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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bisquick S'mores cookies

I love baking. I love cookies (and yes, cookie dough). I am currently pregnant and on light duty, meaning I am to sit with feet up whenever possible (especially while my 2 year old is napping in the afternoons). I also can't travel right now and am only to be out of the house for a short period of time. This leads to my boredom, and wanting even more to bake.

I decided yesterday I was going to try a recipe I found for cookies using Bisquick. I make my own homemade version of Bisquick, so I used this version. I also wanted to be able to eat some of the dough, so I made them without eggs, and added extra milk to make the cookies more moist. I love s'mores, and added a few ingredients to make the chocolate chip cookie recipe actually s'mores cookies.

These cookies turned out amazing! I loved the way they are so moist without having to leave them undercooked by a few minutes to maintain the softness. My husband said I was in trouble. Last week I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (which he absolutely loved despite not being the biggest fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combination - crazy, I know), and then this week made these cookies. He said if I was not home he would eat the entire batch of cookies (either kind) in one day. This coming from someone who is okay with sweets but would choose cheese and crackers for a snack rather than sweets.

I changed the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe to be eggless as well (so I could have a little cookie dough of course). These will definitely be made over and over as will the S'mores cookies. 

Want the recipe I used? Leave me a comment asking for it. Let me know you want to try these for yourself. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Making baby blankets

So we found out we are expecting a boy and there are very few options for blankets available locally right now. If there are any, they are mostly summer weight and we need winter weight.

I decided to just make a bunch of blankets after having made a few for our daughter and realizing how easy it is. I can choose what materials I want, what patterns I want, and what color combinations. I also made a carseat cover to help keep our littlest one warm this winter since he will be a late October baby.

Here are the blankets I made:

Carseat cover -

and blankets -

(Here they are all stacked nicely in my Thirty-One Perfect Fit Organizing bins. They will be stored nicely under the crib in these - and yes, I also sell Thirty-One.)

This is just a small soft square - a little Lovie blanket

This is a thinner, super soft blanket (one piece of material only) and I made one blue and one green.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Busy Bag activities for young children

Having a young child out at a restaurant or in church, one realizes there is a lot of "sitting" time where a young child requires something to maintain attention while waiting for food or the end of the church service. These bags are also great to just have in the car or diaper bag for backup for any reason.

I have searched many ideas on Pinterest and loved all the ideas. I am definitely not finished making bags for my little one (and future little ones), but here are the ones I have created so far. Many ideas came from different Pinterest pins on my board, so I will not really take credit for any of the ideas. I just wanted to show how I put my bags together in hopes it may help other parents.

I am open to other suggestions or any questions you may have.

These can be used for many different activities. Sort by color. Sort by size. Use to count. Use to make patterns. The possibilities are endless.


Use shoestrings with a bead tied to the end so anything added will not fall off the other end. Then let your little one add beads. Do a pattern, do all one color, just bead. Whatever you want.

Use pipe cleaners instead for a little more stability for younger hands.

Use milkshake straws cut into smaller pieces (rather than colored uncooked noodles so they don't break so easy) instead of beads. Or provide both in the bag.


This bag contains a wood base with two holes drilled in to insert short pegs. There are small wooden spools for the child to stack on the pegs.

An old spice container can be used to "poke" short dowels into for fin motor skills.


Use a small container with a hole in the center of the lid to poke small pom-poms through. Great for fine motor skills. (I added a rubber grommet to prevent cut fingers) You can also do this for buttons (which I have since added to this bag)

Make a small "I-Spy" bag with rice and small buttons of different shapes styles. This one has different animals, shapes, etc inside.


Put different stickers inside with blank paper cut in half so it fits in the bag. Then your child can play with stickers wherever you are. The blank paper works for drawing or coloring as well, so again, multiple activities in one bag.

You can add colored pencils or crayons to the bag if you choose.


Use regular or mini versions of PlayDough containers for this one. I took plastic cake-pop sticks and cut them into smaller pieces (sealing the ends with hot glue so nothing gets stuck inside). Then you just place the dough on a flat surface and let them "poke" the sticks in it. I got this idea from the local Child Development Center.


I put pony beads in a snack sized ziplock bag and included a small plastic bottle with lid for little one to place beads into. The beads can also be put in the different ice cube trays shown.

The q-tips can be placed in the ice cube tray on the left as another type of sorting activity. I know you can get different colored q-tips if you want to sort by color, or just use one to let them just explore if they are really young. Just watch your child very close with this bag.


I have different colored buttons in a sorting container. There are colored wooden cubes in a zipped bag. I got paint color cards from the local Menards and put them on index cards, then used contact paper to laminate them. The disks just have colors on one side and numbers on the other. (They are wooden disks I glued paper to and covered with Mod Podge to protect.) I have also added cards which have one color with several pictures of objects of that color that I laminated.


I took crafting foam and cut up different shapes in different colors. This helps with color as well as shapes. You can add cards with patterns for the child to follow to extend the activity. (See pattern cards in the next activity)

The popsicle craft sticks have foam glued to them for color also. You can create colored envelopes to place the sticks in or just use to learn colors.


I glued small magnets to different sized craft pom-poms so they stick to the small magnetic white board and won't fall off. The cards are not finished (as I have not cut them up and laminated them yet), but they can be used to follow color patterns. You can also include pictures the child can "paint" with the pom-poms.


I printed pictures of different animals, then glued them to colored card stock to make them sturdier. I "laminated" them with contact paper to preserve them. This bag has LOTS of different animal pictures to help little one learn animals or "play" as she wants. It keeps her busy for 30 minutes or more at a time.

Add words for the different animals for older children to match.


I used a label maker with magnetic label tape and made upper and lower case letters. This is more for older children (mine is not old enough quite yet) but the letters will not fall off a table/bench/lap using the magnetic white board or cookie sheet. This will help child learn letters, upper vs. lower case, and beginning spelling.


I sewed this to hold large crayons, or longer colored pencils. Fold it in half for the crayons, or leave it long for the colored pencils. This just keeps them all together nicely rather than a mess in a bag or tattered box.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cookie Dough Protein Dip

I love cookie dough! I have learned how to make it without eggs so it is actually safe to eat. They bake just fine, so this is how I have been making it for a couple years now. This is not the healthiest thing to eat, but it is delicious.

I wanted to create a dip for apples, grapes, pretzels, graham crackers, or whatever. I wanted it to be a little healthier as well as have more protein so it is good for pregnancy or breastfeeding. I made a recipe that can be altered to taste and is delicious. Plus, no flour!

So here goes:
4 Tbsp Jif Natural creamy peanut butter (or any flavor nut butter). (I have also used Biscoff
           Cookie Butter for this and it tastes even more like cookies)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 container (7 oz) Philadelphia 2x Protein regular cream cheese
4 Tbsp Good Grains Flax Chia Blend Ready-to-eat (this can be omitted or you can use just flax seed,
1/2 cup old fashion oats - dry (can be omitted)
1/4 c mini chocolate chips (or nuts, raisins, dried fruit, mini m&ms, whatever)

Mix the peanut butter and brown sugar till creamy. Add vanilla. Stir in cream cheese till mixed well. Add powdered sugar and flax chia blend till incorporated. If adding oats, add now. Stir in chocolate chips (or other mix-ins).

Enjoy with fruit, graham crackers, pretzels, or simply eat with a spoon.

So how bad for you is this dip? Not as bad as you would think. Here is the nutrition information if using the above ingredients:

Servings: 12
Calories: 137                  Sodium: 68 mg
Total fat: 6 g                   Potassium: 77mg
  Sat: 2 g                          Total carb: 17 g
  Poly: 1 g                         Fiber: 1 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg             Sugar: 11 g
                                       Protein: 4 g
Vitamin A: 3%               Calcium: 6%
Vitamin C: 1%               Iron: 3%

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Weekly Menu Board

I love having my week's menu posted so I remember what I planned, and my husband doesn't feel like he always has to ask me what we are having for dinner. He knows he can just look at the board and see what the week holds.

I made this board (though my husband just thinks I am "too organized" and this just proves it. For the board I found the magnetic "white" board at Walmart, bought some magnets and magnetic pencil holders, and then made the little cards to go with it.

I printed the meals on card stock, then covered them front and back with contact paper to protect them and prevent them from getting wet. I made the cards on an excel spreadsheet so I have them in nice rectangles to make them all the same size and so I can re-print them if I ever need to. As we try new meals and like them, I just add them to the spreadsheet and when I have a full sheet, print it off and add the new meals to the rotation.

This has helped me when it comes to planning as I can simply pull out seven cards and place them on the board if I am having a tough time thinking of what to make. (I tend to even start planning for the following week on the right side of the board because I pick too many meals I want.) At the end of the week, the meals are placed in the other bin so we are not having the same meal every week. Thanks to Pintrest, I have been adding meals like crazy as I find something new I want to try.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cookie dough yogurt

Who doesn't like cookie dough? I love it! I stopped using eggs in my dough over a year ago simply so I could eat the dough while nursing (or pregnant, next time). So when I saw this recipe I thought I would give it a try. It will be a great pregnancy and nursing snack as the version I made (with some small changes to the original recipe) is high in protein and fiber.

I found the original recipe here (click on picture):

I made a few small changes when I made it, and loved it! I think I will try a few other changes and see how they go.

For my changes:
I used Chobani vanilla fat free yogurt
I used Biscoff European cookie spread rather than peanut butter
I added only about 1/8 tsp vanilla
I did not add any sweetener.

I plan to try adding about 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup dry oatmeal to make it like an oatmeal cookie dough and see how that goes next time.

P.S. My 20 month old daughter LOVED this also. A great snack to remember for the future to keep her eating healthier without feeling like she has to give up on taste.