What I’ve been working on lately….Valentine’s Day Cookies

Hi there!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and to celebrate, I’ve been playing around with a few “punny”  cookie designs.

You Stole a “PIZZA” My Heart Cookies:

I Like the Way You “ROLL” Cinnamon Roll Cookies:

One of my favorites, the “NACHO” Average Valentine’s Day Cookies:

And of course, I had to work on some traditional hearts:

The hubster and I have put together some really cute Valentine’s baskets for our kids that we can’t wait to surprise them with when they wake up on Valentine’s Day.  The baskets are filled with chocolates, candies, lollipops, stickers, lip gloss for my daughter, chapstick for my son, mini balloons, and a card for each of them.  They’re going to love them!!

Mr. Effortless and I will celebrate together at home; no busy, overpriced restaurants for us!

I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with lots of love!

Thanks for reading!

In the Kitchen Lately…

In the kitchen lately, I’ve been working on cakes and sugar cookies decorated with royal icing.

We celebrated my hubby’s birthday this past week and for the occasion, I made him his favorite cake because in the Effortless household, cake is a MUST on your birthday.

This was a two-layer German Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting spread between the layers and piped as a border around the coconut pecan topping.  It was sooooo good, ya’ll.

I’ve also been working on sugar cookies.  Lots and lots of sugar cookies.  I’ve mostly been doing various heart-shaped designs, trying to get ready for Valentine’s Day.

When my schedule permits, I like to bring in desserts to share at the office, so this year, I’ve decided to bring in a “Nacho” Average Valentine Cookie platter featuring these nacho cookies I’ve been working on:

Aren’t they cute?!!

And they were so easy to decorate.  My plan is to place these nachos on a white platter and sprinkle a few red hearts among them to complete the theme.  It’s going to look maaaaaarvelous!

Image from thechicsite.com

What have you been working on lately?


My very first Cake Decorating Class – Detailed in Pictures

My first cake decorating class was tons of fun and I can’t wait to go back for more.  This was a Basic Cake Decorating class.  The cakes were pre-baked for us and the instructor covered everything from tips and tricks to bake the best cakes, how to fill a piping bag,  how to make buttercream frosting, and we even made delicate roses to adorn our cakes with!

Here was the station when I first arrived.  They supplied everything we needed — and look — they even served wine!!

We practiced piping techniques:

We leveled our cakes:

We piped a border and filled our cakes with raspberry filling:

We practiced icing our cakes:

Then we smoothed the icing out:

And check out this cool basket weave pattern we piped:

Then we colored our buttercream and created beautiful roses:

The instructor even provided boxes so that we could take our masterpieces home:

My favorite parts of the class were learning the basket weave technique and how to make buttercream roses.  Easter is right around the corner and I can see myself using these techniques to make a beautiful spring cake!

If you’ve ever considered trying a class like this, my recommendation is to DO IT!!  I learned a lot and it’s fun being in class with others that share your same passions.

My take on New Year’s Resolutions

Happy Sunday, Friends!

We are officially one week into 2018 and I thought it would be fitting to share my take on New Year’s resolutions.  Here it is:

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe self-reflection and goal-setting are great things; I just don’t believe we need to wait until the start of a new year to do them.  I believe we should be doing self-checks and setting goals throughout the year.  But I’m also not the kind of girl who waits to start her diet on Monday.  You know the old adage: why put off for tomorrow, what you can do today?  That’s my jam.

But back to self-reflection and goal setting.  I have spent the past year seriously working on my post-twin-mommy body, trying to get back to my pre-babies’ self.  It’s been a struggle at times, but I have stayed steadfast in my determination to get there.  I am happy to report that I am killin’ it in the gym and am now back to wearing almost all of my pre-pregnancy clothes ( a major win for me)!  I will continue to work on all aspects of my fitness this year: lifting heavier weights, increasing my stamina and endurance, and eating a (mostly) balanced diet with treats thrown in here and there.

Another goal of mine is to hone my baking and decorating skills.  I love beautifully decorated sugar cookies and thoughtfully crafted cakes.  I have dabbled in both of these in the past, but never really put forth a strong effort to getting better at doing them.  I have decided now is a better time than any to do this and so, courtesy of Mr. Effortless (cause’ he’s thoughtful and supportive like that), I’ve signed up to take a cake decorating class and also a Valentine’s Day cookie decorating class.  I hope to be able to turn out beautifully decorated treats like these in the near future:

Image from The Cake Parlour – London

Image from angelicamademe.com

Image from heidimix.blogspot.com

Image from christyssavories.com

In short, my New Year’s resolution message is this: personal growth and development should be done all throughout the year.

Cheers to a wonderfully prosperous 2018 full of growth and new adventures for all of us!

Turkey and Egg Salad – Healthy Eating Recipe

Are you looking for new healthy meal ideas for the new year?  Try this delicious recipe for Turkey and Egg Salad featuring a Jennie-O Lean Turkey Ham.



6 oz. turkey, chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

1 tsp mustard

1 Tbsp sweet relish

1 Tbsp mayo (you may sub fat-free or low-fat mayo)


430 kcal


Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

That’s it!

If you’re low carbing it or on a keto diet, you can eat this as is, straight out of the bowl.  It’s how I like to eat it cause’ it’s packed full of flavor and definitely filling on it’s own.

Or, you can spread it on bread and make a sandwich.  Either way, it’s yummy!


Minimalist Winter Tablescape

Hi there, friends!

I’ve got a couple of pics to share of how I transitioned my dining room table to a simple, winter-themed tablescape featuring a buffalo check throw blanket as the table runner, some faux greenery, pinecones, and candles for embellishment.

I’m loving the simplicity of it after the exuberance of my Christmas décor.  It just feels so fresh and so clean (clean….shoutout to Outkast!).

I just lit this Balsam Fir candle and now our entire house is smelling like a winter forest…love it!

Do you do any transitional decorating in your home post-Christmas?  Do tell….

New Year’s Eve – Inspiration for Your Very Own “Bubbly Bar”

Hi there!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  I seem to get amped up for every holiday and then BOOM!  They’re over in the blink of an eye and it’s on to the next one.  Next up….New Year’s Eve.  But can I tell you that I stopped in a Neighborhood Walmart grocery store today and they already have an aisle full of Valentine’s Day stuff??!!  Seriously, I was like:


We’re only 3 days post-Christmas, people!!!!

But back to New Year’s Eve.

If you’re hosting family and friends this year, I have some inspiration for you to help you create your very own Bubbly Bar!  I don’t know why, but I really like the sound of this……”Bubbly Bar”…….it just sounds fun, right?!

First up is a bar styled by Lia Griffith over at LiaGriffith.com:

Image from LiaGriffith.com

I love all the little details in this setup: the “Clink, Pop, and Fizz” drink stirrers, the custom labels on the bottles of champagne, the cute bow ties attached to the base of the drink glasses, and even the Bubbly Bar sign is chic and festive.  LOVE!!  If Lia ever invited me to a party, you bet I’d be there!

This next one was styled by Jenn of Hostess with the Mostess.

I absolutely adore the letters that spell out “Bubbly”.  Looks like a good time would be had in front of that bar!

No room for a bar?  No problem.  Check out these bar carts styled for a jolly New Year’s Eve gathering.  I can’t get enough of this black and gold setup by Courtney of Pizzazzerie.com:

Image from Pizzazzerie.com

Or this one styled by Cristy of Happyfamilyblog.com:

Image from Happyfamilyblog.com

Will you be hosting this New Year’s Eve?  If so, I hope these images have inspired you to create a cheerful and jubilant Bubbly Bar!


Our Annual Christmas Eve Movie Night

Christmas Eve Movie Night commenced without a hitch and as always, it was a good time!  This year we watched Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I set up a super simple snack table with a mini gold tree as the centerpiece, a couple of movie clapper boards, some boxes wrapped in a fun Christmas pattern, and a few ornaments.

I served pigs n’ a blanket, popcorn with movie theater butter and different seasonings, frosted cookies, peppermint bark, and a nice mix of candies: gummi bears, peanut M and M’s, whoppers, and sweet tarts.

But the best part was spending the evening together and with our extended family!

Merry Christmas Eve!