Saturday, February 28, 2015

Spring Inspiration- Colorful Handbags

The three inches of snow we just got hit with has me yearning even more for spring! I've been crushing on some handbags, here are a couple to get you inspired for spring as well. What are some spring things you are looking forward to? I doubt I'm the only person who is planning their spring wardrobe in their head while walking through the snow. 




 I'm going to start preparing my closet for a few new handbag additions. Let me know which ones you like and which ones you would pass on. Stay warm!
xo

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guinness Shamrock Cakes & Irish Cake Bombs

St. Patrick's Day is a few weeks away which means I'm looking forward to boozy cakes. The past few years I've made a basic Guinness cake with Baileys Irish Cream frosting but this year I felt like making it a little more festive- which brings us to Guinness Shamrock Cakes! This process was so fast and easy and left me with some adorable little shamrock cakes. 


Ingredients

Guinness Cake

  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa 
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa 
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Baileys Irish Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease jelly roll sheet.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In stand mixer, on low speed, mix Guinness, melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder and espresso powder until sugars are dissolved. Add eggs, vanilla, and Greek yogurt.
  4. Enjoy remaining Guinness while completing the following steps.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet and mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Bake for 15 minute, allow to cool. 
  7. While cooling, prepare frosting and set aside.
  8. Once cooled cut out shamrock shapes with cookie cutter.
  9. Divide  shamrock shapes into groups of two, frost one shamrock shape of each pair and top with second shamrock shape. Drizzle melted dark chocolate over finished layered cakes.

 

Irish Cake Bombs

  • Remaining cake
  • Baileys Irish Cream Frosting
  • Chocolate Bark
  • Sprinkles

  1. In medium bowl, crumble remaining cake, add 1/3 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream frosting.
  2. Roll mixture into tablespoon size balls and chill for 20 minutes. 
  3. Once chilled, prepare chocolate bark according to package and use fork to dip each ball. 
  4. Top with sprinkles while chocolate bark is wet, allow to solidify and enjoy!
 What are some of your St. Patrick's Day traditions?

I hope you have a great week!
xo

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lactation Cookies- Three Ways!


Breastfeeding can be a challenge, an exhausting, emotional, totally rewarding challenge. Even without latch issues or other physiological issues, it can still be difficult. In the beginning, baby O and I were great and then a few weeks later I had to take an antibiotic that all but killed my supply. After days of taking supplements to help increase my supply, power pumping, some tears, and telling myself I should just give up,  I remembered I made another batch of lactation cookies, decided I was not going to give up breastfeeding, and never look back.  That was a month ago and baby O and I are still going strong.

But now I make lactation cookies regularly and eat one or two every day. Since the recipe makes so many one batch actually last a while too! But, I'm just going to be honest, this post should actually be titled I'm Indecisive and I Like Options. When I first read the recipe 4 dozen seemed like entirely too many of one cookie so I decided to have a few options on hand! These cookies contain oats, ground flax meal, and brewer's yeast all of which help boost your milk supply. Cookies and an increased milk supply?! Yes please, sign me up. I never really need an excuse for cookies but it is nice to have one! Has anybody tried lactation cookies and seen an improvement? Let me know in the comments below.


 

 Variations: 
  • Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
  • Glazed Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Craisin Lactation Cookies

I love that this basic lactation cookie recipe is so versatile, you can just decide if you want regular cookies or ones with a nut butter whip up the base recipe for either plain or cookies with nut butters and divide the cookie dough into a couple different bowls, mix in what you like and have 2+ different kinds of cookies. Time saving is crucial when you're racing against the napping-baby clock. When I make these I just mix in whatever I have on hand which in the past has varied from chopped nuts, dried fruit, nut butters, chocolate chips, candies, etc. Just to give you a couple ideas.

Recipe adapted from here

Basic Lactation Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • .5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups of mix-ins (chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of brewer's yeast

Nut Butter Lactation Cookies

  • 1 cup nut butter (almond butter, peanut butter, etc)
  • .5 cup butter
  • .5 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • .5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1.5 cup of mix-ins (chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of brewer's yeast 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer cream butter and sugar (or butter, nut butter, and sugar) together. Mix in one egg at a time and then add vanilla. In separate bowl combine all dry ingredients and slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir in mix-ins, mix just until combined. Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet, baking for 9-12 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to cooking rack until cooled. Once completely cooled, add glaze if desired.

Glaze

.5 cup powdered sugar
.5 teaspoon vanilla
1-3 tablespoons milk, depending on consistency desired







What are some of your favorite mix-ins of choice?  If you try this recipe please tell me about it. I love getting feedback about what did and didn't work for you.

Enjoy!
xo

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Date Accessories


Life with a 1 month old and a 3 year old has been a whirlwind! We are slowly getting settled into a routine but being cooped up in the house so much is getting exhausting. Like most of America, we are ready for spring, warm weather, and the ability to take the boys on walks without feeling like we may get frostbite or blow away with the ridiculous winds we've had lately. The longing for spring, warm  weather and all things heart-shaped is in full swing here! In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm sharing my favorite date-night accessories to dress up any outfit.



Chain Strap Clutch  (on sale!)
Fitted blazer  (on sale!)



Have a great week! 
xo
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