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Are your eyes deceiving you? Nope! It's outfit post. I wore this at the beginning of Summer but it didn't seem right to be posting outfits so I saved up a few to share.   This is the first outfit featuring the Stella McCartney leopard jeans I bought in May and Ancient Greek Sandals I bought in March!

I've been searching for a Stella McCartney cat print blouse for a friend and in the process I found these awesome leopard print jeans! I got the seller down to $80 and had some ad money to cover most of the purchase! Brand new with tags too!

My top doesn't actually show that  much of my stomach, it was the angle, haha! I didn't realize until after we were back in the car otherwise I would have had Christian do it again.

Remember, if you go out please be responsible and wear a mask! It's not to protect you, it's to protect those who have compromised immune systems and most likely to have serious cases of the virus.  My Mom made Christian and I a bunch of masks. I'm lucky enough to work from home (on year 6) so I don't have to go out. I've only gone to a grocery store twice (on the same day) and to the dentist.

Knit Sweater: Made by Grandma, Jeans: Stella McCartney Wild Cat Skinny Ankle Jeans (eBay), Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Clara' Sandal c/o Shopbop, Sunglasses: Gucci Aviators (bought in Italy), Mask: Made by Mom


I almost made a purchase this month but as of right now (Thursday the 30th) I haven't bought any clothes in July. Success! The purchase I almost made will still be happening, I'm just patiently waiting to see if it (or they...) go cheaper in Net-a-Porter's sale. Refreshing the product page every few hours to make sure it doesn't go to "low stock," if so I'll just buy!

I made a bit of extra money this month from a small side project and some of my RewardStyle income cleared. That is what will be used to make the purchase mentioned above.

THE (modified) RULES
  1. Be mindful of purchases 
  2. Quality over quantity
  3. Basics are best
MY PROGRESS

Clothes:
  1. FARM Rio Amazonian Ombre Mini Wrap Dress c/o Shopbop ($127.50, retail $170)
  2. Burberry beaded owl sweater via eBay ($75, retail $2950 in 2012)
  3. Stella McCartney Wild Cat Skinny Ankle Jeans via eBay ($15 after ad money, retail $735)
  4. Ba&sh "Perla" dress in Green Light c/o Shopbop ($236.25, retail $630)

Basics:
  1. J Brand 811 Mid Rise Skinny Leg Jean in Moral ($0 after $25 credit & ad money, retail $228)
  2. Madewell Camp Shorts in Faded Rosebud c/o Shopbop ($35, retail $50)
Shoes:

  1. Ancient Greek Sandals 'Clara' Sandal c/o Shopbop ($221.25, retail $295)
  2. Sperry Rio Aqua Slip-On Sneaker ($14.83 via DSW, retail $64.99)

Accessories:

  1. Ray Ban 'Erika' Sunglasses in Havana c/o Shopbop (retail $163)
  2. Madewell Medium Slim Saddle Bag c/o Shopbop ($118.50, retail $158)
  3. Shashi Princess Leia Necklace c/o Shopbop ($55)

Activewear:
  1. SPANX Look At Me Now Seamless Leggings in Indigo Leopard c/o Shopbop ($68)

Gifted from Brands:
  1. AUrate Pearl Studs in Rose Gold (retail $150)
  2. AUrate Medium Chain Bracelet in Rose Gold (retail $50)

Total spent in July: $0

Total spent in 2020: $104.83


Welcome to Part 2 of my baking adventures!  If one benefit has come about from not leaving our house, baking is definitely it. It's gotten me to try recipes I've been meaning to learn for some time AND has gotten companies to release some of their most loved recipes! Disney Parks Blog has been sharing a lot of their classic recipes for fans to recreate at home.

Mickey Mouse Beignets
Back in April Disney shared their beignet recipe and I knew I had to make them! Unfortunately we didn't have vegetable shortening and the 2 times I tried to have someone on InstaCart buy it they couldn't find it...grr! So when Christian finally went to the grocery store - for the first time since we started isolating - I had him get me some along with heavy cream. When I first saw the recipe I also had him 3D print me some Mickey cookie cutters so I could do mickey shapes instead of regular beignet shapes (you can buy official ones here.)


Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Focaccia is one of my favorite breads so naturally I had to make some of my own. I found a recipe I liked on Gimme Some Oven and modified it slightly by adding some fresh oregano leaves from our garden in addition to the rosemary! Definitely want to make this again with different herbs - maybe some caramelized onions too, yum!


Pizza Express Doughballs
Pizza Express Doughballs are one of my must-get treats every time I go to London. Probably a good thing I learn to make them on my own as international travel will be weird for a while (not that I was planning a trip to London, but it’s always an option if I find cheap flights.) The recipe is in their highlights on Instagram - you can also find it here! Next time I make these I'm going to make them a little smaller and freeze half so we can enjoy them longer.


As Easy As Apple Pie's Moist Chocolate Cake (no eggs, no butter)
We made this cake when we had milk but didn't want to use up eggs or butter. It wasn't the best cake I've ever had but it was pretty good! Definitely needs the powdered sugar on top. We also added chocolate syrup to make it taste more chocolatey. Between this and the Depression Cake I shared in Part 1 I'd choose the DC every time.



Strawberry Rumble
A variation on this raspberry rumble recipe because we didn’t have raspberries. We also didn’t have sliced almonds for the top, which adds a nice texture. It was still delicious! My favorite part is the frosting - a simple Swiss Meringue.


Dark Chocolate Sorbet
Once we bought our fancy cocoa powder I decided to try my hand at making some ice cream! We don't have an ice cream maker but this was still super easy to make. It's SUPER rich so you won't need a lot to feel satisfied.


Pizza Crust
Pizza dough counts as baking, right? We usually buy our dough at the grocery store but since I have tons of yeast I thought why not!? This first recipe I tried was from King Arthur Flour. It was a little too crunchy for my liking and could use some more salt but Christian really loved the crispiness! When I ate my second half the next day it was softer and I enjoyed it more. Now I'm on the hunt for a super fluffy soft pizza dough to try.




I'm trying to ease myself back into blogging, but still no outfit photos...I did take a set a few weeks ago that I'll post eventually. Just waiting on Christian editing them.

Since quarantine began I’ve found comfort in baking. I used to love baking desserts and somewhere along the line I “got too busy" and stopped. But, being stuck inside for weeks on end, having a new - or favorite - recipe to bake on the weekend gave me something to look forward to.

Here are some of the things I've been baking lately. There will be a part 2 because I have too many for one post!

Chocolate Almond Dasquoise with Creme Patissiere
I’ve wanted to make a Dacquoise cake for a few years after seeing a ton of bakers make them on various Food Network championships. I saw a Nigella Lawson recipe for a “Gooey Chocolate Stack” that I liked the look of - she made it with a creme patisserie as the filling/topping. Before I made it I realized it didn’t use almond flour/almonds which is what makes a dacquoise a dacquoise - it needs to use a nut. I did a quick google and found a “Chocolate Almond Dacquoise” recipe on kosher.com. I adjusted the dacquoise recipe to use 6 egg whites so I could make the full recipe of creme patisserie and make 3 layers.

When we baked the dacquoise they came out SUPER crunchy which made me think we did it wrong (it’s basically macaron batter so i assumed it would be soft and chewy,) but once they had been stacked with the creme patisserie it softened them a bit which made it easier to cut and eat. The bottom layer had the most crunch because it only had creme on one side.



Homemade Bread
At the beginning of isolation Christian and I didn't want to go to the store or order grocery delivery (which we have only done twice this whole time) so we decided to make our own bread. Luckily I had some yeast packets to use. We loved how it came out and Christian decided he wanted to always make our own bread. so we bought a big package of yeast and make it every other week.  We've been using this Taste of Home bread recipe but I have tried this no-knead bread recipe too. I want to try other eventually ones but we'll see!

Chrisitan did start going to the grocery store in the middle of last month to get deli meat because he had to go back to work in the office so we do go every other week now (3 times so far and I only went in once) but we're still making our own bread!


Chocolate Depression Cake
This is one of our favorite quarantine baking discoveries. We have been using a recipe from Budget Bytes that includes frosting but this is a very common recipe from the depression so they are all basically the same. We've made this 3 times already and are destined to keep making it for years. One note I'll make is try to use quality cocoa powder. We've used both Hershey's and a fancier brand, the fancier one is definitely better. But Hershey's will still be tasty! We used Rodelle Dutch Processed Cocoa.



Bagels with Pâte Fermentée
I was very excited about this one, I've always wanted to make my own bagels but was too scared. These were fairly easy but we need to get better at rolling them into the bagel shape so they close better. We used a recipe from King Arthur Flour but changed up how we baked them based on this Isolation Baking Show with Gesine and Jeffrey episode where they used the same recipe. Definitely watch for some helpful tips! We started them toppings down on a silpat and an upside down baking tray and then flipped them for the remainder of the baking. Next time we'll bake them longer so they get a bit more browned.
UPDATE: I made them again this weekend and they came out better but I forgot to let the dough rest before making the donut shape so they are a little flat! Next time I'll get it right, haha


Instant Oatmeal Cookies
These cookies were made with instant oatmeal packets. Yep, you read that right! We bought them pre-isolation hoping to eat them while we were low on breakfast foods but I don’t like the texture of oatmeal and Christian wasn’t a huge fan of the flavor. SO I googled recipes and chose one from Sweet and Savory by Shinee! I added chocolate chips and sprinkles - she used m&ms and nuts - and they are so good!! Can’t wait to make them again!!


Nigella's Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Almond Flour
I was looking for recipes to use up some almond flour that was going to expire and stumbled upon this recipe from Nigella Lawson. Nigella is amazing so I knew it would be delicious (one of my favorite desserts is her chocohotopots)  The texture may throw you off a bit at first because of the almond flour but it’s nice and soft! If you have any chocolate-loving fruit hanging around eat it with that. I had each bite with a slice of strawberry and it’s so gooood!


French Macarons
Another almond flour recipe. I've been making them at least once a year for 10 years and decided to try a slightly different recipe this time and experimented with baking mats. They all were relatively the same, but the macarons were hardest to remove from macaron mat. (Go figure 🤣) Here is the original french macaron recipe I used to use.

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