Easy Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cinnamon Sugar Icing

It's been raining and gray here for over a week already with a 60% chance of more rain this week. I'm so over it, but it has made for an easy excuse to stay indoors and bake Fall inspired cookies! I'll jump on the Pumpkin spice craze as soon as it's seasonally acceptable and I freakin love it!

These cookies are super easy to make and they taste like a pumpkin pie, seriously. I think when I make them next time, I'm going to use Cool Whip frosting instead of the cinnamon sugar icing (even though it is delicious!) for an even more pumpkin pie taste! 

Cookie Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbs milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
Icing Ingredients:
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbs milk
1.) Preheat oven to 350. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment or Silpat and set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3.) In a large bowl, beat room temperature butter and both sugars on medium speed until combined.
4.) Add egg, pumpkin, maple syrup, milk and beat on medium until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture and beat until mixed.
5.) Cookie dough will resemble very thick batter. With a large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake (at 350) for 10 minutes or until cookies are puffy and edges are JUST starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing to cooling racks.
6.) Once cookies are cool, whisk together confectioners sugar, cinnamon and milk. If it's too thick, add more milk, one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
7.) Drizzle icing over each cookie and let it set. I drizzled the cookies on a Silpat mat, so that I would be able to clean it easily since a lot of the icing will end up on. Let the icing harden for at least 30 minutes before serving. 
Tip: Don't store these in an air-tight container. The air helps keep the icing "set", if you store them in an air-tight container they will get really soft and the icing runs making a delicious mess. 

Linking Up With:

(Frugal) Fall Entryway Display

I finished putting together our Fall entryway display last night and I love it! I used a few things I already had around the house, but everything else was from the Dollar Store and Target clearance bins. I'm quite proud of my thriftiness with this project (something I'm trying hard at lately) and in total, I spent less than $20 putting this entire display together!

First things first, I had to work on the Fall leaf "candles" before I could do anything. Check out the tutorial for those here.

Once I had the "candles" complete, I gathered the rest of my supplies and started messing around with ideas.
I usually have this beautiful vase sitting on our sofa table collecting dust, but I knew I wanted to include it, so I decided to fill it with some leftover mini pinecones from last Fall. 
After it was filled with pinecones I placed the Fall flowers I purchased at the Dollar Store. I also picked up some Fall leave vine-type things, to drape around the entire display. 
Next, I added pumpkin spice potpourri to the DIY "candles". I filled them about halfway with the potpourri and then added the battery operated candle on top. This way, the candles will have a nice Fall scent even though they aren't real candles; Win!
Then, I wrote an friendly Fall saying on my existing chalkboard (isn't this thing the cutest by the way?! I picked it up last year when I had more spending cash on hand at Michael's and I'm sure they still have similar ones). I went with "Happy Fall Y'all" as my saying because it's adorable and we're in the South, so why not?!
I knew I wanted to include these Italian white candle holders I received from real Italians (my sister-in-law and her family live in Rome) in my display, so I picked up some gold candles from the Target clearance bin.
And speaking of the Target clearance bin, these freaking adorable mini pumpkins were my biggest "splurge", they were $3.99 each. But, so worth it!
Finally, it was time to put everything together and come up with a display! Here it is in the morning sun, well kind of morning sun, it's actually quite cloudy here today (appropriately Fall-like).
And here are some pics of the "candles" glowing at night!
As I said, overall I adore this display! I can't wait to change it up slightly for Halloween and then for Thanksgiving, but these pieces will probably still all be included!!

What do you think?

Linking up at:

DIY Dollar Store Fall "Candle" Tutorial

Remember how I told you all that I have a bad case of Fall envy? Well, it's still going strong. I'm crafting, decorating and baking all things Fall-themed in an attempt to make myself believe it will be Fall like here soon. The tricky part is doing all these things in a budget friendly way, which means I need to rely on finds from Dollar Stores and working my crafty magic.

I whipped up some Fall leaf "candles" using items exclusively from the Dollar Store (the Mod Podge I already had at home, of course) to include in our Fall-themed entryway display. I LOVE how they turned out!

4 Glasses 
3 Bags of "leaves" (50 count each)
Rustic ribbon/twine
Mod Podge
1.) Using Mod Podge (ideally not the outdoor formula - it's all I had in the house, so it had to do) apply the fabric leaves onto the glass, one by one. 
2.) Continue around the entire exterior of the glass, making sure the entire surface is covered. 
3.) Once you're happy with the leaf exterior, cut some rustic ribbon/twine and tie it around each candle.
4.) Next, create a cute "burlap" bow and secure it to the glass with your rustic ribbon/twine.
5.) Let the glass(es) dry completely and then place your battery operated "candle" inside to finish off the candle. 
BAM - adorable, DIY leaf "candles" to incorporate into your Fall decorating.  When you turn off the lights and let the "flames" flicker through the decoupaged leaves, there is a fun stain glass effect. So fun! 
I'm finishing up the last touches to our entry-way tablescape and I'll share that as soon as it's ready! 

Update: finished the (frugal) Fall entryway display and I'm obsessed! It looks so good!

DIY Fall Popcorn Wreath

I'm seeing all the fall recipes and crafts appear all over social media and I want it to be Fall so badly, even though I know that Central Florida won't actually see any Fall-like weather until at least December/January.  What does this mean? It means I have a bad case of "Fall envy".

The only cure; jumping in and pretending it's Fall just like it is everywhere else. The first thing I wanted to do was make a Fall-themed wreath for the front door. I saw this tutorial for a popcorn Fall wreath and knew immediately that I would make one too!


Mod Podge (outdoor formula)
Burlap ribbon (2 colors)
Foam wreath
Popcorn kernels
Fall floral arrangement pieces
Hot glue/gun

1.) Use Mod Podge (any formula) to apply the burlap ribbon (or preferred fabric) to the foam wreath. Make sure to cover the entire wreath.
Don't worry if some places aren't perfect, it will add deminson and depth. 
2.) Switch to the Outdoor Mod Podge formula and apply the popcorn to the burlap covered wreath. Work in small sections and be prepared for it to take awhile. Seriously, a long while. It took approximately 4 episodes of Law and Order; SVU to finish. It probably wouldn't have taken that long if I hadn't been paying more attention to SVU than the wreath, but I digress...
3.) I did the top area first, then moved on to the center and sides. 
4.) I didn't bother with the backside, as it won't be seen once it's on the door, so...ain't nobody got time for that!
5.) Once the wreath was covered with popcorn I added some fall embellishments from the floral department of the craft store. Make it easy on yourself and use your hot glue gun for this step. 
6.) Then, I wanted to cover up the stems and gluey spots, so I whipped up a quick burlap "bow" and popped that on top of the stems.
7.) Next, I added some complimentary burlap near the top of the wreath, so I'd be able to hang it up easily.
8.) Finally, I gave the entire piece one final coat of Outdoor Mod Podge so that the Florida creatures didn't steal the popcorn. 
9.) Let the wreath dry and viola! Beautiful fall wreath!
DIY Fall Popcorn Wreath

Sharing this project through some amazing linkups. Be sure to check out Sugar Bee Crafts,  Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Kathe With an E, and Kim Six Fix for some awesome inspiration. Happy creating! 

Banana Bread French Toast

Why haven't I thought of this before?! It's a genius way to incorporate my love (obsession) for bananas! 

I'm forever searching for the World's Best Banana Bread recipe, so I'm constantly trying new versions. Each time, enjoying the results. 

This week I tried this recipe and it was okay, though not the World's Best as it claimed. My search will continue.

However, I had a brilliant idea to save some of the bread to make french toast with over the weekend and it was delicious!! Super easy too! 
Just whip up your normal (aka easy) french toast recipe and dip slices of banana bread into it. Fry the toast on each side for 1-2 minutes. 
Top with some butter and a little maple syrup and enjoy! And of course, bacon makes any meal that.much.better!

Healthy GREEN Smoothie You'll Actually WANT To Drink!

If you've been reading my blog then you know I admit that I am a terrible eater and that I still have the diet of a 5 year old living in the processed food heaven of the 1980's. I'm old enough now to realize I'm probably never going to be overly excited about healthy foods (no matter how trendy it is to be an organic, healthy food junkie) but I also know that I need the nutritional benefits a healthy diet.

I have motivation to improve my lifestyle and make it more of a healthy one; my husband and I have been trying to start a family for about a year now. Getting pregnant has not been the issue, it's more a problem of staying pregnant, but I'm not sure I'm ready to share my entire story with the world quite yet. It's heartbreaking, never-ending and every time I try and discuss it the lump in my throat comes back and the tears well up in my eyes. I can't even control the swell of emotions, it just happens every single time I think about it. I'm getting close to being ready to tell my story with everyone, but in the meantime I'll send you over to this blog. She's pretty much living my exact nightmare right now.

SO, in an effort to take those necessary steps towards finally achieving a successful pregnancy, I'm taking small steps in the right direction everyday. One of those steps has been improving my diet and incorporating more healthy foods and of course green vegetables (the devil!). I keep putting vegetables into regular recipes and trying to hide the flavor, which is not always successful.

However, this simple smoothie recipe is a total winner! It has a cup of kale in it (why the world is so in love with this bitter tasting veggie is beyond me) but that flavor completely vanishes once you add the strawberries and bananas. I even put flaxseed in this thing because the internet says that is important for smoothies but I have no idea what it does, I just say it's "healthy baby stuff" LOL.

Seriously, this smoothie literally tastes just like a strawberry-banana smoothie! Trust me, if you don't like the greenness of the trendy green smoothies, this one is for you. And apparently it will fit into whatever diet plan you're working on as it has no added sugar or anything :)

1 cup kale
3 cups frozen strawberries
2 bananas
3 spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons of flaxseed
1/4 cup of ice
1.) Go ahead and try and remove as many of the stems from the kale as possible. It's probably not really necessary if you're using a badass blender like the Ninja, but my warped brain is convinced the stems contain all the bitterness flavoring, so I removed them. And whoa, there are a lot of stems from just 1 cup of kale, check it out!
2.) Add all your ingredients into a blender and blend your heart out! I don't like my smoothies too thick (I don't want to spoon anything green into my mouth! lol) so I add more ice and blend until it is thin enough to be straw-worthy!
3.) There is no step 3, just 2 steps. Step 3 is to actually drink the smoothie!
 I have made way too many smoothies in my life in an attempt to be healthy and I never quite like the flavor, this one is actually one I will continue to make, drink and enjoy!