Cookie Butter

I know I’m not the only one who has a love of Biscoff spread.  There are pinterest boards dedicated to it!

I was in Williams Sonoma today and saw their Cookie Butters for the first time! Am I the only one that wasn’t aware these existed??


The offer 3 flavors, Graham Cracker, Cookies & Cream and Vanilla Wafer.   I snagged a jar of Vanilla Wafer.  At $12.95, this is a splurge but I had to try it.

vanilla wafer butter one

It is delicious!  If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I had it for lunch 🙂

I have already started thinking of how to use it!  Frosting, fudges, Muddy Buddies!  Ice cream, pies?

vanilla wafer butter two

Has anyone else tried it?  How about other flavors?

Happy Humpday!


Pumpkin Ale Cake {Spiked Recipe Challenge}

Today I am linking up with This Gal Cooks and Frugal Foodie Mama for their Spiked Recipe Challenge : Fall Beers!

Fall marks the return of all those great things that we love.  Cooler days, crisper air, pumpkin spice lattes and seasonal beers!  We love craft beer year around, but there is something special about the flavors you can only get seasonally.  For this recipe, I chose the Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale brewed by Foothills Brewery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina!  This beer was the obvious choice since my husband works in the brewery at Foothills! : )

foothills pumpkin ale cake

I adapted my recipe from a cake that a good friend of mine introduced me to.  It’s a doctored up cake mix and her original version is ALWAYS a big hit whenever I make it.  So simple – can be mixed up and in the oven in no time!


For my Spiked version, I made a few substitutions.

Pumpkin Ale instead of the water.

Canned pumpkin in place of the sour cream.

Butter pecan cake mix and vanilla pudding instead of her vanilla / chocolate version.

I kept the chocolate chips … their semi-sweetness is a nice balance to the sweetness of the cake.

The results were just as moist and amazing!  To finish this one off, I added a drizzle of caramel sauce.  And honestly, the cake is so moist, you can get by with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar, if you want to tone down the sweetness!


Here’s the recipe!

Pumpkin Ale Cake

1 box butter pecan cake mix
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs
8oz canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 c oil
3/4 c Pumpkin Ale
6oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350
Mix all ingredients together. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour into well greased bunt pan.
Bake for 45-50 mins.

To finish, drizzle 1/2 c caramel sauce OR a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Thanks ladies for the challenge!

Sharing Positive : Counting my Blessings

Today’s Sharing Positive is about counting my blessings.  Sometimes I think about all the dog hair I clean up, or the dishes I wash or the laundry that there is too be done.  And every now and then, I find myself wishing I didn’t have to do so much stuff.


Think about it!  A house that doesn’t need to be cleaned, a tidy kitchen and an empty hamper.  How lovely that would be, right?  I could have that.  I could get rid of my dogs.  Never have food to cook or someone to cook it for.  Not have the fortune of a closet full of more clothes than I need.

Then I remember the cleaning is just another part of my very full life.  Full of love, happiness, people and pets that I adore – I am fortunate to have all of these things and therefore I should consider myself blessed that I get to take care of these things.

Today during my run (those, by the way, come few and far between these days!), I looked up to the bright Carolina blue sky and counted my blessings once again.  I was hot but blessed by a beautiful sunny day.  Sometimes I wish my thighs were smaller, but today I was blessed by the strength they carry to push me up hills.  It was a great feeling at the end – to feel so tired and know that I am blessed by the ability to go for a run.

Your blessings may not be the same as mine, but I know that we all have more to be thankful for than we realize.

Count your blessings.

Happy Saturday!

Spicy Sweet Bacon Rub

Salty + Sweet = Amazing in my book.  Add a little spicy and I am in heaven.

I love using this rub on thick cut bacon whenever we are feeling a little indulgent.  The bacon is good as-is for breakfast or mixed into sweet baked goods! (We will also be using it on Grilled Chicken salads for dinner this week!)  Oh the possibilities.  When you want something that gives a little extra zing, try this rub!

spicy rub header

Mix together : 1/4 C lt brown sugar, 1/4 tsp ground red pepper, and 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper.  Rub onto raw bacon.  This will cover around a pound of bacon.   Bake at 400 degrees until crispy!   Keep an eye on it.. depending on the type of bacon it could go a little faster – and since there is sugar involved, you don’t want to burn it!

You MUST bake the bacon.  Otherwise you will end up with a mess.  All of the sugar rub would just end up in the grease.  Then you would have a pan full of hot sugar grease. Not what we are going for here.

I find baked bacon to be better.  It is crispier and holds its shape a little better than when fried.  Plus you don’t need to stand over a hot pan spitting grease!

spicy bacon after

Here is it .. hot crispy bacon on top, all the grease to the bottom.  Now, when I don’t use the sugar, I pour the grease into a glass jar and store in the fridge to use for other recipes.  Don’t judge.   : )

Let’s get rubbin’!


Sharing Positive


hello Tuesday!  Monday came and went this week and while I usually loath them, this one wasn’t bad!  So much to look forward to this week and next week is vacation! YAY!

I wanted to start my posting this week with some positive energy.  A positive project, if you will.. and you will, I hope!

At work few weeks ago, I was so impressed by someone I work with – her attitude, her helpfulness – that I emailed my HR contact to let her know.   I shared my joy with her about my co-worker.  And how she made my job easier and how much I appreciated her.    I wanted to share this with someone, and while, I could have emailed my co-worker directly, I wanted someone else to know how great I thought she was.    The response to my email “This made my day.”.  Hearing something POSITIVE about someone else actually made her day.

The point  – Sharing Positive Works.

Today’s positive project – share some joy with those around you.  Say something  kind.  Say something positive.




Something(s) Blue

When I started planning my wedding, I knew pretty quickly that I wanted lace bridesmaids dresses.  They are just so elegant!  My next criteria is that they would not cost more than $150 bucks or so.  I really didn’t want to ask my girls to pay that much for a dress.  I shopped around, checked out pinterest, googled images and found this fabulous Adrianna Papell dress from Nordstrom.


The bright cobalt blue was just icing on the cake!  I knew all of my girls were going to be gorgeous in it  … and I was right!  

Here are a few of my fave pics from the big day!

Bridesmaids dresses

One of my favorite details is the full length exposed zipper that ran down the back.  I love designs that are sweet and elegant with a little unexpected twist!





Mark of Mark Potter Photography did an amazing job capturing these pictures!  find him here :





Hello.. My name is Emily.

I got married to my awesome husband this past April. I love being a wife! I enjoy taking care of my current family (husband + 2 dogs) and dreaming of my future family (husband + 2 dogs + children!). I am looking for ideas… and hopefully sharing a few ones too!… for building a strong family and a fun, happy, beautiful home! I love cooking, planning parties, crafting projects (esp when it involves the first 2), and reading blogs! There are so many wonderful blogs and women sharing ideas and stories.