Glazed Butter Cookies

by Koko on December 15, 2014 · 0 comments

in Baking, Cookies, Recipe

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Every year for the last 4 years I’ve participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I make 3 dozen cookies and I receive 3 dozen in return. It’s always a blast to see what cookies I get and I always try to make something new to give away. I’ve done Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, Black & Whites, and this year Glazed Butter Cookies.

These cookies were not the easiest I’ve ever made, but they sure were delicious and great looking. The dough is very soft, so you have to make sure to refrigerate it in between batches to make sure it doesn’t fall apart as you make the cookies. I used our new quartz countertops to roll out the dough since it keeps the dough chilled, and I worked fast cutting out my cookies. I topped these guys with gold sparkling sugar I got from Williams- Sonoma a while ago and I think it made the cookies perfect for the holidays.

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Life Lately

by Koko on December 8, 2014 · 1 comment

in Cooking, Teaching

Fall eats. There has been a whole lot of chili and beer bread at our house. My all time favorite chili: this slow cooker one.

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Job (sort of). I started a wonderful long term substitute teaching job in a fourth grade classroom on post. It’s been a huge learning experience being thrown into a class in the middle of the year, but I’m loving it. Target for the teaching needs win.

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Full-time teaching job equals many a pizza night.

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The kitchen remodel is SOOOOO close to being done. We are 95% there. I’ll post final remodel photos within the next two weeks, but here’s a little teaser for ya.

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And no post is complete without some recent Carl pics. Love of my life.

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Le Tote Review

by Koko on December 3, 2014 · 0 comments

in Clothes/Shoes/Bags, Fashion

About a month ago, I saw a mention of Le Tote on Cardigans & Couture. The girls mentioned that they tried the service and liked it, so I went ahead and gave it a try. What is Le Tote? It is a monthly clothing service based on your taste. Unlike Stitch Fix (where they send you clothes to buy), Le Tote sends you clothes to wear and then send back. You go through a selection process and pick items you like. Then Le Tote picks a few of the items you picked and a few they picked and send them off to you. You can return your tote whenever you want during the month and they will send you a new one. If you want to keep any of the items in your tote, Le Tote gives you a 20% off discount and charges the card on file. The service is free the first month and $49 each month after that.

So what did I get in my first tote?

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The black dress was cute, but similar to other things I have in my closet. The print top was great for work, but again, not a keeper. And the pink shirt was OK, not really a color I would wear for myself. They enclosed the statement necklace below, which I wore every day for a week and a simple sparkly bracelet, which I also loved.

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I paired the dress with my absolute favorite new shoes: the Claudette Pump by Jessica Simpson. SO darn cute (and not part of Le Tote!).

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So what is my overall review of Le Tote? I like it.

Pros:

I like the idea that you can wear all the clothes and send back.

I like the variety they have on their site.

I like that you get a few items that you have personally chosen in every shipment.

I think there is potential for it to be GREAT once it has some more better known designers.

I love that it just arrives via USPS and you don’t have to think about it! Shopping made easy! Someone ELSE is picking things for you.

Cons:

I wish it had fit guides (how does this top fit?).

It should have suggestions for body shapes.

It should have user reviews on the items.

$49 is a little pricey per month.

 

But I’ll let YOU make up your own mind. Go here for your first month free and let me know what you think!

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A Very Austin Thanksgiving

by Koko on December 1, 2014 · 1 comment

in Restaurants, Travel

This year we decided to do Thanksgiving a little differently… we traveled to Austin to meet Q’s family for a food-filled weekend. Since Q’s family is spread across the US (and Ireland), we decided to meet “in the middle” and all go to a city we had never been to before. Since his sister, mom and I are all foodies- Austin was an obvious choice.

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We arrived Wednesday evening and had dinner all together. On Thursday, we headed out for a bike ride and a visit to the first ever Whole Foods before cooking our own Thanksgiving feast.

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On Friday, we went on a food tour led by Austin Eats. It was SUPERB. We started out at one of the best BBQ trailers in Austin (the best is up for debate): La Barbeque. I am not a meat gal, but this was some of the best bbq I have ever tried. And Q, my meat expert, said it was the best ever. We then headed to an American fusion restaurant, Hightower, and had some chicken thighs, and brussels sprouts. The third stop was at a famous food trailer park, The Picnic, where we had a Shinerbock deep fried Monte Cristo – heaven. The last stop was at one of Austin’s trendy new restaurants, Odd Duck, where we had fancy bar food and delicious cocktails. We were so stuffed, but made it out to dinner that night at La Condesa, a fancy modern Mexican restaurant.

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Saturday morning we headed to the LBJ Presidential Library (so cool), Mt Bonnell (great views of Austin) and Southern Congress, or SoCo. We had an authentic Mexican lunch at Guero’s followed by the biggest donuts I’ve ever seen. Gordough’s is a MUST for an Austin visit. These donuts were covered with toppings and heavenly. Saturday night Q and I met friends out on Rainey Street. Rainey Street is a street where all of the bars are located in converted craftsmen homes. Such a unique and fun spot.

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We stayed in a great house that we got through AirBnb and loved being able to spend quality time together.

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