Growing older is a strange prospect. I still feel like an awkward teenager in so many ways (who let me have a house, a mortgage, a kid and a job?!), yet so vastly different than who I was just a few years ago. Time passes in an infinitely more disconcerting manner once a child enters the mix. And for some reason, every year that passes since I hit 30 seems a little heavier. Maybe because 40 is looming just around the corner and seriously I just cannot be closing in on 40. Fall has always been my favorite time of year, I think as a child because I knew my birthday was coming, the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. As I’ve aged the smells, the colors and the crisp air have become my favorite part. I spend far more time outside in the fall than the summer yet somehow this fall I’ve missed out. So today, after her nap we headed to a conversation park within walking distance and spent the golden hour hiking around. I even took a few photos of the park itself, as did she. I’m beginning to think this kid is going to need her own DSLR sooner than I expected. She’s definitely the piece that keeps me feeling young yet leaves me feeling old at the end of the day. I’m hoping we get a few more days like today to squeeze in more of autumns magic.
She has been asking for a big bed for a while. She’s shared ours since she was three months old, and we decided to let her continue until she was ready for a change. As she’s been asking over and over, it seemed like time. For some reason, I got it in my head that I would build her a bed frame. So build it I did. It was simultaneously easier and more difficult than I had imagined. I used the pieces of her crib for the head board and bed rails. I also decided that her room needed to be painted and completely reorganized. The dog statues , were decorations I painted for her second birthday party last year. We keep adding pins to her fabric drawers, as she collect new ones, the newest from the heart walk this year. And the drawing of the little girl with the bunny. It was drawn by nurses in the NICU when she was an infant, and has hung on our bedroom wall since. I planned to move it to her room once she moved in as well. So finally it hangs in its rightful place. It’s followed her bedside from the NICU to the PICU, to our bedroom, and finally her own. As does the dream catcher made by my cousin, which hung above her isolette in the NICU as well. The ukulele was a Christmas gift from her Papa, a surprise for me as well, which brought me to tears on Christmas morning. And the animals, are souvenirs of her visits to the hospital, as she’s visited the gift shop on every trip. This kid has so much stuff. But it feel extra special to have her own room, completed , where she has spent the last week sleeping. Now I just have to stop worrying about her falling out of bed and sleep in my own bed again.
We went to the pumpkin patch today, the same one we visit every year, and she wore the same sweater she wore two years ago (somehow I can’t find photos of last year). She was so excited to pick out the pumpkins herself and even more so to arrange them around the yard once we got home. I love this kid, more and more every single day.
I spent some time photographing her this weekend. I was so intrigued by her drawing with the chalk on the wet concrete. She created one masterpiece after another and just like that washed them away and started all over. There was something really magical and beautiful about the whole process and I got swept up capturing it.
She kept asking me for cupcakes. Day after day. Finally, one night after work I agreed to make them. These really are the best chocolate cupcakes. Ever. They are insanely moist. Literally they were still moist a week later. I’m not joking. It was insane.This girl most certainly has my sweet tooth. She loves chocolate. And ice cream. And cookies. She’s clearly our daughter. We made these a few weeks back and I’m sitting here writing this, drooling over them, wishing I had made another batch tonight. If she wasn’t asleep I’m sure she would be wishing the same.
For the cake:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into the pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks.
4. Make the frosting: Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Frost cupcakes. Makes about 2 cups frosting.
This girl seems to have inherited my love of shoes. Seriously do most two year olds have 20 pairs of shoes? And I swear the kid loves them all. Recently she got to pick out a new pair of moccasins and I swear the excitement level she reached when she saw the purple ones was almost explosive. We received our first pair of Freshly Picked moccs a little over a year ago, and have loved them ever since. They still fit, and although well loved, are still in great shape. I’ve purchased other brands over the past year as well, and honestly the difference in quality is huge. These moccs are thicker, yet the leather is soft enough to skip socks. I’ve caught myself wishing numerous times that they came in adult sizes. They are the perfect shoe for toddlers, easy to get on and off, yet almost impossible for littles to kick off. Have you tried Freshly Picked moccs yet? Well here’s your chance. This week I’m hosting a giveaway, one pair of Freshly Picked moccasins, in a color of your choice. Here’s how to win:
1. Follow the blog. This gets you your initial entry.
2. Leave a blog comment.
3. Follow The Night Bakery on Facebook, leave a blog comment when you do.
4. Follow The Night Bakery on Instagram, leave a blog comment letting me know you did.
5. Share this link on social media. Leave a comment with the link to your share.
Make sure to leave a comment here for each one. Each item gets you one entry. Giveaway runs through May 7th. Winner will be choose at random. Winner will be announced here May 8th. Winner can not have won any other giveaway including a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins within the last 60 days.
I was gifted one pair of Freshly Picked moccasins, I was not however, compensated for this post and all ideas expressed are my own.
Giveaway is now closed and winner has been contacted.