Monday, November 20, 2017

Cake Bakin' and Leaf Rakin

Tis season to rake all those leaves that have been piling up outside. I managed to snag a few quick pics while Jim and his brother, Joe were outside raking the leaves with the boys over the weekend. It was pretty crisp out there, but they had a blast.




Cal -

Caden -

Conor -






Daddy and Caden with their matching chainsaws -


Cal and I were playing peek-a-boo...his fav! Ha :)




Also, tis the season to warm up those ovens and bake some sweets, right?  I've baked a few pies and cakes over the last few weeks, and I am still trying to think of something fun to bring down the Cape for Thanksgiving on Thursday. I skipped the frosting part because you know, having three toddlers kind of hinders my cake-baking time, so I used a package from the store.  I may re-do this cake recipe and add some crushed Oreo cookies to the top this time! It was supposed to be two tiers, but the larger one collapsed...so me, Conor and Caden ate the "brownies". Ha fail?

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup baking cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2-1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream


DIRECTIONS:

Dissolve cocoa in water; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with cocoa mixture and sour cream. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.  I made two different size circle pans - so the larger one didn't make it. 

This was us baking the cake - with our "baking hats" on...lol



Also - here's some more of what we've been up to lately. I often make the boys "protein" milkshakes - and when I do, they share with Cal. I think it's adorable and Cal feels included.


Preschool pickup last Friday:


My Cal.

The aquarium, also known as Petco.



Visiting Papa at work!

Conor -

Caden -


We are planning to kick off Thanksgiving once again in Cape Cod either Wednesday or Thursday. I am hoping Wednesday traffic isn't too bad after work!

Have a wonderful, plentiful, and safe holiday everyone!

xo,
Shaz

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fall Toddler Meal Inspirations

I don’t know about you, but I was falling into a serious chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, and pizza rut. The boys haven’t had veggie pouches since they were little, and they tend to only have the yogurt pouches now. Needless to say, they haven’t had many vegetables at home besides maybe corn and carrots. Thankfully they eat healthy at school with their snacks. For example, they have peppers and carrots and other vegetables with different sauces and dressings. However, I tend to make them quick and easy meals when I get home from work like peanut butter sandwiches since they can’t have peanut butter at school. 


Tonight, I decided to pull it out of the fridge and incorporate it into my usual homemade pancake recipe. To make the squash, I just warm it up, cut it in half, sprinkle a little cinnamon on it and put it  face down on a baking sheet in the oven. It makes the house smell so nice. I usually keep it in the fridge and it can accompany any meal very quickly and easily.  The boys loved the sweet addition and again, it made the house smell awesome. I mixed together some eggs, flour, squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond milk, and baking soda. I mixed it in the magic bullet and made about 6 pancakes. I drizzled a little maple syrup, served them alongside a few apple slices, and all the boys loved them. It was a nice change!!




I also buy the whole milk plain yogurt and add a swirl of honey. Caden especially needs the fat - and he LOVES his yogurt. I sometimes make smoothies with this yogurt as well and add spinach and other veggies. When I add ice to it, they even call it ice cream! Hahaha lucky me!




They were sharing their protein smoothies with Cal. He loved being included!





With the holidays coming up, I needed a fresh healthy meal idea. Plus, at the beginning of this week, Jim and I decided to make a run to Whole Foods and grab a couple of healthy pouches, some lean meats, and a few fall vegetables. The boys love when I make smoothies so I tend to throw a few vegetables in there as well as some healthy fats. I swear they act happier when they eat healthier. Do any of you see the same???

Here are some other recent memories like our trip down the Cape, visits to Home Depot on Saturday morning, and a few pics from school these days.







All for now! Enjoy your Friday tomorrow, and the weekend before Thanksgiving! :) Here are some side dish ideas from the last few years...

xo,
Shaz


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Free Family Photoshoots!

Last year for Mother's Day, my sister and Linds paid for a photographer to come to our house and take family photos since Cal had just been born. I absolutely loved the pics here in our own home - both inside watching TV/snacktime, and also playing in our backyard. So this year, while trying to stick to a budget, I asked my mom if she would be willing to take a few pics.

It was later in the day, Conor and Caden were very tired from a busy weekend, and they were also getting hungry for dinner. Needless to say, it was a veryyyy difficult photo session. My mom was a trooper and surprisingly got several really good family pics. I may try and do it again later in the year, but for now I am very happy with the few good ones that we have!

The Good Pics:










The Not-So-Good Pics: 






Thanks Ma!! You did awesome!

All for now.

xo,
Shaz