The Southern Belle Blogs

life as a semi-crunchy mom

Tag: sponsored (page 1 of 2)

Importance of Car Seat Safety

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Cars.com. I was compensated for writing this post, though car seat safety is something that everyone who has a little one needs to take into consideration.

Back in July of 2013, I found myself going from car dealership to car dealership with my mom in search for a new car. The transmission on my old car had gone out and living in a small town with no public transportation, I needed a car in order to get to and from work. This was to be my first real purchase as an adult and I knew that I needed to make a good, well-informed decision because I would hopefully be driving this car far into the future.

I wanted a car that was reliable and that I would feel safe in. Even though children weren’t on the horizon at that moment, I remember saying to my mom that my car needed to be two doors so that I would be able to maneuver a child and the car seat easily. I needed a car that could grow with me as my life continued to grow in different ways.

Fast forward to now. I’m 34 weeks pregnant with my first child with that same car. Even though we’ve chosen our car seat, we have not yet installed it. I know that time is running out. But installing a car seat may be one of the most important things that you have to do when you are having a baby and I want to make sure that I do it correctly. According to facts presented on the CDC website regarding child passenger safety, car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles.

We ended up going with the Graco 4ever All-in One Convertible Car Seat because Robb and I wanted a car seat that could grow as our child grows. Cars.com is a great resource on car seat safety and actually goes through many models of vehicles and tests the user-friendliness of installing car seats. They start each Car Seat Check by investigating the car’s Latch system, which is supposed to make it easier to correctly install car seats and then test how each vehicle handles the various sizes of child-safety seats in terms of both space and installation.

They also answered one of my biggest questions – Why Do Car Seats Expire?

Robb and I are making it a priority this upcoming weekend to go ahead and install our car seat into my car. Lil Bean could come at any time and I want to make sure that we are as ready as possible for his arrival. I don’t want us to rush around when it’s time and risk doing something haphazardly.

Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook [Review/Recipe]

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I recently had the opportunity to review the Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook written by Miranda Couse of the popular blog Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt. I love cookies but typically find myself fixing the same ones over and over. This cookbook is amazing though. It includes 150 recipes for all-time classics and modern twists on not only cookies, but brownies, bars, and no-bake treats. The recipes include easy-to-find ingredients, many of which are already in your pantry (if they are somehow magically in my pantry, then I know they will definitely be in yours).

I couldn’t wait to try her recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. I LOVE anything with chocolate and even though I am trying to cut down on my sugar intake, I figured that I could allow myself to indulge in one or two.

The verdict?

Nom. Nom. Nom. I can’t wait to try out some of the other recipes.

It amazed me how quickly this recipe came together. It took no time for me to measure out all of my ingredients, mix them, and bake the cookies. The cookies all turned out perfect in my mind as well – deliciously fudgy without being overwhelmingly sweet. The cookies themselves looked lovely with the cracked topping and would be the perfect addition to your holiday table or potluck.

Instead of baking all of the cookies at once, I ended up splitting the dough into thirds, rolling them up, and freezing two batches (without rolling them in confectioner’s sugar). I figured that once our Lil Bean gets here, it’ll be nice to just pull out a few pieces of cookie dough when I need something to perk me up.

The Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook will be released on October 31st, but don’t wait – preorder yours now and get ready to do some baking!

Print Recipe
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Recipe posted with permission from the Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12-13 minutes
Servings
About 34 cookies
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12-13 minutes
Servings
About 34 cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, oil, and both sugars until light and creamy. This will take about 3 minutes if using an electric mixer or 5 to 6 minutes if creaming by hand. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed or by hand until the dough comes together.
  4. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl for rolling.
  5. Using a medium (11⁄2-tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls, drop them into the confectioners’ sugar, and roll to coat. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until the cookies are cracked on top.
  7. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Tip: You can roll the cookie dough first in granulated sugar and then in the confectioners’ sugar. This will help dry out the dough, giving your cookies even more of a cracked effect.

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