Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cookies, Cookies, and More Cookies {Plus the Cookie Rule}

Hello friends! Many apologies for not posting much this Christmas season. It has been dreadfully busy. Christmas seems to be coming awfully quick this year. To quick for me at least. Anyhoo, I've been working long and hard in the kitchen these past few days to make cookies for friends and family (In fact I've got a batch in the oven right as I am writing this post!). I wanted to share the recipes I've been using.

Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies

Mint Chocolate Delights

Hershey Peanut Butter Blossoms

These recipes were very yummy and are also very good for giving away (mainly because they're pretty popular, pretty easy, and pretty delicious). I doubled the Choc-Oat-Chip and the Mint Delights. The Mint Delights were oh-so delightful, as the name implies. I had a little struggle with the Choc-Oat-Chip  cookies. Random problems here and there went wrong, and there was a lot of cookie dough. But that's only if you double the recipe. A special tip for those scrumptious yet annoying cookies is to take the cookies off the baking sheet within 3 minutes after being pulled out of the oven. Normally I wait and let cookies cool off for a few minutes before removing them from the baking sheet, but with these, (if you want them to come off clean) they need to be removed ASAP. The peanut butter cookies turned out perfectly.

The Cookie Rule: I've been working on getting healthy and fit these past few months. And the hardest part of getting fit is surviving the holidays. I did alright with Thanksgiving, but Christmas was what I was really concerned about. I've always struggled with limiting my cookies at Christmas. This year, I decided to put a stop to my cookie indulgence. I limit myself to one cookie a day, and if I workout, I get two cookies. I'm finding it to be a little hard, as I have "accidentally" let a half a cookie or so slide here and there. Overall, I've been even more pleased with my progress. I've never had this much self control with cookies, and hopefully with this new rule I'll gain even more. Its a great motivator to workout too! This morning, in fact, I wasn't going to workout because I ran yesterday. But I really, really wanted one of those Mint Delights and a warm Choc-Oat-Chip cookie. So, big thank you to Tony Horton for putting me through much pain this morning during Legs and Back. It was worth the cookie. 

Have a great day, lovelies!
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas

Hiya everyone! Hope you are having a spectacular day! One thing that I love about Christmastime is that once it begins, its everywhere. On the radio, in stores, in homes, and on TV. Today I wanted to share with you all the schedule for ABC Family's 25 days of Christmas (aka: one of the best telly programs for Christmastime). What's your favorite Christmas movie that ABC Family will be broadcasting? I'd love to hear in the comments! Enjoy!

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Let's Get Planning!

Hello all! Hope you are having a great day! Well, its officially Christmastime. This time of year can get crazy. So don't head into this wonderful season stressed over all the things you need to do. Instead, plan ahead! {Hey, that rhymed! Haha} Here is a link to the ultimate, and free,  printable Christmas planner. This will get all the details of Christmas in once place, and will save you from unnecessary stress. Enjoy! 

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Wishing lots of blessings today from our family to yours! 

"I will praise God’s name in song
    and glorify Him with thanksgiving."
Psalm 69:30
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep {Part Two} -Setting the Table-

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a lovely Wednesday! Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I can hardly wait. Today, I wanted to share a few table setting ideas to add the perfect touch to your Thanksgiving. Let me know your thoughts! 

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep {Part One} -The Perfect Pie & Other Quick Desserts-

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a fabulous Monday! Thanksgiving is just days away, can you believe it? Today I thought I'd share some ideas to help you make the perfect pie. Blow your friends and family away by trying some of these creative pies! Also, at the end of this pie post, I added some recipes for those who aren't pie lovers {especially good for the kiddos who take a bite of a slice of pie and realize they don't like it}. Let me know your thoughts!

{Other Recipes}

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 box devil's food cake mix (chocolate will work too or your favorite cake mix)
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 bag pumpkin spice Hershey's Kisses
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl combine cake mix and pumpkin. Stir or use a mixer until dough is smooth.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Scoop cookie dough onto the pan and then bake for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Remove pan and allow to cool for one minute on pan. Gently press kisses in the center of the cookies and then place cookies on a cooling rack.
  5. Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Brownies

*This recipe make brownies in a 9x9 or 8x8 pan. However, like the picture, you can use muffin pans as well. {Fill the muffin pans with the batter 3/4 full}*

  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 2/3 cup flour
  7. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  8. 3/4 cup Caramel Apple Milky Way Bites, cut in half
  9. Optional Caramel Topping
  10. 1/2 cup sugar
  11. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  12. 4 tbsp butter
  13. 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  14. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper and lightly grease. In a medium saucepan melt butter and unsweetened chocolate. Remove from heat; cool.
  2. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl stir four and baking soda together, add to chocolate mixture. Add chopped Milky Way bites into batter.
  4. Spread batter into prepared pan, bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Allow brownies to cool, then add caramel topping if desired.
  6. For the caramel topping:
  7. In a small saucepan heat sugars, butter, and evaporated milk until boiling. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cooled brownies and allow caramel to set for 10-15 minutes before cutting.
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Friday, November 22, 2013

A Little Update, and Happy Friday

Wait, what is this? I have a blog? Haha! How is everyone on this lovely Friday? Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been just a little bit busy. Scratch that. I have been very busy, and I'm about ready to pull my hair out. My days are filled with school, piano, school, teaching, babysitting, school, ACT & SAT (aka: death in the form of standardized exams), and did I mention school? Its been rather crazy. I have great news in the midst of that craziness though! I ran my first half-marathon!

It was not my best race. The previous week I was sick with bronchitis (ain't nobody got time for that!) and after that I experienced a lot of asthma. Friends, I coughed the entire race and nearly got sick twice. But after training for 3 months, I was not going to drop out and quit. Yes, I had to walk a whole lot more than I expected. And yes, my time was not what I expected either. But at the end of the day, I can still say that I ran a half marathon. I'm also so, so thankful for my sweet Daddy (this was half marathon number 22 for him!) who stayed with me through the whole race. 

So I got that over with. Yay! And I do plan on running another half marathon this spring *whoop* *whoop*! Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? Well, for us Americans that is. But no matter what country you are from, you can't deny that the Holidays are getting super duper close. And I am super duper excited! I'll have at least one post of Thanksgiving preparation ideas for you all. After that, I'll have some fun Christmas posts again. Can't wait!

As for today, Catching Fire is officially released! A few friends and I are going out to dinner this evening and then seeing the film. I've been looking foreword to it all week long. Have you seen Catching Fire yet? Let me know for thoughts! Have a great Friday everyone!
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Thursday, November 7, 2013


I had a chocolate milkshake for breakfast.

No I'm not joking. But I may be exaggerating just a wee bit. After my disaster with my vegan Wendy's frosty a while back, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. It took me a while to get around to it, but here is a deliciously healthy milkshake recipe I cooked up that you can have for a dessert...or even breakfast if its going I be a long, hard day. And guess what. It legitimately tastes like a chocolate milkshake. No fiasco here. You will need some frozen bananas, chocolate almond milk, chocolate protein powder, and optional yogurt. 

The recipe itself is pretty explanatory. I used more ripened bananas (that look brown and a tad more old) to make it more sweet and less fruity. I used about a cup of chocolate almond milk, if not more. Also, I did not use a full scoop of protein powder. It was more about 1/2 of a tablespoon. And if you want to add yogurt, use a tablespoon of vanilla flavored yogurt. Everything in this recipe varies pretty much to your own liking. If you want it to taste more like a chocolate milkshake than anything, use a few less frozen banana slices & yogurt, more milk, and more protein powder.  It is a very very very yummy recipe, if I do say so myself. Give it a shot! Let me know what you think about my healthy concoction. Enjoy! 


Healthy Chocolate Milkshake:

•1&1/2 frozen ripened bananas
•1 cup choc. almond milk
• Less than a tblspn of choc. protein powder
• (Optional) 1 tblspn of vanilla yogurt
-Blend until smooth
-Silently weep because of its majestic healthy beauty 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Harry Potter Appreciation Month

Hello everyone! Hope you are having a splendid Wednesday! Okay, so I don't know if October really is Harry Potter appreciation month, but it should be. Oh Harry Potter...where to begin? Actually, for me, last September. I didn't start reading the series until September of 2012. I never really wanted to read them because I thought it was a book totally dedicated to witchcraft or something like that. Which they're not at all. And I'm so glad I started reading them. To be honest, I'm actually even more glad I began reading them now that I'm older so that I can enjoy them more from a literature aspect. I'm just now on book six (I haven't had a ton of time to read them...), and have fallen in love with the HP story. It really is a series that you grow very attached to. I go through a mini post-potter depression after I finish each book! Haha! That really inspires me as a writer. J.K. Rowling is extremely talented at taking her readers on a journey alongside Harry Potter, as if we were really there experiencing the same things as the young wizard. So here are some HP pics to make you laugh, cry, and experience more post-potter depression for all of you who have completed the series. At the very end of this post is a "FunFact" that actually works. You can call Hogwarts!! I do this quite often, haha. Enjoy! Are you a Potterhead? What do you like best about HP? I'd love to hear!

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Gift Idea

Hello there! Hope you are having a spectacular Monday! As I was meandering through fall boards on Pinterest one evening, I came across this adorable fall gift idea! The reason I love this gift so much is because it's perfect for teachers, students, and friends...but mostly because its pretty cheap! Haha! And the printables are free (check the link below the photo). All the more wonderful. Cute and inexpensiveideas are always the best. What do you think of this gift? Have any other ideas? I'd love to hear!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Things to Love About Autumn

Hello everyone! I hope you all are well! I have not abandoned my little blog, I promise. With school work, piano, training, and everything else that's going on under the grey clouds of fall, I haven't gotten around to much posting. But I'm here now :) Anyhoo, autumn is speeding least for me it is. Due to the warmish weather where I live, fall is not exactly what I would consider fall. But it's on it's way. Here are some things I love about fall! What about you? What are your autumn loves? I'd love to hear! 


Saturday, September 28, 2013


Hello all! Hope you are having a lovely Saturday! When I began my half marathon training, I decided I wanted to start eating better as well. And boy, has it been so much fun! The first week was terribly difficult. But now, I'm finding it much easier to make healthy choices each and every day! Anyhoo, a friend of mine shared a wonderful, healthy recipe with me; black bean brownies! It may sound a bit odd, but they are super delicious!! Let me know your thoughts! 

Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • *Optional* 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • *Optional* 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
  2. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hello Autumn, You Have Been Dearly Missed

Hello lovlies! How is everyone today? I hope wonderful! Ah, autumn is here. For the longest time I never liked autumn at all. But now, I treasure it dearly! Although Sunday was the official first day of fall, it really started on Saturday for me. I slumped out of bed at 6:45am to go running with my dad. It happened to be raining, so I went back to bed and got up at eight. My dad and I arrived a few miles away from one of the parks in my city, and took off on our run. He left me behind (Those marathoners! Sheesh! Haha), and I ran by myself. As I entered the park, my breath was taken away at what I saw before me. The creek was rushing with water from the previous rain, the morning sunshine peeked through the heavy tree cover, and golden yellow leaves swept to the ground from the cool, crisp wind. "Blow Away" by A Fine Frenzy echoed through my headphones. It was perfection. I would have stopped to enjoy the beauty of it all, but I had four more miles to go. Have you ever had a moment where your breath was simply taken away by the beauties of fall? I'd love to hear. Happy autumn, friends!
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rambling and Such

    Well hiya everyone! How's life? I hope wonderful. I'm finding that the more the days go by, the more grey and monotonous they become. And its only been, what, five weeks since I began this school year? I think quite a few of us are experiencing these dull days. We get up earlier and go to bed later. Our main goal in life is to get our work complete before sundown. We can never escape these responsibilities, but we can toss in some things in our week to brighten our spirits. In these past few weeks, I've been trying to add in small things that I can look foreword to and not have to throw off my schedule. I try to get up early each morning to spend some time with the Lord (which has pretty much helped the most!). I have been trying new recipes that are quick and super healthy (I look foreword to sharing them with you!). I've begun to play a few piano pieces I have always dreamed of completing one day. And, oh yes, I've been sticking to my half-marathon training schedule. That has helped brighten up my week a lot. But maybe brighten isn't exactly the best term to use. I'm in a love-hate relationship with running.
    And best of all, autumn is just around the corner! Oh how I am excited for autumn!! Be expecting posts with lots of golden leaves, pumpkins, and all things fall!

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