Monday, October 31, 2011

Safe, Homemade Frozen Cookie Dough Cups

My family and I are those kind of people who prefer to just eat the dough, but I am one of THOSE dweebs who is terrified of raw eggs. So we had a problem. The kids would sit licking the bowl, while I sat and wondered when the salmonella would kick in!

We tried buying those little frozen cookie dough cups from a school fundraiser, and they were great. But they were also super expensive. Why spend so much when cookie dough is so cheap to make? So began my quest for good, safe cookie dough...

 I experimented making frozen cookie dough, just simply skipping the eggs. I was left with a dry ball of goo. Tasted OK, but the texture was awful. My next attempt, I added pasteurized egg substitute, and the results were better, but the dough got too creamy.
Audrey, adding the margarine
My next attempt, I tried using real butter to give it a stiffer consistency, but it was almost impossible to eat. So I had to chisel away at it with a butter knife to eat it!

So now that I worked out the kinks, I will share my recipe with the blog world :) If you follow my directions, you should end up with 12, 2 tablespoon servings of creamy, frozen dough, that still has that little bit of a sugar "crunch" that brings me so much happiness :) Enjoy!

In your mixing bowl, cream 2 sticks of MARGARINE (sorry, I usually prefer butter, but in this case, you have to go the fake route) While doing this mix 2 1/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
I like to use times like this to teach my kids that you do NOT lick your fingers while baking ;)

Beating at a slow speed (2 on  my kitchen-aid stand mixer) add 3/4 cup of sugar, and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar.

Stop your mixer while you measure ingredients, because to get that crunchy texture you CAN NOT OVER MIX!

Add 1 tsp vanilla.

Now time for your egg substitute. My recipe calls for 2 eggs. On the egg carton, it says 1/2 cup = 1 large egg. I use slightly LESS than 1/2 cup, or the dough gets too runny.

Now slowly add your flour mixture, but make sure you are still on low speed.

Add your chips. Stop mixing as soon as you add the chips.
My little sidekick, Audrey :)

To store I like to use bathroom cups. They are the perfect size for 2 tablespoons of dough, which is MORE THAN enough for an indulgent treat :) I'm all about portion control...


 After you fill the cups, take Press and Seal wrap and rip off an 8 inch section. cut that into thirds, so you have little squares.

Cover your cups and freeze. Pull one out when the craving strikes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meet My Boss...ME :)

Now that we've gotten back into the swing of another school year, I am looking forward to FINALLY getting back into a regular work schedule . Work schedule??  Many ask why I have one when I work from home. Don't I sit around all day eating bon-bons and watching soap operas??? (ok, I do, but don't tell anyone!)
I think my "friends" in Salem would agree with my bon-Bon choice. He-he!
[ source]

Finding the motivation to work for yourself can be difficult at times, but here are a  few things that work for me:

Work hard, but also remember your REAL job, your family.
Most people think that since I work from home, I have a lot of "free" time.  I have had to learn to tell people that I am working. I have set myself regular work hours, and I try to schedule appointments, and even fun things around my work schedule. In that schedule, I allow myself one hour in the morning, after my daughters are off to school to get my house in order. (I hate coming up after working all day to a crazy, messy house!) I usually work until my kids get home. I also try really hard to adhere to "off" hours. When my whole family is home, I limit my computer time, my sewing time, even my phone time. I try to be as available to my family as I can. This allows me a balance of being Gathered and Sown by day, Mom and wife by night.

This, doesn't become...

...this, without a little discipline.

Acknowledge that your business is your job.
When you work from home, it is very easy to get sidetracked. I get those tempting "wanna go shopping" or "come on, you can work later calls" from well meaning friends. I also tend to get recognized as "that girl who is always home" who gets frequent calls  babysit/drive carpool/volunteer at EVERYTHING.  You have to learn to tell people that you are working. Then they naturally begin to realize that you are not sitting around eating bon bons and watching soaps all day long :)  

I have learned that while I want to be everywhere for everyone, if I don't work, the work doesn't get done.  Which brings me to point two...

Set your schedule
Such a cute way to stay on top of your schedule!
I love what I do but I don't want to have my business be my entire life! I know when my standing commitments are, so I made myself a work schedule that is consistent from week to week. I know that I work best when I am home alone, so weekday mornings, when Ryan is at work, and the girls are at school, I WORK, WORK, WORK!  I am terribly unproductive on weekends, so I count those as my days off. If I so happen to feel like getting some work done while the family is busy, it turns out to be bonus time, which is always low pressure and relaxing.

Divide your time wisely
Over the last 4 months or so, I have realized the huge potential of marketing my business online. What I didn't expect was the insane amount of HOURS I would have to spend in front of my computer. That could be a problem, since my whole business is based on the bags that I create! I have learned to schedule a period of time to do my computer work. When that time is up, I have to turn it off until another scheduled time. That means I have to exercise an insane amount of self control. It is so tempting to just "check" my email or my blog stats... what I intend to be a minute will ALWAYS turn into 15 or 20. I've also started a list things I want to look up. That way, I can factor the web surfing in my computer time, and not allow it to take over my production time.
Here is the computer where I am sitting right now,
typing this post.
 I wish I were in the picture, so it could be like one of those
super cool infinity mirrors :D

Remember to LOVE what you do
When you are your own boss, if you don't feel passionate about what you are doing, it will be evident in your work. So let yourself have some fun! Take a few hours off to make a cool craft for your work space. Have a good friend over to chat while you  while you work. Take an afternoon to check out the competition and get inspired. Whatever it takes to keep you sharp, focused and in love with your job.  After all, isn't that what makes us "self employed geniuses " go to work each and every day?
Pinned Image
[source: work is not a job via ashappyaskings]

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wish me luck!

Yes, there is no hem in my jeans. I'm freakishly tall so my longs are never long enough. I got sick of shopping for "long enoughs" and ripped the hems out of my "hey my socks are showing" jeans :/
So I'm stealing a few precious minutes before I pack up the girls and head out for 11 hours of taking care of lots and lots of kids. I put on the not so cute but appropriate for 11 hours of running shoes, and my US mail shirt which fittingly reads "guaranteed to deliver" Oh I'm going to deliver alright! I'm going to rock me some childcare!
I purposely didn't show my face. No coffee yet means I'm not camera ready :)

Every October our school embarks on a huge fundraiser. All of the parents of the school rally together, donating their time to make 10000 (yes that's TEN THOUSAND!) home made dutch apple pies. It is amazing to watch and so much fun to be a part of. Hopefully I can get some pics today to show a little of that action :)

I got brought on as the chairperson of childcare about 4 years ago. Ugh. Childcare is definately NOT my forte :/  But my job is more or less running back and forth between 4 rooms full of kids, being watched by OTHER wonderful volunteers. So as it turns out, I don't mind being the childcare coordinator afterall.

Wish me luck, 'cause I'm about to make my cuppa and grab the girls. Not coming  up for air for at least the next 11 hours. Gulp.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Indian Summer at Newlyweds on a Budget

Today I guest posted for my friend Kari as she was out enjoying a vacation with her new hubby, Morgan. The day I wrote the post, we were enjoying a WONDERFUL indian summer day, so I took some fab pictures and wrote about what I felt as I took in all the fall colors.

While you are there, you have to check out Kari's blog. She has such great home decor ideas, and since she is young and crafty, the projects are fun, doable and, of course, "thrifty"!

One of my all time favorite Kari posts is her Epic Fail post! I laughed so hard, and only wished I would have named my entire blog EPIC FAIL! It's soooo Angie!

And to risk making Kari out to be a total loser (which she absolutely is NOT,hehe!) I loved and laughed so hard at this other "epic fail" that she shared. Unfortunately, the only reason I can even laugh is because that's how MOST of my cakes turn out :/

So read, laugh and enjoy your weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

We all need a day off now and then

I've been offline for a few days, taking a much needed breath of literal fresh air in the beauty that is...Door County. Talk about just what the DR ordered! My Dad and his wife have a cottage there, where Ryan, I and the kids have an open invitation. {You can say we're a little spoiled!}

I have some great stories and beautiful pictures of the fall beauty of Northern WI, but will need another day or two to get it all together. I do, however want to show a few pictures I took last week when I was running errands around Sheboygan. I can't say enough how much I love the beauty of fall! In the wise words of my friend Amy as she explained fall to her 8 year old son this weekend: "God could have just made the leaves turn brown and fall off, but instead He wanted to give us a little gift by turning them such beautiful colors first" Oh, Amy, you are so wise!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Pics, thanks to Addimae Photography

A dear friend of mine offered to take some pictures for me for my fall collections. How awesome is that??I'd be a fool to say no! I gave her a big ol' bag of bags, and she sent me a message last night. It was 10 pictures that she took, as she was "playing around". 

{swooning}This is why I don't take my own pics. 

My very best pictures don't even look as good as her"playing around" pics! Tomorrow, we have a date to meet at our local historical museum to get some more pictures, which I'll post when I get them.

 She has a great eye for rustic flair, which goes so well with my {modernly-vintage chic-ruffley-pleated- fabulous} style! 

After oohing and ahhing over my pictures, please stop by Addimae's site and check out her work. And I know she'd LOVE to know what you think. Tell her ANGIE sent you ;)