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This past week was hard. Instead of going into detail on that, I will instead direct your attention to ice cream. I was on my way home from an appointment last week when my friend Anna called. She was at our house watching the girls and a package had been delivered. She informed me, “The FedEx guy was just here and dropped off a big box. He told me it’s full of ice cream!” Never have I loved FedEx, and Anna, so much. When you’re having the toughest week and a box filled with the best ice cream on earth is delivered to your doorstep? Heavenly.

The (amazing) Snoqualmie Ice Cream company sent me nine fantastic pints to enjoy. Nine! The flavors included: Crème Fraîche, Mukilteo Mudd (which Kyle declared to be one of the BEST chocolate desserts he’s ever had), French Lavender, Island Coconut, Honey Cinnamon, Bold Espresso, Almond Poppyseed, Green Tea, and Ginger. I think everyone, regardless of what kind of week they’re having, should have the opportunity to have access to this ice cream. Mid-pint I stopped to email them and see if we could give some away, which is what we are doing. The giveaway (which we are hosting over in Instagram) is for 4 pint coupons. Head over there to see the details.

With that I’m signing off for a nice, relaxing, rainy weekend. I’m hoping for a few extra hours in bed with coffee (or ice cream) and a good book.

SNOQUALMIE ICE CREAMPINSNOQUALMIE ICE CREAMPINSNOQUALMIE ICE CREAMPINSNOQUALMIE ICE CREAMPINSNOQUALMIE ICE CREAMPIN

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  • Carie - oh now that’s the post you want on a really bad day isn’t it! I’m not sure the ice cream would survive the shipping to the UK so I’ll have to pass on the competition but it has made me long for ice cream looking at all those yummy flavours!ReplyCancel

I’ll start by announcing the winner of the Jungle Book Playset! The winner is… via Instagram is @amumreviews!

I saved my personal favorite book and playset for last. The Babylit Pride and Prejudice Playset is amazing. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books, and my favorite movies. I was first introduced to it by my Aunt who showed me the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version when I was a teenager. I love getting to introduce Gigi to it at such a young age thanks to the Babylit version. Gigi loves stories and characters and Pride and Prejudice’s varied Bennett sisters, hilarious parents, and passionate men, have already sparked hours of fun, creative play.

I had grand plans for a Pride and Prejudice themed ball, but we talked about it and Gigi chose to have a “Jane Austen Tea”.  I showed Gigi the illustrated cover of my Pride and Prejudice book, and she requested a simple pink dress and a shawl. She set up her new desk with a writing pad and pen, her play tea pot and cup, and I made Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Shortbread Cookies because they seemed like the perfect thing for a British tea party.

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To enter the giveaway and win a Pride and Prejudice Playset leave a comment! I’ll announce the winner next week! You can also enter on Instagram! Good luck!

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Last week was unpredictable, busy, fun and exhausting. For some reason Lulu and I was a real klutzes which added to the unpredictable tone of the week. We woke up on Saturday morning to a filthy house. I spent the week grocery shopping (I dropped and broke some eggs), working on a recipe for a magazine, cooking wonderful dishes from My Paris Kitchen, picking up silly toys for our upcoming road trip at the dollar store (where Lulu knocked over a display of puzzles), replying to photography emails, and attempting to be a great mom, wife, and housekeeper.

In all the business, the housekeeping was the first thing to go… as evidence by the popcorn and banana chips scattered all over the living room for on Saturday morning. Nothing says, “Time to clean up!”, like a banana chip stuck to your sock at 7am. But instead of cleaning we decided to have fun and clean on Sunday instead. We took the kids to a fun, interactive museum (where I knocked over a wooden balance puzzle), and went out to a local brewery for lunch (where Lulu dumped a big glass of water directly into my lap). Sometimes the answer is simple: having fun > than cleaning. We got around to cleaning eventually and are starting off this week with a very tidy, cozy house.

My plan for this week is to keep things simple and tidy so as to swing the pendulum back away from work and over to the mom/wife/housekeeper side of things. After cooking elaborate meals this past week, I’ve opted to keep this upcoming weeks’ menu as simple as possible. I love picking up the crispest, freshest vegetables at the store and creating an easy lunch from them. My favorite way to serve them is to simply clean, dry, and trim them, lay them on a parchment lined tray and whip up a couple simple dips and set them on the table. It’s nice to have a simple, light lunch as I tend to make more elaborate, richer dinners.

Crudités with Harissa Aioli and Caper Buttermilk DipPIN

Crudités with Harissa Aioli and Caper Buttermilk DipPINThere are so many wonderful options for raw vegetables that branch out from the boring broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrot spread. I opt for fun, colorful raw bok choy, radishes, endives, thinly sliced beets, fennel, snap peas, radishes, radicchio, and carrots. Sometimes, I’ll grab a bunch of asparagus, toss them in olive oil, and pop them under the broiler for a few minutes. As for the dips, I’ll often use what I have on hand in the fridge: a bit of harissa whipped into mayonnaise to create a quick “aioli”, or blend some scallion and herbs together with a palmful of capers, sour cream, and buttermilk for a bright, salty dip. If you find yourself with leftover, sliced vegetables and dip they can be transformed into a salad with some torn lettuce and a couple of halved hard boiled eggs, few rounds of crips pancetta, a handful of fresh herbs, and a simple vinaigrette! The idea is to keep it simple and have fun. At least that’s my plan for this week.

Crudités with Harissa Aioli and Caper Buttermilk DipPIN

Crudités with Harissa Aioli and Caper Buttermilk DipPIN

CRUDITES WITH HARISSA AIOLI AND CAPER BUTTERMILK DIP

Ingredients.*
1 golden beet, washed, peeled, and very thinly sliced
1-2 small bunches baby bok choy, trimmed, and washed
1-2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the bias
center celery stalks, trimmed and cleaned
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cleaned, and very thinly sliced
a handful of asparagus, washed and trimmed

*use any variety of vegetables you wish! Other great options: peas, endives, snap peas, radishes, radicchio, etc.
Directions.
If you’re using anything like asparagus, toss it on a baking sheet with olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt and fresh pepper, and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes until it brightens and crisps.

Simply plate all of your veggies on a parchment lined tray along with the dips.

Harissa Aioli Ingredients.
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2-1 tablespoon harissa paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt (if needed)

Directions.
In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise and harissa, starting with less and add more depending on the spiciness of your paste. Then, while whisking continuous, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and season with salt if needed.

Caper Buttermilk Dip Ingredients.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 Italian flat leaf parsley
1-2 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped

Directions.
Toss all of the dip ingredients into a small food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

PRINTABLE RECIPE.
CRUDITES WITH HARISSA AIOLI AND CAPER BUTTERMILK DIP

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  • stephanie - Lovely and delicious. Thanks for the inspiration! XOReplyCancel

I’ll start by announcing the winner of the Moby Dick Playset! The winner is… via comments Stacey F! Stacey, please email me at kacie@withlovekacie.com with your address!

Now, on to our Jungle Book Playset Picnic! The moment Gigi saw this box arrive in the mail she started coming up with her own ideas for a little jungle party. We zipped to the store to pick up a few simple supplies, and set up the little picnic for breakfast. I decorated with green jungle crepe paper streamers, put down a big monkey picnic blanket, had G collect her jungle-related stuffed animals, and whipped up a little jungle breakfast: bananas, little bowls of cereal, and sippy cups full of jungle juice (orange juice). G suggested jungle costumes in the form of underpants a lá Mogli and Tarzan, but we opted for monkey pajamas instead and leis.

BABYLIT JUNGLE BOOK PICNICPINBABYLIT JUNGLE BOOK PICNICPINBABYLIT JUNGLE BOOK PICNICPINBABYLIT JUNGLE BOOK PICNICPINBABYLIT JUNGLE BOOK PICNICPINTo enter the giveaway and win a Jungle Book Playset leave a comment! I’ll announce the winner when I share our Pride and Prejudice Ball next week! You can also enter on Instagram! Good luck!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

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  • kayleigh larkins - so cute! Love the art for this one!ReplyCancel

  • Casey Doxey - Love these books!! And I would love to win this!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - What a fun way to explore a classic!ReplyCancel

  • Liz C - Completely adorable! Love BabyLit!ReplyCancel

  • Alison Bryant - Love these! Just found these books at our favorite vacation spot in the gift shop, so excited to see them there! Spreading the word on these wonderful books :)ReplyCancel

  • Carie - Aww that’s so cute! I love the Jungle Book, it was one of my favourite childhood books and I’m loving sharing it with my three!ReplyCancel

  • Kon - My Lord how precious are these books. I would love to win one :)ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - My son would have so much fun with this. I would love to win!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - My son loves all things animals so this would be right up his alley! I just love the illustrations and the idea behind this playset. They’re all so great!ReplyCancel

I’ll start by announcing the winner of the Alice in Wonderland Playset! The winner is… via Instagram @DAMEWOOD_DAYS!

Now, on to our new playset and giveaway! For the Moby Dick Playset, Gigi requested a “pirate party”. This little party was decidedly simpler than our somewhat-elaborate Alice in Wonderland Tea Party due to the fact that the kids were a bit under the weather, and while a mini-tea party menu is easy to come up with, a pirate party was a little trickier. I bought a bag of Pirate’s Booty, cut up an orange (to fight scurvy, obviously), and handed each of the girls a little apple to nibble. Gigi’s Grandma had made her a fabulous pirate costume which G happily pulled on before opening her new Moby Dick Playset. She loved discovering and repeating the characters names, and “shooting” the harpoon at the people and seagulls, somehow the whale was spared. Maybe, unlike the sailors at the center of Moby Dick, she understood that a tiny harpoon may not be the best way to hook her whale.

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To enter the giveaway and win a Moby Dick Playset leave a comment! I’ll announce the winner when I share our Jungle Book Picnic next week! You can also enter on Instagram! Good luck!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

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  • Katie - Each one is cuter than the next!ReplyCancel

  • kayleigh larkins - This is so cute! I had no idea they made these too!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - what fun! Owen loves to read and what better way to introduce him to the classic tale of the sea!ReplyCancel

  • Stacey F - This would be great for my Peter Pan watching toddler. In the car today: “swallow my eyes, it is Pan!”ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Such fun!! My pirate-loving 4-year-old would be over the moon to play with this set.ReplyCancel

  • darla - thiis is great for boysReplyCancel

  • Rachele W. - I love these playsets!!! How cool to really get into the story…and honestly, our daughter is obsessed with blue…and this is a lot of blue! She’d LOVE it!!! IG – chelewhiteReplyCancel