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Eva’s Turning 3, Join us under the sea!

Here are the photos from setting up Eva’s little birthday bash! I really wanted to try and make this cake (actually, don’t click on the link because it will REALLY make mine look like a pinterest fail haha!) but I made some fatal flaws. 1-I didn’t carve the outside of my cake to make it even. 2-my buttercream wasn’t thick or cold enough. 3-I had no idea what I was doing, except for watching one 3-minute youtube video. But other than my fatal flaws, I don’t think it came out terribly! Eva is my biggest critic and she liked it, so that’s a win in my book! We also made a batch of my favorite sugar cookies (click here to get the recipe, it’s the third one with sour cream)! Oh my, they are so tasty!

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Overnight Oatmeal

I’ve been doing a lot of Pinteresting recently… I go through phases where I hate it and I stop using it completely. Then I get obsessed again. I’m in an obsessed phase again, especially for recipes. I came across this overnight oatmeal recipe at 11 pm one night and thought it sounded so good. I was so excited the next morning (plus it smelled so good to wake up to), I got right out of bed early to have a bowl.

Here are my thoughts. It was good. But not great. Not anything special, in fact it was kind of soggy-I like mine more chewier and thick. I added a cup of oats right to the crockpot before i dug in, to thicken it up. I don’t know, I just thought it was going to be like special oatmeal banana bread deliciousness. But no.

I tried to reheat some of it later, and I was not a fan. The bananas looked gross and it was too mushy. So, having a HUGE pot of oatmeal for me and Eva in the morning really didnt make sense. Maybe when I have a dozen children and it’s snowing outside, it would make sense. I just don’t get why I can’t make it over the stove or in the microwave, it takes ten minutes at its longest. So, to end this review. Don’t try it. Make oatmeal cookies instead with all that oatmeal.

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Friday Five

  1. Learn how to de-stinkify your shoes via Beauty and the Beard.
  2. Try this new hairstyle from Daily Dose of Darling.
  3. Make these double dipped orange muffins.
  4. Buy these Camo print jeggings from Uniqlo.
  5. Watch this video, realize you’re doing your best, and actually making a difference in life.

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Freezer Meals

My friend Ashley and I were talking one day and decided it would be worth our time and money to make some freezer meals, especially now that it’s getting cold and we don’t want to have to make as many trips to the grocery store. We started pinteresting, and Ashley found a link to the Six Sisters’ Stuff for 8 freezer meals that you can make at one time. It had the recipes for all the meals and even a shopping list already made to make it extra simple. They were different than most freezer meals I have seen because they were all for the crockpot. I had never made freezer meals before because most of them are casseroles and never sounded especially tasty. But for the most part, these sounded pretty good so we decided to do it!

The post by the Six Sisters said it could be done in one hour. Maybe it’s because we had two kids to tend, we doubled the recipes, and we had a small kitchen space, but it definitely took us longer than an hour. But we turned on Christmas music and it was actually a really fun afternoon! I’ll definitely be doing this again!

To start off, we went to BJ’s (the knockoff Costco that’s in walking distance) and bought everything that was worth buying in bulk. It helped that we were doing it together and splitting the costs because we could buy in bigger quantities and save money in the long run. You guys should have seen us. It was truly a sight to be seen. Ashley was pushing her stroller with little Brooks, Eva didn’t want to sit in her stroller, so I was chasing after her in the store, and pushing my stroller. We bought so much food. I felt like we were cooking for an army. And since we didn’t have the hands to push a cart, we were piling up all of the food in/on/above/below our strollers. It was madness. But hilarious. We then came back to my place, we put the kids down for a nap, Ashley started dividing the meat, and I went back to the regular grocery store to get all of the food we still needed.

From there, after all of the meat was divided, we just went through each freezer meal and assembled them! Sometimes we made mistakes, so let’s hope it won’t affect the meals too much! But in the end, we felt like champions–freezing 8 big meals each (with each meal enough for two days worth for our small families) and having extra meat and veggies for storage!

In the end, we only spent about $100 each!

1 meal = 6 servings
8 meals = 48 servings
$100/48 servings = $2.08/serving!

That’s quite a deal for good, well-balanced, home-cooked meals!

We are trying out the BBQ ribs tonight and Ashley is making the Alfredo chicken tomorrow! I’ll let you know how the meals turn out!

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Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes. You read that right. Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies. When I came across this recipe on Pinterest and found out they were very simple to make, I knew I had to give it a try. They’d be perfect for Valentine’s Day or all of our Bachelor watching parties.

Well, the recipe was right. They are delicious and simple to make. Now, let’s be clear. They don’t replace your normal chocolate chip cookies. But they are something different and fun to make. Plus, they’re bright pink cookies! How could you NOT love them?

The recipe and photo are from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog.

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Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 box (18.25 oz) strawberry cake mix (like Duncan Hines)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable/canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla by hand. Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to form a dough- stir vigorously until all of the pockets of dry cake mix are gone.  Gently mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop rounded balls of dough, about 2.5 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheet.  Stick a few more chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough balls if you want them for looks, if desired.  Make sure the balls of dough are taller than they are wide.  See here for more details.

Bake for 10 minutes – do not let the cookies get brown.  Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes; they will  be very soft at first. As they cool, the tops may settle down; press them down gently with your fingers if they are not sinking much. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.