I woke up Saturday morning, opened my eyes and saw how bright it was outside and threw my covers back and looked at the clock – it was 7:25!  For a second I thought it was a work day, and then I quickly remembered it was Saturday, and also a work day, but in the best possible way – I was working Apple Fest in Lincoln Square at The Chopping Block!

I stopped by Hannah’s work and she set me up with a breakfast sandwich, banana, sugar free caramel coffee and a bottle of water.  I kept taking pictures of her and she was like “Mom, I’m at work!”  I don’t care how old they get, she and Joe will always be my babies. šŸ˜€

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One thing I did forget?  How long the drive was.  It’s about 45 miles one way and because I was headed downtown on a Saturday morning the traffic wasn’t bad and I made it down there in 60 minutes – the parking?  That took me another 20 minutes to find parking because The Chopping Block surrounds residential neighborhoods and there is permit parking only on some streets.  I had given myself plenty of time, so it all worked out.

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Is there a prettier site than this shop?!  It was funny because I felt like Norm in cheers whenever he entered to bar – instead I walked into work and everyone said “Biz!”  It was so good to see my friends again – I am a hugger and I think I hugged everyone at least 10 times.  Um, just talking out loud, but I don’t think I do that at my regular day job šŸ˜€

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So many pies!  I was stationed out front and took orders for people so it streamlined the register lines.  Even still, our lines were the longest of any vendor at the fest.  People were willing to wait 20 minutes in line for a slice of this pie.  On Saturday alone we sold 400 pies – which is 8 slices per pie (one apple in each slice!) so 3,600 slices were sold.  We also sold 200 pounds of pork for pulled pork sandwiches.

When I got there at one end of the fest they were having a costume contest for dogs – I had to take a picture of this dog for Hannah and Jacob.  I couldn’t tell if this dog loved it or hated it!

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At 1:30 I got my lunch break.  The family meal was the same pork, but it was sliced thick, with bbq sauce – there were these pickled apples that were in a side salad and I put that on my sammy and it was delicious.  I don’t know where that popcorn came from, but it was called spicy bacon popcorn and I was like – yes please!

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When my shift was over, I got to enjoy this Right Bee Cider.  Holy balls is this good!  If you live in the Chicagoland area, you need to find this.  They make a dry and semi-dry version so it’s not overly sweet, just super refreshing.  Perfect way to end a gorgeous fall day.

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Not sure you can tell in this picture, but I had my chef beanie hat on all day, and it never dawned on me to put sunscreen on.  I have to remember that I am so sensitive to God’s light! šŸ˜€  Aunt Martha, if you are reading this, I still love the earrings you gave me from Key West – I wear them all the time. šŸ˜€

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The Cubs were playing on Saturday so the traffic was bad coming home.  I left The Chopping Block at 6:10 and I walked into my house at 7:50.  The kadults ordered pizza, and my legs and body were so tired, I helped myself to their leftovers, had a glass of wine and was in bed by 10:15. 

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It was a gorgeous Sunday morning.  It was warm, but not too warm, but once that calendar flips to say October, thoughts of all things pumpkin and apple start dancing in my brain.  I had some stale bread that was perfect for French Toast.  Hannah doesn’t like French Toast at all because she doesn’t like the soggy middle, but that’s my favorite part.

I realized that I took pictures on my Instastory, but they don’t save to my phone, but I used Premier Protein’s vanilla protein powder for this recipe.

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  • 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder (2)
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin pie mix (3) – if you use regular canned pumpkin that would be 0 points
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 ounces sliced bread (1)
  • 1/4 cup Smuckers sugar free pancake syrup (1)

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Mix the ingredients together, then let each slice soak for about 15 seconds on each side.  I cooked mine in a non-stick skillet with Pam.  Now this didn’t have the crunchy crust that I normally get with a regular French Toast – maybe because there is no egg?  That didn’t bother me at all because this was delicious – the outside was firm, yet the inside was super moist and delicious.  I sauteed one apple for the topping and used Smucker’s sugar free pancake syrup.  This was a delicious and filling 10 point breakfast.

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Hannah and Jacob’s wedding shower is on Saturday!  I cannot believe it’s almost here already.  Hannah and I put a list of things together that we wanted to do and got our crafty pants on.  We could not be happier about how these mason jars turned out.  These are going to be part of the centerpieces on the tables at the shower.

Hannah printed out 8 pictures at Walgreen’s for .80 cents.  We already had the jars.  You just place the pictures in the mason jar, pour vegetable oil – yes, you read that correctly, vegetable oil and then we used rafia around the top.  We found these cute cut out sayings in the scrapbook aisle at Walmart for $5.00.  The tiny clothes pins cost $1.99 for 50.  

I am so in love with these!

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I’ll be sure to show you the final product after next weekend of how the whole centerpieces look with the flowers.

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I am so grateful for all the friends I’ve met because of this blog and other social media outlets.  I met someone on WW Connect, and after she started following me for a while realized that I must live near her – which we do!  We met for lunch about a month ago because she works downtown as well.  Her step-son got married in their backyard over the summer and she asked if I wanted to borrow any of her wedding stuff for Hannah’s shower.  So thoughtful!  Hannah and I met her and her husband at the parking lot at Bed Bath & Beyond, and she had so much stuff for me – string lights, lanterns, even hand towels!  Thank you so much Chris for your hospitality.

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Needless to say, my eats were not the greatest this weekend, so I am looking forward to getting back on track this week.  Goal – blue dots M-F this week, and gym 3 times this week and 100 ounces of water each day.   

How was your weekend?  Happy Monday – make it a great day!