Boardwalk Quality Maple Nut Fudge

Lately I have felt a little...overwhelmed. I have been bombarded with emails, working from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday, and have been struggling to put as much time and thought into my relationship as I'd like to.

When one of my sorority sisters asked me to go on an "impromptu" trip to Ocean City, I can't say I was quick to say yes. Not being a very adventurous person {which is something I've always hated}, all I could think about is how two days wasn't nearly enough time to get ready and how much money it was going to cost me. On top of that, I have been crazy stressed and wasn't interested in adding on to that.

I envy people who can make day trips to the beach, but I can't bring myself to do it. However, I thought about how I haven't seen the beach in three years and made the commitment to go {and made even more commitment to the trip by offering to drive}. There was no way to back out.

With the car loaded, iPods fully charged, and a bunch of vitamin water {thanks Paige}, we made the early morning, three and a half hour trip to the beach. Let me tell you, I may have been converted into a spontaneous, adventure kind of girl. Not only was it great to have an entire car ride to get to know my sisters better, but the walking on to the beach was one of the most freeing experiences I've had in a long time. We set up our towels, I put my phone away {mainly because I didn't want to ruin it with sand and tanning oil}, and got out my book. It was five perfect hours of tanning, talking, reading, and napping. It was so nice to get no text messages, emails, or calls, and!

After dinner, we walked on the boardwalk and came across a cute, family-owned candy shop, and took a look around. Like I said, I haven't been to the beach in over 3 years, so the sight of homemade fudge made me really excited. I got 5 pieces of maple nut fudge, and let me tell you, there is something so refreshing about savoring a small amount of something so amazing. I felt like I was a kid again.

On my way home, I finished my last piece of fudge and wished that I could enjoy that little piece of heaven at home....oh wait! I went online and googled around and came across this amazing recipe {tweaked for preference}. 

  • 3 Cups of White Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon of Maple Flavored Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cup of Chopped Walnuts

Grease an 8x8- inch glass baking dish and line it with a sheet of parchment paper {having the edges come over the side of the dish}. 

In a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl, melt the white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 3 minutes {depending on microwave} until smooth. Don't overhead past the mixture being smooth or the chocolate will scorch. Stir in the maple flavored extract until just combined, then add walnuts. 

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared baking dish; refrigerate until set {about one hour}. Remove fudge my lifting the parchment paper, then cut into squares.

Most of my family is out of town, so I decided to pull some of the reviews directly from the website that I found this recipe on! With a total of 43 reviews, the recipe averaged a 5/5 stars!

"I must say this recipe is just fabulous!, I followed the directions exactly and the recipe turned out great. My family really enjoyed this recipe and it is one that I will be coming back to again and again."

"The easiest, creamiest, yummiest fudge I have ever made! It looks and tastes PERFECT too! I definately will make this again and give for gifting!"

"Made this for the first time (never had maple fudge before) and it was divine. My son can't keep his hands off it. I had to hide a few pieces so I can have some more! It will become a yearly Christmas treat (if not more often)."

These fudge pieces are SPOT ON, boardwalk quality. Every time that I sneak to the fridge to get a piece of this fudge, I am instantly reminded of the little piece of heaven that I found at Ocean City.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think! Do you have any other cinnamon roll variation breakfast recipes? Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know that you're reading! :] It would make my day.

Recipe Slightly Adapted From: All Recipes

Thrifty Thursday: Repainted Chair

For as long as I'm able, I'm going to try to do a "Thrifty Thursday" series! If you've been keeping up with my blog, you'll know that I'm really into shopping at thrift stores as well as the benefits that they provide my local community. The reason that I say "for as long as I'm able" is because eventually I will go back to school and I'm not sure how many local thrift stores we have! I will have to do a little bit of research! 

Hopefully I can convince some of you to try out thrift shopping, share some ideas or tips for thrift shopping, or just give more insight as to what benefits they have for the giver and the receiver! 

So, this week I purchased an old-ish wooden chair from The Good Shepherd Alliance for $5! Why did I want to buy a chair? Well, my sister recently got a new apartment and took mine with her. I wasn't going to the store to look for the chair but came across it and saw potential!

It looks pretty good from far away but unclose it had a few..."flaws." You can tell that it has had its fair share of time in somebody's home! Not overall a bad quality, but I just wanted to make it "mine."

I decided to take it on as a project and paint it so that it would match the furniture and decor in my bedroom! Although I did make a few mistakes (it was my first time ever trying to paint a piece of furniture), I'm pretty happy with the outcome! 

I have done a little bit of research on how to paint furniture (thanks to all of you bloggers out there) and came to what seemed like a logical "game plan."

The first thing that I did was paint the entire chair with Zinsser Primer. That's right. I didn't sand. The oil based Zinnser grips like glue and dries in two hours, so I was able to apply two coats in just one day! I made the mistake, however, of not adding any kind of additive (such as penetrol) to slow the drying process, which created a few brush strokes. Now I know for the future. Then I did a quick sanding (nothing too strenuous) to remove any drips and brush strokes.

Since I'm not very "paint-savy" just yet, I decided to spray paint the chair with a general furniture paint with a satin finish. I spray painted the entire chair white, painted it up, and the spray painted the base a light green.

So I bought and repainted this for a total of $25! Not too shabby, right? I'm pretty proud of it and it looks great in my bedroom!

Do you want to share a thrift store find on my blog? Type it up and send it to! I'd love to share it!

Also, leave a comment and let me know what you think! Do you have any advice for future projects like this?

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Who doesn't love a good cinnamon roll? Don't base your answer off of how horrible they are for you, and don't remind me that they are. I absolutely love cinnamon rolls, but you know what I also love? Pancakes. Why not mix them together? All you need is a box of Bisquick and a few ingredients (that you most likely already have) and you can enjoy that cinnamon roll taste that you love!

  • 2 1/4 cups Bisquick Complete
  • 1 cup  Milk + 1 Tablespoon
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 2/3 cups loosely packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • nonstick baking spray

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the Bisquick (notice that isn't all of what the ingredients called for), 1 cup of milk, and both of the eggs. Whisk until smooth and set aside.

Preheat a pan to medium heat. Then, in a smaller bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, the rest of the Bisquick (1/4 cup), milk (1 tablespoon), cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk it all together until smooth. If the mixture is too thick for piping, then you can add a teaspoon of milk. Transfer the cinnamon mixture into a large plastic bag and snip a small corner from the bag. 

Spray your pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put about 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle (adding the cinnamon mixture will cause the pancake to spread out, so you don't want to put too much batter on). Immediately pipe a swirl of cinnamon around your pancake, so that it looks like a cinnamon roll! 

For best results, spray a thin layer of nonstick baking spray right over the top of your pancake (to avoid the cinnamon mixture sticking to the pan). When its bubbling and ready to flip, flip it over and cook the other side until it is lightly golden!

Not the best quality picture, but here is Bentley begging for a taste! Believe it or not, he is a picky eater, so this says a lot about how good they must be!

And here is the final product!

Bryson says, "What guy doesn't want to wake up to this? Nothing has gotten me out of bed faster than when Elise said "Hey, I made some cinnamon roll pancakes and you should come eat them!" Needless to say I was out of bed, showered, and at her house in 10 minutes. They're as good as they look. Light and fluffy with the right balance of cinnamon swirl, that wasn't overpowering. I give it 5/5 stars."

Enjoy! Let me know what you think! Do you have any other cinnamon roll variation breakfast recipes? Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know that you're reading! :] It would make my day.

Happy Eating!

Recipe Slightly Adapted From: Tablespoon

Thrifty Thursday: Craft Cart

This week, Bryson and I headed over to The Good Shepherd Alliance retail store to donate some furniture and take a look around (which I have been doing a lot of lately). Sometimes when I tell somebody that I went shopping at a thrift store, they give me a puzzled look and I can feel the judgement coming on. However, shopping at our local Good Shepherd Alliance provides emergency shelter to homeless individuals within our county and any items that aren't sold are shipped to Third World countries. Plus, it is an inexpensive way to shop and repurpose household items! I have found some really nice additions to my bedroom and even some DIY craft projects! 

So after browsing around and finding a well-priced couch and love seat for Bryson's apartment at school, I came across what looked like had potential of begin a craft cart! I have no idea if it was meant to be for crafts or if it was an addition to a bathroom as a vanity cart (leaning towards the later because it has what looks like a towel bar on it), but regardless, I was very excited! How much did it cost, do you ask? Only $12.50! Can you believe that?

The cart has a small towel bar, which for now I'm just using to hang some fabric of current projects on, but am brainstorming ideas to make it more use-able. The other side has three small drawers which I put some crafting supplies in. The bottom two shelves are holding future projects!

One of the other sides has open shelving with bars, which is PERFECT for my ribbon and paint (and of course, a paintbrush filled mason jar), and the last side has hanging mesh shelves where I put my sewing patterns, scrapbook paper, and sewing machine instructions!

Before I found this cart, all of my crafting supplies was crammed into a box and got really messy, very fast. At the same time, I don't have a lot of shelving or desk space at school to stay organized. This cart, however, will fit perfectly under my lofted bed at school, is on wheels so can be pulled out easily from under the bed, and can be transported between my dorm and home (instead of having a more permanent craft area in my bedroom.). And what do I love most about it? It was only $12.50!

I plan on doing a craft project (keep an eye out) to spice it up a little with some labels and a pop of color, but for now, I'm obsessed!

Here are some examples of other craft carts out there and their prices!

                                                       White Cart: $29.99, Ikea                                                     DIY Cart: $195, Lowe'sI don't know about you, but I think I got a good bang for my buck!Do you have any great thrift store finds? Feel free to leave a comment!

DIY Magnetic Make-Up Board

Whenever I'm in the mood to do a DIY craft, I think of a magnetic make-up board. I have no idea why. Ever since the day that I came across it on pinterest, I have been stuck to the idea like glue...or a magnet in this case (joke).

So, I finally found the motivation and I made one for myself! I am absolutely in love with my board and my bathroom counter is never cluttered....with make-up anyway!

If you haven't seen them yet, then I'm glad to introduce you to them! Check it out!

Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the process, but can hopefully give some tips for those of you planning on taking on this awesome craft project!
  • The first step is finding a frame to use for your magnet board. Instead of buying a new frame, I went to Good Shepherd Alliance (our Christian, non-profit thrift store) and got one for my friend Rachel and I for $2 a piece! Of course, they weren't beautiful, but that means we got to paint them! 
  • Go to Home Depot to get your metal sheet! We got a simple aluminum sheet ($5) and had somebody at the store cut it to size for us!
  • Choose a fabric and spray adhesive it to the metal sheet. After letting it dry for an hour, put it in your frame as if it were a picture! No need to even hot glue it!
  • When buying magnets, make sure you buy strong ones! Keep in mind how much your make-up weighs and how strong you'll need your magnets to be! Then, simply hot glue the magnets to the back of your make-up! I did have some trouble putting glue on my nice make up, but my friend Rachel reminded me that I had committed to this craft, and couldn't turn back. Sorry Laura Mercier!
  • As you can see in the picture above, I also painted a little wooden cup ($0.50 at Michael's) and put magnets on the back to hold all of my make up brushes, mascara, and eye-liners! 
The craft also turned out to be a cute photo-op!

My friend Rachel and I crafting!

Feel free to check out a full tutorial here!

Here are some examples of other designs!

Thanks for stopping in! I can't wait to share more of my DIY projects with you! I have a whole list lined up, so get excited!

Celebrating Another Year & A Golf Cake

Today was simply amazing. I slept in late, read my novel on the patio, took the dog for a walk with my boyfriend (Bryson), went grocery shopping with my sister, and then got to celebrate my little brother's birthday! He turned 18 today and let me tell you, I'm still in denial. What could be more exciting than that? Oh wait, today was also his last day of high school classes! That's what. 

Besides being so proud of him for all of his accomplishments and becoming the caring brother that he is today, I am just overwhelmed by how quickly this day came up on us! I just turned twenty, my brother is going to college, and my sister doesn't even live in the house anymore. When did all that happen? It's times like these that I realize how important it is to appreciate and savor every day of our lives. Kenny Chesney was right when he said, "life goes faster than you think, so don't blink."

That is why I absolutely love birthdays at my house! We all get to come together and celebrate another successful year of our life and all the promising ones to come. It was so nice, especially after being away from my family for so long, to get all the siblings (and boyfriends and girlfriends) over to the house, grill some hamburgers and hotdogs on the deck, give gifts, and reminisce on old and sometimes embarrassing memories. 

And of course, you can't forget the best part. The cake. As tradition, the two siblings always make the cake for the third on their birthday. I wanted to share with you the cake that I made for my brother (the avid golf player) this year!

How cool is that? I made his favorite cake (chocolate), covered it with white icing and white m&m's, edged the plate with some green icing, made a cute little flag, and WA-LA! A golfball cake! I am quite proud of myself (sarcasm) and he absolutely loved it!

Overall, I'm just blessed to have such an amazing family to come home to after such a stressful semester and to share the future with.

What do you guys do to celebrate birthdays in your families? I'd love to hear!

Back in the Blogging World

Once again, I have failed at being a blogger. I fell off the face of the blogging world last summer when I got stressed out. I have missed every minute of it and am ready to jump back in and reconnect with my old blogger friends!

I have, however, continued to read blogs over the past year. You know what I love about blogs? The sense of community! Your ability to attract and develop relationships online with readers that are interested in the same things as you is such a unique opportunity!

So here I am, a overzealous future homemaker who wants to live a more modest lifestyle. I am committed to the growth of my family and future relationships as well as the quality of my life overall and am hoping to further those things here, with you! I hope that you read my blog and share in the little things that make me happy: crafting, faith, cooking, organizing, and reflecting on life in general.

Comment here if you're still around via email subscriptions, and if you're not, I hope that I can reconnect with you soon!