Showering Baby E with Love // Baby Shower Snippets

A few weeks ago, my mom, sister & mother-in-law threw Baby E & I the most darling baby shower.

It was simple, for brunch, and I was surrounded by about 90 (yes, 90!) of my closest family & friends.  Safe to say, Baby was SPOILED!

Below are a few photos from the party.  I was lucky that I got to be involved with some of the planning & decor, because planning & decor are two of my favorite things!

I didn't want a "traditional" baby shower filled with blue & pink baby-themed decor and endless games.  Nothing against that, I just wanted something simple, casual, & timeless.

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We decorated the window sills & tables with vintage blue mason jars wrapped in a burlap & lace ribbon & filled them with baby's breath.  Super easy, especially because between my mom, sister, & I, we had all the jars laying around our house.




Because I'm a photo nut, I had an idea to make a photo guest book; that way Baby E can page through it some day and see all the beautiful women who came to celebrate him/her.  It came together nicely; we stopped guests as they arrived and my sister took a photo of me with them.  We used this FujiFilm Instax Mini Camera so that we'd have a photo within seconds. Then the guests used washi tape to fasten their photo to a book and wrote us a little note.  It's the best keepsake & I'm really happy with how it turned out.




My mom made me this adorable diaper cake filled with endless goodies -- some of which were mine when I was a baby!



We posted a newborn & a 12 month photo of Zac & I... is Zac not the cutest baby ever?! Gahh!  I really hope our kids look just like him.




I posted a board of ultrasound images that we've had along the way -- it's crazy to compare the 6 week ultrasound to the 20 week ultrasound! 



My wonderful Aunt Jane made lots of sugar cookies for the guests to enjoy.




And below are few photos of the ladies behind the shower... and my special helper/sidekick, Elena :)






Baby Everard is not the only baby expected for 2017 -- all these beauties are expecting too!


And some of my very best friends... thank you ladies for coming!




We are so blessed to have had so many people shower Baby E with love...  THANK YOU!!!
Just a couple more weeks until we get to meet him or her and put all these gifts to good use :)


Make: Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal

Make: Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal | My Darling Days

We were at Costco for the first time last weekend and got carried away in the produce section.  It all looked sooo good!  I've been majority craving fruit -- berries mostly -- so I stocked up.  Forgetting that Zac & I are currently the only two people in our household at the moment who eat fruit, I found that by the following Saturday morning, we still had lots of berries left that needed to be eaten...

I was just going to freeze them, but then I asked myself what I could make to use up all those berries. Naturally, the first thing that came to my mind was a dessert.  Perhaps, cheesecake?!  Yum...  But then I tried to think of something slightly more healthy, and I'm not sure how, but baked oatmeal came to my mind.  So, I did what any normal person does & turned to Pinterest.

I clicked on the first picture that caught my eye -- it was Christine Skari's recipe & I had everything on hand to make it.  Of course, I put my own spin on her recipe... mainly because I'm not good at following directions :)

Luckily, my version turned out amazing.  I mean... look at this goodness!

Make: Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal | My Darling Days

Below is my take on her baked oatmeal, and it's safe to say, I'll be making this again & again!

You'll need:
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 eggs
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
3 cups of berries - I used strawberries, blueberries, & raspberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup diced pecans
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips -- because everything needs a hint of chocolate!
A splash of pure maple syrup

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt & brown sugar, then set it aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, honey, & butter.
4. In a 9"x13" baking pan, arrange 2 cups of the mixed berries. Then cover the berries with the dry bowl mixture in an even layer.  Next, pour the wet bowl mixture on top.  After that, add the rest of the berries on top.  Sprinkle on the almonds, pecans, and mini chocolate chips.  Lastly, drizzle with maple syrup.
5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the oats have absorbed all the liquid.
6. Enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from Apple of my Eye

Make: Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal | My Darling Days

This can be served warm or cold -- or mixed into yogurt -- or mixed with more almond milk -- or with whipped cream on top.. really, the possibilities are endless!

Make: Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal | My Darling Days


Make: Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal | My Darling Days

Let me know if you make this & how you made it your own!

Sharing at: Buns in my Oven | Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms | The SITS Girls

Travel: Florence, Italy

After our time in Venice, we made our way back inland.  Stopping briefly in Ferrara (just long enough for me to buy more socks & a light jacket -- it was so cold!) & across the Apennine Mountains into Tuscany, we arrived in Florence, "Cradle of the Renaissance".

We only had about a day and 1/2 in Florence and it rained a good portion while we were there (thus the drab photos), but I was still glad we got the chance to see a sliver of Florence.  Like Rome, I was a bit turned off by all the tourists and street vendors, but getting to see these views made up for the crowded streets.

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

When we first arrived in Florence, it was late-afternoon and raining.  We walked through Piazza Santa Croce & did the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon... we went shopping!

Travel: Piazza Santa Croce,  Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

We were definitely enticed by all the Florentine leather goods & jewelry.  I got to model a 750 Euro coat at Misuri that felt like butter.  I didn't walk away with the jacket, but Zac purchased a new belt & money clip.  He had them both stamped with his initials in gold leaf -- practical keepsakes from our time in Florence.

Misuri | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Misuri | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

We ended our first evening in Florence with dinner at Casa Toscana where we were served a dinner of local specialties accompanied by a large selection of wines.  It was delicious!

Casa Toscana | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Casa Toscana | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days


Day Two in Florence started bright & early with a guided walking tour of the Academy of Fine Arts where we got to see Michelangelo's David.  Photos don't do it an ounce of justice, it's really amazing in "real life" and quite massive.

Michelangelo's David | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Michelangelo's David | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Michelangelo's David | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

After that, we wandered throughout Piazza della Signoria.

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Then we admired the Florence Cathedral, Giotto's Bell Tower (which we would later climb!), and the Baptistry's heavy bronze "Gate of Paradise"

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Gate of Paradise | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Then we found a snack:

Gelato | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days











We decided to get a bird's eye view of Florence & climb Giotto's Bell Tower, which is a free-standing structure that is part of the complex of buildings that make up the Florence Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo.  It's 414 steps & is not recommended for people who suffer from heart problems, vertigo, or claustrophobia... but I did it anyway :)

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Giotto's Bell Tower | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Giotto's Bell Tower Views | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

After that trek, we worked up an appetite & had a yummy lunch before exploring more of Florence.

Pizza | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days




























Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
We found the bronze beast who eats the coins of visitors who come asking for good luck & walk away rubbing the snout the pig making it golden & shiny.


Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Next, we walked over the Ponte Vecchio, which during World War II, was the only bridge across the Arno River that the German's did not destroy. 

Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

The bridge is lined with shops on either side, and while we were on it, we happened to catch a parade.

Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days


Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Ponte Vecchio | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

After a full day exploring the city, we enjoyed the taste, smell & hospitality of Tuscany with dinner at Ristorante I Tre Pini, which was easily the BEST MEAL of our entire trip.  I am still dreaming about that ravioli in truffle sauce. 

Ristorante I Tre Pini | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

Ristorante I Tre Pini | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days
Also, they serve the BEST wine I've ever had.  We ended up ordering two cases of wine to have shipped home (our favorites were the Italian Sparklers: Volare, Blumond, Splendia -- and all but one bottle is sadly all gone). 

Fratelli Saraceni Wine | Travel: Florence, Italy | My Darling Days

My fondest memory in Florence was that meal.  Not only was the food & drink spectacular, but the people we were with made it memorable as well.

Up next, Pisa!
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Did you read about our time in Rome: here, here and here?
What about Assisi & Venice?
And don't forget about the colorful Burano Island!

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