Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Self-Care Care Package, The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever, + A Giveaway


How To Put Together A Self Care Package
How To Put Together A Self Care Package
Thank you Bob's Red Mill for sponsoring this post. Create a care package for a loved one today and don't forget to include some baked goods made with Bob's Red Mill products!

Those of you who have been reading here for a long time have probably heard me mention my little sister Morgan now and then. Morgan lives in Indianapolis, about 3.5 hours from us here in Chicagoland. I don't get to see her that often, but she has been here for me in more ways than I can explain. She dropped everything to come act as my unofficial doula with my first baby, and stayed with me for 30 hours of labor and complications, and for days after. (That baby's middle name happens to be Morgan, because of her.) She did the same with my second babe too. When our son Emmett was diagnosed with a serious, dangerous form of epilepsy last year, she was one of our rocks, and went above and beyond to make sure we knew we weren't alone. She doesn't have human kids of her own (although she does have a dog name Laika though, to whom she is as caring a mother as anyone I've ever known), but she has truly been a second mom to my children, even from a different state. Morgan is also a high school psychology and sociology teacher who pours herself into her students, and also volunteers as a leader of a peer mentorship program for students at her school. She is constantly caring for others - so I decided that it's time for her to be cared for as well. While brainstorming ideas for how I could thank her for everything she has done in a way that would allow her to feel pampered, I starting thinking about how my parents would send me care packages of goodies while I was in college, and how much I appreciated them. So, together with my little ones, I put together a package of self care goodies, handmade art work, and delicious Bob's Red Mill homemade chocolate chip cookies (because really, what edible gift shows love and care more than chocolate chip cookies?) to send to her. And today I'm showing you how I did it, in case you want to do the same for someone you'd like to show gratitude!

The first step of a great self care package is to bake some cookies, which are the star of the show, because duh, homemade chocolate chip cookies! Truly though, I genuinely believe nothing says comfort like good old fashioned cookies, especially when they contain pure, natural ingredients. And did you know psychologists have found that baking for others makes the baker feel as good as the recipients? True story. This is my family chocolate chip cookie recipe (it's basically just a combination of favorite classic cookies recipes from over the years), and I just know that you (and/or your care package recipient!) will love it as much as we do. (Makes about 4 dozen cookies.)

How To Put Together A Self Care Package

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) organic butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup sugar
2 large organic eggs
1-1/4 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2-1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour*
2  cups organic semi-sweet chocolate chips

(*We always use Bob's Red Mill flours in our recipes, because they're milled from premium quality ingredients, which gives that extra touch of quality to baked goods. If you prefer, you can also use Bob's Red Mill Organic Almond Meal/Flour or Gluten Free Flour in place of white flour in this recipe. We use all three regularly! And pssst, if you click here you can get some fantastic coupons for their products.)


Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla in a medium to large mixing bowl until creamy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time until completely combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture to the wet mixture and combine well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto ungreased baking sheets, about two inches apart from one another. Bake for 10-12 minutes (we like ours well done, so I usually leave them in for 12) or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.


One the cookies were well cooled (and we sampled our fair share), it was time to put together the care package. First we got a big basket where we could put together a pretty arrangement of goodies. Then it was time to add all of Morgan's "treasures" (as Essley called them).

Essley loves creating art, and Emmett just starting to get into coloring, so the two of them chose pictures from their favorite coloring book and colored them just for their Auntie Morgan. We rolled each piece of art up and tied with a pretty piece of baker's twin to make them feel a little more special.

How To Put Together A Self Care Package
How To Put Together A Self Care Package
How To Put Together A Self Care Package

Over the previous week, we'd gathered all sorts of goodies we knew Morgan would love that would also allow her to pamper and care for herself. One of her greatest pleasures is relaxing with a cup of tea, so we grabbed a couple of high quality, natural teas. She also loves playing around with different skincare products, and we got her a bunch of different face mask samples so could have a mini spa day at home. We also included a yummy scented hand poured candle and a loofah for her to use at bath time (she loves taking baths). Another of Morgan's favorite "me time" activities is to do her nails, so we put in a couple of nail polishes, a nail buffer, and a cool all-in-one pedicure tool. Essley thought it would be fun to get her a "book to write in," so we found a beautiful little blank notebook/journal and pencils. We also included some other small goodies, like lip balm, a pretty quartz crystal, and a thank you card from my handmade card shop on Etsy. Last but certainly not least was the prize of the care package - the chocolate chip cookies that we baked with love.

We arranged everything together in the basket, along with the card that explained why we put it together and how grateful I am for everything Morgan has done for me. Then we packed it up and shipped it off. At the time of me writing this, it's on the way to her. I can't wait to hear what she thinks.

How To Put Together A Self Care Package
How To Put Together A Self Care Package
How To Put Together A Self Care Package

It felt really great to put together this care package for someone who means so much to me. And just like I appreciate my sister and everything she's done, I appreciate my readers and the support you show as well. So, along with our friends at Bob's Red Mill, we're going to give a care package to one of you! One lucky winner will receive a care package of Bob’s Red Mill products that includes organic all purpose flour (3 lb), almond flour, gluten free 1-1 flour (3 lb), baking powder, baking soda, active dry yeast, cane sugar, brown sugar, and a cool Bob’s Red Mill Flour sack towel.

Enter right here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will run through September 20, 2017, and winner will be randomly selected and notified by CLEVER by Thursday, September 21. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over. Only one entry per household, please. Good luck!


Have you ever put together a care package for a loved one? What type of things have you added? I had so much fun putting this together and would love to make it a regular thing!

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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13 comments:

  1. these look delicious! wish we lived closer so we could hang all the time <3

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  2. This is such a sweet idea (literally haha)! I need to send some chocolate chip cookie care packages to a few people. Love it.

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  3. I love this so much! I've put together a few care packages for friends but the idea of a self care package is awesome. I know a few people who could use it! I'm definitely trying the cookie recipe this weekend!

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  4. Aw what a sweet idea for! Bob's Red Mill has sooo many good mixes, but I've never tried the chocolate chip cookies!

    Lindsey | www.seamlesssea.com

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    1. It's actually my cookie recipe, but Bob's Red Mill organic flour was the star ingredient! :)

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  5. I love Bob's Red Mill items!! Cute pics, sounds like a great recipe! Bookmarking!

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  6. I am ALL about these chocolate chip cookies!! YUM

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  7. I love chocolate chip cookies!! I need to make these this weekend!!

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  8. I love that you're cooking with your littles. It's something my mom and I always did together (and still do sometimes) and it creates the most special memories. The self-care basket is also a fantastic idea. So fun!

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  9. The cookies look delicious and loving all the images!
    Nicky x
    www.nickyinsideout.com

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  10. So yum! My favorite type of cookies!

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