Monday, March 31, 2014

One-Pan Monster Cookies

I know that I normally share crafty projects only, but I love this recipe so much that I just had to share it here on my blog. These cookies are just dying to be made by each of you! :)

Besides the easy Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies, this is my go-to recipe when I am craving some chocolate...or when I have to quickly whip up some cookies for a PTO Fundraiser. You can't beat a one-pan recipe that is super simple and delicious.  Oh and did I mention they are DELICIOUS?!

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Cooking time:  20 minutes

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 bag of M&Ms
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs with your mixer.  Then, add in the peanut butter, baking soda and oatmeal and mix together until well combined.  Finally, add in the M&Ms and chocolate chips.  Some people say to mix in with a spoon - I just use my mixer, it's just easier.  (It is a pretty generous amount of chocolate - which is what makes them so yummy!) 

Spread out onto cookie sheet. 

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  And there you have it!

Easy one-pan monster cookies!  Enjoy!

I think this kid sure did... :)

Linking up to:  Sugar Bee Crafts: Take A Look TuesdayA Bowl Full of Lemons: One Project At A Time, Skip to My Lou: Made By You MondayScattered Thoughts of A Crafty Mom:  Inspiration MondayThat's What Che Said: Monday Funday, Mama's Got It Together: Pin It Party

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chalkboard Pantry Doors

Have you ever finished a quick and easy project, and completely underestimated the significance it would have once it was finished?

Meet my 'updated' pantry doors.

I don't have a before photo (I know, bad blogger), but just imagine the doors all the same nice wooden color as it is below.

I wanted to utilize these doors to house my weekly menu plan and never-ending grocery list. But, I knew that I didn't want to paint over the doors with any sort of chalkboard paint that I couldn't eventually remove.

As luck would have it, while browsing the back-to-school clearance at Target, I found a role of chalkboard contact paper for 72 cents.  Yep, back up and rewind. You read that right:  72 cents.

I don't have a photo of the box to tell you what kind it is, but just search for chalkboard contact paper on amazon - lots of options pop up.

I left it blank for for quite a while (actually I wrote in 'Groceries' and 'Weekly Menu'), and then of course I decided I needed to spruce it up with my trusty Silhouette.  I think the words took like a quarter sheet of vinyl, which probably cost about another 72 cents.

I might be exaggerating just a little, but for a project that cost less than $1.50, it has been sorta life-changing.  Ok, maybe not life changing...but it has definitely increased my organization...and my sanity. ;)

Each week, I fill out my menu plan while consulting my trusty family's schedule on my Erin Condren planner.  (On a side note:  seriously, if you don't have one of these things, you are MISSING OUT. Love, love, love my EC Planner!!)

Now if i can just teach my four-year-old to read, and that way she'll stop asking me, "What are we having for dinner tonight?".  Ha-Mothers everywhere are laughing at me now.

As for my grocery list, I love having a running list right there in the busiest part of the kitchen, that way I (my hubby) have no excuse not to write something down when we run out of something. Then when I am headed to the grocery store, I can just snap a photo of the list with my phone and head out the door.

Wow - you can really tell the menu plan gets used the most - huh?
No matter how hard I tried - I couldn't get it 'clean'.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Oh and does anyone else notice my M&M stash on top of the pantry!?

That hallway on right heads straight to the garage - so I see my grocery list every time I walk out the door to leave.  

See - a small project can really make a big difference!  

Anyone out there have a similar experience?  

Now onto organizing the junk drawer... :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Personalized Fleece Tie Blanket + 'Chemo Survival Kit'

Wow. It is March already. It's cliche, but time really does fly. Seems like you plan to do something (aka blog) and then life gets in the way and you don't get it done. And honestly, since this little blog of mine is just for fun, it isn't even in my top five in terms of priorities, so it most often gets shoved to the back burner. And that is completely fine. 

In January, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's already a more than 30-year survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph tissue.  Her prognosis is good, but if you are the praying type, prayers are MUCH appreciated. 

Me and my momma.  Isn't she beautiful?!

Most of you don't know me, but for those out there that do, you know that I am a 'do-er'. I never sit still and I am always multi-tasking.  Ask my hubby - I can't even watch TV without working on something else - which is why I can't keep up with what is going on in our favorite shows. I always have to keep busy, especially during times of stress. It is a control thing - when I am in 'control' of even the smallest things, I feel better. 

So, when my mom was diagnosed, I went into crazy 'do-er' mode, trying to help plan meals, rides, etc....anything I could do to make her life easier.  One of my good friends, Courtney, is also a breast cancer survivor, and I enlisted her help in thinking of all the things my mom might need as she started chemotherapy. She listed off some great ideas, but in the back of my mind, I just wanted to do something more, something personal.  

I really wanted to make her a blanket. Ever since I can remember, my mom has always been cold. It can be 90 degrees outside and my mom will want a blanket over her legs outside.  So, I thought she might enjoy a blanket she can take with her to chemo. 

Isn't it cute?  Definitely bright & cheery!

I just did the typical fleece tie blanket (if you don't know how - there are tons of tutorials online - just Google it). I've made literally dozens of these for my family and friends over the years.  

I like to make them really long (3 yards) so you have plenty of blanket at the bottom to tuck underneath your toes. :)

It is really's folded several times in this photo.

It is bright and cheery, but also practical. But I still wanted it to be more.  

So...with my trusty Silhouette, I decided it would be neat to have the signatures of all of her immediate family members on the blanket so she would always have the six of us with her at all times during her treatment. 

I had each person sign a sheet of paper - my Dad, my brother, my hubby, and my daughter, who also signed my 18-month old son's name.  I scanned that sheet into the computer and traced it in the silhouette software. I thin printed it out on white heat transfer vinyl and adhered to the blanket. 

This is the result:

I put it at the top of the blanket so it would be closest to her heart. 

It might be cheesy - but I think my mom was pretty happy about it. 

In addition to the blanket, I made her a 'chemo survival kit', filled with items she might need during those visits.  I put these all in one of those awesome Thirty-One bags with all the pockets. 
  • Chapstick
  • Hard candy
  • Cough drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand lotion
  • Blank thank you notes
  • Pen and paper
  • Journal
  • Photo of her family
  • Bottled water
  • Crackers
In the bag, she can also include a book and magazines, even her computer. 
No I am not endorsed by Thirty-One, I just really like their bags. :)

Any cancer survivors or caregivers out there?  What items were helpful to you during your treatment? Mom has just one chemo treatment down and many to go, so I'd love to hear what was important to you during that time!

Linking up to:  Sugar Bee Crafts: Take A Look Tuesday, A Bowl Full of Lemons: One Project At A Time, Skip to My Lou: Made By You Monday, Scattered Thoughts of A Crafty Mom:  Inspiration Monday, That's What Che Said: Monday Funday, Wait Til Your Father Gets Home: Creative ConnectionMama's Got It Together: Pin It Party.