lighting in our apartment, so Jon brought home some strobe lights to light the set.  I wish we had taken a photo of the entire setup, but it was too hectic to even think about it.  My friend Ashley came over to stand behind the camera and to get Adelaide’s attention, which was crazy helpful.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

^^I swear he wasn’t about to bite her.  Adelaide spent a good amount of the shoot trying to snuggle Brady.  She loves him so much.  Seriously, she just loves her dog.  Brady is so good with her, especially when she’s sneaking him food.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

The final image was actually 3 photographs (Adelaide and me + Brady + Jon).

I guess there are some benefits to being married to a photo geek.

(PS. You can see all of our past Christmas cards here.)

Adelaide’s First Gingerbread House

the baloney bug

My friend from high school invited Adelaide and I over for a Gingerbread House making party over the weekend, and we had so much fun.

Technically, Adelaide’s fun revolved around eating the candy.  I kept looking down to see bites taken out of our Hershey kiss walkway.

Sneaky little thing.

the baloney bug the baloney bug

Christmas this year is so different than last year.  While Adelaide still has no idea who Santa is, she’s able to participate and get excited about what we’re doing.  Last year she didn’t really pay much attention to her gifts, and favored the boxes and wrapping paper instead.  This year I am so excited for Christmas morning to see her open her gifts that we’ve selected for her.  It’s taking so much will power to not run to the closet and grab them and let her play with them right now.

(My mom came thisclose to caving yesterday when she was watching Adelaide because she’s so excited as well.  Grandmas!)

We still haven’t seen Santa yet, and I’m a little nervous that she’ll flat out refuse to go anywhere near him.  Anyone have tips for meeting Santa they can share??

Little Helper

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I convinced Jon that we needed a step stool for the kitchen so that Adelaide could see what I was doing on the counter and “help”.  I wanted to start getting her involved in what I was doing and giving her simple tasks to help me complete.  I was making cake pops for Ashley’s shower, which I would normally do during nap time.  I decided to have her participate, which surprisingly worked out well.

She helped me put the cake into the food processor and hit start, mix the icing in and form the cake into balls.

She also ate some of the cake.

Okay, a lot of it.

I really felt like I was winning when she was helping me with the cake pops.  We were engaging in a new project, doing new things together, having a baking lesson.  But then Adelaide realized that she could use the stool to get into things she previously couldn’t reach.  Like the microwave, the knife block, the sink.  So the jury’s still out whether this was a good purchase or not.

the baloney bug

Her babydoll was also on the counter, which she took breaks to feed with the bottle.  Such a good mommy.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I dipped them later that night when she was in bed because it’s a pretty time sensitive art.  I set aside a mini one for her to enjoy the next day.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug


She got one bite out of it before dropping it and Brady snatched it up.  Oh well.

Summer Inspired Cake Pops

the baloney bug I haven’t been baking nearly as much as I used to because um, my “helper” tends to make things a bit more complicated than they used to be.  I got her a step stool so she could see what I was doing on the counter, which is adorable to have her participate.  But also frustrating because she can now get into a whole new variety of things that weren’t accessible before.  Oh look!  Is that a knife block?!

Our local kids store was having a butterfly release party and asked me to make some summer themed cake pops for the event.  Ice cream, sunshine and butterflies seemed like the perfect choices.

They were a huge hit at the event and I enjoyed getting back in the baking groove.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Turning the oven on is physically painful in the summer heat, but definitely worth it for these little pieces of heaven.


Adelaide’s Donut Party

the baloney bug I never thought I’d feel so emotional about my baby turning one.  I always hear moms talking about their kid turning one and think, “Okay, it’s not really that big of a deal.

But it is.  In so many ways.

I mean, first off, I survived a year of parenting.  I think that alone is worth a party.

There were days over the last year that just dragged on, but then somehow they turned into weeks and before I knew it, I had a one year old.  One who is walking and doing tricks and constantly making me laugh.

I keep thinking back to a year ago when my water broke, when we walked the halls of the hospital, when I trusted my body and when I became a mother.  I think about that call I made to my mom to tell her I was in labor and how I started crying thinking about how my life was about to change, while she told me I could do this.

My life has stayed the same in some ways, and simultaneously changed in every way.

I sometimes forget that I’m a mom.  When I go to work or when I am out without Adelaide.  I’m just another normal person on the street, except I’m not.  I’m a mother to a precious girl.  A one year old.

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I decided a while back that the party theme would be donuts.  And yes, donuts can be a party theme.  Why not?  We served donuts from Doughnut Plant which were a huge hit.  Since our party was at noon, I wanted to serve brunch type foods.  We had also rented out a space, so I couldn’t serve any hot foods.  I finally decided on donuts (of course), bagels, donut shaped cake pops, chicken salad on croissants and fresh fruit cups.  And booze. 14-03-08_1st_Birthday_05 the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug

The majority of our party was adults, so we set up a bloody mary bar (so much fun picking ingredients for this- even made some bacon which was a hit), mimosas (with orange and grapefruit juice), water and coffee.  I had a dream a few days before the party that we forgot celery for the bloody mary bar.  The horror!

We also asked that our friends not bring gifts.  We live in a tiny apartment and just don’t have the space for extra things.  Plus we wanted to just have our friends all gather and come have a good time without have to worry about picking out a gift for a one year old.  Our friends are so generous though, and literally every person asked if they could bring something or help out in some way.  In hindsight I might have asked them to bring food or toiletries for the shelter my church supports so that they didn’t feel awkward showing up empty handed.

The room was filled with our friends and family who love us and love Adelaide.  To look every direction and see the people that have helped you raise your daughter is a feeling like no other.  I know how lucky I am to have had the support I’ve had over the last year and I’m eternally grateful for every single one of those people.  It really does take a village. the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug I was hesitant to have a smash cake at the party for a few reasons.  We’d have to get a high chair to the party location, Adelaide would of course get messy, but how messy?  I decided to suck it up and go for it.  The cake was made at a local bakery (I just asked for a plain white 4″ cake) and I put donut shaped cake pops on top.

I brought a change of clothes for her and a ton of wipes. 

Turns out we didn’t really need them because girlfriend doesn’t want any cake.

the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug

She was not at all interested in the cake.  She picked off the donuts one by one and tossed them to the ground.  She wouldn’t even touch the cake, so finally Jon put his finger in the icing and gave her a taste.  She was still skeptical.  Finally, we got her a fork and she took a few bites off of a fork and then tried to stand up and get out of her chair.  Basically, it was the cleanest smash cake you’ve ever seen.  She didn’t wear a bib and didn’t get a speck of icing on her clothes.  She kills me. the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug I still can’t believe I have a one year old.  I’m so lucky to be her mama.

Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

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Being home during the day means a bit more daytime television than I’m used to.  I’ve seen a lot of recipes and I’ve tried exactly two of them.

For Father’s Day I decided to try to give these Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches a try.  The cookies alone were amazing, throw in a chocolate or peanut butter filling and ohmygosh, this is what dreams are made of.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

These were crazy easy to make and were a total crowd pleaser.

And by “crowd pleaser” I mean, “I ate them all“.

Love is Sweet

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This past weekend I threw a bridal shower for my friend Jessica.  We became quick friends when she started dating Jon’s best friend Matt.

I always used to tell Matt that I wanted him to date someone who I could be friends with, so I was pretty excited when he introduced me to Jess.

the baloney bug

I of course had to have a mimosa bar, because what event is complete without a little booze?  I served the champagne with grapefruit, orange juice and raspberry lemonade.  The raspberry lemonade was by far the most popular choice (probably because it was awesome).

the baloney bug

This cheese board is actually Jon’s masterpiece.  Thank goodness I had him around to help set up before the shower because preparing for a shower with a newborn takes a tiny bit longer than I expected.

the baloney bug

I used this recipe for the cucumber topping.  It’s just Boursin cheese and a tiny bit of heavy cream.  Easy and awesome.  Done and done.

the baloney bug

Then there were cheesecake pops.  Oh, cheesecake pops.

True story: I tried to make my very first cheesecake the day before the shower while Adelaide was napping.  I rushed through it and got it in the oven literally at the same time that she woke up.  I baked it for an hour and then let it cool in the oven for the recommended five hours.

And then I forgot about it.

The next morning I woke up and realized my mistake.  I’m pretty sure the guests wouldn’t have appreciated eating a cheesecake that had been sitting out for twenty four hours, so I had to throw it out and send Jon to buy a store bought one.  The worst part isn’t that I had to throw out a perfectly good cheesecake, it’s that I wasted an entire two hour nap.

Next time I would skip trying to make it from scratch and just buy a store bought one to begin with.

the baloney bug

Congratulations to Matt and Jessica.  We couldn’t be more excited for you!

Nutter Butter Truffles

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles I may have a bit of a secret addiction to Nutter Butters.  When Jon and I were in the airport headed to Fiji I stopped in one of the newsstands and picked up a bag of them.  Next thing I know a full on addiction had been formed.  Ohmygosh, so good.

So when one of my friends said she’d seen the idea of Nutter Butter Truffles floating around the internet I knew I immediately had to try my hand at them.  Ridiculously easy, ridiculously delicious.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Throw the entire package of Nutter Butters into the food processor and blend down until it’s all crumbs.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Mix in a stick of cream cheese.  You can start with a spoon, but you’re going to have to get your hands in there to really blend it together.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Form the cream cheese and Nutter Butter mixture into balls.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Dip into melted chocolate.  I use Wilton Candy Melts, like I use for making cake pops.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles For a little extra pizzaz I throw the extra chocolate into a bag and drizzle over the truffles.  Instant fanciness.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Refrigerate them for a bit and then break off all the excess chocolate.  Serve up to your friends and impress them all.

Or just keep them all for yourself.  I won’t tell.





Happy 30th Birthday, Jon!


THIRTY!!! Thirty??  What an old man!

I wanted to bake Jon something to take into his office, like when you were in kindergarten and your mom made cupcakes for the entire class.  Except now a days parents don’t make cupcakes for the entire class because a quarter of the kids are allergic to dairy, a quarter allergic to gluten and the other half have diabetes.

the goodies

I asked Jon what he wanted me to make and he gave me free reign.  So I settled on these Rolo Stuffed Snickerdoodles.  It’s a very rare occasion that I can bake something without having to go out to the store for some odd ingredient.  So to have everything in my cabinets except the Rolos was a major win.

mix it up

They really were ridiculously easy to make.  Just combine the ingredients, form into balls around the Rolo, dip in cinnamon and sugar and bake.

ready for baking

Seriously, that’s all there is to it.  Any recipe that easy and delicious is a-okay in my book.

Happy Birthday to the best husband out there.  So excited for the adventures thirty has in store.

Three Year Blogiversary


This week marks three years that I’ve been documenting my life on The Baloney Bug.

In the last year I enjoyed my boys:









I tried some new recipes:



pie pops


heart cupcakes




mini ice cream brownie bites






I learned not to lend people my phone:


Had a bride cut me off:

happily ever after

I traveled:




I spent time with my family:





And the best of them all, I’m expecting our first child:


baby girl

Thanks to everyone who ever clicks over to this page and shares in what happens over here.  This blog has become my place to document my little family, my modern day scrapbook.

I can’t help but to be excited about what the next year will look like.