Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Make Halloween Delicious with Spooky Brownie Spiders!

Halloween is one of Scarlett's favorite occasions.  What child doesn't love getting dressed up in a costume of their choice and going door to door to get candy? I have some great childhood memories of trick-or-treating and I love that I get to do it all over again with my children.  It really is a special event! Scarlett is a unicorn this year and Jack will be an elephant.  I can't wait to take them trick-or-treating and of course take a lot of pictures.  Our house is already decorated for Halloween and Scarlett is eagerly awaiting using her purple pumpkin candy basket!

Since Halloween is all about tasty sugary treats, I wanted to share an adorably delicious brownie recipe with you today.  These Brownie Spiders would be perfect for a preschool Halloween event, or even a Halloween party at your house.  You can guarantee these yummies will be gobbled up quickly!

1 pan of brownies
1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chow mein noodles
Candy eye balls
1.5-inch diameter circle cookie cutter or biscuit cutter 


Use a circle cookie/biscuit cutter to cut out your desired size of circles for the spider "bodies." Place on wax paper for prep, or right on a serving tray.  In the microwave or a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl.  Then remove 1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate and set it aside.  Gently stir the chow mein noodles into the remaining melted chocolate until all of the noodles are coated.  Spread the noodles out somewhat on a plate covered with wax paper (you don't need to completely separate them), and then put it in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill and re-harden the chocolate.  

Once chilled, remove the chocolate covered noodles and pick out some long ones to use as the spider "legs." Use a toothpick to poke 8 holes on the top of the brownie circles around the edges, then poke the noodles into the holes to be the legs.  Next, take the tablespoon of melted chocolate that you set aside, and use the toothpick to transfer a dot of melted chocolate to the back of each of the candy eyes to be the glue.  Place the eyes on the front of the brownie circles.  Serve the spider brownies immediately or cover to keep for up to 4 days.  


*Recipe taken from GimmeSomeOven*
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

All About Jack!

Now that Jack is 5 weeks old as of tomorrow, I thought it would be a great time to give an update on him as well as some information about him!

Jack was born on August 8th and weighed 6 lbs 9 oz.  I was honestly shocked he was that small because I assumed he'd be around Scarlett's birth weight which was 8 lbs 4 oz.  I'm not sure why he was so small honestly.  I gained 26 lbs when I was pregnant with Scarlett and only 14 with him, but sometimes people still have large babies with minimal weight gain.  Either way, he was a tiny peanut! He's still wearing newborn diapers and newborn clothes and was only 7 lbs 14 oz at his doctor's appointment last week.  0-3m clothes swim on him.  I don't have a ton of newborn clothes for him because it's a tiny size and I know he'll outgrow it sooner or later.  For now, I'll just roll up the 0-3m clothes that are big for him.  Scarlett always asks me why his clothes are so big, I say because he's so small!

When Jack was born, he slept around the clock.  I remember asking the nurses is it normal for him to sleep all day? Even when he would have a bottle he would be sleeping during the feed.  He would wake up for a few minutes and then fall asleep again while eating.  It was a little crazy to me to have such a sleepy baby. I didn't remember Scarlett being like this.  They said just wait, he'll wake up and have more alert periods in a matter of weeks.  Well they were definitely right, those sleepy periods have ended! While he does sleep throughout the day, he's up a lot more now.  

One big change that we're dealing with now is how much he cries.  Jack has crying spells throughout the day that make it frustrating to just get through the day.  I can't cook, clean, be with Scarlett or do anything when he's like this.  Sometimes I can get him to settle down and other times he's just very upset. The crying spells come and go and some parts of the day he's absolutely fine.  He loves to be held and would prefer if you held him all day long, but obviously that's not possible.  We've already changed his formula once, but we may need to do it again if this keeps up.  I know he suffers from gas pain and we are using a lot of gas drops! Poor Jack. 

Scarlett is very good with him and likes to gently rub his head and give him a kiss.  I have to remind her to be gentle with him.  Yesterday, I caught her trying to pick him up which made me nervous.  She means well but she's a lot older and stronger than him and I wouldn't want him to get hurt.  Scarlett has her normal jealous moments with her brother, but overall she's doing very well with him considering she was an only child for over 4 and a half years! 

Since Jack still has his days and nights mixed up, the nights are a little rough.  I'm trying to establish a night-time routine with him where he has a bath and then goes into a swaddle around 7:30-8.  He LOVES the bath.  This is around when Scarlett goes to sleep too.  I make the lights dim and I don't talk to him at night so he can try to recognize day vs. night.  We were so lucky with Scarlett that from an early age she would go right back to sleep after each feed.  Her night-time feeding schedule was so predictable and we always knew we'd get some sleep in-between waking up again.  The issue with Jack is that he could sleep from 8-11 PM and then want to eat at 11 and then he's up til 12:30 or 1 and then we have to feed him again not long after that.  

Each night is different, but he also makes a LOT of noise which sometimes keeps us up.  We were hoping to sell our house before he was born, but that didn't happen so his crib is in our room.  Our house only has two bedrooms and unfortunately right now he doesn't have his own room.  We took the house off the market in May and it went back on last week, so we're hoping to have a buyer soon so we can move and feel less cramped! 

One thing that I'm quickly realizing about having a second child is that they are dragged everywhere.  Jack is dragged to everything Scarlett has to go to whether it's a doctor's appointment, a playdate, or even school drop off/pick-up.  Since Scarlett was my first child, I was able to solely dedicate myself to her and she was on a strict schedule.  When I eventually get him on a nap/feed schedule, I'm not sure how the naps will work since Scarlett's in school 9-1.  He can nap in the morning when we get home, but she used to nap from 12-3, so that obviously won't work for us.  It seems like I'll have to slightly adjust the schedule she used to use.  Hopefully I can find something that works for him and I when the time comes! 

Jack is very sweet and we're enjoying the newest family member.  I can't wait to see how he grows and changes as the months go by.  Lots of memories to be made!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

The Versatility Of A Cheeseboard Is Perfect For Fall Entertaining

The season of Fall entertaining is upon us! There's nothing I enjoy more during the colder months of the year than serving delicious food to my friends and family. It's nice to get a little creative on what appetizers to serve your guests, especially if you feel like you're in a food rut.

A cheese board is always a crowd-pleasing favorite and the best part about is how versatile it is. There's no wrong way to make one and the best part is you can constantly change it every time you have guests over.  Whether you want to feature brie cheese with herb crackers paired with grapes and nuts, or smoked gouda with flatbread and smoked sausage, the possibilities are endless! Make sure you have a special serving tray or board to create your cheese board.  Your guests will absolutely love it.  

Since I have friends with children over a lot, I like to make sure my cheeseboards are both adult and kid friendly.  Scarlett loves grapes and cheddar cheese, as does most other children.  So when I do a combo cheeseboard, I like to make sure those two options are always there.  Shockingly, Scarlett enjoys sausage so I always have that on the cheese board too. 

If you're having a holiday party in the near future, a cheeseboard would look fabulous on the food table. Presentation is key, so make sure everything is spaced out nicely.  You can even get a little creative and do a meat and cheese tray featuring prosciutto, olives, salami, various cheeses, and of course fabulous crunchy crackers.  Feel free to get creative and make it your own to ensure your guests say wow!