Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homemade mini pumpkin muffins- class treat!

I made mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for Ocoee's daycare class tomorrow. Since her birthday is on a Sunday these little treats will be a tasty way to celebrate with her friends at Tundra Tykes.

The recipes I used is below. I made 26 mini muffins that I topped with a homemade cream cheese icing (recipe below also). I divided the batter in half and used part for the mini muffins and part for a muffin loaf to snack on at home. There are only 7 kiddos in Ocoee's class so 26 mini will be more than enough.

So many things to celebrate. Hubby gets back from Portland tonight, grandma arrives from Nebraska tomorrow and the big party is on Sunday. I hope bug enjoys all the festivity.

All ingredient below I used were organic. I am sorta getting the hang of this baking thing!!


Pumpkin Chip Muffins

24 Servings, Prep Time: 10 Minutes, Cook Time: 20 Minutes


4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease two 12 cup muffin pans, or line with paper baking cups.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, and mix in the sugar, pumpkin and oil.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Blend into the egg and pumpkin mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Transfer to the muffin pans.
Bake in the preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pans, and cool on a wire rack.

Cream cheese icing

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese soften

1/2 cup bitter soften

1 1/4 cup powder sugar (sift to remove lumps)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, add sugar a little at a time, add vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spoon into piping bag, toss in fridge until muffins cool and the pipe on to muffins. Has a great tart, creamy flavor. Add more sugar if you like but since it was for kids I dialed back a bit on the sugar.

Nutritional Information

Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 327

Fat: 18.9g
Cholesterol: 35.2mg
Sodium: 246.0mg
Carbohydrates: 39.0g
Protein: 3.6g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0g

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The one year count down

We are only a few days from Ocoee's one year birthday party. I will do a full post on the party soon. We are excited because Ocoee's grandma from Nebraska will be flying in to celebrate this special day with us. We are planning a small party at home.

Here are some ways I have been getting ready.

The gifts are purchased. I have actually gotten her several birthday gifts that I keep giving to her early because it is too hard to wait. So I made myself wait until this week to stop by my favorite Anchorage toy store, Classic Toys to get her gifts. This toy store rocks...when I walk into the toy section of Target I have no desire to get any of the things....they all seem so commercial and unappealing. But when I walk into Classic Toys I want it all!

Ocoee's big gift is a teepee that I am hoping will arrive before the big day. There will be a whole post on that because it is special and deserves the attention. I picked her up a cool ABC board book from Classic Toys that has all traditional Alaska Native art....very Alaskan and cool. Then I got her a HABA similar to this one on Amazon. HABA toys are very cool and fun designs. I also got her a practical gift, a new pair of roobeez boots. They will be warm and she is actually getting to the age where she will be wearing shoes....we have not bought her any before now.

Hubby was very practical and finance oriented and bought Ocoee stock....I love this idea because it is a gift for her future. I am not sure if he has decided between Amazon and Google yet though. He did all the paperwork and set her up a trust. I am big on putting money away so I also put an extra amount in her account for her bday. If she receives any money as gifts that is where we put it right away.

My inspiration for gifts was this saying: One things they need, One thing the read, One thing they wear, and One thing they want.

What gifts do you give your kiddos ?


Monday, September 24, 2012


It has been rainy like crazy in Alaska. The rivers are flooding and the grey skies were becoming a huge downer. Then on Saturday the skies played peek a boo with a little sun and we seized the moment to get to the park for some fresh air.

Ocoee loves to ride in the kelty. She was in full Husker gear since it was a Saturday. Go BIG RED!

 The wind has been blowing like crazy so the leaves are mostly all gone but you can see some color from the birch trees behind us. We live right across from Russian Jack Park and there are literally hundreds of birch and cotton wood trees are uprooted and broken from the storms.

 See the polar booties Ocoee is wearing. I love these because with the velcro they actually stay on and are much easier to get on than shoes. She scrunches her toes and makes it so hard to put shoes on...not that we try much, but once she starts walking we will have to.

Guiness is one of our 3 dogs, she is the youngest at 6 years old. She also loves the park.

 Um, they totally have the same brows and expressions. Kills me!

Ocoee is walking a lot if we hold her hand or she can hold on to something. She sits right down if she can't hold on to something, so we are not sure when she will get the courage up to actually walk on her on....but when she does we are in for trouble I am sure.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lunch inspiration

Today for lunch I wanted to harvest the last of our lettuce crop and make a salad. Lettuce is one of the things that grows really well in Alaska. I love fancy types of lettuce with lots of color and texture so we grow them on our deck in pots.

In the salad I tossed shallots (hubby bought by mistake thinking they were garlic), Gorgonzola, chunks of the left over rustic bread from a local bakery, tomatoes and a slices apple. I also added a bit of napa cabbage. Napa cabbage is lighter and more porous than regular cabbage so it really sucks up the salad dressing. Yum!

The dressing is homemade fig basalmic, which is basalmic vinegar, figs puréed, salt and pepper. It is simply and work well with the creaminess of the Gorgonzola.

I can tell you we finished of the whole salad bowl! Delicious. I have really been finding inspiration for food on blogs. Not fancy chefs but normal people who love food and share their successes.

Hope your enjoying some yummy food.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cognitive development.

Lately Ocoee has been showing some signs of development. She has started stacking the blocks instead of just knocking them down. When we read her book that has the pop out flash cards she is trying to put them back in their spots. It is interesting to watch these developments and wonder at how her little brain is working.

My favorite is that she now thinks she bows magic. She will hold and object behind her head and drop it and then look around like, yea I made that disappear. I laugh every time. Well maybe she is a comedian too. Obviously brilliant for sure.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Around the world with blogs

Today I read blogs as much as I read the NY times or daily news. The reason I choose to read blogs is because they are on topics I pick and relevant to friends and virtual friends keep me interested and coming back. I keep a running list of favorites on my sidebar but here and two I would like to highlight.

First is TamAgBlog, by a dear friend who literally has lived the most amazing life. She is a role model for me because she squeezes the juice out of life in a way I try to emulate! She was raised in Alaska and has some great Alaskan stories, so drop in and give her a peek.

The other blog is called Teaching Internationally by a good friend and former roomie Sarah Hansen. We still like each other after living adults, with dogs! I admire Sarah because she is following her dream of teaching in abroad and is doing so with style! Her post are honest and intriguing and often involve food (I miss her superb baking skills!).

I now have so many friends on the blogosphere and each have a unique voice and story to tell. Keeping up with them through this very digital and modern way is becoming the new normal and I for one really enjoy having my friends available at the click of the mouse.

Any blogs you want to share?


Photo shoots with Ocoee

We have a family fall photo shoot scheduled with our favorite photographer Sugar Six Photography for tomorrow.....the only issue is we also have hurricane force winds scheduled to plaster the city tonight and tomorrow. Our fingers are still crossed it will work out, if not we will have to reschedule and hope there are still some leaves on the trees. Fall can be beautiful in Alaska but it can also be....very brief.

Since I was thinking photography I grabbed my camera and snapped a bunch of photos of Ocoee doing what she does naturally, roaming the house, harassing the dogs, playing with records and eating a little snack. All of the photos are here and were taking over 5 minutes. I think it shows how active a soon to be one year old can be!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cool new app!!

Found the coolest app for kiddos. Even will work for little ones Ocoees age. Sound shaker is the app name. Now Ocoee will be even more obsessed with my iPhone. The app makes sounds every time she taps the screen. Moving and taping for longer makes different sounds. Best thing is you can control the volume!


Mama said there would be days like this

So I can honestly say for the first time I had a moment when I struggles to enjoy my time with Ocoee. It was one of those days where nothing went right and everything annoyed me.

After getting home and scrambling to do all the greeting home duties like feed the dogs, cook dinner and take care of Ocoee I was in a foul mood. The thing that was making me wish for a nice strong drink the most was Ocoee's high pitched shrieks. Something about the pitch and intensity make my toes curl!

After about an hour of her shrieking away. Not because she is happy or sad or wants anything-just because she can, I was over it. Like way enough already. Then I was bending over to snap her into the high chair and she let one rip. Right. In. My. Ear.

Lord help me!

I hope that this too shall pass because I love out time together but can't handle the screams. I have read some about it but any advice is welcome. It is an end of day kind of thing for her. Not a fun phase though.

Otherwise she is as cool, loving and awesome as ever.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy grandparents day!!

To celebrate grandparents day we skyped with grandma and grandpa Fey in Nebraska. Ocoee was bouncing all over the place, showing off her walking skills (with assistance) and her impressive vocal abilities ( please let the shrieking phase pass soon!).

Ocoee is truly lucky to have amazing grandparents. I had recently blogged that we were coveting a teepee for Ocoee. Grandma read it and promptly mailed an amazing surprise for Ocoee. We will use the generous check to get Ocoee her teepee! What a loving grandma!! Thank you for loving my baby so much. Now we are eager for grandma to arrive in a few weeks to celebrate the big first bday.

Happy grandparents day y'all!!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lazy Saturday

This week was interesting with Monday off for labor day and Wednesday school closed due to the wind storm. Some how by Friday I was still exhausted. I cancelled my book club plans, made a Caesar salad an flatbread pizza, drank a glass of wine and crashed by 8ish. Maybe earlier. Hubby woke me up around 10 to come to bed.

We had planned on camping this weekend but I just felt like being relaxed and low key. We hung out in the park taking advantage of the stunning fall day and made a fire in the backyard. When the rain moved in we scurried inside to warm heated floors and college football.

Lazy days are a good balance to our go go activities. The one thin I love about winter is that it forces you to cuddle up, chill out and stay put a bit.

Spending all of this relaxed time around the house means we are listening to more tunes. Ocoee's new thing is to dance and shake her head when music comes on. It is funny! She just smiles and shakes her head like a little rock star. We spend so much more time laughing with her around.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

A moment in time

Ocoee was crawling all over the table trying to eat an apple when her dad scooped her up and I begin snapping these pictures.

Also the pict with me holding Ocoee. She is wearing rei fleece pants, gap body onesie, and a Patagonia fleece very sporty, Alaska style!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fashion baby post

Well we survived the wind storm last night. School was called off so Ocoee and I had the day to hang out. Wind gust were clocked at 130mph. Trees are everywhere, so happy that we didn't lose any and that the no one is reported hurt.

Ocoee is wearing a dress by Guess, ruffle bottom tights by Hannah Andersson, and a baby Gap denim jacket. The ruffle bottom is ridiculously cute. We usually don't do ruffles too much but these were hand me ups from a friend and always gets smiles when she wears them.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baby fashion

Daily dose of what cool kids wear! Ocoee is sporting a Hannah Anderson dress ( for a steal at $17 at Costco, I bought every style they had and some matching ones for my niece.) She is wearing a baby gap long sleeve onseies underneath ( they have the best selection of long sleeved) and tights from target.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Ocoee at work

For babies exploring, playing and testing the limits is their job. So we will often say Ocoee is at work. Or when she destroys my paperwork basket we say Ocoee has banking to do. Well one thing I know is this little bambino has a good work ethic- she is constantly working!!

Another rainy day has zapped all my energy so we spent the day inside cuddling. Not a bad way to spend the day at all.

Since football has officially started I am very thankful to the inventors of dvr. We don't all Ocoee to watch tv or have the tv on when she is in the room. We simply dvr the games and watch them once she is napping or down for the night. This is hard because we have to avoid the Internet and tell people to not text us updates. The pict above is with the tv on pause because Ocoee woke up during the husker game. She is obsessed with the tv-which is crazy because she has never seen it or seen people watch it.

She has also discovered Siri on my iPhone. As a joke I had Siri call me hot stuff when she talks to me. It is very comical now to see Ocoee tapping away at the iPhone while Siri calls her hot stuff.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Oh I wish I were crafty

The teepee above is the one we ordered for Ocoee for her first birthday from Moozlehome. You can order from the Etsy shop!

I wish I was crafty....or more crafty than I am. I really want to make Ocoee a TeePee for her birthday. It fits the theme perfectly (girly camp out) and she loves being in a tent. There are so many tutorials online. The only thing stopping me is time, equipment and lack of crafty skills. I usually just order these things from etsy because then they are handmade...just not by me. But the prices range from $125-250 for a teepee I could make for $40! UGH!

So maybe I am just going to have to transform myself into a crafter. I know all these amazing moms who do cool and beautiful inspiring! I am recruiting my crafty friend to assist me so here's hoping we come up with something....otherwise Ocoee will have to get our northface 2 man backpacking tent to play in....not nearly as cute!