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Easter Weekend Recap – The Bright Side

Today I am grateful for the stomach flu, my amazing husband, new bedtime routines and this video…

After my bedtime blues rant I wound up with the stomach flu. As I was bedridden for nearly two days, my husband managed to figure out a new bedtime routine that seems to be working so far. Rylie gets to watch 1 episode of her favorite tv show, says night night to the characters, goes upstairs, brushes her teeth, reads a few books and then watches Twinkle Twinkle until she falls asleep. So far it’s led to the most peaceful evenings we’ve had in a while with little to no leg movement. In fact tonight, after her most favorite episode of Yo Fresh Beats Gabba Gabba and a few minutes of getting her sillies out, she grabbed my hand, said night night owl and led me up the stairs. Success. and might I add, she went to bed 45 minutes earlier than usual. YEAH.

Despite the otherwise pukey end to my weekend (and I mean that in every sense of the word), Rylie and I had the most wonderful Easter weekend just the two of us, exploring some of our favorite places in Phoenix totally Dad free.

We woke up bright and early on Saturday to go use some of my free herb coupons from Penzys. If you’ve not been to Penzys you must go. AND, if you have one local to you, and sign up for their catalog, you get free coupons. BONUS. I scored 2 small jars of Cinnamon and a jar of Cumin.

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Rylie also had a load of fun running rampant at Tempe Marketplace. Hint: If you go there early enough on the weekend the place is empty. Perfect for a toddler on the move.

After our little shopping venture we headed to The Farm at South Mountain for some lunch with friends. One of our favorite hidden spots in Phoenix. In fact it’s such a favorite, I even got married there. They have a delicious lunch spot that only uses locally grown foods. There is a farmers market on the weekends and even a delicious breakfast place. Its perfect for kiddos to run around free while moms chat it up.

The Farm at South Mountain

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After we went home and each took a nap, I decided my lack of planning would not stop the Easter Bunny from making a stop at our house, so we headed to Target where I snuck some dollar bin toys into the cart. As we walked through the store, Rylie suddenly started yelling NOT NICE. This was the first time I’ve heard these words spoken from her mouth. OK, time for bed.

We woke up Sunday morning to a table full of treats and quickly headed out the door to see the Easter Bunny and have some yummy breakfast at another hidden Phoenix gem… The Grove. Clearly we have a love of farms… after all, we are The Gardners.

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I would have to agree with Rylie, this bunny was a bit creepy… but thanks to Rylies mad egg hunting skills, he was kind enough to give me a bag full of candy. OK, we can be friends, but Rylie will only accept a high five. No hugs please, NOT NICE.

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The Grove

The Grove

So you see, bedtime complaints set aside… this cute little girl is my BFF. Next weekend we tackle our first toddler birthday. It’s going to be fun!

What We Eat: Tortellini Salad

My blog is a bit of a hot mess right now, many thanks WordPress. I lost all of my formatting in an upgrade. I’ll have to work on that.

In the meantime, enjoy one of my most favorite and colorful recipes. I found this years ago on the Food Network and make it each year when the weather gets warm. The colors make me smile and it is so flavorful. I also LOVE that it gave me an opportunity to use my Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes.

Tortellini Salad

For the Salad
Tortellini – I love using the Buitoni Mixed Cheese Tortellini for the color
Spinach
Artichoke Hearts
1 roasted red pepper
1 small red onion
Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes

For the Dressing
Garlic – I use my garlic from Gourmet Garden
1 lemon, zested
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Black pepper

Simply cook up your tortellini until it floats at the top of your pot. Spread it out on a cookie sheet for cooling. Coarsley chop your spinach, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper. Chop your red onion finely. At this time you can cut up your Sun Dired Tomatoes, but don’t ad them until the end.

To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients listed and give it a good shake up in a sealed container.

Mix everything together and voila. This is seriously my most favorite salad. In fact, I might just make it again this weekend!

Enjoy.

Gourmet Garden Herbs Giveaway

Here it is friends, my first ever blog giveaway. Are you excited? I know I am!

Gourmet Garden Giveaway

I previously posted about this delicious cooler full of herbs that I received from Gourmet Garden. Wouldn’t you love to get one delivered to your door? The cooler is packed with 11 fresh herbs that you don’t have to chop! They are fast, easy and delicious.

One lucky US resident will receive Basil, Chili Pepper, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic & Chunky Garlic, Ginger, Italian Herbs, Lemon Grass, Oregano and Parsley from Gourmet Garden. Enter by clicking the link below to win and be sure to share with your friends!

Enter the giveaway here!

Good luck!

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