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“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

They are separated by their families.

Even though their love exceeds all boundaries, there is one thing that keeps them apart.

They would give anything to make the boundary disappear.

Alas.

The fence.

It keeps them apart.

Well that, and their owners.

This is Riley.

Riley is Lola’s friend, confidant, love.

Riley is Lola’s everything.

How do I know?

Lola waits by the back door patiently for her love to appear. The moment he is let out, Lola must run to him. There is no option.

She is a smitten kitten.

Or Rather.

A smitten hound.

She runs to Riley.

Ears flopping in the wind.

Only to be stopped dead in her tracks by the one things that keeps her from him.

The fence.

A woman in love cannot be stopped.

Lola will not be kept from Riley.

And Lola will certainly not let material boundaries separate her for long.

Lola must only ruin our yard a little bit more to achieve her reunion with Sir Riley.

What is wrong with me?

I’m tempted to let her try.

Brad wants to fill in the hole and place one of Lola’s lovely poops on top of the hole to discourage her from digging further.

Men.

Sigh.

They just don’t get it.

Happy Monday!!

XO,

Leah

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I hate hugging.

Hugging makes me feel as awkward.

Speaking of awkward, Sarah and old John are looking pretty darn uncomfortable hugging above.

I should perhaps explain my feelings a little more.

I like to hug the main man, my parents, siblings, and my most dearly beloved friends.

I loathe hugging co-workers.

Or casual friends.

Or acquaintances.

Or someone I just met.

Some people actually do that.

Meet someone and then end up hugging them goodbye.

I don’t get it.

And I don’t like it.

It’s nothing personal.

I just don’t like pressing up against another person. I find it weird.

Which may make me weird.

And I’m ok with that.

The end.

XO,

Leah

P.S. Just realized that maybe I don’t really mean it when I sign each post “XO”. Please don’t “X” or “O” me next time we see each other. It makes me have sweaty palms just thinking of it.

P.P.S. I’m self-aware. I have issues. And I’m cool with them.

Dare I say that I had the perfect weekend?

Friday night, the main man ran off to my brother’s bachelor party. So, I headed about an hour north to have dinner, do a little shopping, and then indulge in some ice cream with my dearly beloved friend Maria. I love the time I spend with her.

Then, on Saturday one of my dearly beloved lifelong friends, Jenni, came over. She was in town for a wedding, and we spent our time together walking my two ding-dong dogs and laughing and chatting and catching up. I love the time I spend with her too.

So far, so good!

Saturday night rolled around and the main man and I went to church.

After, we headed out for a night on the town to celebrate six years of marital bliss.

The obligatory timer photo of ourselves. Why do we both look like we are in pain?

I assure you that I was not in pain.

We had dinner at a fancy pants Italian joint called Nicolas in downtown Cincinnati. To say it was delicious is an understatement.

And, our waiter… he was a delightful man from Tuscany.

He kept saying things like “Grazie!”, “Prego!”, “Delizioso!”, and “Bellissima!”

He was great.

And so was the wine:

iPhone photo in the dark= not the best picture ever

The food was incredible. We shared a scallop appetizer, and then I had the goat cheese salad and the four cheese gnocchi for dinner.

Ooh la la.

Did I mention that I then had a nice slice of mascarpone cheesecake for dessert?

Talk about cheese overload.

Again, with the iPhone.

It was a perfect night. The main man and I sat and enjoyed each other’s company for over three hours. We shut the place down.

After our perfect Saturday night, I didn’t want the fun to end. So, Sunday morning I decided to make a special breakfast, since breakfast is the main man’s favorite meal.

I ran off to my garden/bakery (AKA the farmer’s market) to pick up some goods.

Now, I MUST introduce you to the Blue Oven Bakery. This place is the jam.

Let me give you a tip… when you walk into a farmer’s market and see a line like the one below, get in said line.

Whatever they are selling is worth buying.

The guy in the hot green/yellow shirt is finally at the counter.

You must wait your turn and practice patience to receive the gift of the deliciousness.

This is what I got…

Tortano- a rustic farm loaf:

Apricot Walnut Cranberry Bread:

And the best bread I’ve ever had in my life, the Frocaccia (it has caramelized onions and cheese baked into the top).

And yes, it really is Frocaccia not Focaccia.

Side note: When checking out with the guy working the counter, I practically shouted at him “This Frocaccia has changed my life! I cannot go through the rest of my life without it.” He smiled sympathetically back at me and took my money and gave me my bread.

I have been accused of exaggerating from time to time, but I really meant what I said about this bread.

All of their breads are cooked in a wood fired oven.

So, If you live in the Cincinnati area, I highly recommend you check them out.

Unless you are on a low-carb diet.

Then, I pity you. For a lot of reasons.

But namely because you can’t ever eat this bread. Or carbs in general.

And that is living life unfulfilled.

While at the market, I also picked up some organic eggs, fresh fruit, and veggies. Man, I love the farmers market.

I got home (Brad was still sleeping), and threw some bacon in a pan… I know my main man, and bacon is one thing that gets him out of bed.

In that moment  I decided that I could not have been married to someone that did not love bacon with their whole heart and soul and mind.

I gave thanks that I chose my partner wisely.

While that was frying up, I said good morning to my love.

Then, I sliced two thick pieces of the tortano bread. If you don’t have access to the Blue Oven Bakery bread, I recommend a white bread with a crunchy crust and a chewy inside like a sourdough.

I got out my shot glass.

Because it was time to party.

And by party I mean make a hole in the center of the bread. At this point, this recipe should be looking familiar!

Drain your bacon, but leave a little of the grease in the pan.

Why?

Because I’m feeling naughty.

That’s why.

Throw your bread into the hot greasy pan.

Then crack an egg into the center of the hole.

Wait until the egg sets a bit, then give ’em all a flip.

Oh man.

Looking good.

Finish them off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Now, onto the plate! With bacon!

And maybe some of those delicious fruits from the market:

Talk about a good start to a Sunday morning.

The main man and I rounded out our Sunday with some errands and lounging. Then, we topped off the weekend with a trip to Chef Michael’s house for dinner.

At Mike’s, we dined with old friends and new. Our new friends were six folks from Switzerland in Cincinnati for a visit.

I thanked them for their contribution of their Swiss cheese and for Swiss Miss of course.

I told you.

The weekend was perfection.

By the time you read this, the magical weekend will be over and it will be the dreaded Monday morning.

But my mind will be lingering on all of the above.

Happy Monday!

LW

6 years ago today I married my love.

For 11 years I have loved my main man. For 6 years I have proudly called him my husband.

I love living life with him.

So much more to say.

But I think I will save those words for him and him alone.

Have a great weekend!

Leah

This post is about love.

Specifically, unhealthy and possibly detrimental obsessive love.

A love that I have for cheese.

I love cheese so much.

I love it so much that I would marry it if I could. Sorry Brad.

I also love cheese because it is the perfect quick and easy appetizer to have at or bring to a party. It looks kinda fancy and tastes completely delicious, but takes 1.2 minutes to put together on a tray.

So if you are like me, and you work full time- this is the type of appetizer that you can throw together after work without much fuss or mess.

Here are some of my go to favorites.

Brie is soft and delicious all on it’s own. Spread it on a cracker, and there ya go!

Or, you can take it up a notch. I dare you to. You won’t regret it.

Well, you might regret it after you eat an entire block of rich, delectable brie.

To take it up a notch, chop up some dried cranberries and mix em in with some brown sugar. Take your berry/sugar mixture and put it on top of your brie. Stick it in the oven or microwave until it gets all melty and hot.

Now, put it on a cracker.

You may never bake again. Better than the best dessert.

Or how about this one?

Blue Stilton AKA Creamy, Yummy Blue Cheese

Its a little more pungent in flavor, but it is a perfect appetizer. Want to see how to take this one up a notch?

Ok, here is is:

Honey! The little bit of sweet balances the stronger flavor nicely.

Either drizzle a bit on the whole darn block of cheese, or put a small dish of it near the blue for eaters to help themselves.

Now, for cheese three.

The classic cheddar- well, classic with a twist:

English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions.

I am weak in the knees.

My stomach has butterflies.

Is this love?

It may seem impossible to make this cheese even better, but here’s what I like if I’m going to be fancy.

Those are dried apricots, but really any dried fruit will do. I just serve it alongside the cheddar.

So, for a party (or lets be honest, a Sunday night dinner), I would take these three cheeses and arrange them with their pairings on a pretty platter. I’d put some assorted crackers next to it, and there ya go.

Not so coincidentally, a good cheese platter traditionally contains a soft cheese (brie), a blue cheese (stilton), and a hard cheese (cheddar).

Like every good meal or appetizer, this one is completely customizable to what you like. More and more stores are carrying bigger and better cheese selections, and most stores will let you try and try and try.

I may or may not do my own personal tasting once a week.

Experiment.

Fall in love.

Over and over again.

By the way, these gems are for a weekend get together and I cannot wait to gobble them up with some great pals.

Happy Friday!

Leah

Books. Oh how I love thee. I do not think there is much better in life than getting completely lost in a story. I have been tearing through books this summer. The biggest surprise hit for me has been this book, The Pillars of the Earth.

I know I’m about 20 years behind in discovering this gem, but when it came out in 1989 I was far too concerned about getting the perfect tight roll on my jeans. I could not be concerned with a 900+ page book about building a cathedral in the 1800s. I know it sounds boring, but I assure you… It. Is. Not.

Ken Follett is fictional master.  Every chapter has me flipping pages as fast as I can to find out what happens to Tom Builder, Prior Philip, and Aliena. There is violence, love, fear, hope, and triumph in every chapter. I haven’t quite finished it, and I’m dreading the end of the story because I will miss my character friends. Does that make me a crazy person?

If you are like me and have somehow missed this book, pick it up. You will not regret it. I promise.

Over and out-

Book Nerd

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