If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I’ve been on a bit of a macaron baking kick lately. People always ask if they’re hard to make. I don’t think that they are, it does take some practice to get the cookie part just right though. The recipe that I always use can be found here. I like that it doesn’t include anything fancy and is pretty basic. I’ve seen some recipes that are pretty complicated. I’ve always used parchment paper when baking macarons and find that it works pretty well. However, when I was given the opportunity to test out a non-stick silicone baking mat, I couldn’t wait to make my next batch of macarons with it.
BakeitFun’s Baking Mat is a non-stick silicone mat with measurements. It’s oven and freezer safe and certified FDA approved. The mat fits perfectly in a 13″x18″ pan. I like how the mat comes with circle guidelines on it already, it’s the perfect shape for a macaron cookie.
I love how the cookies turned out with the silicone baking mat. The clean up is so easy too, all you have to do is rinse it under hot water with soap.
I also baked something with salted caramel sauce yesterday and it spilled out of the dough and got on the baking mat. Even though the caramel was burnt, it came off the baking mat easily and didn’t stain or ruin the baking mat.
I highly recommend this baking mat. I like that it’s reusable so you’re not wasting parchment paper. It’s also super easy to clean, almost just as easy as throwing away parchment paper. You can purchase your own silicone baking mat on Amazon here for $17.97 (totally worth it). Happy Baking!
I was recently given a $60 gift certificate to Savers with the challenge of putting together one or more stylish looks for less. With $60, I was expecting to be able to put together just one outfit. However, I was soon proven wrong once I stepped inside and saw the price tags! To be honest, I’ve only gone to thrift stores in the past when looking for pieces that would make up a costume, never for “everyday” clothes. Although there is one small thrift store in the L.A. area that I love to go to as I always find quality pieces for almost nothing due to the area it’s located in.
The Savers that I went to was really large with racks and racks of clothing. I found the store to be easily organized with the women’s clothing toward the first half of the store and the men’s in the back half. I love how they hang their jeans. It makes it really easy to see what size and brand they are. Away I went trying to put together an outfit. The first time I went, I picked up a cute Liz Claiborne blouse for $5! It normally sells for $9.99 however that day, all purple price tags were an additional 50% off. A similar style shirt retails for $45 (found here). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any bottoms that I liked/fit. The next time I went back a few weeks later, I found a pair of MOTHER Jeans that fit me just right for $7.99. Yes, that’s right, only $7.99 for a pair of designer jeans that normally retails for almost $200 (found here). I also found a cute Nike athletic sleeveless polo that is perfect for golfing/tennis for $9.99. A similar style retails for $70 (found here).
If you have the patience, thrift stores are great for finding great deals. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to look good. The look above was put together for less than $15 (shoes not included)! Had I paid full price on these 3 items, it would have cost me about $300. All the items I purchased were in great condition. The key is to look for the name brand pieces. Not because they’re name brand, but because they’re typically of higher quality so you know it’ll last you a while even if it’s been worn before.
With the changing of the seasons, I’ve decided that it was time to clean out my closet to make room for new clothes. Since I’ve moved to Arizona 3 years ago, I still have pieces that I haven’t worn. I finally decided that I no longer need to hold on to those pieces just in case. I think after not wearing something for 3 years means that I most likely won’t any time soon. I enjoy shopping and frequently changing out my wardrobe. By purchasing pieces that are on sale or at a lower cost from places such as TJ Maxx or from thrift stores like Savers, I don’t feel as bad for not wearing something after a year or two since I didn’t spend that much to begin with. All donations to Savers benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona (if you’re shopping at a Savers located in Arizona). Find your local Savers here.
What is your favorite find that you’ve found at a thrift store?
I know I’ve been MIA for quite some time. Life’s been a little busy but I’ve been testing out lots of products and can’t wait to share them with you. First up, my new obsession with Yes to Coconut products.
After seeing the Yes to Coconut Polishing Body Scrub in a magazine, I knew I had to try it out. The scrub is 98% natural and uses nearly all of the coconut (even the husk) to exfoliate your body. Virgin Coconut Oil helps to keep your skin hydrated while the Coconut Husk gently exfoliates to leave you with clearly and smoother skin. The scrub feels so luxurious and smells amazing.
It’s gently enough to use every day and I’ve already went through my first jar. It retails for $7.99 and is worth every penny.
The next product I picked up because I was so happy with the scrub is Yes to Coconut Head-to-Toe Restoring Balm. With the weather getting cooler and dryer, I knew I had to get something to keep my skin hydrated. To be honest, I thought the product was going to be like a shea butter. I guess I should have known better with the word “balm” in the name. I was surprised when I opened the lid and found what looked like a large waxy lip balm. Using the included applicator, I applied the balm to my heels (they’re also dried and cracked) and my elbows. The product does feel a little greasy but is absorbed right away. This product is also 98% natural and made with Virgin Coconut, Sweet Almond, and Avocado Oils. A little goes a long way! To be honest, the card board divider between the foam applicator and the balm does soak up the oil as you use the applicator more and more and is a tad messy. I’ve been using it every day and have hardly made a dent. I have a feeling that this will last me a long time. It retails for $9.99.
Overall, I’m loving the Yes to Coconut products I’ve tried so far. I purchased the above products at Target and Walgreens. They also have several other products in their line-up and you can even get an in-store coupon on their website here. Have you tried any of the other Yes to Coconut products or products in the other Yes to line-up? I’m curious to try out some of the others.
In this post:
Yes to Coconut Polishing Scrub, $8.99 | Yes to Coconut Head-to-Toe Restoring Balm, $9.99
In case you didn’t pick up, I love being crafty and making things with my hands. When I learned about CreativeBug, I was really excited. CreativeBug’s mission is to be your go-to source for online art and craft instruction. There are several different categories to choose from such as jewelry, sewing, and quilting. As a CreativeBug member, you’ll have unlimited access to over 300 online video workshops. Classes can also be purchased a la carte if you’re not interested in subscribing.
When I logged on, I took a look at the different classes being offered in each category. I was a little disappointed by the options. It definitely didn’t seem like they had 300 videos. Some categories do have more options than other. For example, there are several under sewing but only a few under jewelry. Also, I wasn’t too interested in the selection. The only thing under jewelry that caught my eye was metal stamping.
The site is easy to navigate and each video has chapters so you can watch it all at once or watch and pause as needed. Each project also has a tab to let you know what materials are needed and what level the project is. The monthly subscription is $9.95/mo. Especially with so many DIY/crafting bloggers and YouTube videos available, I don’t see a monthly subscription being necessary. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I received Perlier’s Shea Butter with White Lilly Hand Cream to review from iFabbo. I’ve tried several other Perlier products before through iFabbo and to be honest, some have been hits while others have been misses. To me, the scents are generally too strong or off the mark with Perlier products. If you prefer someone unscented or more subtle, Perlier products may not be right for you.
Perlier Shea Butter with White Lilly Hand Cream is a shea butter duo of organic shea butter with extracts of white lily, which helps to make your hands soft and leaves them moisturized. It is a thicker cream and works great as a hand cream. My hands always seem to be dry, so I’m always looking for a great hand cream. It’s also important to keep them moisturized as hands are usually the first sign at giving away how old someone is. I want to keep my hands looking youthful and great.
I’m not a huge fan of the scent of this hand cream. It is way too perfumy and floral scented in my opinion. I’m not sure if their target audience is older women. I would love to see a Perlier product with a scent that is more attractive to younger people and not as heavy. My sense of smell works just fine and I don’t want to walk around smelling like potpourri.
Overall, this is a very luxurious hand cream that works well but the scent is a huge turn-off to me so I use it sparingly and only at night before bed, not in public.
You get a very generous amount (6.7 oz) for $24 on HSN.