Monday, September 22, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

I hate coffee.

There, I said it.

And you know what? I'm a little envious of all these people that get SO SUPER EXCITED about the pumpkin spice lattes. My husband is one of those people. When he orders one, the car smells heavenly.

I'm a little peeved that Starbucks hasn't thought to offer a pumpkin spice hot chocolate. So, I decided to make my own. It smells just as good as it's latte counterpart, but without the (ick) coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Serves: 1

1/2 cup half and half
1.5 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/8 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

In a double boiler, heat half and half and both kinds of chocolate chips. Once chips are dissolved into half and half, add milk and pumpkin pie spice (I use two good shakes which is about 1/8 of a teaspoon).

Serve hot. Makes one serving.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Pumpkin, Oatmeal & Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't think I accurately express my love for pumpkin and all things chocolate. 

But I'll try.

With this recipe.

And these:

This cookie combines my favorites (pumpkin and chocolate) with Chris's favorite thing; oatmeal. It's a match made in cookie heaven. 

Pumpkin, Oatmeal & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: About 22 cookies 

1/2 of a 15oz can of a pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
2 sticks of softened, unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 heaping cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, oats, soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Set aside.

In a mixer, combine butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add in egg, vanilla and pumpkin. Slowly add in dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake on greased cookies sheets for about 14 minutes or until just done.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Considering Disney? Here's what you NEED to know.

It seems like everyone I know is going to Disney, thinking about going to Disney, planning a trip to Disney or trying to convince a spouse that they need to plan a trip. And because I LOVE Disney, I, along with two great friends, started We love helping people wade through the influx of Disney planning information and give you the best basics for planning an outstanding trip.

That said, here are five basic posts (some from us and some from other great sites) that will give you the information you need to get started planning your Disney trip. And if you still have questions, head over to and ask away!

First up is our newest post from Melissa. If you're confused about Disney Dining Credits and how to use them, then you have got to check this out. Melissa has made a free printable calendar with free printable tokens to help you visually plan out your credits. It is such a GREAT tool!

Click here for those printables and instructions!

Dining seems to be one of the most confusing issues for anyone planning a Disney trip, so, in keeping with that theme, I wrote a post all about the ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation). It includes everything you need to know about booking ADR's including when you can begin and how to get those difficult ones (Hello? Be Our Guest, anyone?!).

For that post, just click here.

Next up is the age old question, WHEN should you go to Disney? Lindsey wrote a great post full of information that will help you make that choice. And once you review that, check out this post on how to read Disney Crowd Calendars. They have been instrumental in helping me plan our family trips. Even if you have your dates already picked, still take a glance at it - they will help you figure out which park to visit on each day.

Confused about the new Fast Pass + system? Now that I've used it, I can safely say that it was really easy to navigate. That said, I LOVE Shannon's (from WDWPrep) video on how to navigate the new system. You can check that out here.

Lastly, if you are headed to Disney World between now and February, check out this feature on They've got a great list of all the times for every parade and fireworks display as well as extra magic hours!

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