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MIX: The boxed cake mix  with 1/4 cup of oil, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup of milk.

CONSISTENCY: Mix the milk in slowly as you want to make sure the batter consistency is thick like brownie batter.



Spray a non stick cooking oil in your baking dish

PRESS: the Cookie dough into the bottom of the baking pan. For this pan (11"w x 7"d x 3"h) I only used about 1/2 of the pack of cookie dough

TOP: Alternate mini Oreo's and mini Reese's cups atop of the cookie dough. Press them in slightly!

POUR: The Blondie batter on top of the Oreo's and Reese's cups. I mixed a few chopped pecans into the batter but it's optional. Use a spatula to gently spread around the batter. Be careful not to disrupt your Oreo'sand Reese's below.


                                                        Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes.

COOLING:Baking is the tricky part. The brownies are meant to be a bit gooey. Let them cool for 15 - 20 minutes. They may seem undercooked but as they cool they will set up to a firmer consistency!

ENJOY! Plan on making these YUMMY DIRTY BLONDIES? Snap a pic follow us and and hashtag us for a repost!

RËVIEW: The Collins Bar

A surge of Gastropubs are taking over Birmingham's trendiest neighborhoods and The Collins Bar is living up to the hype!

Trendy and smart, the decor reflects the playful yet upscale mood of the bar. Paper Planes hang from the ceiling as large booths flank the wall opposite a well accommodating bar.  A quaint, elevated stage seating area, gave this southern bar a quirky edge. Lamps casting red light and working typewriters play to the theme.

A super sweet waitress pulled up an extra chair for our party of two and welcomed us to browse the menu.  While most of my reviews focus on food selections, it was refreshing and quite entertaining to hear about the mixologist on duty and the customizable drink choices offered at The Collins.
THE MENU:  Presented on a mini clipboard, appeared to have possibly been typed on the very typewriter stationed at our table. While the red light didn't lend well to the readability of the menu, our awesome waitress filled us in on the selections.  The Collins menu puts a sophisticated twist on bar food. Grilled Cheese, with several cheeses and a fried egg option, Meatloaf Sliders and Gingerbread Bread Pudding were all heavy hitters in the lineup . The Tots for starters and Chicken & Waffles for my main, won out and made their way to my table.

PIGS IN A BLANKET: While homemade, they didn't really stand up to their $6.00 price tag 

TOTS: Fell short in the crispiness category. The texture was more consistent with an under-cooked frozen hash brown. 
CHICKEN & WAFFLES: Arrived lukewarm and like the Tots a bit soggy. However, the chicken was well seasoned and the Bourbon Syrup was a pleasant surprise.

VERDICT: It's great to experience the resurgence of a city and The Collins Bar is a great indication of what's to come. While the food fell shy of my expectations,  in an establishment where the first focus is and should be on the drinks, I'd say the food is on par. I'll try The Collins out again in the future, if only for one of those fancy drinks that show so much promise!
The Collins Bar on Urbanspoon 

ëTIP: Winter Blooms

Fresh cut flowers are a great pick-me-up for this stubborn winter weather! Well designed flower arrangements can dig deep into your pockets.  Here are a few tips on creating beautiful arrangements with a simple trip to your local grocer!

1. Head straight to the Floral Department for a deal!  Look for  single stems or flowers by the bundle. 

2.  Pick  2 or 3 different blooms.  A larger bloom like a Hydrangea is  a great complement to Petite Roses.

3. Think simple when choosing a color palette. You can never go wrong with  soft classics like pink, white and cream.  Solid color themes like all red, all white or shades of green, may seem simple but make for a beautiful clean presentation. 

4. If you decide to go for a prearranged bouquet, step up the wow factor by purchasing 2 to 3  identical or similar bundles.  Combine them in a vessel to create a dramatic oversized arrangement.

5.  Choose your container! Don't limit yourself to a simple vase! You may not have vintage punch cups laying around so look in your fridge! Pasta Sauces often come in well designed glass bottles! Peel off the labels and rinse! Empty wine bottles and clear plastic cups are great vessels as well!

6. Prep your flowers! Cut stems on a diagonal and remove leaves and thorns as needed. As a rule of thumb, remove all leaves that may end up submerged in the water.

 7.  Remember, you can always take more stem off but you can't put stem back on. Start with large blooms and begin to fill your vessel! Fill in and snip down stems as needed.
Sometimes the most beautiful arrangements come from random placement!  Choosing to use one type of flower and keeping the color palette simple will camouflage amateur arranging skills.  Use your smaller blooms to fill in empty spaces and to shape your arrangement.

8. Water properly. If you plan on transporting your arrangement, a funnel is a good investment. Fill your vessel only half way to avoid splashing and use a funnel to add additional water at your final destination. 

ëTIP: This plastic cup fits perfectly into the mouth of the  pitcher.

The secret to a beautiful flower arrangement  is having fun! 

Relax and don't over think it!

Stop and take a step back every so often.  Flower are a natural occurrence and there is beauty in every flower! So there is no way you can go wrong! 

Send us some snap shots of your fresh flower arrangements!