What more is there to say about barn-burner weekends? Except for the fact they go way too fast. So this weekend I’m going to settle on down, take a cog out of the engine and simply enjoy.

I may even take a ride down the slide. I think you should too.

Last weekend we celebrated Smudge’s birthday with 10 year old girls channeling their inner Catching Fire in a dousing whip cream fight, gliding under the disco ball roller skating, karaoke belting of Greased Lightning and a no-mention-of-that-evil-doll-Chucky-or-you’re-going-home sleepover. And that was just the first night.

Oreo Chocolate Cake

Of course the main event came about by way of the birthday cake. Last week I shared a recipe round-up of classic birthday cakes. It was a hard decision, but Barbara’s Chocolate Cake with Oreo Cheesecake Filling won the birthday blow-out prize. Mine (above) didn’t turn out quite as perfectly as hers since I got all impatient and put the ganache on too fast and maybe it was just a little bit too warm. Drizzle and drip. It totally didn’t matter because it tasted aaaaahhhhmazing!

This weekend the birthday is over but the parties haven’t shut down, yet. Friday the 13th (yikes!), Father’s Day, my dad’s birthday next week and then there’s always Tuesday…because who doesn’t want to celebrate Tuesdays?

But first, let’s dig into this week’s Friday Faves…

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Grilled Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Rolls

by heidi on June 12, 2014

One of the things I’ve read in self-help business books, absorbed from my favorite podcasts and basically just learned along the way of life is that the most successful people are the ones who delegate.

Grilled Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Roll on

Delegation = Getting Shit Done.

Once upon a time I fancied myself a great delegator. I could look at a situation, see the vision of what needed to get done, figure out the most efficient path to achieve it and direct the peeps in my camp to go forth and prosper.

But lately, I feel like I’ve lost my knack in finding the track. And it’s left me feeling a little defeated and floundering like a fish out of water.

That said, my husband will still say I’m bossy. I prefer to call it delegating to others by educating them in my view of efficiencies. Okay, I admit it, I’m a nag.

So why is it so hard to let others help? To not just do it all yourself? To share those details you’ve learned in the school of hard knocks? Hey, it’s okay to stop being the martyr!

One of the best and worst parts of working as a solopreneur behind the curtain of a 27-inch HD computer screen is exactly that: you work by yourself. You do the drudge work, you own the good with the bad.

But you can also find yourself reverting to that 6-year-old who has to learn how to share—all over again.

Because when you share, good things happen.

Grilled Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Roll on


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Just the thought of this recipe for BBQ Baked Beans makes the top of my mouth hurt. Because willpower and baking beans simply do not mix.

BBQ Baked Beans on

This is my mom’s baked beans recipe and with it comes a flood of summer memories. Of coming home after a full, hot day swimming, swimming, swimming and diving and flipping and flirting at the pool. Then finally home to the coolness of the air conditioned house where my mom often had these babies on the stove, percolating their way towards dinner.

It took just one step through the door and me and my swimsuit soaked shorts were making a beeline for the stove. There was always a wooden spoon sitting to the side, laced with the dried sauce from my mom’s stirring of the baked beans. One lick and that set off the need for more.

BBQ Baked Beans on read more →

Smudge’s birthday was this week. 10. Double digits. How did this happen and where did the time go?

Friday Faves 06-06-2014 on

To say that she’s been jumping, skipping, leaping and cartwheeling with joy is a serious understatement.

It’s become a tradition to drag her birthday into a week long celebration. I mean, why not? She’s an only child, so duh, we only get to break out the kiddo party hats once a year. Her big day falls at the end of the school year, so that’s an added bonus and reason enough to have whip cream fights. And me and my husband? We’re always game for a party.

Same as the past three years, we’ll be slumber partying, ice cream party bar making and family grilling. All weekend long. I’m going to need a vacation come Monday.

Earlier this week I wrote about 4 food bloggers who’ve faced severe medical conditions and in the end, saved their lives by changing their diet. I’ve featured stories highlighting food bloggers in this way in my online magazines, but have recently been debating about moving this type of content to the blog so it’s more accessible and searchable.

But I wondered if you would read it because it doesn’t have an original recipe tied to it. By the looks of the reader numbers, you guys will and you do like it whether it has a recipe or not. I’m thrilled you do because while I love sharing recipes, I love creating content that teaches and informs and sometimes raises an eyebrow or two.

I loved this comment from Roxi, who addressed some of the flack that these specialized or elimination diets have received in the press lately:

“Fantastic post, Heidi!! So many of us change our menus clinging to the hope that the latest “(*insert buzz word here)-Free” diet will cure our bulges, make our skin clear, lead us to world domination… (ok, that’s a stretch). It’s great to have some facts on real ailments and real solutions, direct from the individuals who’ve lived the ups and downs and can provide solid workable solutions that look and taste great.”

Do you like seeing this content on the blog or would you rather see it in my online magazine? Your comments, criticism and suggestions are valuable to me and I’d love to hear them in the comment section below.

And now, onto this week’s Friday Faves.

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4 Food Bloggers Who Changed Their Diets and Saved Their Lives on

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you a pesky, complicated, hard to pronounce health diagnoses, and doctors don’t have the answers, you take your health into your own hands. You do your own research. You experiment. Often starting with changes in what you eat. At least that’s what these bloggers did.

What these Wonder Women have learned is how to overcome their health adversities, not just with medicine alone, but by altering what they eat. They discovered that food can be one of the best medicines and that even with a limited diet, what you eat and how you prepare it doesn’t mean you have to go without flavor. Their patience and creativity has been challenged, but they’ve learned to improvise, adapt, and most importantly, get healthy. Their resilience has clearly paid off—just take a look at their blogs.

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