Most Yummacious Chocolate Chip Cookies, Ever.

My FAVORITE chocolate chip cookie recipe, ever.

I randomly found the recipe online on Allrecipes.com a few years ago & it has made me famous.

Here you go…

Award Winning Soft Chocolate Ship Cookies

4.5 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 cups butter, softened

1.5 cups packed brown sugar

2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I always use milk chocolate chips.)

2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Sift together flour & baking soda, set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs & vanilla.

3. Slowly blend in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips & nuts.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

I added a few sprinkles to the cookies before I put them in the oven & them came out so cute. These are our dessert tonight during the Cowboy game, so I called mine Cowboy Cookies.

Enjoy.

 

Pin It

Jenn - Ahh thanks!! I’ll try them out soon. AND I’ll use sprinkles :))
Did I read that right though? 250*? Maybe that’s why mine never turn out is I bake them too high?10/13/2013 – 5:15 pm

Sunday Grennan - No, Jenn, it’s 350 degrees. TYPO! Thanks for catching that!10/13/2013 – 5:35 pm

Zoo.

Have you ever been to the zoo & found all the animals either hiding in the corner, sitting with their backs to the crowd or not even in the habitat?

I have totally been there. Some zoos I have been to are very much like that, with all of the habitats set so far back from the people looking at them you can barely see anything. And, if the animals are sleeping or huddled in a ball, it can be totally frustrating trying to show your kids the gorilla that just looks like a black fur ball in the corner of his house.

Today, my friend Tiffany & I took our kids plus a few friends to the Fort Worth Zoo. It is a WONDERFUL zoo, my all-time favorite. No school today meant we needed to do something SUPER fun! The zoo is clean, wide open & the enclosures are all so pretty & open so you can see most everything & it looks so nice. It is spread out just the right amount so it’s a great walking day – the animals are no where near on top of each other.

The animals all look healthy & happy & were a joy to watch today. They were alert & in super good spirits so I got some great photos of  so many. I took my 35mm Nikon & used that with a standard 200mm zoom. I left it on automatic setting since I was chasing kids & I didn’t want to have to fuss with the camera. It worked wonderfully on such a pretty day, these animals were gorgeous. I only slightly edited these for basic lighting before you are seeing them, not much needed.

Here are a few of my favorites. I had a hard time choosing.

I love, love bald eagles. They are so grand. This photo even has a fence in front of him but you can’t really tell because the eagle is so incredible you don’t even see it.

The sweet coyote was half asleep, but oh so pretty.

This Mommy chimpanzee was smiling & resting while her baby ran around playing with that fire house. She was so sweet resting, but still keeping an eye on her little one.

Oh my, the King of the jungle. How incredible is this? He was so poised & relaxed it was just awesome.

And the lioness. She is truly powerful & so beautiful.

The little baby jaguar was so full of energy. Mommy was very concerned about the people watching him, keeping an eye out all over their enclosure. Baby didn’t care, he was jumping around, having a great ol’ time.

Neat to see a giraffe eat off the ground. Those legs have to move wide part so his head can reach the grass. And his gray tongue looked like a long, slimy snake.

Elephants are another one of my favorites. They always look so happy. And wise. And powerful. And sweet. All at the same time.

And the chimpanzee, who was happy eating grass & checking out the crowd.

You only wonder what the animals are thinking as they look at us humans waving, making baby noises & taking photos of them. I bet we look pretty silly!

Enjoy.

UNDERWATER Photos!

If you follow me on Instagram (@itsmesunday – You should if you don’t!) you have probably seen a few of the photos we have taken this summer, literally IN the pool.

We have had splashing contests, done cannonballs & taken cool photographs of it all, totally UNDERWATER or in the POOL with an iPhone.

Now that’s SUMMER. The trick is an iPhone case called  LIFEPROOF.

Funny thing is, we bought one about a year ago for our 13 year old daughter, Riley. Our first priority in the purchase was protecting her iPhone from teenage life like her dropping it, water splashed on it, getting it stepped on, etc. I had accidentally dropped one iPhone in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago reaching after a gorgeous conch shell, so I know water can destroy an iPhone in seconds.

But this summer, knowing her iPhone was completely protected & safe underwater with the LIFEPROOF case on it, we have used it not only to keep it safe but for TOTAL FUN UNDERWATER!

The LIFEPROOF case completely locks your iPhone inside the case. You actually test the case underwater before you put it on your phone to be sure it doesn’t leak. It locks on tight, has a bunch of seals. As soon as it’s on, it’s not recommended to take it on & off a bunch of times as that will loosen the seals – when it’s on, leave it on.

With the case on, you can then get it splashed, spilled on, take it underwater, down watersides, down ski slopes, etc. without worry about water getting inside. When the case is on, the screen cover does make the screen very hard to use. You need to touch with harder force to get your touches to register, which I had a hard time with. Riley’s case is a year or so old now & from looking at the LIFEPROOF web site, they appear to have some new cases that actually allow you to use your real screen & still keep the phone totally protected. WOWEE.

So this is what we have done this summer!

I have my iPhone with me ALL THE TIME. One of these times someone is going to spill a drink on it or I’ll drop it in the pool or something, total accident, like I did with it in the ocean.

So, yep. I want one now. I can’t wait to take it skiing this Spring, take pictures of the snow & to the lake & to the beach & NOT BREAK IT!

Pin It

Nancy Wyatt - Awesome, I have seen lots of fun underwater photos this summer on IG and if I had a pool would totally be doing it!! Do you think playing with it in the tub is the same? LOL And I’m totally jelly that you can wear a bikini and look hot in it! ;) Hugs from Conroe, TX08/13/2013 – 3:05 pm

darcee - Holy Smokes!!! These pics ROCK! okaaaaaaay now I can’t wait to get the iPhone 5 AND the lifeproof case!!!! YAY!!! (Nancy’s comment cracks me up! ha ha ha!)
Hugs from Seattle!!! :) 10/01/2013 – 11:05 am

http://www.google.com - You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.03/07/2014 – 4:52 pm

iPhone vs. 35mm?

We went on an amazing vacation a week or so ago snowboarding in Beaver Creek, Colorado. We were there a week with the kids, their first time in the snow & mountains, ever. Shawn & I hadn’t been snowboarding in 12+ years so it was an exciting trip for all of us. Shawn & I remembered all of our snowboarding skills & the kids did fantastic, so talk about a GREAT trip.

That being said, the entire trip I used my iPhone to take my photos. Usually I would have used my 35mm to ensure my photos were beautiful the entire time like most other vacations, but it just wasn’t possible. I couldn’t carry my big camera up on the mountain – 1/ because of its huge, bulky size & 2/because I didn’t want it to break in the snow & weather. A few days it was snowing & 40mph winds, so that would not have been good.

The funny thing was, I am totally fine with just iPhone photos for the week. My iPhone fit inside my snow jacket pocket & was easy to wing out quickly. Are the pictures perfect? No. Are they as crisp & clear as my 35mm? No. But they record my entire trip. And I had instantaneous video in my hand, too. And I didn’t have to deal with that big bulky 35mm all week. I had access to Instagram, Facebook, etc. & all my iPhone apps of filters, etc. right there in my hand for the eves when we were off the mountain. And, I didn’t have to bring my computer to download all the photos on the go.

Look at these photos, all are SOoMiC (Straight Out of My iPhone Camera). None of them are perfect. Kind of grainy & dark, like most iPhone pics, but I LOVE them, just perfect.

But they are great because they are on the spot & I had my camera in my front pocket. I couldn’t take it out long because it was so cold, but I would take it out, snap a few photos or videos & quickly put it back in my pocket.

This is my favorite pic from the trip. It’s dark in the SOoMiC but look at it below with just a little playing around. FRAMER!

Are you doing the same thing these days? Leaving your big girl camera at home because it’s a pain? I’m finding my self doing that more & more & more. With the iPhone camera getting pretty good, I’m choosing to take less crisp, pretty photos than my 35mm to make the whole process SO. MUCH. EASIER. I think, too, that with the cameras in our phones that we use for practically everything & have on us all the time, I take so many more photos that I’m okay with many not being perfect. And, I don’t plan on blowing up many of these. The one directly above yes, my favorite. But the rest I will print 4X6 for a scrapbook, so I don’t need them humongously large in size for large size print quality.

Don’t get me wrong. I still use my big girl camera for a lot of things. My photography business, action shots of the kids sports, any kind of portrait or outside event – I’d rather have it with me for the best shots. there is a big difference in the cameras, no doubt. But, I am leaving it home a lot of the time when it’s just a pain to deal with & I know I can always rely on my iPhone. And, with all of the photos above, I will lighten them & play with them a bit before I print, but that’s OK with me.

I’ve thought about buying a smaller, good camera (Nikon L1?) that would still fit easily in my purse. But that’s another big purchase. Do I really need 2 nice cameras plus my iPhone?

What are your thoughts?

Dawn - iPhone ALL THE WAY!!!05/10/2013 – 5:36 pm

iSunday: TextMask App Tutorial

By fun & popular demand from my PREVIOUS POST on a few new apps, here is a TEXTMASK app TUTORIAL!

I am so loving this new app so here goes. This one has a bunch of steps, so take your time…

This is where we are starting - SOoMiC (straight out of my iPhone camera)…

…and this is where we are going!

BEAUTY!

Let’s get started.

STEP #1: Open up the app VINTIQUE & load in the photo you want to use.

Use a two finger pinch to fit your photo into the crop area exactly how you like it into a square. Click USE at the top to crop your image & move on.

STEP #2: Click the FX button along the bottom of the app. This puts you in the FX or FILTER mode.

Scroll through the options until you see the BEAMED filter. Touch it to addd the filter to your photo. SAVE out your photo to your CAMERA ROLL.

STEP #3: APP JUMP!

Open the app TEXTMASK & load in the photo you want to use by clicking the bottom camera button & choosing the most recent edit of your photo that you just did in VINTIQUE.

Your screen will show like this with the words “HELLO WORLD” already in a white mask with most of your photo hidden (below).

NOTE: If you have used the app previously, the mask should default to the most recent version of the mask you used, so yours may not look exactly like mine.

STEP #4: Now we’re going to adjust the MASK only. Click on the white box across the bottom of the screen. The box shows the color of your mask as you can see above.

In this photo directly below, the app is showing you a few things:

1. The MASK you are using is a square, the top right hand shape.

2. Other options for the shape of your MASK are shown in the right column, scroll down. You can touch them to see what happens to the MASK & your photo underneath.

3. Color options of your MASK. The top three sliders are ways to play with & mix COLOR, I’m sure familiar to many of you. The bottom one controls the OPACITY of the MASK or how see through it is.

STEP #5: In my case, I am going to leave my MASK white but adjust the OPACITY to 34% or wherever you like yours to make it more clear. It will look like a haze over your photo in the square shape we chose. I love my photo underneath so I want it to show even with the MASK on top.

If I had chosen a different shape (one below the square), the opacity would have only changed on the MASK, not the photo. The photo would have shown through at full opacity in the areas not covered by the MASK.

Are you with me? Click DONE.

STEP #6: Now we’re going to change the FONT, SIZE & LEADING of the text.

Touch the box containing the words “HELLO WORLD” & some text options will pop up across the bottom.

STEP #7: Touch the box that says TEXT & type in the wording you’d like across your photo. It can be one word, more than one word, whatever you want. Don’t worry too much about it’s spacing if it looks funny, we can adjust it in a second. I typed the word CHOCOLATE.

STEP #8: Here you can adjust all your additional controls of the TEXT. FONT will give you options to change the font style. A bunch of fonts come with the app (the tab FONTS across the bottom.) You can also add more into the app through iTunes (Click HERE for a TUTORIAL on adding in fonts to apps through iTunes.)

The ones you add into the app will be shown in the MY FONTS tab across the bottom. And RECENT shows the most recent fonts you have used in the app.

STEP #9: Now that you have chosen your font (I chose MAGNUM that I added into my app through iTunes), you can adjust the SIZE & KERNING of the TEXT using the three buttons on the right.

1. The first one adjusts the SIZE of the text. Touch it & move the slider left or right to make your text bigger or smaller. If you are planning on adding a frame to your final photo, remember to leave room along the sides to add the frame without it interfering with the text.

2. The next button (in above photo, middle) allows you to also use the slider but adjust the spacing between the letters horizontally in your text (KERNING.)

3. And the third button, you can adjust the spacing between your lines of text vertically (KERNING) not between the letters.

Play with these a bunch to get your text exactly how you like it. You may need to go back & forth between the buttons to get the exact look you like & make everything fit.

When you’re happy with your TEXT, tap the screen again to go back to the screen where you started except now you have a MASK on top of your photo!

Touch the button on the bottom right & SAVE out your photo to your CAMERA ROLL.

STEP #10: Here we go…now we’re APP JUMPING again!

Whenever I create an Instagram, I usually have some kind of idea what apps, looks, frames I want to use in the photo to get it where I want it at the end. Not always, but many times. And in most cases, the order of the apps you use absolutely make a difference in the final product of your Instagram. In this case, I did not want my bokeh on my frame so I added the bokeh before the frame.

So knowing that, I knew I wanted to give this photo some kind of soft texture or depth, so I went to one of my all-time favorite apps, LUMIE.

Load in your most recent version of your photo into LUMIE.

STEP #11: I didn’t want to add anything too crazy since I didn’t want it to distract from my masking, but a little bit of pretty, soft bokeh would add one more layer & depth. I clicked on the second row, middle bubble of softness.

STEP #12: Now LUMIE has beautiful bokeh, but using it can be slightly tricky if you veer far. It will default to the MOVE button bigger than ROTATE (across top), which is what you want.

Touch the screen & move your bokeh around your photo until you find the right placement for it. I tried to not put too many of the dark bokeh across my MASK so it didn’t blur it up even more.

If you want, you can try to touch the ROTATE button & move the bokeh around in a circle & that works great. But, you can’t ROTATE & then MOVE it or it will go back to its default placement where you started.

When you’re done, hit OK & save out your photo to your CAMERA ROLL again! (I chose to export it without the frame it offers.)

STEP #13: One more APP JUMP!

Open the app VINTIQUE again & this time load in the newest version of your photo that has the bokeh on it & click USE. No need to adjust its size since it is now a square, unless you want to crop it again.

I knew I wanted to stay with a vintage look for a frame for this yummy Easter chocolate so I went back into VINTIQUE.

Click on the button across the bottom of the STAMP with a T in it, then click the left FRAME option.

Roll through the frames until you get to this gorgeous lace one, FRAME 7. Touch it to add the frame to your photo.

Just perfect. Isn’t it pretty?

Touch the box with the arrow in it across the bottom to SAVE out your photo to your CAMERA ROLL.

And that’s it. Four APP JUMPS but we did it!

It’s ready for Instagram!

How was that? I know it was a bunch of steps, but is TEXTMASK more clear now?

ENJOY YOUR FRIDAY, EVERYONE!

Pin It

Sarah Runyon - Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! :-) 02/22/2013 – 11:44 am

Kasandra Mathieson - Sunday…..how fun! Thanks for sharing…love what this can do. The only problem I had was finding frames in Vintique, they wanted me to go to the store and then when I did still couldn’t seem to download any….still love my picture though.02/26/2013 – 3:46 pm

strona firmowa - Hey there, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, terrific blog!04/09/2013 – 10:10 pm

Strona główna - I can??t genuinely aid but admire your blog internet site, your site is adorable and nice Strona główna07/10/2013 – 3:14 am

S I L L Y T H I N G S
H A P P Y T H I N G S