Saturday, July 30, 2011

triple chocolate chunk muffins

another bake-from-scratch muffin that i found in pinterest.  and by the way, it is flourless! 
  • 1 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3 egg whites  
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce {used canola oil}
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt {used regular non-fat vanilla yogurt}
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup sugar substitute {used raw brown sugar}
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with foil cupcake liners, or spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2.  In a blender, (or food processor), mix all of the ingredients together, except for the chocolate chips. Blend until oats are ground and mixture is smooth.
3.  Place mixture in a bowl and gently stir in 1/2 of the chocolate chips (set the rest aside). Scoop mixture into prepared muffin pans.
4.  Place muffins tins in the oven for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove muffins from the oven (but don’t shut oven off), and distribute the other half of the chocolate chips on top of each muffin.
5.  Place  the muffins back into the oven and bake for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool muffins before removing from pan.
note:  my oven is pretty old & warms up very quick.  next time, i will adjust my baking time to about 6 minutes then add the remaining chocolate chips on top.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

DIY - homemade edible finger paint

whew! after last week's heat wave, we finally got some reprieve. don't get me wrong, im not complaining. after all, wisconsin summer is my favorite season.

avery hasn't played in our porch for some time now because it was just too hot. then last friday, it was nice & cool for a change. i whipped up some edible finger paint for her to play with. again, i read this brilliant & fun idea from a mom blog "the imagination tree".

i scaled down my ingredients to half of the original recipe. also, i decided to experiment on a different method for preparing the paint.

microwave 2.5 cups of water for 2-3 minutes. in a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of cornstarch with half a cup of cold water. gradually pour the heated water in the cornstarch mix while stirring. at first, it will look lumpy. then place it back in the microwave & heat for about a minute or until you see the mixture starts to bubble. remove & keep stirring. eventually, it will look smooth, pasty & gooey. pour in different containers & add mixade (koolaid) for color.
i only used 3 different mixades (red, yellow & purple).
after combining the mixades, i got pink & light purple.
i even used paprika & came up with the brown mix.
finger paint & brushes...she's ready to go!

she got busy right away. grabbing the brush &
started painting on the paper plate.
and another paper plate....
now she's painting with both hands.
she dunked her hand in the paint & loved the mushy texture.
she clapped & the paint was flying all over the place.
it made her giggle.
she was doing it over & over.
messy but a lot of fun for sure. {yep, she got a good scrubbing after this}.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

an eye for bargain (6) updated 7/23/2011

two weeks ago, i snagged a lot of cheap & free stuff from target which i posted here. i thought my bargain hunting for the month was over. then last friday, i had to get groceries at aldi's. well, target & aldi's are just across from each other! yahoo! yes, this mommy won't just drive by & miss out on any good deals. i'm glad i did & this is what i got....
> a pair of kid's sandals - $3.24 [75% off]
> 2 room essentials pillows - $0.50 each [after $2 tpc]
> 2 wet ones - $1.49 each [after $0.50 tpc]
> 3 up & up pantyliners - $0.14 each [after $0.75 tpc]
> 2 2-pack sharpie markers - free [after $1 tpc]
> 3 scotch scissors - $0.99 each [after $1 mic]
> 5 scotch magic tape - free [after $1 mic]
> 5 cherokee jeans for kids - $2.00 each [after $2 tpc]
> 4 10-pack papermate pens - free [after $1 tpc]
is this crazy shopping or what? i'm perfectly happy with all my target finds!

also, earlier that day, my little angel & i stopped at oakwood mall. she played a little bit in the children's area. but before that, i stopped at three stores & got these items on clearance sale....

> girl's leotard - $5.49 {she'll be a ballerina for halloween in november}
> 2 piece ruffled bikini - $4.99
> girl's summer dress - $7.99
> girl's summer dress - $6.79
> girl's rompers - $3.99 each
> white boot leg skinny jeans - $3.99 {i bought one a couple of months ago for $5.59 & i thought that was already a bargain!}
> junior summer shorts - $6.99 & $8.74
finally, patience is indeed a virtue! after stalking macy's handbag area for months now, i found a tyler rodan bag that was marked down to 80%! i only paid $17.80. big score! it wasn't in the color that i originally wanted {white was my choice but its still $65 - not within my budget}. however, i bought this for functionality. it serves as my everyday handbag plus diaper bag. my days of lagging two bags are definitely over!
so there goes my happy & fruitful friday day last week. i'm keeping my eyes open all the time. what bargains will i find next? hmmmmm....

**********UPDATED 7/23/2011**********
stopped by target yesterday & got a bunch of items {mostly free or very, very cheap}
> 4 scotch magic tape - free [after $1 mic]
> 2 10-pack papermate pens - free [after $1 tpc]
> 6 10-pack bic pens - free [after $1 pc]
> 4 graphic tee - free [after $2 tpc]
> 2 women's denim jeans - $1.98 each [after $3 tpc]
and this splash board was only $2.48 [75% off]

Monday, July 18, 2011

DIY - homemade play dough

now that avery's older, i'm constantly on the lookout for different activities for her to do. i came across this amazing mom blog called the imagination tree. it's very informative & most of the activities are very simple & achievable. it got me excited. first on my list was cooked play dough.

in a cooking pot over low heat, mix together 3 cups of water, 3 cups of flour, 1.5 cups of salt, 2 packets of mixade (kool-aid), 2 tbsp of vinegar & 3 tbsp of vegetable oil. constantly stir the paste & cook until it thickens about 5 minutes or so. remove from heat & let it cool down.
this was my first batch & i only used one color.
i added oatmeal for texture.
i rolled them into balls & laid it out in the table. at first, she hesitated. eventually, she started playing - poking the clay & transferring them in her plastic containers.
she is so engrossed! i think the oatmeal also intrigued her.
she's pretending that its a phone.

after about 30 minutes [yes, she gets bored quick!], i stored all the play dough in covered plastic containers.

next project, edible finger paint!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

easy breakfast egg muffins

avery usually has a boiled egg in the morning with her breakfast. but sometimes, the egg yolk makes her gag. so i thought, scrambled eggs would be easier for her to swallow. however, i didn't want to deal with cooking scrambled eggs everyday. plus, waiting for it to cool down for her to eat.

then yesterday, i was inspired by one of the segments in the nate berkus show. it is basically scrambled eggs baked in the oven. pretty simple & quick. i tried it out this morning.
1)brush the mini muffin tin with canola oil. then place it in the oven & preheat at 350F.

2)beat the eggs in a mixing bowl. add a teaspoon of dried parsley, salt & pepper to taste.

3)take out the tin in the oven & spoon the eggs. add the cubed cheese.

4)bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the eggs are set & the cheese is melted.
this will save me a lot of time because i can make one batch - good for four days.
easy indeed!
does she think its regular "muffins"?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

an eye for bargain (5) target edition

thanks to the thrifty & thriving blog, i got a lot of good deals from target this past few days {3 trips to be exact}.

i will be using a lot of these coupon lingoes. here are the abbreviations:

|tpc| target printable coupon
|mc| manufacturer's coupon
|mic| manufacturer's internet coupon
|pc| printable coupon usually from
|wyb| when you buy

first trip

*2 sally hansen nail polish - $0.49 each [after $1 tpc, $1 pc, $2 pc - wyb any sally hansen product]
*nexcare kid's bandages - $0.89 [after $1 tpc]
*kid's sandals - $3.74 [75% off]

second trip
*all these shoes were marked down 75% off. i paid a total of $11.94 before taxes

third trip
*1 pampers soft wipes - $0.97 [after $1 mc]
*1 pampers thick wipes - $0.50 [after $1.50 mc]
*4 sally hansen nail polish - $0.44 each [after $1 tpc, $1 pc, $2 pc - wyb any sally hansen product]
*2 room essentials pillow - $0.50 each [after $2 tpc]
*1 room essential towel bar - free [after $5 tpc]
*4 packs wet ones - $0.47 each [after $0.50 tpc]
*4 boxes up & up pantyliners - $1.24 each [after $0.75 tpc]
*4 2-pack sharpie markers - free [after $1 tpc]
*3 scotch scissors - $0.99 each [after $1 mic]
*3 scotch magic tape - $0.29 each [after $1 mic, $0.50 tpc]

this is by far my biggest shopping trip using a lot of coupons. i know i'm still an amateur to couponing. but thanks to different blogs & websites, its easy to find coupons & great deals.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

my dearest little girl (20 mos)

another month older! you're still babbling a lot. once in a awhile, you're dad & i would hear you blurt out sounds that seem to be words. ha-yo (hello), b-ker (booker), ka (car), nat (goodnight), ha (hi). you could be saying more but we still can't figure it out.

next monday, your speech therapy session will start. hopefully it will help speed up everything. everybody says you will talk eventually. the therapy is free & i want to take advantage of this service. this is all for you & i know its the right thing to do.

your favorite spot in the couch with dad.
you ask what is the green stuff on your face?
crayons! you were busy coloring the paper, magazine & yourself.
our little cottage cheese girl & virgin mary (according to dad)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

DIY - recycled toy box

reduce, reuse, recycle
we've heard this a million times.
but are we doing anything about it?
every chance i get, i try my best to do it.

today was a good day to make her some toy boxes.
i've been procrastinating on this project for awhile
since i know its very quick & easy to do.

everything i need was pretty much on hand:
boxes (the bigger, the better)
pair of scissors/cutter; tape
colored flyers or magazines; construction paper
and some imagination
wrap the boxes with colored flyers.
it doesn't have to be perfect.
{i made sure all the edges & corners we're taped
because my little angel is a chewer}
i cut out different shapes with the construction paper
& taped it to the box.
and for a personalized touch, i added her name.
now its wait & see how long these boxes
will take a beating from the little girl.