Monday, July 17, 2017

Cake Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies!


Hello!  How was everyone's weekend?  We did almost nothing which was pretty fantastic.  I did make some cookies, so I wasn't a complete bum.  I love making cookies from cake mixes for many reasons.  One of them being my kitchen doesn't end up a disaster and another being the cookies take zero time to make.  You can see some of my other recipes here, here, here, & here.

Cake Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients

White Cake Mix Box
1/3 Cup Oil
2 Eggs
1 TBSP Cinnamon
Cinnamon Sugar

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixer combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and cinnamon.  

2.  Using a 2 tbsp cookie scoop, form golf ball sized balls and drop into cinnamon sugar.  

3.  Make sure cookies a thoroughly cover in cinnamon sugar and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes.  


You need to try these right when they come out of the oven.  Like almost burn your mouth out of the oven... SO GOOD!  These are the softest snickerdoodles I've ever had.





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Friday, July 14, 2017

Mack is 18 months!


Wowsers, Mack is a year and a half TODAY!  I really can't believe how fast all this is going.  Mack continues to grow like a weed and constantly needs bigger shoes...  Is it normal that he is already growing out of size 7 shoes?  I am still clueless... I have had to take a couple pregnancy test because somedays I am so EXHAUSTED.  Unfortunately? Thankfully? I am not pregnant, just worn out from chasing Mack around all day.  









Mack loves being outside, Trader Joe's samples, yelling the word mooooore {and no}, being naked, hitting and immediately kissing, stickers on his shirt for 5 seconds, watermelon, hot dogs, the park, the pool, his blanket, and after nap snuggles {my fav}.  This might sound corny but I love being a Mom so much.  I am excited for what is to come and I hope I don't have to call poison control for a long time.  That will be a story I can tell when Mack graduates from high school and I know I haven't ruined his brain...   


Y'all have a great weekend! 

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Sunroom Shelf Updates


Happy Monday!  I am excited to share my sunroom changes with y'all!!  As usual, most of the updates were found in the Target clearance section and Homegoods.  I shared {here} about the issues I was having with the decor in the room.  After we {mostly Tall Tan Man} finished updating the sunroom I threw some old decor in here and started working on other rooms.  The ceiling in this room might be my favorite trait of our entire house!

before...


today!


So much cleaner, brighter, and grown up feeling {hello 31!}!  I decided this room need some more storage because this is where we spend most of our time.  Changing diapers in the nursery was so 8 months ago.  I moved our Ikea Rast Side Table up from the basement guest bedroom.  Unfortunately Mack thinks this side table is cooler than almost every toy we have, so the contents have been emptied several times... And it is now attached to the wall after Mack confused the side table for a jungle gym...



This is one of my DIYs that I have loved for years!  Now the major issue I was having with the sunroom was this wall.  


If I was a single lady, I would of painted the brick white years ago.  Have you ever heard of that country song that goes "I'd do a lot more offshore fishing. Probably eat more drive through chicken. Take a fews strokes off my golf game?"  My version would go like "I'm going to paint everything white.  Eat a lot more cereal at night.  Don't worry next month I'll change my mind."  As you can see I have NO future in writing music. Hahaha  Being married means we compromise and TTM told me once that the sunroom felt like an insane asylum.  Too much white for him.  I love that Man but doesn't he know that white walls are having a moment??

I decided that I wanted to simplify the room.  The red brick brings a level of business to the room and I wanted to calm down the decor.  


First things first, did you notice the elephant in the room?  YES, our couch is BROKEN.  I've tried to fix it from the bottom but no luck.  I decided that when we move {long story, could be whenever a promotion spot opens up for TTM...2 weeks? 6 months? a year?!  We have no idea..} I will sell giveaway the couch.  Hellooooo pink couch!  :) JK 


Almost all the new items {gold globe, wooden bowl, gold frame, & leaf picture} are from Target and all were on clearance!  Woooohooo.  I got TTM to cut me some wood inserts for the baskets to hide the contents better.  So what do you think?  Please don't tell me if you think it looks worse.  My heart can't take it!


I know not all of y'all will like this, but turning some books backwards kept my color scheme simple.  Give me all the neutrals! 




I hope you have a fabulous week!  Mack turns 18 month this week and I'm having a hard time with him being closer to 2 than 1... How in the heck did that happen?  
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Friday, July 7, 2017

More Progress on our Curb Appeal





I cannot believe our house looked like such a jungle when we moved in!  A jungle with a million pavers...  I've learned a couple things about landscaping.  Number One - I hate yard work.  Number Two - I'm terrible at it.  Number Three - Landscaping is a process and not instantly perfect.  Last time I shared our curb appeal this is where we were:



and this is where we are now!



Since then we added house numbers, sod, flower beds, mulch, and started landscaping.  We did all the work ourselves and even though it was tough work {and I have the tan lines to prove it} it saved us a bunch of money.  

Looking back on the process I do wish I would of done 2 things differently.  First things first, my mulch color is way too ORANGE than I would prefer.  My neighbor has the same mulch color and I really like it, but turns out it is 5+ years old. Unless it is Sunday and I am cheering for the Broncos, I want no orange in my life.  I was wanting more of a cedar brown and I'm hoping that the mulch fades faster than it is supposed to!  My second regret was not hiring a landscaper to develop a plan for me.  I thought designing our landscaping would be easy peasy.  I love decorating so picking out shrubs should be easy, right?! Ugh, this was such a struggle and I'm not completely happy with how it turned out.  Lesson learned.  



Our porch railing is my favorite part of the transformation.  Tall Tan Man is my hero!




The next project for our front yard is doing something with this chain link fence.  I'm thinking that removing the red plastic inserts will be a good start!


{Leslie}

Monday, July 3, 2017

Red Velvet Oreo Balls!!!



Happy July to you!!!  I know my blog looks like a HOT MESS... I contacted my blog designer to hopefully resolve this issue soon!  Wahhhh

Does anyone want to come pick up some of these Red Velvet Oreo Balls for their 4th of July BBQ??? I CAN"T STOP EATING THEM!  There is about a zero percent chance these will make it to the 4th in our house...  This recipe is super easy and a big crowd pleaser.  Please will ask, "where did you buy those Red Velvet Truffles?"  You just brush the hair off you shoulder and tell them you made them!  :) 

Red Velvet Oreo Balls

Ingredients:

1 Package Red Velvet Oreos
6 oz Softened Cream Cheese 
1 Package Almond Bark
Sprinkles
Blue Candy Melt*

* With wanting to be 100% honest... I tried to add blue food coloring to the almond bark for the drizzling and it made the texture really weird.  Maybe I just messed something up?  Who knows!!  I ended up going to Hobby Lobby and buying the dark blue candy melt.  

Directions:

1.  In a food processor or blender, pulse Oreos until they are in crumbles.  

2.  In a mixing bowl combine Oreo crumbles and cream cheese.  Using a 1 TBSP cookie scoop, form balls with the Oreo mixture.  Using your hands to roll the balls until they are smooth.   

3.  Refrigerate Oreo balls for 30 minutes then prepare almond bark according to package directions {I find it easier to use a small bowl rather than the tray that comes with the almond bark}.

4.  Drop the Oreo balls into the almond bark and use a fork to cover the ball completely.  Use the fork to remove the Oreo ball and shake off excess almond bark.  Apply sprinkles before the almond bark hardens.  

5.  Prepare 1/2 cup of blue candy melt according to package directions.  Use the fork to splatter the candy melt over the cookies.  Keep refrigerated.  


  
I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!  God Bless America!  


{Leslie}

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What should I do in our sunroom?!?!

Happy first day of summer!  We have been working a lot on the exterior of our house and I can't wait to show y'all our progress.  If you follow me on Instagram then you know that while loading mulch into my car I accidentally threw a SNAKE in my car!  It was terrifying!!  I am thankful that someone was close by to get it out and it was supposedly just a gardener snake {and only 10 inches long}.  

After finishing our front room makeover I feel like our sunroom looks worse.  Am I the only one that does that?  You decorate one room then feel like the other rooms are just blah.  If you are new around here, our sunroom has come a long way...




 The room is just not where I want it to be.  Close but not where I want it to be.  This is what this side of the room looks like most of the time...


Here are all my random thoughts....

1.  so so so busy...
2.  is this a married couple's dorm room?
3.  should I paint the brick?  white wash? white?
4.  can I make the wicker baskets look better?  
5.  I need pillows that are not so mismatched...
6.  can I hide Mack's toys better?
7.  should I keep the gallery wall as is?  add more? paint the frames?

I would LOVE y'all's opinions on this.  Tall Tan Man is anti painting the brick but I think we need to.  I love a brick accent wall but our brick is ugly and covered by gunk...  Mack and I are headed to Texas tomorrow for my cousins wedding!  Bring on the heat and fajitas!!

{Leslie}

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Patriotic M&M Cookie Cake


Y'all, I had to throw this cake in the trash...  We had way too much left at our house and I was the only one eating it.  Does that make me terrible?  I kept cutting a little sliver every 15 minutes yesterday and finally I decided it HAD to go!  I'm probably the only person that has ever done that.  My swimsuit will thank me for it.  ;)

Get excited, this cookie cake is FANTASTIC!


Patriotic M&M 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
1 Cup M&Ms

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 22 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.






If you missed my patriotic round up post from last week I found some fun DIYs and recipes for you.  I hope you are enjoying BBQ season!!!


{Leslie}

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Latest Obsessions from Trader Joes

Happy Monday!  Tall Tan Man and I just had a wonderful {baby free} weekend in the mountains.  Two words, hot coffee!  If you missed my Insta story from last week I had quiet the "incident" at Trader Joe's.  Let's just say shorts + melted chocolate + public place = embarrassment.  If you know me I am a big time optimist, so I am really hoping that no one noticed the brown substance smeared on my thighs...  

Anyone else ever had that happen to them?  anyone? anyone?  

I digress, even with my "incident" I don't think I could stay away from Trader Joe's.  This is the second closest grocery store to our house and it is next door to Starbucks and Homegoods.  I AM TOO WEAK TO STAY AWAY!  

Allrightythen... 

Lately we have been stuck in a meal rut...  Does that ever happen to you?  Looking in the frig is like looking in my closest, I don't like any of this!!!  Here are just a couple things that are making my daily life easier.  




First off, BREAKFAST!  This is definitely our favorite meal of the day.  I think if Mack could talk he would also agree with me on that.  We are pretty regular egg eaters and I think TJ's eggs not only taste great but are also priced great.  Same thing with their Turkey Bacon, awesome price compared to our regular grocery store!  On days we don't do eggs I love this frozen oatmeal because it is fast and not too high in sugar.  Mack loves those pancakes and so do i... Lastly, well, coffee is coffee and during the summer I'm all about iced coffee.  :)



Does anyone else struggle with lunch?? I feel like I scrounge something together then finish Mack's food.  I decided I need a change and picked up this southwest chopped salad.  SO SO SO GOOD!  I usually have Tall Tan Man grill extra chicken on the weekend for me to put on this.  The salad dressing that comes with this is super yummy but if I am trying to be extra healthy I just use salsa or this balsamic vinaigrette.  Have you every heard of mini cucumbers?  I hadn't but they are the perfect size for me to slice up one and Mack also likes them.  



Oh dinner, how I love to just order pizza or pei wei...  I am trying to be better about not picking up takeout during the week.  This Kung Pao Chicken is so yummy and SPICY.  Which I love.  I usually just serve it with rice.  The fire roasted peppers and onions make fajita/taco night so much easier and I love the flavor of them.  The only problem I have had with them is when I have forgotten to make them...  #mombrain Lastly, I've got to be real honest with y'all, I just bought the Turkey Bolognese.  I am actually making it for dinner tonight.  I'll let you know how it is!



I swear the testing station at Trader Joe's MAKES ME make bad decisions.  Those chocolate chip cookies are UNREAL.  Especially if they are paired with ice cream.  You should definitely not buy them right before a beach vacation...  I can drink this lemonade like water in the summer and Mack loves those mini cheese sandwiches.  They have to be good for him because they are organic, right?!



Last thing I wanted to share was their cards.  I bet you were thinking I would talk about their flowers... but by now I think everyone knows how awesome their flowers are.  All of their cards are $.99 which is waaaaaaaaay cheaper than paying $4.99 for a card that will most likely be thrown out after a couple weeks.  And they are so pretty!  

What are some of your Trader Joe's staples?  I'd love the hear them! 

{Leslie}

Thursday, June 8, 2017

'Merica Round Up

Hi y'all!  It is hard to believe that summer is already here.  I feel like it was just Christmas...  I think this is how it goes when you have a toddler.  Mack wears me out daily!  Why does he have no fear, as well as the ability to climb now?!  When Tall Tan Man gets home from work everyday I feel like I have to give him an injury report.  Is this normal?  Do I need to wrap him in bubble wrap?  Where did these grey hairs come from?  

deep breaths...

Ok, I feel better now.  :)  If you have followed my blog for a while then you know that DIYs and desserts are my favorite things.  I went ahead to did a round up of some of my favorite 'Merica projects/desserts that I have created and spotted from some awesome bloggers.  

Decor Ideas!
                   



If this Patriotic Wreath doesn't make you think of watermelon and grilled corn, I don't think we can be friends.  





How awesome is this Flag Backdrop  from Laughing Latte?!  This is so creative and I know the perfect spot in our backyard for it.  




I have been wanting to make these American Flag Mason Jars for years.  Maybe this will be the year!

Sweets!




No oven required for these Dipped Lemon Oreos!




This is by far my favorite cookie recipe.  I promise these Red Velvet Cookies won't dissapoint!


These Patriotic M&M Oat Bars melt in your mouth and on your hand.  Go ahead lick off that yummy chocolate! 


For my friends that struggle in the kitchen....All American Jars



Oh my goodness, all the heart eyes for this Firecracker Cake from Love Bakes Good Cakes.  I love how she did the icing!  I think you could do this same look on any bundt cake.


I am really lucky I don't have any of these desserts in my house right now, because I am feel quiet emotional about my beloved Oklahoma Football Coach, Bob Stoops, retiring.  If you see me, give me a hug, I need it!  



{Leslie}

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