Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fashion Project

It's always nice when you find a company that is having success by doing good.  Recently, I have been impressed with Fashion Project.  Visit their website for full details, but the idea is that you send in your used designer items, they sell them, and they donate some of the proceeds to a charity of your choice.  Then, as a thank you, you get a gift card to Nordstrom (if you send enough items that meet their qualifications).  I've now sent in two batches of donations, and the whole process has been very easy for me.

With summer drawing to an end, it's an excellent time to evaluate the items in your closet.  Why store clothes that you no longer need or want when they could be used to help others?
This is the box they sent me with pre-paid bags for donations and extra bits of info.

*If you are looking to acquire some new goodies, Fashion Project can also be a great place to find a bargain.

*If you are looking to make some money from your old clothes, this is not your best option.  For that, I recommend Ebay or a local consignment/resale shop.  However, if you are looking to donate some items, and you want an easy process, this is a great resource.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday's Scoop

Happy Saturday!  Saturday's are perfect days for lots of things.  Baking and reading always seem to find their way into my Saturdays (mixed in with baby wrangling, of course :)).

Here's what I'm baking:
I recently went on a crazy hunt for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I've posted about this before, but now I have a little more to say.  I don't think that it's possible to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  There are so many different kinds, and, depending on what you want, there isn't one that scratches every itch.  So, here's my roundup of some of the best...

...soft baked chocolate chip cookies.  These are made soft by the addition of cornstarch.  Genius!

...classic Toll House chocolate chip cookies.  You can't knock a classic.

...the Neiman Marcus $250 chocolate chip cookie.  This is my new go to, but I changed the temp to 350, and I only bake for 10-12 minutes.  At the lower recommended temperature and recommended time they are too crunchy for my taste.  These have a rich flavor and a nice combo of crunchy and soft, without being too cakey.  Delish!

...buttery, fudge-like cookies.  These melt in your mouth!

Here's what I'm reading:
I'm sure you've heard about The Giver now playing in theaters.  If I was a bit younger, I probably would have read this in school, but, not one to be left out, I recently read it.  Loved the story, and I can't wait to see the movie.  It's part of a quartet of stories by Lois Lowry.  I'm almost finished with all of them, and that's saying a lot considering that I really value my downtime.

Hope your weekend is filled with tasty treats and good books! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mind Your Manners


It often seems to be the concensis that dressing well is only for people who are "in to fashion". I think that is not true. Maybe that's why I enjoy this quote. I like the broader reason it gives for dressing well. 

I like it as an inspiration to be respectful of others through thoughtful dressing. While tees and jeans are totally appropriate in many situations, it's important to remember that sometimes they are not. 

p.s. Like most things, the quote is best taken in moderation. I give myself a free pass when sick, pregnant, and anytime before 8am.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Palmiers...So Simple

I never knew how easy it could be to make Palmiers.  Of course, the recipe I chose from Ina Garten uses a purchased puff pastry.  I'm sure they are a lot more difficult and time consuming if you don't use this cheat. Another plus for this recipe is that these can easily be frozen and baked at a later time.  It makes it easier to eat only one or two.  

Aren't they cute?  Mine look less like elephant ears and little more like smiling faces.  I'm okay with that. :)
   

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Are Carrot Muffins Healthy?

I can tell you that carrot muffins are probably not healthy if you smother them in frosting like I did.  The thing is, I wanted to test out a new recipe I found for vanilla buttercream on one of my favorite cooking blogs, add a pinch.  As crazy as it sounds, I didn't want to test the frosting on a cake because I wanted to be a bit more healthy.  Yeah, I used "frosting" and "healthy" in the same sentence.

I found this recipe for carrot muffins on another blog, 100 Days of Real Food.  I figured they'd be the perfect healthy-ish vehicle for my frosting.

I'm happy to report that I'm a big fan of both recipes!  The frosting is smooth and nearly white (that's what I wanted, something not so yellow).  The cupcakes, er, muffins are moist and have a flavor strong enough for me to enjoy, but they were mellow enough that my toddler was begging for them.

Here are the muffins pre-frosting...

Since the frosting portion was meant for testing, I didn't take any post-frosting photos.  I'm sure I'll have a cake wearing it soon. ;)