White Pizza with Bacon, Basil and Tomatoes

by Jenn (eating bender) on February 9, 2015

White Pizza - Nicole's Baby Shower

I am so excited to participate in a virtual baby shower for an amazing blog and real life friend today: Nicole of The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie! Kudos to Ari for the awesome idea.

Bump Buds

Nicole was the first new friend I made upon our move to Arizona, and she is also the person responsible for introducing me to many of the friends I’ve made since. That alone gives you a glimpse of the caring, warm-hearted person she is. She is my book club co-founder, trusty rock jumping partner and so much more. We’ve often commented about how likeminded we are, and so when we found out we were both pregnant and just four weeks apart, it was all the more exciting to be able to share in the journey together. I can’t wait to meet her little boy or girl!

Knowing that Nicole is a huge fan of pizza (seriously, just check out some of her creations like Chicken Enchilada Pizza, Thai Chicken Pizza or Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza, among many other delicious possibilities), I thought it would be fitting to make one that featured our shared love of goat cheese. Then it hit me: four cheese white pizza! Four cheeses, a pizza that incorporates the family name with a pun … what’s not to love? And so, a recipe was born.


I think my favorite part was watching the cheese transform. Oh how I love cheese.



The drizzle of fig balsamic added a whole new dimension of flavor. You could use any balsamic vinegar, but I am a big fan of how the fig blended with the rest of the ingredients.


I hope you enjoy this pizza, Nicole! Thanks for being the reason I posted a recipe for the first time in months. :) Check out all of these other scrumptious-looking drink, brownie and pizza recipes from your other virtual baby shower guests!

Nicole’s Virtual Baby Shower Recipes

Boozy Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from Ari’s Menu
Boozy Iced Coffee from The Wanderlust Kitchen
Coconut Oil Brownies from Handle the Heat
Raspberry Lemonade Champagne Punch from Eat. Drink. Love.
Chocolate Cherry Brownies
from Savvy Eats
Four Cheese Pizza with Sausage and Peppers from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Crab Rangoon Pizza from Mollie’s Sprinkles of Life
Grapefruit Chia Seed Cocktail from Peace Love and Oats
White Pizza with Bacon, Basil & Tomatoes from Eating Bender

Can’t wait to try the boozy ones – won’t be long now! Nicole, I wish you a wonderful rest of your pregnancy and truly can’t wait to hear all about the moment when you meet your son or daughter for the very first time. He or she is very lucky to have you as a mom. Love you lots!




Catching Up Over Club Soda

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 23, 2015

What can I say? The drinks are pretty adventurous around here these days!

I’ve missed blogging! But the reality is that it’s the first thing I put on the back burner as we enter crunch time in the world of parenthood prep. So I thought perhaps we could meet for a virtual club soda date to catch up. Although if you’d like, I can make you something stronger!

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…

Weeks 27-31

My weekly photos seem to get progressively more ridiculous.

Today marks two months until the due date, although I’m always thinking in weeks these days. Less than nine weeks, to be exact.

Nine weeks! It seems like just yesterday I was nine weeks pregnant and we were seeing our little dude as a teeny tiny speck on the ultrasound. Let me tell you, that is no longer the case. He is all limbs and he likes to use ‘em. A lot! This week I finally captured the craziness on video and managed to get clear shots of his knee (at least I think it’s his knee) pushing the limits of my abdomen.

It looks as crazy as it sounds, but he seems to really enjoy himself.

I know for a fact that this nonstop energy does not come from me, the baby who liked to sleep so much in utero that I arrived more than two weeks past my due date. That leaves one other culpable party who just so happens to love soccer. Hmm…

Honestly though, I love it. If his energy inside translates into his personality on the outside, then us parents are in for quite the treat. His crashing waves aren’t painful – that is, unless he happens to hit my rib cage. Then it’s not quite so ticklish and we have to have a little chat. :)

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…

cloth diapers

In other baby-related news, we’ve decided to cloth diaper! I am unreasonably excited about it (diaper changes! yes!), but we already know I’m a complete nerd so that’s OK. Like our plan for labor, cloth diapering has been on my radar for a long time. I hadn’t done much research on it though, and it can be super overwhelming. Fortunately, I had some great resources in my cousin, Lisa, and friend, Jill (thanks, ladies!), in addition to reading about fellow bloggers’ experiences, such as Jenna. It was through Jenna I first heard about Green Mountain Diapers, which not only sells a wide variety of cloth diapers at all price points but also serves as an incredible resource for new parents, with how-tos and FAQs that cover all the bases (and booties).

Our plan is to cloth diaper at home for sure, probably starting after the first week once the meconium has passed and we’re feeling more settled. We’ll also have them when out and about, but will likely use disposables when traveling. Of course, all of this is subject to change, but for now it feels like a good strategy.

I love the variety of adorable colors and designs (some of what we’ve gotten for the newborn stage is in the photo above), but what excites me most is the cost factor – it’s a bigger investment up front but in the long term should be very economical. Plus, I’ve read time and time again that as long as you’re doing it correctly, cloth diapering is really effective against leaks. Sign me up! I know it will be extra laundry but once a routine is established, I feel confident that it will be seamlessly integrated into our new lives as parents.

I’ll plan to do a more detailed post in the future about what specific diapers we’re using and how it’s going, if you’re interested! To kick things off, we’re trying a bit of everything in the newborn stage – prefolds, workhorse diapers (both with Thirsties Duo covers) and all-in-ones – to see what works best for us. Then we’ll plan to use that method in the bigger sizes.

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…


Our Christmas in Minnesota was a lot of fun! Yes, I realize it has been almost a month since the holiday, but I can’t resist sharing a few photos of our time with Barb, John, Adam, Susan (check out her awesome recap) and two of our nieces pieces, Claire and Molly.

Christmas Day was full of opening presents wrapped with (and wearing) pretty bows.


The girls had a lot of fun and received some awesome new toys!



The rest of the trip was full of bundled up walks to the park…


…gatherings with family…



…and gingerbread houses! Among plenty of other fun activities.


This photo is one of my favorites (courtesy of Susan). Twas a house built with love. :)

Photo Dec 28, 6 43 52 PM

Bobby and I were also so thankful to both sides of his family for giving us some great gifts for baby boy! We received an impressive collection of books to add to our library, as well as some adorable clothes and registry favorites. Plus, it was the perfect chance to catch up even more with family we don’t get to see as often as we’d like. I am truly grateful to everyone – Spidey is lucky to be so loved!

Photo Dec 28, 12 01 56 PM2

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…

2014 Books Stats

I exceeded my page number goal in 2014 – woohoo! I was aiming for 15,000 and ended up reading 15,865. I really liked having page numbers as a goal instead of actual books, but surprisingly found I read more books anyway as a result.

Since I’ve been majorly slacking on my reviews as of late, I thought I could at least list them all out for you and provide links if the title intrigues you. I’ve ordered them into categories based on how much I liked them. Yes, I’m a pretty easygoing judge. But I really did love most of them.

Top Five (I counted books in a series as one but this was still really tough)

Books I Loved

Books I Liked

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…


We woke up to a rare desert snowfall on January 1, 2015. It’s not every day it snows in this part of Arizona, much less sticks to the ground for the majority of the day. It was truly beautiful and made me optimistic that the year ahead is going to be something special. I still haven’t sat down to formally write goals, but highest on my priority list is a healthy, happy baby.

What would you tell me on our club soda date?

I’m going to do my best to check in more often!




Baby Bender: 26 Weeks

December 19, 2014

Honestly, I don’t know where time is going these days. It seems I went from being halfway through pregnancy to almost entering the third trimester in the blink of an eye! I’m sure the holidays play a big part, not to mention that I am definitely still in my second trimester “honeymoon phase.” But I’m going to hold on […]

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Feeling Thankful + Fall Pinterest Party

November 26, 2014

Well hello there, day before Thanksgiving. Where did you come from? I didn’t plan to take almost an entire month off from blogging, but the semi-break has been helpful in finding time to cross off at least some of the to-dos in the four months we have left as a family of two. Baby Bender’s nursery […]

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Baby Bender: 19 Weeks {It’s a…}

October 30, 2014

We are feeling blue this week, for all the best reasons. Last Friday, we had our 18-week ultrasound and found out that Baby Bender is healthy, super flexible and most definitely… Our little BOY!!!! I was so nervous the morning of the appointment, and the waiting room made me even more anxious. Fortunately, our ultrasound technician […]

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Four Years! {Sedona + Flagstaff Getaway}

October 16, 2014

Today marks four years of married life with my best friend – hurray! This year, Bobby and I decided to combine an anniversary and babymoon trip into one fall weekend getaway. After our adventures in Sedona toward the end of the season last year, we thought it would be fun to head north even earlier in hopes of catching a glimpse of […]

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Baby Bender: 15 Weeks

October 1, 2014

I’m excited to share what I’ve been doing to track Baby Bender’s week-by-week progress! I got the idea from combining this post and this post on Pinterest and thought it would be a lot of fun, not just for me and Bobby but also for the little one to be able to look at someday. I […]

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Top 10 Books On My Fall To-Read List

September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I am ridiculously excited to participate in my first “Top Ten Tuesday.” It probably comes as no surprise that I am a voracious reader of book blogs, and I’ve been wanting to join in on the fun for quite some time (learn more about the weekly meme here). […]

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