Pumpkin Cream Muffins

posted on: Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A week ago I went to a girls night out and one of the girls brought the most delicious and moist muffins I have ever eaten!  She said she had gotten the recipe off of Kraftfoods.com.
I think they're more of a muffin but Kraftfoods calls them cupcakes. 
Either way they're perfect for breakfast with a good cup of coffee!



Pumpkin Cream Muffins

1 pkg (2-layer size) spice cake mix
1 pkg (3.4 oz.) Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 Cup canned pumpkin
1 pkg (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 Cup sugar
1 egg

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the cake batter as directed on package.
Add dry pudding mix and pumpkin; mix well.
Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy.
Blen in sugar and egg; spoon over batter.

Bake 18-21 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks. 
Cool completely.

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I think I'll be making these for breakfast tomorrow.  I have my monthly baby Cade appointment in the morning and the babes are going to their Nana's house to play with their cousins!

Our day has been spent around the house cleaning and cooking.
Emma and I made the yummiest oatmeal chocolate chip cookies this morning.
I had bought the Mini Reeses Pieces (the ones in the baking aisle) and used their recipe off the back.
I'll have to share it in the next day or two.  It is by far the best oatmeal cookie recipe I've ever had!

Do you ever feel like you go through a drought when it comes to good recipes and then all of a sudden you come across oodles and oodles of good ones!?!  It's either feast or famine when it comes to good recipes in my opinion!

Heading off of here to take a quick cat nap before the kids wake up.
Nighty night :)

This, that and Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.....

posted on: Monday, November 22, 2010

Hello!  Excuse the lack of blogging over the weekend.  Trav spent the weekend fishing down at the coast with a few of his friends.  It's their annual fishing trip that always takes place after football and before the holidays roll around.  Usually the kids and I fit in lots of different fun activities and do as we please.  We definitely fit in several activities over the weekend.  Fun... not so much.  The activities included a dr. visit on Saturday, the pharmacy Saturday afternoon and lots of cuddling and resting the rest of the weekend.  As I mentioned last week he was acting fussier than normal and I just blamed it on his molars coming in.  By Saturday morning he was a mess so I brought him in.  Emma had also been complaining of not feeling well but I kept telling her, "you're fine!"...thinking she was just trying to get my attention :)  Turns out they both had strep and croup!  Poor Em was being serious!  Just go ahead and give me the outstanding mother of the year award  ;) 
Emma is definitely feeling better and Colt is still coming around.
I didn't get a single bit of housework done around the house today.  But I did get in lots of cuddling and playing time with both of them!  It's days like these when they're sick I am so thankful to be home with them! 

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The weather is SO warm here in Texas!  Tomorrow's high is supposed to be in the high 70's perhaps reaching 80.  I've had my air conditioning on the past few days because it has felt so muggy.  When it gets a little chilly in our house I like to look out the window at our fall colored trees and pretend it's cold inside because it's freezing outside ;) ha! 
This is my fourth year living in Texas and I would say this is by FAR the best fall for the trees changing colors.  All of the crepe myrtles around our yard are bright oranges, yellows and reds!  One of my favorite parts of God's creation!

*excuse the flash and dirty window ;) real life people!*



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Trav was a dear and brought us home a dozen kolaches from one of my favorite places!
For those of you who aren't familiar with what a kolache is...here's a definition:
"Kolache (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče) is a type of pastry consisting of fillings ranging from fruits (including poppy seed, raspberry, and apricot) to cheeses and/or meats inside a bread roll."

My favorite are the apricot and cream cheese kolaches!



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Before I head off of here I have a yummy dessert recipe that you can make over the Thanksgiving break!  They're bars that taste like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.  They don't last very long around our house!
I plan on doing some baking tomorrow for the long weekend.  These bars, pumpkin creamcheese muffins (I'll share this either tomorrow or Wednesday), a pecan pie (my contribution to the meal at my inlaws!) and some chex mix!  I love the holidays :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 pkg graham crackers, crushed
1 lb powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups)

Mix these two ingredients.

Melt 1 Cup Peanut Butter and 2 sticks of butter.  Combine with the graham cracker mixture.
Spread into a 9x13 pan. 

Melt 12 oz chocolate chips and 4 Tablespoons of butter.  Spread on the top of the graham cracker mixture.  Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens (I store mine in the fridge).  Cut and serve!


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Hope everyone is having a great beginning of your Thanksgiving week!!!

9 PM Thursday

posted on: Friday, November 19, 2010

Snapshots of Life

9 pm Thursday


My usual spot around 9 pm every night is on the couch with the laptop on my lap.  
What are you doing every night at 9?!?


Love Tank, play food and a belly

posted on: Thursday, November 18, 2010

One of the things we joke about most at our house is the difference in our kids' "love tanks"
Emma just needs a little bit of affection to get through her day.  Colt on the other hand needs LOTS and LOTS of physical loving on throughout the day.  It takes just a little time to fill up Emma's "love tank" and pretty much the majority of the day to fill up Colty's :) Make sense?

Since he's been feeling pretty crummy due to four molars coming in he has been quite clingy and in need of some major filling of his "love tank".... Alllll ... dayyyy.... lonnnng :)
So that's just what we've been doing!
Here's what the majority of my day looked like


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I walked into the kids' room today and noticed Emma had lined up some of her play food in her kitchen.
Couldn't resist taking a picture of the food because it looked so darn cute!  I didn't realize when I had bought the play food from Target that it had "real" brands in it!  Too funny!


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And as requested by a few people, here is a shot of my growing belly.
I'm exactly 21 weeks today!  


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Off to the tub! Have a great Friday tomorrow! Yay for the weekend!!!

Today's Favs

posted on: Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's been awhile since I've posted some of my current favorites. 
So here are a few...

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MomAgenda Day Planner
I have been on the hunt for a new planner/calendar for the upcoming year.  A few of my friends have the MomAgenda and after drooling over it for a month I finally ordered my own! 
It was designed by a mom and it definitely shows in the planner.  It has monthly calendars, weekly calendars (with dinner menu at the bottom of each night...love!), an address book that can be removed, lots of space in the back to take notes and much more.  One of the things I have never liked about a dayplanner is you just buy new inserts for your planner and throw away the old.  I like looking back on the year and remembering what we did and where we went.  So, with the MomAgenda I can just stick it on the shelf to look back on many years from now!  Oh, and I ordered the hotpink one with my name on the front of it in silver.
Oh and one last thing...it runs from August 2010 to Decemebr 2011.  I could go on and on about it... THAT is how awesome it is!  Go and get one! :) Even if you don't have kids it's the perfect planner! Seriously!



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Coffee-Mate's Winter Creamers!

Our Walmart has finally stocked up on all of the yummy goodness!  My cup of coffee with flavored creamer is part of my morning routine and something I REALLY look forward to! :) 
I always feed the babes breakfast and then fix my cup of coffee to sip on while I tidy up around the house.  It makes my housework seem somewhat enjoyable ;)
I couldn't decide which flavor to pick this morning at the store so I chose two.  Peppermint Mocha and Sugar and Spice.  I've yet to try the Sugar and Spice.  Anyone ever had it?!?

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Pandora Internet Radio

As soon as my coffee is made I turn on Pandora Radio for a few hours every morning.  The stations we've been alternating between are Frank Sinatra Holidays and Natalie Grant Christmas.  Yes... I'm one of those people who started celebrating Christmas last month.  It is my FAVORITE time of the year!  And one month is just not enough time to soak it all in in my opinion ;)



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What are some of your current favorites?
Today has been a great day.  Like I said the kids and I made an early morning run to Walmart for a few things.  Then we headed to the highschool to visit Trav's classroom for a little bit.  It was cute because the ladies that he works with had printed off tons of little pictures of horses and had taped them all around the room for Colt :) 
When we got home I was able to open up all the windows and the front door while I got some cleaning done.  I still can't believe my windows are open and it's one week until Thanksgiving!  This morning Emma asked if it was going to snow... I wish it was!  Oh and a quick side note: we had pot roast for dinner tonight.  I made it in the crockpot with the Slow Cooker McCormick Pot Roast Seasoning packet.  I had never used it before but it had great flavor!  You should give it a try! 
This afternoon my sweet sister surprised me with an early Christmas present.  She not only watched the kids but also gave me a gift certificate to get a facial at the salon she works at.  I've never had one before and let me tell you...it was A-MA-ZING!!!!!  My skin feel so incredibly smooth and has a nice glow to it!  Being preggo 3 times in 3 years has taken a toll on my poor face.  It was such a treat!!! If anyone of you girls is in my area send me an e-mail and I'll give you the name of the girl who gave me the facial.  She was awesome!
Time to get off of here.  Hope everyone had a great Wednesday :)

Horses, Dates and a Playkitchen

posted on: Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Excuse the small vacation I took from our blog!  We've been enjoying time home with our dad/husband :)
Sadly we lost the playoff game on Friday night.  It was definitely bittersweet.  I would have loved to see our team go even further into the playoffs, however it has been SO awesome to have Travis home! 

Saturday morning he stayed home with the kids while I went and accompanied (piano) for middle school choir tryouts.  Once I came home we headed out to a friends' horse stable so that Colt could get his horse fix for the day :)




This picture is a little blurry but it shows two of his new molars.
Poor kid has been so fussy the past week and when I peeked into his mouth I discovered he had four molars coming in at once!  Two on top and two on bottom. 



I was trying to get the kids to look in my direction so I could take a picture.  To get the kids' attention I said, "Look there's a horse behind mommy!"  Turns out I tricked all three of them :)


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After Saturday naps we dropped the kids off at Trav's parents and headed out for a celebration date that football is officially over! :)
We went out for Mexican then went to Barnes and Noble for coffee and to look at magazines and books.
It was such a treat to spend time with Trav!!!



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Sunday after church we swung by Target to pick up a very special toy that Emma has been talking about for MONTHS!  A play kitchen!  As most of you now know I have been working like a crazy lady decluttering and reorganizing our home.  One of the areas that needed help was their toys.  I felt like we had tons of random toys that were more of a nuisance than fun.  So I thought one main toy would help beat some of that clutter.  And so far so good!  I have been amazed at how much both kids have played with the kitchen since we brought it home on Sunday.  And I have also been amazed at how much I have been able to get done around the house since they've been so occupied with their new toy!  It's been a win-win deal for everyone :)



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Can you believe that NEXT WEEK is Thanksgiving?!?
The month of November has flown by it seems. 
I have so much to be thankful for... more on that in the next post or two.

Have a great Tuesday tomorrow! :)

Sooooooooorssse

Just a little example of what we've been listening to 24/7 over here.
He's constantly on the lookout for horses.
You'll hear him repeat over and over as he's looking...
 "Sorse? No. No sorse.  Sorse? No. No sorse"

video

Short and Sweet

posted on: Thursday, November 11, 2010

I just laid the kids down for naps  I know I say this all the time but it's one of my favorite times of the day!  It's my one chance to get the house caught back up and to have a little me time!
This afternoon during naptime I plan on writing a quick blog post (I am giving myself 20 minutes), sweep the living room and dining room floors, make a few headbands and catch up on Emma's baby book.  Oh, and eat a second bowl of cereal.  I can't remember the exact name of it (I'm sitting on the couch and am to lazy to get up to look)... but it's something like Oatmeal Cluster Cheerio Crunch. Or something like that.  It is WAY good!  Anyways, on we go.....

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Girlfriend loves to prepare us our afternoon snacks. 
On this particular day she made us Frosting Sandwiches ;)



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Perhaps it has to do with the fact that his name is a horse name.  I don't know.  But Colt is in LOVE with horses.  He talks about "sorses" all the time.  One of these days I'm going to count how many times he says "sorse" in a day.  My bet is well into the couple hundreds.  NOT even an exaggeration. 
Every time we get into the car he's craining his neck to look out the window to see if he can see a "sorse."  Poor kid doesn't see them very often seeing as we live in town. 
He was sitting on the floor looking through a magazine the other day and started screaming, "Sooooorse! Soooooooooorse!"  He found a little photograph of horses.  I tore it out and he carried it around for the next couple of days (until I threw it away because it was so disgusting). 


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A current favorite playtime activity is pretending to go to sleep in laundry baskets:)


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We spent the morning crafting and making pinecone turkeys.
I thought they turned out sweet :)



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20 minutes is up!  Oh and the 20 reminds me... today I'm 20 weeks! 
Halfway through this pregnancy! It's really flying by! 
                                                                Have a great Thursday!




45

posted on: Tuesday, November 9, 2010

45.

Days til Christmas!!!!!!!!!  I know alot of people are very against thinking about Christmas until Thanksgiving is over but I seriously can't help myself!  It's my favorite time of year and waiting until after Thanksgiving just makes the celebrating too short in my opinion :)
My shopping lists have been made and I'm slowly whittling away at them.  Christmas parties are already being put on the calendar.  I've aleady marked on our calendar our official "Cutting our Christmas Tree" day! Pictures for our Christmas card are in two weeks. And that leaves Christmas cards to pick out! 
I have used Shutterfly in the past for our cards and have been SO pleased with the quality of them! Not to mention the time of delivery has been extremly promt in the past!  I love the variety of cards they have to choose from.  Another reason I love their site is that they have a feature along the side of their website which makes it easy to refine the choices of the card you are choosing.  Such as how many pictures you want on your card, whether you want a flat or folded card, your card size, etc.  This year I am wanting a card with just one picture, a flat card,  one that is made on premium card stock and that says Merry Christmas or something about Christ's birth somewhere on it.  I've found that Shutterfly has a wonderful variety of cards that reflect the True meaning of Christmas!
Here are a few of the cards I've marked as favorites...

Pretty Poinsettia Print




So we shall we what I end up choosing!

Now...on to the good stuff!  If you have a blog and you are interested in Holiday cards...and you LOVE things that are free! Then here's the scoop!  Shutterfly is offering bloggers an opportunity to earn 50 free cards for simply blogging about their website (hence my little schpeel up above ;) ).  All you have to do is go here http://bit.ly/sfly2010.
Fill out the info and they will send you what you need to begin.  It does take about a week to receive an e-mail back from them so I suggest you get on it in order to get your cards back in time!
My friend Nichole and my mom both told me about this great opportunity.
So get on it and get your free cards! :)
Have a great Tuesday!




Winner Winner!

posted on: Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy Monday everyone!
I'm excited to announce the winner of the Blue Cottage Kids headband is...
(I used random.org to choose the winner)

Dana-V!!!!!

She wrote: "Love the headbands and have a beautiful little niece that needs one!"

E-mail me your shipping info and which headband you've chosen @ bluecottagekids@yahoo.com

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I don't know about anyone else but the time change has been SO good for me! :)
I feel like I am way more productive when the sun rises earlier...anyone else?

Trav just got home from work...off to heat up his dinner.
We had chicken in a biscuit tonight... it is so easy and delicious!
I'll share the recipe with you tomorrow!

Have a great evening!


Shop is open! 100th Post

posted on: Sunday, November 7, 2010


The new collection is called Christmas Spice.
It is full of bright colors and prints...perfect for the holidays!
I am offering clothing, hair accessories and also neckties for boys!





As a thankyou for reading my blog and for following along, I am giving away one of the flowered headbands.  It will be custom made into any size you like (baby, child or adult).  You can pick any headband out of the shop!

All you have to do to enter is...

1. For one entry - Simply be a follower and leave a comment!
2. For a second entry - Blog about the giveaway and leave a second comment!

AND if you would like a third chance to win ANOTHER headband visit the Blue Cottage Kids Facebook page and enter to win another headband over there! :)

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I can't believe this is my 100th post!  What a great way to celebrate :)

Getting off the computer. Naptime is over and we're headed to the park to enjoy the rest of the day!
Have a great Sunday :)

We're in!!! and tomorrow!!!

posted on: Saturday, November 6, 2010

Our boys won their game last night and we're headed to the first round of playoffs next week!
Last night's game was such a treat to go to... ALL BY MYSELF! :)
My sister Bekka offered to watch the babies for me so that I could go and watch the whole game without distractions.  It was so wonderful just to be able to watch and also knowing that my babes were tucked into their warm beds with my sweet sister watching them!  Thanks Bekka :) you're the best!



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Tomorrow is the big day for Blue Cottage Kids! 
I'll be listing most of the Holiday collection in my Etsy shop.
Check back here on the blog tomorrow and I have a fun little surprise to share!


Happy weekend my friends :)

8:00am Thursday

posted on: Friday, November 5, 2010

Snapshots of Life

8:00 am


We have eaten Raisin Toast with cheese every morning this week.
It's my current breakfast favorite! And snack favorite...and lunch favorite...and dinner favorite. Slathered in butter that is! I can't get enough!

Grandma Smith's Beef Stew

posted on: Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hard to believe the week is already halfway over!  It's flown by for me.  The morning started out gray and drizzly so I spent the morning working on little decorating projects and some Christmas presents!  Since our day started off gray I thought a hearty beef stew sounded good for supper.  My Grandma Smith has the BEST recipe!  It's super easy too!


                                                  Grandma Smith's Beef Stew
2 lb. Stew meat, browned
4 C. H2O
1 sliced onion
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (I squeezed 2 lemons)
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. worchestire sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. allspice (I didn't have any so I used cinnamon)
2 bay leaves
Diced Potatoes
Diced Carrots
1 Tbsp Cornstarch

For some reason I didn't have the assembly part of the recipe written down.  So here's how I did it (forgive me if this is wrong Grandma!!!)

I browned my stew meat in olive oil.  I made sure to salt and pepper my meat really well while it cooked.  Once browned I added my sliced onions and turned it on low for about 30 minutes to simmer.
While the meat was simmering I assembled the water, lemon juice, salt, sugar, worchestire sauce, pepper, paprika, allspice and bay leaves into a stew pot.
Once the meat and onions had simmered for about 30 minutes I poured them into my stew pot (which had the water and spices in it).
I cooked the meat in this juice for about 30 more minutes on low.
Then I added my potatoes and carrots to the pot.  I used about 3/4 a bag of carrots and 3/4 a sack of potatoes.  I just kept adding to the pot until it looked like I had enough.
Put the lid on your pot and let it cook on low for around an hour.

Take 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch and stir it into a tiny bit of water until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Add this slowly into your beef stew, stirring as you add.  This will help to thicken the liquid in your pot and turn it into a gravy.  Let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.

And there you have it! The BEST beef stew you will ever eat!


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Crazy and Crazier before bed last night.  Can you tell by the picture that they fought bedtime? :)

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Here's a little sneak peek of the fabric that I'm working with for Blue Cottage Kids!
I'm working on a few last things.  One of them being something for boys!

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This pic was from last week's nailbiting game.  14-16.  The two games before that we won by a touchdown.
After this season is over I will be going in for a serious massage.  Talk about a stressful season!!!
We have one last regular season game on Friday.  This game determines if we head to play-offs! I can already feel the heartattack coming on! :)

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Off to sew for a little bit before bed.
Go to the store tomorrow and buy the ingredients for the beef stew.  Oh, and side note.  Only add the required amount of pepper :)  I MIGHT have added 3x the amount of pepper because I've been craving spicy foods. And my family MIGHT have complained of the beef stew being really spicy ;) ha! 
Nighty night!

Rainy Tuesday

posted on: Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The weather by us today is gray, cold and rainy! I am loving it!  It is finally starting to feel a little bit more like November and not August :)
I thought this afternoon I'd share a few things that have caught my eye on the internet over the past few days. 
Enjoy!

I am LOVING the playrooms they have showcased on this blog.  I love the one idea of putting some of the toys high up to reach so they aren't out all the time. Hmmm...

On my list of holiday to-do's this month is to make one of these wreaths.  I like the idea of using vintage ornaments.  A great way to display them!

I just got my new Pottery Barn magazine in the mail this afternoon.  I LOVE the tree they have on the cover!

Erin over at Haute Plates has the most delicious looking recipes!  I'm thinking I need to make these burgers sometime soon.  I can't stop thinking about them! :)

Yesterday I took the kids' to the library to find some books about Thanksgiving.  I'm excited because Emma understands WAY more this year than she ever has!  So we're spending the next couple of weeks learning about the pilgrims and indians.  I thought it would be fun to make hats for them to wear on Thanksgiving day!  This was a cute idea for a pilgrim hat.

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Time to get off of here and tidy up the house before the kids' wake up!  Does anybody else do that?  I feel like if I can clean up a little before they wake up I have a slight advantage to their tornadic ways :)
Hope you're enjoying your Tuesday!