Christmas Monkey Bread

Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you all had a great holiday. I spent 3 straight days with family and while it was hectic, it was nice to enjoy everyone's company, and have good laughs and great food! Speaking of great food, we did something a little different on Christmas morning this year in terms of breakfast. My boyfriend and I volunteered to make a recipe I found on Pinterest (surprise!)
 I have seen Monkey Bread recipes floating around Pinterest for a while now, and they looked so simple and less time consuming than our normal 4 hour cinnamon roll recipe. This recipe couldn't be any easier. It took about an hour from prep and baking time. What I loved about it was the outside crunch combined with the warm, gooey and sugary inside. Since we had half the pan leftover, I had some the next morning. It was still amazing the next day. This is definitely being added to the 'ol recipe book. 
Recipe Here 

H&M to Start Recycling Program


I recently came across this article from one of my favorite fashion blogs, College Fashion. They stated that H&M is going to initiate an in store recycling program called iCollect starting February 2013. 

The program works as follows: for every bag of clothes you donate, you get a voucher for a discount on your next visit. It is not known what each bag will give you in terms of a discount at this time. 

The purpose of the program is to use the donated clothing and recycle it into new clothing. The retailer hopes to only use sustainable cotton by the year 2020. 

For someone like me who goes through her clothes once a month (or every other month) and just sells to consignment, I may use this only a few times a year. I would probably give the items that consignment wouldn't take. However, if you are a person who totally does a wardrobe re-vamp, this would be perfect. Depending on the voucher cap you can receive, you may be able to get a steep discount on your new wardrobe! 

Will you be donating your clothes to the iCollect program?    

Thoughts and Prayers...

I hate waking up to news so tragic as senseless death at the hands of terrible monsters. But what happened this morning in Newtown, CT was far more worse than I could have imagined. I feel like we are unfortunately getting so accustomed to seeing these acts of violence in the news so often it's becoming less shocking. It's been almost 15 years since the massacre at Columbine High School and I feel like only more acts similar to this have occurred, not less.

I can't bare to watch the news coverage about the story any more, because all I can think of is the young souls, the babies who were blindsided of their life, of becoming amazing individuals. It's an emotion of half immense sadness and extreme anger at the individual who committed this act. My greatest fear is losing the people I love, and imagining the pain these people are going through is heart breaking.

These selfish, inexcusable, senseless acts need to stop. And we as a country need to stop providing these monsters with the weapons for carrying out these acts. No regular Joe Schmo needs a semi automatic pistol. Period. If legislation can help save one life, it is worth changing. 

I am broken hearted over the acts from this morning, and pray for the families who were affected.

 

Would You Wear...A $55,000 Backpack?

Well, at first read, of course not! $55,000 for a purse is absurd. That's a car. A really nice one at that. It's also the price of a house in some states. And then you look at the above picture and think I'm joking. But sadly, I am not. 

The Row, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's high end fashion line created 12 "limited edition backpacks made of black crocodile patent leather" - and here's the kicker - "adorned with prescription pills and colorful circles". REALLY? Do they think we are fools? Well apparently 12 people will be! 

I hate how sometimes fashion, (and other industries included) feel like they have to out do each other and come out with the most over indulgent product (. Yet, people always fall for it. It's so sad. But, the best comment I saw was "there is so such thing as a $55,000 purse, just an idiot who is willing to pay that much for one".

So, money aside, would you wear this crocodile purse adorned with prescription pills? I can't even type it without cringing... 

Original Article   

Tortellini Tomato Soup

I have a confession, I owe a lot to Pinterest for the past few weeks of meals! They weren't my own recipes, passed down from generation, but I can tell you, after the reaction I received from them, they are definitely finding their way into my recipe book. This recipe is no different. In fact, this may be the best recipe I found on Pinterest to date. 

I haven't been feeling too good lately, I have a severe case of insomnia which led to a case of the flu from lack of sleep. Nothing sounds better than a batch of this Tortellini Tomato soup to warm my soul and fill my tummy. 
The picture is making me drool. Mmmmm. This soup took 15 minutes (if that) to make, and I highly recommend having all the ingredients measured and ready, because once you are ready, all systems are go! The original author of the recipe used sun dried tomato paste vs. actual sun dried tomatoes and I think she made a huge mistake. The diced sun dried tomatoes pack a real punch, and the flavor is amaze. :) You can really taste every ingredient, and I was so impressed, considering the base of the soup is Campbell's Tomato soup! It's quite the transformation.   

Recipe here

XMas Wishlist

I don't ever feel like I need anything come Christmas, and that's because if I do, I usually end up buying it myself. But just for fun, I put together a hypothetical wishlist of things that would be fun to unwrap on Christmas morning. 
iPhone 5
 I use my phone for everything, and right now I have the iPhone 4. It sounds so dated, doesn't it? Especially since I am blogging now and taking pictures of my culinary creations on the spot to immediately blog, the camera on the iPhone 5 is a big reason to upgrade. I also use so many apps and social media tools, my 4 is just slow now, and I am getting impatient! I am eligible for an upgrade too, so I just need to pay $200 for the phone. 
Fruit/Vegetable Juicer
When I worked at Jamba Juice way back when, my favorite thing to get was a freshly squeezed orange-carrot juice with ice. There was nothing better, and it tasted so fresh, and healthy! Now that juicing has become a "thing", there are so many home appliances available. I don't want anything fancy or expensive, just something under $100 where I can juice a glass every so often and not break after a week. :) 
Mane Message Hair Ties
 I have been seeing these hair ties in fashion magazines lately and hear they are great for your hair (no annoying creases!) and when they are on your wrist they look cute (bonus!) They usually come in sets and vary in styles, but with how often I put my hair up, these are definitely worth a shot. 
SF Giants Tickets
Alex and I love nothing more than a trip to the city for a Giants game. But we've been to regular season games plenty of times. I really want to go to the Giants season home opener at the beginning of April. Since the team won the World Series, the home opener (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) is especially exciting, since they present the team with the rings, and do fun pre-game festivities.
Olay Pro-X Cleansing System
The Clarisonic skin cleansing system is very popular and allegedly works wonders on your skin. I have very sensitive skin and would love to try this system out. But I would never spend $200 to "test it out", so Olay has a similar system for a mere $30. My friend has it and says it's wonderful!

What's on your list this year?

Target + Neiman Marcus: A Match Made in Fashion Heaven

Fashion mavens, the day has finally arrived! Target has teamed up with legendary department store Neiman Marcus and 24 designers to create over 50 "gifts" at more reasonable prices. Some of the items are available online or in store. The items range from housewares, items for your pet, beauty gifts, kids gifts, and of course..clothes! 

Target has had it's fair share of collaborations with designers in the past. You may remember the recent collaboration with Missoni which crashed the Target website and caused utter chaos in stores across the nation! Other collaborations include: William Rast, Luella Bartley and Rodarte (to name a few). 

Some of the designers in the collaboration (and my personal favorites) include:
  • alice + olivia
  • Brian Atwood
  • Derek Lam
  • Diane Von Furstenberg
  • Marchesa
  • Marc Jacobs
  • rag + bone
  • Tory Burch
I have previewed the collection and I am a little bummed to not see a pair of Brian Atwood pumps (his signature) for a killer price or a gorgeous Marchesa dress for women (there are two for girls).   

Here are a few of the pieces I have my eye on:
alice + olivia luggage

Proenza Schouler sweatshirt

Tracy Reese shirt
Lela Rose lace top

This collaboration had me thinking, what are your dream collaborations? 

Mine would have to be Michael Kors + Target, Victoria Beckham for Dorothy Perkins, Chanel for H&M, Marc Jacobs for H&M, Elie Saab for Nordstrom...wishful thinking. 

* Edit: I went to my local target on Dec 1 to look at the items in person and I added the Lela Rose lace top. It was gorgeous in person and was so light and the fabric was so gentle (if that makes sense). The sweatshirt was a hi-low type, and I would definitely buy it in a large/extra large so it would be oversize and comfy. However, the alice + olivia luggage was quite small for the $180 price tag, but still cute!