Thursday, August 20, 2015

Homemade Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream (with lots of chocolate chunks!)

Hey there friends! My rule of thumb is when I find a good recipe, I share it. This is nothing short of good, with a side of creamy and delicious. Plus, it even says in the cuisinart cook book that it's "one of the easiest ice-creams to make"! Im a sucker for easy how-tos and peanut butter, so this was a no brainer.

Below is the recipe and a few pics (b/c it's always nice to actually see what you're making!) So to all those who want to take a spoon to this goodness, here ya go...

peanut butter cup ice cream
1 cup good quality peanut butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup (or maybe throw in an extra 1/2 cup if you dig that sort of thing) chopped peanut butter cup candies. This ends up being about 20 mini peanut butter cups.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low to combine peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Add the milk and mix on low until sugar is dissolved. Stir in heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.

Turn on your ice-cream maker...we used the THIS one. Pour the mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is complete add shopped candy. The ice-cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If you want a firmer consistency transfer it to a airtight container and put in the freezer for about 2 hours. 

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Eating at our Happy place...

Last week we went and visited my parents and stopped in at Happys Cafe in Old Town... one of our favorite shaved ice spots (they put ice cream in the middle, which, if you've never tried it you need to!) Sage decided it would be a good idea to get butterscotch flavor with sprinkles. I tried to get her to do something else, but she stuck to her guns and actually it was better then any flavor I would've picked!

So this last time we went it was extra special because my girls joined in on a group tour where they went "behind the scenes" to see how it's all done. They got to make their own shaved ice, have a snowball fight and free face painting.

My kids had a total blast, and I loved snapping a few pictures of all the colorful things that surround this "Happy" place.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Red, White and Blue...

The fourth of July has always been a favorite holiday of mine. When I was little, we would go up to my grandmas (where fireworks were not only allowed but encouraged haha) and we would have a huge celebration. This year we decided to stick around and enjoy the fourth of July festivities here. Our neighborhood does a cute little parade which my kids loved (doesn't take much to please 'em I tell ya).

We then went over and enjoyed a day of swimming and BBQ'ing with family...and we even got to watch a firework show from my in laws backyard; which is always the perfect ending to this special holiday.

Probably more than any year I can remember, this holiday has really struck a chord with me this time around. I am not sure if it's just me getting older (that saying the older you grow the wiser you get...maybe is a true statement?!). Or maybe it's just that my kids are getting older, and watching them grow up has made me truly appreciate everything this country offers.  I am so, so grateful for it.

Here are a few photos of our little fourth of July celebration... chalk full of those iconic USA colors red, white and blue.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Desire to Inspire: Entrepreneurship (so excited to finally share this!!!!)

About a year ago I was laying in bed and thought of this crazy, wacky, outlandish idea. What if I started a video series of things that inspire people?! What if I put together a list of topics and then interviewed a handful of people who are very well informed and knowledgeable on that topic?!

Granted I am not a videographer, and I have never interviewed anyone before, but it seemed like a good idea to me?!

So, I thought of my first topic and contacted five women. Women who I found to be inspiring, down to earth, sweet,  and most of all extremely knowledgeable and successful on this topic. They were women who I never thought would really be up for this crazy idea I had.

Within a week I heard back from all five of them. They all agreed to be interviewed. I was shocked and beyond elated. After the excitement settled, I thought, ok now what?!

Then I got a call from one of the women, and she told me she would fly in for the interview. My heart plummeted down to that deep dark place inside your gut. That is when fear set in. That is when I started to get cold feet. I started having doubt, upon doubt, upon doubt. What was I doing? Why would someone want to fly in for this? I don't even know how to interview... and who am I going to get to actually take footage?!

I doubted myself. I doubted my ability to finish what I had set out to do. For some reason, there was something pushing me to go through with this. To swallow my fears, and just "fake it til you make it". So, I did just that. I flew into three different states, interviewing Katie from puj, Stephanie from NieNie dialogues, Sarah from Sarah Jane Studios, Susan from Freshly Picked,  and Elle from Solly Baby Wrap.

I don't know how it all happened, but everything just fell into place. I'd like to say it was just luck but I think it was much more than that. I think this message needed to be shared.

I also don't know how to adequately express in words how much I learned and grew from this experience. So many times I wanted to throw in the towel. Thankfully I had Paige, who beautifully and brilliantly put together this video. It was when I watched it for the first time, tears running down my cheeks and seeing the interviews streamed together, that I realized it was all so worth it. It was magic.

So, to anyone who has a dream; for any woman, mother and aspiring entrepreneur who feels like they need a push in the right direction...this is for you!!! This week, we celebrate our Independence. In a country where the American dream is something we all strive for. It is a real thing. These women are living it. Watch this video. The insight, the advice, the overall passion you see in these women is awe inspiring.

Thank you Paige for the countless hours of being my right hand man. You are the greatest. And thank you Susan, Elle, Sarah, Katie and Stephanie for your beautiful words. 

Without further adieu here is the very first video of my Desire to Inspire Series: Entrepreneurship 

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

a trip to the blue grass state...

A couple weeks ago me and my sister went out and visited my other sister who lives in good ole' Kentucky. It was so fun. We ate good food, we laughed, we walked around the town a lot looking at old charming, amazing homes; we thrifted, boutique shopped, slept in, I mean geez suddenly I'm wanting to go back. Like right now.

Kentucky really is such a beautiful state. The people are so warm and welcoming. There are fields of green with the most beautiful horses you've ever seen. Their markets are pretty awesome (I get really excited when I step into pretty food markets) and their pace of life is something I need to implement in my own. People take their time, they are gracious, they are laid back and in no hurry. It was kind of refreshing.

I have to say, I use to feel guilty when I would plan a trip away from my husband and kids. But I am slowly realizing that these trips are good for my soul every so often. Plus, the best part of going away is coming back home and embracing my lovies again. It really is a good thing to take a breather and recharge your mother batteries.

Photographed below is when we went to Shaker Village  (super interesting place!) and then took a boat ride down the Kentucky River.  The other photos are from the Lexington cemetery.  It was one of the prettiest burial sites I've ever laid eyes on; with head stones dating back to the 1800's! The history, the trees, the overall ambiance was just amazing.
 ^^^ honey testing ^^^
^^^ jet lag sort of took a toll the first day we got there ^^^
 ^^^ I kind of look pregnant in this picture, but I am not. Nope. Just looks like it. :-/ ^^^
^^^ Our thrifty finds...which we didn't buy ^^^

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

We love strawberries and we love this was a no brainer. I love doing things like this, where my girls can help me. They feel included and I feel like I'm not ignoring them while I do things like this. They went and checked the freezer about fifty million times before they were ready...I'd say they were pretty excited?!

These were so good, refreshing, and healthy! My kids didn't like the graham crackers, so they opted out of that part. I think I might make these, and take them to our fourth of July celebration; the colors are perfecto mundo! :-)

1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup plain fat free greek yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 TBS light colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
10 oz. strawberries, blended
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

-combine milk and sugar in a saucepan, cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Place cream cheese in a medium bowl; gradually add milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in yogurt and vinailla. Cool completely.
- Put corn syrup, juice and berries in a blender; process until smooth. Then layer the cream cheese mixture among 6 (4 oz) ice pop molds; going from cream cheese to strawberry back to cream cheese.
- Freeze at least 4 hours. Unmold and dip tips in crumbs (if you want).

***some of my favorite molds are here, here and here
 ^^^brain freeze^^^

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