We do a lot of Holiday baking and treats at my house. Traditionally one of our go-to’s is M&M cookies but we do other yummy stuff too.
Have you ever heard of Crock Pot (or Slow Cooker) Candy? We’ve been making this stuff for years! It’s peanuts and chocolate. Your very own homemade Mr. Goodbar (one of my personal favorites). This stuff is super easy and makes a lot, depending on what size you spoon out the mixture.
There are a few recipes for this stuff floating around on the internet, I’m sure, but the one we use is on a piece of notebook paper, transcribed by my mother through my aunt.
(1) 16oz jar salted dry roasted nuts
(1) 16oz jar unsalted nuts
2lb block of almond bark
(1) 4oz German chocolate bar
(1) 12oz bag chocolate or butterscotch chips
Layer ingredients, as listed, in a crock pot. Cook for 2 hours on low heat. Stir and drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool to harden.
For the nuts we always use peanuts, but probably others would work. The almond bark and German chocolate bars are on the baking aisle. It took one and a half packages of the almond bark. We did semi sweet chocolate chips this time but I’m nearly positive we did butterscotch once and it was amazing.
I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in a month! Lots going on recently with work and traveling to visit friends. I’ll probably try to get a photo blog post done soon but until then… I’m debating new hair color for an appointment I have next month. These are my favorites.
Leaning toward the above for the one below because I could possibly do my own roots at home when my gray is showing up. I have a sprinkling of it around my bangs/temple.
Last week I placed an order with Forever 21. I intended on just getting a couple of thin shirts for summer. I feel like I wear the same outfits every week but I didn’t want to spend a ton on tops I’ll wear for a few months. Of course I picked up some jewelry too because it’s impossible to resist.
This is one of those bracelet/ring things. I’d been looking for something simple like this but did not want to pay an arm and a leg since it’s not something I’ll wear daily. I love how dainty this looked when it arrived.
These earrings were purely because of the banana pair. My Harry Styles is showing. Also, who can resist a set of earrings labeled as “fruit salad studs”?? Nobody, that’s who. They were unexpectedly much cuter than I anticipated, especially for the price.
These triangle earrings caught my eye right away. They are a little funky, but not too funky to wear to work. The studs and ear cuff were a random “I’m trying to be cool but I’m totally lame” purchase. I thought it would be fun for upcoming concerts I’m attending. I’ve been trying to accessorize more and step out of my ‘norm’.
In general I wear all silver jewelry. Growing up my mother did not mix her metals and I was taught that it just isn’t done. Psht. whatever. I mix and match stuff all the time now. I didn’t have anything gold and ‘simple’ so I snagged this necklace for that purpose. I’m actually wearing it today and it’s super cute on.
I tried on the two blouses I bought over the camisole I wore as part of my outfit yesterday. I will definitely have to wear something under this chandelier top, and I do kinda like that yellow beneath it. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the tie, but I do like the look of it in person and on me. Thumbs up, forever 21. I wear cropped trousers to work most days and I think this will be really cute with those. For reference, I almost always buy an XL in Forever 21 PLUS tops. I’m a 38DD with shoulders on the broad side and a bit of a tummy.
This top is actually what started my whole order. I’d been meaning to buy it but didn’t want to only order one thing because of shipping. It’s a bit longer than I’d like but I figure there will be some shrinkage when it’s washed/dried. Plus it probably seemed that way in my mind since I’d just tried on the other shirt before this one. The fabric is soft and thin. Bonus, it’s also a bit of a One Direction reference. My fangirl issues are showing.
Last weekend (as mentioned in the previous post) I did some shopping. The majority of it was for my upcoming travels but some of it was deals I came across by happenstance. Those are my favorite kind of shopping trips, to be honest.
On Friday I stopped in Belk to pick up some foundation at the Clinique counter and then wandered over to the clearance shoes.
These Steve Madden boots were regular priced $109, which I’d probably never splurge on given they aren’t something I could wear with everything. But every fall and winter I search for boots that are a little above the average design and I never allow that splurge.
But look how flipping cute they are!!!
I debated on whether I wanted to pay the $65 sale price or not. Sure, it was cheaper than their original sticker price but still more than I wanted to spend since I had other things to pick up.
And then when I was walking around in the them a sales girl stopped and said “Those are so cute, aren’t they? I wish we had them in my size. They are an additional 50% right now.” Hold. The. Phone. She didn’t even have to say anything else. I just took them off and shoved the box at her. Bless. So yep, I got them for 50% off of $65.
Also got these Steve Madden’s for $20 something due to clearance and additional 50% off. Successful shoe day was successful.
Saturday I went to Shoe Carnival to look for something specific. If I’m being honest, the new One Direction shoes. OMG I am sorry, please don’t judge me. I didn’t realize this would turn into a 1DAF post. Anyway, SC was having a BOGO sale, as they often do. I got these navy keds for $30, which was a decent enough deal. They were exactly what I was looking for. (No, I did not buy the 1D shoes but I did try them on and snap a picture.)
My trip into Old Navy was equally fruitful. 50% off on these shorts, and the tops were on sale as well. I plan to wear them while I’m in Charlotte next week. I don’t usually wear shorts but it’s been extremely hot lately and oh hey, stepping out of my comfort zone some more.
I love the geometric pattern selection they had going on.
So, when was your last shopping spree? What’d you buy?
A couple of weeks ago we picked up one of those counter top ice cream makers because well…I am lazy and the old fashioned type, with the salt and the ice, is a mess. I made this amazing peanut butter cup ice cream over the 4th weekend and it was amazing. The ice cream base was peanut butter flavored (so good) and then in the last five minutes of churning you add in the chopped mini peanut butter cups. Absolutely delicious. We have the tiniest bit left in the freezer and I think I’m going to sneak it out for myself tonight.
My office was not only closed Friday, but Monday as well, which was extremely lucky. Monday morning my mother and I made plans to go into town. I had to do some returns and pick up a few things for my upcoming trip. I made us egg white omelets with sauteed spinach, salsa, and cheddar cheese. I had half of an english muffin with strawberry preserves and some cherries as well. The batch of fruit we bought last week has been so good.
After the terrible eating habits from the long weekend I’ve been craving light lunches. This has been my go to so far this week. Raw veggies: sugar snap peas, baby carrots, peppers, and tomatoes, with sabra artichoke spinach hummus and some wheat thin crackers. It really has been hitting the spot. I especially love sugar snap peas with hummus.
You know how some days it’s just to hot to think about cooking? Yesterday evening was one of those days. I couldn’t decide what to eat though. I kept opening the fridge, staring into then closing it, only to open it up again. On the third try a package of bacon caught my eye and I decided a BLT sounded nice since we have fresh tomatoes from the garden. I made mine on a multi grain english muffin and instead of the actual “L” I replaced lettuce with avocado because I was too lazy to wash said lettuce. Plus, avocado is amazing on everything, let’s be honest.
What are your favorite go to summer time dinners?
Last week I placed a sticky9 order because I decided to jazz up my filing cabinet at work. It already has a set of Hello Kitty magnets on it but I wanted something more personal too. I did pics of friends, family members, pets, other random things that are personal to me in some way or another. I plan on ordering more in the future and eventually covering the cabinet.
For dinner on Sunday I made these teriyaki porkchops with pineapple salsa from the SkinnyTaste cookbook. Let me tell you, I don’t usually eat pork, with the exception of bacon, but since these were a special request I made them. I am extremely glad I did. They were delicious! But to be honest, I’ve never made something from Gina that I didn’t enjoy. We paired the chops with roasted squash and garlic mashed potatoes.
Yes. Yes, I am going to see One Direction in concert. I feel as if this is the beginning of the end. I love their music and I know a good bit about the guys but I’m afraid this will push me over into the massive fangirl pit. I am ok with this. My ticket arrived this week and I am not ashamed to say I squealed when I saw the envelope in the mail. The bonus is I’ve always wanted to go to Boston.
The orchard close to my house has peaches, peaches and more peaches. They are a great place to buy from and always have the tastiest apples during apple season. One of the things I love about them is they also offer real fruit slushies when you stop by. These peaches are absolutely delicious and last night the kitchen smelled so good. If you have an orchard near you I highly suggest checking it out.
I’ve started eating egg whites for most every breakfast. Usually I mix them with spinach and at times, other random veggies. It’s my favorite things currently. I had been in a cereal and oatmeal rut and since I’m trying to change things up and watch my sugar and carbs…egg whites it is. The spinach started out as a “I really need to get some more iron into my diet” but then I realized how much I liked it in eggs. I’m now obsessed. It’s a fast fix in the morning when I’m trying to get out to door and to work.
Check out that little Old El Paso Stand n Stuff soft tortilla. I know this is still carbs but bread can be so heavy at times that I’m doing this instead. I’m really trying to get back in the habit of eating healthier and working in more vegetables.
We’ve got lots of yellow squash and zucchini coming in from the garden. So much so that we’ve been having it for dinner nearly every night and for lunch, and we still have had to put some in freezer bags. This is not a bad problem to have. Our tomatoes and such haven’t really started producing anything we can pick yet but it should be soon. We also planted a couple of pepper varieties, eggplant, cucumbers, green beans, and a few different herbs. I really wanted okra but got outvoted because it’s “hard to maintain”. Fresh veggies are one of my favorite parts of summer.
I did 4.5 miles on the treadmill on Saturday while watching Sense & Sensibility. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but our treadmill is in the garage which is both good and bad. The heat is terrible but it does make me sweat more so that isn’t completely a bad thing. Sunday was lazy though. My mother and I continued our season 2 watch of Pretty Little Liars. It’s her first time and she has fifty million questions I refuse to answer. I’m waiting to watch season 6 until she finishes the rest of the seasons. I can’t wait to see what is happening on new episodes.
Last Thursday I started reading It Starts with Food. I’ve been taking notes for future reference and will probably post about it on here and my book blog. I’m fascinated by what I’ve read so far and I’m hoping I can get more of my family on board with it.
Look how cute this dress is!!! I know this is completely random and not related to anything else in this post but I had to share. Forever 21 has cute reasonably priced clothing. I really wish my local store stocked their Plus attire. I can wear ‘regular’ sizing in some brands but I don’t even attempt it with F21. Their stuff is teeny but so cute. Ordering online is always hard because you never really know what size to order, depending on how an item fits.
Yeah. That’s all I’ve got. There is no punch line. I just couldn’t think of a post title.
Yesterday evening I hit the ellipitcal and treadmill hard and I ended up having to ice my tailbone because it was giving me trouble after. Hmph.
For dinner last night I roasted baby bella mushrooms, asparagus, sweet peppers, and zucchini spears and put them on a bed of salad that had a mix of tomato, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. I also topped it with italian dressing marinated chicken strips. It was so amazing in my mouth. Oh, and that hunk of bread is actually a wedge of brie wrapped in crescent roll.
I had a doctors appointment for blood work this morning so I had to fast. That doesn’t really bother me at all because I’m not a late night snacker. I do love breakfast though so last night I cooked myself a spinach and egg white mix to put on a multi grain english muffin with a slice of canadian bacon for after my appointment.
I was disappointed that I’d gained some weight since I went to the doctor three months ago. I go in waves of being really aware of what I’m eating and exercising, to slacking on both. Seeing that scale was a slap in the face though. I’ve had a bit too much ice cream in the last month or so. Plus, I stopped taking some meds I’m sure were helping me to lose weight. Anyway. We live, we learn. I’m back on that eating healthy, exercising wagon.
For a morning snack I had a little bowl of mango with some Oikos triple zero peach yogurt and a little protein granola. I really love mango but it’s kinda high in sugar so I try to limit myself on eating it daily. It was so yummy with that peach yogurt though. I really love this new Triple Zero! It has a good bit of protein, which I’m always looking for since I don’t really eat a lot of meat.
For lunch I had the same salad as last nights dinner because it was so good. And I just realized my dinner plans include a salad. I’m going to turn into romaine lettuce! No exercise today though (yes I realize what I said a few paragraphs back). I’m going to get an adjustment at the chiropractor and need to give me tailbone a rest for the evening. Back at it tomorrow though!
I’m a little behind on this but I had a busy weekend that was pretty much glorious. I drove to Atlanta (my first road trip alone) to meet my best friend. We had tickets for the Picasso at the Wheel 2015 tour Friday night and The Main Event 2015 tour Saturday night. It was lots of driving and staying up late and listening to music and fangirling and very little sleep. Did I mention it was glorious?!
It’s no secret that I love concerts so it was a perfect weekend. I’ve been lucky enough to see Train live multiple times but I was super excited about seeing them, The Fray and Matt Nathanson on Friday. Unfortunately we missed Matt because we arrived late but The Fray and Train were great. Pat from Train brought out Isaac (The Fray) and Matt to do a song with him. They were a great trio. So fun.
On Saturday we had a late lunch with Ashley’s brother for his birthday then she and I got ready and headed to Phillips Arena. I’ve been a huge fan of boybands all of my life. New Kids on the Block were my first celebrity crushes (especially Joe) but I never got to see them in concert. To say I was looking forward to this show is an understatement. The openers were Nelly (omg!) and TLC (so emotional).
Nelly was very high energy and performed all the songs we know and love. The crowd was loud and really into him. I’m so glad he was part of this tour.
TLC was so fun to see. When they started singing songs I can remember from my childhood it felt like we were stepping back in time. They did a beautiful tribute to Lisa at the beginning of Chasing Waterfalls. It was so lovely and well done. Even for her parts of other songs they had a track of her singing. I loved that.
OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. These guys. NKOTB were fantastic. Dancing and moving all over the stage. Their vocals were great. They did old and new songs and I don’t think we stopped singing the entire time they were on stage. There was a cute wardrobe change camera as well as a couple of other fun things. Joe did a solo of Sweet Dreams. There was shirtlessness and a lot of it was such a blur because I was so excited about finally seeing them in concert. If you get the chance you need to go!
My next concerts are Sam Smith and FOB. Can’t wait!
So how was your weekend?
I “made” a smoothie at home this morning but I wasn’t happy with it. I’d been wanting one for days and couldn’t stop thinking about it. When I made it to the office I convinced a coworker to go to a local deli with me. It smelled so good when we walked in that I also picked up a bacon, egg, and cheese croissant. I’m telling you, both were some of the best food I’ve put in my mouth. I promised myself I would not let this become a daily trip but it sure is tempting.
I have started a detailed blog post about my interest in ancestry research but I couldn’t wait to show this. I did the ancestry.com DNA test and my results came. It’s really not what I expected at all. DNA is such a funny thing. We have native american/indian ancestors but I didn’t get any of those strands of DNA. My results do explain my obsession with Europe though!
I bought a bikini (with the intentions to wear it IN PUBLIC – a first for me) and it arrived yesterday. The one I bought is super cute but in the end I decided to send it back because my torso is too short and it practically looks like a one piece on me. Sad times.
I saw Disney on Ice “Frozen”. Alone, since I don’t have kids. I have zero regrets. It was a super cute show. I rarely miss a Disney on Ice performance. I don’t even care that I may look silly to others for being there. I used to be obsessed with figure skating and these shows are so fun to watch.