Meet the Sullivans

August 22, 2016

Dinner Made Easy + Baby Ruth Cookie Bar Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NestleSchoolDays #CollectiveBias
Owen goes back to school in just a couple short weeks, so our family is gearing up for much busier mornings!

For most of the summer we tried to stay home in the mornings as much as we could before venturing out in the late morning. We loved this because it let Luke take his morning nap in the crib, let Owen play, and let me catch up on things around the house -- like prep dinner. The witching hour with our usually sweet 8 month-old makes dinner prep nearly impossible, so I try to either get started on dinner prep (chopping, mixing and measuring) in the morning while we're home, or make something fast and easy.

By Friday I am DONE with cooking and need a little break, so we try to do something quick and simple.


One of my favorite quick and easy dinners is throwing a frozen pizza in the oven and making a green salad to go along with it!

Last week we picked up DIGIORNO® RISING CRUST® Pizzas™ from DIGIORNO® Pizzas at Safeway and a STOUFFER'S® Family sized Lasagna to help make our evening stress-free. I also grabbed a bag of NESTLÉ® Fun Size BABY RUTH® to make a special treat for after dinner -- you can find that recipe down below!

#NestleSchoolDays Sweepstakes
 

Want to make your dinner time a little simpler too? Make sure you enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a $100 Safeway gift card! Maybe you'll want to make these...

BABY RUTH COOKIE BARS
INGREDIENTS
1 box chewy brownie mix (+plus ingredients required)
1 bag peanut butter cookie mix (+plus ingredients required)
1 bag NESTLÉ® Fun Size BABY RUTH®, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat your oven according to package directions. The cookie mix and brownie mix I picked had different temperatures required, so I set my oven to a temperature in the middle.
 
2. While the oven preheats you can grease your 13x9 brownie pan, and set it aside. Then mix your brownies according to the directions on the box. Once you have your batter mixed, spread it out evenly in the grease brownie pan.

3. Now mix together your peanut butter cookie mix according to the package directions, and set aside.


4. Next unwrap all of the chocolate bars and chop up the Baby Ruth's. The unwrapping part is always Owen's job, and I have to pay him in chocolate, so we lost one or two along the way! Add the chopped candy bar to the cookie mix and mix until well blended. You'll probably want to use a hand, or stand mixer for this part!

5. Now you can drop chunks of the cookie dough on top of the brownies. You don't want to make the cookie layer cover the brownies completely. Let some of the brownie batter peek through -- it makes for a really pretty, marbled look when your bars are finished baking.

Bake them for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean. 


6. Once they are done baking, let them cool in the pan until they are completely cooled. Loosen the edges of the pan with a spatula before taking the bars out of the pan, and then cut them into squares. You will totally ENJOY these!


We sure did! 

And the pizza and lasagnas hit the spot too! Can you believe that pizza crust is cheese filled? I mean, holy cow! 

So now you tell me; how do you make busy school nights easier?

August 18, 2016

This and That

I can't believe we're in the final weekends of summer. I feel like I just got into a routine with swimming, and sunscreen and all that, and now it's time to change things up again and get into back-to-school gear.

The weekend, to me always starts on Friday. We had plans to meet our friend at an indoor play place in the morning. I had to wake Luke up from his morning nap so we'd be on time, and I hate doing that, but it was worth it because we had a lot of fun!

Luke loved the baby area, and watching all of the other kids, but he really wanted to get in the big play gym and see what was happening. It was just too crazy to take him in there this time! Owen had a ball with his friend and his friend's friends, and we even went for lunch at Oracle together after. A great start to the weekend!


We finally made it up to Keith's sister's house in Folsom for a visit! We drove up Saturday morning bright and early. The boys were both great in the car --praise the Lord for that -- and we didn't even have to make a single stop on the 2 hour+ drive.

If you read my blog, you know how much Owen loves his cousins, so getting to spend all day and night with them was like Disneyland for him. The play with him, and dote on him, and I barely see much of him the whole time. He is quite literally having too much fun to need his mama when his cousins are around. He got to play in the pool all day on a giant inflatable rubber ducky, catch little tree frogs and eat way too many snacks and treats.

All that to say it was a great, and all too quick trip!


In the afternoon I ventured out with just Luke to see if I liked the under-bed storage unit that goes with Owen's bunk bed. This is a terrible picture, but you can see what the drawers would look like. There are six drawers, so it would add a ton of additional space for them in their room. The only draw back is that the ladder for the bunk bed leans against the bed and might block two of the drawers. It's on sale right now and includes free delivery and installation, but I'm torn on if I should buy it or not. What do you think?



That's what's been going on here! How are you and yours doing? See where I'm linking this post up HERE!

August 16, 2016

SO Many Walls + a Giveaway!

We're about six months from moving, and when I have trouble falling asleep at night all I can think of is how I am ever going to fill all the wall space up. I know it sounds silly, but hear me out. Since everything in our new home will be brand new, and never lived in before, I'm kind of afraid of putting holes in the walls, so I just want to get it right the first time and not have to change things later.

All I know right now it that I want a gallery wall similar to the one below somewhere on the main floor. 


Other than that I don't have too many new ideas for how I want to fill up all the new space. I'm not in a huge rush though, because while I want our home to feel lived in, I also want everything we hang on the walls to have meaning to us, and not just be space holders.

That is why I was so excited when the nice people from Canvas Factory contacted me about reviewing and giving away one of their beautiful 16x20' inch canvas prints!


I decided to have my print made of an adorable photo of Owen and Luke that I honestly don't think I will ever tire of looking at. I love the colors and the expressions on their faces, but mostly I love the way it captures the bond they've formed. Look at the way Owen is smiling as he snuggles up to Luke's cheek, and the way Luke is holding on to Owen's head. I mean, ALL THE HEART EYES for this photo, especially now that it has come to life on the canvas print.

For a few days it has been sitting on a table in our entryway and anyone who comes through the door comments on how beautiful it is. I'm not locked in on where I'll hang it in the new house, but I'm thinking it will go in either the playroom or the boys' bathroom.

If you'd like to enter the giveaway head on over to my Instagram account, comment on the photo you see above, and tell me where you would hang your canvas print if you won! I will pick a winner at random next week!