Welcome To The New Blog!

sunflowers

Thanks for stopping by my new blog home! I’m still getting used to things over here, so it will take me a bit of time to get up to speed. But I am loving this new space!

Thank you so much to Donna at Wicked Simple Marketing! She designed this new blog and was wonderful to work with. All the random stuff that I showed her and we spoke about, she has brought to life.

The plan in my head was to have the perfect introductory post all wrapped up and ready to go last night at the stroke of midnight. But my time on the planet  has shown me that sometimes you just have to go with the flow. That’s what I’m doing today.

I just finished baking my birthday cake, which is an adapted version of these strawberry cupcakes. I put blueberries and shredded coconut on top.

As I enter this new fifth decade, I’ve found some inspiration from a few recent news articles.

There are many stars turning 50 this year. Doesn’t Sandra Bullock look amazing?! 51 ladies shared some amazing words of wisdom.  I really like these three quotes below.

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” ~ Nora Ephron

“I wanted to be an independent woman, a woman who could pay for her bills, a woman who could run her own life — and I became that woman.” ~ Diane Von Furstenberg

“If you’re creating anything at all, it’s really dangerous to care about what people think.” ~ Kristen Wiig

I love the model Cindy Joseph. She wasn’t discovered until she was 49 and is still going strong at 63 years old! When she was asked to give advice to women who want to be happy, healthy and beautiful, she gave some great advice. It’s now another favorite quote.

“Live your life according to you and what gives you pleasure. That way you will trust your intuition, follow your dreams, and take care of your body and spirit.” ~ Cindy Joseph

Her words are sounding pretty good to me!

Top 8 Links: That Will Make You Feel Good

feel good links

It’s hard to believe that my last Top 8 Links was back in June! This is one of my favorite types of posts to write, so this one is long overdue.

These links all made me feel good in different ways after I took a look. Hope you enjoy them too!

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Vanilla Bean and Thyme Madeleines (Anthology)

DIY Flameless Fire Pit (Free People/Building 25 Blog)

Homemade Circus Animal Cookies (Mrs. Penguin)

Cute Tourist Couple Captures a Heartwarming Look at Boston in One-Second Segments [Video] (BostInno)

Edible Chocolate LEGOs by Akihiro Mizuuchi (Colossal)

Boston’s 1st French Macaron Food Truck (Cameo Macaron)

Bring Back Home Economics: Three Food Writers on Teaching People to Cook (The PLATE/National Geographic)

Bukowski’s Letter of Gratitude to the Man Who Helped Him Quit His Soul-Sucking Job and Become a Full-Time Writer (Brain Pickings)

Recipe: Nutella Banana Muffins

Nutella Banana Muffins

A lot has changed since I first baked these muffins back in 2008. I had only been blogging for two years and had never eaten Nutella. Imagine that??!!

Now I’m much more confident in my baking skills and never run out of Nutella. It’s a staple — like sugar, flour, eggs and salt. Because you never know when you’ll need to bake right? Or eat a spoonful, just because.

I’ve finally gotten around to adapting the recipe to better suit my taste and hopefully yours too.

By the way, the horrible Nutella shortage scare that was being talked about recently appears not to be true after all. Thank goodness!

According to a statement by Ferrero USA, “Inclement weather last spring in Turkey has impacted this year’s hazelnut harvest. We are tracking this issue closely and there’s no foreseeable impact on the availability of Nutella. As always, we will maintain the high quality of the Nutella product that consumers know and love.” 

Remember, World Nutella Day is February 5th and we have to make sure that we don’t run out!

By the way, have you heard that an all-Nutella restaurant called Nutelleria is planning to open in Brooklyn? Hopefully they are getting some sort of permission from Ferrero and can manage to stay out of legal hot water. Time will tell. But for now, here’s the updated muffin recipe.

Nutella Banana Muffins
(Makes a dozen)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

INSTRUCTIONS:

In medium bowl, combine butter, banana, Nutella, and egg. Stir in salt, vanilla extract and baking powder. Add flour and coconut milk alternately until just combined.

Use a regular sized muffin pan with paper liners or prepare by using butter and flour to coat the pan. Pour the batter into the muffin pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Insert a toothpick, which should come out clean if it’s done. Let cool for a few minutes. Then eat and enjoy! I keep my muffins in the refrigerator and sometimes heat them back up in the microwave for that freshly baked feeling.

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Thoughts on Blogging & Philanthropy

Blog advertising logo

This new blog home is so exciting for me! Hopefully for you too! As I start anew, I’m drawing from what I learned over at my First Amendment.

One of the many things that I’ll continue here is donating a portion of money earned from blog advertising and sponsored posts. It may only be a small amount of money, but it’s more than I would have been able to give otherwise and helps in my philanthropy goals.

Those of you who have read and commented, emailed me, linked to content, shared on social media and met me in person, you keep me going! Over my eight years of blogging, I have been amazed by it all the time and continue to be surprised.

Below is a list of the worthy organizations that you helped me donate to in 2013 and so far in 2014. Thank you!

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CAMBA

Community Servings

FACE Africa

Greyston Bakery

Spare Change News

WBUR

WGBH

Snap Judgment