Baking My Ass Off

Bake Ass Off 1Sometimes you just feel like baking, like a lot of baking, an immensely large amount of baking. For some reason since I have moved (temporarily) into my in-law’s (boyfriends parents) home I have felt that ridiculous urge to well, bake my ass off. I think it is the 50s housewife in me, or the simple genetic hospitality that has been passed down in my family. We don’t like to impose, but since I am imposing, why not do my best to help out around, and feed you! Anyway in the week and four days that I have been here, I have baked a lemon layer cake, and this morning I made two different types of cookies! Now, there is an actual reason I made two batches of different cookies, and that is because L&D (the in-laws) are getting their boat today! They ordered it from a family friend, so they are joining us for a boat christening dinner, along with another family friend. Now that you all know what’s going on around here, we can talk about the good stuff; cookies.

Normally this first cookie is not something I would try, because frankly it seems a little weird as a cookie. We had four pounds of blueberries. You read right, four pounds. So we were on the tail end of those blueberries with only a pound and a half to go, when I found this recipe. As weird as these cookies may sound, they are exceptionally delicious and are climbing the ranks of my favorite cookies. I found the recipe here, and there are some things I would like to note about the recipe.

  • The cake flour in this cookie is just amazing, it makes it so fluffy and well almost cake like.
  • The amount of lemon and vanilla extract is perfect for taste, but beware when you are mixing it, all you can smell is the alcohol, more than usual to the point that it was making me dizzy.
  • I would not do more than 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries, it think it would be way more messy and fall apart on you.
  • I dredged my blueberry’s in the flour and that really helps not make your cookies purple.
  • She switches in the recipe from baking powder, to baking soda. I went with baking powder and I wouldn’t change that.
  • I kind of went a little over board with the size of my cookies. Next time I will defiantly be going mini with these cookies. I think they would hold together better, and cook better that way.
  • I recommend using a spoon and your (clean) fingers to drop the cookies, instead of using a scoop that could break the blueberries.
  • I did not glaze my cookies, because I felt the flavor was developed just fine with out it.Bake Ass Off 2

I have never made oatmeal raisin cookies, that is before today. They are D’s favorite cookie, so that is why I made them. Since I had never made oatmeal raisin cookies, I went on a very short hunt to find a recipe. I googled it, and it lead me to food.com (the 3rd result on google, obviously searched long and far). When I read the recipe I was intrigued because it used not just baking powder but also baking soda, so I figured it must get great texture. Boy was I right, those cookies puff right up in the oven, and then when they slowly deflate when you take them out, and are fluffy and chewy! Yes, you did have to do a double take because I did say, fluffy and chewy cookies. Here are some other things I would like to note about the recipe, found here.

  • As previously mentioned, awesome fluffy and chewy texture.
  • Could be baked in any size, from super mini cookies all the way to cookie cake, this bakes amazingly in any size.
  • You can easily overcook these, so watch out!
  • Of course delicious

Bake Ass Off 4

If you have the sudden urge to bake your ass off, try something new!

– The Northern Belle

 

 

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Eating-Out With Food Allergies

As you may know, not eating out of your own home is next to impossible. You may be able to avoid it for a while, but at some point your going to have to. Eating out can be a very scary thing when you have food allergies, for me every time I do, I am risking my life. Having food allergies has slowed me down from dining out, but it hasn’t stopped me. This is what I do when I know I am dining out.

  • Call Ahead. First and foremost if you can, call the restaurant to ask all the questions you need to ask. This way you can decide if you want to go there. If you do end up going there, then you aren’t taking time away from the hungry people in your party.

 

  • Ask for an Allergen Menu:  Some restaurants like Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Dairy Queen have allergen menus. This comes in handy especially if you have multiple food allergies! Now mind you, even though these foods may say they are safe, you should always double-check.

 

  • Ask again: Just because you may have eaten at this place 10 times, and gotten the same thing 4 times, doesn’t mean that this time it will be safe. Always double and triple check. Some restaurants especially small restaurants just get whatever is the cheapest at that time. So most of the time they might have canola oil, but this week they bought soybean oil because it was cheap.

 

  • Sharing and Taking Food: When you are eating out, under no circumstances should you take food off of someone’s plate, or their fork. Just because your are supposed to be able to eat the fries doesn’t mean that the fries on your friends plate are safe, because they most likely didn’t take the same precautions with their food. The same goes for sharing drinks, if your friend is drinking something but they have eaten something you are allergic to, you can react to that. Trust me; I took a fry off of my significant others plate, and 5 minutes later I was plunging my epi-pen into my thigh and we where on the way to the hospital.

 

  • Chef Card: These little wonders are an exceptional idea, I just found these while browsing the internet, and I can’t wait to use them. They are these little cards that you can print here. You write down your food allergens, hand them to the waiter and make sure they are on the order so the chef can see it.

 

  • Checking oils specifically: If you are allergic to soybean oil, make sure you have the staff check, not only what oil they use, but also the specific oil ingredients. I go through this all the time, I tell them I am allergic to soy and they go check the oils. The come back and say “Oh your fine, its vegetable oil”. Well no I am not, because 99% of the time, that vegetable oil contains soybean oil. So always be specific!

 

  • When in Doubt Get A Salad: If you are felling particularly nervous, don’t feel confidant in the staff, or if there is nothing else to eat, get a salad with olive oil and vinegar. It is extremely simple, and the rest of your party may feel guilty, but don’t let them! At least your alive, not suffering, and you got something in your tummy.

This is not a tip but when you are going out for a meal, especially with new people be aware that you are going to be talking about your allergens the entire meal.

Eating out can be scary. It is dangerous, and it is life threatening in a lot of people cases, but if you take precautions it can be an easy and enjoyable experience.

Top 15 Beauty Products For Summer

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20140615-133328-48808473.jpgHey everyone! I thought I would share my top 15 beauty products for summer! They are in no particular order, and most of them are under ten dollars!

  1. Rimmel Stay Matte Press Powder: This is a recent purchase (within 3 weeks) and I have just fell in love with it. It keeps me matte ALL DAY, and it never looks overly matte, which is important. I use it with my Crown Brush IB103,and it makes the light skin toe evening coverage even better. You can buy it here.
  2. NYC Bronzer in Bikini Contest: You are probably thinking…Madison this is insanely dark bronzer for you freakishly pale complexion. Well your wrong (kind of) I use this very lightly to contour. I like this bronzer because it’s crazy inexpensive, it blends well, isn’t muddy or orange. Another reason I love it is because it huge, and that doesn’t just mean a lot of product but also that its easy to get your brush in it. You can buy it here.
  3. Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Tiki: This is an awesome drug store highlighter, and that my friends, is hard to come by. I love this for a beautiful light shimmer on my cheekbones, down m nose, on the cupids bow and the chin. It is pigmented, and a beautiful gold glow. A lot of people think this is a dupe for my next item but I don’t see it. I like them both just differently. You can buy it here.
  4. The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter: This is by far my holy grail, absolute favorite highlighter. It is a true champagne tone, it is beautiful on the cheekbones of course. It is also is amazing all over under foundation for a inner glow, on the eyelids and on the decalage. I love highlighters like this one, and the previous one even more in the spring and summer for that natural glowy finish. You can buy it here.
  5. ELF Studio Blush in Pink Passion: I don’t usually wear blush because my rosacea makes my cheeks pretty red and I don’t need the color. In the spring though my rosacea gets better, and I get to break this bad baby out and use it. I love this color I think it just looks so fresh and lively. The pigmentation is amazing, I have to use a light hand, and same with its huge!
  6. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake: I really enjoy the lip butters even more in the spring and summer, because they are easy when you are on the go. I like this particular color because it is just flattering with almost every look. You can buy it here.
  7. The Balm Nude ‘Tude Palette: I don’t usually wear anything on the eye besides the Mary Lou Manizer, but when I do I gravitate towards this because the ease of this palette. The shadows are incredibly soft, creamy, pigmented and bendable. I like to take the gold and brown shadows for the spring. You can buy it here.
  8. Maybelline’s The Rocket Waterproof Mascara: This mascara is insanely waterproof. I wore this through a funeral, and while I was bawling through a allergic reaction and I still looked good in the hospital bed. Some people say they have a hard time getting this off, but I have no problem when I take it off with coconut oil like I always do. The waterproof part of this mascara is the main reason I love it for spring and summer, aka wedding and beach season. You can buy it here.
  9. Coconut oil: I absolutely love coconut oil all year, it is miracle product in everything beauty. I love it in particular during spring, for make-up removal, for my whole face. It is especially helpful on pesky waterproof items. It also keeps my skin moisturized and supple. You can buy it at your local grocery store.
  10. ELF Studio Mist and Set Spray: This spray doesn’t really do much for setting, but it does a bunch of other things that I love for the spring. It cools you down when its hot, it sooths redness from sunburn or rosacea and it refreshes your make-up if its lacking during the day. You can buy it here.
  11. EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm: I love this lip balm all year round, but it is particularly fantastic for low maintenance looks. Also it’s fantastic for keeping your lips moisturized, which is important in the summer for those bright, bold, or frosted lipsticks. You can buy it here.
  12. Travalo: This purple capped wonder, has saved me on many occasions. It is perfect for the summer because it you will always smell fresh with your favorite perfume. Additionally it’s tiny so it can fit in the smallest of clutches which of course comes in handy for the summer. I got mine at TJmaxx for 5 dollars, but you can buy them here.
  13. ELF Daily Moisture Stick: This might be the most versatile six dollars I have ever spent on beauty products. I have 2 of these, one in my purse and one in my make-up collection. I use this when I don’t feel like digging in to my coconut oil, its easy application, and portable. It has a cooling effect which is good for my under eyes, as well as for burns (I recently found this out while camping.) You can buy it here.
  14. ELF Shine Eraser Oil Blotting Sheets: Oil blotting sheets are very common on peoples list for the obvious reasons. I like these because they are cheap (one dollar) and they get it done. I can also take these and rub off on eyeliner or mascara smudge which is awesome. You can buy it here.
  15. ELF Make-up Remover Pen: This is by far my favorite new product of the last couple of weeks. I use this all the time, your can just use the tip a little bit to fix your make-up through the day. I even use it if I make a mistake when I first put on my make-up. I have it on my shopping list to buy 2 more. It is compact so it fits in any purse, and it has a very secure cap. You can buy it here.

I know I love all of these products, and I hope you try something new!

– The Northern Belle

 

Salted Carmel Cream of Wheat (insanley easy)

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On a cold dreary morning my favorite thing to eat for breakfast is Cream of Wheat. Recently I discovered (by accident, of course) that if you over salt your cream of wheat and then add brown sugar when its finished the result is a salted caramel flavor. Of course this is a very decadent breakfast, and I don’t eat it everyday, not even ever week. I like to eat this with a big cup of Joe, and bowl of raspberries. Don’t mind the k-cups in the picture, I’m saving them for a scrub, and that post is to come.

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Sun Fun

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Sun Fun

My Food Allergies

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About a year ago and a half ago, I was out to dinner with Cameron (my boyfriend) at a restaurant that I had never been to before,it was a coney island. (click here if you don’t know what a coney is) Since I had been going to coneys since I was baby, and in high school it was regular hangout I have a go to meal. I got a Greek salad and spinach pie, I ate the spinach pie, then started eating the salad. That is when I felt that odd itchy feeling in my throat, and I started to get hives on my neck. So we dashed out to the car, and luckily cam had Benadryl in his car. This is the first time I realized I had food allergies that I didn’t know about.

It’s crazy how having one meal could change life so drastically. I went on a  4 month adventure trying to figure out what exactly I am allergic to, and a year after my allergen testing I still feel like I don’t know everything I am allergic to. It has been an unforgettable journey to get to where I am, it has been scary and exhausting. Luckily for me I have an amazing support system has helped me through all of this.

These are my allergens:

  • Soy (including soybean oil)
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts (excluding macadamia, pecans, coconut, and pistachios)
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Stone Fruits (excluding cherries)
  • Avocados
  • Seaweed
  • Kale

 

I also have something called Oral Allergy Syndrome, and here is an article that best explains this. These are the food that affect me because of this.

  • Apples with the skin
  • Peaches
  • Celery (in large amounts)
  • Cantaloupe

I know that’s a lot, an it was incredibly overwhelming, but I got through it. There are a lot of other people who are going through the same thing, and I just want those people to know that it does get easier. It takes a while to get easier, but it really does. If you have any questions for me, just comment and I’ll answer the best I can.

-The Northern Belle

Getting To Know “The Northern Belle”

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Hello everyone, my name is Madison, and I am “The Northern Belle”. I thought my first post should be a little about me. I am a nanny that takes care of 3 very fun children. I am moving to Traverse City this summer, I currently live downstate. I am a Michigander through and through, accent in all. I love it here and I will never leave.

I am a plus size woman, on my way down the sizes. I love fashion, and I love dressing my plus size body, but I am much healthier exercising and eating clean. Along with eating clean, I have severe food allergies, which are a challenge, and something I am still learning about.

My passion for fashion includes many things including thrift and consignment shopping, as well a high-end brand collecting. It has gotten my opportunities including interning as a stylist in magazines.

Beauty has been something I have been interested in my whole life, every Saturday morning during my childhood I would watch my beautiful grandmother do her regiment. My grandmother and mother taught me at a young age that beauty is most importantly internal.

One of the things I love most in life is food. I mean who doesn’t love food? My handsome boyfriend also shares this love, along with the need to try new things. Consequently we are always trying new things in the kitchen and sitting down at restaurants.

I hope you all enjoyed this little peek into my life! New post will be coming soon in all of my categories!

-The Northern Belle

Hot Date

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Hot Date

Alexander Wang red bustier
$1,220 – brownsfashion.com

2nd Day 100 leather jacket
bernardboutique.com

Wolford black velvet skirt
$150 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Champagne ring
$2,345 – wolfandbadger.com

Round earrings
$2,010 – wolfandbadger.com

Necklace
$1,925 – wolfandbadger.com

Chanel eye shadow
nordstrom.com

Chanel powder blush
nordstrom.com

Edgy Pastels

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Edgy Pastels

Leather jacket
$130 – welikefashion.com

Kelly Wearstler black purse
kellywearstler.com

Cuff bracelet
ylang23.com

Rimmel eyeliner
walmart.com

Marc Jacobs fragrance
$87 – harrods.com

Chanel nail polish
nordstrom.com

Edgy Pastels

Tags

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Edgy Pastels

Leather jacket
$130 – welikefashion.com

Kelly Wearstler black purse
kellywearstler.com

Cuff bracelet
ylang23.com

Rimmel eyeliner
walmart.com

Marc Jacobs fragrance
$87 – harrods.com

Chanel nail polish
nordstrom.com