Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {Recipe}

Last year I was invited to a Cookie Exchange party by my friend Rocio. You know, where each person makes a bunch of cookies along with the recipe to share & exchange with the other guests. You end up leaving with a slew of goodies from each person. What a great & fun idea! One problem. I had NEVER made cookies from scratch before. My idea of making cookies was to buy the pull apart Tollhouse cookies and pop them in the oven. I began searching the web and asking for help on Facebook. I needed something that didn't require much culinary skill or fancy kitchen gadgets. I found this recipe on Our Best Bites. This is a really great site for recipes, Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies. I know, so creative! LOL I could of come up with something with a little more pizzazz but I absolutely love toffee and thought a cookie with some Heath bar sounded yummy!

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1/4 c. Smart Balance margarine (or similarly high-quality margarine)
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. packed DARK brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 c. Heath bits
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips*
1/4 c. white chocolate chips*

*You can use 1 c. chocolate chips instead of splitting it up between the semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, but the white chocolate chips make these cookies extra-special.

Preheat oven to 375. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Combine brown sugar, white sugar, butter, margarine, and vanilla in a large bowl until well-blended. Add in eggs and beat well. Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Add in chocolate and white chocolate chips and then mix the toffee bits until they're just combined. Drop dough (I use a cookie scoop) onto the cookie sheets 
and bake 8-10 minutes (8 is perfect in my oven, but each one is different) until the cookies are lightly brown. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. The cooling rack is very important in this recipe because the toffee will make the cookies stick to the pan if you're not careful.

Having two cute helpers make the cookies extra extra special! 

I've made these cookies about a dozen times since that party and my whole family loves them. If you want something sweet and simple, these are the way to go! 



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall Bucket List

We are supposed to get a cold front on Friday ( high of 62!!) and that makes me excited for fall activities! 
I loved our summer list so much, I decided to design this printable.  

Click here to download.


Don't forget the camera! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Snow White Party {3rd Birthday}

So, here it is! What I have probably spent too much time (& money) on. But seriously, I think that birthdays are one of the greatest holidays. Especially when its your kids birth you are celebrating! My main goal is to make my girls feel special, with that, I try be creative as I can. I wanted to create a non-commercial theme based around by daughter's favorite princess. There were a few more projects I wanted to do for the party but I just didn't have time. It's ok though, just like my Summer Bucket List, you don't have to do everything on the list, it's merely just a helpful guide :)

Sit back and grab a diet coke, this post is image intensive!

Welcome Sign
*All printables were designed by Pink Pickle Studios

 Red bow headbands for each girl as they entered the "forest". I bought these red headbands at Wal-Mart, then made my own bows with grosgrain ribbon. 

Centerpieces I made with a spaghetti sauce glass jar! My hubby cut these wood disks for me too. I wrapped the glass jar with some heavy string I bought from Michaels. Table cloth was burlap I bought on Amazon here to give it a rustic look.

Birthday banner designed by Pink Pickle Studios. I printed it at home on white cardstock paper. You can also use places like Office Depot  for printing if you don't want to use up all your ink! I cut out the squares, then used a single hole punch to make two holes at the top and thread the string through! 

Apple sippy cup favors
I found these about 3 months ago in a clearance bin at Wal-mart. Luckily, I knew we were doing a Snow White theme so I snagged about 10 of these babies. Guess how much?? Only 50 cents. Super score :) I found this basket in the dollar bin at Target recently, except it wasn't really a dollar, it was $2.50. 

I wanted to use my scalloped punch for these favor tags however I could not find it anywhere! UGH! So...I decided to cut them into squares, then use a corner rounder for a little extra sumthin. Tied with some yellow ribbon I had left over from last year's party. 

For the food labels, I used yellow cardstock to make a tent, then glued the label on top. I added the wording in Photoshop using the font Pea Missy from Fonts For Peas. These are really cute FREE fonts! Go download now!! 

If you remember the story of Snow White, she loves to make Gooseberry pie. Since I really really dislike pies, (I know, I'm weird) I thought these Peanut Butter & Jelly Uncrustables would make a nice substitute. Don't they look like pies?!? I made little x's in the center to make it look more like a real pie. This was totally perfect since my daughter is in L.O.V.E with "peanandjelly" aka Peanut Butter & Jelly. We also served pizza as well. 

These wood disks served a dual purpose, food display and weight so the table cloth didn't blow away. 

 Snow White herself came to join the fun! Painting faces, balloon animals, and even a magic show! 

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...
I traced a princess mirror my girls have in their playroom on poster board. My sister colored/painted it really quick for a photo prop. 

My big 3rd old! 

Both my girls :)

Again, I could not find my scalloped punch, so I decided to switch it up with squares with rounded edges. I actually like these better than the same old stuff you see everywhere. 

I originally was having a hard time with trying to decide what kind of cake I wanted. I first was thinking of a doll cake, but after seeing these ruffled cakes popping up all over the web, I had this idea for something simple yet pretty.  

Cake and cupcakes by Sweets by Amanda

Kids activity: Girls decorated wands (Dollar Tree) & boy decorated foam swords with foam stickers and jewels (Target). Do you see a theme here?! I love Target and the Dollar store! LOL 

Can not have a party without candy! Mini treat bags purchased at Target. 

That's a wrap folks!

A special thanks to the follow people:

Pink Pickle Studios for designing the invitation, welcome sign, favor tags, treat bag toppers, cupcake toppers, and thank you card.

Sweets By Amanda for the cake and cupcakes.

Snow White - Wish Upon A Star Parties Children's Parties

Photography - ME! oh, and my hubby, Christopher Scott Photography

My hubby for cutting the wood disks, cutting the grass, bleaching the patio, and getting the chair & tables.

My mom and my sister for helping me set up all the food & drinks.

Now to focus on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Chirstmas! FUN, FUN, FUN!!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Blue Eyes!

Your sweet smile, those beautiful blonde curls, your spunky personality, your chunkies...I could go on. I love you all the way to the moon! Happy 3rd Birthday Teagan!!


1 Year old

2 Years old

3 Years old

Love you  poopy butt ;)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tis the season...FOOTBALL season!

Yes, I am one of those women who actually enjoys & understands the game of football. I wasn't always that way, not until I entered my freshman year at Florida State University. I set foot on campus in 1997, the Seminoles were in their prime time. Championships...It was an exciting time back then.

There is something different about being a fan of your college team and not just your favorite NFL or professional sports team. Now, when I say YOUR college team, I mean you were actually enrolled in classes there. You lived in that college town, found the cheapest pizza you could, your closet was filled with school colored clothing. You were apart of that school community. Saturday's meant gameday and tailgating.

Walking to the stadium, feeling camaraderie with thousands of strangers around you, the only thing you have in common is that you are all part of the same team.

I can't describe the feeling when those players run out on the field and the stands go wild. Our mascot, Chief Osceola riding his horse & planting that spear in the ground, and most importantly the sound of the band! Drums pounding as the sea of garnet & gold wave their arms up and down doing the tomahawk chop.

If you went to a big football University, you just know what I mean. I am so proud to wear my FSU gear & proud to say I'm a graduate of that great school. I will watch every game that is televised & try to catch attend a game in Tallahassee every now and then.

I am a Seminole. Plain and simple.

Here is to a fabulous season!

GO NOLES!!!!!!