Saturday, January 28, 2017

Something Saturdays (1/28/17)

Hello hello all. This weekend was kind of stressful and rough for me and for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. But, we won't get into that. Let's discuss our week, yes?

Last Saturday the venue tour for my best friend's wedding went great and I think she's going to book it! Sunday, Michael and I just got some stuff around the house done and relaxed a bit. This week I just got some things done and started using our new treadmill (oh lord...give me strength to continue to  exercise). Wednesday, me and my boss met up with my old wedding cake baker to discuss them providing a fake cake for a styled shoot we have coming up-it went very well :) Thursday I had dinner with an old friend that I haven't seen in awhile at Pub Bricco (I had grilled cheese with caramelized onions and truffle fries...mmmm)-so fun! 

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow I am working the International Motorcycle Show in Cleveland as I've done for the last 2 years (this is my 3rd year) so hopefully it all goes well! I'll just be gone all day so I'll miss my Michael. Hopefully your weekend plans are more fun than mine!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Butter Cracker Toffee {Easy, Nut-free}

Butter Cracker Toffee {Easy, Nut-free}
Cracker toffee is amazing. It's so DARNED easy-it's sorta kinda dangerous. And I know you all still are probably thinking about your resolutions but....everything in moderation, ya know? Honestly, I made this toffee over the holidays aaaand you probably could've used it then. But...life happens. So I suggest you make it now, anyway. Or bookmark it for next year! Follow your heart.
Butter Cracker Toffee {Easy, Nut-free}
My brother-in-law's girlfriend has a nut allergy, so I made this toffee nut-free and really...you don't miss the nuts. The toffee is so buttery and sugary and addictive and then the chocolate gives it that little extra bit of decadence and THEN I made half with salt on top and half without for that sweet and salty combo. Truth=I prefer with the salt. Next time I'd probably do all salt...if it's just for me. I know not everyone feels this way (even though I have totally made myself a salt-on-desserts missionary, going around and bringing people the good word of balancing the sweet with the salty.) Katie (the girlfriend) totally loved them-everyone did! 
Butter Cracker Toffee {Easy, Nut-free}
And again...I cannot emphasize enough HOW EASY these are. Like...put some crackers on a baking sheet (lined with foil). Boil some butter and sugar. Pour on top of crackers. Bake. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Spread. Let sit. Chill. EAT THE EVER-LOVING CRAP OUT OF THEM. Or ya know...just be good and have 1 or 2. Personally I think that's no way to live, but I'm not here to tell you what to do.

...but seriously...at least eat 5 of them.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Something Saturdays (1/21/17)

Michael went back to school this week, booooo! He's been gone...a lot. Me no likey.

So, we spent a good chunk of last weekend kind of relaxing. Sunday night we had a game night with my aunt and uncle and some of my cousins, which was def. fun! And my little brother got 2 little chihuahua puppies named Pepper and Pua and I've facetimed with them and they are cuuuuties. Tuesday I cleaned-blech. Wednesday I met with a bride at a florist. Thursday I baked cookies for Michael's cousin, her father-in-law passed away and they're having a memorial service today so the cookies are for the reception afterwards. When she and her hubby came by to get the cookies I showed them around the house. Friday I had my friend Kevin over to see the house and then we went out to dinner. And TODAY I am going to tour a venue for my best friend's wedding (she currently lives in St. Louis) with her sister! FUN!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Way back, for Christmas 2016, (long...long ago... :P) I drew Michael's Uncle Jim for his family's "Kris Kinder" gift exchange. It's essentially secret santa but with homemade gifts. Kayle is not crafty. So whoever Kayle draws always receives foodstuffs. And Uncle Jim is a big coffee guys SO I decided to make the most amazing, complex, and coffee-flavored cookies I could. And I think I succeeded in my goal.
Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
So pretty much I just took a great chocolate chip cookie base recipe and added instant espresso to the dough and THEN, instead of adding chocolate chunks, I chopped up chocolate covered espresso beans. It really brings the coffee factor up to optimal levels, methinks.
Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
The cookies were chewy and fairly firm, yet gooey (when warm), and seriously...if you like cookies...espresso...and chocolate, you're gonna be a fan. Michael tried one to assure me that they were good. And Uncle Jim seemed very pleased with his gift! I'm pretty pleased with this recipe. I think you will be too <3

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Something Saturdays (1/14/17)

BIG NEWS BIG NEWS BIG NEWSSSSS!!!! OK-so. You remember my brother, Josh, who's in the airforce and stationed in Hawaii? Remember how him and his girlfriend, Jill, visited recently? WELL-they got freakin' engaged last week!!! EEEEE-my baby brother is getting married!!!!!!!!!!!! And I adore her. Omigosh I do. This is so surreal and exciting. I can't even, guys. (I would also like to note that my best friend got engaged a couple weeks ago so suffice it to say I'm an emotional wreck right now).

*deep breath* Anyway. Last weekend my friend Kinsley's wedding was BEAUTIFUL. Super cool and unique and beautiful and the food was amazing (and hellooooo THERE WAS A S'MORES BAR!!!) Sunday, Michael's friend David came over and helped us out with some projects, including: shopping for shelves for the basement, installing our new faucet (it's this one, if you're curious, and I LOVE IT), putting together our treadmill, and hanging a few things up on the walls. It was a VERY productive day! Monday I got stuff done at home and also sort of got sucked into a hole of gathering potential wedding info for my brother...Tuesday my cousin Brianna came and hung out and we did a little scrapbooking and baked cookies. Wednesday I had an audition for a commercial (I didn't get it, that's ok, though!) and then I spent the day with Michael's stepmom and dad (me and Jeanne went to Hudson and walked around and had lunch and then went back to their house and hung out). Thursday I did some cleaning and such. Friday I had a business meeting with my boss for Perfectly Planned (wedding planning) and then we met with a potential bride! Fun fun fun. Today, Michael and I are running some errands and getting some stuff done before having his friend AJ and his wife Sarah over for dinner!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The BEST Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

The BEST Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)
It's a new year! And that's all about us trying to have a clean slate and do better this year than we did in years past, yes? Well-in the spirit of that-I am sharing a very old post from this blog BECAUSE I reinvigorated it with new photos! The old ones were terrible and it's a shame because my puppy chow recipe (also known as muddy buddies) is THE BEST. So the pictures should reflect that. And now they do! Gaze at the pretty pretty pictures, then click on the link to find the perfect chocolate-peanut buttery treat <3
The BEST Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)


The BEST Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Something Saturdays (1/7/17)

This week was....amazing. And FULL. And I don't even know where to begin. I suppose we'll go back to New Year's Eve? 

After I was done working, Michael and I went to his friend David's house and spent a little bit of time with him and his 3 little girls-and we gave them their Christmas presents. Then, we went to my aunt and uncle's house where my mom's side were all partying (and watching the OSU game...spoiler alert, it didn't end well) and spent some fun time there! Then we went to my cousin Emily's house and we had fun with all of them-ending with Michael getting the closest to drunk I've ever seen him lol. It was a super fun night. Sunday was even better, though--we celebrated Christmas with my mom, and brother (Josh), and his girlfriend (Jilly!) We spent the whole day hanging out, watching home movies, playing games, opening presents, eating, and just spending time together. It was so amazing, Then Monday we continued the fun with lunch at my fave restaurant, Table 6, and then coming back to show them our new house and play more games here. They loved the house and we had more fun. Tuesday and Wednesday I ran around doing lots of fun stuff and showing Jill around, and shopping. Tuesday night we had dinner with my dad's family (who then also came back and saw the house for the 1st time). Wednesday we had my cousins Christian and Brianna join us for our fun. We had such a perfect time and it just really felt like...family, having Josh and Jill here. I miss them already and I love them so much. I'm so grateful we got this time with them. Now I just want to go visit them in Hawaii!!!

Thursday I got a mini pick-me-up via our new sectional getting delivered, which is perfect and I LOVE IT! And then my little cousin Brianna came over and hung out and did some homework, and it's always fun to see my little lady. Friday I just did stuff around the house.

Todayyy my friend is getting married and we're going to her wedding!! Then we're going to stay the night with a friend of Michael's who lives near where the wedding is. What are you up to this weekend?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Best of 2016 on Instagram

Oh 2016...you've had your ups and downs. But let's focus on the ups: I saw my brother graduate from USAF basic training (2nd in his class!)-then got to watch him fall in love with the most amazing girl, I visited my bestie in St. Louis--and NOW she's engaged (!!), I became a wedding planner, I celebrated my 1st year of marriage, I ate lots of delicious food, caught up with friends, and bought a house!!! Let's take a little walk down memory lane and see this year via photos from my instagram:
















Admittedly I was less happy by the end of this day...







Alright, 2017, let's see what you've got.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (Week 1)

It's the first meal plan of 2017!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Let's ring it in with some of these delicious recipes!

This week’s meal plan was brought to you by:

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