Wednesday Win: When Life hands you Oreos, Sprinkles & M&M Minis– Make These!

I had tons of leftovers just lurking in my pantry saying “DO SOMETHING YUMMY WITH ME, SEYMOUR JILLY!”

You see, last week I made these brownie/cookie/oreo/m&m mini dessert and peanut butter bon bons with sprinkles and I wanted to do something easy with the leftovers. My nephews came in town last night so I figured why not surprise them with a combo of all things kid friendly (and kid at heart friendly too):

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So I took two other favorites from my pantry:

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and melted some chocolate… you can see where this is going, right?

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I made two versions… one sans peanut butter but with Sprinkles– and I really globbed on the chocolate. There was nothing neat about this… because in my opinion the more chocolate, the better. Always.

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And then it was peanut butter chocolate time:

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(I just added two spoonfuls of organic PB to my melted chocolate chips) and dipped them in the m&m mini’s!

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I put them all on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper:

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And let them set in the freezer for about twenty minutes until they looked like this.

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Needless to say, they were a hit! Easy Peasy dessert that makes me cool Auntie Jilly? Yes Please!

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Everything Old Is New Again- Cel Animation at Disney Studios & The Cat Eye!

Is it just me or are the craziest, busiest, most hectic and insane weeks always the best ones?

This week was one of those weeks that starts out with the dreaded Monday morning pit in your stomach feeling of “ugh- please can it be Friday, like now” but ends with the “I wouldn’t change a minute of the crazy because this week has been great” (okay, welllll maybe I would change some of the minutes- like when I slept through my alarm and woke up twenty mitnues before I was supposed to be at work. #oops)

On Monday I had the honor of producing a piece at Walt Disney Studios in their Ink & Paint department where we got to see how cel animation happens from start to finish. Obviously with the move to digital, most films aren’t animated in this fashion any longer (where an artists hand draws, hand inks, painstainkly paints and then airbrushes hundreds of thousands of cels to make an animated movie) but for the release of 101 Dalmatians on DVD (out February 10th), we were invited to have one of our experts, Matt Rogers, and his adorable sons, experience it all first hand and they got to paint their own cell with the ONLY inker currently working at Disney Studios, Antonio Pelayo.

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On top of the incredible access and memorable experience Disney gave us, they had Floyd Norman accompany us all day. Floyd started working at Disney as an animator and story man in the 1950s’s. He was an animator on the ORIGINAL 101 Dalmatians (which was released in 1961) and personally worked WITH Walt Disney. He not only looks uh-mazing for being almost 80 (he told me his secret to looking so great is just that Disney magic), but he was as kind as could be and had tons of amazing stores to share.

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Catch it all today on Home & Family or watch the trip of our visit here!

On top of producing behind-the-scenes this week, I was asked to be a “model” for another segment on the show, all about the Cat Eye a classic makeup look that’s been around for decades. Um, have someone do my makeup? Sign Me Up.

We had the founder of Benefit Cosmetics, Maggie Ford Danielson on to show and I’ve been a huge fan of Benefit (it’s the only place I get my brows done) for years.  I’m obsessed with their “They’re Real!” mascara and pretty much every other product of their I’ve tried and I’ve been dying to try the “They’re Real!” liner of theirs!

Maggie came here to show off how to get the perfect cat eye WITH the eye liner I’ve been dying to try sooo it was pretty much a no brainier to be a part of this segment. I always LOVE the cat eye look but every time I try it myself, I end up looking less sultry and more smudgy hot mess. #not cute.

But thanks to Maggie’s tips, I think I will be able to perfect said look at home. She gave me a smokey eye using JUST the gel liner alone. No shadow. Nothing. She simply applied the liner and smudged it with a shadow brush. Who knew?!

Tune in today for all the makeup madness!

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A final thought: countless people at work have told me that I look nice which really only makes me think that perhaps I need to try a little harder on days where I don’t have a professional doing my makeup. #hmmm

Happy Friday!

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HERE IT IS: WHY I TAKE FULL CREDIT FOR BACKSTREET BOYS REUNITING

I told you I had a fabulous Friday night planned and I did not lie. The Boy and I watched “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” Otherwise known as the Backstreet Boys documentary.

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First though: a bit of a rant. What’s with all of these “Backstreet’s Back” headlines in all of these articles? Maybe it’s accurate to say  *NSync was “back” for that lame and all too short 45 second performance that JT granted them at the VMA’s that one time– and maybe you could say NKOTB is back since they took a long hiatus to do whatever you do when you’re New Kids on The Block and you stopped making hits– but Backstreet Boys? They aren’t “back” because they didn’t go anywhere. Those swoon worthy singers have been serenading me (through cds, the radio, my iPod and Pandora) for the past 22 years. There was no break, so therefore there is no comeback.

However, it is safe to say that Kevin (Richardson) is back because he did leave the group… for six years.

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(That time Kevin showed them the meaning of being lonely)

and I have to confess, I take FULL credit for his return.

Yes, you read that correctly. I, Jill Salama, take full credit for Kevin Richardson returning to the BSB. And here’s why:

It was the fall of 2010– otherwise known as Season 25 of TOWS (The Oprah Winfrey Show).

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There was a show that was pitched about “Teenage Heartthrobs” from previous decades- a pre-cursor to #TBT, if you will and it was originally assigned to my team (there were various different teams at The Oprah Show and each team was responsible for producing a full episode)

Being that I was a huge fan of BSB, and had already pitched them multiple times in my previous three years at The Oprah Winfrey Show, I obviously pitched them for this particular show because um, hello captain obvious and this time it worked (!!!)

The Backstreet Boys were B-Double-O-K-E-D.

At this point in time however, BSB was still sans Kevin but being as this was the final season of Oprah and the Boys had been on the show a few times throughout their career, they reached out to Kevin to come back and perform for Oprah’s final season.

And Kevin said yes (because really, no one says no to Oprah)

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(Kevin is BACK, Alright. Front and Center next to O Dubs!)

I was beside myself with excitement… That is until the show got reassigned to another team. womp womp womp. But the story does not end sadly. No, you see, dear readers, the show and the epic surprise they pulled off for a lucky fan not only went off without a hitch (there might not be any better moment than listening to the Boys sound check and sing “I Want It That Way” on the Oprah set), I still got to work with them on the show day, I got this GEM of a photo:

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AND, the real reason this story is a happy, glorious and joyful one? After that show, Kevin joined the group again and they put out another album!

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All is right with the world.

Okay, so I think it wasn’t like immediately after that show BUT I do think there is a VERY strong case that it was precisely because of the show and Kevin reuniting with them again just for that performance that the lightbulb moment (or as Oprah calls it- the a-ha moment) went off for our buddy ‘ol pal Kev and he before we knew it, he was Back. Like Backstreet’s Back. Alright!

The End.

Okay now on to the documentary…

Watch it. No seriously, even for non-fans, their doc “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” was fascinating. It spends a good amount of time going back to each of their roots while showing tons of videos from the early early early days and explaining the whole Lou Pearlman fiasco.

And while I would have liked to see and hear a bit more about how they felt once everything seemed to come to a screeching halt for them in 2003 and how it must feel to go from being on top of the world to well, not so much pretty quickly- overall it was cool to see just how hard these guys have worked and where they’ve come from.

It serves as a great reminder that no matter what you do (or dream to do) in life, there is no such thing as becoming an “overnight” success. While in the late ’90s it seemed like Backstreet Boys exploded from oblivion to super-stardom at the snap of a finger, this doc shows the endless hours, sweat and horrible outfit choices (and boy were there a lot of those) that went into making that success look sudden when really it was anything but.

(Examples of said horrible outfit choices– because they are too good not to include):

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And okay, I know I am biased so I should probably stop my review now, but even The Boy said he enjoyed it! (yes he did in fact watch the entire thing with me!)

The Documentary by the numbers:

Number of times I cried while watching it: 3 (okay maybe 4)

Number of times I looked over at The Boy to make sure he was still into it: 6

Number of times I danced while bundled up on the couch: Easily 6, but really too many to count

Number of times I thought that a serenade from the Boys one day isn’t like totally 1,000% out of the question: 10

Soo the moral of the story here: if you’ve got two hours and you want to relive the glory days of the late 90s/Y2k while picking up some interesting facts along the way, I’d say rent this bad boy.

And, of course, you can send me a thank you for Kevin’s return to the group any time you please.

xoJ

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Take Me Back Tuesday: A Post Super Bowl Snack Recap

I know everyone has their opinions about the Super Bowl– the crazy ending to the game, the commercials, the Katy Performance and her outfit that looked like a cross promotion for a bag of Cheetos Flamin’ Hot chips…

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But let’s discuss what isn’t being discussed:

How CUTE are the Seahawks Uniforms?! I mean, Navy and neon green?! Who would’ve thought? I have to say I feel so on trend, because I do have a navy sundress with neon greenish yellowish trim that I ADORE but seriously, how great is this much underused color combo?!

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Nothing better than a cute pop of color out there on the field! and I’d so be okay with  Lululemon making a pair of these leggings.

Okay, I feel better now that I got that off my chest. So let’s move it right along…

Now that we’ve all recovered from the post sugary/snack haze let’s relive it with a Super Bowl Snack Recap. Mainly because I’m proud that I baked from scratch even when the recipe called for boxed mix. And this time, it was the exact opposite of paleo/gluten-free/sugar free. It was a dessert fest for the masses (the 7 others I was at Super Bowl party with)

First up: I added a twist to Maria Provenzano’s Peanut Butter Bon Bons by decorating them with the team colors in sprinkles. Mainly because sprinkles make everything better. And by better I mean cuter and more fun to look at. And, well more sugar is never really a bad thing.

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And while we are on the salty/sweet kick I made a batch of these pretzel buttons (so easy: take pretzels, melt hershey kisses on them for about a minute in the oven, smash them down a bit with a knife and then decorate with M&Ms)

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As I mentioned on Friday, I ordered a 101 piece cookie cutter set and I’m prettttty excited about it. Well, except the part when the Amazon delivery man woke me up at 8 A.M. on Saturday morning to deliver it…

The whole plan was to make adorbs football themed shaped cookies with the new cookie cutters using a gluten free sugar cookie mix but then the dough was way too sticky to cooperate. So we tried coating the dough in flour… but that didn’t work. So we tried adding more flour and it still didn’t work. So The Boy suggested I make it into one big football cookie. Genius!

It came out pretty cute:

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Except, since we added all the extra flour, it didn’t taste as good as it looked. Oh well, we were going for the cuteness themed factor here. #youwinsomeyoulosesome

And now for the pièce de résistance: The “Why Choose When You Can Have It All. No Like Really, ALL” Dessert concoction.

It  all started with a layer of homemade cookie dough, followed by plopping some Double Stuffed Oreos on top and filling in the holes with m&m minis (because minis are the best kind of m&ms!):

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Then I poured some homemade brownie batter on top of the mixture and baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes:

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And when sliced and served, it was a (fudgey) party on the top, a (cookie-dough-ey) party on the bottom and a (crazy delicious) party in the middle:

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I couldn’t eat them because they are clearly not gluten free BUT the reviews that came in from the party (and from my co-workers the next day) make me think that you should whip up a batch of these too. And who says you have to share?

Also, I’m thinking out of the oven when they are still warm and gooey they might be pretty amazefest with a scoop of ice-cream on top.

And the options with these are really endless. I’m pretty sure it would be quite delish with some Peanut Butter cups in the center or perhaps Twix? Orrrr…  Peanut Butter Twix?!

Okay now I’m just getting hungry.

xoJ

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Friday Finds: Fitness Fun & Football Food!

Hello!

Happy Friday! Is it just me, or was this week the longest week evvvveeeeerrrrr?! Pretty sure it’s not just me. but I’ve never been more excited to see you, Friday. Hashtag TGIF.

I hope you all have some fabulouso Friday night plans. Mine are pretty amazing: cozy pjs, fuzzy socks and a Backstreet Boys documentary screening party (party of two, sorry-not-sorry BF).

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I mean, I don’t find it at all coincidental that the BSB premiere and Oprah’s birthday were on the same day! I’m counting down the seconds until I get to watch this gem! It will most likley definitely include a full on BSB dance party (full review of the doc (and maybe the dance party) coming later, obvi)

Anywho, let’s get to my Friday finds. This week in my weekly fitness column for FabFitFun, I tackled fitness finds that make fitness a wee bit more fun. Because let’s face it, with Valentines day two weeks away, everywhere we turn there is a chocolate filled heart or peanut butter truffle or bowl of pink, red and white m&ms (that we convince ourselves must taste entireley different than the original color variety and therefore eat 12 handfuls) staring us in the face. So we need a few things that get us a little bit excited to keep our “must get fit” mantra going- and these do the trick! Click here for all those fab finds!

Moving right along from healthy to the absolute opposite… Superbowl Sunday.

So I have to admit something- even though I went to a big ten school (Go Badgers!) and went to many a football game, I know pretty much nothing about the sport (though you wouldn’t have known that based on my rather plentiful batch of Badger apparel- I do miss putting on cute “football” outfits!)  But this Sunday, I will be “watching” the Superbowl (aka waiting anxiously for Katy Perry’s halftime performance) at a Superbowl party. In years past, I would’ve just picked up some TJ’s apps to bring… but after my first Hanukkah party, I decided it’s so much more fun getting sucked into a black hole of themed recipes and then deciding to make far too many of them (once again, sorry BF). Last night I made themed pretzel buttons because they are always a hit (and because I had leftover hershey kisses and M&Ms from said Hanukkah dinner party):

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and I think I will be making these amazing Peanut Butter Bon Bon’s from the adorbs Maria Provenzano. We had her on our show over the holidays and the entire staff were clamoring around the set once her segment wrapped and scarfed these bad boys down in five seconds flat…

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And I’ll be putting my own twist on these slutty brownies. Because they look amazing (and amazingly easy to make hence their name)! I’ve seen a million varieties of these on the internet and they look like delicious amounts of fun:

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Then I’m debating between these football shaped brownies (I decided I must order a 101 piece cookie cutter kit after seeing them)- though I prob don’t need them since I am making the other brownies (thinking out loud here)

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Otherwise, I’m thinking about making this football shaped cookie dough dip (eggless of course!):

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Or some sort of Rice Krispie treat that is football themed.

Got any fab fitness or football finds? Share them with me!

xoJ

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I’m Back! But My Back Isn’t (Back)… Adventures in Acupuncture, Acupressure, Cupping and A Whole Lot More.

People of the interwebs and readers of this blog, I apologize for my almost month long hiatus.

I’ve spent the past month eating homemade chocolate covered strawberries while laying on this sleep induction acupressure mat in order to both heal my back and appease my taste buds.

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Because, well, if you’re going on month three sans working out, why not lay sedentary while feasting on strawberries dipped in chocolate and mini m&m’s? (Shout out to The Boy for making these for me! Adorable dot com)

So here’s the sitch: few months ago, after volunteering to dye my hair red at work (but pre volunteering to chop it all off) I volunteered to act as the victim in a self defense segment. And while I learned a lot of valuable tips, my “attacker” took the whole acting part a bit too seriously and tackled me to the ground pretty hard.

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(Me- fighting off my “attacker”)

So I’ve spent the last three months trying to get my back well… back.

First I tried doing nothing- that didn’t work. Bending down to put on my shoe, and basically doing anything for too long (sitting, standing, walking, laying down) left me in really terrible pain. I tried moderate exercise thinking it might help but it only made it worse.  I tried massage, which was of course uber relaxing–  but didn’t really help the pain.

I got the acupressure mat from my guest, Dave Asprey founder of Bulletproof coffee when I produced him at work.

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(love him!)

You should know that sometimes this mat is referred to as a Bed of Nails. Who wouldn’t want to lay down on it?! This ain’t no ordinary mat, people.They have these sharp pokey thingies allll over it that is said to decrease muscle soreness and increase the level of endorphins. (They can also increase the level of uptake oxygen in your body, which improves the quality of sleep, digestion and metabolism.) The only thing is, when you lay down on it at first it hurts. A lot. But after about thirty seconds, you feel a warmness come over you and your muscles really do relax. Any time my back feels super tight, I spend about twenty minutes on this bad boy and it really seems to help.

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However, the mat was only acting as a temporary relief, so next I followed with the magic of Dr. Bryan Abrams chiropractic care which really helped move me in the right direction. After a few weeks. Dr. Bry suggested that I also try some acupuncture!

So, I pushed my fear of needles to the back of my mind and went all in with the alternative medicine route.

The needles are tiny and don’t hurt at all. They feel a little heavy but the whole experience is pretty relaxing. (And this is coming from the girl who usually almost passes out when having her blood drawn… and maybe even still cries sometimes…. don’t judge)

After my first go round of the ‘puncture, my adorbs acupuncturist (as an aside she rocks some really really cute boots (the things you notice when you’re face down on a table with needles in your back) asked me if I had ever heard of cupping. I totally had but didn’t really know much other than they place these cups on your back.

She explained that cups are lit on fire before going on to your back and then the heat and the cups act as a suction and when pulled off your back it helps to promote circulation to the area in which you are feeling pain (and that it’s also a great to boost your immune system response) and suggested we try it to see if it helped my back. She warned me that there would be bruising (not painful, but not cute) and I said bring it on.

I mean afterall, I’m not trying to bring sexy back like my pal JT. I’m just trying to bring my back, back.

I was nervous it would hurt but didn’t hurt at all! Not even a little bit! It felt a little weird, sure, but no pain whatsoever and I have to say, it really did seem to help (though I can’t tell if it’s from the cupping or the acupuncture– I’ve been going to acupuncture 2x a week for three weeks now and my back is already feeling the best it has since the injury)

What I didn’t think about however, was how The Boy might feel about said Cupping experience…. because well, I did look like I was beat up by some sort of weird alien:

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Okay, I admit, it looks terrible and painful, but I swear it didn’t hurt and it went away after a few days.

The Boy made me swear I wouldn’t do it again but I couldn’t oblige. But since relationships are all about compromise, my following cupping sessions have been relegated to my lower back only. You’re welcome, BF.

I’m finally starting to feel back on track. Get it?

I’ll be here all day, folks.

Do you have any all natural ways to relieve or reduce pain? Share them! I’d love to try them!

XoJ

 

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BEEN THERE: FROM SKEPTIC TO SO-ON-BOARD AT GRASSROOTS ALCHEMY

I stumbled upon the brand new Grassroots Alchemy while walking down Melrose the other day and  I was first drawn in by this:

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Because Bulletproof is delicious , I thought I would immediately become BFF’s with this new resto. Plus, it’s so cute! AND so close to my house.

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But I have to be honest, after looking over the mostly raw, vegan menu at Grassroots Alchemy in Los Angeles, I was pretty skeptical. I’ve had lots of sounds-good-but-tastes-gross vegan food in the past and was ready to walk out the door… but I could tell The Boy was not going to let me back out– he, the chain restauraunt loving, organic is a scam, pro gluten thankyouverymuch kind of boy, seemed very into trying this place (weird, I know!)

We wanted to share a light bite before getting on with our Sunday plans. So we opted with the Sunflower “tuna” sandwhich (that would be “tuna fish” made out of sunflower seeds)

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And the Superfood Machiatto smoothie (made with almond milk):

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I was still skeptical…

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(my hmm not sure about this place face)

But then, the food came. And I was impressed because it looked pretty delish:

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First up… The Smoothie. It tasted like a this-can’t-be-healthy-milkshake with a the perfect coffee fix. Um, yes please.

The Boy and I sipped that bad boy down way too quickly and then it was over. Like a great Backstreet Boys concert it just went by way too fast and I was sad I didn’t have a time machine to go back sixty seconds to experience this gem again. Or maybe the right move would be to go back 10 minutes and order one for each of us.

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SO not sharing this next time.

Next up… The Sunflower Seed Tuna Sandwich:

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It looked sort of like tuna. And it had that tuna taste… but crunchier and lemon-ier. And it was REALLY good. And I can’t lie to you, I’ve been seriously craving this sammie ever since we went. The brioche (gluten free!) bread was amazing (I think it might be the one from Rising Hearts Bakery that is amazing.com)  and the “tuna” was really and truly good.

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Grassroots Alchemy, I’ve been converted!!

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(Semi) DIY Dinner Party Decor! (and by semi, I mean store bought and self assembled so not DIY at all)

I think I’m officially an adult.

I know as a Jew I officially became an adult when I had my Bat-Mitzvah — which now that I think about it, since I did technically become an adult in 1998, it makes perfect sense that my taste in music is sooo “grown up” (#BSB4EVER)

And I know as a citizen of this great nation I officially became an adult at 18 and then again at 21… but really I don’t think there’s anything adult about drinking until everything spins.

But hosting your first dinner party? That’s a full on admission that you would rather sit around with friends and large amounts of sweets/wine instead of heading to the bars until 4am. And it takes a REAL adult to admit that.

So last week I hosted my very first dinner party. Complete with decor and a pre-set table and things I baked and cooked.  And it took pre-planning and pre-ordering and many trips to the grocery store (and of course pre-looking up the number of the closest pizza place should my food be a total disaster). Soo I’m pretty sure this means I’m supposed to be like discussing stock options and how Taylor Swift is SO terrible but um, stock options are boring and Taylor Swift writes catchy pop songs that I adore dancing around my apartment/blasting in my car/singing in my shower to. I know- so very adult of me.

I had a lot of fun planning the table decor and here’s the truth: Hosting a dinner party might be very adult but on most days, I’m still stuck in 1998 at heart. So I wasn’t about to get all legit fancy up in this thing. While I orginally intended to be fancy and grown up with REAL plates and a lot of things i made myself, I realized, you’ve got to be true to yourself even when you’re throwing a “grown up” dinner party and I’m just simply not that grown up.

Also, I would rather pay a little extra to have something cute that someone else spent making than attempt it myself and have it look like a 8 year olds art project. Not to mention, I wanted something that was easy clean up but still looked cute cause cleaning up, is not my kind of fun.

So here’s what I did:

1) I got disposable plastic gold tablecloths from Target and then spruced them up with these uh-dorable burlap gold polka dotted table runners from Tea & Sugar on Etsy.

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2. I bought these super cute place mats from Target’s Hanukkah Aisle (a very small but impressive aisle)

— As an aside- have you all seen this Mench on a Bench thing? I resisted buying but am seriously regretting that life choice.

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3. I used mason jars as my vases and these candle holders that I’ve had since my Oprah Show days to break up the flowers.

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4. Then I added some Hanukkah gelt and plastic Hanukkah coins (from Oriental Trading) as accents.

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4. I set the table with these cute chevron plates from Cheeky (available at Target) (and with every Cheeky item you buy, they donate a meal to someone in need, right here in the US!) and yes, I used plastic silverware. This whole table-scape meant easy cleanup which means one very happy me.

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5. And then I (okay okay, The Boy did it!) strung some lights outside and hung up a Happy Hanukkah sign (all also from Target) and the dinner table set up was complete!

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Bring on the guests! and the food!

While I don’t love the look of plastic silverware, I do think for this type of dinner it worked! And the fun plates from Cheeky paired with the patterned runner and place mats really helped add some fun textures/layers to the table! I had a lot of fun creating this look and it’s inspired me to want to host more dinner parties!

More to come on my very first dinner party! If I can do it, really and truly ANYONE can!

xoJ

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When Life Hands You A Messed Up DIY Ombre Cake… Make… Cake Balls!

Happy Hanukah! Or is it Chanukah? Or Hanukkah? I can’t keep up. Leave it to us Jewish folks to not be able to decide how to spell the name of our holiday. In honor of the big H (or CH depending which spelling you choose) I was inspired to throw my very first dinner party… the show I’m working on now made me think I could like totally for sure throw a DIY dinner party where I cooked everything, made every decor and looked like I was a living Pinterest board/Etsy shop.

What I quickly learned: this show has given me false confidence. I’m like one of those people who try out for American Idol thinking I am the next Mariah Carey only to get told by Simon Cowell that my singing would even make deaf cows cry.

Okay so maybe I’m not that bad, but I’ve still got work to do! This whole do-everything-yourself-stuff is NOT easy. Not to mention the lines at Michael’s this time of year. Who knew?! I have mucho more respect for the DIY’ers of the world!

One of the desserts I was most excited to make was a (gluten free) blue Ombre cake (for Hanukkah of course!) that was supposed to look like this (only a smaller version):

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I ordered the food coloring gel and made my four colors in mini loaf pans… and all looked great…

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Until the time came to layer it… and well, I was told it was un-serveable.

And even though I had a million more desserts to serve, I almost lost it (which is why there are no photos…) I was SO excited to make this perfect ombre cake and was not very happy at being told I should just throw it out and what I should have/could have done to make it work. #thankyouCaptainObvious #nowisNOTthetime

I almost gave up… but then I thought WWPD (What Would Pinterest Do?)

And it was right there in my kitchen that I had my very own a-ha moment!

In a fit of determination/rage/I will make this work, I mushed up the entire cake and frosting bowl and decided to make… cake balls! I had never made cake balls before and I had no idea how to do it but I figured mushing up the cake and frosting was a good start. Once the cake and frosting were mixed together, I rolled them up into balls and stuck them in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. Then I rolled them in chocolate and decorated them with sprinkles and presto chango my crappy looking cake became yummy looking drops of delish:

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I stuck them in the fridge to set and then plated them for the party:

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and… they were a hit! With a surprise of Hanukkah/Chanukah/Hanukah inside!

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Blue cake balls!

Lesson learned folks, never give up! It’s not over until the cake is served in one form or another…

The party turned out to be a great success and minus this one little setback, I really did have a blast planning/prepping and throwing it! And now, I have an excuse to reattempt the ombre cake! More details on the party to come!

Would love to hear about your favorite DIY dessert or any time you were able to rescue an almost un-rescuable recipe and turn it into something great!

xoJ

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Win It Wednesday! Dairy Free Ice Cream and an ADORBS Apron!

Does anyone else feel like this week is going by slowly?

Maybe it’s because last week was a three day work week and this week is back to regularly scheduled programming or maybe it’s the rain since those of us in Southern California don’t know how to handle anything aside from 75 degrees and sunshine but I’m more than ready for the weekend.

Although I do have to admit, I was SO beyond jazzed for the rain yesterday– yes of course because we need the rain here in California but if I’m being honest, it was mainly because I got to pull out my cute navy rain jacket and boots! and once I was able to find it (it’s only rained about three times since I moved here 2.5 years ago…)  it was a very happy reunion.

AND I got to wear leggings and an oversize sweater to work!

It’s the little things, folks.

And since it’s the little things that make us happy, I wanted to spread some cheer this Wednesday… we are at the halfway point. Friday, you’re thisclose to being here. We will be throwing back tequila shots and tearing up the dance floor stuffing our faces with paleo pumpkin bars while watching Shark Tank in our pajamas saying TGIF before we know it.

But until then we still have Wednesday.

And now, we have Win It Wednesday!

In honor of my recent foray into cooking lots and lots and lots of dairy free/gluten free/paleo friendnly desserts, I wanted to giveaway two great items to you!

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First up: Dairy-Free Ice Cream by Kelly V. Brozyna a fab book from the fab blogger of The Spunky Coconut-- this uh-mazing cookbook has countless pages of delish desserts (and not just ice cream!) that will make you say “bring it on, brain freeze. And cookies. And brownies. And cookie dough ice-cream.”

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You can make things like this:

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and this:

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and this:

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and this:

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Cookie. Dough.

And as long as I’m giving away something for the kitchen, I thought why not give away this totally adorbs Jessie Steele Apron? I mean, pink polka dots and gray ribbons? It is so adorable it’s motivation enough to want to cook/bake/make dairy free ice cream for hours on end so long as you get to wear this cutie pie (mmm pie) while doing it!

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How to win? It’s simple! Just head to my instagram page and start to follow along! Like the photo with the picture of the giveaway items and I will randomly select two winners (one for the book and one for the apron) next Tuesday at 6pm PST!

And while you’re at it, share your favorite dairy-free dessert with me!! I’m always looking for new ones to try out!

Happy almost Friday!

xoJ

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