Dress Up + Costumes Express

posted on: Monday, June 22, 2015

One of the things I love most about having little ones is seeing their imagination run wild when they put on dress up clothes.  All four of my kids LOVE dressing up and have since they could walk.  Princesses, super heroes, pirates, animals, cowboys, snowmen… you name it and they have loved pretending to be it!

It has been raining cats and dogs here over the weekend which meant that we were inside the majority of the time.  It couldn't have been a better weekend to partner up with Costumes Express! They are generously giving away a $100 to one lucky winner! Details below :)

Now for the giveaway: One lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card to shop Costume Express. You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. We're excited to host this giveaway with 8 other awesome blogs! Be sure to visit their sites to see the fun ways their children dress up.  By visiting all of the blogs, you'll have a chance to see over 25 of the costumes currently available from Costume Express.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soft Melt-In-Your-Mouth Peanut Butter Cookies

posted on: Friday, June 19, 2015

This is my favorite Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that I've been using for a few years.  It's a little bit of a different texture than the other Peanut Butter Cookie recipe I have saved.  This one isn't quite as dense.

I'm still on the hunt for a REALLY chewy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe so if you have one I would LOVE to try it!  This recipe makes a very light and soft cookie.  Very melt in your mouth :)

Soft Melt-In-Your-Mouth Peanut Butter Cookies

1 large egg
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
granulated sugar, to criss-cross your cookies with

Beat together butter and peanut butter until well combined.
Add sugars and beat until fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until blended.
Chill your dough for at LEAST an hour before you bake them.

Roll dough into balls.
Dip a fork into white sugar and make a criss-cross pattern in the top of your cookie.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Do NOT overbake!
I pulled mine out while they still looked a bit raw.
Let them sit on your baking sheet for a few minutes to finish cooking.

Summer Vacation: Part Two

The kids are all down for afternoon naps after a morning spent at the pool.  There is truly nothing better than sun kissed babies who lay down for a rest without so much as a complaint :)  
I wanted to make sure to have all my vacation pictures up before I forgot… I've been doing a lot of that lately.  Pregnancy brain is straight up a real thing. Isn't it?! ;)  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  My planner and phone have been my best friends as of late.  I can guarantee you that if you ask me to do something and I don't write it down in either place it'll go straight back out of my memory bank forever.  Heaven help us all!
Hope your week was a lovely one!

Summer Vacation: Part One

posted on: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summertime is finally here and rolled in for our family literally the minute that we picked Emma up from her last day of school.  We had the truck packed and the boat hooked up behind us for vacation when we pulled up in the school parking lot.  She tossed her backpack in the back and exchanged it for a pair of sunglasses :)  

We drove down to the coast for a week of vacation with Trav's side of the family.  Since baby five is going to be a middle of the summer baby we had went back and forth on whether or not going on a family vacation was in the cards for us this summer.  The original plan was to drive to Colorado the end of June to celebrate my grandparent's anniversary with them (love you Grandma and Grandpa!!!) but after really thinking it through we decided it probably wouldn't be the wisest choice to drive that far after I was 35 weeks pregnant.  

After a full month of almost solid rain in May a full week of sunshine and coastal air was just what we all needed.  We spent our days outside from morning until night.  There's something so satisfying about tucking babies into bed after a full day spent swimming and fishing.  

I told Travis on our ride home that vacationing as a mother continues to give me such a deep respect for  my own mom and the work that she put in to make our vacations so memorable.  As a child you don't see the behind the scenes preparation and sacrifice that goes into the trips.  You just get to reap the benefits of your mom (and dad!) working so hard.  I love that I get to be the behind the scenes now.  To reap in different ways.  I love that instead of extra rest and play time I get to hear happy little voices and to see them experiencing new things all together.  

I am so thankful for the time away that we had.  Time to just get away and to adventure together.  I left feeling refreshed and excited about what the next few months are going to hold for our family.  

“We had such a wonderful time that we couldn’t bear to go back to our regular lives, and so we decided we just wouldn’t. And then all the greatness began.” – Unknown

Peach Cobbler Training

posted on: Thursday, May 21, 2015

One of my favorite parts about Emma getting older is that we're in the phase of life where she's beginning to learn her way around the kitchen.  It's important to me that ALL of my kids learn how to follow recipes as well as experiment on their own.  My mom did such a great job of that with all of us growing up.  My brothers are as manly as it gets and what I love most about them is they're both fantastic cooks/bakers.

I thought it would be fun for each kid to start with their own "signature dessert".  Something that they could perfect and take pride in.  Emma's dessert that she has been working on is Peach Cobbler.  I love seeing her confidence grow in the kitchen as she learns how to follow recipes, figures out how to measure and most importantly learns how to clean up after herself :)  But what I love most is getting to spend that time with just her in the kitchen while she's figuring it all out.  Getting to see first hand the satisfaction and pride she has when she serves the dessert to everyone after dinner.

Our plan is to start with Peach Cobbler and then she's going to work her way through different fruit type cobblers using whatever seasonal fruit we can get our hands on.  Our favorite recipe thus far has been Paula Deen's Peach Cobbler recipe.  Do you have a favorite cobbler recipe you'd be willing to share?! We'd love to try it!

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