Snow Day Cookies!

Since we’ve moved to New York, it has snowed more days than not. By no means am I complaining, though – I absolutely love snow. My poor husband thinks I’m a nut because he grew up in Chicago, so he’s more than used to snow. His snow smarts come in handy though, with teaching me how to shovel the snow (harder than it sounds!) and how to drive in the slick slush. It’s good to know, but I’d much rather stay home and make snow sprinkled cookies to share with you guys!

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This is another recipe from my favorite food blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction! She’s turned me into a cookie fiend. These are her fluffy, buttery Cake Batter Sugar Cookies with a snow-like sprinkle twist.

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With our moving and driving cross-country during the Holidays, Bobby and I finally had our Christmas on Saturday. He spoiled me: I was soooo excited to open a bag and see a Silpat baking mat! It’s a non-stick baking mat that’s safe up to 500* (higher heat tolerance than parchment paper), and it delivers even heat transfer – ensuring perfect cookies and pastries. I have wanted one of these for the longest time!

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Snow Day + Silpat = the perfect excuse for a baking frenzy!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup (40g) sprinkles, for rolling

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350*. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat like Silpat. Pour 1/4 cup sprinkles onto a plate to use for rolling and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment. I don’t have either of these (hopefully my next kitchen toy!), so I use a whisk to whip it all together. I don’t mind – it makes for pretty impressive forearm muscles 😉 Beat in the egg yolk, butter extract, baking powder, and salt. Because I’ve basically had to “start over” in my kitchen with spices and things of that nature, I substituted vanilla for the butter extract. Still absolutely delicious! Add the flour, and mix until a soft, thick dough forms. Gently stir in sprinkles and be careful not to over-mix.

Roll dough into teaspoon size balls. Ensuring that the balls are tall, rather than wide will give you a fluffier, thicker cookie. Send the dough balls through the reserved sprinkles, then set them about an inch apart on your prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, watching closely at the 9 minute mark to assure they do not brown.

Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a cookie rack to cool completely. Cookies remain fresh up to 1 week covered at room temperature.

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Melt-in-your mouth cakey goodness while watching the snow fall? Hello, Monday.

I’ll be trying out some New York “signature” recipes soon – think NY-style pizza, cheesecake, etc., so stay tuned!

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Perks of My Job ~

The perks are endless – I work my own hours, doing what I love. But my favorite part of my job is easily the amazing people I meet. I have met some incredible people through my lens, like the Peck family.

It has been unbelievable watching these two sweeties grow.

The very first time I saw these two was around Easter last year! It’s absolutely insane how fast they grow up!

I saw them again for family photos in April

And then in June to take some Fourth of July photos before I left to go back home for 6 months while Bobby was in school.

I came back to Kansas to see a sweet (almost) three year old talking up a storm, and this little guy taking his first steps just before his first birthday!

The older they get, the more and more alike they look. I had a blast capturing them for their benchmark birthdays 🙂

Adalena was a princess, and of course Landon got to smash a cake!

..Which he was not interested in at all.

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Bath time afterwards was fun though!

We finished our photoshoot by playing hide & seek and saving mom from monsters.

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I’m gonna miss these kiddos something fierce! ❤

 

Uzi The Presa Pup

First off, shout out to Abby for opening her home to Bobby and I ❤ She’s been amazing letting us stay with her and her pup, Uzi!

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I can’t get enough of this face.

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Uzi is a 9-month old Presa Canario puppy, full of energy and so much personality!

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She weighs about 70 pounds already, so you can imagine how huge she will be. Just look at those paws!

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Bobby and I have been spoiling her rotten with love and play time. I think we need a puppy of our own! ❤

The Little Things

HOW on earth do you do it?!”

I could’t even try to estimate how many times I’ve heard that in the last year. I almost expect to hear it when I tell people that Bobby is in the Army, and I know I’ll get that reaction if I throw in the fact that we spent almost 6 months of 2015 over 1,000 miles apart. But it always makes me think, what is “it“? Could “it” be loving someone so much that the time spent apart is worth it in the end? Or is “it” just being supportive of my husband’s job? Maybe “it” is watching him lace up his boots in preparation to fight for the freedom of a country made up of too many people who take him and his battle buddies for granted. Whatever “it” is, I don’t think about it. I don’t need to. I married Bobby because of who he is as a person, regardless of his job. He could be a nuclear energy technician in Springfield (heh, get it?) and I’d still love him!

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He sure looks amazing in this uniform, though!

It seems like most people expect me to bitch and moan about being an Army wife, but I absolutely refuse to waste away my life with negative thoughts when there are millions of gleaming lights of positivity. The older I get, the more thankful I am for my parents teaching me “mind over matter“. I truly believe that you can trick your brain. Why? Because I got into the habit of doing exactly that years ago, and I still do it every day. After wasting away and wandering around hopelessly in no direction for way too long, I decided that my own happiness was my own choice and that if I wanted to be happy, only I could do something about it.

I started off small, listing 5 positive things every morning and 5 good things that happened each day before bed. When I found myself on the verge of a breakdown, sometimes too late, I’d analyze how I got there and then solve the issue and move on. Almost a month after deciding to go out and find my own happiness, I was feeling better and brighter. It took me a while to figure out that some things and people in this world just can’t be changed, and that it’s okay. Cutting out negativity is just as important as welcoming in the positive. I had an “a-ha!” moment when I realized that I’m a minuscule part of this world and that 99% of the things happening around me are completely out of my control. I wasted way too much valuable time just waiting for happiness to magically come to me, and then being disappointed over and over. Never again.

Nowadays it’s easy for me to find light in the darkness, mostly because I know it’s a choice and I’ve gotten into the habit of choosing to be happy. We may be moving across the U.S. twice within two weeks, during the holiday season, with the added stress of selling a car and more paperwork than you could imagine, but you won’t find me pouting. I’ve got the love of my life by my side and so much to look forward to; the light at the end of this tunnel is getting brighter every day.

I always remember this: “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” 

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P.S. Sorry I’ve neglected my blog for so long!! It’s been a whirlwind. I hope to have many, many more posts coming your way once we finally reach NY a day or two after Christmas. It looks like we’re going to get super lucky and will be seeing Bobby’s family in Chicago for Christmas on our way up to NY! Talk about a Christmas miracle.

12/9: A Mason Jar Christmas!

What can I say – I’m in love with the idea of reusing things, I just can’t help it. So, I compiled a huge list of my favorite Holiday-themed mason jar ideas: from desserts to decorations, I listed just about everything you could imagine!

A Mason Jar Christmas!

12/8: DIY Gift Bag!

I don’t know about you wonderful people, but I seem to have the hardest time finding bags that match my wrapping paper. I finally said forget this and found a tutorial for making your own bags, custom fit and look, from wrapping paper you already have! This couldn’t be more easy.

It’s also a great way to use up little scraps of paper! This bag is pretty teeny – about 5×5″, but you could absolutely try it with something bigger!

Intrigued? Click here!

12/7: Angles

A quick tip to make your photos pop: Angles. Change them, both in your camera and in life. I love to see things from new perspectives, so I’ve made it a habit as a photographer to push myself to be constantly changing my view.

From low,

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To high,

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We explored the quaint old mining town of Bisbee, Arizona.

Learn a simple trick to make your photos pop!

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