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One Mom’s Sunday

Woke up at 3:30am to nurse.

Promptly went back to sleep.

Woke up again at 6am.

Drove an hour.

Ran a 5K in memory of a lost friend.

Took a moment to think about her and smile.

Spent way too much money on far too few groceries.

Kissed a boo-boo.

Chased a wild man around Toys R Us.

Committed to painting my office “saffron threads” and our front door “baritone.” (Thanks, Behr app!)

Drove an hour back.

Took a much-needed shower.

Changed a pooper.

Peeled 1983 off my office wall. See ya, mauve roses.

Nursed my baby.

Sliced some strawberries.

Roasted some spicy cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts.

Kissed a boo-boo.

Made cauliflower couscous with pine nuts and cranberries.

Felt a swell of pride when my 2yo ate it all. :)

Drank a double chocolate stout.

Snuggled my boy.

Nursed again.

Fell asleep while tucking a snugglebug into bed with a story about where worms live.

Woke up again.

Took care of some office paperwork in case we die. (Yawn.)

Made a spinach mushroom omelet for tomorrow’s breakfast.

(Not mine.)

Packed up the lunchbox.

Ate a few bites of ice cream.

Wrote a blog post.

Thought about what to wear to work tomorrow.

Decided to think about it in the morning.

Completely ran out of steam.

Felt thankful for it all.

Good night. :)

 

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2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Imagine it:

You come home from a long, tiring day at work, not feeling well and desperate for sleep. You have to cook dinner, get your toddler bathed and tucked into bed, and get everything ready for the next early morning. Then you remember with horror: you signed up to bring muffins to school tomorrow.

It happened to me, the night before my son’s first Halloween party. Why, oh why, didn’t I just sign up to bring juice boxes!? (This is my first child, so I’m still learning…)

I knew they had to be pumpkin, and they had to be cute. So I sat down to do some quick Googling and find something I could pull off by morning. That’s when I found it: the 2-ingredient pumpkin muffin recipe (visit Sweet Verbena for the post I found.)

Is it possible that I’m the last person in the world to know about this fabulous recipe? If so, color me humbled. If not, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Here’s what you do:

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 cake mix (white, yellow, spice or carrot)
  • 1 15-oz. can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix both ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well blended (batter will be thick).

Line muffin pan with paper liners; fill liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20–25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes about 18 muffins.

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That’s right – no eggs, no oil, nothing. You don’t add anything to the mix but the pumpkin. It’s ingenious, and it’s delicious. The perfect cross between a moist, dense muffin and a yummy cupcake – and you’ll still get to bed on time. ;)

I knew I had to decorate these, and lately I’ve struggled with how to make things fun for kids without using tons of awful, yucky dyes. I’ve come up with a solution that seems like a good compromise to me (at least until I find affordable, natural dyes that actually work.)

I whipped up a quick batch of cream cheese icing with real ingredients (butter, 10x sugar, almond milk, cream cheese and pure vanilla.) I piped a small rosette on the top of each cupcake, then topped each with a mini Nutter Butter/Hershey’s Kiss acorn. (Thanks to the hubby for running to the store!) …and voila! A perfect little fall accent that can be eaten or popped off, depending on dietary preferences.

 

They received a resounding thumbs up from my coworkers (who affectionately nicknamed them “muffcakes” and the kids at school loved them. The director even texted me for the recipe! Now I just have to decide if I really want her to know how easy they were… ;)

A few side notes:

  • This recipe is a great way to add a healthy dose of nutrient-rich pumpkin to a fun treat, AND it’s easy enough that your toddler can help with the mixing!
  • Depending on the price of the cake mix and pumpkin you find, these cupcakes are very affordable. (Mine were organic and worked out to .16 each before decorating.)
  • It’s the perfect time of year to cook up some fresh pumpkin to store in the freezer. Just premeasure into 15 oz containers, and you’ll have a nice stash to whip up easy muffins all year long. (This is our plan, since we try to avoid cans whenever possible.)
  • This also works with chocolate cake mix, although I haven’t tried that one yet. I hear it’s heavenly, though!
  • These are especially good for folks like me, who use few eggs and little dairy and often don’t have them on hand.
  • If you prefer to use an organic cake mix, you may have trouble finding a spice-flavored variety. If you choose to use white or yellow, add 1 Tbsp cinnamon and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice so you don’t miss out on that yummy, spicy pumpkin flavor.

Have you ever made 2-ingredient muffins?

 

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My “Treat Myself” Moment is Coming…

30 days past our closing deadline.

Finally getting ready to start moving boxes.

Sold the old house, but the septic failed inspection and our buyers hightailed it outta there…

It’s been quite a week. Quite a summer, actually.

At this point, all I can think about is sitting on my new deck, looking out into the mountains, with a tall glass of something truly yummy and a good read.

Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? And it’s going to be real….soon.

Care to join me? :)

Orange Coco Cocoa Kiss

adapted from an original GodivaCoffee.com recipe

Ingredients (per 12-oz. serving)

  • 4 ounces Godiva Chocolate Truffle coffee, brewed strong, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 ounces coconut milk beverage (I prefer Coconut Dream)
  • 2 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup ice

Preparation

  • Measure all ingredients into a blender carafe.
  • Blend until smooth. Serve immediately in a pretty glass. Enjoy!

*Take it up a notch! Top with real whipped cream, orange zest and dark chocolate shavings. Or, completely knock your own socks off and serve this drink with my all-time favorite cookies, Orange Butter Cookies dipped in Dark Chocolate.

 

Disclosure: I received a sample of Godiva Chocolate Truffle coffee as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, nor did I receive any monetary compensation.

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My fruit salad is bringing sexy back.

Talk about busy…

The hubs and I have been hit with a lot of overtime at work lately. We’re officially in overtime regarding our new house, too. We were supposed to close almost 2 weeks ago, at the latest, and we’re still waiting. So things are packed up, and we’re trying to keep our current house in “showable” condition, which means not much cooking, not much grocery shopping, and not much sanity left for either of us. We’re in major “keep your eye on the prize” mode, just hoping to get through this without falling apart.

Needless to say, there’s not much going on in our house lately that qualifies as “sexy.” :|

Unless, of course, you count my fruit salad.

I mean, when you think about it, what could be sexier than an overflowing bowl of the summer’s finest fruits, fresh from the heart of Central PA’s farmer’s markets?

Juicy, sweet canary melons…

along with Crenshaw melon, ripe peaches, tangy pineapple…and some berries from our friends’ yard for color…

Taking an hour on a Sunday afternoon to cut up fruit – letting the juices drip down to my elbows and popping far too many pieces into my mouth – does wonders for my mental state. That time is like therapy for me, refocusing my mind on what’s really important on my priority list (it’s so easy to forget, sometimes.)

It makes me feel like a good mom knowing I’m not resorting to the temptation of convenience foods during this superbusy time in our lives (and I’m ensuring good, healthy milk for my son, too!) Plus, when I’m done, I have a fridge full of healthy, ready-to-go food for snacks, lunches and side dishes for the whole family, which saves me tons of time during the week.

…time I can devote to a little QT with my husband.

And if that ain’t sexy, I don’t know what is. ;)

 

 

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A Tale of Two Feet

Once upon a time there was a girl.

The girl was the proud owner of two very loyal feet.

The girl paid a lot of attention to the feet. The feet were always smooth and soft, pumiced and brightly painted. The girl put the feet in cute sandals and adorned their toes with pretty rings and sunburst nail appliques. The girl and the feet grew quite close, and the feet were always there for her.

Then, one day, something came between them.

The girl and the feet fell out of touch, and didn’t see each other for a long time.

Not to worry, though. After many months, the girl and her feet were reunited! But a funny thing happened…although the girl saw the feet again, she was more interested in her new little Prince Charming than in painting their toes or smoothing their heels.

Seasons passed, and winters came and went. One day, as spring was about to begin, the girl found herself sockless… and she noticed the feet. Much to her dismay, she realized that she had been avoiding the feet for nearly a year and a half! She felt terribly guilty for neglecting them so, and realized that she had to make things right between them.

But the girl wondered where she would find the time. Then, it dawned on her that she could soak the feet in little Prince Charming’s bubble bath! Brilliant!

The girl thought it was the best pair of birds she ever killed with one stone, and wondered why it had taken her so long to think of it!

After a long, relaxing soak in the bath, she slathered the feet in coconut oil and honey, and rubbed them with warm lime halves dipped in coarse sugar until they were soft and smooth once again.

The girl realized that although little Prince Charming was very, very important, the feet have their needs, too. And she felt good.

And the feet were happy. :D

And so the girl and the feet lived happily ever after, with no worries other than what color of pretty paint to choose…

Say, Say, Oh Playmate and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater by Hopscotch Kids

The End. :)

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So, what do you think? Should I sport purple or orange after my pedicure?

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