Salted Pretzel Cowboy Cookies

Pretzels, m&m’s, oatmeal, cinnamon and coconut is a combination I was happy to dive face first in. Thanks to Half Baked Harvest’s recipe as the baseline, with a few twists of my own, these little nuggets of love hit the sweet and salty spot.

Other then my pretzel presentation that is no-where near Tieghan’s masterpiece, I’d say these turned out quite perfect.

Enjoy!

Salted Pretzel Cowboy Cookies

  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp.
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup m&m’s (can just add more chocolate chips if you desire)
  • 1 cup pretzels, crushed

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs then add the vanilla, beating until creamy. Add the flour, cinnamon (if using), baking soda, and salt. Fold in the oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and m&m’s.
  3. Use a cookie scoop, or roll the dough into rounded 2 tablespoon size balls and place 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Push a few crushed pretzel pieces into each dough ball then slightly flatten the dough ball down with the palm of your hand.
  4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 9 minutes. (Note: the OG recipe has you bake the cookies for 5 minutes, remove from oven, tap pan on counter to flatten down, return to oven to bake an additional 4 minutes).
  5. Eat warm (definitely highly recommended) or let cool and store in an airtight container. 

Cheers!

Welcoming the New Gym Goers

This time of year brings a flurry of activity to the gym. In the middle of that flurry are the newbies, the returning and the steadfast constants.

January brings a natural surge of motivation to feel good, look good and get back into healthy habits. Naturally, many turn to the gym. And many of those folks are either brand new to the scene, or returning after a long hiatus.

For the population of folks who fall into the “steadfast constant” category, be mindful of those around you. Be welcoming, offer assistance, acknowledge with a smile or a nod when you make that dreadful eye contact during a rep. Because, while we may find the gym to be a comfortable environment, there may be some folks who are terrified, feel out of place, but desperately want and need the endorphins and camaraderie the gym can provide.

If you belong to a group exercise class or strength and conditioning gym that provides classes in cohorts, welcome them into your circle. Offer to partner. Provide them a tip on what equipment to pick and suggested weight range.

If you see someone with a perplexed look while standing next at a piece of equipment, stop and say “That machine can be tricky… it helps me if I do (insert XYZ)”. Even though the equipment may be second nature to you, offering up your expertise by buffering it with a comment that brings all parties to equal ground could be the one comment that releases the nervous tension and keeps that new member from throwing in the towel. Getting to the gym could have been their biggest win of their day. Help make them feel comfortable enough to return.

It’s been two years since I offered a steady schedule of multiple group exercise classes. Two years and I still talk to the majority of those individuals. I miss them terribly and often miss the hustle and bustle of teaching a full load of classes, but those memories I cherish and will keep with me forever.

When thinking about your gym and the community within you will also most likely see a family. Open your arms to the new guys.

Be that person that keeps them coming.

New Year Declutter

The week between Christmas and New Years has always been a time to declutter my physical surroundings. A time to get rid of the old, worn out, expired, or no longer worn and either trash it or donate it. Fresh and clutter free surroundings to bring in the New Year

The method to my decluttering madness is to just go all in. The full body, no looking back, see and feel every square inch kinda madness. I take everything out, pile it up, and then put all the pieces that are functioning and still used back in it’s place, while leaving out the unwanted and worn out. The unwanted piles then get sorted into trash or donate categories.

If the idea of decluttering is overwhelming to you, start small. Maybe tackle one room or one cabinet at a time, or choose an area each day for a few days. Choose what is most manageable for you.

A few areas to get you started.

1. Kitchen cabinets. Sort out the mismatched lids, worn out pots and pans, appliances that haven’t been used in a year and either donate or trash them.

2. Linen closet/medicine cabinet. Recycle the old towels into shop rags. Toss out the expired medications. Half empty bottles of shampoo/conditioner? Either combine them or put them into travel size containers for all those cancelled 2020 trips we need to make up.

3. Clothing closets. Girl, you know you haven’t worn most of that stuff in years. And those jeans that you keep around as “goals?” Toss. Them. Out. We are decluttering more then just our physical space. Declutter that mental space too and let it go. That is something deeper we need to tackle here another day, ok? For now, donate those two-size too small jeans. They’re out of style anyway.

Decluttering your living space leaves you feeling refreshed and accomplished before the New Year. It’s a great way to also start decluttering some of those tucked away mental spaces too. And what a great way to bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose by donating all the gently used goods you no longer need to someone who could really use them?

Go! Declutter some of those living spaces.

Cheers!

Beer Delivery to My Door? Supporting Local This Holiday

Supporting Local Omaha was the theme I chose for department gifts this year. Omaha is home to an incredible amount of locally owned and operated businesses, so what better way to celebrate the end of an exceptionally challenging year by gifting staff with some locally made treats all the while supporting our local businesses. If there is one thing that really fills my bucket, it’s the gift of giving to others, and also giving back. I had so much fun researching shops in Omaha which actually created a challenge when narrowing down. I certainly had a lot of fun filling Holiday bags with items made with love.

The carefully created and oh so cute variety of sugar cookies by the talented Erika of Erika.Ashlee Cookies and the Hot Chocolate Bombs by Zen Coffee.

I found the cutest notepads, coined Charmpads, from female owned and operated Inclosed Letterpress Co. and the perfect sticker pairing from The Anastasia Co. reminding the gals in my office that

1. You can do hard things

2. Your kindness can change the world

3. The world needs what you got

And come on… who doesn’t like, need, want, deserve a beer at this point? Infusion Brewing Co. hooked me UP with delivery service to my front door. Come on now, that’s what we call spreading Christmas Cheer!

I told the gals delivering it that they must be having fun. I am pretty sure my exact words were “You are literally spreading effing Cheer, man!”

Ya get what ya get with me sometimes…

Might I add I am LIIIIVVVIINNNGGGG for this Gingerbread Vanilla Bean. Ohmygoshneeditall.

And let’s talk about Orsi’s Italian Pizza & Bakery. Not only are they Omaha’s oldest Italian bakery, they also serve up some of the best pizza around. I couldn’t exactly stuff a pizza in each of their giftbags but I could fit in some fresh made bread. Orsi’s also makes their bread fresh in-house and with no preservatives, milk and no added sugars which makes them basically the best.

Huskerland Popcorn hooked me up with bags of yummy cheese, butter and caramel goodness. Huskerland also hosts a local baker, Lady T., every other Thursday and she just happened to be there when I stopped in to pick up my pre-ordered bags of popcorn. On my way out the door, Lady T’s middle school aged kiddo won me over with his smooth selling skills and eagerness to help show off all his momma’s yummy creations. Kid, you just got yourself a sale. I’ll take 10 of those cupcakes, and you choose the flavors for me.

Thanks, Huskerland Popcorn and Lady T’s Gourmet Creations for making those 10 minutes in your store extra extra special. ❤

Due to our campus operating remote, I gave the team the option of a personal delivery to their front door or a timeframe to meet me in our office parking lot.

What a joy to see some of these folks today.

Jacquie, Sarah, Pat, Theresa, Taylor & Angela… so good to see you. Jermaine and Anthony – thanks for letting me experience what it’s like to be a Door Dasher today! And Chuck, Brad and Amber – I will see you Monday.

Happy Everything, Merry Always.

Merry Christmas