The Weekend of Many Firsts

I don’t normally post much about day to day life unless it has to do with remodeling, but this weekend was a bit different from the average and I’m just dying to share it with you.
There were a few fun blogger events going on in Salt Lake, and after some discussion, Thomas said he’d watched the kids overnight if I wanted to go up. A date with myself? I’ll take it! I enjoyed two cookie swaps and a cookie baking class, tried a few new restaurants, got all of Thomas’ Christmas shopping done for me (hehe), and had the chance to meet some of my favorite bloggers. 
So here’s a look at the weekend:
First trip to Finca and my first cookie swap:

I’d never been to a cookie swap before this weekend! It was just as fun and tasty as I had imagined. A cookie swap with food bloggers was even better than I imagined! These ladies know their way around the kitchen. The cookie swap was at Finca which is a trendy little hot spot downtown. They serve tapas (Spanish finger foods) that are phenomenal.

The cookie swap was small and intimate and supported two great causes. Here’s a list of the ladies and the causes I got to meet/support.

Bloggers With Out Borders/Why Hunger Cookie Swap:

Project Domestication – Lingonberry Cave Shortbread Cookies
Vintage Mixer – Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Two Peas and Their Pod – Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies
Completely Delicious – Chocolate Mint Thumbprints Cookies
Mountain Mama Cookies – Clementine & Grand Marnier Cookies
Barbara Bakes – White Chocolate Kissed Gingerbread Cookies
Sweet Treats and More – Dark Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
The Morsel – Anise Italian Pizzelle Cookies
Bless This Mess – Double Dark Candy Cane Crunch Cookies (that’s me!)
Food is Our Friend – Vegan Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
Soul Food Living – Hot Chocolate Cookies
Cucina Vanina – Cantucci Biscotti Cookies

After eating, eating, chatting, eating, laughing, and chatting the crowd dispersed and I had an evening to myself. I made my way up to Temple Square in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City to visit the Salt Lake Temple and to see the Christmas lights.

Temple Square is a magical place at Christmas time; everyone should go. I made the time to spend two glorious hours inside of the temple working and filling my soul. I love the peace and perspective serving in the temple brings. I did miss my family at this point though. The kids would have loved the lights and the temple, and I love to go inside and serve with Thomas. I think I’ll pack everyone up and come next year!

The next morning I made my way to Les Madeleines to try my first French pastries: Kouing Aman and a blueberry macaroon. Life. Changing. If you can’t read the little sign it says that the pastries were featured twice, on two different Food Network shows. Mmmm. I wish I had one right now.

After breakfast from heaven I went to a Trader Joe’s for the first time ever. The first one in Utah just opened up downtown SLC. It was super fun and I see the appeal of the brand: good prices, good quality, friendly, and fun. They had a reggae band there if that tells you anything. I picked up bread, cheeses, TJ’s pasta and sauces, Vermont maple syrup, olive oil, and coconut oil.

I then went to my first SLC Foodie Mixer. It was a holiday cookie baking class by Maria and Josh from Two Peas and Their Pod and Annalise from Completely Delicious. The class was a lot of fun, and I’ll be the first to admit I felt like I was meeting celebrities because I was! It was awesome to see and meet people that you love online in real life.

I went to another cookie swap that Carrian from Oh Sweet Basil put on at one of my very favorite stores, Orson Gygi. The company was as great as the shopping! I got to meet Lindsey from Cafe Johnsonia (she’s a gluten-free whiz in the kitchen) and I picked up sucker molds and sticks to make suckers with the kids. Gygi’s the type of store that kitchen and baking dreams are made of; I go up every year for my birthday to pick out a few treasures.

After all that fun I made one final stop at Ikea before I drove the two and a half hours to be home in time for dinner. It was such a fun weekend full of great new friends, great new food, and shopping.

Thanks for the break, Thomas. I sure like you.

Hob-nobbing and eating weren’t the only things that went down this weekend. I was also featured by Nosh On It. The company contacted me about featuring my steak carnita recipe, and I was more than happy to comply. They send customized emails out based on the types of recipes that you want to get. The idea is pretty fun and they were really great to work with. So if you have a minute check out Nosh On It‘s list of recipes they can send you (Meatless Monday, healthy, sweets… etc). I’m looking forward to getting their emails, 🙂

And that’s a wrap.

You guys are great. Thanks for joining me on this fun and crazy fancy-blogging journey.

Thanks for letting me share,
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Keep in touch! Blogging is way more fun when I get a chance to connect with you. 
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Barbara Bakes
Barbara Bakes

It was so fun to meet you last weekend. Sounds like a perfect trip.

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.