Pinteresting

Mini Chocolate Lava Birthday Cakes

This year, for my birthday I wanted to make a unique, chocolate dessert. After scrolling through my Pinterest boards, I found an idea on this site.

I don’t normally order dessert at restaurants, but I remembered trying this one at Chili’s before. It has gooey, hot, melty chocolate with the ice cream scoops on top to cool it down.

The mini versions were pretty simple to make – but there were a couple of tricky steps that I will note below.

Cake Ingredients:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ (or powdered) sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, and 2 large egg yolks  (* a total of 4 eggs)

Toppings:

Ice Cream

Sprinkles

Birthday Candles

Directions:
Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (these can also be made in 4 ramekin dishes)

Preheat oven to 425°F

Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces. Put butter and chocolate into a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for 30 more seconds until completely smooth

In another small bowl, whisk the flour, powdered sugar, and salt together

*In a third small bowl, combine 2 entire eggs plus only the yolks of 2 more eggs

Pour the flour mixture and eggs into the bowl of chocolate. Slowly stir everything together using a wooden spoon. If there are any lumps, gently use a whisk or a fork.

Spoon chocolate batter evenly into muffin tin (I was able to make 9 total).

To bake in a muffin tin, the cakes only take about 8 minutes. *(I added an extra 2 minutes and that was tooo long, The extra time completely cooks the center, and you don’t get the lava effect).

Allow to cool for 1 minute, then using a knife, go around the edges of each cake to make sure they are not stuck to the pan. Cover with a plate and turn the pan completely over, so the cakes are on the plate.

Top with ice cream, sprinkles, (and a candle for the birthday girl!) and Enjoy!

See this post for desserts from last year’s birthday

February Friday Faves 2.17.17

Welcome to the third Friday in February! Here’s a recap of my favorite parts of the week.

Cooking

This chicken recipe falls into the Semi-Homemade category because it uses the pre-cooked Tyson chicken strips. The sauce is pretty easy to make with a few simple ingredients. I pinned this on my Restaurant At Home board, because they are a close copy-cat to Chili’s Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers.

For Valentine’s weekend I cooked brunch  using a cast-iron skillet (a wedding present) for the first time. These breakfast potatoes were pretty easy – I like making recipes that don’t require lots of ingredients and use what I already have in the kitchen. I think the key to these potatoes is adding enough olive oil in the beginning and watching carefully so that the bacon doesn’t burn. I also made this recipe again too – it may be becoming a favorite.

Reading

This week I started reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett. I had seen it on a couple of other blogs (it’s a very colorful and photogenic book cover) and it was in the Quarterly Literary Subscription box recently. So far I can see why this book is so popular – there’s no boring lead-in or build up – the action starts immediately. I read 4 chapters in one night!

the mothers.png

Photo Credit: Quarterly

Wearing

One of the besties gave me this Coach Love perfume sample in my Christmas gift. Coach is one of my favorite brands. The scent is floral without being too young and girly and it fits the romantic spirit of February.

Drinking

Although we didn’t get to spend the actual holiday together – I’ll be making  Strawberry Lime Margaritas with my sister as a toast to  Galentine’s DayI would love to have a party like this to celebrate one year….

 

Cheers to the Weekend!

 

DIY Flower Girl Dress

Being someone with no patience for sewing, I thought this would be an easy, one-afternoon project.

This No Sew Flower Girl dress ending up being way more challenging than I thought it would be.

the-top

As the instructions recommend, the top is a crochet band. With a quick Google search, I was able to purchase one from Girls Crochet Headbands. I chose a purple unlined Tutu Top because I wondered if lining would cause the top to be less stretchy.

Purple Crochet Tutu Top

Photo credit: Girls Crochet Headbands

Although I planned to cover the top with flowers, I didn’t want any part of it to be revealing (or scratchy) so I found a low-price ($3!), lavender, spaghetti strap tank top from Walmart to be worn underneath.

the-skirt

Making the tulle skirt layers was pretty simple – with Mommy cutting the tulle into strips and me tying them to the crochet band, we were able to put two layers on quickly.

Even after a third layer was on, we were concerned about whether the tulle would be see-through. We ended up using a fabric skirt as a slip to be worn under the dress – luckily the skirt was a keepsake from when my sister and I were little, so this was no additional expense.

the-finished-productThe instructions showed how you could use a glue-gun to attach each flower to the crochet top. Of course the photos made it look easy, but I didn’t know how well they would stay on or how the flowers would keep their shape without the plastic stems.

Thankfully Mommy rescued the dress and this is also where this stopped being a “No Sew” DIY.

Mommy hand stitched each of the flowers to the dress along with a tiny purple bead in the center of each flower.

 

flower girl dress.jpg

While I liked the general idea to make this dress, it was not as fast as I thought it would be and it also required a skirt and tank top to be worn under it. Despite the extra effort – making a flower girl dress is a lot less expensive than buying one.

Overall, I’m so happy with this beautiful dress.

the-big-day

img_2609

Photo Credit: Marta Lewis Photography

img_2611

Photo Credit: Marta Lewis Photography

Bridesmaid Boxes

Today’s post features another one of the many  sweet touches Mommy created for the wedding.

IMG_2561.jpg

Photo Credit: Marta Lewis Photography

Each of my 5 special ladies got a colorful box with a collection of small gifts and a handwritten note from me inside.

bridesmaid-boxes-font

Nature Valley Bar and Belvita Breakfast Cookies – to keep energized during the day

Tissues – to wipe away happy tears

Icebreakers – for fresh, kissable breath

 Tylenol  and bandages – for fast first aid fixes

Emory Board/Nail grooming kit/purple nailpolish – for pretty purple polished nails

For more bridesmaid box ideas:

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

For more Wedding Wednesday DIYs:

Bridesmaid Bouquets

DIY Wedding Card Box

wedding-wednesday

 

Friday Faves 1.20.17

I enjoyed reading several bloggers’ year in review posts at the end of 2016, and I wish I had written one too because I had so many fun and exciting adventures during the year. Also, I liked that the recaps focused on the happy events.

As a way to generate positivity, sometimes Style and Savings will have a Friday Faves post to look back on good things (big or small) that happened during the week.

MLK Holiday

Monday was an extension of the weekend – we were fortunate enough to have the day off in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Dress Barn Clearance

Belted Colorblock Fit-and-Flare Dress

Photo Credit: Dress Barn

 

After the closing of The Limited 😦  I found myself in Dress Barn looking for a professional style dress. I found this Calvin Klein A-line dress for 50% off at Dress Barn. The Dress Barn original price was $59.50 and other retailers sell it for as much as $89.98. The price variation on the exact same dress is crazy! Read about it here

Sheet Pan Fajitas

 

I found a Pinterest Win! I have already made this recipe twice: once with shrimp and once with chicken. This was a easy clean up way to make fajitas. The seasoning & lime juice & cooking time were perfect.

Archer Farms Guacamole & Salsa Combo

Tortilla chips dipped in Target’s Archer Farms Spicy Pico & Guacamole were a good side to the fajitas.I was hesitant to buy it since I didn’t know if I liked them together in the same container.  I’m glad I tried it – It’s so good!

Hope you had a good week – Happy Friday!

 

Pinterest Trial & Error

Those of you who are familiar with Pinterest know that not every DIY or recipe you try turns out looking like the photo.

After experiencing my own #pinterestfail or two lately, I created a board called “Pinterest Trial & Error” where I can post notes on what went wrong and/or how I think the instructions can be improved.

What’s your funniest pinterest fail?

Update 12.27.16 – I just discovered the check-mark feature where Pinterest users can indicate that they tried the pin, then rate and share tips. Check out my other boards for even more feedback.

DIY Bridal Bouquets

Saturday afternoon was a DIY Day with my mom & my Matron of Honor. We focused on making bouquets for each of my bridesmaid and also my bridal bouquet.

I have never been very interested in fresh flowers because they never seem to last longer than 2 weeks in a vase, so I knew I wanted to use silk flowers.

This project was easy to do and can also be inexpensive. I was able to get almost all of the supplies on sale from Michael’s and JoAnn.

  

What you Need:

  1. Silk Flowers

  2. Floral Tape

  3. Pearl topped straight pins

  4. Pretty Ribbon

  5. Wire Cutters

(my ribbon says “Holiday Cheer – check out this post to see how you can use other discounted holiday decor in your wedding)

 

A few tips I learned about flower arranging are:

  • Balance the number of each type of flower
  • Balance the number of each color of flower
  • Work in a circle, rotating the bouquet as you add more flowers

Getting Started:

Silk flowers usually have lots of leaves and are attached together at the stems

Use wire cutters to cut the flowers apart from each other

The leaves can easily be pulled off

Hold the flowers tight starting at the top and wrap tightly with flower tape and make sure the stems  are long enough to be held with two hands.

If the stems are still longer than desired, trim off the extra with wire cutters

Next,  wrap the stems with the pretty ribbon, covering the floral tape

(you may want to make the ribbon longer to tie a bow, or have the ends cascading from the top)

Finish the bouquet by adding the pearl-topped pins to help hold the bouquet together  a decorative touch.

  

To Travel & Beyond

Bella And The City    Weekending