The Littlest Funk blog: August 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

7 Grandparent's Day Craft Ideas

Now that my girls understand how to use paint and glue, craft time is a lot more fun and I love it.  Don't get me wrong, it's usually still as messy as it was when they were only a year old, but it's worth it!  With Grandparent's Day quickly approaching on September 10th, it will be fun to give them all something that is handmade.  I've rounded up some of my favorite Grandparent's Day crafts that I can't wait to try out this week!  I know any one of these activities are going to be a huge hit with the grandparents!


I Love You To Pieces Heart Picture - Solis Plus One

Painted Rock Photo Holder - Crazy Life With Littles 

Popsicle Stick Photo Frame - A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Hand-print Aprons - Adventure in Pinning and Life 

DIY Personalized Mugs - She Knows

 Thumbprint Painted Flower Pots - Mom Always Finds Out

Hand-print Plate - Cool Creativity 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Playdates + Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

We all know that play dates are really for the moms and the best ones are filled with catching up, lots of laughter (from the moms and the toddlers), coffee and pastries.  Okay, the pastries might just be me, but regardless, I think you would agree they are a bonus.  

Last week I had the urge to bake and really wanted to try out this new Pioneer Women recipe I had come across.  Of course, I never check to make sure I have everything that I need and halfway through, realized I was short on a few things.  I improvised (like I usually do) and I was more than pleased with the way that the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls turned out.   They were moist, you could taste all the spices and the icing was ooey-gooey goodness.


I invited a friend and her son over to indulge in the sweet treat aka second breakfast with us and to let the kids run off the sugar afterwards ;)  The girl time and the pumpkin cinnamon rolls were just what I needed.  Although, I think it did make me more ready for Fall.  Only 26 more days!

I love sharing recipes with y'all, so I hope you enjoy this one.


print recipe

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
(with Chocolate Chips, Pecans and Cream Cheese icing)
Ingredients
Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 cup (additional) Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 (heaping) teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt 
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Pecans (chopped)
  • Frosting:
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 2-3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Instructions
Dough: In a large pot, combine whole milk, vegetable oil, and sugar. Heat until hot (not boiling), then remove from stove and allow it to cool slightly. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin puree.Combine all-purpose and whole wheat flour with spices. Add it to the pot and stir until combined. Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place for 1 hour. I like to turn on my oven to 300 for a few minutes, turn it off and place the pot inside.After 1 hour, the dough should be doubled in size. Stir in the additional 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.Roll Time! Preheat the oven to 375. Drizzle some butter in to 3 pie pans and allow it to cover the bottom.Place the dough onto a floured surface and press it into a rectangle shape. Note: if it's sticky, add a little flour at a time. Roll the dough out to 10x30.Drizzle the melted butter over the dough and smear it over the surface. Mix together the sugar, brown sugar and spices. Sprinkle this mixture all over the surface, covering the melted butter. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of chocolate chips and pecans. Starting at the top, roll the dough tightly towards you into a large log. Pinch the seam closed, facing the seam down. Slice into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch slices and place them in the pans. Let the rolls rise for another 20 minutes, then bake for 18-20 minutes or until nice and golden brown.Frosting: Combine all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar in a little at a time. Ice the rolls while they are still hot. Sprinkle with leftover chocolate chips and pecans.
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 servings
Original recipe found here

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

You Are Not Alone

A few times over the weekend I had moments where I found myself sad. I had moments where I would see a pregnant woman and think to myself that I should be pregnant.  Even trying to put on a pair of jeans that I haven't worn since before my miscarriage triggered these thoughts and it didn't seem fair. 



As I was leaving the grocery store Sunday, I hopped on Facebook (while I waited for another car to back out) and saw that a girl from my hometown is expecting.  She had the cutest pregnancy announcement posted and the next thing I knew, I was bawling.  I just lost it.  Just when I thought I had my emotions in check since my miscarriage, all those feelings of being okay were gone. 

I would be 13 weeks pregnant today.  I would be getting ready to share our big surprise with our friends and family that we hadn't yet told and now, we don't get to share that news.



It just wasn't fair.  

I felt so alone in that moment.  Even though I have been surrounded with support and love from my husband, my family and my friends, the heartbreak I've had feels lonely.



About the time I got ready to put the car in reverse and leave, Thy Will Be Done by Hillary Scott came on the radio. It wasn't the first time I had heard it over the weekend and I was amazed at the timing.  I got the messaged loud and clear that time.

These words spoke to me at a time I needed them most and in that moment I knew I was not alone.  I am never alone.  I felt His presence, I let myself grieve and I prayed.

God has plans for my life, some that I may never understand, but He is good and he knows what he is doing.  I have to trust in those plans.  I have to trust that I won't always feel this way and the pain I feel now will eventually subside. 

If you are struggling with a miscarriage, ongoing infertility or are just in a place where you feel alone; I know it's hard, but know that you are not alone. 

You are never alone.

These verses have been on my heart and I wanted to share.  I hope they help you as much as they have helped me over the last month.
  
Joshua 1:9 I command you - Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Washington D.C Travel | Best Coffee Spots

Cappuccino at Dolcezzo

Coffee: (n) survival juice

Happy Friday! It's going to be a brew-tiful day! (Sorry-I couldn't help myself)

I've had a terrible cough this week and have not slept more than an hour at a time for the last four days.  The combination of lack of sleep and two toddlers has resulted in a massive amount of coffee drinking.  Seriously, give me all the coffee.  I'm pretty sure it's seeping out of my pores at this point, but then again, what's new.  

I knew when my husband and I traveled to Washington D.C. last month, that finding the best coffee places was on the top of our list.  Not only because we each have a love affair with coffee, but also because we needed all the caffeine to keep us going if we wanted to check everything else off of our list.

I thought it would be fitting to share a few of our favorite coffee spots that we found while visiting (again, because of the ridiculous amount I've had this week) and a few others that we didn't make it to, but were local faves and had great reviews.

Dolcezza

This coffee and gelato shop was amazing, y'all.  My husband almost always get a Cafe Americano and he loved it so much here, that we bought a bag of whole beans to bring home with us.   The gelato did not disappoint and anytime I can have dessert with coffee, is a win in my book.  They have several locations that are all worth going to.  There was a line almost out the door, if that tells you anything.

Baked and Wired

I tried several times to make it to this coffee spot, but it just wasn't in the cards for us.  I'll be honest, not only did I want to go to Baked and Wired for the coffee, but apparently the cupcakes are to die for.  It will be a must when we decide to go back.

La Colombe

Another we didn't make it to, but a lot of people raved about, including our friend from Philly who met up with us over the weekend.  They are known for their latte drafts, which look delicious! 

Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar 

It took us over 10 minutes to find this place as it is tucked away and when we finally did, I was excited.  Mainly because I was hot and tired of walking, but also because of the inviting atmosphere and friendly baristas. I wanted something iced and went with the Iced Mocha.  I don't normally like overly sweet coffee, but it tasted just like chocolate milk and hit the spot.  We also tried their rhubarb pie and my husband wasn't complaining.  What I loved about this place, is their simple menu.  It was nothing crazy or fancy, just good coffee.

Compass Coffee

A local favorite that was started by two marines.  They have multiple locations, each one as busy as the other.  It's a great place to get a cup of coffee or a handcrafted espresso, hang out with friends and enjoy the wifi.


I could really go on and on about all the amazing coffee shops in D.C., but I hope this helps get you started if you are ever visiting the area.

Have you been to D.C. or are you from the area?  Comment below if you've tried any of these places or have a favorite that I didn't mention.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

How My Miscarriage Made Me A Better Mom

I haven't shared my miscarriage story on the blog yet, but if you follow me on social media, then you know I experienced this almost a month ago.  My emotions currently have me feeling like I'm on a roller-coaster, but it's getting better each day.  I still don't understand why these things happen, but what I do know is that it has made me a better mom.

This has been the first week that I haven't cried before going to bed.  I woke up Monday morning feeling great.  It could have been that I finally opened up to my husband for the first time about how I've been feeling, it could have been all the prayers and asking for peace that I have been doing or both.

Honestly, I really couldn't tell you why (other than the fact that God is good).  All I know is that I felt more at peace than I have been and I went with it.

Through my miscarriage, I've come to realize how blessed I am that I was able to have two healthy pregnancies.  Having a miscarriage was not something I ever thought possible.  It wasn't even in the back of my mind, so although I've always been grateful for my girls, I now have a different understanding of the word.  

This loss has made me appreciate my two little girls and love them more.  They don't know what happened to me, they just know that they need me.  I give them extra kisses throughout the day and hug them a little tighter before bedtime.  I'm careful about the way I speak to them, making sure I don't lose my temper or yell at them.  I choose my words and I try to show them the unconditional love that they deserve.  

Being a full-time stay at home mom, I can easily lose sight of this.  It's easy to get into a routine or get easily frustrated when we haven't been out of the house in days.  I sometimes forget that my girls still haven't learned to control their emotions and that is something I can do.  Like I said before, I don't understand why these things happen, but it happened and it has been eye opening.
 
This week has been packed full of fun and adventures with my girls.  We have literally gone out of the house every single day this week and I have loved every minute of it.  From toddler classes to play dates to the beach and even ice cream for breakfast yesterday.  It has been incredible and my heart is so full. I've played with them more and I've focused more on them. I've been less present on social media and more present during pretend tea parties and checkups from "Doc Emma".

Now, I still give time outs when necessary and I still drink a lot of coffee in the morning to keep up and I still have to take an occasional deep breath when they act, well, like toddlers.  I mean, I'm still their mom ...just a better one.

Our loss has been heartbreaking and something I'm not sure will ever fully go away, but for now, I will focus on being the best mom to the two girls I have here with me.