Search Results for: baking

I like to bake.

I’m pretty good at it.

I’ve posted a few recipes here and there, but I am certainly not a foodie or food blogger.

However…with the weather outside turning frightful I’ve turned to making things delightful in the kitchen and I’ve seriously enjoyed it. The series is sponsored by Pillsbury and I am grateful for the posts getting me back to baking. I forgot how much I enjoy it (and my family forgot how good I am at it.) Not to mention it was a perfect excuse to make some of the things I had found on Pinterest.

Here’s a few things I’ve made so far…(you can click through to get recipes and instructions, mostly from Vivi.)


Chocolate Vanilla Zebra Cake


Apple Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust and Crumb Topping


Pumpkin Pudding Pie and Apple Pie (with a super fancy top!)


Peppermint Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies

I put the same topping that is on the cookies on top of brownies on Saturday.

The only problem is I need to get to know more of my neighbors so we don’t end up eating all this stuff ourselves.

By now almost everyone is familiar with Pinterest. A site full of the most beautiful of whatever you happen to be looking for. I have a board for Vivi, a board for Addie and a board where I have ‘pinned’ things I have tried. My goal is to attempt at least one ‘pin’ a week. So far all but one have been a raging success. I’ve enlisted Addie’s help where I can and when she saw a striped cake? She was all for it. Yesterday we were having several guests over for dinner and I figured it would be the perfect time to try out the infamous Pinterest zebra cake.

Continue reading on babble…

Also on baby babble…ten things I already miss about my baby.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Home Run Inn Pizza.

*******

I once saw a triangle with ‘sanity’ ‘clean house’ and ‘happy kids’ written at each corner. In the middle of the triangle it said PICK TWO.

I picked happy kids and sanity.

Proof of a day well spent playing and baking cakes. I can have a clean house when they move out.

I can have a clean house when the kids are gone.

For a long time I tried to make a meal from scratch 4 nights a week, allowing one night to eat out and two nights for leftovers. I enjoyed trying new recipes, but someone was always dissatisfied with what I had made and there came a point where I became so tired and fed up with trying to please everyone that I just gave up and made everyone eat cereal for dinner for a week. Between Cody training for a marathon, Addie’s gymnastics and the guilt I felt for feeding everyone cereal instead of an exciting variety of spices and flavors a downward dinnertime spiral began. Cody stepped in to help, which meant a lot of breakfast for dinner and spaghetti. Pinterest and Instagram only compounded my guilt after seeing the marvelous meals others were preparing for their families, meals their children would willingly eat that covered the full spectrum of food groups. My poor kids, would they never know the joy of curried chicken with roasted Brussels sprouts lovingly prepared from scratch by their mother?

Then one week, I don’t remember exactly when, I realized there’s exactly one thing I do not care about when it comes to dinnertime.

[Read more...]

We’re moving in four days. Not a single box packed. I took an epic nap of denial today. So there’s that.” -@oiler02

Christmas is less than a week away, which means I should be vibrating with holiday cheer and magic — but instead I’ve become incredibly familiar with the epic nap of denial.

Today I made the mistake of going to the grocery store sad, hungry and alone which means potato chips for breakfast with a Pop-Tart chaser.

Wink decided yesterday that what we really needed in place of nice Christmas dinner  and presents was a vet bill for $170.

Seems this is the fourth year in a row of the Christmastime glums, but each year has been marked by sadness for a different reason. Not sure what’s wrong this year, but three years ago I can clearly remember being so sad and pregnant that I took up permanent residence on the couch watching old Christmas movies. Meet Me in St. Louis is the one that sent me over the edge, Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was the nail in my proverbial coffin of holiday cheer.

I don’t dislike Christmas, in fact I rather enjoy a dozen different aspects of the holiday season — especially all the lights. I’ve convinced myself that my neighbors keep their lights up until April, not because they’re lazy — but because Christmas lights brighten up the oftentimes miserable landscape of Indiana in winter. I love playing Santa for my girls, I love the smell of our tree, I love seeing Vivi play with her little nativity and I love when Addie gets home and attends to every advent we’ve accumulated over the last several years.

Untitled

But there are other aspects that aren’t my favorite. The commercialism, the greediness, the gimme-gimme and the complete loss of the whole reason Christmas began.

Untitled

Being with my family and having our little traditions is what carries me through each year. Like Chinese food and  watching Elf on Christmas Eve (modified from my childhood tradition of crab legs, which I still love, but no one else does and when you’re the only one who actually enjoys a tradition it’s really just everyone else putting up with your strong need for drawn butter and difficult food) Christmas jammies, (started when we moved to Indiana) a giant bowl of M&Ms on Christmas Day (Cody’s childhood tradition) and a delicious Christmas brunch (sort of a conglomeration of both our childhoods and the belief that brunch is the best most indulgent meal of life.)

This year we added driving around looking at Christmas lights and cutting down our own Christmas tree.

It doesn’t help that so many other people in the world are all “GO GO GO!” and if you’re not “WHY AREN’T YOU?” I did everything important ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to leave the house in December, but that’s part of the problem — I haven’t left the house. There may be a little cabin fever going on, but I don’t want to leave the house, it’s crazy out there. So I hang out in the house painting with Vivi, playing games with Addie and baking way too many treats.

And really? It’s not that bad. Vivi is hysterical, Addie is always down for a snuggle, the house smells of Christmas and there’s always these two little girls together:

...Vivi's little paws wrapped around bunny...

Maybe I’ll stop looking at my epic naps of denial as failure during the holiday season and instead look at them as a way to recharge and take care of myself during a season full of so much. I mean, I’ve already finished the things that needed to get done, and there will always be more things to do so why not just snuggle down right here in front of the fire and zzz…

Where do you find the most magic during this time of year?

*****

I’m so thankful to be partnering with Hallmark during the holiday season on a series of sponsored posts to talk about all the little ways this season can bring us together and allow us to look at life and our relationships in a new way. I’m also thankful to Hallmark for having cards that deal with some of the more difficult moments in life, the ones that show it’s okay to not be 100% and that laughing about it is okay. If you haven’t been in a Hallmark store lately you should go, a mailed card really is the best way to get to someone in this increasingly digital world. Save $5 on your $10 purchase in stores now with this printable coupon.

Someone needs to write a cookbook entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People Through Food.” It would have to be written by a mom. Because the two main genres of people who are won over and influenced by food? Husbands and little kids.

I used to joke that Addie would perform light housework for raspberries. Then I realized it’s actually true, Addie will in fact perform light housework for raspberries. Preferably a pint at a time. I still remember a grocery day where I had to push a sobbing two year old through the check out line because I insisted we pay for the bananas before she could eat one. Lest you think it’s a fruit festival up in here, I may or may not keep a secret stash of Tootsie Rolls, Addie’s six year old equivalent of gold bullion bricks, for those extra special occasions.

Then there’s Cody.

[Read more...]

My 29th birthday is tomorrow. From the looks of things (my cervix) I’ll be able to enjoy some time with my sister, a good nap and something delicious for dinner. Then again, things could all change in the next 15 minutes, that’s the thing about carrying a full grown human baby in your stomach. You’re kind of at their mercy.

cookies by @happygofoodie

I have a friend who isn’t ready to have her baby come out yet in the hospital because somewhere something decided to poke a little hole in her baby’s swimming pool. I have another friend who’s cervix is ready to throw a birth canal parade but her baby isn’t quite ready. I also have so many more friends who have never made it as far as I have. I may not be up for any awards in the “getting pregnant easily” category but when it comes to baking them? I’m Gordon’s Volvo P1800. I dare you to bust this baby out before she’s ready.

We are all so lucky to be where we’re at with something in our lives. Our family, our friends, our health, our dainty wrists, the way the sun shines into our bedroom in the morning. Other people would see our individual blessings as a burden (“Blech! I would never want to be pregnant again!“) while others would give up all they had to be where we’re at.

If I’ve learned one thing over the last year it’s this…

Another person’s happiness deserves to be celebrated with all I am able to give. Is it always easy? No. Jealously can be a cruel wench. But the more I do it, the easier it becomes. And the easier it becomes the easier it is to see the blessings in my own life, which in turn allows me to celebrate the wonderful in others lives as well.

I hope to never be known as a miserable person.

What is the most wonderful thing going on in your life at this very moment?

I’d like to think I do a darn fine job at gift giving. My biggest problem is that I get TOO! EXCITED! when I am in possession of the perfect gift for someone to keep it much of a secret. This little personality quirk drives Cody batty when he his peckled with questions of “So you want to know what I got you right? AREN’T YOU EVEN A LITTLE BIT CURIOUS? If you open it now your life will be that much more fulfilled because it will have my amazing gift in it for 23 extra days!!” I once managed to keep such a supremely amazing present a secret for SO LONG that I presented it to him naked, just to see which one excited him more, his wife finally keeping a gift secret after a decade together or me naked.

It was a toss up.

[Read more...]

Comments closed-The winner of the second Bedtime Kit is Sandra! Congratulations!

This post is part two of my partnership with Goodnites Bedtime Theater. I am being compensated for promoting a contest and sharing my family’s story, not for promoting a product.

First of all. The contest. You know, the one where you could win $2,500 for an adventure with your family? Well a little bird told me there are not very many entries so your chances of winning the grand prize or one of the numerous others are awfully good. Go to Bedtime Theater to enter and while you’re at it, download the free audio series/bedtime story about Iggy and his wiggy bed.

Go enter! No! Wait, stay here a minute, I need your help here for a minute then you can go…

[Read more...]