Monday, September 30, 2013

A Pumpkin Patch Visit with a Little Pumpkin


This past weekend, we packed up the car and headed north to the Pumpkin Patch with your friend, Ruby (and her parents). We all went last year and had such a good time that we decided to make this a tradition. We're already talking about our visit next year and I'm wondering if I can sneak in another visit this year!

Mommy no funny

This weekend was a windy, rainy mess of a weekend but I'm still glad that we were able to make it up to the Pumpkin Patch. We hit the farm between rain storms and were able to really enjoy it while wrapped up tight in warm coats and scarves. The girls sported their pumpkin hats which were perfect for the event.

See the chickens

We saw chickens, goats, donkeys, ducks, bunnies, kittens and puppies at the farm. Molly was super excited to hold a kitten and pet the puppy. It was fun seeing the sparkle in her eye. Molly also enjoyed picking out a pumpkin. We ended up with two small/medium pumpkins and a mini pumpkin that Molly selected on her own.

pumpkin friends

We were able to get two years of wearing out of the pumpkin costume that Molly's Granny Annie got her which made me happy! Next year, her sister will be sporting the pumpkin costume and I'll finally let Molly wear something normal to the pumpkin patch.

Mommy no funny

The Daddies were excited about the visit to the farm because they were able to get Apple Cider donuts (I sneaked a bite and they were goooood!) and corn dogs. There were other such treats available which makes me want to go back now!

Fields of Pumpkins

The farm also has apple picking which has me plotting a mid-week visit just to pick some apples. I seem to have a fascination with picking fruit

like this

Even though it was a cold, rainy and very blustery day, we all had a good time at the Pumpkin Patch! I highly recommend The Farm at Swan's Trail. They have so many fun activities and a great selection of pumpkins. 
Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chicken Nugget - 26 Weeks.

26 Weeks

The days are starting to get shorter and the rainy season is upon us which is making me feel like Chicken Nugget will be here before I know it. This week has been both busy and lazy. Molly and I have been making the most of our days together. She has been excellent at my doctor appointments. This week I as fitted for a pelvic support belt and she found the exam room with all it's orthopedic equipment to be fascinating! I am finding the belt to be wonderful. 

However I am also starting to feel rushed! I have 13 weeks left and I have so much to get done. I need to finish Chicken Nugget's knitted goods, get Molly a big girl bed and redo their room, start freezer meals and basically get in the mindset of having TWO children instead of one. Whew! I can totally do it, I just need to stay focused. 
Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkin Oat Banana Mini Muffins


Fall is most definitely here! With all the food bloggers are posting their favorite pumpkin recipes, I thought I'd share one of our new favorites. Well to be honest, I've only had a taste but if I was allowed to go nuts on carbs, I'd go nuts eating these! 

Baked Goods

These muffins freeze really well too so I froze half the batch for Molly to enjoy as snacks later. I like to keep a stash of frozen mini muffins on hand for when her usual snacks of goldfish, raisins and cheese sticks get boring (which happens a lot). While I made these as mini muffins, I think these would also be great as big, huge muffins. Just know that you will have to cook them longer, maybe 20-25 minutes instead of 15. 


Pumpkin Oat Banana Mini Muffins

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (24 mini muffins)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your mini muffin pan.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk (flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg) in a large bowl.
3. Thoroughly combine your wet ingredients (eggs, milk, oil, banana, pumpkin puree and vanilla) in another bowl.
4. Combine the two bowls and add in the raisins and walnuts.
5. Using a small scoop, place about 1 tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin cup. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pinterest Thursday - Mini Bean Bags

I found this pin and thought this would be an easy project full of fun for Molly. Spoiler Alert: I have to say though, these bean bags were much too MINI! I made two of them before giving up and making a bigger one. I'll be using the rest of my cut-out fabric to make big bean bags. 


I gathered my Bean Bag supplies which I luckily already had in the house. I even had some old beans that I bought about 5 years ago and sadly never used. So they were perfect for this kind of project. 


After cutting out my fabric, I ironed them onto interfacing. I was a bit overzealous with the fabric cutting and have a pile of them now. 


Next I folded them over and sewed two edges before stuffing them with the beans. This is when I started to notice exactly how wee they were turning out. 


I ended up experimenting and made a larger bean bag. I'll be making the rest of the bean bags in the larger size as they are 1) easier to make and 2) actually useful! I also need to figure out a nice and easy way to hand-sew the edge once the beans are in the bag. I'm not thrilled with the look of the one I made. 




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Wednesday Links from Around The Web 7.25.2013

Greenlake Ducks

Louis C. K. and his hatred of the smartphone Hilarious and Brilliant! "You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That's what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That's being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that empty—forever empty. That knowledge that it's all for nothing and that you're alone. It's down there." 

Why Cooking Can Save Our Lives I cook about 90% of the food that we eat in our household and it feel necessary to me. I make most of that food from scratch and you know what, it tastes better and is cheaper. Cooking makes me feel connected to what I am consuming to energize my body. It makes things better. 

The newborn haze I'm getting ready for this. I remember so clearly how hard it was last time and it's going to be both harder and easier this time. I just need to remember that you do leave the haze behind in due time and to enjoy each moment as they come. 

Pondering Fingerless Mitts How do you feel about them? I personally LOVE them but need to remedy the fact that I do not have nearly enough of them. Good thing I knit and can fix this problem quickly.

Homemade Fruit and Nut Bars Emily makes the most delicious vegetarian food and I've been digging deep into her recipes since Scott has started his trial as a vegetarian. These bars look delicious and are now on my list to make.   

Designer Spotlight with Cirilia Rose I love Cirilia style and her passion for knitting. She's a wonderful designer. One day I want to grow up to be like her. 
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Give with Target


Earlier this year, Molly and I attended an event hosted by Target where I learned all about Target's  charitable giving and their goal for contributions to education by the end of 2015. I love shopping at Target and knowing that they have a charitable goal focused on education strengthened my love for them. 

Earlier this week, I was contacted by them again and asked to share information about their latest Give with Target campaign.  I love this campaign and am more than happy to share information about it. Schools in the Seattle area now have more time to win the money for books, supplies, electronics and other resources needed to succeed. Target is extending its Give With Target campaign, through which guests can help allocate its $5 million donation (double last year’s GWT donation) to schools across the country. Voting will continue through Tuesday, Sept. 30 or until the full donation has been allocated, whichever comes first.

This means Seattle-area schools have more time to win up to $10,000 each! Folks can visit Target’s Facebook page to vote for a school of their choice once per week, through the end of September. Once a school has received 25 votes, Target will donate $1 per vote, with a maximum donation of $10,000 per school. Last year, Give With Target impacted more than 30,000 schools and we’re hoping this year we can help even more.

Information about the Give With Target campaign overall can be found here: and Information about the extension can be found here:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Craftaholic!

There is something about Fall that turns me into an avid craftaholic! I mean, I do like to craft a lot the rest of the year but when the weather turns colder and the leaves begin to fall, I can feel the obsession building in me.

I recently started TWO more cross-stitch samplers - The Halloween Spooky Sampler and the Autumn Sampler both from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. They are so cute!


I'm still working on my Woodland Sampler. I'm almost done with June. Must stitch faster!

Last night I also cast on for a few more knitted items for Chicken Nugget. I'm making her some baby pants to wear home from the hospital along with a Newborn Vertebrae sweater. She already has some baby booties and just needs a hat to complete her Going Home outfit. Additionally I have two other sweaters on the needles for the nugget - a February Baby Sweater and a Baby Poonam Sweater.

What are you crafting now that Fall is here? Have you obsessively started too many projects like me or are you restraining yourself?
Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Favorites

My favorites this week have a streak of blue and tropical-ness in them. I think I might be longing for the Summer that has just passed us by. This is silly because Fall is my most favorite of favorite seasons! The gourd fest! The leaves! The pumpkins! The crisp air! I just love Fall! 

1. Justine Marie, 2. makings of a quilt, 3. #youbetterbelieveivegotlatergrams, 4. Souvenir, 5. Latest paper origami quilt., 6. Esther at the beach, 7. Look what UPS brought! 25 copies of REMOVED! Wow. This is real now., 8. Ella in the water // Super excited to be joining loads of other creatives at the @Adventure_Always conference in LA in October... Would be great to see you if you can come along - head over to for more info! #AdventureAlways, 9. Les Flottants du Sud-Ouest, 10. Red, blue, green, yellow, 11. Come Rain Or Come Shine, 12. summer light, 13. Day 2417, 14. IMG_2931IMG123, 15. Mitch gets Wiley, 16. Once upon a time I came home at 1 am to find Scott sleeping in a lawn chair on our back deck because he'd locked himself out of the house when the door blew closed. Years later I still obsessively check to make sure I've brought my keys when I work on the, 17. week two hundred & twenty, 18. back to the crochet, 19. Vanilla soft serve with Concord Grape Granita, 20. The best swimming spot... ⛪, 21. IMG_2895IMG123, 22. #brbchasinglight at my brother's house in Kyparissi. Yep, I've got a million and one latergrams, 23. Hey London. You're totally harshing on my post-holiday buzz, 24. fall, 25. Gonna need more of these while knitting this blanket.
Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chicken Nugget - 25 Weeks

25 Weeks

This is the week where everything starts getting serious. I had my 25 week check-up and all was super good with Chicken Nugget. She was wiggling so much during the heartbeat check that it took the doctor some time to find her and when she did, she tried to wiggle away! All that movement is a good thing but we really needed her to hold still for just a little bit. The best part was during this, Molly was running around the exam room, laughing and screaming. Luckily my (substitute) doctor has a 2-year-old so she is totally used to that kind of behavior and was actually laughing.

I got the schedule for the rest of my pregnancy (well starting in 4 weeks) at my appointment. Weekly Ultrasounds (Fetal Biophysical Profile) along with weekly NSTs and then my OB appointments will start ramping up. My friend Meg said that it sounds like I need someone to just manage all my appointments and tell me where to go and when. Luckily since these don't start for awhile, I'm able to book them out at a time that works for Scott and I since someone needs to watch Molly. There is no way she is going to hang out with me calmly while I get a NST. The child needs to run and be wild!

Otherwise, I'm feeling good! I've had some pelvic pain while exercising so my doctor is getting me fitted for a pelvic support belt. Then I can keep up the activity without the pain! I like this plan. I've also been getting weekly acupuncture for the gestational diabetes and while I'm not sure that it is working, I know that I like the hour of relaxation.
Friday, September 20, 2013

Coconut Date Snack Balls


Last time I was at Costco, I bought 2 lbs of dates. In my defense, they looked delicious and I was hungry! However, 2 lbs of dates is a lot of dates so I got to thinking about how best to use them. Molly loves, loves, loves food with dates in them. She goes especially nuts over Lara Bars and I've been planning to make some homemade Lara Bars but just haven't gotten around to it yet. 


Today as I was staring at the 2 lbs box of dates, I looked around and saw that I also had some walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and coconut which all work together for a delicious snack. I was also reminded of the Apple Oat bars I made for Molly earlier this month and so I got to mixing. 

pre coconut

The best part of this recipe is that it requires no cooking, just some food processing and sticky ball rolling. The second best part of this recipe is that Molly kept asking for MORE when I gave her one. She had three before I stopped her and gave her some water. 

Coconut Date Snack Balls

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (70 balls)
  • 2 lbs Madjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/4 cup ground chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1-7 oz bag of coconut flakes
1. Puree the dates, walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds in a food processor until smooth. The mixture will begin to form a giant ball.
2. Take 1 Tablespoon of the date mixture and roll into a ball. This is super sticky!
3. Spread the coconut flakes on a plate and roll the date balls in the flakes.
4. Serve to your favorite munchkin and watch them ask over and over for more.
5. Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or covered on the counter for up to one week.
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pinterest Thursday - 1st Day of School Photos


Molly started Toddler Co-Op Preschool yesterday and so I wanted to document the occasion with a 1st Day of School photo. I got out my chalkboard and wrote, "1st Day of Toddler Preschool". I dressed Molly and did her hair. Then I grabbed my camera and headed outside to capture Molly on her 1st Day of School. 




It was so hard to get a shot. Molly kept turning the chalkboard around and licking it. She'd then get distracted by the garbage trucks gathering garbage in our neighborhood. She'd hide behind the chalkboard. 


I finally got one shot that I think will work. Oops! The chalkboard is upside down. Oh well! At least it shows reality. 

coop playing

Molly had a great first day of school. She played in the Dramatics room, frolicked in the Climbing room and had some play-doh fun in the Art room before finishing up with Circle Time. 

coop schedule

Coop climbing room
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Manzanita Weekend


Scott, Molly and I took off from Seattle on Thursday night after dinner for a long weekend at the Oregon Coast. We decided to divide the long drive by leaving at Molly's bedtime in the hopes that she'd sleep most of the drive down and wouldn't get antsy stuck in her car seat for 5 hours. 


It worked out pretty well, except for the part where we were delayed in leaving for half an hour because I lost my keys in my purse. Scott is so patient with me. He carefully looked through the car, checked the house, calmly asked me if the keys could be in my purse. I screamed, "THEY ARE LOST! GONE!" and ran frantically about while throwing things in the air. I checked my purse for the third time and magically found them. So we quickly dashed to the car and left. Molly slept almost all the way to Astoria where we stopped for the night. The only drawback to our plan was that once we were up in the hotel room, she decided to rampage for an hour. We finally got her back to sleep around 12:30 a.m. 


In the morning, we ate breakfast at this tiny place called, The Columbian Cafe. I had a delicious chicken sausage hash while Scott enjoyed a veggie omelet and Molly dined on a cheese omelet. We sat right in front of the stove and watched the cook make our meals. It was so good! We then headed down the coast to Manzanita while Molly took her nap. 


Molly was still asleep by the time we got to Manzanita so we decided to keep driving down to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. My Great Grandmother's brother used to work there. I remember visiting when I was about 9 and watching him work on the factory floor. I wanted Molly to see some of the magic. Unfortunately I started feeling faint and clammy. I took my blood sugar and found out it was 62! At 65, I'm supposed to take a glucose tablet and lie down. I calmly took a tablet and told Scott that I needed Ice Cream, STAT! We headed in, roamed around a bit and then got some delicious ice cream. It was seriously good and made me feel a lot better. Once I had some sugar in my system, I was able to show Molly around and tell her a few stories about how cheese is in our blood! 



Factory Watching

We then headed back to Mazanita to check into our house rental and meet up with my parents who also came down for the weekend. After getting ourselves situated, we headed out for dinner. The restaurant across the street had a 45 minute wait! We ended up ordering take-out. While we were waiting for it, we headed down to the beach so Molly could roll around in the sand. 



After dinner, we struggled to get Molly to go to sleep. In fact, nighttime sleep was a struggle all weekend! She didn't usually collapse until closer to 11 p.m. every night which was frankly exhausting for all of us. On Saturday night, I actually put her to bed in her Pack 'n' Play with the kindle fire and an Elmo video and said, Fine! Watch this all night! Mommy and Daddy are going to sleep. When I woke up at 4 a.m. to go to the bathroom, I found her curled up in her bed, clutching the kindle fire. Solid parenting! But at least she finally went to sleep. 

Molly Beach Dogs

When Saturday morning rolled around and we all slowly woke up, we headed down to the beach again for Muttzanita! Molly loooooves dogs and the beach so Muttzanita was the perfect festivity for her. There were hundreds of dogs and so much sand. Molly was able to pet quite a few dogs and ran around on the beach with them. It was wonderful to watch. 

Watching the Doggies

After a fun morning, we headed back to the house for nap-time. Scott went out to find lunch for us and I sat down to read books with Molly. At some point, she disappeared from the room. I asked my Dad if he had seen her and he said, Nope! I went on the hunt. I found her in the bedroom, in the Pack 'n' Play. She said, Nigh! Nigh! Mama and laid down. I took that hint and closed the bedroom door. My Dad and I sat in the living room, shaking our heads in amazement. If only Molly had done that with her night time sleep! 


After nap, Scott, Molly and I headed up to Cannon Beach for dinner. Molly conned us into getting her an Elmo lunchbox. We might have a bit of an Elmo obsession going on. 


The next morning, Scott's family came to visit. They all live along various points on the Oregon Coast. It was great catching up with all of them. Molly especially loved playing with her cousin Anna. She wore Anna out at one point! 


After everyone left, I spent some serious time knitting on the couch while Molly napped. Scott headed out for a walk on the beach and took some amazing photos. Later that evening, we headed back to Cannon Beach for dinner at The Lumberyard Rotisserie and Grill. Molly's dinner came with a side of the most amazing applesauce I've ever had. I'm emailing the chef to see if he'll share his recipe because it is SOOOOOOOOO good!

Pea Soup!

Monday was our last day at the beach and after a huge breakfast, we gathered our stuff and slowly headed home. None of us wanted to let go of our beach feeling. We had a nice drive home where Molly slept most of the way. 


True Family Portrait

We're already looking forward to returning next year with a fourth family member. I hope Chicken Nugget holds still for some family portraits, unlike her older sister. 
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