Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is a sweet treat that the whole family will enjoy! My boys aren’t fond of raisins, however we ALL love chocolate! I modified the original recipe a bit to fit our liking. This recipe makes about 40 cookies. Perfect for a potluck, family gathering, or even a teacher luncheon!

Ingredients: 
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (see note)
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts (see note)
1 1/4 cup mixture of semi sweet & milk chocolate chips
 
**Notes**
BUTTER: To soften the butter I prefer to let it set it out on the counter rather than microwave it. If you use unsalted butter, you may want to up the amount of salt for taste.
WALNUTS: I know there may be a lot of people that don’t like nuts in their cookies. However, keep in mind that if you choose to omit the nuts from your recipe you will need to add about 3/4 to 1 cup more oats to the mixture.
 
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325º. In a large mixing bowl (or mixer if you have one), cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into butter mix until just blended. Mix in quick oats, walnuts, & chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes (depending on size of cookie)

*To keep cookie from spreading when baking, place prepared dough in fridge for 1-2 hours before baking*

Hope your family enjoys these as much as mine!

Budget Friendly Coffee Table Makeover

I am always looking for new projects to do around the house. Having a handsome handy man makes these DIY projects much more enjoyable. The best part…he loves doing the projects & is always willing to lend a hand! :)

Our latest project was the front room in the house. It took many shopping trips for us to decide on the furnishings. Many of the pieces we chose were found at a local refurbish store. The last thing we needed were chairs to go around the table.

We found a small glass table set, for $40. It needed a little TLC, but for the price, it was perfect. Since I only needed the chairs, we put the glass table at our office. After a can of spray paint (around $5) & new seat coverings (clearances upholstery fabric from Hobby Lobby, around $25), it was good as new.

Total price… Around $70!!

Here are a few pictures from our project:

Before: Dull w/ a worn looking suede cushion.

After paint: A beautiful Antique Green color

Until next time, head over to my social media accounts and stay connected!

Holiday Mini Cheesecakes!!

I’m posting on the go today! So hopefully things don’t look funny. Either way…here you go!

I absolutely LOVE cheesecake! My sister is such a great cook. She made this last year for Thanksgiving & I was excited when she shared her recipe with me!
It’s super easy & I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as my family & I do!

Ingredients:
2 (8 ounce) cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
1 (15ounce) pumpkin purée
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
2 eggs (large)
1/4 tsp salt
2 pie shells (homemade or store bought, your choice) I used graham crust.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
Beat together cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, & spices. Add eggs in one at a time, then add salt, beat until creamy. Pour evenly into the two pie shells and bake for 50 minutes or until the knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool then to with whip, if desired.
Tips:
I cooked mine about 5 minutes longer & the knife never came out clean. I let it stand on the counter to cool & then put in the fridge for about an hour & it was perfect!

Happy baking & enjoy!!

Beauty Products I Love!

There are A LOT of beauty products out there. (I…mean… A LOT.) Over the past 30 “something” years, I have had my fair share of success stories and epic failures. Everyone is different, and everyone has their own battles when it comes to their skin.

I have very oily skin, ESPECIALLY during the hot summer months!

Here are a list of a few products, & my daily routine, that have helped my face feel & look great!

In the mornings:

I wake up and wash my face using a non medicated wash, such as CereVe Face Wash, with my HydroSonic Cleansing Brush. I then apply my daytime Rx.

In the evenings:

If I applied foundation/makeup that day, I use a gentle makeup remover* first. Paula’s Choice has one that I love, but it is a little pricey. Most removers leave my face feeling dry & irritated, but this one doesn’t. You can always use another brand or face towelettes instead. Once my make up is off, I wash my face with an over the counter benzoyl peroxide wash, called PanOxyl, using my facial brush. Followed by my nightly Rx.

*Even though I use a brush, removing my makeup before hand keeps the bristles from getting stained & honestly I just feel like my face feels cleaner when adding this step. If you have oily skin I HIGHLY recommend a face brush. I have tried the drug store “brushes”, but I never saw the results like I do with my HydroSonic. Not only can you use it in the shower, but it has three different brush heads: Normal, Sensitive, & Body.

Makeup:

1. Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper.. I mainly use this on my forehead since this is the oiliest place on my face. This stuff is magic in a bottle!! A little goes a LONG way.

2. Paula’s Choice RESIST Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense tinted moisturizer with SPF.  This beauty helps with my oil control AND with light coverage on days that I really don’t want to wear foundation! This is my everyday “go to” product!!

3. On days I want more coverage, I use Paula’s Choice Best Face Forward Foundation with SPF 25. This stuff goes on so smooth and provides even coverage without a heavy makeup feel.

4. Paula’s Choice Healthy Finish Pressed Powder with SPF 15

5. Paula’s Choice SunKissed Custom Color Bronzer

6. Mattify! Cosmetics Translucent Ultra Powder. During the summer I use this after PC Shine Stopper and before the Tinted Moisturizer or Foundation to give added oil control. Mattify! is a line of cosmetics dedicated to us Oily Skin Folks! They have powder for Oily Skin, Sensitive Skin, & Super Oily Skin called Ultra, which is what I use. Some days if I am just doing things around the house, I brush my face with this beauty and have instant oil control.

Eyes:

With oily skin it’s tough to find products that last all day. These are a few products that I have had GREAT success with!

1. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow

2. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eye Liner

3. Mac Cosmetics Eye Shadow

Having temperamental skin can be quite challenging and stressful. My advice would be to hang in there & don’t be afraid to visit your Dermatologist!

 

*Please note that I am not a sales person for any of these items described, nor is this part of any paid review.  :). These are truly my every day products that I use and love!*

Rollercoaster of life… Here’s to 2017

As you have noticed, I have been a little M.I.A. It’s not something that I planned, nor I wanted to do. I mean, I JUST started blogging! Here nor there, life happens.

2015 has already been packed with some crazy adventures for our family. Happy tears, sad tears, and everything in between! As I promised, here’s details on our family happenings:

In February my Dad called me with some disturbing news. The doctor was running tests and had concerns with some recent health issues. Within a week, we got confirmation of our worst fear… the C word… CANCER. My Dad was two months away from celebrating his 5th transplant birthday! After another week of worrying and waiting, we got the good news, that it is treatable! :)

Dad was hospitalized for observation while they gave him his first round of treatment. Unfortunately, he ended up there for over two weeks :(.

In March, we went on our very first cruise! My boyfriend and his youngest son have been on several, but my boys and I were first timers! It was very relaxing and honestly a much-needed get away from everything going on. To make it even more memorable… my boyfriend is officially my fiancé now! He popped the question right on the beach in Cozumel. However, the happy tears didn’t last very long…

The week we came back, we received news that his Dad was in the hospital. Our hearts literally sank. His Dad (Pop Pop) has had a rough year with several falls, resulting in being hospitalized. This time, it was due to a stroke.  He lost the ability to move his legs and ended up being put in a rehab facility. Thankfully almost 6 weeks after having his stroke, he was finally able to come home :).

We originally planned on setting a wedding date for later in the year, however, during the time his Dad was in the rehab facility, we got some unexpected news about my Dad’s treatment. Just before his third chemo treatment, he had routine blood work to check his liver functions. This resulted in the need for a liver biopsy. Dad’s chemo treatment was in jeopardy as the doctors were concerned that he was going into liver failure again. We had to wait two whole weeks to find out the test results. Most emotional two weeks ever!

Almost immediately, we made the executive decision that we were going to move our wedding date up. Our big day wouldn’t have been complete without both of our Dad’s around to share our joy.

Two weeks later…

Dad finally got the news we had waited for! Biopsy was GOOD! Which meant chemo treatment was back on track & all was well.

God is truly good!!

These past few months have really been an eye opener for me. Life is truly precious and should never be taken for granted. May your day be filled with lots of love, joy, & happiness!

Until next time, follow me on my social media accounts!

Biloxi Tourists

By now, everyone in Biloxi, MS knows we are proud Razorback fans! Winning the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl was so exciting. Woo Pig Sooie! Go Hogs!!

There are still many other bowl games to watch, but since we are visiting family we have set time aside to do a few things around town. (That doesn’t mean the men haven’t recorded some bowl games or found a tv somewhere and watched a game or two…)

At night time it is so fun driving down the Biloxi “Strip” to see all the casino lights.

Across from the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel they have a park that is lit up with Christmas lights.

The next day the boys decided they wanted to go shopping. With birthdays so close to Christmas, they are asked each year to wait until after Christmas to buy anything. Of course, since we are in Biloxi, we head to the Gulfport Outlets!

I love driving past this lighthouse on Beach Blvd. They even decorated it for Christmas!

When my boyfriend was little, he used to spend his summers here with his Grandma in Woolmarket, she used to take him crabbing off the fishing pier. When Katrina hit, it took out the old fishing pier along with the main bridge running from Biloxi to Ocean Springs. They have since rebuilt both structures. Every time we are in town we like to visit the pier. On this trip, we had a visitor.

Another view off the “fishing” bridge.

We love the souvenir shoppes here, especially Souvenier City & Sharkheads. They are locally owned by the same people & always so nice. They also have delicious fudge!! My favorite is Red Velvet and Sea Salt Chocolate Caramel :)

After breakfast this morning we saw three dolphins swimming in the gulf! I’ve never seen dolphins so close to the main land. I only had my cell phone, but I snapped a picture anyway.

I love how Mardi Gras is a holiday down here! I was even told that the kids get out of school in honor of it. Now that the Christmas decorations are on 75% off, Walmart has begun replacing the isles with Mardi Gras decorations. Mardi Gras is definitely on my bucket list (family friendly of course!)

Hope everyone has a wonderful & safe New Years Eve!

Until my next post, stay connected @everydayerinar on Instagram & Facebook. See you next year!! :)

After Christmas Chronicles

We’re in Biloxi, MS visiting Greg’s parents for the week! We arrived safe & sound, after driving almost the entire way in the rain and storms. I was already nervous because we were driving the weekend after Christmas, but everything worked out perfect!

On the way down we found a great price on gas! We filled up the “mom van” for $31! Less than a mile down the road it was only $1.97, but I’m happy with the $1.99 we paid :)

We haven’t seen Nana & Pop Pop since August so we were very excited to head to Biloxi for a visit. Munchkin and Harley always go with us, and it was interesting to say the least.

Harley has this habit of sitting on top of Munchkin when she is in someone’s lap. She also is very stubborn and will not move if she finds a place she wants to sit. (See the driver picture where she wouldn’t let Daddy back in after he got out to pump our gas!)

One of the first things we do when visiting is fix a big pot of homemade Gumbo! In my opinion, gumbo isn’t the same unless you make it while on the coast! Not only is the seafood fresh from the gulf, but they have an entire aisle in the grocery store dedicated to cajun food! There are spices and seasonings that I have never seen or heard of, but are OH SO YUMMY!

Greg was raised on the coast as a child & also happens to be the chef of the house so dinner time in our house is never a dull moment. He absolutely amazes me with each dish he creates. When I say create, he literally creates every dish and doesn’t follow a recipe. How he does it, I have no idea! (I’m more of a baker and sweet treats person myself.) Eating out isn’t the same anymore, and to be honest, the only time we ever eat out is when he doesn’t feel like cooking :)

(Yes… I know… I am one VERY lucky girl!)

Stay tuned for the rest of the “Biloxi Trip” series.

Until the next post, follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more #everydayerin2014 pictures & post updates. @everydayerinar

Merry Christmas

Christmas has come and gone! I hope that you and your family had a wonderful holiday.

As for us, we are having another family gatherng today, then headed out of town to visit more family. So the holiday festivities continue! If you and your family are out traveling this holiday season, I pray that you reach your destination safe and sound!

When it comes to your Christmas decorations, when do you take them down?

In our home we generally begin taking things down right after the first of the year, so in our case, next weekend!

Follow me over on Instagram & Facebook, or sign up for my newsletter!

Merry Christmas everyone!

CHRISTmas time is HERE!

We LOVE CHRISTmas time in our home and I am so happy to share it with you this year!

I love using RED & GREEN as the primary colors for our CHRISTmas decorations.

These are the glass book shelves on each side of our fireplace in the living room.

I have quite a bit of “homemade” decorations around the house. I’m not an artist, but I know the boys still enjoy seeing the crafty things I come up with each year. Sometimes I can even get them to join in on the fun.

Last year I added these glass blocks I made. They are perfect for any holiday…. in fact,  I have some for Halloween that have jack-o-lantern faces on them!

I replace my decorative balls in the vases and glass bowls around the house with leftover ornaments.

This nativity set is a new (to me) addition this year! It is very dear to me as it is my boyfriend’s childhood nativity set.

In 2010, we almost lost my Dad due to him needing a liver transplant. He had been on the transplant list for almost 10 years and on April 16, 2010 our prayers were answered! In 2012 he attended a Transplant Christmas party and he sent me this ornament he received.

I  learned how to sew last year, and these stockings were my first solo project! My mom helped me with the matching tree skirt. I’m not one to want “matching” stockings as I have always let the boys have their themed ones. However, the boys happen not to like Bob the Builder, The Wiggles, & Thomas the Train anymore so I decided to change it up.

I hope you have enjoyed touring my home! Stay connected with me through social media and by following my blog.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!

Flea Market Love

“Little Corner Office”

I work primarily from home when the boys are out of school. So in preparation for Christmas break, I needed a more useful & quiet place to do my work other than the dining room table.

I wanted a desk that I could put a few of my own touches to, but not be a complete refurbish project. Browsing online, I found a store about 30 minutes from me with a wide selection of desks. So I headed over to Kiehl Avenue Flea Market and began my search.  At first, I passed right by this yellow desk because frankly… I hated it! The color was too bright, it wasn’t what I originally wanted, and it lacked the character I was looking for.

I kept walking around the store & browsing the different booths, but something kept leading me BACK to the booth with the “yellow desk”.

So after much debating and brainstorming.. I overlooked all the things I didn’t like about it & made the purchase! For some reason I just knew I could make it “mine”. Along with the desk I bought an antique chair from another booth. It also needed a bit of paint and some upholstery, but for the most part it was in excellent condition & perfect!

 

Everyone has their own technique and to be honest, this was my very FIRST time painting a distressed furniture piece. Since I was working inside I chose to wet my sanding block to prevent a HUGE mess! I sanded it just enough to take the shine off (as you see pictured below.) After I was finished sanding, I wiped the excess dust off with a damp cloth, let it dry, and began painting.

 

Once I finished painting, I let it dry for a few hours before I sanded the edges, to add a more “worn” look to the desk.

I followed up with a furniture wax to seal the exposed wood. I used a clear lavender scented wax that I picked up at 2Brothers on my last trip. (Their store in Menifee, AR is a MUST SEE!)

Once I was finished, I couldn’t believe how much I loved my “new to me” desk.

Once I added a cork board and a cute little organizer I found at another flea market.. my “little corner office” was complete! (Well sort of… I’m still working on the chair, but for the time being, I’m HAPPY with how it all turned out!)