Friday, April 13, 2012

{recipe} Worlds Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge

The other night I was crazy craving sweets {my newest addiction} and didn't feel like leaving the house. I was in the middle of doing my usual "what's in the cupboard" in head checklist, when I realized I had all the ingredients for an old ridiculously easy, mistake proof peanut butter fudge. I hadn't made it, or even thought about it, in years.

What I love about the recipe: It's only 4 easy to find ingredients, literally takes 10 minutes to make and anyone can do it. A lot of fudge recipes are temperamental and have to have candy thermometers or ice test know how, not this one. It takes no skill whatsoever and always comes out perfect. It also stores at room temp, so it's great for "pot luck" type events.

3 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toss your butter and peanut butter into a microwavable bowl and cover. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stir with a wooden spoon. Microwave another 2 minutes on high. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth, a little hard to stir and starts to lose its shine. Spread into a lightly greased 8x8 inch pan -or- into a pie pan. Cool in the fridge for 2 hours. Remove from fridge, cut into desired sizes and shapes and store at room temp up to a week. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

{review} Crafted Cookies

handcrafted -- verb
     1. to make skillfully by hand or hand process
          There handcrafted cookies are the Bees Knees!

I love Etsy sweet shops. I was recently featured in a treasury with Crafted Cookies. They had a set of beautiful Lemon Cookie Nibbles that instantly had me visiting the shop. They have such an amazing assortment of hand crafted sugar cookies for an endless variety of occasions: weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, cocktail parties, dinner parties, kids birthdays and so much more.

With my sisters bridal shower quickly approaching, I've personally had my eye on the martini cookies. They are so cute and would be perfect for the event. I've also tossed around the idea of the adorable lingerie designs since it is a ladies affair.

Another area of the shop I have saved in my faves, are the cookie designs that are perfect for kids. Our twin boys second birthday is coming up in May and I've been debating between the idea of crayon cookies or the watermelons, which would be perfect for spring. They really do have the ideal variety for all seasons.

Every single one of Michelle's handcrafted cookie designs would also make an amazing gift. With us being over 1100 miles from family and friends back on the east coast -and- everyone getting harder and harder to shop for, but so easy to food please, sweets always end up being the faultless choice.

Be sure to visit Crafted Cookies to purchase truly delicious sentiments for any and all of your upcoming special occasions and every day gifts to yourself and others.


Monday, April 9, 2012

On The Hunt

Our Maybe

Jaime and I are getting really serious about looking at houses now. Not that we weren't before, but we're actually getting down to crunch time. Now that we've done the research, looked at the schools and neighborhoods and run the numbers through our mortgage calculator, we've been witling everything down into categories for touring.

Next Round - First Choice

Last Friday we looked at two homes, one older, one newer and both in amazing neighborhoods. So far we have a NO WAY {!} and a maybe. We're keeping the maybe on the backburner and are planning to put in an offer if we aren't majorly impressed with the next few viewings.

Next Round - Second Choice

-but- I'm super stoked about the next 3 choices. Jaime picked the first 2, I picked the ones we'll be seeing this week. I'm really hoping one of these upcoming homes will be our it and all and that no one else steals it out from under us. I just want to walk into a home and have it feel like the right place. I have really high hopes for these next three homes.  They are all beautiful and have everything we want and need - fingers crossed!

Next Round - Third Choice

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Put Me in the Back

In about 5 weeks we're flying back to Virginia for my little sisters wedding. Yes - I said flying!! I am starting to completely freak out about it. We were originally planning to drive, but losing 4 days on the road was cramping our entire visit. To be honest, besides the shortened stay, I was really looking forward to a road trip. I actually love driving long days and stopping at strange new places, especially weird old country stores. They have all the best junk.

With the flight coming so close I've been dredging up anything and everything that could go wrong. Hubby and I are having constant debates like, sitting near the front or by the restrooms? What kinds of toys to bring on the plane? How to keep the kids happy and quiet? How messy is feeding going to be?

I wasn't to worried until they started going through this most recent stage of fussiness. It's like all the sudden they are totally aware of everything and any change makes them crazy. I would ordinarily not give a hoot, but I do actually feel bad for other people on the plane - if they are nice anyway. If I get dirty looks they'll be hauling me via air security. I'm probably the craziest traveler of our bunch.

So now I'm all hopped up and stressed thinking about how I'm going to have to beat up people. I'm hoping it's like most anything else where it's way smoother than it was going in my head. If anyone has a suggestion of something we should do or bring, PLEASE send it my way!! I will be forever grateful. I don't like living and learning with some things, I love and need advice in this area.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Porky the Pig

Do you ever have days where you can't stop stuffing your pie hole? I have been absolutely rabid lately. I don't know if it's boredom or if my body is actually seeking something, but every now and again, for days in row, I'll eat anything and everything I can get my hands on.

This most recent binger started Sunday last week. It was sneaky and slow with dried mango here and there, then some almonds and string cheese. By Monday it was a full blown binger with handfuls of goldfish, driving to Starbucks for Cake Pops and staying up until midnight because I couldn't sleep if I didn't get my hands on a Reese Egg.

I don't know what to do with myself sometimes. It's pretty much unstoppable when it happens. All in a day it isn't too many extra calories because I'm grazing, but it is extremely annoying. We don't keep real junk food in the house. Maybe that's a place to start?? If I put a few dozen Reese Eggs in the freezer {out of site} to pull out in emergency situations, maybe it would be enough to stop the binges when they come for me?? I have no idea.

Does anyone else have any tips or suggestions? Am I like the only person on earth this happens to?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

{review} The Beetle's Knees

Most of you already know that I'm a huge fan of Etsy. I sell Etsy, I buy Etsy and I hunt and share Etsy. I'm always on the lookout for new shops and sometimes find them in the strangest ways. I had the pleasure of discovering The Beetle's Knees when we were featured in a treasury together. The featured item was a complete set of vintage Melmac cups and saucers in lemon yellow. I could not take my eyes off of them.

When I strutted into the shop, I fell even more in love. I am crazy about vintage. Jen {owner/operator} has the best collection of vintage houseware and retro home decor. With our family about to close on a home and my design esthetic being very much vintage French country, The Beetle's Knees is a gold mine of amazing finds.

Another section of the shop that had me going wild was the handmade wallet selection. They have the most authentic designs created from vintage magazines and advertisements. They are so beautifully crafted, unique and certainly one of a kind.

Lastly, but certainly not my last favorite section {I could go on for days about each and every item in the entire shop}, I can't get over the vintage for kids. They have the best assortment of vintage cups, games, movie players, invitations and more. I don't know any mom who wouldn't get a kick out of throwing a kids vintage Smurfday Party.

More ways to connect and follow The Beetle's Knees:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

{recipe} Mango Lassi

This is one of the easiest and one of my favorite summer smoothie recipes. A Mango Lassi is a yogurt based Indian smoothie. I had my first one about 6 years ago at Newab restaurant in Virginia. It was so good I ordered two and drank them before my appetizer even arrived. I was so full I couldn't even eat my meal.

What I love most about the recipe, is that it is customizable for those watching their figure. You can use all fat free and/or low fat dairy products and even replace the sugar with Splenda, or omit the sugar all together for a drink with a little zip and tang.

I love drinking these after a tough workout. They make a great post workout muscle tonic. Secret Benefits: It literally helps to blast belly flab and flatten abs, it's loaded with probiotics for digestive health, is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, vitamin B5 and vitamin B12 {among many others}, helps you recover from your workouts quicker, fight colds, improve concentration, fight acne and so much more!!

1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
4 teaspoons sugar
1 cup chopped mango

Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth. It's that easy. Pour and serve. This recipe makes about 2 cups, so one nice medium size smoothie.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm Not Ready

Today is the official first day of pre-school for the kids. Over the weekend I've had a whirl of hilarious emotions, including a late Saturday night freak out where I told Jaime I wanted to cancel and home school them forever instead. Yup, I turned into crazy mom. I haven't even spent the first day away from them and I'm already missing there fluffy little faces.

I also don't know what I want to do with myself. I have all of my home, job and kid rearing duties so well scheduled, the extra time is actually extra time. I'm not used to that so I've been obsessed with scheduling something in. I've been tossing around the idea of picking up a new book; taking naps has also definitely crossed my mind, maybe shopping? I've also considered finding a cool place to do Yoga, Zumba or even Pole Dance classes. I'd even have the extra time to grab an early lunch, smoothie or green tea after. It's so exciting, but also scary and sad. Exercise would probably clear my mind the most, but I still just don't know.