Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hot Chocolate Brownies

Late Friday night, Jeremiah & I got a major chocolate craving. He just so happened to find these yummy Hot Chocolate Brownies in my pantry. So, of course, we had to make them.

Can I just say, these things are amazingly delicious!
The recipe was super easy (probably because it was a boxed brownie mix), but still- so easy!
First the recipe called for 1/4 cup of water, then 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and finally one egg.
(Don't forget to add your brownie mix)
Like, how much easier does it get!?

(see below for the story of this egg)

I love using a mixer, to ensure that everything is well blended & I don't end up with a clumpy batter.
So I beat the mixture until it looked well blended & then Jeremiah poured it into an 11x7 inch pan.
The box includes a package of marshmallow cream, that you pour over the mix- once you've poured the mix into the pan. So Jeremiah spread the mix in two straight lines, then took a knife & spread it around a little more (just to make sure that all the brownies got some cream).
Be sure to grease your pan really, really good. You wouldn't want those yummy brownies sticking!

We then placed the brownies into my oven, which had been pre-heating to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
We ended up baking our brownies for a lot longer than the box called for. 
For our pan size it said to bake for 26-29 minutes, but in reality I let them cook for at least a good 10 minutes longer.

Our finished product
(totally looks like a heart in the middle!)

We let the brownies cool for 10-15 minutes on a cooling rack, before cutting them up.

Jeremiah's super cutting skills.

This recipe was so, so good- yet took quite a while to bake! 
But let me say- it was totally worth it!!

Now, onto my egg story.
Jeremiah & I had out our little egg to use for our brownies. I had the awesome idea for an egg toss. 
I know what you're thinking, inside!?
Yes, inside.

So that's how it all started.
We were doing super good- yet I had every intention of smashing it all over Jeremiah.
Lemme say, he beat me to it.
We'd been tossing for a while & the egg got a tiny crack in it. Then a few tosses later, it was as if the crack had disappeared! I was fascinated!
I was holding the egg in my hand & forced Jeremiah to come observe this crazy, healed egg!
Just as I said, "look!", he smashed that egg all over me.
Whomp. So in retaliation, I rubbed the remainder of the mess all over his shirt.
We both ended up in sticky, raw egg messes-
Who enjoyed some awesome brownies afterwards.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Weekend Recap

This long weekend has literally flown by.
Saturday was my great grandmother's 89th birthday! So we had a little party for her.
I was told there would be food, which was a big misunderstanding.
My mom assumed we were having hot dogs, hamburgers, that kinda mumbo-jumbo.. big fat NOT. So for me, who hadn't ate since breakfast (the party was at 3), it sucked. Yes, I had cake & ice cream- but that wasn't dinner.  :(
Some of my cousins who live out of our area were in & hadn't been through our area in a long time- so Jeremiah & I offered to give them a little tour. After Jeremiah & I took my cousins around town, we headed to our favorite local chinese restaurant. On Friday & Saturday evening's they fix hibachi (you all know, I love my hibachi food)- so, Jeremiah & I got some to go then headed back to my house for a marathon of our favorite show, Cops. 
I know, I know, totally weird- but we love it!
We spent the rest of the evening eating & watching tv- then I took Jeremiah home.

Sunday, I got up bright & early for another birthday party. This time it was for Jeremiah's cousin (who was turning eleven). 
It takes us about an hour & a half to get to Jeremiah's grandmother's house (where the party was). We spent the whole day there- playing t-ball & petting animals. Jeremiah's cousin got an adorable kitten for her birthday & his sister recently got a new puppy (which was there, too).

The weather this weekend was absolutely great! It wasn't too hot & cooled off in the evenings. Perfect weather for a few corn hole games!

I'm so excited for the rest of this summer. I think our warm weather has finally set in for good.
Thank goodness!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

DIY Baby Closet Dividers

My cousin has recently married & is currently pregnant with her first child, a boy!
She's due July 25th & I couldn't be happier for her!

I knew I wanted to give her a personal gift, something more than onesies & diapers.
Looking around on Pinterest, I found these really cute (& easy) DIY Baby Closet Dividers.
Mine aren't quite as fancy as these, but they're pretty darn adorable.

I started out with some wooden door hangers, which I purchased at Wal-Mart.
I think I paid around $6 for all six hangers.

Next, I used the same white paint I purchased for my Canvas Wall Art.

It took about four coats of Snow White paint on each side of the hangers. I also painted to edges, but only used one coat because the sides are not very visible.
(Make sure you let the paint dry completely before painting another coat.)
I put down wax paper, to keep my hangers from sticking- using cardboard is not a good idea.

Before & After

After each hanger had four coats of paint & had dried completely, I used my Fine Tip Paint Pen to write on them. I also purchased this at Wal-Mart for about $3.

I ordered some Wooden Animal Cut Outs (these are the exact ones) from Amazon.
I used my hot glue gun to glue the animals to the bottoms of the hangers.

 I cut six pieces of black ribbon into strips of approximately 16 inches each.
Then, tied them to the tops of the hangers.
(I already had the ribbon, so I'm not sure of the cost.)
(These will be used to tie around the closet rod, to allow the hangers to hang.)

The hangers were a pretty easy craft. The most time consuming part is waiting for paint to dry & trying to get your writing to look half-way decent.

Total Project Cost: approximately $21

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Canvas Wall Art

So recently, I've decided I wanted to redecorate my room.
My newest obsession is chevron.
I saw some awesome ideas on Pinterest, which included canvas wall art.

This was my inspiration.
 I'm not sure how I found this, but as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it!

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm not the most crafty person. I'd like to be, though! I love doing crafts! But I just don't have that artistic hand.  :(
Fortunately, Jeremiah does. So I asked him to assist me in my project.

I started out with some blank canvas boards.
I purchased mine at Wal-Mart.
I got the brand Simply Stretched in two different sizes. They came with two per each pack.
I paid $5 for the 8x10 & $6 for 7x14.
Pretty good deal I thought.

The paint I bought was also from Wal-Mart & was just regular Acrylic paint.
I paid .50 for each bottle.
I got three colors- white, laguna & fuchsia.

First, Jeremiah stenciled out the lines for me.
I'm not sure how he came up with the measurements, but that's all him.

Next, I taped off the edges- so I wouldn't paint in the wrong areas.
 Then, I started painting.
With the fuchsia, it took about four coats, each time, letting the paint dry completely before adding another coat. With the laguna it only took three coats & white, I only used two coats. To speed up my drying process, I used my hair dryer (which worked great).

After painting, I removed the tape & went around the edges with my white acrylic paint.
Some of the paint seeped under the tape (I would recommend using a painters tape), so I had a few touch-ups to make.

My final products.

 I love the way these turned out! I felt like they were super, super easy & didn't take too much time.
I worked on them for two evenings & easily got them finished.

I haven't decided where to hang them yet, I'll probably wait until I have all my other new things together before I do.

Total project cost: $13

Friday, May 16, 2014

May BirchBox

I first received my BirchBox subscription as a Valentine's Day present from my momma. 
This is my fourth box (May) & I'm super excited to share all my goodies & my reviews on them.

The Beauty Protector Shampoo.
Love, love, love the smell of this! Yummy!
It's super sleek, too!
I haven't tested this yet, but as soon as I do, I'll make an updated post.
I like to save my mini shampoos & conditioners for when I go on trips (which is pretty frequent).
Full-Size: $21.95

The Beauty Protector Conditioner.
Same as the shampoo, it smells awesome!
But.. I haven't used it yet!
Full-Size: $21.95

Cotz - Face 
The color of this is perfecccct. It blends super, super well.
I love that it is SPF 40, I burn so easily & a great product with SPF is hard to find.
Put a little on before you apply your foundation & boom. You're good to go.
Full-Size: $20

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm
This was my favorite thing in my box. I absolutely adore this lip balm.
I am a constant user of lip balm, because my lips seem to always be dry. 
Pixi offers some great colors (I got Coral Crush). It gives your lips a pop of color, while being super moisturizing at the same time! So great & you get the full-size product. I'll def be buying this one again when I run out.
Full-Size: $8

Lifestyle Extra
Greenleaf Candle
My candle came in the scent First Blush & it smells great!
I couldn't find a picture of what my product looks like- it's super cute, too! :(
It made my whole box smell so good!
Full-Size: $17

I'm really happy with my BirchBox this month. It had tons of goodies & was well worth the $10!
Already can't wait for June's box!

Hibachi & Godzilla

So here we are, another Friday. The weeks are all going by so quickly!
We've got a very busy weekend ahead of us!
But for now, let's start with a little Five on Friday.

My BirchBox from this month included a coupon for $25 off any purchase of $75 or more at Kate Spade's new Saturday website- like woah!
I've been eyeing the Design a Weekender Bag promo. I want one of these so bad.

Finally finished my Spring Semester. 
Whoop, whoop!

Godzilla comes out today & Jeremiah & I are making special plans to go & see it.
Which includes a hibachi dinner then the movie!
I'm pumped.

Oh, the Georgia collection at Fossil. How I long for you! :(

I'm trying to find a good photographer, I'd love to have some summer pictures of Jeremiah & I.
I mean, we need some for our six year anniversary. Right?
Thought so :)

So tomorrow is my cousin's baby-shower. Jeremiah & I are gonna head out there, drop off the presents to have a date day. Yippee.
I cannot wait.
Plus I've got a few church activities this weekend. 
Hopefully we'll have time to get all over it done!
Have a furr-filled weekend!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekend Recap

At the beginning of the week, Jeremiah's mom decided she wanted to get away this weekend- so we headed out Friday afternoon at 1pm.

We watched a minor league baseball game & then ate some yummy hibachi food before heading in for the night.

Saturday morning we hit up the outlet mall & played at least nine rounds of mini-golf.
Tommy Hilfiger had some super cute things- and the Coach store had an awesome sale (new wristlet for me!)!
Around 5 we went to a dinner theatre show, where I enjoyed a yummy vegetarian meal.
(No, I do not eat meat. No, it is not because I'm crazy over animals- don't get me wrong, I love animals! I just have a weird thing with textures. And mostly, meat textures are the ones I can't deal with, so I prefer to accept the vegan meals, when offered.)

After that, we headed back to the room for awhile (it was pouring the rain & we were trying to wait & see if it would let up!). Finally, a couple hours later, the rain stopped & we played more mini-golf!

Sunday, we visited an awesome amusement park (where I rode nothing- not a rollercoaster fan) & enjoyed some much needed, summer-like weather. Then made our drive back home!

It was a great weekend! I still am in shock that Jeremiah is home for the summer!
We have a lot of activities planned for this summer- which include the following:
Building a cat tree for my fur babies
Picnicking at our park
Take a ton of pictures on our polaroid camera
Get pedicures together
See a drive-in movie
Visit the zoo
Attend our county fair & carnival
See a concert
& my goal is to vlog it all (for future memories)

I'm so excited for this summer, not only for the fun- but for the warm weather!
Chow winter!

Coming Soon: DIY Baby Closet Dividers

How Organ Donation Changed Our Lives

So, many of you probably don't even have a clue what Organ Donation is- hopefully, by the end of this post you'll love it just as much as I do.
I'll start off with my story.

In 2002, my great aunt was diagnosed with Cryptogenic Cirrhosis of the Liver. She was almost immediately placed on the waiting list for a liver. Meanwhile, her doctors told her that she was a great candidate for a living donor. All her sisters were tested, along with her brother and sons. Unfortunately, none of them were good matches. Whether it be that their blood types were not matches or the fact that at their age, it just was not a good solution.
That's when my mom decided to talk to us about being tested. 
You guessed it- she was a perfect match.

Although our entire family was happy, that this was a possibility for my aunt- my mom still had the decision to make. It would be a life changing one. This procedure could be an amazing success or a heartbreaking failure. In the end, my mom decided to go through with it.
So one sunny day they wheeled her down the long hallway for anesthesia. 
Eight hours later we were told they had both done phenomenal during the surgery and were in recovery. Seeing my mom made me so happy- I was so proud of her for making this choice.

A few short hours later, my mom was taken down to see my aunt in her recovery room. The change in her was so obvious to us all. Her skin and eyes no longer had a yellow glow, her sores already healing and her simply radiating with happiness. 
I knew, my mom had made the right choice. She saved my aunt's life.

Six weeks later, my mom was healing and her liver had regenerated to 98% of what it used to be.

My aunt had to take non-rejection medication, to keep her body from rejecting the liver she received from my mom at first- but now she is a happy thriving woman, who is now almost 70! 

Watching my aunt sit on that waiting list was a heartbreaking experience. But the fact that my mom was able to change her life, made me realize what an amazing cause Organ Donation is.

Did you know, eighteen people die everyday waiting for a transplant?
Every ten minutes, someone is added to the waiting list.
For more life changing statistics, click here.

So many people assume they have to die to donate their organs- that's very, very untrue!
You can be a living donor, just like my mom!
You can donate half of your liver and it will regenerate to approximately 98%.
You can donate one kidney, and your body still function with the other one remaining.
You can donate one lung, and still breathe just like before.
You can donate bone marrow, blood and so much more.

You can change lives for the better.
You can make a difference.

I am such a strong advocate for this cause and wish everyone I met could feel the same way.
Organ Donation can change so many lives and help so many people.
If you want to become an organ donor, you can visit the Organ Donation Website and register in your state- or simply talk to your family. Express your wishes, your feelings and like me, your hopes.

I pray that each of you can make a commitment to change a life.
And if you aren't ready for that step just yet- I ask that you say a prayer for those on the waiting list- that just maybe, someone will become available to change their life, too.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend Recap

So of course, this post is about the fact that Jeremiah is home!

I didn't get to see him until Saturday morning because his flight didn't land until super late. But it all ended up working for the best.
After meeting up Saturday morning, we had breakfast together- then met up with his mom, for breakfast again (I was so stuffed!). We headed to a mall in our area & waited for his dad.
Then, after shopping for a bit & catching up with his dad, we went car browsing for his little sister.
We had dinner with them, then back to my house for some present swapping!
He love, love, loved his polaroid camera- thank goodness! We've taken a couple of pictures with it, but are trying to be super conservative with the film!

Yesterday we watched some basketball at his house.

Go Nets!

Today, we made some yummy Jello Jigglers (blue raspberry) & just did a little relaxing.
I'm so happy he's home again.

Coming Soon: How Organ Donation Changed Our Lives