White Chocolate Popcorn Mix #MakeItAMovieNight

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MOVIENIGHT

I don’t know about you, but I am not ready for the holiday weekend to end. For both Christmas and the New Year, we didn’t make any grand plans and just stayed home enjoying each other’s company. It’s been perfect. 

Of course, we have missed our family that are spread out throughout the country, but I have sincerely been enjoying all of the quiet (and not so quiet) moments that we are getting to spend together.

Not having any plans to leave the house (with the exception of Christmas Eve church service) has allowed us to really slow down and soak each other in. I’ve gotten a lot of one-on-one time with both Lyla and Simon which is so great but I haven’t had as much time with just Alex as I hoped for. 

I know, a lack of alone time with your spouse it’s kind of par for the course when you have a newborn but that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of times I find myself missing my husband. With Simon still being so young, it’s not very realistic for us to head out for date night just quite yet so we have to find ways to bring date night home and one of the easiest ways to do that is with a movie night. 

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One of my favorite parts about seeing a movie in the theater is grabbing treats from the concession stand. I always get a big bag of buttery popcorn and pour a box of M&M’S® Chocolate Candies right inside. The sweet/salty combo hits the spot for me every time. Pair that with an ice cold Coca-Cola and I’m in movie theatre snack heaven. 

Luckily, my favorite movie night snack is easy to recreate at home. In fact, for this date night treat, I kicked it up a notch and added some white chocolate, pretzels and mini marshmallows to the mix – can’t do that at the theater 😉

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You can watch me make the mix here or follow the step-by-step instructions below.

To make sure your white chocolate popcorn mix is extra delicious, make sure to use Orville Redenbacher Movie Theater Popcorn and MARS Milk Chocolate and Peanut M&M’S® Chocolate Candies. P.S. have you seen the new little canisters they come in? Perfect size for the cup holder in your car/stroller #mommysnewbestfriend

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Once you have your treats prepared, you are all set to watch the movie. Now, just because we don’t have time to go to the movies doesn’t mean that we don’t watch movies. In fact, I watch the same animated children’s movie pretty much everyday (thanks, Lyla). So, for our movie nights I like to watch something a little more adult, or at least with real people in it 😉

The movie War Room has been on my radar since our church started promoting it in their bookstore. The film is all about the power of prayer and how it can transform the lives of individuals and families. The story follows a woman who is experiencing marital troubles and is introduced to the idea of creating a “war room” as a place to offer up all of her troubles and worries to God through prayer. It’s a story that is uplifting and inspiring – perfect for movie night with my husband.

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There is an awesome deal happening at Walmart now to help you throw a fun and exciting (and delicious!) movie night of your own. If you purchase all four of the movie night products that I have used above (Orville Redenbacher 6 pack Movie Theater Popcorn, MARS Milk Chocolate and Peanut M&M’S® Chocolate Candies, Coca-Cola 6-pack, 1/2-liter and the War Room Movie) and upload a photo of your receipt here, you will receive a $10 VUDU movie code via email (while supplies last, limit 1 per person)

TIP: take a photo of this URL now so you remember it later – all receipts have to be uploaded by February 9, 2016!

Pretty sweet deal, right?! Make sure you stop by here to check out more fun movie night ideas for you and your family.  

Have you seen War Room? I would love to hear what you thought about it in the comments below. Let me know what your favorite movie theater treat is too!

White Chocolate and Candy Popcorn Mix
A delicious snack, perfect for movie night!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 bag Orville Redenbacher Movie Theater Popcorn
  2. MARS Milk Chocolate and Peanut M&M’S® Chocolate Candies
  3. 1 cup mini marshmallows
  4. 1 cup white chocolate chips
  5. 1 cup pretzels
Instructions
  1. Pop popcorn according to instructions on bag, pour into large bowl
  2. Add M&M’S® Chocolate Candies, marshmallows and pretzels to bowl
  3. In separate bowl, melt white chocolate chips in microwave. Stir after every 30 seconds to prevent burning
  4. Pour melted chocolate over snack mix and stir immediately
  5. Allow mix to cool
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Serve with an ice-cold Coca-Cola for an extra delicious treat 🙂
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

2015 was good to us. Really, really good. 

(Warning: serious photo dump below. I have a problem)

January

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February

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March

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April

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May

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June

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July

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August

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September

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October

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November

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December

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Are you still here? 

I told you there were a lot of pictures. 

Since I don’t plan on being awake for the big countdown (unless Simon Earl decides he wants a little midnight snack), I decided to share the countdown of things I want to work on in the new year here:

10. give myself grace

9. teach Lyla how to swim

8. be present

7. eat clean(er)

6. lose the baby weight

5. cook my way through a cookbook

4. send more snail mail

3. open my Bible

2. have a “no spend” month

1. live intentionally

Happy New Year, folks! Have fun tonight, be safe and I’ll see you on the other side 🙂

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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Sugar cookies. Total classic Christmas cookie right?

For the past few weeks my social media feeds have been flooded with sugar cookies in all shapes and sizes, beautifully baked and decorated to perfection. 

Aesthetically, my sugar cookies are far from perfect. My stars are a little less than stellar and the edges were a little more crunchy than they should be. 

I left the decorating to Lyla and I think she saved the cookies with her mad decorating skills. (nope, no mom bias here) 

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The actual cookie though is delicious – I followed this recipe with no modifications. Next time, I’ll stay a little closer to the oven to make sure I don’t brown the edges 😉

Do you make sugar cookies at Christmas time? I would love to see your finished products!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Raspberry Thumbprint

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.
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My Grandma makes awesome jam. 

In our family, it’s as good as gold.

I almost couldn’t bring myself to use it for this recipe because, if I did, I wouldn’t have anymore gold. 

But, a little birdie told me that some more jam may be coming my way for Christmas so I decided to use it up. 

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Don’t have any of Grandma’s jam laying around? No problem. The shortbread cookie base for these thumbprint cookies is delicious on its own. Fill them with whatever kind of jam is your jam (see what I did there?) and I’m sure you will be pleased. 

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup room temperature butter
  2. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1 jar of jam of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract
  4. Add flour and salt and mix until dough is formed
  5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet
  6. Using your finger, make a small indentation in the center of each cookie
  7. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly brown
  8. Remove baking sheet from oven
  9. Fill each cookie with jam
  10. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes
  11. Cool on wire rack
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Peanut Butter Blossom

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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Peanut butter and chocolate. Is there a better combo?

(the answer is no)

I feel like this cookie is a classic and doesn’t need much of an intro. You know what to expect and when you use this recipe from my girl Betty Crocker, you know what you are going to get. 

Pro tip: make sure you roll them in granulated sugar before baking to make them extra pretty. 

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 36
Classic peanut butter and chocolate cookies
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  3. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  4. 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 3/4 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. about 2 TB granulated sugar for rolling
  10. 36 chocolate candies (or a few more if some just so happen to find their way into your mouth)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In bowl of electric mixer (or large bowl) combine sugars, butter, peanut butter and egg
  3. Mix on medium speed (can also use a spoon) until well combined
  4. Slowly stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms
  5. Form dough into 1 inch balls
  6. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes
  8. Press an unwrapped chocolate candy into center of each cookie immediately after removing from oven
  9. Let cookies cool completely on cooling rack
Notes
  1. Want to jazz up your peanut butter blossoms this year? Try adding a chocolate peanut butter cup to the center instead of the plain chocolate. My cousin suggested this to me and I can't wait to try - the more chocolate and peanut butter, the better!
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/

 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Grandma Etta’s Cookies

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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This is a special cookie recipe in our household. It is a family favorite, passed down to me by my sweet mother-in-law when Alex and I were first married.

Per family tradition, this cookie only makes an appearance at Christmas time and, seeing as these are Alex’s favorite cookies of all-time, you can bet that it is on repeat in the Byrd house for the entire month of December.

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This recipe makes a thin, somewhat chewy cookie. It’s spicy and citrusy and totally unique.

Because I only bake them at Christmastime, I always roll them in a festive red sugar sprinkle but the color bleeds into the dough when baking which results in a not-so-photogenic (but still delicious) cookie. So, if you plan on making these for a cookie spread or to bring to a party I recommend using regular sugar.

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Does your family have a special Christmas recipe?

Grandma Etta's Cookies
Thin, chewy, spicy, delicious. A family favorite!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  2. 1 1/2 up sugar
  3. 1 tsp ground ginger
  4. 1 tsp ground cloves
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/2 tsp lemon rind
  9. 1 TB light corn syrup
  10. 2 1/4 cup flour
  11. Coarse sugar or sprinkles for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together butter and sugar
  3. In a small bowl, mix together ginger, cloves, baking soda and cinnamon; add to butter/sugar mixture
  4. Add egg, lemon rind and corn syrup to mixture and stir until combined
  5. Slowly blend in 2 1/4 cup flour (more if dough is sticky)
  6. Roll dough into 1" balls, tap the top of the ball in coarse sugar or sprinkles
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown
Notes
  1. The original recipe says to mix ingredients with a spoon (you go, Grandma Etta) - I cheat and use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment 😉
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/

 

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