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Teacher Appreciation Week or End of Year Teacher Gift Idea with Free Printable!

Jess here!  Today I'm sharing a fun gift idea for teachers. Our Teacher Appreciation week is fast approaching. And to top it off, our kids have only 10 weeks left of school!  This year has really flew by. 

We recently spotlighted and shared our Wake Up. Teach Kids. Be Awesome. Camper mugs!  We are just in love with these and don't deserve to be in a box! So what's a better way to show them off then by adding a few fun items, wrapping them in cellophane and throwing on a custom-designed tag.  I designed the tag to coordinate with the mug, but you could definitely add this tag to anything you'd like.  Even tie it around a gift card. As generic as it sounds, I hear teachers love gift cards!  :)

Obviously, you could use anything, but here is a list of the items I put in the mug- all bought at good ol' Dollar Store!

  • A pack of Starburst
  • Extra Gum
  • 3 mechanical pencils
  • Small decorated notepad
  • 2 Small Boxes of Nerds

Click here for the printable.  

Click here to order the mug - and make sure you check out some of our other mugs that would work well with this printable!

Click here for a link to check out all of our FREE printables!

And to all of the teachers out there. You really are ROCKSTARS!! Thanks for making a difference!  

XOXO Brooke & Jess

Brooke Braithwaite
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Shop-a-holic Survival Kit

We recently added a new nonwoven quilted "Shopping Is My Therapy" tote bag to our collection!  We know that being a shop-a-holic is a chronic problem these days (haha), so we've put together a Shop-A-Holic Survival Kit idea with FREE PRINTABLE!

It's as easy as purchasing a few items, throwing them in a reusable shopping tote, printing out the FREE PRINTABLE and including it in the bag. And you are done.  Let us know how you use it!  

Also, check out this tumbler - perfect for anyone suffering from this shop-a-holic epidemic. LOL - you are welcome!  :)

Check out our other FREE PRINTABLES for more gift ideas designed to impress!  

 

  

Brooke Braithwaite
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New Product Spotlight - Stainless Steel Vacuum Sealed 20 oz POSH Slim Water Bottle

Have you been searching for the PERFECT water bottle? Are you frustrated that your current water bottle will not fit in your cup holder? Are you sick of your beverage being luke warm by the time you finish your workout or simply drive around the block (ha)?  Stop with all of this water bottle nonsense and check out our new POSH stainless steel water bottles!

Beautifully custom-designed and come in 3 different styles:

Slate Blue (gray-blue) "Dog Mom"

Pink "Be Kind"

Light Blue "Mama Bear"

Brooke highlights all of its awesome features in this video. Check it out. 

Also, pay close attention to the way Brooke says "POSH," - it's epic. hehe

Have a great one, friends! 

Brooke Braithwaite
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Let's Be Real....

Let's Be Real....

We had chili the other night and I decided to eat mine in one of our most popular Mama Bear Coffee Mugs. I thought it would be fun to take pictures and post it on Instagram as a product spotlight and to show that it can be used for food and drinks other than coffee. So, I had my husband take some pictures and then we were laughing at the chaos around this impromptu photo shoot. Which brought up the conversation about Instagram Life and how it is so easy to crop out the messy part of our life and make it look picture perfect. 

Reality is, Life is MESSY. And it's supposed to be! We are all so different with different strengths, weaknesses, lessons, trials and tribulations that we each get to experience to help us grow and become the BEST VERSION of ourselves. When we compare our lives to those around us, all it does is bring us down and take time, focus and energy away from our lives and the things we can control. 

I love this quote I found from https://superfastdiet.com/quotes-about-comparing-yourself-to-others/

I have found in my life, when I am having an emotionally hard day, or week (or month), taking a break from Social Media really helps me get the negativity out of my head and brings me back to gratitude for all of the amazing things and people I have in my life. 

So there you have it, my Mama Bear Coffee Mug product spotlight turned blog post rant! Just remember that behind every picture perfect highlight reel you see on Social Media are messy houses, insecurities, financial struggles, health problems, relationship problems and so much more! Just because they don't post about it doesn't mean that they aren't struggling just like you! And if scrolling through feeds is bringing you down, take a break! I promise it will clear your head and help you focus on what's important. 

Hope you have a great week!

Love,

Brooke

Brooke Braithwaite
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NEWS FLASH - Same 2 cool sisters, brand new name!

Our daughters may kill us for this, but we have decided to change our business name. It has become very apparent that "Tessa Mae" was confusing, random, and not as relevant as we had hoped when we created our journey (just finished watching the Bachelor...ha...nailed it..ha ha).  Brooke just reminded me not to type a blog post at 2 a.m. -especially after watching the Bachelor....I digress.  

What am I saying?  Oh yeah...our name.  We are Brooke & Jess - 2 sisters having too much fun so we made the leap and changed our website from tessamaedesigns.com to brookeandjess.com. 

New logo below - and thanks to those who have already noticed.  We heart you!!

Brooke Braithwaite
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GIFT FAIL!!! - Laser Etched Tumbler Spotlight

Check out our gift fail!  It's so embarrassing but we found a solution to make sure it NEVER happens again!
JESSICA SHANE
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Plan Perfectly & FREE Printable Gift Planning Calendar

Plan Perfectly & FREE Printable Gift Planning Calendar

Stay more organized this year with our FREE printable Gift Guru Gift Planning Calendar. In this post, Jessica shows you how she created her wall hanging to seamlessly display the calendar. Check it out!
Brooke Braithwaite
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The BEST, MOST AMAZING Frosted Sugar Cookie Recipe - "Swig" Copycat Cookie Recipe

Happy Monday! Brooke here...have you ever heard of a place called Swig? It's located in Utah and serves the most amazing frosted sugar cookies (and Dirty Diet Coke's - which y'all know my LOVE for Diet Coke!). Anyway, cookies are my go-to treat and my all time favorite cookies are frosted sugar cookies. And my all-time favorite frosted sugar cookie is made by Swig!!! So, if you live in Utah or are going there soon, please go try them. You won't be disappointed. 

For all of you that don't live close by (like me:(), this copycat recipe is the closest thing I've found to the real Swig cookie. And believe me, I've tried them all!!!

Here is the link to the original recipe I found on The Recipe Critic blog. 

Serves: 24
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Cup Butter, softened
  • ¾ C Vegetable Oil
  • 1¼ C Sugar (plus ¼ cup reserved)
  • ¾ C Powdered Sugar
  • 2 T Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ t Baking Soda
  • ½ t Cream of Tarter
  • 1 t Salt
  • 5½ C Flour
  • Frosting:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ C Sour Cream
  • 5 Cups powdered Sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • ¼ C Milk
  • Red Food Coloring
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil, sugar (1¼ C), powdered sugar, and water. Add in eggs.
  3. Slowly add in flour mixture until combined. Roll the dough into golf sized balls and place onto a non stick cookie sheet.
  4. To give the cookies their signature rough edge, dip the bottom of a glass into the reserved ¼ cup sugar and press onto the cookie ball to flatten the cookie. You still want the cookie to be thicker so don't press them to thin.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is lightly brown. The cookies stay soft so do not over bake.
  6. To make the frosting: Cream together butter, sour cream, and salt. Add the powdered sugar. Add in the milk to the desired consistency. Spread over cooled cookies and store in an airtight container.

Now, a few things I want to point out that are super important for these cookies turning out.

Serves 24: This is if you want super big cookies! I have found that using my 1 Tablespoon cookie scooper, they are the perfect size and this recipe makes about 40 - 48 cookies (depending on how much dough gets eaten lol).

See step #4 - DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! This makes all the difference in these cookies being amazing. And, it's super simple...just put some sugar in a bowl

spray the bottom of a small cup or measuring cup (I use my metal 1/4 measuring cup), and then stick it in the sugar

 then smash the ball of cookie dough down, ever so slightly so the sugar transfers to the dough and makes a little indent in the cookie.

Also, I cook mine for only 8 minutes. This makes them perfect and SOFT!

Lastly, if you end up making a lot and doubling the recipe, do NOT double the amount of frosting you make. I did that and ended up with TONS of extra frosting!

Once you've frosted them, store them in the fridge in an air tight container. They are EVEN BETTER the next day (if that's possible)!

So, there you have it....the most amazing frosted sugar cookie you will ever taste. Try them out and let me know how you like them. 

Hope you have a fabulous Monday!

XOXO - Brooke

Tessa Mae Designs

2 Sisters Having Too Much Fun

Brooke Braithwaite
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Like a Good Neighbor....Plus FREE Printable & Recipe

I'm going to start out by apologizing that yes, my blog post is about food..AGAIN. I guess if food could be a love language, then it's mine. 

Anyways....A while back Brooke started making cookies every Sunday night as a family treat for the week. This soon became something her kiddos looked forward to, and it became tradition. I shared this copycat Mrs. Field's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe with her on one such occasion, and it quickly became one of her go-to cookie recipes. I received it from my amazing father-in-law who is the true master of the recipe. They never taste as good as when he makes them!

The only problem about this recipe is that it makes A LOT OF COOKIES.  Like a LOT. If you make them normal size then its about 6 dozen. I don't know about you, but my family cannot eat 6 dozen cookies without feeling ill afterwards. Although the dough refrigerates well, then this presents the problem of munching on the dough every time I open the fridge, so yeah, there's that. ha. 

The other week after making this HUGE batch of cookies, I decided it was the perfect time to meet my new neighbors and share the cookies. I designed this tag to attach to each cookie gift bag to add the final touch. I've included the printable so it will be easy peasy for you to be a good neighbor and spread some love.  Try out this recipe and see what you think. 

 

Click here for printable: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1qfjJXqEEaE0VGBLLkyWPfJx5m-U29ISU

 

Copycat Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups softened butter                                  6 cups flour

2-1/2 cups white sugar                                  ½ teaspoon salt

2 cups brown sugar                                       1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs                                                            2 to 3 cups chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together butter and sugars and beat until fluffy.
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly until light pale color (this is super important in order to make cookies amazing).
  4. In separate bowl – stir together flour, salt, and baking soda
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Place heaping teaspoons on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart – 12 cookies per tray.
  8. Cook 10 to 12 minutes. Will be light in color to slightly browned.
  9. Cool on wire racks.

 

Brooke Braithwaite
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Always Stay Humble & Kind Farmhouse Pillow - Product Spotlight and Story Behind It

Always Stay Humble & Kind Farmhouse Pillow - Product Spotlight and Story Behind It

Hey y'all...Brooke here. Today I wanted to spotlight one of my favorite products (I know, I say that all the time:)! But really, this is one of my favorites for a special reason so read on if you want to know why.

This is one of our farmhouse pillow covers, size is 16"x16" and it comes in 3 colors: white, gray and black and has the saying "Always Stay Humble & Kind" printed on the front. You can buy just the pillow cover, or you can purchase it with the insert already inside.

It is made out of a high quality, thick material known as heavyweight faux linen burlap.

And includes a hidden zipper closure.

The back is plain white. It is individually cut and sewn by hand so these are made to last! Trust me, I have 5 kids and mine is still holding strong:).

This pillow currently sits on my bed and brings a smile to my face when I see it everyday!

Here's why I love this pillow. Have you ever heard the song by Tim McGraw called "Humble & Kind"? If you haven't, go look it up right now! Even if you don't like country music, you HAVE to look it up. Okay, I'm going to make it easy for you. Here is the official music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awzNHuGqoMc. Now you have no excuse not to listen to it!

It is one of my all time favorite songs! I love the meaning and message behind it, because let's be honest, these "feel good, family friendly" songs are hard to come by these days.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Hold the door say please say thank you
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got moutains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

After listening to the song, I knew I wanted my kids to hear the message and so I added it to my car playlist and after a month or so, they were singing along! Goal accomplished! So, when Jessica and I started Tessa Mae Designs, I knew I wanted a pillow cover with this saying on it to have on display in my home. It's a great reminder to me and my kids and I reference it often.

So, there you have it! Hopefully I didn't bore you to death and maybe you even found a new song to add to your car playlist and brainwash your kids (wink, wink). 

And if you made it to the end, I want to thank you with a SPECIAL coupon code only for my favorite followers. Shhh, don't tell Jess, she doesn't know about this! Use discount code BROOKEROCKS and get 30% off your entire order.

Have a fantastic week! And remember, Always Stay Humble & Kind.

XOXO

Brooke 

 

Brooke Braithwaite
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The MOST AMAZING Monkey Bread Recipe...and...FIRST BLOG POST!!!!!!!!

The MOST AMAZING Monkey Bread Recipe...and...FIRST BLOG POST!!!!!!!!

I feel like a complete and total LIAR right now? 

Want to know why? 

As I was scrolling through our Instagram feed, I noticed that I had posted about sharing this recipe on August 15!  Y'all that was nearly a month ago - exactly to the date actually.  (insert monkey face covering eyes emoji). I guess I have a life...ha :)

I'm pretty sure none of you lost sleep over it, but for those you did, here ya go.  It's perfect because it is now Saturday morning and so you can wake up, read this post and then make this yummy monkey bread for your family.  They will be impressed, you will be the new favorite, and your Saturday will be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I mean, really, is there any better way to start a Saturday morning than with sweet, goey, cinnamon, icing-covered morsels of sweet dough?  I think not - It seriously makes donuts jealous y'all.  Speaking of donuts, we have a pretty fun donut tank in our shop..check it out. Happy Saturday friends!

Most Amazing Monkey Bread Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH:

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons salt

BROWN SUGAR COATING:

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted

GLAZE:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix the flour and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. If you think the dough is too sticky, add 2 tablespoons flour at a time and mix until the dough comes together (it should still be on the sticky side, just not overly wet). Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly with the cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1-2 times. For the sugar coating, while the dough is rising, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place the melted butter in a second bowl or shallow pie plate. Set aside.
  3. To form the bread, gently remove the dough from the bowl and press it into a rough 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 64 pieces.
  4. This is where those cute helpers come in handy…Roll each dough piece into a ball. Dip the balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl or pie plate. Roll the dipped dough ball in the brown sugar mixture, then layer the balls in the Bundt pan.
  5. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let the monkey bread rise until puffy and they have risen 1-2 inches from the top of the pan, 1-2 hours.
  6. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until caramel begins to bubble around edges.. Cool the monkey bread in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn out on a platter or large plate and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  7. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk together in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle glaze over monkey bread, letting it run over the top and sides of the bread. Serve warm.
  8. Try not to eat it all by yourself!! ;)

Recipe Source: www.melskitchencafe.com

 

JESSICA SHANE
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