Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tasty Tuesday: Candy Bar Cookies

It's the second Tasty Tuesday of 2017, and the first for this blog! And let me tell you, it is one that you will use for the ENTIRE year! I am going to share my version, and give you a ton of ideas but I will definitely link the inspiration behind it because I am sure it was good to begin with. I only made a few changes in the beginning and now I am ready to keep on pushing the limit.

One thing I can tell you ~ is fresh cookies from the oven is always a treat no matter how old you are, what time of day it is, or even what season! I am pretty convinced that there is a cookie for anyone and everyone from every walk of life!


This basis for this recipe came from two sources. Originally it came from Martha Stewart but it was brought to my attention by Jen Ross from Pretty Neat Living. I have watched her make these cookies and give them away during the Christmas season without knowing the recipe until I checked her pinterest page. I am going to post the way I use this recipe, but I will link up the original recipe as well!

The other day when I went grocery shopping I noticed what I first thought was a treasure on clearance from the holiday season. It was these Snickers Baking Bites. They are much like the regular Snickers Bites. So... after trying the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever made I knew I needed to try it with these! Now below is the recipe I used (with my own personal changes) along with the Snicker Baking Bites. What I LOVE most about this recipe (with or without the Snicker Baking Bites) is that ONE cookie was satisfying! I know that other cookie recipes I could sit and eat several ... but these truly are SO satisfying that you really do not feel like you need another one to be satisfied. If you are not a fan of Snickers, try it with Butter-finger, Reese's Peanut butter cups, Milky Way! I am sure they will all be delish!

Enough chatter.. here is the recipe!

1 cup of room temperature butter (DO NOT substitute anything else)
1 cup packed light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (DO NOT use baking soda)
1 tsp and a dash of salt
12 oz package of semi sweet chocolate chips (or chunks)
1 bag of Snickers Baking Bites ( I have used M&Ms)

Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs until nice and fluffy. Add in dry ingredients (except chocolate chips and candy). Mix until well combined but be careful NOT to over mix. Dump in chocolate chips and candy of choice and mix well. Bake on parchment lined baking sheets for 15 minutes( Be careful NOT to over crowd your pan. I like to cook 8 to sheet. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before transferring into an air tight container. Trust me when I say these will be a hit!


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Monday, January 9, 2017

Motivational Monday: It's okay to reboot!

Hello, and thank you for joining me for Motivational Monday.


I am glad you are here today! I don't know about you, but I already need a reboot! That's right, we are now entering the second week in January and I already need a reboot! I have a feeling however, that there are some of you who feel the same way!

I had big lofty goals for the month, and some of those goals went untouched. And they were big ones! When I sat down to plan out my week ahead on Saturday (you can check that out here on the blog on Saturday's post.  ) I realized that I was slacking, and I didn't want to continue in that mode. So, I made three big commitments for myself. One of them, is I was wanting to be more active in this blog as well as write some daily on a novel. My goal for the year is to write four books this year! BUT... I had done nothing. So, when I was planning instead of playing it by ear I scheduled a blog post for every day this week with the intent that I will have time in the afternoons/evenings to prepare for the next day's post. That is what I am doing right now! I am sitting here while we are watching football and preparing Monday's post as well as waiting for Monday's video to upload so I can begin to edit it before I go to bed this evening. I know that is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that most of you could care less about but I share in hopes that it will inspire you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to work a little harder in life for the things you desire. For you it might be tackling a laxidazy attitude about housework/laundry/etc. We all have an area we can work on and we have to stop giving excuses as to why we never reach our goals. Don't blame "social media distractions".... be a big girl and just don't get on them if you have things to do ~ they will be there when you are done! I have gotten much better at walking away from things like that when I know there is something of more importance going on that I need to handle at the time.

One big thing I wanted to commit to this year was daily working in my gratitude journal. I have not touched it once. Uhm this is a big deal to me because I know that the secret to an amazing life lies in the simplicity of gratitude. So, I am committing for 28 days to fix that. How?


I read this book back in 2015 and my life turned around in the most amazing ways. The only thing is, I didn't keep it up. I am ready to embrace it again and get this heart of gratitude back where it needs to be. It is so easy to complain, and be upset with whatever is going on but let me share something. Last week I gave you the intention of my year and that it was to find a job that allowed me creative freedom. Guess what?! Last week I decided to go with the thought and be thankful ahead of time for just that. I went into work LOOKING for ways to be creative and I had one of the BEST weeks I have had all year. It is in your mindset people! So I am going to read Rhonda' Bryne's The Magic: A 28 day gratitude journey. I welcome you to join me as I did the last time I read it! I will be reading this from January 9th through February 5th. I will be doing updates here and there and I welcome those who want to share along with me to jump right on in.

Another thing is weight loss. I am wanting to lose a significant amount and had desired to lose 10 this month. I have stayed the same. YES I know, it's only been a week but deep within my spirit I know that I need to do something and this is what I feel led to do.


I love eating this way, I really do. Dinner is always my favorite meal and not having to think about food all day takes a lot of my mind, and allows me to focus on things that really matter to me throughout the day. I do well on this way of eating, and through the process my energy levels soar! So for the same duration as the book, I am going to be doing OMAD... or one meal a day. I might drink a beverage or two but meal wise, it is dinnertime only from January 9 through February 5. After February 5 I will evaluate again and determine if I want to continue.

So, just because you feel like you have already failed those new year's resolutions, jump back on! It's the start of a new week and the perfect time!

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

That moment between the exhale and the inhale: What's next?

There is a moment of anticipation that has become so common that it is often over looked. It is forgotten yet it happens so frequently in our lives that it is easy to take it for granted.

It is that moment... just as you exhale right before you inhale again. We all just take for grated that our bodies know what to do ~ in fact it is an amazing thing that our lungs automatically fill up with air again once they are emptied.Only those who are critically ill worry about whether or not they have taken their last breath, then once again are relieved when they realize they had not....until it's time to take another breath.

Sometimes, life is just like that. Our lives go by so beautifully and amazing without any problems or conflict we rarely think about what it would be like if it were the other way around. We laugh, and go about our day without concerns or worries just knowing that life is going to continue to be just as beautiful as it always has been. That is, until we are in critical condition with life situations that truly do take our breath away.

Moment by moment we wonder will this be it? Did we just truly take our last breath? How long can we make it last before we truly do succumb to life's troubles that over take us and pull us under?

Our family has faced some trouble of it's own like never before in recent months. In fact I am having to face things as a parent I have never wanted for them, or myself. BUT that is how life is. Sometimes it is hard to breathe, sometimes we have to face the moment as if it is our last and do our best. While I know this is just a season, it has taught me what I do not want out of life. It has taught me what is most important in my life as well.

Go ahead. Try it. Inhale, take a deep breath... and let it out. Feel your chest swell, and go down again. Feel life entering your body, and experience it as it slowly escapes out.

These moments in life give fuel to the belief that you have to stop wasting time and energy on things that really have no value. Things like wanting acceptance from others. Sure, wanting acceptance from your spouse and children are pretty important and I would say that is should be pretty high on your list of importance. But wasting time worrying about others accepting you say, at work. I do not do female jr high drama. And cliques to me .. are just that. I go to work, and I enjoy the people I work with while I am there, but I do not see spending time with any of them outside of work. (Well, there is one! ) I go to work, do my job, and come back home. Home is the most important place to me in this whole world. Do you know why? Because I am called to be the heart and the creator of love, life, and peace in our home. I know this will all that I am. It *is* my highest calling and I take it very seriously. Yes I am currently called to teach preschoolers, but I can honestly say that I feel that is coming to an end. Not the gift ~ because that is deep within just who I am, but the actual job itself. I could be wrong, God might have a few more years planned for me there, but I am not feeling like that is all I could do or all I should do. I am growing as a person and as I breath out, I know there is still breath left to go. This time last year, or even as far back as November I wasn't sure if there a breath left in me.

If you are going through a difficult time, please know that you are not alone. And with that said, please also know that it is only to grow and stretch you into the person you are meant to be for that next level, that next step in life. This is something I have been able to pull out of our own situation, and have encouraged my husband as well as the kids to reflect on as well.

I pray that this post finds you and your family well, content, and ready to grow in 2017! I will see you guys tomorrow for Motivational Monday which will also include a video that you can visit as well! Like I said  yesterday (I think) I will not always combine videos and blog posts, as they ARE both their own entities, but they will from time to time (a few times a week) possibly overlap. Happy Sunday friends!

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