Thursday, October 27, 2011

oh, hey, snow

October 27th...seriously?:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

new giveaway! Pink Together

In case you didn't know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are a lot of amazing events going on both in local areas and on a national basis, as well as places that are around at all times to offer support. General Mills is a company that is doing great things with breast cancer awareness.

Check out, where you can share stories about how breast cancer has affected your life and you can also help vote on  $1 Millon of General Mills's donation will end up. It is a great cause, so be sure to like the page. Pink Together began with the belief that one person’s story is another person’s hope. Today, it’s a place where breast cancer survivors, patients, family members, and supporters can connect to each other to share guidance, hope and maybe, one day, a cure.

I received an awesome gift pack thanks to General Mills and My Blog Spark. Even better news? You can win the same package!

It includes the following items:

  • A 16 oz. box of Total cereal
  • VIP coupons valid for one box of Cheerios and Multigrain Cheerios cereal and one cup of Yoplait yogurt
  • Betty Crocker Living with Cancer Cookbook Pink Together Edition, which includes a collection of more than 150 delicious recipes with complete nutrition information and a 32-page Pink Together Survivor Ambassador bonus section that shares inspirational personal stories of survival as well as recipes
  • Water bottle and removable silicone awareness bracelet
  • Drawstring sport backpack
  • Rhinestone ear buds

How to enter:

Leave a comment below with a story about how breast cancer has affected your life or someone you know.

Extra entries(leave an extra comment for each):
  • Like the PinkTogether page and leave a comment saying that you did. 
  • Vote where you want the donation money to go and leave a comment saying where you chose. 
  • Tweet the following(up to three times a day): Win a Pink Together Prize Pack via BBV #MyBlogSpark

This giveaway will end on October 28th at midnight Eastern. It is open to residents of the US. 

More information can be found here:

Disclosure: The Pink Together prize pack, information and coupons have been provided free of charge by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Friday, October 14, 2011

giveaway on Yonder!

Be sure to check out the blog, Yonder, this week. I am giving away a scarf and a $15 store credit to BBV! Super easy to enter. Check it out:

Monday, October 10, 2011

the business of social media

Blue Sky Scrubs

Remember the days when scrubs were either blue or covered in silly patterns? That is definitely no longer the case.

If you work in the medical field and are looking for nursing uniform scrubs, then you should certainly check out Blue Sky Scrubs. They have fashionable uniforms for medical personnel. I especially enjoy the tops that come in Carnegie green and turquoise. Very cute!

The company was started by a medical student, who didn't love the idea of wearing ugly scrub hats and who also had a hard time fitting her hair into the caps. She started making her own Pony Scrub hats and the rest is fashionable (medically speaking) history.

Blue Sky also offers scrubs for men and children, as well as other items such as lab coats and more.

For more information check out:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

check out Halloween Mart for your costume needs

So, I love dressing up for Halloween and I also love seeing what else everyone is wearing. Last year, I was Lucille Ball, but I'm not sure what to do this year. If you're in the same predicament, might I suggest looking for Halloween costumes at Halloween Mart? They have great stuff for adult Halloween costumes 

And if you have little ones, they also have kids Halloween costumes:

Halloween Mart also has daily deals and an awesome clearance section. You can definitely find an awesome costume for a great price.

For more information check out

work it! Express business suits

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't wear a lot of suits, but when I do I have a few go to stores to check out. One is definitely Express. They have suits that flatter the body and have the look of an expensive suit at a fraction of the cost. Every person should have a suit in their wardrobe, regardless of profession, because they are just one of those staples that can come in handy on any given day.

Also, they have suits for both men and women, so your dude can buy one as well. Is there anything sexier than a guy in a well tailored suit? I think not.

Check out a couple of women's suits:



And some men's suits:




Also, did you know that there is an Express sweepstakes going on right now? You can win a $500 suiting makeover from Express.

What suits are your favorite from Express? Share your opinions in the comment section below.



Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Incorporating some cute vintage pieces into my wardrobe

Guest post written by Chelsea Newman

I'll be the first to admit that I probably don't need to buy any more clothes, but I really love shopping and coming up with all kinds of new outfits to wear. I guess that it also helps that I purge my wardrobe every once in a while and sell the clothes I don't want any more to consignment shops.

I was online looking up some great thrift shops because I think it will be a lot more cost effective to find pieces there instead of brand new ones. While I was online looking that up, I ran across the website After I looked through it a little bit I decided to change over my home internet to it.

I've been browsing some local vintage and thrift shops. I've already bought a really cute maxi skirt at a vintage store. It couldn't be any more in style right now. I also picked up a couple of cute long sleeve shirts at a thrift shop that will be great for layering in the fall and winter months coming up.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

check out Ellos Store

With fall upon us and winter just around the corner, I have been searching for a great coat to rock this season. An awesome option for readers in the UK is Ellos Store. Here are three awesome coats:

Ellos doesn't just have coats. They have awesome shoes, sweaters, and even stuff for your dudes or the little ones in your life. If you are searching for a coat or other stylish autumn clothing, be sure to check out Ellos Store for ultra cute items at great price.

tunage tuesday: damien rice "9 crimes"

Well, kids, I am officially moved. I am living in Syracuse for a 5 week period and I am super stoked about it. Not that I love Syracuse with a passion, but do you ever feel stuck in a rut? I was so there. A 5 week sojourn may be just what the doctor ordered. Since I will have a bunch of time on my hands, expect some major blogging action on BBV. And your tune for the week:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

tunage tuesday: chris isaak 'somebody's crying'

I am being quite terrible about blogging this month, so I thought I would ease back into it with a tune that I love. Chris Isaak. Such a guilty pleasure. 

So check it out and check back for posts on more regular basis.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

recipe wednesday: caramel apple pancakes

 Danielle is back with an amazing autumn recipe!

There is nothing more fall to me then the combination of apples and caramel. My grandmother was in town for an afternoon this week and we got to talking about how we love breakfast foods and it got me to thinking about making an amazing "breakfast for dinner" recipe using my favorite fall flavors! I decided to make a whole wheat cinnamon pancake with lots of apples and walnuts baked right in with a super simple homemade caramel sauce on top. Last weekend my husband and I got a bushel of Zestar apples from our local farmer's market that were just incredible. Zestar apples are an early season apple that are light and crisp, have a slight hint of brown sugar and are so good! You can use whatever apples are your favorite and feel free to experiment to make the perfect pancake!

Caramel Apple Pancakes

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of coarse salt

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 cups fat free milk
2 tbsp canola oil
1 medium apple chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (plus more to sprinkle on top)

Maple Sryup and Whipped Cream for topping, if desired.

First, make the caramel sauce by combining the brown sugar, butter and cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and salt and set aside.

Make the pancakes by combining all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine the eggs, milk and oil. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then fold in the apples and the walnuts. Butter your griddle and pour batter 1/4 cup at a time to make your pancakes. Flip once bubbles start forming on the top and cook until the second side is golden brown. 

Drizzle the caramel sauce over the pancakes and sprinkle leftover chopped walnuts on top. You can add a little pure maple syrup to your pancakes, although they don't really need it. I also made some homemade whipped cream which went really well.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

recipe wednesday: garbage cookies

Today, Anne brings you some garbage cookies!

(Variation of Momofuku's compost cookie)

The title refers to throwing your favorite junk food into your favorite cookie, chocolate chip.  This cookie is meant for people who love all or none and always go for the all.  When it comes to deserts I'm an all-in girl.  You should see my sundaes, more toppings than ice cream.  If you eat it and you need a glass a milk to wash it down, then its perfect.  Don't be afraid to experiment with this one.  You can add in different snacks, who knows, you might be the next Martha!

1 cup butter softened (that’s two sticks, unsalted)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsps Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups your favorite snack foods crushed up (crunchy potato chips (like Cape Cod brand), pretzels, heath bar crunch, dark chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups)

Mix butter, sugar and brown sugar until a yellow light fluffy consistency.
Add eggs and vanilla on a low speed mixing.
Mix at medium speed until dough looks white and creamy.
In separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients in small increments mixing completely between additions.
Next add in chocolate chips and mix.
Finally, add in your favorite snack foods that have already been crushed up and mix.
Refrigerate cookie dough for one hour.
Place on cookie pan 2 inches apart with an ice cream scoop.
Cook at 375 degrees for 11 minutes.  The cookie should look slightly brown on top and edges and be puffed and cracked throughout.
Wait till they cool to eat and store.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

recipe wednesday: Beignets Framboise

 Today, Danielle shows you how to make a sweet treat!

Beignets Framboise
Don't be intimidated by the name, it's just the French version of raspberry jam doughnuts.  These puffy yeast pastry doughnuts are fried, filled with a flavorful homemade jam and and then rolled in cinnamon and sugar... and are every bit as delicious as they look. Another plus about this recipe is that you'll be shocked at how easy it is to make your own jam, which will allow you to play around with whatever fruit is your favorite.

Jam Filling:
1 1/2 c fresh raspberries
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tsp pectin powder
1/2 lemon
Leavener for Beignet Dough:
2 cups +2 tbsp cake flour
1/6 oz active dry yeast
3/4 cup + 1 tsp water

Beignet Dough:
1 3/4 cup + 3 1/2 tbsp cake flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 oz active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
5 egg yolks
3 1/3 tbsp whole milk
4 1/2 tbsp softened unsalted butter

Vegetable Oil for frying

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

First make the jam filling. Puree the raspberries in the bowl of a food processor then heat to lukewarm in a small saucepan. Take off heat and add pectin, sugar and the juice from the 1/2 lemon. Put back on medium heat and bring to boil. Boil for 2 minutes, pour into bowl, cover in plastic and let cool completely. Refrigerate once cooled.

Next, make the leavener for the beignet batter. Dilute the yeast in the water and mix in a medium bowl with the cake flour. Allow to double in volume at room temperature for 1 hour.

To make the beignet dough, place the cake flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add the yeast and salt, but keep both on opposite sides of the bowl and do not allow the two to touch until your ready to mix. Add the egg yolks and whole milk and mix everything together until just combined. Add in the softened butter and the leavener and mix together until dough starts to form. Dump the dough onto counter and knead with your hands until smooth, form a ball with the dough and place back in bowl. Allow this to double in volume for 1 hour at room temperature. Punch in the middle to deflate the ball of dough then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Weigh out 2 oz  pieces of the dough and form into balls. Place doughnuts on a floured dish towel and allow to proof at room temperature for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Preheat vegetable oil in a heavy duty pot to 325-340 degrees. I usually put my burner on medium heat and let the oil take its time to come up to temperature. It takes longer (about 20 minutes) but it ensures that the oil will stay at the right temperature throughout the frying process. Fry the doughnuts, a few at a time for about 3-4 minutes until they just start to brown (they will continue to brown once you remove them from the oil so it's important to take them out right away) Drain on paper towels.

Once cooled, put the jam in a piping bag and fill the doughnuts. Roll in the cinnamon and sugar and enjoy!


Monday, August 29, 2011

uk readers: check out

Have you ever checked out K&Co? You can find their site at It is pretty sweet and has me wishing I were living in England, so I could purchase the great deals!

I love the fact that is truly a one stop shop, where you can buy yourself a new outfit, while also buying something for your boyfriend's birthday, a housewarming gift for your best friend, and a new TV for the den. All in one shopping site. Amazingly convenient.

I scoped out their dresses and thought I would share my favorite two, so check them out below:

Aren't they gorgeous? In love to the max! But what are dresses without some rocking sandals? K&Co also has a great selection of footwear to go with your outfits. I love wedge sandals, because they offer more support than a plain heel and they give me some height, because I am quite short. I have picked out two pair you can purchase from K&Co, so check them out:

 How about the second pair? Amazing!

So, if you are in the UK, be sure to check out K&Co, for all of your shopping needs.

*This post is in association K&Co.

Friday, August 26, 2011

cute, little people in cute, little dresses

I had my nieces rocking some vintage dresses while I was watching them yesterday. They looked like adorable 1950s children, so of course we had to have a quick photo shoot. Ari was ALL about her blue dress and red hat, while Cali was NOT having her red, sailor dress(after some early smiles). It was hilarious, but in the end she got to try on the blue dress, as well. Crisis averted (after some tears).

And pictures:

My goal: get them into vintage at a young age...even if one ends up in tears.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

recipe wednesday(on a thursday): cranberry meringue mini pies

 Danielle is back with some amazing pies.

One thing you should know about me is that I LOVE fall. I love the weather, the fact that it means football is finally here, the produce that's in season... in fact you'd be hard pressed to find something that I don't love about fall. Once August hits I start getting antsy, hence this recipe. In order to make these pies in the summer I had to make a couple changes, obviously cranberries and blood oranges aren't in season so I had to use frozen cranberries and a navel orange instead. The crust for these is a french pastry called Pâte Sucrée which is perfect for pies because it holds up really well to the filling. The juice from the orange sweetens the tartness of the cranberries in the filling and the fluffiness of the meringue topping creates the perfect combination.

Cranberry Meringue Mini Pies

For the Citrus Pâte Sucrée:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1-2 tbsp cold heavy cream

For the Filling:
12 ounces (3 1/4 cups) fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp grated blood orange zest and 1/4 cup blood orange juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
3 tbsp cornstarch

For the Meringue:
3 large egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar

Make the Pâte Sucrée by pulsing the flour, sugar, salt and both zests in a food processor until combined. Add the butter pieces and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the yolk and drizzle 1 tbsp of the cream over the mixture, then pulse until dough comes together... no more than 30 seconds. If the dough is too dry, add the remaining tbsp of cream. Pat the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic, refrigerate for an hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. cut out twelve 4-inch fluted rounds and fit into cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin (not nonstick). Dock the bottom of the "pies" using a fork and then freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line the shells with parchment (just cut out parchment rounds the same size as the shells) and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove weights and parchments. Bake until bottoms are just turning golden, 5 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks, let cool 5 minutes then remove shells from tin and let cool completely.

While the shells are cooling, make the filling. Bring 2 cups of the cranberries, 1 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer mixture, stirring occasionally until the cranberries burst, about 5 minutes. Pour through a sieve and discard solids. You should have about 1 3/4 cups juice... if you have less, add water.

Bring the strained cranberry juice, 1/4 cup sugar, the zests, salt, cinnamon, cloves and remaining 1 1/4 cup cranberries to boil in medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until cranberries are soft but not have not burst, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cornstarch, orange juice, and remaining 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Whisk into cranberry mixture in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and cook for about 1 minute until thick. Divide mixture among shells and let set in the refrigerator, 1 hour or up to one day.

Make the meringue by whisking the egg whites and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a heat proof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high speed until medium glossy peaks form. Spoon on top of the pies and use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the meringue. If you don't have a torch, just put the pies under oven broiler for 30 seconds.