blog123

 

So I know it is completely cliché when we say we are going to go on a diet, become more successful, exercise more, etc. For me it meant a new beginning that would allow me to take some risks and help me to become me again. A few years ago people could only see the happiness in me and never grief, sadness, depression, or just plain broken down. To be honest I had never felt as broken as I did this year ever. I always believed  that everything happened for a reason and just went on with my super awesome life.

When we welcomed 2014 in I had a pit in my stomach. I could feel it coming but tried my best to leave all negative thoughts out. I wanted to be excited…. but it just wasn’t happening. When the day came to say goodbye to South Carolina I balled like a baby. Little did we know I was pregnant after 6 years of tubal ligation. We lost the baby shortly. I never knew the strength I would have in that situation. We immediately started looking forward for the upcoming deployment for my husband. This was another shock. We have been through 4 combat deployments. I knew that meant no phone calls for long periods of time and sending lots of care packages. I was completely okay with this. It was my life but I knew he would miss a lot with our kids older.

Two weeks after we said goodbye to my husband, we got the call that my brother had been killed.  That is something I never thought I would ever hear and it really affected me more than I would ever know. The month of September 2014 was a complete blur and I to this day I have no idea how I got through any of it. October 1 2014 I got a phone call that told me to be on standby. My husband was in the Philippines and his kidneys has failed. We may have to travel to say our goodbyes because they feared he would not make it much longer. Thank Jesus that he pulled through. The year 2014 was harder than anyone expected but my family held together and helped to support each other.

My family changed more than I could ever think it would be. I never imagined a future without my brother or that my husband would become 100% different. I am thankful for these experiences because they have made me stronger. Sometimes God brings us to a situation to help use become what we were meant to be. In Febuary of 2014 I started my bachelor degree in elementary education. I was excited to be a school teacher and influence little lives. It was something that I had always wanted to do as a younger Sonia. Fast forward to today January 14, 2016 and I have changed.  I have never been “normal” in most peoples minds. I have a lot of tattoos, purple hair, and just have different thoughts than anyone I know. God made me different and I have always loved feeling different.  In December 2015 I was feeling really bad and really felt like I needed to stand up for myself. I needed to stand up for myself to myself.

I know that sounds insane but stay with me here… I was holding myself back. My family, husband, friends, etc were trying to help me in any way possible but I was continuing to allow grief for my brother and the life that I used to live to hold me down like a wet blanket. IT was holding me like a prisoner. It sucked and it hurt badly. I lost myself in so many ways. In december 2015 I sat and thought for a while and realized through some self meditation and growth that I HAD TO CHANGE EVERYTHING!!! I was not going to make it as a teacher. My heart would never calus so that I would ever be able to let a child not have lunch when their parent did not have money or watch a child never get love and urn for love. I had recently discovered essential oils again and it was time for me to follow that passion like I had always wanted to do. I have always been a holistic medicine junkie and hippie at heart. It was time for me to make that change and risk. I did it! I withdrew from my bachelors degree, decided to get more tattoos, more purple in my hair and I am going to pursue my aromatherapy degree! I AM GOING TO TAKE A RISK that I am not sure will ever become fruitful but for me right now it feels right. I have not been as happy as I am right now in a VERY long time! I sat my children down on the first week of school and let them know the news. I cried a little but that crying let out pain. It let my body and soul start to grow again. Today I am so excited for my future. It has been bittersweet saying goodbye to my teaching future but teaching people how to use more natural ways to help their bodies heal is so much more exciting to me.

Today I want to encourage you to start living your most full life ever! We only get one life and I want to see you so excited and happy! I want you to have a passion for life.. if you are a mom like me, you have babies watching who need to know it is okay if we take a risk and do not win. We already are a winner because we stepped up and took the risk in the first place. I will be starting a happy program soon and I want to encourage you to get on board. It is time to get happy and live the life you have always wanted to. If you do not do it now… then when???

 

Signature

Posted in Goals | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

12doc

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

On the twelfth day of cookies my sweet love gave to me Gingerbread Cookies! I thought I would through a yummy light cookie on here. It is tasty and will so be the highlight of your next cookie exchange!

Ingredients:

Dry:
3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper ( optional- I did not use this at all)

Wet:
8 tablespoons ( 1 whole stick) unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup vegetable shortening at room temp
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
1 large egg

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets for cookies with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together and place to the side.
  3. In large bowl combine the wet ingredients. Start with the shortening and butter in your mixer for about 1 minute. Add brown sugar first until the mixture is light and fluffy. This can take about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and molasses until well combined. Use a wooden spoon now to mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  4. Divide the dough into two pieces and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled for about 3 or more hours. ( This is the perfect make ahead dough! It can keep in the fridge for up to 2 days!!)
  5. When ready to roll out cookies you will work with one disk at a time.  Flour your surface and all your dough to become room temperature. You want to make sure when you roll the dough will not crack. Place the dough on a floured surface and lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll the dough to a 1/8 inch thickness.
  6. Dip cookie cutters into flour to prevent sticking and press into the dough. Place dough 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Gently knead the scraps and wrap disk in plastic wrap and replace in fridge in order to be able to roll again.
  7. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes depending on your oven. You will want to see the cookie edges are set and a little crisp.
  8. Decorate! Royal icing is perfect and link is below to make your own!!

This is such a classic recipe! We always make these the week of Christmas so that we have a few for Santa! Sometimes we have to make a few more in order for Santa to have something because his very hungry elves… AKA my kiddos…. love to eat cookies!  This fabulous recipe can be found here from Food Network! The Royal Icing is also on this page towards the middle!

 

I want to thank you so very much for joining me on this amazing journey of cookies! It has been so much fun to have a bunch of cookies for your to see! I hope that you enjoyed them as much as I did finding them ( and making them as well!)

Until next time…

signature

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

12doc

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

On the eleventh day of cookies my sweet love gave to me Lemon Spritzer Cookies! I thought I would through a yummy light cookie on here. It is tasty and will so be the highlight of your next cookie exchange!

Ingredients:
2 cups of butter softened ( this would be 1 entire box of butter)
1 and 1/4 cups of sugar
2 large eggs
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
5 and 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
colored sugar for decoration

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl place the butter and sugar. Cream until you get a pale yellow and the mixture is fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time and incorporate completely after each egg. All lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla.
  2. Grab another bowl and combine flour and salt. Gradually add to the wet mixture. Press dough one inch apart onto an ungreased baking sheet ( ungreased due to all the butter… it won’t stick!)
  3. Sprinkle with colored sugar before you bake. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

This should yield about 12 dozen cookies! Perfect for your cookie exchange!  A big thank you to Taste Of Home for this amazing recipe… it can be found here

Until Next Time,

signature

Posted in Christmas | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

12doc

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

 On the tenth day of cookies my sweet love gave to me Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies!   There is something so sentimental about a yummy chocolate chip cookie. It takes you back to your grandma making homemade cookies. The fact that you are going to get a warm cookie with a cool glass of milk….. okay I am so hungry now. On to the recipe!

Ingredients:
2 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter ( this is 2 sticks) softened ( recommended land o lakes )
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs ( I use large)
1 12 ounce package semi sweet chocolate chips ( recommended Nestle Toll House Morsels)
1 cup chopped nuts ( if wanted)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients ( flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl)  set aside.
  2. Combine butter, both sugars, and vanilla at a high speed with a mixer. Beat and scrape bowl in order to make sure it is all incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add the dry mixture being careful to not have the mixture fly out of the bowl. Gently fold the chocolate chips and nuts ( if using) by hand.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. ( If you grease it the edges can become crispy and you totally want a soft chocolate chip cookie… unless you actually do like a crispy cookie…. then yay)
  4. Baking chocolate chip cookies can be an art like the sugar cookie. You will not want to go too far from the oven. It will only take about 9 to 11 minutes depending on your oven. I like for it to be a little firm and a golden brown. I take it out and always get amazing chewy cookies!  Allow to cool for at least 2 minutes to set and then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

I hope that you enjoy this awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe. It is a family favorite and we make it quite often.  Thank you to Nestly Toll House and Land O Lakes for such a classic recipe here

Until next time,

signature

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Christmas | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

12doc

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

 On the ninth day of cookies my sweet love gave to me Monster Cookies!   I am such a Pioneer Woman fan! I have adored her recipes, homeschooling and love for everything country for many years… more years than I have had my youngest son Cody! So this is a favorite cookie!

Ingredients:
2 Sticks of butter ( salted 1 pound butter)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 whole large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 and 1/2  cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt ( trust me… doesn’t make salty at all!)
1 and 1/2 cup oats ( Quick or regular)
1/2 cup M & M’s or more to taste
1/2 pecans or you can omit if you prefer no nuts in your cookie
3/4 cups Chocolate Chips of your choice
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
2 1/4 cups crispy rice cereal

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cream butter with sugars until pale and fluffy. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time. You will want to make sure to beat them well after each egg. Add the vanilla last.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly but do not overmix. This is where it is going to get fun! You can add the candy, chips ( chocolate and peanut butter), oats, etc.
  3. Add the crispy rice cereal last so it won’t get crushed. Gently fold them in.
  4. Use a cookie scoop to make even balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, then allow to cool on a wire rack.

I have made this many times and they are always different. I just use the extra little chocolate chips, oats, etc. This helps to use the little bits so they won’t go bad. I hope you enjoy them or even pass out to loved ones! Find the original recipe here

Until Next Time,

signature

 

Posted in Christmas | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

12doc

 

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

 On the  eighth day of cookies my sweet love gave to me Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!   Such a goodie and an oldie! This is another family favorite! Well here we go:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons of butter ( 1/2 cup is 1 stick of butter) softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt ( this is optional but really does enhance sweetness in cookies)
3 cups of  oats ( this is a Quaker Oats recipe and they recommend this brand)
1 cup of rasins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together with  an electric mixer. You will want to get a pale yellow and cream fluff.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix very well. You will now work with dry ingredients. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the oats and raisins.
  3. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet in order for the cookie to hold together… Remove and put on a wire rack to cool completely.

As I said before this is a big family favorite! I actually use a small ice cream scoop for my cookies so they are all even. I often get a little more cookies since it is a smaller scoop!

Until next time,

signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Christmas | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

 

12doc

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

 On the  seventh day of cookies my sweet love gave to me S’mores Blondies! Yes Yes I know  this is yet another non cookie recipe but it just is way to awesome to pass up! If your family is like my family then they go crazy for these awesome S’mores Blondies!  Well here we go…

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons ( 1/2 cup or 1 whole stick of butter) unsalted butter, have a little extra for the pan
1 cup of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup pecans or walnuts ( your choice for your favs!)
4 graham crackers, broken into pieces
1 cup miniature marshmallows ( Or big ones cut into small pieces)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. This one bar you will want to make sure you line the bottom of  a 9 by 13 baking pan with aluminum foil. You are going to want to butter the foil so the blondies will come loose easier. In a medium bowl,  mix the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs until combined. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until combined. Add the nut of your choice in the end.
  3. Spread the flour- nut mixture into the 9 by 13 pan. Bake this until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This is 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate chips and bake until the marshmallows are a pale golden brown. This can take 7 to 8 minutes more of baking.  You will want to allow the pan and bars to cool completely.
  4. Once cooled lift the foil out of the pan and place on the cutting surface. Peel the foil away from the blondies and cut into bars. This should make 24 bars.

This is another amazing recipe that can be found here at Real Simple

I hope you enjoy this amazing recipe and our family eats them all! Until next time friends,

signature

 

 

 

Posted in Christmas | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

12doc

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

 On the  sixth day of cookies my sweet love gave to me Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies! You know sometimes you just have to have some chocolate and these are the best thing to fill that void!

 

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter ( this is 1 whole stick of butter)
24 Ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup of sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla

 

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl whisk the first 4 ingredients ( dry ingredients) and place to the side.
  2. Combine the butter and 12 ounces of the chocolate ( this should be about 2 cups). Microwave on high in 30 second intervals. Please stir between each 30 seconds until melted. Let cook slightly so we can start adding the other wet ingredients.
  3. Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Be careful to not overmix. Fold in the extra 12 ounces of not melted chocolate chunks. Let this mixture rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon 2 inches apart onto the baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake  and rotate the baking sheets halfway through. You want the cookies to be firm around the edges. The done cookies should have cracks on the top of the cookies. This should take 12 to 15 minutes  depending on your oven. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

Shout out to Real Simple for this amazing recipe! You can find this recipe here

Until next time ( which is tomorrow :) )

signature

Posted in Christmas, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

 

12doc

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

 On the  fifth day of cookies my sweet love gave to me Fantasy Fudge ! Today we are making a something different. I know it is not a cookie but fudge is something that is super yummy and everyone loves it! This is a traditional and easy fudge!

Ingredients:

3 cups of sugar

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1 small can ( 5oz)evaporated milk ( about 2/3 cup) Do not use sweetened condensed milk)

3 pkg ( they are 4 oz each) Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate chopped up.

1 jar ( 7 ounces) Jet Puffed marshmallow creme

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 tsp vanilla

 

Directions:

Line a 9 inch square pan with foil. Bring sugar, butter, evaporated milk to a full rolling boil. Watch and make sure it does not boil over. Stir constantly. Cook 4 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees ( or soft candy stage which is it will make a firm ball when dropped in ice water).

Add chocolate and marshmallow creme. Stir until melted and you can add nuts ( I do not add the walnuts because I prefer a more smooth fudge) and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour into pan and spread evenly. Cool completely and use the foil to life the fudge out of the pan. Cut into even squares.

This is one of my favorite recipes! I hope that you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Thank you to Kraft Foods for this awesome recipe! You can find this and other awesome recipes here

Until Next Time,

signature

Posted in Christmas | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

12doc

Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies! Every day from December 1 through December 12 I will post a new cookie recipe! I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do ! These are 12 of our family favorites! I would love to help incorporate your cookie recipes in our 12 days as well! Send me a link and I will get it on the page!

On the  fourth day of cookies my sweet love gave to me Preacher No Bake Cookies ! Today we are making a super easy cookie that takes no real time to make! This cookie was supposedly named preacher cookies because families could see a preachers wagon coming down the road and they would be able to whip these up quickly without having to bake.  Well let’s get making!!

Ingredients:

2 cups of sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup of margarine ( 1 stick) or 1/2 cup of solid vegetable shortening

Dash of salt

1/4 cup of peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups of rolled oats

 

Directions:

In a 2-quart saucepan combine sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine. Heat over medium heat until the margarine melts and sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat slightly. Simmer the mixture for several minutes until the chocolate forms a soft ball when dropped into a bowl of cold water. If you have a candy thermometer it would be the soft ball stage 234 degrees. Add salt, peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until the peanut butter has been dissolved. Stir in the oatmeal and set aside for a few minutes. Drop your mixtures by the spoonful which should end in medium sized cookies. Let the cookie cool and harden.

This is an amazing recipe from The Hillbilly Housewife! One of my favorite websites! You can find this recipe here.

I hope you try this super easy and really yummy cookie! let me know how it goes!

Until Next Time….

signature

Posted in Christmas | Tagged , , | Leave a comment