Salted Caramel Cookies

 

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Happy Monday, friends! I understand that there are about a million different chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, but if you were to make one recipe, THIS would be the one I’d recommend! The cookies have a smooth sweetness from the caramel used in the batter, and then a nice hint of salt from the sea salt on top.

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel bits or caramel candies, (Werthers) chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and fine salt together in a bowl.

With an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and caramel bits.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between the cookies (you will have cookie dough left over). Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of sea salt.

Bake the cookies until golden brown, rotating the position of the baking sheets halfway through, 13 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Meanwhile, cool the baking sheets and repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

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Mexican Quinoa Skillet

This week I am trying to stick to clean eating. I have to get some control over my eating before June! With a fun Mexican twist, this dish is packed full of so many delicious flavors, from the lime juice to the hint of spiciness from the chili powder and jalapeno. And not only is this healthy and nutritious but it’s also unbelievably easy to make. Simply throw everything into the skillet and that’s it. Even the quinoa is cooked right in the pan, I love a dish that doesn’t require a lot of dishes.

 

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.
  3. Serve immediately.

| Quinoa Stir Fry |

The Best App: Honey

These days, all my purchases are pretty much made online. I love being able to compare prices, not leave the house and avoid waiting in lines. Why put on shoes and go down to the store when you could just buy what you need from the comfort of your couch? If you can relate, you’re going to love this shopping hack that I just discovered last week it’ll get you the best deals online and save you so much cash.

honey-app

The secret? Honey.

Honey is a free browser app that automatically scans the Internet for every working coupon code while you’re shopping online. Then at checkout, it magically applies the best deal to your cart. Automatic coupons, how amazing is that?

Here’s how it works:

First, add Honey to your browser for free. You’ll see a little “h” button appear in your toolbar.

When you’re about to buy something online, you literally just click that button and the total price instantly drops if Honey finds a deal for you. It’s really that easy.

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Do yourself a favor and get it now before you start your holiday shopping, you’re ready to go.

ADD THE HONEY APP BY CLICKING HERE!

 

READ MORE

I NEED and WANT to get back into reading. I just haven’t found the time to sit and read a good book, and I suppose it hasn’t been a priority.

Well, I want this to change.

So, over the next year I have set myself a goal to read at least 10 books. Here is a list of books that I’ve been wanting to read for a while, I can refer back to this list, to give me some motivation to read throughout the coming year!

 

Let’s see how many I actually read!

What are your favorite books? Are there any you recommend that I read?

| 10 Must Reads | Favorite Blogs to Read |

 

What your morning coffee can do for you?

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Many of us rely on a cup of coffee to kick-start our day and now new research suggests that our morning caffeine infusion may also help ward off different diseases and depression. Every morning I make sure that my mug of coffee is always in hand when I walk into the doors of my current office job.

What does coffee do for your mood? Short answer — a lot. I’m not a morning person and the first thing I do every morning is wake up excited to have my first sip of coffee each morning. It not only puts me in a better mood but makes me more productive throughout the day.

It got me thinking — while many immediately think of coffee when trying to piece together a solid morning, what does it really do to our moods and bodies? Well I started reading out on the web and found some pretty good reasons why I should continue to drink my 3-4 cups of coffee a day.

1. Coffee is a potent source of healthful antioxidants.

Some have cited coffee as a major — and in some cases, the primary — dietary source of antioxidants for its subjects.

2. Caffeine provides a short-term memory boost.

Caffeine appears to affect the particular areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration, providing a boost to short-term memory, although it’s not clear how long the effect lasts or how it may vary from person to person.

3. Coffee may help protect against cognitive decline.

In addition to providing a temporary boost in brain activity and memory, regular coffee consumption may help prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

4. Coffee is healthy for your heart.

There is some evidence that coffee may support heart health by protecting against arterial damage caused by inflammation.

5. Coffee may help curb certain cancers.

Researchers have  found ties between regular coffee drinking and lower rates of liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancers.

6. Coffee may lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A growing body of research suggests an association between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of diabetes.

7. Your liver loves coffee.

It’s true: In addition to lowering the risk of liver cancer, coffee consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.

8. Coffee can enhance exercise performance.

Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer; not only does it fight fatigue, but it also strengthens muscle contraction, reduces the exerciser’s perception of pain, and increases fatty acids in the blood, which supports endurance.

9. Coffee curbs depression.

Multiple studies have linked coffee drinking to lower rates of depression in both men and women.

10. Coffee guards against gout.

Independent studies on the coffee consumption patterns of men and women suggest that drinking coffee regularly reduces the risk of developing gout.

 

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Links I Love

Happy Wednesday friends!! I can’t believe we made it halfway through another week, its been such a busy one so far! Here is a list of my top ten favorite things from around the web this week. Thanks for stopping by! Anyways I hope everyone has a good rest of the week and a fun filled weekend. What are your plans?

  1. The perfect sunday dinner– chicken pot pie. Yum! – LaurenConrad.com
  2. 5 signs you need a mental break by the every girl blog
  3. 10 ways to wear your white jeans this fall and winter. – Bows and Sequins
  4. Lauren Nelson’s Boho Chic Bedroom decorating ideas
  5. Loving Eat Sleep Wear’s skin care routine. – Eat Sleep Wear
  6. The new engagement ring trends
  7. I need to try Grace’s suggestions on how to be more productive. – The Stripe
  8. 14 lavender uses to know
  9. Oprah’s list of favorite things, here’s how much it would cost to buy them all
  10. 25 of the best Halloween costumes for 2017

 

What to wear: Engagement Photos

Wondering what to wear for your engagement photos? You’re not alone. Last week I spent so much time planning the outfits that Jake and I were going to wear during our pictures.  We chose to do a mini session so we only had time to choose one outfit which made it even harder to decide.

Before you scan your closet or hit the mall, consider these top tips on what to wear for your engagement shoot.

  1. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Like You
  2. Complement Each Other, But Don’t Match
  3. Choose Pastels, Cool Colors, and Neutral Tones
  4. Incorporate at Least One Accessory
  5. Choose Classic Rather Than Trendy Looks
  6. Stick With Two Outfits
  7. Flatter Your Body Type
  8. Make use of the season

Some of my favorite engagement pictures from around the web, these couples killed it!

 

 

 

5 Favorite Blanket Scarves under $15

One of my absolute favorite fall closet staples are blanket scarves. You can easily dress them up with silk blouses and black pants or dress them down with button ups and jeans. Dressing for both work and play can be a whole lot easier when investing in a variety of blanket scarves. The best part about the blanket scarf is you can wear it as a scarf, use it as a blanket or wear it as a shawl, so versatile.

Today I’ve rounded up my top 5 picks under $15 for this upcoming winter season! I may have to buy them all at that price!

 

plaid blanket.jpgRed and Tan $12.99

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$12.99 White and Blue

gray

Gray and White Scarf $13.99

navy and white

Navy and White $14.99

blue and green

Green and Blue $11.99

The Best Crockpot Tenderloin

  Crock pots have many functions, not only do they help cook for us while we are busy at work or running errands, they also make the house smell so wonderful. This amazing kitchen tool makes meats very juicy and tender from slow cooking all day. Pork is one of my favorites to slow cook because of how it makes the pork tenderloin pull apart so easily and melt in your mouth. As you may already know, pork can quickly become over cooked and dry out; so I love this method for a fool proof way to get the juiciest meat every time. The Best Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin truly has such a wonderful flavor and is one of my all time favorite dishes.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of pork tenderloin (I use two small tenderloins)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons of yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 Shallot chopped
Instructions
  1. Turn crock pot on to low
  2. In large measuring cup add all the ingredients for the marinade and whisk
  3. Place tenderloin in crock pot and pour over the marinade
  4. Cook on low for about 4 hours for two small tenderloins or about 5 hours for one large piece
  5. Slice and serve pouring the juices over the meat
  6. Recommended but not necessary: I turn the pork twice to ensure even cooking at 2 hours and 4 hours, pouring the juices all over

 

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

Has anyone started their Christmas shopping yet? Target has the cutest Christmas décor out already!  Last night I made a quick trip there to get coffee and some essentials and left with a couple Christmas decorations from the clearance aisle. I am beginning to brainstorm different decorating ideas when it comes to my Christmas tree. Last year I went with a red and gold theme but am thinking that I will do something different this year to switch it up!

I browsed some of my favorite websites for some Christmas tree decorating ideas and came across so many good ones! You can decorate your Christmas tree using fresh flowers, glass ornaments, metal ornaments that are created in different amazing shapes, umbrellas, tiny Christmas toys and more creative items that you can use for decorating your Christmas tree in a unique way. You can also change the traditional color of the tree from green to other fascinating colors such as black, white, gold and pink.

This year I think I will stick with a more rustic farmhouse Christmas theme. I’ve also discovered that Amazon is great for purchasing in bulk and affordable ornaments if you are sticking to a single color scheme.
There are a couple things that I skipped out on last year that I’m on a mission to incorporate into my decor this year include:  pom pom garland, a tree topper and a banner to hang on the fireplace.  How good are these plaid pillows from Amazon and this plaid throw from Pottery Barn? hmm may have to add these to my shopping cart!

What’s on your holiday shopping list?

 

 

Other Christmas posts you may have missed:

Decorating a small place | Christmas Sangria | Christmas shop on a budget |