Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Things

I love those weekends where there is no intended path, but instead an aimless journey. Weekends where you have nothing to do, but a million things to experience. Things that you spend all week passing by and not really paying close attention to. 

Like dirty faces.

Dirty faces that let you know that goodies were enjoyed. 

And pajamas. Tiny, monster truck covered pajamas. Pajamas that fit onto a tiny body that just recently learned how to walk and uses that skill as a way to keep up with his big brothers. 

And the face in charge of guarding a noggin full of wheels turning. 

And then there are the tangible treasures. Treasures of the thrifty variety. The ones who catch you completely off guard and leave you with a sense of completion. Like you have found a missing puzzle piece.

Like a floral print, stuffed pig.

Could my life go on without this adorable little fellow? Probably. Would I want it to? Definitely not. He is now rescued from his doom at the thrift store and safely perched on my in progress spring mantle atop the precious ceramic cake plate I found at Target last week. 

(We couldn't leave him behind.... Get it! Sometimes you need a little corny in your life. You're welcome.) 

And then there is his friend..... The bunny. I managed to dig him out of a box behind another box underneath a table full of picture frames. With Easter being only a mere month or so away, he had to be rescued as well. 

Some loose stitches and a dirty tail only makes him that much cuter. Character is key, friends. We call this character. 


The most perfect old suitcase. I spotted it a few weeks ago and regrettably left him behind. When we returned yesterday I had my fingers crossed that he would still be there and sure enough! He was! 

Old Pan Am tag and all. LOVE!


An absolutely perfect white ceramic pie dish. Considering the fact that I have had my sights set on one of these for months, finding it was a moment to say the least. She will see her fair share of parties. 

The thrift store offered up more treasures also. Two metal pie tins which will soon be transformed into cake plates, a wooden wall sconce that will be painted and given new life, a wooden and wire condiment bowl holder which will also see it's fair share of parties, and my moms loot (which included about three of four things).

Everything together cost us $6. SIX DOLLARS! Suitcase and all! SIX DOLLARS! 

The love that I have for this store..... It runs deep. 

Now hopefully the weather will cooperate this week and I can finally get to redoing the furniture finds from last week! 

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chocolate Chip Nutella Cookies

So the other day while on a pinning spree I came across this cookie recipe

Since I have a few different Nutella cookie recipes, I renamed my version to be a little more specific. 

I changed up the recipe just a tad to fit our taste. Now, in some cases "fit our taste" is loosely translated to "I didn't pay attention or got a little carried away"...

To start, sift together your dry ingredients with the exception of the sugars. 

Next, cream together your butter, sugar, and brown sugar. 

This is where my first change to the recipe comes in.... I would like to say that I used an entire stick of butter because I knew it would be fantastic, but ALAS my friends.... I definitely did not pay attention to the recipe and just tossed the whole stick in the mixer. The cookies turned out beautiful, despite my inability to read thoroughly, so it works. And quite well, if I do say so myself.

Then add your Nutella. Ooooohhhhh..... Am I the only one who puts the spoon and measuring cup to the side after adding it, just so I can lick them clean???? 

Mix it! Mix it good! HEY! 

Next up! A splash O' vanilla. I have developed a habit of just tossing some in there. Measuring is overrated anyway. Case in point... The butter. 

Then your egg. Your lonely little egg. 

Mix them well and then it is time for some dry ingredients! 

Mix your dry ingredients in with your butter/sugar mixture JUST until incorporated. 

Now it is time for some chocolate chips! 

Once again I find myself ignoring measurements. BUT, it's chocolate chips! Can you really mess that up? 

That's what I thought. I find it is best to do this part by hand. For me they are distributed more evenly when I fold them in instead of using the mixer. Plus, I know I won't overwork the dough. 

Now you are ready to bake. (Side note, another thing I changed... I left out the hazelnuts. My guys are nutty enough and like their sweets sans nuts, so I leave them out. I have made them with the nuts and they are just as delicious, but they prefer the change. That part is up to you.)

Plop some delicious little dough blobs onto a baking sheet. Blobs are best. I rolled them trying to make perfect little cookies once and they ended up with a different consistency. Blob is best.

Bake for exactly 10 minutes, cool, devour like a savage beast.

 They are very good cookies. I like to think my overuse of butter and chocolate chips is the reasoning for this and that I am secretly a culinary genius. 

With that said, you are welcome. 

Now go bake some cookies! 

Now- The formal recipe! (with my changes followed by a ***)

Nutella Cookies
(makes 30 cookies) ***or a lot less if you are like me and make huge cookies so you can try to justify eating a massive amount of cookie by saying you only had one...

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon *** I leave out the cinnamon. For me it overpowers the cookie. But, that is up to you. 
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
7 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp. *** or 8 tbsp because you toss the whole stick in knowing it will be even better. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract *** While we aren't measuring, just toss some of this in blindly also! Why not. 
1 large egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips *** Or however many end up in there after you get carried away...
1/2 cup toasted & skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped *** Either with or without, they are delicious.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in egg.

Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips and hazelnuts.

Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for about 11 minutes until the edges look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then carefully remove to cooling racks. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Goodies!

This weekend I had the pleasure of coming upon a few goodies.

But not just a few goodies... The BEST kind of goodies.


Thank you Lord for relatives who randomly happen upon things and allow me and my mother to scour them for anything we would like.

So... Drumroll please!

I am really feeling this little chair. The wicker detailing on the back and around the sides is amazing. She needs to be cleaned, painted, and reupholstered desperately, but once those tasks are complete.... She will be gorgeous.

And this little desk! I cannot even express to you how excited I was when I spotted this! I have been on the hunt for a small desk for my boys for a while now and this one is perfect. As you can tell with it right beside the vacuum cleaner, it is small. Perfect for little ones. After some scrubbing and a paint job, it will be perfect. Well made too.... Which is a must if the boys will have it.

And then there is this...

I am not sure what to call it, as it is smaller than a chest of drawers, but still similar in purpose. I love it regardless. The lines and hardware are absolutely precious and I have no doubt that once it is painted, it will be gorgeous.

But that little darling didn't come alone...

She had a little sister.

I am assuming that this one was a nightstand at some point. I will probably use it as such, but we will see.

Love the leafy handles.

And the detail!

Then there was this little mirror. I am sure at some point it was attached to some vanity or chest, but now it is all alone.

Still love it.

And other weekend goodies. The kind that you can never put a price on...

Sleeping babies...

Cheesy, binky grins.

And never being too old to nap on mommy.

And a little interesting tidbit of information to pass on.

If you are in the need of a Valentine's Day reservation... One of our local Waffle House establishments is offering romantic Valentine's Day candlelit dinners! I, personally won't be hopping on this bandwagon as I prefer to clog my arteries over a long period of time rather than in one meal, but anyone who's interested make your reservations early!

And yes, this is real.

Happy Monday! I hope everyone is having a fantastic day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tiny People Expedition, Citronelle, AL.

Our little expeditions are blossoming.

There's something about picking a random place or direction and just going that just makes you feel..... Free.

The boys are growing at warp speed. It seems like everyday there is something new. Something learned. Something exciting. Sometimes I sit back and think to myself, "I have three kids!" Like some type of revelation that JUST hit me. Not only do I have three kids, but I am the mother to a 6 year old. SIX! Where did that come from?!

I became a mother six years ago.

These little trips we take.... They aren't extravagant. They aren't filled with twisty, brightly colored, metal play structures. They aren't adorned with elaborate toys. They are us. They are us surrounded by new experiences, sunshine, and fresh air.

They are a chance to be together with the freedom to be ourselves.

Our lives are structured 99% of the time. Be here at this time, have this person there at that time. It gets monotonous. It gets monotonous quickly. Especially since my husband is gone to work the majority of the week. The week wears me down quickly nowadays. Chalk it up to the littlest monster who doesn't sleep all that well or the fact that once everything is finally done in the evenings I often collapse for a minute of sleep before the alarm clock is screaming for me to start the day.

Between school and work, baths and dinner... It often seems that there is no time before the beds are calling my little monsters (which, usually sounds an awfully lot like a sleepy tantrum).

These adventures give me some of that precious time back. They give me time with them. Time to watch them growing and changing, which seems to be happening faster and faster. These adventures give me time to hear the crazy jokes and the completely random outbursts. They give me time to hear the non-age appropriate banter. Sometimes their witty comebacks catch me off guard. I often wonder how old their souls are, because 6 and 2 and a half... they are not.

They're getting so big.

Sometimes it seems difficult to squeeze these adventures in.

Then I start thinking about how quickly they have gotten to where they are and how quickly they will decide that adventures with mom aren't as fun as video games with their friends. Or, lord help me, dates with their girlfriends.

For now, I will make time. We will drive aimlessly snacking on junk food from a gas station, and dance on a stage in the middle of a bunch of pine trees, and watch fish swimming below a rickety pier, and laugh at jokes that make absolutely no sense.

Because soon they won't be little boys.