Thursday, May 31, 2012

getting ready for the baby's arrival!

i'm officially full term now - 37 weeks pregnant. it seemed to come out of nowhere; it seems like just yesterday we were getting the ultrasound where we learned that we're having ANOTHER boy, and all of a sudden, here we are, and i realized we haven't done ANYTHING to get ready for this baby. whoops. i guess things like that can sneak up on you when you've got other children to take care of - between homeschooling trevor, swim classes for both boys, and doing my best just to get through every day w/ the pain i've been having this pregnancy, i just haven't had the time or energy to do the things that needed to be done before this newest addition arrives.

well, that all changed this past weekend. i enlisted my husband's help in setting up the crib and rearranging the kids' room to make it fit. it took us a little while to remember how the crib is supposed to get put together, and i still need to find info on retrofitting it to make it so it's no longer a drop-side crib, since those aren't considered safe anymore. but the baby's "corner" is set up and ready for him now:



rather than buying yet another dresser and trying to find a place to put it, we decided to use the 9-cubby shelf we already had and just get more bins for storing clothes. i think it's gonna work really well, PLUS it's super cute. :) we also got a couple of under-bed bags for things like blankets and sheets to that we don't have to worry about finding a place to store those bulkier items. it was a smart move - i spent about $50 on things for this baby's room (5 canvas bins and 2 under-bed bags; we already had a few canvas bins for the shelf) instead of hundreds on a dresser that we don't actually have the room for. :)

the kids has a blast this last couple weeks w/ helping me make goodies to give to the nurses in the hospital when the time comes for me to actually have this baby. we forgot to get pictures of everything we made, but that's ok. i got all these recipes from pinterest - monster magic cookie bars (though we didn't have any m&m's, so i doubled the amount of chocolate chips), nutella no bake cookies, jello cookies, and self-frosting nutella swirl mini cupcakes.

nutella no bake cookies

self-frosting nutella swirl mini cupcakes

we made up 5 plates of treats - 1 for the l&d nurses, and 4 for the nurses in the mother/baby unit - and stuck them in the freezer so they'll be ready to go when we need them. we made sure to put a little of everything on each plate - and we sure weren't disappointed when there were extras for us to enjoy! :) the kids weren't big fans of any of it except the jello cookies. i'm going to have to educate their tastebuds on the wonders of nutella. they just don't seem to know what they're missing!

last up on our preparations for this baby was a maternity photo session w/ tamie peterson photography. i LOVE how these turned out! i was worried i'd end up looking like a giant magenta blimp, but i didn't. i just look happy and pregnant, which was what i wanted. i'm so glad to have talented friends to help capture these moments in our lives! :)

all that's left to do now is install the carseat and have the baby! :)

memorial day weekend!

we had an AWESOME weekend - jon got friday AND monday off this year, so we had lots of time to spend as a family and enjoy the holiday.

of course, we made sure to remember what it's really about - not the bbq's or swimming or anything like that - it's to celebrate our veterans, the living and fallen heroes who've sacrificed so much to make our country what it is today: free! we have the freedom to choose our religion or no religion at all. we have the freedom to say what we want. we have the freedom to read/watch/listen to what we want. we have the freedom to support OR loathe our government and the leaders that have been elected. we have the freedom to vote for those leaders so we can find ways to make the changes we think are best. in all, we have the freedom to live our lives the way we see fit. and it's all thanks to our military, past, present, and future - those who's survived and those who haven't.

i'm so lucky to be able to say so many in my life have served their country. countless friends, cousins, an uncle, my dad, and my husband. we've faced war, last-minute deployments to the other side of the world, and so much more. i even gave birth to our 2nd son w/out my husband there b/c he was defending freedom in the middle east. we've made countless sacrifices, as have hundreds of thousands of other military families over the course of our country's history, but it's all been worth it b/c we believe in our freedom. we believe in our RIGHT to that freedom, and we believe in fighting to keep it after it was so hard-won back in the 18th century. we owe it to our predecessors, ourselves, and our children to keep working for a free nation so that we can give the generations to come the best life possible.

so what did we do to celebrate? we spent time together. we don't get that chance as often as we'd like, so we made the most of our weekend. after having been through 2 deployments, we make sure to treasure every moment we have together. my husband isn't in the military anymore, but we will always remember the lessons we learned while he was serving his country. we treasure our family above everything else in our lives, so we make sure that when we get to spend time together, we make the most of it.

friday, jon and the boys went for a ride on the train. they went downtown to see a little bit of the denver day of rock. the kids were SO excited when daddy took them to the dollar store to get glowsticks AND necklaces; they were over the moon when they stopped at mcdonalds for some fries before heading home.




on saturday, we spent some time getting things set up for the baby who's set to arrive any day now. i'll save that for a later post though. :)

as usual, we went to church on sunday and spent the afternoon at home, just enjoying each others' company.

monday morning was one of my favorite ward traditions: the memorial day picnic breakfast. they had eggs, bacon, pancakes, and fruit for everyone. after we had our fill, the kids got to play on the playground for a while before we headed home.


we rested for a while before the kids INSISTED they needed to go back to the park - jon took them while i took care of a few things at home.

when they got back, we decided to go bowling - fun city has bowling for $1/game on mondays, so we decided to take advantage of that. to be honest, i should have just watched; bowling at nearly 37 weeks pregnant was definitely NOT the smartest idea i've ever had. i grannied it most of the time, and that was fine. it was when i decided to try and bowl "properly" that i had issues - i lost my balance and almost fell. in trying to keep myself from falling, i hurt myself worse than if i'd just let gravity have its way w/ me. after that, i let the kids bowl most of my frames for me.

afterward, we headed over the food court at the mall for dinner. of course the kids LOVED that - chickfila is probably their favorite place in the world these days. when we'd finished dinner, we headed to nella's for some frozen yogurt.

at that point, it was time to head home and get the kids cleaned up - we'd had a long, but fun-filled weekend. a bubble bath and a good night's rest was exactly what the kids needed to finish off a great family weekend. :)

container garden, learning about giving, and homemade fruit snacks

i've been dying to have a garden since i got married. in south carolina, it was mostly laziness that prevented me from planting one. since we moved to denver though, we've been living in a garden level apartment - our windows are at ground level, so we don't really have anywhere that we could plant things have them grow well. this year i said, "enough!" i wanted a garden, so i planted one! granted, it's a container garden on the windowsill in my bedroom, but hey, it's better than nothing. i got a small strawberry plant and some sweet mint from home depot. them we planted basil, oregano, cilantro, green onions, and bibb lettuce. the mint LOVES the window and is growing like crazy! i've already had to cut off a bunch of leaves from it, and i'll have to do it again soon. my poor little strawberry plant is struggling b/c it just isn't getting the sunlight it needs to produce fruit. :( the other herbs are doing well, though growing slowly. the lettuce is frustrating me. it's supposed to be easy to grow, and yet, 3 of the 5 that i planted didn't even sprout! the 2 that sprouted are growing pretty well, i guess, but it's gonna be a while before we'll be able to eat any of it. i know things like this grow better outside in real dirt, but this is the best i can do - plastic containers w/ potting mix in my bedroom window. hopefully i'll get SOMETHING from all of them this summer, but only time will tell.



as part of a lesson in giving, sharing, and compassion, the kids helped me gather up all the food we had that we didn't need and likely wouldn't eat before it went bad to take to the jeffco action center. our stake has teamed up w/ them for the last couple years to help out where we can - making food and clothing donations, blankets in the winter, etc. several of the young men in the stake have focused their eagle scout projects on helping the action center as well, so i figured, why not contribute the things we have a surplus of as well? so we loaded up 2 rubbermaid totes full of non-perishables and made our way over to donate them to those less fortunate than us.


we talked about how even though we don't have a lot of money, we're very lucky b/c we have the food we need and a house to live in. i explained to the kids that not everyone has a house to live in or clean clothes to wear, so if we are able to help them, that's what heavenly father wants us to do. by taking our extra food to the action center, we were following jesus' example and helping those in need. it might seem small to us, but to someone who really needs it, it could change everything. the kids were very happy to help others and loved the idea of taking the things we don't need to those who do need them. they even asked to go back the next day to give more things! i'm so glad to have 2 such wonderful, compassionate children who can see things beyond themselves at such a young age. they are truly a blessing!

a little project i've been wanting to try for awhile and just never got around to was a recipe for homemade fruit snacks i found on pinterest. for the life of me, i CANNOT find the recipe online again, otherwise i'd post the link here for you, but it was pretty simple. they looked good, but were pretty flavorless.



here's the recipe i used: pour 1/3 c 100% fruit juice into small saucepan. sprinkle w/ 3 packages unflavored gelatin. let stand 5 minutes. heat over medium and stir till gelatin is completely dissolved (i also added about 3 drops of food coloring b/c it was a weird yellowish color and i wanted them to be purple). pour into molds (a measuring cup w/ a spout is great for minimizing messes) and let stand about 20 minutes to cool and set. for me, this recipe made 12 one inch fruit snacks w/ just a TINY bit left over.

i'll definitely try this again, but instead of using 100% fruit juice, i'll use juice concentrate. another option would be to use flavored jello instead of unflavored. these just didn't taste like ANYTHING. i used berry flavored juice, which was recommended by the person who'd posted the recipe, but i was very disappointed w/ the results. we ate them, but the kids didn't like them much. i figure, what's the point in making a treat that's healthy if no one LIKES it? so we'll try again, but i'm gonna tweak the recipe and let you know how it turns out next time.

scott's birthday & our roadtrip

scott turned 3 on april 12! we went out for ice cream (and yes, even though it was in the 80's, scott decided he needed to wear his winter hat. he's also wearing his lightning mcqueen boots. silly boy!):


we ended up having to postpone his party though - we all came down w/ the flu the day after his birthday. :( when we were all feeling better, we went to chuck e. cheese to celebrate. i didn't get any pictures, sadly, but we had a good time. a few friends came w/ us, and we got to eat pizza, breadsticks, cake, and ice cream! we also got a ton of tokens to play games and win prizes,which was really fun as well. both kids got a mini styrofoam rocket and launcher; trevor also got an inflatable green crayon and some candy, and scott chose a mini basketball. overall, it was a good day. :)

oh, and scott LOVES the gift trevor picked out for him - check it out: GOGGLES! he put them on all by himself:



the following week, we took a roadtrip to utah to see my dad graduate from college w/ a degree in history education. for some reason, his camera didn't take ANY pictures, even though i swear i heard it make the picture-taking noises, so i dunno what happened. jon managed to get a video of him walking across the stage though, so it wasn't a total loss. i have issues w/ loading videos to photobucket though - it just never works - so oh well. we did get this picture of the boys w/ their grandpa:


and this one at a rest stop just outside glenwood sorings, colorado on the drive home (this rest stop actually doubles as the entrance to the place jon and i went horseback riding during our anniversary trip last summer!):


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

twitter party + giveaway!

twitter party - they're giving away a limited edition !

Monday, April 9, 2012

diy maxi dress - easiest dress EVER!

in a previous post, i mentioned making this dress. well, i did it! lessons learned: i should have gotten just a LITTLE more fabric so it would be longer, and i should have used 2 packets of dye instead of just 1. i have enough fabric to make a 2nd dress, so i'll at least try the 2 dye packets w/ that one so i hopefully get a deeper, richer color. if it works, i'm going to redye this one w/ the same color so it deepens too. i also want to cut the neckline a little lower b/c it felt just a tad too high for my preferences. lastly, the people at joann's insisted i needed to use ball point pins and a ball point needle on my sewing machine to keep the fabric from tearing, and they recommended using the stretch stitch instead of a straight or zigzag stitch or my serger. well, none of that worked out so well for me. i have little holes all along the side seams of my dress from the ball point needle, so for dress #2, i'm going to try using my serger instead. either way, here's a picture of my dress:

i got so many compliments on this dress when i wore it to church yesterday! everyone seemed impressed that i made it (even after i told them how easy it was). i was impressed w/ the fact that i was comfortable in it. normally i HATE wearing dresses and skirts. i'm just not comfortable AT ALL in them. i wore this dress all day (unheard of for me - usually i'm back in my jeans as soon as i get home from church) and felt great! i am definitely a fan of the maxi dress, this one in particular, since it's modest and i didn't have to fuss w/ it all day to get it to sit right on my body. double win!

easter eggs hunts!

normally we just do an easter egg hunt on our own. since we live in an apartment and have no yard, this generally means going to a local park and hiding eggs while the kids are playing and not paying attention. this year we were invited to hunt for easter eggs at 2 different friends' houses, and since they were on different days, we went to both. the kids had a BLAST and loved being able to play w/ other kids while doing their "egg hunt" (as trevor called it).

friday we got together w/ some other families from church and had an easter egg hunt for the toddlers and preschoolers:






on sunday, we went to visit another friend and had an easter egg hunt w/ their kids as well:






then, since it was SO HOT (forecast said it would be around 70. it was actually 85!), they broke out the slip'n slide and the hose:


overall, it was a great weekend, filled w/ fun and friends. i love getting to spend time outside w/ my family - i feel like it just brings us closer together while helping w/ the inevitable cabin fever we all get this time of year! :)

easter: resurrection rolls

so yesterday was easter, as you all know. we had a GREAT weekend here, filled w/ fun and friends! :)

on thursday, jon took the day off work for my birthday. we went to ihop for breakfast - free meals for jon and i, wahoo! so we only paid $14 for all 4 of us to have breakfast (the kids split a meal, plus we all got drinks). then we got things for scott's birthday party that's coming up, and took trevor to swimming.

that afternoon, we made resurrection rolls. these are seriously my new favorite thing! it's a great object lesson on the real meaning of easter for kids, plus the end result is INCREDIBLY delicious! here's directions:

preheat the oven to 350 F. read st. john 19 (we paraphrased, since there was NO WAY our kids would sit through listening to it all any other way).

reading st. john 19

unroll a can of cresent rolls - the rolls represent the cloth used to wrap jesus' body.

hold up a large marshmallow (you'll need 8 per can of crescent rolls). explain that it represents jesus - white, clean, and pure.

dip the marshmallow in melted butter. the melted butter represents the oils used to annoint the body in preparation for burial.

dipping marshmallows in melted butter

roll the marshmallow in cinnamon-sugar. the cinnamon-sugar represents the spices used to preserve the body prior to burial.

rolling in cinnamon-sugar
scott wanted a do all the marshmallows himself!
trevor got to do a few too

wrap the marshmallow in the crescent roll dough, making sure to pinch together all the edges so the marshmallow is completely covered. the dough represents the cloth used to shroud the body.

wrapping the marshmallows

place dough-wrapped marshmallows on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. place the cookie sheet in the oven. the oven represents the tomb where jesus was buried. bake for 12 minutes.

while the rolls are baking, read st. john 20:1-18. open the "tomb" and remove the rolls. when the rolls are cool enough to handle, break one open and see what happened:


Monday, March 19, 2012

snack buckets, party invitations, and projects to come

this has been a really hard pregnancy for me. until this go-round, i've always been one of those women who loved every second of pregnancy. i don't get morning sickness, and i feel great. feeling my baby move is the highlight of my days - WATCHING my belly move w/ the baby inside is even better. :) it all makes me so happy and just confirms to me that, as a woman, this is what i'm MADE to do. i am so blessed for this opportunity to grow and birth my babies. this pregnancy has tried my faith though. i still didn't get morning sickness, but i've had just about every other pregnancy discomfort a person can think of. i have gestational diabetes, which isn't a big deal, but makes me sad when i can't just eat whatever i'm craving. most women experience round ligament pain during pregnancy, and i'm no exception to that. however, the rlp i'm having this time around leaves me curled up in the fetal position for hours at a time some days. standing up is NOT an option when they strike. i've had migraines again this time too - not as bad as they were w/ scott, but bad enough. my doctor prescribed me tylenol w/ codeine, but of course, it makes me loopy enough that i can't take it unless i have someone here to help me w/ the kids, so 9 times out of 10, i just suffer through the pain and hope regular tylenol will be enough to get me through the day.

by far the worst though, is that i've been diagnosed w/ symphysis pubis dysfunction. basically, the joint at the front of my pelvis is loosening up too soon (it's supposed to loosen up to allow baby to come out during delivery, but i'm only 27 weeks, and i've been suffering w/ this for the last 6 weeks already), and it causes instability in the entire pelvis. my joints crack and pop painfully every time i move, and the muscles around those joints are incredibly sore. i spend most of my time sitting on my bed b/c it's the least uncomfortable place in my house. the only treatments are to take narcotics, which isn't an option b/c i have other kids to take care of, or seeing a chiropractor, which we don't really have the money for. i'm hoping that i can see a chiro once or twice toward the end, just to make labor and delivery a little easier, but i hold no delusions of seeing one sooner than that. the only cure is giving birth.

i feel worst for my kids b/c they're used to a mommy who can get up and run and play w/ them whenever they want. they're used to going to the park and the library and all kinds of fun places on a regular basis, and i just can't do it now. they watch a LOT of dvd's (we don't have tv service at all) and trevor's been playing a lot of video games on the wii. i hate that i can't do more w/ them. we do school every day, and i try to get them to turn off the tv for a couple hours every day and use their imaginations or play board games w/ me, but it doesn't always happen. on the days where i feel ok and can get up and move around some, i get tired really fast. last week, the weather was GORGEOUS - it felt more like may than march, so i wanted to take advantage. we went to the park 4 times in 5 days and had a picnic 3 of those times. it was fun, and the kids had a blast, but it took a severe toll on me - i spent all of sunday in bed feeling like i got hit by a truck.

so, all of this leads me to my first item from the title of this post: snack buckets.

we went to the dollar store and the kids each got to pick a plastic bin to keep in the fridge. trevor chose green; scott wanted pink. then we went home, labeled them w/ their names, and filled them w/ snacks for the day. it's great for me b/c i don't have to get up and make them food every 20 minutes all day long (seriously, these kids are HUNGRY! i'm sure part of it is boredom, but they also have both been going through a major growth spurt lately). even better though, is that it encourages independence for them. i put 4-6 snacks in each day, and that's all they get. if they choose to eat everything in there before lunch, that's their problem. they know i won't fill their buckets more than once a day, and i also won't get them things that aren't in their buckets for snacks. the ONLY exception to this is if i tell them to get something from their buckets for lunch. it teaches them to manage their snacks - budget them, if you will - so that they have enough for the day.

some day it works better than others. we're experimenting w/ a couple new snack things w/ which we've had varying degrees of success. we've learned that trevor HATES nutrigrain bars (he gagged when we tried to get him to eat 1 bite), while scott will tolerate them. same goes for granola bars. of course, they love the classics like animal crackers, goldfish, juice boxes, cookies, and fruit snacks. scott loves apples, but trevor is less inclined to eat them. same goes for cheese. i thought they'd love babybel cheeses, mostly b/c they're kid-sized. i was wrong. scott nibbled one and said he didn't like it. trevor wouldn't even try it. so jon and i ended up eating them all ourselves (we were happy about that though, we LOVE them).

scott's snack bucket
todays' snacks: cinnamon graham crackers, black grapes, fruit loops, cheese, and oreo cookies

item #2 today is scott's birthday party. in a month, he'll turn 3, so i've been working on planning his party. he kept changing his mind as to what he wanted to do, so i decided to go w/ a theme i saw on pinterest: drive in movies. i'm SUPER excited about this party. basically, we'll get a bunch of boxes and decorate them to look like cars. then, the kids will sit in them while we watch a movie that scott will choose. in the last week, he's changed him mind about 10 times, so i'm not committing to a specific title till the week of the party. we'll have hot dogs, chips, fruit, veggies, and drinks, along w/ the obligatory cake. i'm debating whether it's worth it to make the cake myself, or if i should just order one from the grocery store. normally i'd do it myself, but w/ all my issues with this pregnancy (see above), i'm leaning toward having someone else do it this year.

anyway, since we haven't decided on a movie to watch at our "drive in," i couldn't go w/ movie-themed invites, and i didn't see any generic ones at the store that i liked or was willing to pay for, so i decided to make them myself. i think they turned out super cute! check them out:

all the details of when, where, etc. are on the back. for obvious reasons, i'm not going to post a picture of that. i don't need random internet creepers stalking us and showing up uninvited.

item #3: projects to come

my next project is going to be making a couple of maxi dresses for myself. i saw a really easy tutorial on pinterest that i decided to try out. click here to see it. i like it for 2 reasons:

1) they're modest
2) i can wear them during AND after pregnancy

i'm super excited about these dresses. i'm doing a pink one and a caribbean blue one. if i could find the dye, i'd also do lime green. :)

i'm also planning for birthdays for myself and my husband. in a 2 week span, we have 3 birthdays in our family. my husband's is next week on friday, mine is the week after on thursday, and our son scott's is a week later. last year, we got totally CAKED OUT by the time we were done w/ all of them, so this year, we've been trying to think of alternatives. my husband wants to go out for frozen yogurt instead of having cake, which i'm totally ok w/. we've also hired a babysitter so he and i can go see the hunger games together. :) i'm planning to make a special dinner at home b/c he doesn't really want to go out. not 100% sure what we'll be having, but he mentioned steak. for my birthday, i don't really care what we do, but i decided i want this for my cake, mostly b/c i'll be able to eat it. sugar-free jello + cool whip = almost NO carbs for my dessert. happy evelyn. :) it'd also be nice to either go out for dinner or have no responsibility to make it or clean up afterward.

lastly, i recently got the things i need to make homemade fruit snacks for the kids. i can't wait to see how they turn out! i'll be sure to post updates on all these projects when i finish them. :)

rock candy results

i'm a couple days late on this, but on friday, we checked out what was going on w/ the rock candy we started the week before. it went better than expected - the whole stick was fused to the sides and bottom of the jar b/c there were SO MANY sugar crystals! even hacking away at it w/ a knife, i was only able to get a small portion of the stuff out for the kids to look at and taste. nonetheless, here are the pictures of our results:

the jar, after draining the remaining syrup. there's about an inch worth of sugar crystals on the bottom of the jar!
this was all i could get out w/out risking breaking the jar
scott, enjoying his "lollipop." both the boys loved eating the results of our experiment. trevor lost interest in the candy long before scott did though. go figure. :)

blackout curtain!

well, sort of. i didn't have quite enough fabric to do it right, but i worked w/ what i had. i think it turned out well, considering that when i measured the window, i must have done it wrong b/c i ended up being about 8 inches short for the width. oops.

i bought the fabric for this project almost a year ago, but i just never got around to doing anything w/ it. when daylight savings time started, my kids started waking up SUPER early. like, 6 am early. they normally sleep till 730-ish. i figured it probably had to do w/ extra light coming through their bedroom window b/c of the time change, so i knew it was time to get on this project.

i have no doubt i didn't sew this curtain "properly," but again, i had to work w/ what i had on hand. i knew my piece of fabric wasn't big enough to cover the whole window, so i wanted to be able to cover it as much as possible. so instead of trying to figure out the "right" way to make a blackout curtain, i simply serged my blackout fabric and polka dot fabric together along the edges. then i folded down one of the long edges about 2 inches and sewed straight across to make a loop for the curtain rod.

another thing i didn't do right: the curtain rod i got was one of those cheap, extendable ones. i didn't think about getting one thick enough to support the weight of my curtain - i just got one that was long enough and cost the least. so you'll see in the picture that it's weighing down in the middle - i could have made the curtain into 2 sections that met in the middle and used the center bracket to help support it, but i didn't want to lose any more window coverage than i already had due to my poor planning when i bought my fabric.

honestly, w/ all the issues w/ this curtain, it still does the job. it lets in a little light around the edges, and the curtain rod doesn't sit straight across the top b/c of the weight of the fabric, but whatever. it keeps out the majority of the sunlight so my kids would sleep longer in the mornings so they wouldn't be cranky fussybutts all day long, and that's what i needed it to do. so w/ all of that explanation, here's the finished project:


Friday, March 9, 2012

rock candy

i remember doing this for a science project when i was a kid, and thought it would be fun for my kids as well. trevor decided he wanted to make yellow rock candy, but since it hardens much lighter in color than the liquid, i made our syrup orange. worst case is we have orange candy instead of yellow, but i have a feeling we'll end up w/a golden yellow. here's our starting point:

to make your own rock candy, boil 1 c water. add sugar a little at a time till it won't dissolve any more (ours took about 2 1/2 cups). add food coloring if you want - make it darker than you want your candy; i'm expecting ours will harden as a very light orange or deep, golden yellow. let the syrup cool for about 20 minutes. put a clothespin on a skewer or other stick so that when rested across the top of your glass or jar, the end of the skewer is about 1 inch from the bottom. dip the skewer in the syrup, then roll in sugar (this is your "seed"). let it dry completely. pour syrup into your glass or jar till it's almost to the top, then place your skewer in the solution. make sure the skewer is completely vertical and doesn't touch the bottom or sides. leave the glass or jar undisturbed for a few days, and soon you'll see crystals starting to form!

gluten free chocolate muffins

i found this recipe on pinterest and had to give it a try. best part? i can eat them even w/ my gestational diabetes! happy day! here's the recipe and link to where i got it:

Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffin Knock-Offs of Whole Food’s 6 Dollar per 4 Chocolate Chunk VitaTop Muffins
1 3/4 c oats
3 egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or regular plain low fat yogurt)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (or 1-1/2 Tbsp. vinegar)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup hot water
1 cup sugar substitute (like Splenda granular) OR 1/4 cup + 2 tbs stevia
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or use white chocolate or peanut butter chips!)

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.

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.

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.

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.

Place  the muffins back into the oven and bake for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. *Note, you could skip this step by putting all of the chips in the batter, and baking the muffins for 12-15 min straight, but this method gives the muffins the traditional ‘VitaTop Muffin’ look with the chocolate chips on top!
Cool muffins before removing from pan. ENJOY!!!

Servings: 12 Big Muffins or 24 Smaller Muffins
Calories: 116 Calories Per Muffin or 58 Calories Per Muffin

my notes: these didn't rise like i'm used to seeing muffins do. they were basically flat across the top and didn't rise at all - i filled my muffin cups 2/3 full and when i took them out at the end, they were still 2/3 full. next time i make these - and there will be a next time b/c they tasted AMAZING! - i'm gonna try baking them at 325 for a little longer and see if that makes a difference. it seems i have yet to master the whole baking-at-a-high-altitude thing. . . 

my results - see the difference between mine and the ones in the picture where i got the recipe?

Sunday, March 4, 2012


there's a giveaway going on at bubba mack for a brand new diono radian xt (formerly known as sunshine kids radian xtsl)! check it out: