Gift Guide: Treat Yo Self

posted on: November 27, 2014

Treat Yo Self

1. cashmere scarf | 2. statement necklace | 3. Jo Malone perfume | 4. Kiehl’s eye cream | 5. Fresh VIP set | 6. Lo & Son’s travel bag | 7. Dior “Nail Glow” | 8. leather jacket | 9. Michael Kors watch | 10. Fekkai blowout primer & texturizer | 11. Michael Kors bag | 12. Ted Baker dress 

This is always my favorite gift guide to put together. Whether you choose to treat that extra special someone in your life, or just plain old treat yo self, these products are all so luxurious. If I had the funds, I would buy all of them. Luckily, Shopbop is having a sale until December 1st to help you finish up your shopping. I actually picked up this leather jacket and cashmere scarf for myself. They’re my gift to myself for surviving such an awful, stressful semester… I also picked up a few other things (sweatshirt, bag, jeans), essentially blowing my budget until the new year. I’m still considering picking up the perfume and nail polish… but that budget. I should stick to it, right? Please don’t say yes, because I’ve got too many voices in my head telling me to go for it.

But seriously, who wants to buy me that gorgeous Ted Baker dress?

Holiday Gift Guide: Under $50

posted on: November 24, 2014

Gift Guide Under $50

1. Kate Spade pencil pouch | 2. Kate Spade agenda | 3. S’well water bottle | 4. ASOS oversized scarf | 5. Handmade coffee mug | 6. Homemade Decadence | 7. Bobbi Brown lip & eye palette | 8. Deborah Lippmann nail polish | 9. Yes Please | 10. Jonathan Adler bourbon candle | 11. On the go iPhone charger | 12. Gorjana initials necklace | 13. Skater dress | 14. Laura Mercier ‘Ruby Spark’ 

Black Friday is this Friday! Can anyone believe that? I’m still in shock, but I’m very much looking forward to Thanksgiving. Since my family is hosting, and I have two exams beforehand, it’s bound to be busy. Luckily, I planned ahead for this week. I’ll be posting two more gift guides before Black Friday, so keep those peepers peeled!

This gift guide is a compilation of gifts that would be perfect for that best friend who comes over and cooks dinner with you; that cousin who lives an ocean away; that neighbor who brought you soup when you were sick; or that other best friend who lives across the country but still manages to be the bee’s knees in all situations. The best part? All of these are under $50, and most of these gifts are around $30. Because the holidays don’t have to be about spending an obscene amount of money.

Drink plenty of coffee and have a great Monday!

Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts with Caramel Espresso Glaze

posted on: November 21, 2014

Banana Baked Doughnuts-1 Banana Baked Doughnuts-3

Finals are in less than a month, folks. It’s that final sprint to the finish line, and I think if I survive to Thanksgiving, then I can make it. It’s a horrible, grueling sprint. It’s gotten to the point where everyday is “Throw a Sweatshirt on It” Day. If I don’t have my water bottle handy, I’ll forget to hydrate. Like who does that? Forgets to drink water? Especially since I always get the worst headaches by the end of the day from dehydration. Although, I have yet to forget to eat. If I ever forget to eat, that’s when you know something is terribly wrong.

In all fairness, I did have a last weekend to recharge. I would’ve kept chugging along, except that I got snowed it. Totally an omen to take a day to myself, right? In the spirit of karma (or something), I baked a batch of these lovely doughnuts, which I’ve been working on perfecting for ages now. (These being the fourth test batch; my neighbors and friends love me more with each batch.) I also whipped up an apple cake from a family recipe. The glitch with my family recipes is that they’re measured in mugs more often than I care for, which I forgot. The cake tasted great, so all that’s left is to make it less crumbly. Stay tuned for more… After the mini baking spree, I did a short cardio circuit, watched an obscene amount of TV, and ate more doughnuts than I’m comfortable admitting. The cardio cancels them out, right? Or at least halves them? In my head, it does.

So here’s to taking a day to yourself. Make some doughnuts. Eat them for breakfast. Be lazier than my cat. You deserve it.

Happy Friday, friends!

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 Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts with Caramel Espresso Glaze 

makes 18 doughnuts

For the doughnuts:

  • 3 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk (whole milk or half and half is best)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons caramel
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • optional: white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 360F. Spray a doughnut pan with nonstick baking spray.

In a small bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar in 1 tablespoon warm water, and then sprinkle the active dry yeast on top. Set the bowl someplace warm for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the bananas, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk in a medium bowl and whisk thoroughly. In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together. Then, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix thoroughly, and then add the yeast mixture to the batter.

Bake at 360F for 25-30 minutes. The doughnuts will be a deep golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool to room temperature.

In a bowl (or food processor), add all the ingredients for the glaze and beat until smooth. (If you want to add in white chocolate chips, fold them in now.) Place the glaze in a plate with slightly sloping sides. Take a doughnut and place it top first in the glaze. Swirl the doughnut in a clockwise fashion for a bit before changing directions. The goal is to thoroughly coat the top of the doughnut. Remove the doughnut and return to the cooling rack until the glaze has set. Repeat for the remaining doughnuts.

 

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