Mexican Wedding Cakes

When I was in second grade, my class had a “Recipes from Around the World” day. As baking was in my blood even back then, I wanted to make a delicious dessert recipe but I wasn’t sure what country or culture to choose from. So I took to scouring my mom’s cookbooks and stumbled upon what would soon become one of my favorite cookie recipes: Mexican Wedding Cakes.
What are they? These cookies are similar to a chocolate chip cookie, but much drier and rolled in powder sugar. It’s an eggless recipe, which is great when you haven’t had a chance to restock the fridge!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup – powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) – butter
  • 2 tsp – vanilla extract
  • 2 cups – flour
  • 1/2 – 1 cup – semi-sweet chocolate chips (can be substituted for nuts if you prefer!_
  • 1/4 tsp – salt
  • Extra powdered sugar for rolling

Steps:

  1. Beat powdered sugar, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy
  2. Slowly stir in flour, chocolate chips/nuts and salt
  3. Roll into small 1 inch balls and place 2-3 inches apart on lined cookie sheet
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, until cookies are light golden brown and firm to the touch
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and roll each cookie in powdered sugar. Can repeat after fully cooled for sweeter taste.

Enjoy!

Create Your Own Quote Wall

In case you couldn’t tell from my Wise Words Wednesday series, I have a bit of a fascination with quotes. Just a glimpse at an encouraging passage can give me the motivation I might need. So when it came time for me to move into my dorm room for my senior year, I decided to take on a fun crafting project! I like to call it my very own quote wall

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Want to make your own?

Supplies
Several large frames. I chose three 11x14in white frames
Neutral background paper. I used silver, but white, black, beige, etc. would work as well
Lots of colored paper, in different sizes. I found a kit at my local Michael’s that had 5 different colors of paper, pre-cut to a variety of sizes – score!
Sharpies. Different marker thicknesses add a little more interest to the final product.
Stickers. To add a little pop of fun!
A list of your favorite quotes. Need some ideas? Check out my Pinterest quote board!
Glue or tape. To hold everything down.

Once you have all of your supplies, it’s pretty easy to put everything together.

1. Cut the background paper to the size of the frame
2. Write out your quotes. There are a few different options in terms of writing your quotes. You can do as I did and handwrite them on pre-cut paper. You could also print them on colored paper or in color on white paper and cut them to size. It depends on what you like best! I personally can’t cut to save my life but my handwriting isn’t too awful, so I decided to write them out.
3. Arrange them on your background page(s) to make sure everything fits well.
4. Glue/tape everything down as you want it.
5. Add stickers or other decorations as desired.
6. Place in the frame and voila!, you’ve got your own quote wall!

Here’s a few larger pictures of how mine came out. I loved them so much that after graduation, I hung them on the wall above the table I do my makeup at so I can get my daily dose of inspiration!

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What do you think? Have you made your own quote-related craft project?

Monster Career Advice

When I first began looking for a full-time job during my senior year in college, I found myself at a complete loss as to where to start. There were so many things to consider, from cover letters to resumes, interviews to thank you letters, and more. I felt so overwhelmed and while my school’s career center was helpful to some degree, I needed more in-depth direction than they could offer in a 30 minute session.

Monster is an often-recognized job board site, where you can find postings for jobs in almost every field. What fewer people seem to realize is that Monster has more than just job postings on their site. They have a great career resources section, which has all kinds of articles for job seekers.

There are articles here with advice for everything job related, such as resume and cover letter writing, salary negotiations and networking. They’re simple articles that can guide you in the right direction and answer almost every career question you could possibly have. And in addition to everything job seekers need, there are also great tips for career development and improving once you’ve landed the job.
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Some of my favorite articles?
Resume Critique Checklist
5 Ways to Become Irreplaceable at Work
100 Potential Interview Questions

So whether you’re looking for your dream job, or just want to know how to stay on top of your career game, be sure to check out Monster for some great articles to help you along!

Fresh Skin Favorites

In terms of skin, I have been pretty lucky. I had a smattering of acne as a teen, but my skin is usually pretty clear and even. Other than some fairly deep bags under my eyes (see my Eye Cream post for my solution), my only real skin issue is some dryness in the wintertime, which from what I’ve heard is fairly common. I do, however, have very sensitive skin, so when it comes to beauty products, I have to be especially careful in what I use.

This is why I’m so glad I came across a new (to me, at least) skin care line just a few months ago. Vichy Laboratoires is a French dermatological line designed for sensitive skin. Their products are soothing and remarkably effective. While they are on the expensive side, with daily skin cream costing between $32 and $55, they are absolutely investment worthy.

So far I have three Vichy products: the Thermale 3 in 1 Cleansing Micellar Solution makeup remover (left), the Densifying Re-Sculpting Care Skin Cream for nightly use (top right) and the Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream for daily use (bottom right) and I love every single one!
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The makeup remover is great because it leaves my skin feeling smooth and refreshed, rather than oily like some removers. The skin creams both take a bit of time to set, so you might want to wait a bit between applying the cream and putting on your makeup. But they work wonders – my skin is so smooth and healthy looking since using these products daily.

I personally am not a huge user of beauty products, so it’s even more surprising how much I love and use these Vichy products. They’re so simple to use and I have seen a huge improvement in my skin already! I was hesitant to spend so much on these products since I’m usually the type to buy a beauty product and use it only twice, but I’m glad I made the investment because I’ve worked them into my daily routine. Not to sound cheesy, but my skin feels fresh and healthy – finally!

I purchased these at CVS, so you can find them at your own local pharmacy. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Reward Yourself

I am a born and raised bargain shopper. Since I was a child, it has been ingrained in me to never buy something at full price unless it’s absolutely necessary. Now that I’m on a budget, this thrifty habit has come in handy on many occasions. I’m always on the lookout for a good deal and make much smarter decisions about what to buy because my budget is so tight.

One thing I’ve become especially aware of over the past few months is all of the rewards programs that stores offer to their customers. Since so many large chains are struggling to bring in profits, it’s becoming more common for a store to do all kinds of promotions and programs to draw in customers. Not every store has a rewards program, but it is definitely worth looking into!

Rewards programs differ from store to store, but essentially are free benefits you can get for shopping at your favorite stores. Generally how it works is that you receive points for each dollar you spend, and once you reach a certain amount of points you get a reward. These rewards can vary from $10 in store credit, coupons for varying percents off and more! Rewards members also often receive exclusive emails about sales and discount codes to earn you even more savings.

Many stores have these kinds of programs, but to name a few of my favorites: Sephora, Best Buy, Bob’s and Dress Barn. You can earn rewards simply by doing your normal shopping!

But one important thing to remember: Don’t spend more than you usually would, since that defeats the purpose! Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you have to use it. But if you were planning to buy something from that store anyways, be sure to you use your rewards!

So, next time you’re out shopping, look into the store’s rewards program and…20140209-213518.jpg