Monica Wants It: A Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Maple Bacon Instant Oatmeal Cookies

I know last week I asked you all to tell me what you all like to see on this blog, and many of you said you all like it when I keep it real. While my most favorite thing to write about is definitely DIY tutorials, I also love to bake and don’t do it as often as I’d like. So this weekend I pulled out the hand mixer and got to work. However, I like to bake things that come together super quick and don’t require a ton of foreign ingredients that I can’t find in Small Town USA.

I had seen the Maple & Brown Sugar with Bacon Instant Oatmeal at H-E-B and had bought some. It caught my eye because, hellooooo bacon, but also because it had a fancy “Primo Pick” tag on it. The Primo Pick tag means it’s new, limited release, you should buy this NOW kind of thing. So, if you have an H-E-B near you and want to find cool new things to eat, look for the Primo Pick tag near the item. The sea salt cashews are a Primo Pick, and we cannot stop eating them. Finding Primo Pick tags has become a new obsession with Daniel and I. We puffy heart food.

So then I kind of chickened out on eating the oatmeal as intended for breakfast….until now. I also got some of this Apple Crisp soda which I’ll talk about in a moment.

Maple Bacon Instant Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Bacon is like the “it'” thing right now all over Pinterest and life in general, but I wanted to use these to make Daniel some tasty oatmeal cookies. He LOVES oatmeal cookies and they’re so quick to throw together. With about 10 minutes of prep + 10 minutes of baking you can have yourself some tasty, gourmet cookies.

Maple Bacon Instant Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Maple Bacon Instant Oatmeal Cookies (Makes about 24-28 small cookies or about 12-16 large cookies)

-6 packs of H-E-B Maple & Brown Sugar with Bacon Instant Oatmeal Packets

-1 cup of all-purpose flour

-1/4 cup of white sugar

-1/2 cup of brown sugar

-1 egg

-1/2 cup of butter (room temperature)

-1 tbsp. of milk

-1/4 tsp of baking powder

-1/2 tsp of baking soda

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy. Add in additional wet ingredients until well mixed. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients together.

-Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

-Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, form little balls of dough and flatten to about a quarter inch thickness (see below). Using a tablespoon makes you a ton of smaller cookies and using 2 tablespoons gives you that big cookie that you can get at the mall. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and crispy. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Maple Bacon Instant Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Maple Bacon Instant Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

These cookies don’t have in-your-face bacon flavor, but they do have a slight smoky, bacon taste that pairs beautifully with maple and brown sugar. The hubby gives these 2 thumbs up!

Finally, I also convinced my hubby to help me create a fall shandy. The H-E-B Apple Crisp soda has a delicious, sweet natural flavor that I thought would be great in a beer. Being the beer nerd he is, he picked the perfect pairing that even non-beer lovers would enjoy.

Apple Shandy Recipe (Makes about 2-4 servings depending on glass used)

2 Paulaner Beers

2 cans of H-E-B Apple Crisp Soda

-Fill a glass 2/3 of the way with Paulaner beer and fill the remainder of the glass with H-E-B Apple Crisp soda (both are seasonal Primo Picks!). Drink and enjoy!

Fall Apple Shandy Recipe

This drink really foams up a lot, which to me makes for beautiful presentation. You can definitely taste the apple, but it’s not overly sweet so as to make the beer taste awful. It’s a smooth, refreshing drink. The cookies and beer go well together for game day on Sundays.

Fall Apple Shandy Recipe

Hope you all enjoy these recipes! Two weekends ago, my husband and I demolished our fireplace mantle. It was a bit of a “Oh my god, what have we done?!” kind of moment, but this past weekend we finally pulled up our boot straps and got to work on revamping it. You guys…wait until you see it!

I’ll be back with more about that later this week. For now, I’m off to enjoy a conference in Oklahoma where I am getting an award for social marketing! Wooooo! It’s definitely an honor, and I hope I win the gold award.

Although silver or bronze would work, too. It’s just an honor to be nominated.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What Do You Want From Me?

I don’t really mean that to sound as blunt as it does, but I do mean it…as a blog reader what do you want from me? What do you like me to write about?

At the core, this blog started out as a blog about things I wanted, which is very open ended. Which was an intentional move. Then I started focusing more on crafts and DIY home stuff because at MY core it’s what I love. I sprinkled in recipes and weight loss (which kind of contradict each other), and then came sponsored posts and reviews.

I had a reader comment that I had a lot of sponsored posts in a row over the summer, and they’re absolutely right. So, I’ve stopped. I haven’t applied for any opps, I’ve turned away some all in an effort to get back to what I love to do on this blog and that is help readers feel inspired to make their life more beautiful. That can mean creating decor for your home or learning to love yourself right now, this very minute. I want my readers to leave my blog having laughed, been inspired, or learned something. I’ll even take a smile.

There were times when this blog had comments and engagement, and I slowly want to churn out high quality content that will earn your trust again and make you WANT to engage with me on these pages. I won’t lie and say I’ll never do sponsored posts again, but I will be pickier and make sure they’re relevant.

So, if you’re reading this right now, what do you like me to blog about?

Sometimes I am in the midst of a DIY project or idea, and I don’t blog about it because I don’t know if you all like “in progress” posts as well as “reveal” posts. Sometimes I just want to show you all gorgeous decor I see online that is super cheap. Other times I want to rant about something completely random. I want to share my thoughts sometimes even if it’s not a tutorial. I just want to know that my blog can recover and that you’re along for the ride.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, although if you feel like being mean, maybe come back next week. I’m having a rough time right now in my professional life/job so keep it honest, but keep it nice so I don’t go cry in the car while singing Adele songs. That would suck and my mascara burns when I cry.

Much love, hugs, and sparkles,


Thursday, September 11, 2014

My New Aldridge Dining Table from Home Decorators Collection

You guys...guess what?! I finally quit being a sissy and finally decided to make a decision about my dining table. I went back and forth for nearly a year about which one to buy and/or make, and I just couldn't take it anymore. I mean, it's an investment, but it's not a major life decision by any means.

Restoration Hardware Dining Table

My ideal table was/is a Restoration Hardware (RH) type of pedestal/trestle table (see photo above) with a grey weathered finish and plenty of room to seat about 8 people for game nights and cocktail parties. My dream RH table was over $3,000…that is simply NOT going to happen. Ever. I’ve scoured the RH outlet for years and years hoping to score a bargain, but I am always a day late and a dollar short.

Luckily, Home Decorators Collection has the Aldridge table with the same specs for less than half the price. WAY less. I lucked out and ordered it during a Labor Day sale with 20% off, free shipping, plus an additional coupon code bringing the total to about $800 with tax and delivery instead of the usual price of $1700 with tax and delivery. WOO! I truly think this will be a table I love for many years to come, so I’m trying not to let the price get to me since it is cheaper than almost everything else I’ve seen online and in stores.

Home Decorators Aldridge Table

I haven’t found the perfect chairs just yet. I do love these beauties from Home Decorators:

Dining Chairs from Home Decorators Collection

I also love these lovelies from World Market:

Maddox chairs from World Market

And finally these luxe chairs from Overstock:

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 7.36.59 PM

So, while I don’t have the perfect chairs yet, I am hoping to have some by early October. I’m also really trying hard to keep each chair at or under $150. (Crossing fingers!) And I’m living on the edge by daring to mix and match finishes for a more curated chic kind of vibe. Once the table comes in later this month, I’ll definitely write a review and take tons of pics, but for now I hope you all will SQUEE with me that I FINALLY have a grown up dining table.

Anyone else have exciting news to share or any new furniture you’re excited about? Smooches, xoxo!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Developing an Eye for Decor Potential

When shopping at mass discount stores or thrift stores, it’s important to not only see what is there, but to see what could be there. For instance, sometimes I’ll catch myself wishing an item came in a certain color when in fact it’s usually pretty easy to DIY that myself for a few extra dollars in spray paint.

Let’s take a look at this $10 light-up question mark I bought from Target’s dorm section. I loved the ?, thought it’d be great in my blogging space (since most of my inspiration to blog comes from questions I think of or you send in), but I wasn’t digging the matte teal finish.

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

I really wanted something gold and metallic that would look like it was purchased from ModCloth or Urban Outfitters. Using pieces of Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape (my fave!), I covered up all the little lights and spray painted it with some gold spray paint from True Value (I SWEAR it is the best gold spray paint ever!!)

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

Two coats of spray paint and 20 minutes later, I had this GORGEOUS gold question mark begging for a spot on my wall. I have big plans for a gorgeous gallery wall near my blogging desk, and this will be part of the display. I am in love with the final result.

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY 

And it even looks great all lit up. (In the photo below you also get a sneak peek of another project for the office)

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

This same method of thinking also works for items you think you have no use for. Now, don’t take this as an excuse to become a hoarder, but some items can be upcycled instead of tossed.

This Jack Daniel’s glass came free with some random gift set, and it was literally on its way to Goodwill when I decided to save it from dusty doom.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

The super thick bottom and square-ish shape made it a perfect DIY project. I got to use my beloved Krylon Gold Leafing Pen again (I swooned all about it over on this post). I put about 3 thick coats on the bottom (I usually let it dry about 5 minutes between coats)—you should basically put enough coats that you can’t see through the bottom anymore. This photo below shows how it looks after 1 coat.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

The result is that the bottom ends up sending a subtle gold glow throughout the whole glass that makes it look chic and high end. Plus, it’s the perfect little sidekick to my ribbon storage/dispenser and no one will ever know or guess it was a random glass in a Jack Daniels gift set.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

So whether you’re a seasoned DIY warrior or just starting out, I challenge you to try to revamp or upcycle items in your home AND to see the potential in inexpensive decor at mass retailers. Plus, this is a really cheap way to hop on board current DIY and decor trends without spending a lot of dough.

What is your favorite item to upcycle? For me it’s definitely fun to find new ways to use glasses, vases, and frames.

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