Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Cheer

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday! We celebrated Christmas at home, just the three of us and it was so peaceful and wonderful. It's almost 2013 so I've got to catch up on updates since I know there won't be too much free time I will have in the next few years.
Camden is keeping us on our toes and is constantly impressing us with his smarts, good looks, and quirky noises. :) I'll have a special end of the year post (that'll make it to the blog I'm sure some time early January) to update everyone on Cam's personality, things he's doing lately, etc. I can't wait to update! He's so smart (and yes, I'm biased.)
 Camden had several Christmas' that he celebrated. His auntie Rachael and grandma Sharon came up the weekend before Christmas, we celebrated with grandma Laura the next day and then Christmas Eve we celebrated with grandpa Ivan. This past weekend he got yet another Christmas with his other grandpa Jones! He's the first grandchild for all but my dad so of course he gets every single toy at the toy store. (Talk about spoiled!)
Santa. Usually Santa is the scariest part of Christmas for a toddler. Not my son! I don't know how we did it, but he loves Santa! He is totally infatuated with him and probably set some kind of record for the only 18-month-old to not cry on his lap. Hah! I totally love that he likes Santa. It comes and goes because last year he cried. This year I couldn't keep him away. I just hope he still loves him next year! 
Santa came to our house and Camden had TONS of presents! He even got a neat little table which I think will come in handy for drawings and crafts in the future.
Camden received tons of toys, both small and large (a couple basketball goals, car, etc.) as well as lots of clothes. I made sure he got lots of things he needed: socks, pants, and shirts. The only thing I need to stock up on is next year's winter coat and snow suit once they go on clearance. 0:)
My mom had a gorgeous tree this year so I took lots of pictures by it. I am not sure they are going to keep it since the white stuff kept falling off and I'm sure it was a pain to clean up. Either way, it made for some amazing pictures! 
We didn't have a white Christmas, but we did have a white week-after-Christmas. We received about 5-7 inches of snow the day after Christmas and then a few days after that, we got another 6 inches. It was very snowy and luckily I had the entire week off for vacation I wanted to use before starting school again.
Camden didn't like the snow at first and didn't enjoy when his hands got cold (understandably), but once he saw Brad and the dog playing and having fun, he warmed up.
Of course the dog had tons of fun in the snow! He is such a princess when it comes to rain and won't go outside, but when it comes to snow he turns into what I like to call a snow bunny.
I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday and ring in the new year with good health and happy hearts.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ah hem .. I have an announcement ..

I have been accepted into an accelerated nursing program!
I took my last 2 prerequisite classes this semester and bit the bullet and finally applied. This is something I've been wanting to do for a really long time, I was just too afraid of rejection and debt. In all honesty, I'm still terrified of the loans and debt I'll accrue during the next year and a half, but I know that it will be more than worth it in the end.
I can't wait to start classes in January and I just finished registering for classes, meeting the faculty and other students, and buying my books so it's really all just sinking in and I'm getting really excited!!! So far, my ideal specialty would be wound care or surgery. We'll see how that changes over the course of the next 16 months. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Orange Muffins

 Being a full-time mom, working 45 hours/week, and going to school really does a number on my motivation and energy to cook and bake. I have been getting into a "pancake rut" lately where I just make plain pancakes for breakfast on days I don't work. Cam has finally caught on and doesn't enjoy the pancakes as much now. (Who really would if you had them every day, 3 days in a row?) I finally decided to get motivated again, but of course I still always stick with recipes that are easy, quick, and something I have all the ingredients for.
I happened upon a recipe on my favorite food blogger's website (who by the way, is a local and if I ever saw her out and about I would probably be that girl that asks for a picture and freaks out a little). As always, this recipe didn't disappoint. I was a little skeptical about how much icing it made, but 80% of it ended up dripping off anyways. The muffins were good, but with the icing, they were spectacular. It was just the right amount of sweetness to top these delicious muffins!
Did I mention that Camden ate three? Two were plain (he couldn't wait any longer) and one had icing. I also, shamelessly, ate three. 0:)
Orange Muffins
Yields: approximately 18 muffins
For the muffins:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (16 Tbsp.)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
zest of 1 orange (use one from above)
For the glaze:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. orange zest
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 18 muffin trays with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter until combined. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the orange zest with a spatula.
Fill the muffin pans with the batter and bake 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans about 5-10 minutes.
To make the glaze, combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and add more powdered sugar to make it thicker and more orange juice to make it more runny until you reach a desired consistency. Place the muffins on a cooling rack that is placed on top of the muffin trays. Drizzle the glaze onto the muffins and allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container.

Monday, December 3, 2012

DIY: Felt Christmas Tree (for kids)

I found a great idea for a felt Christmas tree, to hopefully distract the curious toddler from the real tree. It was very easy, quick to put together, and Cam loves playing with it.
Side note: there's a 95% chance our Christmas tree will still be bare on the bottom 3rd anyways because of Mr. I-must-touch-everything in our house. ;)
The tree was the easy part, but it was a little time-consuming cutting all of the ornaments. I did make a few with pops of color using scrap pieces of a different color so you could do as much or as little as you have time for. I used a star and circle outline from one of Cam's many toy blocks/shapes. I just sorta free-handed the tree on a large piece of green felt.
Figuring out how to put the tree on the wall was the interesting part.
Felt doesn't stick to double-sided tape, trust me on this.
I decided to use hot glue and glue the felt to a thin piece of poster board (like the cheap $.97 kind from CVS). This was a great idea because it actually made the tree a LOT more sturdy anyways.
I thought about hanging it on the wall with command strips, however, we had a tradgedy from Camden's birthday party and still have yet to patch the wall. (Lazy, I know.)
I thought maybe some putty would do the trick without taking a piece of drywall with it, and voila!!! Worked like a charm! We shall see how long it actually stays up, but I'm thinking it'll be up for a while longer.
This is an inexpensive, fun way to let your toddler be involved in decorating and get in the holiday spirit!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Elf on the Shelf, day 1

This year my mom bought an Elf on the Shelf for us to start doing as a tradition for Cam. I really loved the idea although I wasn't sure what the reason for it was. Well, you can read the story here or go purchase one of your own that comes with a great story book to explain it as well.
I have been scouring Pinterest and Google for some fun and unique ways to "pose" the elf this year. Since Cam is only 1 1/2 years-old, I know that the elf will need to be out of reach so it will be fun trying to come up with new ideas.
My first idea was to start with the first day and the first thing you (should) do in the morning: eat breakfast.
If you have and elf this year, where did you find your inspiration?