My Favorite Recipes · Travels

A Weekend in Traverse City: Bubba’s Restaurant and Bar, Oryana Co-Op, and Trying a New Recipe.

Hello, my wonderful friends! I hope that your week is off to a great start! I woke up this morning with the worst stomach ache AND headache, so, unfortunately, I have not been as productive as I had hoped, but sometimes you just need to take care of yourself first!!! I had such a lovely weekend here in Traverse City, Michigan, that I thought I would share it with y’all! ❤

Friday Night.

Bobby and I have date night every week, and it’s generally on a Friday or Saturday. This Friday, I was feeling extra lazy, and not wanting to cook, so we had our date night on Friday! He had heard about this place from a friend, so we decided to try it out! And oh my goodness, it did not disappoint. The place’s name: Bubba’s.

Bobby got a seasonal drink. I can’t remember what exactly it was called, but it was a caramel apple drink. I got an Irish coffee, which was DELICIOUS. And much needed after a cold walk to the restaurant.

When you’re seated, you get a starter of pretzels and mustard, which was very much appreciated, as I was quite hangry at this point. It was a Friday night, so the place was HOPPING.

For our appetizer, we got the loaded fries. The loaded fries at Bubba’s include three cheese sauce, bacon, green onions, and sour cream. Now, I am not a fan WHATSOEVER of green onions, or any onions for that matter, so I just ate around them. That being said, I think that these are the BEST loaded fries I’ve ever had. The fries themselves were just so crunchy and delicious, pairing them with cheese just made them absolute perfection.

For our meals, we each got burgers.

Bobby got the carnivore burger with fries. This burger had steak, bacon, swiss, cheddar, haystack onions, lettuce, tomato, and roasted garlic aioli.

I got the Tex Mex burger with fries. This burger had a chorizo and beef mixed patty, bacon, provolone, guacamole, haystack onions, and a fried egg. I, of course, got it without the onions. It was SO tasty.

They also have veggie burgers, which I think I’ll probably try the next we go there.


On Saturday’s, Bobby usually works until noon, so we have the majority of the day to spend together. On this Saturday, I was feeling like an iced coffee from the outside world, and I texted Bobby asking if maybe he could bring us back some when he gets home from work. Luckily, he obliged. He bought each of us a caramel macchiato, which are my favorite. I will give a quick little life hack, though…

Caramel macchiatos are SO easy to make at home. (I’m just lazy, sometimes…)

Basically, all you have to do is make your coffee, and let it cool for awhile. After that, you add your ice, some caramel macchiato creamer, a drizzle of caramel, and then you’re all set! I did see a couple of videos online saying that caramel macchiatos are actually just coffee, milk, and believe it or not, VANILLA syrup. And then they add just a drizzle of caramel on top. So, super easy to make at home! HOWEVER, I do occasionally like to get a coffee made by someone else. Sometimes, it just tastes better!

After we were properly caffeinated, we went to our apartment’s gym. Bobby typically lifts weights and does abs, and I always run on the treadmill. I use an app called Couch to 5K. It is great for people who maybe aren’t the best at running… like me… It’s really nice to get a sweat in, especially as winter approaches. I honestly do it more for my mental health than my physical health.

After that, we went to the co-op!!! For those that don’t know, I worked at the co-op in my hometown, so whenever we go to the one in Traverse City, I get a little homesick while simultaneously feeling sort of at home. Cheesy, I know…


Saturday is generally our grocery shopping day, and before we did the grocery shopping, Bobby decided that he needed a little snack beforehand, so that he didn’t get too hangry… We went to the little cafe in Oryana, and we both got grilled cheese sandwiches. And holy cow, were they delicious! I can’t remember exactly the names of them, but I got one that was just plain cheese, and Bobby got one that also had turkey, tomato, and red onion.

After we finished grocery shopping, we came home, and I made dinner. Bobby picked out a recipe from Pinterest, I’ll link it here. And oh my GOODNESS, was this delicious. It took me quite awhile to make, because I kept burning the garlic, but it was definitely worth it. Bobby said it’s his new favorite! It’s a great hearty meal for the long midwest winter.


Ah, Sunday. Not a whole lot to say about Sunday, as Bobby and I generally spend it in our pajamas, watching Netflix, and relaxing. Sunday’s are probably my favorite day of the week, as we get to spend the whole day together!!!

I hope that y’all had a great weekend! I certainly did, and I loved writing all about it! Life can get so busy, and we can so easily forget the days that are a little less exciting, but they’re definitely worthy of our remembrance, all the same. If you ever are in Traverse City, I definitely recommend taking a trip to Bubba’s and/or Oryana if you ever get the chance!

Thank you so much for reading!


Mattie Mae

Fall · My Favorite Recipes · Read With Me · Travels

Blackberry Cobbler, a Stephen King Novel, and the Pumpkin Patch.

Hello, my dear friends. I fear that I was a bit impulsive in my last two posts, saying that I was “back”. I am back, but perhaps not in the way I intended. In my blogging tips post, I talk about the importance of finding a blogging schedule that works for you. And I still stand by that, but I had been sacrificing the quality of content just for the sake of my schedule. I don’t want to do that. I want to post three times a week, but I don’t want to force a post out of the oven if it isn’t ready yet.

Over the weekend, Bobby’s family came up to visit, and we made a trip to the pumpkin patch! We had such a lovely time, and afterwards, we painted our pumpkins. Painting pumpkins instead of carving them is revolutionary, at least in the pumpkin decor world. Not only did we paint pumpkins, but we also did a corn maze. I hadn’t done one since middle school, and I think that this one was quite a bit larger. I’m glad that I wasn’t alone in this corn maze, because my sense of direction is horrendous.

The pumpkin patch owners’s dogs were also wandering around the patch, and they were all so friendly and kept coming up to say hello. We enjoyed their company while we sat at a picnic table, drinking apple cider and eating cinnamon sugar donuts.

I also made the most delicious blackberry cobbler for when they visited. I can’t really take much credit for it, as it was a Pioneer Woman recipe, but I definitely wanted to share the recipe with all of you. It contains self-rising flour, which I admittedly never heard of before. I read that you can buy self-rising flour at the store, but I used this recipe to make my own. We paired it with some french vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee for an after-dinner treat. I have such an excess of frozen blueberries, so I made a blueberry cobbler yesterday, using this recipe again. Bobby liked the blackberry one the best, but I think that I liked the blueberry one the best. It tasted a bit like a blueberry pancake. Speaking of pancakes, I think that this cobbler would also be delicious for breakfast, paired with eggs, and again, a cup of coffee.

Over the weekend, I finished the book I had been reading, Stephen King’s Thinner. I don’t think that I’ve ever read a Stephen King book before, although I have seen a couple of the movie adaptions of his books. Apparently, there is a movie adaptation of the book, which I had never heard of. This book took me quite awhile to finish, but I found the last sixty pages to be the most exciting. And that ending! My goodness.

This post is a little bit scrambled, but I enjoyed writing it quite a bit. I think that it’s sort of like a mini monthly favorites. It’s a nice way to document the things that I do, and the things that I like. It feels a bit more personal than some of my other posts. Perhaps I’ll do more of these in the future!

I hope that you enjoyed it, my friends.

Thank you so much for reading!


Mattie Mae

My Favorite Recipes

Making Pumpkin Spice Coffee at Home!

Hello, friends! A happy Friday to you all! I hope that your weekend is off to a wonderful start! Today I wanted to share with you the coffee that I’ve been having every day to get into the fall spirit! (As if I needed any help getting there!)

Oh my gosh, this has been my go-to drink for a couple of weeks now. Whilst at TJ Maxx, I stumbled upon a trio of pumpkin syrups for coffee. The flavors included are pumpkin spice, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin caramel.

Now… here’s the thing. I went on Amazon to see if I could find them to link here, and boy did I… and I’ll tell you what, I hadn’t realized this this coffee was giving people such problems… bathroom problems to be exact. I won’t go into detail, and I will note that I have not experienced these problems, but I just wanted to give a warning so that I’m not steering you straight to a tummy ache.

I bought these not because they were “skinny syrups”, but because the flavors interested me. I don’t particularly like the idea of products being marketed this way, and I should have considered that more before buying them. I think if I finish all three and am still in the mood for some pumpkin spice beverages, I’ll probably try out another brand. Does anyone have any suggestions?

HOWEVER, I will say that this drink is delicious. I don’t know how well I’ve sold it, though… Anywho!

Here we go!

1. I make one cup of coffee with my Keurig. I always use the ten ounce option.

2. Then, I add a cup of sweetened vanilla almond milk. I suppose there are many other things you could add in place of that, but I just really enjoy it! After I do this, I pour the coffee into another container, because I heard that every time you pour a hot liquid into another container it gets cooler. I hope that that is actually true and I don’t just sound gullible…

3. After I’ve done that, I add about a teaspoon of the pumpkin spice caramel syrup. I’ve yet to try the other two syrups, but I quite enjoy this one!

4. Then, I add some ice cubes to the cup, and to top it all off…

5. I take a teaspoon or so of pumpkin pie spice and swirl it all around!

6. I don’t do this because I never have it in the house, but if you wanted to get REAL fancy, you could add a dollop of whipped cream on top. I’m sure that would be DELICIOUS.

And oh my goodness, is this drink wonderful. I absolutely love all things pumpkin, and this coffee is no exception. Speaking of pumpkin, I just had my first pumpkin shake from Culver’s of the season, and if you haven’t tried that yet… run to your nearest Culver’s and get one! They are SO tasty!

And that’s all, my friends! I hope that you enjoyed this little recipe and the inadvertent product review I gave alongside it (ha!)

Thank you so much for reading!


Mattie Mae

Makeup Looks · My Favorite Recipes

My No-Nonsense Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday to you all! I can’t believe that every day is bringing us closer and closer to September! How the heck did summertime pass so quickly? Personally, fall is my favorite season, so I’m getting really excited. I can’t wait to start decorating for fall.

Today’s blog post is all about my mashed potato recipe. I’m sure it’s nothing new or too unique, but Bobby and I really enjoyed it when I made it the other day.

Ingredients Needed.

  • Four medium red potatoes. (You can, of course, use whatever type of potatoes you prefer, but red potatoes are my absolute favorite. And of course you can use more or less potatoes, depending on how much you want. This ended up making six servings!)
  • Earth Balance Vegan Butter. (You don’t need to use vegan butter, but Bobby and I love how the Earth Balance tastes.)
  • Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk. (AGAIN, you don’t have to use almond milk, but it’s just what we end up buying instead of other types of milk.)
  • Garlic Powder.
  • Kernel Seasoning’s Garlic Parmesan Popcorn Seasoning.

Okay, friends! Here we go. When I cook, I tend to freestyle it. I taste it and then decide if it needs more of this or more of that. SO, this “recipe” isn’t going to be very exact.


  1. Wash your potatoes!
  2. Cut up your potatoes into evenly sliced pieces. I cut mine up pretty fine because I like my mashed potatoes to be very smooth, but if you like your mashed potatoes a little chunkier, I would cut them into slightly bigger pieces.
  3. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
  4. After the water has begun to boil, you can plop your potatoes into the water. I cooked them for about twenty minutes, which made them VERY tender.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, I put them into my mixer.
  6. At this point, I began to put in some almond milk. I poured some in, turned on the mixer, and repeated until it was the consistency I wanted. I would say it ended up being around half a cup.
  7. After the almond milk, I put in about two tablespoons of vegan butter.
  8. I mixed it all together so it was nice and creamy.
  9. My last step for all of this was to put in some of the garlic powder and then the garlic parmesan seasoning. I alternated between the two until I got it tasting juuust right!

I served it with a protein and a vegetable and it made for the perfect meal! It’s nothing revolutionary, but I thought I would share it with all of you, my dear internet friends!

Thank you so much for reading, friends!


Mattie Mae

My Favorite Recipes

The Barber Family Cookbook: Triple-Treat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Hello, my friends! A happy Monday to you all! Over the weekend I had my bridal shower. I received SO MANY wonderful gifts from so many wonderful people. The majority of my presents were for the kitchen, and that’s given me all the more motivation to be cooking and baking. My gifts included one such KITCHEN-AID MIXER!!! I’ve wanted one for AGES, and Bobby’s family got me one! Well, I suppose they got us one, but I’m definitely the chef of our relationship. His first request? Cookies!

I honestly haven’t ventured too far into the world of baking. I find that I enjoy cooking more, HOWEVER, I do enjoy the occasional cookie. I don’t know that I’ve ever made cookies by scratch on my own, so I thought that there was no better time to try than when you’ve been gifted a BEAUTIFUL mixer.

The Barber family is filled with wonderful cooks and bakers. Around ten years ago, my family compiled a book of Barber recipes. It is now my goal to do my best to go through as many as I can!

Today’s recipe: my Great Aunt Wanda’s Triple-Treat Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I unfortunately had to make quite a few modifications because the grocery store didn’t have the ingredients. As such, I will make a note for each item/step I substituted.


  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 6 tablespoon of unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance butter)
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped ( I accidentally only bought 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate, so I supplemented with the semisweet chips.)
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I used 1 cup of butterscotch chips and half a cup of semisweet chips.)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use parchment paper on baking sheet.
  3. Melt the butter, add bitter chocolate, unsweetened chocolate in small saucepan — low heat.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat to cool.
  5. Beat egg and sugar in batter bowl.
  6. Add vanilla, mix two minutes until dough is thick.
  7. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and stir.
  8. Add nuts, melted chocolate (from the saucepan) and chocolate chips.
  9. Let the dough rest for twenty minutes before baking.
  10. Use 1-3/4 inch diameter scoop to drop spoonfuls to dough. (I just used a regular spoon.)
  11. Space 1-1/2 inches apart, wet fingers lightly with water to gently flatten the cookies. (I forgot to flatten them.)
  12. Bake 10-12 minutes. ( I baked them twelve minutes.)

Bobby LOVED these. He said he even liked them more than the banana bread! Thank you, Great Aunt Wanda!!!

And thank you so much for reading!


Mattie Mae




My Favorite Recipes

Bake with Me: Banana Bread

Hello, friends! A happy little Monday to you all! Although as I write this, it’s closer to Tuesday than Monday. Sometimes the day can get away from us, my friends… And as a result, this blog is going to be a bit of a short one.

I posted a link to a video I made a little while ago onto my Facebook page, but I never made it a blog post of its own. This isn’t a recipe of my own creation, so I will link the recipe right here!

I make this recipe ALL the time and get nothing but compliments when I do. I think that cooking and baking is such a wonderful way to express our loves for others, and what could be better than receiving a sweet treat from a loved one?

I don’t post very much onto my Youtube channel, but I think it’s a fun way to supplement some blog posts, or to capture memories. I’m certainly more of a writer than a cinematographer, but I enjoy it as a creative outlet all the same! I like to think of them as home movies! Home movies that you can watch from wherever you are! So yes, this is a bit of a self-promo. 😉

And so, I present to you, my friends, my SECOND Youtube video.

Thank you for reading/watching!


Mattie Mae