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Cake Mix Peanut Butter Blossoms

Easy Peanut Butter Blossoms

Everyone loves chocolate and peanut butter together! So here is another deliciously easy cookie recipe using a box of yellow cake mix. The cake mix is used for the cookie dough base, so you don’t have to make them from scratch!

What I love about this recipe is that it’s quick and easy, and there is hardly no measuring which means anyone can make them. Best of all these cookies will be ready to eat in 20 minutes.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

Peanut Butter Blossoms are a holiday cookie staple. I can remember having these along with Sugar Cookies every year at Christmastime. Why not whip up a batch and give them as a gift?

If you prefer to make these from scratch instead you can use this Classic Peanut Butter Cookie recipe instead.

Easy Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup softened Butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup creamy Peanut butter
  • 1 bag of Hershey kisses

 

Directions:

  • Add 1 box yellow cake mix to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add eggs, peanut butter and the softened butter.
  • Beat the ingredients together until completely mixed.
  • Scoop and shape the cookie dough into 1 inch balls.
  • Roll each dough ball into the granulated sugar.
  • Place the dough balls onto a an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately insert Hershey’s Kiss into the center.
  • Let them cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then place on a cooling rack to finish.
  • Enjoy!

 

This recipe yields about 30 cookies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about one week to remain fresh. You can also freeze cookies for up to 3 months and they will taste delicious once thawed.

I love to play around in the kitchen with boxed cake mix recipes. I’m not a professional baker, but every recipe in this blog is something that I have learned to perfect over the years so they will always taste amazing!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, thanks for stopping by! Peanut butter lovers also see: Classic Peanut Butter Cookies & Peanut Butter Brownies.

 




2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Image credit: Pottery Barn

 

Season’s Greetings! Are you looking for the perfect gift for beach lovers? Finding the perfect present is never easy no matter who you are shopping for. Year after year, you’re shopping for the same people and it get’s harder but it doesn’t have to be. Use this hand gift guide before you start your holiday shopping.

While making this list, I only chose the best items from Amazon. Everything is either a best seller, a five star item, or some of my personal favorites. There are thoughtful, yet affordable and unique gifts for everyone on this list. Just click on the image to find the item.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Find unique gifts for beach lovers that will impress everyone on your list!

  1. This beautiful handmade sea glass earrings and necklace set is the perfect gift for jewelry lovers! Check out the Sea Stamped Store to see all beach glass designs. You can also create your own gift set.

 

2. These set of 2 stemless wine glasses are hand painted and the perfect unique gift for both wine and mermaid lovers!

 

3. This hand blown glass conch sea shell figurine is the perfect gift for your loved ones that collect seashells.

 

4. Here is a great gift for those that love sea turtles! This cute collectible statue has a beautiful crushed glass mosaic shell.

 

5. This set of 3 nautical aromatherapy candle set is the perfect gift for candle and beach lovers alike. Once the candles are burned, the jars can be re-used and home decor.

 

6. This beautiful mother of pearl photo frame also comes in pink and natural white. Present this gift with your favorite beach photo memories.

 

7. Seahorse candle holders are a great gift for beach lovers! This set o 2 beautiful pillar candle holders also comes in gold.

 

8. Lanterns are the perfect gift for beach lovers! This gorgeous set of 2 silver lantern set can also be filled with candles or seashells for the perfect beachy look!

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

9. Yankee candles are always a great gift idea! Give this Christmas at The Beach scented candle as a reminder of your favorite beach vacation! See all scents from the Yankee Candle Store here.

 

10.  Another great gift idea for mermaid lovers! This warm and cozy mermaids tail crochet blanket comes in 4 colors, perfect for teens!

 

11. Nautical iron anchor candle holders are the perfect rustic decor gift. It comes as a set of 2 for pillar candles.

 

12. Here is another great nautical anchor gift idea. Give this warm cozy beach style throw to anyone who loves a nautical theme!

 

13. These set of 4 coastal mugs are the perfect beachy gift for coffee lovers!

 

14. Here is a gorgeous starfish serving platter for your favorite hostess who enjoys the finer things in life.

 

15. Everyone loves beach Gnomes! These set of 3 cuties are a perfect year around decoration for beach lovers!

 

16. Bella Wind Chimes are the Boho-Beachy gift! They are made of sea glass and come in several colors.

 

17. This beautiful resin starfish bowl comes in 2 beachy blue colors and is the perfect accent piece for any room in the home.

 

18. Remind your favorite beach lover to take a moment and just Breathe with this beautiful framed ocean art print!

 

I hope you found something you love on this list. Why not get a little something for yourself while you’re browsing. You can get any of these items shipped within 2 days if you have a Prime Membership!

Give this membership as a gift or try it free for 30 days, plus you can cancel at anytime. I have been a Prime Member for 3 years and I absolutely love the convenience!

Thank you for stopping by, Happy Holidays! Also see Buttery Soft Christmas Cookies




Savory Cabbage Soup With Rosemary & Red Potatoes

 This savory vegetable soup recipe is perfect for chilly fall nights and so delicious.

Fall is just a few short days away here in New England and we are starting to get those cold nights in September. Last night I was craving vegetable soup so I whipped up a big pot for dinner. It’s so yummy and it will make your house smell amazing, so I thought I would share this recipe.

Nothing beats a pot of fresh homemade soup served with warm bread or croutons. It warms you up and it’s a good way to get those veggies in. This soup is easy to make and very filling. The fresh rosemary adds lovely flavor to the red potatoes.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

Savory Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:

  • One Head Of Cabbage chopped
  • 2 Cups cut Red Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Baby Carrots
  • 1 cup of Corn
  • 1/2 Small Red or Purple Onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup Celery chopped
  • 1/2 sprig of Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of Red Pepper sliced
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Herbs

 

Cooking Directions:

  • In a large pot add olive oil, chopped onions, celery, garlic cloves and sauté on medium heat.
  • Next add carrots, corn, red pepper, cabbage and potatoes then stir.
  • Next add 4 cups of vegetable broth, Italian herbs, salt and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
  • Simmer on medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally until potatoes are done.
  • This recipe serves 4.
  • Enjoy!

I hope you love this recipe! Thanks for stopping by.

 




Simple Coastal Fall Decorating Ideas

 

Happy Fall beach lovers! Keep the relaxed beach feeling all year by incorporating neutral fall colors into your coastal themed home. Beachy colors such as blues, greens, creams and tan are timeless and will never go out of style.

When it comes to fall decorating, it doesn’t have to be all about traditional crimson, yellow, orange and brown. It’s easy to stick to a beachy color scheme by using natural colors such as pastel blues, light aquas, beige, turquoise, sage green and cream. These colors also work beautifully with orange and warm browns.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

I love the beach, but Fall is my favorite time of year, simply because it’s the start of the holiday season. This season, I decided to add keep it simple by adding some new pumpkins to my collection in aqua and white. What’s great about this color scheme, is that it also works for Thanksgiving decor as well. As for Halloween, I just fill the orange pumpkin pictured above with candy.

I also tried to DIY and paint pumpkins and I must admit…(it was a total disaster!) The colors did not match once the paint dried and I ended up with hideous bright teal instead of pale aqua. So naturally I threw them away and headed straight to TjMaxx!

Luckily they had just stocked a fresh collection of beautiful ceramic pumpkins! I grabbed five and happily headed to checkout knowing that my Fall decor would be saved from my DIY disaster.

I have noticed that some stores are not able to keep up with the demand for Fall and Halloween decor. People are starting to decorate earlier or months before the season begins.

I’m including some pics from my home and also some of my favorite DIY ideas from around the web for those who are good at this sort of thing. Then, there is me who is just better at shopping! Haha!

 

Simple Coastal Fall Decorating Ideas

 

Decorate With Beachy Colors

Keep the beach theme by adding Fall neutrals and pastels to your home decor.

 

Style Your Kitchen Island

The island is the center of your kitchen. Make it the focal point of your Fall decor too. Add a colorful table runner and a couple of decorative pumpkins and candleholders to the center of the island to keep if beautiful, yet functional.

 

Create A Cozy Display

Add fall candles, a cozy blanket and some cute pumpkins to you tray table decor.

 

Create A Unique Mantle

Here I added some Eucalyptus Garland that I purchased on Amazon. Then added the aqua and white ceramic pumpkins that I found at TjMaxx.

 

Use What You Have

I keep this display all year around and change out the candles and photo decor with each season.

 

Keep It Simple

 

Create a Festive DIY

I love this gorgeous Mermaid Corn idea From Breezy Designs!

DIY Painted Pumpkins

These chalk painted pumpkins are absolutely beautiful, from ANDERSON+GRANT.

 

I hope you enjoyed these Coastal Fall Ideas! Thanks for stopping by. Also see Coastal Fall Ideas & Inspiration 2022




Shop Your Favorite Beach Cottage Quotes On Etsy!

Welcome to The Aqua Cottage where we dream in colors borrowed from the sea! I’m so excited to share my new Etsy Shop! Here you can find your favorite beach cottage quotes and printable wall art in all shades of aqua.

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

These prints make a great gift for beach lovers. Just click the images or quotes link to find the items on Etsy!

Beach Quotes

For Baby Nursery

My Heart Will Always Be In A Little Cottage By The Sea

Sweet Dreams Little One

Make A Wish Upon A Starfish

My favorite beach quote has always been “My heart will always be in a little cottage by the sea! These cute beach quotes will surely brighten your day and remind you of your dreams of living by the sea.

Thanks for reading, Enjoy!

 




Beautiful Beachy Bathroom Decor

Soothe your soul and create a spa like atmosphere with these beautiful beachy bathroom decor ideas! Browse these coastal style bathroom ideas.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

It’s no secret that I love coastal decor. Growing up in New England surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches is probably why. When I started renovating my home, I knew that I wanted coastal themed decor. I want to feel as if I wake up at the beach everyday! The colors of the sky, sea and sand make me so happy.

Adding beach themed or coastal style decor to your home is a wonderful way to express your love for the ocean and nature itself. Bring a little beach into your home with this list of ten of my favorite bathroom decor items from Amazon. These classic styles, colors and natural elements never go out of style.

 10 Beautiful Beachy Bathroom Decor Ideas

  1. Haus and Hues Framed Ocean Wall Art
  2. Safavieh Quatrefoil Ceramic Decorative Garden Stool
  3. Costa Farms Cat Palm 3-Feet Tall, Live Indoor Plant
  4. Sand + Fog California Beach House Scented Candle
  5. Bekmore Large Apothecary Jar with Airtight Lid
  6. Household Essentials Large Wicker Floor Storage Basket
  7. Aqua Bath Towels Set
  8. Avanti Linens Farmhouse Shell Toothbrush Holder 
  9. Bamboo Shower Bath Mat for Spa Relaxation
  10. Premium Bamboo Cotton Bath Towels

Thank you for reading! I hope you are inspired by to create a cozy home you love. Just click on the links above to find the items in the photo. Also see: Coastal Fall Ideas & Inspiration 2022

 

 

 

 




Buttery Soft Halloween Sugar Cookies

Have a spooky sweet Halloween with these fun and festive sugar cookies! They are my all time favorite holiday recipe for buttery soft and delicious cut out cookies.

I love to bake Sugar Cookies! The possibilities are endless especially for spooky season. These cookies are sure to be a hit at any Halloween party. This recipe yields about 4 dozen cookies.

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup softened butter (not melted)
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions: 

  • Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover dough, and chill for 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. On a clean floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. You can find all kinds of cute and funny Halloween cookie cutters here.

Time To Bake!

  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are barely brown. Allow cookies to cool for on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes. Then move from cookie sheets onto wire racks to finish cooling. Once cooled decorate using your favorite royal icing colors and flavors. You can also use buttercream frosting for an fun and easy decorating idea for children.

These cookies will keep their shape nicely and remain soft and chewy long after being cooled. They will be a big hit at parties! They remain fresh for 2-3 weeks if kept in an airtight container.

Bake ahead and store in the freezer. They will remain fresh for 3-6 months as long as they are wrapped tightly in plastic and kept in an airtight container. I honestly don’t know who would wait that long to eat them.  Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy making this recipe, if so share it and also see my classic recipe for Easy Royal Icing!

Also see: 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

 




Have A Bootiful Halloween

Boo to you from our Crew!

Witchy Boo Halloween Tees and Accessories are here! Fall is my favorite time of year! The chill in the air as the temperatures drop and leaves begin to change means one thing…Halloween is near! Stay warm and comfy with these Halloween sweatshirts and hoodies, or if you live in a warmer climate stay cool in these cute and comfy tees.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

This year I have also added Popsockets, Iphone, and Samsung cell phone accessories! This cute design comes in ten styles and several colors, also available in Men’s, Women’s and Kid’s sizes. Get one for each member of the family to create a spooky matching family outfit! I wish you a safe and Happy Halloween! All items are linked below, and don’t forget to Eat, Drink, And Be Scary! See Buttery Soft Halloween Sugar Cookies

  1. Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost T-Shirt

  2. Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost Premium T-Shirt

  3. Womens Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost V-Neck T-Shirt

  4. Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost PopSockets Swappable PopGrip

  5. Galaxy S20 Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost Case

  6. iPhone 12/12 Pro Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost Case

  7. Womens Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost Raglan Baseball Tee

  8. Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost Long Sleeve T-Shirt

  9. Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost Sweatshirt

  10. Witchy Boo Halloween Ghost Unisex Pullover Hoodie

Some items can also be found on the blogs shop page. Also see: Coastal Fall Ideas & Inspiration 2022

I witch you a Happy Halloween!

https://theaquacottage.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Witchyboo3.mp4




Coastal Fall Ideas & Inspiration 2022

Prepare your home for autumn with fall decor from Amazon.

It’s never too early to get ready for fall, and if your are currently experiencing a heat wave you may be looking forward to it. You can start decorating as early as August all the way up until the holiday season. It’s no surprise that retail stores like Target And Walmart already have their fall decor and Halloween candy on display!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Coastal Fall Ideas & Inspiration On Amazon

Fall is all about using natural materials. When decorating for fall in a coastal themed home, the usage of pastel blues, neutral fabrics and light shades of turquoise and teal keep things coastal, while adding a nod to the coming holidays. Muted color pumpkins in cream and aqua blue blend perfectly into the coastal aesthetic.

Click to purchase Blue Pumpkin Fall Table Runner on Amazon

 

Here are five ways to add coastal fall to your home decor.

  1. Use cream, white, and aqua muted color pumpkins.
  2. Fill spaces with coastal style candles in neutral colors.
  3. Use white, blue or driftwood lanterns filled with pumpkins.
  4. Fill seagrass or woven baskets with cozy blankets and pillows.
  5. Decorate with seaglass, starfish, and seashells in glass jars.

Also see: 15 Ways To Display Your Seashell Collection

Below is a list of some of my favorite coastal fall finds from the image above. Click the link to find items on Amazon.

  1. Mason Canning Jars Wood Antique Tray Centerpiece
  2. “Give thanks with a grateful heart” rustic sign
  3. Welcome to Our Home Sign
  4. Mud Pie Halloween Ghost Salt & Pepper Set
  5. Boston International Decorative Glass Pumpkin Figurine
  6. Decorative Coastal Flameless Pillar Candles with Remote
  7. The Lakeside Collection Blue Ceramic Pumpkins
  8. Fall Autumn Thanksgiving Harvest Vintage Table Placemats 
  9. 8 Piece Happy Thanksgiving Yard Signs 
  10. Fall Halloween Thanksgiving Pumpkin Welcome Door Mat
  11. Grateful Pumpkin Floral Aqua Throw Pillow
  12. Thankful Pumpkin Floral Aqua Throw Pillow
  13. Blessed Pumpkin Floral Aqua Throw Pillow
  14. The Lakeside Collection 6-Pc. Thanks Pumpkin Set

Fall decorating does not have to be expensive. To keep costs down, I like to stick to staple pieces that transition from season to season using my same color palette.

Also see my favorite recipe for Buttery Soft Halloween Sugar Cookies

I hope you love this list! Happy Fall!

Click to see the Shop Page to find all throw pillows.

 




How The Beach Saved My Life

Everyone has a story. I believe that some things in life happen to us for a reason. I also believe that by sharing our stories we can heal other’s who may be in the same situation. I’m finally ready to share my story about how the beach saved my life. It’s something I have kept a secret for far too long. But it’s a story of survival that I hope will one day inspire someone.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

My Story

Just two short years ago, I was homeless. I lived in my car for about a year. I still can’t believe that I’ve had this experience. I always thought having a good job and going to college would protect me from being homeless. I also felt like a huge failure as my world all of a sudden spiraled out of control. I currently own my home and my experience makes me appreciate it that much more!

You may be wondering how could an educated person with income end up like this? I was simply the victim of a bad rental situation. In 2018 I rented a tiny, one bedroom in law apartment that was attached to a two bedroom main house to save money. I always paid my rent and bills on time, so you would think there would not be any problems. Right? Wrong! What I did not know at the time, is that the landlord was completely mentally unstable.

For the first month everything was ok. But by the third month, I was subject to this landlords advances demanding that I “spend time” with this person. I politely declined and then the advances became more aggressive. I was also subject to daily harassment and threats on my life from this person and their acquaintances. I was no longer able to sleep or feel safe in my home. But, that was the problem. It was not my home, and this person made sure that I knew this.

 The police were called at least twenty-five times, even when I was not at home. I am not a criminal but the law states that they have to respond even if there is no crime. This landlord also began to refuse my rent payments in order to start the eviction process against me. I had to get a protective order until I was able to move, all because of my rejection.

We went to court three times and each time I had to take valuable time off of work. I won all three cases. The judge clearly saw right though the games, and ordered me to remain in the apartment for six more months rent free. By the time the last trial date came,  I had already left the apartment for my safety. I only lived there for seven short months.

Why Mental Health Matters

Do to the stress of the situation, I developed PTSD. I still suffer from it to this day, but now I can live in peace and try to forget the trauma of having my life threatened daily. I managed to search for a new place to live, but would have severe anxiety and panic attacks. When the time came to view a new apartment or meet a new landlord, I would  start to feel dizzy and begin to panic, so I canceled all of the appointments. My PTSD and mental trauma made me believe that if I rejected the next landlords advances, they would actually succeed at killing me.

There is huge problem with getting access to mental healthcare which is why so many people are suffering! Mental health matters because this horrible unstable person had also managed to affect my mental health. This was something new in my life that I had never experienced before, people know me as a kind and genuine person.

I never had my life threatened before. Just being around people stressed me out. My trauma caused me to isolate myself, and I didn’t share any of what was happening to me with my friends. I was too embarrassed and I didn’t have family near to live with. I also could not imagine living in a shelter. The homeless shelters are too overcrowded. Yet sadly half a million Americans are currently facing this crisis.

It Can Happen To Anyone

I have never judged anyone who has been homeless, because I can attest to the fact that it can happen to anyone. Everyone has a different situation as to why they become homeless. It’s not always drugs or alcohol as the news media and most of society will lead you to believe. It can happen to the nicest person, someone with a job, college educated, or a family.

In my case, it wasn’t for lack of a job or money, I was just the victim of circumstances in life that were out of my control. I decided that I would do everything within my power to take back control of my life. Within one year I managed to pull myself out of this situation, and was able to buy my first home where I could feel safe and in control.

How The Beach Saved My Life

During that tough year, I spent a lot of time at the beach. It was like free therapy for my soul. Staring mindlessly at the ocean waves, gave me peace of mind and the clarity I needed to pull my life back together. If I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would be strong enough.

Sure I was in a bad situation, but the freedom that I felt while staring at the sea for hours on end is what helped me to heal. I would camp out at my favorite beach all evening and all day on my days off. No one ever knew that anything was wrong. I showered at the gym daily, went to work and right after work, I would go back to the beach.

During the night I would find safe places to park so that I could rest a little. You always have to be on watch for your safety. Some nights I stayed in hotels, but it becomes very expensive and I wanted to save up to buy a home.

My mind was at peace and I automatically went into a state of survival. I met so many wonderful people along the way that gave me hope and encouragement. I knew then that God had placed those very people in my path for a reason. That reason was to help me along this journey called life.

My advice to you is that if you ever find yourself in this situation, know that you will get through it. It’s not easy but humans have incredible survival skills. Those skills will automatically take over in any of life’s unpleasant circumstances. I now know the reason that I had to go through that experience. Not only did it push me onto the right path in life, but it also put me on a path to help others and home ownership.

The beach is where I started my blog. I had no idea it would grow into me owning my very own business. For me it was a way to escape my stress. It helped me to dream of a better life and express myself while going through a tough time in life. You may not understand why bad things are happening to you at the time, but keep the faith that life is taking you down this path for a good reason.

I know it was God who protected me from a world full of predators while I slept in my car. I never felt alone. I also am very passionate about helping those who are homeless and somehow strangely grateful for the experience. Although it has lead to my success, but I don’t wish this experience on anyone. I am crying as I write this because I feel like I have been carrying this heavy secret for so long. Now that have revealed it, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted, and that unfortunate chapter in my life is over.

Thank you reading this, I hope my story becomes someone else’s survival guide and will help in some way. I don’t consider myself to be brave, I just tried to make the best of a bad situation and the beach was my escape! I believe God created the beach because he knew we would need a place of peace and refuge in this world! For me it was definitely the thing that saved my sanity. Also see 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me