Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sunshine and Sleep Deprivation: Thinking Out Loud #25

Happy Thursday! This week has been AMAZING because it has been in the 50's-60's every single day🙌 This weather is basically unheard of in Michigan in February, but I know winter will make it's return and probably dump a ton of snow on us. In the meantime, I'm going to soak up all the sunshine and warm weather while I can. On that very happy note let's jump into this week's thinking out loud!

1. I have chronic insomnia and it's been that way for 5+ years. I've been to TONS of doctors, have tried a zillion remedies but nothing has ever worked. All my doctors have attributed it to lupus, which can cause insomnia, but I'm desperate for sleep. I'm dead tired and no matter how early I go to bed I toss and turn for hours and usually end up with 3-4 hours of sleep. Does anyone else suffer from chronic insomnia? If so, what helps you sleep? I have tried sleepy time yoga, tea that supposed to help you sleep, all kinds of supplements, I don't have any screens in the bedroom but nothing works. Any and all advice would be appreciated. 

2. I babysat earlier this week and it was too nice to stay inside with the kiddos, so I took them to the park. Running around on the play structures, swinging on the swings, and playing on the teeter totter had me feeling like a kid again- it also had me exhausted😂 You are NEVER too old to play on a playground.

3. Did anyone else see the live feed of the bull that was running loose in New York on Tuesday? I was dying of laughter and was pretty entertained. I watched the live feed while eating lunch and it was an impressive chase. It eluded officers for a long time, but was eventually captured. My favorite part of the chase was when the bull was running down the street and officers on foot were full blown sprinting to try and catch it😂

4. I had a meeting earlier in the week that was down the road from a Whole Foods. Of course I had to stop in after the meeting and wander the aisles- aka try not to blow my bank account in the store. I managed to contain myself and only get the items I needed, but I saw the new GinnyBakes packaging and it's so cute! I'm a total marketing nerd, but the new design is amazing! The colors make it pop and definitely grabs your attention. Does anyone else notice  these kind of things? No. Only me? Ok, moving on...

5. One of my friends posted a Buzzfeed about things everyone can relate to. I did relate to most of the things the article mentioned, but "the chair" resonated with me the most. I do this all the time and I annoy myself doing it. I'm a chronic outfit changer so I toss the old outfit on the chair in my bedroom, which is silly because I have a hamper in my bedroom. I have to take care of it before bed otherwise it annoys me knowing it's there but every day it happens all over again🙈

6. This is also me😂 I will try to juggle as many bags as possible so I don't have to make a second trip because I don't want to make a second trip. Normally by the time I get in the house I have lost circulation in my arms because the bags are digging in, but if I've made it in one trip then I count it as a success😏

7. I'm finally getting back into my oatmeal game. I haven't spent much time on social media in recent weeks because I have been enjoying living in the moment. Plus a few weeks ago I found myself playing the comparison game so I decided to take a step back and live in the moment. It's helped me keep perspective and spending time with loved ones is WAY more important than social media😉

I'm going to end things here for now, but I have some exciting posts and news to share with you guys next week so be on the lookout! Have a terrific Thursday and an amazing weekend🎉

Can you relate to "the chair" or trying to get everything out of the car in one trip?
What is your favorite way to spend time outside?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Recently and Thinking Out Loud #24

Happy Thursday! I was actually prepared for Thursday for a change, but I make no promises about next week😁 I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day regardless of whether you celebrated with a special someone or not. If you are single look on the bright side you don't have to share dessert or any of your food with anyone😜 

This week's thinking out loud is a combo of random thoughts and recent life happenings. It's always nice to have something to share because sometimes the day to day happenings can be rather boring. Cheers to another round of randomness🍻 

1. I decided I needed some change so I got my hair cut and took a lot off. While it may not look short to you, it's short to me. I have almost always had long hair and I'm not one who likes to cut my hair often. I have no problem getting a trim, but big changes for me are hard. It might sound silly but a large part of why I haven't cut my hair is because a LOT of my hair fell out when I was newly diagnosed with lupus. I don't think guys understand what that means to a girl but it's really hard. Luckily most of my hair has grown back but I still lose a lot more than the average person on a daily basis. I finally let me cousin who's also my hair stylist cut my hair and it's definitely a change. My bun feels so small when I go to the gym🙆 

2. Friday was my boyfriend's birthday but sadly he had an exam on his birthday so he wasn't able to get away for the day. I had a fun weekend of surprises planned for him but I did not want to not see him on his birthday so I packed up his presents and the cake I made him and made the trek down to see him. He was in love with his birthday cake- it was a chocolate piñata cake with chocolate frosting (recipe here) and in the piñata part I put cut up Reese's cups because those are his favorite candies. Him and his roommates were pretty stoked about the cake and it was all gone by the next day. 

3. I had Saturday all planned out for my boyfriend but wouldn't tell him anything so it was a surprise. We just kind of hung around in the afternoon but I made dinner reservations at his favorite restaurant BD's Mongolian BBQ. Afterward I took him to a trampoline park where I surprised him with a bunch of his friends and his best friend who he rarely gets to see. Everyone was like little kids at the trampoline park and after an hour and a half of jumping we were all exhausted and thirsty. We ended up at Dave and Buster's because the guys were hungry and all of us wanted drinks. 

4. I got a spiced strawberry sangria and it was so good! A nearby table ordered and paid for a drink but left before it came so our waitress brought it over to our table. We let my BF have it since it was his birthday. It was a mango passion smashtail and oh my goodness was it delicious! He's not super big on fruity drinks but I had no problem having at least half of it. If you're ever at Dave and Buster's I HIGHLY recommend the mango peach smashtail🙌 After having drinks we hit the games and didn't leave until after 1am (WAY past this grannies bedtime). My boyfriend and I are determined to have a rematch in air hockey because we both scored on ourselves multiple times🙈

5. One of my friends posted a bunch of funny animal pictures on Facebook. I was cracking up as I was going through them because Cora does something similar to this😂 don't get me wrong I love Cora but she is definitely not the brightest dog. 

6. I am not huge into celebrating Valentine's Day, it's a bit too much of a Hallmark holiday for me plus I've had some fairly awful Valentine's Days in the past. This year my boyfriend decided to surprise me and would not tell me anything about what we were doing. I'm a pretty simple girl so I would have been happy to stay at home, cook and watch a movie. The only thing he told me was that we were going out and I needed to wear a dress. I wore a simple long sleeve red dress, gold necklace and brown boots (similar dress here and similar necklace here). He showed up with a beautiful bouquet of roses and snagged reservations to a restaurant I've been wanting to try because it has a lot of allergy friendly options. We came back from dinner, changed into comfy clothes and watched a movie for the rest of the night. 

7. I knew my BF was going to do something sweet for Valentine's Day despite me telling him not to so I made him a GIANT Reese's peanut butter cup. I shared the recipe earlier in the week. It was a smashing success with my best friend and it got the same response from my BF. It's a winner and super easy to make! Considering his birthday cake didn't last a full 24 hours I'm having my doubts this will last very long😜

8. I read a post by one of the amazing bloggers I follow and it struck a chord with me. Emily who blogs at Beauty In Christ shared her post , "A Single Gal's Thoughts on Valentine's Day." So often people grumble about being single on Valentine's Day but why can't you be happy regardless of what season of life you're in? You don't need a relationship to make you happy and if you think that then you're going to be sorely disappointed. Emily shared some reasons why she's loving the season of life she's in and I have to agree. I loved being single. I loved being unattached and doing whatever my heart desired. Now I'm in a relationship but I'm loving this season of life too. It's nice to have someone to go to events with (as a date) and to share the mundane things in life with. Emily is absolutely right that you can be happy on Valentine's Day regardless of what season of life you're in. 

I'll end things there for this week. Have a terrific Thursday and a fantastic weekend!

What's the best birthday you've ever had?
Did you do anything fun for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

Happy Valentine's Day💕 Even if you're not big on celebrating Valentine's Day because it's a Hallmark holiday it can still be fun to show and tell the people in your life how much they mean to you. 

Every year my parents and I exchange cards but that has been the extent of my Valentine's celebration. This year my boyfriend told me we have plans, so I have no clue what he has up his sleeve for the day. Instead of buying him a gift that he probably doesn't want or need I opted to make him a gift instead. He is obsessed with Reese's peanut butter cups so I made him a GIANT version for Valentine's Day (shh don't tell him!). Making the peanut butter cup is super easy- there's only four ingredients but you do need a springform pan. You can easily make this today for a last minute Valentine's Day gift and it is sure to be a tasty treat for your loved one😋

Giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
  • 24 oz semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 8 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

In a microwave safe bowl measure out 6 ounces of chocolate chips and two tablespoons of butter. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir until smooth and microwave for an additional 10-15 seconds.

Pour melted chocolate into 9 inch springform pan (I use this one). Using a spoon spread the chocolate out in a thin layer along the bottom of the pan and along the sides. 

Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.

Again, measure out 6 ounces of chocolate chips and two tablespoons of butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir until smooth and microwave for an additional 10-15 seconds. 

Remove pan from freezer and pour chocolate on top of the existing layer of chocolate. Using a spoon spread out the chocolate and again coat the sides. Place pan back in freezer for another 10 minutes. 

While pan is in freezer prepare the peanut butter. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine peanut butter and powdered sugar. The powdered sugar will give the peanut butter the crumbly texture, like in a Reese's cup.

Remove pan from freezer and use a spoon to spread the peanut butter out on top of the chocolate. Place pan back in freezer for a few minutes. 

Again, measure out 6 ounces of chocolate chips and two tablespoons of butter. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir until smooth and microwave again for 10-15 seconds. 

Remove pan from freezer and carefully pour melted chocolate on top of peanut butter. Use a spoon and gently spread the chocolate out and again make sure to coat the side of the pan. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes. 

Measure out the remaining chocolate chips and two tablespoons of butter in a bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir until smooth and microwave for an additional 10-15 seconds. 

Pour chocolate on top of other layers and use a spoon to gently spread it out. Once chocolate is smooth use spoon to draw a heart on top of the peanut butter cup if desired. Place pan back in freezer for an hour (or more) to allow all of the layers to harder. 

Carefully remove peanut butter cup from pan by releasing the sides and then the bottom. Store peanut butter cup in refrigerator for optimal freshness.