Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Recipe Club: Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


I'm linking up again with Andrea for her monthly recipe club! Today we're making Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. Or Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies. Or Cow Patties. Or Chocolate Drop Cookies. You get the idea....you've probably heard these things called a million different names just like I have. 

The point is though, they're delicious! You probably have a recipe already for these, but this is the one that my mom and I use and swear by! 


Several years ago, our local Walmart published a cookbook filled with employees' recipes. It was a fundraiser, and my mom snagged a copy. There are some great cooks at our Walmart...just sayin'. 

Here's what you'll need...



I omitted the nuts because I hate nuts in my food. By themselves, ok. Candy bars, ok. Food...no. 

Back to the recipe...melt your butter, add the milk, cocoa, and sugar. 




Mix it all together...


Bring to a rolling boil. This is the IMPORTANT part. TRUST ME. I may or may not have messed these up before because of this step. And by "messed up", I mean they were ruined...trashed those puppies and start all over again.

ONLY LET IT BOIL FOR 1 MINUTE AND REMOVE IT FROM THE HEAT!

After you remove from heat, stir in the peanut butter, oats & vanilla. *DO NOT* I REPEAT *DO NOT* stir in these last ingredients while it's still on the stove and boiling. You will be disappointed. I speak from noble experience.


After you've stirred in the last ingredients, spoon them out onto foil or wax paper and let them sit until they have firmed. 

You can make them as big or small as you'd like. I used a heaping teaspoon full for this batch and it made about 30 cookies. 


Store them in an air-tight container and they'll keep forever....but they won't last forever. (Unless you're Stephen Stafford who doesn't like these cookies! WHY didn't I know these things BEFORE we got married?!)

I've heard of adding coconut to these cookies or substituting creamy peanut butter for crunchy peanut butter. But, why fix something that's not broken, right? : )

These are a quick treat to throw together for your family or any summer gathering you may be attending. (Or in my case for your co-workers because I certainly do NOT need to eat 30 of these on my own, haha.)

Enjoy!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Christmas in July - ***SPECIAL #3***

***Special #3*** is here!! This is BY FAR my most popular size!!!

There came a point one time last year, the lady at Hobby Lobby and I were on a first name basis over this size. In fact, she called me one week to see how many canvases I needed in this size before she placed her order. HOBBY LOBBY CALLED ME.

Anyways, I digress. 


***Special #3*** is a 12x24 canvas...your choice of design 
and personalization for $35!!

I cannot begin to tell you how many wedding and baby gifts I have done in this size. They are perfect for newlyweds' new homes and above a crib!



This would be great for a shower gift for all the Fall Weddings coming up....




Or for all those precious new babies being born!




Such a great gift for such a great deal!!

Orders for this special price will be accepted through Sunday, August 2. 

And now for the "fine print"...

*All orders will be delivered by Friday, December 4th unless earlier date specified when ordered. (If you need it earlier, that's fine....just let me know. If you're in no hurry or plan to use these for Christmas gifts, then December 4th is your delivery date at the latest.)
*Customer List will be generated based on replies to Facebook, Instagram, Blog Post Replies & Emails.
*Once all names have been compiled for each special offer, orders will be completed in "assembly line" fashion and not necessarily fcfs. (This is just for my own sanity; you understand, right?)
*If orders require shipping, a deposit for half the amount will be required before painting begins. Shipping charges will be added to final balance. Final balance payment is required the day before the item ships.
*Orders will be accepted through Sunday, August 2nd, 2015. (This is KEY!)
*Limited number of spots are available for each special. (Also....KEY.) When all spots are filled, information will be shared on social media sites that orders are no longer being accepted for that specific special.

***SPECIAL #3*** posts live at 6am, Friday, July 24th!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Christmas in July - ***SPECIAL #2***

Thanks to all those who have already responded to **Special #1**!! Can't wait to share this next one with you...so let's get to it!

 I did something very similar to this last year and it was HUGE! I kept 2 of the same designs and added 3 new ones for 2015.

THURSDAY SPECIAL!!
Select 11x14 Christmas Designs for $25!!
Designs and Colors must stay the same as shown above. Wording is completely custom to your order!


This one is a repeat from previous years. Such a cute little snowman with Christmas lights!! I can personalize this with a holiday or seasonal phrase or family name!


I designed this one on a whim last year and have loved it ever since. The contrasting dots..the cute topiary...the contrasting greens...swoon!! This one can also be personalized with your choice of holiday / seasonal phrase or family name.


 I made several of this design last year. (Besides my friend Amy) Who doesn't love chevron?? This one looks great with a classic bright red and bright lime green!


Have I mentioned I LOVE Christmas lights?? Seriously, LOVE painting these little cuties. This one is just festive enough for the holidays but not over the top. Personalize it with a family name or phrase and  you're all set!!


And I HAD to include the one design I have painted more of in the past 5 years than I have anything else. My "side snowman". I love adding character to his face, hat & scarf!! This one looks GREAT with a family name, but also goes well with a holiday / seasonal phrase.

Count 'em...that's F-I-V-E Christmas designs to select from this year!! 5!! These make great gifts, and will be delivered by December 4th at the latest so they can be used in your decorating for this year.

Now for the fine print...

*All orders will be delivered by Friday, December 4th unless earlier date specified when ordered. (If you need it earlier, that's fine....just let me know. If you're in no hurry or plan to use these for Christmas gifts, then December 4th is your delivery date at the latest.)
*Customer List will be generated based on replies to Facebook, Instagram, Blog Post Replies & Emails.
*Once all names have been compiled for each special offer, orders will be completed in "assembly line" fashion and not necessarily fcfs. (This is just for my own sanity; you understand, right?)
*If orders require shipping, a deposit for half the amount will be required before painting begins. Shipping charges will be added to final balance. Final balance payment is required the day before the item ships.
*Orders will be accepted through Sunday, August 2nd, 2015. (This is KEY!)
*Limited number of spots are available for each special. (Also....KEY.) When all spots are filled, information will be shared on social media sites that orders are no longer being accepted for that specific special.

Merry Christmas (in July) !!!!! Get those shopping lists together....shop early to enjoy the holiday season!!

**SPECIAL #2** posts live on Thursday, July 23rd, 2016 at 6am!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Christmas in July - ***SPECIAL #1***

Trying to get back in the swing of things around here after a very bad, unexpected week last week. Back in June, I decided to post my Christmas in July Sale again this year, since the past two years have been such a hit.

I meant to start this yesterday, but life has definitely handed us a few curveballs lately. More in which I will share later on.

I have 4 different *Specials* this year; all of which will be posted throughout the week, and possibly into next week depending on how this week's events turn out.

I will post the "fine print" at the end of this post, and should any of that not answer your questions, please feel free to shoot me an email at ericafstafford@gmail.com or reply with a comment to this post OR Facebook message as this will be linked to my page there and my Instagram account.

TUESDAY SPECIAL!!!

Canvas Size 8x10....ANY design your little heart desires....
for $20!! OR 2 for $30!!! 

These make EXCELLENT teacher gifts...so I know all you locals will be finding out your kids' teachers this week since they're going back to school next week. This is a great time to plan ahead, get your kids' teachers gift for Christmas or Teacher's Appreciation Day early!!


This size is great decor for a new college student's dorm room or apartment!

Pick a seasonal design and add a little festive cheer to your holiday decor. Calling all you Fall & Christmas decorators!!


The possibilities are endless for the first special!


Here's the "fine print" as promised.

*All orders will be delivered by Friday, December 4th unless earlier date specified when ordered. (If you need it earlier, that's fine....just let me know. If you're in no hurry or plan to use these for Christmas gifts, then December 4th is your delivery date at the latest.)
*Customer List will be generated based on replies to Facebook, Instagram, Blog Post Replies & Emails.
*Once all names have been compiled for each special offer, orders will be completed in "assembly line" fashion and not necessarily fcfs. (This is just for my own sanity; you understand, right?)
*If orders require shipping, a deposit for half the amount will be required before painting begins. Shipping charges will be added to final balance. Final balance payment is required the day before the item ships.
*Orders will be accepted through Sunday, August 2nd, 2015. (This is KEY!)
*Limited number of spots are available for each special. (Also....KEY.) When all spots are filled, information will be shared on social media sites that orders are no longer being accepted for that specific special.


This *SPECIAL* posts live at 12pm on Tuesday, July 21, 2016!! Start making those shopping lists ladies!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Arabelle is ONE.

On Monday, my youngest cousin, Miss Arabelle Mae Brady turned 1! We celebrated her last weekend…as you will see from the previous post. But for today, I decided to share how my family spent our night exactly one year ago on Monday.

First, we must back up to one year ago Sunday. We were all at my Aunt Linda & Uncle Charlie’s house for a regular Saturday night get-together. Nothing fancy….pizza, games, whatever. It’s a regular and frequent occurrence for us. Somehow in the midst of the conversation, Robert & Sarah casually threw out there, “because we’ll have the baby tomorrow.” Insert silence and everyone stopping dead in their tracks. Come again? Unbeknownst to all of us, due to a few minor complications she had been experiencing, they had decided to induce her labor the next day. THE. NEXT. DAY. Which was about 2+ weeks before her due date.
(These were the pics we sent to my sister & her family who were on their way back from vacation. Nice surprise to receive in the middle of a long roadtrip!)

Fast forward 24 hours and we’re the lone family patiently waiting in the Labor & Delivery Waiting Room. She labored literally ALL day. Bless her heart. Some people came and went throughout the day, others came later on in the afternoon when she started progressing to the final stages. However, it was at those final stages that Miss Arabelle decided to take a rest and delay her birthday. We waited for what seemed like forever to receive word that she was safely here; and then finally at 9:36pm, our newest cousin entered our family!

Earlier that morning, I decided to document what Sarah & Robert weren't able to see. The happenings in the waiting room. I charged my camera and packed my chalkboard, chalk and eraser and I was set. After Arabelle was born, I took all these pics and made a photo book for the new parents. We all had so much fun documenting different events during her labor and photographing each other. Everyone was able to keep their mouths shut about this little project, and the photo book was a complete surprise when they received it.

These two boys and their parents came straight to the hospital once they got back in town from their vacation. 
 Preston & Lorelei were excited to meet their new cousin! These two were at the hospital right after Sunday morning church and stayed until she was born that night! Such troopers!!

Two excited and PATIENT grandpas!
 Chalkboard shenangians in full swing thanks to Ann Marie...
and an excited grandma to be!
 The natives started settling in for a long night's wait...


 Then, we started doing whatever we could to stay awake...some kept occupied on their iPads...
 Some did an impromptu Crossfit work out. We named this WOD Arabelle. (If you don't speak Crossfit, you won't understand. Crossfit is a second language at our house thanks to this one.)
 Some felt an exuberant amount of American pride....
And then, the food came...
No waiting room visit is complete without Ralph's donuts.

We quickly decided we were a family with a drinking problem...

Then we started taking selfies. Hey, whatever it takes to keep the energy going!
THEN, we started getting updates via group texts...things were starting to happen!
Notice the time....

This is where Miss Arabelle decided to just stop progressing. So we waited again....and waited....until...
Oh, but we waited some more....UNTIL.....
It was a following group message with a pic of the baby from the new daddy that announced her name to the world. After 9 long months, we finally knew her name!
 Arabelle is named after our grandmother, Ila Mae.
 Excited cousins!
Another Brady baby for these two grands!

Shortly after Arabelle was born, Sarah's mom came out with her two doctors. These two are the ABSOLUTE best you will find. Sarah is a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner and works under Dr. Bert Geer. He no longer delivers babies and focuses strictly on women's health...but for this particular patient, he made a comeback to the delivery room with Dr. Gernt. She was in the BEST hands that day under the care of these two!
 We may or may not have stood, clapped and cheered when these two rounded the corner! It had been a long day for everyone.
Because it was so late and Sarah was exhausted after such a long day, we settled for pics of Arabelle that night and were able to visit & snuggle the next day.



We were all smitten with this precious baby when she arrived a year ago.....
And we're still pretty smitten now...
Happy Birthday Arabelle! We sure are glad you are ours!!