Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mini Pancake Muffins

Well it's Saturday, and one thing I remember from when I was a child going to school is that Saturday meant a special delicious breakfast instead of just a rushed bowl of cereal or toast.  My dad kind of spoiled us when he was home, and he would make us french toast or pancakes or one of his famous "bologna and egg sandwiches" (they may not sound like a big deal, but growing up they were the best things ever!).  So trying to continue the tradition this morning I made these adorable "Mini Pancake Muffins" :

We buy our pancake mix from Costco, so I used a Costco Mix that is combined with a whole wheat pancake mix, since Brook doesn't like the whole wheat mix on its own....

Grease the Pan (I used Pam), Pour in prepared pancake mix (ours is the just add water kind), Then drop chocolate chips or blueberries or whatever your heart desires with your pancakes in the cup & bake @ 350° for 8-9mins or until golden brown.

Pop them out and drizzle with syrup, yum!

Friday, September 28, 2012

No-Bake Energy Bites

Well after another 5km and a round of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, I was in need of a post workout snack.  After a few minutes of scanning through some recipes I knew just what I wanted to make, and I thought I had all the ingredients to make them...


1 cup oatmeal (dry)
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients in bowl, refrigerate for a half hour, then roll into balls.
Should make 18-20 balls.

  The thing I love about these is as the original poster *Smashed Peas and Carrots said the ingredient list is so flexible.  I didn't have quite enough honey so I added a little more vanilla and peanut butter, then I didn't have flax seed so added some raisins instead, they are GOOD.  So many variations could be made, a keeper recipe for sure. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Frozen Yogurt Dots & Yogurt Covered Strawberries

These two healthy snacks have been on a pin board for probably almost as long as I've been a Pinterest member so today I decided to finally give them a try. They are so easy to prepare I'm not sure why I've waited this long.

Frozen Yogurt Dots:

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper, fill a ziploc bag with yogurt and cut off the corner, then squeeze the yogurt in dots onto the wax paper.  Freeze (probably take 10-15 minutes I made the next snack while they froze).  Remove from wax paper and put into container in the freezer.

Yogurt Covered Strawberries:

Again cover cookie sheet with wax paper, then cut strawberries in half and drop them into a bowl of yogurt to coat them.  I used a fork to grab them out and place them on the cookie sheet.  Freeze 10-15 minutes.  I then washed out the empty yogurt container to store them in and refroze.

 My daughter has already gotten into both of these snacks and she loves them, next time I'll have to make more!

Healthy Habits

With the month of October (and my 25th Birthday) fast approaching, I have made a pledge to myself, I will make healthier habits.  I'm going to give up fast food/restaurant food for the ENTIRE month of October.  It may seem like an easy task to most people, but neither of my parents have their drivers licenses so they rely heavily on me to get them out of the house and help them run their errands--which consequently adds to my already busy/hectic life and has me spending more time at coffee shops than I would like.

So for the month of October (and heck why wait that long, I'm starting today) I'm going to start making better choices to get me closer to my ultimate goal weight and make sure that the 1st month of being 25 years old is a step toward something positive.

I made my first step this morning, despite the cold air that quenched my lungs as I opened the front door to walk my daughter to the bus stop, I made sure to have my good runners on and after the bus left I took off in the opposite direction of home and jogged/walked a 5km.  It's the first outdoor 5km I've done in far too long and it felt great!  I arrived home with tons of energy to spare so popped my p90x ab ripper X dvd into the player and got it done. 

Like I've said in a previous post, once I get started working out, I turn into kind of a workout junkie.  I love to workout, I'm just terrible at pairing it with healthy eating, which is why it took me 2 years to lose 70lbs.  I still consider it an incredible accomplishment, but sometimes lose track of why I started in the first place and what my ultimate goal was--a healthier overall life.  So over the next month I'm going to be dedicating some of my blog posts to my new healthier habits.  One thing I'm going to need is some healthier go-to snacks and after workout eats.  So stay tuned and today I'll be posting some of my pinterest finds for those!

Happy Thursday everyone, have a great one :)

 The first step is always the hardest to take, but once you take it you'll never regret it :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rolo Cookies

I bought way too many rolos to use to make my dads rolo cake, so needed to find another recipe to use them up, suppose we could have always just eaten them, haha but they go a little farther this way and that wouldn't have been any fun.

So for this one I used my new Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but if you have your own favorite that would work too.  I used a mini muffin pan-- if you haven't noticed yet I love my mini muffin pan, but I'm sure it would work as a basic cookie as well.

These were so simple, and so good, I think I'll make them again after Halloween with the leftover candy ;)

I cut the rolos in half then stuffed

Covered with dough

Then baked in a 350° preheated oven for 8-10mins

Now that was a lot of work...think you deserve one, maybe two?  They are bite sized after all!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I don't think I've ever successfully made brownies, they always end up undercooked or overcooked, so trying this recipe had me skeptical, but it sounded so yummy I had to give it a try.

Brownie Layer:
  •  3/4 cup butter 
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 4 large eggs  (seemed like a lot to me, but I followed the recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup flour 

1. Preheat the oven to 350° Spray a 9x9-inch pan with nonstick spray, then line with a strip of parchment paper (NOT Wax, there is a difference, wax paper will smoke) so that it covers the bottom and comes up two sides of the pan. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray too.

2. In a microwave safe bowl microwave in 30 second bursts to melt butter and chocolate chips together until all is melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugars, then whisk in the eggs, vanilla and salt. Sift flour into the bowl and stir that in too. Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the brownie layer is cooked through (toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Place the pan of brownies in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process (or cool at room temperature and add the cookie dough layer later).  (Instructions continued below photo... )

 My Little Helper Stirring The Brownie Mix

Now time for the Cookie Dough Layer:
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature or almost melted
  •  3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips (I used regular sized chocolate chips)
  • additional miniature chocolate chips, if desired (to melt on top)  
3. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugars and salt until soft and creamy. Mix in the milk and vanilla. Sprinkle in the flour and mix in until combined. Stir in the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Scoop the cookie dough onto the top of the brownies and spread onto the brownie layer. I found it easiest to do this with a chilled brownie layer. Wet your hands or spray them with nonstick spray and pat the cookie dough on top in a even layer. Melt additional chocolate chips and then drizzle on top.

 4.  Use the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan and onto a cutting board, cut and enjoy! 

One thing I will note, these are very rich, delicious but rich, so I think next time I will use a bigger pan so the pieces arn't as thick and can be cut more "bite sized".

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Like most people, I have a favorite go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I have been using the same recipe for a few years now,  but after finding this one I am going to have to say it' just might be replaced!

  •  1 cup butter or margarine--personally I use margarine, just because it's cheaper 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (102g) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
1. Mix together softened butter and sugar then add pudding mix and vanilla. Beat in one egg at a time. In a separate bowl, mix together, flour, salt and baking soda. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Sooo Fluffy!

2. Preheat oven to 350. Spoon cookie dough onto baking sheet (I always roll my dough into balls for a smoother looking cookie). Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Yields: 2 Dozen Cookies

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy First Day of Fall!

Do you decorate for the holidays?  I sure do!  So today I thought I would share with you some of the crafts I have made to decorate our home.

First up, the very simple yet beautiful glitter pumpkin:

Paint glue on dollerstore pumpkin, add glitter, done!  Love how it sparkles in the sunlight of my front window.

Before & After:

This next idea I came up with while searching Pinterest (of course).  I had seen wreaths made of leaves all over Pinterest, so I put my own spin on the idea and used a left over peel and stick floor tile and dollar store leaves to make mine. The last layer of leaves didn't entirely touch the tile, so I added some extra glue just to be sure.  I also glued a ribbon to the back for easy hanging.

With the colors of Autumn being so bright, sunflowers just seem to fit right in.  So with a little vase filler and some ribbon and dollar store sunflowers I created this floral arrangement. 

And lastly a project we made as a family, our  "Thankful Tree".  A construction paper project where we wrote on the leaves about what we were thankful for.

I have a few more ideas and projects underway so stay tuned and I'll be sure to post some pictures :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

As much as I love being a Mom, there are a couple of babies that I have yet to mention in my blog, and they are my fur-babies, Foxy and Daisy-Duke :)  Foxy is an eight year old Jack Russell Terrier, and Daisy-Duke (or just Daisy) is a 5 year old Chihuahua.

We sometimes tend to spoil our daughter Brook-Lynn since she is our one and only, but make no mistake our little fur-babies are just as spoiled and loved, they are our children too :)

So here is a post for them and all the other dog lovers out there, my babies loved these treats as I'm sure most would, who doesn't LOVE peanut butter after all?!

  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Fish Oil, optional but it promotes healthy skin and fur-- (Didn't have this so omitted it)
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 TBS Baking Powder
Preheat oven to 350°

1.  Mix peanut butter and milk then fish oil if you are using it.
2. In seperate bowl mix flour and baking powder then pour peanut butter mixture in a stir with a large spoon.
3. Flour work surface and rolling pin and roll out dough to desired thickness, then use a cookie cutter to cut shapes.

4.  Place wax paper/parchment paper on baking sheet and add biscuits.  I being the corny momma that I am chose to use some Halloween stamps (and the backs of my measuring spoons) to add some detail to them :)

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes and allow to cool completely before letting your dogs taste test.  The recipe I used said to bake for 35 minutes--knowing my oven, I did 15 and some of the thinner biscuits burnt, so watch closely!  This recipe made 46 small biscuits.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rolo Cake Bars!

Happy Birthday to My AMAZING Dad!  Today is his 68th Birthday and last minute yesterday my mom mentioned not having a dessert, he had requested a Rolo Pie but the bakery that makes them was just too far out of our budget so I searched the internet and found a recipe for "Rolo Cake Bars", sounded easy I had most of the ingredients so after a quick trip to the store I got to work!

Ingredient List:
  • 1 box yellow, vanilla or white cake mix, dry (Be sure to get the 515g box not the 400g or you won't have enough mix)
  • 5 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 40 Rolo Candies, unwrapped and cut in half
I accidently (being in a rush) bought flavoured evaporated milk, but it didn't effect the taste at all.

 Unwrap and cut in half your rolos then stick them in the fridge/freezer

Mix the dry mix, the evaporated milk and the butter in a bowl, then divide mixture in half and press one half into the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch pan, and cook for 8-9 minutes at 350°
Remove base from oven, and place rolos caramel-side down
Then drop remaining batter on top of rolos in teaspoon sized amounts.
 Place in oven for 20-24 more minutes until top begins to brown, let cool completely before cutting.
 I cut them, but being that they were for my Dad for his birthday I did not remove them from the pan until it was time to serve them, but they were a hit, only 4 pieces left for Dad to take home :) .

Monday, September 17, 2012

Motivational Monday

Most people hate Mondays, but I'm not most people, I love em... getting to start back into routine and having that feeling where if Monday is a great day the rest of the week tends to be as well is nice.  So after a nice coffee out with a friend, and running my morning errands, I've come home to paint my craft room and tackle whats left of my to-list before my daughter gets home, the day has sure melted away that's for sure!

Seen this on Pinterest and knew when I had a small amount of spare time I had to get it done!  Despite my baking addiction most of you know I'm kinda a workout junkie, so to help with time crunch workouts I got to work and created the very simple "Red Solo Cup Workout"

So how it works is you take popsicle sticks, write some random exercises on them (it's fine to double up on some of your favorites--i did) and place them in the cup. Then each morning/day pick out 5 random sticks and do each of them 2 times--the pin said 3 but if I'm going to workout afterwards don't want to over do it. Then at the end of the week put them back in the cup and start over.


  • Jumping Jacks (10, 20, 30)
  • Lunges (10, 20, 30)
  • Plank (30 sec, 1 min)
  • High Knees (30 sec, 1 min)
  • Butt Kicks (30 sec, 1 min)
  • Bicep Curls (10, 20, 30)
  • Plank Jacks (10, 20, 30)
  • Mountain Climbers (30 sec, 1 min)
  • Squats (10, 20, 30)
  • Bicycle Crunches (10, 20, 30)
  • Push-Ups (10, 20)
  • Burpees (30 sec, 1 min)
  • Side Lunges (10, 20 --each side)
  • Oblique Crunches (10, 20- each side)

I'm sure there are some that you can come up with that I didn't and I may come up with some later that I'll add to the cup, but gonna try and stick with this all week before my runs and see how it goes, seems like a fun way to vary my workouts so figured I'd share.

Happy workouts!!

Remember: Yesterday you Said Tomorrow... Just Do It!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cheerio Treats!

Here is a quick easy recipe that I found on pinterest and  first tried last night after dinner, and the whole family loved.

• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup corn syrup
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 5 cup Cheerios

In a large pot, combine sugar and corn syrup. Bring to boil over medium heat.

Boil for a minute or so and remove from heat.

Add peanut butter and vanilla to mixture and mix until smooth.

Add Cheerios and mix until all coated.

Drop mixture by spoonful onto waxed paper and allow to cool.

I doubled all the ingredients other than the cereal just over 8 cups and I figured if I added anymore the cereal wouldn't coat properly.  They were goooood, crunchy yet sweet and candy-like.  Going in my recipe box for Christmas for sure.

Tip: Remove from wax paper before entirely cool, I made them at night and set them outside to cool (it didn't seem like they were going to solidify--but they did) and the wax paper wanted to stick.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Brook-Lynn's Room

Well most of my friends and family have heard about Brook-Lynn's Bedroom Makeover, but I have yet to post pictures as even now after a little bit of work here and there over the summer it still isn't quite complete, but after doing some work and some tidying/organizing today... I decided to finally take some pictures and share.

Her new bed, blankets to match the decor, and hand painted leopard spots around the window
Just need some curtains :)

Added the 2nd photo to show the true color of the pink & purple walls (Brook says the purple is Justin Bieber purple) was soo bright in there due to no curtains and it being a beautiful afternoon hard to get a true to color photo.

Book "Nook" with a upholstered cushion I made with the same material as my chair, hand painted zebra stripes. As well as hand painted leopard spots and zebra stripes on her drawers. Again sorry for the super bright photos.

Whole other side of room... I'd like to put a curtain across the rod that is at the top so she can hide some of her usually messy closet, haha.

Then of course there is her chalkboard door, hand painted leopard print light switch, and newly added "Art" corner, I'm going to buy some clipboards and hang them under the "art" word and hang some of her school art/projects there.

Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Chalkboard Paint

 So I'm sure most of you pinterest pinners have seen the "make your own chalkboard paint" pins, well I've known for awhile that I've wanted to use the leftover paint from painting Brook-Lynn's room to give it a try, just needed to purchase some grout and find a few minutes in my day, so today I did just that.

The instructions were simple, add 1 TBSP of unsanded grout to 1 Cup of paint and stir!  (I mixed 2 TBSP with 2 Cups just to be sure I would have enough.)

Then paint onto any surface you want to turn into "chalkboard", We chose to paint the back of Brook-Lynn's bedroom door.  The blog (SaltTree) from which the pin lead to and instructions I followed said for a neater appearance to use a roller--she used a brush, so really either would work, but we purchased a roller for this project.

We painted 3 coats on the door, it dried fast and worked GREAT!  Cleans up nicely with a chalk brush & a damp cloth or just the damp cloth...I've left just the chalk brush for Brook but using just it by itself some chalk is still slightly visible but I will just give it a wipedown every so often. Hmm now I just need some pink paint so I can make something for myself, haha

New Craft Chair!

So when my parents moved into a smaller space they didn't have the room to take all of their furniture with them and so I just so happen to inherit some. 

This chair has been in a corner of my house waiting to find a home, and recently we've started work on a Scrapbook/Craft room.  So with a room makeover I figured the chair could use a makeover as well--something to add a bit of me and my style.  So with some spare fabric, a staple gun and some black stain for touch ups, I set to work!

VoilĂ !!  A New Craft Chair For My Craft Room :)  Pictures of the craft room to come soon!