Sunday, June 30, 2013

Maple Glazed Apple Cinnamon Chip Muffins

     I've had a bag of these Cinnamon Chips hanging out in my pantry and thought today was a good day to try them out.  I found a great recipe on the She Knows blog courtesy of Pinterest, of course, for Maple Glazed Apple Cinnamon Chip Muffins.  They turned out really yummy and the cinnamon chips are the perfect addition, along with the fresh diced apples!


Ingredients:

Muffins
1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk 
1 1/2 cups diced apples (I used Gala, recipes calls for Granny Smith)
3/4 cup cinnamon chips

Glaze
3 TBsp unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup confectioner's sugar (sifted)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBsp hot water
1 TBsp pure maple syrup

How to make them:

Muffins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly grease standard muffin tin or line with paper muffin/cupcake cups.
Spray each cup liner with nonstick cooking spray, will ensure cups peel off easily.
In a medium bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugars until smooth.
Add eggs, beat until combined.
Stir in baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla.
Stir in the flour into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Fold in apples and cinnamon chips.
Scoop batter evenly into prepared muffin tins, filling the cups nearly full.
Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes or until they are golden pail and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Glaze

In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, water, and maple syrup.
Whisk until smooth.
When muffins are cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow glaze to harden.
Serve warm and Enjoy!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Triple Pea-Nutty Chocolate Cookies

     I was in the mood for something extra peanut buttery and chocolatey....so I went on good ole Pinterest and found a recipe from Cate's World Kitchen.  I added a some mini Reese's Cups and Reese's Pieces to make extra pea-nutty!


Ingredients:

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups peanut butter chips
     or
1 cup Reese's peanut butter chips
1 cup mini Reese's Pieces (optional)
1-2 bags mini Reese's cups (optional)



How to make them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degree.  
Line cookie pans with parchment paper.
Cream butter with sugars on medium speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs, mix well.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add dry mixture to butter mixture, mix on low until just combined.
Stir in the peanut butter chips and optional mini Reese's cups and Pieces.
Drop or scoop 2 TBsp of dough per cookie onto the prepared cookie pans.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set.
Cool on cookie pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Serve with a glass of cold milk and Enjoy!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

9 Months and Counting...

     Well today she is 9 Months...seems like she was born yesterday.  Can't believe how fast my little lady is growing up!  So far she has her two bottom teeth (working on the top ones now), eating solid foods (loves Cheerios), and is almost crawling (just a matter of time).



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding....

     Ok, so I have been breastfeeding Kinley since she was born, she will be 9 months tomorrow.  In the beginning I set some personal goals for myself.  Since, I only BF Liam for 3 months, I wanted to try and go longer with Kinley.  I first set 3 months as a goal, when I reached that I then set it to 6 months, when I passed that, I thought I would try for 9 months.....Well, I have reached that goal too, and I'm really happy and proud of myself for doing it!
     Recently, we have been trying to introduce the bottle with "momma's milk" to her and wean her from the boob, but it has definitely been rough!  She's really never liked the bottle, we've tried two brands so far (Nuk & Tommee Tippee).  The hubby found some new ones to try so we will give those a go.  We have also introduced a stippy cup with a straw to see if that would peak her interest.  It did for like 5 minutes, but she didn't drink all the milk.  The whole reason I want to wean her is that since her bottom teeth have come in and looks like the top two will pop through any day now, she has has started biting me.  I know she doesn't mean to, but it HURTS!  It's gotten to the point of being painful.  I want to continue giving her my milk but I'm just worried I won't be able to produce as much milk that she needs just by pumping.  Does anyone out there have any good suggestions??
     It seems like when I try to pump what I can, there isn't much due to the fact she drank it all.  So either I let her nurse from me through the pain or pump it to try and do a bottle.  Which doesn't always work.  So I feel the milk is going to waste because she isn't drinking it.  When people say "don't cry over spilled milk" they don't understand everything that does into making that milk.  So, when it's not used up and goes to waste it IS a big deal!  I used to have a pretty good stash of stored milk in the freezer, but it has dwindled down.  And I feel I can't make enough to restock it.  I don't know what to do.  We have tried some formula just to see if she would like it and of course, she refused to drink it.  This is really worrying on me and feel a little stressed....what to do? What to do?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

8 Months and Counting....

     Since we were on vacation, I totally forgot to post Kinley's 8 month picture!  So here it is!


A Day in the Life of Me

     So, I know I have been all about blogging my sister's baby shower, then we had the baptism, tried to catch everyone up on our trip to, there, and back from Texas, some recipes to share, but today I feel like  writing about our everyday life.

     Well, the hubby is back on night shifts, which means this momma is working double duty.  Seems like days are just a blur and they are over with before they even start. Between getting up, getting breakfast for everyone, play time, nursing, putting Kinley down for nap, hang out with Liam, try to get some laundry done, then time to work on baby skills with Kinley when she wakes up or go get errands run before lunch, lunch time, oh can't forget about the diaper changes, play time some more, another nap for Kinley, then maybe a snack for Liam and I, Kinley wakes time to start on dinner, eat dinner, attempt to get dishes washed and put in dishwasher, bath time already, get kiddos ready for bed, Liam reads Kinley bedtime stories, Liam has his "Kindle" time while I nurse and put Kinley down for bed, then it's Liam's turn, teeth brushed, books read, songs sung, then he's in bed......Momma finally gets a break.  To go to sleep or enjoy quiet time, that is the question....

     Yes, it get s a little crazy during the day but I do find the time to have some fun with the kiddos.  We did make it to the commissary and they rode together in the cart.  Kinley loved "driving" with Liam.


Oh, my sweethearts!


Kinley has discovered the laundry basket.  She loves being in it.  
This was the first time she stood on her own. 




Liam took pictures of his Angry Bird castle...Before


After!


Kinley liked playing in the block box instead of the blocks.


We have been cheering for the Spurs...unfortunately they lost.


Kinley tried Lima Beans for the 1st time and loved them!


Liam and his Kindle Time


Kinley actually drank some "Momma Milk" from a straw sippy cup!
Way to go!



Bubbles outside are always fun, even in our undies.


Kinley has been zippin' around in her walker...she'll be walking in no time!


Trying to figure out her new choo choo train.


Fun in the sun! I recently bought a little pool for us to play in on these HOT days!




Mom bought Kinley a jumpy, she loves it! 
I just get a little worried she's going to bop her head on the door frame.
Jump Jump Jump Kinley!


    While we were in Texas the hubby picked up his comic book collection from his parent's house and brought them with us back home.  So Liam and him spent some of the day going through them all.  They both had a good time looking through them.  But, I don't think Liam gets why they have to stay in the plastic pouch, he wanted to really look at all of them.


     Recently, I have discovered this new series on Netflix called Hemlock Grove which I've been watching after the kiddos go to bed.  It's really good! Since you know I am a True Blood and Twilight fan, this is definitely up my alley!  Plus, it has Bill Skarsgard, Alexander Skarsgard's brother in is. (For those of you who don't know who Alexander Skarsgard, where have you been??....he's Eric Northman from True Blood).  Anyways...I can't wait to watch the next episode tonight!

     Well, that's what has been going on in our house.  Just staying busy busy.  Looking forward to the hubby's day off so we can spend some family time together.  I know Liam really wants to see Monsters University, so we shall see.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Trails Texas, Hola New Mexico

     Well, the time had come, we had spent 15 days in good 'ole San Antone and now it was time to say goodbye.  Everything and everyone was packed and ready, said our goodbyes and drove to the nearest Shipley Do-Nut shop for some yummy pastries for breakfast!


Then we were on the road....8 plus hours to go before we get home!


Did make a few stops to get out a stretch and enjoy some snacks!


We stopped for some lunch in a little town. It was really good!


Then back on the road, Liam actually fell asleep watching Hotel Transylvania.


While Liam slept we stopped to feed Kinley and let her out of her carseat for awhile.
(Don't worry the car was off and parked)


Our little racer!  Must take after her PapPaw!


Just about out of Texas this was our view of the beautiful sunset.


El Paso! Almost home!


We decided to go ahead and stop at Cracker Barrel for dinner before 
finishing out the drive home.  I had some Chicken & Dumplings, Carrots, 
and Green Beans.  Oh so yummy! Liam really liked the Mac N Cheese there!


We finally rolled into our garage around 11:00pm-ish, unpacked what we needed, 
put the tired kiddos to bed, then crawled into our own bed for the night.  
Nothing beats being home sleeping in your own bed after a long trip.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Nay's Orange Cookies

     One of my absolute favorite cookies are my Aunt Nay Nay's Orange Cookies.  My mom used to bake these up for us growing up and they usually didn't last the day.  The whole batch would be gone in an instant!  They are so light and soft with a delicious orange citrus flavor to them!


Ingredients:

Cookie
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour milk*
  * 1 TBsp white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup orange zest
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 cup flour

Icing
1 TBsp butter (room temperature)
1 tsp orange flavoring extract
1 1/2 cup powder sugar (sifted)
orange juice
orange zest

How to make them:

Cookie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking pans with parchment paper.
To sour milk, add vinegar to milk let stand on oven to sour for over an hour.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, orange juice, and sour milk.
Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl, then add to butter mixture.
Add orange zest, mix until combined.
Scoop onto baking prepared baking pans.
Bake 10-12 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Icing
Cream butter with orange flavoring.
Slowly add powder sugar and just enough orange ice to make the icing spreadable.
Add in orange zest, mix until combined.
Spread icing on cooled cookies and Enjoy!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Texas We Have Arrived!

     So after a long drive to Texas, we had finally arrived around 11:30pm Central Time.  The first few days we just hung out at my mom's house, prepping everything for my sister's baby shower and my daughter's baptism.  Many mornings Kinley and I would be up early so we would go outside, before the humidity hit, to hang out in the lovely backyard while my mom watered all her plants.  Coffee and Cinnamon Muffins the perfect breakfast for outside.




Liam created some beautiful Angry Bird masterpieces.



Kinley having some fun while Liam colored.



Saturday was FINALLY my sister's baby shower.  My mom, Kinley and I were busy all day at my sister's Mother-in-law's house hosting the shower.  And Kinley actually took a nap there (in the pack-n-play of course), something Liam would NEVER have done!  
Everything went perfect and Alicia loved it!  



As a Thank You from my sis, she gave me this FABULOUS watch, which I absolutely LOVE! 


And these fabulous Macarons (my FAVORITE cookies) from Bakery Lorraine!


Oh they were so good, I didn't want to share!


Since the ladies were occupied, the guys went fishing with the hubby's family.


Liam my little fisherman!  They even caught some Bluegill and Bass.


On Sunday we headed to the church to get Kinley baptized.


Oh Happy Day!


My little lady wearing the beautiful baptism gown MeeMaw made for her special day.



She was such a great baby during the whole Mass.  
She was smiley and even waving to everyone in the pews.


After Mass everyone headed over to my parent's house for some Texas BBQ.  
It was SO good!  Oh how I missed some yummy brisket!



Liam hanging out with Ina.


Playing with his new Transformer Prada King from his Godfather.


These are some of the sweet gifts for Kinley.  
She received this beautiful remembrance block from Aunt Alicia & Uncle Brandon.


A beautiful Irish shaw and James Avery necklace with her sapphire birthstone.


I can't wait to present it to her when she gets older.


Her Aunt Cathy gave her this cute fox outfit.  She knows how we love foxes!


Nana & Papa gave her this nice plaque to display her picture in her room.



Little miss at her BBQ....silly girl!


That night after the kiddos went to bed, mom and I snuggled with the kitties on her bed 
and watched some Iron Chef.  I was nice to be home!


Bailey wanted my snack...sneaky kitty.


The next morning, the kiddos, mom and I went for an early morning walk...
after I put Alicia's baby stroller together for her so Kinley could use it.


The kiddos checking out Ruby, my dad's ongoing project.


I got a little artsy with this shot of the kids. (Don't worry, my mom is holding Kinley).


We also loaded up the swimsuits and floaties and headed over to a family friend's house for some fun in the sun!  The kiddos LOVED splashing and swimming in the pool.  












Taking a break for some snacks!



Time to say goodbye and go back home.


     That night we met up with some friends to catch the last quarter of the San Antonio Spurs versus Miami Heat..which they won (Game 1)!  Then we went over
to the Lion and the Rose British Irish Pub.  The guys enjoyed some 
pints and we all enjoyed the Sticky Toffee Pudding to the last bite....as you can see.



The next day, Liam hung out with daddy, so mom, Kinley and I met Ina at 
The Shops of La Cantera for some walking, shopping, and lunch.  
We stopped to let Kinley watch the waterfalls.



Guess it's time for lunch, Kinley started to eat her shoe.


We tried out this burger place BurgerFi.  It was so delish! 
The best part, you got a FREE custard sundae if you 
posted a picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter....I did ALL three! 




Kinley's new best friend Ina.


That night, we drove out to Schertz to eat dinner with the in-laws at Chili's.  
Here's Papa holding his youngest grand-daughter.


The next day, mom had bought a jumper for Kinley to play in.  She loved it!



It definitely came in handy while my mom, sis and I prepped dinner for Asian night!
Mom worked on the fried rice, eggs rolls, and sushi, while sis and I made all the dumplings.



Look at all the food! So good!!


The next day, my sister had taken the day off from work to spend with us.  
So we loaded up the kiddos and headed back to The Shops at La Cantera for lunch.   
Kinley wore her new outfit Nana gave her.  Such a cutie!


We decided to go to Grimaldi's Pizzeria for lunch!


Delizioso!


Little Miss just being silly wearing big brother's sunglasses.


The hubby and I were able to have a date night.  
After we put the kiddos to bed we met up with some friends 
at Hofbrau & Beergarden for a night out!


The hubby and I enjoying our free time! Thanks MeeMaw for the night out!


Jessica's monstrous margarita!


The hubby tried one too, his was called the Bomb Pop!


He drank it all!


The next day we headed over to a friend's house for some more swimming!





Just keep swimming...


They turned on the fountain, Liam liked playing in it.


And....the waterside was the biggest hit with Liam. 
 I don't even know how many times he went down it!





Kinley loved it too, especially chilling in the warm water of the hot tub (bath water warm).


Look at my little water baby!


And my other water baby!


They loved floating together!


That night we went back home and dined on some Dominos and salad, put the kiddos to bed, 
then us adults hung out around the fire pit in the backyard.  
It was a nice ending to a wonderful day.


Early the next morning, the kiddos got in the hot tub (bath water warm) with MeeMaw.  




Kinley loved all the bubbles.


I'm not sure if Liam was really awake yet.


That night we watched the Spurs play and I enjoyed some yummy treats, Sparking apple cider and some Sea Salt Caramel Gelato.  Then I started packing for our trip home in the morning.


That was our last night there, the next morning we were packed up and leaving for New Mexico by 10:00am!  It was such a nice long visit, we saw all our family and friends, hosted a great baby shower, got Kinley baptized, tried some new restaurants, did some shopping, went swimming, and rooted for the Spurs.  It was time to go home.....

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