Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

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This weekend featured rainy fall mornings made for baking cookies. My two-year-old is really into making Daddy cookies lately, so we got right to it yesterday. This peanut butter blossom recipe is an oldie-but-goodie from one of those family cookbooks most of us have in our collection.

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I like to use the miniature Hershey’s Kisses. The rest of the ingredients are pretty basic.

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A creamy mixture of peanut butter and shortening gets the ball rolling right. Then granulated and brown sugar are added as well as egg, a little milk, and vanilla. The flour, baking soda, and salt are then mixed in gradually.

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Roll the cookies in granulated sugar before baking. My daughter loved helping with this part.

Just when the cookies come out of the oven, three mini kisses are placed on top so they melt slightly into the top of the cookie and look like a pretty little blossom. Happy fall baking, everyone!

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Recipe:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup additional granulated sugar for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • Miniature Hershey’s Kisses
  • Heat the over to 375 degrees.
  • Beat the shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.
  • Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to peanut butter mixture, beating until well blended.
  • Shape the dough into one-inch balls.
  • Roll in granulated sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately place three kisses on top of each cookie, pressing down slightly.
  • Makes about 18 cookies (but I make my cookies fairly large!)

Pretty Stuff: Plum Pretty Sugar

I have seen these gorgeous floral robes on herds of bridesmaids in the past few years, but only recently did I explore Plum Pretty Sugar. The company features robes, pajamas, and dresses in feminine floral prints.

Only then did it occur to me that even though I haven’t been a bride or bridesmaid in nearly three years, I could still enjoy a pretty robe. Especially since Plum Pretty Sugar had a pretty stellar sale going.

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The robes and pajama sets are lovely.

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The shirt dresses would be so cute paired with leggings and boots.

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The children’s line is adorable, too.

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I opted for the cami nightgown and matching robe in this print, called Willa Betwixt the Morning Light. (The names of the prints are poetic.)

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The products were shipped quickly. They’re soft, comfortable, and easy to care for on the delicate cycle in the washing machine. The Flash Sale is still going on here.

Because even old married moms like me need pretty pajamas once in a while when our husband’s ripped Nine Inch Nails tees and baggy sweatpants are feeling blasé.

This post was not sponsored, I just like the products.

 

Things That Take Less Time Than Choosing a Nail Polish Color

I love getting an occasional manicure or pedicure, but I almost always find myself standing in front of the nail polish shelves with my stomach in knots, stewing over finding the PERFECT hue.

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(Don’t worry, the car was parked when I took this.)

Why is it so difficult? At best, a manicure or pedicure is going to last a month. Furthermore, you can remove the color at any time if you decide you don’t like it. Does anyone feel my pain?

Here are things I have done that have taken less time than it takes to select a nail polish color:

  • Organized my sock drawer and thrown away the socks with the big toe spot blown out. AKA all my socks.
  • Selected and purchased kitchen appliances.
  • Delivered a baby via emergency cesarean.
  • Filed a 1040EZ tax return.
  • Pulled 62 cockleburs out of my schnauzer’s fur.
  • Taken a toddler to the bathroom on an airplane twice in one flight.

 

 

 

 

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence wasn’t really on our itinerary when my mother and I were recently in Rhode Island, but when our hotel near the beach turned out to be a flop, we diverted ourselves to downtown Providence for one lovely night.

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We grabbed the very last available reservation for that night at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel in downtown Providence and ate delicious seafood at Hemenway’s. We were a little disappointed that Providence’s famous WaterFire, which normally would have taken place the night we were there, was rescheduled due to Labor Day festivities, but downtown Providence still made for a great walk. There were also several wedding parties having photographs done that evening so we had fun scoping out the gorgeous dresses. Creeping on weddings is one of my favorite things.

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The Rhode Island State House was beautiful at night.

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This fountain in Burnside Park was a gift to the City of Providence from Italian Diplomat Signor Paul Bajnotti. It was commissioned as a memorial to Bajnotti’s wife Carrie Mathilde Brown, who was born in Providence.

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The next day we made a stop at Verde Vineyards about 20 minutes outside of Providence. I picked up a bottle of their Surveyor red wine to take home to my hubby.

Even when travel plans get disrupted a bit by a gross hotel room or impending bad weather, switching gears and changing plans can be even more fun!

 

Review: LuLaRoe Leggings

When the crisp days of early autumn hit, leggings and boots are my absolute fave. Sweet Kayla over at LuLaRoe sent me a pair of their amazingly soft leggings to try, and this weekend’s weather was perfect for giving them a whirl. When I say the leggings are amazingly soft, that’s no exaggeration. They are seriously the softest leggings I have ever tried on.

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I love all the fun patterns available and they’re a great way to incorporate a little splash of color to my go-to black and gray attire.

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I wore this ensemble to a church picnic this weekend and then lounged around in the leggings and a long tank top the rest of the afternoon. That’s how comfy they are.

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Check out more of LuLaRoe’s soft and pretty options on Kayla’s Facebook page.

Note: Kayla at LuLaRoe provided a free pair of leggings to A HOUSE WITH CHARACTER for this post, but all opinions expressed are truly my own.

Mystic, Connecticut

Over Labor Day weekend my mother and I took a quick trip to Connecticut and Rhode Island. We sailed, visited some wonderful friends, and ate fantastic food. Mystic, Connecticut was a definite highlight.

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The town is quaint and full of New England charm.

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We did a little shopping.

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I had to remind myself I live in the Midwest and all this lobster kitchen gear would be silly in my house. I wanted it all. I settled on a dishtowel with a sailboat on it.

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Of course we shopped for my daughter and nephew.

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Our sunset cruise on an amazing sailboat was relaxing and gorgeous. We had fun watching the crew lift and lower the sails.

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Until next time, beautiful Mystic.

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Book Thoughts: Why Not Me?

I enjoyed Mindy Kaling’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and her second book, Why Not Me?, did not disappoint either. Reason enough to read it is the chapter dedicated entirely to a hilarious fictional email string highlighting extreme inappropriate use of workplace email.

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(Image from amazon.com)

But she weaves plenty of inspiring thoughts in with her self-deprecating style of humor. She writes about how she sometimes feels really sad about how the friendships of our early twenties change so much with marriages, children, and careers, but revels in the fact that “the best laughter is that over a shared memory.” So true. That reminded me of a dinner I had a couple of months ago with one of my old college roommates. Over Mexican food and margaritas, we laughed until we cried reminiscing about the same old college stories we have reminisced about dozens of times.

One thing I didn’t really get is the title. It seems like the book would be more appropriately named Hard Work Pays Off, even though that doesn’t have much of a ring to it.

Kaling ends the book with a shout-out to a young girl who asked her a question at a speech she gave years ago. Her dedication to instilling confidence in young girls and grown women alike is evident throughout the book even if it is sprinkled with stories like that of her drinking too much champagne at a baby shower and making fun of a Hollywood mom for not getting her children vaccinated (to that mom’s face).