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How To Freeze An Avocado

Happy Monday! I hope you are all had a great weekend! We sure did! We didn’t let the lack of bountiful sun get us down, we did a whole lot of Spring cleaning! My husband wasn’t quite as excited as I was, but he was a good sport and helped a ton. We also squeezed in some time for a long 15.75 mile bike ride, (surprisingly I can still walk today) and loads of time hanging out as a family. My favorite!

 I even found some time to write. This time about… avocados! Avocados are such a wonderfully creamy and nutritious fruit! I love adding avocados to my diet whenever I can, but it is hard to keep fresh avocados on hand in the house all the time. Something always seems to happen. They ripen too fast. They ripen too slow. They all ripen at the same time. They’re too ripe. Ahh!

Well not anymore more, because there is a way to freeze avocados, and, get this, they won’t turn brown either!

Start with a ripe avocado. Cut it in half lengthwise and give it a little twist and take the pit out.

Wrap the avocado half tightly in saran wrap.
Place wrapped avocado halves into a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer. 
Then, when you need an avocado, take one out and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Easy as that! You could even say it’s oat so simple! 🙂

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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Friday Favorites- 3/23

Ah, Friday is here! I really wanted get a few more posts up this week, but it’s been a go-non-stop kind of week over here, and it just didn’t happen. Next week will be better! Anyway, here’s a few of my favorite finds!

Favorite Tumbler- Cuppow
Turn your canning jar into a sweet traveling cup with the Cuppow!

Favorite Ikea HackExpedit Bookshelf To Wardrobe
Turn your bookshelf into a closet organizer. This is perfect for the huge pile of clothes that always ends up unorganized on the shelf in my closet.

Favorite Cookie Turtle Icebox Cookies
Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t handle the cuteness of these cookies. I was trying to find the recipe for some turtle cookies when I stumbled upon these a couple weeks ago. I was looking for the kind of turtle cookie with chocolate, caramel and pecans, but came across these irresistible little cuties instead.

Favorite Yard Accessory– Hose Clothes
It’s clothes for your hose! Maybe this will help me get excited to work outside in the yard?

Favorite ChairStokke Highchair
For little people to big people alike, this chair is awesome. Don’t let the $330 price tag get you down- enter to win one here until 3/27.  Don’t enter too many times though, I want to win one for myself! 😉

Well that’s it! I’m off to spend the day with my baby boy who is 9 months old today!

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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Friday Favorites- 3/16

What a wonderful week it has been! It has been very busy, but fun-filled none the less. We enjoyed our first campfire of the season with friends, spent lots of time outside with our little boy, and now we are enjoying a super fun sleepover with our niece and nephew! Here are some of my favorite finds from around the web.

Favorite Trick Sideways Toaster
What a great idea! Give your toaster a little flip, and you can enjoy delicious cheese toast! Pretty cool retro toaster, too. This site has lots of other neat tricks and tips for around the home.
Favorite Outfit – Summer Fun
So, I discovered polyvore.com this past week. It is a cool site where you can create your own style-boards. Here’s my first creation!
Summer Fun!

Doesn’t this just look good? There is a local winery that makes a pomegranate wine that I love so I think this would be right up my alley for a fresh summer drink!
Favorite Sandwich– Slow Cooker Corned Beef 
I don’t have an Irish bone in my body nor do I really get into St. Patty’s day, but this sure looks yummy. 

Favorite Easter Egg – Edible Markers
For a fun little twist on traditional egg dying, check out these edible markers I found in Parents magazine. These are also great for little hands to help decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more!
With that, I’m off to start the weekend early with a trip to the park with the kids and my husband! Perhaps a cup of coffee is in order first 🙂 Happy Friday! Have a great weekend! 

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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DIY Pallet Compost Bin

Thanks to a warm March afternoon, a sleeping baby and motivation to finally complete a few house projects, we have a compost bin. Yay! Now the 5 gallons of compost I´ve been saving has a place to go! This project is very easy to make, and the best part it costs absolutely nothing! 
Look at her, isn´t she a beauty?
We used 3 pallets for this project. Many stores will give them away for free. I snagged a few from the friendly people at Home Depot. We cut off part of the pallet for the back of the composter so that it wouldn´t be too wide. The extra cut off portion came in handy later.

We tried screwing the pallets directly together, but that didn´t provide enough support. In order to strengthen the corners, we added a cross brace on the top and bottom cut from left over pallet.

After attaching the brace, we cut off the extra wood hanging over the edge.

Then, we took a piece of scrap wood to make a front so our compost wouldn´t fall out. We cut the wood so it came halfway up and attached it with screws.

The place we were putting our compost bin was on a bit of a hill. We dug a little trench to help it be level in our yard.

Project complete. Ready for compost!

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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Friday Favorites-3/9

It´s that time of the week again…Friday! It´s been a wonderfully refreshing week in Wisconsin as the spring-like temperatures came our way…at least for a little while! Now it´s time for a fun weekend filled  with friends, family and hopefully a few house projects (but we say that every weekend!) Here are some of my favorite finds from the week.

Favorite Mug- Dunk mug
This adorable little mug even has a spot for cookies!

Favorite Outfit – Skinny jeans, boots and layered jacket
Say so long to winter in style! I already have the jeans and the boots, I just need to find the top! 

Favorite Appitizer-
Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Everything looks good when it´s bite size!
Favorite Shoe- Courdory Toms
I really want a pair of Toms. These would be perfect for Spring!

Favorite Dessert: Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes
Vanilla cream filled cupcakes cover with chocolate-ganache glaze!

How ingenious! I could see using this for things other than sugar, too.

Favorite Office Accessory: CableDrop Cable Management System
Never go digging behind your desk for a cord again!

Happy Friday! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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Cake Ball Cake

It´s a cake…it´s a cake ball…it´s a cake ball cake!

Yes, you read that right, a cake ball cake.

It was my friend´s birthday and I was trying to think of a cake she would really like. All I could think about were the red velvet cake balls we made for a superbowl party last year. Once I had cake balls on my mind, I couldn´t get them out. I had to make them. But I didn’t want to take the time to roll out and cover each individual cake ball with with chocolate. Not that my friend isn’t totally worth the effort, but I have an 8 month old. While I like to think I´m still a little Martha Stewart in the kitchen, creating beautiful creations from scratch, I´m not.

So, in order to save a little time, I decided to make a part-cake, part-cake ball creation. This cake starts with a layer of red velvet cake topped with cream cheese frosting. Then, a layer of red velvet cake ball with cream cheese frosting is added. Lastly, the entire cake is covered in chocolate. Yum, right?  Don worry, it´s easier than it sounds.

In case you have never heard of a cake ball, it is basically cake crumbles mixed together with frosting, formed into a ball and covered in chocolate. The cake and frosting combination yields a moist, sweet dough, and the chocolate on top brings everything together. You may have seen these cake pop makers in stores before, but be warned, they are imitators of the real thing, and should be avoided at all cost.

To make the real deal, start by baking a cake according to the directions on the box. I chose to make round cakes so I could easily mix up the layers.

Next, take your mixer and crumble one of your cake layers. Yes, take your beautiful cake and smash it into pieces.

Then, add some frosting. Since I made half the cake into cake balls, I used about half a can of frosting. For a whole cake, you will want about a cans worth of frosting, maybe a little less if your cake is really moist.  Combine the frosting with the cake crumbles. I have found it works best to use your hands for this step. Using the same baking pan you baked the cake in, spread your cake ball mixture, cover, and freeze for at least half an hour.

Once frozen, you can assemble your cake. You can really do this however you want. I started with plain cake on the bottom and the cake ball layer on the top, because I wanted the cake ball layer to be the closet to the chocolate outside.

Finally, grab some chocolate and melt it. I like Wilton Candy Melts. They melt smooth and quickly and are easy to work with. You can melt them on the stove, but I have found the microwave to work nicely. Simply place the bag of chocolate in a corning ware dish and microwave for a minute, give it a little stir, and microwave for another minute.

Cover the cake with chocolate, let it harden, and store in the refrigerator!

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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Friday Favorites- March 2

It’s Friday! This week was kind of a blur. You know those weeks were you aren´t always sure what day it is? That was my week. My husband had a fair amount of oral surgery done on his teeth and spent the majority of the week in the basement eating milkshakes and watching 24while he recovered. Thank goodness he is starting to feel better. After taking care of him and my son all I want to do is relax in a bubble bath with a glass of wine….ahh, I can dream. Anyway, here are some of this week´s favorite finds!

Favorite Breakfast- Nutella Crepe Cake
They’re crepes, so you can eat them for breakfast, right? I’ve been on a major nutella kick and this tops the banana with peanut butter and nutella I’ve been treating myself to this week!

Favorite Funny Kint- Crabby Pants
Ha! I want these in my size just so I can say, ¨Leave me alone, I´m wearing my crabby pants!¨

Favorite Kitchen Trick- Keep Your Brown Sugar Soft

Add  a couple of marshmallows to your brown sugar to keep your brown sugar soft and fresh!

Favorite Show- Cake Boss
My husband and I started a free Netflix trial recently. Even though we are not going to keep the membership, we are trying to make the most of it. We have not had any trouble since we discovered the show Cake Boss. Buddy is the king of all cake makers! In fact, as I type, we are watching Buddy and his team construct a cake the exact size of a Nascar car!
 
Favorite Ikea Hack: Magnetic Car Holder
What do you get when you mount a magnetic knife strip from Ikea in your kid´s room? A way cool way to store your matchbox cars!
Favorite Healthy Lunch: Grilled Tuna Wrap
A couple months ago I replaced all mayonnaise in my diet with avocado, to replace a bad fat with a good fat. I thought I would have to stop eating tuna, because what is tuna without mayo anyways? Well, It turns out mashed up avocado mixed with a little garlic salt is really good, and tastes great with tuna. Add lettuce and tomato and you´ve got my favorite new lunch! 
Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the weekend!

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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No Bake Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies

I really like to bake, but I don’t always want to spend forever in the kitchen. I like to get in and out with minimal dishes, and something delicious. No bake cookies fit this bill exactly. There’s no oven to preheat, no bake time to wait for, no cooling racks to find a place for on the counter, and best of all, fewer dishes. These cookies are easy and contain large amounts of  peanut butter and nutella goodness, and you probably have most of the ingredients already in your house. 

What you’ll need:
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
2 cups rolled oats

Start by melting the butter over medium heat. 

Once melted, add the sugar, milk, and cocoa powder and mix well.

Next, stir in nutella and peanut butter until smooth.

Add oats and stir well. I added a few extra handfuls of oats to thicken it up a little.

Reduce the heat to low. Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, place cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Refrigerate for about half and hour and enjoy! 

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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Friday Favorites – Feb. 24

Welcome to a new section of my blog: Friday Favorites! Each Friday I will post some of my favorite finds from the week.

Favorite Gadget – LEGO Alarm Clock Radio 
Last weekend my husband and I were looking around at Barnes and Noble and found this neat lego shaped alarm clock. It’s a fun find for all ages! I’m pretty sure my husband would secretly enjoy waking up each day and turning off his lego.

Favorite Treat- Bakerlla’s Chessecake Pops
I’ve had cake and brownie pops, and they are quite delish. Coated in graham crackers and dipped in chocolate, these cheesecakes on a stick they are sure to be a hit! (Note to self: Make these immediately after my dairy intolerant baby is weaned. Also have gigantic slice of pizza.)

Favorite Mealtime Tool- Construction Truck Utensil Set
Making mealtime fun with this forklift, backhoe, and bulldozer. Awesome. 

Favorite Baby Blunder- Baby Mermaid
I found this outfit on a Pinterest board entitled, “For the Future.” I don’t think it was a joke either. If this was your pin, I’m sorry, but please don’t ever make your baby wear this.

Favorite Fashion Find– Floral Romper
Say what? Yes, a romper. When did they come back in style? I don’t know but one of these with a cute little cardigan and some strappy sandals and you’ve got yourself an outfit. At the low low price of $8.96 you won’t even come close to breaking the bank.
Happy Friday Everyone! I’m looking forward to a nice quiet Friday night with my boys! 
What are your weekend plans?

Nikki Stenson

I am a wife to my husband, Matt and a Mom to my son, Micah. I live a simple life and eat a lot of oatmeal.

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