The Color Box

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I have to give all the credit to my husband. I was feeding Sprout and he was heading out to cut the grass. We needed to contain Chickadee for a few minutes so he put her in an empty Amazon box and gave her a box of crayons.

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Yall, she had the BEST time. She loves coloring and will sit at her table in the playroom and draw for hours minutes. So think of the color box as a coloring book with endless possibilities. 

III and I have both joined in the fun! We’ve added shapes and labeled colors since those are what she is learning right now. She loves pointing to things and saying “color?” 

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We are on our third color box now….thank goodness for Amazon Prime and my ordering addiction :) 

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Don’t you love free toddler entertainment? Speaking of coloring, you should check out this “almost” free coloring matching activity I created last week. Also these paint sensory bags are still a hit!

 

Sea Salt Caramel Apple Trifle

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We moved into the BEST neighborhood. It’s movie like really…Easter Egg hunts, 4th of July parties, Hayrides on Halloween, and neighbors that bring you delicious baked bread and leave freshly picked strawberries on your front porch. Everyone has been so welcoming & even gone the extra mile and invited us over for cookouts. They really were the Hostess with the Mostest! I already shared these “Kitchen Sink” cookies that I brought to one get together, and now I want to share my newest creation that we brought to our most recent neighbor get together!

This trifle is so easy to put together! Hostess really did all the hard work for me because I didn’t have to bake the cake layer usually found in trifles! 

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You see they are doing a limited addition Sea Salt Caramel flavor in both their CupCakes and Zingers. Each cupcake if made of yellow cake, a caramel creme filling, iced with caramel icing, and topped with the Hostess known Original Squiggle® & a dash sea salt. They will be on store shelves nationwide until July 31.

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I was a little skeptical at first, because my grandmother pretty much makes the best caramel icing that ever graced the earth, but I must admit Hostess did a pretty good job on theirs! 

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For the Sea Salt Caramel Apple Trifle you’ll need: 1 box of Hostess Sea Salt Caramel CupCakes, 1 large can of caramel apples, 1 large box of instant vanilla pudding (and milk), 2 tubs of whipped cream, and caramel sauce. 

Prepare the pudding to package instructions.

Once you have everything ready it’s time to layer. Start with half the apples on bottom, then half the pudding, 1 tub of cool whip, now place the 8 cupcakes. Repeat ending with the whipped cream. Refrigerate. Drizzle the caramel sauce on top right before serving. 

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 The Hostess Sea Salt Caramel Cupcakes really made this dessert delicious. I can only imagine how good it would be if you added in a layer of the Zingers as well!

For more information about these limited time treats, be sure to follow Hostess on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Hostess sponsored this blog post, but as always the opinions are all mine.

 

almost FREE Color Matching Activity

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Chickadee is soaking up SOOOO much information lately. Her verbal understanding far outweighs her verbal communicating ability, so she makes for a good listener :) At least when she wants too. My mom gave her a shape and color puzzle and over the last week or two she’s learned both her colors and basic shapes. 

Also this week we started painting rooms in the new house which gave me this idea to help her use this new found knowledge. Paint swatches are free…clothes pins are cheap…and you should have tape and scissors around, so practically a free activity for your little one!

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You’ll need two swatches of each color. On one trace the outline of the clothespin, then cut it out and use the tape (double-sided is best) or glue to attach the color to the clothespin. 

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Chickadee went right to these after she woke up from her nap (notice the bedhead). It was a huge hit. She did need a little help squeezing the clothespin, but she’ll get it as soon as her hand get a little stronger!

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I am loving this age (she’s 19 months). She is so much fun and soaking in everything! Can’t wait to see what she wants to learn about next!

 

Kitchen Sink Cookie Recipe

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I’ve had a lot of recipe posts lately…with two kids under 1.5 my DIY time has been hard to come by, but we have to eat, right! 

Chickadee LOVES sitting up on the counter and baking with me. Mixing is her favorite part and we usually make a mess, but it’s so worth it to see that smile of hers! We make a lot of muffins and cupcakes, but rarely do I make cookies from scratch. But today I decided we would. These Kitchen Sink Cookies have lots of ingredients, so I knew the mixing would be in full swing!

You can really make these cookies what you want them to be…after mixing the basic base recipe you can really mix things up by adding more or less of the “fun” ingredients –M&Ms, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts, crushed candy bar, etc… Whatever makes your heart sing! This was Chickadee’s favorite part.

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Yields 18
Delicious cookies with every ingredient but the kitchen sink!
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Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 sticks of softened, salted butter
  2. 1/2 cup of sugar
  3. 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  7. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 2 tsp salt
  10. 1 1/2 cups of oats (quick cooking or regular)
  11. 1/2 cup of M&Ms
  12. 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
  13. 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips
  14. 2 1/4 cup of rice krispies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream butter with sugars until combined and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add vanilla and beat.
  5. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt.
  6. Add to mixing bowl and mix till combined. A
  7. Add in remaining ingredients in whatever quantity you prefer.
  8. Add Rice Krispies at the very end, mixing until just combined.
  9. Use a cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop) to scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet.
  10. Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes), then allow to cool on a rack.
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

Full disclosure, I put my cookies scoops pretty close together and they ran into one another making one HUGE cookie. So I used a circle cookie cutter to separate my cookies. 

These are best with a cold glass of milk! ENJOY!

 

Banana Bread Muffin Recipe

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We are settling in…into the house, into life as parents of two, into food coma from all the delicious dishes our friends have dropped off. Life is good.

And do you know what else is good? These banana bread muffins. You see we had some bananas and they were turning brown. I didn’t want the to go to waste. Usually I would throw them in smoothies or yogurt popsicles, but this particular day I was feeling banana bread for breakfast. Perfect with a cup of hot tea. Equally as lovely as an afternoon snack, enjoyed by both me and Chickadee. 

This recipe is awesome because you don’t need a mixer…just a few ingredients, a bowl, and a fork. Check it out.

Banana Bread Muffins
Yields 12
Delicious banana bread muffins, perfect for breakfast or a snack!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 ripe bananas
  2. 1/3 cup of melted butter
  3. 1/2 cup of sugar
  4. 1 egg, beaten
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp baking soda
  7. Dash of salt
  8. 1.5 cups of all purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and 12 muffin tins with liners
  2. Start by peeling the bananas and smashing them in a bowl with a fork
  3. Mix together the bananas and melted butter
  4. Add in the baking soda and salt, then egg, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  5. Last mix in the flour 1/2 a cup at a time.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, fill 12 muffin liners
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool
  9. Enjoy!
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

If you want to get crazy you can add nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips!