The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

For the three or four (maybe I’m being too generous to myself here?) people who read this, it has been a while! I’ve had pretty much no time to post, but seeing as I am on winter break and have close to nothing to do, I figured, hey! Why not post some stuff I’m into lately on my blog?

That’s where this post comes in. I’m sure you can guess why the holiday season is one of my favorites… Yes, you nailed it: Tons of baking to be done and tons of friends and family to feed! And so I give you my three holiday experiments for 2012– I’d say they are some of my best work yet (at least that is what the friends and family will full stomachs seem to indicate):

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Hot Cocoa Cupcakes.

Drool.

Chocolate Chip York Peppermint Patty Bars.

Drooool.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Did I say DROOL?….

I found all these lovely recipes via Pinterest and just had to play.

1. The Hot Cocoa Frosting from Cookies and Cups was to die for. I used– gasp– a boxed cake mix for the cupcakes. Hey, when you’re making three desserts for one Hanukkah party, something has got to give! I added mini marshmallows and these adorable little toothpick decorations.

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2. Next up, the lovely chocolatey, minty bars from Sally’s Baking Addiction! Definitely a quick and delicious treat worth trying.

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3. Finally, my personal (and I would venture to say everyone else’s) favorite- the mint choco cookies! I found this lovely recipe from Table for Two and just had to try. The only adjustment made was that instead of the Andes baking chips (nowhere to be found in my ShopRite) I used Nestle Mint and Dark Chocolate Chips and crushed up Ghiradelli peppermint bark.

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There you have it- my wintery treats. But these desserts are definitely not restricted to holiday festivities- bake them up any time to enjoy delicious dessert, no matter what the season.

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Calling All Organizers…

What I am about to share with you may cause you to go into a frenzy of excitement and may make you hug your computer… Brace yourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I am a planner. I like to write things down. If it has to get done, it has to get written down. None of this putting it in my phone stuff… As much as I love my iPhone, it will simply never compare with putting actual pen to paper. What can I say, I’m old-fashioned.

So, I was browsing Pinterest one day in search of an agenda book for the upcoming school year. That’s when I found it… The holy grail of all agenda books. Ladies and gents, I give you the biggest genius in all the organizing land: Erin Condren. She makes personalized stationery, address labels, note pads and more, but what caught my eye, what simply made my day, was her amazing personalized planners. I started freaking out a little, playing with all the different color combo and pattern options. Finally, I decided on what I wanted, and made my perfect planner.

Today, I returned home to find the prettiest of packages waiting on my doorstep and was overjoyed.

 

Is this not the cutest box ever ? You know something fantastic is going to be inside when even the box looks like this.

 

There are inspirational sayings on the box. Come on.

 

It took a lot of patience to not tear right into this… But I wanted to take pretty pictures so I could show you every detail of cuteness.

Open box: see free little things. Things are only getting better.

 

And a $10 coupon for my next purchase?!

 

Aaaand, there it is! My beautiful, personalized, life planner.Is it not the cutest? Let’s take a look and see what is inside…

 

More inspiration. There are great little sayings all throughout the book- so clever!

 

Notice the tabs with the months!

 

Pages to mark birthdays and anniversaries will definitely come in handy…

 

 

A look at one of the calendar pages…

 

Seems like a good quote to be inside a planner, right?

 

Tons of stickers to mark various occasions- also comes with a whole blank page in case you want to put your own events on some!

 

 

 

Also comes with tons of cute stickers for gifting!!

There are also a bunch of things you can add on for additional charges, like pens and pads and stickers, but I chose not to and there is seriously SO MUCH STUFF!

So while this post may be a little different from my normal baked goods or style tidbits, I felt I had to share this fabulous find! I hope you go visit Erin and allow her to bring some fun and organization into your life as well! :)

 

 

 

 

 

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Itty Bitty Bites of Dough

AKA… Mini Donuts! WHAT THE HECK?!

So, I was in AC Moore one day, and I was totally NOT supposed to be in the baking aisle, yet somehow, I seemed to end up there… sometimes I think my feet have a mind of their own… I swear… they just take control of my body and drag me to places where I will buy things. Ugh.

So of course, I was perusing all the fun Wilton products, when I stumbled upon THIS:

Yup, a Wilton Mini Donut Pan. I know, I know, I died a little too.

So of course, I caved and bought it… because a mini donut pan is totally essential to life… everyone knows that.

So, today I decided it was the day to bust this bad boy out! Aaaaaand BAM! This happened:

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I know… I know. Too adorable for words. I found this fantastic recipe from Cup of Sugar Pinch of Salt! I used the vanilla cake recipe with the chocolate glaze, and it was SO easy and turned out great! Let’s take a look:

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Before popping the little cuties into the oven…

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ImageAnother great thing about this treat is that they literally take FIVE minutes to bake! These are a perfect treat to make if you’re a bit pressed for time… Done in 30 minutes, seriously!

Then, it was time for the real fun… Decorating! You simply dip the donuts (while still hot) in the glaze and some jimmies, if you want (which of course I did!) and voila:

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ImageSo much sprinkly goodness…

ImageI think we all know that these are the cutest treats ever. Make them for a brunch, your little ones, or just for a tiny tasty treat to have on hand when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth! (Or in my case… teeth.) Hope you enjoy this little treat from your little baker! :)

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HealthiER Banana Granola Cookies.

The ER is capitalized because WARNING: THESE COOKIES WILL NOT MAKE YOU SKINNY. They are simply not as bad for you as normal cookies, and have some nutritional value.

Well now that we cleared that up… HI! Let me introduce you to what happens when there are about 15 ripe bananas in my house that need to be used:

 

I  got the general idea for these cookies from Cookie and Kate… she’s kind of awesome. Then, I tweaked it to make it exactly how I wanted! Here is my version:

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 1/2 cups oats (I used Old Fashioned thick oats!)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 c. organic white sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 egg

2 mashed bananas

1/2 tsp honey

1 c. chocolate chips (dark chocolate or sugar free if you want to be as healthy as possible!)

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with waxed paper.

2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

3. Cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl, then adding the egg and bananas and honey.

4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips.

7. Spoon onto baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes!!

 

Then you get this :)

These cookies seriously are delish. You could even add walnuts or some flax/chia seeds to make a heartier, healthier cookie!

 

They were so easy to make and delicious, and you don’t feel toooo terrible when you eat them! Success? I think so!

 

Well, what are you waiting for?! Go make these! Happy baking :)

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Who Wears Floral Shorts?

I Wear Floral Shorts!

Hey there! So today I wanted to talk about something I’m sure your aware of by now, but I still had to share my love. Floral shorts. I actually am pretty much in love with any sort of pant-like article of clothing with flowers on it, but seeing as it is summer I thought I’d stick with the short genre. I think floral shorts are the cutest and should be in everyones’ closets AT LEAST once… come on, it’s absolutely necessary! A total summer staple.

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A candid shot of my favorite floral shorts… I’d say I wear them at least once a week… sometimes five. They’re perfect to throw on to go to the beach, out shopping, dress them up for a night out- they are so versatile! Plus, you’ll feel awesome because you have flowers all over your butt. Bonus.

You can get the ones I’m wearing at Free People.

Here are a few more of my personal fav florally finds:

Floral Print Shorts

Absolutely love these from Chic Wish. Super affordable and perfect if you want a little dressier look!

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Nope, these aren’t for sale. Yes, I am still in love. Could she rock them any more perfectly?

Hana Floral Shorts

Love these Hawaiian looking ones from, my favorite, Nasty Gal! Too cute.

FLORAL SHORTS

Love this preppy style from Poppy NYC!

Clearly, whether you’re preppy, funky, vintage, boho or just like flowers, floral shorts can work for you! You can go from the beach to a night out simply with the switch of a top and a pair of sandals, and voila! I suggest you go get yourself a pair to be floral and fanciful now! :)

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Caramel… Underrated in My Book, Until Now.

Honestly, I think I am in love with this bar. It could be the best bar I’ve ever made. Seriously.

It’s on a rare occasion that I really indulge in the things I bake… I find making them for others so much more enjoyable, and if iI ate every time I baked they’d have to roll me into the kitchen. Seriously. But, there are those few moments where I just simply cannot resist.

This was one of those moments. Cue chocolate chip toffee caramel bars.

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Oh hello there. I am not even a huge caramel fan, so I was kind of shocked when I took a bite at how much I loved these! You can find the complete recipe on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. She’s kind of a genius. All I changed was I used about 40 instead of 32 caramels, I thought it needed a bit more to contrast the condensed milk! Step one looked a bit like this…

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The first layer of cookie, chocolate-chippy, toffee-y goodness. Yum. Then, you pour the caramel layer on:

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Yes, that is a sea of caramel you see above. Then, once you put on the top layer of dough (don’t worry about making it perfect- i had tons of gaps and it all pretty much evens out in the oven!) you’re ready to finish!

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I mean, seriously?

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You really have to make these. They’re easy AND delicious- sure to convert anyone to be a caramel lover! Let me know what you think by posting a comment below or share YOUR favorite caramel recipe! :)

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I’ve Been Bright, Baking and Busy… But, Now I’m Back Blogging!

Woah. That’s a lot of Bs.

HEY THERE! Wow, so it has been months. For the (few) people who read my blog, I’m so sorry for not posting for so long! Life as a graduating senior took over and the amount of busy in my life was ridiculous! But, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing what I love to do. Oh no, there has been much fashion and baking galore over the past few months. From prom, to graduation, to parties and more, there was much taste to be had for this little girl.

I’d like to catch you up on some of my chic and sugary moments! And not to worry, there will be plenty more on its way… For real this time!

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I don’t know about you guys, but as far as the fashion sphere goes, I’ve been kind of obsessed with neon and brights lately. Especially the neon wedges I’m wearing in these two photos, from my graduation party and graduation! I’m kind of obsessed with them and wear them every chance I get. (Because even then, how often do neon pink green and orange wedges work with your outfit…? Exactly.)

Here’s a close up of the little cuties:

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I mean, come on.

I’ve even been neon and bright when it comes to my workout fashion!

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All I have to say about that is, Lululemon is genius. I’m actually obsessed.

But I’ve been exploring more than just clothes and shoes and styles galore, oh no. I’ve been baking and making all things delicious! Today I’d like to share one of my personal favorites… Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the “Whookie:”

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I found these little gems on Yammie’s Noshery. There you can find the complete recipe! I made one small tweak, though: I deemed them “Whookies” instead of Whoopie Pies. Whookie, for a cross between whoopee pie and cookie. Ha! So clever. But seriously, I found them to be not quite cake enough to be pure whoopie pies. I guess you’ll have to make them for yourself and be the judge of that!Image

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The little rainbow balls of goodness before being popped into the oven!

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And after.

Now time for some filling. Yum.

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Now, the finished product!

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I ended up using some bigger sprinkles, too because I ran out of the small kind! They really were simple and everyone loved them. You must make them… now!

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Look at all that color!

It feels good to be back… I hope you feel the same! Enjoy this bright and tasty post…it will not be the last! :)

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