Archive for June, 2013

Portfolio ~ Real Estate Photography

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

I mentioned in my last post that I’m trying out a new schedule for this blog:

Monday ~ Baking post
Wed ~ Photography/Style/Makeup/Whatever I feel like
Fri ~ Lifestyle/Personal (such as High Five for Friday)

So for today’s photography post I thought I would share another type of photography I’ve been working on. Real estate photography is something that has only existed as a career for about the last 10 years. But it makes sense, as most potential home buyers will search online first these days, and good photos make all the difference.

It’s also probably one of the more technical styles of photography, which is not really my strength. It’s challenging, but I’m learning and growing each time I do it. I thought I would write a post with a selection from my photos so far, to create an online portfolio.








By the way, if you’ve been looking into real estate photography yourself, has been a huge HUGE help. Thanks for reading!

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Gooey Snickers Cookies

Monday, June 17th, 2013


I think 101 Things To Do With a Cake Mix has become one of my new favorite cookbooks. I just love when I look at a recipe and there are less than 5 ingredients!

This particular recipe calls for cake mix, eggs, oil and Snickers. You can actually use either chocolate or yellow cake mix. I went with Moist Supreme Dark Chocolate. It was a good choice (as chocolate always is) but I should mention this particular kind was very sticky to work with.


By the way, you will have plenty of Snickers left over to add to your chocolate stash – just one more reason to make these cookies!


These cookies were delicious – how can you go wrong with gooey cookies with a Snickers surprise inside? I think these would be a lot of fun to make with kids.

I hope you can give them a try! If you experiment with a different cake flavor, let me know what you think!

p.s. I am going to be trying out a new schedule on this blog: Mondays will be new recipes, Wednesdays will be anything blogging/photography/style/makeup etc, and Fridays will be lifestyle posts (High Five for Friday, etc).

I enjoy writing about a range of categories, but would love to hear if there are any you particularly enjoy reading. Thanks so much for reading my blog! Have a great week!


Gooey Snickers Cookies

Slightly adapted from 101 Things to Do With a Cake Mix

Makes about 16-20 cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 bag Mini Snickers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat for about 2 minutes.

Cut Snickers in half and place in the center of a ball of dough. Make sure the candy is covered.

If dough is sticky, use parchment paper on the baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until done.

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High Five for Friday – Chocolate Chips, Avocado and Running

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Happy Friday everyone!! We made it through another week. I haven’t done one of these posts in awhile, so here are a few photos from the past couple of weeks.


1. I just love Trader Joe’s because they have so many interesting, affordable food items. I was there the other day and couldn’t help but pick up Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips…there is just something so right about this.


2. I wasn’t sure about this candle when I first bought it, but it’s really grown on me. My only complaint was that the fluffy towel smell wasn’t strong enough, but I’ve come around to it and I think it gives my room such a fresh aroma. I’m kind of sad it’s almost gone!


3. Whole wheat english muffin + avocado + feta cheese + a little sea salt. My new favorite lunch.


4. I’ve been running a bit longer these days. I think I’m beginning to actually find it relaxing. Especially when I can run around this beautiful lake.

5. I don’t have a picture for this, but I finished Chemistry this week! I’m in the process of going back to school (more on that later) and started out with just one class this spring. I was SO afraid of chemistry as I do not consider myself a scientific person. It was hard at times, but better than I thought it would be. Now it’s DONE and it feels great to check that one off the list!

This post is a linkup with Lauren over at

Have a great weekend!!

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Chocolate Cake with Coffee Frosting

Monday, June 10th, 2013


CoffeeCake3 2

I made this cake in a short pocket of time between errands and school. I was looking for something simple, and pulled out a cookbook called 101 Things To Do With a Cake Mix.

My personal philosophy on cake mix is that if it tastes good then do it! It’s always such a relief to simply pour a bag of mix into the bowl, instead of struggling with exploding flour and endless measuring cups.


I decided that I was in the mood for cream cheese frosting, and I also needed coffee. So coffee frosting was the natural choice! And let me tell you. Let me tell you…this frosting was SO GOOD.


All I did was add instant espresso to one of my favorite cream cheese frosting recipes, but it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made in the kitchen.

Both the cake and the frosting turned out delicious and were so easy to make. I sincerely hope you try this recipe -  and it will only take a little time and even fewer ingredients. Let me know how you like it!


Chocolate Cake with Coffee Frosting

Cake slightly adapted from 101 Things To Do With a Cake Mix

1 Devil’s Food cake mix
1 small box chocolate instant pudding
1 can (12 ounces) lemon-lime soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place all ingredients in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat for at least 2 minutes.

Place batter in a greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool.

Dissolve the espresso in hot water.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing on low, until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract and espresso.

Spread frosting evenly over cake and enjoy! If desired, sprinkle extra espresso powder over the frosting.

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Jessie's Kitchen Chronicles