March 11, 2012

Rainbow Cookie Sandwiches

I've been seeing a lot of rainbow inspired treats on Pinterest lately and they inspired me to bake my own {super easy} rainbow creation – rainbow inspired cookies for St. Patrick’s Day!!

These are the easiest cookies ever, so adding the extra steps to dye them different colors really is not a headache. This is coming from one of the most impatient crafters in the world. I need instant gratification!

Rainbow Cookie Sandwiches

1 Box White Cake Mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Eggs
Food Coloring

Step 1: Create the cookie dough. Mix the cake mix, ¼ cup of vegetable oil and 2 eggs together.

Step 2: Grab six bowls and separate the dough by six. This is roughly 3 tablespoons per bowl. Yes, I do know the rainbow has seven colors, but the dough just didn’t stretch that far.

Step 3: Color your dough. For the non-mixed colors, I used about 10 drops of food coloring and it worked well.  I’m no mixologist – but my tip for orange and purple is to start with the “lighter” color and then slowly add the darker to the mix.

Step 4: Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for around 30 mins.

Step 5: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 6: Spray your cookie sheet with Pam and then flour them. Unless you have Parchment -- that is way easier and cleaner!

Step 7: Roll teaspoon portions into little balls and bake for 7 minutes. Let them rest for about one minute after you take them from the oven and then place them on a cooling rack. Repeat for all colors.

While I was rolling and baking, Nora helped clean out a kitchen drawer. Whatever would I do without a super helpful little girl?!?!

Step 8: Put a little frosting on a cookie and then place another one on top. You want the frosting to gush a little, but not too much. My tip is to start with a little frosting and add more as needed.

You will end up with the perfect amount of cookies for a family of four. Which is great… never a good idea to have TOO MANY cookies around the house!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

March 05, 2012

Sanity Savers for the Working Mama

Being a mama is HARD WORK!  When you add a “9-5” job to the mix, the juggling act {with flaming swords} begins! It can be super challenging and you can feel like you are constantly running around without a moment to sit down and rest, however, if you take some time to get organized, then things become a lot easier –almost {almost} seamless. These five “sanity savers” have helped me focus my time on my family.

Polyvore your closet!!!!
My mom use to make us kids layout our outfits the night before school to avoid the morning panic. It definitely helped.  So when I started back to work I figured I needed to do the same thing – except on a weekly basis. My Sunday goal is to spend 30 minutes to find 5 clean outfits for the workweek. I pick out my outfit, coordinating accessories and shoes and put them all together in my closet. Actually, it’s a lot of fun and you’ll quickly discover new outfits within your closet, or you might even justify buying a new accessory or black blazer (e.g. a black blazer could accompany at least 10 different outfits in my closet).

Don't judge me -- I have ZERO style!

Monthly menu planning.
I know, I know, I know… I talk frequently about monthly menu planning.  But I can’t help it, I’m a believer.  It takes a lot of stress off me just knowing what I am going to make for dinner. If monthly planning is too daunting, go weekly – then shoot for two weeks at a time, etc.

Invest in products that make you glow.
Okay, I don’t glow. But the following three items prevent me from looking like a zombie with a meth problem. I can’t speak enough about Philosophy’s Booster C Powder – it really worked to brighten my dull, very tired skin.  If you have dull skin, this product will work wonders!  Also, for my red, tired eyes, Visine saves the day. My point is that you need to invest some time and money into finding something that makes you look good, therefore making you feel good!

It's like heaven on my face.
Hire a cleaning company.
If you think about it, there are very few things in life that you can actually outsource – cleaning is one of them. The average cleaning company will charge between $80-$120 per cleaning…and it is worth every penny.  I now don’t have to spend my weekends deep cleaning the bathroom…instead; I put that time towards my family and that is the goal.

Frequently do laundry.
I use to get around to doing laundry on the weekends and it would take a good chunk of the day to wash, dry, fold and put away. Again, I don’t want to spend time away from my family doing chores! So, as much as I hate it, I do laundry frequently – folding the clothes as I take them from the dryer. I can handle 15 mins of laundry every other day; I cannot handle 15 loads of laundry every weekend.

What tips and tricks do you have for a busy mom?  What has made your life easier? What products make you look like you've slept 8 hours {or even 4 hours}?