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Monday, September 30, 2013

Pumpkin Picking

Happy Monday! We had a laid back and fun weekend that included a pumpkin patch, staying in our pajamas for way too long & a church.  We live in a pretty rural area so the closest pumpkin patch is 30-40 minutes away. Our upcoming weekends are packed so I knew this weekend would be perfect. The weather definitely wasn't the best...70ish degrees so I had to change up our fall pumpkin picking attire.

We wandered through the patch in search of the perfect pumpkin and stopped along the way for a photo op.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Five on Friday

Starting our Friday off fabulous-ly, I have linked up with Darci to bring you Five on Friday!

                                                   THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

I made these pumpkin spice cookies with some leftover pumpkin on Wednesday. Do yourself a favor and make them now or tonight! 


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon ginger
dash of allspice
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup pure pumpkin (same as canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree)
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

For the icing
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 tablespoon melted butter
milk, as needed

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. (Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing).

Add the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended. Stir in the flour mixture with a spoon.

Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop out mounds of dough onto prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out the mounds.

Bake the cookies until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, whisk together powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and melted butter in a small bowl. Gradually add milk by tablespoons, until you reach a spreading consistency. Spoon the icing evenly over tops of cookies. 


Found this yoga bag at Target for $6...SCORE! I loved it so much I used it as a diaper bag last night!

If you follow me on instagram (whitney_collins1) you would have seen our first of many trips to the pumpkin patch yesterday. This way my favorite picture. She walked holding this two punkins and wouldn't put them down. We had a blast!

 I have been working with Frame Your Event over the past couple of weeks on a giveway! For a chance to win an item of your choice comment below with "win". If you are a runner or triathlete, you will want to visit their Etsy shop! Take a look at these beauties!


The picture frame on the left can be found here                   The medal display can be found here

I am a sucker for playdates! I literally would have 5 3 in a day if we had more SAHM's in my area. I love this post on playdate snacks!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weekly Workouts

I didn't gain an appreciation and understanding of health & fitness until I got married in 2008. We moved to Chapel Hill, NC for Ben to attend dental school & by golly everyone was in tip top shape. I mean we couldn't drive half a mile without seeing 3-4 people running, the gym parking lots were full and all of Ben's dental school friends talked "healthy". We were new to this atmosphere of "being healthy". Needless to say it rubbed off quickly and I was full force for 4 years! I had a passion for exercising...any kind really! I loved to keep things fresh and keep my body guessing. I was into running, swimming, biking. weight lifting, zumba, yoga, Pilates, etc...literally everything! Since then I've ran one full marathon, two half marathons, one triathlon, one mud run and numerous 5k's. After having Berkley, I quickly realized that I didn't have hours & hours to workout. I know what works for my body & am limited with time! I workout either in the mornings before Berkley & Ben wake up, during nap time or when Ben gets home from work. Here is what a normal week of workouts look like

An example of Friday's cross fit of last week looks like this *(don't judge the paper, it's all I had a the moment & needed to rush before Berkley woke up).

*12 rounds
12 tire flips
12 push ups
12 walking lunges
12 burpees

Speaking of workouts...what's a workout without a cute accessory? A needed accessory at that! Mallory over at Owl Be Sweatin sent me this amazing leopard non-slip headband! Not only is it perfect for working out, but I've noticed myself wearing it for errands too. I'm sure I am not the only one battling re-growth, but this headband is sure to lay EVERYTHING down. It also has an adjustable backing so that it fits you perfectly. I love this headband and it is hubby approved! Ben says it actually looks like a fashion headband instead of my ugly rubber black workout headbands. Thanks Mallory for making me look cute while sweating! Check out her Etsy shop & use the coupon code glitterandgirl  with no spaces for 15 % off!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Oh the joys of molars ( I actually just typed toys of molars but toys are fun and teething isn't) We were up for what seemed like forever last night with Berkley. She has always been a little trooper when it comes to teething, but this time it is a doozey (anyone from the south understand this)? Three, 3, tres molars at once. My heart hurts for her because I know she is pain, but my internal clock was ticking away last night! Needless to say teething or not teething, sleeping through the night or waking up every 2 hours...we are blessed. Blessed to have such an amazing daughter and blessed to have a loving Christ center family. I'm tired, yes but in 2 years I won't hold onto the sleepless nights I will hold onto my attitude towards being  a mother. So grab your coffee mugs mama's it's going to be a long day, but it's OKAY!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hey Good Lookin...What Ya Got Cookin?

Happy 1st day of Fall!! I was beyond excited to start my fall cooking this week, until I checked the weather. 80 degrees all week...really?!?! Oh well, God knows what he's doing so I can't fuss!  Here's our weekly menu for this week

I love this weekly meal template! I can't remember where I found it but there are a couple over at Tip Junkie. Is anyone else have such a difficult meal planning with this crazy weather? It's September, I want to use my slow cooker....It's 80 degrees, Ben wants to grill!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pinterest Fail

My beloved pinterest has failed on me for the 1st time! A couple weeks ago I found an edible pumpkin play dough recipe and knew it would be the perfect fall sensory activity. Well, I thought wrong! The play dough recipes that we use are all edible because Berkley still puts everything in her mouth! I also wanted to use a no-cook play dough recipe for a change. I like to cook, but I don’t like cooking up play dough. There wasn’t  a “recipe” we used the website just stated to use 1 can of pumpkin, add pumpkin pie spice, and enough cornstarch to thicken. I did all of the above and it ended up being the exact thing we started with. So what did I do….throw it away? Heck no, I am no waster! I dumped the entire batch of mushy pumpkin onto her highchair. Seriously, this chic is so not into the “mushy texture” which is why I continue to do them. She touched it with 1 finger….really?

I laughed so hard that I may have snorted, but who cares it’s just the 2 of us. After realizing that it wasn’t the best texture she held out her hands and screamed. Again insert another snort/laugh. 


I then took her hands and dug right into the center. She calmed down a bit and played for another minute. By play I mean trying to pick it up and throwing it on the floor and saying “uh-oh momma.”


These are the times when my Type A personality is kicked to the curb, my teacher instincts come into play and most importantly my mom emotions rage. I’d rather spend every second playing, making messes, exploring and soaking up every minute with her! This is my little rant for the day. I do have to remind myself that she won’t be little for long and that I know I will miss these days when she’s older and wants to play with her friends more than her momma. Now I am off to cry a little!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kid Tested, Mom Approved Toy Link Up Party

I'm linking up with Julie for the kid tested, mom approved toy party today!

Shape Stacker/Sorter from A Summer Afternoon. All of their toys are handmade, natural and eco-friendly.  There are 3 stacks so that Berkley can stack by shape or shade. Yes I said “shade” I am a teacher so I don’t miss anything! We've been sorting and singing lately. I’m a huge toy fanatic and you could tell if you saw our living room, but I won’t let an appropriate educational toy slip my fingers. It also promotes fine & gross motor skill development!

B. Parum Pum Pum Drum Set  This set is music to Berkley's ears! It offers so many musical instruments! Her favorite is the egg shaped shakers. We could sing & dance with this all day!

B Zany Zoo Activity Cube: Berkley got this as gift for her 1st birthday & it is so much fun! There are 5 total activities! This cube can be used for all ages! 

Minnie Mouse Vacuum Berkley has always loved helping me vacuum so when I saw this I was super excited! It offers imaginative playing & gross motor skills!

We hope you enjoy all of this fun toys as much as we do!

Monday, September 16, 2013


Our weekend was jam packed with fall decorating, fall shopping, mud, glow run, a birthday party and church! On our way to drop the car off to have the oil changed Berkley thought it would be fun to watch her phonics video on daddy's phone. She normally watches it on the iPad during breakfast & snack time, but she was a little fussy in the car so we knew it would make her happy! Happy baby equals happy mommy & daddy right???

Saturday morning we were up with the chickens...literally at 5am. We drove an hour and a half to Youngsville for our first mud run! This wasn't just any mud run it was a zombie mud run. We completed the mud run with some friends and it was fantastic! Running through mud, sliding down muddy tarp, slippery monkey bars, running from zombies, crawling under ropes, walking across logs, running from zombies....and the list goes on! This will definitely be one of our annual races!
Here we are doing our weekly chores! Berkley is in the imitation stage so we took our our vacuums and got to work!

After our race Saturday we came home to finish up our fall decorations...minus the outside decor.  I LOVE pumpkins! I not a matchy matchy person when it comes to decorating I like different textures, patterns, etc.. Here are a couple pictures of our entrance table.

And we can't leave without a closing picture of Berk Berk! This is what she does when we ask her how old she is! Such a smart baby! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Colorful Sensory Play

Sensory play with a 14 month old is so much fun! Yesterday we tried out the colorful spaghetti and it was PERFECT! I knew Berkley wouldn't love it at first because she doesn't like pasta. She won’t eat it because of the texture. I thought this activity would be a great way for her to become accustomed to the texture of pasta.


1 pack of spaghetti
food coloring

I boiled the noodles until soft. Drain and let dry. I made them in the morning and let them dry for 2 hours. Separate into separate bowls. I used 4 different colors so I had 4 bowls. Squirt a couple drops per bowl and toss with tongs. Let dry for 2 hours.  PLAY TIME

I hope you have just as much fun as we did!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday Link Up

I'm joining Darci today with Five on Friday
                                                     THE GOOD LIFE BLOG 

ONE: Fall has officially arrived with the PSL! I don't want to entirely mess up my workouts so I will stick with getting one just on Fridays! That's a great way tot start the weekend off right? I normally get mine regularly but have some "bloggy" friends that order them iced. I may try that today.

TWO: We started football season off last night with our first tailgating experience with Berkley. She loved it! She walked and ate the entire time! We had a blast! She had an early nap so she was tired before we even got there. She's a tough cookie though! We tailgated until the game started and watched about 30 minutes and then I left to come home for bed. Ben stayed back with his family & guess what....UNCP won! Whoop Whoop

THREE: We are having a fun filled weekend with a birthday party AND..... a diy growth chart! I am stoked about completing this project with my hubby! Once it's ready I will post the tutorial. For now this is what we are going for! I've been browsing Etsy for growth charts but can't find exactly what I want.

FOUR: I made this crock pot meal last week and it was great! Hubby approved! I also added a little more cilantro. This on top of cilantro rice..yes please!

FIVE: Need a moment to wash the dishes? I tried this "indoor water table" with Berkley this morning and she LOVED it. Seriously just dump a cup of water on the high chair and let them have at it! After a few minutes I added in some ice cubes, spoons and lids. Berkley is considered a toddler now..tear...so I've been amping up my teaching style! I told Ben we must add on a toy room so that I can take my teaching supplies out of storage so that Berkley can start using them. Finger painting is next on our list.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thirteen Month Favorites

Berkley turned 14 months on Sunday. Seriously she is so much fun! Ben & I spend every night after she goes to bed recapping the day and we always end with “she’s growing up so fast”. Here are a couple of our 13 month must haves 

Polar Bear What You Hear is Berkley's favorite book right now! She is so into animals. Her favorite animal in the book is the elephant. We can be in the middle of another animal and she will randomly flip back to the elephant...SO CUTE!

Happy Tots Food Pouches is the most convenient way to get the recommended amounts of fruits & veggies in. Berkley is an on the go baby! She enjoys being about to walk and eat at the same time.

Flower Sprinkler is a perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while its not super hot outside. Some days it's too hot to fill the pool up for Berkley to only last outside for 5 minutes. That's when I bring this bad boy out! 

Bubble Maker Berkley is fascinated with bubbles. I don't know about you mamas but I get tired of blowing bubbles! This bubble maker is so cute and so easy to use! Berkley knows how to turn in on and yells "BUBBLES" as is starts! It makes a ton of bubbles while I get to enjoy popping them with Berk!

Armor Box This is a life saver! Ben has an iPad through work and even though we enjoy letting Berkley use it she would scream when we took if from her. Tantrums in the making...maybe! The armor box is perfect! It allows her to carry and play with the iPad without mama having a heart attack. 

Words Berkley currently says: No, dog, bubble, bye, night night, horse, papa, G, daddy, momma, Elmo, hot, Rambo, ball

As you can see we have been having loads of fun over here lately! What are your current must haves for your little ones?