Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Ice Cream Sandwiches








The minute I saw these adorable treats I knew I had to post them. This recipe is perfect for those of us who don't have a lot of time on our hands. These are super easy to do and would make a great treat for Easter. Just pick a pastel ice cream, sandwich it between waffle cookies and viol√°! Easter eggs! They used strawberry here but mint or sherbet would be cute too, honestly though, can you ever really go wrong when it comes to ice cream?


What you’ll need:

Carton of ice cream

Butter waffle cookies from Trader Joe’s or Whole foods

Round cookie cutter bent into an oval

Large knife

Cookie sheet

Parchment paper

Wax string

Directions:

Take your ice cream (the boxed kind works best) and cut off a 3/4″ thick slab, it does not have to be exact just thinner than your cookie cutter.

Next, use your cookie cutter and cut out ovals from the ice cream, set the ovals on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put the sheet in the freezer to firm up.
While you wait, cut out 9.5″x2.5″ strips of parchment paper to use as holders for the finished product.
Once the ice cream has chilled for a bit, transfer to the cookies with a spatula.

For a little extra sweetness, add decorative chocolate sprinkles; simply roll the edges through the sprinkles for an even coating.
For the final touch, wrap in parchment paper and secure with waxed thread or baker’s twine then freeze until ready to serve.


Enjoy!

(thanks twig and thistle!)

xoxo CC

A Man holds the door.



Fortunately I am very blessed to have a husband who is very courteous and very much a gentleman, but now that I have a son I am insistent on teaching him good manners and how to be a gentleman as well. Here is an example of my recent pondering.


I went to pick up my daughter from school the other day and a young boy around the age of 9 or 10 ran behind me and pushed me a side as he proceeded to get in front of me to get to the door and ran into the building. Now one may excuse this behavior given the boys age and going with the assumption "boys will be boys" Well I proceeded into the building and picked up my daughter and on our way out another little boy maybe a year younger stood and smiled politely and held the door for us as we walked out.


Isn’t it funny — and by funny, I mean sad — that the only photo around of a man opening a door for a woman is from the 1940’s? This fact should tell you more than you need to know and only serves to re-enforce the resolve of SP to offer up these little finds unearthed in my archaeological digs. So here we go.


A man opens a car door for a lady. Yes, you know this and you practice this on a first date or two, then lapse into comfort. But you should be opening the door all the time so this practice becomes second nature. You open the door for your mother, your aunt, your grandmother, for any woman your age or older. In a nod to modernity, this rule can be relaxed when the sexes mix and it is all friends and no romance, but you should wait until the woman instructs you otherwise before you abandon this courtesy. And this isn’t just car doors, mind you. Front doors — any door you open — should be held open to allow a woman to walk through before you. If it’s an extremely heavy door you can push through before her and hold it until she passes. On a revolving door, give it a push to start the contraption moving then allow the lady to enter first. Alone. One person in a revolving door pie slice at a time please.
There are more rules about walking in front or behind a woman on the stairs (behind her on the way up, in front of her on the way down), or the exception of when you would walk into a room before a woman (if the room is dark or creepy), which we can cover in subsequent posts, but SP just wanted to get this out after witnessing some recent egregious behavior from men on the street. The front door policy goes for older gentlemen as well. Younger defers to older as man defers to woman.
On a similar topic, a man driving a woman home walks her to the door. Exception to this rule would be when you are the same age or the girl is younger and she jumps out of the car before you can react or perhaps you are old friends and this formality seems, well, formal. At night a gentleman driving a car should always wait until his passenger is safely inside the house or building before pulling away. This courtesy should be extended to anyone actually, man or woman. If you are driving someone home or to a destination at night, wait for your passenger to walk safely through the door. As for city folks entertaining in high rises or apartment buildings, a gentleman should always walk a woman to a taxi. SP has seen far too many a woman attempt to leave a party unescorted to the street. Even if she objects or refuses your offer, make up an excuse to run down to the corner deli for a pack of mints, and on the way you will safely deposit her into a taxi, feminism still intact.


Let me know your thoughts on the subject

(Social primer)
xoxo CC


Monday, March 29, 2010

Going Organic


Today’s post is lengthy, but I encourage you to read it through. One of the things that I am very passionate about it is providing a healthy stocked pantry for me and my family. Buying organic is one way that I can facilitate a healthy life for all of us. I got on the Organic band wagon with the birth of my first child (about 7 years ago) and have only continued to educate myself on the issue since. I will now say I am an organic freak. I think it all starts again with educating yourself and here below is just a tad bit of information to help answer some questions you may have.

What does the organic label really mean?

Unlike conventional producers, organic farmers can't use fertilizers made with sewage sludge, sow genetically modified (GM) crops (foods inserted with the genes of a different organism -- like a tomato with a fish gene), or sterilize goods by irradiation (which reduces spoilage and kills bacteria and pests). They also can't use most conventional pesticides. In addition, organic meat, dairy, poultry, and egg farmers must use only 100 percent organic feed, allow their animals access to the outdoors, and avoid using growth hormones and antibiotics.


Of course, standards don't mean anything unless they're enforced. Farms undergo yearly inspections and unannounced spot checks by USDA-accredited third-party certifiers. Farmers need five years of records, including invoices, and a plan that explicitly details their methods of pest control and fertility management.

Organic processed foods follow guidelines as well: If you see the "100% Organic" label, the product contains only organic ingredients; the "Organic" label means it has at least 95 percent organic ingredients; and a "Made With Organic Ingredients" label indicates at least 70 percent of the ingredients are organic. All other products can't use the term "organic" anywhere on the front of the package; it can only be used to identify individual ingredients in the small print near the nutrition information

Are organic foods more nutritious?
A few studies have shown higher levels of nutrients in certain items -- more vitamin C and phytochemicals in oranges, for instance, and higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in milk. Studies or no studies, the tenets of good nutrition still apply: Organic junk food (think: "organic Oreo") isn't good for you (but ok to treat yourself once and a while).
What are the benefits of organic foods?
By eating organic, you lessen your exposure to antibiotics, GM crops, hormones, irradiated foods, and pesticides. Organic production also helps the environment by not polluting groundwater with pesticides, contributing to widespread antibiotic resistance

Why is organic usually more expensive?
The hand labor required for pest and weed control ($400 to $1,200 an acre) costs far more than most pesticides (about $40 an acre). Organic feed for animals is pricier because it's comparatively scarce. In fact, supply has a lot to do with the cost of organics. At times there hasn't been enough of a product to satisfy demand, thus driving up prices. "As the volume goes up, organics should become less and less expensive.There's more to the issue, however, than the laws of simple economics. The government inequitably subsidizes conventional agriculture, un-naturally dropping the price of conventional food. "You're not necessarily comparing apples to apples," says Holly Givens, public-affairs adviser for the Organic Trade Association. "Plus, the nonorganic farmer might be using a pesticide that gets into the water, and he's not paying the cost of cleaning it up." Instead, she says, taxpayers get cheaper food, but they end up paying for the cleanup efforts.

Does washing produce remove toxins?
It's always a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables, if only to remove the dirt. "But since some pesticides can penetrate the skin of the plant," notes Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), "washing won't remove them."

The Complete Organics Buying Guide
What are you really getting when you pay a little extra for organic? It depends on the food. Here's an expert list of what to buy organic -- and when.

Fruits and Vegetables,Why Buy Organic?
When you eat conventional produce, pesticides and chemicals tend to show up in your body. The long-term health effects are unclear, but why risk it? The nonprofit Environmental Working Group studied 43 fruits and vegetables and ranked them according to contamination. Choose organic versions of the 12 worst offenders and you'll reduce your exposure by almost 90 percent: peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes (imported), spinach, lettuce, potatoes.
Do You Know? A diet containing the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables exposes a person to an average of 15 pesticides a day.
Peanuts, Soybeans, and Corn,Why Buy Organic?
Peanuts rank among the top 10 foods contaminated with persistent organic pollutants, says the Pesticide Action Network. These chemicals linger in the environment for years and can also build up in the body's fatty tissues. As for soybeans, 85 percent of the 2004 crop was genetically modified (GM). Experts warn against buying GM foods since their effects haven't been adequately studied -- on us or the earth. The same warning goes for corn. nearly half of all corn planted in America in 2004 was GM.
Beef ,Why Buy Organic?
To enhance growth, conventional farmers often give their cows hormones. The FDA says they're safe, but the European Union disagrees -- and has banned their use. Farmers also give cows antibiotics even when they're not sick, contributing to antibiotic resistance. Cows excrete antibiotics and hormones into the environment, too, potentially harming local ecosystems. Finally, the "food" conventional cows eat (like manure) would make your stomach turn. Organically raised cows eat organic feed and grass.

Dairy,Why Buy Organic?
The red flag here is recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a synthetic drug given to cows to increase milk production. Milk from these cows contains higher levels of a natural growth factor called IGF-1. Some experts link excess levels of it in humans to breast and prostate cancers. Although the FDA says it's safe, the European Union has banned the drug. Use of rBGH also increases infections in cows, prompting farmers to administer even more antibiotics.

Pork, Poultry, and Eggs,Why Buy Organic?
Farmers use antibiotics on these animals in the same preventive way as with cattle, again contributing to the rise of resistant bacteria and potentially harming local ecosystems. And, like cattle, conventional hogs and poultry eat a range of stomach-turning "foods." In a 2006 study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) of supermarket chicken products, more than half of the samples tested positive for arsenic. One of the IATP's recommendations? Buy organic.Do You Know? Healthy U.S. hogs and poultry ingest about 20 million pounds of antibiotics annually; in comparison, 3 million pounds treat sick people.

Chocolate and Coffee,Why Buy Organic?
Both crops naturally grow in the shade. But to meet increasing demand, farmers favor sun-loving varieties, resulting in clear-cutting and heavy pesticide use. Cacao, which is used to make chocolate, is one of the world's most heavily sprayed crops, according to the United Kingdom's Soil Association. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation tells us that if half of North America's 15 million college students chose organic, shade-grown coffee, they would prevent 3,885 tons of chemical fertilizers and 660 tons of pesticides from poisoning the earth.Do You Know? The organic standard doesn't cover fair trade. To ensure just compensation for farmers, look for both the Fair Trade Certified label and organic seal on chocolate and coffee.

I Hope this helped give a little in site as to why I am so passionate about providing organic food and meals for my family and I hope it does the same for you!

(Info from martha stewart Whole living)


xoxo CC


Friday, March 26, 2010

Fabulous find friday

Wanting something fabulous to dress up in? Look no further. Sarah Seven is an independent designer based in Portland Oregon with amazing attention to detail. Her inspiration, Old Hollywood Glamour, pearls, recycled fabrics, romance, nature and lace.
Here are just a few of my favorite piece's from her shop!

Peachy Keen Dress

Peach strapless dress built off bustier. Ruffles at top of bust then pleats go straight down to waist. There is a peach velvet ribbon at the waist as well. Made with Chiffon fabric
( Fabulous hair piece by austie , another fun find)

Powdered Sugar Dress

White sparkle organza pleated on a bodice. Pleats go from bust to waist. There are three bottom layers of the dress, 1st slip, then two layers of the organza. The bottom of the dress has some volume. Recycled strip of silver beads at the waist, very cute!



Tea and Crumpets Bundle

Tea top and Crumpets skirt, what a lovely combination. The top is made off a recycled bodice with light pink fabric pleated at bust. High waist skirt with ruffle and button made out of black gabardine.

Check out her shop on Etsy. The best part about these gorgeous little numbers is that they are totally custom made and fit to your measurements. She can also make these dresses in other colors as well.



(Sarahseven)



xoxo CC

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rainy Spring Day


Here is my go to rainy day outfit. Try some of these classic spring staples in your wardrobe, I know they will become your favorites as well.


Loved and worn by the stars. These scarves are a must have staple for your wardrobe.
This is a great piece and can be worn all year round.

Asymmetrical Cinched Top

Splendid Leggings

Merino knit beret
From Jcrew now on sale!

I heart my Hunter Gloss Welly Boots



Enjoy!
xoxo CC

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring cleaning products

Here are some wonderful cleaning supplies you will absolutly love. Whats best is that these products are all natural . The modern day wife cares about being green and takes time to make her home environmentally friendly. These products are sure to please...


These biodegradable dye-free sponges and kitchen cleaning supplies from Twist are an excellent eco-friendly alternative to paper towels or traditional scrubbies. While each sponge can be reused a number of times, the entire product line is still 100% biodegradable
Loofah Sponge
Artificial colors. Plastics. Chemical dyes. They're in your kitchen. Not in the pantry, but over by the sink. Like that neon yellow sponge with the bright green scrub side. We have a feeling that's not exactly natural. Unlike this sponge, which shows its true colors: unbleached, undyed white cellulose and tan, scrubby loofah. And it's biodegradable, just like the food it cleans up after.


Sponge Cloth
Paper towels have a lifespan of approximately one use. Yep, they're one and done. Then it's in the trash, on the curb and off to a landfill somewhere. Wouldn't it be better if a paper towel could be reusable and still biodegradable? Designed to work over and over instead of once? Heck, how about 1,000 times instead of once?


Watkins proudly formulates with:
Essential Oils
Plant-based Cleaning Agents
Natural Salts
Purified Water


Watkins natural cleaners feature the most popular cleaning products on the market in non-toxic, plant-based formulas that are both biodegradable and phosphate free. Not to mention It is the best smelling cleaner I have ever used! I use the counter top spray in my kitchen and it smells like I have been burning a yummy candle all afternoon. The Aloe green tea is my favortie.
xoxo CC




Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The domestic conetssa


Here are six things you should do every day to keep your home tidy and in order

1. Make the Bed
Tidiness begets tidiness. A crisply made bed makes the whole room seem more orderly, which makes it less likely that you’ll let other things — such as clothes and papers — pile up around it.
2. Manage Clutter
Whenever you leave a room, take a quick look around for anything that isn’t where it should be. Pick it up and put it where it belongs. Insist that everyone in the household do the same.
3. Sort the Mail
Take a few minutes to open, read, and sort mail as soon as you bring it inside. Keep a trash bin near your sorting area for junk mail. Drop other mail into one of four in-boxes: personal correspondence, bills, catalogs, and filing.
4. Clean as You Cook
Instead of filling the sink with pots and dishes, wash them or put them in the dishwasher as you prepare a meal.
5. Wipe Up Spills While They’re Fresh
Whether it’s tomato sauce on the cooktop or makeup on the bathroom counter, almost anything is faster and easier to remove if you attend to it immediately.
6. Sweep the Kitchen Floor
Every evening once you’ve finished washing up after dinner, sweep the floor. This will keep tough-to-clean dirt and grime from building up, which will make the weekly mopping much quicker.

(Martha stewart, taryn cox the wife)
\
Enjoy your week of spring cleaning!
xoxo CC

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring clean your closet




Too many mornings we look in our closet and say "there is nothing to wear". Well, maybe its not that you don't have it, but that you cant find it? I know when my closet is freshly organized and everything is in order I feel much better about my clothing. We want our living room to be beautiful and our bedroom to be beautiful why shouldn't our closet be beautiful?

Lets start with closet rule #1



  1. Edit your closet! Get rid of anything you haven't worn in the last two years

  2. The ruthless edit, get rid of anything you haven't worn in the last year. Give those items away.

  3. No wire hangers! Your clothes hang so much nicer on a wooden hanger. It leaves less chances for those pesky creases in your clothes, not to mention it looks much more put together

  4. Organize everything from white to black or light to dark. It makes things easier to find and helps when putting your outfit together.

  5. Have an essentials drawer. Put all the things you need in it to maintain your wardrobe and your closet, see below.

To walk out the door looking like James Bond or Audrey Hepburn, you need the following closet tools:



1. Dedicated drawer for watches and jewelry
2. Cubbyholes for purses
3. Multiple hooks for necklaces, belts, and hats
4. Shoe inserts
5. Shoe kit (for a quick shine)
6. Shoehorn – a long one with a good handle
7. A lint brush
8. A clothes brush
9. A sewing kit and a box to store all spare buttons
10. A travel steamer
11. Extra laces
12. And, of course, a full – length mirror


Hope these tips help with your closet organization.

xoxo CC

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fabulous find Friday, Mom with style Reese Witherspoon

Mom with style Reese Witherspoon always looks simple yet classy. Here she is running around in a go to outfit that's super easy to wear. Here are some fabulous finds. I went ahead and did the shopping for you. Now you can get her look for less.


129.00$

Corso Como Flats
59.95$



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The fabulous Mrs Lilien

My girlfriend at told me about this fabulous website and I absolutely love it. Please Let me introduce Mrs Lilien . Her website is dedicated to these amazing fashion collaborations and personalities that are so fun to look at. Here are a few of my favorites.
Mrs. Cooks-A-Lot



Go check it out. You might find your favorite ensemble.

( Thanks Honey do )
Enjoy!

xoxo CC

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St Patricks day! Whats for dinner?

I love a yummy corned beef dinner. Here is a St. Patrick's day menu that is sure to please.
We are having our good friends over for dinner to help us celebrate and enjoy the festivities and these items will be on our menu for sure.

Corned Beef Glazed in Honey and Mustard Dinner with Cabbage


Irish soda bread

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Corned Beef Glazed in Honey and Mustard Dinner with Cabbage

(makes 4+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 2 pound corned beef brisket
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cabbage (cut into wedges)
2 carrots (peeled and sliced)
2 potatoes (peeled and cut in half)

Directions:
1. Place the corned beef along with the spices into a large pan and cover with water.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until fork tender, about 1 hour per pound.
3. Remove the beef from the water and pat dry, leaving the water in the pan.
4. Mix the honey and mustard and brush onto the top of the beef.
5. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the beef.
6. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 20-30 minutes bringing it to broil for the last few minutes to caramelize the glaze.
7. Meanwhile, place the vegetables in the pan with water and simmer until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
8. Slice the the beef again the grain and serve with the vegetables.

Irish Soda bread
Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 cup buttermilk

Directions:
1. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and oats in a bowl.
2. Mix in the buttermilk and form a dough.
3. Shape the dough and place it on a baking sheet or in a loaf pan.
4. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 40 minutes (the top should be golden brown).

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup stout
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two muffin tins (for 24 cupcakes) with paper liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ginger, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to combine melted butter, sugar, and stout. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until incorporated.

Divide batter evenly into paper-lined muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating pans once, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and turn onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before icing.

In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add heavy cream. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add confectioner's sugar. Top each cupcake with icing. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa powder.

(Thanks Closet cooking)
Some extra Fun information

Patrick was born in Roman Britain. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. He entered the church, as his father and grandfather had before him, becoming a deacon and a bishop. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary, working in the north and west of the island. Legend credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the Shamrock,a three leaf clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God'. St. Patrick died in 493, and by the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland.

Happy Saint Patrick's day
Enjoy your meal!

xoxo CC




Monday, March 15, 2010

St patricks day traditions



My girls and I love st Patrick's day. Why? We are not Irish, I think we just like any excuse to celebrate. My husband the good sport he is, just comes along for the ride. Here are a couple fun ideas to surprise your little ones St Patti's day morn.

Set out regular Oreo cookies before they go to bed and mysteriously the Oreo center will turn from white to green.
I have even been known to turn our breakfast food a lovely shade of green as well. Its always tradition to have pesto eggs with turkey bacon on St Patti's day morning here at our house.
In other words (Green Eggs and Ham). The girls love it, and I must say I think its quite tasty as well. Here is the recipe

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp pesto
Directions
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.In a small bowl, combine egg, Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and pesto. Pour into pan, and cook stirring for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Remove from heat, stir in pesto a little extra pesto at the end if desired. Serve with the bacon and there you go.

I tie green balloons to their chairs and set out decorative napkins for them along with their meal
I also like to get the girls a little something green to wear for the day so they don't get pinched. This year I got them the Girls' jeweled silk bracelet at j crew, in green of coarse.
Hope this gave you some fun idea's

xoxo CC

Inspiration from Coco Chanel



She made the Little Black Dress and clusters of pearls wardrobe classics, but Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel also knew the value of a perfect T-shirt. Take a cue from Coco and put this classic style on heavy rotation.




Here, Audrey Tautou sports a breezy striped boat neck tee while playing the part of a young Coco Chanel as seen in the film Coco Avant Chanel. Coco Chanel famously wore a similar t-shirt in the 1930's, making the style forever chic. Here is some fabulous ideas and items I loved for the ever popular nautical look. Check them out, there are some items for your whole family and a little inspiration for the home.





T-Bags Striped wool-blend cardigan
At net-a-porter

Thread social striped knitted mini dress
At net-a-porter



Markus Lupfer double-layer merino cardigan
I love this casual look for everyday
At net-a-porter





For little girlsPetit Bateau stripe mariner sweatshirt, navy
Found at Milkshop, one of my favorite websites for the kids




Girls' tropica-stripe tank
Found at the ever fabulous J- Crew



E land Toddler & Little Girl's Sailor Dress
Found at Saks


For the little Boys
Petit bateau RAIN JACKET, YELLOW
I cant wait until my son can fit into this!
Found at Milkshop

Found at Milkshop



For the Men
Rustic shawl-collar cardigan
Found at J-Crew



Saint James Meridien II nautical tee
Found at J-Crew


For the home


I just LOVE this home. Nothing like a beautiful shingle
dutch colonial


I love the kitchen classic calcutta marble and subway tile



Hope you enjoyed!



Home photos courtesy of ( style chronicle)

Thanks for the inspiration


xoxo CC
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