Monthly Archives: September 2013

orange cranberry white chocolate cookies

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These cookies are magical. There’s a hint of orange but not too overpowering. I love the sweetness of the white chocolate and the tart of the cranberries. It’s a great recipe for fall 🙂 I thought it might actually fit into spring but whatever. I’m still enjoying these.

Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies (adapted from Alaska From Scratch)

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 egg
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup ghirardelli white chocolate chips

– preheat oven to 375 degrees
– using a stand mixer, blend sugars and butter together until creamy
– add orange juice, vanilla, and egg than mix
– add salt, baking soda, and orange zest and mix again
– add in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and mix one last time
– using a ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto silpat lined baking sheet
– bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees
– let cool and enjoy! 🙂

I got 32 cookies out of this recipe. They’re delicious!! 🙂 I can’t wait to bring them in for my coworkers. Try it out. It won’t disappoint..unless you happen to be allergic to anything in it. Yikes!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

I’m on Blog Lovin! :)

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All my readers can now follow me on Blog Lovin. I was hesitant to get it but here I am. I still haven’t gotten around to Pinterest yet. With work and everything I don’t see myself finding the time to browse it. I’d more likely be sleeping..lol 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

pumpkin spice muffins

It’s still September but I’ve been wanting to make these muffins for the longest time. I saw them on the PW’s website and have been drooling since. Work has been pretty occupied so I’ve been really tired lately. Grumpy + tired = no blog post! Sorry for the lack of post. Working everyday is kind of like going to school. There’s really not that much time to cook or bake anything. These are perfect for October but they scream fall with every bite.
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The PW’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins
dry mixture:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter cut into cubes
wet mixture:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not to confused with pumpkin pie filling!!)
1 egg
3/4 cup evaporated milk
**turbinado sugar for garnishing (optional)

– preheat oven to 400 degrees
– put dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix the butter thoroughly (the mixture should look like coarse bread crumbs)
– put wet ingredients in medium bowl and mix together
– pour wet mixture into dry mixture and mix to combine
– using an ice cream scoop, scoop into paper lined muffin tin (you’ll have extra if you put one scoop in each liner. I put one scoop in each and than added more where it wasn’t completely full)
– sprinkle turbinado sugar on top
– bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes
– let cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack
– take muffins out of the tin and continue to let cool on wire rack for at least 20-30 minutes

Enjoy these with apple cider or maybe a glass of milk! They’re the perfect snack and they’d be great for breakfast after toasting them. Thanks for reading 🙂 The October Project Give giveaway is next Tuesday! Be sure to tune in next week.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

what i’ve been up to!

Currently work has me super busy. It’s been awhile since I’ve had so many hours so it does take some getting use to. I can’t complain though, the pay is well worth it! 🙂 I had a meeting with my supervisors earlier in the week and realized it was in an awesome location. Across the street from Dog Haus and down the street from Bittersweet Treats. This is what I got at Bittersweet.
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I saw an article about their chocolate cream pie and I decided I must try it. It’s sooo good. A lot of cream pies don’t put enough emphasis on the flavor of the pie (i.e. chocolate or banana) but the cream part. This pie is definitely chocolatey. The balance between the chocolate and the cream is excellent. The crust is amazing! It reminded me of the Oreos crust except it’s not made of Oreos at all. My favorite part would have to be the peanut brittle on top. They previously decorated their banana cream pie with the same peanut brittle and I love it. It’s the best damn peanut brittle I’ve ever had. No joke here folks.

Although I love their pies and their snickerdoodle cookies, it seems they lack flavor in some of their treats. They had an ice cream flavor called Thai tea and it tasted like vanilla bean ice cream. I was telling the guy it taste like vanilla and he kind of looked at me like I didn’t know what I was talking about. He was friendly and all but yeah, I’m a thai tea freak. It doesn’t taste like thai tea! Their snickerdoodle cookies are the BEST. It’s probably my favorite item in the store. I really wanted to try their truffles but for $1.50 a piece it was too expensive for me. My snickerdoodle cookie was $1.50. I’ve been meaning to try their cupcakes but after learning it’s just devil’s food cake, I was a bit disappointed. I’m going to be stalking their store for snickerdoodles and possibly some mint chip ice cream when I go into the office! 🙂

Here’s one of the necklaces I bought from ImaGin Bloom.
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The picture doesn’t do it any justice. The flash made it look lighter. It’s actually a dark purple and gold color. I love it! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I got a lot of compliments on it. Well, that’s it for now. Until next time!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

September Giveaway winner!! :)

Congratulations to comment #4 Chelsea Phelps for winning the September Giveaway of Project Give! 🙂 Please email me at failsweetly@gmail.com with your shipping information within the next two days. I don’t really use random.org but the site wouldn’t let me see the html for the generator. I’ll have to figure it out next month!

I was surfing Etsy for vintage jewelry a few weeks ago and came across some great stuff. Etsy’s kind of my new obsession. I found Imagin Blooms and loved all her creations. The necklaces I bought from her were gorgeous. I’ll be posting pictures soon! I plan on using one of the necklaces for Project Give but we’ll get into that later. Virginia makes some of the most beautiful jewelry I’ve found. She ships super quick and the packaging is adorable. I’m in love with the polka dot pouch she sent them in. At first I was a little anxious about the quality since I’ve never purchased anything from a Facebook page but the quality is definitely worth the price. My favorite color is purple and I purchased a purple and gold necklace that is absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to wear it! It’s so funny because when I first saw it, I automatically thought of the Los Angeles Lakers (they’re LA colors). Be sure to check out her Facebook page. She makes headbands, brooches, all sorts of neat things really.

I woke up at 3am this morning to volunteer with my company at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. I definitely have to thank my mom for making coffee ahead of time or else I would have dozed off. The experience itself was pretty neat and I plan on coming back for another 5k run/walk as part of my company. The Shoreline Village shops are amazing and the view was spectacular. Again, being the horrible photographer that I am…I forgot to bring my camera. I was sitting at the booth for my company when a woman approached me and asked me to take her picture. I’m a photographer so I’m like SURE! 🙂 Anyway, it was pretty funny because I asked one of her friends to move over since the shade from the tarps made him look weird. I got quizzical stares until my coworker told them I’m a photographer so I know about lighting. It was hilarious..I guess you had to be there. That’s all for now. Time to get back to that 9-5.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Project Give: September Giveaway & a Guest Post!!

Whoo hoo! It’s time for the first Project Give giveaway!!! It all started when a childhood friend of mine thanked me profusely for baking her goodies and sending her a $10 gift card to Walmart for her birthday. I was a bit perplexed with her response and attempted to shrug it off like no biggie. To me, homemade cookies, brownies, and a $10 gift card didn’t seem like much. Boy, was I wrong. We were chatting and I asked her “so…how’s South Carolina?” After telling me that she hates it with a passion (she’s a city girl), I told her about the new job I recently started. She went on to say that I’m lucky because I have a job since it’s so hard to find one these days and she hasn’t been able to find one. She also told me how her hubby’s pay got messed up (she’s a military spouse) for whatever reasons and the gift card provided diapers for her baby since they were struggling financially. When I read her message, I sat there and kind of just stared at my laptop screen. I grew up in a household that lived paycheck to paycheck so I know all too well how financial burdens take their toll on people. If homemade goodies and a $10 gift card can bring her a sense of relief, maybe it can help someone else too. In honor of my friend, this month’s giveaway is a $10 gift card to Target and a delicious baked donut mix from Williams Sonoma. All giveaways are funded by me unless otherwise stated.
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To enter the giveaway, you must
– Be a military spouse
– Have a blog
– Leave a comment in the comment section with a link to your blog
– Live in the U.S. (this giveaway only ships in the U.S.)
– Only enter this giveaway once (to give everyone a fair chance)

I will use random.org to generate a number and the number that matches the comment will be the winner. The winner will be announced next Sunday at 8pm via my blog. The winner will have two days to contact me via email with their shipping information. If I haven’t been contacted within two days, another winner will be chosen.

Each giveaway will include a Cherish Every Moment bracelet and card to support The Dax Locke Foundation. Please consider making a donation and help Dax’s mom, Julie reach her goal of raising $1.6 million to run St. Jude’s hospital for one day in his honor.

Project Give will have a giveaway posted the first of every month. Good luck to everyone!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

And now, a guest post from Nicole of Adventures of a Semper Fi Family. Nicole reached out to me after I presented her with my idea about Project Give so I asked her to share a little bit about what the military life is like.

Hello Failing Sweetly blog readers! My name is Nicole. I blog at Adventures of a Semper Fi Family about my life as a Marine wife and mom of three. I love to share our adventures around our current duty station, Camp Pendleton.  Justina has asked me to guest post today to kickoff an amazing giveaway she has put together for military spouses.  I couldn’t be happier to share a little about our military life and help Justina get the word out about this fantastic giveaway.

There is no secret military life has its share of ups and downs. Nothing a pound of chocolate won’t fix! I’ve been doing this military spouse thing for 15 years. In that time, I’ve done my fair share of deployments, training, and wacky work schedules. The military is anything but consistent.

Military spouses are a tight knit group; however, most know their fair share of alone-ness! Honeymoons, births, and anniversaries are some major milestones often celebrated solo. Lost teeth and first steps are documented in pictures. Life as a military spouse is a game of chance when it comes to ‘will he be here’ odds. Planning dinner is minor gamble on the weekly. Those close knit relationships really help get me through!

Despite the inconsistency of military life, I have found most military spouses grow accustomed to the lifestyle. It becomes conversational fodder when connecting with other wives. I’ve said it time and again, one bad military experience can always be topped by another spouse’s bad experience. It’s the nature of the beast but considered in good fun. You must have a sense of humor when you are married to the military.

The ironic part is how addictive the military life becomes. Despite the stress, there are so many good things to embrace. The military community is close knit. We understand each other. We make friends all over the world. We uphold traditional values of faith and country. No matter what the cost we believe in ensuring freedom for all. The sacrifices are minimal compared to the outcome.

Military life can be tough. It isn’t always the easiest to endure. But the payoffs make it worthwhile. Every Thank You and  piece of encouragement from complete strangers are received in perfect timing. The cost is high and we appreciate the recognition. My husband follows the orders he receives from his Chain of Command. The kids and I make sure to provide the assurance he needs to make it through. And you are the reason we keep on because we know it matters!  Thank you!!

Nicole

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