Saturday, December 12, 2015

Oh, Internet... {83}

*gratuitous adorable toddler photo*
Aaaaaand we survived another week!  Every year I say I'm going to buy Christmas presents before Advent even starts, and every year I fail miserably.  I checked a few more off my list this week, but this weekend I plan to get the rest done- to include the ones I'm making myself.  Wish me luck!

The internet was way more productive than me this week.  Take a look!

Rabia at The Lieber Family (hey girl, I see you!) talked about creating a family time capsule- such a cool idea!

I wish Kendra at Catholic All Year would throw a Pride and Prejudice birthday party for me!

I love the look of this disco ball wreath from A Beautiful Mess!

Mary at Better Than Eden shared a beautiful reflection on how motherhood is a muscle.

Leslie at Life in Every Limb talked about That Time I Did Not Advent Right and I identified with every single word.

Along similar lines, Molly Makes Do reminded us that a little goes a long way when it comes to Advent.

Tacy at Picture a Skyline talked about The Difference Between Proselytizing and Witnessing- an important distinction to remember in an era of intense political arguments.

What awesome things happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fashion Adventures: Sweater Skirt

So remember that time I turned an old dress into a skirt for Chief?  Well, I did it again, only this time I used an old green sweater.  Once again I used this tutorial from Make It and Love It, only I also added a bit of lace trim to the hem just to boost the cuteness factor.

Last time, she wasn't so eager to pose for pictures.  This time, she saw me taking pictures of those pumpkin pie brownies and came up to me and said "Take a picture me!"  So we went out into the backyard because it might be December, but don't tell the weather that, and she smiled and waved for the camera.  She wanted to dictate where she would stand and how she would pose, and fashion bloggers, take note- this little girl can strike a pose like the best of them!  Enjoy the results of our photoshoot!

Shirt: Target
Skirt: Handmade
Stockings: Target
Boots: Shoe Station

Have you sewn anything for your little one lately?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, December 7, 2015

Culinary Adventures: Pumpkin Pie Brownies

As those of you who follow me on Instagram know, when I made cupcakes for Chief's class for her birthday, I totally used boxed cake mix and pre-made frosting because as much as I love baking from scratch, ain't nobody got time for that on a Monday night.  But you see, when I purchased said boxed cake mix from the grocery store, the grocery store was having a sale...4 boxes for some amount which was less than what 4 boxes would normally cost, and I figured, "Sure!  We need 4 boxes of cake mix!  Cake for everyone!"

Box number 1 became the Sesame Street cupcakes.  The rest sat there for almost a month in the pantry, staring down at me from the baking shelf every time I opened the door as if to say, "So, about dem cakes..."

Well, Saturday night, we were invited to a pre-Christmas party- "we" as in all three of us, so we were actually able to attend!  But because our dear friends didn't know what they were getting themselves into, inviting a 2-year-old to their pristine apartment for an event that would extend past her bedtime, I figured I should bring something tasty.

Enter: box number 2 of cake mix.

I just so happened to have a can of pumpkin on my shelf, as well, because this is the time of year when one buys canned pumpkin with no concrete plan for it because it's winter time, you'll figure something out, and I had seen pumpkin brownies on Pinterest, though I never actually read the recipe, so I figured hey, I should give it a shot.

I'm not sure if this is anything like that other recipe, but if you'd like some cake-like brownies that have what is essentially pumpkin pie filling sandwiched in the center, this is what you're looking for.

*personal photo*
Pumpkin Pie Brownies

For the brownie batter:
-1 box chocolate cake mix (I used a brand that "has pudding in the mix!")
-1/2 C vegetable oil
-2 Tbsp water
-2 eggs

For the pumpkin pie filling:
-1 C pumpkin puree (NOT canned pumpkin pie filling)
-2 Tbsp sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

-Preheat oven to 325F (you might want it hotter if you're not using a dark/nonstick pan).  Line a square brownie baking dish with parchment paper, letting just a little bit peek out over the sides to make cleanup easier!

-Combine all of the brownie ingredients in one bowl and all of the pumpkin ingredients in another.  The brownie batter will be thick; you can add up to 1 C of water if you'd like the resulting brownies to be more fudge-like and less cake-like, but I really wanted something to stand up to the moistness of the pumpkin.

-Spread about 3/4 of the brownie mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly on top.  Spread the rest of the brownie mixture over the top in as even a layer as possible.  (I was going for a literal sandwich effect here, but as you can see, my layers were not very even.  It's cool- they're rustic.)

-Bake for 45-47 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Set the pan on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes, then lift the brownies out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper and cool completely on the wire rack.  Then slice and enjoy!

What non-cake desserts do you like to make with boxed cake mix?

Much love,
The Geeks