Thursday, December 20, 2018

Peppermint Bark Brownie Cookies

'Tis the season for baking, right? I've been scanning Pinterest and Instagram for everyone's favorite Christmas cookies and stumbled upon this recipe, shared by Liz Adams of Hello Adams Family. And oh my were they good! They're a cookie and a brownie (a brookie? A crownie?) with a hint of peppermint, making them perfectly festive. Plus, they're super easy to make. We'll be adding these to our annual cookie swap. Hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
Peppermint Bark Brownie Cookies
4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3.9 oz. instant chocolate fudge pudding mix (dry, unprepared)
1/4 cup white flour
1 3.5 oz. Ghirardelli peppermint bark bar
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Optional: 1/3 cup white chocolate chips, crushed peppermint (I'll definitely add the white chocolate chips next time and think crushed peppermint sprinkled on top would be pretty.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth. **Must be at room temperature. Set out for about 1 hour prior.**
Beat in the large egg and vanilla.
Beat in the pudding mix and flour.
Beat in the fudge brownie mix. Warning: it's thick and takes a bit to fully mix, but don't worry! Keep on mixing.
Coarsely chop the peppermint bark. Stir in bark and chocolate chips.
Scoop out cookies using a cookie scoop and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12-16 minutes (13 minutes was our happy spot).
Press a few pieces of reserved peppermint bark onto the top of the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven.
Let cool and serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas Home Tour 2018

Our home at Christmas! Pulling out all the decorations is a long process, but it's always worth it in the end. Hope you enjoy!
How happy is our front door? I picked up the buffalo check mat for our fall front door, knowing it would look darling at Christmas too. And the colorful mat from Target makes me smile every time I see it.

I got these wreaths several years ago at Target and still love them. I added the buffalo check ribbons this year. I found them at Target. Might get someone to make me some bigger buffalo check bows next year.

We're getting our front doors stained ASAP, don't worry! :/

The mantle in our living room turned out so pretty, I think. The garland is from Target this year, and I added some battery-operated white lights. The stockings I found at West Elm about 4 years ago. I used Command hooks to attach them to the mantle.

I didn't too much to our bookshelves but added some bottlebrush trees (from Target) and some little white ceramic houses (from the Target Dollar Spot). I used the houses for our fall d├ęcor too. So happy to keep them out.

I found the little wood houses below at Target this year.

I used more ceramic houses and bottlebrush trees on this table that sits behind our couch.

Rob and I got a lot of Annieglass for our wedding, and I always pull it out during the holidays. I love the way it looks with some green garland and red, wooden beads.

The fun Christmas pillow was a new purchase this year. Found it at Target.
The sweet little manger scene below is from Target.

I added the garland below this year. It's from Target, and the twinkle lights interspersed are from Pier 1.

Sweet little hand towels from TJ Maxx.

Always my favorite thing to pull out each year. My mom's Christmas china.

Couldn't resist this vintage-esque tree I found at Target last year. And look who made an appearance? Our elf, Holly!

 I added these star lights last Christmas and ended up keeping them up year round. You can never have enough white lights at Christmas!

All of the ornaments seen below are from Hobby Lobby. I like the addition of faux pears and the buffalo check stars are fun.

This book basket gets pulled out at the start of fall, and it holds Halloween books early on and Christmas books during the Christmas season. The girls know they can find their Christmas books here. I added some ribbon this year.

The plaid bucket below is from the Target Dollar Spot, and it holds the girls' Christmas craft supplies. Stickers, ribbon, glitter, etc. We keep it out for easy access. The fake snowballs were a Target Dollar Spot find and were such a hit!

An easy, simple way to decorate and to add color is to add colorful ornaments and/or lights to a simple vase. I do this all over the house!

Normally I'm kind of OCD about the placement of ornaments. This year I completely let that go and let the girls put nearly every ornament on the tree, wherever their little hearts pleased. And I adore it...even more than if they were "perfectly" placed.

This basket holds our normal rotation of books. But the Christmas throw is a fun addition.

The mantle in our keeping room.

Our dining room. Christmas china and a simple centerpiece.

The guest bath gets a mini makeover too.

These twinkle lights are beautiful. I picked them up at Pier 1.

I added faux sprigs of greenery and berries to the picture frames that always sit in the guest bath.


Hope you enjoyed the tour inside our home! Let me know if you want anything sourced. Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

27 Christmas Gifts for Him

Here it is...a gift guide for the hardest person on your list to shop for. Enjoy!

Some affiliate links are used in this post. I appreciate your support, as always!


We have and love this meat thermometer. It reads in seconds and is always accurate. A great tool to have on hand if you do a lot of cooking.

I kind of want this for myself! And what guy doesn't love beef jerky? You can purchase by the month and according to the level of spiciness the recipient prefers. What a fun treat to arrive at his doorstep.

Something every guy needs to have on hand. Contains 18 tools.

A cozy throw for lounging on the couch and staying warm while watching TV.
Is your guy always borrowing the neighbor's pressure washer? If so, get him this!

Perfect for the guy who travels a lot. The hanging version is perfect for those hotels that don't offer a lot of room around the sink.

Most guys won't buy themselves a nice pair of slippers, so splurge on this pair for him! They'll keep his feet warm when he's taking the dog out on those early, chilly mornings.
Rob told me to include this on my list. He has it and uses it frequently to check our tire pressure and to re-inflate my tires. Works great on bikes too!

These gloves offer fingertips that work on a smart phone, are warm, and are stretchy enough that he can still move his hands.

If he likes to experiment in the kitchen, a sous vide is the way to go!

Your guy will receive 12 craft beers each month (for as long as you wish). Such a fun idea for the craft beer lover.

Lightweight, itch-free, wool socks that he'd never buy for himself.

A zip up fleece jacket that he can toss on over a T-shirt or a sweater for extra warmth.

A cool flask that you can have monogrammed. Perfect to take to a tailgate.

Is he a sriracha-holic? Get him this Sriracha Crate that offers a variety of sriracha flavored treats!

Does your guy lounge around the house in ratty sweats from Wal-Mart? Get him a pair of joggers that he can wear around the house or on a quick run to Lowe's.

Lightweight, powerful, and no pull cords here. He'll love this. My parents have this and rave about it.

I got this for Rob many Christmases ago, and we still use it frequently. It takes a regular turkey sandwich up a notch, and it makes the world's best grilled cheese.

A classic jacket that will keep him warm and goes with everything.

He may not wear these soon after the Christmas holiday, but he'll live in them when the temps warm up. Stylish, well-made flip flops that all guys feel good wearing.

I legitimately think these sunglasses look good on all guys. A classic pair that will last him years.

I've always liked guys in vests. They especially look great over a flannel shirt, and it'll keep him warm.

If your guy is always misplacing his wallet and/or wedding band, get him this gift! Have it monogrammed, and he can keep it on his dresser. Also good for holding a watch, cuff links, loose change, etc.

We have a version of this that has since been discontinued, but this looks similar, and I can't sing its praises enough. Converts any stove to a griddle...and I promise you, eggs, pancakes, and burgers taste better on a griddle. We make philly cheesesteaks this way too. Such a fun kitchen accessory.

Great looking drink glasses that he'll enjoy using. Give a bottle of scotch or whiskey along with the glasses for the perfect gift.

I've always liked giving art, and this state map is so cool...would look great in his office, and bonus: you purchase the PDF and have it printed at a local print shop. Choose a frame (Target and Michael's have great options), and he has a beautiful piece of art.

Everyone needs to read some of C.S. Lewis's books, and this set is a great place to start.
Hope you were inspired by this list! Let me know if you end up purchasing any of the gifts I've mentioned!