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Fun With Tots

Crafting, Fun With Tots, Motherhood

Painted Pumpkins

September 26, 2016

When I brought a batch of these little pumpkins home last week I told the boys we’d paint them one day. Then, as the days passed and they asked over and over when I was going to make good on that promise, I regretted the fact that I ever put the idea into their heads! Note to self; be very, very careful about future promises made to your children, especially when it pertains to paint. 

Honestly, it was a simple enough activity, it just required the right timing. The two babies needed to be asleep, the house needed to relatively clean and non-chaotic, and I needed to not be too mentally overloaded to imagine two wild little boys slinging paint brushes and having a grand old time at the expense of their clothing and/or my kitchen counters being stained by non-washable acrylic paint, because seriously, who has time to think about where I may have stashed the kids paints, and then go searching for them on top of that?

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Fun With Tots, Motherhood, This Week in Motherhood

Silas Eats Cake

January 15, 2016

Silas Eats Cake

I usually refrain from posting 74 almost-identical photos of my boys at one time, but what the heck.

Silas Eats Cake 6 Silas Eats Cake 5 Silas Eats Cake 4 Silas Eats Cake 3 Silas Eats Cake 2I’ve been making chocolate cake from scratch a lot lately for our various events and- to state the obvious- Silas thoroughly enjoyed his most recent helping. So much so that he smiled and posed when I asked to take his photo afterwards! You never know with him, just a couple of days before that I asked him if I could take some pictures of his curly hair but I might as well have asked him if could cut his left ear off and mail it to China. Anyway, I guess the key to his cooperation probably had a lot to do with the hefty chunk of chocolate heaven that inspired the photos in the first place, hahaha.

In other news about Silas, he’s officially two and a half and his favorite things are Batman, milk, sporadic tantrums, any kind of superhero figurine, the tiny heads of lego men, light sabers, puddles, and the like. He’s sort of, maybe, almost ready for potty training… We gave up after a slight stint of it last week when it was obvious that #2 wasn’t going to happen on the potty (though #1 was going very well). I wanted to be strong and hang in there and not break potty training rule no. 1 which is don’t give up. But Thane left town for a few days, I had an event to host, and- even without those things- it’s so not fun trying to potty train when there are three kids to keep up with all day, every day. Not to mention, it’s winter. But I know I’m far from the first to navigate this stage of life, so what about the rest of you moms, have any tips for me? If so, they would be much appreciated!

Happy Friday friends, and have a great weekend!

Fun With Tots, Sweets & Savories

Our Third Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day

December 24, 2015

Christmas-cookies-2

I’ll begin this post with a picture of a mess because, well, a mess is what we made today! A lively, boisterous, fun and chaos-filled mess of flour and dough as lots of little hands and mouths made sure to get their fair share contributing. Even Finn played a part as he- sometimes happily, but towards the end not so happily– observed from the nearby high chair. Anyway, I can’t say we made the most impressive of cookies (maybe next year we’ll get to the icing part), but sure did have a grand old time! I also used a new sugar cookie recipe that is so, so great. It’s simple, doesn’t need to be chilled, and doesn’t expand during the baking! This is the third year in a row we’ve made Christmas cookies together, and hopefully this is a tradition that will stick.

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There’s so much more I’d love to say about life lately, but there is never enough time! We’re happy, healthy, and- though missing our family dearly and dreaming of being home for Christmas- doing well in Germany. God’s grace abounds in our lives, and so does his patience towards us (amen for that!)

Merry Christmas!

Fun With Tots, Sweets & Savories

Chocolate Chip Cake Batter Cookies

November 12, 2015

Chocolate-Chip-Birthday-Cake-Cookies-3

Oh my. You just never know what may happen when you find yourself standing in the middle of a room full of bored, crying kids and desperation strikes. Who’s seen the scene from I Don’t Know How She Does It where Sarah Jessica Parker bribes her kids with the classic “who wants to watch cartoons?!” line? In my house, it’s “who wants to bake cookies?!” Anyway, that’s what lead to trying this new recipe {from Sally’s Baking Addiction}. I’m usually very unadventurous when it comes to cookie baking and I stick with the classic back-of-the-bag Tollhouse chocolate chip recipe. But this time we just so happened to have everything we needed to try something new.

Cookie-Dough
Chocolate-Chip-Birthday-Cake-Cookies-2Chocolate-Chip-Birthday-Cake-Cookies

I actually stuck to the directions to refrigerate the dough for at least two hours, and it was worth the wait. I was also kind of interested to see Sally’s method for forming “tall” cookie balls {plus adding a few extra chocolate chips to the top of each ball}, something I’ve actually been doing for a while but had never seen anyone else mention! That’s about my only semi-original baking tip.

Needless to say, the tears dried up real quick once the cookie factory was open for business…

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I set the timer for exactly ten minutes and that was perfect. They look slightly underdone when they come out of the oven, but they’re just right.

Chocolate-Chip-Birthday-Cake-Cookies-4

I think these are going to have to become a staple recipe, especially for birthdays!

INGREDIENTS
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 cup yellow or vanilla boxed cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Butter Yellow)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sprinkles

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, mix the flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.

Cream the softened butter and both sugars together until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour, chocolate chips, and sprinkles and mix. Use your hands to knead it if the dough is powdery.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3-4 days. Don’t skip this or the
cookies may bake too flat. You may also freeze the balls at this point for up to 3 months. {Then bake as directed adding 1 minute to the bake time without thawing.}

Once dough has been chilled, preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Scoop rounded balls of the cold dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Shape your cookie dough balls to be “taller” than they are wide, as pictured above.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Mine took 10 minutes exactly. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool.

Enjoy!