0 Shopping with Zelda

Zelda was thrilled to join me on my last trip to Petco, you know, so she could get in a little Christmas shopping. (Seriously, how proud does she look in this photo?)

I'm not sure whether she's going for the giant cookie on the left or the dog puzzle on the right, but knowing how much this little girl likes to eat, I think it'd be safe to go with the cookie. 

I think I see the hint of a smile in this picture! 

Don't worry, Zel. I'm sure Santa will stuff your stocking with lots of good treats like these.

It's too bad all Christmas shopping isn't this easy! 

What's on your dog's Christmas list this year? (Or am I the only one silly/crazy enough to stuff a stocking for a dog?)


0 Cookie Monster

As I told y'all in my last post, I made Heath bar chocolate chip cookies from scratch last week (as part of November's list of 30). And because I know you're positively dying for the recipe, here you go . . . .

When I thought about making cookies from scratch, I knew I wanted to include Heath bar bits in some way, shape, or form. I checked out several cookie recipe books from the library, but when it came down to it, all I needed was Google. I searched for "Heath bar chocolate chip cookies," and one of the first hits was a blog called Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life, which is written by a darling girl named Courtney. (Click here to check out her post about the Heath bar cookies.) 

She adapted the recipe from allrecipes.com, and it's really quite simple, even for a cookie-baking novice like me.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup Toffee Heath Bar bits
  • 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease cookie sheets.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until well blended.
3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Then mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips and Heath bar bits using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough with a cookie scoop onto the prepared cookie sheets.
5. Bake larger cookies for 11 to 13 minutes or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool the cookies on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

I simply used a large spoon to mix everything, and I skipped the whole wire rack business, but the cookies still turned out great, so I'm thinking this is one of those recipes that you really can't screw up too much. I baked the cookies for approximately 13 minutes, and the batter resulted in 25 fairly large cookies. Everyone seemed to enjoy them--I know I did--so I'll try to make these again soon. If I get really ambitious, I might even make another batch or two to share with my neighbors and co-workers for Christmas. 

Thanks, Courtney, for a great recipe! (By the way, click here to read Courtney's blog and to find more sweet recipes.)

UPDATE: I was just perusing Courtney's blog and stumbled upon her post about Nutella chocolate chip cookies. (Click here.) Yep, you read that right: Nutella chocolate chip cookies. Holy hazelnuts, sign me up for some of those. And Santa, maybe you ought to throw in a pair of pajama jeans for me this year; looks like I might need 'em if I'm not careful. 

1 happythankyoumoreplease

Why yes, I did borrow the title of this post from the 2010 indie film, happythankyoumoreplease, which was written and directed by How I Met Your Mother's Josh Radnor. 

Sidenote: The film is about six New Yorkers juggling love and friendship while trying to figure out how to be adults. A bit cliche perhaps, but I recently watched it and really enjoyed it, and now I find myself trying to say "happythankyoumoreplease" a bit more often. The story behind the title basically goes like this: a cab driver tells one of the main characters that bliss is her birthright and that gratitude is the key to the universe. The cab driver also tells the character that she does not give enough thanks. When the character asks the driver how she can be more grateful, he responds: "simple, say thank you." The character asks whether that's all there is to it, and the cab driver tells her, "say thank you all the time," and then he tells her to say "more please" after saying "thank you." It's all very reminiscent of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, but the cab driver concludes his curbside wisdom by saying, "with gratitude, the universe is totally abundant," and I can totally get on board with that.

Fortunately, for Americans, Thanksgiving is a great time to say "happythankyoumoreplease," which is exactly what Tod and I tried to do last week. With a stretched-out holiday at the beach--from Tuesday night to Sunday afternoon--and with the most cooperative weather we could have asked for, we crammed more fun into five days than seems humanly possible. Every day brought with it a long walk on the beach, time spent in the sunshine, and more than enough to eat and drink. Wednesday also brought an oyster roast and a batch of homemade cookies while Thursday brought crabbing, dog baths, turkey, archery, and bowling. Although Friday was not black for us, it did involve a black cat. And Saturday, well, it was not black at all. No, it was white. White like a wedding. A very special wedding. And then, as if that wasn't enough for a sensitive one like me, it was garnet. Garnet like a Gamecock. Happy. Thank You. More Please. Oh, and don't forget Sunday, the day for reflecting, the day that brought with it the nicest weather of all--so nice in fact that I finally washed my car. 

So there you have it: an extended holiday of eating, drinking, appreciating, playing, and celebrating, with enough time in between for me to mark a few more items off my list of 30, you know, like baking cookies from scratch, researching DSLR cameras, taking walks on the beach, washing my car, and lighting more candles. 

Now, are you ready to see some pictures? Yeah, I thought so.

Here you go, in no particular order. 

I made heath bar chocolate chip cookies from scratch, and I'll follow up in another post with the recipe, which I snagged from another girl's blog.

Tod played the role of oyster roast master, a role he played very well, I might add.

And although I don't eat oysters, I love a good oyster roast. I think it has something to do with the aesthetics of the whole thing, as well as the salty steam in the air. Oh, and I like thinking that someone might find a pearl and give it to me, just like Tod did a few years ago. I still have that little pearl actually, and one of these days I'm going to do something fun with it, or so I keep telling anyone who will listen. 

Like I said, Tod played the role of oyster roast master very well. 

Although we know how to use the timer on my camera, we're apparently not very good at timing our jumps.

And yes, not only do I enjoy awkward jumping photos, but also I enjoy awkward running photos. It's like some part of me thinks these photos make me look more athletic than I really am, even though I am fully aware that these photos just make me look like a ridiculous person. I am also fully aware that it will take a lot more than this to fool people about my athletic ability.

Oh yeah, awkward shadow photos are pretty great, too. At least I think they are.

Nope, I don't know these people, or the dog. I just liked the image.

Why yes, Tod is pretending to sail a boat. On land. And you better believe I hopped aboard with him. Some days there are just no limits to how awkward we can be.

We all headed down to the dock for some crabbing, the dogs included. Of course, the dogs were much more interested in the hot dog bits hooked to the ends of the crabbing lines than they were in any potential crabs.

The crabbing was all fun and games until Heidi ran through the marsh and cut at least two of her paws on oyster shells. Not to worry though because after a bath and a little bit of rest, she was completely back to normal.

Pretty boy.

Heidi and Scooter weren't the only ones to get baths. This little rat got one, too.

Because bath time is always more fun with a mimosa, right?

A couple of turkeys in the kitchen . . . 

Oh wait, it looks like there was one more turkey in the kitchen. Honestly, how does anyone ever take me seriously?

See, I told you I lit more candles this month.

Tod made his delicious macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving! He knows the way to my heart, that's for sure.

And here's to being young enough to still be able to sit at the "kids' table."

I'd like to introduce you to the adorable, stray, black kitten that serenaded us while we ate lunch at Pawleys Island Tavern.

Don't worry, mom. I did not bring her home with me or anything crazy like that.

You know how I mentioned bowling and archery? Well, I was talking about Wii bowling and archery, of course. So fun.

And who would have guessed that Montgomery would be the Wii basketball champion? No one could even get close to her scores.

Remember that white wedding I mentioned? The setting was simply stunning. As was the bride, I might add.

And what a sunset. Like I said, stunning.

And call me Taylor Swift, but the sparks, well, they were flying. 

And that was just the beginning of the night because we still had yet to cheer on the Gamecocks to victory! (I love Zelda's expression here. She's not afraid to stand up and cheer.)

But all that cheering must be hard work because before too long, this was the scene. 

Although she did wake up for a bit during half time to hang out with her boyfriend, Scooter. Yes, they are totally dating. 

Sometimes it's all just too much for Heidi (and who can't relate to that?), but with a warm spot on the couch, she was able to hang in there with us for the entire game. 

And this guy? Well, as long as someone threw him the tennis ball, he was good to go. His face says it all, doesn't it? 

Yes, I'm pretty sure it says something like, "happythankyoumoreplease."
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