Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Christmas Fudge

I have been a chocoholic my whole life and although I have preferences, I never turn down an opportunity to devour the stuff. We did a cookie exchange with my family the other week and my brother-in-law made  fudge that blew me out of the water. I immediately asked him for the recipe, half hoping it was extremely complicated so I wouldn’t make it. Having this type of indulgence at my fingertips is dangerous territory! 

I love to bake, but being precise and following strict processes isn't my strongest suit! Low and behold, this recipe looked easy and was! Truly, you just combine the ingredients in a saucepan to melt, and then pour it out into a baking pan and let it cool. There's no candy thermometer, constant stirring for any great length in time, and no obscure ingredients necessary. I know this is called "Christmas fudge" but this will be "anytime fudge" in my book! The recipe is originally from Delish- linked!

Because of my lack in planning, I didn't have heavy cream so I swapped it for eggnog because I figured the viscosity/fat content would be similar. Surprisingly, it turned out great! No detection of the flavor and the texture didn't seem altered by it. I also used vanilla bean paste because I almost exclusively prefer it to extract. Lastly, I omitted the salt in the mixture but sprinkled a bit of fleur de sel on top with the sprinkles and love the pop of salt to cut through the sweetness. Food for thought! 

Happy holiday baking!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Gift Guide: Stocking stuffers

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Gift Guide: Holiday Cheer


Monday, November 23, 2020

Gift Guide: Gifts for the ice cream lover

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Gift Guide: Gifts for the baker


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

October Favorites

1) This feels like it should be a January post considering the heavy fitness theme! I've never been into working out but as soon as the temperatures dropped the first week in October I knew Id be in for a long winter ahead with two kids and nowhere to go because of the pandemic. I didn't want to invest in an expensive machine (I had no idea treadmills were thousands of dollars!) until I knew how often I would use it/had a proper place for it. I'm pleasantly surprised at how nice this Sunny treadmill is for under $500. It folds up, moves easily, and was quick to setup with a few screws. Although with it being over 100 pounds I needed help to get it out of the box, so consider that if you live alone. If you're looking for indoor walking/running I would highly recommend this one!

2) I just started using the Sweat app and am on week 4 of the post pregnancy program. I realized on day 1 that I needed resistance bands to do some of the workouts. Again, new to fitness, didn't want to invest until I knew how long this motivation will last for! I saw these resistance bands on Amazon for under $8 and liked the colors, so I gave them a go. Super happy with them for the price so far. Only time will tell how they hold up, but it's been 4 weeks and so far so good!  

3) Our two year old has always been a very good eater but lately breakfast has been a challenge. I started making him "eggs in toast" as he calls it, otherwise known as egg in the holes or toad in the holes. To make them more exciting for him I let him choose the shape with cookie cutters and that has been a real thrill, let me tell you! It also helps to give cookie cutters a bigger role in our kitchen, aside from cookies. This set is great in addition to animal and seasonal shapes. 

4) I wanted to try out the camo legging trend, which is way beyond my comfort level, so I bought these inexpensive ones from Amazon to test the waters. I swear to you, I wear them every other day. They feel very similar to the Lululemon align pants, soft and buttery, but hold you in a little bit! The side pockets are great for things like phone, pacifiers, kids water cup, basically anything you need a 3rd hand for. I will be buying these in black and likely a fun color since the price can't be beat!  

5) When we renovated our kitchen I vouched to myself I would set up systems in our drawers/pantry to keep things organized and stay that way. Of course, if I lived alone this would be an easy task, but not everyone in my family shares the same desire to look like a container store catalog. (wink!) I bought this expandable organizer and it's been great but only lately have I opened it to it's max potential and gotten better about using it. It's excellent for storing canned goods, jarred sauces, backup jelly, you name it! I want more for every shelf. I like that it's level, without a lip, so various sizes can still fit, even if it hangs over a bit. When you don't have as many items or are limited to space, you just adjust the width accordingly. I have a similar one (with the lip around the edge) for my spice cabinets and love it! 

Friday, October 2, 2020

September Favorites

1. I have never been one to fear butter. The more the better! About a month ago I considered doing a whole30 so I bought this ghee (I love all Organic Valley products) and stashed it in my pantry. That round of whole30 didn't happen but I started using it for sautĂ©ing chicken, wilting spinach, for eggs, toast, etc. I love the flavor of it and appreciate the spreadability since I don't often plan ahead for room temperature sticks of butter. This is definitely a new pantry staple for me! 

2. Growing up, my mom always had this pumpkin candy dish out for the fall season and it's pure nostalgia. I love that it's glass because you can keep it out from September-November and it's a touch of fall without being overkill. It's survived several moves and many seasons and is hopefully durable with small toddler hands! I always fill with candy corn but you can truly fill it with whatever you like.  

3. My birthday is in September and my husband bought me this Lululemon "Going Places" jacket in black. I have been needing a casual jacket to wear with athleisure clothes but have been very picky with what I'm looking for. This is it!! It's long, lightweight while providing warmth, and has big pockets for holding all the things while out about. It's true to size but if you are in between sizes I would go with the smaller size. It's the perfect coat for fall!

4. Graham, my 2 year old, just switched to a big boy bed and buying sheets for it was a lot of pressure! I wanted to find something that he would use for awhile (nothing to babyish) and something he would appreciate and look forward to every night. I ended up with these sheets from Pottery Barn Kids and we are both elated. They are super cute and he loves pointing out what everything is. 

5. To add to the above, we've been having major sleep regressions for the last month and a half. He wouldn't stay in his crib, chewed his pacifiers, separation anxiety, etc. It's been a difficult phase but a friend of mine recommended this book and the methods used to sleep train toddlers. It's been just over a week since implementing and sleeping overnight has drastically improved! I am really enjoying this book and feeling equipped to handle all of the difficult sides of a toddler. If you too are struggling, I fully recommend this book!

6. If I had to choose one thing to cook with for the rest of time, I would likely say a cast iron skillet. It gets a TON of use in our house. I have the 10" and often times find that it's just too small for certain things. We invested in the Lodge 15" skillet and truthfully, I almost returned it because it's huge! However, this month I have turned to it more than my smaller one. It sort of doubles as a griddle for me since I don't have one so I've used it for pancakes, egg in the holes, grilled cheese, searing meat, etc. It's large and heavy but it's an excellent pan! 

None of these are sponsored in any way. Some of the links are affiliate which means I earn a commission on purchased items.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

August Favorites

 I would consider myself a pretty frugal person and don't often "shop" unless it's something I truly need. This said, late night nursing sessions with a tired perception of necessities has me singing a different tune lately! Here's a roundup of some recent purchases that I have either just discovered or have been loving and recently purchased again.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Losing the Pacifier

There are plenty of things people prepare you for when it comes to parenthood. You won't sleep, you'll be in constant demand (especially if nursing), you'll never again enjoy a hot meal or cup of coffee, etc. On the other hand there are many things moms neglect to inform you of. Months after your baby is born you will lose hair by the handful, all day long. Your hormones, although slightly more stabilized will still be a loose cannon and you may get misty eyed over seeing a pregnancy announcement or a simple birthday card with sweet words. 

One thing people don't prepare you for are the stages of development that are both thrilling and heartbreaking at the very same time. Tonight I put my "baby" down for bed without his pacifier. He is obsessed with his "baba" and I couldn't fathom the day I would tuck him in without it. Nobody tells you when the right moment is or how you should do things. You're just left to figure these things out! 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Scheduling Self-Care

As a stay at home mom, weeks can be long and days can be mundane, especially during winter in the Midwest. My husband plays in two different men's leagues every week so it's difficult to schedule something in the evenings because the days and times of his sports change every week. I've tried to block off me-time but it doesn't always work or I cancel on myself all too often.  I know it's important to take care of myself but the time available always seems to go towards someone or something else. Why do we put ourselves on the back burner?!