Monday, February 23, 2015

Coconut Butterscotch Cookies

Growing up, more often than not, Sunday evenings were for watching AFV and making cookies as a family. (I'm 99.9% sure my mom took on the brunt of the work and was the one that actually made the cookies and cleaned it all up. Thanks, Mom!) Our arsenal of cookie recipes contained 3 fail-proof recipes bound to satisfy a greater percentage of the 7 (yes, 7!) of us: No-Bake Cookies, classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Oatmeal "Scotchies."

While I was home this past New Year's, we decided to make our favorite Oatmeal "Scotchies" and mix it up a bit by adding some shredded coconut. I'm of the opinion that coconut can make anything better. Hot chocolate, cookies, Hawaiian Haystacks, life in general. (I also believe that cinnamon can do the same thing, but that deserves it's own post one day.) If you love Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies, I can promise you that they're even better with this addition!

1 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 c. quick or old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. shredded coconut
1 1/2 - 2 c. butterscotch chips 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. 
3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
4. Add oats, coconut, and butterscotch chips and mix by hand.
5. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes.
6. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.


Recipe adapted from Nestle.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FREE St. Patrick's Day Printables

FREE St. Patrick's Day Printables from Peachy Keen
8x10 printable here.
FREE St. Patrick's Day Printables from Peachy Keen
8x10 printable here.

Another holiday, another printables post! I was super excited all of last week to decorate my mantle in greens and gold, and may or may not have taken down all of my pink and red decor on Valentine's Day. (Is that allowed?? Ha.) I can't wait to share some easy as pie St. Patrick's Day crafts over the next few weeks. Just picture with me some easy to make buntings (even easier than this DIY!), rainbow treats, and probably some gold glitter because why not? 

Happy Wednesday, friends! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Coconut Crack Bars

If you've been to this corner of the internet before, you've probably realized that I'm all about things being easy and not taking a lot of time. Easy crafts, easy makeup tips, easy recipes, etc. Well, my friends, I can promise you that this is one of the easiest treats you could ever make - 5 ingredients and no baking! If you're a big fan of coconut, like myself, you will be over the moon for this treat. My coworker brought in these bars to share a few weeks ago and I immediately asked her for the recipe. . .they're that good!

1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c. agave
2 T. coconut oil
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Scoop mixture into a small container and smooth it out evenly.
3. Refrigerate for an hour before cutting squares.

Note: I microwaved some peanut butter and chocolate together and drizzled it on top of the bars. I'd highly recommend it!


Linking up over here:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Netflix Favorites

Andy's Recommendations:
1. Drop Dead Diva. The show's premise: a selfish fashion model dies in a car accident and is reincarnated as a plus-sized lawyer, and only she and her guardian angel are aware of what happened. I know, I know. It does not sound fabulous. But it is fabulous & charming & good pass-the-time TV. Think Legally Blonde meets Suits meets typical romantic drama.

2. Cupcake Wars. Once you've completed the Chopped episodes offered on Netflix, give this show a try. The collection features 25 of the best cupcake showdowns in the popular Food Network series. Each episode will have you itching to find a way to incorporate bleu cheese and pastrami into delicious desserts. These people are bakery wizards.

3. Better Off Ted.  This show demonstrates a quirky, witty sense of humor and quickly became one of my favorites. Unfortunately, there are only two funny seasons to savor, so you'll only get to enjoy Portia de Rossi and Jay Harrington for 26 episodes. It takes place in the often unethical and irreverent offices of Veridian Dynamics, a company who develops a plethora of unusual products. (Also, shout out to the movie Better Off Dead, one of the best comedies ever.)

4. Friends. One of my favorite childhood memories involves sitting in my mother's old home office watching the series finale of Friends back in 2004. If I could only watch one thing on repeat for the rest of forever, it would be this. Take advantage of all TEN seasons now available on Netflix.

5. Agents of Shield. This show follows Agent Coulson, a character killed by villain Loki in The Avengers, and his team of SHIELD agents as they endeavor to take down various persons and organizations that threaten international peace. It starts a little slow, but the writers create so many incredibly suspenseful plot twists that you, like me, will create a count down for the next season to premier come this March. Only season 1 is available on Netflix, but get started now!

Lex's Recommendations:

1. Sherlock. Hands down the best series I've watched in a long time. It's the perfect amount of mystery and humor, and I can't get over the English accents! My husband and I have really enjoyed the fact that it's set it today's world - imagine just how far Sherlock Holmes could get with technology! 3 seasons currently available.

2. Parks & Recreation. If you're a fan of The Office or dry humor, this series is for you. Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson will quickly win over your heart with their quirks and big hearts, and you'll want to binge watch all 5 seasons (unfortunately, season 6 isn't yet available) in one weekend. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of great one-liners and quotes you'll use for the rest of your life.

3. Call the Midwife. For those of you who are fans of Downton Abbey, you'll enjoy this British period drama series. Following Jenny, a recently trained midwife, and her coworkers/best friends, the series does a great job of documenting what giving birth would have been like during the 1950s. I love how different each episode is and the various characters that show up throughout the series (3 seasons).

4. Gilmore Girls. I have to admit, I'm throwing this one on the list without having first finishing the series. (To be honest, I'm still in the second season!) The show is about the daily happenings of a single mother and her teenage daughter. I absolutely love their dynamic and how applicable the show is because of both the happy and frustrating things that happen through the episodes. There are 7 seasons in all!

5. Psych. Shawn Spencer is a guy who was taught to notice the smallest of details as a child. One day, he realizes that he can commission out his talent to solve crimes, and he quickly ropes his best friend, Gus, into it all. Their escapades as they take on different cases will evoke all of your emotions, but mostly you should be prepared to laugh through all 8 seasons.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

60+ Fun and Fabulous Date Ideas

Date night with my husband is my favorite way to kick-off the weekend, and I look forward to Friday night all week long as I'm dealing with grumpy hospital patients or mindlessly entering data. I'm always up for trying a new restaurant (or visiting an old favorite), but I love doing things that we haven't done before, too! For example, we scored some cheap tickets to watch our first hockey game together, and I'm hoping I can convince my husband we need to make it to the symphony this year. ;)

Here are some of my favorite date night ideas!

  • Go to your local library or Barnes & Noble, find an interesting book to read, and plop down in a comfy chair.
  • See if your community puts on free outdoor movies or plays in the park, and hit up one of those!
  • Pick a movie to watch at home and make a themed dinner and/or dessert to go along with it. For example: Watch Napoleon Dynamite, serve tater tots and some "dang quesadillas," and have a dance party. Don't forget your chapstick!
  • Go for a hike.
  • Find a new bike trail and go for a ride.
  • Take your laptop to the park and watch a movie. 
  • Create a photo scavenger hunt list and find those items/people together. 
  • Decorate your home for the next upcoming holiday.
  • Go to "Italy." Eat a home-cooked Italian meal, find an Italian Pandora station, and paint like Michelangelo (tape paper to the underside of your kitchen table, but don't forget to wear shirts that you don't mind getting paint on!).
  • Go sledding. 
  • Play board games.
  • Build a fort. 
  • Put on a movie but mute it and speed up the time just a little. Together, you create the dialogue for what the characters are saying. You'll be rolling on the floor in tears in no time! 
  • Play dress-up at your local thrift store. Put together funny outfits for each other.
  • Create a little fire outside and make s'mores.
  • Ask each other these questions while stargazing.
  • Find a pond and feed the ducks.
  • Check out the local farmer's market and sample different foods.
  • Hit up a fair or festival going on in your area.
  • Volunteer together at a community event.
  • "Camp" in your backyard for a few hours. Pull out camp chairs, tell ghost stories, make s'mores, enjoy the stars, then pack it all up when you're done.
  • Download a stargazing app and see how many constellations you can find.
  • Find out if your community hosts any free 5k runs and do that together.
  • Have a YouTube night - take turns sharing your favorite funny clips with each other.
  • Look at the pictures on each others' phones and tell the stories behind the photos (or reminisce if you were both there).
  • Walk around a free art museum or gallery.
  • Go fishing.
  • Look up free tourist attractions in your city and tour one you've never been to before.
  • Do a puzzle, but don't forget some snacks!
  • Learn how to say phrases in another language.
  • If you have a GPS, go geocaching.
  • Go to the gym together or play on a playground.
  • Check out and read up on each others' extended family.
  • Stop at garage sales or estate sales, just to see what interesting things you can find. 
  • Read a book out loud together.
  • Split a meal (take-out) and watch a movie at home.
  • Go to a dollar movie and share some popcorn.
  • Grab a $5 footlong sandwich from Subway and go for a picnic in the park. Don't forget a baseball and mitts!
  • Buy a small bouquet of flowers from your local grocery store and pass out flowers to people on the street who need a pick-me-up.
  • Buy a strange ingredient from the store and come up with a recipe using that item.
  • Make cookies together and deliver them to friends. (Doorbell ditch them, obviously!)
  • Find some postcards of your city and send them to friends or family.
  • Walk along Main Street in your town and grab a small treat from a shop you've never been to before.
  • Have a little fondue party with just the two of you.
  • Go swimming at a community pool.
  • Go ice skating or classic skating.
  • Check out a local high school's play.
  • Mini golf.
  • Rent a paddle boat or a canoe and take it for a spin around a lake or pond.
  • Buy a small (cheap!) piece of furniture off of Craigslist and fix it up together. (For example: a rocking chair, a nightstand, a small table, a bench, etc.)
  • Find a local restaurant that has live music on certain nights and get a meal or treat to share.
  • Go to a planetarium (find out if they have discounted nights/hours).
  • Pick your own fruit at an orchard.
  • Buy a disposable camera and snap pictures of the two of you (yes, selfies) in random places. Get the pictures developed and put the photos up around your home.
  • Plant some flowers in your yard. If you're renting, plant them in planters for your porch or inside.
  • Go to the pet store and pick out a fish together.  
  • Go to a comedy club show.
  • Go bowling.
  • Check out the zoo if you have one nearby.
  • Try indoor rock climbing.
  • Have a progressive fast food dinner. Fries at one place, burgers at the second, a shake at the last (or whatever kind of fast food you want!). 
  • Take a community class together (cooking, art, dancing, etc.)
  • Go camping.
  • Go to the shooting range or take a class.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hip Hip Hooray.

Expecting our first little nugget to show up sometime in September. Hooray!

Life lately has been ginger ale bottles, swollen toes, morning naps, and a strong avoidance to cheese & cologne. My natural spaciness has reached impressive levels. Yesterday I stood in front of my door for a full three minutes, trying desperately to unlock it with the buttons for my sedan.

Mamas everywhere, please throw all of your pregnancy advice at me. I've been lucky in having my entire work department full of beautiful expecting ladies, and I spend most shifts throwing a thousand questions at them. (How do you fight insomnia/nausea/constipation? What in the world is a glucose test? Babies can be born with TEETH?) 

Anyways. We're all sorts of excited over here. Happy Thursday! 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Book - Seriously...I'm Kidding

Lex's Review:
After religiously watching Ellen's show each day at 2 pm during my brief stint of unemployment, I was rather excited to read one of her books when Andy presented the idea. I went into it thinking that it would probably 1) make me laugh, and 2) be a whole lot of nothing mixed in with important somethings. Both were correct assumptions.

As I suspected, I found myself laughing out loud as Ellen told funny stories about completely random things. (If you like structure and books that flow, don't read this book. If you're looking for a comical point of view on serious things in life, this is probably something you'd like.) One of my favorite parts of her whole book was towards the beginning when she was talking about the beauty standards that our culture holds us to. In between jokes, she gives the reader a giant, fat gold nugget of truth. "Beauty is being comfortable with who you are." I couldn't agree more. I'd give Seriously...I'm Kidding 5 out of 5 stars for making me continuously laugh and for the many perfect one-liners.

Andy's Review:

I admire Ellen for her humor, incredible generosity, and for this prank on T-Swift. Her latest book incorporated her quick wit and comedic timing into easy writing (although, listening to her read it on audiobook is also an entertaining option). Being the kind of person that judges a book by its cover, I knew I'd love this number from the get go.

The topics read like a series of stand-up routines. Ellen hilariously covers everything from haikus to gift giving, interlaced with true snippets of applicable wisdom. I loved nearly everything she had to say, except maybe the bit about kale, because I refuse to eat anything leafy and bitter. I highly recommend adding this gem to your reading list--it'll have you laughing by the end of the first chapter.
February's book is Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson.
"Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured and rejected three marriage proposals.

Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain sooner rather than later and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart."