What's in my purse? Snacks for me and snacks for Cooper. I am always on the go and have to have something with me in case I forget to eat lunch! I always have a toy, a muslin blanket (to clean up anything from spills to runny noses, you name it!). Wipes tend to end up in every bag and I love wipes. Why don't all people use wipes all the time whether a baby is involved or not? Wipes are magical. So basically I have snacks and baby things ;) Plus of course my wallet, phone, and keys.
What do I do? I know, it is confusing! So, I work full-time at a culinary and craft company called Prime Publishing. I am the executive producer so I oversee the creation of all things! I work in a test kitchen and craft studio and love sharing with you all of the fun things I make! I am currently filming a premium paid cooking class that will launch in November. Oh, and I have two more cookbooks coming out on October 2nd. My Holiday book and my book about Cakes! When I am not at my day job I continue to cook and craft at events, in partnership with other companies and of course blogging.
Random fact: I love balloons. I always have. My husband, Alex, used to think this was slightly strange. He now fully embraces the love, and for Mother's Day our playroom ceiling was covered. I even own my own helium tank.
Family fact: My husband an I grew up together in Minnesota (until my family moved to Milwaukee). We ended up at the same college, but did not date. Moved across the country. Then back to the East Coast. Settled in the Midwest. Then we got married! See a little bit of our wedding over at Martha Stewart Weddings
Favorite food: To cook: grilled pizza and baking cakes. To eat: pretzels, blue cheese, cake, and prosecco. My ultimate "TV Dinner."
Cocktail of choice: Vodka + diet tonic with a lime.
Guilty pleasure: Paper invitations and stationary. Monograms, embroidery, and baby clothing. And baby accessories. Basically baby anything. Oh, and planning Cooper's first birthday party! Stay tuned!
Favorite hobby (aside from cooking and spending time with family and friends): Paisley, our labradoodle, is a certified therapy dog. She was trained by Sit Means Sit and Alex and I were certified by The Go Team. Paisley spent two weeks away and Alex and I spent about 20 hours to get certified. We love watching her work and bring smiles and joy to so many people! This fall we will be at the Lake Forest Library reading with kids.
Best moment with Martha Stewart: Making eggnog at her home in Bedford for her Christmas party.
Best moment on The Food Network: The amazingly talented and fun friends I met. #FNS13
Worst moment on The Food Network: I was pregnant while filming the Food Network Star. No one knew! I threw up twice in my mouth while cooking and swallowed it. I also had to fake booze with the other cast members. I pretended to drink vodka sodas (it was just soda water and I would pour the vodka down the drain when I went to my room to "make my cocktail"). I had to pretend I didn't like beer, wine, or shots ha! Oh, and being eliminated sort of stunk!
Favorite Music: Country! All the country! I have always been a fan of Rascal Flatts. Their music gives you all the feels, from a love song to a summertime jam, I love them. We are big Zac Brown Band fans and our first dance at our wedding was to their song, Loving you Easy. When I competed on The Food Network Star I had the privilege of getting to know Rusty Hamlin, chef to the band / Zac's best friend. Last summer he brought us backstage at a Zac Brown Band concert. They played our wedding song. I was 9 months pregnant. It was awesome! Lately I have been listening to Brett Eldredge. I love Brett Young, Thomas Rhett and Dan + Shay. Basically, I am cheesy.
Favorite book: For me or for Cooper? My favorite book is The Great Gatsby. In fact, I have many copies, including a few in French and Spanish. Even a signed and illustrated one! For Cooper? Oh so many! I tear up when I read If I Could Keep You Little and I love the story of Giraffe's Can't Dance. I have an odd infatuation with the circus and I love the book If I Ran the Circus. I often joke that we live in the Circus McGurkus! I also love There Might Be Lobsters and Raymond. Oh! And, Cooper's godparents gave him Goodnight Arc, and I love it!
Dream job: Start my own company...!