Things I Love Thursdays

A few happy Things I Love on this first Thursday of August…

Pengoloo

Penguins

 

A game I never mind playing!  Pengoloo is a memory game made of hysterical little penguins and their colored eggs.  The game is easy to understand, fun, and fast!  It is loved by all three of my kids.  And we’ve given it as a birthday present in the past and it has been well-received. Only negative? The eggs are a choking hazard so stick to playing with kids who are 3+.

Pumpkin Muffins (recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

I do admit that I am usually anti pumpkin food stuffs.  And it isn’t fall.  But these are easy (one bowl!) and tasty.  My kids adore them (because, really, like most muffins, they are basically cake).  Smitten Kitchen is brilliant – I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried (except the gingerbread, but I think that was more about me and less about the recipe, but I digress…)

Make these muffins.  I cut the sugar down to 1 cup, and eyeball the pumpkin amount.  I also eyeball the spices.  And the muffins are always great.  The recipe is really forgiving. I’m going to try making them with a 50/50 white/whole wheat flour mix in the next few days.  I bet they’ll still be great. Added bonus? These keep beautifully for a few days, unlike some muffins with fruit in them that get soggy on day 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I usually just use cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
  • cinnamon sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 and put muffin tins in a 12-muffin pan.
  2. Whisk together the first 4 ingredients.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except the cinnamon sugar and whisk ingredients together.
  4. Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes (mine are always done at 25).

Enjoy these August days – eat as much ice cream as possible and run in those sprinklers – it’ll be back to school soon enough!

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Summer Lovin’

Yes, there was snow a week ago. But that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about sunshine and the longer days that are just around the corner.

Admission: I am on the receiving end of some ribbing for my love of planning.  It is possible that my mother actually gifted me with a framed a greeting card that said something like, “All spontaneous fun must be planned in advance!” or something like that.

I just like to know what the plan is.  And I’m kind of bossy.

But I’m not making any apologies for my summer to do list this year!  Summer around here is short, and there is much to do before the arrival of fall (and Pickle starting 1st grade. WHAT?!)

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Summer Fun To Do List 2016

  • Pick up subs and have an afternoon/evening picnic/swim at a local lake
  • Attend a Minor League Baseball game
  • Strawberry picking
  • Ice-Cream-for-Dinner Night
  • Weekly trips to our favorite local spot with ice cream, farm animals and an amazing sand pile (aka kid heaven)
  • Surprise the kids with a day off from school to go to the beach and have fun
  • At least 2 weekend trips up to Maine to stay with family
  • Go visit my sister and the new baby for a long weekend (probably with at least one of my kiddos tagging along)!
  • Trip to the Zoo
  • Solo trip to the Coast for some outlet shopping and a great lobster roll (okay, maybe I’ll bring a friend, or my husband)
  • Mini golf
  • As many al fresco dinners on the deck as the weather and mosquitoes will allow
  • Bring the big kids to two of the great “for kids” shows at our local professional theater
  • Make ice cream with the kids
  • A few evenings hosting friends for cookouts and play time in the yard
  • An evening with cookies, bug spray, and a picnic blanket at a local bandstand concert.

I was going to add “backyard camping” to the list, but I think my husband would kill me (and make ME be the one to sleep in the buggy tent).

A few of last year’s photos from our favorite ice cream spot/farm/giant sand pile/kid heaven:

 

Happy Spring to all!  Summer is on the way – what is on your list?