MORE CUPCAKES

I’m dedicated to sharing all of my favorites, so here’s a little treasure I found on 1 E Delaware Pl…

more cupcakes

Need more cupcakes from MORE Cupcakery and very soon.  These were the best cupcakes I’ve had in Chicago!  I’ve still got nothing but love for Sprinkles although I have to admit that these take the cake (punny).  Bottom left was called chocolate valrhona with a little gold leaf, top left was chocolate champagne, top right chocolate hazelnut, and bottom right, my favorite, salted caramel.  MORE is known for it’s spectacular maple bacon cupcake, but curse my luck they were sold out.  Salted caramel was satisfactory though.

salted caramel

Eat happy,

Chelsea

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I Love Lamp

I love lamp, just as much as I love Anchorman, Steve Carrell, and his character, Brick.  If you don’t love Anchorman, then shame on you.  But I really, really love this copper Scoop Table Lamp I bought at West Elm.

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The lamp was $69 + tax, although I can’t find it shopping online so it may only be in stores.  The shop I went to had the same lamp in silver, too.  For my room, I like the look of mixing different metallics.  The tissue box cover is something I bought at an estate sale for a dollar recently, and the green sand hourglass was about $9.99 at TJ Maxx, I think.  Here’s what the set up looks like on my little, black desk with the lamp turned on, and the three animal mounts are from Home Goods:

photo 2   photo 3  photo7

Walking into West Elm made me feel like I wanted to give up all my possessions and move into the store permanently, everything was gorgeous and awesome, very chic.  There were these big fluffy pillows, and the pillow inserts were only $25.99, but the lamb’s fur pillow cases were around $160.00 each.  I wanted two of them, but instead I limited myself to a few valuable purchases.  The lamp was something I needed, the Lucite skull was too cool to pass up on, and the soft purple and cream throw blanket was so enticing on a cold day like today.  Next on my “to buy” list are these amazing wine bottle toppers, in the spirit of my metallic theme:

wine toppers

I’m dying to get these so I can display and serve wine with these gems. These Geo Bottle Stoppers cost $49, I decided to wait until a day I feel like treating myself.  Aren’t they fun?  I now know I can find anything and everything home related at West Elm and it will be fun and stylish, too.  I came across lots of things that would make perfect gifts for birthdays and special occasions.  The throw blanket I bought was on sale for $24.99 marked down from $60, and the skull was $19.00.  If you’ve never been to West Elm and you like to shop or decorate spaces, check it out.

Happy shopping,

Chelsea

Easy Pasta Bites

pasta bites 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta Bites

This recipe makes for a quick, easy, and delicious appetizer, snack, or dinner.  It starts with buying a box of Trader Joe’s Arancini Bites from the freezer section of Trader Joe’s and picking up your favorite pasta sauce, my choice is Prego because it also functions as a pizza sauce.  Arancini are an Italian snack made by rolling balls of cheese and Arborio rice in breadcrumbs, and then they are served with marinara sauce and some parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking pan with aluminum foil 

Serving size is 2 bites, and the box comes with 12 pasta bites – 120 calories/serving 

Bake for 12-16 minutes, serve with 1/2 cup of pasta sauce per serving, a pinch of parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of garlic salt. 

Happy snacking,

Chelsea

My dinner:

pasta bites 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s OK to Be a Cookie Monster

It’s OK to be a Cookie Monster

Trust me, we all deserve it from time to time.  But it’s especially OK with these Chocolate Chip Cookie Chips because they’re not all that bad for you.  They are perfectly sweet and a mix between crunchy and chewy.  You’ll be happy to know that they are also made with no trans fats, no artificial flavors or colors, no preservatives, and no GMOs.  Wasn’t that a great idea – making a hybrid of a cookie and a chip?  That’s some delicious culinary science right there.  I can’t way to try the other cookie variations…Sea Salted Peanut Butter is at the top of my list followed by Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip.  They also carry Cinnamon Sugar, Original Flavor, and right now a “flavor of the month” which is Oatmeal Rasin.

The cookie chips are made by HaanahMax Baking which is located in Gardena, California, but I highly recommend searching grocery stores near you for the sweets before ordering them online.  I bought one 6 ounce bag for $4.99 plus tax, compared to ordering a pack of four 6 ounce bags for $23.96.  Ordering makes each bag a little more expensive and you have to wait for them to be shipped.

cookies

“HannahMax Baking Cookie Chips are the original all natural, super crunchy, absolutely delicious snack cookie.  Made from only the highest quality ingredients, Cookie Chips are a daily indulgent treat you won’t feel guilty about. “

I won’t feel guilty about it, unless I eat the whole bag in one sitting.  I started to do the math…each bag has 6 servings, and a serving size is 5 cookies which is 120 calories, so if there are 30 cookies in a bag, then I could feel OK with eating half the bag for 360 calories of all natural goodness.  To put in in perspective (for myself) it’s about the equivalent caloric intake of eating 3 and 1/2 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, my favorite.  Would I rather eat 3 and a 1/2 Reese’s or 15 Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups?  I might need to conduct an experiment to decide which is more worth it.

Happy munching,

Chelsea

Source: Crunchy Cookie Chips

An Ode to Kate and a Thanks to Lucy

kate

A friend gave me these gorgeous, gold polka-dotted Kate Spade notebooks and the adorable pencil bag which had a ruler, two golden pencil sharpeners, two pencils that say “to whom it may concern,” and an eraser inside.  She also gave me these awesome Kate Spade paperclips which are shaped like bows.  Paperclips that look like bows!!

kate spade

more kate

I’m fairly confident that a more beautiful writing set has never been created.  I love the eraser.  It’s so cute and encouraging with the words, “to err is human” printed on it.   The gold, pink, black, and white combine in a sophisticated, but fun look.  I have been using the big notebook nonstop, making grocery lists, to-do lists, and jotting down directions.  Lucy gave me the perfect gift and I LOVE IT!

Cheers to being Kate Spade girls.

Chelsea

 

One Person’s Garage Sale is My Treasure Trove

table find

$45.00

I bought this table and four chairs for 45  bucks at a garage sale!! Driving past a sign, I felt compelled to turn and check out the sale, just to see, and I found this gem.  It was priced at $50 and I wanted the table enough for my negotiating skills to go slack, but still, I think it was an incredible steal.  I had to borrow a suburban to fit the kitchen set, but I realized when I was returning to pick it up, I forgot the exact address.  I drove around for about half an hour before I found the sale again to take home my prize.  It was well worth it.  Here is how much the set costs at retail, compare and contrast:

table

Table found at houzz

Chairs found at IKEA

chair

Let’s do the math: $347 + (4 x $79) = $663.00

I saved 618 dollars.

Now, I want to share a treasure from another type of sale.  The wonderful things that can be found at an estate sale are surprisingly abounding, and it’s so rewarding to recognize something valuable among heaping piles of junk.  If you haven’t tried stopping in estate sales, I seriously recommend trying it, if not for one day of entertainment.  At a “5 dollar bag sale” (where you fill plastic bags with anything and everything being sold, and the whole bag costs $5) my mom and I posed in multiple fur coats and ended up buying a bunch of them.  I’ve bought an elf costume to dress like “elf on the shelf” around Christmas, I’ve bought CocaCola glassware, a Kitchen Aid mixer, a tiny portable grill that looks like a magic 8-ball, a putting green with putter, a sofa table/wine rack, and so much more.

This table was found recently at an estate sale on half-price day, and it cost me $5.  I wish I had a ‘before’ picture because the table top was white and the wine rack was neon, bright pink, and the whole thing had a dust-covered fake vine of plastic flowers woven all over it.  After depleting a can of chalk spray paint and about four other black spray paint cans that were already low, I came out with this beautiful sofa table.  It’s awesome to store wine and wine glasses, plus it’s so fun to show guests and watch them get creative with chalk.  It’s also great for leaving messages for someone.  Can you tell I love this table?

wine table

The gorgeous catch-all tray and picture frame were grad gifts from family friends, so special thanks.  Here is what some creative friends did with the top:

wine table art

Love it.

Chelsea

Eat Cake For Breakfast

A Peek Into the Beauty of Kate Spade

phone case

I walked into a Kate Spade store today and it felt like a huge mistake – I was instantly in love with all of the colors, the purses, Kate Spade everything.  It was like walking into a magical, fashionable dream – like Alice, in wonderland, became a chic, upscale designer.  I’ve been there before and I forced myself out without really taking in all the beauty because the price range scares me and I can’t afford a keychain.  As my mom and I ooed and aahed from purse to purse, I said, “Oh, you have got to see this one! Look at the scallop edging and the pretty blush pink color, it’s gorgeous!” and “Oh wow, this car purse is amazing, I have to have it, I have to.  Isn’t it fun?”  I picked the purses up, touching the colorful leather and the metal spade-shaped keychains on each one.  The salesperson at the store told us this was her “fun job” where she could spoil herself every now and then from the gains of her “real job.”  My mom picked up what looked like a fashion magazine folded, as if it were being gripped, and it was a clutch.  The saleswoman said, “Kate Spade loves making things whimsical.”  With bright colors, feminine details, and catchy sayings on purses, the Kate Spade brand defines whimsical beauty.  From the car purse, to the purse shaped like a lemon, to a pink, quilted over the shoulder bag I think I have to buy…I’m in love with Kate Spade.

Some of my favorites:

i kissed a frog mulit clutch $328, how cute with the little frog prince clasp?

lemon 148

vita riva wicker lemon $248 marked down to $148

vita riva wicker car 238

vita riva wicker car $328

picnic locket 39

picnic locket $39

scented candle 40

scented candle “light up the room” $40, other candles said, “escape the ordinary” “leave something to the imagination” “be dazzling” “start something new” and “pretty and witty make the perfect pair” (LOVE IT)

book clutch

all roads lead to rio book clutch $328, I think this is so imaginative, a cute, and functional – I love to read and I love Kate Spade purses, so why not make a pretty clutch that looks like a book?  The design is brilliant.

via limoni vivi 148

via limoni vivi $248 marked down to $148, it’s hard to believe it’s a purse, isn’t it?

pink pelican

fine feather roux $498, how gorgeous is this? The pink gems, the pelican, AND it has a silver chain over the shoulder strap…simply perfect.

watch

gramercy mini $250, I set my heart on this watch when I saw a girlfriend wearing the original gramercy (which is larger) and I’m hoping to get it soon.  I love the crystals instead of numbers, I’m smitten with it.

gold coast ginnie

gold coast ginnie marked down from $248 to $99, this is the gorgeous, pink, quilted purse I love.

There are just a limited selection of my absolute favorites, as you can tell, it was difficult for me to even pare down to this.  There are little, jeweled camel earring studs, or turtles if you prefer those instead, there are gorgeous pumps and sandals, beautiful home accessories, stationary, dresses, sunglasses, silverware sets, and so much more.  So many colors, bows, and details – a whole collection of wonderful, whimsical things made the Kate Spade way.  Kate Spade’s style is unique, inspirational, and feminine, and it motivates us to…

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All pictures from Kate Spade

Become A Beach Babe

It’s the time of year to look like a beach goddess and flaunt your hottest bikini.  As a Midwesterner, I think it’s important to have gorgeous hair that makes it LOOK like I just came back from the beach.  I imagine the salty ocean spray and a paradise with a beach cabana – and then I spray on beach hair miracle spray to give me the look of the beach goddess I want to become.

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Spray

I loooove Not Your Mother’s Texturizing Sea Salt Spray.  It is accurately called Beach Babe because it gives you perfect, sexy, beachy waves and it smells as amazing as a piña colada tastes.  You can spray it on your damp or dry hair, and you only need two or three spritzes to give your hair lift, texture, and wave.  I love using it when I get out of the shower and when I’m leaving the pool, and I can feel the difference in my hair.  The one flaw is that it’s not the best size to throw in your bag and there’s no cap to keep it from spraying the insides of your purse.  That being said, here’s my second choice.

Sally Hershberger Glam Waves Texture Spray

Sally Hershberger Glam Waves also smells amazing and gives your hair some sexy, tousled waves, but I think you need more like five or six sprays and I don’t feel the same volumizing texture the first spray gives me.  However, the trade-off is that it’s small and capped so you can through it in your pool or beach bag and spritz your hair while you’re out romping around.

After the break-down, Not Your Mother’s is the cheaper option from about $5-$8 depending on where you buy it and Sally Hershberger rings in at $13.  The choice is yours, but you can’t go wrong with beach babe waves either way.

Both are sold at Urban Outfitters: Not Your Mother’s, Sally Hershberger

Hot Lips

Bunny Balm

bunny balm

I found an awesome chap stick and I want to rave about it! This cute little bunny is made by TONYMOLY and called Petite Bunny Gloss Bar, which pretty much explains it.  I bought the balm in Juicy Peach, number 5, and I love the lightly colored tint and shine it gives my lips while also making them feel soft.  It’s a good, small size for any purse/clutch and it’s so adorable! I purchased mine at Urban Outfitters for $8.00 and that’s the cheapest source I found, also it’s very comparable to your standard Burt’s Bees chap stick, only much cuter.  It comes in lots of different shades, and I can’t wait to buy a couple more.  Look, they even have different facial expressions.  These bunny balms make me smile.

colorful lips

Chelsea

Photos: multiple balms, pink balm

Capitalist Crusade

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So this post is a personal musing of my thoughts, and I will categorize such posts under the title “Musings.” How appropriate, right?  Well, I am sort of a religious shopper, mostly that of a thrift shopper, but occasionally I like to shop around the mall.  I have also been known to shop for things I don’t need, or can’t afford, but I can’t help the fact that sometimes I get drawn in by a gorgeous dress, or pair of boots, or sunglasses that I cannot leave the store without.  Tiffany sunglass, at a thrift store, still not cheap, but I couldn’t walk away without them.

Anyways, I went shopping today, and I left the house with a couple of specific errands that I planned to spend money on, as well as the intention to shop around leisurely and buy myself a little something nice for making it through college.  I think  it’s necessary to reward yourself every now and then.  Let me just say that this is not a rant.  However, I do intend to relay a message about what I noticed across the places I stopped in today.

The message is this: we are no longer in a recession, people are buying, and wanting to buy, but the problem is the art of selling.  I studied to receive a degree in business for two years before I changed my major to English, and I learned that even for an interview, the most important skill is selling – to sell yourself.  Any job requires you to believe in the company you work for and to promote the product or service it offers to customers.  An employee’s first and foremost responsibility is to be passionate about that product/service and to try to promote it to as many customers as possible.  I think this is the key to selling.

So today…I experienced inconvenience in finding what I wanted to buy, and did not receive help or guidance.  At Apple, there seemed to be employees teeming everywhere, but I was shuffled in and told to look for “the guy with the red iPad case” for help because the employee I was speaking to was “busy directing traffic” within the store.  No joke.  I finally did receive help, but the product I was looking for was not for sale.  This was not the only instance.  In Sephora, I was greeted very nicely and offered assistance.  I explained what I was looking for and was showed a product, which was not exactly what I had in mind, but when I tried to rephrase and ask for more help, I was promptly abandoned.  As a buyer, I was shocked, and I thought, “Maybe she isn’t willing to deal with helping me if she doesn’t get a commission off of what I buy.”  In reality, I don’t know for sure why she walked away while I was asking questions.  However, someone who looked like a manager saw me looking around, confused, and came to my rescue, helping me find the perfect products to ring up to a total of $63.87.

My experience as a shopper today troubled me because I recently graduated from college and am desperately seeking to find employment.  Not only do I really want to work, but I want to make money and I also want to spend money.  I am a born shopper.  It was to Sephora’s detriment that the first saleswoman refused to help me, because it deterred me from buying more.  I could have been convinced to buy unnecessary things if only someone explained the value and quality of these items to me.  That’s the thing – many consumers are easy to push over when it comes to buying, at least up to a certain price point, but especially within the impulse buy zone (which for me is up to $20, although under $15 is perfect).  Even after saying no, a majority of those resistant consumers can still be heckled into buying or convinced that they really do need the product.  And if a salesperson does get through to a customer, it is most likely that that person will go on selling the product to their friends, doing the salesperson’s job for them.  I rave about all my favorite purchases and talk about the products that impress and please me the most (Birchbox).  Word of mouth marketing is far from dead.

As a former business student, I was baffled by the poor business practices that I witnessed in terms of selling.  The upswing is that, for anyone seeking jobs, competent, passionate, and driven sellers are in high demand.  I was actually recruited by Express while I was shopping.  Here’s what happened:

I walked in and the girl working at Express said, “Oh, hi there, you look so cute!” I felt confused, again, and looked behind me over my shoulder and said, “Uh, are you talking to me?” Luckily, she laughed and asked if she could help me find anything.  Great service, thumbs up to Express.  There was no specific purpose except that I wanted to see if I could find anything good on the sale rack, so I stuttered, “Um, tank tops.” She asked if I meant the casual type of tank tops and I said yes, and she directed me to the right.  Then she started asking me personal questions while I was trying to fake shop through the tank tops and ignore her hovering, while secretly trying to scan around the store for that sale rack.  She said, “So are you on a break?” I looked confused. She said, “I mean do you work at the mall?” I said no.  She asked, “Are you in school?” I said no, and I think I may have started to look hostile, worrying that she might mistake me for a high-schooler, as I often am mistaken for someone much younger, offered kids’ menus, and given the child price for movie tickets (it’s not all bad).  She picked up on this and said, “Did you just graduate?”  The questions continued until I explained that yes, I just graduated from college and am currently looking for employment.  She then told me that she thought I looked stylish and they were hiring at Express so she thought she would try to recruit me.  The jobs are out there! Companies need people to believe in what they’re selling! Money is in the hands and pockets of people who want to spend it, and businesses rely on their employees to sell to the best of their abilities.  If there is something out there that you love, you can most likely get a job selling it, just by talking about it.  I can tell you right now, the things I am best at selling are FOOD and Hemingway novels.

My message is that the market needs passionate people.  The opportunity exists.  The graduates of 2014 do not need to fear.  Businesses are looking for strong candidates to sell their image and products or services.  The economy is forward moving and fastpaced…it demands that we match it.

Chelsea

graduate