July was so busy that I forgot all about sharing our monthly out of the kitchen post! Now that it’s mid-August (where does the time go?!) I’m going to do our first ever combo post – here’s what we’ve been up to for the months of July and August!

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comIf you love chocolate and peanut butter, these cupcakes are for you! With swirled batter and swirled buttercream, it’s heavenly. The recipe will be coming in a few weeks. The second photo.. can you guess where I am?! Ryan and I took a 2 day trip to Chicago and we stopped to see the Sky Deck at the Willis Tower.

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comOf course we stopped by the bean too :)  It was SO hot that day! The second photo – even as an adult candy stores are exciting. I secretly love gummy things so I was excited to see endless gummies in all sorts of colors and flavors. Did I buy any? No. Haha.

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comI wouldn’t say this is the primary reason we went to Chicago.. but there is a donut shop in Chicago that sells gluten free donuts and when you have a gluten allergy that’s reason enough to visit a city!!! I ordered a half dozen just for myself. Don’t worry, I still have some in the freezer. The second photo – the food blogger in me LOVES props and Crate & Barrel. Aka another reason to visit Chicago :)

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comI celebrated my 26th birthday in July, the day after we got home from Chicago, so this year’s birthday cake was a donut, complete with a candle and a singing husband.. awwww! The second photo – Ryan surprised me with a picnic dinner for my birthday and a cute book filled with things he loves about me.

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comOne last birthday surprise, Ryan had some of my food photos printed out and hung them on the wall in the living room. I love having them displayed for inspiration and for friends and family to see. The second photo – I went to the coolest antique market about an hour from where we live. There were 400 booths and it took me 3 hours just to walk through and see everything. Obviously there were some keepers that came home with me! And I discovered that I kind of like bargaining!

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comIf you read my cherry brownie tart post you know that Ryan and I went to our first ever demolition derby. How did I not know about these earlier?! It’s like real live bumper cars and extremely entertaining. I think it’s safe to say we’ll make sure to go again next year! The second photo – I had the opportunity to make one of my cakes for a wedding shower, and I got to dress it up in frilly buttercream which looked awesome! Transporting the cake was nerve wracking but it arrived in one pristine piece!

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comI’ve been working on perfecting my caramel corn recipe lately. This is obviously not a good example of what caramel corn should look like.. the caramel just clumped together when I added it to the popcorn. Good thing I’ve made it 3 times since then and I finally nailed it! You’ll see that recipe coming in September. The second photo – that’s 12 jars of peanut butter!!! I’m working with a peanut butter company to make some thanksgiving pies with a peanut butter twist. So far I’ve made a blueberry peanut butter pie and it got raving reviews!

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comHere’s another sneak peek! This recipe actually uses the caramel corn I just mentioned. I can’t wait until September! The second photo – I know it’s kind of hard to read but I had 47,080 things to delete off my computer. It took like an hour. I was wondering what was taking up so much space on my computer..next time I must remember to empty the trash can because simply putting them in the trash doesn’t delete them… apparently :)

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comMy dad came for a weekend visit which was great! We only visit our families twice a year, so it was great to have my dad visit us! We played putt putt, ate our way around town, and talked about how noisy the cicadas are. Gosh, they really are noisy! I can hear them already while I’m writing this at 3pm! I thought they were suppose to come out at night.

out of the kitchen -  thefirstyearblog.comDo you like my glasses?! They also double as a mustache, hand band and earrings. My nanny kiddos are very creative when it comes to working with pipe cleaners! The second photo – I had 2 of my recipes published in a magazine this month!! It’s really cool to be able to see them in print – I still look at the article and can’t believe I made what’s being shown in the photos!

Thanks for seeing what we were up to in the month July and August! See our previous Out of the Kitchen posts.