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Twix Pudding Cookies & a Pudding Cookie FAIL

2015 March 26
by Emily Hill

You know how I’m sort of addicted to—I mean focused on—pudding cookies? I knew it wouldn’t be long before I started experimenting again and yesterday was the day. I baked a batch of the most delicious Twix pudding cookies

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Twix Pudding Cookies -- my favorite pudding cookie recipe with chunks of Twix candy bar.

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But not until after I made the most fail-tastic Peanut M&Ms pudding cookies. It turns out Peanut M&Ms don’t make for a great add-in with cookies. Something about their ginormous size.

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Peanut M&Ms Pudding Cookie Fail
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Not wanting to waste an entire batch of pudding cookie dough, I picked out the remaining M&Ms (you can see the pile in the above photo) and threw in chunks of Twix, my favorite candy bar of all time.

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Twix Pudding Cookies -- my favorite pudding cookie recipe with chunks of Twix candy bar.

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The effort was totally worth it. I loved the ooey gooey caramel combined with that bit of cookie crunch tucked inside a delicious pudding cookie. I almost wish I’d thrown in more chunks of Twix.

Who am I kidding? I totally wish I had.

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Twix Pudding Cookies -- my favorite pudding cookie recipe with chunks of Twix candy bar.

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Printable recipe for Twix pudding cookies below. Enjoy!
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Twix Pudding Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
My favorite pudding cookie recipe with a ton of Twix chunks thrown in just for fun.
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (3.4-oz) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups to 3 cups coarsely chopped Twix candy bars*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in instant pudding mix until blended. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in Twix candy bars.
  5. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Let cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
* I take 3 to 4 packages of full-size Twix bars (6 to 8 bars) and slice them into 16 pieces but you can use bite-size or fun-size Twix.

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Here are some other pudding cookies you might (you’ll totally) enjoy:

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If you’re looking for more yummy cookies, you should browse my desserts {cookies} Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {cookies} on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Slow Cooker French Dip Sliders

2015 March 24
by Emily Hill

I have a very ghetto way of making French dip sandwiches so I thought I’d kick it up a notch and go all fancy with these French dip sliders.

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French Dip Sliders - so easy to make using a slow cooker and Hawaiian rolls. So fun to eat thanks to the smaller size!

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I found this slow cooker French dip sandwich recipe from Cooking with Ruthie and adapted it slightly. (I don’t like a strong rosemary flavor to my French dip.) And instead of hoagie rolls I went with those delicious Hawaiian sweet rolls.

Mini sizing a meal is always a hit with the family.

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French Dip Sliders - so easy to make using a slow cooker and Hawaiian rolls. So fun to eat thanks to the smaller size!

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Throw in a bowl of au jus hot from the slow cooker and you’ll be surprised how many of these sliders you manage to eat without the aid of stretchy pants.

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French Dip Sliders - so easy to make using a slow cooker and Hawaiian rolls. So fun to eat thanks to the smaller size!

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Printable recipe for French dip sliders below. Enjoy!
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Slow Cooker French Dip Sliders
Author: 
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
These slow cooker French dip sliders are super easy to make and the mini size is super fun for kids (and adults) to eat!
Ingredients
  • 1 (4-lb) rumb roast
  • 2⅔ cup water
  • ⅔ cup soy sauce
  • 1 small bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1¼ tsp thyme
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 20 peppercorns
  • Sliced provolone cheese
  • Sweet Hawaiian rolls
Instructions
  1. Place roast in slow cooker fat side up. Combine remaining ingredients in small mixing bowl. Pour over roast.
  2. Cook on high for at least 6 hours.
  3. Scrape off fat from meat and discard. Shred roast and return to slow cooker for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove roast from slow cooker and place in a large bowl. Cover to keep warm; set aside.
  5. Remove bay leaf. Strain remaining liquid to remove rosemary and peppercorns (optional). Reserve strained juice for au jus dipping sauce.
  6. Slice rolls and place half slice of provolone on each roll. Top with shredded meat. Serve on sweet Hawaiian rolls or your favorite slider rolls with a side of au jus.
Notes
I didn't love the pieces of rosemary in my shredded meat so I prefer to use a strainer to remove them, but you can skip this step if you'd like!

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If you’re looking for more yummy slow cooker recipes, you should browse my slow cooker recipes board on Pinterest.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board slow cooker recipes on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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25 Must-Make Girl Scout Cookie Recipes

2015 March 22
by Emily Hill

When I’m with you baby
I go out of my head
And I just can’t get enough
And I just can’t get enough

These lyrics run through my head as soon as I taste my first frozen Thin Mint cookie. I buy Girl Scout cookies by the case, especially Thin Mints and Samoas, and then I eat them by the case.

Speaking of not getting enough, there are a lot of things I can’t seem to get enough of—Diet Coke, Twix, sleep, Nordstrom Rack…

These are my favorite Girl Scout Cookie recipes from the Interweb. Some are for recreating your own Girl Scout cookies but most are Girl Scout cookie inspired (my favorite).

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25 Girl Scout Cookie Recipes -- a decadent list of recipes inspired by your favorite Girl Scout Cookies

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Girl Scout Cookie fudge
Girl Scout cookie fudge from Dine & Dish

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copycat do-si-dos recipe
Copycat Do-Si-Dos recipe from Cookies & Cups

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Seven layer Samoa bars
Seven layer Samoa bars from Cookie Crazed Mama

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Samoa bundt cake
Samoa bundt cake from betsylife

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chocolate Thin Mint mini pie
Chocolate Thin Mint mini pie from Foodie Crush

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{No-Bake} Samoa Peanut Butter Cereal Bars
No-bake Samoa cereal bars from Life Made Sweeter

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Girl Scout cookie recipes Samoa waffles
Girl Scout Samoas waffles with coconut caramel sauce from Domestic Fits

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homemade Thin Mints
Homemade Thin Mints from Leite’s Culinaria

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Tagalong-Cupcakes
Tagalong cupcakes from My Baking Addiction

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Thin Mint stuffed Oreos
Thin Mint stuffed Oreos from Something Swanky

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Tagalong peanut butter parfaits
Tagalong peanut butter parfaits from My Baking Addiction (she has a TON of Girl Scout cookie recipes!)

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Samoas truffles
Samoas truffles from Center Cut Cook

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copycat Trefoil recipe
Copycat Trefoil recipe from Delish

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Tagalong pound cake
Tagalong pound cake from I Wash You Dry

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Samoa macarons
Samoa macarons from Barbara Bakes

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Tagalong peanut butter cake bars
Toasted marshmallow Tagalong peanut butter cake bars from Picky Palate

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Thin Mint smores Girl Scout cookie recipes
Thin Mint s’mores from Crazy for Crust

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Samoa cookie ice cream cake
Samoa cookie ice cream cake from Beyond Frosting

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Chocolate coconut caramel covered Samoa pretzels
Chocolate, coconut & caramel covered Samoa pretzels from Love from the Oven

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Thin Mint puppy chow
Thin Mint puppy chow from Your Cup of Cake

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Samoas cookie pie
Samoas cookie pie from Averie Cooks

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Samoas brownie parfait
Samoas brownie parfait with salted caramel sauce from Country Cleaver

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Tagaloreos - Tagalong stuffed Oreos
Tagaloreos (Tagalong stuffed Oreos) from The Domestic Rebel

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Copycat Girl Scout Tagalong cookies recipe
Copycat Girl Scout Tagalong cookies from A Dash of Sanity

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Homemade Samoas cookies
Homemade Samoas cookies from Just a Taste

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If you’re looking for more yummy desserts, you should browse any one of my many dessert boards on Pinterest. I like to pin lots of drool-worthy recipes over there.

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Visit Emily Hill’s profile on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Best Dinner Rolls Recipe Ever

2015 March 19
by Emily Hill

Like the salted caramel butter bars I featured earlier this week, these rolls were first shared a few years ago. Touted as “my closely guarded dinner roll recipe,” it is still the best dinner rolls recipe ever.

Like, in the history of ever.

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Best Dinner Rolls Recipe Ever -- truly these are the yummiest dinner rolls you will ever make. You can even use the dough for cinnamon rolls!

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I love making the dough in my bread machine. It cuts out a bit of the work and means I can schedule the dough to be ready for rolling, cutting and shaping the minute we walk in the door from church on Sundays. I swear these rolls taste best with Sunday dinner.

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Best Dinner Rolls Recipe Ever -- truly these are the yummiest dinner rolls you will ever make. You can even use the dough for cinnamon rolls!

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When I make them, I like to cut each circle into 12 wedges so we have 24 rolls total. It makes them a bit smaller but it allows each of us to eat four, which always sounds pretty dang good. (If you want step-by-step photos of how to roll them, read my original dinner rolls post. Just don’t judge the photos.)


Best Dinner Rolls Recipe Ever -- truly these are the yummiest dinner rolls you will ever make. You can even use the dough for cinnamon rolls!

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You can eat these dinner rolls topped with butter and jam, honey butter, marmalade, raspberry butter—you can top these babies with just about anything. Or eat them plain and reheated in the microwave for about 6 seconds. Best late-night snack ever.

Printable best dinner rolls recipe below. Enjoy!
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Best Dinner Rolls Recipe Ever
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
These truly are the best dinner rolls in the history of ever.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (I prefer Real Salt Fine Sea Salt)
  • 3¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 T butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Place water, milk, egg, butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of a bread machine. Select dough cycle and press start.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface once cycle is done. If dough is extra sticky, add a little flour until it is smooth and elastic. Divide dough in half and roll each half into about a 12-inch circle.
  3. Spread 1 T of the butter over the entire circle of dough. Cut each circle into 12 wedges. (If you’d like larger rolls, go for 8 wedges.)
  4. Roll wedges tightly but gently starting at wide end. Pinch the pointed end to seal it, which will (hopefully) keep the rolls from unwinding while baking.
  5. Place rolls point side down on baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for about 1 hour or until nearly double in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. (Sometimes mine need only 8 minutes, so watch them carefully!)
  7. Serve warm, preferably with a side of homemade jam.

 

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If you’re looking for more yummy bread recipes, you should browse my bread recipes Pinterest board. I like to pin lots of drool-worthy carb recipes over there.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board bread recipes on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Salted Caramel Butter Bars

2015 March 17
by Emily Hill

I first baked these salted caramel butter bars nearly three years ago and they have become one of the most requested recipes by friends in family.

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Salted Caramel Butter Bars -- these are as addictive as crack, believe me. One of the most requested recipes. Great for all the get-togethers.

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In fact, these salted caramel butter bars are so amazing, my friend requested them for her son’s wedding reception. They’re perfect when cut into 1-inch squares. You can use a metal pasty scraper for easy, even cutting or do the DIY thing and use a joint knife.

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We’ve made these enough, I feel like we’ve perfected the recipe. But you are free to adjust the ratio of dough on the top and bottom of the bars and/or the amount of salt. We like to sprinkle the salt on top because it makes the salted caramel butter bars a little more sparkly, but you’re more than welcome to sprinkle it right on top of the caramel.

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Salted Caramel Butter Bars -- these are as addictive as crack, believe me. One of the most requested recipes. Great for all the get-togethers.

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I’m not kidding when I say these salted caramel butter bars are as addictive as crack. We try to make them only when we’ll be giving away at least half the pan. It’s all about the portion control, trust me.

Printable recipe for salted caramel butter bars below. Enjoy!
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Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These bars are like crack. In fact, they may even be better than crack. You decide.
Ingredients
Dough
  • 1 lb salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
Filling
  • 1 bag (14-oz) caramel squares, unwrapped
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees; butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  2. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugars for at least 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Sift the flour and add to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until a soft dough forms.
  4. Press half the dough evenly into the pan; refrigerate remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until firm and the edges are just barely turning a light golden brown. While dough is baking, start on the filling.
  6. Place the unwrapped caramels, heavy whipping cream and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over medium/low heat until completely melted
  7. Pour the caramel filling evenly over the crust. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble evenly over the caramel.
  8. Sprinkle dough with sea salt.
  9. Bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the shortbread topping is firm and starting to turn a light golden brown on the edges.
  10. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

If you’re looking for more yummy bar desserts, you should browse my desserts {bars & brownies} Pinterest board. I like to pin lots of addictive dessert recipes.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {bars & brownies} on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Crayola Color Alive: Bringing Coloring (and Imagination) to Life

2015 March 12
by Emily Hill

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Crayola. All opinions are 100% mine.

I remember when the coolest product Crayola launched was a box of Crayola crayons complete with crayon sharpener. In fact, I still think that crayon sharpener is pretty cool. But I doubt my kids would think it as nifty as I did when they have something as fun and interactive as the new Crayola Color Alive app and Color Alive Action Coloring Pages.

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Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!

Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!
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Do you see the Magic Crayon in each set? It unlocks virtual coloring effects and can be used on any of the Color Alive coloring pages. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the down-low on the magic that is Crayola Color Alive:

  • Download the Crayola Color Alive app (it’s free!) on an Android, iOS or Windows device.
  • Color a scene from the Color Alive Action Coloring Pages.*
  • Scan the Magic Crayon with the Color Alive app to unlock a virtual coloring effect like sparkles or fire. (Fire!)
  • Scan your finished masterpiece and watch your character come to life!

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When the character comes to life, you can take photos of it, interact with it and save it to play with later (no pages needed!). George and Livi couldn’t wait to get started with their Crayola Color Alive coloring books.

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Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!
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George, ever the gentleman, was all “ladies first” when it came to bringing their creations to life. Livi’s fairy was absolutely adorable.

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Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!

Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!

Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!
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We couldn’t help interacting with the new fairy friend and saved this image using the Color Alive app on my iPad.

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Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!
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Then it was George’s turn. His Skylander dude was crazy fun.

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Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!

Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!
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Check out those special effects! We had all kinds of sparkling and shimmering going on!

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Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!
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Of course we had to interact with the little dude.

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Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!

Crayola Color Alive review - the Color Alive app brings characters to life. My kids absolutely loved Color Alive!
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Apparently this Skylander doesn’t like to be kissed…

Crayola means it when they say they can bring your coloring to life! The new Color Alive app and Action Coloring Pages may have changed coloring forever.

Enter the Color Alive Sweepstakes!

Crayola is hosting an awesome sweepstakes and entering is easy! All you have to do is upload a photo of your new Color Alive creation brought ot life using the Color Alive app for your chance to win some pretty great weekly prizes and one grand prize—a trip for 4 to the brand new Crayola Experience in Orlando, FL opening Summer 2015! Enter to win the Color Alive Sweepstakes and be sure to share your creations on social media using the hashtag #ColorAlive.

* You can buy a 16-page book for $5.99 or 8-page bundle with unlimited printing for $1.99. The app comes with a handful of free pages as well.

Visit Sponsors Site

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Lucky Charms Treats

2015 March 11
by Emily Hill

I’m not gonna lie. I love Lucky Charms cereal…even those frosted oats. In fact, I’m way okay if the ratio of frosted oats to marshmallows skews in favor of the oats. This is a good thing because those are the only things left in the box by the time I pour myself a bowl.

After making those Lucky Charms cookies last week, I had an extra box of Lucky Charms cereal left over. What better way to use it than to combine this recipe from Classy Clutter and this recipe from Serious Eats to make these delightfully green and marshmallow-y Lucky Charms treats.

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Lucky Charms Treats -- quick and easy and delightfully delicious!

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These Lucky Charms treats have only four ingredients (five if you count the food coloring): Lucky Charms cereal, marshmallows, butter and vanilla. And they take about 10 minutes.

Well, 10 minutes to make. It takes only 5 minutes to polish of an entire pan.

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Lucky Charms Treats -- quick and easy and delightfully delicious!

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I was truly surprised how much I liked these variation of a traditional rice krispie treat. Every time I walked through the kitchen I had to even out the pan.

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Lucky Charms Treats -- quick and easy and delightfully delicious!

Man, that pan was always crooked!

If you’re looking for a last-minute kid-friendly St. Patrick’s Day dessert, this is it. And if you leave out the green food coloring, it can be a last-minute kid-friendly dessert for any occasion including the “I survived my 90-minute spin class” occasion.

Printable recipe for Lucky Charms treats below. Enjoy!
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Lucky Charms Treats
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These Lucky Charms treats are super easy to make and take less than 10 minutes. The green food coloring is optional so you can serve them all year long!
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 (10.5-oz) package mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups Lucky Charms cereal
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 (or more) drops green food coloring (optional)
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan or stock pot over medium-low heat.
  3. Add marshmallows, stirring frequently until completely melted.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and food coloring. Fold in Lucky Charms cereal.
  5. Transfer contents to baking dish. Use waxed paper (or your fingers) lightly greased with cooking spray or butter to gently press mixture in pan until evenly distributed.
  6. Let cool before serving (if you can). Store in an airtight container for up to three days (though they're best eaten the day they're prepared).

Here are those rather addictive Lucky Charms cookies just in case you need to use up those marshmallows before the kids eat ‘em.

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Lucky Charms Cookies - magically delicious, especially hot from the oven. You will not be able to eat just one!

If you’re looking for more yummy bar desserts, you should browse my desserts {bars & brownies} Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {bars & brownies} on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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