#10 - Queen Bee Playlist

Did I mention I'm "running" a half marathon tomorrow? No? That's probably because I was lazy once again and didn't train for a race I signed up for and now will be walking/running/praying that I finish the inaugural Cincinnati Queen Bee Half-Marathon.  Yay.

While I'm huffing up the beautiful Cincinnati hills, please enjoy my playlist from the comfort of your couch.

P.S. A co-worker shared this article with me to prep, if they can do a marathon in San Fran I can most certainly complete a half in Cincy...famous last words.

#7 - Baby Shower Invitations

One of my favorite things about hosting an event is the invitation! The paper, the colors, and something other than a bill in the mail? Yes, please.

If you're looking for an invitation for a baby shower or another event you're hosting, email me and I'd love to work with you to come up with the perfect design to compliment your theme!

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P.S. Friends: Please have some baby girls so I have an excuse to design some lovely pink invitations! :-)

#6 - Weekend Recap - October 3-5

Hi Friends! It's Monday again, but I feel pretty rejuvenated from this weekend.  (Note to Self: Take more pictures with people and less of food...)

Friday: We met some friends for dinner at Bakersfield (we were actually planning on going to The Eagle, but they had to leave early and Bakersfield had tables first shockingly enough) and dessert at Holtmans - my 2 OTR favorites.  Then we tried to see Gone Girl, but every single showing was sold out when we got there, so naturally we went to Target instead and got Daphne several costumes (none of which fit) and watched Shark Tank instead.

Saturday: Grant has 2 test and 2 projects due this week, so I just had a semi-bachelorette weekend.  I spent about 5 hour on my couch catching up on all my shows from the week.  It was delightful.  Grant took a little study break during that, and we walked to the elementary school down the street so Daphne could run around and play on the playground ha.  And then I had the most fabulous dinner with some new Junior League friends.  Roasted lamb, Coq Au Vin, beet and goat cheese salad; I could go on, but it was absolutely amazing and I felt very lucky to be included!

Sunday: This was a day of friends.  Bright and early I started out the day doing Piloxing (A non-stop, cardio fusion of standing pilates, boxing and dance that will push you past your limits.  Uh yeah.) with my Girls on the Run friends at Athleta at Kenwood.  It was just as hard as it sounds and the woman who taught the class was ripped, so it obviously works.  I then went and ate all those calories I burned at Taste of Belgium with Ashley; delicious per usual.  (I totally forgot to take a picture of us, so imagine the chicken and waffles are me and the healthy fruit parfait is Ashley)  And rounded out the afternoon with a walk at Ault Park and then the Hyde Park Art Show with Alicia, Natalie and a bratty little dog who wouldn't pose for a picture.

The colors are starting to change and I think by next weekend it will be absolutely beautiful.  My fitbit said I "Nailed it" yesterday, and I think I did all weekend.

Enjoy my favorite song this week!

#5 - Hosting a Baby Shower

Happy Sunday friends! I'm now smack dab in the season of babies.  Not for us, but for all of our friends and it's one of my favorite things celebrating all these new kiddos and their sweet mamas.  I love to have beautiful gatherings at my home, but I am all about ease over Martha Stewart perfection.  I want everyone who walks through my door to feel welcome and loved; not that I care more about how my party looks than my guests.

I want to share some events I've hosted so that you feel inspired to welcome people into your home; to give you some tips that hopefully make it less stressful, because I know everyone's gift is not hosting.  

Invite someone over this week! Even if it's just one person, even if your house isn't perfect.  Let's not let fear stop us from inviting people into our messy homes and our messy hearts. 

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I do pretty simple decorations - a beautiful flower arrangement, a banner, and something hanging from my chandler.  I wish I was more gifted in this arena, but for some reason decorations are usually an afterthought to me.  When I do manage to plan it out before hand, it helps when you have a sweet husband who will cover himself in glitter in the name of baby shower decorations.

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My traditional menu for a baby shower is:

  • Chicken Salad Sandwiches on croissants
  • Red Bliss Potato Salad from Whole Foods - so good, I wish I had the recipe
  • Some other sort of salad
  • Fruit Skewers in a rainbow
  • Veggie Tray with hummus
  • Cupcakes
  • Mimosas and Pink Lemonade 

I may mix it up sometimes, but I know this menu is usually a winner and allows me to be a good hostess because I can interact with my guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen.

I don't love weird baby shower games, so I try to find things that aren't super embarrassing or gross.  Here's a couple of fun games that both younger and older guests will enjoy.

Finish the Nursery Rhyme
- Everyone find a partner
- Hand out the printed out beginnings of nursery rhymes
- Start the timer for 1 minute and everyone try to complete the next line of as many nursery rhymes as possible.
- Read out the answers and marvel at how disturbing some nursery rhymes really are!
-  Here is the link to download the sheets!

Draw the Baby
- Handout a sturdy paper plate and a pen to each person
- Have everyone put the plate on top of their head and draw each thing you call out (don't tell them how many points each thing is worth)
- Draw:
   - Lets draw a room first, a floor, a window, maybe some decorations (1 pt for each no limit)
   - The baby is sitting on that floor (1 pt for the baby, 1 pt if the baby is sitting on the floor)
   - Put a diaper and some clothing on the baby (2 pts if the diaper is on the baby and 1 pt for each piece of clothing on the baby no limit)
   - The baby is hungry, give it a bottle (1 pt for the bottle, 1 pt if the bottle is touching the baby)
   - The baby also needs something to play with, give him some toys (1 pt for each toy, a bonus pt for each toy touching the floor no limit)
- Let everyone look and compare their ridiculous drawings! Have people tally up points.  I usually give 2 prizes: 1 for the most points and 1 for the voted on best drawing.

Check back in Tuesday where I'll share some baby shower invitations! And if you're looking for an invitation for an upcoming event, I would love to work with you to design one or head over to my Etsy shop!

#4 - Don't You Love New York in the Fall

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." - You've Got Mail

I love New York in every season (although I have not been there in the winter, which I hope to change soon), but New York in the fall seems right.  G and I have been to New York a few times now; enough to have done all the touristy things and now I'd like to start exploring the neighborhoods and doing "real" New Yorker things.  I have been a lot of places for work and fun, and hands down NYC is always my favorite.  I wish we could move there, and maybe one day we will, but until then I will take any opportunity to visit this city.

I am by no means an expert, and you have probably already heard of most of these things, but this is what I love to do when we're in New York.

 Obligatory Times Square shot.

Obligatory Times Square shot.

 We had a foreign couple take our picture in Serendipity and my phone was acting up and they couldn't understand why I kept wanting them to retake the picture, so this is as good as we wound up with.

We had a foreign couple take our picture in Serendipity and my phone was acting up and they couldn't understand why I kept wanting them to retake the picture, so this is as good as we wound up with.

We love to eat pretty much everywhere we go.  So far, we've stayed pretty safe in NYC and gone to the classics.  Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity; hot dogs at Gray's Papaya; Pastrami sandwiches at Katz's Delil; Cereal Milk ice cream from Momofuku Milk Bar; and Shake Shack - every time, in every city there's a Shake Shack. 

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And then there's the Chelsea Market which is the foodies delight.

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And while you're in Chelsea, you should probably check out The Highline.  A perfect place to hangout, people watch, and eat...of course.

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Last summer we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and over to the Brooklyn Flea.  There's several fleas at different locations in Brooklyn including a food market called the Smorgasburg, which we will be visiting next time.

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And don't you kind of just have to visit the Today Show at least once? Say hi to our pals Matt, Savannah, and Al...and the Donald.  I just got an email that said they've suspended the NBC Studio Tours, but my mom and I went on the tour and really enjoyed it! Plus, even though I do think everyone should visit the Empire State Building at least once, the Top of the Rock actually has better views.  Rockefeller Plaza is really just a great place to hang out and people watch (something I love to do everywhere) - we usually find ourselves there several times every trip because we somehow wind up crossing through there most places we go.

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I think the Comedy Cellar is literally our favorite thing.  We've gone every single time.  Make reservations online, head down to Greenwich Village early and grab some food or if you're in a rush a falafel at Mamoun next door.  Last time my mom and I were there, it was a rainy night and randomly Aziz Ansari and Howie Mandel popped in and did unannounced sets!

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If you love baseball like my husband, you'll definitely want to head out to the Bronx and catch a Yankees game.  It was amazing how big the stadium is.  We caught the Yankees/Red Sox game which was surprisingly easy to get to tickets to and we caught a celebrity or two there.

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My mom and I went for her 50th birthday last year and had the most amazing weather.  Here we are at Rockefeller Plaza, the Whispering Wall in Grand Central, and at the Top of the Rock.

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Last but not least, Central Park.  Just go and spend as much time as you can there - it's huge.  In my dream world Central Park is our backyard and little Daphne can go run around there every day.  One day.

If you ever get the chance, go to NYC.  You'll love it, I promise.  And if you're a NYC veteran and have amazing recommendations, please send them all my way!!


#3 - My Top 25 Most Played Songs

(According to my iPhone)

I think you can learn a decent amount about someone by the music they listen to.  And if you look at someone's Top 25 Most Played Songs on their iPhone you can learn a little more, because iTunes does not lie.

Things about me: I love rap music (people laugh and think I'm joking when I say this, but I'm for real.  I love great beats.); I got on this kick of really liking Bossa Nova music when I first started consulting ( wiki: a genre of Brazilian music, which developed and was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music ) and it's still what I love to play when I just need to feel chill;  if a Christmas song happens to pop on while I have my music on random I will listen to it - on repeat.

#2 - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I hope this doesn't start us out on the wrong foot, but I'm not a huge pumpkin lover.  You will never catch me with a Pumpkin Spice Latte or eating pumpkin ravioli.  I had honestly never even eaten a thing with pumpkin in it until my best friend made this amazing pumpkin chocolate chip bread a couple of years ago, and since then it's been my go to fall dessert recipe.

This is not healthy, but it's delicious and it makes oh so many muffins.  Unless you have a large family, plan on packaging some up and making friends with your neighbors or taking some to Bible study (I did both today and G and I still have enough to last us through the weekend).

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here's the ingredients you will need:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (one 15-ounce can) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - I only use Ghirardelli Bittersweet chips which I think makes all the difference because they're not as sweet as milk or semi-sweet chocolate.
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin cups or spray with Canola oil and flour.  (You could also make these a 2 bread loafs - that's what the original recipe was for)

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Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and set aside.

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Next, pull out that Kitchen Aid mixer - add in the pumpkin and oil and blend until combined.  Then add in the eggs one by one and the vanilla.  Add in about 2/3 cup of room temperature water.  This will make your mixture kind of frothy.  Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.  Last fold in the chocolate chips.  Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 of the way full and bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

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Once they're done, pull them out of the tins and let them cool on a rack...and pull one out and eat it while it's piping hot.   Once they're cool I suggest storing them in paper lunch bags because it keeps the muffins from getting sticky on top.  Enjoy!  

#1 - 31 Days of Delightful Living

Welcome new friends! I'm excited to start this blog and share my life and passion with you! What a better way to kick off this new site and start a rhythm of posting than to join up with other bloggers posting everyday for the month of October? 

My blog is delightfully Meg, but what exactly do I mean by delightful? 

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So, for the next 31 days I've decided to blog about a synonym of delightful and what that looks like in my life.

Mondays: pleasant
Weekend Recap - October 3-5
Tuesdays: enchanting
Wednesdays: agreeable
Thursdays: delectable
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Fridays: amusing
My Top 25 Most Played Songs
Saturdays: thrilling
Don't You Love New York in the Fall
Sundays: charming
Hosting a Beautiful Baby Shower

I hope that you'll stick around as I share what it is to be Delightfully Meg!

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