Monthly Archives: December 2015


Hot Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Marshmallows

It’s the holiday season! Also known as that wonderful time of year, a.k.a., where all of a sudden, calories don’t count. Taking full advantage, we’re indulging early (morning, that is) with these baked hot chocolate cake donuts topped with toasted marshmallows and a sprinkling of cocoa powder. All the wonderful flavors that winter has to offer, packed into a classic morning treat. I can’t imagine a better start to the day.

Hot Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Marshmallows (These are incredible! Just sayin'.)

These are perfect for the first day of the new year (donuts cure champagne hangovers, of course!) and will keep you toasty and warm straight through winter.

With a donut pan, and a few simple ingredients, you’ll be on your way to the most decadent breakfast. These treats begin with freshly baked, fluffy chocolate cake donuts. The batter is kissed with a pinch of cinnamon, a spice that brings out the warmth of a classic hot cocoa. Next, these hot chocolate-y donuts are coated with a delicate glaze to sweeten things up. And last but not least, a toasted marshmallow to top them off – because who doesn’t love a toasted marshmallow?!

Put these moist & fluffy hot chocolate cake donuts at the top of your wishlist this year.

Hot Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Marshmallows (These are incredible! Just sayin'.)

Hot Chocolate Cake Donuts with Toasted Marshmallows

Makes 6.

INGREDIENTS

For the donut batter …

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg

For the glaze …

2 tbsp. melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp. cashew milk (or regular milk), to thin

For the topping …

6 toasted marshmallows
Cocoa powder

Hot Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Marshmallows (These are incredible! Just sayin'.)

DIRECTIONS

1. Begin by making the donut batter. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Separately, in a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (the egg, milk, vanilla, and melted butter.) Make sure that the wet ingredients are all at room temperature.

2. Pour the wet into the dry and beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes, until the batter appears lighter in color and fluffy. You can do this step by hand or using beaters, either will work!

3. Spray a donut pan with nonstick spray and fill each to just about the top. Bake them in a 325 degree F oven for 7-9 minutes, until they’ve puffed up and bounce back when touched.

4. While the donuts cool, whisk together melted butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract for the glaze. Submerge each donut into the glaze, coating completely. Allow them to cool until the glaze hardens.

5. (Optional) Toast 6 marshmallows (on parchment paper) in the oven until golden brown. Top each donut with a toasted marshmallow and a sprinkling of cocoa powder, for extra decadence.

Hot Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Marshmallows (These are incredible! Just sayin'.) Hot Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Marshmallows (These are incredible! Just sayin'.)

For a step-by-step peek at how to make these simply, yummy baked donuts, click through the slideshow:

Recipe adapted via Shugary Sweets

Special thanks to Rachel of Sugar-Coated Inspiration for this amazing recipe! (Check out all of Rachel’s posts for Glitter, Inc., here.)


Lexi

Winter Beach Vacation: What to Pack

You guessed it, we’re going to the beach! Last year it was Cancun, and this time, we’re headed to the Dominican Republic for the holidays! I can’t tell you how excited I am to see my family … I’ve been just a wee bit homesick (moving several states away will do that to you.) I’m also ridiculously excited for the break, the sunshine, and a few extra helping hands (thanks, family!) My hubby gets the whole week off as well, and after the last several weeks doing patient consults at the hospital with long hours and not seeing Scarlett (bedtime is typically long before her Daddy gets home), I know he’s looking forward to it as well. It’s funny how sometimes you have to escape to really spend time together and enjoy your family in big doses.

But don’t you worry, I’ll be popping in on the blog throughout the next week, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing a few fun vacation recaps once we’re back, but until then, follow along on instagramfacebooktwitter, and snapchat → glitterinclexi (my newest social media obsession) for fun peeks at our travels and check out my beach vacation packing list.

Now onto the packing! Packing for a winter beach vacation can be tricky. You’ve already stuffed your Summer wear into the deepest recesses of your closet, and in comes that beach vacation and you’ve got to magically pull out your cutest summer stuff, stat. My advice: keep it streamlined. Go for a few of your favorite simple dresses for day and night (I’m partial to dresses in the heat because they don’t cling), sandals, sunglasses, a pair or two of shorts and a skirt and cute tops (tank tops are always easy but I am also loving the delicate sleeves on this lace blouse … I may have ordered it in black and white for the trip!), a lightweight crossbody bag, and at least one or two floppy hats (because, why not?)

Winter Beach Vacation - What to Pack - Travel

Shop my Packing List: Truffle Clarity Pouch // Needlepoint Hat // Marysia Swim Broadway Swimsuit // Halogen ‘Delicata’ Square Silk Scarf // East Hand Crochet Long Cardigan // ARTESANO CREATIONS LLC Collete Wool Fedora // iPhone 6 Plus/6/5/5s/5c Case in Green Palm Leaves // Aritzia Rians Blouse // Lacey Ryan Happy Hands Bracelet Set // Kate Spade Gold Dots Insulated Tumbler // Prada Aviator Sunglasses // Marysia Antibes and Santa Monica scalloped bandeau bikini // Bloom Theory Sequin Camera Strap // Isabel Marant ‘Melissa’ skirt // Valentino Rockstud Camera bag // Abercrombie & Fitch Striped Rubber Flip Flops // Polka Dot ESCAPE Canvas Utility Bag // T by Alexander Wang Frayed Burlap Dress // Loeffler Randall Kiki Tassel Mule Slide Sandals // Loeffler Randall Reina Sandals // NO. 21 T-Shirt V-Back Dress

Plus, a bit of mama advice (but truly, this applies to all of us!): buy and pack bathing suits you’ll actually be comfortable in! For years I squirmed my way into little string bikinis and tops with never-ending straps. Well, I’m over it, and Scarlett is not having it anyway. I have become her human rock-climbing wall, and an ill-fitting swimsuit is just not going to measure up to the force that is a toddler. I discovered Marysia bathing suits sometime last year and I have never looked back. The fabric/material they use is uber flattering (unlike so many swimsuits that cut in all the wrong places), and their one-pieces and high-waisted bikini bottoms are mom-approved and so sexy. I’m on the high-waisted bikini train and I’m never getting off.

Have an amazing New Years Eve and cheers to R&R!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Little Love Notes

Free People Weekend Boucle Cardigan - Holidays - Oversized Knit Blanket Throw and Presents

Happy weekend, everyone! Scarlett and I are headed to our neighbor’s Christmas party while hubby works at the hospital.* Today, I’m scouring Pinterest for the perfect Christmas cookie to bring over for the party, so if you have any easy suggestions, I’m all ears! The rest of the weekend, we’re packing and staying in while hubby works, because bright and early Monday morning we’re hopping on a plane for the Dominican Republic to celebrate the new year with my family. I’m slightly terrified to travel during the busiest time of the year with a now very wiggly toddler … wish us luck! As always, I’ll be sharing fun peeks on instagramfacebooktwitter, snapchat → glitterinclexi (my newest social media obsession) throughout the weekend. How about you? Any exciting holiday weekend plans?

With that, a few little love notes …

Dear book lovers, thirty-one of the most beautiful passages from literature that you’ll want to read over and over again.

Dear beauty help, a simple trick to getting a great brow arch.

Dear avocado obsessed, 19 of the most perfect avocado toasts that happened in 2015.

Dear iphone case of my dreams, liquid glitter (oh yeah, you read that right!) and unicorns make one perfect case.

Dear new years resolutionswardrobe purge tips.

Dear weekend baking, nutella-stuffed sugar cookies.

Get the origins of these sweet little love notes, here, and catch up on love notes of the past.

Weekend Boucle Kimono via Free People

*Hubby always volunteers to work at the hospital on Christmas since we don’t celebrate (and Chanukah is usually much earlier in the month) and he wants those who do to be with their families. He’s kind of awesome like that.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays - Merry Christmas - Wreath

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday enjoying with your family and friends. We’re spending tonight with new North Carolina friends having Chinese food (a very Jewish Christmas tradition!) at a noodle and dumpling bar (sounds amazing!) At the end of the weekend we’re hopping on a plane for a vacation to the Dominican Republic to celebrate a belated Chanukah and New Years Eve with my mom’s side of the family. Missing everyone in a big way, and a little sunshine’s not too bad either. Can’t wait!

I’ll be popping into the blog between now and new years as well, but in case I miss you, Happy New Year!

image via Lovely Life // Photograph: Lina Östling // Stylist: Mari Strenghielm Nord, 2015 för bilagan Äntligen jul


Lexi

How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

In need of cookies for Santa? We’ve got you covered. Just in the nick of time, we’ve got the yummiest frosted gingerbread cookies for you; a.k.a., a recipe for the most festive, chewy homemade Gingerbread cookies. This spin on a classic, crisp gingerbread men made delightfully chewy, is sure to become a family favorite (especially with the kiddos.) Soft, chewy, and mildly spiced – these cookies are a crowd pleaser. Not to mention, they’re adorable.

The best part about these gingerbread cookies is how simple they are to whip up. Talk about the perfect Christmas Eve activity!

How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

The cookie dough takes little effort to whip up, requiring minimal time in the fridge, and they bake up to golden perfection in just 10 minutes. The whole family can join in and decorate their own gingerbread man (and other adorable shapes) – getting as creative as they please. Just hope you can ice them as fast as they’ll be eaten! This was a serious issue in my kitchen …

How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Chewy Gingerbread Men

Yields 2 dozen large cookies.

INGREDIENTS

For the gingerbread cookie dough …

3 cups flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ tbsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda
12 tbsp butter, softened slightly
¾ cup molasses
2 tbsp milk

For the royal icing …

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 tsp milk
3 tsp light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

(FOR EXTRA SPICE, use a full tablespoon of ground ginger – I prefer my cookies less spicy, so I only used ½ a tablespoon.)

How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Once whisked together, add in 12 tbsp of butter (chopped into 12 pieces.) Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbs.

2. Once the butter is cut into the flour, pour in the molasses and milk. Mix until completely combined. (The dough will seem dry at first, but it will come together once it is completely mixed.)

3. Separate the dough into two large pieces. Then, sandwich each in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out the dough until it is around ¼ of an inch thick. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

4. While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After 20 minutes, cut the dough into shapes and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Smoosh together the leftover pieces of dough, roll them out, and cut more shapes until all of the dough has been used.

5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool to room temperature before frosting them.

6. As the cookies cool, prepare the icing. Combine powdered sugar, milk, light corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix until smooth. The consistency of the icing should be that of toothpaste, so that the lines you pipe do not run or spread. Decorate each gingerbread man however you’d like – and enjoy!

How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Serve with hot cocoa or tea on a cold holiday morning, and you’ve got yourself a pajama-clad party!

How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies How to Make Frosted Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe adapted via Stick A Fork In It

Special thanks to Rachel of Sugar-Coated Inspiration for this amazing recipe! (Check out all of Rachel’s posts for Glitter, Inc., here.)


Lexi

How to Survive a Holiday Family Photo Shoot {+ Our Trip to the Christmas Tree Farm}

Last weekend our little family headed to our first ever Christmas tree farm for a few family photos. The idea: something truly festive and North Carolina-ish. Yeah, yeah, I know Christmas tree farms are everywhere, but they’re not in Miami; at least not real ones!

I prepared like crazy, laying out our outfits before hand, picking the perfect place, having plenty of snacks and toys to tame our wild little toddler. Truth is, I nearly forgot to take family photos for the holidays in the first place, but we were in a new hometown, with constant requests from our families for more photos of Scarlett and our family, and our last family photos were taken weeks after Scarlett was born. Whoops! (For the record: she’s now 17 months old.) Thankfully, my friend Ana swooped in and saved the day, and thus our holiday family shoot finally came together.

Despite my preparation for the big day, we had a few bumps in the road. We ran around the house like lunatics the morning of the shoot, trying to iron shirts and find Scarlett’s missing boot (I was determined to find that boot!), but once we made it to the Christmas tree farm and started snapping photos with the amazing Ana of Galizes Photos, I swelled with pride and love. As a blogger, I sometimes forget to get in front of the lens – I’m always the one snapping photos. And though I cherish the memories, having those tangible moments with all three of us – moments I can print and frame and press into books and send to family and print on holiday cards and look back on for years to come – they really are so special and worth the pre-shoot morning chaos. Needless to say, I probably wore the wrong black dress that made me look slightly pregnant (for the record: I’m not!), Scarlett refused to take even one step in those cute boots I searched endlessly for and she munched on raisins through most of the shoot (so those raisins she loves so much will most definitely adorn our gallery wall for years to come), I forced my poor husband to take off his glasses and he stumbled around half-blind for the duration of the shoot, and Ana, our photographer, was a patient saint. Still, I am so grateful and lucky and in love. And hey, at least we got this photo out of it. I just love it.

Holiday Family Photo Shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm (Tips and Tricks for Shooting with Kids)

HOW TO SURVIVE A HOLIDAY FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT:

  1. Prepare in advance. Have all of the outfits, clean and ironed, ready and waiting the morning of the shoot.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes.*
  3. Make sure everyone gets in a good meal before the shoot (wearing something other than their shoot outfit.) And I’m not just talking about the babies here. (I’m looking at you, hubby.)
  4. Plan the shoot around nap-time. We went at 10am because Scarlett really only needs one afternoon nap a day now.
  5. Check the weather before you go. And then check it again. We lucked out and it was a gorgeous day. Ana also knew just where to shoot to get the perfect amount of light. (Told you she was awesome!)
  6. Bring ALL OF THE TOYS to distract your little ones. (Including a new book – Scarlett got Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? from her Aunt Dara! – or toy – and a Blabla Kids doll from her Bubby – if possible. We love the $1 and $3 bins at the front of Target; cute little toys, inexpensive activity books, etc.)
  7. Second that for snacks. We had raisins (clearly), fruit squeeze packs, graham crackers, veggie straws, and plenty of milk and water. Basically, anything that was relatively mess-free.
  8. Bring a blanket, in case it gets cold or your little one needs something to crawl on.
  9. Try to bring a cute prop for your photos. We borrowed a classic red Radio Flyer Wagon and I found this adorable holiday tin basket in the $1 bin at Target for Scarlett to hold and use to collect fallen branches. She got a real kick out of it and it was cute in photos!
  10. Keep it short and sweet. A family photo shoot shouldn’t last more than an hour-to-an-hour-and-a-half. Try to remember it’s a lot for your little ones. And with a great photographer, an hour or so is totally do-able.
  11. Go with the flow! Maybe you dreamed of taking the world’s cutest photograph with your whole family lined up on swings, but your littlest won’t stop crying. It’s time for a new plan (and a snack!) You can always come back to the swings.
  12. I dare you not to cry once you get the photos back. I may or may not have bawled like a baby and sent photo after photo to my husband at the hospital texting him things like, “Look at our baby!!! I CAN’T GET ENOUGH.”

Holiday Family Photo Shoot - Christmas Tree Farm (Plus, how to survive a shoot with kids!) Holiday Family Photo Shoot - Christmas Wreath

Yeah, I’m kind of obsessed with that wagon.

Holiday-Family-Photos-2015---Christmas-Tree-Farm Holiday Family Photo Shoot - Christmas Tree Farm (Plus, how to survive a shoot with kids!)

By the way, this perfectly sums up our photo shoot.

Holiday Family Photo Shoot at the Christmas Tree Farm - Scarlett scarfing on raisins.

And then we ran out of raisins.

Holiday Family Photo Shoot - Scarlett out of raisins! Holiday Family Photo Shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm (Tips and Tricks for Shooting with Kids) Holiday Family Photo Shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm (Tips and Tricks for Shooting with Kids)

And she was officially done with the wagon.

Holiday Family Photo Shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm (Tips and Tricks for Shooting with Kids)

But Daddy found a slice of tree stump, and all was right with the world again.

Holiday Family Photo Shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm (Tips and Tricks for Shooting with Kids)

And then of course, there was a mailbox. So we spent at least five minutes taking her new book in and out of the mailbox. Which was just fine by us. We could have been playing in the garbage can, and I still would have been happy to have a few photos where she looked happy.

Holiday Family Photo Shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm (Tips and Tricks for Shooting with Kids)

After that, we spent a lot of time reading the same book to Scarlett, over and over again, because without that distraction, she kept writhing in our arms and throwing herself dramatically to the ground.

Holiday Family Photo Shoot - Christmas Tree Farm (Plus, how to survive a shoot with kids!) Holiday Family Photo Shoot - Christmas Tree Farm (Plus, how to survive a shoot with kids!) Holiday Family Photo Shoot - Christmas Tree Farm (Plus, how to survive a shoot with kids!)

We got one chance to photograph her standing, because she crawled the rest of the visit (even though I promise you, she can walk.)

*But I think that one might have been Mommy’s fault … those adorable boots I insisted she wear, they were a tad too big (read: gigantic) on her. Mom fail.

Holiday Family Photo Shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm (Tips and Tricks for Shooting with Kids) Holiday Family Photo Shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm (Tips and Tricks for Shooting with Kids)

And look: we got cute photos! I call that a WIN.

SHOP THE STORY / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

 

On Lexi: Free People Sweet Treat Mini Dress // Free People Joe Lace Up Boots // Lipstick: YSL in No. 1

On Mike: Plaid Flannel Shirt // 7 for all Mankind Jeans // Steve Madden Boots

On Scarlett: Carters Sparkle Sherpa Sweatshirt // Pink Tutu // Black and Gold Sparkle Bow Tights // Toddler Girls Brown Boots // Sparkle Hair Clips // Radio Flyer Wagon // Blabla Kids doll // Threshhold Faux Fur Blanket

Photos by Galizes Photos // Location: Boyce Farms

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi