Tuesday, October 25, 2016

:: Gwyneth's Almond Butter Sea Salt Cookies ::

I had requests for a healthy dessert after last week's dinner recipe, so I pulled out Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good Cookbook to check out her dessert section.
I have loved the recipes I have made from this book, so I was excited to try out a dessert. 

I'll share some delicious not so healthy recipes next time to keep the balance! 

A lot of her recipes for desserts require one or two ingredients that I wouldn't have on hand, but these cookies are all normal ingredients and only took minutes to throw together.
It's only 6 Ingredients! 
ps how pretty is our ottoman recovered? can't wait to show it! I'm in love! 

I loved these and Kip liked them too.
The consistency is a bit different than regular cookies because of the syrup and almond butter, and the lack of butter-sugar-oil, but they are tasty nonetheless.  
insert eye roll.  I know.  No butter. No oil. No sugar. I love all of those things and would never bake these as a treat for a party or to bring to someones house - BUT - hear me out  :)
if you want something that is salty and sweet, AND delicious, to eat during the week for dessert and still be eating healthy, these are PERECT.  
They satisfy any craving immediately.  

These really did surprise me with how good they are for how many of my normal baking ingredients are missing.
Especially if you love salty and sweet, the almond butter and salt are a perfect mix! 

notes : 
If you have an almond butter you like to eat, I'd recommend just using that.
I know a lot of people like smooth for baking, but I use crunchy almond butter to give it extra texture! 
And definitely DO make sure you have Coarse Sea Salt (I didn't have "Maldon".... I'm assuming that's like Ina talk for "good", I just used Public Coarse Sea Salt and they were delish) 
 I did use the Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour that she recommends, so I would suggest a gluten free flour or else the measurements may be off! 

From It's All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (if the flour doesn't include xanthan gum, add 3/4 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup natural almond butter
1 cup good-quality maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt or any Coarse sea salt on hand 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, fine sea salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Thoroughly combine the wet and dry ingredients. Using 2 spoons, form the cookies into small balls (each about 1 generous tablespoon) and space them 2 inches apart on the prepared sheet pans. Wet your fingertips and press down on each cookie, smoothing the edges so each is a nice little disk. Sprinkle each cookie with just a bit of the Maldon salt.

Bake until the air is fragrant and the cookies are just firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let them cool on a rack before serving.

* I did one batch for 12 minutes, one for 14 because I thought maybe my first were a little underdone - bit didn't make much of a difference, but I think the 14 made them a little firmer which I liked better! 
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Monday, October 24, 2016

:: weekend wears: favorites under $50 ::

Happy Monday !! 
I hope you all had a great weekend! 
Ours was busy with family time and a great night out with friends that was capped off with the Cubs making it to the World Series!!! It was such an amazing weekend.
Sunday we went to Ikea to work out a project for our Den.  We building a bar area and went to pick out cabinets and things, and actually ended up designing the whole thing and coming home with all of it! 
I'm so excited for it so I'll share more about that later this week! 

Today I wanted to tell you about some of the great pieces I've been finding lately at Old Navy.
I was in the other day and of course they were having a sale (if pieces aren't on sale today, they will be this week for sure.  They do the best weekly sales!) 
They have so much great stuff and all for an amazing price. 

First, my favorite thing that I have gotten is their Rockstar Jeans.
The fit is so nice; they have stretch in the waist, but don't stretch out while wearing them all day.
They have several different colors for fall, and for the price I think I am going to have to stock up on some more! 
 :: ROCKSTAR JEANS ::   // SWEATER, Nordstrom last year, THIS YEARS VERSION 
jeans run true to size 

I also wore the rockstar jeans this weekend with this quilted vest.
It looks just like the J.Crew version and is a fraction of the cost.  It's super lightweight and doesn't add bulk which I love because some of my other vests, though very warm, I could have a 5 month old growing in there since it adds so much weight :) 
runs slightly large, can size down!

At first I didn't think I was going to like this dress, but in person the print is actually very subtle.  

It has a great fit and the sleeves rolled up to 3/4 gives it a great casual look too.
I'll be able to wear this with tights when its colder, and also with some knee length boots. 
The vest is super lightweight - I actually like it better with jeans and a long sleeved blouse, but wanted to show you it with this dress! 
It is thin too, so it adds a light layer of warmth and doesn't bulk up your midsection too much either. 
dress and vest run slightly large, can size down ! 
The dress also comes in several different prints and colors! 

Sunday we were at Ikea for a looming time.  
I wore super casual clothes since I knew I'd be on my feet all day and that we would have to lift all of the cabinet parts ourselves into the truth.  
This Sunday Vibes shirt is so comfortable - the fabric is so thin and soft - and is a fun top for under $10.

Hope you have a great start to the week!! 
I have some home updates and a healthy cookie recipe to share later this week! 
.....and final part of Ireland on OC tonight! 

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Friday, October 21, 2016

:: Friday Links ::

Happy Friday Y'all!

I really, really, really want to make this.

I started following Popsugar on Snapchat and when I saw them make it I immediately wanted to copy it.
Also - side note - who are your favorite Snapchat accounts to follow?
Let me know in the comments section because I have recently started enjoying it more (I really disliked following people other than close friends at first but now I am in to it)

This Body by Simone 20 minute at home workout is my new video to try out this weekend!

My BIG TIME favorite driving with the windows down song this week
it just makes you happy

My other favorite song this week is Lay It All on Me by Rudimental ft. Ed Sheeran

I realize neither of these are new, but I recently joined Spotify and have loved it for finding more music.
I just added the new Kings of Leon album and really like it so far;  I was obsessed with their last album.

The Tory Burch Private Sale ends today and there is still so much good stuff! 
I am in love with these black pumps with the surprise touch of gold + the logo under the heel.  
They are definitely staples you'll wear forever. 

We have our first few days of cool temperatures arriving so I'm excited to wear some real fall clothes this weekend!

Although I'm pretty sure I have been the only one that is completely 100% fine with record heat this month.  It has been 12 years since I have had a fall like this and Kip and I are TOTALLY fine with it. We are back visiting family next weekend in Lake Geneva, so I'm glad we are getting back up to 80 again this Sunday :)
I'm sorry but when you live in Chicago you talk about the weather a lot and it's a really hard habit to break..... I'm working on it.... but when you're excited EVERY day about the weather for the first time it's hard to stop.... okay I'll stop now.... 

speaking of Chicago....how about them Cubbies!!
I've been staying up so late this week with the games ending at midnight but it's been worth it! 
a bunch of our friends ordered these "I ain't afraid of no goat T-Shirts" and I donned mine this week while having a little Halo Top on the couch. 

and speaking of Halo Top, I keep seeing ads on instagram for all of these AMAZING new flavors!?! 
Chocolate Almond Crunch, Peanut Butter Cup, Sea Salt Caramel, Oatmeal Cookie..... it goes on and on! 

um..... where are you hiding? Because I can't find you anywhere.
my love for Halo Top runs deep. also... instagram ads know me too well.... 

My brother and sister-in-law got into town yesterday so we are spending tonight with them, and then out with friends tomorrow night! 
I'm hoping to try out some new recipes this weekend also to share next week!  

Cheers to the Weekend! 

and let me know about what snapchat accounts you like! 
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Thursday, October 20, 2016


discuss amongst ya-selves..... 
:: DWTS ::  
I am super into the racecar driver James Hinchcliffe this season.
He is shockingly SO good at dancing (and is also very quick witted so obviously I am obsessed with him.)  

and then Tom Bergeron introduces actor Eddie Cahill to plug his new ABC show.
Who is Eddie Cahill you ask?

I wouldn't recognize that name either, but when I saw the face of TAG, Rachel's young assistant on Friends, I was like DAMN I AM OLD! LOOK AT HIM!?!? 
He played a 22 year old on the show when Rachel was turning 33.
But then I googled and realized he is only 38..... just has the silver fox thing going on.... so I felt much better about my old ass. 

:: RHNJ :: 
If you've been thinking Teresa seems like a changed woman this season, you aren't alone.  Although I usually am of the belief that people can't change too much, she does seem EXTREMELY tame and calm, especially compared to previous behavior.

But I NEVER would have thought she had changed this much : 

Yoga with Danielle Staub ?? 
 and she captions it " loved catching up and bonding with Danielle at yoga"
WHAT?!  No Words. 

:: RHOC :: 
Oh Lordly..... we pick up where we left off last week. 
ya know.... Tamra breathing heavy not blinking and over botox'd in the back of the bus..... 
The trip from Hell in Ireland continues.  
Oh, and you know how last weeks episode ended with Bravo missing ALL of the footage?
So does this episode!!!  But missing even more footage this time AND no one being mic'd. 

The ladies head out to milk some cows.  
This poor sweet man Joe at the Bailey's Milk Farm. 

YOU decided to come here, Joe didn't make you.
Just milk the darn cows without screaming and drink a few sips of cream and say its amazing. 
Seriously from the moment they got to Ireland they are mocking the accents or saying things like "they're after me lucky charms" and screaming their brains out at these poor men (and poor cows).  
They won't even taste the cream at the farm? "I'm not drinking a beverage that is 50% cream...."
Just milk the darn cows without screaming and drink a few sips of cream and tell the sweet man its delicious.  Is it really that hard? 

Then Vicki starts taking her NIPPLES OUT? 
At dinner?! WHAT?! 

So Meghan misses the whole dairy day, and then the next morning Meghan isn't bike riding either?
How is this "meghan's trip" and she hasn't attended a single thing with the group - not a one.
Obviously she can't participate in drinking, but she can go to the farm with the cows and she can ride a bike? 
But, I guess it's nice that she takes turns with the people who can't be around the other person (Tamra and Kelly).
And she is smart for just avoiding the drama at all costs I suppose. 

This is when my annoyance with Heather starts climbing and climbing quick..... 
I'm so annoyed with her being such a hypocrite that things Kelly Dodd is saying are makings sense.  
I will agree with Kelly on this:  Since when does Heather Dubrow carry around a purse flask of Fireball?  In what universe would that EVER happen? 

Before their final dinner, Heather Shannon and Tamra have a pow-wow in the hotel room. clearly plotting the evenings sabotage..... 
Heather is SO offended by Kelly's top she was wearing earlier because her breasts were pushed up and out, but nipples are fully covered...... but on the other hand she will call her husband and have Vicki pull her entire chest -  nipples and all - out to show the table and staff and to show on FaceTime because that's appropriate and allowed ??? 

Wait... Meghan doesn't even come to the last dinner either.... Poor Meghan..... 
at least she found a "distant O'Toole that looks like her mom" the day before and got to meet with a geneologist!!! 

Shannon is being SUPER rude and super strange and keeps saying to Kelly that she'll have a shot when Kelly is repeatedly saying she doesn't want one. 
You know I'm not on team Kelly Dodd and never will like her, but in this situation I am totally with her that it is PURE SABOTAGE.   

Then, Shannon goes and whispers (YOU HAVE A MICROPHONE ON YOU MORON) for the waiters to make all of the drinks doubles.  
This IS FOR SURE set up sabotage to get kelly drunk and acting crazy.  
It REALLY is naked wasted all over again - Vicki is spot on.
{who am I... defending Kelly and being like YES Vicki you are so right!} 

A whole big thing goes down that is not caught on camera at all.
Well..... except for Heather trying to video tape it (I AM SO OVER YOU DUBROW).
At 3 AM they go and bang on Kelly's door drunk and do a whole confrontation and then they get in the bus at like 3:30 to go to the airport and it. goes. DOWN. 

The drive to the airport is filmed in pitch black Blair Witch Project film style. 
Kelly of course starts screaming mean things and Heather is just REALLY egging it on, to the point that she is making bad mother comments and saying that Kelly is having a "psychotic break" 

When they show the flashback of years ago when Shannon was being ganged up on, Tamra was stirring the pot that night, and Heather was saying "maybe we should call an ambulance I think she's having a psychotic break" you realize how sick ALL of these women are.
ALL of them.

It literally is EXACTLY what they are doing to Kelly, and Kelly is no angel and she is awful and running her huuuuuuge mouth, but they plotted this whole thing! 
And Heather just she sits back there saying "I feel so sorry for her kid..... I think she is definitely having a psychotic break" 
Um, Heather.  Bad mother comments? 
You're doing EXACTLY what Kelly just did - talking about the persons daughter!? and her being an unfit mother?! and that is why you all weren't talking to Kelly? 

This episode was UNREAL. 
and we haven't even seen the half of it with the bus to the airport.

The only sane nice one on here is Meghan King Edmonds.... seriously.... sitting quietly and staying out of it and only trying to give helpful advice all episode..... and she's married to the biggest ass ever. Look what being nice got her! 
I am exhausted from this episode.  Seriously. 

THEN we end with a preview of next week.
The best part of this preview is not the rest of the car mayhem, still shot in Blair Witch style, but Kelly sitting there going 
"Heather is the puppet, and everyone else is the master" 
Hahaha. Oh Kelly. No. Not quite.  
And your hand motions didn't match anything you were saying either. 

On WWHL with my-boyfriend-andy-cohen, Heather says a lot more is said that we haven't seen yet.... which I'm sure is true.... but still - the video taping and like EVERYTHING she did this past episode?  So disappointing.  

If I were invited to an all-inclusive party at Chateau Dubrow, I would say no.
That's how pissed off I am at Heather.
I don't need you or your champs OR YOUR HEXAGONAL ICE.
You are a mean girl who's just being mean! 

seriously.... I don't think an hour of Bravo has exhausted me this much in a long time.... 


I don't care about anyone else on this show,
Minnesota is EV-ER-Y-THING. 
and we found out this week that she dated Fabio in the past. 
this week was less hilarious because she let the girls get to her, but in the past, she is freaking hilarious and does not give a damn. 

 Travis and the whole show is great too because he doesn't care about anything either... he will say and do anything and is a total goof ....but really..... Miss Minnesota for the win.  Also, I love how they just refer to each other as what state they are representing.

as always, ignore my own blatant grammatical errors whilst I make fun of others poor grammar during coffee talk on a weekly basis.  
#hypocrite  #sorryimnotsorry

I write these posts late at night while simultaneously watching Bravo, taking snapchats of my snoring husband, and making to do lists of everything I was supposed to do and didn't do that day and likely won't do the next day either.  or the day after that.
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gifs and images via giphy, ABC , E!, Reall Housewives Tmblr, and Bravo 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

:: wishlist wednesday ::

lusts for the week.....
I keep seeing so much fall goodness I might be ready 
for the temperatures to finally drop! 
and almost everything under $100 ! 
I love this lace top for nights out 
and it will perfectly transition into winter and holiday time. 
another great evening option is this black sleeved top!

A sueded bucket bag on sale for only $24 ! 

My friend was wearing a dress just like this the other weekend and I loved it.  Comfortable but dressed up  {and no need for a necklace because it's built in!}
also available in eggplant and navy ! 

This open back sweater reminds me so much of the one I wore here 
but is half the price and comes in four different colors! 

I have a black + white jumpsuit similar to this one that I have worn to everything from rehearsal dinners to a night out in Las Vegas to engagement parties. 
I love the detailing on this one so much.  

Black will always be my favorite for workout attire.
I love that these have a high waist to suck you in and have the sheer cut-outs for some added interest.  

Not only do I love an open back, I love a detailed back too :) 

under $40 !! 

It has been in the 80's again this week and I for one am still loving it.
But I'm maybe, just a tiny bit, excited for chilly weather because I keep seeing dresses I would wear for Holiday parties and celebrations. 
This one is in such a classic cut and style you could wear it for years.  

I wanted to show you two suede purchases that I am in love with.
Both are comfortable and flattering and in great fall colors. 
I apologize for the poor quality of these photos! You can get a much better idea for the color in the professional photos! 

This shift dress is a great casual option and feels like you are wearing a tee shirt dress. 
Even though it's faux suede, it looks and feels much more expensive than it is.
It doesn't cling but also gives enough shape to define your waistline and I feel like I could easily wear this with booties or heels and with tights when it's colder too.
Also, the color is actually GREAT it just doesn't look like in my killer photos :) 
available in olive, black, and brown 

I am absolutely in LOVE with this mock neck dress.  
I am loving the heat we are still having, but this makes me ready for cool temperatures this weekend so that I can wear it immediately;  it will be perfect for a night out.  The fact that this is under $100 is shocking because it looks so much more expensive in person and has a great weight to it. 
It also has a cute little keyhole in the back by the neckline.  
also available in Black 

I have been on the hunt for a skirt as well, but was not at all into the knee length suede skirt that I ordered.  
While it looked great in the photos of the model, on me I felt like I was wearing a skirt that one of the Duggar's from 19 Kids/Counting On wears.  If you know what I am talking about with that, you must have recently spent time living with your mother as well :) 
Just kidding, it was cute, but it just didn't seem like something I would wear out.

I DO love the length of this one so much better. 
it just went on sale for 40% off, too! 

for those with a bit more in their budget, I am in love with these two as well - 
especially the skirt!   

I know I've been on a suede kick the past week.... sorry. not sorry. 

Happy Shopping! 

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