Rolo Sugar Cookies

23 Dec

Last weekend my Mom, Mother Gerry, hosted a cookie swap at her house and I had to make 12 dozen cookies.  For those of you that are unaware of the cookie swap rules-each participant has to make a dozen cookies for every other participant.  You bring 12 dozen of one kind of cookie and you leave with 12 dozen different kinds of cookies.  I should mention the reason I keep using the number 12, is because that is how many participants were in the swap.  You could have 8 people and would have to make 8 dozen etc, etc.

Anyway-the point of this post is to share with you the delicious cookies I made….Rolo Sugar Cookies.  Though, I have to give credit where it is due and thank my co-worker, Ed, for this recipe.

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The only ingredients you will need are Rolo candies and sugar cookie mixture.

Now, of course you can make the sugar cookie batter from scratch, but if anyone knows me they know I am always trying to save time.  SO-there is no shame in buying the pre-made cookie mix and adding the necessary ingredients.

First, you need to start unwrapping your Rolos, and set them aside in a bowl so they are ready when you need them.

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Lucky for me, my wonderful friend, Amber was more than happy to help me make 12 dozen cookies on a Friday night. Thats Amber mixing up the sugar cookie mixture.

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Once the dough was ready we started wrapping the Rolos inside!

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Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8-9 minutes.

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Voila! Let cool and enjoy.

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Hopefully you are not stressing as the holidays near and have all of your cookies made.  If not, try this easy recipe and enjoy!  Merry Christmas!-Tara

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Sometimes It’s The Little Things…

17 Dec

 

Joe and I have owned our house for going on two years. Since it was a to-be built home we were lucky enough to get to pick and choose everything from the hardwood floors, carpet color, cabinets and granite to the color of the light fixtures that we liked. All the walls are still the same cream builder grade color they were when we first moved in back in March 2011.

We have yet to hang much on the walls. Mainly since I am scared to do it myself and also because I have no idea where to even start in most places. I have pinned plenty of ideas of gallery walls, art work, etc. on Pinterest and haven’t actually made any decisions about where it would go.

Sometimes starting with a blank slate can be overwhelming when it comes to decorating a room or a house. I have made an attempt to do a few small things here and there to make our house feel like a home and to prevent me from feeling overwhelmed in the process. Although sometimes becoming overwhelmed is inevitable…picking paint colors is overwhelming and then the thought of actually painting makes me want to run for the hills. I’m not very good at it, but lucky for me the hubby knows a thing or two.

I think the hardest part for me at first was how to start decorating since we have an open floor plan on our main level. At first I wasn’t sure if the kitchen and family room curtains should be the same fabric or different. I took the pictures below on the day we settled and got our keys.

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Standing in the eat-in kitchen looking into the family room

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Standing in the family room looking into the kitchen area and walk out to the deck

It took about a year of living here before I even decided on fabric for our family room curtains. And the actual process of picking out the fabric consisted of my sister and I in JoAnn Fabric for about two and a half hours…literally on the floor going back and forth between fabric choices. #Indecisivemuch Once I FINALLY decided on the fabric my sister came over and worked her sewing machine magic.

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I really love how the curtains turned out. I hung them using clip rings. To this day that part of our family room for the most part looks the same. Minus the step stool in the corner (it lives in a hidden spot in our kitchen). I still need to hang art work and make throw pillows for our couches. The ones that came with the sofas are hideous and I hate them. I always make sure the ugly patterned side faces the sofa. 🙂 

About two months ago while I was at Lowe’s crossing some things off my “to-do” list (buying a new battery for my garage remote and a replacement water filter for the fridge) and as I was waiting for the sales man to come back with the right battery I took a walk through the curtain aisle. I had been looking for curtains for our kitchen window, but hadn’t had much luck. I wanted to find something that would be colorful, but would still go well and wouldn’t compete with the dark tones we already have in the kitchen.

Sometimes it can be something little and unexpected that gives you the inspiration to decorate a room. This time a pattern caught my attention and the colors in the pattern kept my attention! They were so pretty and bright! The pattern wasn’t over the top or too matronly looking and it was colorful. I checked the price and at $14.97 per panel I couldn’t resist! I bought two panels drove right home and started hanging them. This time a pattern caught my attention and the colors in the pattern kept my attention. These curtains were that little unexpected thing to give our kitchen a happier look and a jumping off point for me to put the rest of the room together.

I didn’t take a before picture and I couldn’t find a good before picture, so you will just have to imagine how terribly plain the window was before and how the curtains made the biggest and best addition to our little kitchen!

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For anyone interested in purchasing these panels they are Style Selections 84′ L Multicolor Bernard Curtain Panel.

About a month ago I decided to move a dresser that was residing in our master bedroom from our bedroom down to the kitchen and use it as a “buffet” of sorts. Not only did that free up wall space in our bedroom for me to re-arrange our room (it looks so much better now), but it also gave me some much needed extra storage space in the kitchen.

ImageAbove is the dresser once it was moved down into the kitchen. Pardon the light, it was dark outside when I got around to taking pictures.

On a recent shopping trip to Hobby Lobby I came across their decorative knobs. I found some really pretty blue knobs that I thought would be an easy and fabulous way to change up the once dresser and make it fit in better in it’s new home.

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ImageImageImageImageImageI am completely in L.O.V.E with how the curtains and the new blue knobs bring together the room. I am also happy to report that thanks to the curtains and knobs I have finally decided on a paint color! Wahoo! My goal is to tackle the painting very soon #wishmeluck! Once the painting is complete I will take care of all that empty wall space.#babysteps
Eventually down the road I would like to do something fun with the currently ORB (oil rubbed bronze) chandelier…maybe a little spray paint action to tie it in with the curtains and break up all the dark wood tones?!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when decorating your house, apartment or condo? I feel like the more I do the more comfortable I get with it, but still feel overwhelmed at times. Remember to take it one step at a time and try to have fun with it. 

Have you completed any fun home projects recently?

16 Weeks Later

11 Dec

About a month ago, I posted that Nathan and I are expecting our 1st baby in May.  Since then I have been radio silent and have not had a chance to followup so I figured I would give a monthly update.  Our little one is already 16 weeks and according to every baby website, the baby is already the size of an avocado.  Yes, an avocado which is about 4.6 inches long and weighs about 3.5  oz.

WEIRD, right?

WEIRD, right?

The heartbeat sounded good last week and the Dr. was even impressed with my cholesterol!  This great news overshadowed the fact that I have already gained 8 pounds, when I should have gained about 5.  But, obviously I’m not too upset about it because I am still here eating cheesecake 🙂  Another piece of  good news is the nausea has finally subsided and my craving for pancakes has dwindled.  On the flip side, and unfortunately for Nathan, the emotions and tears have kicked into high gear.  Luckily, he can make me start laughing in the next breath and I move on!

My energy has also returned but now my mind is going a million miles an hour with all of the stuff I need to do.  For starters, I need to decide where to register and for what things.  Luckily, Mom is all over this and I could not be happier, I am ready to shop till we drop.  Things still to decide-do we sign up for classes, ie lamaze? Do we book a hospital tour?  The new budget and health insurance have been resolved, man I really am an adult!

What’s left, the issue of painting the spare room aka the new nursery.  Do we hire professionals or suck it up and just do it ourselves?  I will note that it is quite possible I failed finger painting so this is a serious decision!  While I think these are all a big deal, Nathan is focused on the bigger things, like the new bed for the kid, or depending on the length, our new bed Nathan’s Dream Bed.

I am trying to remind myself that while I need to decide these things, I don’t have to do it all today.  Today I am focused on planning a BabyMoon-I need some time in the sun and any suggestions you have are helpful.  All in all, an easy pregnancy and we couldn’t be happier, next month we get our sonogram!  Cheers, T

Plan the Perfect Holiday Party

10 Dec

Need to plan the perfect holiday party this season? Well, you are in luck because we have consulted with our brilliant  friend Ashley of Ashley Nicole Events for helpful tips.  Ashley, the talented owner and creative director of Ashley Nicole Events, shared her 3 simple rules to throw a perfect party.

Let’s get real-you’ve been to a thousand holiday parties and this year is no different.  The thought of throwing yet another one of those “parties” makes you want to dig deep into your liquor stash for something strong. Really strong. Trust me, I get it! But, I’m here today to boost your holiday spirit by offering advice for throwing the perfect (and yes, even last minute) holiday get together that will be original, fun, and festive. You can bet your bootie that by the time you’re done reading this, you will start planning your perfect holiday fete! Let the planning begin…

  1. Know when to have your party.  This sounds pretty simple, right!?  I wish it was!  Most hostesses make the biggest mistake by hosting the event during prime dinner time.  I dread invitations with a start time of 6p.m. because guess what- I’ll be there but I expect dinner.  Don’t you!?  So what ends up happening, you get there at 7:00p.m., when you started getting ready around 5pm, you haven’t had dinner and end up spilling red wine on their new Create and Barrel sofa because your dinner consisted of 3 slices of cheddar cheese and a Triscuit cracker.  Oh, and then you wake up with the worst hangover and eat your face off at breakfast and sleep the entire rest of the day!  So, let’s not make this mistake with YOUR party.  Instead why not host a brunch holiday party!?  After all, who doesn’t love the thought of a delicious Bloody Mary bar and dazzling mimosas!?  You can make your snacks easy as 1-2-3 by purchasing mini cereal boxes and accenting each with a tied plastic spoon and pair it with a simple pitcher of ice cold milk set next to poppy seed muffins, and a fruit parfait.  Voila! You’ve got yourself a party!  Not liking the brunch idea?   Have a holiday champagne and cupcake party…with a 8:30p.m. start time! This way guests have had a delicious dinner and come to your event with a sweet tooth!  Set up a champagne bar with different types of bubbly and toppings and make simple devils food cupcakes with cream cheese icing topped with red sprinkles.  The cardinal rule is know WHEN to host your event.  If it’s during lunch or dinner times, provide guests with food…lots of it!  After all, appropriate pre-party eating is an art: master it. Your ability to do so will have a profound effect on the rest of the night.
  2. Include details of the event in your invitation.  My favorite easy and affordable way to send last minute party invitations is paperless post.  If you haven’t heard of it-right it down and check it out later.  They have an array of festive invitation options and allow you to customize it-all the way down to the invitation liner.  When creating your fancy invitation be sure to include information such as attire, any items you would like guests to bring and other party details so they know exactly what to expect.  In other words, if you’re doing a white elephant party-let them know the budget.  Be specific so everyone knows what to expect-even you!
  3. Relax and enjoy the party…no matter what.  Prepare yourself for the obvious that you tend to overlook when you’re happily cocktailed at someone else’s holiday fete. You know what I mean, the drunk single Uncle that wasn’t really invited but someone in the family leaked your party details on Facebook and now he’s hitting on all of your friends.  Or one of your friends new boyfriend who is awkwardly standing in the corner swaying side to side while crushing yet another vodka tonic.  Or, the friend of a friend who is aggressively competitive during the late night beer pong game and you think a fight may ensue and cops may quickly follow to break it up.  Simply relax and handle these jolly environmental issues with ease.  Call your Uncle a cab and give him a snack for the road, introduce the new boyfriend to one of your co-workers who is as equally as new to your crowd of friends, and distract the aggressive beer pong jock by turning on some great tunes for everyone to dance to.  You can control all of these situations and more, if you stay relaxed and festive!  Tis the season and if you listen to the above 3 simple rules…you will have one kick ass holiday party.  (Just remember to send me an invitation!)

DIY Christmas Ornament

3 Dec

This past February Joe and I, Tara and Nathan and a group of friends took a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. As you would probably expect we returned from that trip with our fair share of Mardi Gras beads.

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As we were unpacking our suitcases when we returned from our trip we threw the beads into a box where they have been taking up space in our guest room ever since. What is one to do with Mardi Gras beads? I didn’t want to just throw them away since they are a fun keepsake from an awesome trip! However, I was tired of looking at them just sitting there taking up space.

Finally a couple of weeks ago it hit me! Light bulb! Usually when Joe and I take trips we will buy a new ornament to hang on our Christmas tree. Since we didn’t buy any while we were in NOLA I thought maybe I could make my own using the mardi gras beads.  I thought it would be a creative and useful way to keep some of the beads we collected and five them more of a purpose.

While I was at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago I picked up a box of glass ornament bulbs for $7.99. This was a really simple project and only took me about 3o minutes to complete. I picked out a few strands of beads in the colors I wanted. I also decided to use a few strands of purple, gold and green beads in two bulbs since they are the official colors of Mardi Gras, in order to remind us where the beads come from. 🙂 In order to get the beads into the bulbs I cut the strands and

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I started with a pile of beads and ended up with a bunch of really great bead filled ornaments. Since adding the beads into the glass bulbs made the bulbs a little too heavy to hang on the tree I placed them in a large vase.

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Our Girlfriends Weigh In

30 Nov

We were chatting with some of our newly married girlfriends and asked them to share some of their newlywed insight.  Enjoy!

“My spouse hogs the bed, so we bought a bigger bed. End of discussion.” –JB

“Being married is like preparing for a baby!  I find myself picking up after my husband, reminding him to call the doctor, take the kids to the doctor, and the list goes on.  In the end I end up doing it all so I’ve learned to bypass that step and just do everything myself!”–SP

“We learned to think of savings goals as weight loss goals. If you’re too aggressive in setting them, you’ll end up failing at it.  Don’t obsess over it and make sure you say yes to your spouse when they want to buy something outside of the budget from time to time (and have that occasional cookie too).”–BM

“Buying a pet before having kids has helped us to start working out the parenting responsibilities before the baby actually comes.” –JB

“Cleaning our new house proved to be more time consuming than we planned.  One of the first times I decided to clean the 2 story, my husband decided to help.  Unfortunately, his help wasn’t enough for me because he wasn’t cleaning the right way, my way.    Upon inspecting one of his ‘clean rooms’ I still saw dust bunnies which led to me yelling at him and led to us getting into a huge argument.  A week later we hired a maid, a small price to pay to save our marriage.”–AW

“The baby question has become apart of every conversation with everyone we come in contact with! I am surprised by the number of people who are enthralled with what is or isn’t growing in my uterus.  My advice is to not give into these questions; It only opens the door for more questions and then people want to know everything.  So the next time someone asks you, “When are you and your husband going to have children?” A simple response such as, “When we are ready.” will do just fine!” –KK

“Don’t expect him to change, you married him for him.”–AV

More Conversations with Mazer

28 Nov

It has been quite awhile since I have posted an edition of Conversations with Mazer so back by popular demand and for your entertainment, these are conversations I really have with my husband.

Three weeks ago,  a certain husband decided to eat a bucket of Popeyes chicken with 3 different sides while watching football.  After his feast he grabbed his stomach and with a load groan said, I know how you must feel.

He has decided that we will no longer play paper, rock, scissors for dinner choices.  We will start arm wrestling.

I emailed him ideas for my Christmas list. His response: 80 dollar perfume, for 1.7 oz? You get Britney Spears and Paris Hilton perfume and you like it. 

Oh yeah-he has already declared that he will not be changing diapers for at least 9 months, because he has been cleaning the cat pan for 9 months.

Cheers, T

Mazerisms

Tips,Tricks, & Tales of a Busy Mama

MazeChesky-Tales of 2 Newlyweds

Juggling Newlywed Life and All That Comes With It

Young House Love

DIY Home Decorating Projects, Tutorials, & Shenanigans

Aleysha Proctor

Juggling Newlywed Life and All That Comes With It

Juggling Newlywed Life and All That Comes With It

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