Taking A Break…

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Taking A Break... WickedGoodKitchen.comIt’s My Life: Talk, Talk
Taking A Break…

My dear friends, as you read this, I am officially on vacay.

As a complete surprise to me, The Big Lug has taken time off from work to celebrate our wedding anniversary and I am just elated. This break couldn’t have come at a better time.

On Wednesday, October 9th, I had an incredibly down day. Down is sugar-coating it. I was, in fact, an emotional wreck. Just as I ordinarily do, I was going through my feed reading blogs and giving that good ol’ blog love. Suddenly, I found myself reading a food blogger’s post and had no idea where it was going. Let’s just say it hit far too close to home. (My father was an abusive, violent alcoholic. And, that is all I will ever mention here on my food blog.) I completely broke down and couldn’t function. I couldn’t even bring myself to comment despite the draft I completed. (Since I don’t know this food blogger well enough, I just couldn’t comment. The subject matter was just too intimate.) For the remainder of the week, I was a hot mess and unproductive. I am so used to putting on a smiling face and my “big girl panties” when I need to that I just did my best to get through each day for the remainder of that week. The Big Lug knows of this horrific chapter from my childhood and always manages to be there for me in every positive way possible. So, when he told me he was taking time off from work to celebrate our anniversary, it was a total surprise. A gift. A blessing.

Taking A Break... WickedGoodKitchen.com

As part of the deal, I agreed to not blog during this time. As fellow food bloggers know, it takes an incredible amount of time to write articles, develop recipes, test recipes, make the food, style it and photograph it, select and edit photographs, enter everything into WordPress including adding your recipe to special recipe plugins like ZipList, proofread and ensure everything is formatted correctly as well as engage in all sorts of social media to promote your latest post. As it is, I have been living on 4-hour naps on average which is not a good thing for my overall health and well-being. On top of all the blog stuff, as most of you know by now, I happen to be writing a paleo baking cookbook. My days are jam-packed, people. Whew. I really need this break to celebrate our anniversary!

The good news is that I have several fun Fall recipes (read: apple and pumpkin goodness), as well as other recipes in the hopper, to share once I start blogging again next week. Some recipes still need photo editing, but most are just needing to be entered into WordPress. As I glance at the calendar, I truly thought I would have had a new pumpkin recipe or two posted by now, but I really wanted to get the special diet recipe I had promised, the dairy and grain-free Chocolate Chip Blondies recipe, completed for a very loyal Twitter follower, Dr. H. She had been waiting quite some time for it and I wanted to offer it to her in time for her autumn baking. Also, I wanted to share with you Crystal’s beautiful paleo wedding cake based on my recipe for Paleo Carrot Spice Layer Cake with Cashew-Coconut Buttercream.

Taking A Break... WickedGoodKitchen.com

Of course, I still have that second part of the “epic recipe roundup” I promised, the savory edition. Since most of the recipe categories have continued into the Fall, and several killer recipes have been shared within those categories in September and October, I thought it would be appropriate to title the roundup, “Epic Recipe Roundup: 200+ Late Summer & Early Fall Savory Eats”. And, there’s the Drop Cookies 101 tutorial series as well which includes a cookbook review. Being off this week, and not yet having everything entered into WordPress, I thought it would be the perfect series to share in early November to kick off the holiday baking season. Honestly, why aren’t there more than 24 hours in a day? A few extra days per week? Seriously. Next week, I certainly have plenty to do in the way of catching up! I am seriously in need of a virtual assistant. I am not kidding!

Meanwhile, I thought I would share some apple photos with you that I have not yet shared. I took them with my new camera and, well, we’ll just call it “An Apple Study” for kicks. They are the very apples we picked at the end of September during our apple picking trip to the orchard. That afternoon, I snapped them upon our return home. Scroll down to view the complete group of images following this post.

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Also, one of my favorite food bloggers has been pining for photos of me and The Big Lug. (She thinks my blog is ‘mysterious’ because I only show my hands. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did share a few photos in previous posts. But, I get where she’s coming from.) As I have mentioned previously (numerous times), The Big Lug is very reluctant about me posting photos of him. The very thought of a large image, like a portrait, of him splashed across my food blog makes him feel uneasy. And, I don’t blame him one bit! But, in honor of our wedding anniversary, and the Fall season, my dear sweet hubby agreed to allow me to share a snapshot of him that I took on a gorgeous autumn day. He had snapped one of me that day as well. It was a Saturday and we had traveled up to Ann Arbor, Michigan to visit for the weekend. In fact, we had taken his mother out to breakfast earlier in the day.

Afterwards, we scooted out for an autumn drive to see the colorful Fall foliage and then headed to the nearest cider mill and park. We ended up back in nearby Chelsea and Dexter. Below are the snapshots. (I apologize for my squinty eyes. It was a super-bright sunny day that day!) On that beautiful Saturday, we brought our apple cider and doughnuts to enjoy on one of the many picnic tables. It is part of our Fall tradition each year along with visiting the local pumpkin patch to select our pumpkins to carve for Halloween. Since we were married in the Fall, it is our favorite time of year!

Taking A Break... WickedGoodKitchen.com

Taking A Break... WickedGoodKitchen.com

As I have shared before, The Big Lug is very handsome. (I am such a sucker for boyish good looks—hence, my slight crush on the actor Kyle Chandler! Although, I must admit I am partial to blondes.) My hubby is 6’5″ tall and is my tall, blonde, blue-eyed Prince Charming. Or, Knight in Shining Armour depending on my mood. He has a huge heart and is a complete gentleman…that is, when he wants to be! He puts up with me, his temperamental strawberry blonde (read: sassy, fiery redhead!), which automatically grants him Sainthood at some point in the future. I am sure of this. The only thing different about his appearance now is that he’s a little bit older and his gorgeous thick hair is longer. (I asked him to grow it longer and, much to my surprise, he did! I think men would kill to have his thick wavy blonde hair.) The guy does not look his age, at all. In fact, when we were out celebrating our anniversary last year, after dinner we met a musician from a local band. When he asked how many years we were wed, we told him 22 years. He then asked, “Do your parents know?” What a hilarious and kind compliment! It made our evening.

Marriage definitely has its ups and downs. But, when you marry your best friend, and as long as you treat each other with the utmost of kindness, respect and love, whilst expressing your gratitude, you will be blessed throughout your marriage. Truly, I do not know what I would do without him. I wrote about The Big Lug and I, and our marriage, in a post I dedicated to him last June, On Love, Gratitude & Margaritas. In the post, I shared photos from our wedding day. Up to this point, these are probably the only photos he’ll allow me to share. But, I may continue to work on him for others. Ha!

Have a great week, my friends! I hope to have some time to visit your blogs this week or even see you over at Pinterest!






An Apple Study: Cortland Apples

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Cortland Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com

Image Credits for Fall Foliage: Wikimedia Commons

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.


  1. Have an amazing vacay. Take some time to enjoy the world and the Big Lug!
    Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted…Goat Cheese Biscuits ~ October #SecretRecipeClub!My Profile

  2. I wIll miss your posts until your return but I am happy you are taking a break, for you. I read (and admire) your work first thing every morning!! The Big Lug sounds like an awesome guy and he obviously picked an awesome mate. I hope you enjoy your week off Stacy, I have learned in the past that it’s always best to take a breather now and then. I have no doubt you will be better (and more Wicked Good) than ever when you return!! xo
    Dan from Platter Talk recently posted…Polenta Conciata (Oven Baked Polenta Dressed with 4 Cheeses and Cream)My Profile

    • Aww…thanks, Dan! You always manage to make me smile from ear to ear with your sweet comments. As always, I truly appreciate your support. Have a wicked good week, my friend! xo

  3. Glad you are taking a break and that is so incredibly sweet of your hubby to know that this vacation is exactly what you need. You are a beautiful person on the inside and outside and I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy every minute of it 🙂 *hugs*

    • Thank you, Kelly! As I have said before, you are the sweetest. Your kind words mean so very much to me right now. And, yes…sometimes we just need a little break. (I’m really enjoying some extra sleep!) Have a fabulous week, my friend. xo

  4. Enjoy your time off, you deserve it and so does your hubby! You’ll come back refreshed and we’ll be here waiting for you!


    • Thank you, Jaclyn! I cannot wait to share the recipes I’ve worked on for Fall. Actually, I needed more of a break from computer work than work in the kitchen (which I enjoy). I’m especially enjoying the extra beauty rest! xo

  5. Have a wonderful vacay. Refresh yourself and soak it all in! PS – Kyle Chandler/Coach Taylor, mmm! I miss FNL – I will just have to rewatch it all again 🙂 will miss you and your posts until you return! xoxo
    Julie @ Table for Two recently posted…Pumpkin BlondiesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Julie! Oh, that’s right…you are a BIG TIME fan of Kyle Chandler/Coach Taylor, too! Total male deliciousness there. *sigh* Thanks for the kind words, my friend. They mean so much coming from you. Have a fabulous week, girl! xoxo

  6. Have a wonderful and relaxing vacation. Happy Anniversary!

  7. Maria | Pink Patisserie says:

    Enjoy your time away! You have definitely deserved it. Beautiful photos and thank you for sharing so much of yourself with all of us!

    • Thank you, Maria! It was my pleasure. I’m really enjoying the extra sleep and shopping! Added a few new pieces to my ‘batterie de cuisine’. Have a wonderful week, my friend!

  8. This post was so endearing to you, your work, your blog and your family. It was beautifully written. I’m hoping you get some time to relax and get back to yourself, I know it’s hard and I totally get the overwhelming feeling from juggling so many things myself, so I’m hoping it gets better for you! Get your feet up, some cozy pajamas on, and enjoy the day with a cup of tea! Hope to see you soon!
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Halloween Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Granola BarsMy Profile

    • Aww…Pamela, you are so kind! Thank you, my friend. Your support means so very much. You are such a busy bee with so many irons in the fire, I know you can totally relate. Thank you for all the R&R tips! Right now, I’m cuddled in my plushy-soft leopard throw and I just had a scrumptious pot roast dinner. My kitties are by my side keeping me warm. That can fix nearly any amount of the blues or sluggishness! Have a fabulous week, my friend. xo

  9. Relax and enjoy your vacay. The photos are beautiful as always!
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg recently posted…Chocolate Walnut Date Filled Fillo TrianglesMy Profile

  10. Awww sweety, hope you are doing OK. Lots of love and hugs from me. You need and deserve a break, you’ve been working hard. Your hubby is a sweetheart for taking a break and you have have to leave all the work behind and enjoy with him.
    It can get very overwhelming, like how I feel today for no reason at all. So, I can understand and all I can say is, you are a strong, beautiful person, you deserve the best. Take care and tight hugs to you.

    • Thank you, Ash! I appreciate the hugs. I’m OK, just really in need of a break. I know that overwhelming feeling you’re feeling all too well. Sometimes, a break is in order and I hope you feel better soon. Thank you for caring and for all of your support. It means so very much! xo

  11. Awww this is such a beautiful post!! I’ll keep you in my prayers! I had a similar childhood so I had empathize with you. Keep your head up and you do such a great job with this blog!! Everyone needs a break once in a while 🙂
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted…Chicken Avocado Spring Rolls + a GIVEAWAY!My Profile

    • Thank you, Ashley! You are a sweetheart. I appreciate your kind words and I’m sorry to hear you suffered the same problem in childhood. I adore both you and your blog…you do such a fabulous job! Positivity begets positivity, doesn’t it? Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words! xo

  12. Sending you a BIG HUG!!! And take all the time you need! Breaks are a must…and we’ll be here when you get back 🙂
    steph@stephsbitebybite recently posted…Baby FeedingMy Profile

    • Thank you, Steph! You are the best. I appreciate your kindness and agree with you that breaks are necessary in life. Have a fabulous week, my friend! 🙂

  13. Stacy, I am so happy for you taking the time to step away and enjoy some special time with your husband. It all goes too quickly anyway, and we should all slow down and smell the roses (or, in this case, fall leaves!). Big hugs. We’ll be waiting patiently for your return! 🙂

    • Thank you, Georgia! You are right…time off does go by so quickly. Slowing down and getting some extra rest has really helped. Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous week! 🙂

  14. Enjoy your time off, my dear! What a fabulous husband for agreeing to take you away! Everyone needs that. Big hugs XO
    Lori @ RecipeGirl recently posted…Hoisin Chicken DrumsticksMy Profile

    • Thank you, Lori! I appreciate your kind words, encouragement and support (as always!). The Big Lug is pretty fabulous, indeed. I am very fortunate to have him. I’m so glad your hubby is just as thoughtful and cares for your well-being as well…like letting you sleep in on some school mornings getting your Recipe Boy ready for school. We are both very blessed and lucky ladies! Big hugs, back at ya! xoxo

  15. Happy Anniversary Stacy – enjoy the precious time with your hubby. My husband is my best friend too and it’s been an incredible journey. Marriage is hard work, but you get what you put into it. Thankfully, he is very patient and puts up with me. xo
    Jeanette recently posted…Cancer-Fighting Recipe: Roasted Mushrooms and Thyme {Superfood Research at City of Hope}My Profile

    • Thank you, Jeanette! I’m so happy to know you married your best friend as well. We are truly lucky ladies in that our hubbies support and love (put up with!) us. Thank you for the well wishes and have a wonderful week, my friend! xo

  16. Enjoy your time off Stacy! So sweet of the Big Lug to whisk you away for your anniversary! Happy Anniversary! I also feel my husband is my best friend and confidante. He has been super supportive of everything since the day I met him 15 years ago. Enjoy your time together and I look forward to reading your next post!
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted…Linguini with Roasted Red Pepper and PancettaMy Profile

    • Thank you, Anne! We are very lucky ladies, that’s for sure. Thank you for the well wishes, my friend. I hope you’re having a fabulous week!

  17. Take all the time you need. We all understand! What an amazing partner you have 🙂
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted…Cookies & Cream Halloween TrifleMy Profile

  18. What a good man you have there, wishing you both a Happy Anniversary. Enjoy your time together away.
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen recently posted…Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies (Gluten-Free, Paleo Friendly)My Profile

    • Thank you, Sylvie! I appreciate the well wishes and your kind words about my hubby…he is a good guy. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. xo

  19. Stacy, so happy for you that you are on vacation now – what a special gift from your husband! And, by the way, so interesting to finally see the photos of you! Both you and your husband are pretty attractive and you make a really beautiful couple! It made me sad to read that you had flashbacks about not so good times in your life. Stacy, Stacy, I would’ve never thought you’ve had such a negative chapter in your childhood, because you’re always so upbeat and happy! Please continue to be happy – there is really no reason to dwell on the past, we all had our dark chapters (long ones and short ones), but not all of us are brave enough to talk about those so openly. 🙂 And, about how time-consuming blogging is, you tell me about those 4 hours of sleep a day (combining blogging, full-time job, family, etc.) – I need a vacation too! Or I need just to quit blogging for a while – I am getting way too little sleep and even a little bit sick. Enough ranting! Enjoy your vacation and looking forward to your wonderful recipes when you return!
    Julia | JuliasAlbum.com recently posted…Banana apple bread with caramel sauce and pecansMy Profile

    • Julia, you are a beautiful person. I’m so glad to count you as a true blogging friend. Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. I agree with you…we should not dwell on the past. Sometimes those awful heartbreaking flashbacks happen. Truly, I count my blessings. If I had the opportunity to choose my own life or another’s, I would definitely choose my own because I have my husband in my life. I simply could not imagine anyone else as my partner in this journey we call life. Meanwhile, I hope you do get the chance to take a little break from blogging or your full-time job. You deserve it, my friend! Your work is exceptional and I know you put forth an incredible amount of effort. The crazy hours are not worth if you become sick. Adequate sleep is something we definitely need! Take good care of yourself, girl. Wishing you all the best! As always, I greatly appreciate your support. xo

  20. Hope you enjoy your time off… Happy Anniversary!!! Enjoy that beautiful fall weather. Only wish we would experience Fall in Miami
    Mr. & Mrs. P recently posted…Bat Brain Halloween DipMy Profile

    • Thank you, Cristy and Michael! I hope you both enjoy the cooler weather in Miami. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  21. Awww-Stacy – you are such a sweet person – I am so sorry you were so hurt – but it says so much about you to have been able to relate so well to a fellow blogger – I hope this blogger is ok and so are you. Glad you are taking a well deserved break with your big lug.
    Love your dedication to him – and his to you.
    Beautiful couple – beautiful post – see you next week dear friend
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com recently posted…Heart Warming Apple Pecan Pancakes!My Profile

    • Thank you, Shashi! I truly appreciate your kind words. You are a beautiful person. Thank you for your encouragement and support. It means so much to me. Hope you’re having a wonderful week, my friend!

  22. I hope you are able to relax and take time to yourself during your break. So nice of your husband to be such a support to you and plan time to celebrate your anniversary! Lovely fall photos, so nice to put a face with your name! 🙂
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted…mini caramel apple doughnutsMy Profile

    • Thank you kindly, Laura! I appreciate the kind words…especially about my hubby. Yes…we need to see some photos of you, too, missy! 😉 Thanks for stopping by, my friend. xo

  23. Wow. Your blog is totally new to me. This is my first visit but I am totally smitten with your honesty and your prose style. I popped in to say that you won a copy of my latest book Savory Cocktails from a comment you left at Gourmande in the Kitchen. I intended to merely say “congrats”. Instead I’ll say, “you go girl”. Everyone should have a big lug like that. GREG PS The book is in the mail.
    sippitysup recently posted…The Sardinian CookbookMy Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by, Greg! Aww…you say the nicest things. Thank you for the compliments and encouragement. They mean so much coming from you. Your blog is a feast for the eyes and palate. So happy to have won a copy of your Savory Cocktails book. I will relish in it! And, I know it will soon become a favorite. Saw that Brian posted a similar Margarita to mine (Coconut Ginger Lime Margarita) to celebrate your book launch in mid-September (Ginger and Black Peppercorn Margarita) using the infused simple syrup from your book. Both of our syrup recipes call for agave, fresh ginger and black peppercorns. I was inspired last February, then guest posted in May with it and then reposted the recipe here on the blog in early August. All I can say is, great minds think alike! I’m truly flattered we were both on the same wicked mixology wavelength. Meanwhile, I am now following your blog in my feed and I look forward to regular visits to your blog. Once again, thanks ever so much for stopping by. Have a great weekend, my friend. Wishing you much success with your book, too. May it become an ‘evergreen’ with many additional reprints. Cheers!

  24. I’m so glad your hubby noticed you were in need of him to step in and tell you to take a break! So sorry that your childhood can still illicit such a hold on you but I can totally relate. I hope you come back feeling totally refreshed and renewed. I hope you too enjoy your time together! I love all the apple pictures so fun to have a new toy to use and the pictures of you both! Have a wonderful week my friend!
    Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch recently posted…Fall FunMy Profile

    • Thank you, Serena! It is a blessing to have a hubby who cares so much and I hope you are as fortunate. Unfortunately, painful childhood memories can really take a toll on a person. The important thing to remember is to count your blessings and have gratitude for them, have an appreciation for a deeper faith life and to choose happiness and not allow the dark times manifest themselves for long. Those memories are only a tiny part of who you are but not all that you are. I am a very positive and outgoing person, by nature. The hardest thing for me is knowing there are others out there and I feel helpless and broken-hearted about it. All we can do is just pray for others to have strength and hope. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you a fabulous week as well! xo

  25. Stacy, if anyone deserves a vacation, it is you, dear! I hope you and your husband have an amazing time and come back refreshed! xo
    ashley – baker by nature recently posted…Spicy Cheeseburger Stew Stuffed Kobocha SquashMy Profile

  26. Such a great post, Stacy. I know it takes a ton of work to put these posts together and you deserved that break with your hubby (so great to see a photo of the two of you…look at your gorgeous red hair!). I love the apple photos…it’s so pretty and fall. I didn’t know you were doing a paleo baking book-fabulous!!xx
    Lora @cakeduchess recently posted…Raspberry Jam Bundt with Peanut Butter Glaze-#BundtaMonthMy Profile

    • Hahaha! Thank you, Lora! I’m glad you liked seeing the photos. Thank you for your sweet comments…they mean so much to me. Have a lovely weekend, my friend!

  27. I’m so happy to hear that you took some time off! Funny how sometimes things have a way of taking us back to the dark places, but sounds like your Big Lug knew exactly what you needed 🙂 You two are an absolutely beautiful couple! XX
    Meghan recently posted…Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Chocolate GlazeMy Profile

    • Aww…thank you so much, Meghan! I truly appreciate your kind words and compliments. You made our day. Thanks for stopping by, my friend! XX

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