Saturday, October 19, 2019

Three Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Breakfast in our house used to be so easy - Carter ALWAYs wanted a smoothie and Sophia ate mini glazed donuts. Unfortunately about a month ago Carter decided he wasn't a fan of having a smoothie for breakfast, and around the same time it started to become almost impossible to get Sophia's donuts - our local grocery store was either out of them or they were expired/about to expire. Thankfully it's fall, and that's the time when everyone wants pumpkin everything! When I say everyone there, I'm actually talking about the world at large, not inside my house.  My kids are two of the pickiest eaters - for Carter that mainly applies to breakfast foods, but for Sophia, it applies to all meals. They might not eat pumpkin everything, but they do eat these muffins, so they're pretty much a fall staple in our house (and might become a winter, spring, and summer staple - as long as they're eating them I'll be making them).

To make these muffins you literally only need three ingredients, and if you or your kids aren't into chocolate then you only need two.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins

Yellow Cake Mix
Pumpkin Pie Filling
Chocolate Chips (optional)


  • Mix the yellow cake mix and pumpkin pie filling together.

  • Fold in chocolate chips. I usually use about half a bag.

  • Scoop into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (for me that's at 22 minutes). 

  • They turn out moist and delicious, and even with the chocolate chips are fairly low calorie. I'm kind of curious to try them using chocolate cake mix or a different kind of chips, but haven't branched out yet. If it's not broke, don't fix it. You know?

If you try them, drop a comment below and tell me what you think!
Thursday, October 17, 2019

18 of Me

I started this blog post for my 40th birthday last year, but I never published it because I couldn't think of anything past number 18. I guess I'm just not that interesting. Ha! Anyhow, I found this in my drafts folder and thought it'd be a fun way to get back into blogging. Tell me one interesting fact about you in the comments below!

1. I am one of those people who is extremely ticklish, but it doesn't just tickle, it HURTS! Luckily as I've gotten older there are less spots that are super sensitive, but still. Don't tickle me (and if you're tickling someone else and they say, "Stop," please do - I'm quite sensitive to this).

2. I attended six schools from Kindergarten to 6th grade, and during that time I attended one of the six schools for three and a half years. My dad was transferred from St. Paul, Minnesota to Overland Park, Kansas at the end of Kindergarten, so my parents enrolled me in Kinder at Tomahawk Elementary in KS for the last two weeks of school so I'd make friends. Unfortunately our house ended up being zoned to another school the following year, so it didn't do any good. For first grade through the middle of fourth grade I attended Walnut Grove Elementary. In fourth grade my dad was transferred back to Minnesota, so I finished out fourth grade at South Elementary in St. Cloud, MN. The following year they rezoned, so I ended up going to North Elementary and all of the friends I'd made at South stayed there. For my final year of elementary school (6th grade) they opened several new elementary schools, so I went to Oak Hill Elementary with some friends from South, but none from North. The funny thing is that South became a middle school, so I ended up going back there for 7th and 8th grade.

3. Michael and I didn't go to the same high school, but we did meet our senior year. We both got jobs at the new grocery store they were opening up near our houses: Tom Thumb. I was a checker and he was a sacker. He was actually my favorite sacker because he was one of the few that would sack groceries for me. Most of the other sackers knew that I didn't mind sacking, so they'd let me do it and then do the carry out so they could get tipped. Stinkers! Michael sacked for me, so I told him I loved him. I ended up inviting him to my 18th birthday party, but then my friend's mom (it was at her house) said boys weren't allowed so I had to uninvite him. Our first date ended up being the day after my birthday. We were supposed to go see a movie, but it was sold out, so we drove around and looked at Christmas lights and then went to a restaurant and shared a brownie. It was the perfect first date!

4. My big rebellion in college was getting my belly button pierced. My parents were not happy at first, and to this day my dad still doesn't want to talk about it. However, my mom decided that she thought it was really cute, so she paid for me to have it redone after the first one came out and I couldn't get it back in. Needless to say, my dad was even more unhappy the second time around, but at least my mom shared in the blame!

5. The first time I ever got drunk was when I was in college. We were at Side Street Bar in Austin and instead of getting my own drink, I just shared my friends' Long Island Iced Teas and Margaritas. It's never a good idea to mix a bunch of alcohols. The night ended with me getting sick at the bar and then Michael walking me to his car and me believing that I was hallucinating because I saw a cop on a horse (it wasn't a hallucination, they really have cops on horseback). Did I mention that I was underage? Michael was very anxious to get me away from the cops and home to my dorm.

6.  Toes freak me out. It's not the toes themselves, it's people who can spread apart and cross their toes that creep me out. Maybe it's because mine don't do that, I don't know. It's just yuck.

7. I don't like when my right side is exposed. What do I mean by exposed? I can't stand having open space to my right. When we go to restaurants all of my family and friends know that I can't be on the end with my right side open. As I'm sitting here typing this my right arm is beginning to feel weird.

8. Three weeks after Michael and I got married we moved to Stamford, CT, so he could do a rotation at the FASB. I ended up having to using a staffing agency to find a teaching job at a Catholic school in Stamford and had to pay them 7% of my $21,000 salary for getting me an interview. I taught PreK in the morning and 3rd and 4th grade Reading and Social Studies in the afternoon. It was an interesting job.

9. I do not do well around snot, vomit, or diarrhea. Luckily (knock on wood), Sophia and Carter haven't had tummy bugs that often, and when they have Michael has always been around to deal with it, because Mommy cannot handle it. That gag reflex is no joke y'all! 

10. I can't do a cartwheel or spin a hula hoop. Sophia amazes me because she taught herself how to do a cartwheel and is a rock star at the Hula Hoop competition on Field Day every year at school. Here's a video she made in 2015 to teach you how to do a cartwheel (sadly it hasn't helped me).

11. I love to play games! Card games, board games, you name it, I'll play it!

12. I'm allergic to platinum. Unfortunately it took 15 years for me to figure it out, but I am. After we got married and moved to CT I developed this weird red rash behind my legs and in the crooks of my elbows. I went to the doctor and they couldn't figure out what it was. They prescribed oral steroids and the rash cleared up. However, it continued to return off an on, just on a much smaller scale. When we moved back to Texas I went to see my doctor and described it to him (I wasn't having any issues when I saw him) and he thought it sounded like eczema. He prescribed a steroid cream and I used it whenever I had bumps show up. Fast forward to fall 2017 and I got a bad rash (closer to what I had the first time it happened in CT) right under my wedding ring. I stopped wearing my ring and put the steroid cream on and it slowly started to heal, but the minute I put my ring back on it flared back up. I did a little research and discovered that, while rare, you can have a platinum allergy. I went to my dermatologist and they taped those allergy test strips to my back. We eventually learned that I'm allergic to gold sodium thiosulfate and bacitracin (an ingredient in Neosporin). The doctor was also pretty certain I'm allergic to platinum (I guess there isn't a test for it?), so they advised I get a new wedding ring. Michael and I went to the jeweler right before Christmas and picked out the most beautiful rings to replace my originals. Merry Christmas to me! The new rings are white gold, and for some reason even though I have a gold sodium thiosulfate allergy these don't seem to bother me (knocking on wood again). I still have the original engagement ring and band in my jewelry box, so I can look at it whenever I want to, but I'm pretty glad I was "forced" to get an upgrade. 😍

13. One of my favorite snacks is a dill pickle wrapped in a cheese slice. Don't knock it until you've tried it! I also used to love mustard and cheese sandwiches...Sophia prefers mayo and cheese.

14. I can't stand black coffee. I do, however, love me a White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks, but given the kids zebra hot chocolate is called a White Mocha on the receipt, I'm guessing there isn't that much coffee in my "coffee" drink. I have recently started drinking Starbucks Cold Brew coffee thanks to @themacrobarista on Instagram. I order a grande with three pumps NF SF Vanilla, one pump of caramel, and light cream (half and half) ~ it's pretty good. Maybe my taste buds are changing as I'm getting older, or maybe my "coffee" drinks still aren't really coffee.

15. I've been to half of the states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. I've actually probably driven through a few more, but these are the ones I actually remember visiting.

16. I've been to 5 countries (6 if you count the one I live in): Canada, England, France, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

17. I LOVE Christmas, but then, who doesn't?!

18. We got a puppy our first Christmas as a married couple. Ever since then I've had these crazy weird dreams where I "wake up" and am convinced that whatever I'm dreaming about is really happening. The first time it happened Michael tried to convince me it was just a dream, so I slapped his arm and told him, "Don't patronize me!" It used to involve Bailey, our puppy, but once Sophia and Carter came into the picture they took over the dreams.

I hope that you enjoyed getting to know me a little better. I want to start posting again more regularly, so if there is something you want to see, drop it in the comments along with an interesting fact about you!