Who Doesn't Love Chocolate?

While you're probably reading this, we are on a plane to Atlanta. From there we head to Miami! We'll meet up with my mom, step-dad, little sister, little brother and his girlfriend. My mom and step-dad are taking all of us on a cruise! So starting tomorrow, that's where we'll be! Anyway, last weekend we had a date night (more on that next week!) and made some chocolate covered apples. Nothing too crazy, I just thought I'd show how we save a lot of money by making our own.
I also use Hershey's hugs as my chocolate. It's by far my favorite! And so so easy :)

1. Unwrap hugs.. this is the most time consuming part.. but totally worth it ;)
2. To melt the hugs, I use a measuring cup, just because it's microwave safe.
    I start with 30 seconds, then move the hugs around a little bit with a fork.
    After that, I do 15-20 second intervals, using a fork to stir it each time.
    I do this until the chocolate is all the way melted, it usually only takes me 3 times in
    the microwave total.
3. Slice your apples to whatever size you want! (T did this while I unwrapped the hugs :p ) 
4. Line cookie sheet with wax paper
5. Dip your apples in the chocolate and place them on the cookie sheet with wax paper.
6. Place cookie sheet in fridge to chill for about 20 minutes.
7. ENJOY! :) because after all, who doesn't love chocolate? 


Easy Dinner Rolls

Recipe from: thebakerupstairs.com

This weekend we had a little date night, (more on that next week) and I thought it would be the perfect time to try this recipe out. I've never made any kind of bread from scratch, so I thought these would be a good place to start. We're trying to eat more "real" foods, and the rolls we usually eat are the ones that are from the frozen food aisle, so that was our motivation in learning to make these beauties. And let me tell ya, these are super easy! I can't wait to make them again :) 

- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups - 4 cups flour

1. In a large bowl, mix together water, yeast, and sugar
2. Let stand until frothy (about 5 minutes)
3. Add the oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Mix until well combined
4. Stir the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough starts to pull away from the bowl and isn't sticky anymore.
5. Continue to knead the dough until elastic
6. Place dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth
7. Let rise until dough is doubled in size (about an hour)
8. Punch down dough
9. Lay dough on floured surface.
10. Preheat oven to 375
11. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray
12. Divide dough into 12 equal sized pieces 
13. Divide those 12 pieces into 2 equal sized pieces
14. Shape each piece into a ball, and add two balls into each well in the muffin tin
15. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown


Newlywed Game #5

1. What is your spouse’s favorite room in the house? 
Her: bedroom.. that's where the PS3 is :p 
Him: Probably our bedroom, she's always cold so she likes to cover up in the covers
2. What was the first picture of you both? Where were you/when was it? 

Us: It was taken a a couple weeks after our first date, in the parking lot of Tyler's apartment

3. Describe a typical evening at home. 
Her: We usually just hang out and watch a movie or tv.. just hang together :)   
Him: Dinner at 5 bed by 8 :P we're pretty boring but I like it that way...There's nobody I'd rather watch Netflix with

4. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you and your spouse in public? 
Her: Well, when my mom and stepdad were thinking about moving to Arizona, we were looking at houses of them. And at one of the ones we went to, with a realtor who had made an appointment,  it was really messy and we were trying to figure out why they didn't try to clean up a little bit, and as we walked upstairs, a guy walked out of the master bedroom in just a towel! I am so glad we didn't walk into the bedroom, and so glad he had at least a towel on hahaha. I don't know who was more embarrassed, him or us.. Probably us. 
Him: See above...............

5. What do you like best about your spouse’s personality? 
Her: He makes me laugh :)  
Him: How strong and independent she is, she knows what she wants and expects to get it

6. When it comes to ________ my spouse would win first prize. 
Her: being an artist :) he's a talented hubby for sure!  
Him: making cookies....I love cookies

7. What is your spouse’s best physical feature? 
Her: his arms, definitely :)  strooong husband :) 
Him: her butt......wait, am I allowed to say that?

8. What is your spouse’s most indispensable possession and why? 
Her: his wedding ring :) he loves it!  
Him: her laptop, only because that is where all of our pictures are

9. Do you think your spouse will be a good Mom/Dad (why or why not) or if you already have children, what makes your spouse a great Mom/Dad? 
Her: Oh yes, he will be the best. He loves kids :)  
Him: Absolutely, she has her doubts about herself but I see her motherly instincts everyday...usually keeping me from cutting my hand off or something 

10. What is something that your spouse is optimistic AND pessimistic about?
Her: His current job! He's pessimistic about the actual job, but optimistic of where it could lead :)  
Him: Ocean conservation, she's optimistic about one day everyone will know how much damage we are causing but sometimes pessimistic because there is such a long way to go still.


Blogging Thoughts..

Tomorrow is my little ol' blog's first birthday! I can't believe it's already been a year, yet I feel like I've grown a lot from being 20 to being 21 now. I can see my growth as a person and a blogger through my posts. 
I've been reflecting a little bit on all of it for the past couple of weeks.. 

When I started Rays of Purple, I started it for me. A place that was my space. I never had the aspirations to have thousands of followers and make a living blogging. For those of you who want that, and do that, I applaud you. I really do. It's just something I personally never wanted. Maybe it sounds counter productive, but I just wanted something for me, I wanted to be a part of this community. And I am. Having over 400 followers is amazing, and I adore each of you! I never would have imagined I would have made it this far. 
I want active readers, people to communicate with, not just a number on a page. Get what I'm saying?

I love being part of this community, and I feel as if I have made so many wonderful blog friends. But with that being said, there are some things in "blog land" that I'm just so over right now. The biggest one probably being the HUGE giveaways with 20 people in them, putting money towards a HUGE prize. I understand the reason behind it, and of course people want to win those, it's great exposure for your blog! I am not trying to bash anybody who participates in them in any kind of way, I get it. But it's not something I participate in. I've contemplated it, don't get me wrong, but I always turn to my husband and say, "I just feel like I'm buying followers, and that's not what I want." And I mean it.. I'm not here for that huge number, I'm really not.

Throughout this blogging journey I've managed to stay true to myself, and I want to keep it that way. I've grown as a person, and my direction for this blog has changed and evolved too. When I first started Rays of Purple, I was going to try the lifestyle thing. As I moved along, I found it becoming more of a DIY and recipe blog. Most of my traffic now days comes from Pinterest, and honestly, I love it that way. 

As I continue blogging, I really want to focus on posting our travels. It's the perfect way to look back on them, and the thoughts we had after them. I want to keep focusing on DIYs and new recipes. This blog is truly me. I blog when I feel like it, I don't have a set schedule, and I'm okay with that. I know maybe that will lose me some followers along the road, but I'm here to please me. I've learned that I don't need to post every day, I'm lucky if I even get 2-3 posts a week, but I'm okay with that too. 

I really didn't mean for this to be so long.. I need to learn to ramble less.. Sorry about that ;) 

Anyway little blog of mine, Happy 1st Birthday! Here's to many more to come. 


Chocolate Strawberry Dip!

- 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 (8 oz) package of cool whip
- 1 Hershey's candy bar, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
   I bought an XL candy bar, and that was more than enough for inside the dip, and on top
- 1/2 cup strawberries, chopped

For the optional topping: 
- 3 pieces of Hershey's chocolate bar, chopped
- 1/8 cup strawberries, chopped 

To Do:
1. Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together.
2. Gradually add in Cool Whip.
3. Add in strawberries.
4. Gently stir in chocolate pieces.
5. Top with strawberries and chocolate pieces.
6. Chill before serving.

We served ours with graham crackers and pretzels! I thought it was a little too cream cheesy, so next time I think I'll add 3/4 (6 oz) of the package instead of the whole thing! But it was still good :) I also had bigger pieces on top of the dip, than I did inside.

Recipe from: What's Cooking Love


Sometimes it's Okay to Just Say Yes!

So Thursday we did something a little crazy! Well, crazy for us anyway. We decided to leave the next day after work and head to Dana Point, California for the weekend! We left Friday and stayed in Blythe, CA that night (which I don't really recommend :P ). Saturday morning we got to Dana Point, checked into our hotel, and headed straight to the harbor! We got to go whale watching, which was magnificent in every single way! It was our first time but it will certainly not be our last. We're already trying to to plan another trip :) We went with Dana Wharf, and they were great, we had an amazing two member crew, seriously, they made the trip what it was, and I so thank them for that!

It was a super short trip, but so worth it! We think about our future a lot, and trying to make sure we get some money in the bank and all that kind of stuff... Which is a good thing, but sometimes I feel like we're so focused on setting up our future, we forget that sometimes it's okay to take the time and the money to take trips and create memories for ourselves. It was an amazing trip, and we crossed off FOUR bucket list items!

Items we were able to cross off the bucket list
- #5: Go whale watching
- #6: Go to a whale festival
-#7: See dolphins (in the ocean, where they belong)
We didn't see very many.. we're hoping to see some more on our cruise!
- #33: Spontaneous road trip