Easy Cake Mix Christmas Cookies

It’s almost Christmas and the excitement is in the air. As I write this my husband is putting our Christmas lights in the front windows, Christmas music is blaring from Pandora, and Chance is staring at the miniature Santa we have in the dining room. I can’t wait to see Dereon’s face when he comes in from school to see that Christmas is in full effect in the Pyles’ home officially.

Tonight I plan on watching a good Holiday movie while eating some cookies and milk with the family. Last night I made 3 patches of some Cake Mix Christmas Cookies! If you know me then you know I’m not a baker, but my Blogger Boo Natasha from Houseful Of Nicholes had a wonderful idea to do a Cookie Blog hop titled #HousefulOfCookies it’s like 25 days of cookie recipes! This is my second year being a part of the fun. You can check out the cookies I made last year here.


This year I wanted something that wouldn’t break the break and wouldn’t give me a headache either. These cookies are easy, cheap, kid friendly and tasty! I’m all for easy and cheap. Lol. Being a mom of 2 makes you look at your budget a little differently. Who doesn’t want to do a Christmas themed project with the kids for only a few bucks while creating priceless memories. This was the perfect thing to do!


Dereon helped add the ingredients and lick the spoon afterwards to confirm the cookie dough was actually tasty. Dennis helped whip up the batter with the mixer and Chance was sleep thank heavens! Lol. Overall it was fun and once the Cookies came out we decided to make these a staple in our home. 

Make a batch and let me know your thoughts. Also the Cookie Blog Hop has just started so check out the hashtag #HousefulOfCookies to see what other bloggers are baking! 


Cake Mix Christmas Cookies

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Makes 3 batches 

Ingredients:

1 box of Vanilla Cake Mix

1 stick of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature

3 Eggs

2 tsp of Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp of Confetti Sprinkles

The Instructions 

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a mixing bowl add the cake mix, butter, eggs and vanilla extract, and mix well with a hand mixer. Add your Christmas colored sprinkles and gently fold those in.

3) Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the dough onto your cookie sheet which you should spray with a nonstick spray.

4) Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. 

5) Let them cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy with a cup of cold milk!

The best place to go in Chicago for last minute Halloween costumes!

Can you believe how close Halloween is? It’s right around the corner and so many of my friends are complaining that they still don’t have their costumes yet. All I had to say was Fantasy costumes

Chicago’s largest costume megastore, will be open 24 hours/day until Halloween for last minute Halloween shopping! Fantasy Costumes offers customers a city block long store with over 1,000,000 selections including costumes, accessories, makeup and more. Fantasy Costumes carries 2016’s most popular costumes.


The family and I headed over to find some costumes with all the the cute bells and whistles and we lucked up when we stopped at Fantasy Costumes! Wall to wall full of costumes, accessories, and wigs to complete any and every look you could think of. From babies to adults Fantasy Costumes has you covered.


For my plus size girls they have you in mind and to my big and tall men you aren’t forgotten about either. Shopping for costumes can be hard, but I think the hardest part for us was picking from the millions of costumes right in front of us. If you are still searching for the perfect costume check them out! I will say since my husband birthday is on Halloween we celebrate a little more than most, but it’s always pure fun. Can’t wait to show you our costumes! 

Ferrara Candy Company is sharing goodness: Boo! At the Zoo

Kids love candy and if it’s gummy or sour they love it even more! This past weekend my family and I headed out to Brookfield Zoo to explore “Boo! At the Zoo”. We were greeted by super friendly and fun candy booths full of treats for the zoo goers. The kids faces instantly lit up when they received a treat. This was going on at 5 different spots around the zoo. 


We were able to have a VIP animal encounter with a cool Zoo keeper and a pretty cool wild cat. Ferrara Candy Company invited more than 100 kids out to experience this one on one time and boy did they enjoy themselves. When it was time for questions even the adults chimed in. 


Ferrara Candy Company is definitely sharing goodness with the community by sponsoring 400 plus neighbors with complimentary admission and transportation to Boo! at the Zoo. They sent buses to gather kids from their schools to enjoy the fun at the zoo! They are also donating more than 10,000 lbs. of candy and providing more than 300 volunteers to make this Halloween super special and spooktacular for the community. I know for a fact they donated tons of candy because I grabbed a few pieces of candy myself. Lol.

It really warms my heart to see a company five back and really do it where the community can definitely benefit from it. Just seeing the kids in their costumes smiling ear to ear with their candy just made my day.


UniverSoul Circus brings Soul to Chicago

Last week me and the kiddos ventured to Washington Park to check out the UniverSoul Circus and boy let me tell you…we had a blast! This was baby Chance’s first time at the circus and I couldn’t be happier with the show. We danced and laughed as we became a part of the  most interactive circus ever.


I remember being a young adult and taking my little sister to the “Soul Circus” it was always a treat for me too (even though I never told her that lol). The music would always be up to date and she knew all the dance moves they were doing. Well fast forward 10 years later and guess what? We are back atthe circus this time and now she’s a college student home for her Fall break. We also have now added my 2 kids and our little sister Dionne. My mom even tagged along this time. LaToya from The Fat Girl of Fashion who happens to be one of my Blogger boos invited us to check out the show with her.


The show kept us ooohing and aahing the whole night. It was so interesting that it kept the attention of my 1 year old (which is a hard thing to do!)


Dereon and Dionne couldn’t stay seated, they danced on every song!


I don’t believe in spoilers so I won’t tell you everything that happened at the UniverSoul Circus, but be prepared to be amazed. Tricks, illusions, and entertainment for days.


The Circus will be in town until October 30, 2016. You can grab your tickets online or at the box office outside of the Big Top located at Washington Park


The kiddos had a blast as we created priceless memories with the help of the Soul Circus! Definitely check them out when they come to your city and if you are in Chicago grab your tickets today because time is winding down. 

iPhone 7 

I’m an iPhone user and I love Apple, but I’m not a fan of every year finding out my phone is obsolete because Apple has dropped a newer and better version. Sigh. Anyways today Apple released information on its new phone…the iPhone 7. 


The press conference is happening right now so the news is slowly coming in, but a picture has been leaked showcasing a water resistant iPhone which is huge news for Apple lovers. 

This new phone will also boast a new camera. The speakers have been upgraded to stereo speakers. Better battery life is expected and the biggest feature to me is the wireless headphones that will be included since the ear phone jacks have been removed. Pretty interesting stuff.

The new iPhone is available for preorder and drops September 16th 2016. As more information becomes available I’ll definitely share. 

September 2016…Are you kidding me?

It’s September already! I’m just in shock because 2016 is going by way too fast for me. As a kid I couldn’t wait to grow up and now as an adult I can’t wait to win the lotto. Lol. The kids are back in school, the summer heat is definitely gone, and now the holidays play peek a boo with us.


I love FALL, it’s my favorite Season. The weather, the colors, fun Fall themed events, and finally relaxing from a crazy busy summer. It just seems like it snuck up on us. I have a jammed packed Fall too, but it should be all love and fun. My wedding anniversary is in September, my husband’s birthday is in October, and of course Halloween falls in October. So be looking out for some blog post about all of that.

May September (and Fall 2016) be a wonderful time in your life! Eat lots of apples, pumpkins, and other Fall themed treats. Stay encouraged, excited about your future, and focused!
Blessings.

Ice Age: Collision Course coming to theaters soon!

Me and the kids can’t wait to see the new movie, ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE! It’s hitting the theaters July 22nd!

Wondering what the movie is about? In the 5th installment of the ICE AGE movies, Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, travelling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters.

To see some previews of the film visit here

Fat Girl of Fashion Brunch!

A few Sundays ago I was invited to a wonderful brunch hosted by TheFatGirlOfFashion to celebrate her 3 year Blog anniversary! When I tell you I had a good time, believe me. We laughed, ate, sipped cocktails, and laughed so much more. The brunch was held at FarmHouse Chicago. which was a great central location and extremely easy to get to. 

When we arrived the table settings were so creative and cute. Our party favors were MAC Lipsticks…yes a full sized MAC Lippie. I was over the moon because your girl here loves a good lipstick. We also received a body butter sample by a local Chicagoland vendor. There also was a professional photographer from Levine – Moore Photography going around catching candid shots of us as well as any requested photo looks you wanted to do. 


Wait, I’m jumping the broom. I’m telling y’all all about this fabulous event, but didn’t give you the info on the wonderful honoree! Some of you may already know Fashion Blogger Latoya Wright of FatGirlOfFashion.com she’s one of my close blogger boos. Latoya is a sweetie pie. Funny, fashionable, reliable, and a true ball of fun. We have such a good time every time we hang together. She’s been to every event I’ve invited her to so I couldn’t miss dining with her to celebrate her 3 successful years blogging.


I ordered The Farmer’s Breakfast which was Scrambled Farm Eggs, Kale, Shallot, Fine Herbs, White Cheddar, Spicy Potatoes
,sausage and Multigrain Toast. My meal was so flavorful and filling. 


We also got a sweet treat. They are called Sticky buns and boy were they tasty!


My Mimosa was well deserved and the perfect mixture of fresh juice and champagne .

After enjoying our eats we all shared who we were, how we knew Latoya, and our overall thoughts on her and her blog. It was a very special moment to share with her. She has inspired, motivated, and encouraged so many women off and online so it was a blessing to know she was able to see that her work isn’t in vain.

The brunch was a lot of fun and I’m super happy to have a blogger boo turn into a good friend! Congrats Latoya, may you have many more years in this blogging world.
 

A Real Urban Mom riding the 2015 Subaru Legacy

Guys I’m super excited to say this… my family and I are test driving the 2015 Subaru Legacy! We will have the car for a whole week and we’ve already been putting that baby to use. We’ve ran errands, did last minute Christmas shopping, dropped off gifts and picked some up from family and friends. Whew!

The funny thing is the car just fits perfectly in our life. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. Our boys fit comfortably in the back and have some room to move around and Dennis has enough leg room when driving and being a passenger (he’s 6ft.) Since I’m short I love the fact the seats can be moved by a push of a button.

The gas mileage on this car has been amazing, we have been all over Chicago and we still have more than a half tank of gas! I’m impressed. I’ll keep you guys posted on what else the Subaru can do later this week!

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Keep an eye out on us on social media because videos and pictures are being uploaded constantly! We are loving this car and super blessed to have it for a whole week!

I’m going to Blogalicious!

So a few weeks ago I noticed a contest going on Nikki and The City blog’s page. It was a contest to win a ticket to Blogalicious! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Blogalicious it’s a conference for bloggers of color. Since I’ve only been blogging “seriously” for about a year everything is new to me. I just started hearing and seeing mentions of different conferences. Since I’m a newbie and want to learn everything I can about blogging I added attending a conference to my vision board. Well if you’ve ever been to a conference (blogging) or not you know they are pretty costly. And as this year passed by I placed the conference dream to 2015 and just kept working towards what I felt I could accomplish this year.

Well God had other plans y’all. I entered Nikki’s contest, although I was dicouraged because there were over 500 entries. But I entered and tried my chances even though as soon as I submitted my entry I got nervous. I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I didn’t want to set myself up for failure so I kept positive thoughts and prayers in my mind. It was a LONG week! Lol. I’ll never forget when I got the tweet that I won. I screamed and laughed and was just in plain shock. I don’t win much, but that was a win for sure.

As I write this I’m headed to Texas knocking two things off my bucket list (blogging conference and to visit Texas)! The moral of this story is trust and believe in God and keep positive thoughts in your mind and on your lips. God knows how to give you your hearts desire.

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P.S.
Shout out to my wonderful husband and mother for making sure everything is smooth in Chicago while I travel (you know somebody has to take care of home). Thanks to my friends for all the love, support, and help. Oh and a special thank you to my son for making me a going away card.

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