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peanut butter bars

January 3rd, 2014 · 1 Comment

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Oh, I know.  You’re *so* over baking right now.  You made Thanksgiving dinner, and then Christmas cookies, and then Christmas dinner, and then a few special treats for New Year’s, and now you’re ready to hang up your oven mitts until Valentine’s Day, thank you very much.

But… I bet I can tempt you into one more recipe.  Just one more.  An hour of your time, tops.  A few more dirty dishes.  And in exchange for that tiny little bit of effort… Peanut Butter Bars.

Still not convinced.  Here’s my clincher: No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Yup, you can have these delicious bars without even turning on the oven!  So if anything can get you back into the holiday spirit, it’s this recipe. 

Also, can I brag for a second?  These plates are from two different Noritake patterns, and I fell in love with how they looked together!  The black and white BoB and WoW patterns are a little more casual, and perfect for taking my longtime favorite (Cometa) into more low-key parties.  One of my favorite things about Noritake is how easy it is to mix and match their patterns — I feel like I get so many different options just by owning a bunch of pieces from a selection of different patterns!

And, as a quick reminder, you can always use the coupon code SUGARLAWS for 15% off!  (And check out some of my favorite patterns on their site here!)

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

Melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter (I did mine in the microwave on 20-second intervals), stirring until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

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Tags: food · holiday · sponsored

Baby Bump: 21 Weeks!

December 23rd, 2013 · 1 Comment

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Merry Christmas everyone!!!

2013 has been quite a year for me — sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever have another year where so much changed so quickly.  It hasn’t always been easy, but everything I’ve done this year has been with an eye towards improving the quality of the rest of my life, and I have to remember that if I just keep working hard and plugging away, it will all come together eventually! 

Obviously the baby is the biggest change, but my job is a huge one too!  I’m closing out the year with some really solid cases, and so far, I am honestly just *loving* having my own law practice.  It was incredibly intimidating and terrifying to take the plunge, but the end of this year has gone really well, and I know that 2014 is going to be even better.  It’s definitely a lot of work, but I’m so incredibly excited about it that it hardly feels that way. 

What else?  The baby is doing great (I have an ultrasound today, so fingers crossed it goes well!) and kicking up a storm.  Him kicking is probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever felt — it makes him seem so much more real!  There’s still a long way to go, but it really does feel so different now than it did just a few months ago.  I can’t wait to meet him!

And a quick word on this outfit: It’s getting a little chilly in Houston, so I’ve been breaking out my cold-weather accessories whenever I can!  This hat is from Mark. and I’m OBSESSED WITH IT — so soft and comfy and totally adorable!  It also has a matching scarf and gloves, which you’ll be seeing on Sugarlaws soon!

{Scroll down for my 21-Week Update!}

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How far along? 21 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 13 pounds still. My weight gain seemed to slow a bit in the last few weeks, after being pretty high early on!

Maternity clothes? Just pants.  I actually ordered an AWESOME pair of jeans from the H&M maternity line — $25 and the material is super soft and comfy, and the fit is great!  they’ve already become my go-to pair (over the prior pair from ASOS).

Stretch marks? Nope.  Still using stretch mark oil every other day or so. 

Symptoms: I’m just sort of generally achy.  As I was washing my face this morning, I asked Chad, “Why doesn’t anyone tell you that pregnancy hurts?”  It doesn’t always feel great to have pressure on all your internal organs all the time!

Sleep: I go back and forth on this.  I’ve always had trouble sleeping, so I generally think that my pregnancy sleep has been better than my non-pregnant sleep.  First trimester, for sure — what other people describe as “crippling exhaustion” basically just took me out of the boundaries of “chronic insomnia.”  It was amazing!  I’d fall asleep at 10:30 or so and sleep till 8am.  Now that the first trimester is over, I have trouble falling asleep again, but I can usually squeeze in about 7 or 8 hours, which is still a big improvement from my non-pregnancy sleep. 

Best moment this week: Chad was upstairs without me on Friday, and when he came downstairs, he goes: “I just looked into the nursery… you did a really good job with it.  It looks great.”  I glowed!  (I can’t wait for you guys to see it!)

Worst moment of the week: Ugh, you guys.  Rambo peed IN OUR BED.  Gross.  I spent the next 7 hours washing our sheets, comforters, mattress pad… ugh.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Miss Anything? Wine, lol. I’m pretty used to not drinking at this point, but I miss it at holiday parties! Oh well — next year!

Movement: Lots!

Food cravings: Pomegranate, Egg McMuffins.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!

Have you started to show yet: Ha — so now, people are starting to actually tell me that I’m showing.  I think our friends thought I was a little crazy when I kept saying I was “showing” at 13 weeks because my stomach wasn’t completely flat.  But oh well! 

Labor Signs: Nope

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Looking forward to: Having my family in town for Christmas, STARTING TODAY!!!

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Tags: baby · sponsored · style

holiday cookie party!

December 20th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Cookie Party 8

FTC Disclosure: I partnered with Bed Bath & Beyond to throw this fabulous cookie party and received compensation and product for writing this post! 

Sometimes, I swear, I am the luckiest girl ever.

Take, for instance, a few weeks ago, when I got the most wonderful offer to partner with Bed Bath & Beyond to throw a holiday cookie party!  A bunch of my friends have young kids or have just recently had babies, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to have them over for a fun, low key holiday celebration! 

And man, I’m pretty sure this is going to be a new holiday tradition!  I love making Christmas cookies — it doesn’t feel like the holiday season without them! — and this was WAY more fun than just baking them by myself!  I made peanut butter bars ahead of time (so we could have something to nibble on during the party!) and we baked sugar cookies, white chocolate and cranberry cookies, and of course, lots and lots of sugary icing to decorate with!  It was such a blast, and I was so grateful for this awesome opportunity!

And even better — Bed Bath & Beyond gave me the chance to upgrade some of my kitchen tools!  I went with some workhorses that have seen better days — my cookie pans, Silipat, measuring cups and spoons, ingredient bowls, and lots more!  And I couldn’t resist picking out some of their beautiful holiday decorations — I couldn’t decide between traditional red and green rectangle placemats and their beautiful holiday wreath ones — so I got both! 

I wanted the party to be extra special for my guests, so I decided to do little gift bags that people could use to take home our baked cookies!  I included the recipes we used in each one, in the hope that they’ll become holiday traditions all around!  And I added a special cookie cutter and pretty colored spatulas from Bed Bath & Beyond — to inspire all my guests to do some delicious holiday cookie-baking at home!

To check out more of Bed Bath & Beyond’s amazing holiday collection and ideas, head over to their “Holiday Your Way” section now!

Cookie Party 1

Cookie Party 4

Cookie Party 5

Cookie Party 11

Cookie Party 14

Cookie Party 23

Cookie Party 25

Cookie Party 19

Tags: desserts · food · sponsored