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3-in-1 Simple Cookie Recipe

homebaked-cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a favorite of mine, but so are oatmeal raisin cookies, white chocolate macadamia cookies and so many others! Usually when I decide to bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, the batter looks so versatile that I always want to add things other than chocolate chips to it. This, time I went for it and turned one batch of cookie dough into 3 different types of cookies!

cookie-dough

I started by mixing up a chocolate chip cookie recipe that my mother has been since as long as I can remember. (Except, back then she used an electric handheld mixer!) You can use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or oatmeal cookie recipe for this instead if you’d like.

On medium speed, mix together: 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, 1 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup white sugar

Next add 2 eggs and 1 tbsp. vanilla extract. Mix on low speed.

Then in a separate bowl, stir together 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. salt. Mix this one cup at a time to the wet mixture until it’s all combined.

Now, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide the dough into 3 separate bowls. I left 1/3 of the batter in the original mixing bowl. For the other 2 bowls, be sure they are big enough so that there is room for stirring! (I tend to choose bowls that are just too small!)

oatmeal

Add 1/2 cup of oats and 1/2 cup of raisins to one of the bowls and mix well.

white-chocolate-macadamia-cookies

Add 1/2 cup of white chocolate chunks (or chips) along with 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts to the second bowl and mix well. Feel free to choose other items to mix in instead, such as dried cranberries with walnuts, butterscotch chips or even m&m’s!

chocolate-chips

Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the next bowl and mix well.

Line a huge baking sheet, or 2 regular baking sheets with parchment paper (back then my mom would just butter the baking sheet! I remember having to wash those baking sheets. Yikes!)

Scoop the batter out by the tablespoonful, roll into a ball and place onto the baking sheet/s. Do this for all the batter and be sure to place them at least an inch and a half apart.

Bake them for about 10 minutes, then let them cool for a bit before trying to eat one. Otherwise you might get burned just like I do every time! Enjoy!

homebaked-cookies

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I made these for my niece’s Elmo themed birthday party. She is turning 2 years old! They were inexpensive and super easy to make.

I used the following supplies:

*The first 3 are from Etsy, but you can also find the items on Ebay by doing a search for each item.

  1. Shabby Flowers (I ordered them in red, white and black…I like how the black and white ones turned out best!)
  2. Elmo Resins
  3. Alligator Clips
  4. 3/8 inch wide Ribbon to line the alligator clips,  but this is optional
  5. Hot glue gun

Instructions:

I started by hot gluing the Elmo resin to the center of the shabby flower.

Once it was dry I glued the pre-lined alligator clip to the back of it and left it to dry.

If you do decide to line the alligator clip with ribbon, simply cut a 4 and a half inch piece of 3/8 inch wide Ribbon and glue it to the alligator clip starting at the inner side of the top portion of the hair clip. Otherwise, the plain metal alligator clip can be adhered to the back of the flower using a felt circle which you can also purchase via Etsy, Ebay or your local hobby and crafts store.

That is it! Very easy and simple.

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Summertime is so much fun as the weather is usually nice and it’s nice to have bright and sunny days! However, the kids can get a bit restless if they aren’t entertained in some way.

Here are 10 ideas to keep the kids busy during summer break!

1. Make some crafts

2. Go the the Park or beach, if you have one nearby. Bring some drinks, snacks or a whole picnic basket!

3. Learn something new by reading books. Perhaps a step by step drawing book or an origami book would be fun.

4. Bake or Cook with them-have them help choose groceries. It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach them about the kitchen.

5. Take lessons such swimming, camp, karate, dance, art or music.

6. Schedule weekly Playdates with friends.

7. Make a Scrapbook

8. Visit a local attraction (amusement park, science center, zoo)

9. Plant some flowers, trees, herbs or vegetables together. It’s never too early to learn how to garden and growing your own food is an amazing experience.

10. Re-decorate their bedroom with them to express some new interests they may have

Have an amazing summer!

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There are a lot of cute fabrics out there, and so many different things that you can make. Since my sister is pregnant with her second child, I thought it would be nice to make her a flannel blanket. It’s nice to always have a receiving blanket on hand, but some times they’re not big enough or as cozy as a homemade flannel blanket. Not to mention it’s a quick and simple project!

All you need is:

– 2 pieces of flannel 1.25 yards each (I picked 1.25 yards so that it would be a bit bigger than a traditional receiving blanket)

– matching thread

– pins

– sewing machine

– iron

So I picked out these 2 fabrics. Yes, you guessed it, my sister is having a baby girl!

I washed the fabric so that would eliminate some of the future shrinkage. Then I ironed it.

After ironing, I pinned the two pieces of fabric right sides together.

I sewed 3 sides completely. Then for the last side, I sewed and then left an opening that was about 4″ wide. The purpose of this opening is to flip the blanket right side out.

Prior to flipping it, I cut a 45 degree angle on each of the corners.

 

After which I flipped the blanket and pushed out each corner. I ironed each of the sides. Then I sewed a 1/4 inch border which at the same time sealed the opening that I had left.

Here’s the finished product. I hope that my sister and her baby like it!

Find this post at some of these parties!

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A Visit to the Rainforest

When the kids have a break from school, whether it is a weekend or a holiday, we like to take them to explore new places.

Since it has been much too cold to go out and play in all of the snow we have, we decided to take them somewhere indoors. The Science Center was a great option for them to walk around a big place, play and explore. The rainforest area was such an interesting area to explore given the extreme winter weather we have been having.

It was neat to go somewhere local and be in such a different environment. The indoor rainforest area was so hot and humid that it felt like we were on vacation!

We spent the entire day playing, exploring and doing crafts. The kids had an amazing time!

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Heart Shaped Cookie Favors

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I decided to show you how easy it can be to package heart shaped cookies in a fun way to give out to classmates, friends, family, co-workers or anyone else you would like to surprise with a treat!

I normally package cookies in cello bags and tie them with pretty co-ordinating ribbon, but this time I wanted to change it up a bit. This method is easy as well and requires only a few simple supplies.

Supply List:

4×6″ Cello Bags (You may need bigger bags if you decide to make bigger cookies)

Clear Tape

Decorative Tape (optional)

-paper tags (I made mine in WORD by typing out “Happy Valentine’s Day!” and “From” in pink font, then printed onto grey cardstock. Then I cut with them out with Stamp Edged Scissors)

-Cookies (I made Sugar Cookies and decorated with Royal Icing) *To make things easier, you can also use store bought cookies.

Instructions:

Put each cookie into individual cello bags.

Stick the tag to the back of the bag using decorative tape or regular clear tape.  **don’t forget to write who it’s “from” on the tag*

Fold the two top corners of the bag towards each other, then fold the top portion of the bag towards the bottom.

Seal with a piece of decorative tape or clear tape.

This is a great option if you want to give out something other than Valentine’s Day cards as this method makes the bag look like a little envelope! It would also be a really cute wedding favor as well, and can easily be made to match wedding colors.

Linking up to these wonderful parties! Blog Hops

Disclaimer: This post may contain links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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Amazing Green Smoothie Recipe

Image Sou

Image Source: Abe’s Market

I am always trying to find ways to easily include nutritious foods into my everyday diet. Soups are an easy way to include them and so are smoothies.

Smoothies are versatile since you simply blend them up and drink them anytime. The recipes are flexible and you can adjust them to your liking. The recipe below is courtesy of Abe’s Market and is a great energizer.  A great mix of protein, antioxidants, fiber and nutrition!

Ingredients:

1 cup of Harvest Bay Coconut Water
2 scoops of Epic Protein by Windy City Organics
1 Tbsp. of Moringa Green Superfood Powder
2 Tbsp. of Happy Hemp Seeds
1 Tbsp. of Rich Nature goji powder
1 banana
1 Handful of kale

Instructions:

1.Blend all ingredients together
2.Pour into your favorite smoothie cup! (Greenware disposable cups are made of 100% plants and work great!)

Enjoy!

Linking up this recipe at some of these parties!

Disclaimer: This post may contain links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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Easy DIY Favor Idea

When it comes to birthday parties, weddings, baby showers, bridal showers and other special occasions where party favors are necessary, the price tag on the event can get expensive.

Keeping party favors simple, but sweet can save the party host a lot of money. Most guests would love a treat or something edible to take home so that they don’t have to find another place in their home for a knick knack that they likely won’t use.

The easiest favors that I usually make for parties involve a cello bag, pretty ribbon and colorful candy. Sometimes, I add a nice gift tag if I have the time.

For these jelly bean party favors, I used:

3″ x 4″ Cello Treat Bags

3/8″ Satin Ribbon (to co-ordinate with the party colors)

Gourmet Jelly Beans(in the color theme of the party)

To make them:

1. Cut the ribbon into 4″ pieces (1 yard of ribbon will yield 9 pieces of ribbon)

2. Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of jelly beans into each bag

3. Tie each bag with a double knot, using a 4″ piece of ribbon

That’s how simple these party favors were. I used bags that were pretty small so that they were cute and held just the right amount of jelly beans.

These make great favors because, you can use any color of ribbon and the jelly beans come in so many colors that you can easily match the colors of your party theme without much of an effort!

You can easily use other types of candy as well, such as:

Candy Blocks
Sixlets

M&M’s
Gummy Bears
Gumballs

or any other candy that may suit your party theme!

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Party Food On a Budget

Party planning can be a challenge if you are on a tight budget and also have time constraints. I always want to make everything myself instead of serving store bought food, but it isn’t always possible. It is time consuming and often just too tiring, so some compromise is always in order. I usually bake only one item, the item that costs most which in most cases is the cake or cupcakes. Then I add in something simple that is purchased such as cookies. Basic cookies such as oatmeal or chocolate chip go a long way and are generally inexpensive while also being a classic favorite that almost everyone enjoys. Cookies are not difficult to make, but if you factor in baking and clean up time, it is well worth it to buy some items, especially baked goods.

For appetizers, I make the simple items such as the fruit and vegetable platters the night before. It costs a lot less than buying a pre-made platter and fruit and vegetable platters are among the easiest party platter staples to make. As you can see, you can “cheat” a little, by purchasing pre-washed baby carrots, bite sized tomatoes which you simply have to wash, and it’s very easy to just wash a cucumber and cut it into slices. The broccoli was purchased in pre-cut form as well.

A fruit platter doesn’t need to be fancy or time consuming. Most fruit platters have pineapple and a melon assortment which require a lot of chopping. While they are colorful and cost effective, you may not have the time or energy to cut everything and buying a pre-made platter can get in the way of your budget.

Creating a fruit platter with fruits that simply need to be washed is a great alternative. Fruits such as grapes (which usually come in 3 different colors at my local grocery store), and berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) can provide a nice colorful variety for a fruit platter. They are also easier to eat since you don’t need a fork to eat them.

Pasta is also easy to make, while inexpensive and can be great for both regular diets and vegetarian diets depending on what you put in them. Pastas are a great make ahead item as well since many of them can be easily frozen and heated the day of the party.

Depending on your budget, having dinner rolls, artisan bread or breadsticks would be great to go with the baked dish.

A big pot of soup, stew or chili is also a great option since they can also be easily homemade ahead of time and can be served with dinner rolls or some sort of bread.

 

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Crafty activities are always popular in our house. The kids love to stay busy creating and decorating things. This tissue paper “stained glass” art activity was really enjoyable and simple too!

All we needed for this activity were:

stenciled paper

Assorted Colors of Tissue Paper cut into 3-4 inch pieces

Glue Sticks

Kids Scissors

We bought the stencils at the local craft store, but you may also be able to find them at the dollar store.

To start, the kids popped out the pieces from the stencil, then chose pieces of tissue paper before cutting them to the right size for each hole of the stencil. They glued the pieces of tissue paper to the back of the stencil until all of the holes were covered.

It was that simple and we were able to stick them onto our front windows once they were complete!

Linking up to some of these fab parties! Blog Hops

Disclaimer: This post may contain links to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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