Saturday, December 17, 2016

Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Cookies


Hi y'all!  Christmas is ONE week away!!!  Gingerbread cookies have always been a cookie that I could pass on.  Which is pretty incredible because I love almost every form of sugar.  This year I wanted to try one of my favorite cake mix cookie recipes using a gingerbread cake mix.  Now I am sure your are thinking, "there is a gingerbread cake mix?!"  Well, no there isn't.  I thought there would be one with all the holiday baking specials but I was wrong.  Then I spotted this...


My first thought was, that is LAME LESLIE.  Make cookies with a cookie mix...come on, you can do better!!!   But then I read the ingredients which were almost identical to a cake mix and decided to go for it. 

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:

Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix
2 Eggs
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
Powder Sugar

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   
2.  First remove a 1/4 cup of cookie mix and dispose {cookie mix came with too much...mix :) }.  In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, eggs, and oil.  Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds.  
3.  Using a 2 TBSP cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a plate with powder sugar.


4.  Roll dough in powder sugar and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 7 - 10 minutes.


Now these are gingerbread cookies I can't say no to.  They go well with my eggs at breakfast... afternoon coffee...  and after dinner dessert... So if you make these I recommend you have people over to eat them! 


Are you doing any Christmas baking?  I still have {these} cinnamon rolls and a bundt cake to make.   :)


{Leslie}

Thursday, December 15, 2016

DIYish Christmas Tree Crate


Heyyy!  I know what you are thinking, how does she already have presents wrapped under the tree?! Just call me an overachiever this year!  ;)  I don't know how it is possible but I am actually done with our Christmas shopping.  That has to be some kind of record.  For the past couple years I have used this galvanized bucket instead of a tree skirt.  


I loved how this looked but it was not the most stable base.  Our tree base was too big for the bucket and I had use 2 x 4s so it would not fall over.  With our little Mack getting into everything this year I knew that an unstable tree could be a disaster...  Then I saw {this} image on pinterest:


 I want that to be my living room...those baseboards {heart eyes emoji} and that couch {Tall Tan Man would murder me for that one}!  At first I planned on building the crate but then I found this one at JoAnn's.  It is a little bit bigger than the normal crates you see which was perfect for the tree.


The crate is normally $30 but I had a 50% off coupon {plus 25% off my total purchase, I really love black Friday}.  I stained the crate with a 50/50 mixture of Minawax Jacobean and Weathered Oak.  I bought a faux fur blanket at Homegoods to cover the bricks in the crate that are weighing down the tree. 



I love how the crate turned out! 


I hope everyone is having a great week!  We are taking Mack to Santa soon and I can't wait to share the photos!

{Leslie}

Monday, December 5, 2016

DIY Faux Fireplace

  
Ahhh I love my new fireplace!!! Can anyone explain to me why a house was built in Colorado WITHOUT a fireplace?!  I don't get it.  I am pretty sure every house in Texas has a fireplace...  
 
When Mack was 3 weeks old I realized the grey cabinet in our sun room was very dorm-room-esq.  
 
 
  
Now I know what you are thinking, no woman is thinking straight with a 3 week old baby.  Very true. But as I continued sit on my tush for weeks months {those days are loooong gone} the cabinet became more and more wrong.  Just to put things in perspective, I tried to sell it on Craigs List for $40 and no one wanted it.   :( I just hope when I put it on our driveway with a sign that says "free" someone takes it.  Alright.  My grey cabinet rant is over.  
 
 
Tall Tan Man built me this fireplace because he loves me.  He used {this} tutorial from Ana White and it only took him a couple hours.    
 
 
 
Then he cut a back board and wood discs for me.  I painted the back board black and glued the discs on.  I first used liquid nails and that didn't hold them... It was a great surprise to wake up to! ;)  I went back and used hot glue on the fallen discs and that is holding!  I still can't believe this room use to look like this:
 

 
Looks a lot better don't you think?!
 
 
Thanks for stopping by! :)
{Leslie}

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mack's 10 Month Update!

 What happened to my tiny baby?!?!

 
 

Mack is now 10 months old!!!  That doesn't even sound real.  I've started planning his FIRST birthday!  And by planning I mean I have bought every thing buffalo check that Target sales...


Mack still loves toilet water and he discovered how to lift the toilet seat one day when I was shampooing my hair.  Please don't call CPS, but I finished my shower then washed his hands...  Mack is standing independently some and even TOOK A FEW STEPS!   He had his first bleeding injury when he fell and bit through his pacifier!!!  It was terrible and I wanted to got to the hospital, but thankfully he only bled for about 10 minutes.  Mack is definitely his father's son, he loves mac and cheese.  :)



I am spending my first night(s!) away from Mack this weekend and I don't know how I feel about this.  I'm sad, excited {hello freedom and airplane magazine reading}, and terrified he will forget who I am...and be scarred for life.  I am headed to Oklahoma for the Bedlam football game and Tall Tan Man will be in charge!  He doesn't really handle poopy diapers well so everybody pray for constipation! ;)

{Leslie}

Monday, November 21, 2016

Updating our Basement Stairs


Hi y'all!  I am OBSESSED with our basement stairs!!!  I have not talked a lot about our basement because we have really just focused on the main level.  The previous owners "updated" the basement but they did some really weird layouts.  I am guessing this was to accommodate their grow room...  Gotta love Colorado...  The grow room does fit all of Mack's baby stuff nicely so I can't complain too much.  ;)  Here is what our basement stairs looked like when we moved in:


Beige...cream...brown...puke!  Now we totally lucked out because our neighbors are painters and were getting rid of the perfect 5 gallon container of grey paint.  We painted our entire basement for FREE! 


Now let's talk about this runner!  This project cost me a whopping $65 because of the free paint and supplies that we already had.  I am not going to do a full DIY post because this, this, and this post were great! 


Now I am going to clear up somethings that I was worried about... 

1.  Can I just use multiple runners from Homegoods/Ross/TJMaxx?  YES!  I was worried about the pattern matching up but I can hardly notice where the runners meet.  I had the hardest time finding the third runner and thankfully my Dad found one in Dallas!  Just call him the rug master, he said.  haha  Unfortunately, the runner he got was slightly different.  The pattern had a horizontal "medallions" vs a vertical ones. 

2.  Do I have to use a rug mat? Nope! 

3.  Do I have to use an electric stapler?  No, BUT check your stairs!  I really didn't want to spend the extra $40 on this project and our manual stapler worked just fine. 

4.  Do I need to color my staples with a sharpie {prior to using}? Yes!  Especially if your rug is dark.  You cannot see the staple at all when they were colored black!


Our basement is looking so much cleaner and fresher now.  It also matches the rest of our house now which I love!  I hope everyone is enjoying their short week and if I don't make it back by Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving!

{Leslie}

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

DIY Eucalyptus Wreath

  I actually did some crafting last week and it was so nice to get the creative juices flowing.  Maybe it is just me but it took me a good 8 months to get back to feeling like myself post baby.  8 months!  I am working on decorating our new guest room {which use to be the office} and really wanted a wreath above the bed.  I got the eucalyptus from Trader Joe's and I already had the wreath in my target dollar spot stash.  Michael's/JoAnne's/Hobby Lobby all sell similar wreaths.

DIY Eucalyptus Wreath

Supplies:

Wreath
Eucalyptus
Floral Wire
Wire Cutters
Scissors

Directions: 

1.  I started by putting full stems on the wreath with the floral wire.


2.  You will need to attach both ends of the stems.  Continue adding stems all going in the same direction.

3.  Now hold your wreath up or go ahead and hang it up and don't cry.  It will look totally different, stupid gravity.  I stood on our guest bed {who wants to come stay over?} and finished the wreath while it was hanging.  I had to add more floral wire and removed some leaves with the scissors.
 
I hope to finish and share our guestroom soon! It is a hodge podge of furniture and decor!
 
{Leslie}

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mack is 9 Months Old!

I am a few WEEKS late in posting this, but I did take the pictures on time!  I now have a crazy, active and fearless 9 month old.  Mack has discovered toilet water and our carbon monoxide detector.  Thanks to him I clean our toilets frequently and know that our carbon monoxide detector works.  He cruises and pulls up on everything.  He loves to eat bananas, oatmeal, and puffs {he eats veggies and fruits too but those don't get his hands waving}. 




If you want to see more update pictures you can look back at my {8 month post} :)  I love that sweet boy and I am so thankful I get to be his Momma!

{Leslie}

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reese's Pieces Cookie Cake


 How is OCTOBER almost over?!  I am having a hard time keeping up with cooking, cleaning, showering, blogging and life.  I am lucky if I cook a decent dinner, so as you can guess baking is almost out of the question.  I LOVE baking, because desserts are awesome, and it reminds me of my old self.  Cookie cake is one of my absolute favorite desserts.  I found this recipe from {Real House Moms} blog and made a few minor adjustments.  This is the first time I made a cookie cake using a spring form pan.  What a brilliant idea!  I wanted to make my cookie cake a little Halloweenish so I used Reese's Pieces in addition to chocolate chips, because they are AWESOME and the perfect fall color.

Reese's Pieces Cookie Cake

Cookie Cake Ingredients:

10 TBSP Butter {room temperature}
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup White Sugar
1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
1 TSP Vanilla
1 2/3 Cup Flour
3/4 TSP Baking Soda
3/4 TSP Salt
3/4 Cup Reeses Pieces
1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

Frosting Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Butter {room temperature}
1/4 Cup Shortening
1/2 TSP Vanilla
2 Cups Powder Sugar
2 TBSP Milk

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8" spring form pan.

2. In a mixer, blend together the butter and sugar.  Add in the eggs and vanilla until it's all combined.

3.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Using a firm spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the Reese Pieces and chocolate chips.

4.  Spread the batter into your spring form pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.  I like my cookies very soft so I removed the cake at 20 minutes.

5.  For the frosting: Mix butter and shortening together until combined.  Add vanilla and mix.  Slowly add in the powder sugar and milk until you get the desired consistency.


So as you can see the BOO turned into a pumpkin and no, it didn't involve a glass slipper, and it was definitely not midnight because I can't keep my eyes open passed 9.......  I am a rookie when it comes to decorating and thought I could write BOO with a star tip.  NOPE.  It looked like a preschooler wrote it...  Lesson Learned! Now this wasn't the first time I made this cookie cake because it is so freaking good!


Happy Baking y'all!!! 

{Leslie}

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Updating U-G-L-Y Hollow Doors

 


Hello!  I love that our doors no longer stick out like my current love handles.  haha Postpartum ROCKS, insert eye roll...


The hardest part about about blogging a house remodel is when projects take forever.  We started working on these doors October of 2014!!!  Soooo this post is just TWO years in the making.  First things first, we glued trim onto the doors and used tape to hold the trim in place.


Our doors looked like this {minus the tape} for 6 months.  The one step we should of done before we painted would be to caulk all the trim.  Then when we decided to paint our kitchen and doors all at the same time {not the best idea}.  Please learn from our mistakes and don't try to do this...


That idea did not work, and that is all I remember about that. haha We ended up nailing 1 x 2s to the top of the doors and this worked great for painting.  The door color is Dove White by Benjamin Moore.


Now our doors were so much better to look at!  The only problem was our horrible handles.  Door handles, that is.


 Now I bet you are thinking we should just go to Home Depot and buy some new handles.  At first I didn't want to do this because door handles are not cheap and we have a lot of doors.  Then I caved, got some and tried to install them and it did.not.work.  Ugh.  Something you have deal with when your working with a 55 year old house.  So I decided to use Kilz Primer Spray Paint and my favorite Oiled Rubbed Bronze Spray paint.  I painted all then handles and even the screws.  I let them fully cure for 48 hours then  covered the screw driver with a paper towel when I installed them.


We have actually had our "new" door handles for 2 months and they are hold up beautifully!


Now if you are a parent I have an important tip for you!!!  When you take the handles off to paint them be very careful when you close doors.  I might have put Mack in the exer-saucer and went to take a quick shower.  When I got out of the shower I realized that the door was closed/latched and there was no handle... I was LOCKED in the bathroom.  No phone and 3 hours before Tall Tan Man was going to get home.  Option 1: Pick the latch with the end of the a tooth paste tube.  Didn't work.  Option 2: Take the pins out of the hinges.  One came out and the other would not budge.  Option 3: Run through the door.  Went back and tried option 1 again before attempting option 3, and was successful.  I {grabbed a towel} ran to where Mack was and he didn't even look up at me!


Hope everyone has a great week!

{Leslie}
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