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This post was sponsored by AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate as part of an Influencer Campaign for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

The Ultimate Fudgy Crinkle Cookie

The holidays are approaching and this is my favorite time of year to whip up some fun, delicious recipes with my family. It’s always exciting to get my kids involved in baking and it’s a joy to see everything click as we measure, stir and roll things into the pan.

Who doesn’t love a homemade cookie? It’s the easiest dessert you can make whether you’re new in the kitchen, pressed for time, or just wanting something delicious and homemade. I personally loved baking as a child and it’s rubbed off on my own kids, who now love to get in the kitchen as well.

The Ultimate Fudgy Crinkle Cookie

For the holidays especially, it’s always nice to whip up something extra mouthwatering for myself and my family. Instead of going with the traditional chocolate chip cookie, I thought that this flavorful crinkle cookie recipe would do the trick! The kids loved helping me roll the dough into the sugar and placing them onto the pan, as well as watching them bake!

The Ultimate Fudgy Crinkle Cookie

AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate Finely Grated Chocolate to help bring out the chocolatey flavor I was craving.

AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate is based upon authentic recipes from the 1700s and contains spices including vanilla, orange peel and cinnamon. These flavorsome chocolate crinkle cookies even have a hint of cinnamon after their cooled and brings all of the holiday vibes together in one single bite! Spices from around the world have been blended directly into the cocoa, which gives the chocolate in this recipe, a wonderful and unique flavor.

The Ultimate Fudgy Crinkle Cookie

For this recipe, you’ll need the following:

  1. 2 tablespoons flax egg (or use a regular egg)
  2. ½ cup of water (for the flax to thicken, omit if you’re using an egg)
  3. 1 cup of all purpose flour 
  4. 1 ¼ cup of granulated sugar (save ¼ for rolling) 
  5. ½ cup of powdered sugar (for rolling) 
  6. ½ cup of AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate Finely Grated Chocolate 
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  9. ⅓ canola oil 
  10. 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  11. Pinch of salt 


Directions:

  1. Stir together the flax seed and the water and set aside for 10 minutes. This will allow the flax to gel. 
  2. In another bowl, mix together your flour, finely grated chocolate, one cup of the granulated sugar (other ¼ cup is for rolling before baking), baking soda, and salt.
  3. To the flaxseed mixture, add oil and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. 
  4. Now, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The mixture will be rough, that’s how you want it. 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill for at least two hours. 
  6. When it’s time for baking, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  7. Pour ¼ cup of granulated sugar in one bowl and ¼  powdered/confectioners sugar in another.
  8. Form the dough into balls using a tablespoon, or ice cream scooper.
  9. Roll balls of dough into granulated sugar, then the confectioners sugar. Be sure to get enough confectioners sugar onto the cookie to ensure the ‘crinkle’ look. 
  10. Bake for 10 minutes. **Do not over bake. Cookies will harden during the cooling process.**
  11. Let cool for 5 minutes and gently place on a cooling rack.

Be sure to let the cookie dough harden for at least two hours. This helps the cookies keep their shape!


There you have it - sweet, mouthwatering and flavorful, fudgy crinkle cookies!

The Ultimate Fudgy Crinkle Cookie

AMERICAN HERITAGE Finely Grated Chocolate made it super easy to whip up the perfect chocolate crinkle cookies in little to no time!




Easy Road Trip Travel Tips

**This post is sponsored by Autotrader; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.**
As a frequent road tripper with kids, I quickly learned that a little planning goes a long way. Right after the fall weather starts to kick in, I know the holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to diligently plan our holiday travels. 


The more time I give myself to plan ahead, the better. From possible weather changes, to the estimate on mileage and gas that will be needed and how many necessary stops - it’s our obligation to be prepared for anything that comes our way. Luckily, technology has made traveling much easier and more comfortable for adults and kids alike!

Easy Road Trip Travel Tips

Speaking of technology, Autotrader has made car buying easier and is now making your holiday travel easier by providing expert tips to make holiday road trips easier. There’s even an article that points out special car features for bigger families that travel often. From third row seating that slides forward with a child safety seat still attached, to features like CabinWatch that allow you to see what your toddlers are up to in the second and third row after dark. These are absolute must-haves while traveling with small children! 
Along with these super helpful tips, Autotrader brings more trust and speed to online car shopping and buying. With the ability to browse the widest variety of vehicle options all in one place, there’s no reason to go anywhere else! Autotrader added Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor to their car listings, giving car buyers the confidence to purchase with the most trusted pricing. 

Easy Road Trip Travel Tips
Thanks to features like sliding second-row seats, long gone the days of wishing everyone could get in and out of the car comfortably during pit stops. Plus, we’re no longer needing to have to fight over phone and device chargers due to rear-seat USB ports and our four-legged family members have a comfortable place to ride thanks to integrated pet carriers. All of these features can be easily included into your search for your next car shopping experience on Autotrader.

Autotrader has all of the resources to put your mind at ease with helpful tips, articles and advice. Autotrader wants to make your holiday road trip experience more enjoyable, affordable, safe and FUN with a #JoyToTheRoad gift box! 


Easy Road Trip Travel Tips


Easy Road Trip Travel Tips

Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas For Kids


You know what I can't stand? Spending so much money and having so much excitement around buying my kids gifts that only interests them for a few seconds! I also can't stand to see others make the same mistake year after year. It's frustrating and it's a waste of time and money, in the long run.

Despite what kids say they want, it's our job to actually know better - especially, when it comes to our budgets! A two-hundred dollar Hot Wheel set is cool and all, but why spend so much money on ONE item, when you can break that down into several gifts that will keep your kids busy until next Christmas.

Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas For Kids


I'll never forget the year one of my closest family members bought all of the kids in the family a Hot Wheel set to share, and they literally were bored after ten minutes. She even jokingly laughed and told me she should have listened to my recommendation of Legos and art supplies.

After watching the same five cars zoom down the track (which was ginormous and looked as if it would promise hours of fun), the kids went their separate ways. One of the boys went to build with the Legos, my son and his cousin went to play a few games on my mobile device and my daughter practiced on her guitar - which seemed to keep them occupied for hours until bedtime.

These same 'toys' are still with them til this day and are very relevant in their daily play. They are never really bored and also learn a great deal from these same toys that they received two Christmas's ago! So if you're seeking some really exciting and engaging gifts for your kids, keep reading for my personal recommendations.

I'm not here to bash anyone, or one 'thing'. My kids have tracks and LOVE them! But it wasn't my first choice for them for the first few years. I wanted to work my way up to getting them a track and as of recently, they've received the Adventure Force Dino Garage and the Adventure Force Crash Racers and absolutely love it - so do I! Plus, they were super affordable to other brands!

This list is for the super budgetnista! If you're shopping for multiple kids and are sticking to a strict budget, here's a few inexpensive Christmas ideas that will keep your kids busy for years to come - making that dollar stretch far beyond the holidays!

Legos
Building Legos has so many benefits! Kids can work together or alone, while they come up with the most creative inventions as they sit and let their imaginations unfold. Walmart is running a mega special right now for Legos. You get 900 pieces for $20, which is insane!

When shopping for Legos, it can get really easy to get swept into buying a higher costing kit, but if you stick with the basis first and just grab a box with a few hundred pieces, you'll be squared away. Lego even does a great job of including a book of ideas with the kits and you and your kids can even browse more ideas on their website!





Play-Doh
Ok, I have to admit. I live vicariously through my kids with this one! I used to love Play-Doh as a kid and didn't realize until I became an adult, how inexpensive it is. For under ten dollars, your kids can have an array of colors and again, build whatever there imagination guides them to.

I also love that there are several, inexpensive sets that come with Play-Doh as well. From the cookie, cake and pizza building, to noodle making and even cement mixing, there are so many ways to be inventive with Play-Doh!





Paint
Along with building, painting is super beneficial and also therapeutic! Paint is a great, inexpensive gift idea that your kids will be sure to love and enjoy for some time to come. Paint is especially great for older kids.





Art & Craft Supplies
Take things a step further and gift them with a case of art and craft supplies! This is guaranteed to keep them busy. Even for your kids who aren't necessarily into art, they can still have a creative outlet after school, or on the weekends.





Art Easel
Your kids can easily channel their inner artist with their very own easel that easily pairs with their new set of paint and art supplies! Easels can vary in price, but it's well worth it being that they can grow with your child and look super cool as they double for home decor as well. Not to mention, having an easel can get your child exciting around the concept of creating new art, over and over again! It's well worth the money.





Jumbo Activity Books
From mazes, connecting the dots, word puzzles, word searches and stickers, a jumbo activity book made just for the kids is what one needs when boredom strikes and also doubles as a useful, inexpensive Christmas gift!




Robot Kits
This one may WOW you. Did you know robot kits really aren't that expensive? Seriously, you can purchase a kit for well under thirty bucks and your child can build several different modules with one kit. I'm all for educational and stimulating gifts and a robot kit is definitely at the top of the list! Robot kits are a great alternative for your more tech-savvy kids.

My mind was blown when I really started looking into purchasing robot kits for my son. They were so inexpensive, I was almost upset with myself for not looking into them sooner!




Musical Instruments
You never know, you may have the next, biggest musical star on your hands. You won't know, until you try! Musical instruments aren't just toys, they're investments into your child's creative future. An instrument can grow with them and the more they practice, they better they become over the years.




Bikes
My kids are still relatively small and still use training wheels, but they love their time outside riding their bikes! Again, this is yet another purchase can grow with your child, saving you money in the long run!




Science Experiment Kits
Kids can be guided as they discover engineering and math and days of science experiments in one kit! For under forty bucks or so, your kids can engage in fun and learning with science experiment kits and guess what - they'll never get bored and it will last them for months!





There you have it! Quick and easy gift ideas for your kids that are sure to last them for years to come. Not to mention, they are really inexpensive and if you have multiple kids, they can easily share these items through the next couple of months, with little to no problem. Or, at least we would hope so! Happy Holidays!

xo,
Torche'

Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas For Kids


Christmas Learning Activities


Who says the holidays can't be for learning? If you've been following me for some time, then you know my heart is still into early childhood education. Throughout my years of teaching preschool, I became extremely passionate about early childhood education and I still vouch for learning as early as possible til this day!

Christmas Learning Activities


This reindeer connect the dots Christmas learning activity is great practice for early learners and super fun for older ones as well. I've always loved connect-the-dots worksheets as a kid and it's been a pleasure working with my significant other to get this available to my readers.

So what can your child, or student expect from this worksheet?

You can expect your child to continue to their cognitive and motor skills as they process which number comes after the other. 

Mobility, as your child physically connects each number. 

Logic and reasoning, as your child quickly (depending on the level), connects one number to the next and draws a line in-between each dot. 

Attention, as this worksheet requires a great deal of focus as your early learner completes numbers one to through one-hundred. 

Sometimes, we don't even realize how these simple, engaging activities can actually help our child in the long run. Not only do they practice all of these important skills at once, your early learner can also get creative at the end. This reindeer printable also comes with an answer key and once your learner is done, let them go to town with festive colors in the form of washable paint, crayons, markers, or even glitter! You can even laminate it for reusable purposes. 

This worksheet is great for the classroom, or even to print out and have as an activity at your next holiday dinner! Happy Holidays!

-->Get it here!<-- a="">


xo,
Torche' 


Christmas Learning Activities




Being a southern girl and all, I've always been accustomed to some of the most delicious recipes that have been in our family for generations! The holidays were always a big deal and you automatically knew you could look forward to some tremendously mouthwatering dishes.




For the past few years, however, it's been a struggle around this time of year since switching to a dairy-free diet. I am not necessarily vegan all of the time, but I haven't used eggs, or milk for over three years! So when it comes to preparing those delicious meals I remember all too well from my childhood, it was imperative that I do some extensive research on how to cook relative to my new lifestyle.



Turns out, having a mostly vegan diet isn't hard at all! There are so many delicious substitutes - like plant-based milk, plant-based butter and flax seeds mixed with water to replace eggs. I've been truly enjoying myself in the kitchen the last year or so, as we've been experimenting with more dishes that I'm actually used to, as opposed to just veggies.

So enough about me. I know you're here wanting to know how to whip up these delicious vegan cornbread muffins. For starters, they're super easy to make and can be prepared in less than ten minutes. These do tend to come out softer than traditional cornbread, so I always use my eye when baking.



These vegan southern cornbread muffins take less than a handful of ingredients and you may have most of them in your pantry already. They're perfect with a bowl of red beans and rice during the week or as an addition to your holiday menu. Trust me, your family won't know what hit them with this one!

Vegan Southern Cornbread Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 2/3 cups raw sugar (can substitute regular, granulated sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Ground Himalayan Pink Salt (can use regular salt)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup plant-based butter, softened 
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and slightly grease 12 cup muffin pan. Be sure to grease each cup separately. This will help the muffins from sticking. 
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, raw sugar, pink salt and baking powder and briskly whisk into a large bowl.
  3. Add almond milk, canola oil and softened butter. I usually just let the butter sit out for a while to soften. There's no need to melt it. You can also omit it if you'd like. It just adds a bit more flavor and cake-like texture for me. 
  4. Whisk well. The butter will show up in small chunks, which is fine. 
  5. Using a larger-sized ice cream scooper, scoop the batter into each cup, filling about half way. Some of the cups will end up having more than others when it's all said and done.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until you can insert a butter knife through the middle and it comes out clean. 
  7. Set to cool and ENJOY! 
I'd absolutely love to hear how this came out for you! Feel free to leave a comment down below. 

xo,
Torche' 















I’ve partnered with Source Naturals® as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


Living a healthy and active lifestyle was embedded in me since childhood. If I wasn’t cheering competitively, I was marching in the band. We were always trying new health trends and constantly testing which one would work best for us. 
Now that I’m an adult and have my own kids to raise, I am always reminded that health and wellness are essential to our everyday lifestyle. There’s a lot of stigma around living a healthy lifestyle and in order to do that, you have to follow ‘this,’ or always be doing ‘that’ in order to stay in compliance with your health. However, that’s far from true. 
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard, or tedious, or even thought about as something else you have ‘to do.’ It’s as simple as making sure you get the correct amount of rest, daily exercise and making sure you intake the right amount of vitamins and nutrients. That’s why I am so thankful for discovering Source Naturals® Wellness Formula®

Wellness Formula was the first to deliver high-potency vitamin C, plus 25 more key nutrients and time-tested herbs in one product! The vitamins and herbs found within Wellness Formula support immune health, promote normal mucus production in your respiratory system, keep white blood cells healthy from free radicals, promote a healthy response to stress, and support a healthy respiratory system!

Simply take one capsule every morning and you’re on your way to supporting your immune health as we enter the winter. Also, this time of year causes the most physical stress while traveling.


Source Naturals Wellness Formula is conveniently located at Walmart (both online and in-store) and it’s my new must-have that I keep on my list while shopping for groceries and gifts this holiday season. Modern life is full of demands and challenges - but when you unlock the power of wellness to support your health, you’ll Live Unstoppable and that’s the best life of all


“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”