Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lavender-Vanilla Sugar Scrub

I absolutely love these simple sugar scrubs using Imperial Sugar. They're super easy and a lot of fun to make. Plus, you can add all natural ingredients to help make them truly one-of-a-kind. The possibilities are limitless. With Christmas right around the corner I knew these would be the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for those who deserve a little extra pampering. I used Lavender 100% Pure Undiluted Essential Oil Therapeutic Grade- 10 Ml (Lavender, 10ml) to help create a divine scrub that smells great and provides the extra benefit of relaxation.

You'll need:

Lavender Essential Oil (found here)
Grapeseed Oil (also found here )
Vanilla Extract

This recipe's portion fills three 8 oz jars. 

Combine 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of Grapeseed oil. Add 8-10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, and a small dash of Vanilla Extract. 

Feel free to add (or withhold) the Lavender and Vanilla to your liking. I love the scent of Lavender so I used about 10 drops. Mix all ingredients well and then fill your jars. 

Also, Grapeseed oil is the perfect moisturizer to add into any body scrub. It is odorless and mixes perfectly with sugar, or salt scrubs.

Lastly, add a fresh sprig of Lavender + a pretty ribbon and a note tied to the jar, and VOILA! You have the perfect pampering gift for your loved ones (or for yourself).

Are you making any hand-made gift for Christmas this year? If so, I'd love to hear all about them! Comment below and share your hand-made gift ideas with us. 

If you're interested in purchasing the tags, message me at arhicks0427@gmail.com. I am opening up an Etsy shop soon but can custom make gift tags of any shape, color, and print. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mexican Wedding Cookies made w/ Rum Chata

Mexican Wedding Cookies w/ Rum Chata

This holiday season I took part in the 4th Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, which helps to donate  to Cookies for Kids'Cancer. Not only is this for a great cause. and a great way to network with other Food Bloggers around the country but you bake and receive COOKIES!! Anytime I can help a great cause while cooking I AM definitely all in.

The rules are fairly simple. You're paired up with three other food bloggers at random. You send your trio of food bloggers each a dozen homemade cookies, and then you receive (and eat) another 3 dozen cookies from another round of Food Bloggers. I was so thrilled to participate!

(PS - If you'd like to receive notifications & updates about participating in next year's Cookie Swap you can do so here)

Lucky for me (and B), I've been wanting to make Mexican Wedding cookies (one of my hubby's faves). However, I just knew I needed a little twist in the mix. Especially since the ingredients are fairly basic. (Flour, Sugar, and lots of BUTTER!) = Yum!

Annnnnd, since I wanted to "spruce" them up a bit I consulted my food director, aka my husband, aka B. He sometimes always has the best ideas.

You know what he said?! :
"Add some kinda liquor". (a man after my own heart)
Duh! It was my, ahem,  OUR "AH HA!" moment.
So. Instead of adding vanilla extract, I replaced it with with something I'd like to introduce to y'all: Rum Chata.

Plus, Mexican Wedding cookies would be the perfect cookie to send in the mail. Especially, since I've never really mailed a batch of cookies out before.

Add in the fact that these Christmas Cookies are soooooo easy to make - they were the one.

Man, oh Man! They were so good! I had a to make a few extra batches for ourselves. Husband approved, and I could hardly contain his sneaky little fingers. (See below).

Mexican Wedding Cookies w/ Rum Chata
Little dough balls of goodness
Mexican Wedding Cookies w/ Rum Chata
Easy packaging for shipping across the country
Mexican Wedding Cookies w/ Rum Chata
Sneaking a treat

I had the privilege of receiving some of the most delicious cookies from Jenna of Just J Faye, Linda from Food Huntress and Faith from Pixie Dust Kitchen. PS - I'm so excited to recreated Jenna's Christmas Treasure Drop Cookies (recipe found here). #sogood

Christmas Treasure Drop Cookies // image via Instagram

I also had the pleasure of mailing out a dozen little rum filled balls of joy to Bree from Baked Bree, Alexis of Lexi Bites, and Kelli from The Corner Kitchen Blog. I hope you ladies enjoyed them as much as we did!

Mexican Wedding Cookies with Rum Chata

by Amanda @ Fun In The Oven Blog
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Ingredients (24 cookies)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup powder (confectioner) sugar, divided
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans AND walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon Rum Chata
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and set butter out to soften to room temperature.
Once butter is softened, using an electric mixer (or hand mixer), combine butter and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, beating at a medium speed until fluffy and peaks begin to form.
Next, sift the flour into the butter and sugar mixture, and to mix thoroughly until dough forms. Gently stir in Rum Chata and chopped nuts until combined within the dough.
Form dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Cool cookies slightly, then sift the remaining sugar into a shallow bowl or dish.
Next, roll cookies into powdered sugar rolling one cookie at a time while cookies are slightly warm. Once coated, place cookies on a plate until cooled completely. Re-roll powdered cookies into the remaining sugar again until coated completely.
Serve, share, & enjoy!
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

What I love about Christmas: The Golden VLOG

Okay. So we're switching things up a bit today.

I teamed up with Faith from Life w/ Mrs G & The Artist (and a some other fantastic bloggers) and we're joining forces to bring you a series of monthly Vlogs. Faith, and her co-hosts have provided a list of questions for us to answer via video (hence, the Vlog).

I'm apologizing in advance for the awkwardness. This is my first time "Vlogging", and let's just say I need a little bit more practice. Either way, I had a great time answering the Christmas Themed questions and I hope you enjoy getting to know a face with name.

So let's dive in shall we??

December Prompts

1. What's your favorite Christmas song (and sing a few bars?) 
2. Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas day?
3. Are you a last minute present wrapper or are you done buying and wrapping 
presents way in advance?

4. What's your favorite Christmas movie?
5. What are a couple things on your wish list?
6. What is a favorite Christmas memory you have? 
7. If you are married, how do you split up time with each family?
8. Do you stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve? 
9. Do you get dressed up or get comfy in your pjs? 
10. Do you have your resolutions planned by the new year or think of them once 
the year is here? 

Alright, so now it's your turn. What are some of you Christmas and Holiday favorites? Comment below and let's get the conversation going!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Currently... {it's been a minute}

Hello? Is anybody out there?!

Excuse me while I clear away the dust and cobwebs around here...

Wow! It's been a minute! (well quite a few longgg minutes, if you want to be all technical about it).

You see, my life has been a complete whirlwind since Thanksgiving. In fact, even before Thanksgiving. In fact (again), I think I'm still recovering from all the Holiday cooking and festivities. Whew! It was a great time to be had and turned out perfectly, but damn that is some exhausting stuff. Throw in a couple of finals, a few research papers, a my final labs to teach and holy smokes has this girls head been spinning.

Therefore, I don't have a recipe for you today. But! Instead of abandoning my blog one more day, I'm going to get to the nitty gritty and talk about what's been going on lately. Well, what's currently going on. Because, I don't have much else to talk about... and well, I can do that, yo!

Eating - I'm enjoying my first round of The Great Food Blogger's Cookie Swap cookies from the amazing Just J. Faye and my morning coffee, laced with RumChata #dontjudgeme - because the first Monday of break when you don't have work or school to worry about you're allowed to put something special in your coffee cup and eat all the damn cookie you want for Breakfast. Ps - Please go check out J. Faye's blog. She has some amazing recipes up her sleeve. Like these Molasses Creams with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting - can you say "YUM"!?

Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap

Listening to - the ducks in the canal outside our house. Duck Commander ain't got shiz on these duck calls. They're the real deal, and I love it! #nokillzone

Planning - I have lot's of things of I want to accomplish this Winter break and lot's of changes to be made over the Holiday and New Year. I'm making a list of goals and checking them twice. I'm going to be just a little bit naughty AND nice. Stay tuned. I can't wait to show you all what's in store!

Most Memorable Moment - Our city's Christmas Parade was this past Saturday evening. Made me proud to be a part of this town and who doesn't love a night time Christmas Parade full of marching bands, cheerleaders, loud fire trucks and dancing horses? It's the best!

Currently Loving - I'm loving seeing all the #WWWineGlassSwap wine glasses! You ladies have great tastes in picking out wine glasses. Search the hashtag to see all the fun goodies over the next week.

I'm also looking forward to getting back in the swing of things over here on FITO blog. I'm hitting the kitchen for lots of foods and treats and can't wait to share it all with you.

Wishing you a fabulous week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Meet Archer

So we did it. 
We got a new puppy!!

Everyone, I introduce to you Archer. 


He's 9 pounds of pure love and energy. 
If you follow me on Facebook, and as some of you may know, our beloved Oscar P passed away a few weeks ago. He was 11 years old and meant the world to us. It was one of the most difficult times I have ever been through, and I know B can agree. 
We felt a void.. and as if we still had a lot more love to give. 

Last Saturday, B and I (along with my niece) drove to the Dallas Animal Services shelter. We saw Napoleon (which we later renamed to Archer) on their website. He looked like a puppy version of Oscar.
We waited a few days, slept on it a couple of nights, but neither one of us could stop thinking about him. 
So we did it. We committed to a little bundle of puppy joy. 
I was able to capture a few photos of him and I couldn't wait to share. 


After we introduced him to our families and adjusted to having a new puppy in the house, it's officially "official".

The first day we brought Archer home.
So, if you follow along on instagram, or Twitter, get ready for puppy picture (and video) overload. He's just so cute not to share. 

So far, Archer loves to run in his big yard and chase the other 2 little dogs around. He's a great helper with picking up pine cones for me, and he loves to cuddle. I hope that never changes.

He has brought me so much joy in just these short few days. He's simply full of puppy breath kisses, and he has me wrapped around his little bitty paw.

I'll be signing off for the next couple of days to enjoy time with family , loved ones, and of course my pup during the Holidays.
Wishing you all the happiness and joy during the Thanksgiving season.

amanda signature

Friday, November 21, 2014

Check me out over at TXWB

Hey y'all.  
Head on over the Texas Women Bloggers today where I'll be posting a fun new recipe for Foodie Friday -  Texas Southern Sausage Bread. It's a southern twist on a classic tradition. I hope you all enjoy! And, while you're there, be sure to browse around - us Texas women have a lot of (great) things to say :)

sausage bread

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five Faves Friday (Vol. 16)

five faves

- ONE - 
Winter Weather - Winter has finally arrived in Texas. And, it's bringing the serious with it. We have temps in 30's and it might even show a little snow this weekend. I know. Say whaaaatt?!

- TWO - 
Farm to Table Blogger's Dinner - I am so excited that this weekend has finally come. I will be joining several other Texas Women Blogger's for a feast this Saturday. We will be attending a special farm-to-table dinner hosted by Urban Acres Farms. I am so excited to check them out as well as meet some fabulous Texas Ladies, who happen to be bloggers too! It's sure to be a fabulous time!

Image// VIA

Now, onto what I am going to wear... 

- THREE - 
New Lip Color - I am loving my new Fall lip color from Mary Kay. It's called Apple Berry and it's all sorts of perfect for Fall and Winter. This picture is particularly creepy, but I had to share. PS - Please do not drive and take selfies. I at least waited until I was stopped at a red light. Safety first, people. 

- FOUR - 
Newest Food Blogger @ TWB - I have been given the honor to help host a "Foodie Friday" edition on Texas Women Blogger's, once a month. I am so excited to expand to other bloggers and readers and can't wait to share some special food creations. Stay tuned, as I will let you know when my first Foodie Friday post is up!

- FIVE - 
#WineWedensday Wine Glass Swap - Yay! The wine glass swap is officially underway. Registration closed on Wednesday and we have some great people signed up! I'm working on getting everyone together with their partners and should have those out no later than tomorrow. This is going to be such a fun swap and I can't wait to see everyone's goodies. Yay! for new wine glasses and new friends. Cheers!! {If you still want to sign up send an email to arhicks0427@gmail.com. I will be taking last minute sign up through today only (Friday, November 14th)}. 

Wishing each of you a Fun & Fabulous Weekend. Stay warm out there.