Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Black and White Cookies fly under my radar. I never think of them until I am in a bakery and I see one, fresh and plump, staring me in the face.
They remind me of a cake, but in cookie form. They have their own consistency, their own personality. They are also the kind of cookie that one of my munchkins sees and they MUST have it.
And so I buy them one and they eat 1/4 of it because its too big. And then I eat the remaining 3/4 they didn't eat.
Which is why I bought the cookie in the first place. I was banking on at least 1/2 of it coming my way.
Since the sun hasn't shined in two days I decided to bake my rainy sorrows away.
These cookies are every bit as good as they look.
Makes approx 10 cookies
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, soft
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons plus 2 tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Heat oven to 350. Cover baking sheets with nonstick aluminum foil.
In medium bowl, combine first 3 ingredients. Set aside.
In large bowl, blend butter and sugar until creamy. About 1-2 minutes.
Beat in egg. On low speed alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto baking sheets, spacing approximately 3 inches apart. Using spatula, gently spread each cookie into a circle (approximately 4 inches across).
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Check cookies at 10 minutes to make sure edges aren't browning. These cookies taste best if they are light in color and soft in texture.
Crispy edges will be the demise of your cookies.
Allow cookies to cool thoroughly on wire racks.
Once cookies are cool, prepare icing:
In medium bowl, stir together sugar, 3 tablespoons milk and vanilla until smooth but thick enough to coat cookie.
Set aside 1/2 cup icing in small bowl. Add cocoa powder and remaining milk and stir until smooth.
GENTLY ice cookies using spatula. Using one flavor of icing, drag icing down one side of cookie. Carefully coat the one side and make a straight line down center. Repeat with other flavor on opposite side of cookie.
Once all cookies are frosted let them set on flat surface such as cookie sheet or wire racks for at least one hour.
Monday, April 28, 2014
I sat in a room with a few other mothers, and a teacher came and whisked away our babies. We had to wait for an entire forty five minutes while they grilled our cherubs on the alphabet, counting and heaven knows what else.
I wished I brought a magazine.
One of the mothers was anxiously wondering what they "tested" them on. She wanted to know what they were doing in that classroom out of our view. It was obvious she was uncomfortable not being involved; she was definitely used to being in the "know." Seeing her question the other parents in the room, it occurred to me that I didn't think much about it at all. I knew this was her first child entering kindergarten. With my first, I remember desperately trying to understand every minute of his day away from me in kindergarten, with my second I didn't wonder quite as much.
All of this had me realizing the many differences from my first two and my last two munchkins. Bless all their tiny, adorable hearts.
My first two babies are achievers. They're more serious and I tell them much MUCH more often to relax. They raise my blood pressure with their moods and they take much more to heart than the kids lower in the pecking order. They worry. They think. They just have a more pensive approach to things that sometimes works in their favor. Sometimes it doesn't.
My third baby, is all about living. He jumps into every day head first and gets the party started. There is much less caution and much more doing. I imagine this mirrors what he experienced with me as a mom when he was a baby; I wasn't afraid anymore. I jumped into everything with more confidence than I did with my first two kids. My third carries much less around with him mentally, and can brush off much more than my older two can. All of this "living" is certainly a breath of fresh air at times, and at other times I'm just afraid to let him out my door for fear of what might happen.
My last baby has much more of my third child in her, with a tendency to just be happy and go about her business. Although she's much more cautious with new experiences, which is very welcome considering her older brother is constantly giving me heart attacks.
I do wonder how much of their behavior is a result of my behavior when they were young. How much I catered to them, praised them, pressured them and watched them. I sat with my oldest every afternoon practicing the alphabet before he went to kindergarten. Yet I was petrified to let him on that bus. I drove him every day instead.
The only reason my second rode the bus was because her brother was on it.
My third? Bus rider. And the only alphabet lessons he got was from his older sister when he had to sit and play school. Same goes for #4.
The world is full of first babies, second babies and babies born with many older siblings. The older we all get, it becomes less obvious who is who because the world has a way of shaping us. But I love how different my babies are, and I still cautiously learn with my oldest while sign papers without a thought for my youngest.
My sweet first baby will always pave the way for me and his younger siblings. Amen and oh crap. All at once. I'm just feeling blessed I get to experience first, second, third and fourth time mommy-ing. Every child has brought me a new adventure.
Happy Monday all. Make it awesome.
Friday, April 25, 2014
I'm on the lookout for a free clinic to have her fixed. Until then, we feed her and the kids get a kick out of our outdoor "pet." She's even become a regular on my Instagram feed.
2. I've been super busy with baseball lately. And loving it. Two boys playing real ball this year has put our family into a baseball craze.
3. Gymnastics is ongoing, and we have states in a few weeks.
4. I got a job! I'm super excited to announce I'll be a unit desk clerk in a maternity ward in the coming weeks. I'm also super nervous about adjusting to working part time and shuffling munchkins. I also can't believe my baby is going to kindergarten and I'm at the time in my life where I'm ready to work part time.
Somebody pinch me and tell me where the heck the last five years went.
5. Happy weekend.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
In other words, it's awesome and you need a box STAT.
If you are interested in snowflake making, which you shouldn't be because it's Spring, about.com has the instructions.
8. FLEAS! If you have pets, and you suspect fleas, sprinkle borax wherever you think those fleas are hatching (pet beds etc). Borax would need to be ingested in VERY high doses to harm a pet, but it releases a poison that kills fleas.
9. Showers. Use with a sponge just as you would a powder cleanser and rinse thoroughly.
10. Unclog drains. Pour 1/2 cup borax down the drain and follow with 2 cups boiling water. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, then flush with water.
Any else have some helpful Borax tips I haven't listed? Share with me! Happy Wednesday!
Monday, April 21, 2014
You'll need a small container to start your volcano, think shot glass size. Anything you can throw out or clean works just fine. You know those small plastic containers with lids for a side of dressing? Those will work too.
If you desire, grab some clay from the craft store or just use dirt/mud from outside.
Sculpt your volcano using the mud/clay/etc.
Place on a plate, and help your kids add one tablespoon of baking soda to the inside of each volcano.
Add a few drops of red food coloring.
Finally, give your kids a small glass of vinegar and tell them to pour it inside their volcano...and it "erupts!"
Obviously you can be extra crafty and make bigger more elaborate volcanoes or just use the container and an imagination. The choice is yours.
Have a fab Monday!
Thursday, April 17, 2014
That's all folks, for now anyway.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Tonight we lost the game with the tying run on third. Sometimes, that's the way the cookie crumbles. Those trophies at the end of the season aren't for winning; they are for sticking it out through long practices and tough games. They are for participating, and they are tokens of a job well done.
Not every kid will play every inning, not every kid will catch the ball. How we treat, coach and parent those kids says more about us than our record at the end of the season.
In our house, it's one game down, I don't even know how many to go. And I'm looking forward to every nail biting one of them.
Friday, April 11, 2014
To move from New York to Pennsylvania we had to cash in retirement savings, because we were underwater on our house in New York (we bought at the height of the housing market in 2007). Rather than lose thousands on our New York house, we found a fabulous renter. And we bought another house in Pennsylvania.
We're now landlords that live in our 401K. Make sense?
Anyway, then Hubby lost his job we moved here for, and the bonus that was coming our way. The bonus was going to put back retirement savings and blah, blah, blah....
To make a very long story short, the IRS doesn't care about any of this. They just want their money. I call this the final kick in the pants that is 2013.
This time next year, we should be paid up and continuing on with our journey that constantly brings surprises. I'm so very thankful for all the blessings in my life, they make days like today not so bad.
I have what I need. The rest is just fluff. Happy Friday all, remember what's important this weekend. If you're running to the post office on April 15th, I'm with ya.
I really am.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
This is my child enjoying the chicken, broccoli and barbecue variation. In a princess dress because we "dress" for dinner (not).
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Ever since I can remember I've been plagued with allergies. From animal dander wheezing to seasonal itchy eyes, I enjoy it all. While it's easy to avoid animals like cats and rabbits, avoiding all the blooming plants in Spring is another story.
Trouble is, ever since moving to the country, my entire family has experienced new symptoms from plants and animals we've never been around much before. Last Spring was pretty interesting. We have a farm right across the street, and there were grasses and trees blooming all around us. There was also the scent of manure (that took some getting used to) and the sound of cows in the morning.
Luckily, I tend to get a scratchy throat when I'm a allergic to something, not a swollen face. Unfortunately, I make this God awful noise to "itch" my throat. My brothers do it too. It sounds kind of like a frog and I'm told it's pretty annoying.
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Friday, April 4, 2014
Spring has sprung. Thank heavens. Along with Spring comes blooming flowers, singing birds, longer days and one of my favorite Springtime visitors; the Easter Bunny.
For my Disney fans, another Pinterest board I highly recommend is Oh My Disney. I love reading and sharing with my kids the tidbits of information on Disney movies and fun Disney themed posts such as "Life Lessons from the Jungle Book." My Disney Board (which you all should already be following...*wink*) has my favorite Disney World posts, everything from tips in the parks to fun quotes.
I'd love for you to share your favorite Pinterest boards, I'm always looking for a good follow!
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
I would never be able to announce "We're all eating organic, all natural foods from here on out..." I would never be able to afford it either. It's all about baby steps. My goal is to get all of us eating and exposed to LESS chemicals than we were before.
So far I've found one snack bar my daughter LOVES, a pudding my other daughter loves and laundry detergent that was on clearance. As I find more tried and loved chemical free and affordable products, I'll write a post and share everything we personally "approve."
Today, I'm sharing with you all the powers of Distilled White Vinegar. Cheap and amazing. My kind of product.
Hurray - no more Round Up!
Do you know of any I missed? Share with me!