Custom Header

Dani Grant, Maui Dani Grant, Maui
Dani Grant, Maui Homepage About Dani Recipes Beachbody Penny Pinching Prose Disclaimer Contact

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Reverse Trick-or-Treating

Pumpkin Whoopi Recipe
Everything is weird. That could be the real theme of 2020 😆

As the holidays approach, I've been wondering how many of our usual traditions won't happen because events and activities will be cancelled or modified. I'm trying to stay two steps ahead by coming up with different things we can do this year, and "reverse trick-or-treating" was one of the first ones we tried out.

First, we made pumpkin whoopie pies. As you can see in the photo, Toby likes to help (long enough to lay claim to a mixing spoon for licking 😏). Here's the recipe we followed, and would definitely make again!

Fall Inspired Whoopi Pies

  •  3 
    all-purpose flour
  •  2 
  • Pumpkin Whoopi Pie Recipe
    baking powder
  •  1 
    baking soda
  •  1 
  •  2 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  •  1 
    granulated sugar
  •  1 
    dark brown sugar
  •  1 
    canola or vegetable oil
  •  3 
    chilled pumpkin puree
    (canned pumpkin)
  •  2 
  •  1 
    vanilla extract


  •  3 
    powdered sugar
  •  8 
    cream cheese
    (at room temperature)
  •  1/2 cup 
    unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  3 
    maple syrup
  •  1 
    vanilla extract


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  4. 4. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined and no flour streaks remain.
  5. 5. Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
  6. 6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
  7. 7. To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  8. 8. To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for an hour to firm before serving.
  9. Pumpkin Whoopi Pie Recipe
After they were good and solid the boys donned their costumes and delivered a few to some neighbors. This might have to become a new tradition, as not only was it fun, but it was a good way to bless friends and spread some smiles.

Are you thinking of ways to celebrate the upcoming holidays differently? I'd love to hear your ideas, so leave a comment below!

Filled with Hope,

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Redeeming The Time

It's been a week without social media, and, honestly, the longer I go the more I wonder if I'll ever go back. Sure, sometimes I wonder what people are up to or if I'm missing out on something, and sometimes I miss being able to share with friends and family what the boys are up to, BUT I don't miss the noise, the time wasted scrolling, the frustration it can evoke, the comparison, the jealousy, the "highlight reel" of people's lives.

At the beginning of every year I pick a word that represents some area of self-improvement I want to focus on. I can't remember what I picked this year—and I suppose if I was on social media I could scroll back and find it—so instead I'll pick a word based on what I think God wants me to focus on right now: redeem. Specifically, redeeming the way I use my time.

It started in March after attending a local If: Gathering, a national women's conference. I felt God tugging at my heart to wake up earlier to spend time in my Bible and prayer, prioritizing Him before anything else in my day.

Then in September, I felt like I needed to redeem my afternoon time, that downtime during the boys' naps when I'd fall asleep or scroll my feed for two hours or watch shows—nothing wrong with any of that, by the way, but I knew for me I could be using my time better.

Around this same time a friend was looking for part-time help at her t-shirt shop, which just so happened to fill that afternoon time. And so, naptime redeemed! Instead of wasting away 2-3 hours of my afternoon, I get to spend 4 hours helping friends, visiting with customers, being active, and earning some extra money that I hope to squirrel away for an epic 10-year anniversary trip (I've got another year and a half to save for it ;-) ).

Finally, at our local MOPS meeting at the beginning of October, we touched upon the theme of: Decide To Rise. During the discussion, the Lord convicted me to delete from my phone a silly game called Township—my competitive side had lead me to waste way more hours than I should have in that game and it was time for it to go. Goodbye my little town!

And BINGO! More time redeemed!

That was the chain of events that lead me toward this idea of stepping away from social media. And as hard as it was to cut the cord, it's surprisingly been so rewarding and much easier than I thought it would be. My desire to be more present with my kids has happened naturally. You know what they say: phone down, eyes up!

Speaking of the boys, we are headed to the beach with friends before a much-needed rain comes for a few days, so I'll sign off for now and touch base soon.

Oh, and I'm working on family Halloween costumes. Do you dress as a family theme or every member for themselves? Any ideas for family themes you've done or seen? Or, if it's not a secret, what are your kiddos dressing up as this year? Share in the comments, please!

Filled with Hope,

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Most Beautiful Pumpkin Patch

If any year has made it challenging to keep up with traditions this would be the one! Whether it's parties, holidays, parades, theme parks, trips, annual activities, or something else, most of them have been canceled, closed, postponed, or been so needlessly hampered by regulations that they're just not fun anymore.

It was the same for our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, the most beautiful pumpkin patch in the world if you ask me ;-) It's one of the few things Toby has done every year of his life. The boys love it and they talk about it for weeks afterward.

But this year I almost didn't take them. New regulations, masks required for adults in the hot sun, time limits, and no corn maze, it almost didn't seem worth it. Thankfully both of our boys are still under five and are not required to wear a mask so for them it wasn't quite as bad. So I put my own annoyance aside and decided to take them. They had a blast! Though they were disappointed there was no corn maze, they had no issue turning the sunflower patch into one of their own. Sort of. LOL!

So here's my photo dump, all the photos I would normally share on stories or my feed :-)

What are some of your favorite fall traditions? Here on Maui, this pumpkin patch is mine, but when we are in New England I love getting my dad's side of the family together for an afternoon of apple cider making :-)

PS. The more days that go by on my social media fast the less I think about it. I find myself enjoying the moments for myself instead of trying to capture them to share with the world. Learning to store up these moments as treasures in my heart and mind.

Filled with Hope,

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Day One, Not Hard But Weird

Day one, while much easier than I anticipated, was weird. So many of my daily routines involve social media so I kept finding myself picking up my phone to hop onto Facebook or Instagram only to ask myself: does anyone really know what my plans are for the day? Do they even really care? 

I didn't timelapse my workout to share in my stories, but you know what? I still worked out! And I still checked in with the virtual fitness group I run to share with my team what I accomplished.

Later that day at the beach, there were moments I would think, 'Oh, this would be a cute story or post,' and just as quickly I was reminded that I didn't need to do that. And that's ok. Instead, I felt fully present, capturing a few photos to have and share here, but otherwise, I was content watching my kiddos, playing with them, soaking up the sun, and enjoying our beautiful life on Maui.

In the evening, while I washed the dishes, instead of catching up with some vloggers or Facebook, I listened to the latest episode on the Risen Motherhood Podcast. And after the boys went to bed instead of mindlessly scrolling my feed I found a book to download on the Libby App and spent the evening reading.

My phone says I was actively using it for 1:46 minutes, which is down 72% from last week. Almost a half-hour of that was spent texting a few friends more than I usually do, while 24 minutes was spent on my camera or photos, 25 minutes on websites (I was looking for recipes for dinner last night, which ended up being BBQ pulled pork sliders on homemade rolls) and a few minutes here and there on other apps.

I'm not really sure why I'm telling you all of this, other than to let you know it's doable. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. Rather, I just had to adjust my daily routine. We'll see if day two goes as smoothly ;-)

In other news, my two #10 cans of pumpkin puree just came! Tell me your favorite pumpkin recipes in the comments because I'll be making ALL things pumpkin as soon as it's cooler out!

Filled with Hope,

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Goodbye Social Media

Remember the days where in order to know or see what your friends were doing you either had to see them in person, call them on a phone connected to a wall, or look through their family photo albums?

I do, and there have been times when I’ve longed for that simplicity again, versus the constant noise of being ‘in the know’ about so much all the time.

Fear of missing out, believing that my online presence is necessary, and a desire to encourage and inspire others via social media has kept me there. Yesterday, out of the blue, I happened to come across a book that will be released soon about a 40-day social media fast, and it got me thinking that maybe it was time to take a bit of a break, even if temporary. So, on a whim, I decided today would be my last day to log onto Facebook or IG for 40 days, which coincidentally will take me through Thanksgiving.

I’ve fasted from social media in the past, but it’s been at least 6 years since the last time I did that. I think it’s long overdue. Seeing the weekly notification that tells me I spent 5-8 hours a day using my phone in some way (social media, photos and video, shows, text, email, etc.) seems a bit extra, so here I am getting ready to delete the apps at the end of the day.

More than just a waste of so much precious time I can never get back, I’ve found more and more that screen time leaves me dissatisfied with what I have, where I live, what I get to do, etc. Not to mention the FOMO when you see friends doing fun things that you weren’t invited to. I’m not sure what will happen after the 40 days is over, but this is what I hope to do during the 40 days:
  • be present more
  • read more
  • engage with my kids more actively
  • be thankful for all that I have been given
  • work on our family photo books that I keep putting off
  • be more attuned to the quiet voice of Jesus
I also plan to hop on this underused blog 3-5 times a week to share what I’m learning, how I’m growing, what’s been the hardest, and so on. So please come back to the blog regularly if you want to keep up with my cute kiddos for the next few weeks :-)

Have you ever fasted from social media before? Or even considered it? I’d love to hear of your experiences or what held you back from taking the leap.

Filled with Hope,