Friday, February 28, 2014

Cookie Butter Cocoa Crispy Rice Treats

My sweet tooth has been raging out of control lately. I'd like to blame it on my 5 month vacation from sweets during Maggie's pregnancy but let's be honest, my sweet tooth has always been a bit of a rager. 


I went on a Pinterest bender while feeding Maggie earlier this week which led me to a fierce craving for Rice Krispy treats with a twist. When I spotted Cookie Butter & Cocoa spread at Trader Joe's, I had this treat lurking at the forefront of my mind. I grabbed a jar and headed home to create a sugary, crunchy treat. 


I served these at my PEPS Happy Hour last night and my friends raved about them. They also asked how I had time to make these treats with a toddler and a newborn. Well let me tell you, you can totally whip these up in less than 15 minutes and it's a great cookie to make with your toddler. Mine especially loved stirring the melted butter and marshmallows. 


Cookie Butter Cocoa Crispy Rice Treats
by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (Yield: One 9X13-inch Pan)
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 7 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 jar Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl
Grease two 9x13-inch pans.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over low heat. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla
In a large bowl, add melted marshmallow mixture to cereal and stir. Make sure the cereal is coated evenly and throughly.
Spread 2/3 of the cereal into one of the greased 9x13-inch pans. Press the remaining into the other pan. It will not fully cover the pan but this is ok as you want holes.
Spread the Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl over the fuller pan before placing the other pan of cereal on top of the spread. Press down so some of the swirl oozes out. Let sit until completely firm.
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Filled pan

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Nine Weeks with Chicken Nugget

Maggie - 9 weeks

This week was a bit quieter for Maggie with the exception of her two month doctor visit. She got her vaccination shots and did not like them AT ALL! We went out to lunch afterwards and she slept the entire time. I think the anger at the shots wore her out.

Earlier in the week, we went to the Zoo as a family. I'm not sure that Maggie saw much of the zoo between snoozing in the infant seat and gazing at her hands but she was sure happy. We also had playdates with some friends and even went to Gas Works so Molly and her BFF, Norah could splash in the puddles.


I've noticed that the evenings are rough around here and I'm trying to proactively plan ahead. From 5 p.m. to about 8 p.m., Maggie wants to eat (tank up) for her long sleep and Molly wants to get in her face while being 2 years old. It's a rough combination and I lose my cool way more than I'd like. I've been trying to prep dinners that can be thrown together at 5:30 p.m. instead of cooked. We're trying to keep to a strict bedtime routine for Molly to lessen the two-ness and most importantly we are trying to remember that every evening is the witching hour.

Maggie is getting so big and strong. She can hold her head up better and she does little push-ups during tummy time. It's adorable. The doctor said she thinks we'll have an early mover on our hands at her appointment on Friday. Dr. Maggie (yep, our daughter and doctor share a name!) put Maggie on the exam table and she made some crawling motions. I swear I felt my eye twitch because it is going to be a whole new ball game when I have two mover and shakers in the house!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Two Months with Mag-Pie

Dear Maggie,

It was just over two months ago that I fell out of bed with contractions and before I knew it was in the hospital, holding you tight in my arms. It has been a wild and delightful time getting to know you and bringing you into our family. 

You are a pretty, easy-going baby unless I take too long to feed you. You have pretty much decided that you do not want to breastfeed which is very disappointing to me. I pump breastmilk for you which means you are getting about 80% breastmilk with 20% supplementation of formula. I am going to try to pump until you are at least 6 months old (assuming that I keep making milk based on my own issues). I try a few times a day to entice you to breastfeed but you decline each and every time. Luckily for you, there are bottles! 

You have started cooing and smiling so much these past few weeks. We love seeing your little grin! You've also rolled over a few times but I think most of that has to do with the weight of your big noggin and little to do with your actual abilities. You are also an epic sleeper. You usually go to sleep around 8 pm and sleep until midnight when I wake you to eat. Then you will sleep until 7 a.m. the next morning or sometimes wake up around 4 a.m. for more food. I am thankful for your awesome sleep and I will enjoy it while it lasts because I know the sleep gods can giveth and they can taketh! 

Your sister, Molly loves holding you and calls you BABY! She has been experiencing some jealousy but it is hard to go from being an only child to being the oldest child. We're sure she'll get over it and the two of you will bond together to give us even more grey hair. 

Our dear friends, Danny and Margaret took some newborn shots of you this past weekend. We were a bit behind the ball arranging for the shots so they are of you at almost two months but they are all so cute! I used all of them in this letter to you but there are many, many more cute ones! 

Maggie, We feel so lucky to have you in our family! You have completed our little family with your infectious smile and easy-going ways. We love you Mag-Pie! 

Stats at 2 Months
Weight: 12 lbs 14 oz
Height: 23 1/2 inches
Head Size: 15 3/4 inches
Vaccinations: All of them! You did not like them at all. 
Likes: Sleeping, Sister Molly, Being Worn in the Beco Gemini, the ceiling light in the Den
Dislikes: Boobs, Being Hungry, Poopy Diapers
Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pinterest Thursday - Valentine's Day Crayon Hearts

I found this pin and variations of it all over Pinterest this past year. I pinned all of them and made grandiose plans in my head. I wasn't sure that I was going to actually make these Valentine's this year because heart crayons are difficult to mail. Then Molly's Co-Op Preschool said that we would be exchanging Valentine's Day Cards and I knew I had to make these. One of Molly's favorite things to do is to color and I thought this would be a great way to share her love with a heart crayon. 


This project was super easy to do and I look forward to making many more heart crayons in the coming years. The hardest part was peeling the paper off the crayons though I later heard that you can dip the crayons in cold water which supposedly makes the paper easier to remove. I'll have to try it next time I make these. 


My only advice on making these is to overfill the compartments a bit. When the crayons melt, all the empty spaces fill in and the crayons can end up shallower than you may have planned. 


I also suggest that once the crayons are melted that you allow them to cool overnight (or for at least 12 hours) before fiddling with them. I ruined a few by getting too excited and trying to mess with them when they weren't cooled enough yet. 


Monday, February 17, 2014

A Day in the Life Photo Challenge

7:55 a.m. Daddy helps to work and Molly is sad to see him go. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

I've done a few "Day in the Life" challenges in the past and I LOVE them. Now that I have two kids, I thought it would be fun to do one again. And you know what would be even more fun, if you joined me! 

On Monday, March 3rd, I will take at least one photo an hour from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. At the end of the day, I'll have a set of photos documenting a day in my life. I'll be posting my photos on my Flickr page, Instagram and in the Flickr Group, A Day in the Life Photo Challenge (created by Francesca!) Please join me in sharing A Day in YOUR Life. 

9:10 am Ready to Hike! #adayinthelifechallenge #adayinthelifephotochallenge

Here are the "Rules" for the Challenge: 

1. Take at least one photo an hour (or more!).

2. Post your photos to the Flickr group, A Day in the Life Photo Challenge. Posting your photos throughout the day as you take them would be best but don't fret if you can't post them until later. They will still be awesome to see anytime. 

3. Your photos should be a representation of your day and do not have to contain any self portraits (even though those are fun and I'd love to see some!)

4. Include the time of your photo as either the title or in the description so we know when the photo was taken. 

5. Use the hashtage #adayinthelifephotochallenge when posting your photos to Instagram and/or Twitter. 
I hope you'll join me on March 3rd!
Sunday, February 16, 2014

Eight Weeks with Chicken Nugget


This week has been huge for Maggie! She rolled over; mainly using her big head and gravity to make it happen and she started cooing at us. She gets so excited when I come back from being away, even if I just went to the kitchen. Maggie is usually full of smiles. She was so unhappy on Friday night though and we felt just terrible for her. Nothing seemed to make her happy so I held her and rubbed her back while she fussed and cried.

We had a big week of fun playdates and even a visit to Grandma's house. Maggie had a fun playdate with her friend, Vivianne on Friday while the big sisters played (or actually fought over plastic ice cream cones as 2-year-olds seem to do). The babies spent their time cooing at each other and making eyes at the activity mat toys. I've been thinking about how I worked hard to find playmates for Molly and that I'll need to do the same for Maggie so that she isn't always trailing along behind her big sister and her friends.

Maggie, Full of Joy

Maggie went to her first Madrona Fiber Arts Festival on Saturday. She was a good little yarn partner and slept most of the time we were gone. I loved carrying Maggie around in the Beco Gemini and feeling her breathing against my chest. I treasure these sweet moments.


We also had many fun moments with Molly and Maggie. We went to Golden Gardens and the tot gym. I walked home with both girls in the stroller for the first time. I foresee many, many walks with the stroller once the weather gets nicer. I'm looking forward to walking Greenlake with both girls. I hope Molly stays in the stroller and that Maggie enjoys the ride. 
Friday, February 14, 2014

The Big Girl Bed


Back in October, we bought Molly a Big Girl Bed. We thought it would be easier to move her to a twin bed before Maggie came. Molly however had different ideas. She thought the new bed was awesome for jumping, reading books and pretending to sleep in. For real sleep, she still preferred the crib. I made some half-hearted attempts to get her to nap in the big girl bed but they all failed.


Then in December, we decided to just wait. We knew that Maggie would be sleeping in our room for at least six months and honestly I was too pregnant to deal with moving Molly.

Last week though, we decided it was time. Scott is on paternity leave until the end of the month and then he heads back to work. We thought it would be best to make the move while everyone is at home and capable of naps rather than waiting until Scott was back at work and I was on my own. 


We decided to start with naps. We moved her to the big girl bed for naps and said, no more crib. The first day, Scott laid in the bed with her after reading a few books until she fell asleep. On the second day, Scott sat in a chair next to her bed until she fell asleep. She ended up dancing in the hallway once he left the room while yelling Mommy! Mommy! On the third day, I was at an appointment with Maggie so Scott was on his own. He tried for an hour to get Molly to go to sleep and then decided to just leave the room. He closed her door and left. She cried for 5 minutes and then fell asleep. She slept for almost two hours. Success! On the fourth day, I was left in charge of naps as Scott had an appointment. Maggie ended up being hungry at the same time as nap so I put Molly in the bed, kissed her on the head and said, Have a good nap! Again, she cried for a few minutes and then fell asleep. 

The girlsroom

That night, we asked her if she wanted to sleep in Maggie's crib or in Molly's bed. She said Molly's bed and climbed into it. We held our breathe and kissed her goodnight before closing the door. She cried for a few minutes (notice a theme?) and then fell asleep. She's been sleeping in her big girl bed ever since then. She points to the crib and calls it, "Maggie's Crib!" and proudly points to her bed while saying, "Molly's Bed!" It may have taken 4 months but in the end, the move to the Big Girl Bed was easy. I think Molly needed some time to get used to the idea of the new bed and when the time was right, made her move. 
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trefoils Salted Caramel Meringue Tart

Last year, I participated in the Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cooking Contest and had so much fun creating Thin Mint Grasshopper Cheesecake in a Jar. Scott enjoyed being my taste tester and Molly had her first taste of Thin Mint cookies. This year though when they contacted me to participate again, I hesitated. I have a newborn and a toddler and very little time to cook BUT I have the desire to bake everything! After thinking it over, I decided I needed the challenge. I put in my request for cookies and started thinking and plotting. 


Scott loves, loves, loves Salted Caramel so I decided it would be fun to create a dessert around that flavor. I love making tarts so I decided to combine the two ideas. While perusing my cookbooks for inspiration, I found a recipe in Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours for Lemon Meringue Tarts. I thought it would be tasty to combine the meringue idea with the salted caramel idea. 


In the end, I came up with this delicious dessert which is not really a tart but is a tart, piled high with meringue layered over a sweet, yet salty caramel. 


Trefoils Salted Caramel Meringue Tart

Trefoils Cookie Crust Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup finely ground Trefoils (about 1 1/2 sleeves)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
Caramel Ingredients
  • Scant 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of Fleur del Sel 
Meringue Ingredients
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Make Crust: Mix the Trefoils cookie crust ingredients together and press into the bottom of a 6-inch springform pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Cool to room temperature and set aside. Raise the oven temp to 350F. 
  3. Make Caramel: Bring heavy cream to a boil, set aside and keep warm. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 3 Tablespoons of sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts. Add 3 more Tablespoons of sugar and stir until melted. Add remaining sugar and continue stirring until melted. Add corn syrup and bring to a boil while stirring. Add butter and salt while stirring. Place caramel sauce in a heat proof bowl and place aside. 
  4. Make Meringue: Whisk the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar dissolves in a mixing bowl. Using a double-boiler, stirring constantly, stir the egg whites and sugar until the mixture is hot and opaque for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the egg mixture. Place the mixing bowl on your stand mixer, add the vanilla and whip the whites with the whisk attachment until the whites form stiff shiny peaks. 
  5. Assemble the Tart: Pour the caramel into the Trefoils cookie crust. Pipe the meringue into the tart using a 3/8-inch-diameter open-star tip. Bake at 350F until the meringue is tinged golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Oatmeal Muffins


During the lactation period, I start thinking a lot about oatmeal while trying to cram it into almost all of my meals. I make lots of lactation cookies, I eat oatmeal for breakfast, I consider ways to add oatmeal to almost every dish. I, sometimes, ok often get tired of oatmeal even though I really enjoy oatmeal.


Orangette recently shared her recipe for Leftover Oatmeal Muffins and I got excited to try them out. I decided to add some brewer's yeast and ground flaxseed as both ingredients are good for lactation. 


These muffins came out smelling delicious and we gobbled up half of them before they had even cooled. I saved the rest for breakfast the next day and they were just as delicious. I've made two more batches of these muffins since I made the initial batch. 


Leftover Oatmeal Muffins
Adapted from Orangette


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup brewer's yeast
2 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 large egg
1 cup cooked steel-cut oatmeal
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, walnuts, chocolate and peanut butter chips, brewer's yeast and ground flaxseed. 
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg before adding oatmeal. Mash together and slowly add in the milk and butter. Stir to combine. 
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine. 
  5. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the muffins with a light dusting of sugar. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm. 

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Seven Weeks with Chicken Nugget

Maggie 7 Weeks

We are getting into a rhythm around here. It's still really rough but it feels good to get into a routine. We try to get out of the house in the morning to help run the energy out of Molly before heading home for lunch and naps. Molly and Maggie have both been taking nice naps in the afternoon at the same time. Since I don't know how long this awesome thing will continue, I've been using the afternoons to tackle my to-do list, knit and nap. I like the naps the best. 

Maggie slept almost 10 hours in a row, twice this week. She also woke up at 3:30 a.m. twice this week and was up for almost two hours before I could get her back down. I was so tired and just wanted to go back to sleep. I handle most of the nighttime parenting (as I am the food source) but I was so close to tapping out last night and telling Scott just to handle it but she kept looking like she was alllllmmmoooossst asleep so I kept holding on. Eventually she drifted off and I quickly followed. 

Maggie had her six week hip ultrasound this week. She was breech most of the pregnancy which raises her risk for hip dysplasia. Luckily her hips look great! Unfortunately her appointment was smack in the middle of the SeaHawk SuperBowl Celebration Parade and we had to go almost into the center of the mess. We left for home just as the parade ended and halfway home, Maggie got super hungry. I couldn't get out of the traffic to pull over and feed her so the poor thing cried and cried. I felt so terrible for her. I was able to pull over after the longest 10 minutes of crying and spent even more time calming her down before feeding her. Poor dear! 

Speaking of feeding, Maggie is pretty much just feeding from the bottle. She is not interested in the boob, no matter how many times I offer it to her. This means I have become a pumping machine which also means that leaving to go anywhere takes at least 45 minutes longer. People keep telling me that she might catch on and I'm still hopeful but I'm also ok if she doesn't. 

My best friend is in town this weekend and got to meet Maggie. Maggie loved her. She just relaxed into her shoulder with a sigh. I loved seeing the two of them together. Mot also wore Molly out which all of us appreciated. 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Wednesday Links from Around The Web 2.5.2014

Arts and Hearts

The Seattle SeaHawks won the SuperBowl on Sunday which lead to the best Twitter Hashtag ever - #HowSeattleRiots

We're ever so polite when we riot in Ballard (while also obeying all crosswalk rules)

Over 700,000 SeaHawk fans gathered to celebrate the win in Downtown Seattle today. It was pretty epic looking. 

A huge amount of school kids were absent from school today, but hey this kind of thing doesn't happen very often!
Monday, February 03, 2014

Supporting and Rewarding with Causora

I was recently contacted by a great new organization called, Causora and told all about their great efforts. Causora is a way for you to support your favorite cause(s) and get rewarded for it. 

Causora is a One-for-One giving platform that rewards donations. Their mission is, "to help causes raise more funds by rewarding donations with the support of their network of socially conscious merchants."

Causora has created a new ecosystem that links donors, charities, and businesses."

Want to know how it works?
How it works

There are many causes you can choose to support and check out how to redeem all the great rewards here. Causora gave me 10 $20 thank you rewards to check out their service. I've decide to share the rewards with all of you. I did use one of them to check out the service so there are 9 more rewards up for grabs 

Code: 42555RXZ

I have a widget in my sidebar from Causora, I am supporting Amazon Watch. You can learn how to get your own widget or donate through mine or just learn more about Causora on their siteFacebook page or by following on Twitter.

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Causora. All opinions are 100% mine.
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Six Weeks with Chicken Nugget

Maggie - 6 Weeks

We've made it through Baby Boot Camp and I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt exactly the same way with Molly so I feel extra confident that we're heading around the bend. That is not to say that Maggie doesn't have her own special set of challenges. She is still not nursing very much and this week ended up getting thrush along with her first wee cold. Molly had croup last week and I think poor little Maggie caught a bit of those germs even though we were trying hard to keep the girls separated. Maggie is still going to PT on Mondays to work on her alignment issues.  


Maggie has been sleeping most nights in her co-sleeper and is slowly becoming less of a Sleeping Beauty and more of an alert little baby. Maggie is a good little sleeper who gives me a nice 5 hour stretch most nights. It is what keeps me human. She started smiling this week and has just the sweetest smile around. The LC weighed Maggie on Friday and she is an astounding 11 lbs, 1 oz! Molly didn't hit the 11 lb mark until after her 2 month check-up. This makes me feel good because even though Maggie isn't nursing a ton, she is getting quite a good amount of breast milk which appears to be helping her grow big and strong. It makes all my hours with the pump worth it. 

Tiny Rage!

Dear Maggie,

We are so blessed that you decided to join our family. Your big sister loves you so much. In fact, sometimes I think she loves you more than we do which is saying a lot because we love you more than words can say. 

You are a pretty chill little girl. You do go from happy to angry in seconds flat though, especially if presented with the boob when you are not interested. You may not be a very good breast feeder but you are world class snuggler and your smile lights up the room. 

We are looking forward to getting to know you more.  We suspect that you will be full of many surprises, challenges and wonders as time goes on. 

Mom and Dad


Maggie - 6 Weeks
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