Heart-Shaped Chocolate Shortbread

Good morning, and happy chilly (read: frigid) V Day! Is everyone else as officially over this arctic weather as I am? Being from the east coast, I truly don't mind the cold. However, when it is painful to set foot outdoors, all of that goes out the window. And seeing that it is painful to endure today's single digit temps, it seems only right that I should stay in and bake something cozy. Enter, chocolate shortbread. The best part about these cookies? You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry right now - they don't even require eggs! Plus, they're cute for Valentine's day, if you're into that sort of thing.

To make this oh-so-simple recipe, sift together 2 cups of flour with 2/3 cup of cocoa powder and set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream 2 sticks of softened butter with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and a splash of vanilla. (I literally never measure vanilla extract. I know, I like to live dangerously.) Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined, then roll out onto a sheet of wax paper until it is about 1/4" thick, and place in the fridge to chill.

After half an hour, remove from the fridge, and cut into heart shapes. Place on a baking sheet (you can fit lots on here, as they don't spread when baking) and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Allow to cool fully and decorate (or not) as desired. I melted some chocolate and used pink and silver decorating sugars because I was feeling fancy. Though these are equally wonderful eaten sans decor.

Obviously, this recipe is not V Day specific, but those little hearts are just so damn cute. And being that you surely have all the ingredients on hand - you don't even need to run out for eggs! - there really is no excuse not to make these today. Go ahead, I'll wait. Oh, and if you have any left over, send them my way. XO

Winter Skin-Saving Coffee Scrub

Good morning and happy weekend! January is finally coming to a close, though we are still in the thick of winter (unfortunately). And while all of this phenomenal restaurant week food has been of taking care of my insides, my skin has been feeling a bit less-than-stellar lately. Enter, Coffee Scrub from Duross & Langel.

Now, I do enjoy a good coffee, in all of its various incarnations, though I had never thought to use it as skincare before. Luckily, the kind folks at Philly's premiere handmade, natural skincare shop showed me the light. Or rather, had me wake up and smell the coffee. (I'm sorry, I just had to.) 

After speaking with a very knowledgeable member of their team, I learned about the benefits of using a coffee-based scrub at home - particularly at this time of year. Not only do the coffee grounds gently exfoliate those rough patches we're prone to in the colder months, the caffeine content helps to brighten and tighten the skin. Aka, bye-bye winter dullness. Of course it's an added bonus that it smells rich and fantastic. Unless of course, you don't like the smell of coffee. In which case we can't be friends. Just kidding. Kind of.

Ps, you can totally DIY this at home, too. Simply combine 1/2 cup of coffee grounds, 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of raw sugar - et voila! I've also heard this mix does wonders on cellulite too, but of course I wouldn't know anything about that. Kidding again. Kind of. I'm gonna stop now. But you shouldn't. You should go out and get scrubbin'! Happy weekend. x 

How to Survive the Snowpocalypse

Ok, so when I first wrote this post, I thought it may be a tad melodramatic. But now that I'm looking out my window and seeing at least a foot (!) of snow on the ground... I think it's a pretty fitting title.

So unless you're living under a rock (or on the west coast) you know that the first major snowstorm of 2016 is upon us here in Philly. And DC, and New York, etc. And while I don't advocate going outdoors in this mess - I'm currently working on some baked goods and a pot of soup - if you absolutely must, these are my tips for avoiding popsicle status.

Layer: Mama knew best. Trust her. I'm wearing a tank top, a long sleeved tee, a chunky knit sweater, and my quilted down coat. Cover your head: I'm partial to a beanie, but do you boo. The point is, gotta keep that body heat inside. Accessories are your friend: Hats, scarves, gloves, heck - I'm even wearing readers for wind protection alone here! And finally - invest in a good pair of snow boots. No, your old sneakers will NOT cut it here. Get yourself something waterproof and made for this purpose alone. I just picked up this hefty pair by Sorel.

Credits: Down Coat by The North Face, Scarf, Beanie and Gloves by Gap, Knit Sweater by Alexander Wang, Leather Leggings by Forever 21, Snow boots by Sorel.

Channelling: Gwyneth at the Airport

Hey, Howdy, and HAPPY NEW YEAH! No, that's not a misspelling, that's just how people here in South Philly say it. And boy, do they ever say it. I feel like I've been hearing that sentiment from every Italian Market cashier since Thanksgiving. No jokes. So naturally, I've adopted it, and will be saying it through (at least) the remainder of the month. Apologies in advance.

Anywho, how are you? How's 2016 treating you so far? Are you keeping your resolutions? Are you going to the gym? Me? Don't ask. But I do have some pretty exciting stuff in the works. (You may recall me saying that in my end-of-year post... but you may not. I mean it was a whole year ago.) However, until I'm able to let the cat out of the bag, I thought I'd share a new look with you all. So today, I'm channelling my queen, GP, from her windswept airport look last year. Oh you KNOW the one:

Gwyneth-mogblog.jpg

Now, full disclaimer. I do not own a cobalt blue Céline Phantom bag, but again. This is my interpretation, here. Move Over, Gwyneth. (TM)

Hat and Leggings by Forever 21, Sweater by JCrew, Tote by American Apparel, Sneakers by Stan Smith for Adidas, Sunglasses Vintage.