The Great Cookie Experiment: Week 1

I've been wanting to try some new recipes this year so that I can add some variety to our cycle of family recipes.  It seems like we're beginning to eat the same things over and over again!  Time to mix things up a bit!

Since our cookie recipes seem to consist of chocolate chip, peanut butter or sugar (& the many variations thereof), I'm going to attempt to try a new cookie recipe every week for the rest of the summer.  I'll bake a dozen and then the rest of the cookie dough balls will go in the freezer for when we have company or want some fresh cookies without messing up the kitchen!  I'll share.  I promise.

Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups (10 oz. pkg.) Reese's Peanut Butter Chips

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.  Stir in peanut butter chips.
3.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 9 minutes.  (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft.  The will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.)  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely.  About 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

Me:  B+, liked the chewiness and the peanut butter chips idea with chocolate, but I think I'd rather have real peanut butter with my chocolate!  :)
Kids:  A-, liked the peanut butter chips a lot, but not the chocolate cookie so much.

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Beautiful Gray

Today is a quiet day on the home front.  DH left early this morning to take a class he's been wanting to attend for a while now.  I'm glad he got the opportunity!  A DF and I always take one Saturday per year and have a Girls' Day Out, so I find myself wishing he could go do something for fun some Saturday and enjoy a day to himself doing something he likes to do for fun!  Guys need a day like that now and then too, you know!  :)  He's been under a bit more stress than usual at work lately, so this is the perfect time for him to take a break!

It's a gray day today with temperatures quite cool for this time of year, but I'm not complaining!  Love being able to throw on a sweatshirt in the middle of June!  In honor of the color gray, I made a gray card this morning.  I've always loved Stampin' Up's Basic Gray, especially paired with white!

Stamps - Hero Arts (Dandelion), SU (Short & Sweet, sentiment)
Paper - SU Basic Gray CS, SU DP (Patterns Pack II)
Ink - SU Whisper White
Accessories - SU white ribbon, gemstone

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Coloring, Revisited

I've been wanting to dig our my Copics and forced myself to do just that today.  I pieced this card together little by little throughout the day today.  I'd seen the sketch challenge on the Mojo Monday blog and really, really wanted to play along!  I've actually never done a Mojo Monday challenge before, so I'm spreading my wings a bit this week!  LOL!  I also played along with today's Free for All Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers.  The challenge was to use a stamp that we'd just "had to have" when we originally saw it and then found it just got lost in our stash forever!  (Confession:  That isn't something that happens just occasionally around here.)  I located such a stamp with lightning speed and inked it up for the first time.  Why this adorable mouse hadn't seen ink yet is beyond me!

Stamps - Whiff of Joy (Henry the mouse), SU (sentiment, Create a Cupcake set)
Paper - SU Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, Pear Pizzazz CS, Paper Trey white CS, Basic Grey DP (Cupcake)
Ink - SU Poppy Parade, Memento (Tuxedo Black)
Accessories - SU Poppy Parade ribbon, Basic Grey button brad (Life of the Party line), Nestabilities (Circle, Scalloped Circle), SU 1" circle punch, foam squares (popped up main image), Copic markers (C1, E37, E39, E99, G24, R02, R05, R08, Y11, Y13, YR14, YR15, YR16)

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Friday Favorite: It’s All in the Mug!

What is it about a coffee or tea cup that either makes or breaks a good cup of coffee (or tea)?  For me, the cup has to be one I can wrap my fingers three quarters the way around (not too bulky) and light weight!  My DH, on the other hand, likes something tall and slender.  My parents and some of my friends like the big, sturdy, wide mugs.  It's all personal preference!

On our trip last weekend, my younger brother handed me a little insulated mug while I was trying to get my three little guys ready for Sunday morning church, knowing full well I wanted my coffee, but with somewhat of a guarantee it would remain fairly warm through the whole process.  (This same brother used to torment me by pulling my braids...hard!...when we were little just to get my goat!)  This little act of kindness made me smile and, afterward, I realized it was the perfect coffee cup for a mother!  I like it's a light weight, 12 oz. size and the fact that it's insulated.  How many times do you think I get distracted from my coffee in a morning?!  :)  No more microwaving for me!  Yay!

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Cool Down

What a beautiful, cool day after a succession of hot ones!  It looks like we're in for a treat the next few days and I'm looking forward to it!  I do love the warm weather, just not the extreme end of it for days on end.  Can't wait to get outside tomorrow and on into the weekend!

We're adjusting slowly, but surely, to the summer routine I'm trying to establish around here.  Seems like it always looks good on paper, but implementing the plan takes a little tweaking here and there before things really run smoothly for everyone.  We'll get there.  Eventually.  I remembered this quote today:  "Losers have excuses; winners have a plan."  I'm trying!  :)

I played along with today's Ways to Use It Challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers.  I've been finding myself really leaning toward simple cards this week.  Maybe it's just summer vacation sinking in?  I hope you don't mind!  I keep telling myself that one of these days I have to dig out my Copics and do a serious coloring job on one of my stashed away images, but I'm still waiting for the motivation to kick in.

Stamps - SU (Punch Bunch set)
Cardstock - Paper Trey (white), SU (Crumb Cake, Tempting Turquoise)
Ink - SU (Tempting Turquoise)
Accessories - SU buttons (Brights collection), linen thread, SU Scallop Circle punch, paper piercer, foam squares (popped up main image), glue dots (to adhere buttons)

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Things are sticky around here.  It's that kind of hot June weather that makes you stick to whatever you happen to be sitting on and cold beverages to sweat profusely no matter how fast you drink them.  It's hot.  Not as hot as it can be, but it's still hot.

I mowed the lawn today and was grateful I didn't have to push mow everything!  DH has been very busy at work this week and I'm trying to do some of those little jobs that I know I can help out with and not ruin something for him.  LOL!  Of course, it does help that I love to mow, whenever I get the chance!  :)  The smell of freshly cut grass always makes me smile and, when it's followed by the smell of fresh rain, that makes me smile even more!  We got rain!  Our poor little fruit trees needed some after all the hot weather we've been having!  We just planted them last week.

It's rather late as I'm posting this card, but I had fun making it!  I played along with this week's Sketch Challenge over at Splitcoast.

Stamps - Penny Black (Toadily set), SU (So Happy for You set)
Paper - SU Wild Wasabi, Certainly Celery, Basic Black CS, Paper Trey white CS, SU DP
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories - Spica pen (clear - on wings), Copic markers (G07, G17, YG03), baker's twine, SU Basic Black marker

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Horizontal.  That's what I was all day yesterday.  Sick.  Blah.  Lethargic.  No fun.  We spent the weekend in MN with family and had a wonderful weekend!  Then, I woke up yesterday morning feeling drained and not myself.  To make a long story short, I ended up on the couch or in bed most of the day, sleeping!  DH came home for a couple hours in the middle of the day to feed the kids lunch for me and stayed around until the youngest was napping.  Thank goodness for that!  Thankfully, it seems to have been just a twenty-four hour thing!  I'm feeling back to normal today after getting some food in me!

I decided to make a horizontal card to celebrate being vertical again.  :)  Looking back, it seems I've been making a lot of vertical cards lately, so this was good for me!

I played along with this week's Clean & Simple Challenge and the Color Challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers with today's card.

Stamps - Stampendous (Little Fruit clear set)
Paper - SU Melon Mambo, Regal Rose, Pink Pirouette CS
Ink - SU Melon Mambo
Accessories - SU Melon Mambo marker (faux stitching), SU 1 1/4" circle punch, baker's twine, SU ticket punch, Copic Spica pen (used on melon for sparkle)

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Friday Favorite: SMASH!

I am super duper excited about my summer journaling project that's about to begin!  I've ordered two additional SMASH albums for my two oldest boys and will be following along with the Big Picture Classes Kidding Around 2 class that begins June 23!  So excited!  Did I already say that?!  :)

If you think you'd like to join in the fun, Rebekah has an entire SMASH kit up for grabs as blog candy!
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We Have a Winner!

Drumroll, please...


Email me your address (see the "Contact me" button in the right hand column) and I'll get your prize in the mail to you!  Congratulations!  :)
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