Babies, Vampires & Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

…but not exactly in that order.

Yesterday I had the lovely opportunity to meet my friend’s newest addition to her family, Baby Connor! He is such a sweetheart. Connor is absolutely adorable and has the tiniest hands that wrapped around my finger (as most babies do I imagine). I love being able to be alongside my friends when they enter into new chapters of their lives; this one was particularly exciting. Thank you Julie for letting me spend time with you and your new bundle of joy!

Baby Connor
Eyes wide open & ready to see the world!

Last night was also filled with more new adventures. I am thrilled to be part of an upcoming new web series titled The Legacy, which will be hitting YouTube soon! We shot a few scenes last night for the promotional video & will be doing so again tonight and next week. The script is incredibly well written and the concept is quite intriguing— definitely not your average vampire series.

Having a little fun while on set...

Before all these things, I knew that I didn’t want to visit the new momma and baby boy without bringing a sweet treat! I’ll be up front with you now… THESE COOKIES ARE NOT PALEO. I happen to know that Julie is a pretty big fan of all things chocolate and Peanut M&Ms, so my goal here was the cookie version of a Peanut M&M.

And BOOM… The Nutella Peanut Butter Cookie was born!

Peanut Butter Cookie covered in a Nutella Cookie... WHOA.
Nutella Cookie over Peanut Butter Cookie… WHOA.

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies (makes 1 dozen cookies)

1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Nutella
1 stick of butter, at room temperature, divided
1 egg, whisked, divided (I just eye-balled it)
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/2 tsp baking soda, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1-1/2 cups flour, divided

One bite left!

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees and grease baking sheet.
2. In two separate bowls, place half of the stick of butter in one, and 1/2 in the other. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar in one bowl & 1/2 in the other. Beat sugar and butter together until creamy in both bowls.
3. Beat in 1/2 egg mixture in one bowl and 1/2 egg mixture into the other.
4. Mix in 1/2 tsp vanilla & Peanut Butter in one bowl. Mix in 1/2 tsp vanilla & Nutella in other bowl.
5. Mix in 1/4 tsp salt, baking soda and 3/4 cup flour in Peanut Butter bowl. Mix in 1/4 tsp salt, baking soda, and 3/4 cup flour in Nutella Bowl.
6. Roll 12 small Peanut Butter Cookies and place on baking sheet. Flatten a bit with a fork. (The peanut butter batter will be much thicker than the Nutella batter, which is why it is used as the base)
7. Pour a tbsp of Nutella batter over the prepped Peanut Butter cookies. Make sure batter fully covers cookies.
8. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
9. Once out of the oven, and slightly cooled, take a circle cookie cutter and cut out circles around the cookie. (Due to the Nutella batter being thinner, it will most likely spread during cooking and bake together next to the other cookies… the scraps are just as delicious though!)
10. Place cut out cookies on wire rack to finish cooling. ENJOY! 🙂

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

Iced Coffee & Perfect Timing

This morning started off great. Special shout out to my Iced Coconut Coffee for helping out with that! I love these things hot or iced; they never cease to get me going in the morning.

Liquid Gold

Here’s my concoction because I know you’re all wondering:
And to give credit where credit is due, I took this recipe and just manipulated it a bit to suit my tastes. 

Iced Coconut Coffee (serves 1)

8oz cold coffee (Mine is usually a generous 8oz)
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
4 ice cubes (I usually make coffee ice cubes and use those)

1. Place coffee, coconut milk, and ice in blender
2. Blend together until smooth
3. Pour into glass and top with cinnamon!

*Today I was a bit adventurous and added a banana. It was delicious. I highly recommend it for added sweetness, nutrition, and a way to get rid of that banana on your counter that’s on its way out. 😉

So this afternoon was supposed to go like this:

11:30am – leave house

1:50pm – arrive in Tampa for audition

2:15pm – finish audition and enjoy the evening with Austin at Busch Gardens

That is not what happened.

Instead, my car broke down in the middle of the highway, then started up again, but broke down a second time on the off ramp. The tow truck wasn’t going to arrive for 2 hours, so I had to call the agency to tell them I would miss the audition, but they said they would send someone to pick me up. The tow truck came and a man named Brad picked up Austin and I. I was 2 hours late for my audition and after much resistance, they decided to let me audition. Then we were dropped off at the mall where my roommate Sarah drove out to pick us up. And then we ended up at Universal for dinner. Whoa. [Insert deep breath here]

Random Universal Trip
Did I mention how much I love these people?

Now let me say this… please, do not mistake that long monologue for complaining. I’m sharing because, as a believer in God, I love to find ways He is working. For a situation that could be perceived as bad, I look for His perfect plan. I always end up smiling when I realize how a situation like this turned out the best possible way it could have. Here’s how:

1. The obvious: My car turned off in the middle of the highway and we had to drift over some lanes to get to a safe(ish) place and we weren’t hit.

2. The location: the tow driver is free under 100 miles from your home. The location we were headed to was over 100 miles, but where we broke down was just under 100.

3. The help: my agency could have easily said “Sorry, I hope it all works out for you”, but they went above and beyond and found someone to come pick us up. That man, Brad, was late for his own audition to go out of his way for me and he was gracious and kind about the whole process. Also, my roommate, Sarah, just so happened to not have any work scheduled for the afternoon, so she was able to leave and make the trek to us at a moment’s notice. (THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!)

4. The timing: We weren’t sure what we were going to do if the tow truck arrived before Brad (then we were stranded) or if Brad arrived before the tow truck (then Austin would have stayed with the car and been stranded for a bit). But of course, the tow truck arrived and just as he was finishing loading up the car, Brad called. He was parked on the other side of the street waving at us. 🙂

5. The company: Austin never comes with me to auditions, it just so happened to be in Tampa, and we thought it would be fun to make a day of it. He was patient and kind to me throughout the whole process. And if he wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have had the option of leaving my car if Brad arrived before the tow truck. (THANK YOU!)

All in all, whether I get the part or not, I am just so floored at God’s hand. He truly does take care of us. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing your perspective and seeing it.

Too many times we choose to look at the negative. I invite you to do the opposite.