Target Obsession

If you are obsessed with Target like me, then you know exactly how a “quick” trip can turn into a shopping spree. The dollar spot, end caps and red sale signs get me every time! And let’s talk about the new home department vignette displays. A-dorbes! Recently, I’ve been obsessing over two of the store’s new brands. I thought I would share with my fellow Target lovers, in case you need a reason for a quick Target run.

Earlier this month, Target released its Oh Joy baby and home décor line in collaboration with Joy Cho, who started as a blogger like us ladies. Her simple, colorful and whimsy point of view has launched the Oh Joy brand to a design studio with multiple licensed product lines. This collection features bright colors, fun patterns and feminine vibes. I picked up the dots crib sheet for baby #2’s nursery (more on that later) and the diaper bag (currently out of stock). Love love both!

Oh Joy Collection

1. decorative pillows 2. ceramic animals 3. bedding collection 4. muslin swaddle blankets 5. wall art 6. diaper bag 7. muslin swaddles

This Saturday, the store will debut its new children’s line Pillowfort. It’s aimed to be a brand that can grow with your child and fit your home’s design aesthetic. My local stores have already put a few items on display. Most accessories will be available this weekend and furniture pieces will be released this summer. I’m in LOVE with everything in this modern/Land of Nod-esque collection. It offers style, spunk, imagination and comfort. I’m especially obsessing over the toucan bedding, arrow wall décor and mint chairs. Hoping to snatch those this weekend for L. Just take my money already Target!

Pillowfort collectionphotos source: Target.com

Hope some of my favorite things caught your eye as well. Let us know what is your Target obsession?!

PS-Since the new children’s line is making it’s way to stores, the older stuff are now 70% off!

 

Perfect Brownie Recipe

the perfect chewy brownie

I have the perfect Brownie Recipe for you. 

Here is my hard copy, tweaked recipe.

Here is my hard copy, tweaked recipe.

I know some of you may be saying, “I already have a perfect recipe. It comes from a box.”  While I will agree that there are a lot of perfectly fine (dare I say, “Delicious) brownies that come from a box, I must contend that I still have the perfect brownie recipe.  My grandmother was the queen of homemade (and correspondence). She made ev’rything from scratch. Everything except for brownies.  She claimed that she couldn’t make brownies better than the box, but if she would have tried my Perfect Brownie Recipe, she clearly would have ditched the box and went back to basics. Best Brownies Recipe

The unsung hero in this perfect brownie recipe is parchment paper. Seriously, parchment paper is pretty ah-mazing. These brownies just lift out of the pan, and you are left with a large (and perfect) brownie. 

 

chewy gooey brownie

Before removing the brownie from the parchment paper.

After removing from the pan. The result: a perfect slab of brownie ready for consuming, err I mean cutting.

After removing from the pan. The result: a perfect slab of brownie ready for consuming, err I mean cutting.

I tried  and made a lot of Brownie Recipes, and this one after a few tweaks (I added coffee and sea salt to my recipe to deepen the intensity of the chocolate)  of my own is  THE PERFECT BROWNIE RECIPE.  

Best Brownies Ever
Better than box Brownies. Easy scratch brownies
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup Butter (melted)
  2. 1 1/2 C Granulate Sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  4. 1 T Coffee
  5. 2 Eggs
  6. 3/4 C Flour/All purpose is fine
  7. 1/2 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  8. 1/2 tsp Seasalt ( I just crank my Seasalt grinder-- usually 3-4 turns)
  9. 1/4 tsp baking soda-- this will give you a crunchy crust while leaving the brownie chewy and gooey
  10. 1 C Semisweet Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a pan (I use a square 8x8, which made a thick brownie) with parchment paper (this makes the brownies easy to remove)
  3. Combine butter, sugar, extract, coffee in a large bowl
  4. Beat eggs in one at a time (best if eggs are at room temperature)
  5. In another bowl combine: flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, and baking soda
  6. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  7. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients ( I do this gradually)
  8. Don't over mix, but mix so all ingredients are combined (do not use a mixer-- I use a spatula)
  9. Stir in choc. chips
  10. Place in pan and bake for 25 minutes (and upward-- Mine usually take 35 minutes to bake, but in my mom's oven... 25)
Notes
  1. Keep an eye on the batter while in the oven... the brownie will rise in the oven, but settle after it cools. It's ready when a toothpick comes out clean.
  2. When you remove your brownies from the oven. Allow about 5 minutes to cool in the pan before lifting the parchment and brownie out of the paper. Once you lift, I would wait another 5 minutes before cutting
  3. Sometimes, I add a little more coffee because I think the batter is too dry; if you add more liquid, you will need to cook for a little longer.
Adapted from adapted from Brooke's Best Bombshell Brownie
Teach Love Craft http://teachlovecraft.com/
     

As a teacher, I would be quite the hypocrite if I didn’t give credit to the original source. Inspiration for this recipe derives from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownie. It was from her recipe that I derived mine. 

Yard Sale Tips and Tricks

(post by Katie)

Top 10 yard sale tips and tricks

It’s no secret that Grace and I love a good bargain……and even better– a good HUNT for a bargain. 

So, what do I do when Grace texts me a pic of a sweet tiki bar at 7am on a Saturday morning with “Wanna check out this yard sale?” 

I simply reply, ‘What do you want from Dunkin Donuts? I’m on my way to pick you up!”

yard sale tips and tricks

 

Needless to say, I love a good yard sale and so does Grace.  That’s why we’ve compiled this list of Top 10 Yard Sale Tips and Tricks to help you navigate yard sales like a pro.

Top 10 Yard Sale Tips and Tricks
1.  Do your research.
Check out Craigslist or your local paper/website a couple of days before to see which yard sales are happening in your area.  If pictures are attached, it’s a good way for you to know the kinds of items that will be available.  Multi family/community yard sales are always at the top of my list!
2. Take a partner.
It’s way more fun when you have a friend in tow.  Plus, you will have an extra set of eyes searching for you plus and extra set of hands if needed.  It’s mutually beneficial really!

3. Bring cash money (ching ching)
Money talks!  But, don’t forget small bills.  Nobody likes that person negotiating down a few bucks just to turn around and pull out a $20 bill and ask for change.  SMH


4. Don’t forget a large tote or bag to stash your goodies.
Especially if you are going to a multi family or community yard sale.  Your arms will thank us.
5. Dig through the boxes
Under the plates, behind the books, in the drawers……..Yard sales contain treasures waiting to be discovered! Grace and I were recently at a yard sale, and because we dug through the boxes we hit paydirt!

6.Never pay full price.
Or don’t even ask a price. Offer up what you think is fair and workable in your budget.  
7. Bundle, bundle, bundle
Hands down you will get your best deal if you go for a package deal.
8.  #Hoard aka Never pass up a deal too good to be true.
If it’s an amazing deal you just can’t pass up, don’t.  I’m a hoarder so if I like it, it’s most likely gonna come home with me and most likely I will eventually use it in some capacity……maybe.
9.  Leave your name and number.
If a seller just doesn’t want to meet you on a price,  leave a number and let them know you’ll still be interested if the item doesn’t sell. 

Also, we like to leave our numbers if a seller happens to mention she has more stuff she didn’t have time to put out.  
10.  Just say, “Yes” to online yard sales
Or as I like to call them, time suckers.  Facebook has online yard sale groups you can request to join in your specific region.  There are many good deals available in these postings!

 

My (Katie's)  latest yards sale haul

My (Katie’s) latest yards sale haul

There you have it. Our Top Ten Yard Sale Tips and Tricks . 

 

What tricks and tips do you have up your sleeve?

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