Busy, but not with the Photography stuff…



I’ve been pretty busy lately and have been slacking a bit when it comes to the blog and website. They are up, and that’s a big deal, but I want to make them fully functioning so I can generate some traffic to them without feeling ashamed at their partially done look! But I thought I would show you blog readers some of the things I’ve been working on keeping me busy and away for a bit!

My youngest daughter (of three, you can see them all in my family shoot here) is turning one in a little over one month!! I’m super excited, but I’m crazy busy trying to prepare for her party. It’s her first birthday, so my promise to my husband that I’m “done going overboard for our kid’s parties!” is going to have to hold off for one more milestone…and then another…and another…oh heck, I can’t lie, even if the kids don’t seem to notice the difference…I love doing it!! Even when I turn into crazy mom! So that’s been a big part of what I’ve been up to for a few months now. So here is some of my progress!

I made the invitations a little while back. You can also find them to purchase for DIY construction at my etsy shop! Once the invites are done everything else starts to pile up and fall into place!

I spent an entire day working on labeling and addressing the envelopes to send the invites in! I posted about them as well here.

I’ve also been working hard on the book I wrote which will be Teagan’s birthday present from me and her dad this year, with a matching stuffed lamb to go with the story! The book isn’t even close to done…but at least I have the lamb done!

She gave me the hardest time trying to get these pictures to show you the little lamb crochet hat I made for her to wear on her special day…

But she does look quite adorable in it!

It’s daunting to think of all the things I still have to do; decorations, sweets table, finishing the book, favors…but with a little luck it will all get done in time, and for this adorable little angel, it’s well worth the stress, and grey hairs!

But wait! We aren’t done! It would be so simple if that’s all there was. One first birthday party. But no. I never am lacking in the “things to do” department. The “badge” on my to-do list app is always in the double digits, and I’m very selective with what I put in there!

On top of all the party prep I’ve had the other little ones to consider as well. And this week Eva’s kindergarten class had their annual “Kindergarten Rodeo Round Up”! As usual with the school events, volunteers were asked to help out with the festivities. There were a lot of categories, and I immediately went for the baking contribution (of course)! But because it was ALL kindergarten classes getting together there was a lot of need, and not a lot of hands being raised to the cause of chocolate chip cookies. So I, mindlessly, offered to contribute all 14 dozen of the chocolate chip cookies!! Oy. And then I got the stomach flu. And then I got better. And then my husband forbade me to go to the trouble. But I had committed, and I hate to back out of something I’ve said I would do. So to the kitchen I went and an entire day (almost) was spent on these:

I was so lucky that 3 batches from the recipe were able to fit in my 6 Qt. KitchenAid Stand Mixer , it made it so between this batch and the double batch I did before it I was able to get all 14 dozen and then some made!

The recipe was for some pretty large cookies, but I was going for a large number of cookies without taking ten days to finish! So instead of a 1/4 cup sized ball I used a mini ice cream scoop to get these heaping tablespoon sized dough balls.

I found out that chilling them (as the recipe called for) made them stay pretty compact, while the batch that I let thaw to room temperature spread out nicely and were still a nice thickness and consistency!

And then I packaged them all up a dozen (or so) per bag, and brought them to the school for a cuteness packed rodeo day! I got rave reviews and it warmed my heart that the lovely Mrs. Mudgett beamed to the other class that the cookies were from one of “her moms”. :0)

And Eva Blue looked adorbs in her “cowpoke” get-up!

And since the cookies came out SO well, and because my sister asked, here is the recipe I used:

I got the start from the Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey cookbook I have by Jill O’Connor, which I’m pretty sure was a gift from my sister! You can find it here though. I changed it only slightly but I’ll share what I did:

I did a double, and a triple batch, but I’ll put the smallest batch here so you can use it even if you only want some rather than tons!

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted organic butter

3/4 cup firmly packed organic dark brown sugar

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp organic vanilla extract

2 large eggs (organic)

2 1/4 cups organic AP flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 cups organic dark chocolate chunks

Melt the butter, then stir in both sugars until combined, add salt, eggs, and vanilla stirring until smooth. Finally slowly add (if using a mixer…otherwise just dumb it all in and fold) the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chunks. (Her recipe has pecans…yum! But I omitted these because of nut allergies among the kindergarteners) As I mentioned above you can chill them for up to an hour and then bake for a more compact cookie, or spoon at room temperature for a wider, flatter result. The recipe yields about 40 small cookies! Or 18-20 large cookies.

I baked my small cookies at 350 for 10 minutes, on two baking sheets swapping racks halfway through cooking. (I have a tiny oven…it was tedious!) I found that having the two racks and switching also contributed to a little bit of spreading, so if you want the compact fluffy cookie just do one baking sheet at a time for 10 minutes (small cookies). The larger cookies should take 15-18 minutes.

Hope you all enjoy!! I know I have been…in fact I think one is calling my name as we speak! I’ll check back in soon!


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