Delicious {Baked} Donuts!

Somehow, over the past few years, Saturday morning donuts have become a family tradition around our house. I’m ok with that.

Donuts = happy tummy.

and…

Donuts = REALLY happy boy tummies.

But sometimes I don’t feel like loading up everyone in the van on a cozy Saturday morning. And I don’t even want to know the calorie count on those fried bits of heaven.

So I bought a donut pan. Oh yes, I did.

Thanks to Pinterest, we’ve been having our Saturday morning delicious donuts at home, trying several different recipes and enjoying ourselves ever so much.

Friends: get yourself a donut pan. You will not regret it. And when you do, try these recipes as quickly as possible…

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Baked Banana Bread Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze – My first go at homemade donuts made a believer. The inclusion of bananas and Greek yogurt tilts the scale even more towards the healthy side for this recipe, but they were every bit as delicious as the fried variety. And the dark chocolate glaze? Fabulous.

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Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Syrup Frosting – I love all things pumpkin, so obviously I had to make these. Yum. Who said it needs to be fall to enjoy baked pumpkin deliciousness? I love the light glaze on top – no drizzling it on for me. I dunked that baby in the glaze and never looked back.

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Baked Maple Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar – The Hubby is a fan of sugar-covered donuts, so these were a big hit with him! And the boys and I haven’t really met a homemade donut we didn’t like yet, so these were another home run! Please eat these warm. I must agree with Si and Jase about the power of hot donuts after trying these fresh out of the oven. {If you don’t watch Duck Dynasty, you will not understand this reference. Please remedy this situation as soon as possible.}

I have several more recipes lined up to try and you can bet I will share those recipes if they turn out well!

Oh, who am I kidding? They are DONUTS. Of course, they will turn out well.

Let’s dish on donuts today:

Who has the yummiest store-bought donuts?

Have you made homemade donuts?

Do you have a favorite homemade donut recipe?

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WFMW: Wonderful Water

Do you know why water is so important to your body?

We’ve all heard over and over again that we need to drink more water to be healthier and lose weight and so on.

According to the Mayo Clinic, water is even more important to each of us for other reasons…

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

{From the article “Water: How much should you drink every day?”}

With these three boys, I can’t afford to have any less energy than I already do, so I will keep chugging those glasses of water!

I actually enjoy plain water. It has to be REALLY cold, but I have no trouble drinking ice water all day long.

Everyone likes a little variety though, right?!

To mix things up a bit, I found a few flavored water “recipes” on Pinterest and gave them a try!

The first flavored water recipe I tried was this Cucumber Lemon water

 

I wasn’t sure about this one because there was no sugar and I usually like sweet drinks, but the flavor grew on me throughout the day. It does require several fresh ingredients that you will need to keep on hand, but those ingredients also make it look very pretty! This would make a great drink to serve to guests on a hot day!

Since I have a sweet tooth, I went in search of another flavored water with a little more sweetness and I found this…

 

This Apple-Cinnamon Water “recipe” from the blog “Lose Weight by Eating” was satisfying for my sweet tooth without being overpowering. And apples and cinnamon both have lots of great benefits for you, including boosting your metabolism!

Pinterest is full of other flavored water recipes! I’ll probably be trying a few more throughout the summer!

Do you have a flavored water recipe you love? How do you make sure you get enough water in each day?

*****

Check out lots of great tips over at Works for Me Wednesday with We Are That Family!

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Pinterest Post Party: LEGO Birthday Party!

When Big J told me he wanted his sixth birthday party to be a LEGO party, I did a little happy dance.

I knew the internet was swarming with LEGO birthday party ideas and, sure enough, Pinterest had more than enough inspiration to make planning this party a snap!

I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to LEGO birthday party ideas, but I actually kept the party pretty simple – no cake shaped like a LEGO or full-sized LEGO man at this house!

Here are a few ideas I DID use…

The LEGO Guessing Jar {idea from this post} – Put some LEGOs in a jar. Have kids make their guess as they come in. While kids are eating cake, count the LEGOs with them. Declare a winner. Easy peasy.

 

LEGO Toss {idea from this post} – I made three rings out of poster board, gave each ring a value, and let the kids toss LEGOs into the rings! The kids tossed three times per turn and earned M&Ms based on their tosses. I didn’t use any fancy LEGO-font labels, but the kids still had fun with it!

LEGO Building Station {idea also from this post} – I loved the idea of having the kids build during the party, but I didn’t want to limit them to just building race cars. I put a plate out for each of them and wrote their name on it. Throughout the party, they could return to their plate to keep building and no one was allowed to take LEGOs off another person’s plate. At the end, I took a picture of each kiddo with their masterpiece!

 

It was great – and SIMPLE – party, even if I do say so myself! Big J said it was his “best birthday ever” {he says that every year} and one mom called me afterwards to say her daughter was going on and on about fun it was! Success!

Here are a few more highlights from the day…

Primary colors are the way to go for LEGO party decor!

I found these candy blocks on Amazon – they are hard enough to build with and taste sort of like SweetTarts, but not as good. The kids loved them – I put them in baggies as party favors! Two pounds was more than enough for 12 treat bags!

Chocolate covered strawberries as a surprise treat for the birthday boy!

That is one happy SIX-year-old!

Dear Pinterest,

Thank you for all of the great party ideas!

My affection for you continues to grow.

Love always, Erin

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Pinterest Post Party: Crochet Owl Love!

I love to cook and bake, so I went with recipes last week for Mindee’s Pinterest Post Party. I also love to crochet and that is what you’re getting today!

Confession: I went MAJORLY crochet happy while pregnant with Double J. It kept my hands and mind busy. I made lots of baby items for him and for friends’ babies. Baby hats are just so cute and quick to make!

I came across this pattern for a crochet owl newborn hat just a few weeks before Double J was born and I just had to give it a try!

My favorite yarn to use for baby items is Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton – it is soft, washable, inexpensive, and comes in many colors! I found all of the colors I wanted for the owl hat and got to work!

Believe it or not, the hat only took me a few nights to finish while watching TV after the kids were in bed! I really thought something this detailed would take much longer, but the directions were easy to follow and, like I said before, baby items whip up fast because they are so teeny tiny!

I didn’t take any pictures in process, but I think the completed project turned out pretty darn cute…

Yep – I made that! The baby AND the hat! And I only had help with one of them 🙂

{Thanks to my friend Megan for this adorable newborn photo of Double J!}

Oh, and did I mention the pattern was FREE?! Pinterest is a great resource for finding free crochet patterns all of kinds! You can check out my other Pinterest crochet finds here!

By the way, I’ve done absolutely ZERO crocheting since Double J was born. Go figure…

Check out more Pinterest-inspired posts and link up your own every Tuesday and Thursday in May over at Mindee’s blog!

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Pinterest Post Party: 4-Ingredient Banana Bread

Well, I guess I’m just continuing the breakfast food theme here this week as part of Mindee’s Pinterest Post Party {every Tuesday and Thursday in May if you want to join in}!

When I see the words “easy” and “bread” in the same recipe title on Pinterest, I get very excited.

Carbs sure are wonderful, aren’t they?

Not only did this banana bread recipe claim to be easy, but it also involved a cake mix! Cake mix recipes are some of my favorites because they require so much less measuring!

{Sometimes I just want to be a lazy baker, ok?!}

This Easy Banana Bread recipe from Artsy Fartsy Mama lived up to its “easy” claim one hundred percent! And I would add YUMMY to the title, as well!

Just a few notes for you and for myself next time I make this bread {because there WILL be a next time}:

1. In the recipe, she says you can use two small loaf pans or one large one. I used one loaf pan and needed to bake it much longer than the suggested time.

2. I used three ripe bananas and 3/4 chocolate chips.

3. I think these would make excellent muffins {with a shorter cooking time}!

4. This banana bread is more dense than most recipes I have tried. It was nice to not have it fall apart everywhere when I picked it up!

I highly recommend you give this a try!

And please share any other treats you like to make using a cake mix {because I really need more sweets to tempt me, right?}!

P.S. After two years without, we entered the smartphone world once again this week.

Hello lovely…

Maybe I’ll do an iPhone-related Pinterest post next week! Now, excuse me while I go back to obsessively taking pictures on Instagram…

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Pinterest Post Party: The Most Important Meal of the Day!

 I am oh-so excited to share with you today that I am joining my in-real-life friend Mindee’s Pinterest Post Party on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of May!

This is a chance to actually DO those things we keep pinning on Pinterest and share our results!

Mindee asked a few of us to join her to kick things off, but you can join in on the fun as well and link up every Tuesday and Thursday over at her awesome and hilarious blog, Our Front Door!

I’m starting off with recipes today because I have actually made several that I found on Pinterest lately! Yay for follow-through!

Most of the recipes have been breakfast-related {trying to add a little more variety and little more homemade to our breakfast routine} and, amazingly, all of them have been a success! And by success I mean that I really liked them – I can’t speak for anyone else in the house – they still like their old breakfast routines!

Without further ado, three yummy Pinterest-inspired breakfast recipes…

Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

 

The words “breakfast” and “cookie” go so well together, don’t you think?! These breakfast cookies were easy to make and full of only good things – no added sugar, oil, etc. Head on over to Watching What I Eat for the recipe!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares

 

I loved the idea of having these squares ready to grab and eat in the morning, so I’m really glad I liked them! I like to have one of these with a smoothie for a filling breakfast! You can find the recipe over at Gingerbread Bagels!

And then there is my favorite Pinterest find so far this year…

Brownie Baked Oatmeal!

 

Oh my deliciousness. Oatmeal that tastes like dessert and is actually kind of healthy for you! I put some in a bowl, added a splash of milk, and savored every last bite. Even Big J liked it! Thank you, Thriving Home, for this life-changing breakfast recipe! YUM!

Have you discovered any yummy new breakfast foods on Pinterest? Please share!

And don’t forget to link up your own posts over at Mindee’s Pinterest Post Party!

You can follow happy pinning by clicking here! And get my posts sent directly to your email for FREE by clicking here!

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