Friday, December 19, 2014

The Friday Five

1. Watching:
Thanks to Hallmark, I've finally found another Christmas movie that rivals Christmas Kiss. I think I like it so much because I can relate to the main character. Watch it if you can.  

2. Eating:
Coconut flakes. On everything including toast with almond butter, banana slices, and cinnamon as well as mixed into plain yogurt with blueberries.

3. Listening to:
Michael Buble's "Cold December Night"

4. Recipe I'm pinning:
source
Averie Cooks Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies because I love the salty sweet combo.

5. Things making me laugh:
Get it?
Staching through the snow!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gift Giving Guide

In need of some last minute Christmas gifts? Check out some of my favorites below:
An Owl Spoon Rest

I don't think Santa has room in his sleigh but I am drooling over HGTV's Dream Home. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Friday Five

1. Watching:
I stumbled upon Reckless the other day on Netflix and I am totally hooked. It's a combination of Friday Night Lights, Nashville, and Scandal. Too bad they canceled it after the first season.

2. Eating:
These Chocolate Truffles from Costco. I have yet to be disappointed by a Kirkland brand product.

3. Listening to:

Carrie Underwood's "Something in the Water"

4. Recipe I'm pinning:
Chocolate and peanut butter is one of my all time favorite combinations. I can't wait to try Iowa Girls Eat's No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

5. Things making me laugh:
This happened this week:
Have an office dance party. It is Friday after all. 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What I Baked on Sunday

Christmas Cookie Edition

Andes Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

Ingredients 
1 cups unsalted butter
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 cups plus two tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup. granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 package (10 oz.) Andres Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
1 - 4 oz. bar of semi- sweet chocolate, chunked (I used chocolate chips)

Directions

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • In a small saucepan melt butter with coffee granules over low heat until granules are completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat and let cool to about room temperature.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat butter mixture, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips and chocolate chunks/chips.
  • Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let rest on baking sheet for 1 minute then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: Approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Salted Caramel Christmas Bark
Recipe from Jenny Cookies 

Ingredients
1 (11 oz) package of Kraft Caramel Bits (Kraft Caramels work too, you just have to unwrap them all)
1 (11.5 oz) package of Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 (11.5 oz) package of Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips
Sea Salt
 2 tbls water

  • Line a standard jelly roll pan with foil.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the Kraft Caramel Bits with 2 tbls water for 2 minutes, stirring half way. Remove from microwave and stir. If not fully melted, microwave an additional 30 seconds.
  • Mix bag of milk chocolate chips and bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in separate bowl and melt in microwave for 2 minutes, stirring half way. If not fully melted, microwave an additional 30 seconds.
  • Spread melted chocolate onto pan.
  • Pour melted caramel over top of chocolate. Swirl with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle sea salt over top. Use a lot! It tastes amazing.
  • Put pan in freezer to set (about 30 minutes). Once bark has set, remove from freezer to break into pieces.
  • Store in refrigerator in an air tight container until ready to serve.
The original recipe called for two bags of everything but I thought one was plenty. If you use two bags, you can layer it. This makes a great gift!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Recap

Last week was full of lots of festive activities including events with both work and Junior League. By the time Friday rolled around, I was ready to put my feet up. After work, I headed to the gym and the grocery store before heading home for the night. Nothing says a wild Friday night like a copy of Real Simple, a glass (or two) of red wine and a Hallmark Christmas movie.
Saturday, I made a batch of paleo pancakes before heading out to run some errands. I was thankful for the hearty breakfast since my errands took much longer than expected. I felt like I was in Target for hours and ended up picking up quite a few things that were not on my list. I also ran into Barnes and Noble to return something and could not believe how long the line was.
Saturday night, we headed to Converse to watch the Spartanburg Philharmonic perform Handel's Messiah. The show also included some songs from Frozen so I made sure to get a picture with Olaf.
The show was incredible and definitely got me in the Christmas spirit. 
Sunday, I spent some time in the kitchen before heading to Colleen's for a Christmas party. It was a great weekend spent with great friends.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Friday Five

1. Reading:
I could not put this down. 
From Amazon: Hailed by critics as the debut of a major literary voice, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing has captivated readers and dominated bestseller lists. Generous-hearted and wickedly insightful, it maps the progress of Jane Rosenal as she sets out on a personal and spirited expedition through the perilous terrain of sex, love, relationships, and the treacherous waters of the workplace. With an unforgettable comic touch, Bank skillfully teases out universal issues, puts a clever, new spin on the mating dance, and captures in perfect pitch what it's like to be a young woman coming of age in America today.

2. Eating:
I picked these up the other day at Costco. They taste like a grown up Take 5.

3. Listening to:
Sam Smith's "I know I'm not the only one"

4. Drinking:
This is my new favorite wine, replacing the Apothic Red. It is very light for a pinot noir and has great drinkability. 

5. Things making me laugh:
(see above)

I promise nobody was harmed after this picture was taken. 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Office Decor

I'm still playing catch up after Thanksgiving and hope to get back to regularly scheduled posts soon. In the meantime, here is a look at my office. It started out as a conference room. I felt like I was squatting for the first few weeks while I waited for my furniture to arrive.

Before:
After: 
It's pretty amazing what a coat of paint and some color will do. It may have taken over 2 months for it to all come together but it was worth the wait!