Monday, October 31, 2011

My Little Witch

I really hope that your Halloween involved at least as many smiles as mine did this year.  Having an 18 month old at Halloween?  It doesn't get better.

This year, this:

inspired this:

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pinspired Food {part 3}

This is the one post where I will rave about every recipe.  Yummmmmy!

Check out part 1 and part 2 for some other yummy (and not-so-yummy) ideas.

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies
These cookies were super delish. My one suggestion would be to make sure to do ample scoops and be sure not to smoosh them down.  A lot of mine were too crispy and eve though I usually like my cookies that way, it didn't work as well for these since they are supposed to be cheesecakey.  I added some of the cream cheese frosting from the next recipe to some of the cookies and that was a GOOD idea!

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
YUM-O.  These cupcakes were every bit as scrumptious as the picture leads you to believe.  Between the cookie at the bottom and the cream cheese frosting, these were pretty much to-die-for.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
These cupcakes were also to-die-for.  I pinned the recipe from a girl who adapted the original and that is the picture you see above since Annie's Eats does not allow people to save images.  Anywho, it was my first time putting a filling in a cupcake and it won't be my last!  The filling was sooooooo good!  Then the crumbles on top...yeah, I need to make these again. Stat.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pinspired Food {part 2}

It's part 2 of of my Pinspired food adventures! If you missed part one, you can check it out here.

Let me just take a minute to give you a little insight into me and my relationship with cooking and baking.  I have a little plaque in my kitchen that a friend gave me that says, "If God wanted me to cook, why did He invent restaurants?" and that pretty much sums it up.  It is not that I don't love home-cooked food, I really really do (who doesn't??).  It's just that I don't love the act of cooking.  My mom was not much of a cook, either.  I mean, she cooked very well...when she cooked.  She was a work-outside-of-the-home mama so her time in the kitchen was limited and she was similar to me in that she didn't love the act of cooking. I can probably count on both of my hands the number of different dishes my mom made throughout my childhood and I can count on just one of my hands the number of times my mom baked something.  Literally.  Now baking, on the other hand, is something that I do enjoy. The problem is that I have a tendency to only make things that really appeal to me and then I want to eat it all.  Maybe that plays into why I had to shed almost 30 lbs last year? Probably.

Here's the thing.  I don't want to be that mom.  The mom who is too busy to cook.  The kind of mom that doesn't ever cook for her family because it doesn't suit her.  I want to be the mom who's kids die for her food.  So I really need to to work on this, because Josie is growing like a weed and I have more kiddos on the brain.  I am hoping that this latest obsession with recipes found on Pinterest, really does inspire me to work on this.

Without further ado...

Tex Mex Queso Pasta

This one was really disappointing for me!  I stayed true to the recipe, even keeping in the jalapenos, but I think where I went wrong was using whole grain noodles.  We always buy whole grain pasta around here but we find that some are better than others and when I made this recipe I used a new brand.  I *think* it was Mueller's new whole grain pasta line, but don't hold me to it - I didn't have blogging on the mind when I made it so I didn't keep tabs.  But the noodles were just a little too whole-grainy if you know what I mean.  I feel like the pasta should just be a vehicle for all the yumminess you put on it but in this pasta a huge part of what I was tasting was the noodles.  Anyway, the hubs liked it but was not in love with it. He did say that it was better as leftovers.  I love when that happens and it doesn't happen enough, in my opinion.

Roasted Chick Peas

To be blunt, these were disgusting.  The hubs didn't even eat any after the initial bite I gave him and that is unprecedented for him because he hates to not give the 'ole college try to anything I make as to make sure he doesn't hurt my feelings. They look so delish in the pic, right? I used a garlic salt mix for the "spice blend mix" that the recipe calls for and it was not the right choice.  But honestly, I really don't know if any spice mix would taste good.  They were kind of mushy and I guess I was hoping for more of a crunchy, savory snack (like the author described...) but these completely fell flat.

On a side note...I am learning that I am not so good at this food description stuff because I am having a really hard time explaining why I didn't like stuff...

Reese's Cheesecake Brownies

O. M. G. These brownies are just seriously sinful.  And soooo good.  This is the kind of dessert that you can only handle small portions of because it is almost too much.  Next time around the only thing I think I would change is the Reese's Pieces in the cheesecake mixture - was just unnecessary. You already have peanut butter in the frosting and Reese's cups on top and that is good enough for me. Also, either I am having an oven temperature issue (which is entirely possible) or the 40 minutes was not long enough for this dish to fully bake.  The brownie layer was pretty much almost-baked batter in the middle.  I was actually okay with that but I planned on taking these brownies with me somewhere and I could only take from the outer edge because I couldn't cut brownies out of the middle without just coming out with a big pile of sweetness.  But overall, I totally suggest making these for a party - you will be getting oohs and ahhs all over the place!

Can you believe I have made enough stuff found on Pinterest over the last month or so to fill two more posts??

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pinspired Food {part 1}

What's that you say?  My behind is larger this month than last month? Thanks for noticing and let's go ahead and thank Pinterest for that.  Now I am broke from all the extra grocery trips and you think I look fat.  Great.  

Some of these recipes were well worth it, though. Welcome to part 1 of what is going to be a 4 part series detailing my adventures in recreating recipes I have discovered on Pinterest.

Double Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

This was soooooooo good!  I used Ghirardelli cocoa, which I think helped make it so delish. But the real beauty of this is the frosting.  I may or may not have been taking swipes of it from the container at every opportunity. Peanut butter, cream cheese and confectionary sugar is a combo directly from heaven. I love when people make a recipe and then give ideas for what they would change so I am going to do that with these posts, however, there is NOTHING I would change about this one!  Follow the recipe and you will be in love.

Want to read a funny story, though?  A raccoon was the recipient of most of it's calories. We took the loaf camping and on the 2nd morning we began a half-hearted searching for it.  Then the desire for this wonderful loaf of awesomeness took a turn for the desperate and we amped up the search (I mean, how many places could it be on a campsite??).  After discovering that this thing was nowhere to be found (and many silent accusations of who might have been the one to get up in the middle of the night and mow the whole thing and was sitting there acting like they had no idea where it was) the hubs discovered an empty, ripped up plastic bag maybe 50 feet from our campsite with only a sad few remaining crumbs of chocolate loaf.  I could seriously punch that raccoon.  We had only eaten less than half of it and IT WAS IN A SEALED PLASTIC BIN.  Wtf? Not cool.

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins

These were pretty good.  Nothing super special but they were moist and yummy.  I used a combo of milk chocolate chips and peanut butter chips instead but that was all I did differently (and I would suggest it, too). 

But the weekend that I made these must have not been my weekend. I also took these camping and we discovered that some of them had this weird slight soapy taste.  I have no idea what I did, but somewhere along the way I got a little bit of soap in there.  Thankfully it did not ruin ALL of them.  

By the way, if you do not own silicone baking cups, you should.  They are so much better than paper cups. They practically fall off the muffin so no pulling off paper cups and trying to not have the crumbs fall everywhere and bonus - no garbage!

Pizza Puffs

These bad boys are one of the more disappointing things I have made.  They were just alright.  Not bad at all, just alright - and I guess I was expecting them to be utterly delicious and to-die-for and so I was sad when they were not.  I am not much of a cook so I really have no idea what you could do to make them better but let me know if you do!

Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Embrace the Camera

No giant smiles this week. 

I tested out the timer on J to see if it mesmerized her and check it out.  It did!

This kid is always on the move and rarely will just sit with mama so I kinda love this picture. 

Linking up with the fabulous Mrs. Emily Anderson over at The Anderson Crew.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Josie {17 months}

How can it be that I have a child who is 17 months old?  How can it be that she is walking (i.e., running) and talking?  How can it be that we are so lucky?

Today Josie still has her night night.  We see no end in sight and are okay with that for the moment.  We have made it off limits when she is at home but she can have it for sleeping and for public outings (admittedly, just makes life easier).

Today Josie is a picky, unpredictable eater.  You give her something one day and she loves it.  The next day, notsomuch.  The only thing that I can predict is that I will be frustrated and she will not eat much - that much is true 90% of the time.  We throw away more food every day than I would like to admit but the girl certainly isn't starving.  At, I am guessing, 26ish pounds she is downright solid.  The things that she often will not turn down are yogurt, cheese, green beans, olives and anything that we are eating.  That last part does not mean that she will actually swallow something you give her from your plate, but she will beg for it.  It is probably something that we should discourage more than we do but when she has hardly eaten anything and then seems to want what you have, it is very difficult to turn her down. 

Can't you just feel the mischief?
Today Josie is so smart.  I know this is so cliche and every parent says it but you know what?  All of our children are smart.  Everyone else might not see it the same as we do, but we all see the best parts of our children and know what makes them special.  Josie is saying more words than I can count and is sure to give her best attempt at repeating any word we give her.  If we count to 10, she will say a lot of the #'s as we go. If we sing the ABC song, she will become quite intent on listening and toward the end you can hear her telling you "TUVWXYZ" and then, "...meeee!".  She can show you all of the parts of your face and a good amount of your body parts to you and she can point them out on herself, too. She loves to give a nose a good honk and she loves to poke eyes. She love love loves Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Ring Around the Rosie.  She thinks it is the funniest thing if she tickles you and you laugh like crazy and she will do it until you won't let her do it anymore.  Oh yeah, and on a SUPER cute note, it is the coolest thing when I see her do something just like her daddy. Like the way she sticks out her tongue just a little bit when she is really concentrating. 

Today Josie LOVES music.  She instantly smiles if someone she knows starts singing, no matter where she is she will stop and start to sway if she hears a catchy tune, and it is a nightly occurance to see her dancing and twirling in the living room.  There are certain songs that we make a point of playing in the car sometimes because they are sure to have her smiling as big as she can and shaking her booty in her seat - Ice Ice Baby, Pumped Up Kicks and Rolling in the Deep, just to name a few.

Today Josie is a beautiful little lady. Her hair is most definitely in a mullet style, officially. Mama just hasn't gotten around to taking her in but don't be sad because her smooth, silky locks will not allow little pigtails in the back so don't cry for the imminent loss of it.  In her light-the-whole-room-up smile, she has the majority of her baby teeth except her cuspids and 2nd molars, which from my research seems to be right on track.  She is rocking a size 6 shoe, and depending on where you are shopping, she is pretty much in 18 months clothes.  Carter's 18 months is still a little big, while Old Navy 18-24 months is just about perfect.  The pants are usually a little long but I guess that is where the "-24 months" part of the size come into play!  When Josie wears disposable diapers, she is perfectly in a size 4.

Today Josie loves to test her limits. She says an emphatic "No!" at every opportunity and if you are saying no to her, she will touch the off-limits item and look you right in the eye and say "Okay!" as she is touching whatever it is you are asking her not to touch.  Josie has already seen a few time-outs and a few hand smacks.  But isn't there some kind of saying about the smartest kids being the most stubborn or something?  No, you say?  Well, there should be.

Today Josie is our heart.  She smiles, we smile.  She laughs, we laugh.  She cries...well, I won't go that far...

Yes, I am aware that this picture quality super sucks but this is the only family pic we have taken in a few months!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Remember this post?  Well, just want to let you know that I am still completely enamored with Pinterest.  In the last month or so I have pinned 241 things!  I have been in love with Google Reader for a long time now - maybe 2 years - and not too long ago I discovered the ability to "star" posts.  That is probably completely old news to anyone who uses GR, but I was way excited about it because up until then I would just keep good posts unread until I printed them out or did whatever it was that I wanted to do from them.  So for someone like me who is OCD and did not enjoying having unread items in her feed when they were in fact very read, this was not cool.  Well, Pinterest is essentially the same thing as starring, except the whole world is opened up to you.  I think the site should actually be called Pinspire because it inspires me I cannot get over how many wonderfully creative people are in the world.  It just seriously makes my heart so happy.

I thought it would be fun to do a little recap of all the pins that I have actually accomplished, so here goes.  Oh.  Admittedly I am a huge lame-o because I haven't taken pictures of hardly any of the things I have done, so all you get are the pics from Pinterest.  So sorry.

Under the sink organization.  I bought two metal mesh ones from Ikea for $6.99 and it fit all of our plastic wrap, foil and plastic bags.  It is such a small thing but a really great organizational improvement for us!  I HATED sorting through all those boxes just laying in the cabinet.

I lied. I do have one picture example but it is actually something that I posted in my last blog.  I saw this picture on Pinterest, but for some reason I did not repin it so I am very sorry but I cannot give the originator credit:

As soon as I saw it, I had to do it for my Goddaughter and also for my Josie.  I whipped these up on Picnik in just a few minutes.

(Did I ever share these photo shoots with you?  I was pretty proud of both of them. And did I share how I made Josie's tutu??  SUPER easy.)

Adorable jacket pattern for a baby girl.  I am not much of a sewer (it really weirds me out that that is the right word, btw) so I commissioned one of my best pal's best pal to make it for me!  I bought the pattern, now I just need to buy the fabric and send it to her.

Just realized that I lied again.  I have another picture!  Check out this sweet idea for a baby boy photo:

It was my smart hubby's idea to use felt instead of construction paper, in order to eliminate any potential glare.  Here are some of the pics we got last weekend when I took my ridiculously ADORABLE nephew's 6-month pics:

Unfortunately, I didn't get as many good ones from this as I had hoped.  #1 The tape was not sticking well to the felt or the binky - I wish I would have given that a little more thought and tested it out beforehand and #2 The hubs made them for me and didn't really take into account the size of the baby's face so they were a little large and his nose was covered too much in most of the pics. He also cut out a fu-man-chu, but due to the problems I just listed, it just didn't work.  Case in point:

Fortunately, they plan on having a Duggar-sized fam so I am sure we will have another little to give it a go on.

As it turns out, this post is getting pretty long and I haven't even covered half of it!  I will be back to finish up later - hope you enjoyed!