homemade halloween candy

i know i’m diverging a bit from my usual path, but i decided to interrupt your regularly scheduled outfit post for something a little different. i can count the number of times i’ve posted about food on this blog with one hand, which is actually pretty funny considering the fact that i’m a certified pastry chef. that’s right, in another life long ago before i ever had a blog, i went to culinary school and worked as a cake decorator. it was a pretty fun time in my life, but i eventually moved on because i was young and still wanted to try out a few more things before settling on a profession.

fast forward a good many years and i’ve decided to have some fun in the kitchen again. mostly thanks to a great deal of persuasion from my sister, who’s convinced me to share some of our collective culinary prospects here on the blog. she’s been itching to spend more time preparing home cooked meals, and now that adam is getting a little older, i would really like to do the same. it’s a much healthier lifestyle because we tend to be a bit more conscientious about what we buy at the grocery store and put into our own meals than they do at the local burger joint. case in point: i suggested we try making some of our favorite candies for halloween. not exactly the healthiest idea, but once we started perusing recipes online, we pretty much knew that we wanted to try out healthier alternatives. we made almond butter cups with dark chocolate and no added sweeteners, and our own version of almond joy using agave-sweetened coconut flakes.

you’ll have to forgive us while we iron out the kinks, but hopefully these first two recipes will make a little bit of sense!

dark chocolate almond joy (adapted from tasty yummies)

filling

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

topping

  • 10 ounces of dark chocolate
  • almonds

simply toss all of the filling ingredients into a bowl and mix. the original recipe calls for less coconut, but i ended up adding more because my filling turned out too thin. i also ran mine through a quick whirl in the food processor because the coconut i bought was rather chunky. i then set the bowl aside in the refrigerator while i melted the chocolate.

for the chocolate coating, i melted 16 oz. of guittards dark chocolate (i used more than the recipe calls for because i was also making almond butter cups at the same time). i bought little pastilles that are designed for melting, but chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate block will also work. you just melt it in a double-broiler on low.

once the filling is cool, it will be more solid so you can roll it into little balls. i used a tablespoon to measure them out evenly and used my hands to roll them into shape. then simply dip them in the chocolate with a fork and place them on a wire rack so the excess can drip of. top each one with an almond and you’re ready to enjoy!

dark chocolate almond butter cups

filling

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil

topping

  • 10 oz dark chocolate
  • sea salt (optional)

i browsed around for healthy almond butter cups and found a lot of recipes that called for a weird ingredients like protein powder or almond meal. i finally came to the conclusion that you really don’t need all of that stuff. so for ours, i simply mixed almond butter with coconut oil. i will tell you now that the brand we used (maranatha) is not my favorite nut butter. if you can, go to your local health foods store and get freshly ground nut butter. i find that texture to be the most pleasing and flavorful. once you mix the filling, it will be a good consistency for spooning into the cups.

set aside the filling at room temperature while you melt the chocolate in a double-broiler. for this step, i placed my paper cups into an appropriately sized baking dish so that they would hold their shape. it’s not necessary, but i think it helps. then simply spoon about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into each cup and use your finger to coat the bottom and sides of the cup evenly. place them in the refrigerator for a few minutes until the chocolate hardens. then spoon in the nut butter mix leaving about 1/8″ of room at the top. place them back into the fridge until the filling is solid, then top them off with more melted chocolate. i finished some of mine with pink sea salt to taste. then back into the fridge until they are ready to serve!





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heinui fall 2014

today we have got to talk about the new heinui fall 2014 collection. you know i love a good hand motif, so of course i went a little nuts over the amazing embroidered details and intricate hand prints. the pretty details were mixed perfectly with workwear inspired pieces in japanese chambray and utilitarian silhouettes. the standout piece for me was a certain pinafore dress made of a black cotton twill with silver embroidered hands, and a few lovely smock dresses constructed around the same theme. but more than anything, i just love the way she was able to take such rugged materials and turn them into perfectly feminine and wearable pieces.

if you aren’t familiar with the brand, heinui was launched just last year by claire pignot, a graduate of the école supérieure des arts appliqués duperré who worked with gaspard yurkievich and peter som before breaking out on her own.

photos courtesy of heinui.













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making necklaces

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i’ve never really had a huge jewelry collection, but since adam was born, i’ve really had to pare down my already sparse collection. most days, i can really only get away with wearing dainty rings that won’t snag on baby blankets. a bit of consolation came in the form of this cute necklace by mama and little, but it really only fueled my desire to find more baby-friendly jewelry that doesn’t look like it was, well, made for babies. i started browsing around online and collecting various baby-friendly beads: food grade silicone beads in subtle colors, unfinished wood beads, break-away clasps, waxed cotton string. and i finally got to experimenting with some designs a couple of weeks ago at a ladies craft night with rubyellen, melissa, and lauren. i made a couple of designs that evening, and then a few more later that night at home. and since then, i’ve become a necklace-making machine! i’ve already ordered more unfinished wood pieces, and am patiently waiting for a shipment of eco-friendly, natural baby paints by natural earth paints so that i can try my hand at painting baby-friendly wood beads and bangles. i’ve even concocted a natural beeswax wood finish to protect the paints once they arrive.

i like the look of them, and adam has been happily teething on them when i hold him in my arms. he does this silly little singing voice while he chomps on them. and i feel good knowing that my jewelry doubles as an awesome baby toy, made with unfinished wood, food-grade silicone, and waxed cotton.

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giveaway: under aurora

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today i am super excited to announce my latest giveaway courtesy of under aurora. i’ve been obsessed with trying new skin and body care products lately, which is why i’m particularly happy to be able to offer you the chance to win one of each full-sized products from this 100% natural, cruelty-free line. the brand hails from columbus, ohio with owner tina de broux at the helm, who created the company with the belief that what we put on our bodies should always be simple, natural, and pure. and as someone who’s personally tested them, i can tell you that they are a delight to wear. my favorite is probably the coconut oil spray for not only it’s light coconut, calendula, lavender, and tee tree scent, but also the easy to use formula that you can spray on right when you hop out of the shower.

the winner will receive one each of the:
coconut oil spray a light oil spray that is 100% natural and made with soothing & healing plant botanicals. great for all skin types but specifically helps to soothe dry, itchy, sunburned, or irritated skin.
nourishing facial oil: this is food for your face. ingredients such as rosehip seed & carrot oil are packed full of vitamins. this nourishing facial oil is great for all skin types, even oily skin! golden jojoba oil is moisturizing for dry skin but it also thins the sebum, helping to prevent acne and regulate oil production for oily skin types.
brightening facial scrub: this luxurious sugar scrub will leave your skin feeling soft and supple with a healthy radiant glow.
all four of the botanical body sprays 100% natural, plant botanical body spritz. Hand-crafted using a unique blend of essential oils.

simply enter using the widget below:

enter to win the full product line by under aurora!

under aurora would also like to offer you 20% off all orders with code “calivintage” now through friday, october 31st!

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shop update!

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just popping in quickly to let you know that i’ve updated my vintage shop with a few new pieces. lots of easy dresses in cotton, linen, and wool that can be worn alone or layered up for cooler weather.

shop calivintage!

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better late than never

last fall, i didn’t really acquire too many new pieces of clothing. some maternity jeans from target, maybe a few asos dresses in large sizes to accommodate my rapidly expanding pregnant belly. but right before i “popped,” i did pick up a few things thinking that i’d be able to fit in them for at least a couple of weeks before i got too big for them. and then i foolishly thought i’d be able to fit back into them like two months post baby. ha! if you want to feel really bad about yourself, try fitting into one of your old dresses a month after your baby was born. i know some women can, but i sure couldn’t. even after somehow miraculously losing most of the baby weight in the first month after adam was born, i’m still just barely fitting into some of my pre-baby clothes. mostly thanks to my (for lack of a better word) ginormous boobs.

but that didn’t keep me from rummaging through the boxes of the clothes i’d packed away during my pregnancy in search of something new to wear now that the weather is cooling down just a tad. which is exactly where i found this cute little lauren moffatt dress just begging to be worn. i will admit that it’s a tad bit short to wear while running around after a baby, but i still enjoyed tossing it on for a morning walk. i just let daddy carry the baby so i could have some fun skipping around in a short dress for at least a couple of hours.

wearing:
dress courtesy of lauren moffatt
bass wayfarer loafers
benah for karen walker handbag
jasper sunglasses courtesy of warby parker

the runwell watch courtesy of shinola




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giveaway: cacto shop

today i’m excited to announce my latest giveaway courtesy of cacto shop. this beautiful madrid-based online jewelry shop stocks some of my favorite designers including young frankk, academy, and giantlion to name a few. the shop is basically stocked with all of the pieces that i would love to be wearing right now, so i’m especially excited to be able to offer you the chance to win one in-stock item of your choice!

to enter: simply visit cacto shop and tell us which item is your absolute favorite in the comment section below.

the fine print: this giveaway is open to international readers, so anyone can enter. only one entry per person. the winner will be randomly selected and contact via email after tuesday, october 28. winner received their choice of any one in-stock item from the shop.

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maryam nassir zadeh spring 2105

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ok, after posting about the roberta heels last week, i realized that maryam nassir zadeh really deserves her own post. she launched her own womenswear line last year and while it is small, it really is on point. the color combinations, the styling, the attitude. everything about it is totally fresh and interesting. except for the hair… and those dirty, dirty nyc streets. but that’s not even a critique! these are the types of outfits i wish i could pull together, or even just pull off. i can’t even explain it, but i’m totally charmed by a little muscle tee layered under a cool sundress, and you already know how i feel about those shoes!

photos courtesy of maryam nassir zadeh.

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adam’s apple

as much fun as i’ve had keeping a record of weekly adam photos, i think i’ve finally decided to move on from the rigid structure of it. especially now that the holidays are here and we’ve been documenting all of our activities with so much fervor! so from now on, i’ll just be posting without the constraints of a week-by-week numerical structure, and will just be sharing some of my favorite photos as we go along. i’ve never been good about following “the rules,” even when i set them for myself!

so here’s the latest photo of my little guy at 9 months. i can’t even keep track of how many weeks old he is anymore! on this particular day, we took a quick drive up to snow line orchard in oak glen to enjoy some fall weather and bundle up in sweaters. adam isn’t quite old enough to go apple picking, but he did get a kick out of his teeny tiny apple!

wearing: unisex bandit in hazel grey courtesy of petite soul, hello onesie courtesy of hello apparel, weathered brown handmade moccs courtesy of freshly picked.

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want: roberta heels

i’ve been trying to keep a handle on my wishlist lately. but sometimes i can’t help but fall hard for something new. such is the case with maryam nassir zadeh. years ago, they had a pair of shoes that unfortunately got away from me (which still haunt me in my dreams). since then, i’ve always kept an eye on their beautiful inventory and carefree product styling. and wouldn’t you know, i’m stuck on their latest shoe collection. in particular, the sleek and minimal roberta heels, which come in a variety of colors from saffron to turquoise to chalky grey. if i could, i would swiftly snap them up in every color and wear them all fall.

photos courtesy of maryam nassir zadeh.

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