Wednesday, April 30, 2014

chocolate chip cookie dough fudge

chocolate chip cookie dough fudge
You all know from my blog title that I’m into fudge. So when I stumbled upon a fudge recipe of the CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH variety? Let’s just say I was excited. And it tastes JUST like the real deal. Without raw eggs. And with amazing texture. When Steve came home and I stuck a piece in his mouth, his words were, “Cookie dough? This is dangerous. Marry me again.”



Ingredients:

Cookie Dough:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons half-and-half (Or milk—I used 2%)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Fudge Base:
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup half-and-half (Or milk—I used 2% again)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (store in the freezer up until the last step of the recipe)
 

Directions
:
Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil.

For the cookie dough, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed. Beat until it is a light and fluffy texture.


Add the vanilla, salt, and half-and-half (or milk). Then slowly beat in the flour until it’s combined, but not overmixed.




For the fudge base, put butter, brown sugar, salt and half-and-half (or milk) in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted and the brown sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat.

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Now begin incorporating the powdered sugar, one cup at a time until it’s well-mixed. If 4 cups doesn’t seem like it is thick enough, you can add a 5th cup to make it firmer. (I only needed to use 4). Add the vanilla and stir.


Next, stir the cookie dough into the fudge base. Mix it well while it reaches room temperature. Then add the mini chocolate chip that you’ve been keeping in the freezer. (If they’re not cold, they may melt in the fudge and become a chocolate swirl.)
 
Spread the fudge into the baking dish. Chill for 3-4 hours until set. Cut into squares. Keep it refrigerated for up to one week.
 

So heavenly… enjoy!!

Linking up with Andrea for Momfessionals Recipe Club

Thanks to SallysBakingAddiction.com for original recipe.

See the Floral & Fudge Pinterest page for more desserts!
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what i wore

maxi dress, denim jacket
A maxi dress and a jean jacket—such a simple outfit to throw together.
It’s incredibly comfortable.
It’s feminine.
And it’s perfect for not-quite-warm weather in the spring.
 

If you wanted a little extra height, you could wear wedge sandals under the maxi. I’m 5’7”, and Steve is only an inch or two taller than me, so I don’t usually choose a higher heel. :)

Dress: TJMaxx
Denim Jacket: Old Navy 
Sandals: JCPenney


I found this dress for under $4 at TJMaxx two summers ago. Best. deal. ever.

 
Thanks for stopping by today!

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Linking up with Lindsey for WIWW, Alison, and Shanna.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ephraim at 3 months


I cannot get enough of Ephraim Luke and his sweet smiles. He has made us so happy these past three months. He is a true mama’s boy, and I savor all of the snuggling and closeness. The balding and cradle cap are really unfortunate at this baby stage, but E is still as cute as ever. My mom has always said that the 3-month age is her favorite, and I might have to agree with her. They are still so tiny, but they are interacting and smiling at everyone. Here’s to hoping this month goes by a little slower!

3 Month Stats

Weight: 13 pounds, 8 ounces

Length: around 24 inches

Eating: Nursing exclusively—every 3 hours during the day. I feed him at about 11 pm, and usually he doesn’t wake until 4 or 5. He is spitting up less, thank goodness.

Bedtime: We swaddle him for the night when we go to bed at about 11:30 pm.

Awake: He’s been sleeping from his early morning feeding until about 8, but it depends on if his big brother’s voice rouses him.

Naps: He sleeps in between each feeding (in my arms). I try to set him down, but he either wakes up immediately, or within 10 minutes. Naps are getting shorter as he is more awake and alert during the day :)

Diapers: Size 1, about to move up to 2s soon

Clothes: 3 months in onesies and sleepers, but he’s going to outgrow them fast.

Favorites: Hanging out in the bouncy chair, nuzzling his face into the crook of my arm to sleep, grabbing onto my hair. He loves his paci for napping, but he doesn’t sleep with it at night because he still has trouble keeping it in his mouth.

Latest Tricks: He loves standing up and putting weight on his legs. He has started chomping down on his fingers or gnawing on my thumb while drooling everywhere. If he gets upset about something, his bottom lip sticks out hilariously far (I have got to get “The Lip” on camera one of these days!)

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          Months one through three. Look at how juicy his legs have gotten!

nolan
And for comparison’s sake, here is his big brother at the same age. Nolan was skinnier, had more hair, and darker eyes :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

favorite things

fave

1. Diane Bobby Pins
720 pack for $9.00
 diane bobby pins
I got these bobby pins for Christmas after I read a recommendation for them on The Small Things Blog. They are strong, solid pins, and the 720 pack will hopefully last a lifetime! :)


2. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake.
$5.00 on sale at Target.com

revlon lip butter
Here’s a photo to show what the color looks like on me.
The lip butter goes on as smooth as it sounds. It’s not scented, and it doesn’t have a bad lipstick taste. Strawberry shortcake is a perfect pink color. I can definitely see myself buying other hues!

3. Goody Stay-Put Elastics 
20 pack for $3.49

goody elastics
I have one of these bands, and I’m not sure where I acquired it from. Maybe my sister-in-law left it at my house a few months ago? For years, I’ve been rocking a low ponytail—not by choice—but because my long hair is heavy and automatically gets weighed down. Then I found this band. It stays put because of the little ribs of rubber along the band. My ponytails can now be off my neck again! Unfortunately, I went to look for my band last night, and I can’t find it anywhere! I checked the hair sections at Walmart and the grocery store, and they weren’t selling them. I’ll be ordering (probably from Amazon) very soon! :)

Linking up with Andrea and Erika today!

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Friday, April 25, 2014

our house project wishlist


We’ve been able to update quite a few of our rooms since we moved in, but things slowed down this winter with Steve’s busy schedule and our new baby. Now that the school year is wrapping up, it’s time to get into project mode.  :)  Feel free to help us with suggestions!!

For those of you visiting from Kelly’s Korner today, let me fill you in. Our house was built in 1920, so it’s quickly approaching 100 years. It was sold last summer at an undervalued price. Since we began renting it in July, we’ve been making improvements to restore the charm that has been lost over the years, and hopefully increase its future selling price.

Our biggest design challenge: check out this bathroom. It. Is. Awful. We only have two bathrooms despite the size of the house. This one is on first floor, between the kitchen and the living room. Even if you are a normal-sized person, it is nearly impossible to fit inside and close the door. I want our guests to be able to fit inside comfortably. Also, with potty training on the horizon, Mama needs to be able to squeeze in the bathroom with Nolan. :)


We’re not sure why there are two good-sized mirrors, except that perhaps they are supposed to make the room look larger?

 
Notice the amount of space between the sink and the doorjamb! What do you think about putting in a corner sink instead?


Originally, there was a toilet paper holder hanging from the ceiling—which was odd. We took it down and purchased a stand instead.

 
We aren’t sure what to do with the space under the stairs. The previous owners kept their cat’s litter box here, so it took a lot of effort to get rid of the smell. As you can see, the flooring stops halfway into the space. We would love to tear up the flooring, but it continues into the hallway and the kitchen. Maybe we could put in a saddle—one of those transition strips between different types/thicknesses of flooring.

Lastly, something MUST be done to the peeling stucco walls. Steve will probably need to scrape, sand, and re-plaster.

To the immediate right of the bathroom (when facing it), are these stairs.

  Steve tore the laminate off of the back staircase when he redid the floors, hoping to refinish them at the same time.

 
We haven’t quite gotten there, as you can see, because Steve ran out of time last summer. He also had to repair two stairs that had begun falling in. This summer should be a good time to check this job off of the list.


The back stairs connect with the front stairs at this landing before continuing to second floor.


This is the entryway at the front door of the house. We took down some old, lacy curtains, and I’d like to sew some new ones. We believe there is wood floor under this laminate, which would be nice to uncover and restore.


I’ve seen some gorgeous laundry rooms online recently. Maybe they’re in the south, because in the north this is what ours look like. :) This is in our unfinished basement, below the kitchen. Although we don’t spend a lot of time down here, the rug needs replacing and the walls could use a cheap coat of paint for sure.

Because I don’t want to leave you with just “before” pictures, here are two of the rooms we’re most proud of so far.

This is the “before” picture for Nolan’s room:



Here’s what we turned it into:

 
See more of his room here.

Living room before we moved in:


And now:

See more of this room here.

Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you come back to see the results :)

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

cousins


          DSC_4932
DSC_4933DSC_4939

Aren’t little ones so much fun?!
Pretending to be princesses,
carrying baby dolls around like little mommies,
wearing two different colored shoes with two different patterned socks,
dreaming of driving a car at age two,
and running around chasing each other while giggling uncontrollably.
Steve’s older brother Phil and his wife Dana got married seven days before Steve and me. So between us, we’ve had four kids in five years. (They’ve had the girls; we’ve had the boys.) We couldn’t be happier that these cousins are growing up together :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

what i wore wednesday

coral pants, indigo shirt
I don’t usually wear two brights at the same time, but I liked this mix of indigo and coral. I added quite a bit of silver with my earrings, necklace, bracelet, and sandals. It’s perfect for an evening out this spring. Or just a date night. . . at Wendy’s. . . with two little boys in tow :)


Shirt: Similar
Pants: Similar
Sandals: Lands End (old)
Necklace: Fossil
Earrings: One Little Belt

 
Nolan wanted a chance in front of the camera. Album cover shot?

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Linking up with Lindsey for WIWW, Alison, and Shanna.

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