Attack of the Scones: Cranberry Almond Scones

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Who doesn't love scones? I most definitely LOVE scones, but I love them better when they're freshly baked. Even with just a tab of butter, they are super delightful. This recipe is really quick and easy to make. I make a whole batch (about 8-12 pieces, depending on how small you slice them) and eat them for breakfast for a whole week. Just make sure you store them in an air-tight container!

Ingredients


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*You can use orange zest, too. I used lemon because that was all I had at home. You can skip it if you like, but the scones will taste pretty one dimensional, in my opinion.
* You can use any kind of milk. I'm lactose intolerant, so I only have soy milk in the fridge, which works fine.

Steps
1. Preheat your oven to 450 F or 232C
2. In a large bowl, add your flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar together. Mix well.
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3. Slice your butter into 1 inch squares and add to the dry ingredients
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4. With a pastry cutter, or with your hands, mix the butter in with the dry ingredients until it looks coarse like this:
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5. add  in your almonds, cranberries and zest. Mix well. 
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6. Make a well in the middle of the mixture, and add in your milk. Mix well. I just used my hands!
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7. Form the mixture into a dough, shaping it into a wheel about an inch thick. 
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8.Cut into 8-12 pieces, depending on how large you want them to be. 
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9. Space evenly into a lined or greased baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. 
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10. Serve with clotted cream, jam or just butter!
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I hope you try them out! I'd love to hear what you think!

Back from Lunch

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top: H&M :: cami: Forever 21 :: shorts: Old Navy ::
leopard flats: Walmart :: flower clip: DIY

** I love braiding my hair like this! The braids lay much flatter and look much longer because I'm not really braiding until 5 inches from the bottom. I learned it from one of my favorite beauty gurus, xteeener.

I'm definitely trying to be a better blogger this week. I've been moping around, complaining about the heat, the lack of stuff to do, the excess of stuff to do, and many other things that drive me crazy. I've realized that lying around being lazy really won't help me at all. In fact, it makes me even crankier.

This morning, I decided to dispel all laziness and just do stuff. Anything, really, just to keep me from lounging in my couch and playing Words with Friends and Scramble all day, like I've been for the past two weeks. Pathetic, I know. Here's what I accomplished so far:
1. balanced my checking account-- not really that big of a task, but still.
2. read a comic book trade whilst eating breakfast
3. washed a mountain of dishes
4. cooked roasted pork tenderloin with herbed potatoes (for dinner, so I don't have to be in the kitchen when it's hot in the afternoon)
5. blogged (when this entry is posted)

AND IT'S NOT EVEN 11:00 am!! 
I'm on a roll.

Yesterday, I finally decided to drive 50 or so miles out to meet a friend for lunch. I felt like I needed to just get out of town and talk to someone who understands all this blah-ness I've been going through, lately.  We had an amazing lunch, and four hours later, I was driving home feeling much better about myself. 

I apologize if this post sounds a little deflated. But I feel that I owe it to my readers to share bits about myself, even if those bits aren't picture-perfect. I am fully aware that I haven't been as consistent as I used to be, and I've been posting really sporadically. I truly felt like my brain was "out to lunch." So, here's to finally getting back from my looooong "lunch break" and to being a better, more consistent blogger!

Cute-ophilic. BD3W#3

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black dress, worn as skirt: Target :: HK top: Forever 21:: red cardi: thrifted::
white sandals: Forever 21 :: HK hair clip: Claire's :: HK mermaid necklace: DIY
Black Dress 3 Ways #3. Here's 1 and 2 in case you missed it. 

I dunno about you, but these days, I don't like putting all my cute into one basket. There was a time (in the distant past) when I used to dress extremely cutesy, with every article of clothing and accessory emblazoned with Sanrio characters, pandas, or strawberries. I've come a long way since then, but I still own a bajillion cute stuffs. What can I say? I'm a cute-ophile.


This outfit makes me feel like a little kid. I realize I broke my "rule," but every once in a while, I like to indulge.



Cute Stuff I can't get enough of: 
1. Hello Kitty
2. Little Twin Stars
3. Cute bears! 
4. Panda bears!
5. Frilly, girly dresses.
6. Flowers
and the list goes on...

Here are a few cute pics for all you cute-ophiles. (all photos via weheartit) 

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panda slippers. Cute and comfy. 



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There are soooo many cute things going on in this picture. Firstly, how adorable is this girl? Pink, ruffles, strawberries, hearts.... Secondly, her hat is amazing!! and her hair is just gorgeous! Lastly,  look at all those Totoros in the background!

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My Melody and her friend, Flat the mouse. 
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Cute bear overload! 

Tell me: Are you a cute-ophile? or am I just crazy?


ps. I know I've been a slacker with comments and just blogging in general. I have a legitimate excuse. I've just downloaded Words with Friends and Scramble, and I spend hours playing either of those games. GAH. Will be better this week. :)

Sunshine Daisy, Butter Mellow... BD3W#2

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dress: Target :: yellow top: thrifted :: belt: NY and Co (came with a dress) ::
necklace: Icing :: bangles: Maurices:: sandals: Kohls

I could bear only about 2 minutes in the sweltering outdoors, so these are the only photos you'll be getting. Sorry. I know I've been spotty about blogging, but it just can't be helped! I wish I knew a spell that could dispel all the warm air that makes me (and a lot of other people I know) pretty sluggish.

I went to see the HP over the weekend, and though I thought the movie was OK at best, I still cried at parts. (Like when Neville brandishes the Sword of Griffindor) I know, I know, what a sissy. I actually read the book in preparation for the movie. It's been years since I'd last read it, but I maintain my position when I say that JK could've used a better editor. (Me, perhaps?)

Enough movie talk. Here's how I wore this black dress a second time. I like the bumblebee look, if you hadn't noticed.  I actually wore a pair of biking shorts underneath since I probably will be doing some bending and stretching later on in the day. I swear, biking shorts are the best when it comes to making an outfit modest/un-skanky!

Tell me:
Are you a HP fan? If so, how did you like the movie?
OR
How do you keep your outfits (think short skirts or low tops) acceptable by the public? Shorts? camis? stray away from skanky stuffs?

Black Dress 3 Ways: Day 1

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dress: Target :: cardi, belt : thrifted :: flats: GAP :: bracelets: Maurices :: ring: Icing


I totally forgot about this dress until this morning. I remember it being on super sale (something like $6-7) so I purchased it in grey and black. I've worn the grey a lot of times, but I don't know why I kept this black one stashed in the depths of my closet for so long. 

It's been over a month since I started my 6-month Challenge. And though I've been really disciplined about not purchasing any clothes or accessories, I haven't been the best blogger when it comes to posting daily outfits. Since I absolutely detest doing laundry, I try to wear clothes more than once during the week (it's not icky, it's environmentally-friendly!) especially if I only wore them inside the house. So, in reality, I've remixed a lot of the clothes I've worn on the blog. I just haven't photographed them. And to be honest, I'm really not a summer person. I complain about too much sun, too much humidity, and too much morning. Yep, that's right, too much morning. Daylight photos are the best, but if it's too hot to go out and take pics, forget it.

So, in honor of this almost-forgotten dress, I'm going to be doing something new (to this blog, at least) for the next couple days. I'm going to show you how I wear the same dress in 3 different ways. 

Today, the weather is a breezy 74 degrees. I'm quite elated. This blue cardi is a bit thick, so I can only wear it on cooler days. I usually like to stop at two colors when putting an outfit together, but since it's nice and bright out, I added some white to the mix. I think it makes the outfit a lot more playful. 

Tell me: 
Do you hate doing laundry as much as I do? Do you wear the same article of clothing more than once a week? 

Out of Focus

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dress: Fred Meyer :: clogs : Target :: ring: Icing ::
feather earrings: Forever 21
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Taking pictures indoors (and with the tripod/self-timer) is much, much harder than I thought it would be. Add my impatience to my inexperience, and you've got some out of focus, sometimes wonky photos.

Whenever I don't want to be bothered to think of what to wear, I grab the closest, most comfy dress I have in my closet. I have quite a few jersey dresses that I like to rotate. This black dress was sitting in my to-donate pile, when I realized that it would be perfect to just lounge in at home. I had placed this dress in that pile for a few reasons:
1. The flared sleeves make it too hot to wear in the summer and make me look witchy.
2. The midi length of the skirt wasn't too flattering on my body shape and height.
3. The neckline was too low for my taste to teach in.

After sitting in the pile for about 2 months, I've refocused my attention to the positives of this dress:
1. It's jersey. Comfy and very breathable.
2. It makes me look witchy. (Clearly, my aesthetic has changed...)
3. The neckline is perfect for super hot weather.

Though I'm still not a fan of the length, wearing the dress with heels actually helps.

Tell me: 
What do you usually wear on casual, lounge-y days? Do you have an article of clothing that you were set to give away or throw out but then saw potential in later? 

Too Hot To Care

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top: Express:: shorts: Old Navy:: shoes: Ross:: bracelets: Maurices and Icing
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bangle: Icing


You may ask, "Hey Laura, it's sunny out, why aren't you taking outfit photos by some trees, or something?" And I'll reply, with my eyes narrowed in mild annoyance, "Because (bitch) it's 100 degrees outside, that's why." So, you all are going to have to settle for my "library" or as my fonfon ru calls it "the OE (Old English) lab."

In the past few days, we (in IL) have been experiencing a heat wave. OK maybe "we" is too many. I definitely am experiencing a heat wave. In addition to that, I'm cranky because I can't shop, and I definitely need more pairs of shorts. Going into this challenge, I didn't realize that I only had one pair of shorts. Fail, fail, fail.  In my defense, I can never find the perfect length. All the shorts I see in stores are either too short (think daisy dukes) or too long (You will never see me wearing capri shorts. or Bermuda shorts. Never.)

I envisioned myself wearing shorts all throughout the summer. Unlike skirts or dresses, they don't blow up when it's windy (and it gets windy here!) And like skirts, they're super versatile. Too bad I only have a pair of GREEN shorts. And too bad that I somehow bleached them on accident. But you know what? It's too hot to care about the bleached spot on the side of my shorts. I'll wear them out because I can.

Stippled

About two weeks ago, I finally purchased a stippling brush. I've wanted one for a long time now, but just couldn't find one that was within my budget. Just to clarify, I love wearing makeup, but I believe that one can look good without paying too much for products. That said, I do invest in more expensive items, but I don't look down on drugstore/cheaper cosmetics. It's all about the research, yo.

While I was in Target, I spied a glittery, black-handled stippling brush by Sonia Kashuk. I've read a lot of stuff about the line, and many people have commented on how the brushes are actually pretty good. Even though the most expensive brush in my arsenal is an Ecotools brush that was probably $8.00 max, I decided to just splurge on the SK stippling brush at around $15.


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Just look at that lovely, glittery handle!





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Since I was already spending money, I picked up Maybelline's "Fit Me" makeup. I usually use Clinique's Acne Solutions makeup (about $25), but in the past few months, I've tanned a shade or two. At around $7.00 a bottle, I thought it was a great bargain.

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I'm in the medium shade range: #230. 

MY THOUGHTS:
I really really LOVE my stippling brush. Even though I washed it before I used it first, some of the hair still fell out, which was a (minor) pain in the butt for a couple of days. The actual brush is nice and soft, and the handle is just lovely, lovely.

I have no idea why I never bought FIT me makeup when it came out. I am absolutely in love with it! I have a yellow undertone, and it's really hard for me to find any makeup that matches perfectly with my skin color. I've tried a ton of drugstore brands (of which only Almay has come close) and I've done a lot of counter-testing in various department stores (I only chose Clinique because of their acne line). I mean, just look at the before and after photos:

Before:
(Be warned: I just woke up, splashed water in my face, and was still suffering from horrible stress acne. My skin is better now, promise.)



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After 1 application of Fit Me Makeup:



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This is after one application of the makeup, stippled all over my face, without setting powder. As you can see, the coverage is pretty good, around medium, I should say, and is very buildable. My complexion looks dewy and even, but not totally fake.

Since it's gotten hotter and more humid lately, I only use foundation when I feel the need to. But when I do, I am very minimalistic, sticking with neutral colors or a pop of lip color. The foundation and stippling brush totally help create that flawless, natural look!

Tell me: 


What are your favorite brushes and foundations? Do you have yellow undertones and have a hard time finding a skin tone match?