our favorite chocolate chip cookies

it's national chocolate chip cookie day &
i couldn't let this day pass without sharing our favorite chocolate chip recipe!!
I've tried so many recipes over the years and have had many favorites along the way ...
but this tried & true recipe (that I've adapted & tweaked just a tiny bit) from a bountiful kitchen has stuck with us for a few years now and is on speed dial in my recipe book :)

my husband and I met in college, we actually started talking because one day in class i was telling my girlfriend about a care package i had received from home that contained cookies (up until that day he was only known to me as the cute guy who sat in front of me in Bible class) his head spun right around when he heard 'chocolate chip cookies' ... the rest is history ♥

we're celebrating our 20th anniversary this summer and the guy still loves his chocolate chip cookies ... even at Christmas time that's his primary request.
 we sound something like this:

me: babe gonna make Christmas cookies this week

babe: oh ok, chocolate chip right? and oatmeal butterscotch?

me: no. babe those are regular during the year cookies
i'm making Christmas cookies now...

babe: oh ok. whatever. 
sooooo can you make chocolate chip for me. for Christmas. 
you know cause that's what me and all the guys in the office like. 
oh and we like sugar cookies too. with no sprinkles. please.

me: no sprinkles = blasphemy
but ok babe. sure.


a few things i always do when i make these and pretty much any other cookie recipe ...

1. i ALWAYS use parchment paper - it makes for a more evenly baked cookie 
and prevents sticking, it's magic.

2. i ALWAYS use a cookie scoop - i mean i don't even know what people did before the cookie scoop. 
it makes for less mess, uniform cookies & is pretty much an overall game changer.

3. for this recipe i use bread flour instead of regular flour - this substitution really happened by accident one night when i ran out of flour and only had bread flour on hand, i used it since i was in a pinch and it turned out to be the best accident ever! since the bread flour has a higher, more dense gluten composition, it makes for the PERFECT cookie - soft & chewy in the middle, slightly crispy on the outer edges ... YUM.

4. i ALWAYS use milk chocolate chips - it's really whatever your chocolate preference is, but if you like semi-sweet or dark ... i'm not sure what your problem is.

if you make these cookies, pop into the comments below & let me know!
i'm pretty sure you're going to have this recipe saved to your favorites too.
oh! and if peanut butter is your jam - this is my go-to peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe!
these are MY personal favorite ♥

the recipe page i created from Si's recipe with my minimal changes can be downloaded  below
again, to read her original recipe you can find it here.  print this page for your recipe binders & books and pop it into a clear plastic sleeve - enjoy!

mailcarrier appreciation day - free printable

February 4th is national thank your mailcarrier day!
i couldn't let the day pass without acknowledging it
since so much of what i do - being a small online shop owner - depends on the mail!

that last one is circa 2014!
when i first launched the stitching the states kits - crazy stuff.

cut to size and attach to candy, cookies, or even a gift card for a cup of coffee,
then leave it in your mailbox with the little flag up.
one simple little kindness can completely change someone's day - in this case your mailcarrier's!

happy national thank your mailcarrier day friends! xo
(cute artwork for printable is provided by DigitalArtsi on etsy ♥)

Christmas 2018 ♥

popping in to say it's here! Christmas has arrived in my etsy shop
everything is just so bright & colorful & HAPPY!

Merry Christmas Darling planner / purse charms with jingle bell & tree charms

one of my favorite new releases this year, is this 7 card Christmas story set 
designed to tell a different part of the nativity story with the flip of each card

this & all card sets in my shop can be purchased 
with a mini wooden easel to be displayed in a child's room, 
a desktop or maybe even near your coffee maker :)

matching nativity animals stickers for your Christmas cards

deer and bunnies and bears oh my! ;)

if you loved last years vintage cars & carols scripture cards - you'll love this new set 
with bright colors, new carol quotes & vintage bug car designs

and matching stickers too! they come in 3 colors to match the cards 
and can be purchased with envelopes for all your holiday snail mail needs

don't forget matching gift tags too!

this cute Christmas girls & dresses design comes in cards / envelopes / gift tags as well

 and there's still a few surprise craft boxes & mini books left in my etsy shop

the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for that one person you know who loves to craft or bible journal
... or maybe just for yourself ♥

i hope you find something you love in my shop this year
 i pour tons of love and a little bit of me into everything i create & sell so happy shopping!

our tree is actually up VERY early this year - only because i was hoping to cross a few holiday 
to-do's off of my list and try to be ahead of the game this time around?! hopefully.

if you follow me on instagram, 
you know we did a little shuffle in some of the main areas of our home
this is the before & after!

i keep telling everyone that was my fun creative house - and this is my 40's grown up house :)

what do you think? before or after?

i'm loving the after. it just feels so peaceful.
and as much as i crave color & happiness, there's just something about the quiet & simple

starting the week off with a big cup of tea and a very long to-do list
hope you found somthing here that inspires you or helps tackle your Christmas gift list ♥
Merry Christmas Darlings!

drop sugar cookies ♥

just popping in to share a favorite cookie recipe ;)
school starts tomorrow so there's lots to do, but over the weekend i filled the cookie jar with
they've been a family favorite ever since!

these cookies are so soft and yummy AND easy to make as far as sugar cookies go ... i mean don't get me wrong, we love us some basic roll em out frost & sprinkle take all day and a half to make sugar cookies - but when it's not Christmas and you're just in the mood for a basic sugar cookie without all the fuss - this is it.

add a little frosting and pop these in the cookie jar for the week! 
they won't last long i promise :)

almost 20 ♥

Marriage is hard work guys. Some people say marriage is easy... it's just a walk in the park.  And I don't understand that. because what planet are you from? which two people anywhere in this galaxy are perfect? There has to be conflict and lack of communication and unfair expectations in any relationship with two people. Because it's natural. Because we're human. Because we're instinctively selfish and because if there wasn't, what would be the point of marriage? It's supposed to be the ultimate picture of how Christ loves us - and without growing and pulling and pressure and heat and heartache how would we grow? How would we learn? How would we be more like Christ? We can't get there without growth.

Some people say marriage is impossible. And I don't understand that. because anything is possible *with God*.  I know there are exceptions - abuse, infidelity, addiction - but *sometimes* even with & through all those things God will work. He can change. He can make you new. Make your marriage new. He's applying the heat and molding the clay and stretching you beyond anything you thought you would ever be able to endure. Pain beyond recognition sometimes. All to make your marriage or in some cases maybe just YOU into the ultimate testimony of His dying love for us. 

But the enemy hates it. 

He'll tear it down tiny piece by tiny piece if he has to. And if you'll let him, he'll slither ever so quietly into the tiniest hair line fracture and take your marriage down from the inside out one thought at a time. 

But choice. 

Choose not to let him. Choose to fill those gaps ladies. Choose to let Jesus pour out of you and cement those gaps shut with unselfishness. With an open heart. With Mercy. With forgiveness. With time. With priority. With sometimes I don't want to do this but I'm just going to do it anyways. With a little Victoria's secret & a few chocolate chip cookies. (cause I'm old fashioned like that) And because deep down ladies, our men just want to be respected. They want to know we're proud of who they are. They want to know they're enough for us.  Enough at 20 and still enough at 40 50 & 60. 

You can't do it on your own.

God wants us to need Him in our marriages.  And sometimes you might have to wait.
 Months, years maybe even until heaven, i don't know...
now i know, not everyone will agree with me and that's ok.  I also understand every relationship is unique and complicated and sometimes for safety or other reasons the end of a marriage is necessary ... but as a general rule and because like everything else in life - stuff takes work. It takes time. It takes discipline and it takes choice. And because I've never seen a perfect long lasting no effort marriage just fall into anyone's lap.  And I get it... it'll never be perfect like in the movies we all watch or in the books we read but it will be worth it. Pinky promise.♥

much love ♥
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