Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall inspired pumpkin cookies

Fall inspired pumpkin shaped cookies | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Since Anabelle loves baking, I thought it would be fun to make some fall-inspired pumpkin cookies together. She loves to help tossing the flour in the bowls and mixing it all up.

After we got the dough made, I let her throw some flour on the counter and punch out the pumpkin shapes. I rolled out the dough and she threw several more handfuls on top and cut out mini pumpkins. Each time she cut out a pumpkin and laid it out on the cookie sheet, she would yell, "Yeah!! Mo' mo'" and wouldn't stop pleading for more dough until we moved onto the next batch. She had so much fun with the dough!

baking with a toddler | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

baking with a toddler | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

baking with a toddler | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

The icing, not so much. 

I let the dough sit in the fridge overnight, and we made the icing the next day. She really loves the monster rocks we made, and wanted to bring them down to decorate the cookies with us. Since my baking skills are sub par, I colored the royal icing a pinkish orange color and the first batch of cookies looked like they were pumpkins picked a little too early. 

baking with a toddler | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Fall inspired pumpkin shaped cookies | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

She only played with the icing for a few minutes before she wanted to get down since she left her baby doll unattended. While she played with daddy, I practiced my coloring mixing skills and made the cookies look like real pumpkins made by a toddler. I've never worked with royal icing before, since piping is terrifying to me, so I won't tell you these were the last five cookies in the batch. I won't tell you that it took me three tries to get the orange the right shade and two tries for the green.

I won't tell you that these cookies tasted like cardboard, or that no one in the family liked them.

At least they look pretty, right? Kinda. 

Fall inspired pumpkin shaped cookies | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Now I have royal icing cemented on my counter top and cupboard, flour and sugar in crevices I didn't know existed and on the floors. The best part of this baking fail, is when I asked Anabelle if she liked baking with mommy, she screamed. "yeah!" My cup runneth over.

Happy Friday friends!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halloween Monster Rocks

Halloween Monster Rocks | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold).com

We're knee deep in our October Advent Calendar over here, so things have been a bit hectic because I want to do allthethings. Anabelle doesn't mind it one bit. 


We used the (free!) rocks we collected from our nature walk, and painted Halloween monster rocks. But first, we had a quick snack sesh. Anabelle was running around having a tea party with her stuffed animals, and didn't want to go downstairs to eat. So, I brought snack to her like a princess, and grabbed a kale salad for myself. Kale is my jam. 
Snack sesh | bubblesandgold.com

We brought out our fancy dishware that consists of a toddler tea cup set, and blue-striped bowls from college. You can even spot a chip on the side if you look closely. True life. I could use a set of new white dishes. My birthday is coming up. Are you reading, dear husband?
After we discussed her snack time fullness, I brought out several colors of Tulip fabric paint and let her pick whatever color who heart craved. Her first choice? Red. Probably because she's an intense mini creature on an emotional roller coaster ride. 
Toddler painting | halloween crafts | bubblesandgold.com

While I held onto the paint tube, I let her dip the paint brush inside, and told her to cover the entire rock in paint. I like to take risks and live dangerously, which is why I've never placed a drop cloth on this beautiful table her grandparents gave her. Put that on my list too, husband.

Monster rock painting takes serious concentration. Shhhh, please be quiet while the artist is at work. Also, no feeding the animals.

Toddler painting | halloween crafts | bubblesandgold.com

Toddler painting | halloween crafts | bubblesandgold.com

She made through three rocks, and about ten minutes of painting before she put the paint in her mouth. Game over, Anabelle. Post clean up was a melt down, but eating paint isn't like wine tasting, friends. I didn't want to make my first call to poison control. I imagine the call would go something like this:
Mommy: My toddler licked the cap of the fabric paint several times. 
Operator: Okay, ma'am. Where did the paint come from?
Mommy: Uhh... we were painting monster rocks.
Operator: ....
That would be a story to tell. 
Anabelle isn't coordinated enough for monster faces, so I took over at this point. After the tantrum melt down, I painted a silly face on each rock, and threw on some glitter. What's a monster without a few speckles of super fine gold glitter that eventually landed all over my desk and carpet? And I keep finding on the bottoms of everyone's feet.
While I was trying to take a quick snap shot of the monster rocks in the yellowy early morning light, her grubby little hands snatched one away. Take one.
Halloween Monster Rocks | bubblesandgold.com

Halloween Monster Rocks | bubblesandgold.com

She ran away to her play kitchen, rocks in hand, and threw them in a pan on the stove top. After a few whisking motions, they weren't cooking fast enough, so she popped them in the microwave for a minute or two. Monster rocks for two is served. This toddler is a chef in the making.
Glitter bottomed feet and rock filled bellies in this household. I bet older kiddos with imaginations can draw any kind of monster they desired! 

Halloween Monster Rocks | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold).com

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Nature Walk

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

Since Anabelle isn't so thrilled about the church nursery, we decided to forgo church on Sunday and go on a nature walk after breakfast. Sometimes I wish I could shove her back in my belly and tote her around. Wouldn't that be so awesome?   I would be the envy of so many mommies.

The weather was cool, and another rainstorm was on it's way, so we thoroughly enjoyed nature in all its glory. All thirty minutes of it.

You guys, this trail is so lovely, and I want to go back already! I foresee a solo run in my future. Sweet, sweet silence.

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

During our walk, we picked up leaves, rocks and acorns to collect. I made the mistake of showing Anabelle a gigantic stick the nearly the size of her body. She wouldn't put it down, even after attempting to negotiate for a smaller, not so dangerous stick. But smaller sticks are all the rage right now! I kept imagining her poking her eye out, the hospital visit and her half blind future. Thankfully, none of that happened,  even though she refused to give it up.

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

She wanted to terrify me a little more with nature made baton twirling. "Don't worry mommy, I got this."

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

We spotted man-eating spiders, intricate webs, berries my husband wouldn't let me collect and a cicada carcass. I can't stop wearing these Birkenstocks, even during nature walks, in the rain and mud. Semi granola love, right here. 

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

We were almost back where we started and she decided she didn't want to walk anymore, so she plopped her butt down on the trail and yelled her little heart out. As frustrating as it was at the time, looking back at this picture is a moment I'm glad I captured. Toddler tantrums and independence. This would make for good bedroom art. 

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

Here's our nature walk loot. Isn't it beautiful? We painted monster rocks yesterday on the rocks we found during our walk. Free Halloween crafts. Oh yeah!

Nature walk with a toddler | BubblesandGold.com

Have a great day everyone! Don't forget to go outside, and enjoy nature's beauty :)

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Ghost stories and pumpkin painting

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a glorious weekend! We had a lovely weekend ourselves, even with downpours and scattered showers all weekend long. 

Since it was too raining to go the zoo, pumpkin patch or local festival, all at the same time of course, we headed out to the library. On our way out the door, Anabelle wanted to take a picture. This red brick wall has seen a lot of love in it's day. Enthusiastic toddler to take pictures before we even leave the house? Sure!

She kept asking for more pictures until Daddy came to see what was taking us so long. 


Tee //  Shoes

We were having a photoshoot session, hello! I'm thrilled that she's able to communicate a little better on what exactly she wants from me. That means the frustrated tantrums will come to end, right? Please tell me yes.

Since it rained on and off all day, we were all feeling a little bit lazy and stayed inside, took a family nap (even mommy!) and painted mini pumpkins. We're making our way through our October bucket list!



She was saying the pumpkin was bad. Every day all day, she's chastising someone or something for being, "bad." Clearly, we need a new word for, "your not following directions or listening to the woman who birthed you." Any suggestions?


On Sunday, we slept in late (I'll blame it on more rain) and started out with some pumpkin shaped cinnamon french toast. I bought some cinnamon bread from Trader Joe's that is so heavenly, and let Anabelle sit on the counter munching on a piece while I got breakfast together. She ate three pieces of french toast, which means mommy had one piece and daddy had none.


After breakfast, we headed out on a nature walk. I didn't realize there is such a lovely trail right down the street from us! Here's a sneak peek from our novice photo session. I got to play around with the settings on my DSLR. since it's been almost two years since I bought it, and I still haven't taken the time to learn how to use it. I procrastinate. A lot.

Dress - similar // Boots

After our nature walk we had a late lunch and late nap. Anabelle went to the grocery store with daddy, while I stalked Homegoods for cheap Halloween decorations. And I got to work on more crafts in sweet peace and quiet that I'm so excited to share! Before the blog, I shared my crafts with my husband, who always responded with, "good job" [insert lame face here] and friends who weren't the crafting type. Now I can share them with the entire world and pretend like you guys really care. You like me, you really like me!

The weekend ended with toddler-friendly ghost stories from the library. Semi-startled toddler face:


Have a great Monday! We are off to do some monster rock painting, pumpkin cookie making and Halloween crafting, oh my!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Oh Hey Friday! I've Missed You So.

Every Friday, our mornings go a little something like this:

Mommy: "Good morning, baby. Do you know what today is?"
A: Sleepy eyes + toddler gibber gabber.
Mommy: "It's Friday! Yay!"
A: "Yeah!"
[cue happy dance]

Are you ready for some Friday randoms? Great, just great.

one // We had a mini hot chocolate party for three last night. I made some hot chocolate with cocoa powder, sugar and milk. Since the marshmallows I had expired ten months ago (barf nuggets), I improvised and created "spider webs" using coconut flakes and food coloring. This was her first taste of hot lukewarm chocolate and she loved it. I foresee party numero dos this weekend, with a little more sugar. And marshmallows. Lots of marshmallows.  

Halloween Hot Chocolate | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Halloween Hot Chocolate | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

two // I went to a Corsets & Cocktails event hosted by Houston Mom's Blog on Tuesday, and won a free pair of shoes from Brian James! I never win anything. Ever. What's even crazier Brian James Footwear was created by Angela Edgeworth, who founded pediped footwear for children. What to the what! I'm torn between these or these. Or maybe these. Help me. 

three // I'm swooning over this tee. Casual Friday errday. 

four // If you haven't checked out Real Food by Dad, please do. This dude is awesome, and his food is incredible. The best part is that he uses whole foods and the recipes are simple. I'm a foodie at heart and he's my idol. 

five // It's a three-day weekend, and I couldn't be more excited! I bought this tee, and I'm so excited to take some much needed time off to make a screen print for Halloween. I also promised myself that I would get started on A's Halloween costume. Let's do this.

Happy Friday!
 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Toddler Essentials Emergency Car Kit

Toddler Essentials Emergency Car Kit | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Alternatively titled, "Your safe line to sanity." Or how about, "When You Realize Your Diaper Bag Is Empty." 

I've left the house many times without critical essentials like diapers and snacks. If I don't have a snack on hand for Anabelle, you better believe there is an impending meltdown. 

When Anabelle was a newborn, I created a baby essentials emergency car kit that had a few diapers, wipes, a change of clothes and a bib. I took that out of my car about seven months ago and finally saved myself from a few tantrums by putting together a toddler essentials emergency car kit. A snack-hungry toddler is a dire emergency in my Volkwagen. Think the end of the world doom with fireworks and lava.

Here's a list of what's in my car kit.

Toddler Essentials Emergency Car Kit | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

You know, the basics. Since I put this together a few weeks ago, I've already used several of the diapers, handfuls of wipes and all of the snacks. On a few occasions, she's been offered the Winnie the Pooh book and My Little Pony. She chucked both across the car. Good times.

All of the toys that are in my tote are from the Target dollar section. I used an old mint container for extra hair ties and let Anabelle put stickers on it for a brief rainy day activity. The snacks are non-perishable items that won't melt in the back of my trunk, and snacks I know she loves to eat. Those Plum Organics Mashups? Genius. Anabelle always wants two. That doesn't happen, though, and I get an ear full for it.

Toddler Essentials Emergency Car Kit | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

I bought this adorable tote from Marshalls for about $15 bucks and put everything inside. I wanted this larger tote so I could stuff it with more junk she needs like a blanket, socks, extra utensils, a stuffed animal and way too many toys from our house. I also have four library books I desperately need to return. 

Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Toddler Essentials Emergency Car Kit | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Do you have an emergency car kit? I'm telling you, this has saved my sanity several times over since I tend to leave the house unprepared a lot. Maybe I should create a check list at the front door? Hah! Who am I kidding? I wouldn't look at it.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pumpkin Patch: Blessington Farms

Pumpkin patch photo | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)
On Saturday we visited Blessington Farms, a local farm that I just found out about when I started making our Fall bucket list. I specifically put this down in our October Advent Calendar, since it was my husband's birthday and I knew this would make a perfect family outing to mark the beginning of Fall.  

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

My original plan was to head out by 9:30 a.m. so we could get to the farm as soon as it opened. We left the house at 10:45 a.m., I forgot my camera and Anabelle was starting to fall asleep in her car seat ten minutes into our drive. Mommy fail. I decided to forego the morning trip, and head to Target instead. After Target, we stopped to get a bite to eat, where Anabelle threw her second tantrum of the day. She didn't want to sit in the high chair, and suddenly turned into a stiff rod. How are toddlers so strong? My husband eventually crammed her cranky butt in there and lunch was served.

We ate a quick lunch and went straight home so Anabelle could take a nap. My new plan was to get her in bed, and leave the house around 2:00pm, so we could have a good two and a half hours to enjoy the farm. She didn't take a nap, and rolled around in her crib for a good 45 minutes before I gave up. Planning fail number two. 

We left the house around 2:30pm and finally made it to the farm right after 3:00pm. This farm was huge and there were so many things to do, I secretly panicked inside since I knew we couldn't enjoy it all. This is probably why I started to imagine farm trip number two, since the tickets were only ten bucks each, and Anabelle was free! 

We started our farm experience by checking out the animals. There were tons of birds (roosters? hens? I'm not sure) and cute baby goats we got to pet. Sweet!

rooster pen | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Anabelle was super exhausted from no-nap Saturday, so I sat with her so she could get a little more comfortable with these little guys. Clearly the goat was camera ready at every moment.

Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Mommy and Anabelle with baby goat | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Mommy and Anabelle with baby goat | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

We shuffled right along to the hay bale maze where Anabelle was almost trampled by the litters of children running through that thing. I let her explore the maze at her toddler moving pace, while she gripped my fingers for dear life. She didn't really understand the whole point of the maze (to get lost - duh) and was more enthralled by the excitement from the other kids. The reward for finding your way out of no man's land was a mile high slide. I'm telling you, these slides make your stomach jump!

Down the slide | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Down the slide | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Even daddy went down with her on her third run. You see her face? Let me tell you, that's the face of pure joy. And spit. For the first 45 minutes we were at the farm, she decided to hold spit and food (at separate times) in her mouth. 

We both tried to coax her to spit it out several times. She would look at us, and tilt her head, and smirk. Several shakes upside down she eventually would spit it out until the next round. I have to admit, she's a pro. She held her spit in through goat petting, maze running, four slide runs and the first part of the pumpkin patch.

Daddy and Anabelle down slide | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

We managed to get a quick family photo in between spitting sessions. This was thanks to the quick thinking of my husband and Anabelle's curiosity at the man who was telling us to smile.

Pumpkin patch family photo | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Toddler at pumpkin patch | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Pumpkin patch | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

And here we are, right back where we started. More spit play. 

Anabelle carrying pumpkin | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Anabelle had fun stomping through the muddy pumpkin patch and picking up the pumpkins. A few of the pumpkins she picked up were about two pounds. Like I mentioned, toddler strength is no joke.

Anabelle carrying pumpkin | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Pumpkin patch | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Pumpkin patch | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

The farm was loaded with sweet spots to take pictures, so I made several failed attempts to get her to look happy. I'll be sure to let her know when she gets older that she was all trouble with her non-cooperative attitude. Hah.

Pumpkin patch at Blessington farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Pumpkin patch | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)
  Pumpkin patch | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

So what's a mother to do when she can't get her child to pep it up and enjoy pupmkin picking with a smile on her face? Ice cream. Sugar. Don't judge me. I was desperate. 

Toddler with ice cream | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

It worked. Plus we went down the other slides they had about a hundred and one times. She loved it. And I have pictures of her smiling!

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

We stayed until they told us the farm was closed. After we gathered up all of our pumpkins, and loaded them in the cart, Anabelle helped her daddy push it to the car, grunting with all her might. I'm pretty sure she did most of the work.

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Blessington Farms | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Daddy and Anabelle pushing cart | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Since it was dinner time, we decided to stop and grab dinner at a local grill right near the farm. There was this sweet older gentleman, playing a guitar and singing classic tunes as the live entertainment. We struck it lucky and got a seat right up front!  

Daddy and Anabelle at Mesquite Grill | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Anabelle loved it! I'm marking this down as her first concert. She swayed side to side and bobbed her head throughout the entire meal. It was the perfect ending to this day. 

Daddy and Anabelle at Mesquite Grill | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

Live music at Mesquite Grill | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)Daddy and Anabelle at Mesquite Grill | Bubbles and Gold (www.bubblesandgold.com)

The best part of the entire day was watching these two and living in the moment. Happy birthday, sweet husband. I love you so.

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