Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fed & Fit BBQ Chicken Potato Casserole + Giveaway

Hi, guys!

This post is jam-packed with awesomeness, including an incredible recipe for BBQ Chicken Potato Casserole, a review of a new, healthy cookbook (+ food and fitness plan) from Cassy Joy Garcia of Fed & Fit, and a giveaway to win a copy of it for yourself. Oh, boy. Get ready!


With over 175 gluten-free and Paleo-friendly recipes, a 28-day food and fitness plan, program guides, and all sorts of supplemental online tools, Fed & Fit gives readers an amazing foundation for getting healthy and fit. There are so many delicious recipes inside– all of which include easy, step-by-step instructions, beautiful color photos, and personalized meal preparation guides to help you achieve your individual health goals. Cassy Joy also includes shopping lists, tips for stocking your pantry, make-ahead meal ideas, cooking for one, and best practices for storage, freezing, and reheating. It’s truly everything I ever wanted in a cookbook and more!

Fed & Fit also features workouts, exercise demonstrations, and fitness recommendations from New York Times Bestselling author and the blogger behind PaleOMG, Juli Bauer. (I also love her most recent cookbook!) The workouts are efficient (some are CrossFit-inspired) and include everything from recommended equipment and warm-ups to movement modifications and mobility exercises. It really has everything you need to get started with an effective at-home workout routine!


Cassy Joy sent me Fed & Fit when it was first released back in August, and I’ve found myself reaching for it again and again. There are so many awesome recipes that aren’t super complicated or require a zillion different ingredients. Many of the recipe can be made ahead of time and cooked into double batches for freezing for later on, so it’s an especially great resource for busy families, who want to eat well too.

The recipe for BBQ Chicken Potato Casserole is BY FAR my favorite. It’s really easy to make, especially if you use the crock pot option, and turns out so well every time. The leftovers are also amazing and so versatile. Definitely add this one to your meal plan for next week. You’re guaranteed to love it! AND you can enter to win a copy of Fed & Fit for yourself! Details below.

BBQ Chicken Potato Casserole

This dish reminds me of summer, sunshine, and family barbecues. Filling and delicious, this casserole is a real crowd-pleaser! Serve it up next to a fresh salad and you’ll have a complete meal. Note that this, like so many of my casserole recipes, freezes exceptionally well. You can either freeze the whole batch at once or spoon portions into individual serving-size bags for a quick defrost when you need a satisfying starchy meal. 

prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 1 hour or 3 to 8 hours, depending on method
yield: 6 to 8 servings



  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, ghee, or coconut oil, divided
  • 3 pounds russet or other white potatoes [6 to 8 if they’re small]
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, store-bought or homemade [recipe below], divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup diced purple onions, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish



1.  Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.

2. To sear the chicken, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saute pan over high heat. When the butter is melted, add the chicken. Sear for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until lightly browned.

3. Cook the chicken using one of these two methods:

Stovetop option: Pour enough water into the pan to cover the chicken, place the lid on the pan, and simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until cooked through. While the chicken is cooking, follow Step 4 to prepare the potatoes.

Slow cooker option: Transfer the seared chicken to the slow cooked, add enough water to cover the chicken, and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When the chicken has about 30 minutes left to cook, prepare the potatoes.

4. Prepare the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and place the potatoes either in a large bowl or back in their cooking pot. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

5. When the chicken is cooked, shred it using either the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or two forks. Toss the shredded chicken in 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spoon the seasoned mashed potatoes into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, then layer the BBQ shredded chicken on top. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup BBQ sauce with the vinegar and drizzle it over the top of the chicken.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, until the top just starts to brown.

8. Let cool, then garnish with the onions and cilantro. Serve warm.


Tips: I like my mashed potatoes a little chunky, which is why the directions say to use a potato masher. If you prefer silky-smooth potatoes, you can blend the potatoes in a food processor or with an electric mixer instead. 

Approximate nutrition breakdown (based on 1 of 8 servings): Calories 393; Carbs 37g; Protein 43g; Fat 8g.

Text excerpted from Fed & Fit, © 2016 by Casey Joy Garcia, NC. Reproduced by permission of Victory Belt Publishing. All rights reserved.

Giveaway time! Here’s your chance to win a copy of Fed & Fit!!!

TO ENTER: Just leave a comment on this blog post about why you’d like to win Cassy Joy’s cookbook. I will randomly pick a winner next week. Good luck!

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Clean Eating Graveyard Dirt Cupcakes Recipe

Clean Eating Graveyard Dirt Cupcakes Recipe

It’s October!!!! I say that with the biggest grin on my face ever!! I love this month with such ferverence that it’s rubbed off on Mini Chef as well. We both dearly look forward to this month of hay… Read more →

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Introducing The Paleo Primer: A Second Helping

PaleoPrimer2 CoverPrimal Blueprint Publishing’s been busy this year with the release of several new books, but there’s one that’s been under the radar that I think you’ll be especially excited about. Remember in 2013 when I published The Paleo Primer by Keris Marsden and Matt Whitmore? This delightful book introduced us to paleo/primal principles in the wittiest of ways, and then dished out creatively delicious primal recipes. Well with your help it went on to enjoy global success with copies published in the UK (Ebury Publishing) and Germany (Goldmann Verlag), and it’s ranked #1 in many categories on Amazon, including Paleo Diet, Low-Carb Cooking, and Exercise and Fitness. Thankfully, Keris and Matt weren’t done, and they’ve spent the last three years perfecting even more mouthwatering, primal-approved meals. And we’ve packaged them all together in The Paleo Primer: A Second Helping!

Your second helping includes:

  • Healthy, great-tasting meals you can whip up with minimal ingredients, logistics, or preparation time.
  • Primal-friendly recipes complete with details about macronutrients, calories, and portion size.
  • The latest in nutrition science, including hot topics like gut health, the hormonal effects of food and exercise, and the Top 10 nutrition myths.
  • Further guidance to help personalize meal plans and dial in your goals for fat loss or fitness.Sure, there are a plethora of paleo and primal nutrition guides and cookbooks out there, but you know my style—I’m committed to delivering something different. And what I especially love about Keris and Matt is the relaxed, humorous, and insightful way they share their knowledge and spread the primal love.

I can’t wait for you to try some of these recipes out, so I’m giving you a sneak peek of one of my favorites:

Easy Shrimp Red Thai Curry


Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes


  • 1 heaping tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 1/2-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut long ways and bashed with a rolling pin
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 lb (500 g) jumbo shrimp
  • 2 cups (500 ml) coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Celtic Sea or Himalayan Pink salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb (200 g) bean sprouts


1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan, wok, or a casserole dish, and then add the ginger, garlic, scallions, paprika, chili, and cinnamon before stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the pepper, red chili, tomato purée, lemongrass stalks, zest of lime, and shrimp, and stir well, coating the shrimp in the tomato purée and spices. Then cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the coconut cream, fish sauce, and salt and pepper and stir well. Simmer for about 3 minutes before adding the bean sprouts and simmering for another 2 minutes.

4. Serve with some white rice or cauliflower rice or just enjoy on its own as we did. We actually wilted some spinach into this at the end, so feel free to give it a try, too, for some added nutrients!

While you’re cooking, take advantage of the bonus items I’m throwing in for the book launch.

Buy a copy of The Paleo Primer: A Second Helping on Amazon before October 19th, submit your receipt, and you’ll get:

  • $10 coupon for any product on PrimalBlueprint.com
  • Digital download of the Primal Kitchen Mayo eCookbook


The Paleo Primer: A Second Helping retails for $11.74 on Amazon, so the $10 gift certificate almost covers the cost. With the $10 off coupon to PrimalBlueprint.com, you can grab some PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Avocado Oil to add some extra superfood flare to the recipes in the book.

If you’re stocked up on avocado oil, then consider buying a jar of PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Mayo as a must-have companion to the Primal Kitchen Mayo eCookbook, which is full of delicious side dishes to complement the main courses in The Paleo Primer: A Second Helping.

Just click here to grab your copy of The Paleo Primer: A Second Helping on Amazon and fill out this form here to get your free bonuses.

Hope you enjoy. And let me know what you think!


The post Introducing The Paleo Primer: A Second Helping appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Grapes for Dinner: Sauteed Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Onions

This time of year, dozens of clusters of green and purple grapes take over the outside wall of my garage. I pop them into my kids’ lunches every day for weeks at a time and serve them again as an after-school snack. They also make an easy appetizer, set out in a pretty bowl with a hunk of good cheese. Inevitably, though, my family’s ability to eat endless amounts of raw grapes starts to wane. Before I know it, the fruit is spilling out of my refrigerator and I’m racking my brain to find new uses for it.

Most recipes for grapes — jellies, jams and desserts — call for combining them with a lot of sugar. These uses also often dispense with the skins, which provide healthy fiber. Besides containing fiber, grapes are an excellent source of antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are associated with a reduced risk for developing several types of cancers.

To retain all that healthy goodness, it was time to think beyond dessert. That’s when I came upon the idea of roasting grapes to make savory compote. Bonus: That would help me sneak grapes into dinner too.

Roasting grapes at high heat intensifies both their flavor and sweetness. For balance, I mix them with a little balsamic vinegar, some red onion and a few sprigs of rosemary — an herb that grows just a few feet away from my wall of grapes. After they cook for 20 minutes in the oven, I’ve got a delicious topping for any type of meat. In this recipe, I’ve paired the compote with sauteed boneless, skinless chicken, which is low in saturated fat and an excellent source of protein, but this compote would also be a good match for pork tenderloin or chicken sausage. Leftover roasted grapes are tasty spooned onto rye crackers spread with goat cheese or ricotta cheese — lunch for the adult set.

Sauteed Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Onions
Serves 4

1 pound mixed small red and green grapes (halved, if large)
1 small red onion, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
4 sprigs rosemary, plus extra, for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon cold butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss grapes and onion with rosemary sprigs, 2 teaspoons oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast 20 to 25 minutes, turning once halfway through baking time.

Meanwhile, cut chicken breasts in half horizontally. Place meat between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a mallet until meat is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden-brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove and keep warm.

Add wine to skillet; cook over high heat until reduced by three-quarters, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 1 minute. Add butter; swirl until butter is melted, about 30 seconds. Spoon sauce onto plates; top with chicken. Serve chicken topped with roasted grapes and red onions. Garnish with additional rosemary and serve immediately.

Per serving: Calories 432; Fat 15 g (Saturated 4 g); Cholesterol 132 mg; Sodium 955 mg; Carbohydrate 30 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugars 22 g; Protein 40 g

Abigail Chipley is a freelance recipe developer, writer and cooking teacher who lives in Portland, Ore.

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Places Of Positivity

I have been feeling really happy lately, and some of you have noticed. I am still trying to find myself (do we ever stop?), but I feel like more than ever I am closer to figuring out what makes me happiest. Positivity is like wildfire, and I want to be wrapped in it like the snuggliest, warmest down comforter on a cold, cold day. I hope that you all find KERF to be a virtual place that you leave feeling uplifted and cheerful. I am hoping to focus a bit more on this in the coming months.

The Lively Show Podcast


I have become absolutely obsessed with The Lively Show! Some of you recommended it to me earlier this year, and I have loved listening to the podcast. Jess brings my spirit up every time I tune in. Her show is a combination of interviews, tips and tricks (love her monthly “Favorites” and Q&A episodes), and uplifting chats about how to live with value-based intention. Jess and her husband have parted ways, and she is a business owner in a similar industry to me, so I can relate to her so much. She has been traveling throughout Europe all summer after selling her house and all of her furniture inside, so you never know what’s coming up next! But most of all, she just radiates positivity!

Foodblog (1 of 2)-2

I bought some of her intention tattoos – love them!

Foodblog (2 of 2)-2

The Yoga Mat

I went to a yoga class last week and while I was hanging out in warrior two listening to the teacher, I realized how much I love it when yoga teachers give mini lectures during class. On this particular day she was talking to us about good energy and ways to keep the positivity flowing using a metaphor of a dam. It was a simple lesson, but I absorbed it like a sponge in the context of such a relaxing and wholesome physical practice.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

Positivity is contagious. You get to choose who your friends are, where you hang out both in real life and online, the actions your kids watch you do, and the choices you make. Just like you might choose to eat something that is nourishing to your body because it makes you feel good, you can choose to affect yourself and those around you by the intentions you radiate. Are those vibes positive or negative?

This video I saw on Facebook recently really calls that to the surface:

I love this quote from the clip:

Positivity Quote by Gary Vaynerchuk

As Gary challenges us, let’s make positivity louder!

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Day In The Life (2.4 Years Old)

Good morning!

It’s time for another Day in the Life post! Qman turns 2 years and 4 months later this week, so I thought it was the perfect time to share a look into life at this age, which, I have to admit, is a very fun age. I love that he’s finally talking. He already says the funniest things! Ok, here we go!

6:03 AM: I wake up and immediately look at the time on my phone. I went to bed at 7:00 PM the night before (life finally caught up with me), so I know I can’t sleep away the morning. Carpe diem!

6:05 PM: Qman is still sleeping, so I head downstairs, pour myself an iced coffee with collagen and coconut milk, and immediately start to answer emails on my laptop. Mal is already awake and just finishing up breakfast, so we chat for a couple of minutes and then he heads upstairs to get ready for school.

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6:40 AM: Mal leaves for school.

6:42 AM: I hear Quinn on the baby monitor, so I pack up my laptop and head upstairs to get him. He immediately asks me about “Murpee,” who is still snoozing away in our bed. Lazy dog.

6:44 AM: Quinn and I go into our bedroom and wake up Murphy. (They’re the cutest, right?) FYI: Qman is “fake sleeping” in the photo below. He even fake snores. Ha! Fake sleeping runs in the family.

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6:53 AM: While playing on our bed, Quinn discovers my earplugs on the bedside table. He’s totally enthralled by them and loves feeling how “squishy” they are, so I tell him he can play with them downstairs. I take him downstairs into the living room and then head back upstairs to help Murphy down.

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7:00 AM: I feed Murphy and then let him outside to go the bathroom. I throw in a load of laundry.

7:09 AM: I grab my iced coffee and then join Quinn in the living room. He’s moved on from earplug to pliers.

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7:20 AM: I change Quinn’s diaper and then get him dressed for the day. I get myself dressed, which is workout clothes with tinted moisturizer and mascara, so I can go out in public later on.

7:35 AM: I pack up the “no’s” from my most recent Stitch Fix. I did, though, keep the black boots pictured below! 🙂

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7:39 AM: I make breakfast for Quinn and me. (Murphy is obviously hungry again.)

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7:47 AM: Time to eat! Qman has pancakes, yogurt, and milk (no grapes).

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I eat a piece of egg bake and breakfast potatoes with ketchup.

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8:19 AM: Quinn grabs his painting smock from the cabinet in his playroom, which means it’s time to get crafty! He paints while I clean up from breakfast.

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8:31 AM: Painting doesn’t last all that long and, before I know it, we’re chasing each other around the house with trucks and trains!

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8:37 AM: While running around the house, Quinn discovers a piece of (dog) “food” and stops to give it to Murphy. Haha!

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8:41 AM: I notice that Quinn’s fingernails are getting long, so I bribe him with an episode of Dinotrux. I cut his nails and let him finish the episode while I reply to a few time-sensitive emails.

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9:15 AM: It’s time for Quinn’s weekly Early Intervention session at our house. He plays. We practice new words (i.e. colors, animals, numbers). His EI specialist recommends a new puzzle because has outgrown/mastered all of his old ones. (I purchase it as soon as she leaves. We do puzzles every single day in our house, so I’m sure he’d love a new one!)

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10:35 AM: Qman starts to get a little cranky, so it’s snacktime as soon as his EI session ends. He has a banana, cinnamon alphabet cookies (from Trader Joe’s), and water. FYI: The alphabet cookies are really great for practicing!

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I also eat a snack, which includes Quinn’s leftover grapes from breakfast.

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10:49 AM: We head out for a late-morning adventure to Hornstra Farms.

11:05 AM: When we arrive, Qman immediately starts saying “out, out, OUT” and then literally runs to see the cows!

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11:15 AM: We go inside to make a few purchases.

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11:19 AM: We head outside again to run around and play some more.

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11:21 AM: Quinn makes a cat friend.

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11:51 AM: We leave Hornstra and drive home. We arrive home, and I make lunch.

12:29 AM: Time for lunch! Pizza, cucumber slices, and apple cider mixed with water for Quinn.

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Leftover chicken fajitas over cauliflower rice for me.

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12:50 PM: I put Quinn down for a nap.

12:55 PM: I go back downstairs and immediately start making a new recipe for CNC.


CNC’s #1 employee “helps” me in the kitchen.


1:55 PM: I finish the recipe, photos, and clean up the kitchen.

2:11 PM: I snack on a couple of Peanut Butter Protein Balls. I also eat some chocolate Cheerios (stress-eating at its best!). Then, I sit down at my laptop and get to work.

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3:45 PM: Qman is still napping, which means we probably won’t make it to KFIT by 4:30 pm, so I cancel my booking just in case the class has a waitlist.

4:00 PM: I hear Qman over the baby monitor. Someone is awake! I take Quinn downstairs.

4:03 PM: We cuddle on the couch while he wakes up.

4:19 PM: We take Murphy for a walk!


4:40 PM: We swing by the house to drop off Murphy and then Quinn and I do a running workout together. It ends up being about 2 miles + 200 walking lunges. My legs feel like Jello by the end.


5:10 PM: We explore the shed and backyard.



5:37 PM: We blow bubbles on the back deck.


5:49 PM: We finally go inside (thank goodness because I’m wearing a sweaty tank top and cold). Waiting on our front steps is a package from my friends at CVS/pharmacy with all sorts of healthier snacks for Halloween. I love snacks, so I’m pumped to try some new ones!


5:55 PM: Dada comes home! We chat for a little while and then he heads upstairs to shower while I throw together dinner.

6:20 PM: Dinner is served! Mal and I eat the recipe that I created during nap time, and it’s a hit! 🙂 Qman eats Annie’s Mac & Cheese, orange slices, and milk.

6:40 PM: Dinner is over, so I clean up the kitchen. Dada and Quinn play.

6:50 PM: I sit down at my laptop and start working on this post.

7:10 PM: Quinn starts yelling “Mama, mama!” from the living room. He’s watching Finding Nemo with Dada and he wants me to watch the whale scene with him (his favorite part), so I happily oblige.

7:11 PM: We cuddle on the couch and speak “whale” together.

7:25 PM: Mal offers to do bedtime, so I can finish this blog post, and I take him up on his offer. (Best husband ever.) He takes Qman upstairs to brush his teeth and get ready for bed. I start working on this post again.

7:39 PM: Qman goes to bed. Mal comes back downstairs, and it’s football time for him.

8:00 PM: Mal breaks out the ice cream sandwiches from Hornstra. I’m not all that hungry, but I ask him for a bite of him and OMGGGGG!!!! It’s the GREATEST THING I HAVE EVER TASTED, so I immediately decide that I want one, too. OMG. SO FRICKIN’ GOOD. Local peeps: Go buy the ice cream sandwiches from Hornstra. They are truly life-changing!

9:15 PM: I finish this blog post and shut down my laptop.

9:16 PM: I join Mal in the living room and fold a load of laundry while watching an episode of Big Bang Theory with him.

9:35 PM: I head upstairs with the laundry basket, but don’t put any of it away. For some reason, putting laundry away for me is the worst chore ever. Haha! I get ready for bed.

9:42 PM: Lights out.

The end.

P.S. Nikki’s Pumpkin Spiced Donut Coconut Butter is now available for pre-order. It’s my favorite flavor this time of year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a jar. FYI: There’s always free shipping on 5 jars or more! People: Pumpkin spiced DONUT!!!

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