Product Spotlight: Mode de Vie Vanilla Lip Balm

IMG_5242.JPG

When I was working at Bare Escentuals in the late 90’s they sold a yummy shea butter-based lip balm. It came in a giant tube and was the perfect Tahitian vanilla. I loved it–it was my Holy Grail lip balm.

A few later when I started working natural foods stores I realized that the lip balm was made by Mode de Vie and must have been private labelled for Bare Escentuals. I was happy to have it readily available again, and it was still in the giant tube.

Now they have downsized to a regular tube, but the creamy shea butter balm is the same. And I don’t care what the packaging is like, I am just still happy that I can get this delicious, soothing, hydrating lip balm.

It’s available at Whole Foods and other natural markets, and online.

It also comes in red tango: a slightly tinted berry balm, and cappuccino–a warm espresso flavor. I like to use red tango in place of lipstick with just a bit of mascara and brow pencil on casual makeup days.

*Here is what the color of the tint in red tango looks like.

IMG_5244.JPG

Cost: About $7

What is your favorite lip balm?

Cold Weather Survival Tips: Cherry Pillow

IMG_5241.JPG

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. When night falls and the temperature dips in your house, it’s tempting to crank up the heater. But once you are asleep you body temperature should stabilize. There’s nothing worse than waking up parched and sweating in the middle of the night because you overestimated your heating needs.

Overnight is when your skin regenerates and regulates oil production. If you lose surface moisture, that will cause your skin to pump out more oil, and excess heat will dry your skin, leading to clogged pores and overall congestion.

I love hot water bottles and have two that I like to put under my blankets before I get into bed: one at the foot of the bed and one at the head. I have covers on them so they don’t get clammy when they cool down. I do get nervous at the idea of falling asleep with them, so I try to kick them out of bed before I fall asleep. I’ve always been paranoid that I will roll over and somehow puncture one, flooding my bed. (hasn’t happened yet, thankfully!)

I’m always happy for it to be cool enough to pull out my cherry pillow.

The cover is made from organic cotton and it is filled with cherry pits leftover from making cherry liqueur. Three minutes in the microwave gives me the perfect amount of heat to warm up and fall asleep. I also like putting it in my lap when I’m feeling chilly but no one else is–when I am messing around online, or watching a movie or reading a book.

I’ve had my pillow for thirteen years and it still looks great, and I love the way the cherry pits smell when they heat up.

I’ll Show You Mine…

IMG_5238.JPG

…Kitchen work space that is. I love that I have a corner of my kitchen that is separate from where my husband cooks, so we can both do our thing and not be in each others’ way. Behind my baking table is our bookshelf where we keep all of our cookbooks. Be sure to check out my favorites!

Your turn! I want to see pictures of your kitchen! Show me your favorite tools, favorite apron, favorite cookbooks!

Like my apron? Get your custom apron, skirt, dress or other clothing item here!

Baked Sunday Mornings: Campfire Cookies

This seemed like the perfect recipe to jump back in with. It’s cold and dreary and the perfect time to bake. Plus, I DO need to narrow down some ┬árecipes for cookie swaps this season. I was really excited to bake what I thought were going to be perfect cookies.

These were easy to put together:
(I know there are two eggs in my picture, but I just used one)

IMG_5171.JPG

and I love my new(ish) cookie scoop:

IMG_5172.JPG

Child Labor:

IMG_5163.JPG

Done:

IMG_5168.JPG

One of my boys’ teachers had a birthday and I was happy to have a treat to share with her. The shape turned out a little weird because of the marshmallows, which bummed me out, but I still felt hopeful.

IMG_5170.JPG

Unfortunately, even though I only baked my cookies for 14 minutes, when they cooled they were hard as a rock. I had 37 cement cookies. I didn’t have time to bake more so I sent a dozen to school with my son and received a very nice thank you card. I feel terrible because they were NOT what I expected. I know not everyone hates crunchy cookies and I hope she really did enjoy them.

I was bummed that a recipe I was so excited about turned out so terrible so I decided to try again. I was inspired by a fellow baker and decided to put the cookies in a muffin tin with the marshmallows on top. I also hated the cinnamon–it’s all I could taste in the first round–so even though I doubled the recipe this time I only used 1/4 teaspoon.

IMG_5214.JPG

I don’t have a torch (sadly) so I pulled the cookies out when the marshmallows darkened and the cookie looked done. The cookie stayed soft and the marshmallow didn’t burn off the way they did in the first round. The chocolate chips melted well in the center and helped anchor the marshmallow.

They turned out great this time. My family loved them, and all the flavors I was expecting in the first batch were there–not drowned out by the cinnamon. I would be proud to take these to a cookie swap and will have the chance since I am hosting one next month!

Go see if the other bakers had more luck than I did!

Next up!: Date Squares

Baked Occasions!!

Next Sunday I’ll post about the first recipe I’ve made for Baked Sunday Mornings for the new Baked book. (the second for the group)

I had so much fun test baking for the book and I was so bummed to not be able to go out to NYC for the launch party. I’ll make it out there one day!

IMG_2667.JPG

IMG_5174.JPG

Milk Bar Love!

While I was off neglecting my blog all kinds of stuff happened. But since I can’t spend all the time it would take to catch up completely, I’m going to just write about a few cool things that happened.

My awesome friend from NYC sent out some Momofuko Milk Bar treats for my boys’ 9th birthday.

Everyone knows how much I love Milk Bar and how many of their recipes I’ve baked, so it was amazing to finally get to see how mine measured up. I’m happy to say I was pretty much on the mark! The boys, of course, loved everything.

IMG_5179.JPG

IMG_5180.JPG

IMG_5178.JPG

IMG_5177.JPG

3rd Grade Bake Sale

20140413-132815.jpg

My boys’ grade had a bake sale to benefit Heifer International. They were hoping to buy a goat or maybe a cow for a family in a developing country.

20140413-132949.jpg

We decided to make milk chocolate chip cookies with sea salt and sugar cookie with sprinkles to donate.

20140413-133125.jpg

We had fun baking them all up. The kitchen aid definitely got a workout mixing ten dozen cookies to sell.

20140413-133227.jpg

The sale was so successful during the two days it ran that they decided to extend it to a third day. We had fun baking and selling cookies and I’m so happy to be a part of a school that supports such great causes.

20140413-133722.jpg

20140413-133716.jpg