Friday Favorites

It’s been a while, but here goes!  Happy November!

OMG, OMG, OMG Starbucks holiday drinks and red cups are back! Now I get to have those delicious little chocolate curls on top of my peppermint mochas again!

 

Spraking of the return of holiday drinks at Starbucks… Peppermint mocha and the new Taylor Swift RED CD!

 

The Vampire Diaries is one of the best shows on TV. I look forward to it every week! You can catch up with past seasons on Netflix if you haven’t already been watching. I HIGHLY recommend this show! It has tons of action, drama, lots of plot twists, and great character development. (Also, Damon is kind of, well, let’s be honest here. He’s hot.)

 

Chester and Bella were all tuckered out after greeting trick-or-treaters!

Decorating pumpkins this year was so much fun! I really enjoyed getting creative with non-caving options. Though I had fun carving a witchy Hello Kitty, too!

 

Gotta love Fedora Thursdays, which my friends and I made up. I got this one at Target, and I just love it! I got lots of compliments, too!

Hope you enjoyed!  What are some of your favorite things from this week?

 

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Chocolate Christmas Cookies

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

One of my very favorite holiday traditions is baking Christmas cookies!  Every year, my family bakes dozens of cookies.  Sometimes we give them to neighbors as gifts, sometimes we take them with us to potluck holiday parties, and sometimes we just enjoy them at home.   My fiance and I have extended the tradition and decorated sugar cookies last year together, but I will save that for another post. 🙂

 

Last year I tried an old recipe for the first time on my own.  The cookies turned out great!  They were delicious and not all that difficult to make.  I admit that they were time-consuming and didn’t make a whole lot in a batch.  But, they are totally worth it!  I did half the batch as chocolate “snowballs” rolled in peppermint sprinkles and half as “thumbprint” cookies with maraschino cherries in the middle.  For the cherry ones, I also spooned a bit of the cherry syrup/juice into the indent around the cherry to add a little extra flavor.  I can’t wait to make these again once I’m home and have a decent kitchen!

 

Thumbprint version with maraschino cherries.

 

Chocolate "snowballs" rolled in peppermint sprinkles

 

You can find the recipe I used online at this link.  We had it from an old magazine that we had ripped the page out of years ago, so I’m glad I can find it online, too!  The best part about it is that you can make a lot of different shapes and variations with the same recipe because the dough holds its shape once baked.  The link provides a few options, but I loved the ones I made.  Once you make the dough, you can pretty much do whatever sounds good to you!

 

PLEASE feel free to share any of your favorite cookie recipes!  You can never have too many Christmas cookie recipes, and I am more than willing to try any new ones you recommend!  Hope you enjoy!

Fourth of July Fun

Here are a few things that I did to enjoy this year’s Independence Day…

Sweet Treats:

Firework Marshmallow Pops

I got the idea from http://www.laurenconrad.com/post/sweet-tooth-last-minute-4th-of-july-treats.  I couldn’t find any red, white, and blue only sprinkles, so I used rainbow ones instead to make them “firework” pops.  You can find instructions at the link!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

With the leftover chocolate from the marshmallow pops, I made some refreshing chocolate covered strawberries.  PERFECT use of the leftovers!  They were SO easy to make and turned out to be a great summer treat!

Funfetti Cupcakes

Straight out of the Pillsbury box, these turned out fluffy, festive, and delish!

Cool Photo Ideas:

I found the “firework” setting on my digital camera and had tons of fun making these!  It was a bit tough to juggle the sparkler in one hand and the camera in the other (you can’t have someone else take the photo unless you can write backward!), but it was totally worth it.  You can make pretty much any design, but these are a couple of my favorites…