Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are other-worldly. If you make them, you must promise that you will try one right when they come out of the oven. Although they are still wonderful cooled, it is never the same as when they are warm, gooey, and fresh out of the oven.

[Oh yeah]
You may remember that I made these same cookies last month using peanut butter cookies instead of chocolate chip. I'm pretty sure the original recipe of this sort was made with the chocolate chip, so I figured I'd give it a shot. They were amazing, of course. How can they NOT be? It's a cookie inside a cookie! And anything involving Oreos is usually a recipe (pun intended) for success. Not only that, but the chocolate chip cookie itself was really good. They stayed soft and they had the perfect texture and chocolate chip cookie taste!

I got the recipe from Picky Palate, where it originated. With things like this, I always like to try to find the original source of genius. I highly recommend trying these cookies out yourself. You will instantly fall in love...and then consequently want to eat the entire batch yourself (I highly recommend not doing this unless you like tummy aches). Make some and share them with your friends and family. They will seriously be amazed.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Raspberry Lemonade

Gahh...sorry for not posting for a week! I've been trying to go to the gym more lately, and I think I'm a little sleep-deprived this week because I've just felt so exhausted all week! Anywho... Wednesday Chris and I went to this local farm. I thought they had pick-our-own, but I was sadly mistaken. It was just a little farm market with freshly grown vegetables and fruits. The area was nice, though with lots of pretty scenery so I decided it was fitting for a photoshoot.

[Dress: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Payless]
I wish I could've picked some fruit because I've had a huge urge to. In the winter, I couldn't wait until the orchards were open for picking. I told myself that I'd pick everything I could! Unfortunately, it hasn't ended up that way. I haven't picked anything yet! The thing I want to pick most is raspberries. A. Because they're one of my favorite fruits and B. Because I've never picked them before. Coincidentally, the color of this dress is kind of a raspberry. I thought it'd be fun to pair it with my yellow shoes that I can't get enough of. The pairing reminded me of raspberry lemonade, which I loooove.

I got this dress at Urban in the winter because it was on clearance. I kind of forgot about it until now. The open back is so nice to have in the heat. I like it too because you can't see my bra. I find that usually, the open backs aren't strategically placed so that they cover your bra, but this one was so it was a winner! I must say, though, I don't usually wear pink. I'm not sure why. I have nothing against pink, but throughout the day I sometimes found myself wishing this dress was a royal blue or red. Maybe it's just my primary color kick taking over. Although when it comes to girly colors, I prefer purple.

I was supposed to go to the sunflower farm today, but the forecast says thunderstorms, so I'll have to go another day. :( Oh well....I'm sure I'll find something else interesting to do! Maybe find a vintage photobooth? :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Quick Pics

I've been taking in a lot of simple pleasures lately, whether it be a walk through the park at sunset, sunbathing by the pool, or just sitting outside and really appreciating all the beauty that exists in the world. I really love just being in the sun and feeling the warmth on my skin, hearing life around me and looking at the clouds. I've also been trying to plan things with friends and Chris and really make the most out of my free time, especially when the weather is so nice. It's finally cooled down slightly and isn't as humid as it has been. I haven't done one of these posts in a while, so here are some random pictures of what I've been up to in the last month and a half or so.

[Bowling shoes make me happy]

[Electric Lemonades at my cousin's wedding!]

[Neat wedding favor: Key shaped bottle opener]

[The best kind of chicken nuggets. We made these for my nephew on Father's Day, but I ended up having some too. :)]

[A pretty sunset at my favorite park :)]

[Cookies 'n Cream Cookies (there will be a post about them in the future!)]

[Sunflower that Chris picked for me and using a Butterbeer mug as a vase]

[Homemade crunchwrap supremes=AMAZING]

[Creepy eye picture]


I have always loved black and white photos. Sometimes a lack of color makes things stand out more... 

I have some more plans in mind that will knock things off my summer to do list. I'm going to Six Flags next month and I might be able to go up in a hot air balloon next month too! It depends on how much it is. It'll be tethered, but I don't mind. I just want to be in one and enjoy the view. Tonight I'm going on a camping excursion, which should be a lot of fun! I'll be bringing my camera, of course. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Black and White Cookies

I have to admit, I was kind of apprehensive about making these from the beginning with no real reason other than I had no idea how to make them since I've never made anything like them before. I've made cookies and I've made cakes, but these are sort of a cookie/cake mix in my opinion. The recipe even calls for cake flour! They're very dense and after eating just one, you start to feel full. They ended up being pretty easy to make, though. The only thing about them is that they are very time-consuming. First you make the cookies and then you have to make the icing. After that, you have to actually frost the cookies. Overall, I think it took me about 4 hours to have these finished. The recipe I used is from Annie's EatsI got about 18 normal cookies and one giant one out of it.

Once I had a good amount of normal sized cookies, I decided to just use the remaining dough to make one giant cookie. It came out pretty awesome! And it didn't take any extra time to bake, either.

[Giant cookie!]

For some reason, the white glaze came out really doughy and thick for me. I don't know where I went wrong because I followed the recipe exactly, but these things happen. I just kept adding milk and stirring until the glaze was the right consistency. 

[My love for Disney makes an appearance]

After all the hours put into them, they did taste great! These aren't cookies that I'd make often just because of the time commitment they demand, but it's definitely a good recipe to try and keep in your baking arsenal!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Simple Summer Outfit

When it's in the 80s and 90s day after day and you just want to stay cool, there's nothing better than a simple lightweight dress. That is my usual daily go-to outfit for summer. I could wear a dress every day all year long, but living in New England, it unfortunately can't happen. So when spring/summer comes, I take advantage of the warmth and sunshine and wear dresses as much as I can!

[I love silhouette shots]

This spot is a good place to come and think. It's this little field that sort of juts out into the water. You have to hike down a short path to get to it and it's off the main path, so it's somewhat secluded. Ever since I discovered it, it's always been one of my favorite spots. It's relatively quiet and calm, with the exception of the occasional boat that comes by. I know I've said it before, but I really love living on the coast. I don't think I could ever live too far from the water.

[Dress: H&M, thrifted from Goodwill
Shoes: H&M]
I got this dress at one of the local Goodwill stores on a recent thrifting spree. It's an H&M dress that I actually considered buying new when it was in stores, but I had passed on it because I already had the same dress in a different pattern. But since I found it in Goodwill, it was just my size, and it was only $4.99, I bought it! Thank you, Lords of the Thrift!

Chris and I went to the drive-in last night and saw the new Spiderman movie. It was awesome! It was my first time at a drive-in and I've been wanting to go to one since I was 17, so I was excited. It rained, so it wasn't the ideal night to go, especially for the first time, but it's a pretty far drive and we had already committed to going yesterday. I had to keep turning the car on and swiping the windshield wipers...lol. It finally let up a little towards the end of the movie. That's one thing crossed off my Summer To-Do List!

There were a lot of antique shops in the area, so we checked a few of them out. I ended up getting the type of picnic basket I've been wanting for forever. It's a wicker one with the double flaps. They are surprisingly hard to find, but I finally found one and it was only $14! I almost overlooked it too, but then it caught my eye at the last second. The antique/thrifting luck must be in my favor, lately (knock on wood)! I'll have to post a picture soon. Don't be surprised if you spot it in one of my next photoshoots!

I'm hoping to go to a sunflower farm soon, so that'll be another thing crossed off my list for the summer. I'm also trying to figure out where I'm going to plant a sunflower. I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably going to have to pot it since our soil isn't that great where our yard gets full sun. I kind of like the idea of having it in a pot, though. I don't have much of a green thumb, so wish me luck on actually getting the thing to grow! ;)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake w/ Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chris's only request for his birthday cake was that it be chocolate and peanut butter, but with more peanut butter than chocolate. So I set out looking for something that would fit this description. I decided I'd make a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting. This worked out for the decorating aspect as well since I needed the frosting to be dark.

I had known for months how I wanted to decorate Chris's birthday cake. I wanted the theme to be outer space since he's really interested in it. I wanted to dye the frosting black for the sky and then decorate it with the planets. I wasn't sure how I was going to do this. At first, I had decided on cake pops of various sizes, decorated like each planet. But that idea just wasn't sitting well with me.  Finally, I decided it was time for me to experiment with fondant. What a project this cake turned out to be!

Working with the fondant was actually my favorite part. I just used some circular cookie cutters for the bigger of the circles and I used the caps to the icing dye for the smaller ones. Decorating each circle was just like painting. I've never been an artist (I can't draw or paint for the life of me), so it's nice when I get to do something close to it. I enjoy painting, but I know that I could never paint a portrait or landscape or anything. The only thing I've ever really painted was little wooden jewelry boxes.

I originally planned to use icing to dot out the letters for the words and make them look like constellations. When I realized that wasn't going to work out with the kinds of icing tips that I have, I opted for using the white stars instead. It took forever to place them all! I was doing them one by one with a pair of tweezers! I was going to use the white stars as the background stars, but I'm kind of glad that I ended up using the yellow ones. I like how it made it look.

For the cake, I used a recipe I found at Average Betty. It was tasty, but it wasn't as moist as I would've liked it to be. I'm sure there is a way to fix that, but I have no idea what it would be. The frosting was delicious and I found the recipe for that on Joy The Baker. She used it on vanilla cupcakes, but I figured it'd work on any kind of cake! I was right!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Longing for Autumn

I've noticed that crop tops are in, which makes the 90's kid in me giddy! I am loving every second of it...especially since it's been in the high 80's/low 90's lately. It's just so nice to have an open, cropped tee to let any sort of breeze in. It's definitely most welcome nowadays...and comfy too!

[Top: Forever 21
Shorts: Forever 21
Shoes: Mudd]
I loved this cropped sweater the second I saw it because the stripes and the cherries have that retro vibe to them. I didn't end up getting it when I first saw it, but after a month or so I noticed it was on sale and I finally bought it! It's kind of a little too much for the super hot weather since it is a sweater and has sleeves, but I still love it. It'll be a nice summer-to-autumn transition piece. I kind of wish the cherries were red, but the pink is cute too.

Life has kind of slowed down compared to last month's numerous festivities. I still have my summer to-do list on my mind, so I'm sure it'll all pick up once I start planning some day trips and get togethers.

I love summer, but I've been craving autumn lately. I will always be an autumn girl at heart. It's my favorite season and there are moments where I desperately yearn for the crisp air, crunchy leaves under my feet, and fresh apples in the orchards ready to pick. I definitely love autumn festivals and fairs better than summer ones. There will always be something magical and enchanting about autumn to me. Maybe it has something to do with being born in October. I will always feel this odd sort of bond or attachment to the season. I do miss it, but for now, it is still summer and it is still scorching hot, so let us enjoy crop tops and sundresses while we can. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Fourth

How was everyone's 4th of July? Mine was pretty low-key and relaxing. Chris and I ended up at a BBQ with a group of our friends. We ate burgers, drank mimosas, and I got to lay in the sun for a bit in my strawberry print bathing suit from ASOS (It was the first time I actually got to wear it!). The pool water was a little too cold for me, so I only went halfway in. I'm such a baby when it comes to cold water, but it did feel pretty nice. Chris and I were pretty serious about our patriotic garb...

[Red, white, and blue....and then some.] 
Other than the BBQ, we watched some fireworks last Saturday night and then Tuesday night to celebrate. My favorite ones are the weeping willows. :) Fireworks are just so mesmerizing. I love watching them. Chris and I were talking about how neat it would be to be in a plane on the 4th. You'd get to see all the fireworks at once!

Hope you all had a great holiday! :)