Friday, October 31, 2014

Recipe // Pumpkin Spice Popcorn

In the fall I think, "What else can I incorporate pumpkin into?" There's cakes, granola bars, brownies, cookies, muffins, etc. But what about a snack food? Enter Pumpkin Spice Popcorn. It's basically the perfect popcorn for fall, other than kettle corn maybe, but it is 100x easier to make than kettle corn. 

Within 2 minutes you can have this sweet snack all to yourself, it really is that easy. Do you have a favorite popcorn flavor/concoction?

Yields: 1 serving          Prep Time: 1 minutes          Cook Time: 1 minute          Total Time: 2 minutes

1 single serve unbuttered microwave popcorn
3/4 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 heaping tsp brown sugar

1. Follow the directions on the bag for microwaving the popcorn.

2. Carefully open the bag and place all ingredients into the bag. Hold the opening close and you're "gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake." Pour into a bowl and enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Taking Stock Vol XIII

I didn't originally have a post planned for today but I read some awesome articles and blog posts and I wanted to share them with you all! I've changed a few of the worst so be sure to copy and paste my new taking stock prompt for yourself and leave a link below.

making: chicken taco salad for dinner.

baking: pumpkin bundt cake. Well I baked it yesterday and the recipe will be on the blog next week.

drinking: hot chocolate with those horribly fake mini marshmallows that are so delicious.

reading: my favorite childhood summertime read to William, Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

wanting: people to stop asking "How is he sleeping?" This article explains why.

crafting: my November editorial calendar (I think that counts as crafting...)

looking: forward to getting my second tattoo tomorrow! Don't you worry, there will be photos. A friend told me about a Christian tattoo shop in Lititz and they do awesome work so I'm excited to try them out.

wishing: William would feel better. He got three shots yesterday at his four month check up and the day after he gets shots he always feels icky and sleeps most of the day with a few spit ups in between. Insert sad emoji here.

enjoying: this article about getting married and having kids young.

waiting: for William's next nap to take photos of that pumpkin bundt cake.

liking: pumpkin spice popcorn. Recipe coming tomorrow!

wondering: when my c-section incision will stop hurting and will have feeling again. 

loving: how clean my downstairs is right now. Let's try for a few more days of this people (#yeahright).

hoping: Seth and I can fit in a date night in the next couple of days.

smelling: baby puke. Yeah William needs a bath after today but I don't want to bathe him now just to have him puke on himself again an hour later. Tomorrow he'll get a bath.

needing: a massage.

wearing: sweatpants and an old sweater. It's one of those days.

following: some new blogs. Including Simply Earnest, Oak & Oats, Coconut Robot, and Cider with Rosie.

noticing: how close William is to crawling. 

thinking: about which design I'm going to go with for my tattoo.

bookmarking: book recommendations. Got any books that I should add to my reading list?

watching: The Mysteries of Laura while William naps. Once he wakes up we'll probably watch Curious George because that's his favorite.

listening: to Taylor Swift's new album. I'm only slightly embarrassed that I do like her new album...

giggling: at my Tweets from the past two weeks. I'm funny. 

feeling: tired, sad that my baby is sicky, excited for some awesome stuff at church, and anxious (in a good way) for my tattoo appointment tomorrow evening.

Copy and paste and play along! Leave your link below!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

William // Four Months

William is wearing:
sweater // Joe Fresh
jeans // Carter's
sneakers // Converse
William is currently 14lbs and 24 1/2 inches long

He is still nursing every two to three hours during the day and five to six hours at night. At his four month check up this afternoon we are going to talk about introducing rice cereal. 

We are still having a hard time getting him to go to sleep before 11:00 pm but we have a better daytime sleep schedule pretty much in place. I did get like three nights in the last week where he went to sleep before 10 so I have hope. During the day he typically takes a short morning nap, a long afternoon nap (anywhere from 1 to 2 hours), and then a short nap in the evening.

This kid is such a monkey. He is an expert at baby sit ups and will be sitting up by himself any day now. He has been "asking" for tummy time more often but also loves when we hold his hands so that he can stand. He really can stand fairly well with our help. When he is doing tummy time he sort of squirm crawls and manages to spin himself in circles but doesn't actually make any distance. Just like sitting up, any day now this kid will be crawling. Basically, he just never sits still (just like his dad).

William continues to be quite vocal, we like to pretend we know what he's saying and hold little conversations with him. He is also a little giggle box and is so very ticklish, it's awesome!

William is starting to show early signs of teething by attempting to chew on his toys, and his hands. He is doing his best to sit up, walk, and crawl so we just bought him an exersaucer which he loves even though his little feet just barely touch the bottom. He has also discovered his toes! Now when he's sitting in my lap all he wants to do is reach for his toes. As you can see in the pictures, he was really interested in his sneakers too. William has also started playing with his stuffed animals even more and really loves his plush soccer ball that we got for him at Ikea.

He is still wearing clothing sizes 0-3 months and 3 month and is now in diaper size 2 as of last week.

+bouncing in his exersaucer
+playing on his activity mat
+"standing" up (with help)
+being around lots of people
+Curious George
+Duck Dynasty
+squirming like a monkey

-going to bed early
-his carseat
-being held like one would hold a normal baby
-waking up

I can't believe how quickly my little boy is growing! Everyone said the baby stage would go by quickly but it seems like he grows overnight. He is a handful already, but we expected that, and despite that, I cannot wait until he is crawling! I predict that he will easily be crawling by Christmas and walking by March (9 months). It is a joy to watch my little boy grow up, he is such a good kid, we have been so blessed. His little smile and giggles make my day better no matter what is going on. On Sunday (providing the weather cooperates) we are having our family photos taken by my friend Marisa who also took my maternity photos and I cannot wait! Also - any tips on taking photos of kids who literally never stop squirming??

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Recipe Variation // Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's always fun to mix up your favorite recipes to make them even more special. By far my favorite cookie recipe is my recipe for Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies. Not only is it dairy free (minus the chocolate chips of course) but the texture is light and fluffy, just like a chocolate chip should be. This recipe is perfect as is but I found a way to make it even better!

All you need to do is whip up a batch of Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies and before putting them into the oven, sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top of each bit of cookie dough on the baking sheets. Then bake as directed. The result is just perfect! The sea salt enhances all of the delicious flavors in the cookies and adds a subtle crunch. 

It's as easy as that to change up a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. How do you like to change up your favorite recipes?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Applesauce Making

Earlier this week my mom came over and we made applesauce. Boy did we make applesauce. We started with three bushels of apples, one bushel for three different types, and we made them all. Last year we had the same amount but go so tired towards the end that we quit a little early. This year we toughed it out and four hours later we had about fifteen or so containers of delicious applesauce. 

So funny story. We planned on canning everything as you can see above. We put the first batch into the canning pot, which consisted of 4 quart jars full of our applesauce and when we opened the pot fifteen minutes later to check on it we found that two of the jars had completely shattered in the pot. So after we regrouped we ended up deciding to just freeze everything. We had bought tupperware containers to freeze some anyways so it worked out perfectly. Then we left the canning pot full of water and broken glass for Seth to clean up because we couldn't figure out how to clean it up and it was really heavy. 

For those of you that make your applesauce every year, if you do not have the fruit and vegetable strainer attachments for your Kitchen Aid mixer then you are making your applesauce all wrong. We chopped up the apples, skin on, to help them cook faster, cooked them, and then we placed them on the tray of the attachment and squished them down the tube and magically out came applesauce and the skins and yucky stuff came out the front, separate from the sauce. It's kind of like magic! And it saves so much time when making applesauce. Also, we don't add any sugar to our applesauce. If you make your applesauce with different types apples, you will get a wonderful, sweet, unique flavor that requires zero added sugar.

Aside from the containers that we froze I also made five pouches for William using the Fresh Squeezed Squeeze Station that I will be using for all of his homemade baby foods. This was the first chance that I had to try out the squeeze station and I love it! The whole dealio is that you puree the food and then, using the squeeze station, you squeeze/push it into squeeze bags. You can then freeze the food right in the bags until baby is ready for them. They even sell a spoon attachment, which you attach to the top of the bag so you can feed baby directly from the bag when they are too little to squeeze the food out themselves. It's like those squeezey applesauces you can buy in store but better because you make the food yourself!

We did have six apples leftover at the end, they just didn't fit in the last batch so opted to leave them out for eating rather than cooking them down. I can't wait to dive into our delicious applesauce this winter, it's wonderful eaten traditionally or warmed up over ice cream or fruit crisp. Has anyone else canned/made applesauce this season?
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