Edner’s Chocolate Cookie Recipe

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If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I made some of my great grandma’s cookies for a work cookie exchange. She loved to bake, so whenever I need a recipe idea, I always get out her book of recipes. I decided to make her chocolate cookies (with a little holiday twist) this time – and I really like how they turned out, so I wanted to share them with you guys!

 

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shortening (you can also use margarine, which is what I did)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sour milk
2 squares chocolate, melted
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) – I decided not to add them in

Directions:
1. Cream margarine and sugar
2. Add the egg and beat well.
3. Add flour, sifted with salt and baking soda, alternately with the sour milk.
4. Add the melted chocolate and the nuts (if you’re using them)
5. Chill the dough (her recipe doesn’t say how long, but I think anywhere from 15-20 mins is good)
6. Spoon onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
7. Frost immediately. To make the frosting: melt 1 square of chocolate and add 2 tbsp of butter into a bowl over hot water. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk (you don’t need much milk) until it becomes a spreading consistency. I decided to add a few drops of peppermint oil into the frosting to add a little holiday flavor.
8. Once you’re done frosting, you can add some Christmas-y sprinkles and enjoy!!

Share your pictures with me using #seeshelmake if you decide to make these coookies – or any holiday treat! I would love to see them!!

 

Christmas Playlist

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Oh hey, I feel like it’s been eons since I’ve been able to actually sit down and write, but I’m back with a post about the most wonderful time of the year!

A lot of my favorite memories are from Christmas time. I remember all of the kids bringing EVERYTHING from under the tree to our grandparent’s house to show all of the other cousins and making Christmas sugar cookies – the first batch was always decked out and the second one had sprinkles just thrown on – and watching Christmas Vacation in our jammies every Christmas Eve and I can’t help but smile about it.

There is so much to love about Christmas. So this week, I thought I would share some of my Christmas favorites with you guys.

First up (and most importantly, if you ask me), a Christmas playlist. I’m one of those people who has Christmas music playing the second the calendar hits December and I don’t listen to much else until January.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Andrew Belle
Snow Angel – Sugar & the Hi Lows
Christmas Lights – Coldplay
When Christmas Comes – John Legend & Mariah Carey
This Christmas – Cee Lo Green
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Frank Sinatra
Santa Stole My Lady – Fitz and the Tantrums
It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas – Michael Buble
Winter Song – The Head and the Heart
All I Want For Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
Cold December Night – Michael Buble
Christmas Day – Johnnyswim
What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? – The Head and the Heart
Christmas Without You – OneRepublic
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Sam Smith
This Christmas – Chris Brown
What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonder
Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding
Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Rufus Wainwright & Sharon Van Etten

 

You can listen to my playlist here!

Blackout Nights

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This isn’t some new observation I’m making by any means but one thing I’ve been paying more attention to is how much time people are spending in front of a screen. If it’s not a computer screen, it’s being glued to a smartphone. It just become such an integral part of people’s lives. And I’m guilty of it too – I’m a blogger and a big component of blogging is spending time online, whether it be writing, reading other blogs or chatting with other bloggers on social media.

And then there’s the smartphone. We’re constantly connected. How many times have you seen people looking at their phone while they’re waiting for someone at a restaurant (and even during meals!) or while they’re on the bus on the way to work?

While the Internet can be a great thing, sometimes it gets to be a little bit too much for me.

I’ve followed Hannah’s blog and YouTube channel for a while (you guys should check her videos out by the way…she has the cutest little family!) and she and her husband have what they call “blackout nights” every week, where they turn off their computers and their phones and spend some time disconnected from everything.

After hearing them talk about their blackout nights, I knew it was something I wanted to make a habit of myself. So a couple of nights a week, I put my iPhone on “do not disturb” mode, log out of my social media accounts and turn off my computer (even though I will occasionally watch a movie during a blackout night).

And instead, I’ll light some of my favorite candles, turn on some music and read or write in my journal. I’ve gotten some of my best writing done during these distraction-free nights!

It’s so refreshing to spend time completely unplugged. So if you’re feeling even a little bit like you need a break from all the screen time, try having a blackout night! It’s quickly become one of my favorite things and something that I look forward to.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Just wanted to let you guys know how thankful I am for all of you. I have some pretty awesome readers and it seriously means the world to me! Hope you guys are spending your holiday with all of the people you love most!

 

 

Taking Stock 02

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I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, but I thought it might be fun to catch up. I’ve been busy with my new job (which I’m loving) as well as blog stuff and getting ready for the holidays! This is also the time of year where it feels like everything seems to happen and calendars get filled up quickly, so I’m making sure I remember to take it easy during my free time…which really just means drinking lots of hot chocolate and watching all of the holiday DVDs in my collection.

Cooking: Ha! Nothing lately, but I do have some recipes I’ve been wanting to try out.

Drinking: Mostly water and coffee. And lots of mugs full of this hot chocolate.

Reading: Winter Street. The Happiness Project and Do Less are next on my list though.

Enjoying: Writing my Christmas lists of all of the gifts I want to get for people. It’s making me so excited for the holidays!

Wearing: My cozy cable knit sweaters. I seriously live in them!

Watching: Some holiday movies…I know it’s a little early, but I can’t help myself.

Looking forward to: The holidays. I’m excited to see all of my friends and family that I don’t get to see very often!

Listening to: lots of Alt-J (Ahhh!! I’m going to the concert in a few days!!) and The Gilmore Guys podcasts (you guys need to check it out – they’re hilarious)

November Playlist

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Above the Clouds of Pompeii / Bear’s Den
Arrival in Nara / Alt-J
I Couldn’t Want You Anyway / Jack Garratt
Pull My Heart Away / Jack Penate
As Tall As Cliffs / Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
Mykonos / Fleet Foxes
Tonight / Jonas Alaska
You Got What I Need / Joshua Radin
Tiger Striped Sky / Roo Panes
Worry / Jack Garratt
Pusher / Alt-J
Imitosis / Andrew Bird

Listen here!

eShakti Dress

IMG_1381Dress (c/0 eShakti)/ Gap Sweater (similar) / Urban Outfitters beanie (similar) /Urban Outfitters shoes (similar)

A girl can never have too many little black dresses, right? Right. I have quite a few hanging in my closet, but when I saw this one from eShakti, I knew I just HAD to add it to my collection. It already feels like winter here, so I decided to pair it with one of my favorite sweaters from Gap (seriously, it’s so cozy) and a beanie.

My favorite thing about this dress? Besides the fact that it’ll be perfect for the upcoming holiday season, it’s so well-made and I was able to customize it so that it fit me perfectly! And they made the whole thing super easy..all I had to do was enter in my measurements. Seriously, why don’t more places do this?

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Be sure to check out the eShakti website and find them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Also, you can get 10% off your eShakti purchase if you enter shelbyhelton at checkout from now until 12/17! (You can use it more than once too!)…so time to do some shopping!

November

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There are so many things that make November my favorite month of the year. I love the weather (chilly but not too cold), Thanksgiving (the best day of the year if you ask me!) and the cozy nights.

Maybe it’s because it’s the season for it or maybe it’s because October wasn’t exactly an easy month for me, but I’ve been feeling particularly grateful during these first days of November. Whenever I’m feeling a bit down, I always try to take a step back and think about everything that I have that I’m thankful for and it makes me feel a lot better.

Anyway, here’s the list of goals I have for this month!

+ Get the walls in my bedroom painted

+ Try some new recipes. I’m thinking this one and this one

+ Learn how to (finally) use my cappuccino maker

+ Do a personal style/outfit post

+ Revise some “behind-the-scenes” stuff of See Shel

 

4 DIY Projects to Try

4 DIYs to TryWorking on DIY projects is one of my favorite things to do, especially once the weather starts to cool off and I’m spending more time indoors. I keep a running list (in the form of a Pinterest board) of all of the projects I want to make and since it’s starting to feel a little bit more like fall here and I’m starting to make some more – slow but steady – progress  on my bedroom re-do, I’ve been trying to narrow down which DIY projects I want to cross off my list.

I wanted to share a few projects that are at the top of my list. I’m so excited to try them all that I can’t decide which one to do first! We’ve got…

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Ampersand Bookends – via Katelyn Now

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Hand-painted Dresser Knobs – via The Crafted Life

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Plus Sign Garland – via A Little Birdy Blog

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Wine Cork Bulletin Board – via A Beautiful Mess

What DIY projects are you dying to try?

Apple Cider Donut Recipe

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Donuts are one of my all time favorite treats. I would eat them breakfast, lunch and dinner if that was allowed. And obviously when fall rolls around it means one thing: apple cider donuts.

I usually get them from the farmer’s market if they have them, but this year I wanted to try to make my own. I’ve heard donuts are pretty hard to make and I’m not the best in the kitchen, so I was a little nervous. I followed this recipe and I have to say, they turned out pretty well! {I included the recipe below too}

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Ingredients

(makes about 2 dozen donuts):

1 cup unfiltered apple cider

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

½ cup well-shaken buttermilk

3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

2 cups sugar, divided

2 quarts vegetable oil

 

Directions

1. In a small saucepan, boil apple cider until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

3. Mix together reduced cider, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and 1 cup sugar until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix on medium speed until a dough forms (it will be sticky). {This can also be done by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer. I did it by hand.}

4. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface  and roll dough into a 13-inch round (about 1/3 inch thick). Cut out rounds with floured donut cutter, about 2- 3” in diameter and transfer to a floured baking sheet. Repeat with scraps. Reroll the dough only once, as it will start to become tough if it is rerolled too many times. {Note: Keep making sure that the surface/donut cutter/your hands were covered in flour I found that it was much easier to cut the donuts that way.}

5. At the same time, pour vegetable oil into a 5-quart heavy pot and heat oil over medium- high heat. ( Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour into the oil, when it sizzles, the oil is ready.)  Carefully slide donuts one at a time into the oil and be careful not to crowd pan. (If pan gets crowded with donuts the temperature will drop and you will have soggy donuts)

6. When dropped into the oil, the donut will sink to the bottom and then float to the top after about 20 seconds. When each donut floats to surface, turn over and continue to fry until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

7. Cool slightly; dredge in cinnamon sugar made from remaining cup of sugar and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon.

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What are your favorite fall treats? Also, be sure to tag me in your pictures (on Twitter or Instagram) if you try the recipe! I’d love to see.