Bake with Me: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

This past weekend, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my Aunt’s house. So I decided to bake a bunch of yummy green inspired treats. Baking for every holiday is kind of my thing. I love finding fun recipes, buying all the ingredients, baking, and then creating festive trays for the occasion. 

FIRST UP- Slutty Brownies (Click for recipe) 

I called them Sassy Mint Brownies instead, lol! #KIDEARS

20190316_17473320190316_18112620190316_181754
20190316_183928

To display them, I put them on a green tray lined with white doilies. Then I added some butterscotch candies (gold coins) and the Andes mint chocolates (green theme candy). I also added a few shamrock toothpicks. 

NEXT UP- Green Cupcakes

I didn’t really have a recipe for this. I just saw this picture online and drew inspiration from the image itself.

Green-Velvet-St-Patricks-Day-Cupcakes-7[1]

Not my photo

Here is my version, and what I used to create it…

I used Betty Crocker white boxed mix and Betty Crocker Cream Cheese frosting. I added a crazy amount of green food coloring to the batter to get that vibrant green color. I frosted them using a little pastry icing tool, added some green sugar sprinkles and topped it with either a green cherry (which I was super surprised to find!) or a butterscotch candy which I used to mirror a gold coin, (I couldn’t find any gold chocolate coins).

LAST UP- Lucky Charm Treats (Click for recipe)

20190316_235922

I just added some green food coloring to make them even more festive! 

20190317_002431
20190317_144113

To display these, I placed them on a white oval tray lined with doilies, and added some spear mint gumdrop candy to add some décor to it.

 Here’s my little set up…(dinner cooked by both my Mom and my Aunt…mom made Sheppard’s pie too, but I didn’t get a pic.)

 

I threw together a bottle of sangria and some green fruit (pear, grapes, apple). Apple wine on the side in case someone just wanted a glass of wine, or wanted to add more into the sangria. And some festive napkins, plates, and straws. A drink is so much better with a little umbrella or a cute straw! It was so good, I had quite a few glasses and was feeling a nice buzz. #YesImOfAge 

 

And you know I had to dress for the occasion with some fun festive accessories, and that morning I had some tea in my holiday themed mug…

 

The day was really fun, and everything was really delicious! However, I will say for the mint brownies, if you aren’t a fan of mint, than you may not like them. I like mint, so I LOVED them! I love celebrating my heritage and getting to do so with great food, and good company. They had an early birthday cake for me too, and I even got some early birthday gifts. It was a really sweet surprise and a great time! 

Happy “Belated” St. Patrick’s Day!

*All photos are my own.*

-<3-

 

Winter 2018 Bucket List

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now it is Christmas Vibes time! And every year I try to compile a bucket list. I notice they are probably super similar every year. But hey, these are the most festive things, and they all just put me in the Christmas spirit. Whether or not I get to all of them, is another story. But a girl can try!

I know technically we are still in Fall, but it definitely feels like Winter out- we got snow BEFORE Thanksgiving, so it’s hard to keep the Fall vibes alive. I think I did pretty good with my Fall Bucket List, so it’s time to move on…

e244b-cute-photo-happy-valentines-day-love-quote

My Winter 2018 Bucket List 

Buy a new tree (we chucked ours last year, it was shedding everywhere, and it was fake!)

Decorate

Buy this year’s ornament

Christmas shopping (I’ve actually started already, which is a miracle for this sometimes last minute girl!)

Fun Christmas outfits (I’m in the market for some new graphic tees, ugly sweaters, pjs. I actually just ought a tee with a snowmen on it, that says- “Oh SNOW You Didn’t!” hahaha)

Christmas movies and cocoa in a Christmas mug (my aunt just bought me the CUTEST one! I can’t wait to use it. I have been watching Lifetime on a loop with their cute Christmas movies! And Elf was on last night, so got that in already!)

Buy a Poinsettia

See the Christmas lights

Christmas vibes in the city

Find and print recipes (In my Thanksgiving research I came across a White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie recipe, and I saved it. So that’s what I think I’ll make! It just seemed more Christmasy than Thanksgivingy.)

Church tree lighting

Best Friend Sleepover (my best friend and I have done this for as long as I can remember and even though she’s married now, we still make time for our best friend traditions!)

Visit my junior high school friends (We’re all adults now with busy lives and it gets hard to see each other but we’ve been trying to make it more of yearly thing! Thanks to social media I feel like we keep up pretty well, but nothing is better than seeing each other in real time. It’s like no time has past at all!)

Dinner Exchange with my other bestie (my other best friend and I usually get together to exchange over a nice dinner. It’s a good time! And there’s usually wine and we’re foodies so there’s that, lol.)

Watch the Rockefeller Tree Lighting on tv- I always miss it!

Send out Santa Mail for my favorite kiddies! (this is a tradition I started with my god daughter when she was born and now I do it for her little brother and for my new little niece!) 

 

What’s on your Bucket List this coming winter season?

Did I miss anything?

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

 

 

 

#BLOGTOBER Day 17- Some Recipes for the Fall Season

During holiday season, I usually like to bake some treats. The next few recipes, I’m going to share with you, I have baked for Thanksgiving. I know we still have a bit to go. We still have to celebrate Halloween, and I’m not one to rush holidays! But I just thought since I’ve tried out these recipes in the past, I can give you some ideas for planning ahead for your Thanksgiving meal. Or hey maybe you want to try one of these recipes out for Halloween, instead. Do whatever your heart desires!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these last year for Thanksgiving and added in my own little touch, by topping them off with Reese’s Pieces and adding Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to the cookie tray display. It also added some fall color to them! I made 3 trays of cookies, because I was visiting a lot of different people, (which is usually the case) so I made enough for each house. Can’t show up empty handed! To add to the presentation, I wrapped them in saran wrap and added some fall colored bows. I included a little tag with twine that said Happy Thanksgiving, and that stated they were Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavored, just in case anyone had an allergy, I wanted them to be aware.

20171123_001630
20171123_011058
20171123_011153

I searched my recipe folder, and my favorites and I couldn’t find the recipe. However, I feel like I remember searching simple few ingredient peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies, so it might have been one of these, linked HERE, & HERE 

Taste Verdict:

Peanut Butter and Chocolate are two of my favorite things. So I LOVED these. They were very rich and VERY peanut buttery. With milk, you can have one or two and it was delicious. I would definitely make these again. If you are not into peanut butter, I guess you can just omit it, and bake your traditional chocolate chip cookie. That’s always a crowd favorite. 

Layered Pumpkin Lasagna

20151126_182514

20151126_182521

20151126_195318

I found the exact recipe I used HERE

Taste Verdict:

This was a bit of a long process, and requires many ingredients, and ALOT of work. I wasn’t aware how time consuming it could be. It’s more of a no bake dessert, but you do have to create each layer and than build this sweet dessert lasagna. It’s a bit of a weird concept, but I thought it was actually really delicious and those who are pumpkin fans, seemed to enjoy it! I feel like I would tackle making this again, at some point. 

Apple Pie Punch

20141127_105628

Ingredients 

20141127_220915
I found the exact recipe I used HERE

Taste Verdict: 

In my family, I seemed to have taken on dessert and drinks. I usually bake for every holiday event. And one Thanksgiving I decided to add in a little drinky drank recipe. I omitted the vodka for this recipe, because I wanted it to be safe for the kiddies to drink, but guests were free to add a little spike if they felt so inclined to. This was a tasty treat. I’d definitely make it again. It was easy enough!

 

*All photos are my own, I do not take credit for any recipes used.*

Have any fun fall recipes to share?

If you make any of these, let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Fall Baking!

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

Love is…

 

CLICK HERE for an I LOVE YOU Playlist. ❤

 

two souls combining

weathering all storms of fear and uncertainty

Love is

having patience and understanding

Love is

opening doors and buying flowers just because

Love is

a look, a whisper, a touch

Love is fire

Love is rain

Love is friendship

Love is pain

Love is passion

Love is comfortable silence

Love is an embrace like no other

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

2017 Memory Jar Review

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!

img_1114

As I reflect on 2017, sifting through my memory jar, my Instagram and my blog posts, I realize SO MUCH happened this year. At the start of the year I made a vision board that I framed. It was made of just cool funky colors and images to match my room, but it also had one main word in the center and that word was CHANGE. I wanted to change and work on so many things and I wanted to make that word my mantra. As someone who fears change, I wanted 2017 to be the year I embraced it. And even though I had my ups and downs, my tearful breakdowns, my stressed out moments, and I lost a very special person- My Grandma very early on in 2017, I still managed to make some incredible memories. 

I’d I have to say that I rose to the occasion and embraced change. I changed. And this year I’m hoping to continue to change. To better myself, my life, my relationships and my career.

So here are My 2017 Highlights.

(in no particular order-but categorized)

 

*FAMILY/FRIENDS* 

-I rung in 2017 with my dad’s side of the family- my parents, my cousins, my aunt, and my grandparents. We even got to skype my brother and sister in law who were on their honeymoon in Hawaii at the time. I dressed up, made glitter cups, ate fun finger foods, and lit up sparklers as we had an impromptu dance party outside. It was a blast. It was in fact the last Holiday I got to spend with my Grandmother before she passed in February. I’m glad my family got to have that time together. It was also a huge family reunion when she passed, family and friends from all over came to be together. Although such a sad time, it was beautiful to see how much love there is and how many people wanted to share in honoring her life. Read more about that journey HERE. 

-Many family dinners, my brother hosted a few holidays at his new house- memorial day, mother’s day, father’s day, Christmas 2017, and New Year’s! My mom also hosted a few family dinners too. A lot of time spent with my immediate family. ❤

-I became a Titi. (In Spanish it means Aunt.) My sister in law and brother found out they were expecting their first child, so we got to be apart of the baby kicks and all that, I even got to sit in on one of their sonogram visits! We were all there for the birth and for hospital visits and for her Welcome Home. We also got to be with her for her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year! She’s precious. I’m obsessed.

-My family/friends welcomed a few new babies- my cousin’s baby girl, my brother and sister in law’s baby (my niece!!!!), and one of my oldest friends- Kate’s baby boy. 

-I attended special occasions like, my little cousin’s first birthday- it was a mickey mouse clubhouse theme!, my best friend Roe’s engagement party (where I was asked to be one of her maid of honors), I also went for several bridesmaids dresses, and got to see both my best friend’s in their wedding dresses during their hunt for the perfect dress! Attended my other best friend Jenny’s shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and wedding, where I was her maid of honor and my other friend Kate’s wedding/baby shower and her wedding! 

-Took a Zumba class.

-I caught up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while! 

-Had a few girls nights/day in/out. Got to see my best friend Jenny’s new place. Had lunch with my mom and my best friend and her mom. Met up with a high school friend a few times, had some sushi and froyo with some work friends, and went to visit with old middle school friends. 

-I dragged my Aunt and my mom to the Mermaid Parade, in the rain and we ended up having a blast! Of course I dressed up! 

-I got to see my two little girl cousins in their Talent Show, my other boy cousin in his school play where he played Mufasa in Lion King Jr. and my God Daughter’s first dance recital!!! I love going to creative things like that, they are so inspirational. And I always end up tearing up. I love art!

-I read milk & honey.

-I went to the Polar Express again!

-My cousin moved back from Florida for a few months. So I got to see him, and it was nice because he hasn’t been home for that long in a long time. 

-Had a fun park day with my God daughter and her baby brother. 

-I spent the 4th of July at home with some family, we had food outside and then went on our roof to watch fireworks. 

-I got to treat my mom to another play- this time I took her to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then I took her to Olive Garden. 

-My family and I went to this old neighborhood amusement park we used to go to as kids, and we played mini golf and I beat my brother! HA! 😉 

-Had a fun Beach Day with my mom, cousins, and Aunt. I only made it to the beach once that summer, but at least it was once!

*WORK*

-Started doing holiday/festive themed bulletin boards for my classes to display their Creative Writing work.

-My job hosted a Talent Show and my class did a skit called “School Struggles,” and they did so good! 

-I got a bunch of last day of Summer cards from kids I work with. The word around my co-workers was I got the most.  😉 I was kind of super flattered and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside! 🙂

-A few movie projects were completed by my kids in my Film Making class. 

-Chaperoned a few trips- one was to see Captain Underpants (which was surprisingly really entertaining!) at this really cool theater with reclining comfy seats, blankets, pillows and food service! The other was to the Museum of Moving Image which was really cool! We even got a special viewing of Moana. 

-My job hosted an end of the year carnival- with blowup rides, a photo booth, DJ, and a Taco truck…can you guys what was my favorite part—T-A-C-O!!!!

*BLOG*

michelleleighwrites turned 4 years old!!!! (it turns 5 next week!!!!)

-I finished the short story series- Welcome Home! (Start the series from the beginning by clicking the title.)

-Started a new short story series MOVE (will be continued this year).

-Also posted two themed shorts- one for Halloween entitled RED THIRST & and the other for Christmas entitled A Husband for Christmas.

-I did BLOGMAS! (and posted to social media regularly.) 

-Someone made “She Said” into a little video and sent me it, I found out it was also used as someone’s monologue. 

-I created social media accounts for MLW!

^(Accounts are linked in the BLOGMAS RECAP! post.)

*TELEVISION/NETFLIX/MOVIES*

-I fell in love with Hallmark’s  When Calls The Heart and #JACKANDELIZABETH

-I started watching Supergirl

Stranger Things & Fuller House released new seasons and they are killing the game!

-That’s So Raven got a Reboot- Raven’s Home– the nostalgia is real! Raven and Chelsea still crack me up!

Will & Grace got a Reboot as well, and they haven’t changed a bit!

-Got hooked on and binged Scream the TV series

-Also got hooked on Riverdale…and fell in love with a new ship- #BUGHEAD

-Bethany Joy Lenz was in a new film on Lifetime- Snowed Inn Christmas, and my best friend Roe and I watched it during our “Best Friend Christmas” tradition we have every year where we get together and exchange our gifts and watch a Christmas movie and drink hot chocolate and Sangria while munching on snacks. And let me tell you this movie was AWESOME! It had everything- Christmas magic, humor, romance, heart, a handsome guy, and our girl Joy! Duh? 😉

-I found a bunch of good movies on Netflix!

*MUSIC*

-Bruno Mars “24 K Magic” Album (songs rolled over into 2017)

-Ed Sheeran “Divide” Album

-Sam Smith “The Thrill of it All” Album

-New Selena Gomez Music

-Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me” Album 

-TAYLOR SWIFT  “Reputation” ALBUM!!!!!! (And Music Videos)

*PERSONAL/PARTY PLANNING*

-I fell in love with lighting candles, and wearing big comfy sweaters, which if you know me I used to shy away from because scents and fear of overheating myself would cause my anxiety to spike. I know that sounds like a weird highlight, but for me it means that I’m able to manage my anxiety in a way I wasn’t able to before. And do things people normally don’t think twice about. 

-I had a pretty fun fall- a lot of fall vibes, went to a pumpkin patch and got my fall goodies, lit candles, bought festive soaps and décor. Watched a bunch of Halloween movies, I even ordered Halloweentown on DVD, (FINALLY!). 

-Mini When Calls The Heart Premiere Party!

-I hosted a PUMPKIN PARTY! (Which I always wanted to do!)

-Had a Stranger Things Premiere Party (post COMING SOON!)

-I had a really special moment in confession this year. Read more about it HERE.

-I sent my god daughter and her baby brother (my second cousins) and my niece my special hand made, Santa Letters. It’s a tradition I started with my God daughter when she was born. I write a letter to her from Santa and mail it. So I continued it for her brother and of course I had to start it for my new little niece! ❤

-I was given a few special gifts in honor of my new role as “Titi,” two t-shirts, a bracelet and an ornament.

-I celebrated My GOLDEN Birthday! #26OnThe26th 

-I had some fun fashion moments! Palazzo Pants 

-I baked my butt off for this holiday season- for Thanksgiving I made Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter cookies with Reese’s Pieces, and for Christmas I made Chocolate cake batter cookies with Peppermint kisses in the middle and then White cake mix cookies with Milk Chocolate kisses in the middle and I also made a Berry Crumble.

-I’m learning my limits, and when to say no. I’m a fixer, and I realize rationally I can’t fix what I can’t control. And in this life there is a whole lot we have no control over!

-I finished editing a bunch of VLOGS!

-I put my birthday gift-Ninja bullet to good use and started making smoothies!

-I continue to decorate and organize my room. 

-Last Summer, I died my hair BLUE! and now it’s like a green/teal. I have yet to post pics, but that’ll be a post COMING SOON! After the last wedding I’m in, in July, I’m thinking of doing another color next Summer…maybe purple? 😉

***

That was my year in review as you can see, A LOT HAPPENED. And after my family was hit with a major heartache and loss early in the year, it’s an amazing thing to say that for the most part 2017 was a really good year. Looking back on all these memories, I realize that so much change happened and I managed to get through it all and make the most of it- at least I tried in most cases. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hard, or scary, but I realized that a lot of the changes were good, happy things. And although they can come with stress too, I’m happy to say that I had so many good things to celebrate. I hope 2018 is just a celebratory for my friends and family but also for myself. 2017 was a lot about me showing up for other people, and although I don’t regret it, I realize I still didn’t get to do a lot of what I set out to do in 2017. So I hope to accomplish them in 2018. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue being there for my family and friends, it just means learning when to say no, and learning when to make myself a priority. Like Sophia Bush once yet,

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.” 

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, 2018! May all your dreams for this year come true. Cheers! 

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOGMAS -Day 8- A Christmas Story

lights blogmas edit

I’ve been showing A Christmas Story in my Film Club class and I thought it’d be a fun little idea to try and make a poem out of some of the classic’s most pivotal moments. 

 

movieposter

 

Christmas season

Lights are gleaming

Stories on the screen unfold

Family to have and hold

Every Christmas

Watch with new eyes

Laughing at their jokes

Pink Bunny suit

Mean Santa too

Young boy’s tongue stuck to a frozen pole

In response to a “I triple dog dare you!”

Bundled up in the snow mounds

Randy screaming- “I can’t put my arms down!”

Flats tires 

Christmas jingles 

“Oh Fudge!”

Bullies coming to mingle

“Fra-gee-lay…

It must be Italian”

Fluorescent leg wearing fishnet stockings

Red Ryder BB Gun

Ralphie is just dying for one

Parents, Santa, Teachers say with a pout…

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Broken glasses

Icicle lies

Still a Merry Christmas to Ralphie’s surprise. 

 

-<3-

 

 

BLOGMAS -Day 7- Single in Season

 

lights blogmas edit

Week One Down!

 

Christmas. 

Such a magical, special, beautiful time.dajf0[1]

Twinkling lights.

Happy tunes.

Nostalgic movies.

Tasty treats.

Decorations galore.

Glitter and glee everywhere.

Right?

A time full of love and laughter.

Family and friendship.

And for some- that extra special love that just makes this time of year burst with happiness and cheer.

Whether it’s a Boyfriend, Fiancé, or Husband, it’s just somehow perceived as “better” with that person.

Right? 

But what do you do… if your single?

Because how is it that around the holidays being single, just feels even more prominent?

Mistletoe kisses.

In front of the tree pictures.

Family gatherings have everyone paired off.

And there you are, alone.

Ugh, of course. 

Here we go again.

And I’m supposed to be cheerful and happy?

I’m going to be really real here…

I’m not going to act like it doesn’t bother me. 

It definitely does.

I love romance, I love the idea that two people can fall so much in love with each other that they realize they have the only one they want to be with, forever.

I have always felt that way.

In my heart of hearts, I love, love. 

And being around so many people who have that, when I currently do not, definitely weighs on a girl. 

And you start to question…will I ever get my chance? My guy? My moment? My love?

I’m sure many of you ladies can relate.

And I will admit there are moments within the holiday season where I will feel my heart ache, and I will wish I had that special guy sitting next to me holding my hand, or look over to see him chatting with my guy cousins (who are probably ranking on him, because that’s what they do). Or baking cookies and wishing I could ask his opinion, or someone to just do all the holiday greatness with- like shopping for gifts, seeing the Christmas lights, or visiting Rockefeller center, or helping me conquer my current fear of ice skating. Or simply just sitting on the couch watching Home Alone in Christmas PJ’s.

Now that I think about it, I’m quite sappy. Haha. But hey I don’t care. You can’t regret what you want, if it’s really something truthful in your heart. And that is the image I have in my heart when I think about being in love during the holidays.

But then I look around and I realize having a relationship would only add to my already happy holidays. My family is crazy. And every year feels the same. Stressful and rushed. 

But I love my family. I love my holidays. 

I love visiting family, going to church, baking goodies, exchanging gifts, sipping hot chocolate, eating my heart out.

I love dressing in silly t-shirts or ugly sweaters and other crazy accessories [See: antlers & Christmas light necklace], chatting with my cousins, playing with the kiddies, and still finding A Christmas Story Christmas Day Marathon to be the greatest thing ever.

I love our bootleg chimney with our old school stockings.

I love my best friend Christmas day I have every year with my best friend Roe!

I love the holidays.

And as much as I may have my moments of sadness at times, I don’t think I would want to ever take the memories I have away, even though I’m single.

Sometimes you have to look at what you do have, and focus on that, rather than focus on what you don’t have. 

Happy Holidays, my singles, we got this! 😉

-<3-