Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Double Agent

Nordstrom Rack Dress/ Target Tights/ Me Too Shoes from DSW/ J.Crew Necklace
I bought this dress out of necessity. Since I haven't gone to many weddings, besides my own, in the last couple of years, (and I really didn't think that dress would be appropriate) I didn't own anything wedding-appropriate. Being close to the end of the pay period, I also didn't have much money to throw around. So, I set off for Nordstrom Rack the Thursday before the Sunday afternoon wedding.

I tried on what felt like a million dresses that were either too formal for the occasion, didn't fit right, or were not in my price range (under $100) before stumbling upon this dress.

I knew after trying it on (and texting a picture of me in the dress to my sister and Laura J.) this was the one. I was also excited about the dress because it would pack easily (this was the weekend of a marathon, birthday party, and wedding in three different locations), it could also serve as a work dress, and it would cost me $40, well within my price range.

The dress was a success at the wedding and worked nicely two days later when I wore it to work with my maroon tights.

Anyhow, Happy Halloween! Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Recipe: Perfect Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies have always been my favorite cookie, especially when they are homemade. The only problem with making a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies is that I tend to eat the entire batch...within the same 24 hour period.

Fortunately, there's now a solution for all of the cookie monsters out there - presenting, the perfect single serving chocolate chip cookie recipe. It makes just two delicious chocolate chip cookies which is great for satisfying one's sweet tooth, without the risk of over-indulging.

First grab a microwave-safe bowl and the following ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 firmly packed tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 heaping tablespoons o semisweet chocolate chips
Once you have everything you need, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In your microwave-safe bowl, heat butter until it just starts melting and is softened. Blend your sugars, salt, and vanilla in with the butter. Then add in your egg yolk and stir again. Add in your baking soda and flour and stir until all of your ingredients are combined. Finally, stir in your chocolate chips.

 Form your dough into two balls and place them on your prepared baking sheet. The cookies will spread during baking, so make sure they are not placed too closely together.

Bake your cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. After removing the baking sheet from the oven, give the baking sheet a firm, but careful bang on your counter top to deflate your cookies and give them a perfect wrinkly appearance.

Finally, pour two glasses of milk and enjoy your perfect portion goodness.

Check out the recipe for perfect single serving chocolate chip cookies and other tasty treats on my What's Cookin' page.
Messy Jess C.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Riders on the Storm

Banana Republic Button Down/ J.Crew Skirt/ Nine West Shoes (similar)
Sandy, Frankenstorm, Snowcane, Superstorm... call it what you want, but judging by the madness at the grocery store, and nonstop storm news coverage this part of the country is about to face something crazy over the next couple of days.

Jesse and I have our headlamps ready (his version of flashlights) and my parents have broken out the LED-lit lanterns from Jesse and my wedding in case the power goes out.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else we should do, so I watched While You Were Sleeping and baked cookies. At least I know we have something we can eat in case the power goes out. Hope you all stay safe.
Messy Jess C.
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Favorites

I've missed out on the past few Friday Favorites so I have lots of fun stuff to share this week. Hope you all have a great weekend! See you next week.

Want to cheer up a friend on a budget? Consider making them a box of sunshine.

A donut tree would rank only second to money growing on trees - especially a tree made of krispy kreme donuts. Such a cute alternative to bobbing for apples.

My future happy place.

Curb appeal.

Tree bookcase

Jesse, can we get one?

My favorite styles of the week:
This is for you Ilyssa...

Favorite recipes of the week:

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili from Sweet Treats and More
Perfect Single Serving Size Chocolate Chip Cookies from No. 2 Pencil

Spicy Coconut and Pumpkin Soup from Budget Bytes

Ultimate Apple Snicker Nachos from Iowa Girl Eats

Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal from Budget Bytes
Roasted Tomato Kale and Feta Pizza from Annie's Eats

Fun videos for you as we head into the weekend:

This may just be the cutest video of all time.

It's all fun and games until someone breaks their tailbone jumping into a pool.

Finally, outtakes from my favorite show of all time is guaranteed to brighten up any gloomy day.

Happy Weekend friends! See you all next week.
Messy Jess C.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012


J.Crew Factory Sweater/ J.Crew Factory Skirt/ Thrifted Nine West Shoes (similar)
So, did you all know that the J.Crew Factory website is now up and running 24/7 instead of every now and then?

On one hand, I'm a huge fan. You all know I have a J.Crew problem, but at least with the factory I can get the J.Crew look I love for much less.

On the other hand, this first point is moot when you order two skirts, two sweaters, a pair of pants, and a blouse, with a dress, blazer, and another skirt in waiting for you in your shopping cart for your next paycheck.

Still, if you love J.Crew as much as this girl, check out the new factory site. It's pretty amazing.
Messy Jess C.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Take II

Bloomingdales Blazer/ Ann Taylor Loft Top (similar)/ Ann Taylor Pants/ Guess Shoes from
I had every intention of posting regularly this week, but that changed when my car died this past weekend.

My car, Blue, had been making a noise that had progressively gotten louder over the last few...months. I took it into the shop on Saturday and was assured the problem was fixed. It just needed a few "clicks."

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. After running a 20 mile race on Sunday, I went to start Blue and all I heard were a few clicks. My car's battery had died. When the battery was replaced, my car was still growling at me, so I ended up missing work on Monday to head back to the car place where I found out that my engine mount was broken and my car was missing two clips somewhere in the back. Awesome.

A large sum of money later, Blue is back in business. I am back in DC and I'm once again dedicated to Messy Jess C.
Messy Jess C.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weird Dreams Are Made of This

Ann Taylor Sweater (similar)/  J.Crew Skirt/ Guess Shoes from
Last night I had a dream that I was dancing with Andy Samberg, yeah this guy, to Gloria Estefan's Conga. Oh yeah, and I had a crush on Andy Samberg.

I have been watching a lot of The Voice and Dancing With The Stars so I understand where the dancing and song choice came from, but I'm a bit confused about Andy Samberg. I haven't watched SNL in months and haven't seen or read anything about him recently.

I'm thinking the moral of this story is that I need to get more sleep, watch less TV, and, apparently, hang out with more Jews. Do you guys have any other possible interpretations?

Messy Jess C.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Recipe: Snickerdoodle Bars

The worst idea I've had in a while was to cook and bake while I was fasting on Yom Kippur.

I was already hungry when I started baking and I couldn't test out anything to make sure it actually tasted good. Still, later that day I was heading to my friend's place to break fast and to be a good guest, I wanted to bring something with me. I chose this recipe - snickerdoodle bars - mostly because I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen already, but also because it was a simple recipe that didn't take much time, which meant less time drooling over the snickerdoodle smells in the kitchen while not eating.

The bars disappeared in under 24 hours. Half were devoured at dinner and the other half by Jesse the next day, so I didn't have a chance to take any close-up photos of the final product, but they were delicious. I highly recommend making these.

Here's what you'll need.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • cinnamon-sugar

  • First preheat your oven to 350° and grease a 9" x 13" baking pan. Next, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until fluffy.

    Next, add in your baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and mix until it's combined.

    Then add in your eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

    Finally, add in your flour, mixing it on a low speed until it's combined.

    Next transfer your dough to the prepared pan, spreading the mixture evenly.

    Bake for 30 minutes, or until your snickerdoodle bars are set and lightly golden. Sprinkle the warm bars with cinnamon-sugar.

    Cool completely and then cut into bars and enjoy!

    Check out the recipe for snickerdoodle bars and other tasty recipes on my What's Cookin' page.
    Messy Jess C.
    Love Messy Jess C? Then don't miss it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.