If you live in one of about 49 of our 50 states today, you are probably experiencing some type of interesting winter weather. Here in southwest Michigan we have ice (which is somewhat unique for us). We do great with snow…not so great with ice. Thankfully, we have power (currently) and it seems to be warming up, so the day is looking up! Yay for Tuesday Tidbits!

For our project this last week, we decided to make a little change to the large fireplace in our family room. It’s huge (I believe the mantel is well over 8′ wide). We wanted to keep the fireplace wood burning. We have always had gas fireplaces in our past homes and don’t love them. They are undoubtably convenient and clean, but we both prefer wood burning. That being said, we don’t have the time to take care of a wood burning fireplace (nor are either one of us around enough to take care of it). So, this was all about appearances while maintaining the wood burning feature (in case we change our minds or a future owner wants the option). This is what the fireplace looked like.

We added some white stone and instantly changed the look. Funny story, Trent brought several bags of the white stone home and opened them up in the garage. Since they were landscaping rocks they were dirty (not something you ever think of when you’re doing landscaping). They had to be washed. If you drove by our home last weekend, you inevitably saw us washing rocks. Yep. We felt ridiculous, but not quite silly enough to stop. After a couple of days of washing and transporting, this is our newly changed fireplace. And I love it! I’ll probably add about 20 more candles…but this is what I had on hand.

Yesterday, I posted a pic of some cookies I made over the weekend and several of you requested the recipe. I found the original recipe on Pinterest, but after messing with it a little I adjusted it. Here is the recipe I used this weekend.


3/4 cups old fashioned oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

pinch of cinnamon

1 cup butter (melted)

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla (I use pure vanilla, but extract will work)

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

2 large eggs

3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions and tips:

  1. I place the oatmeal in a blender and create a powder.
  2. I use sea salt and I add in a heaping teaspoon….I like that it doesn’t change consistency while baking. Personally, I like the salty taste with the sweet. Use whatever type of salt you prefer.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients, add in butter, vanilla, lemon juice and eggs with a hand blender.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.
  5. Refrigerate overnight (totally worth the wait…I promise!)
  6. Remove about 20 minutes prior to baking and let it rest on the counter.
  7. Scoop out 1/4 cup dough and roll into a large ball (you could make the cookies smaller…but why???)
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-17 minutes. Do NOT bake these cookies until they are done…pull them out of the oven just when the tops are starting to look done. Then leave them on the cookie sheet for another 1-2 minutes…then remove and cool.
  9. I bake mine on the convection setting and on a Pampered Chef stone…it was exactly 15 minutes.

If you decide to make them, enjoy! They are heavy, dense and taste wonderful!!

As always, thank you for following along and have a wonderful week!


  • February 12, 2019 Reply

    Donna Kenske

    Thank you for posting the cookie recipe! I love the fireplace and your entire home. It’s been an exciting adventure watching you work so hard on your beautiful home.

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