I love Nutella cookies + fun baking again

Monday, January 19, 2015

Confession time. I've put off fun baking for a long, long, long, long time. A really long time. An uncomfortably long time considering it's my only hobby. Fun baking is -- baking for fun, not because I need to bake for a reason. That's not to say I don't have fun when I'm baking for a party or for Christmas but there's something special about baking because I just like and want to do it for fun and not because I feel obligated. 

With it being the New Year and feeling especially inspired to make positive changes in my life, I decided it was time to bring back fun baking! And naturally, my first fun bake session involved Nutella because why wouldn't it?

Getting back into baking means learning a few lessons the hard way and feeling a bit like a doofus. Unfortunately it's not like riding a bike for me. It's like tripping up the stairs with no one around and I'm just embarrassed that I can't walk like a normal human up the stairs. 
I have to remember how important it is to read the recipe ahead of time. I think I got back into amateur mode over the last few months of 2014 with stepping out of the baking world completely for a while.  I made a few cookies and treats for Christmas and neighbor gifts andI made the mistake of not reading the recipe before committing to "hot chocolate truffles" for the neighbors. I really, really, really messed that one up -- although, I blame the second mistake I made on the glass of wine I had when staring to make them. 

Take it from me, read the recipe completely through before committing because who knows if you need to put the dough in the fridge to chill for 2 hours and it's a weeknight and you have to go to bed at 9:30pm and there just won't be enough time to bake them so you have to make it a two-day process without planning ahead of time for that! 

Anywho, with some extra white chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips I had from baking cookies a few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to bake Nutella white chocolate chip cookies. I forget who said it to me but someone said "Oh, haven't you made these before?" Naaah, I haven't but I do have a bit of an obsession with anything that involves getting Nutella in my mouth so I get it. Also, these are actually THE best cookies I have ever baked. So good that I've averaged two cookies a day since I baked them last week. Mmmmm.

I think I fudged (pun intended) something up because somehow they're not "soft" as they are supposed to be and are actually more fudge-y than anything. Honestly, still the best cookies I've ever made! Highly recommend making them!

I love Etsy finds: New Year's Resolutions Edition

Thursday, January 1, 2015

1. Keep going no matter what card - be a better friend 
2. Sparkle mousepad - be a happier person
3. 2015 planner - be more organized 
4. Just don't quit tankbe more motivated to workout pt. 1
5. Printable Be Awesome Today print - be a more positive human
6. Kitchen conversions print - be a better cook 
7.  Mosaic headband - be more motivated to workout pt. 2

I love planning surprise parties.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

As recent as when I was a junior in college, I thought I wanted to be a party planner. I liked planning small get togethers and minor surprise parties then. I liked using my planner. I thought it made perfect sense. 

Flash forward to July of this year at about three in the afternoon on Saturday. I'm sweating in my tank top and shorts. I'm anxious and can't blink because what if I miss some small detail. I'm so irritable and worried about the surprise party for my mom's 50th birthday not going off without a hitch that when Paul tried to hug me in the midst of putting up decorations and straightening the chip bowl for the tenth time, I said "DO NOT TOUCH ME." 

Yup, that's my life now. A few years after saying in my public speaking class at Stevenson that I wanted to be a party planner and there I was having a meltdown 30 minutes before my mom was going to come home from her hiking adventure with her friend, Jody, and worrying about ridiculous things like: What if she isn't surprised? What if she hates this? What if she's mad she's coming back from hiking all sweaty and she walks in to 15+ friends, family, and neighbors who want to eat food with her and drink sangria? What if there's not enough people here? 
Uh, yeah, nope. I wouldn't have worked in the party planning world. I'm too big of a worry wart and a perfectionist. 
The good news is -- despite all of my anxiousness and worrying, the party was even more awesome than I could have hoped for! I had a lot of help from my dad (who had the idea for a surprise 50th birthday party in the first place), my sisters, Shannon, Paul and everyone else that came from near and far to make it to the party. 

My mom was surprised and seemed (and I think she actually was - right, mom?) happy! She didn't hate it, wasn't mad about the hiking sweatiness she had in front of everyone, and was happy to drink and eat food with everyone. Not sure why I expected her not to want to eat and drink, however. 
Naturally, the cake pops I made the night before at Shannon's were a hit - which tends to be the case when cake pops are around and despite my worrying that we wouldn't have enough food -- almost all the food was gone by the end of the evening. And yeah, at the end of the evening, I realized that maybe I do like party planning. Maybe it is a rush for me, my worst, horrific, and most anxiety-filled nightmare, and then a really good pay off at the end. 
I'll still volunteer and want to plan parties in the future. I'll have fun buying the food and the decorations and inviting all of the people. And if anyone wants to see a girl melting down the day of that same party because what if the cupcakes don't look just right or what if the one person that couldn't make it to the party ruins the whole thing -- you can count on me. I'm your girl. 
Oh, and happiest belated 50th birthday to my mom! 

I love Mother's Day: Etsy Gift Guide Edition.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Obviously, the card is one of the most important parts of your Mother's Day gift. It's the first thing she opens so it's gotta be heartfelt and make her want to cry a little. Unless you're me. Then you want to buy her a card that makes her smile but isn't too cheesy. I think this card definitely does the trick and at least makes her feel like I'm implying that she can be considered awesome. 
Mugs are always, always, always a safe bet for moms. All moms drink coffee or at least...right? If not, hopefully this mug is cute enough to make your mom want to start drinking coffee/tea. You could fill this with candy (my signature gift for anyone - all gifts have to somehow include candy of some kind) or a gift card! 
If your mom is like mine, she likes (a lot of) rum and she pretends she doesn't like sweets and says they're "too much" for her. I highly doubt she would be able to say "no" to these. They're Captain Morgan whoopie pies
Moms love decorative pillows, right? I feel like that's what advertising has told me. This one is perfect and timeless and true! If I'm being completely honest, I'm hoping my future children somehow find my blog on the internet and buy me this pillow for Mother's Day.
I am 98% positive that the only people that truly, really care about whether or not people use coasters are moms. I'm also 98% positive that most moms actually are superheroes. So these cute, colorful, fun coasters are a 98% win and great for summer! 
And to use on those coasters (see above), moms who like the O's and the Ravens obviously need these stemless wine glasses to get their drink on this summer. I'd suggest buying a bottle or two of wine to go with these with some flowers and you're set! Again - pssssssst -future children who are reading this, I want these. 
Just like mugs, candles are always a good gift for moms, in my opinion. As long as they're cute and unique and smell good. Bears, honey, and hugs are also great gifts. I imagine this cute little Bear Hug candle smells amazing! Mmmm.
Another good treat (for anyone but specifically moms) -- chocolate peanut butter cupcakes in jars. Moms need chocolate at all times and this is 100x better than a box of chocolates from the grocery store. So Pinterest of you to make cupcakes in jars. These really look like you made them. But you didn't. Someone on Etsy did and charged you a little bit more than necessary but it's so worth it. 

I love the Color Run + weekends + my dad's birthday.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

HIIII. I feel like all of my blog posts in 2014 start off with me saying "LONG TIME NO SEE" or something along those lines. And if they don't, it's because I feel like I'm always saying it on here. But really - long time no see. 

To be real, I haven't been in the best of moods lately. I'm not in a bad mood, I'm just not feeling 100% Lindsay. And because of that, I've been neglecting this. But, here I am! I had a good weekend and am feeling pretty Lindsay-like so I'm back and hopefully back for good! Ayooooo. 
This weekend I ran (eh...mostly walked) the Color Run with Shannon, Catie, and Natosha. It was hard waking up 6:45am on a Saturday but do what you gotta do to make sure you can get some Starbucks and a crossiant before speeding to the Color Run because you're super anxious about parking and not making it there before 9am when the first waves start the run. Great news though: we got there at the perfect time and were one of the first waves! Like I said, we mostly walked -- and by that I mean, we only jogged a few times: through the color stations and then again at the end to make it seem like we jogged/ran the whole thing. We are maybe posers for running at the end like that. I like to think we got to enjoy the course more than anyone who ran because we walked! 
The finish line "party" was a great time and everything but the weather and being able to be near the stadiums (ugh, dreamy M&T -- heart eyes) and hanging with my BFF and sister and Natosha were the best parts. I miss it already! 
It won't be too long until the next little fun run, though. Shannon, her cousins (who I love - hi!) and I are running the Electric Run in July. Excited for that :)
Easter was also obviously this weekend BUT it was also my dad's birthday! 
We're not a super religious family so Easter doesn't mean going to church or doing anything tradition-wise at my house. It normally means I have to be punished by hearing we're having ham for dinner (ham is not one of my favorite meats -- ick!) and just hang out with my family for half of the day and Paul's family for the other half. 
However, today was a bit different with it being my dad's birthday. Lots of Easter candy, dessert, playing outside, present opening and pictures on the deck. As an almost-25 year old adult person, I still get pumped on Easter baskets. Living at home has its perks - thanks, Easter Bunny! Paul surprised me with Easter treats too (Mr. Nice Guy) and I got to try the Summer Honey Wheat Blue Moon (heart eyes again). Wound up being a pretty great day!

Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with this whole blogging thing again. I have plans to try a few new cookie and brownie recipes in the next few weeks so I'll post those on here! With my 25th birthday in a week and a half, I am trying to come up with a year-long fully-pre-planned Happiness Project especially for my 25th year of life which I will also be posting on here for all to read. Fingers crossed I can have enough brain power and energy this week to get something going with that!

I love these things: Etsy edition.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I like to pretend that I have a few hobbies (if any). One of them being baking. Another one is finding-and-favoriting-and-possibly-buying-things on Etsy. I like to think I have an eye for favoriting great things on Etsy. I guess that's more of a talent than a hobby but I still want to call it a hobby so I feel like I have more than I actually do. 

Here are some of my recent fave favorites that I think are worth sharing (and buying!). 

Opening Day is tomorrow @ OPACY. Baseball is here! Hopefully baseball brought baseball weather with it because it's hard to wear t-shirts like this when it's snowing. The best thing about Etsy is that there are things on Etsy that are 100% unique that you can't find anywhere else. This shirt is an awesome example of that! You won't be seeing anything this great on in the O's shop online (and for only $12!).
I'm always looking for a new way to get wine into my life/mouth. I've been known to spill alcoholic beverages onto my Macbook Pro and almost completely ruin it and then pay $800 to get it repaired. So...I think it goes without saying that when I'm looking for a new way to drink my wine, I need that new way to have some sort of lid on it. Ideally, I'd like an adult sippy cup. These stemless wine glasses meet all of my qualifications - lid, cute, I can put wine in it. I'm all about them and want to buy some soon! 
"Who doesn't like getting cards/letters/packages in the mail?" - things I tell myself as I'm "building my greeting card collection" aka have 5 cards in hand @ Target. I've recently decided that it's fun and it makes me feel well-prepared for any birthday/get well soon emergency to have a greeting card collection. In my mind, I have to have as many as possible for any situation. You NEVER KNOW WHAT COULD HAPPEN and you want to have a card for every situation, haha. I'll probably be buying this one in a few days when I have an Etsy binge. It's so cute and simple.
Minnie Mouse life. Those days when I wake up @ 5:35am and I'm struggling to make myself get on the treadmill, I like to look at this swimsuit because I think, "I don't know. Maybe if I get on the treadmill and run a little bit, I'll be a little bit closer to being able to wear this in real life in front of other humans." It's perfect. It has polka dots. It's red. There's a bow. Ugh, need. Also, again, Minnie Mouse life. 
Etsy not only nails it at having the best human things but a lot of sellers sell things for cute little nice doggies. You can't really find adorable collars like this at a pet store or Target even (gasp)! I think Sasha wants this one. She likes to be fashionable and this is totally her color. Maybe for her half birthday in June! ;)

I love Nutella cookies.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

After a long time of not having the energy or desire to bake, be crafty, etc., I finally got my groove back  after buying some Nutella randomly at the grocery store one late Sunday night. I was craving Nutella. But didn't want to eat it straight out of the jar (why? I'm not sure. Something must've been wrong with me) so I went on the search for recipes to make with my newly purchased Nutella.

Let's go back in time, to late January...
I decided to make just regular old Nutella-filled sugar cookies. I made my sister, Catie, help me. I have made these cookies in the past and remembered it being kind of a pain in the butt to make them - so I thought maybe if I had someone to help me, it'd be less of a pain. Welp, even with Catie's help, it was still a pain. I think Catie could vouch for me on that too. The sugar cookie dough gets so sticky and doesn't 'wrap' (I could probably find a better word to describe it) around the Nutella as easily as the recipe says it should - which leads to me wanting to cry and throw dough across the room because I'm a toddler when I get frustrated while baking.
But no pain, no gain, I guess. These cookies taste amazing when they're done, haha. They don't always end up looking very pretty -- but they taste great! Here's a link to the original recipe. 

For 'World Nutella Day,' I decided to try to make some Nutella-related cookies again to bring in for my lovely coworkers. I was doing this to be nice and festive and for the sake of being Nutella-happy so I didn't want try baking anything that would make me want to roll around on the kitchen floor sobbing (this has almost happened when I've tried baking the previously mentioned Nutella-filled sugar cookies). Normally, I'll hit up Pinterest or Foodgawker for a good recipe when I need one, but for this one, I decided to go super simple in hopes that would get me a super simple recipe - I Googled "easy Nutella cookie recipe." Ding ding ding! I found a winner: Nutella-filled Funfetti cookies. What...a game changer. 
Not ONLY did I not need a partner-in-crime (or someone to hold my hand and comfort me as I sobbed over how sticky the dough was) but it was so easy that I actually thought I was doing something wrong so I had to look at the recipe at least 5x to double-check that all was well. These were a hit at the office and I had to eat 2 or 3 after they were done baking because YOLO. I highly recommend them!

P.S. Help me reach my goal of raising $500 for the Maryland SPCA!