Monthly Archives: January 2016


Little Love Notes

Street Style - Chanel Medium Boy Bag and Grey Sweater

Happy weekend! I’m spending most of my weekend entertaining a very chatty toddler and building a giant backdrop for a photo shoot I’m styling on Tuesday while hubby works all weekend at the hospital. (Wish me luck!) We also have dinner plans on Saturday and Sunday, and I’m catching up with an old friend from law school who happens to be visiting Durham for work. Yay! As always, I’ll be sharing what we’re up to throughout the weekend over on instagramfacebooktwitter, and snapchat → glitterinclexi (lots of fun behind-the-scenes  there). How about you? Any exciting weekend plans?

With that, a few little love notes …

Dear everyone, ever wonder what makes a good life? These are the lessons from the longest study on happiness.

Dear hunt for the perfect nude lip, rumor has it, the NAKED lip glosses are gorgeous, and just the perfect does of nude color. Has anyone tried these? Beso looks like THE perfect pick-me-up dose of subtle, subtle shimmery mauve-meets-nude color.

Dear weekend giggles, a man built a Winter Storm Jonas igloo and listed it on Airbnb for $200 a night. I kid you not.

Dear go-getters10 female TV writers on their “aha!” moments.

Dear lingering new years resolutions57 small things to do for yourself (that involve good food) this year.

Dear movie lovers, a brief history of swearing in movies.

Dear winter chic on a budget, the prettiest fur-topped coat, and it’s under $200.

Dear fun factstwelve secrets of New York’s Central Park.

Dear weekend baking, homemade blueberry swirl muffins.

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

image via Somewhere, Lately // Sweater (Love the tunic length and oversized fit!) // Chanel Boy Bag (similar, more affordable option: Rebecca Minkoff Love Bag)

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

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

At our house, banana bread is all the rage. I’ve been making the same unbelievably moist, dense, perfectly sweet banana bread recipe for years. That is, until this past weekend, when I finally experimented and tried a vegan version of my precious banana bread. Scarlett has had a milk protein allergy since birth, and though I’m hopeful she’ll grow out of it, that day has yet to come. So in the meantime, and for the sake of her health, of course, I am learning to bake a few yummy vegan recipes. I used to shudder at the thought of a meal without milk or butter or cheese, but as I’m learning to cook vegan dishes, I’m amazed at all of the incredible flavors you can get without said dairy-laden culprits. Lucky for us, Scarlett can eat eggs, but this vegan chocolate chunk banana bread doesn’t use any eggs, milk, or butter, and still tastes heavenly.

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread - tender, moist, and totally delicious! (You'd never know it was missing butter and eggs.)

So let’s talk about this banana bread. It is good. Like, really good. It’s tender and soft, with the right amount of bounce, and a hearty somewhat chewier crust (as it should be!)

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread - tender, moist, and totally delicious! (You'd never know it was missing butter and eggs.)

VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHUNK BANANA BREAD

1 load (or about 8 servings)
Prep Time: 20 Minutes // Cook Time: 55 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

baking spray
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain soy milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dairy-Free Chocolate Chunks or Chips* (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Coat a loaf pan with baking spray.
  • Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk the bananas, sugar, yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt and it worked like a charm!), oil and vanilla together in another medium bowl or your stand mixer.
  • Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula (or on low speed in your mixer) until the batter just comes together. Add in your chocolate chunks (optional) and gently mix one more time. The key to quick breads like banana bread is not to over-mix.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

*I recently started using Enjoy Life chocolate chunks and chips; they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free, and totally delicious. They also bake incredibly well. Even Target carries them!

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread - tender, moist, and totally delicious! (You'd never know it was missing butter and eggs.) Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread - tender, moist, and totally delicious! (You'd never know it was missing butter and eggs.) Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread - tender, moist, and totally delicious! (You'd never know it was missing butter and eggs.) Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread - tender, moist, and totally delicious! (You'd never know it was missing butter and eggs.)

Recipe adapted via Food Network

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

On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It)

How many of you hate being in pictures? It’s okay to admit it! I’ve always been pretty camera shy, shirking out of photos, wedging myself in the back of obligatory group photos, offering to take the photos rather than be in them. Not even a blog motivated me to get in front of the camera all that much more. But as a mom, it’s become more obvious to me, that I purposefully choose not to be in photos and it makes me sad. I was going through pictures from our recent family trip, and I couldn’t find a single picture of me. It’s not unless I force our little group into a shoot, that magic happens. And then I regret not taking even more photos of the three of us.

And in particular, as moms, we’re so present in the moments, worrying about every little thing for our kids, and when we do capture a moment of our little ones (which are frequent, because I mean, come on, they’re just so cute), we never consider being in the picture ourselves, or asking someone else to snap the photo so that we can get in on the cuteness and memories too. Couple that with the fact that I have always been camera shy, and other than a great blog opportunity here and there, I’m pretty shy about showing my face online and on social media.

On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It) - camera shy girlfriend - coffee - mikael theimer

Same goes for this girlfriend of a professional photographer. Only hitch is, she’s the girlfriend of a professional photographer! Meet Mikaël, and his girlfriend, Marion. Marion, like so many, doesn’t feel comfortable in front of the camera. Rather than refusing to be photographed, she found ways to cleverly hide her face in pictures. It actually became a game between the two of them, so that whenever Mikaël wants to capture Marion on film, she has to find a quirky and creative way to hide her face. This is just genius, and makes for perfectly adorable “camera shy” photographs. Pretty charming, don’t you think?

On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It) - camera shy girlfriend - book store - mikael theimer On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It) - camera shy girlfriend - sidewalk - mikael theimer On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It) - camera shy girlfriend - back - mikael theimer On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It) - camera shy girlfriend - bath tub hair - mikael theimer On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It) - camera shy girlfriend - bus station - mikael theimer On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It) - camera shy girlfriend - snow gloves - mikael theimer On Being Camera-Shy (and an Adorable Way to Remedy It) - camera shy girlfriend - wood box - mikael theimer

via My Modern Met (Mikaël Theimer: Website | Facebook | Instagram)


Lexi

10 Awesome FREE At-Home Online Workouts

If you follow me on Snapchat (username → glitterinclexi), you may have caught that Scarlett and I went to a handful of stroller fitness classes last week. I know it’s a tad cliché to start a workout routine on the heels of a new year, but hey, if it gets me working out, I’m running with it (pun totally intended!) But here’s the thing: while I actually sort of liked the intense cardio workout – I say sort of because as hard as I try, I’ve never really liked working out; the sneakers, the sweat, burpees (a.k.a., misery), the whole exercise aspect … I’d rather be doing, well, anything else – Scarlett seemed to hate it. She was less-than-thrilled to be confined to her stroller seat for a solid hour, and trust me, I plied her with everything from boxes of raisins, bags of cereal, every game and show on the ipad. It was hopeless. While I may still try our stroller strides class a few more times, I’m just not sure this one is Scarlett’s “thing.”

Miraculously though, I’m still on the whole fitness train. So I’m determined to keep it up, and follow through on my workout resolution. And the easiest way to keep at it is by keeping it in my living room. At-home online workouts are where it’s at. Because a workout that I can do three feet from my sofa, is my kind of workout.

And let’s face it, gym memberships can get expensive, classes aren’t always convenient, and if you’re a fellow mama, trying to get everyone ready to make your way to an exercise class on time can feel like a whole lot more trouble than it’s worth. So I’m rounding up 10 of the best FREE online workouts you can do at home (and still feel like you’ve kicked some butt for the day!)

10 of the best FREE online workouts you can do at home (and still feel like you’ve kicked some butt for the day!) Click through for the details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Ballet Beautiful | Total Body Sculpt Workout: Although you can actually pay for a subscription to access all of the Ballet Beautiful courses online, there are a few graceful, ballet-inspired full body exercise routines offered for free on BeFit’s YouTube channel.

Tone It Up: YouTube sensations, Karena and Katrina, have their own Bravo reality show, really awesome beach waves, and an arsenal of workout moves with adorable names like Koala Curls, Hug Your Mate, and Kangaroo Jacks. Their YouTube channel also has over 300,000 subscribers, so you know they’ve got to be good.

30-Minute Bodyweight Bootcamp Workout You Can Do Anywhere: Another one by POPSUGAR Fitness, this one promise’s to leave you dripping in sweat; a.k.a., a bonafide workout.

Jillian Michaels’ Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Complete Workout: Judging from the comments, this one is going to leave you flat on your back. Maybe do half at a time. Baby steps, my friends.

Fit, Strong, and Sexy: Former fitness consultant, Amanda Russell, offers friendly online classes with fun twists like Bridal Workout Moves, Skinny Jean Workout, and The Coachella 5 Minute Hip and Butt Workout.

10 of the best FREE online workouts you can do at home (and still feel like you’ve kicked some butt for the day!) Click through for the details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

POP Pilates for Beginners: A total body workout packed with girl power. Rumor has it, all of the classes by Blogilates are pretty awesome. They even have a Beginner’s Workout Calendar!

15-Minute Full-Body Workout: Dubbed the fast and furious calorie burn by POPSUGAR Fitness, this is a quick routine you can squeeze in just about any time of the day.

10-Minute Barre Abs Workout: If you just want to quickly tighten those abs, this is the workout for you. Pair it with the 15-Minute Full-Body Workout and you will have done one killer workout for the day.

XHIT Daily: They promise to give us the legs of Jennifer Lawrence and the butt of Beyonce. What’s not to love?

Tara Stiles: Tara’s channel is yoga for all ability levels – which I love – but it also gets results. Trying Let It Go Yoga ASAP.

Adding a number 11, by popular request …

Yoga With Adriene: New to me, but I’m already sold. The much-loved Adriene offers a YogaCamp to get you started, plus a daily email and yoga calendar. I’m seriously considering trying the 30-day YogaCamp challenge to ease myself in.

10 of the best FREE online workouts you can do at home (and still feel like you’ve kicked some butt for the day!) Click through for the details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Do you have any favorite online workouts? Send them my way! I’m on the hunt for a few new favorites.

images via lululemon


Lexi

Little Love Notes

entryway - pink door - basket - hunter rain boots

Happy weekend, everyone! We’re hunkered down here in North Carolina because it’s snowing heaps. Hubby’s mom came in town, so the three of us are watching movies and staying warm while hubby works at the hospital through the now long weekend. As always, I’ll be sharing what we’re up to throughout the weekend (cue snaps of hot chocolate, cozy sweaters, and piles of blankets) over on instagramfacebooktwitter, and snapchat → glitterinclexi. How about you? Is it snowing where you are? Any exciting weekend plans?

With that, a few little love notes …

Dear hunt for the perfect red lipstick, if you’re a fan of matte red lips, get to Sephora A.S.A.P. According to the chicest French girl out there, it doesn’t get better than Sephora’s cream lip stain in always red. Rumor has it, “The red is so intense, the texture is absolutely matte, and it stays on all day (and all night!).” Ordered.

Dear Zoolander fans, Vogue takes us inside Derek Zoolander’s really, really ridiculously good-looking Manhattan apartment.

Dear foodies who wandercookies from around the world.

Dear dating woes, 19th-century men were just as bad at flirting as dudes today.

Dear new year refresh, five tips for styling your kitchen.

Dear DIY’s to try, one cheeky gold patterned vase.

Dear weekend baking, chocolate mud cake with nutella buttercream (just because!)

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

image via Pompeli (Is that not the dreamiest color for a door?)

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

How to Make Big & Fluffy Raspberry Marshmallows

I’ve recently discovered that making homemade marshmallows is the coolest thing ever. There’s just something so magical about watching sugar whip up into marshmallow fluff. And just a couple hours later, the marshmallow sets into a giant squishy pillow. You can’t help but feeling like a kid in a candy shop. Tender, and oh-so much better than store-bought: Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows are where it’s at.

Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)

And as it turns out, homemade marshmallows are actually incredibly simple to make. They start with a simple base: gelatin, water, white sugar, and corn syrup. From there, you can customize to any flavor imaginable. Marble with chocolate and sprinkle crushed graham crackers – you’ve got yourself s’mores marshmallows. Or mix in rainbow sprinkles for a funfetti flavor?! Yes, please.

Today, we’re adding vanilla extract and freeze dried raspberries. The result: the most tender, soft & sweet raspberry clouds – an absolute must for Valentine’s Day. These big & fluffy homemade Raspberry Marshmallows have a tart bite with the underlying sweetness of vanilla – the combo is magical.

Psst … if you’re looking for other Valentine’s Day dessert ideas, why not try our strawberry cheesecake macarons, Oreo macarons, nutella-chocolate covered strawberries, or the best ever red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting?

Make these homemade raspberry marshmallow treats for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. (Made with love, of course!) One bite, and you’ll be together forever.

Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)

Big & Fluffy Raspberry Marshmallows

Yields 16 large marshmallows

INGREDIENTS

½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 cup hot water, divided
3 ½ envelopes powdered gelatin (unflavored)
2 cups white sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 package freeze-dried raspberries

Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix together the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Prepare an 8 by 8 inch pan by coating with coconut oil or nonstick spray, lining the bottom with parchment paper, and dusting the bottom and sides heavily with the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture.

2. In a blender or food processor, pulse freeze-dried raspberries until they are a fine powder. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the egg whites until white & fluffy. Set them aside.

3. Clean out your stand mixer and pour in ½ cup of the hot water. On top, sprinkle with the 3 and ½ packs of powdered gelatin and mix until dissolved. Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes.

4. While the gelatin and water mixture sits, combine the white sugar, corn syrup, and remaining ½ cup of hot water in a heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once a candy thermometer reads exactly 240 degrees, remove from the heat.

5. Very carefully, stream the hot sugar mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer (over the gelatin), stirring on the lowest speed until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture is homogenous. Once all of the hot sugar mixture is in the bowl, turn your mixer up to high speed and beat the marshmallow until it has become white, thick, and almost tripled in volume (about 6 minutes.)

6. Next, add in the whipped egg whites, vanilla extract, and half of the powdered freeze-dried raspberries. Continue whipping the marshmallow for another 5-6 minutes. Then, pour the marshmallow into your prepared 8 by 8 inch pan, smooth with a spatula, and dust the top with the remaining powdered freeze dried raspberries.

7. Once the marshmallow has firmed up (about 3 hours at room temperature), run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert onto a cutting board. Coat the knife with the powdered sugar and cornstarch mix, and slice the marshmallow into big cubes.

8. Lightly coat the sticky edges of each marshmallow cube with the powdered sugar and cornstarch mix. Store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week – (or pop ‘em in your mouth and enjoy immediately!)

How to Make Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows

 

You can also follow this step-by-step picture guide …

  • How to Make Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (in Pictures!)
    How to Make Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (in Pictures!)
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    After you have added in the whipped egg whites, vanilla extract, and half of the powdered freeze-dried raspberries, mix, mix, mix.
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    Continue whipping the marshmallow, with your raspberry powder, for another 5-6 minutes, so that everything is well-combined.
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    Pour the marshmallow into your prepared 8 by 8 inch pan.
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    Smooth with a spatula.
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    Dust the top with the remaining powdered freeze dried raspberries.
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    Once the marshmallow has firmed up (about 3 hours at room temperature), run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert onto a cutting board.
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    Coat the knife with the powdered sugar and cornstarch mix, and slice the marshmallow into big cubes.
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    Lightly coat the sticky edges of each marshmallow cube with the powdered sugar and cornstarch mix.
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
  • Big & Fluffy Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows (perfect for Valentine's Day!)
    Store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week (or pop ‘em in your mouth and enjoy immediately!)

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

Recipe adapted via The Kitchy Kitchen


Lexi