Fall Apple Cinnamon Muffins!

Hey Guys! For those of you who know me well, you know that I am not one who loves to cook or even bake AT ALL…HA! Every once in a while I enjoy cooking something and I can get really into it, if I give it time, but its just not really my thing! To be honest, I just make a HUGE mess in the kitchen and I am mostly the one cleaning it up…LOL! So my hubby is the one who does the cooking around this household! Lilly and I are very lucky girls, Heidi sometimes too when she gets Lilly girls scraps!!

Do you guys ever get bored of packing the same old lunch for yourselves and your kiddos during the work week? I am always feeling like I pack Lilly the same foods each day and I get so bored. She eats great, but I have been feeling like I need to be more creative with what I make for her. I have also been looking for recipes to make that I can freeze for a couple months and just take out for easy meals, or even as a quick snack!

So this week, I decided that the small bag of apples we picked from a local farm in my hometown, just needed to go to good use! So I jumped on my Pinterest of course, and looked for the easiest, and most simple recipe for apple muffins! I have to say that this recipe was super easy, very quick to put together and did not require a ton of steps, which is a win in my momma book! Again, I found this recipe on Pinterest and it is under Easy Apple Cinnamon Muffins by recipegirl.com.

Easy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Ingredients:

Muffins:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour ( FYI: I actually did not have this and it came out fine without)
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 large egg (FYI: I only had small eggs)
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 2 medium apples (peeled, cored and chopped)

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature (I had to melt my butter for maybe 10 seconds)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with muffins liners (I line mine with paper).
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Add oil, egg and milk and stir until combined. Fold in the apples. Divide batter into 12 muffins cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients, blending together with a pastry cutter or fork (I used a fork). Sprinkle over unbaked muffins. I also gave each muffin a generous amount of toppings too!
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. I just baked for 15 minutes and the muffins were slightly dry! Still yummy though!!

So like I said before, after making these, I put some aside in a zip lock bag and froze them for later!! Lilly girl chowed some down this morning with me and they are also hubby approved!!! So easy, quick and yummy for the whole family and made with fresh picked apples from a local farm I grew up at!!!

What are some of your favorite fall recipes? Let me know if you guys make these!!

XoXo

Sarah

Mini Leaf Wreaths!

This Monday afternoon we were back with another after school Art and Sensory today with my kiddos! This Mondays theme was Leaves! My original plan was to gather real leaves from around the neighborhood, but it rained this weekend and the leaves were not all so pretty! So, I ended up having the kiddos use colored construction paper instead!

This project is always a fun one, since the kiddos love all the fall colors and today they just loved decorating their wreath! I had an example of one that I quickly made during the school day and I did let them trace my hand drawn leaves…BUT, I highly encouraged them to free draw their own leaves and many of them did!!!!

So how did we make them?

This is a VERY EASY and SIMPLE project to make AND clean-up! So this could easily be done at home too!

 

Materials needed:

  1. Coffee filters
  2. Colored construction paper (I used fall/leaf colors of Orange, Yellow, Green, Red and I had White and let them color in their own color too)!
  3. Markers
  4. Glue (I used Elmer’s glue, but I am sure a glue stick could work too)!
  5. Scissors
  6. Pencils
  7. String to hang

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And for our Sensory after their project was done, they explored Shaving Cream and they LOVED it!!!! They were laughing, and just having SO MUCH FUN!!! I heard one of my kiddos say to his friends, “let’s write our names”! I just LOVE LOVE leading this class after school!!!

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What cute fall art activities do you guys make with your kiddos?!

Have a great night guys!

XoXo

Sarah

Family Hike in the White Mountains!

Hey guys! I wanted to hop on here quickly and write a short blog about our last minute family hike to the White Mountains this past Saturday!

First of all, I absolutely love everything about NH and what the mountains have to offer! Not only breathtaking views, but exercise during all four New England seasons and so much family fun! The list really goes on!

I just needed to get away this weekend for a family hike and that we did! I picked Mt. Chocorua in Albany, NH. Mt. Chorocua, on clear days, offers hikers an amazing 360 view at the summit. Sadly this past Saturday was not a clear day at the summit for us, but we still got a nice workout in and enjoyed the great outdoors! Brendon and I have been on many hiking trips together and we pretty much try to pick a hike that is going to be fun, have great views along the way and overall just enjoy nature (wait, that is mostly what I want…HA).

When we started off with the hike, it was like a warm, summer day. We were basically in light long sleeve shirts, Brendon in short sleeves and Lilly girl in a cozy jacket (Brendon wore her in our carrier). The sun was shining, we were sweating our butts off from the steep elevation and basically hiking up some rocks, that it was almost like summer hiking.

Our Chicco hiking carrier!  https://www.mercari.com/us/item/m87670926935/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=1581427572&utm_content=t0&adgroup=59126287589&network=g&device=c&merchant_id=117149290&product_id=m87670926935&product_id=529437929414&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIpZXdj7b43QIVmITICh3q4gewEAQYASABEgJPgvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

We got to about 2 miles in (this trail was the Liberty trail to the summit and about 3.9 miles one way), and we both looked up ahead and noticed a thick fog rolling in over the summit. We noticed hikers walking back down wearing rain coats, gloves, mittens and hats! This was when we realized that mother nature had decided to change her weather pattern for the day! As we got about maybe a half hour out from the summit, we realized that it was just too cold and foggy (basically no view from what other hikers had said) to continue with both Lilly girl and Heidi.

Heidi girl rocked this hike by the way! She has gone on MANY hikes with us both and has had this hiking pack since she was a pup! It is the ABSOLUTE best little pack for her!!!! She got SO MANY compliments about her pack and how good she rocked it from other hikers!! It has actually helped us many times hiking some serious elevation back in her younger puppy days when we had to legit pull her up rocks! We actually had to do that again this trip too! Her pack is linked here!

heidihikehttps://poshmark.com/listing/Mountainsmith-k9-pack-for-a-large-dog-59fca3e6bcd4a7125d044bfd?ad_partner=google&campaign_id=1068512779&enable_guest_buy_flow=true&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkPX7-rT43QIVUYezCh2lgw2qEAQYBSABEgIhz_D_BwE&gdm_bottom=false&l_con=NWT%2FNEW&utm_campaign=1068512779&utm_source=gdm

If you want to go go for a long hike, or really any hike in general, you have to take into mind that packing for all different types of weather is extremely important! Though I am not an expert, Brendon and I thankfully know to wear multiple layers AND pack for bad weather, and that we did!!

Our must haves for ANY hike we take:

  1. Hiking pack
  2. Water (we carried a Camelpak water bladder that can hold up to 70 ounces of water)
  3. Rain coat, hat
  4. Snacks and PROTEIN bars, or PB &J sandwiches!!
  5. Mini First Aid kit
  6. Head Lamp
  7. Hiking boots or sneakers
  8. Layers, layer, layers!!

What are some of your favorite hikes and where are they located?

OK guys, it is late and I need to head to bed! But like I said, I wanted to hop on and quickly give you a little detail about our Saturday hike!

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XoXo

Sarah

 

Art and Sensory Fun for school and at HOME!

Hey Guys! Blog number two!! WOO HOO!!

As I told you guys before, I am not only a momma, but I am an Elementary School teacher as well! In fact, I have been teaching at the same school my husband attended when he was in Elementary school for my 6th year now! Don’t forget to visit my “About Sarah” section on my site if you want a little more background on me!

I have always enjoyed teaching at the younger level and fun fact…I actually taught preschool for about 6 years prior to teaching at my current school! So adding some Art and Sensory to my students’ education is super important to me. My school offers students at every grade level, Before and After School programs. I created and implement an after school club for the Kindergarten through Second grade levels. It is called Art and Sensory! I have my students create one or two art projects and have at least one sensory (play dough or shaving cream to explore). I feel as though many kiddos go home after school and don’t get to explore these different tools with art because families are so busy! Now that I am a mom myself, I totally get it! We are super busy rushing around after school trying to do other family things, that taking out paint is often too messy, and shaving cream… why would you even play with that at home? HA! I always ask my students about shaving cream and their faces light up when I tell them we get to play with it!! Or maybe just markers and play dough is fine right?!

So let me get to my point, I love love to come up with fun, simple, creative and sometimes messy art projects with my students! Lilly is too young right now I feel, for paint (she is still putting some things in her mouth), but I did let her explore my home made play dough tonight! She loved it!!

Today was our first after school Art and Sensory class for the 2018-2019 school year and the kiddos had a BLAST!!! We did apple prints, made a collage using recycled gift bags and they explored my home made play dough!

OK, simple fun activities that can be done in the CLASSROOM or even at HOME….

  1. Get some apples from the store or a farm (we picked these a couple weeks back) and simply cut them in half and dip them in paint and away they go! The kiddos LOVED this and yes, they got messy!!! The paint is actually Crayola Finger paint and super easy to wash out!!! I will link it here https://www.target.com/p/crayola-174-bold-washable-fingerpaint-3ct-8oz/-/A-15382609?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Seasonal+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Seasonal&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9001922&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1oi6mtnm3QIVIbCzCh0FUg7FEAQYBCABEgLzpfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

2. Do you ever realize that when you receive gift bags for your birthday or any special events like baby showers, bridal showers, etc you usually just throw them away or put them in the closet?! I literally have kept SO MANY fun bags from Lilly’s baby shower almost 18 months ago that I needed a reason to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle them! Have the kiddos cut them up into pieces of any sizes and make a fun picture or collage out of them! Just get some glue and scissors and let their minds run! Look how cool these came out!! So easy and simple!!

3. Our last project and my absolute favorite is HOME MADE play dough!!! I have had this recipe for so long and it is literally the easiest recipe to make at home! It literally took me maybe 3 minutes on the stove to make! It is super inexpensive too!! I have had parents ask me for this recipe many times when I taught preschool!! So, here you go!!! Enjoy!!

Home made Play doh!

Combine thoroughly

1 cup of flour

1/4 cup of salt

2 teaspoons Cream of Tarter

Add and mix thoroughly (wire whisk)

1 cup of water

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Cook over medium heat in a saucepan or pot, stirring until it forms a ball.

Cool and add food coloring! (I like to move the HOT dough around while adding in the food coloring!! It seems to help spread the color around the dough).

Lilly loved exploring momma’s home made play dough before bed tonight! Side note, these green Dough Stampers are great for little hands too and learning their alphabet!! Lilly I think was more into them then the dough at some points, HA! They are linked here!!!https://www.lakeshorelearning.com/products/ca/s/LA532/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=PLA&CAWELAID=520011010000002852&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=39773099986&CATCI=pla-146395861977&CATARGETID=520011010000071739&cadevice=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjIGy893m3QIVFIrICh2RDAVvEAQYASABEgLdqfD_BwE

Well guys, it is getting late and this momma needs to head to bed!!! I hope you guys enjoyed these 3 fun, simple and very inexpensive art activities for your little’s!!! Please try these at home and any of my fellow teacher friends, let me know if you try these in your classroom! Let me know what you think in the comments below!!!

XoXo

Sarah

Weekend Exploring with my family!

Well here goes nothing, my first EVER blog post!!!

First of all, I am going to be upfront with you guys, and very REAL…blogging has been an idea that I have been wanting to get myself into for quite sometime, but I basically have had to teach myself how to build and design a website! Crazy, I know! I am still trying to figure out the kinks to this and how everything works, but for now, I can’t wait to share fun things with you guys on my site! I am open to ALL suggestions to anyone who knows how to build a website, blog daily and weekly and how to improve!!

Now on to my post…my FIRST post..EEKK!!!

Sometimes I find it is tough to get your family outside and enjoy the beauty of mother nature when you live busy lives,  but this weekend I just needed to get out yesterday and enjoy the fresh air since Lilly and I both had major head colds this past week! Yesterday we took the pup and baby for a short walk to a local quarry in town, one of my absolute favorite places in town to walk actually. It is peaceful, and just absolutely gorgeous on a clear day! There is a main path that circles around the quarry and sometimes along the way, you can spot some really cool flowers that mother nature has grown and just take in the beauty of “how grateful it is to live near this awesome place”!

We also try our best to get the pup, Heidi girl, as we call her, out on the weekends as much as possible! She needs the exercise since she is cooped up inside a lot during the work week. She is a lab that just loves to run around and play with Lilly girl! One of her favorite things in the outdoors is to catch sticks that we throw to her, that she will just tear apart!! HA! She is the BEST big sister to Lilly and is always making sure to watch out for her, especially if we run into locals along the way with their dogs too! She likes to show off her baby 🙂

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Though its hard to tell in this picture, I am actually wearing Lilly on my back! I LOVE LOVE baby wearing when we go to places that will require a lot of walking for her. Little ones get tired easily and especially on hikes or longer walks, and they need to be comfy! I will link my carrier here!! (or try to anyway). https://infantino.com/search?type=product&q=infantino+4+in+1+convertible+baby+carrier

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It is also so crazy that it is the end of September here in New England and we were able to walk outside with no jackets!!! The weather was just absolutely gorgeous this weekend! What are some of your weekend activities to do outdoors? Please comment below 🙂 I am always looking for new places!!

To close out this post, I am going to leave you all, with my TOP 3 things that I try to do when I am outdoors.

  1. Take a walk or run somewhere local.
  2. Find a quiet or less congested/popular place (trail in the woods that you are familiar with).
  3. Wear comfortable clothing (sneakers, hiking/running gear or loose clothing, light sweatshirt if needed).

I hope you all have a great remainder of the weekend, and get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather! Oh, GO PATS!!!

XoXo

Sarah