The Pirate and the Firefly {book review}

In just a few short months, our son turns two. T-W-O, y’all. Someone hold me. And don’t tell anyone, but I still rock him to sleep at night because he will always be my first baby. Before we know it, he’ll be school-aged and playing pretend pirates with his buddies.

I’ve mentioned it before but our son just loves to read and always has, ever since we started reading books to him at a very early age. I’m not saying it to brag but he would much rather have a book while sitting in the stroller or car seat, instead of a toy. He’s a boy after momma’s book-loving heart. These days, his toys can actually go untouched by him for days at a time because he would rather drag his book basket around and have me read all his favorites. That just makes my heart melt.

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35 weeks: bebé dos

Here we are, facing the last few miles of the marathon that is pregnancy. I love a good running metaphor and told my husband the other day that though I’m on mile 21 of this marathon, some days it feels like I’ve only just began the race.

Such is the life of being pregnant with a toddler hanging around. Who told this kid he could ask me to pick him up 37 times a day? I joke (lovingly) but seriously, he weighs a lot and this momma needs to dust off and start using her 5 lb. dumbbells more often.

{Please feel free to skip this post if it’s not your cup of tea. I promise things are G-rated, but sometimes I know pregnancy talk can be annoying or painful for others’ to hear.}

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chippers

One thing I love about the Internet is how you can bridge long distances with the click of a button. Whether you’re communicating with family or friends, knowing that technology (and freedom!) allows this to happen is a huge blessing that I often take for granted.

I’ve been blogging for just about 5 years and in that time, I’ve been able to forge some virtual acquaintances (dare I say, friends?) in the blogging community. I know a few people in my real life would roll their eyes at this, but it has been cool to develop a camaraderie and relationship with someone who you relate with and maybe haven’t met face to face yet.

Though the exact details escape me right now, I’m pretty sure (and please correct me if I’m wrong, Madison) it was through leaving comments on each other’s blogs that we found each other back when I first started blogging. Last spring, I had an opportunity to finally meet Madison but we just happened to be out of town at the same exact time that her and her husband were visiting our city. One of these days we’ll make it happen, but until then I’m happy to continue using technology to our advantage.

Now let’s talk about these cookies! Since Madison and her husband are keeping the sex of their baby a surprise until he/she is born, the decision to have a gender-neutral SWEETS themed shower was perfectly fitting.

If there’s one thing I know about Madison is her love for all things peanut butter. That’s why I knew these would be the perfect cookies for her shower and it doesn’t get much more gender-neutral than some golden brown cookies. {By the way, you need to go and read the story about their miracle baby. Maybe it’s my pregnancy hormones but their story gives me the chills.}

The texture is perfectly soft and yet has a delicate crumb, just like a cookie you would buy at a bakery. Of course, with all the peanut butter in the recipe the flavor is absolutely intense but then the dark chocolate chips add a nice surprise without being overwhelming.

These cookies received raving reviews in our house (toddler included) and when my husband took the rest of them to work, he said they were gone by lunchtime. I would call that a success!

Madison, I am so excited to see you become a momma to your sweet little baby in just a few short weeks! Motherhood is everything you’ve heard it is: hard and messy yet filled with more joy and love than you can even begin to imagine. You are going to be an amazing mother!

Be sure to check out all of the other sweets for Madison’s shower!

Thin Mint Cookie Cake from Keep It Sweet Desserts

Mini Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes from Greens & Chocolate

Gingered Pear Coffee Cake from Food Loves Writing

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chippers from Urban Wife Diaries

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes from Heather’s Dish

Chocolate Malt Milkshakes from The Avid Appetite


 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chippers

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
 adapted from here

Ingredients
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C light brown sugar, packed
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/4 C smooth peanut butter
1 C peanut butter chips, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 C all purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 C dark chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and dark chocolate chips.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars oil on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
4. Melt the peanut butter chips in the microwave (I used 50% power for about 2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds and stirring) or use a double boiler.
5. Add the melted peanut butter chips and peanut butter to the sugar mixture, mixing on medium-high speed for 1-2 more minutes.
6. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.
7. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet, mixing on low-medium speed until just combined. The dough should be crumbly but stick together when you roll up your cookies.
8. Using a cookie scoop, measure out and roll up the size of cookies you want. For bigger cookies (like the ones pictured) you will measure out about 1/4 C of dough. If you want them smaller, just use less dough.
9. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets about 1-2 inches apart.
10. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes and then move to a wire cooling rack.

Notes:
*The cookies won’t spread but once they’re done baking, you will need to gently flatten them if you wish so leave room on your baking sheet if you’re doing that. Otherwise, if you roll the dough into balls and bake the cookies that way, they will stay in that shape.
*Larger cookies (as pictured) measured out at 1/4 C of dough will yield exactly 2 dozen. I rolled them into a ball and once they finished baking, used the bottom of a cup to gently press down and flatten them.
*Smaller cookies measured out at 2 Tbsp should yield around 4 dozen. Watch them during baking, as they may need less time than the full 11 minutes. Of course, every oven varies regardless of your cookie size.
*These cookies keep best in an airtight container (or Ziploc bag) for up to 1 week, if they last that long in your house. 

Enjoy!

grace not perfection

The past few weeks, I’ve been mulling something over and am ready to share my thoughts about it. First, I’m going to just start with saying that this post is in no way meant to be negative or a woe is me cry. In fact, by the time I’m done writing this post, I want to be able to have a different, positive mindset. Also? I’m totally preaching to myself and no one else with everything I’ve written.

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California: part 3

Finally, I’m sharing the last portion of our winter vacation to California! If you need to catch up, here is part 1 and part 2.

Last time, I left off at Day 7 of our trip which took place in San Francisco. I didn’t really write too much about what we did, but even though when we originally planned the trip we thought we would be driving up to San Francisco twice. After our long day there, we decided once would be enough. Sure, there is a lot more stuff we missed out on seeing but it’ll just have to be some other time. We weren’t sad about it.

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