Single-Serving Rice Crispy Treat | On The Menu

This year we didn’t host a party on the Fourth of July.  With too much stuff going on, Mike and I decided we’d just have to sit this year out.  (Super sad face.)  But a friend from college, who had moved back to California with his family, happened to be working in Louisville over the holiday week.  So  while we didn’t host a party, we still went to a friend’s house to spend time together.  And we, of course, didn’t go emptied handed.

I whipped up some cake batter rice crispy treats, one of my favorite go-to, super-fast desserts that always get gobbled up.  And they were gobbled up for sure – between 10 adults, we scarfed them down like we were still in college.  But the point of this story was admit that I had some left over ingredients… and got a little hankering a few days later… and made some magic in my kitchen.

I made myself a rice crispy treat in a bowl.  With full intention of eating it all myself.  And I did .  And it was fabulous.  And then I shared my yummy (yet slightly embarrassing) dessert on Facebook.  And I got good feedback.  Enough good feedback that a friend texted me a picture of her rice crispy treat in a bowl a few days later.  It instantly made me feel better about spooning gooey cereal into my pie hole.

But I thought I’d recreate it for you here (I know, I’m taking one for the team) in case you wanted to get some serious happiness on in your mouth.

Single-Serving Rice Crispy Treat | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

There’s no exact measuring on anything, I just took what’s in a full batch of rice crispy treats and then slimmed it down for one serving (or two… or three… but who seriously eats just one rice crispy treat?)  So all this includes is:
• a small pat of butter
• handful or so of mini-marshmallows
• rice crispy cereal – however much you want

And all you do is melt the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Add the marshmallows and microwave for another 15 seconds.  (Marshmallows expand, so watch the microwave.)  Remove and stir the two together and pop in the microwave for another 10 seconds.  Add the cereal and stir, stir, stir.  And viola – you have a rice crispy treat in a bowl.  In my personal opinion, more marshmallows the better – you can never have “too many” marshmallows because it just makes it all gooeyer.  Nom.

Single-Serving Rice Crispy Treat | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

After I posted this on Facebook, one friend recommended adding cinnamon.  I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon, but I did realize I could have added a bit of yellow cake mix to give it the “cake batter” taste.  We both then began going back and forth on the different cereals that could be used: Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Cheerios, Lucky Charms.  She’s a great influence.  :)

If you love fresh rice crispy treats and need some in your life every now and then, just keep the ingredients handy.  It takes less than 1 minute to prepare and to eat it warm is the absolute best.  Of course, if you let it cool a bit, you don’t need a utensil.  But it’s already in a bowl, so why not?

Single-Serving Rice Crispy Treat | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

Susan - In the dining halls at college, they would always keep marshmallows around for the hot cocoa (this was Connecticut – I think all New England schools were required to have hot cocoa fixings for the 10 month winters we had to endure). Needless to say, there were quite a few bowls of rice krispies/mini marshmallows/pat of butter spun in the dining hall microwaves. YUM.

The bowls weren’t as pretty as yours, though.

Melissa - I was hoping this was the yummy recipe you were going to blog about! I am buying some rice krispies today!

Lindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity Photographer

I could hardly believe my ears when Lindsay told me she and Aaron were expecting.  I was so, so, so happy for them!  And perfect timing too – after months of searching, they finally found a house they loved.  A new home to start their new family in.  As Lindsay said, “It’s all falling into place.”

I met them at their new home with the intention of sticking close to photograph them – little did they know we’d be creating a little piece of history to pass on to their unborn son.  He’ll be able to see his parents right before he arrived, know how young they were, how they looked at each other, how much they meant to one another.  I know Lindsay and Aaron look forward to meeting their baby boy, holding him for the first time and the nonstop cuddles that will follow.  I always look forward to seeing my friends become parents.  And Lindsay even confessed she has a feeling her love for Aaron will “change so much after we have the baby – I love that.”

I love that too.

Lindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity PhotographerLindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity PhotographerLindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity PhotographerLindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity PhotographerLindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity Photographer

Oh Lindsay – you are just so gorgeous!!!!!

Lindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity Photographer

“Just act like I’m not here, you found this fun little place to hide, right in there…”  And then they just come together like cheese and macaroni.

Lindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity PhotographerLindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity Photographer

That look – LOVE.

Lindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity PhotographerLindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity Photographer

One of my favorites.  I just love that they’re both so happy.  It makes me happy. :)

Lindsay+Aaron {expecting} | Crestwood Maternity Photographer

I can’t stop looking at these two!  Lindsay and Aaron, I feel so blessed to call you my friends and watch your family grow.  I can’t wait for you to tell me which way your baby likes to be held best.  To see him in his nursery.  To watch Aaron get a bit softer when  he reaches out to hold him.  I’m just so happy for you guys and know that you will be wonderful parents.  Ooooh, I’m just so excited!!  xoxo

To meet Baby Tanner with his family, click here.

Caili - Brooke! These are fantastic! Well done; I love that last shot so much.

Martha - Lindsay and Aaron look great! The pictures of Lindsay are goregous. I just love how you capture and a couples love for one another on film.

Doggin Love No. 6 | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

I feel like my doggin love has been tested lately.  Between ruined couch cushions, clunky dog crates, broken toenails (mine, not theirs) and being pestered every 5 minutes to let them outside, I’d say I’m definitely being tested.  The past couple weeks I’ve returned the BDD to her crate during the day  (she apparently cannot be trusted with a couch – she either rips the fabric or makes out with it), so Chase is left at her disposal to do what she wants.  I give her toys, but I think she just sleeps.  When I come home though, she’s excited (of course) and doesn’t stop barking.  She sooooo badly wants to get Chevy out of her crate so she chew into her neck and then ignore her for the next six hours.  But the barking – ear-piercing, nonstop and shushing her doesn’t help.

I think Chase has caught on because this bark has also appeared at moments when she asks to go outside, be fed, to toss the frisbee and give her a cookie.  She has turned into a bossy doggin.  Maybe it’s age (she is eight years old after all) or maybe it’s privilege (it isn’t easy being the smart dog).  But I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Last week I thought we’d learn a new trick, a balancing trick.  Chase thought otherwise.  And after only a few minutes of tolerating my “stays” and correction, she’d had enough.  She wanted the cookie that was in my pocket.  She pulled out that bark (I swear the entire neighborhood could hear it) and I immediately shushed her and reminded her that people don’t like barking dogs.  Never mind the lady with the treat, she took matters into her own paws and demanded the cookie and threw in a trick for good measure.

She used to rollover every time she wanted something. Now she turns around.  In a circle. So she never has to take her eye off you.

So I got some photos of my bossy doggin doing a pirouette.

So bossy.  But still cute.

Caili - This is hilarious. I love this post so much!

Brooke Murphy Photography - […] Teach it how to roll over.  Which I accomplished this within the first few months of owning Chase.  She didn’t know how to sit, but she could rollover. 2. Snuggle in bed and wake up with a […]

Mentionable Finds: WordPress Plugins

I’ve been blogging for a few years now and one thing I’ve come to appreciate is the plugin.  Not all are created equal and there are quite a few that don’t do much more than take up space, but the few that I’ve come to love and, over the years, depended on them regularly or not-so-regularly.  And, surprisingly, they’re all free.  So I thought I’d share them with you today.

WordPress Database Backup

Makes backing up website/blog super easy.  So easy in fact that you don’t have to think about it because you can set up the plugin to schedule your backup and email it to you.  I haven’t had to utilize a backup before, but I know a couple of years ago when changing things over on my old blog it kind of went kaput, knowing there was a backup made me breathe easier.  But there’s no worry of trying to find your last backup on your cPanel – because it’s in your inbox.  Boom.

(And in that mentioned instance, my fab friend Susan had fixed it within 15 minutes.  I melted into a puddle of stress when it went down while she remained calm.  And homey got it back up in running lickety split.)

Jetpack

When WordPress switched over to Jetpack, I wasn’t a fan.  And I’m not completely sold on everything it offers.  But it’s handy to have for the stats alone.

I generally utilize Google Analytics for traffic results, but not everyone is comfortable with it.  The main reason I keep the WordPress.com stats is because of familiarity – I was so used to seeing real-time pageviews on my first blog this way I’ve stuck with it ever since.  Is it the best?  Probably not.  But it’s easy to review, has better real-time reporting than expected and who doesn’t like to watch the stat ticker go up on a fantastic blog day?!?

Editorial Calendar

This is a newer plugin to me but I absolutely love it!  Being able to see my scheduled blog posts in a calendar format instead of a list really does allow me to monitor when things are hitting the blog.  I don’t schedule too many posts as I blog about photography sessions as I wrap them up, but for other posts (like maybe this one), it’s nice to know in one glance which days are scheduled with posts.  I could see this being really helpful for those who have a weekly series.

All In One SEO Pack

I don’t know a lot about SEO, but what I do know, I implement.  I’ve learned so much about organic search marketing in the last year just at my day job, so taking that knowledge and trying to overlay it on my side business is very insightful when speaking to it within our teams.  And this plugin has made it so much easier to implement SEO on my site than if I were to just do it on my own.  I have a co-worker that swears by Yoast for SEO support on WordPress, but I had trouble installing it… so I’ve stayed with the tried and true All In One.

SendPress

I stumbled upon this gem late last year when I was doing research for starting my newsletter.  It was still in Beta but was a heckuva plugin to find.  It allows you to create emails/newsletters and send batches of emails.  I’ve actually since moved on to MailChimp… mostly because my subscriptions were growing and SendPress took a bit too much room on my server space… but I do love it and watch as they update and expand.  Because it’s an awesome idea!!

katie - I just pinned this so I can keep it handy for multiple readings.

Filling My Bucket | Project Life In Color

My beautiful friend Katie had  a bright idea and within a week or so of pitching the idea to me, we set it in motion.  Several women photographers were brought together and challenged to create a project with Katie and I, Project Life in Color.  An easy premise in reality, where once a month we link up our blogs to promote each other. But it is bigger in that it’s a  project that would encourage creativity and sharing and community among us – which is something that photographers, business owners or not, long for but is sometimes considered taboo.  In only about two weeks, conversations having been fluttering between the ten of us and I don’t mind saying that Katie had a swell idea indeed. :)

For my Life in Color contributions, I really want to focus on my life; the things and people around me, my concerns, my weaknesses, my growths… something that would allow me to think outside of the box not only for my photography submission, but something that will make me stretch out of my writing comfort zone as well.

So here goes…

I’ve been doing a lot of personal reading the last few months.  Most has been learning more about marketing and brand influence since I recently re-branded my photography business, but my latest trip to the library had me floating near the self-help section.  I feel like when you browse these shelves you always divert your eyes from the person standing next to you, but I was hoping to find a book that would help me revitalize my positivity.  I am by nature somewhat pessimistic (I often refer to myself as a realist), but there was something in my gut that was telling me to try harder… that by focusing on myself, maybe everyone around me would be a little bit happier too.

Now this book didn’t give me any “A-HA” moments, but it did make a few things click.  It refers to positive and negative attitudes as adding to or taking away from an invisible bucket.  Your bucket.  And how you’re not the only one that affects your bucket’s contents – the people around you have just as much of an influence.  The author not only provided examples, but talks about influence at home and at work.  And my day job, where I’m a marketing analyst, is where I struggle the most with staying upbeat and living in the land of rainbow-colored marshmallows.

Now I need to clarify my struggle isn’t because I don’t like what I do or the people I work with – analytics is fun [for me] and my co-workers are fabulous – but it did shed light on how I prefer to be recognized for my work (because it’s motivating) and how I interact with my peers.  And this is very important because of the fast-paced and high-stressed environment that comes with working at an advertising agency; we often point out mistakes or the lack of this-or-that because of deadlines we all face.  It’s how the industry works and after being a part of it for seven years, you hear “it is what it is” regularly.

But think about how a compliment or an”attaboy” could prompt a smile and keep positivity running high.  And those could cause more compliments and high-fives to be passed along, thus spreading encouragement further.  It all makes sense (therefore no “A-HAs”), but the unfortunate part is that I can only control what I do right now because, frankly, I’m a minion.  But when good is set in motion, it’s usually paid forward.  Right?  That’s my hope at least.

For the past several years, I’ve made it my daily goal to compliment at least one person and be honest about it.  Whether it’s the shoes they’re wearing, a blog they’ve written or something I saw that happened on Facebook.  And I’ve succeeded.  I’ve even complimented strangers just to meet my daily quota.  But it isn’t enough.  I’ve declared this month “filling buckets” month, where I hope to approach situations with positive outlooks and provide hopeful feedback – because I also fill my bucket as I fill others’.  A small little change that may not be noticed at all… but may make a difference in the end.


So the great thing about this project is that everyone can interpret it how they like.  So while I’ve taken the focus on a personal wins and struggles, others may have focused on their family life, looked around them for inspiration or set their theme in a completely different direction.  Either way, it’s a fantastic little project that’s moving us all forward and bringing us closer together.

To see the next interpretation of Project Life in Color and continue through our group’s links, visit Sarah’s blog here.

project: Life in Color » Katie Oblinger Photography - […] Now please head on over to my sweet friend, Brooke Murphy’s blog to see her first installment of Life In Color. […]

Melissa - eek! I am a few blogs into the circle and I am already so giddy and inspired (AND it’s 630am and I haven’t had my coffee yet!). love it!

Mrs Comyn - I love it! You are filling buckets indeed!

Tom B. Taker - I like complimenting people and find it very easy to do. At least on the net when I’m being “social.” There’s much that is beautiful in some way, makes me smile, or both.

katie - Love, love, love your interpretation. And I love this shot. And yes, it is nice to get a little recognition every once in a while because “it is what it is” just doesn’t always do it. So to you my friend, well done.

Stephanie Olson - Such an inspiring post Brooke! I had to laugh at your “I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist” comment, because I cannot tell you how many times I have said that myself! I’m definitely putting this book on my must-read list.

Caili - Brooke! This post is beautiful. I love the “divert your eyes” comment about the bookstore. :) But seriously, I love that you are challenging yourself like this…I think that I am going to start having a daily spread the love quota, too!

Andrea - Brooke, yes we do need to get to know each other better. I think we have more in common that I thought. Thank you for being open and sharing this real life thing:) I too am a realist, and have worked hard over the past few years to implement more positive (yet still real) things, attitudes, feelings, or words into my life-whilst not forgetting to keep it genuine. We’ll talk more, I’m sure:)

Christy Tyler - I LOVE this idea of “filling your bucket” and definitely plan to keep this in mind all day every day! Thank you love!

Brooke Murphy Photography - […] I wanted to capture this month for Project Life in Color, I decided I wanted to continue off of last month’s post; not so much focusing on how to be more positive, but finding positive things that exist already […]