Friday, May 10, 2019

Almond Joy Cookies and Brownies

I have this thing when I have unused food in my house I have to use it up while I still can.  I hate wasting food and money.  I made Cake By Courtney's Toasted Almond Joy Cake for my Dad's Birthday, another birthday cake and a little thank you cake.  I doubled the recipe so I had LOADS of the toasted coconut/almond filling, ganache and buttercream left.  I'll share how the cakes turned out at the bottom of this post but I just had to use up all that extra deliciousness.  I thought about how awesome the peanut butter brownie bites were and couldn't stop thinking about Almond Joy Cookies...and then Brownies!! 

Seriously I'm like if you give RuthAnne a cookie...Have you read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?  It's adorable and describes me pretty accurately.  

I made a simple, but delicious soft chocolate cookie base and topped it with the fluffy coconut buttercream, filled it with the perfectly sweet toasted coconut/almond filling, a drizzle of chocolate ganache and a little sprinkle of toasted coconut.  Are you drooling yet?

Here's a little video from my YouTube channel decorating these dream boats.

I tasted one of these and had to start plating them up for my neighbors and friends.  Much too good to be laying around my house! haha You probably won't believe it but after all those cookies I still had more of ALL those things! So I decided how awesome would all of that be with brownies! I secretly think I like the brownie version more and that's saying A LOT!  I used my sweet friend Jodi's brownie recipe for the base.  How cool is that post!  One of my desserts inspired HER!  Then I topped all the delicious toppings on to the cooled brownies.  

Everything about these desserts are just too good! I'll include the recipe below for the cookies and my rendition on the coconut butter cream, it's so, so good!

Almond Joy Cookies 

-1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
-1/3 C. vegetable oil
-1 T. brown sugar
-1 T. dark chocolate cocoa powder
-1 tsp. almond extract
-2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheet pans with parchment paper.  Sift cake mix. Add remaining ingredients and stir.  Batter will be thick.  Scoop dough into small round balls using a cookie scoop and bake for 8 minutes.  Do not overbake.

Coconut Buttercream
--Adapted from Cake By Courtney

-2 C. unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/4 C. plus 1 tsp. cream of coconut
-6 C. powdered sugar, sifted
-1 T. plus 2 tsp. coconut emulsion
-pinch of salt
-1 T. plus 1 tsp. heavy whipping cream.

Beat butter and cream of coconut until light and fluffy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, coconut emulsion and salt.  Once combined add heavy whipping cream and beat for at least 2 minutes.  Add more of coconut flavoring if you'd like more. Push out bubbles and beat with a large spoon.

Toasted Coconut/Almond Filling from Cake By Courtney 

Chocolate Ganache
-1 C. dark chocolate chips
-1/2 C. heavy whipping cream

Heat whipping cream for 1 minute in microwave.  Pour in chocolate chips and let sit for a few minutes.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Pour in squeeze bottle or plastic bag with a tiny corner cut out for a fancy drizzle.

Toasted Coconut

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Let Love Grow Date Night In Box

I think I've said this the past few Date Night Boxes, but this was seriously one of our favorites and I honestly would say the best one yet.  They just keep getting better and better!  

I've loved all things floral or flower related this spring so this growing theme was perfect!

Included in this box:  Eco Playing Cards and Tea, eco-friendly straws, soy candle, one die, DIY basil plant, and Date Night in Date Guide booklet full of conversation topics, games and ideas to further the date night.

We started our date night by lighting our soy candle and planting our basil.  It was so cool that everything we needed was included-even the soil! This little pot is even 100% biodegradable bamboo so when the plant needs to grow larger we can just put it into another pot!  They've seriously thought of everything!

We just had to expand the soil packet and do the fun part, plant and wait and watch it grow.

Then we made our Wild Raspberry Hibiscus Tea.  It was so fruity and had so much flavor-and no caffeine so perfect for date night!  

We loved playing Our Relationship Timeline that was game of dreaming and planning what we want our future to look like together.  It was so fun to set dates and see what each of us had planned and would like to accomplish and do in the years to come. 

We drank our tea and Dallin had to test out his new fancy straw!  I love that they included these in the box.  People waste so much with little things like straws and its good to be aware of even these seemingly small things.

We then asked each other the growth questions that are on the eco-friendly playing cards.  They're eco-friendly because one side has super interesting and conversation starting questions and the other is a normal deck of cards that we can use for many years to come with other games.  So smart!  And those growth questions were so fun!  They got Dallin talking so much!  It was so interesting to see his side of things and his answers to the questions.

We seriously talked for so long and could have stayed there for a lot longer!

We honestly loved this Date Night In Box!  This is the kind of stuff I'm looking for a date night in.  Conversation, connecting and doing fun things together!  If you'd like to try out Date Night In Boxes you can go HERE or click the picture below!

I did receive this box for free for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Mother's Day Printables

Mother's Day is one of those tricky holidays where I want to give my mom so much because she's so special and fabulous, but just don't know what she would love or have the budget for a trip to Disneyland just yet! :) So I've come up with a few sweet, simple and considerate gift tags that can be paired with so many different things. Or how cute would it be to have a little gift bag/box/basket full of a few of these!

Before I get too far into this post I wanted to point out a few errors in the printables.  I have fixed the printables so when you give them they will be completely perfect, so don't be alarmed.  I took these pictures last year and didn't want to round up all the things again.

I love that this tag is perfect for anything gardening!  Gardening tools, seed packets, a new flower bush, gardening gloves or watering pot.  So many options!

I hope people don't feel like they always have to pair a gift with the printables.  I love to decorate with the printables and simply put them on my fridge or incorporate them with seasonal decor.

I think fresh flowers are always a great option for Mother's day!

Oh and candy and chocolate of course!  Find how I made these edible flower pots back HERE.

My mom and I love home decor and decorations so a home decoration of any kind would be adorable with this 'Home is where Mom is' tag!

Fully aware that you spell these kind of macarons with only 1 O so I've updated the printable!  No matter if they have 1 or 2 O's though they are still delicious! We absolutely love these from Trader Joe's!  

If you only wanted to buy 1 box you could split them up in packages too!  I love clear bags that I always have on hand!

I love macarons! They are so light and refreshing!

I hear they have big containers of macarons at Costco too! Maybe check there if you have a lot of Mothers to give them to!

I'm also a total fan of bath bombs!  This macaron bath bomb is so fun!  I got it from Lush. I love this option from their too that could totally work with any of these tags!

I think these tags would be so cool with any macaron themed items like a macaron baking book, macaron class, macaron baking tools.

Speaking of bath bombs, these bath bombs were from DOLLAR TREE! Totally doable to give a whole packet. 

Or just one!  My favorite bath bombs are from Lush but here's another awesome option where you can get a ton more for the price too!

I'd love to know what you're giving your mom for Mother's Day!  I love these simple and doable options for mothers and mothers-in-law! I hope you do too!  Still need an Idea?  Check out my May Love Notes and Thank You/Appreciation Flower tags I just posted.

Find the free printables below!

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Thank You and Appreciation Flower Tags

I'm pretty sure this week is Teacher Appreciation week for some and I know for all it's the week of Mother's Day!! If you're stumped for what to give your Mom or Mother-In-Law I've got lots of fun, easy and inexpensive ideas for you!  More ideas are coming just in time for Mother's Day too so keep a look out for those!  I'm so glad I found these pictures from last year because now I know what I'm giving this year for Mother's Day! ;)

I love that these cute little flower tags can be put on anything flowery! I found these cute flower pails at Oriental Trading and filled them with Dove chocolates.  Any small wrapped candy would be so cute in these little pails!  I also made them for aunts, moms and grandmas for all the amazing women in your life.

Next idea is super simple and delicious! Have you ever had a Utah truffle bar?  They are completely amazing and the perfect size for a flower stem for this little tag.  

Just attach the tag to the top of the truffle bar and you've got the most delicious and cute flower I've ever seen! 


For a little fancier look I have another tag option.

I wrapped some towels up to look like roses and then put them in a cone made of large brown construction paper.  I love that my mom could use these towels in the future but it was totally cute to give as a gift too!

Also included a sister tag because sisters just rock!

Of course a bunch of real flowers would be super cute with this too!

Or an even more general tag for just about anyone!  Anyone that you consider a FRIEND!  I love my flower pens that I made years ago that could double as decor and super useful too!

These could pair really well with my May Love Note gift ideas and tags too!

I love the idea of a flower vase, even just a tiny one for a little (or big) decoration!

Sunflowers are so bright and cheery!  A bouquet of sunflowers would be so bright and beautiful to give or even a packet of sunflower seeds!

No matter what tag you use or gift option (or no gift is great too!) just let someone know you care about and appreciate them!  You never know when you could change someones day! 

For all the free printables you can click below!

'Thanks a bunch'-purple flower tag

'Thanks a bunch'-large tag

'I couldn't have picked...'-pink and purple flower tag

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own!

Weekly Highlights April 29-May 4

This week Livy became super affectionate!  And not just to her dad but she did just climb up on the couch one day and wanted to hug him multiple times. 

It was so adorable!  Her little hands are just the sweetest.  Sometimes she'll even pat your back! haha She loves to blow kisses and wave to a anyone that even smiles at her.

We went to Wheeler Farm with the Warner crew.  Olivia loved how her farm books came to life!  

She kept saying "Whooooa!" over and over again, it was so fun to see her reaction.  She loved the cows, pigs and sheep.  She kept saying "Oooo" for Moo! haha

Her and Adam are little buddies and I just love it!

I shared my May Love Notes, you can find them HERE!

I made a record of 3 cakes in one week!! Birthdays and Thank You cakes are so, so fun!

One of those birthdays happened to be my Dad's but from the look on Livy's face you'd think it was her birthday.  She loves candles and the Happy Birthday song.

I love the look on Olivia's and Emma's face in the picture above!  So much happiness!

We went to the zoo this week too!  It was Olivia's first time understanding a little bit more about the zoo.  It was SO cute to watch her growl, roar and shake with excitement in front of the lions!

She kept trying to feed all the animals her goldfish.  She's caring like that. haha

She loves aunt Brittany!!

And her cousins so much!  She loved seeing the owls here and howling to them like wolves. 

She has been so adventurous and independent lately.  
I love it, but it is exhausting and scary sometimes. 

We loved our time at the zoo and especially with Dallin.  He took a day off work for just fun things.  This is the first day off he's taken in a really long time.  It was much needed.

I had a girls night with my sweet friend Gabby.  We went to Orange Peel and it was delicious! 

Our sweet neighbor got baptized yesterday so I gave a little treat.  I love to use my own printables too! If you'd like this free printable you can go HERE!

This week was packed with lots of animals and not a lot of naps but Olivia totally loved it!