Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo Dirt Cake

I know we’re all supposed to be busting out our fall, full-of-pumpkin recipes right now, but today I just really wanted good old chocolate and peanut butter.  And I decided if I was going to go for it, I was really going to go for it. So I started brainstorming and came up with a peanut butter cup and Oreo dirt cake. It’s full of sugar and awesome peanut butter flavor. It’s basically four layers of deliciousness.

At first glance, with all the steps, it seems complicated, but it isn’t. It all came together really fast. And I didn’t even destroy the kitchen in the process. A true miracle.

Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo Dirt Cake

Ingredients

Oreo Layer:

  • 30 Oreo cookies
  • 3 tbs butter

Peanut Butter Layer:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 15-20 mini peanut butter cups

Pudding Layer: 

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup cold milk
  • 1 3.9 oz box instant chocolate pudding mix

Whipped Cream Layer:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6-7 tbs powdered sugar

Directions

Oreo Layer:

  1. Finely crush Oreos in a food processor, or take things old school and crush them up in a ziploc bag. Reserve 1/2 cup of the Oreo crumbs for your topping.
  2. Melt butter and combine with remaining Oreo crumbs and press into the bottom of an un-greased square baking dish.

Peanut Butter Layer:

  1. Unwrap and coarsely chop the peanut butter cups. Set aside.
  2. With a mixer, cream together peanut butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and continue mixing until combined.
  3. Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly over the Oreo crust, then top with chopped peanut butter cups.

Pudding Layer:

  1. Whisk together pudding and milk for two minutes, until the pudding begins to firm. Add powdered sugar and continue whisking until everything is combined.
  2. Pour pudding over the top of the peanut butter layer, using a spatula to spread evenly.
  3. Optional: Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to allow the pudding to continue to firm up.

Whipped Cream Layer:

  1. Place a metal bowl and whisk (or whisk attachment for your mixer) into the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once your bowl and whisk are ice cold, add heavy cream and powdered sugar and whisk until stiff peaks begin to form.
  3. Spread over the top of the pudding layer, then sprinkle on the Oreos you reserved from earlier.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making your own whipped cream, feel free to just use a store bought whipped topping. Let that tub thaw and spread it on top. It’ll still taste delicious, and will save you a couple extra steps.

Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo Dirt Cake

I pretty much ate a giant piece of it for dinner. I’m not sorry.

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How to stay motivated when you’re a work at home mom

There are a lot of perks to working at home. I mean, I get to wear stretchy pants pretty much 24/7.  And I get to go to the grocery store in the middle of the day when no one else is there. This is the life, people.

But I’d be seriously misleading you if I said this gig was all unicorns and fairy dust. It’s hard being your own boss. Especially when taking care of a house and a kid also fall under the umbrella of your responsibilities. There have been days where 8 o’clock rolled around and I hadn’t accomplished much of anything, although it felt a little bit like I’d run a marathon while studying quantum physics.

I decided I wanted less of those days, and more where I felt empowered and accomplished. Here are a few tips on how I stay motivated and on track as a work at home mom.

How to stay motivated when you're a work at home mom

1. Setup your hours. I really railed against this in the beginning. I thought the perk of working from home is that you didn’t have hours. And maybe that works for some people, but I need parameters. They still don’t have to be traditional 8-5 hours though. I usually do my work in chunks. 7-10am. 1pm-4pm. 10pm-12am (because I am forever a night owl). Obviously I’m not doing this gig full time, so it leaves space in my day to just do the regular ‘ole stay at home mom stuff, like making sure nothing is growing in the sink or that the toddler doesn’t impale himself on something.

2. Socialize! Even if you just tear yourself away from what you’re doing to text with a friend for 15 minutes, it helps. My mom is often on the receiving end of my “please help me feel more human for a few minutes” messages. Thanks mom!

3. Dedicate a space for work. I feel really lucky that I get an entire office to myself, but you don’t need a whole room. In our last house I had my desk setup on the enclosed porch. Wherever it is, just make it a space you want to be in.

4. Set goals! I like to have one big goal (double my income in the next year) that I break down into smaller goals (apply for 3 freelance jobs a day) that will help me achieve it. And make sure you write them down. I just keep a Google doc that I can reference and track my progress. It’s easy and it works for me.

5. Get your body moving. Go for a walk. Throw in a workout DVD. Run around in the yard with your kids. Sometimes I play Just Dance for 30 minutes. Wyatt finds that particularly amusing, and with all the jiggling going on, I can’t blame him.

6. Get dressed! I’ve heard people say that when you work from home you should get up and get ready like you’re going to an office to work, but I don’t think you have to go quite that far to get the benefits. I put fresh stretchy pants on (Can we start a #teamstretchypants thing? I want to know where my people are at), brush my teeth, throw my hair back into a respectable ponytail, and off I go. What will help you feel refreshed and ready to go in the morning? Figure that out and do it.

7. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your situation and experience is unique. Some other lady has 4 kids, volunteers, and still somehow manages to run a successful business while keeping her house spotless? And you have one kid and hardly leave the house and sometimes forget to do the laundry so there aren’t even washcloths to wipe the counter with? It’s okay. Keep chugging alone. Focus on you and your goals.

8. Recognize your achievements! When something big happens in your business or you get to one of your goals, please celebrate! You worked hard for that. What will make you feel rewarded? A dinner out? A massage? A new pair of stretchy pants? Go for it.

8 tips for work at home moms

Do you work at home? I’d love to hear how you stay motivated and productive!

This post is being linked up with Katherine’s Corner.

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Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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Best Cream Cheese Frosting

I’m not very good at favorites. Probably because it involves making a choice and I am a terrible decision maker. If you’ve ever been around me when it’s time to decide where to eat for dinner, you’ve probably wanted to slap me in the face. And I really wouldn’t blame you. It’s annoying.

But, when it comes to frosting I definitely have a favorite. Hands down, it’s cream cheese frosting. On a cookie. On a cupcake. Straight off the spoon! I love it.

I’ve tried quite a few variations of cream cheese frosting recipes, and after a lot of tasty trial and error, I’m ready to declare this the best cream cheese frosting.

How to make the best cream cheese frosting

Ingredients

  • 8oz cream cheese – softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter – softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs milk

Directions

  1. With a mixer cream together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract – about one minute.
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined, then mix on medium speed about one minute
  3. At this point, if you like a thicker frosting you can be done, but if you want a thinner more spreadable frosting, mix in 1 tbs of milk

This should give you enough frosting to frost a round layer cake or a couple dozen cupcakes. Let me know if you give it a try!

Best Cream Cheese Frosting

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Painted Mason Jar Makeup Brush Holder

I have needed a better way to store my makeup brushes for a long time. They have a handy-dandy fold up carrying case, which is great for travel, but was kind of a pain for everyday use since I don’t have a lot of counter space to roll it out on.

Well, I finally did something about it and made a painted Mason Jar makeup brush holder. I already had everything I needed, but this project is still super inexpensive if you need to buy a few things. Plus, it’s so easy. I’m not crafty at all, so if I can do it, anyone can.

Painted Mason Jar Makeup Brush Holder

Materials

  • Spray paint (I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss in Watermelon)
  • Mason jar (or any other clean glass jar you have)
  • Old newspaper for covering your work surface
  • Nail file or sandpaper

Directions

  1. Cover your work surface with with old newspaper. The weather was kind of iffy here, so I flipped an old memo board upside down on top of the newspaper so I could move the project inside if needed.
  2. Make sure your jar is clean and dry, then place upside down on top of your work surface.
  3. Spray paint that sucker! Start light and build from there so you don’t end up with drips.
  4. Allow your jar to dry completely, ideally overnight.
  5. If you want a more rustic look, use your nail file to sand any raised edges on your jar.
  6. Fill your jar with makeup brushes, pens, kitchen utensils – Whatever you want!

Painted Mason Jar Makeup Brush Holder

Let me know if you give this a try. I’d love to see how your jar turned out!

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Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

This is how I fair: Find food. Eat food. Repeat. And that’s pretty much how our Minnesota State Fair experience went yesterday. I have no regrets! Except maybe skipping the wine slushy. Why did I skip the wine slushy?

Here’s more of our day, and you can checkout highlights from last year too!

The highlight of Wyatt’s day may have been the shuttle ride to the fair. He was also the most stylin’ person on the bus.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

Maybe even at the entire fair.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

Our first stop was Lulu’s, where we got fried lobster and fried macaroni and cheese. On sticks, of course. They were fast at LuLu’s too. I’d gone to the bathroom while Ryan was ordering and by the time I got back everyone was chowing down without me. Hence my hasty photo of half-eaten mac and cheese balls. That’s the lobster in the background. And it was amazing.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

Next up were the blue cheese and corn fritters from the Blue Barn. Hands down my favorite food all day. We even ordered more on the way out of the fair. Also, I think my mom makes a pretty good hand model.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

After the corn fritters we had a loose goal of making it over to get a scone (which we never actually got) but got sidetracked by the roasted corn on the cob. Next year I’m getting two ears to help alleviate even more of the guilt over all the fried food I’ll eat.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

And now it’s the infamous “shrimp dog.” I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again, but I still thought it was good. Everyone else hated it. I guess the fair can’t win them all.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

A few meltdowns later (only a couple of them were mine) we made it over to the animal buildings. Wyatt pet a piglet, hung out with some horses, and only tried to kick a couple of cows.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

After a stop at the horses and the all-you-can-drink milk stand, we made the trek over to the pretzel-coated cheese curds. We all approved of the cheesy goodness.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

Then we kind of got stuck watching this parade of randomness. I’m not sure what the requirement for entry was, but the bar was obviously set pretty low. Also, when did Smokey the Bear start wearing mom jeans?

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

After the freak show parade ended, we had a short visit with a friend and started making the long walk back toward our exit. Of course, we weren’t about to leave the fair without some Sweet Martha’s cookies. And 30 minutes after getting in line, we had them. The things we’ll do for cookies.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

So really, we were actually going to the exit now. Right after pierogies.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

And beer.

Minnesota State Fair Food Experience

I already can’t wait for next year.

This post is being linked up with Krysta Steen.

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Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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