M&M Blondies

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I've been a little MIA the last few days - we've been super busy and it's only going to get busier with my bestie's wedding coming up with weekend!

So before my blondie post... I've noticed Stephen and I have been matching outfits lately. A lot lately actually. To be honest, I don't know how this happens because we live together so we should see we're matching before walking out the door, but I only ever notice when we actually get to the location that we're matching. I can't imagine what it's going to be like when we have kids - here comes that family of four with matching outfits... I can see it now.

I noticed we were matching in the middle of church and had to snap a picure

Now onto the good stuff - I pinned this blondie recipe a week or so ago and really wanted to test it out so I figured it'd be perfect to welcome Stephen home last week. These turned out really good and I think they're even better when kept cold in the fridge. For some reason, all of my m&m's sank to the bottom of the pan so that kind of stunk (please let me know if you have a solution!). 

See - all the m&m's are on the bottom

- 1/2 cup butter, softened 
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups flour
- 1.5 cups m&m's (I used mini m&m's and didn't measure the amount and just added what I thought was a good amount)

1. Beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the eggs vanilla and beat again. Sift together the salt, baking powder and flour. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and continue to beat while adding. Stir in 1 cup of m&m's by hand.

2. Spread the batter into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the extra 1/2 cup of m&m's (I failed to do this step which might be why all of the m&m's fell to the bottom). 

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting and store in a sealed container.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy Friday!!! I'm so looking forward a weekend at home with the hubs before things get crazy again! We had a full weekend at Disney last weekend, next weekend is my best friend's wedding, then soon after we'll be going south for a gender reveal (I think I'm getting a nephew ;)) and then after a long weekend up north to see my parents and their new house... phew it's going to be busy.

The cat is officially out of the bag (if you didn't get it from above) - I'm going to be an Aunt!!!! My sister-in-law is pregnant and we are sooo excited! This will be the first baby for either of our families and we are all over the moon. The baby is due October 31st which means it'll be here for Thanksgiving (which is so nuts to think about). I can't wait for the gender reveal, showers and the birth! Congrats to John and Lauren!!

Hopefully many of these will be happening!

Their cute announcement!

After we found out they were expecting!

The boys wanted to celebrate, German style

While the hubs is away, I will play... okay not really but Stephen had his first business trip this past week so I had 4 nights all to myself. Monday and Tuesday I met up with friends for dinner (failed to get any pictures) and then Wednesday and Thursday I spent the evenings relaxing and cleaning which has been super nice. I'm very much so looking forward to Stephen coming home today though - it's definitely different when you're on this end of the business trips lol

I'm sure no one missed the announcement this week about Full House returning to TV with a "Fuller House" spin-off! I'm super excited about this show, however the story line seems super sad but I guess it's to pay tribute to the original show and keep it going. Can't wait to see what story lines they come up with for the whole cast and their "families" after all these years.

Last night I made these m&m blondies and they turned out fantastic! Can't wait for Stephen to get home and try some (let's be real - I need him to eat most of them so I won't!) Recipe hopefully coming next week :)

Next week, my best friend Camilla is getting married and I can hardly wait!! She wants us to do our hair half-up half-down and doesn't mind if it's curly or straight. Since my hair's shorter and doesn't hold curls for super long, I'm going to opt for the straight option but I want some volume in the pin-up and want to make sure it looks special. I found a few images on Pinterest that I can hopefully get my hair somewhat like. I am so glad there will be a lot of girls there because I KNOW I can't do any of the pinning on my own... I'm so bad with hair. (I've noticed I'm a HUGE fan of Carrie Underwood's hair... could it be any more perfect?)

Four Things...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I've seen this blog post floating around on a few different blogs and wanted to join in on the fun!! I always like learning fun things about other bloggers so hopefully you enjoy mine :)

Four Nicknames
Ash - okay honestly, that's all I've got... I'm super boring

Four Jobs I've Had
Bruster's Ice Cream, Inventory Intern at an engineering company, Marketing Intern at same company and now Marketing specialist at the same company (I don't bounce around a lot lol)

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once
Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, Hot Rod & The Duchess (this list is more like 100 movies for me)

Four Things in My Purse
Wallet, May Designs Planner, Chapstick & Hand Sani

Four Books I'd Recommend
The Bible, anything Karen Kingsbury, The Giver (the whole series) & 

Four Cars I've Driven
I've only had 2 cars: Lexus ES 300 (2001) & Lexus ES 350 (2007). My next car will be a mom SUV

Four Places I've Visited
Hilton Head Island, SC; Charleston, SC; Marsh Harbor, Bahamas; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Four Places to Visit on My Bucket List
NYC, Los Angles, Italy & England

Four of My Favorite Foods
Potato Chips, Fruit, Pasta & Tater Tots/French Fries

Four TV Shows I Watch
19 Kids and Counting, House Hunters, Flip or Flop & Chrisley Knows Best

Four Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2015
(Hopefully) Buying a House, HHI Vacation with my Family, More Family Time & A Big City Trip in the Fall

Linking up with Annie.

Rancher's Roast

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A while ago we found a great roast beef recipe on Pinterest and it quickly became Stephen's favorite dish. This is our go-to meat dish if we want something quick and delicious.

I do have to say - sorry for the crappy pictures, I took them a while ago and didn't realize how awful they were until I started working on this post. Even though the pictures aren't that great, the meat is super delicious!

- 1, 2-3 lb beef chuck roast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 (4 oz) package of ranch dressing mix
- 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncinis
- 1/4 cup pepperoncini juice
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup sour cream

1. Heat canola oil over medium/high heat. Season roast with salt and sear in hot oil until golden brown. (This step is optional - we stopped doing this because I didn't see much of a difference)

2. Place the roast in the crock pot and sprinkle with dresing mix, pepperoncinis and pepperoncini juice. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3.5-4 hours.

3. Remove the meat from the pot and drain off cooking juices into a sauce pan. Skim the top for excess fat and add 2 cups of beef broth to the mixture. Bring to a boil.

4. Mix 1 tbsp of corn starch with 1/4 cup of cold water in a separate bowl and slowly pour into the boiling mixture. Stir continuously until thickened and remove from heat. Add in the 1/2 cup of sour cream to the mixture and serve over the cooked meat.

Family Disney Trip 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Yesterday was my little sister's 21st birthday and she decided she wanted to spend her big weekend with her family at Disney World. We all had an amazing time and I'm so thankful that we got to spend some quality family time together (1st time since Thanksgiving)! Warning: there is going to be major picture overload.

Thursday after work, my parents flew into Orlando and I picked them up while Caroline and Stephen met us at the hotel. After a round of hugs, we headed out to Downtown Disney for some dinner and dessert (you know, the usual - Earl of Sandwich and Ghirardelli).  

We stayed at the All Star Music - perfect hotel for a quick weekend trip

Now that I have my new phone, I can finally take outfit pictures lol
Shirt / Purse / Pants / Shoes / Scarf - old

Friday we woke up and headed on over to Epcot for the day. The way we got our Fastpasses, everything was scheduled for the evening so we took our time getting over to Epcot. We ate a late lunch at Germany and enjoyed doing our own thing around the park. Thankfully, it didn't get too crowded till later that evening and we missed the rain which was a super plus! Also, the Flower and Garden Festival was going on so it was neat to see all the Disney-themed garden areas. We were planning on staying during magic hours (9pm-11pm) to finish some bigger rides but ended up finishing everything by 9pm and headed home for some cake. 

Thanks for the photobomb, mom ;)

They have a new lumberjack show in Canada which was super fun

Inside the butterfly garden

We usually don't deal with trying to see the characters but we needed to add another Fastpass so we opted for the Character Spot. I'm really glad we did and got some good family pictures with the characters.

Since lunch at Germany is a big buffet, we stopped at a food stand in America and got pulled pork sliders with cole slaw on top for dinner. These were delicious and the perfect size!

Funny story - when I went to pick up the cake from Publix, the baker handed it to me and said happy 2nd birthday. I was like are you for real? It's supposed to be 21! Thankfully they were able to scrape off the 2nd and replace it with a 21st. Worst case, we would've gotten a good laugh. 

Saturday we woke up bright and early and headed over to Magic Kingdom before the park opened. As soon as it opened, we were at the front of the line pushing with everyone else to get to the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster and ended up with a less than 5 minute wait! The rest of the day we spent doing various rides then we had a lunch reservation at the new Beauty and the Beast restaurant at 2pm. After lunch we headed back to the hotel for long naps before heading back out to the park for some late night magic hours. The park stayed open for magic hours until 2am, we made it until about 1am. 

We made it to the Mine Train!

She got the first row

Snagged an outfit picture while waiting on them to ride Space Mountain
Shirt (similar) / Shorts / Purse / Shoes

Stephen legit got all the points on the Buzz Lightyear ride

A mamma duck and her 2 babies were wondering around the outside eating area and I about died

As you can tell, we had fun taking pictures on the new grassy area before it got crowded

On our way into lunch at Belle's Castle!

The food was ah-mazing and super unique to Disney

Had to take a mean muggin picture with Triton

Thankfully, the Dole Whip counter was open past midnight. Unfortunately, they don't have vanilla ice cream anymore...

Sunday, was Caroline's official birthday! Caroline, Stephen and I woke up and headed over to Hollywood Studios. My parents had to fly back home so they didn't join us on Sunday. Unfortunately, we got to the park 15 min too late and missed the window to get into line for Toy Story Mania - it was an hour wait and the park had only been open 15 min! Most all the shows/activities are being closed down so there wasn't too much to do. We did squeeze in the Great Movie ride, (Caroline rode) Rockin Roller Coaster, we did a drawing class and then found the Cinderella carriage to take pictures in front of. After that, we headed home to get ready for another week of work.

Caroline decided that since we have drawn Bolt before and she doesn't like Bolt, that she was going to draw her own character... lol

And like that, our trip was over! These weekend seem to go by way too fast, but thankfully we'll see everyone again next month for Memorial Day which makes the goodbyes a little easier. 

Ummm so super fail - I didn't realize the Lilly Pulitzer line at Target was a ONE TIME EVENT!!! Also, didn't think it'd really sell out in 15 minutes either. So now I'm super bummed since we missed out on the whole event and now I'll never have a Lilly dress (super dramatic, I know) :/ (And Stephen thought all the hype was a joke...) I'm going to keep checking the Orlando Target for returns in the next few days but I feel like since I wear a pretty standard size, people won't be returning much that I can snag. My mom did find some hair ties for me :) 

Linking up with Biana