Creamy Peanut Butter Pie with Nutter Butter Crust @themerrythoughtIt’s Pi day! So we’re celebrating with one of my favorite kinds of pie, peanut butter! (Big surprise there, right?! 😏) Pies usually don’t rank really high on my list of favorite desserts (give me cookies, cheesecake or ice cream first please!), but there’s a few that I absolutely love. My brother-in-law’s Pecan Pie might top the list for favorites. And I love strawberry rhubarb (especially when my niece makes it). And the classic apple. Which I guess is good that it ranks high on my list because it’s Mike’s favorite. And peanut butter. Because well, ya know, me & peanut butter.
This recipe is another from the family cookbook, shared by another one of my mom’s cousins. I adapted this one a bit because I wanted to have a nutter butter cookie crust, something I tried before and loved. The crust is really good, without being too peanut buttery, even though it’s made with pb cookies. And the rest of the pie, oh man, this pie! It really is a favorite. It’s rich and creamy and peanut buttery and it’s topped with my favorite, hot fudge. So yea, I’m all about this pie!Creamy Peanut Butter Pie with Nutter Butter Crust @themerrythoughtCreamy Peanut Butter Pie with Nutter Butter Crust @themerrythoughtCreamy Peanut Butter Pie with Nutter Butter Crust

20 nutter butter cookies
5 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Blend cookies (filling & all) into fine crumbs in a food processor. Stir cookie crumbs and melted butter together until thoroughly mixed. Press crumbs onto bottom and sides of 9” pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool.

1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat together the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth & creamy. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined. Set aside.

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on medium high speed, just until firm peaks form.

Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into peanut butter mixture.

Spoon peanut butter filling into crust. Cover & chill for about 2 hours.

1/2 cup hot fudge
remaining 1 cup whipped cream

Spread hot fudge over pie, leaving 1” edge. Pipe remaining whipped cream around border of pie. Chill for another hour or until set. Serve & enjoy. Keep pie refrigerated.Creamy Peanut Butter Pie with Nutter Butter Crust @themerrythoughtWhat’s your favorite kind of pie?



DIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtLast spring, we had a stray cat show up on our doorstep and he hasn’t left yet. He spent the warm months living on our porch and quickly became the boys companion – following them around whenever they were outside playing. While I was content to continue being pet-free, I’m a sucker for cats and once the cold weather came, took him to the vet to get checked out & “cleaned up” and he was allowed in. So now I guess we’re officially cat owners. The poor guy doesn’t really have a real name, although I call him Kitkat and that’s his official name for vet visits, but the boys couldn’t decide on a name for him (we actually had a whole naming process where everyone got to pick their top two names, write them down & place them in a bowl. We passed around the bowl, taking out names and the last name left was supposed to be his name, but sobbing ensued at the last choice left and so I declared everyone could just call him whatever they wanted). He’s a great cat, puts up with the boys and he’s potty trained – as in prefers to go outside and doesn’t use his litter box – thank you Kitkat! The boys are slightly scared to play with him, he’s got some serious claws on him (he still goes outside, so he gets to keep those), so I thought we needed a toy that the boys could use and not have to worry about getting swiped by a stray claw.
This cat wand is perfect, letting the boys play with Kitkat, but keep their distance, ha! It was quick & easy to put together (although I might have gotten a little carried away with the hot glue gun a time or two!). The pompoms were from a couple keychains that I found at Michaels and they’re perfect for this because they had a little loop on them so they were super easy to attach to the string. And Kitkat seems to like it, when he’s in the mood to play!DIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtDIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtDIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtDIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtMaterials:

– dowel (mine was 0.375 x36, you can use whatever size)
– waxed thread (or string)
– leather lace
– pompoms
– feathers
– scissors
– hot glue gunDIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtDirections: If needed, cut dowel to size. Cut 2-3 pieces of waxed thread, various sizes. Attach feathers and pompoms to thread (I tied a knot around the end of the feathers and my pompoms had tiny loops on the them because they were taken off of a keychain, so I tied knots to those. You may need to thread the string with a needle and go through the center of the pompom to attach it). Tie end of thread to dowel, secure with dot of hot glue. Once all strings are attached to dowel, wrap the leather lace around dowel, going over thread, but making sure the strings still hang through. Use a dot of hot glue occasionally as you wrap the leather lace around to keep it secure. Once you’ve covered as much of the dowel as you’d like, secure the end of the leather lace to the dowel with hot glue.DIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtDIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtDIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtDIY Cat Toy @themerrythoughtI had to include this last photo – Kitkat did a decent job modeling for his first gig (okay, he made a brief appearance in this post), but he obviously had reached his limit! 😹


  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 1:27 pm

    Molly - Such a cute toy! It’s really hard to find pretty cat toys. Even if he does come inside full time some day, please don’t declaw. It’s horribly inhumane. They make some cool alternatives like claw covers or simply trimming the claws works really well. :)ReplyCancel

  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 5:19 pm

    Molly - This is such a cute DIY. I love Kitkat’s annoyed face. :)ReplyCancel


Chai Berry Smoothie @themerrythoughtA while back, I came across a couple different smoothie recipes over on Pinterest that were made using chai tea and was instantly intrigued. I love chai tea, and in fact, enjoy a mug of it every night (I drink Spiced Chai Black Tea, with nothing in it, I’m finding that sugary drinks just aren’t my thing anymore (bleh, I’m getting so old!), but this Chai Tea Latte used to a favorite indulgence of mine!). I was curious how chai tea would be in a smoothie, so I decided to try it…and since I’m sharing it here, you know that it was a winner in my book!
I’ve actually started making smoothies more regularly now because it’s a good way to get my boys to up their fruit & veggie intake. I love that I can sneak some greens in smoothies and they don’t even notice! We were recently talking about eating healthy with Lincoln, and he was quite annoyed to learn that I had put spinach in this smoothie and he had declared it good – ha! #momwin You can leave the spinach out if that’s not your thing, but really, you don’t notice! My nieces & nephew were over when I was making this smoothie for the shoot and so I had 6 kids taste test it and they all liked it! The chai flavor is a nice addition and a more subtle flavor. You do need to use chilled chai, as well as a frozen banana, so you’ll have to plan ahead a little when making this. I just try to keep some chai milk in the fridge now for making this. And I usually always have some frozen bananas on hand too – they’re great for any smoothies!Chai Berry Smoothie @themerrythoughtChai Berry Smoothie @themerrythoughtChai Berry Smoothie

1 cup chai tea, made with milk, chilled (I used Bigelow Spiced Chai Black Tea)
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup mixed berries (I use strawberries, raspberries & blueberries – mix of frozen & fresh)
handful of baby spinach

Add ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes approximately 3 cups (enough to share 😉).
(And if you’re curious, I did blend my berries separate from the rest of the ingredients for this photo shoot, just cause I thought it would look pretty; but I stirred everything together before drinking!)
Chai Berry Smoothie @themerrythoughtChai Berry Smoothie @themerrythoughtAny favorite smoothie recipes you enjoy?


  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 4:50 pm

    G - My Dad got me a pretty fantastic book called superfood smoothies that I would highly recommend- they have a a great chai smoothie AND cookies and cream, both of which are vegan and so so tasty :)ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 6:11 pm

    Natalie - This looks so good, I love the layers!

    – Natalie

  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 2:22 am

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog - Thank you for sharing the recipe! It looks like a mix between a dessert and a smoothie. I can totally get on board of that for breakfast.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog


Make Your Own Paperclips @themerrythoughtIf you’re not one for knitting or crocheting but need an easy project that you can pick up and put down at any time – look no further! These sweet little paperclips can easily be made by the dozen while sitting and binge watching your favorite show, as a craft to take along while traveling, or just as a relaxing crafternoon activity. Having these sweet gold babies hanging around on your desk is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face! And you can make a little set for each of your friends!Make Your Own Paperclips @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
16 gauge wire
Wire cutters/Pliers

How to make it:
-Cut an 8-10″ piece of wire.
-Use pliers to bend in desired shape.
(**-I used small bottles of lotion and lipstick to help make the round shapes and a ruler to measure the sides of the rectangles and triangles to make them even.)
-Once you get the shape you want, trim ends.
-You may have to play around with the wire a bit to get the shape to lay flat, which will allow it to securely hold paper.

This project is mostly a lot of trial and error – so just play around!
Make Your Own Paperclips @themerrythoughtMake Your Own Paperclips @themerrythoughtMake Your Own Paperclips @themerrythoughtMake Your Own Paperclips @themerrythoughtMake Your Own Paperclips @themerrythoughtMake Your Own Paperclips @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 1:35 pm

    Maria da Conceição Miranda - Adorable! Beautiful! I love them all. Love MariaReplyCancel

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 3:04 pm

    Natalie - This is such a lovely little DIY, a really nice way to add something special to a planner or notebook rather than just a plain paperclip

    – Natalie

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 8:27 pm

    Ivory - What a cute lovely idea. Thank you! I love thisReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 5:10 am

    Spanish to english - Thank you, the paperclips is really wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Friday, March 10, 2017 - 6:07 am

    Indya | TheSmallAdventurer - These are so cute and unique! I’ve also seen floating around the internet a little tutorial on how to bend normal paperclips into the shape of mini coat hangers and they’re so cute!

    I never use paper clips, but I still love them. I need to somehow incorporate them into my planning and journaling!


Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars @themerrythoughtThese shortbread bars are one of my favorite go-to desserts. You can make them without pulling out a mixer, so they seem simple & easy to me! (Although if you’re so inclined, you can definitely make them with a mixer!). And I love shortbread. And chocolate. So these bars are pretty much a winner all the way around! This recipe is from an old family cookbook, my mom’s cousin shared the recipe, but called them “Break Up Bars”. When I read the title years ago, my first thought was these are what you would make after a break up for a little comfort, hence break up bars. Others in my family thought maybe they were called that because the bars are very crumbly, and break up easily. I keep forgetting to ask my mom’s cousin where that title came from whenever we have our family reunions – maybe this will be the year I remember! Whether you’re in need of some comfort food or just need to satisfy that sweet tooth craving, these delicious, buttery bars should do the trick! And I recommend eating them warm. With a big glass of milk. And then save a piece to enjoy with your coffee the next morning! 😉Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars @themerrythoughtChocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cubed
1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Add vanilla and cubed butter and blend with pastry blender until mixture is combined and crumbly. (It may seem a little dry, that’s okay). Stir in chocolate chips. Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan (I like to line mine with parchment paper for easy lifting and cutting) and press into an even layer. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until edges are just turning golden. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into bars. Best served warm! Store in airtight container.Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars @themerrythought


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