Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Favorites

Hello friends! Happy Friday! This has been a much better week for us, since we have mostly gotten over our colds. It’s still been snowy and chilly outside, so things like my MOPS group were cancelled this week. Steve’s commute home, normally a 1-hour trip, took him over 2 hours last night due to wintry conditions!

Let’s get started on some of my favorites of the week!

Homemade Valentine's Pop Tarts

On Tuesday, I shared these raspberry-filled homemade Valentine’s pop tarts. They were a little labor-intensive, and there may have been a few moments that I wanted to give up and toss out the dough, but they were some of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever had!

On Tuesday afternoon, Baby Ephraim and I had a little photoshoot in our peacoats. I’m going to need to frame some of these shots!

On Wednesday, Ephraim Luke turned ONE YEAR OLD!! We took another month photo of him, and I am really sad to be done with them! I will miss my little baby at all of these stages. Like a lot. But all I can say is that I’m so grateful to have spent all day, every day with him in his first year. No regrets! :)

I know, strange to see a pumpkin in January. But this is my miracle pumpkin. I grew it in my garden from a seed last spring, and I watched it grow into a huge, beautiful 22 pound pumpkin! We have been enjoying it in the house since September! It started to get a few age spots last week, so I knew it was time to put it outside and let it compost for next summer’s pumpkins. We’ll enjoy watching it from the window now. I just couldn’t believe it lasted so long! :)

The boys love Ivy! She was out watching Daddy shovel, and the boys were teasing her from inside :)

Steve and I watched the first ever episode of Parenthood in February 2010. And last night, we watched the very last! We missed a of couple seasons when we had our babies, but we caught up with Netflix. What a great show! Last night’s episode was powerful, and I was thrilled to finally see Lauren Graham in a wedding dress!

Peter Rabbit Invite

Tomorrow is Ephraim’s party, and I am super excited! There’s a school delay this morning due to heavy snow, so I’m hoping tomorrow will be the opposite—clear and sunny! We’re taking E to his 1-year check-up this morning, and then we’ll stock up on groceries to do food prep all day. I wish I could invite all of you to the party!


Enjoy your weekend! Stay warm.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ephraim at 12 months (ONE!)

I can’t believe our sweet second-born has reached this big milestone! Ephraim Luke, you are ONE YEAR OLD! These past twelve months have been the most challenging of my life, but also the very best. Becoming a mom of two was a huge leap for me, and I still have difficulty juggling both of my little guys’ needs. But all of our lives have become so much richer—full of purpose and joy since we became a family of four.

Ephraim, you are loving, determined, and sensitive. You like to observe rather than be the center of the attention. You have a fun sense of humor with a deep little laugh. I can’t wait to see how your personality develops even more as you begin to walk and talk and play with us.

Everything you do is a little miracle to me.

You like turning the pages of your board books.

You have two little bottom teeth, which is not many for babies your age, but you don’t let it stop you from eating anything you want. You are going to love cake and all things sweet (just like the rest of your family)!

You love to dance and smile whenever you hear music.

You want to be near Mommy all of the time. You like to be carried and walked around rather than held on our laps.

You play by dumping out toys, tossing them aside, picking them up, and putting them back.

You still wake up crying once or twice at night. You slept through the night four times at the beginning of January, and I’m hoping we’ll get back to that soon. :)

You like to open and shut garbage cans and toilet lids. Yikes!

You’ve figured out how to drink water and juice out of sippy cups. (Ones that aren’t spill-proof so you don’t have to work hard to get the liquid out.) You nurse six times a day, and show no signs of wanting to stop.

You’re starting to have mini meltdowns and you throw yourself backwards, or you lay face-down on the floor in tears.

You can give kisses and say “yay!” while waving and then clasping your hands together (your version of clapping).

And here is 12 months of Ephraim:

He has changed so much! (And I am getting so teary-eyed!)


Little E, you are such a beautiful baby. Your blue eyes are a sight to behold. I thank God every day for you, and I will love you always. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What We Wore Wednesday

Mom & Baby Peacoats

In honor of today being my sweet second-born baby’s FIRST birthday, I decided to include him in my weekly outfit post :)

Happy 1st Birthday, Ephraim Luke! Mommy is so crazy about you!
(Stay tuned for my sappy post with tons of photos tomorrow.)

I dressed him in one of my favorite outfits, and we made the trek outside into the mounds of snow.

Mommy & Baby Peacoats

Ephraim has gotten a million compliments on this cute knotted hat from The Gap. It is definitely my favorite hat on him! He rarely ever wears shoes, so he looks like a big boy in these photos. I scored his peacoat for $15 (1/2 off) at Old Navy over Thanksgiving weekend.

Mom & Baby Peacoats

On Rachel:
Peacoat | Old Navy (from high school!)
Scarf | Target (old)
Jeans | American Eagle “Artist”
Boots | Target (old)

On Ephraim:
Peacoat | Old Navy
Leggings | Carter’s
Hat | Gap
Leather shoes | Target

Mom & Baby PeacoatsMom & Baby Peacoats

Showing him how to make a 1!

Mom & Baby Peacoats

As a follow-up to last week’s hair-curling fail, I used my wand this time. I sprayed each section with thermal setting spray before I curled it, and then I pinned it up until it cooled. It worked MUCH better than the hot rollers. Still not a super long-lasting curl, but I’ll work on it :)

Mom & Baby Peacoats

This is what he did for the majority of the photos. Oyy.

Mom & Baby PeacoatsMom & Baby Peacoats

I cannot wait to celebrate this adorable boy today (and again on Saturday!)

Have a great day!


I’m linking up with Lindsey, Alison, and Shanna.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Homemade Valentine’s Pop Tarts

Homemade Valentine's Pop Tarts

I will opt for homemade goodies over store-bought any day of the week. I don’t often allow myself to buy prepackaged breakfast pastries (way too tempting for our pantry). I thought the idea of making my own jelly-filled Pop Tarts sounded amazing! Though they’re a little labor-intensive to bake on a regular basis, I think they are some of the best pastries I’ve ever had!

2 cups + 2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
4-6 Tablespoons ice water
3/4 cup raspberry or strawberry preserves

For icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons (plus a little more) Half and Half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pink and red sprinkles

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar.

Add the cut-up butter and continue pulsing until there are no more big chunks visible.

Homemade Pop Tarts

Add the 4 tablespoons of ice water and pulse the processor. If the dough doesn’t start to clump together, add one or two more tablespoons. (I ended up using 6).

Homemade Pop Tarts

On a clean surface, form the dough into a ball. Divide it in two, and form each part into a 5-inch disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill them in the refrigerator for one hour.

Homemade Pop Tarts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Leaving one disc in the fridge, roll out the second onto a floured surface. When the dough is about 1/4 inch thick, begin cutting out 5-inch by 3-inch rectangles. (This part got really intensive for me—I ended up rolling and cutting quite a few times in order to get the right-sized rectangles!) I was able to get 7 rectangles out of the dough (which means I ended up with seven total tarts). Lay them out on the parchment paper, and spread preserves around the centers of the rectangles—not too close to the edges.

Homemade Pop Tarts

Roll out the second disc of dough. Repeat the process of cutting 5-inch by 3-inch rectangles, and place them on top of the preserves-covered rectangles. Use your finger or a fork to seal off the edges. Poke four little holes in each tart with a toothpick.

Homemade Pop Tarts

Bake them for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Homemade Pop TartsHomemade Pop Tarts

Cool them for a couple of minutes on the tray, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Homemade Pop Tarts

For the icing, whisk together the cup of powdered sugar, 2 T Half and Half, and teaspoon vanilla. Add Half and Half by the half-teaspoon until you have the right consistency. Spread over the tarts. Then add sprinkles!

Homemade Pop TartsHomemade Pop TartsHomemade Pop Tarts

They are the perfect bite of buttery, flaky crust combined with delicious raspberry filling. The icing joins in to give it some extra sweetness. Yum! Your Valentine will love the gesture :)

Adapted from this recipe.


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