Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

When the weather gets chilly, and it's clear Autumn is here, we start craving EVERYTHING pumpkin!  Trader Joe's kicks off the season for me with all their delicious pumpkin options.  My favorite, of course, is their yummy and economical canned pumpkin!  I stock up and use it all throughout the Fall and right into those Winter months where we seem to crave pumpkin soup and yummy treats.  On the top of that list?  Pumpkin Muffins! 

I can remember they were Riley's favorite treat for the longest time.  I think pumpkin might have been one of her first words.  No doubt this recipe was a reason why!  What I love about these muffins is that they are not "wet".  Have you ever made a batch of pumpkin muffins that sort of get soggy and gross after a couple of days?  I'm not sure if the pumpkin moisture is too much in relation to the flour or what, but my old recipe sometimes wasn't the greatest.  I'm glad I've finally found one that's yummy and not full of sugar.  This is my go to recipe when it comes to muffins this time of year!  

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins 


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips 


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 2. Place the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining ingredients.
  4. 4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until just combined, add chocolate chips
  5. 5. Pour into greased muffins cups 3/4 full.
  6. 6. Bake for 20 minutes.

These are perfect for the lunchbox or an after school snack!  I make mini muffins and regular size and sometimes I leave out the chocolate chips and add cranberries instead.  
Happy Baking!

KidsEmail - Safe Email for Your Kids Feature #sponsored #ad

*Please note, I was compensated for this review post and feature.  All opinions expressed, as always, are my own* is a great way to introduce your kids to the world of email!
We live in a world, full of media.  It's astonishing to me that some children are as technologically advanced as they are.  Kids are emailing their friends and relatives, sending emails, pictures and videos across the internet.  It's cool we are able to do this but it also can be scary. The internet and technology can get kids into trouble. Sometimes they're faced with images and concepts they're far too young to see.  Emails today use other people’s names to send emails with links to questionable sites and many of those have viruses ready to infect your computer with a simple click. helps keep your kids and your computer safe.  It also allows YOU to control who can contact them, what they can see AND when they can actually email.  This is the key reason I recommend  
KidsEmail is so confident in their service that they offer a free 30 day trial! Once a parent registers, you are sent an activation code to confirm who you are. As a parent, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t need a credit card to sign up and it only takes a few minutes to get started!
You choose an email address but it must end with You can also choose a display name that appears when your kid sends an email. Older kids can use an email address that ends in as well.  The 30 day trial allows 3 children to be added.
You can now enter acceptable email addresses into their contact list and unacceptable addresses in the blocked list.  One of our favorite features is selecting what the kid can and cannot receive in the safety settings such as:

  • Receiving email only from those in the contact list. Emails from those not on the list are sent to your email address (the one used to register with) for approval or rejection. If rejected, you can automatically send a message to the sender saying that the email must be approved by you first.
  • You can have a copy of all emails sent to your kid, sent to you as well.
  • You can have all images and links removed from the email.
  • You can control what attachments are allowed such as photos, PDFs and even videos.

For outgoing emails, a tagline can be attached to the bottom stating that the email is originating from a child while a copy of the email sent can be forwarded to your email address as well.
Older kids may want to edit their contact list themselves and they can with your permission but you still can view who they’ve added.  My kids really liked the designs and favored the more playful colors and themes.  
Younger kids will love the colorful themes that are available including dog, cat, princess or even an iPod. Writing an email is as simple as any other program and allows the kids to format the text, add emoticons and attach files. Look how adorable...
Sending emails was easy!  The additional feature of allowing the older kids to sort and store their messages in different folders was great. Once created however, a red “X” is placed next to it. This is to allow the child to delete the folder and its contents but does however give the impression that there is something wrong with the folder. A different symbol indicating delete would be preferred.
Another great feature allows parents to control when the kids are allowed to use the program. The time restriction page allows you to select which days of the week and hourly blocks they are allowed to use the program. You can even “ground” your child for a set amount of time or until a specific date!  Hopefully not needed, but a good option to have!
In our testing, we sent a number of emails to the program. Some with attachments and some with rude words which were easily caught by the system. 
After the 30 day trial, you can subscribe month to month for $4.95 or purchase the service for a year for $2.99 a month AND they offer another month for free. Follow along on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram!
Feel confident in your child's online activity but still allow their freedom!  I'm happy to have this option - be sure to check it out and explore the site!   

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sugar Goblin Feature: A New Tradition

This post is part of a sponsored campaigned for the sugar goblin. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions on my own.
As we welcomed October, it was hard to ignore the influx of Halloween merchandise and candy in the stores! I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Halloween. While I love watching my girls experience the fun and dress-up, I don't always love the ridiculous amount of candy they collect and unfortunately, consume at times! We have participated in a candy swap at our local dentist office the past couple of years. Basically, the girls trade in candy and that candy gets donated to the troops overseas. In exchange for that, the kids get toothpaste and new toothbrushes.

Recently, I learned of The Sugar Goblin. The sugar goblin is a plush toy, storybook and new tradition that will entice your kids to actually eat less candy this Halloween!

Crystal and Michael Boyle, came up with the idea of the Sugar Goblin when they decided that they are children or collecting and eating way too much candy on Halloween. Like so many of us, they wanted to limit the amount of candy eaten and likes the idea of extending the Halloween tradition. The Sugar Goblin inspires kids to exchange the candy for fun pranks and presents. 

Each Sugar Goblin kit includes a fun illustrated book packaged with the plush toy. The story talks about the idea that Sugar Goblins have always played silly tricks in order to get treats on Halloween. Candy is the only thing that Sugar Goblins eat and with their stash of candy running low, they are trying to bring back the tradition of jokes, pranks and of course Halloween fun.

This Halloween, parents can invite the Sugar Goblin into their homes before Halloween. The idea is that you will place your Sugar Goblin somewhere as a surprise or just give it to your kids to play with. Families can create their own Halloween tradition based on what works best for them. Some parents might like to hang pictures upside down, make funny faces with food at breakfast time or even making silly tea parties with their child's stuffed animals. In exchange for these tricks, children will be in encouraged to volunteer and give up some of their candy to help feed the Sugar Goblin village.

This fun tradition will encourage kids to give up a little more of their candy and will encourage families to have more Halloween fun! Designed for children's ideally ages 4 to 8, the Sugar Goblin is available soon on and! 

Be sure to check out the Sugar Goblin's social media pages to be in the know and to find out more creative ways to encourage the fun with your Sugar Goblin! Like them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Seasonal Comfort

Comfort. It's definitely one of my favorite words. What gives you comfort when you need it most? What are the types of things that you do to provide comfort to those you love? It seems like ever since we were born, comfort was part of our lives, we seek comfort in our parents or a friend. I remember taking a infant massage class when Riley was only a couple months old, we learn different techniques to soothe and comfort our babies. Those are some of the same techniques I've used as the years have rolled on.
I started thinking about this this past weekend when the weather took a sharp, chilly turn.  I decided one of the things I felt most comforting was a warm, thick blanket and our family altogether. There are things that quickly come to mind: mugs of hot cocoa, a delicious homemade soup and bread, my favorite sweater, a hug, and the list goes on. Comfort means different things to different people.
Since it seems like we're ready to really say goodbye to the warmer temperatures and the hot summer sun here in New England, I take such comfort in the fact that I know it won't be that long before we see and feel it again. I always feel a bit of sadness over the first cold weekend, because I know it really is time. Time to get the furnace cleaned, time to put away our sundresses and sandals, time to put the cover on our grill. 

Now is the time to get the tea kettle ready for its busiest season, time to pull out my favorite slippers, time to hunker down a bit and spend a little more time inside. It's time to make the most of a new season, to slow down a bit and to share more as a family. I most certainly take comfort in that!

What things provide you with the most comfort?

Designed by Delxue Designs