Bump Watch

There is quite an obsession, or perhaps just an expectation, for women of prime childbearing years to start a family. I have been married over three years, I am almost 29 years old, and have not started a family. GASP! Sometimes I feel like people around me have put me on, “Bump Watch.”

We see it all over the celeb gossip news channels, and even regular news channels, when a celebrity is suspected to be expecting. Are they or aren ‘t they attempting to hide a baby bump? Did they eat a large burrito or do they have a bun in the oven? Of course it is exciting to speculate because there is nothing more pleasing than your favorite beautiful celebrity to procreate with another beautiful celebrity to make a beautiful celebrity baby. And while I am nothing near a celebrity, I feel like the people around me, bless their hearts, are eagerly awaiting Baby Bradshaw.

Which brings me to a fun little story from yesterday morning. I was attending a meeting that is primarily made up of people two to three generations older than me. I left the house in my new forest green dress from Primp that I picked up the week before, and paired it with a fun, leopard print shoe I found at Target for only $10. I was feeling great about my outfit choice and even Justin commented on it before I left.

While waiting for the meeting to begin I was doing my best to mingle. It doesn’t come naturally to me that early in the morning. An older woman approached me with bright and excited eyes and asked, “Elizabeth…are you expecting?” Dun-dun-duuuunnnn. She asked me with such excitement that I quickly put my hand on my belly and exclaimed, “Ummm… No!” Her excitement quickly turned to embarrassment, and I quickly took my seat feeling all of the confidence I had when I left the house instantly seep out of me.

We were seated at the same table so after the meeting was over, and I had downed my buttery hash browns, I scooted for the door. I immediately called Justin to have him reassure me that I didn’t look pregnant when I left. And of course I texted my mother (not while driving) and she asked me what the cut of my dress was like. When I told her I must not be able to pull off an empire waist she said, “Not when you’ve been married for that long and are almost 30. People are looking for it.”

I spent the rest of my day eating my feelings with my supportive coworkers. One of them was even nice enough to remind me that it was just another thing I have in common with Duchess of Cambridge. I learned that this has probably happened to almost every woman at least once and her life, and because of this experience I will continue to live by this philosophy…

pregnant ecard

And on that note, I am probably going to watch Modern Family from the treadmill. And for those people in my life anxiously awaiting Baby Bradshaw, I thank you for thinking it is a good idea for me and Justin to make a mini version of ourselves. That is awfully flattering. But for the near future, please understand that any bulging belly is simply due to a lack of working out and  an over consumption of wine. :0)

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Pumpkiny Goodness

Hi friends!

Did I really just take three-months off of blogging? No wonder I haven’t felt complete lately. I am not sure what exactly happened, but I can tell you that I have been extra busy lately. Surprise, surprise.

Although some really fun and awesome things happened in the last three months, I won’t be recapping. That would just take too long. If you are curious where I have been and what we have been up to, visit me on Instagram @bettybshaw.

With that said, I am going to jump in and provide you with two yummy recipes. Since fall is now in full swing, pumpkin products are EVERYWHERE. I think I have almost reached my full capacity of pumpkin treats, but I don’t seem to be turning any away quite yet. So here goes:

The first recipe was found online at chow.com. I had tried cookies like this at a family event not too long ago and wanted to recreate them.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola or corn oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Instructions:

  • Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl, and set aside.
  • Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Stop the mixer and using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle. Turn the mixer to low-speed, add the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla, and mix until evenly blended. Add the flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Add in the butterscotch chips and mix until evenly distributed.
  • Using an ice cream scoop (this actually worked really well!) scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2 inches apart. Using a thin metal spatula, smooth the tops of the mounds.
  • Bake the cookies until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

photo-122They looked a little different from the ones I tried previously, but turned out just as tasty!!! They are almost like cake cookies and super easy to whip up.

Next up: Award Winning Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bars. If I haven’t blogged about this before, I probably should start. My 12-year-old neighbor and I often find ourselves in a bake-off. It is a friendly competition and she gets to set the terms of what we are going to make. In the past we have made banana bread and something lemon (we both ended up making a cake, but they were completely different). Although she is only 12, she is quite the skilled baker and beat me the first two rounds. When she text me and said we were on for Pumpkin Bars, I knew I had to bring my A game. Therefore, I went with a Paula Deen inspired (a.k.a. LOADS OF BUTTER) recipe.

Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture (this will take some effort to cover bottom of pan, but it can be done!) into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
  • To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.
  • Serve with fresh whipped cream.
photo-123
Mmm…Pumpkin.
photo-124
The Competitors: Erica and Me.

Don’t mind the way I look, or the not so female strong sweatshirt I am wearing, but those were the finished product. Erica made a more pie like bar that included a yummy crusted bottom.

After judging (our engineer neighbor on the other side of our house judges) he announced the winner and the reason why I can now call them Award Winning.

photo-125

I may have felt a little shamed from the 12-year-old covering her face and the 28-year-old rejoicing, but I was coming off of two losses already. Cut me some slack.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin treat or recipe for this time of year?