Christmas Crinkle Cookies

Saturday, November 25, 2017

left is the mexican hot chocolate crinkle cookie & right  is the peppermint crinkle cookie

Tis the season!.... For cookies 😋

Today I'm going to share one of my favorite cookie recipes that I make every year! It's so versatile and so delicious that I'm sure they'll be a huge hit at any event! I'm going to show you my base crinkle cookie recipe and then 2  delicious flavors you can play around with using the base! Here we go!

Crinkle Cookies

Makes about 7 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons french vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls with lightly oiled palms. I used a size 50 cookie scoop to portion the dough, a tablespoon or rounded teaspoon would also work depending on what size you like. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets. [Alternatively, try other ingredients like cinnamon-sugar or sprinkles.]
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

Make the recipe above, but substitute peppermint extract in place of vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. And your house will smell like a Christmas wonderland! Mmm.


Mexican Hot Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

This version was inspired by Martha Stewart's Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies.

^Martha Stewart's Hot Chocolate Cookies ^

Use the base recipe, but add 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to your 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar. Then roll your cookie dough in the sugar mixture and bake as directed. 

**For an extra kick, add a pinch of cayenne powder to the sugar mixture. 


Seriously, Crinkle Cookies are my absolute favorite to make.  I love to make new flavors with them. What do you make during the holidays that you love sharing with your family and friends?

My ThredUp experience

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Today I want to talk about how broke I am.  I work at an upscale retail store in an upscale town and yet I can't afford to work there.  I have only 3 outfits that would be considered "fashionable" to wear to work (thank you Target!), and quiet a few that I kind of wear and hope they don't say anything about how it's against the dress code.  And while the discount is amaze-balls, most of the clothing items we sell are still too expensive for me.  That's when I started looking for consignment shops and thrift stores in my area.  Sadly, there was about 1 upscale consignment shop near me and there were more Goodwills with an overwhelmingly amount of rails with clothing that was not ideal to wear to my job.  I would have had to travel about 45 minutes to an hour to the nearest consignment shop that sold the items my store sells and that just wasn't for me (although I did go to it once, and found some cute orange paisley pants and elephant earrings, but I digress...).

A few weeks ago I was browsing through YouTube and saw that Ingrid Nilsen posted about an online thrift shop she found called ThredUp.  I immediately noticed how ad-placing it was and realize that the store MUST have reached out to her to make this video, but I still went to their site to check out the hype, because I love Ingrid Nilsen and her recommendations. Funny how marketing works.  It looked really cool.  I could type the store names, designer names, colors, ANYTHING into the search bar and it would find related items.  I, then, got extremely excited when I typed into the search bar my what my job carries and saw that they had quite a few beautiful dresses that were originally $200, in store, for just $30 thrifted! I was able to zoom in on the picture and see where the flaws were at (because, again, these were thrifted items- items people no longer wanted and "sold" them to this site for a little extra cash rather than donating to a goodwill.) and some were a little more worn than others but it was great to know that I could see that before purchasing!

I found a beautiful maroon laced peplum dress from my store.  It must have been from last year as I was able to google the dress and find information on it still. It was perfect. It was stated "like new!" in the description and I couldn't see any flaws.  You guys... this dress had to have been about $168 originally, but it was selling for $33 on the site.  I immediately put it into my cart without hesitation. When I did that, a timer popped up stating that putting an item in my cart allowed me to hold it for 3 hours and no one else could purchase it before then. Essentially, this dress was put on hold by yours truly ^.^  It was reassuring while I did more research before paying.  This site was too good to be true!

(not ThredUp's picture because I didn't think to save it, but this was the dress I found ^.^)

I googled ThredUp to see about reviews, their BBB rating was high, but the reviews were poor.  I made me sad. Everyone stated how awful the pay-back was when they sent their items in, how they received less money than the items deserved or how the company didn't want the three bags of clothing someone sent in to consign.  I also noticed how all of the poor reviews were of people just sending in their clothes and not about buying from ThredUp, so I was still hopeful.

I continued my research and moved onto Instagram where I looked up ThredUp tags and noticed that most of ThredUp tags were of bloggers who had done a partnership with the company but spoke about how much they loved their items.  Now, I know I have a blog and that I'm writing about ThredUp today, but let me tell you...  I decided against reaching out to the company.  I wanted to make this review as unbiased as possible so anyone who reads this can have a calming factor when trying to decide if they should make that ThredUp purchase on the Vera Wang dress or that Anna Sui top they've fallen in love with.

If I'm hesitant on a purchase on a site I'm not familiar with, I always look to see if they accept Paypal, because if they don't: dey sketchy as hell.  To my relief they accepted Paypal-- woohoo!  I went through with the laced peplum dress purchase very nervously. "Well...$33 bucks isn't a total loss if this goes to hell..." I thought as my gut twisted when I clicked the 'proceed' button.  It was a fairly easy check-out process, the confirmation e-mail stated that I'd be receiving my package around Aug 23rd- Aug 27th, which was quite a jump in my opinion...  Unfortunately, it did not come to me around that time.  They sent me a "track my package" link and the date said August 30th... Sigh. It wasn't TOO bad of a delay but it definitely made me antsier because the dates seemed pretty off in the first place.

All-in-all, I'm happy to say I now have the lace peplum dress in my possession (since August 30th) and it. is. GORGEOUS. the flaws are very little.  There's some threading on the inside of the dress but you totally can't see it from an outsiders P.O.V. and it's so minuscule that it won't cause any damage to the dress itself.  I'm definitely going to continue purchasing clothes from this site.  I do hope that ThredUp can resolve the consigning part.  Giving people a little more deserving dollars for the clothes they probably spent hundreds on is nice.

**I think this site is definitely worth checking out. I'm absolutely in love with this dress, and secondhand shopping is great for the environment as well as your wallet.

Treat cho'self

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My Month of Pure Barre

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I usually don't do New Year resolutions, but this year I REALLY wanted to motivate myself to be better.  I wanted to be more independent and healthier.  I know, what a cliche resolution, right?  But it's not about making resolutions, it's about being better than before... My revelation just so happened to fall on the new year ;) . Over the summer I did Soul Cycle, in the city, about once a week to maintain the carb-overload I had taken in from working at a sandwich shop, but once a week did nothing for me but add stress to my already stressful days.  It did, however, motivate me to workout, by spending a ton of money on a class and feel horrible if I ever skipped a day. You know, the typical guilt trip-motivation?...But. It. WORKS!  So with that mindset, I knew I needed to look for a workout class closer to me so I would be able to go more often.  I set out to search for one via Yelp and, to my surprise, I found 3 Pure Barre locations, all within just 20 minutes of my home!

Pure Barre is a 55 minute full-body workout that focuses on hips, thighs, abs, and arms.  It's low-impact, which means it protects your joints by avoiding workouts that involve jumping or bouncing, but still a very fast and very effective way to achieve that dream-bod, by combining moves from Yoga, Ballet, AND Pilates!

The thought of working out in front of strangers terrified me-- at least Soul Cycle was dark enough that people couldn't see my cry, and loud enough so they couldn't HEAR my cries.  This was perfect.  I could work on my independence and my health both at the same time, so I chose the location that had the most convenient time-frame for me (noon ;P).  I was the first to arrive to the class, so I got to meet the owner (who would later be my instructor for my first class x___x) and the receptionist who was in charge of signing me in and letting me know about their deals.  The first class was $15 and there was also a new client package which was $99 for unlimited classes your first month there.  I chose just the $15 class to see how I liked it, and then later signed up for the $99 (they deduct the $15 for that package, anyway).

I cannot tell you how badly this class had kicked my ass. Who would have thought little pulses of movement would be SO effective.  You first start out with about a 10 minute warm-up that also works out your arms with weights (I chose to not use weights for the first half as I have zero upper-body strength, but later grabbed the 2lb for the last half of the arm workout).  The equipment we used were weights, resistant tubes, and a pure barre ball.  The soreness I felt the next day was insane, but it was an amazing feeling, knowing that I'm working on my strength and mindset in just 55 minutes!

What I loved the most were how friendly and personal the instructors are.  They learn your name as soon as you get there, they encourage you to stay motivated, and they keep you going by pointing out what a great form you have with a specific move.  If you can't a move down, they also don't call you out in public shame.  They turn their mic off, whisper to you so only you can hear, and they show you how to get that form perfect, in the nicest and most amazing way possible.  I immediately signed up for the whole month, bought sticky socks (so I never have to slide while planking again!), and downloaded their app so I could easily sign up for classes once they became available to me.

For my fourth class, I even managed to get a friend to try out a Platform class with me.  If you ever sign up for one of their unlimited classes a month package, I ENCOURAGE you to try a Platform class out at least ONCE.  It's Pure Barre on steroids.  If you need a more challenging class, Platform is the go-to!  They use all of the same equipment as a normal barre class, but they add (you guessed it!) a platform for extra cardio work.  You GUYS!  I could NOT handle that class.  At one point I hid in the bathroom, debating if I should stay there for the rest of the class, abandoning my poor friend who hasn't done barre in over 2 years... But I prevailed, and though I will NEVER try that again... It's def a must-try.

I just did my 10th class this past Wednesday (at 5:30am, no less!) and it's getting easier to understand the way barre classes work.  Each class is always different, always challenging your muscles, and always pushing you to do better.  It's been my favorite workout class yet.  I'm very sad that my contract is almost up and that I won't be able to afford the regular monthly package ($225/month), but these classes have shown me that I CAN workout, I CAN handle cardio, and I CAN be better. Never let your couch win! These classes have improved my breathing, my push-ups, my stretching (I can touch my toes again, guys!), and I can even feel muscle in my biceps! In just 3 weeks I've reached a few workout goals, and I've gotten used to doing something on my own.  I have Pure Barre to thank for that!

I hope my post has encouraged you all to get out there and try something new too!  Especially a workout.  Its been the one thing that has maintained my sanity as being a stay-at-home-wife.  Who knows, maybe next month I'll be writing solely about Platform (probably not.) ;P

Day 5 of Pure Barre
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