Smiley Face Cookies

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To cap off M’s first birthday (see his smiley face birthday party here), we brought some party decor and smiley face cookies to our usual Friday Baby Bootcamp class and celebrated with his tiny friends. We had a couple of balloons, some bubbles, a few stickers, and best of all – cookies! It would’ve been easiest to just decorate round cookies with icing to make a smiley face, but since we were at a park and celebrating with very young friends I thought it best to leave off the messy, sugary frosting, here’s how I made them instead…

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I made my usual Martha Stewart sugar cookie recipe and cut into circles using a 3″ round cookie cutter.

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Using a straw I cut eyes into the face and used a paring knife to make a smile.

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Then I filled the eyes with chocolate sprinkles and pressed the sprinkles into the mouth shape and baked as directed.

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Cutest smiley face cookies I’ve ever seen!

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He’s 1! Happy birthday to our sweet, smiley, happy, curious, determined baby M. We love you so, so very much!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ps. Fastest year of my life!

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Her brother’s birthday is almost as exciting as her own, here she is decorating the house in balloons. And yes, I got her a pink one to celebrate her being a great big sister.

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

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Here is a little tale about coffee and eventually some directions on how to make your own cold brew coffee at home. I started drinking coffee after college and always liked it with skim milk and sugar. Skim milk because, well, less calories, sugar because coffee with skim milk is not very good so perhaps I should’ve started with cream in the first place. Anyway…story goes, I met a cute boy, we spent lots of time together and I started using his coffee creamer in my coffee. YUM! I was addicted. Then we started eating better and realized our beloved flavored, sugary creamer needed to go. And since then (like 5 years ago?) I’ve been at a loss with my coffee in the morning. For a while I was using a “whole” creamer made with just sugar and milk but then this past winter when I was doing a fitness contest with my local Baby Bootcamp franchise I decided it was time to eliminate sugar from my coffee (among other things) completely. But I hated coffee with just milk. So I tried almond milk (blech), coconut milk (yuck), and a bunch of other tricks (coconut oil, have you done this? Not a fan) until finally I landed on some cold brew coffee.

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Cold brew coffee is simply mixing your coffee grounds with water and letting them sit for at least 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator – hence “brewing” in the cold temperature. Cold brew coffee is naturally sweeter because of the lower acidity than regular brewed coffee. In truth, I dilute my cold brew with some of my daughter’s 1% milk (instead of my skim) so it’s a touch creamier and so, so delicious. And ps. cold brew has a slightly higher amount of caffeine, too!

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To make you need: water, coarsely ground coffee beans, 2 pitchers (one for brewing and one for filtering), and a filter (we use a metal filter from an old coffee maker). Simply mix water and coffee grounds in a 4:1 ratio. You have to think ahead (sometimes we forget) because you want to leave the mixture in the fridge for about 12-24 hours (the longer you leave it the stronger it will be), but it’s worth it! Once you’re ready to drink, filter entire mixture through your filter. Dilute with water or milk.

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Enjoy with your breakfast. Have you tried cold brew?

Lately…

Hi! What have you been up to?  I’ve been inconsistently blogging at best so I thought I’d kick the week off (on Tuesday, oops) with a little “lately” post so you can see what I/we have been up to around here!

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Reading… The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson. My mom lent this to me over a year ago now and I started and finished it within 2 weeks. I will warn you that the ending is not too satisfying but I loved reading about this plantation in Virginia before the Civil War – the good, the bad, and the really bad.

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Eating… cherries, my favorite early summer fruit.

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Buying… rompers. I’ve stopped, but I am addicted – I love the thought of an entire outfit all at once that’s not a dress! My current fav is this embroidered-front chambray romper from Old Navy. It was 40% off when I bought it and it is so cute dressed up or down, with a black sweater, black sneakers, or flats.

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Wearing… essie’s Plumberry. I got a pedicure with this color Mother’s Day weekend and immediately ordered it from Amazon and haven’t worn another color on my hands or toes since. It’s the perfect pinky red for my complexion.

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Watching… Orphan Black. Summer isn’t usually a great time for tv which is when we fall back on binge watching random series we’ve heard/read about. Orphan Black is a BBC/Netflix series about a street hustler who finds out she is a clone… sounds random? But pretty good and totally addictive as the plot-line moves on.