Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's My 6-Year Blogaversary!

Amazing! 6 years of blogging! I know - it's April and this is only the 5th blog post here this year. But I am technically still blogging, even though it's sparse! :)

If you're wondering about the lack of posting, one reason is explained in New Year, New Direction, but the other reason is that I started a full-time, outside-the-home job! Crazy!! You can read a little more about that in From SAHM to WOHM on From Lisa Marie.

I feel the need to celebrate this occasion with some cake, don't you?

To celebrate 6 years, I'd like to share a favorite post and a popular recipe from each of the years:

2008: I Forgot To Thank My Mom, Part 1

2009: Plugged Back In - A Redecorating Tale

2010: Why The Garbage Truck Makes Me Smile

2011: Encouraging Bloggers ~ A Blog Is A Blog No Matter How Small

2012: Will You Hold My Hand?

2013: Dare *Not* To Compare

It's been fun looking back and following along my journey through the years with you! Thank you all so much for coming back here again and again, whether there were new posts or not. Hugs to all!!

I'm keeping this post short and sweet. Just wanted to say hi, share a few links, and say Woo Hoo to 6 years!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Frozen Nutella Mousse {World Nutella Day}

Every February 5th, rain or shine, is World Nutella Day! Or at least it has been the last few years. :) I like to make up a new Nutella recipe each year to celebrate. {Do you love Nutella? Or do you prefer another version or make it yourself?} Last year I made Nutella Oatmeal Bars.

This year's recipe is oh so simple. I just adapted my Frozen Chocolate Mousse recipe.

Frozen Nutella Mousse

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Nutella {or other chocolate-hazelnut spread}
Milk to thin Nutella

Measure out Nutella into small bowl. Add a little milk and stir until well-mixed and smooth. Continue stirring in small amounts of milk until consistency is similar to chocolate syrup. Set aside.

Whip heavy whipping cream in mixing bowl until fairly stiff {not too long or you'll have butter!}. Pour in Nutella sauce, about a third at a time, and gently fold into whipped cream until evenly mixed. Mound into cupcake cups or other serving dishes, cover, and place in freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours, until firm. Makes 6-8 small servings. Recipe can be doubled.

Thaw at room temp about 10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

I decided to use a handy dandy Pampered Chef gizmo and pipe my mousse into the cups this time. But I usually mound it - it's simple elegance either way!

Stop by to see what all the fuss is about! World Nutella Day is hosted each year by Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso. They declare February 5th “World Nutella Day 2014″ – a day to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

And if you need more Nutella ideas, you can try my other recipes:
~ Nutella Biscotti
~ Nutella Popcorn
~ Mini Nutella Cheesecakes
~ Nutella S'Mores Cake
~ Nutella Bites

What's your favorite Nutella recipe? Or do you just eat it with a spoon {I prefer to use pretzels}? 

Have a blessed day, friends!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Double Almond Cake

I told you I had a yummy recipe that needed to be shared. I had this one a while back, but never had a chance to get it on here. It's easy and so delicious and you make 2 pans at once - more for me more to be shared! :)

I call it "Double" because there are almonds inside and outside of the cakes plus it makes 2.

Double Almond Cake
adapted from a reader recipe in Sunset

1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, stir together all ingredients except sliced almonds. Grease 2 9-in. pie pans {or cake pans}. Add batter evenly to both pans. Sprinkle each with half of the sliced almonds. Bake until edges turn light brown, about 30 minutes. Can be served warm or at room temp.


So so yummy! We ate it plain, but it could certainly be served with some whipped cream or warm with some ice cream.

Do you love almonds? What's your favorite recipe with almonds in it?

Have a blessed day, friends!

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Year, New Direction

I can't believe we're already 10 days into January! This year is moving right along, just like all the others it seems.

With this new year come some new things for me. One of those things is a brand new blog! Don't worry - this blog isn't going anywhere. But I am shifting my focus.

Stop and Smell the Chocolates has always been linked with recipes - sometimes to the point that people assume that I'm a food blogger {I'm soooooo not - LOL.}. Including recipes was my intent from the beginning, but it was just supposed to be a small part of the blog. My vision and the kinds of things being posted have been all over the place during the past 5 years. Now I feel a need to do some writing in a separate place, free from the distraction of food and attempts at "pinworthy" posts. A place to just be me, chatting about life, with you.

Going forward, I won't be posting as often on this blog {though you already know that my posting was somewhat sporadic anyway}. When I have a great recipe that I want to share or a tutorial about a project or household tips or even a review - I will post those things right here! In fact, I have a yummy recipe that I need to share soon. :) If those are the things you love about this blog, then be sure to check back in every so often to see the new stuff, to use the Recipe Index {I access it myself regularly when I cook}, or to dig back through some of the old stuff that you missed!

If you're looking for a little more of a connection and musings about life in general - hopefully musings that encourage you in your daily life - then come find me at the new blog. It's called from Lisa Marie. It will take me a while to figure out what I'm doing over there as it's a self-hosted WordPress blog and that's all new to me. So I'm focusing on the writing there at the moment. The extras will come later. And that means don't get used to what the design looks like there - I know that it will be going through many changes as I figure out exactly what I want!

I'm so thankful for all of you that have been with me for so long! You make this whole blogging thing worthwhile! I look forward to connecting with you more this year, whether it's right here at Stop and Smell the Chocolates, or over there at from Lisa Marie.

Have a blessed day, friends!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top Ten Posts of 2013 {Non-Recipes}

I already shared my Top Ten recipe posts for the year, but those of you who hang around know that this blog isn't just about food. So I find it even more interesting to see what kind of non-food posts interest my readers most.

And I want to give an Honorable Mention to a post that was one of my favorites for the year {It didn't have quite enough page views to make top ten, but it did have more comments than usual meaning more people connected with it.}:

It's been a good year of blogging, though I still often feel like I'm sort of limping along. Thanks for sticking around! Here's to 2014 and better blogging days ahead!

Happy New Year! Have a blessed day and a blessed year, friends!

Monday, December 30, 2013

December Declutter Update

I posted about my December Declutter challenge earlier this month. I really wanted to offset some of the "stuff" that makes its way into our homes during this month. But I wanted it to be a simple challenge. So I attempted to get rid of 100 items, but only spending about 10 minutes a day - no big reorganization projects.

I didn't care how small or big the items were because I knew they would add up. So I included items ranging from stickers and pens to books and clothing. Though I still have until the end of the 31st, as of right now, I'm up to 113 items!! Some of it is being donated {a trip to Good Will in the afternoon} and much was thrown away. I really liked seeing how just a few minutes finding 3-4 items each day added up at the end of the month.

Here are my donation items for the month...

Did you join in the challenge? If so, how many items did you get rid of in December? {You still have a few hours left to get rid of stuff - LOL!}

A couple of people have mentioned that they are looking for a decluttering challenge for January. Are you? What works best to keep you on track in a challenge?

Have a blessed day, friends!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top Ten Recipe Posts {2013}

As we approach the end of the year, it's a good time to look back. I always enjoy seeing what recipes or food posts were the most popular for the year.

Here are the Top Ten recipe/food posts for 2013 on my blog:

Well there you have it. I think you all have good taste! :) Have you made any of these recipes?

What's your favorite new recipe from 2013?

Have a blessed day, friends!
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