Friday, January 29, 2016

She Tried That

Macarons, I made French Macarons!  And it really wasn't as intimidating as all the blogs make it out to be.  Sure, it's a bit labor intensive, but not hard at all.  You can't whip these up in 30 minutes and be on your merry way, but if you have the time, they are so worth it.

Folding the almond flour, cocoa and powdered sugar into the eggs whites.  BTDubs, the Kitchen Aid whipped those egg whites to super stiff peaks in a couple of minutes - no cornstarch.  I love this machine!

Piping was the trickiest part for me.  I don't have a pastry bag yet so I used a super small sandwich bag and it took some getting used to.  

The ones on the bottom of this photo were piped first.  They are the ones that ended up cracking and a bit hollow after baking.  I began to pipe them out from the center rather than in a circle (like the bottom ones) and it made all the difference.

Left side good, right side - not so good.  All about the piping.  Now I know.  I'm excited to try my next batch.  Should look much better.  For the filling I used store bought whipped frosting in milk chocolate and regular old butter cream.  They tasted so good.  I took them to work to have them taste tested.  Pass!  Have you tried to make macarons before?

Edit * Because I'm a bad blogger and was in a hurry when I wrote this, I forgot to include the link to recipe I used.  Derp.  It's here c/o Martha Stewart, natch (chocolate, minus the cornstarch).

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Fit Music

I'm down 5 elle bees in 2 weeks.  I'm making a lifestyle change!  So, no more Totino's Pizzas every other day and certainly no more pit stops at BK - although I will allow myself a beloved Whopper perhaps once every couple of months... we'll see.  I do not believe in deprivation at all.  I'm just eating well, meaning lots of fish and chicken and have cut calories big time.  I'll allow myself some red wine and chocolate here and there if my daily calorie intake allows, which it does most days.  Wonder how...  ;-)  I use MyFitnessPal to track my daily calories and exercise (look for me - user name frenchrum).  I've also been working out on the regular.  Nothing special just cardio dance, a few days on the upright bike per week and lots of walking.  But I'm being consistent and that's the ticket.  

My real reason for posting is due to my obsession with my fast paced workout playlist of the moment.  I thought I would share a few songs b/c it's that good.  **I do offer a disclaimer - if you do not like rap or curse words, this list is NOT for you.  Hey, I like what I like.  #SorryNotSorry**

Good luck meeting your health and fitness goals!

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Joyeux Noël

Merry Christmas everyone! 

I love this time of year and what Christmas means (or is supposed to mean).  Driving around looking at Christmas lights with Dax is one of my favorite activities and the hubs and I have made this an annual tradition.  Giving, being charitable and cooking for others also makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  Going outside in this sunny, 60 degree weather can account for that feeling as well.  Texas.  Gotta love an unseasonably warm winter so far.  Not really.  I want it cold!

Aside from weather disappointment, I have so much to be grateful for.  There were some tough moments we went through as a family that maybe I'll share in a later post, but the Evans folks are ready for whatever the next year brings us.  We are happy and hopeful.  I hope this season and the next year finds you all happy and hopeful as well.  Be blessed.  Merry Christmas!!

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Cyber Sales Roundup: 2015

I do not go to actual stores on Black Friday.  Dealing with rude people and crazy traffic is not worth saving a few dollars to me.  I prefer to spend my hard earned money online, from the comfort of my home and in the comfort of my PJs.  If you are picking up what I'm putting down, then you'll appreciate this list of some of my favorite retailers' Black Friday Cyber Sales.  Now, go forth and consume! ~ 30% off select clothing , shoes, accessories, jewelry, and watches ~ through 11/27 ~ Code: 30BLACKFRI

Forever 21 ~ Black Friday deals up to 70% off + free shipping today only
GAP ~ 50% off everything restrictions apply ~ through 11/28 ~ Code: BLKFRIDAY
J.Crew ~ Black Friday 30% your purchase + Extra 40% off sale ~ through 11/29 ~ Code: HOLIDAY
Kendra Scott - 15% off everything and free shipping ~ through 11/30 ~ Code: SALE15

LOFT ~ Black Friday 40% OFF almost EVERYTHING! (only exclusion: Lou & Grey new arrivals) ~ today only ~ Code: BF40
Madewell ~ 25% off your entire purchase ~ through 11/29 ~ Code: CALMDOWN
NARS ~ Receive an exclusive 20% off purchase + free shipping on purchases of $50+ ~ through 12/2
Nordstrom ~ Black Friday up to 50% off select styles for all + Extra @5% Off selected Sale items + free shipping and returns ~ through 11/30
Old Navy ~ Black Friday Bonanza 60% off hundreds of styles, 50% off even more, 40% off everything else restrictions apply ~ through 11/27
Shopbop ~ Spend $250+ and save 15%, Spend $500+ and save 20%, spend $1,000+ and save 25% , S’well and Stuart Weitzman style level exclusions ~ through 11/30 ~ Code: GOBIG15
Soft Surroundings ~ free poncho with any $150 product purchase, while supplies last ~ through 11/27
Talbots ~ 50% off one item until noon 40% off entire purchase ~ through 11/27

Tory Burch ~ 30% off your $250 purchase ~ through 11/30 ~ Code: THANKS

The Outnet ~ Up to 80% off on Designers Labels ~ through 11/30
Victoria Secret ~ Black Friday buy 1 bra get 1 50% off ~ through 12/2 ~ Code: DOUBLEUP

West Elm ~ Buy More Save More 10% off $100, 15% off $250, 20% off $500 ~ through 11/27 ~ Code: MOREISMORE (only for US shoppers)

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Three Days in San Francisco

I just returned home from traveling to San Francisco for a few days to attend the wedding of a dear friend.  I'd never been and it has been a bucket list place to visit.  From the moment I stepped off the BART and went up the escalator to Powell and Market, I was in love.

I took way too many pics to share so I'll be editing those for a photo book soon.  However, I did want to post a few outfit pics because ... outfit pics.  BTDubs, these are not Instagram pics.   My phone has cool feature that takes nifty square photos.

This was my traveling outfit on Day 1.  A cape (or poncho or ruana) and a crossbody bag are Fall travel must-haves, in my opinion.  Both are great for navigating through airports and streets.
Cape: Nordstrom; Cowl neck sweater (old): Victoria's Secret (similar); Crossbody: Coach; Pants: Old Navy Pixie; Suede Flats: Vince Camuto

Day 2.  The morning weather was sunny and cool, perfect for a light sweater, scarf and jeans.  I went on a bus tour and brought my cape along to fend off the wind of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Sweater:  Loft (similar) (previously seen here); Scarf (old): similar; Crossbody: Coach; Jeans: Old Navy; Nude Flats:Dorothy Perkins

Also Day 2.  My wedding guest dress.  This is after the super fun and love filled wedding (and dinner and dancing).  I was running late before (shocker) so I didn't have time for a pic.  My hair was down most of the night until the frizzies started to kick in.  Kept my shoes on all night.  Boom.  Lost one of my earring backs.  Not so boom.
Dress: Tahari (similar); Bangles (old): similar; Clutch (old): similar; T-strap Wedges: Kors Michael Kors (similar)

My going home outfit on Day 3 was a simple tan button down blouse and the jeans and nude flats again.  Easy and comfortable.  No #OOTD pic, however.  Also, I stayed at the Clift Hotel which was nice.  I liked the decor throughout the hotel and the room was nice.  Not a luxury place but a respectable boutique hotel.

There are some better close up pics on Instagram.  Also, don't forget you can click below to shop these looks (Affiliate links).

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fall Giveaway: Frenchrum Emporium Infinity Scarf

I don't know about where you live but we are thrilled here in Texas that Fall has finallly arrived.  To celebrate, I am hosting a great Giveaway where one lucky Cocooner reader will take home this cozy chunky knit infinity scarf from Frenchrum Emporium (my store!).  To enter to win please leave a comment below (make sure to use your email).  To get an extra entry, “like” us on our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter - @frenchrum, or Instagram - @thecocooners (let us know you did in the comments below).

One winner will be chosen at random and announced on October 30th. Good luck!

**No purchase necessary to enter.  Please leave your email in the allotted comment boxes only.  Winner of the giveaway will be contacted via email once comments close and announced on this post soon after.**

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Some old skool pics you may not have seen before or remember.  #TBT

Back in Feb 2012 - pregnant with Dax.

BCBG Dress - similar here (under $20) and here - Feb. 2010

Oct. 2008

Onitsuka Tigers #Kicks

Halloween 2006

Golden.  July 2006

Red lips - Nars Red Lizard circa 2005

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Watch What Happens

I like watches.  They just look good on my wrist.  I know - #Shallow.  However, as much as I like watches, you can only go so far with the mid-range brands of Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Citizen.  There is something about a fancy watch, as I like to call it, which just lets you know you are in the presence of luxury.  You know what brands I’m talking about.  Most have a very long legacy.  But there is one watch maker in particular that I have grown intrigued by, the Swiss watch brand Louis Moinet.  The brand was named after the inventor of the chronograph.  Now that is a great legacy.  

Louis Moinet is celebrating the bicentennial of the chronograph with the release of a magnificent timepiece, the Memoris.  
This exquisite wrist machine was Nominated for the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie of Geneva.  There are a limited number of these beauties being produced.  They have taken an entirely new approach to the function and design of the Chronograph and the details on the casing are really unique.  It is breathtaking and truly rare and special.  See, I told you I like watches.

Please visit the website of Louis Moinet and read more about this luxury brand and the unique features of the Memoris.

**I was not compensated in any way for this post.  All opinions are my own.**

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