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Last night we celebrated Avery’s (Bonnie’s youngest son) fourth birthday! It is mind-blowing to see how so much time has passed so quickly. He had a wonderful birthday full of gifts, family and cake. He received plenty of great gifts – all of which he loved and went ecstatic over.

As the ultimate Donkey Kong fan, Bonnie had to make him a special cake.

And he absolutely loved it.

It is hard to believe that it has been four years since we were last in the hospital waiting with the two older sons (Aiden and Asa) as Bonnie was in the delivery room.

It was four years ago that I received a late night phone call and I rushed to the hospital to sit in that room watching those two boys at 4 AM as they bounced off the walls refusing to sleep as they waited for their brother.

{seriously, bouncing off the walls at 4 AM)

And, it wasn’t until about ten hours later that Avery was born and the entire family got to see him.

And now he has gone from this:

To this:

I feel so old saying this, but how quickly time has flown by! I cannot believe this little guy is now four years old. Happy birthday to Avery! Next up is Asa’s birthday in a few short weeks where he will be seven years old :)



Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of those things that almost everyone loves and they are either awesome or okay. I don not think that it is actually possible to ruin them up entirely {unless you burn them to dus,t I guess} but, it is entirely possible to make the most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever. Though I have yet to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I did find a great addition to your favorite recipe which begins that path to perfection. What is that addition? Well, it is no mystery, considering that it is in the post title – it is that little Cocoa Almond part. Yeah, that amazing stuffing part. Mmmm… stuffed chocolate chip cookies….

When I first saw Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies a few months ago I just knew I had to try them. But I mm not a fan of how expensive Nutella usually is.  So, when I was at Trader Joe’s {for those who do not know of Trader Joe’s, it is a great grocery store chain found primarily on the coasts; if you know of Trader Joe’s, chances are that you will never not go there again} I found this:

What I kind of dig is that it is an almond spread as opposed to hazelnut {which is what Nutella is made with}. This does taste different and I like the almond a lot better. So, once I picked it up I thought, “What the heck! Let’s stuff some cookies.” Moviestar loves chocolate chip cookies {well, actually, he just loves chocolate… like a lot}, so I figured stuffing those yummy boys with more chocolate couldn’t hurt. Here is my recipe and few little hints ;)

Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies {with Cocoa Almond Spread}

Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies {with Cocoa Almond Spread}
Serves 2
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 10 hours
Total time 11 hours
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
A classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but with a twist of almond spread filling.


  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 stick butter (unsalted)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla pudding powder
  • tablespoon milk
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 jar cocoa Almond Spread ({or Nutella, if you must...})


Cooikie Dough
Step 1 Put your Cocoa Spread in the fridge. It needs to be hard in order to work with it.
Step 2 Whisk all the dry ingredients together {flour, baking soda, salt} in a medium bowl.
Step 3 In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together.
Step 4 Stir in the vanilla powder and milk until the batter is a smooth consistency.
Step 5 If you feel your dough is hard enough to shape, pull out your Cocoa spread and move on. But if you feel it needs some chill time, then cover the dough with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for 2 hours or so. When the dough is firm enough, pull it out of fridge.
Step 6 Preheat oven to 350°.
Stuffing Cookies - Method #1
Step 7 There are two ways you can stuff the cookies. The first way - hand roll about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough into balls, placing on a plate to wait for stuffing.
Step 8 Flatten each dough ball into the palm of your hand.
Step 9 Place a small amount of the cocoa almond spread into the center and fold the dough over and around it.
Step 10 Then roll back into a ball.
Stuffing Cookies - Method #2
Step 11 Or, you can try this method. Hand roll about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough into balls, placing on a plate to wait for stuffing.
Step 12 When you have a good amount rolled into balls, use the blunt part of a utensil to pierce a hole in each dough ball, large enough to place your cocoa spread.
Step 13 Spoon out a small amount of cocoa almond spread and place it inside the hole.
Step 14 Roll dough over the top of the hole to cover it.
Step 15 Place each cookie on a greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Step 16 Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are browned slightly.

I would try both methods of filling the cookie dough and see which is easiest for you. I know my method {method #2} sounds complicated but I found the cocoa spread stayed inside much more easily.



  • Carla - September 25, 2013 - 8:44 pm

    Cocoa almond spread sounds so delish! I could imagine doing this now and getting all messy, but that’s what I love about baking! I think I would put the spread in an icing bag and stuff them that way.ReplyCancel

I know it’s like a million degrees out right now {at least in So Cal} but this recipe just had to be made. Maybe it’s because of the heat but it being the beginning of September, I have been craving the Fall. I am ready to start wearing scarves and boots and super cute sweaters with leggings. I want pumpkin breads and cinnamon rolls. I want blankets and cozy movies on cold nights. But I also want warms soups. That’s where the Beef Stew comes in. And what makes this stew better is that the crockpot takes care of keeping the oven off and the house cool. Plus, it’s just a really great recipe :)

Crockpot Beef Stew

Crockpot Beef Stew
Serves 6
Prep time 30 hours
Cook time 5 hours
Total time 35 hours
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Serve Hot
This savory beef stew is a hearty meal full - perfect for an autumn day.


  • 2lb beef (chopped into cubes)
  • salt (to taste)
  • ground pepper (to taste)
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup pearl onions (trimmed, peeled)
  • 3 large potatoes (peeled, chopped)
  • 3 large carrots (peeled, sliced)
  • 2 stalks celery (sliced)
  • 1 cup dry red whine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1-2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaft


Step 1 Set up your crock pot and turn it to high.
Step 2 Season beef cubes with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3 Put the olive oil in a pan and brown the beef cubes, rotating them in order brown each side. This will really sear flavor into the meat. When the beef is done cooking, toss the pieces into the crock pot.
Step 4 Pour in the wine and broth into the crock pot and stir to combine.
Step 5 Add all of your chopped veggies and the garlic into the crock pot.
Step 6 Add the balsamic vinegar, herbs and ground pepper.
Step 7 lace the lid on your crock pot and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.

One last thing: Sometimes with soups and stews, you sort of have to let it cook for a bit and then taste-test. Some people might like their stew a little spicier {if so add a pinch of cayenne or paprika). Moviestar likes a lot of distinct flavors and therefore adds seasoned salt to everything because it really adds to and enhances flavors. I also love black pepper, so I add more of it to everything. Maybe you want more garlic? It all depends on your personal taste. My only tip {because I’ve learned the hard way many times} is to add small increments of your extra seasoning to the stew at one time. Don’t load it down with garlic salt or you might regret it.  But outside of that, enjoy this lovely Fall favorite !


  • Miranda @ Slashed Beauty - September 7, 2013 - 9:36 am

    I only recently got my first slow cooker and I’m in LOVE with it. My boyfriend and I both work during the day and take classes at night, so by the time we get home we’re hungry and exhausted, and it’s lovely having dinner waiting for us. I’ve made a beef stew before but this recipe seems so much simpler, gotta try it! As I type this, I have a Rosemary Chicken & Potato dish cooking in my slow cooker :)
    Miranda @ Slashed Beauty recently posted..REVIEW: Avon Super Drama MascaraMy ProfileReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - September 7, 2013 - 12:13 pm

    Miranda, Thanks so much for stopping by! Glad you like the recipe. It was really good the night I took these pictures. Rosemary Chicken and potatoes sounds soooo good. My husband and I love our crock pot too :) Went on over to Slashed Beauty and I loved it! What a great blog. Have an awesome day!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - January 16, 2015 - 12:26 pm

    The directions say to add balsamic vinegar to the crockpot, but there are no listings for that ingredient in the list. Help! Is there balsamic vinegar, and if so, how much? Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - March 3, 2015 - 5:06 pm


    Did you ever find out about he balsamic vinegar?? I’m making this for a school potluck and am wondering how much to add ..HELP!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - March 5, 2015 - 3:11 pm

    Amy and I am so sorry I didn’t reply to you back in March!! Emily I hope it’s not too late! I never realized I forgot to add the vinegar to the ingredients list! So sorry! You will need 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar. I will change my recipe and thank you for the heads up!!! Good luck and again I am so sorry!ReplyCancel

Yeah so…. I’m ready for Fall. You’re pretty much going to see a lot of posts about this fabu season on here from now on cause you know what, damn it? It’s September. I know it’s 100 degrees here in So Cal, but I do not care. I cannot help but think of Fall and all its coolness, which makes me then want to get cozy and cuddly. So, here are the soft and comfy Fall fashions I am looking forward to this season. I hope you’re into them as much as I am!

You can check out Claire’s favorite autumn outfits here, too!

I’m really loving loose casual sweaters this year. It’s so versatile. I mean who would have thought to pair it over a soft, simple dress and leggings? Certainly not me. But I could totally looked dressed up and cute yet find myself completed cozy and warm.

Speaking of odd pairings with a loose sweater, what about shorts? Alright maybe not for you folks who will start getting snow here in about a month {or even have highs in the 60’s} but for us here, this is a great way to add Fall fashion to an otherwise warm climate.


And again with the loungy sweater…. sorry, just get use to it. I’m digging the length with leggings. And I must say leggings are hot right now. Like super cool popular man :) Hope you havent been living under a rock for the last year or 2, cause then you wouldn’t know that. And then theres the big ol’ jacket. Yeah, I love it.

I also love adding femininity to an otherwise manish ensemble. Slacks rolled up revealing cute sparkly shoes is fun. And well, the bling necklace over the button up makes this loose and casual idea feel like something out after a hard day at the office.


What about the ballerina look? I certainly can’t pull it off but I love the idea. Thigh highs, long cozy socks, a loose skirt and cozy sweaters? I’m in!

Oh crap! The dogs need food, we are out of coffee for the morning and Moviestar needs me to pick up a Redbox movie on my way back home?! Okay, this outfit will be my perfect throw on when leaving the house for a bit.

Then there one of my all-time faves. A pair of jeans, a tee and a hoodie. What more could a simple girl like me ask for? Um, a beanie. Oh yes. That’ll do.

And maybe some layering too…. :) This makes me just want to curl up with a book.

K. Now that I’ve got these, I’ll start gathering for that cold weather. Whenever it may come …….


  • Avianti Jewelry - October 3, 2014 - 9:41 am

    Love fall fashion! I’m just looking at the outfits.. “this one. This one. Wait, I like this one……. All of them. I now need all of them.”ReplyCancel

We’ve always loved sharing anything and everything Wedding with you. Especially wedding trends so that we can help keep you {our beautiful readers… and maybe brides} up to date on the latest in weddingness. Well, as I’m sure you are aware cupcakes have begun to take over the ever traditional Wedding Cake. A lot of people will have both, maybe a small cake, but both. However, many brides have opted for cupcakes alone {I mean heck, they are so popular right now and if done right can be “awe”mazingly delicious}. Our own Claire loves cupcakes… like really loves them. Every time a new cupcake shop opens nearby we {Bonnie, Claire and myself} just have to try them out. Some are incredible and some we could do better. But it’s fun to try, right?

Well, why not have some at your wedding for your guests to try? If you are considering cupcakes as the dessert for your wedding, or even just an added bonus to your beautimus cake, here are some of my favorite wedding cupcake ideas from around the World-of-Baking Web. Check them out!


White Wedding Cake Cupcakes

by Julie at Table for Two

 {This is a very basic and classic white cupcake but after reading the ingredients and looking at this picture, I think they’d be a huge hit!}


Lemon Cupcakes

by Ashlee at I’m Topsy Turvy

{Ashlee has a few more recipes and ideas on this post if you want a beautiful borage of flavors for your guests. I’m just partial to this one :}


Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes

by Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker

{What an awesome idea for a 1950’s themed wedding! Or for just that simple, rustic backyard style wedding. Plus, it look delish.}


Raspberry Filled Almond Wedding Cupcakes

by Aimee at Shugary Sweets

{Almond wedding cupcakes are huge right now, but this recipe takes it to another level: add filling! I’d love to make these for a classy rich-people type party! Oh, I guess only Moviestar would get that joke…. for another post}


Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

by Ree at The Pioneer Woman


{I know these don’t look “wedding” but they are so scruptious, I just had to throw these in. I’m sure if you are any good at baking and/or decorating you could add something weddingish to it.}


Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes

by Bev at Sugarbloom Cupcakes

{I know, I know, I already shared a lemon recipe but these have cheesecake in them!! How could I not share this recipe. I mean, really. Tell me how?}

Pineapple Cream Cupcakes

by Tanya at Twelve O Eight

{Again, a themed wedding would be the perfect place for these little cuties. I’d say a beach wedding or at the very least a tropical theme, right? So summery and fun.}


Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream

by Shannon at The Curvy Carrot

{Last but not least of our wedding cupcake ideas are these classy beauties. Claire made some champagne cupcakes last Christmas-time and they were delicious. This recipe looks awesome and I love her decorations. I think this would be great along side a modern and glasses of champagne for guests to help themselves. Or, on the modern side, a 1920’s or 40’s art deco style wedding would also be a great place for these.}





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