Archive for October 2012

Haul - Ulta / Bath & Body Works

A small haul from Ulta and Bath & Body works.  All I really needed was a restock of my makeup remover... but you know how that goes....

Absolutely love this hand lotion. The scent brightens up the day! 

Buttery Nude, Nude Peach Fuzz, Istanbul available at Ulta

Adventure Red-y, Seduce Me, Man Hunt available at Ulta

Can't resist a 2 for $20 candle sale!  Also had to stock up on my favorite scents from this past summer just in case they don't bring them back next year.

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Picks of the Week - October Week 4

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Baking Timeout - Chocolate Almond Biscotti

So I introduced my love for baking way back when on my baking page and I have been baking up a storm lately so I wanted to share some of my results. 

My hunny is from Sicily so I wanted to try and make something that he grew up eating.  After a lot of recipe searching, I settled on Chocolate Almond Biscotti.  It is a recipe from "Baking From My Home To Yours" by Dorie Greenspan.  (If you are a fellow baker, I would suggest you pick it up.  It is my "go to" baking cookbook)

Here are some snapshots from my batch.  Below my pictures is the recipe.

My dry ingredients mixture

Creaming the butter and sugar

Creamed butter/sugar mixture after adding the eggs and vanilla

Added my dry ingredients

Getting ready to add in my chocolate pieces and almonds

Ready to form my logs...

Logs formed and ready for the first baking

After the second baking

I got 5 stars!!  

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped almonds, blanched or unblanched
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
sugar, for dusting

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes; don't worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate, then turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 12 inch long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand so that they are 1/2 to 1 inch high, about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar.

Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will spread and crack - and that's just fine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)

Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet - you'll have an army of biscotti - and bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes.

Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.

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Wishlist - Special Edition

There are so many times when I am just in awe of how pretty a gown is or how fab a pair of shoes are but I know that they are just not things that I could incorporate into my wardrobe.  So I decided to have a little fun and think of myself as a stylist for someone that could 1.) afford anything they wanted & 2.) actually wear the pieces and rock it so well, the designer is beaming with pride.  So today's wishlist is a little different.  It is my celebrity stylist wishlist..... BEYONCE Edition!

Remember to follow me on Twitter or Like my Facebook  page to get my daily picks.

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Shopping Trip - C Wonder NYC

So even though I do most of my shopping online, I do take advantage of living in NY from time to time (every store imaginable is here).  I was out and about trying to restock on some necessities at MAC in Soho.  After I finished up there, I thought of getting a head start with my holiday cards so I turned down Spring Street to head to Papyrus and I am smacked in the face with a store that I can only describe as a regal color bomb (just made that up... lots of jewel toned colors and gold... get it?).

I had never seen this store before and I was not familiar with the company but I am sure it will become one of my favs!  Take a look at some pics I was able to snap during my visit.

  The store has a bit of everything.  A gorge jewelry collection, silk tops, belts (that you can buy with your initial as the buckle), and and some of the most fabulous housewares.  I couldn't leave the store without picking something up.

I even fell in love with the bags from this place!
I became obsessed with that gold bamboo collar necklace as soon as I laid my eyes on it.  You will see it in plenty outfit posts, believe me. (I searched for it online and sadly, it is sold out) 

Then I just fell in love with the color of the silk blouse, I had to pick it up since it is my mission to pick up silk equipment blouses in every color! 

Since my little trip, I have been stalking the website.  I have to warn you... it's addictive.  See below for my favorites so far.

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Worth the Splurge?

Anything with lace accents wins me over pretty easily.  When I saw this lace top shirt dress online, I was a few seconds away from taking the plunge.

But the huge price tag really made me think twice.  So I did a little digging and came up with a pretty good replacement.

Thank heavens for ASOS!!  They just saved me $600!!

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Wishlist - Shoe Edition

These two shoes have nothing in common except for the fact that I LOVE THEM!!!

I have been watching this shoe for a bit and now see that the price has dropped down a bit.... I think its a sign.  What do you think? :-) 

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