Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
It's a good day when you have a big, indulgent-as-heck, gooey, and flavorful chocolate chip cookie that's sorta healthified (look...it's not healthy. It's not spinach. It is a cookie. Just a slightly less bad for you cookie). You feel like you can have it all! And you get to have a treat that makes you feel happy and not at all guilty. Everyone is happy! (Except my stupid hubby who insisted "I can tell they're healthy" and grumbled about just wanting normal cookies. He is spoiled and I disagree with him and don't think these taste healthy at all. And who are you gonna trust, me or the guy who brought you a recipe for drinking spaghetti-o's straight from the can??)
Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Moving along...

What makes these ccc's healthier than your average cookie? First of all, you use coconut oil instead of butter which makes them dairy free (aside from the chocolate chips, but you can use dairy free chips if you'd like) and everyone knows coconut oil is like miracle food or something, right? Then, you use white whole wheat flour. And finally, the amount of sugar is reduced from your average cookie recipe and we use only unrefined sugars. Just a few little swaps!
Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Now what makes these cookies delicious? They're inspired by the famous NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies-which means they're big. And crisp around the edges but omigosh so gooey inside and chewy and full of flavor and chocolate chips and ahhhh I miss them and I want them right now!! Take it from someone with high cookie standards-these are LEGIT.

Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies


Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 16 large cookies.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut oil, room temperature
  • 6 oz. coconut sugar
  • 6 oz. unrefined sugar (I used morena sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla
  • 15 oz. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt + extra sea salt (or kosher salt) for sprinkling on top
  • 1 and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can also use dairy free chocolate chips)
Preparation:
  • Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the coconut oil and sugar in a large bowl until well combined.
  • Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Roll the dough into sixteen 3.5 oz. balls and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 72 hours. You can also freeze dough balls in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Just let the frozen dough balls sit out while the oven preheats and otherwise bake normally.)
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. 
  • Place chilled dough balls (leaving PLENTY of space in between) on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 11-14 minutes, until set but still appearing slightly underdone in the centers. 
  • If desired, sprinkle with more sea salt and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Healthier NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Taking these photos and not tearing into the cookies was a special kind of torture.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Something Saturdays (10/14/17)

Hallo hallo!

Considering there's just over 2 months before the young sir arrives, we've started trying to get stuff ready. Michael installed the ceiling fan in his room and we did a bit of shopping last weekend as well. I started trying to make some food to freeze for after he's here, this week, stuff like that. Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment-nothing exciting, everything is good! Wednesday I got to see the new studio space that Perfectly Planned is now calling home (so exciting!) and met with the couple whose wedding I'm coordinating today! Yesterday I had the rehearsal (and a funeral for a close family friend, which is super sad and I won't get into but I'll say this: hug your loved ones. You never know when something can happen) and today is the big day! They're friends of my boss so she'll be attending and I'll be trying to keep her from working :P.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Sweet and oh so flavorful...roasted garlic and caramelized onions are a few of my favorite things (I tried to plug them into the song but couldn't quite make the rhyme scheme work so just pretend I'm clever and I did it and we all had a good chuckle, mkay?). I also adore mashed potatoes. So putting them all together is pretty much side dish nirvana.  (Especially when you're serving them with french dip sandwiches. That's a good meal, right there).
Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
It's so ironic that I have so many mashed potato recipes on this blog but, in reality, 99% of the time I make mashed potatoes I sort of just wing it and mix stuff up not according to any particular recipe. That's real life, folks. BUT sometimes you wanna mix things up and do something specific and special and that's what happened here with these lovelies.
Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Creamy mashed potatoes with all the flavorful and somewhat sweet deliciousness imparted by roasted garlic and caramelized onions totally make the time that goes into them worth it! Michael even enjoyed them and generally he's pretty meh on mashed potatoes. Highly recommend!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Something Saturdays (10/7/17)

Last weekend's wedding went well! It was busy but went pretty smoothly :) Then Michael and I did mostly nothing on Sunday, except for do some online Christmas shopping lol. This week I tried to just get some things done and my day-job giving out wine samples has picked up again so that's good! Today we're having a very early Thanksgiving with Michael's mom because his brother and sister-in-law are in town, but first we're having breakfast with a friend of Michael's who is also in from out of town! Fun fun fun :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Whipped Nutella Cream Pie

Whipped Nutella Cream Pie
Hey! Did you know you can make a yummy pie filling with just 2 ingredients? And that those ingredients are nutella and heavy cream? WELLL...now you know. And you know that it's creamy and silky and decadent.

And that it probably is delicious in any kind of pie crust, but I highly recommend a toasted tart crust. Because it's buttery and adds even more hazelnutty goodness. But you do whatever you like!
Whipped Nutella Cream Pie
I love how crazy easy this is to make. And how decadent it is to eat. But be warned-you had better love nutella if you're going to eat this pie because it is FULLLL of nutella flavor. Which I adore. So I was a happy happy camper. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/30/17)

Hihi everybody! How has your week been? Last weekend's wedding went well, it was super lovely but definitely a lot of work! Sunday Michael and I went to church and brunch and then just relaxed. Most of this week has been spent getting things done and relaxing, for me. I also had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday-everything is going well. And then Michael and I had his birthday dinner with his dad and stepmom at Twenty/20 Taphouse. They got a new chef and menu and we were all SUPER impressed. Everything was delicious! Today I have another wedding that I'm working and then tomorrow will probably be another day of relaxing with the hubby :) 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Baby Update -- 28 Weeks


How far along: 28 (29 on Friday) weeks

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: "a large eggplant" according to my app.

Total weight gain/loss: Gained 15 lbs so far (so pretty much right on track. I'm a small person so we're hoping I don't gain more than 25 lbs. overall).

Maternity clothes: Yepp yepp yepp, just a couple really flowy non-maternity things still fit (not including pj's and leggings, I'm still wearing my pre-maternity ones of those).

Stretch marks: I'm still warily keeping an eye out, but thus far no sign.

Sleep: It's not bad, I have to wake up a couple times to pee (of course) and need to sleep with a body pillow between my legs but overall I can't complain.

Best moment of this week: I'm loving any time I get to spend with Michael and I know these moments are extra precious since soon it won't be just the two of us anymore.

Miss anything: Having more clothing options and being able to just eat and feel comfortable lol.

Movement: He's developed some patterns for sure and his movements are super evident. It's always crazy to really feel him moving and see it from the outside too!

Food cravings: Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still nothing unusual at this point!

Have you started to show yet: Oh yes lol. Although I'm told from the back you can't tell and that I'm pretty much just carrying around a beach ball belly-which I am more than ok with!

Gender: 
boy!

Labor signs: No, not yet--still some time hopefully!

Belly button in or out: Barely in lol.

Wedding rings on or off: Still on-I've been fortunate to not really have swelling.

Happy or moody most of the time: I'm a pretty happy lady :)

Looking forward to: Our childbirth classes start on October 15th and I have another baby shower on the 22nd, but aside from that just continuing to get the nursery ready and enjoying feeling him move more and more!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-October (Halloween)

092417 October-main

In a little over a month, it'll be Halloween! And you need some recipes to be prepared, and the monthly meal plan crew has you covered with the best treats around!

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/23/17)

You guys...I think I've gotten as big as I can. I think the baby is taking up all the space there is, he's definitely cramped and is starting to squish all my other organs. AND...I have 3 more months left. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME. I'm concerned.

This week was otherwise fairly boring-just running some errands and dealing with stuff at home. Last weekend was fun though-the wedding I worked was stunning and then it was nice celebrating Michael's birthday. It was laid-back but fun (plus we got a crazy delish brunch where I had cinnamon roll pancakes and he had pineapple, coconut, and banana french toast) :) I'm working another wedding today and then spending time with my boy again tomorrow so all good stuff!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies

{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies
People have frequently asked me if I have a favorite sugar/cutout cookie recipe. Up until now, the answer was no. Michael and I aren't huge fans and during the holidays our moms have their recipes so there's be no one to even make them for. BUT-then I had my baby shower and decided it would be cute to make elephant cookies as favors (I happened to have an elephant cookie cutter) and decided it was time to try to find a recipe.
{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies
Allie of Baking a Moment had a recipe that appealed to me-a nice, simple, ingredient list (nothing crazy) for cookies that don't spread, have nice clean edges, and you don't need to chill the dough (heck, you don't even need to soften the butter!). It seemed simple and pretty much flawless, and I trust Allie so I felt confident that this recipe would work out well.

There are a lot of feelings associated with cutout cookie recipes-my and Michael's mom's both couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to use their recipes, and talked about how everyone in their families love theirs. And they're both fine but they weren't what I was looking for. I knew I needed to find my recipe.
{No Spread, No Chill} Vanilla Cutout Cookies
And this is totally it!! The recipe was crazy simple and yielded perfectly clean edges, no spreading, and surprisingly sturdy cookies (people kept asking if the trunks broke a lot and they really didn't! These were solid cookies). They were also pretty straightforward and easy to make. And a total bonus? Remember how Michael and I are meh on this kind of cookie? We both actually thought these were tasty-they have a really nice balance of sugar and butter and vanilla flavors. I'm kind of in love and will 100% be using this recipe from now on for any cutout cookie needs I may have. This is one of those moments where you feel like a total grownup. Just in time for us becoming parents, I guess, lol. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/16/17)

I actually ended up spending all last weekend with my Michael, which was so nice! Yay! The rest of this week I was sort of lazy, except for on Tuesday (where I took a breastfeeding class our hospital offers), and Thursday (when I filmed a commercial!) Today I'm working a wedding and tomorrow is Michael's birthday! Woo!

Posts from this week 
Croissant Doughnuts

Recipes from the blog that I made this week
Easy Whole Wheat Hoagie Rolls
French Dip Sandwiches

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Younger-That finale left me super underwhelmed, not enough things actually happened!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Croissant Doughnuts

Croissant Doughnuts
When you've already started frying and have leftover oil...

and you used to live in NYC and still regret the fact that you never got to try a cronut...

you make yourself some homemade croissant doughnuts.
Croissant Doughnuts
I'm going to warn you all right now: this recipe is a process. You're essentially making a hybrid doughnut/croissant dough and croissant dough requires a lot of folding and chilling so the whole thing takes awhile (most of it is inactive time, though, while you let it chill between rolling out and folding). And then there's the whole frying deal. And honestly....after spending all day making these and then eating them I was like "Yum. But not really any more yum than a regular freshly fried doughnut. So....not worth all that time and effort." ...and then I let Michael try them.
Croissant Doughnuts
I was not expecting a big response from him. He and I both thought he'd be meh about these. WE WERE WRONG. He looooved them. He loved all the flaky fried layers that you can peel apart, he liked the powdered sugar coated on the outside, he was so into them. And when I mentioned that I'd made them once and now didn't need to again his eyes got all big and sad and he said, "...Never?"

*sigh* Well, what am I supposed to say to that? I guess these are not gonna be a one hit wonder after all!
Croissant Doughnuts
Don't get me wrong-these are not insanely difficult to make. I just thought regular fried doughnuts were just as good so why waste the effort? But they are really fun and cool and definitely worth a try. They're all flaky and buttery and crunchy on the outside while fluffy in the centers. It's a true hybrid. And they're totally customizable-you can frost them or fill them however you prefer, I'm just a powdered sugar fried treats gal. You do you. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/9/17)

Well my Labor Day weekend went well! Saturday's wedding and Sunday's wedding were both busy but went really well, and looked absolutely beautiful. Monday Michael and I were able to just relax and hang out-we ordered some food and ate it on the deck and went through our baby shower gifts, but mostly we just chilled. Tuesday-Thursday I just got things done around the house. Yesterday I worked my day job doing wine tastings and tomorrow I'm doing that as well. Today I get to just hang out with my Michael again, though! Yay!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Baby Update -- 25 Weeks


How far along: 25 (26 on Friday) weeks

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: Last week at the doctor's appointment he was 1 lb. and 11 ounces.

Total weight gain/loss: About 10 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Almost exclusively at this point, with the exception of some especially flowy tops/dresses

Stretch marks: So far, so good, but I'm starting to feel like I may have reached my limit so they may start popping up soon.

Sleep: It's starting to get a bit more difficult-laying on my side is starting to cause my hip to hurt but I can't sleep on my back or stomach. I've started using Michael's body pillow to put between my legs which is helping.

Best moment of this week: Last weekend having the baby shower was amazing, then having the 24 week doctor's appointment and everything being good and getting to see another ultrasound (he's so cute and silly! His butt was in the way and his feet were up by his face lol).

Miss anything: Still missing money lol. And having more clothes options. Shaving is getting more difficult, also, thanks to my expanding belly.

Movement: He is definitely making his presence known when he wants to. It's funny, sometimes when Michael rests his hand lightly on my belly all of a sudden he gets crazy active, like he knows! We can also see a lot of the movements from the outside now, which is crazy.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still nothing unusual at this point!

Have you started to show yet: Yes I definitely am. Was even acknowledged as being pregnant by a stranger for the first time last week.

Gender:
boy!

Labor signs: Nope!

Belly button in or out: A much more shallow innie. Outie status may be coming soon.

Wedding rings on or off: On but I definitely can tell it's getting a little tighter.

Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy!

Looking forward to: I'm starting to get really excited for him to be here so I can snuggle him and see him and see what he looks like and acts like.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Something Saturdays (9/2/17)

Ok first of all let's go back to last weekend and my baby shower. It was thrown by my boss and friend, Val (with input from me) and was held at my house. The food was all brought my moms and aunts, with the exception of the dessert table which I did all of (I made mini s'mores tarts, mini vanilla cupcakes, mini puff pastries with homemade whipped cream, mini cheesecakes, and cookie dough balls--I also made adorable little elephant cut out cookies as favors, but I'll chat more about that later.) It was a beautiful day and everything was so simple yet pretty and so many people I loved were in one room! It was such an amazing time and it FLEW BY. I wish I could've spent more time visiting with everyone!! And we got so darned many gifts, I was blown away by how generous everyone was and all the amazing stuff our little man is getting. He's very very luck to be so loved! As are we :) So it was awesome but omigosh Michael and I were WIPED OUT after it. 

(Oh and also the day prior, Saturday, I worked my tush off getting ready but before that Michael had a couple errands to run that I went along on and we tried out brunch at this place called Twisted Citrus and it was suuuper yummy!)

This whole week was crazyyy too! Monday I mostly just recovered, but Tuesday we had an ultrasound and doctor's appointment + my glucose test (everything is looking good!). Wednesday we had a childcare class at the hospital where we'll be delivering, which was actually pretty fun and very informative. Thursday we had a consultation with the baby's pediatrician (we like her!) and then I worked, and I worked Friday. And today and tomorrow I'm working weddings (yepp a double header, gotta love 3 day weekends!) 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies

Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
I've never deep fried anything before. I'd been afraid. 1-will it be messy? 2-Gah that's a lot of wasted oil. 3-Oh man...that sounds like a dangerous thing to be able to do at home. But, now I've deep fried some stuff and I can say--it's not that messy. But yes to the rest of the above. However? Still so worth it. For these little pies alone.
Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
I got it into my head that I wanted fried little pies filled with chocolate hazelnut spread (which most people know by the most common brand name, "nutella", but I love to use PB & Co's Chocmeister Dark Chocolatey Hazelnut Spread). This idea was so pervasive (but not in a preggo-craving kind of way, more in a oooh that's a good idea kind of way) that I finally decided to do it. I used my favorite all butter pie crust recipe (which always gives me super buttery and flaky crust), filled it with the chocolate hazelnut spread, folded it over and sealed it, fried it, topped it with powdered sugar and....HOLY MOLY.
Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
The pie crust was all flaky and fried with just enough sweetness, thanks to the powdered sugar, and then when you bite into it and get that rich and warm chocolate hazelnutty deliciousness....it's like an experience. I feel like they'd totally be served in some hip cafe or restaurant. I got myself downright addicted and ate probably more than I'd care to admit. They were so good. I think everyone should try them at least once-that's my official recommendation. :P

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-September (Tailgaiting)

082717 September-main

TODAY IS MY BABY SHOWER! But, while I'm enjoying that, I've also got you covered for all your September recipe needs with this month's round up.

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/26/17)

Well this week was fairly boring-I've spent the whole time getting prepared for my baby shower tomorrow. Today I'll be doing lots more prepping (and baking) and tomorrow is the big day. I'm so excited!

Posts from this week 
Homemade Mocha Pudding

Recipes from the blog that I made this week
Extra Flaky Biscuits
 

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)
Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles (Sally's Baking Addiction)

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Game of Thrones-I'm so bored with everything at Winterfell right now. But omigosh poor little (not so little) Viserion! At least Dany and Jon just keep getting cuter and cuter (forgetthatsheshisauntforgetthatsheshisaunt).

Younger-Gahhh Liza don't listen to anyone, you and Charles are clearly meant to be together!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Homemade Mocha Pudding

Homemade Mocha Pudding
Michael asked me to buy him pudding cups for work. I groaned and asked if I had to and he asked why and I told him how unhealthy they are and can't I just make you pudding instead??

"...Oh. Yeah. You can do that."

"OOOOOH can you make me mocha pudding?"

So here we are.
Homemade Mocha Pudding
Fun fact: homemade pudding really isn't tough to make. And this one in particular is ultra easy-there aren't even any egg yolks involved! And actually...I mean...in the scheme of desserts...it's not that bad for you. Really. Could be way worse-and it's definitely sooo much better than all the junk they put in the processed stuff. I'm totally gonna be "that mom" guys. #sorrynotsorry

Also, I can personally attest that this makes really delicious just chocolate pudding as well-you just need to omit the espresso/coffee powder portion of it. Then it's yummalicious chocolate pudding! It's thick and comforting and tasty. And hilarious how you can serve it in a little cup or bowl with a spoon and think of being a child, or all fancied up in little glasses with whipped cream and feel sophisticated. Life's all about perspective, ya know?


Homemade Mocha Pudding

Adapted from Foodie with Family

Homemade Mocha Pudding
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp. instant espresso or coffee granules
  • 3 cups milk (any kind you prefer)
  • 5 oz. dark, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional-whipped cream and grated or shaved chocolate, for serving
Preparation:
  • In a dry, heavy bottomed, 2 quart saucepan whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and coffee granules-making sure to get any big lumps worked out.
  • Slowly add a little bit of the milk at a time, whisking after each addition until combined, until it is all thoroughly incorporated and smooth. 
  • Turn of medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once it boils, still whisk constantly and boil for about 2 minutes or until thickened. 
  • Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract, whisking slowly until everything is fully melted and combined-when it has darkened and turned glossy.
  • Pour immediately into serving containers or storage container(s). You can serve hot or lay a piece of plastic directly on the surface of the pudding and transfer carefully to the refrigerator (it will be hot!). Chill for at least 2 hours or store for up to 4 days (pudding may start to separate a bit in the fridge, just give it a good stir before serving). 
  • If desired, serve with whipped cream and chocolate garnish. 
Homemade Mocha Pudding
Might I entice you to try a bite? 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/19/17)

The wedding I did last weekend with Perfectly Planned was awesome (two words: S'MORES BAR. With homemade marshmallows!) Then, Sunday, Michael and I just got stuff done at home (which included some setting up of the nursery which was so exciting). I had a photo shoot on Monday (uh hi apparently it's been a minute since I modeled because I feel like I look so old-and huge but I know I know I'm preggo-in the pics I saw. But, c'est la vie! Tuesday I had a dentist appointment and other than that I just worked on getting some cleaning and baking and such worked on to prepare for the baby shower (WHICH IS ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW!) which is also what I did the rest of the week.

Today I'm working and then going to a dinner with a bunch of family! What are you plans?

Additionally, Tina Fey in this clip is me. I am her. Get yo'self some cake.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Extra Crispy Baked French Fries

Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
I meeeean....we all love french fries, right?? But generally frying them is a messy and unhealthy thing we don't wanna mess with at home. That's why baked fries are so awesome--but I feel like they're never quite crispy and flavorful enough...

until now!
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
The two things that really help crisp these fries up is soaking them in water (this helps get some of the starch out, which gets a crispier result) and making sure to dry them after that. As far as flavor goes that's on you: salt the heck out of 'em. Put some truffle oil and parmesan cheese on them (that's what I diiiid!). Do garlic or a spice blend. Whatever makes your french fry loving heart happy.
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
Have I told you all my french fry shame? The kind of gross way I used to eat (specifically McDonald's) french fries as a kid? I used to....*deep breath* suck off the salt and then dip them in ketchup. They were soggy and gross and I don't know what was wrong with me....I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. I was a weird kid with weird food habits.
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
I'm a changed lady, now, and am in fact a bit of a french fry snob. These were definitely the best fries I've ever baked at home and they will be getting made again (so that Michael can actually try them because I maaaay have eaten them all before he got home. Oops!)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/12/17)

I got a lot of stuff done this week-some cooking and making phone calls, stuff like that. But I had lots else happen too! Last weekend Michael and I traded in his dying 2003 Honda for a new Subaru Forester that we're leasing (aka I got a mom car lol). I love it so much and spent so much time playing around with it, Michael's enjoying getting my Elantra to himself now (since it's 2015 it's still so much nicer than what he was driving). The wedding I worked afterwards went great and I have another one today, yay! On Sunday, Michael had to study for his big comprehensive exam (he needed to pass in order to graduate from his master's program in December) but we also ran an errand, grabbed dinner with friends, annnnnd wandered into Target and bought our baby 6 adorable outfits. I did some maternity clothes shopping and got some super cute stuff on Monday (Michael also took his exam and passed! Woo!). Tuesday we had a pre-baptism class at our church and it was actually surprisingly nice. Friday I bought some more stuff for baby (who can resist!?) and then had a girls night with my boss, Val, and our mutual friend Evie. It was so nice!

Did you have a good week?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Baby Update -- 20/21 Weeks


How far along: Currently 21 (and a half) weeks

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: According to my app, about 10.5 inches and 12.7 oz.

Total weight gain/loss: I've gained about 5 pounds.

Maternity clothes: Still wearing some normal clothes, but it's getting more difficult. Still liking these jeans from Target and I have a newfound love for stuff from Wren and Ivory. I also went on a mini shopping spree and got some tops, a dress, and a bra from Motherhood Maternity.

Stretch marks: Not yet!

Sleep: Pretty good.

Best moment of this week: Finding out the gender-everything feels so much more concrete! And seeing it on the ultrasound-at one point I could feel and see it jerking around at the same time, so surreal <3 I also had fun shopping at Motherhood Maternity, hehe. Oh! And a bunch of stuff off our registry is starting to get purchased so that's fun!

Miss anything: Not having to essentially buy a whole new wardrobe lol. So I miss money.

Movement: Yepp! Started feeling it a couple weeks ago. He's getting pretty active lately.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really! Just the normal stuff I've never liked lol.

Have you started to show yet: Yepp I am definitively showing now! It feels like all of a sudden I got huge lol--in fact, since that picture above was taken I'm pretty sure I'm already bigger.

Gender: 

IT'S A BOY! Even though I was in no way sure, there was a part of me (and Michael) that felt like we were having a girl, and the vast majority of friends family felt the same so we were a little shocked when the tech told us that we're having a boy! And apparently he was quite proud to show that he is, in fact, a boy lol. We're so excited!

Labor signs: Noooo.

Belly button in or out: Still an innie!

Wedding rings on or off: On, but I can feel it getting a bit more snug.

Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy happy happy!

Looking forward to: More movement and the baby shower-it's in about 2 and a half weeks!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/5/17)

Woo! This week feels like it's been so busy! Last weekend was my family's family reunion, which is always lots of fun-and there were a couple babies there to play with this year so Michael and I were extra happy. Monday I got some stuff done at home and then also hung out a little with Michael's mom and sister (and her friend, Allie). Tuesday I, again, just got some stuff done. Wednesday was exciting because my friend Kevin took me along with him to the Shawn Mendes concert in Cleveland (with Charlie Puth as the opening act). We were in the fourth row and it was AMAZING. It was both of our first concerts and it was an awesome experience. They were both great, the music wasn't overly loud, my only complaint was how old I felt surrounded my squealing teenaged fangirls lol. Thursday I got more stuff done and then spent some time with Michael's mom, grandparents, and aunt. This was all to help keep my mind off how anxious I was for FRIDAYYY--when we learned the baby's gender!!! Check back for a pregnancy update on Wednesday for more about that lol. But then I ended up spending time with Michael's dad and stepmom and having dinner with them, which was super nice.

And today I'm working a wedding-so all good things!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies

Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
I don't hate these pictures! It's a miracle!! I've been sort of ho hum on my food photography lately-as I'm sure you can probably tell. But I had a bit of inspiration with the styling for this one and the light decided to cooperate so I can show you these cookies in all their glory.
Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
Chewy oatmeal cookies full of crunchy bites of Butterfinger=perfection!! I made these for Michael to bring to work one day for some sort of party or something that they were having. I will admit that I think my oats may have been stale and thusly I wasn't in love with the cookie I sampled before sending them off, which made me super worried. But Michael insisted they were tasty and all his coworkers raved about them soooo....I have no idea. I'm sure the recipe is still great--but just for safety, make sure your oats aren't expired...ha.
Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
Seriously, these are an ideal cookie for bringing to parties or mailing in care packages since they're pretty sturdy and the nature of the oats and butterfinger bits means they're super delish at room temperature (as opposed to my own personal preference of cookies being warm and gooey, usually). Plus-almost everyone loves butterfingers. Can you say "crowd pleaser"??

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-August (Back to School)

August Meal Plan-mainSay it ain't so!! It's almost August, which means summer is almost over! But don't worry-we have you set with simple recipes that should be perfect for all the busy days ahead.


This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Something Saturdays (7/29/17)

Hello hello, another work-less week passed for me. The baby is getting bigger, though, and I've been feeling it move more and more-Michael was even able to feel it move once earlier this week.

Last weekend we had a pool party at my Grandma's, which is always fun. Monday I visited my cousin and her baby (the sweetest, happiest little girl, I swear!) Tuesday I didn't do much but I did visit a bit with my little sister-in-law when I went to pick up a pie from Michael's mom's house. Wednesday I spent the day with my friend Jenna in Hudson, walking around and shopping. We also had a DELISH lunch/dinner at Peachtree Southern Kitchen. I had fried chicken and biscuits with gravy, she had chicken and waffles, and then we shared beignets for dessert.

I've also been getting my hands on baby photos to use for a baby shower game-which led to me making this collage of my mom, brother, and I as babies. Too funny!

Thursday was uneventful, then Friday I went and visited with Michael's mom and sister for his mom's birthday (and he joined when he got home from work). Today we're just getting stuff done at home, pretty uneventful! What are you doing?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie

Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie
So this was supposed to be a Peanut Butter S'mores Pizookie--which is a copycat from a place called BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. However...this didn't exactly end up being close enough for me to call it that--I made a slight mistake and did a skillet brownie instead of cookie. So-it's not the same. BUT it is YUMALICIOUS and perfectly deserving of its own title. So PB S'mores Skillet Brownie, here we are!
Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie
Essentially we have a super fudgy and dense and chocolatey brownie (with chocolate chips/chunks) baked in a skillet. THEN there's a layer of peanut butter. THEN we put some marshmallows on top and get 'em all toasty. And the result is gooey and rich and really just awesome.
Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie
Michael would've liked this better if it had just been the brownie and peanut butter without the toasted marshmallows...because I've married a weirdo. BUT-more for me!!! Even though this is a medium sized skillet brownie...and even though I'm pregnant (although honestly my appetite has gone down if anything so far)-I did not finish the whole thing in one sitting! I cut off little wedges to eat over the course of a few days. But if you eat it all at once I will do nothing but love and admire you.
Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie
I mean...it's messy. And gooey. As all the tastiest things are!
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