Easiest Mint Brownies EVER!

posted in: Recipes | 0

FOOD!  FOOD!  FOOD!  That’s right, get ready for a storm of food posts.  I did a bunch of baking before the holidays and never got around to writing about it!  Is it just me or does the time up until New Year just fly by?  Of course, after that it’s the LLOONNGG wait till winter is over.  Right now, however, we’re still basking in the light of the holidays, so I’m just going to enjoy that for now and not think of the months ahead!

We had a fantastic holiday season, and hope you did too!  How was your holidays?  There really is nothing like baby’s first Christmas, that first Christmas together as a family.  Little E had so much fun, unwrapped her presents, and was just an awesome sport all morning!  We truly are so blessed by her.

Anywho…one of the things I started doing this year was making cookies and treats for the guys at my husband’s work.  We did them for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, so hopefully I can remember to continue it into 2017.  Who wants to remind me at Easter?

Last time I made my husband’s favorite peanut butter chip cookies.  I wanted to do something a little more fun this time around and, to be honest, I might have over thought it!  In the bags this year I put salted caramel cookies, mint brownies, and salted caramels.  What I didn’t think about before I started was that the brownies and caramels had to be individually wrapped before going in the bags, duh!  Very time consuming…..but the guys loved it so WORTH IT!

I suggest making these AMAZING brownies and just serving them in the pan…I promise they will disappear!  However, they are also easy to cut and arrange or even cut and wrap in plastic wrap to be given to others.  They are SUPER moist though, so be careful!

Without further ado….MINT BROWNIES!  The seriously easy way to get that mint flavor without all kinds of work!

 

Ingredients:

1 boxed brownie mix (I used Pillsbury Milk Chocolate)

1 (4.67 oz) box of Andes Crème de Menthe thins (You need about 24 pieces so score 4 for yourself!)

+ the ingredients called for on the brownie box

 

That’s it!  Did I tell you these were so EASY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Preheat oven as directed and grease a 9×13
  2. Make the brownie mix according to directions
  3. Pour HALF the brownie mix into your greased 9×13
  4. Arrange the Andes mints on top of the brownie layer
  5. Pour the rest of the brownie mix over the Andes and smooth to cover the chocolates
  6. Done!  Bake approximately 30 minutes.

 

I baked mine for 35 minutes because I’m a bonehead and was trying to do other things.  The middle was PERFECT! but the outside edges got a like crispy.  Try it for 30 minutes and just watch closely, everyone’s oven is a little different anyway.

Aren’t they beautiful? And, trust me, so delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

 

Greek Yogurt Chicken and Avocado Salad

posted in: Recipes | 1

Merry Christmas!  I can’t believe the holidays are sneaking up on us so soon!  I feel like the last 2 months have been flying by!

My favorite part of Christmas is seeing the presents wrapped and under the tree.  I think it’s part of the reason I love to shop early.  As soon as the tree goes up, around Thanksgiving, the presents get put underneath.  I love buying, wrapping, and giving gifts.  Anyone else like this?  What is your favorite part of your holiday traditions?

We’ve been doing some thinking about family traditions and what we want to start now that we have little E.  We’ve decided to make sure we are home for Christmas morning from now on.  I want my children to know the excitement of waking up Christmas morning in their beds, opening presents from Santa in our living room, and having a fun family breakfast.  We also started a fun handprint tradition where we put your handprints together so see how E (and any future kiddos) grow over the coming years.  I just keeping looking at her little hands and feet and wishing they would stay little forever!  It’s truly been a great year!

Anywho….

Now that E is getting big, I’m trying to introduce her to a variety of foods.  We tried avocados a couple weeks ago and MAN did she love it!  Since it’s cheaper to buy avocados in bulk, we had some left over and I wanted to make the adults something tasty.  Guess what, there’s not a lot of avocado based salads out there, which I thought was weird considering it’s creaminess!

So, after considerable searching on Pinterest and scrounging through my cupboards, I’ve come up with this little gem for you!  I had all the ingredients on hand AND it’s really a guilt free experience.  To make things even better, my husband liked this!

If you know my husband, he’s not a real healthy guy.  Green foods scare him and when we first got married I wasn’t allowed to use black pepper, only white.  Maybe I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure the only real difference is the color.  He was terrified of color!  Though, to give him credit, he’s come a long way.  He also enjoyed spaghetti squash this week and ASKED for green onions in his scrambled eggs.  Progress?  I think so!

I’m getting off track!  Greek Yogurt Chicken and Avocado Salad!  Depending on your needs, I would suggest doubling this if you want it to last a few days.  My husband and I ate the whole thing for lunch and I had to make a new batch for my lunches for the week! (Which he took to work, lol, I’m telling you, it’s good!)

(P.S. Ignore my mess in the background!  It is Christmas after all and wrapping is so much fun!)

Ingredients:

1 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I used fat free)

1 avocado

1/2 of a medium apple

1-12.5oz can of chicken, drained (or cook and cut a chicken breast)

1/2 cup onion (I used yellow, but red would be good too!)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds (no shell)

1 tsp of lime juice

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

 

 

Just cut the apple and onion, pit the avocado and scoop it from the skin, and mix all ingredients together!  I think this took maybe 10 minutes.  So good, so easy, and so healthy!

 

 

Also check out a similar recipe I did: Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad    You could even mix and max between the two recipes  🙂  I love flexibility in the kitchen!

 

This would make tasty sliders for an upcoming holiday get together!  I eat mine straight out of the bowl but my husband likes it as a sandwich; whatever floats your boat!

 

Must Haves for 0-6 Months!

posted in: Kids | 0

I have to admit, I’ve been having a hard time coming up with something to write.  I’ve been cooking tons of crockpot meals lately!  I always forget to take notes and pictures though so I’ll have to pass on that for right now.  Maybe an idea for later.  🙂

The other reason is that this election is totally stressing me out.  I know it shouldn’t.  I’ll cast my vote on November 8th and we’ll trust that the will of the majority will be done.  However, I am stressing!  I can’t control it, I stress anyway, the stress continues, I get frustrated by my lack of control, and the vicious cycle starts over.  Anyone else do this?

There is a sparkly note to my everyday though, and that’s my baby E.  She’s getting big so fast!  She rolls over like crazy and she’s starting to be able to sit on her own!  How did she get so big?  I’ve been thinking of the supplies that we use CONSTANTLY!  I won’t talk about the obvious bottles, diapers, ointments, car seat, diaper bag, etc.  These MUST HAVES for the first six months have been our go to!

img_20160829_0809336_rewind

 

(Note: I am not being paid to endorse any of these products.  However, if you buy using the link provided, I do get a small percentage, BUT IT DOESN’T COST YOU MORE).

  1. Sleep Sack: E hated to be swaddled and always wanted to have her hands, literally from day one!  However, I didn’t want her to flail around and wake herself up.  This was our lifesaver the first couple months!
  2. Gym Mat: We set this up when she first got home from the hospital and I think she has used it every day since!  I am planning to put it away in a couple weeks.  I want her to continue rolling and moving and there is less of an incentive with so many toys all around.  😉
  3. Bouncy Chair: When she’s fussy but just wants to be near, this is a great alternative.  I take it outside, in the garage, to the kitchen, I’ve even traveled with it (though it is a little big and cumbersome).
  4. High Chair or Bumbo:  We have both, but you could get away with having one or the other.  We have a hook-on high chair for the counter and table.  We recently took it with us to a restaurant and it was great!  I loved having her right there next to us and it was easy to use.  The bumbo is good too.  Remember, all things in moderation since the bumbo has been reported to cause hip issues when used too much.
  5. Rattle Ball:  This toy is fun, easy to hold, and is now an incentive for her to move.  It rolls away or she throws it and she is starting to go after it.
  6. Foam Letter:  Love these for the teething!  You should see all the teeth marks on her little letter.  Light, easy to hold, and helps ease her discomfort.  They will be fun bath toys down the road too!
  7. Rings: This was the first toy E got into and she still uses them a lot!  Plus, I love that they are cheap!  I bought an extra package and now I just have them everywhere!  Bouncy chair, gym mat, counter, car seat, etc.

Other things you may want to think about: Blankets and books are good to have around.  We use blankets mostly outside and in her car seat.  She loves books and being read too!  Many kids also love a pacifier (E has never really wanted/needed it).  We used the MAM newborn when she was a couple months old (she never liked the NUK brand) but it was always for those super fussy moments when I needed to buy a little more time (usually in the car!).

That is my experience for the first 6 months!  What did your little one love?

Custom Cricut Mirror

posted in: DIY, Kids | 0

I worked on little E’s nursery for a long time!  You might have even called me slightly obsessed, but her room is still my favorite room in the whole house.  It’s beautiful, organized, and just so put together.

 

Whole room

 

I ordered a couple of prints off of Etsy (see more about that here), and I needed something else to balance out the space above her dresser and changing table.

Babies love mirrors and they are a great tool for self-recognition.  However, I also wanted it to convey how much we really loved her.  I wanted it to be something that could hang in her room forever and whenever she looked in the mirror during those horrid teenage years and wanted to judge herself or was struggling with self-esteem, I wanted her to know that she’s beautiful, that we love her, and that, as Annie would say, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.”

That’s a lot of expectations for a mirror, I know!

Anyway, we ended up buying this super simple but beautiful mirror at Home Goods.  I think it was a steal!

 

Mirror Before

 

When we got home, I started looking at ways to customize it but I was nervous about stencils and such because you only get one chance!  I do have a Cricut, however, and I could not find any fun ideas of how to customize it using my Cricut, so here you go!

I bought some vinyl on Amazon, hot pink!  I did look at Michaels, but they only had black.  I was a little nervous about the quality, but it worked just fine.  Just make sure you turn the pressure up and the speed down.  Do a test on a small section so you make sure you get clean lines.  You’ll also need to make sure your mat is sticky enough to hold down this heavily paper and that the blade is fairly sharp.  To be honest, I have never sharpened my blade or resurfaced (or bought a new) mat.  I also only use it a few times a year and I store it with plastic wrap on it to preserve it.

Anyway, I started digging through my cartridges to find words or lettering that I liked.  I ended up cutting a bunch of words out on regular paper and then playing with them to figure out what I liked. I did ask my husband for his thoughts, but ended up going a different direction anyway  😉

 

Word Options

 

I thought it would be easier to use words that are cut as one piece since there is less room for error when applying them to the mirror.  However, if you are more steady handed than me (or just braver!) then feel free to use individual letters.  Once I was sure of what words and symbols I wanted and where I wanted them, and what SIZE I wanted them, then I cut them out on the vinyl.  It’s much cheaper to use paper first!

 

Vinyl cutouts

 

After they were cut out, it’s just a simple matter of peeling off the paper backing and CAREFULLY adhering them to the mirror.

I love how it turned out!

 

Finished mirror

 

The one thing I love about this method is that if you screw up, it’s not a big deal!  Peeling off the letters may be difficult, but it can be done!  For me, that makes me so much less anxious.  I didn’t have to do this, but remember that GooGone is your friend!  Just test it in a inconspicuous spot first.  🙂

 

As you can tell, I kept it pretty simple.  I’m not a super creative person, but I would love to see what you guys come up with!

Do you have other projects you have done with your Cricut or with vinyl?  Share below!

 

(Note: I am not being paid to endorse any of these products.  However, if you buy using the link provided, I do get a small percentage, BUT IT DOESN’T COST YOU MORE).

Welcome Back

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Welcome back!  Welcome back to you, welcome back to me!

First things first, I would love to introduce you to the little love of my life.  She was born the beginning of May and is four months old!  This is my little E; isn’t she the cutest?

img_3948Thanks Pictures by Jeanette LLC

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this blog and how I want to use it.  The truth is, I hate the art of blogging. I know that probably seems weird.  I love to write.  I love to share my thoughts and ideas.  What I hate is presentation.  I hate making it look pinteresty and cute.  Code scares me.

So, I’m going to stop doing it.  I will include fun pictures when I have them.  I will continue to write and be me.  But, I’m not going to spend tons of time dressing it up.  Is that terrible of me?  I just want to write and when I have to be cutesy, I run.  🙂

I appreciate those of you who follow this blog and I look forward to seeing you back soon.  I’ve got a couple of fresh and fun ideas!

 

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