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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Squares

I can't claim any credit for this awesome recipe.  It all goes to my Aunt Lisa who shared it with me after Christmas a couple years back.  Cheesecake sandwiched by chocolate chip cookie?  Yes, please. :)


  • 2 - 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese; softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 - 20 oz. pkgs prepared chocolate chip cookie dough frozen for 1/2 hour before use (or make double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and refrigerate or freeze for a little bit)

Preheat oven to 350

Line metal pan with parchment paper.  This will make removal of the cooked bars from the pan much easier.  Don't use a glass pan, they never seem to cook up correctly.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and eggs until smooth.

Cover bottom of pan with dough (or 1 pkg. premade)

Pour the cream cheese mixture on top and spread out evenly.

Either drop blobs of homemade dough on the top to cover most of the filling <OR> slice the second package of dough into 1/4 inch slices, flatten between hands and place on top of filling covering as much as possible (some spaces between the dough is okay).

Bake until golden brown (30-35 min).  Cool completely, add powdered sugar to garnish and cut.  Keep refrigerated.

*NOTE: these bars are best after refrigeration, it helps the cheesecake part to set properly with the cookie dough.

I think I need to go get another giant tub of cookie dough from Costco now so I can make another batch of these...


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dani's First Birthday

Well, we are officially done with all Dani's birthday celebrations.  Even though she didn't understand any of it she really had a great time enjoying her actual birthday with Chris, Michaela and I, followed by a Super Bowl party with friends.  Here's a recap of her very special day!

Birthday Girls get a special birthday breakfast complete with their first candle of the day!

Followed quickly by their first bath of the day to wash all the extra pink cream cheese out of their hair.   Of course, big sister needed to get clean too...

 Then some quick playtime for these clean girls in their matching outfits. "We're MATCHERS MOM!!!"

Before a bottle and a snooze on dad. :)

 After a nap we had a very late lunch of delicious heart shaped ravioli for the kids (left) and mom & dad (right).

Mmmmmm... ravioli!!!

 With some tasty vanilla cupcakes from Little Pearl Cupcake for us 'big kids'

 And a special smash cupcake for Miss Dani!

 Who only took a couple tastes of the cupcake...

before she lived up to the "smash" part! (She had sooo much fun squishing it in her fingers!)

After another bath (with big sis again) her celebrations were topped off with a visit from Grandma before we went to enjoy the night with some awesome friends watching the Super Bowl!

Happy First Birthday Dani!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Attention All Mommy Bloggers!

Great opportunity for mommy bloggers who are interested in applying.

MEGA Brands Inc. is having a Mega Bloks Mom search right now.  They are looking for 5 Mega Bloks Mom personalities to contribute to their new Mega Bloks Family Club blog and online community.

For complete requirements and application visit:

You have until March 1, 2011 to sign up but you MUST be a Mega Bloks Family Club member to do apply.  Good luck!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tigers & Snakes

My sweet, soft, pink-loving little girl has been wanting to be the one to say mealtime prayers the past couple days.  It's pretty cute since she whispers whatever it is she says.  Today I was able to be close enough to finally hear her self-proclaimed "little prayers":

"Thank you Lord for tigers and snakes.  Amen."

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Think Summer - Lime Ricki Sale!

Okay, I don't really want to find a new bathing suit for this summer but I knew I was going to have to.  The sale over at Lime Ricki made this process much less painful for me. :)

Right now you can use the code PIECEOUT to get all Lime Ricki one-piece suites for only $15!!!  If you're like me and prefer a two-piece tankini you can use coupon code JENSWIM for 10% off your order! Plus, everything I saw on their site is already on sale! (HINT: try using both codes together if you get a one-piece suit...)

Lime Ricki has a great line of fashionable and modest swimwear.  I just ordered the Hallie Tankini Top & Paisley Classic Bottoms (both pictured to the left).  Maybe when my new Lime Ricki suit arrives it will come with warmer weather? 

Hurry up summer!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Frozen Yogurt

The day before Dani turned one we let her have frozen yogurt for the first time.  She doesn't seem to have much of a sweet tooth, but this was a clear winner in her book!  It would appear I have another little girl who will be more than willing to visit the ice cream shop come summer! :)

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Little Pearl Cupcake

Guilty confession:  This is what happened on Tuesday when I tried to buy just one cupcake from Little Pearl Cupcake to bring home.

But then my Chocolate Chocolate cupcake started staring at me from the passenger seat.  Tempting me to 'take just one bite' and I thought, "One bite?  Sure, why not?" 

One bite!?!  I couldn't stop!  Before I knew it I had inhaled the entire thing.

Lesson learned?  Next time buy 3 cupcakes.  1 for me, 1 for Chris and 1 for the car ride home.

The evidence (please excuse the awesome photo quality, it was taken with my phone)

Little Pearl Cupcake just opened their storefront on Monday, February 7 and  I definitely recommend stopping by and picking up a cupcake (or 3) to enjoy.  Maybe you'll even see me there, I plan on having lots of errands keeping me "in the neighborhood" to appease my new found cupcake addiction. :)


Friday, February 11, 2011

To Be Younger

We were driving in the car yesterday and suddenly the quiet was broken by Michaela announcing to me:

"Mom, I don't want you to be old.  I just want you to be younger."

"Uh... thanks Michaela?"

Not sure how to react to that one, but apparently my aging has become of great concern for her. 

I wonder just how much younger I need to be?

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Potty Training Already?

DISCLAIMER: Quite frankly, I'm a mom who has spent the past 3 1/2 years wiping butts.  Like the book says "Everybody Poops" but if you think toilet training is TMI, you should just stop reading now.

Dani has recently decided that she likes to poop on the toilet.  She'll start trying to go in her diaper, and if I catch her I'll ask if she wants to use the potty.  She usually does and so I'll let her go on the little training toilet we had from Michaela.  It cracks me up, but I don't have to wipe smashed poop off her butt so...

Anyway, tonight when I was changing Dani's diaper for bed I was having a running conversation with her (she's one, so that means that I was talking and she was listening).  I had her all wiped off and was reaching for her diaper when I asked her, "Do you want to put your diaper on now?"

She immediately shook her head "no."  Laughing I then asked, "No?  Do you need to go poopy?"

She shook her head "no" again.  Still laughing I then asked, "Do you need to go on the potty chair?"

"Yeah," she replies.  Okay, that got my attention.

"Do you need to go potty on the potty chair?" I asked not really believing she would answer.


"Ummm, okay."

So I pick up the naked baby and go get out the little training potty chair for her to sit on.  SHE WENT PEE ON THE POTTY!!!  I couldn't believe it.  I was speechless.  What 12 month old recognizes that they need to go pee and then actually tells you and holds it until they're on the potty?

Has anyone out there trained, or attempted to train, their kids while their kids were really young like this?

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Dani!

One year ago our littlest blessing made her way into the world.  It's hard to believe how quickly this year has gone by and just how big she is getting already!!! 

We are amazed to see how her personality is developing.  Every day with Dani gives us another reason to laugh!

She is our cuddly little lover and has even been known to find strangers to snuggle with. (no joke!)

She still refuses to eat any baby foods, but even with only 2 teeth there isn't much big people food she isn't able to devour. 

Sometimes when things get too quiet and I'm unsure where Dani is, I can just go find Big Sister Michaela because 90% of the time they are quietly playing together.

The other 10% Dani is finding some way to get into mischief all on her own... Like when she finds food on Michaela's table that was never intended to be eaten by the baby.


Happy Birthday Dani Ruth!!!  We love you so much and are so glad to have been blessed with such a joyful little girl! :)

And here's a mommy confession... I've been saying she weighted 9 lb. 4 oz. at birth.  Here's a photo to show that I was wrong (how could I get that screwed up?) and that Dani weighted in at 9 lb. 5 oz.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

New Toy Box

Michaela loves to go in and help "get sister up" after Dani's naptime or when she wakes up in the morning. A couple weeks back they were being way too quiet with this little ritual so I went to investigate. This was what I found.

These tubs and shelves were once over flowing with all the toys that were added to Dani's crib...

And She LOVED it! hehehe :)

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nesting for Baby

A pregnant friend of mine just posted a comment about her nesting phase beginning.  It made me think... one year ago I was in the nesting phase.  Nesting with Dani was an interesting thing.  It started about a month and a half out and just got more and more crazy the closer we I got to delivery.

For starts, I baked anything I had the slightest craving for.  Cookies, brownies, casseroles, lasagna, breads, macaroni...  I'm pretty sure the only thing that stopped me from making more was the fact that there wasn't any more pans to hold it all.  When I finally went to the hospital there was more food in our house than we could eat in a week.

If an item had a place it belonged, it was put there.  Didn't have a place?  I'd reorganize and make one. Normally I'm completely oblivious to anything on the counters, floor or tables and I have a large desk that is rarely cleared.  But when I was near the end of my pregnancy with Dani our house was spotless.  I would dust, vacuum, sweep, and scrub every other day (if not every day).  It was crazy!  I would stay up late at night, exhausted and sore, but the counters HAD to be clean before I could sleep. 

And laundry!  I was obsessive compulsive about doing laundry!  That last week I was constantly running the washer and dryer.  As soon as there was even half a load to wash it was done.  I was a madwomen, driven to cleanliness by the completely illogical thought of, "What if I need any of those items when I leave for the hospital?" (No matter that my bag was packed and ready to go for weeks beforehand.)  I even remember doing laundry at in the middle of the night when I woke up in labor.  Chris must have thought I was completely bonkers as we waited for my mom to show up to watch Michaela!

Flash forward a year... The only food I've made this week was because some friends had their baby, every flat surface is covered with stuff (it was just clean 2 days ago!!!), nothing has been scrubbed in over a week, and the only reason laundry is almost caught up is because I was working on it constantly for 2 days.

As crazy as it was I do kinda miss the clean laundry, the sparkling house and all the food. ;)  What did you get crazy about when you were nesting?

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Daddy's Girls

Today's snow day conversation between Chris and Michaela.

"Dad, do you wanna come play with me?" asks Michaela as she tries to tug Chris back to her room.

"Play what?" he asks as he slowly starts to follow.

"Play... JEWELRY!!!"

Yep.  He's such a good sport about all the 'girly' that goes on with having two little girls.  There are a couple things he won't do (no makeup or earrings).  But he's always playing along when he gets asked, "Dad, will you spin with me?" or "Can we have a tea party?"

That's why whenever he comes home, no matter where they are or what they are doing, both girls go running to find their daddy.  Michaela starts reciting all the important events from her day to him at the top of her voice and Dani rattles the gate until he gets upstairs for their hugs.

 Because she won't fall asleep with just anyone... just dad. :)

 This is what 'spinning' is.  Dancing.  Like Belle & The Beast from "Beauty & The Beast"  :)
They are total daddy's girls. :)

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Babies

Today I got to hold the sweetest little baby.  She was all snuggly and little and... absolute perfection.  I felt that tug on my heart.  You know, the one where you think "wouldn't another one of these be nice?"

Do babies do this to everyone?  Are they like kryptonite for grown women around the world?

While my girls were the best, most perfect amazing newborn babies to ever grace planet earth, there are no plans for more (well, none on our part... God may have another idea).

So, this is my warning to all my expecting friends out there.  I'm coming to visit.  I want to hold your babies.  Soak in their newborn smell.  Ooohh and ahhh over their perfection.  I'm going to gaze at them adoringly and let them just melt. my. heart.

Then I'm giving them back.  I'm going to remember being pregnant, epidurals that don't work, and 3 AM feedings.  Because as soon as I'm gone and your baby is out of sight the desire for another one of my own will quickly (very quickly) fade and I'll remember all the reasons why I'm glad to just have my two.

Both of my very own little pieces of perfection coming home from the hospital.  (Michaela, left. Dani, right.)