Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sarah's Cook Book: Gluten Free Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

Hey everyone!

As Christmas gets closer, I thought I would share with you all one of my favorite Christmas 'traditions'--baking cookies!  These are my favorite, my mom and I make them every year and they are delicious! They aren't too sweet, and the white chocolate and dried cranberries balance each other out very nicely.  These cookies also freeze perfectly!  (They almost taste better when frozen! ) This year, however, we had to change up the recipe a little, because some people in my family have cut out gluten.  So, I'm going to show you the recipe, then walk you through the small changes we had to make to make them taste a little more "gluten-filled" than "gluten-free"!

This isn't our original recipe--we use the cookie recipe on the back of the Oceanspray Craisin bag--which you can find here.  

Here's what you will need:

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 5-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® 
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

The original recipe isn't a gluten-free recipe, so in order to make it that way, this is the flour we used.

You can buy this at Harry's, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc.  
**Note: This type of gluten free flour has a little bit of a nutty flavor, so when you're mixing your cookie dough, add a little vanilla.  We added about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons, maybe a little extra.  This just helps to override the nuttiness of the dough.


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. 
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. 
  3. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks. 
  4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. 

This recipe makes me about 32 cookies, depending on how you size them.  I just pop them in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the pans around for another 1-2 minutes.  Then, voila! You have cookies that are delicious, gluten-free and perfect for the holidays!  

I love baking, so let me know if you all would like to see more of these posts! 

What's your favorite holiday treat?
Do you like baking posts?
Comment and let me know!

xo Sarah

*Make sure to follow me on here and on twitter for more updates and blog posts! xoxoxo

Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide for Him 2012

Hey everyone!

I'm so sorry for not getting this up sooner--I typed it out and completely forgot to post it!  So, I've changed it up a bit to make it last minute holiday shopping friendly!  I did a Holiday Gift Guide for Her last week, so here's my version for men!  I know boyfriends, dads and brothers can be hard to shop for, so hopefully this will help you all out!

For the Electronic Lover

 1. Video Games
These are perfect for boyfriends, brothers or nephews.  As much as I hate them, almost every guy plays video games these days, and if you know what kind of games they like they're a great gift!  If you're clueless on what game to get him, ask his friends or even the guy at the video game store!

2. AppleTV
This is something that I've just discovered this year, and there are non-Apple versions of this product, but it's perfect for my dad!  He loves renting shows, movies and documentaries on his iPad, and now he can connect them on his TV to watch on a bigger screen.  You can get these from the Apple store, Best Buy or off of Amazon.

3. iPad Accessories
Another gift inspired by my dad is a keyboard for an iPad, or any accessories associated with electronics they use frequently.  He's always complaining about trying to type on his iPad screen, so this makes it easier for him.  The best one I've ever seen or heard about is the Kensington Keyboard.

For the Goof

1. Fake Mustaches
I actually recently got these from a white elephant gift swap, but how fun are they?! Any goofball would love them

For the Sports Fanatic

1. Pillow Pet
You can get these either online or from sports stores in most malls, and they're a great small gift for a little brother or nephew, especially if they are a sports fanatic!

2. Tickets
Who wouldn't love to get tickets to watch their favorite teams play?  If you check out websites like Stubhub, you can usually get pretty good prices too (depending on the event, of course).

For Every Man

1. Cologne
If you know what your man likes to smell like--or what YOU like him to smell like-- go out and buy him his (or your) favorite cologne.  If you don't know what you like, you could try to get your hands on a Sephora Fragrance for Men Sampler, which allows him to try all different samples of colognes, then buy a full size of their favorite.

Like I said, I've edited this slightly to make sure it's all things that are easily accessible at the last minute, since I completely forgot to post this sooner!  Over the next few days I'm planning on putting up a post or two on how I bake my FAVORITE holiday cookies--because I LOVE to bake!  One of the recipes is even gluten free!  Let me know if you would like to see that!

What are you getting for the men in your life?
Comment and let me know!

xo Sarah

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide For Her 2012

Hey everyone!

As I'm sure you all know, Christmas is right around the corner!  So, I thought I'd do a little gift guide to help all of you who have a few last minute gifts to get for the women in your life!  Now, some of the items I bought while I was home for Thanksgiving, so I don't have pictures of them, but some I have my own pictures of because I did a little last minute shopping yesterday.  So, without further adieu, here are some of my ideas for gifts, both big and small, for the holidays! 

1. Candles
Whether they are from Yankee Candle, Bath and Body Works or Target, candles are a good gift for any woman in your life.  They are good for anybody from a sister to a mother.  I'm giving candles to multiple people this year!  Candles are also a great gift for your boyfriends parents--since they can be hard to shop for ;)  Check out my most recent candle haul here for some ideas of holiday candle scents!

2. Perfume
Perfume is always a good go-to for most women.  Who doesn't like to smell good, right?  But, it can get tricky if you don't know what scents they like.  That's why gift sets can be a great idea.  They have them everywhere from Bath and Body Works to department stores.  The one I have purchased is from Victoria's Secret.  It comes with 7 mini perfumes, which is the perfect way for someone to pick the one they like and buy it for themselves.  This is over a $100 value, and originally retails for $42; BUT, if you go right now to Victoria's Secret (or their website), it's on sale for only $25!  It's a great deal, and you can give them all as a set to someone, or split them up and give them out as little gifts or stocking stuffers!

3. Lotion/Hand Cream
Lotion is good for anybody, but this product is particularly good for a grandmother, mother, or anyone with dry hands!  I know my mom is always looking for a nice hand lotion that won't dry her hands out, the way some scented lotions do.  While doing a little shopping yesterday, I picked up this Limited Edition L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Creamfor her.  The limited edition version is not any different from the regular--it just has different packaging and a small face cream sample!  L'Occitane creams are extremely moisturizing, while not making your hands feel greasy, making them perfect for those dry, cracked winter hands!

4. Nail Polish
If you're shopping for any girl, nail polish is pretty safe for anyone.  Almost anyone would like a basic red, bright pink or neutral color.  If you want to do something a little more creative, or just give her more options, you can go with a mini nail polish set.  You can find these from multiple brands, like OPI and Essie, but this set caught my eye more than anything. It is the Ciate Caviar Mini Bar.  You can purchase this from Sephora.  While I did not personally purchase this, I would love to receive it as a gift!  It includes 8 nail polishes--4 of them are regular polishes and the other 4 are the "caviar" polishes, that paint onto your nails as little caviar beads.  This retails at Sephora for $29, and much like the perfumes, you can give this as a set or break them up as multiple gifts.

5. Hair Ties/Accessories
While this may seem a little boring, my sister has been driving me crazy about these hair ties.  They are like Emi Jay hair ties, which are elastic bands in many different designs and colors.  They hold your hair very well but don't crease or tear your hair out as easily.  The only problem with Emi Jays is that they are a little pricey--around $3 for one hair elastic!  I've seen these at Target by Goody's and other hair brands, but they are always in boring colors! So, after a little browsing on Etsy (the best website ever), I found a 20 Hair Tie Grab Bag for $13.  That's an awesome deal--especially if you're still looking for a stocking stuffer for someone!

These are all of my generic, go-to gifts for any girl!  Of course, the better you know someone, the easier it is to personalize it to their tastes, but here are some last minute ideas!  Tomorrow, I'll do a post on a gift guide for men, because they are SO hard to shop for!  Make sure to check back for that!

Follow me on here and on twitter for more updates!

xo Sarah

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bath and Body Works Candle Haul

Hey everyone!

I promise, as school winds down for the semester I will get better at blogging regularly!  I've been home for Thanksgiving, and am so ready for Christmas to be here!  As I'm sure you all know (if you're from the US at least) that the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday starts.  If you don't know, Black Friday is a day when stores have lots of sales--it kicks off the holiday shopping season for many.  Now, I'll be the first to admit that I've never actually been Black Friday shopping (it scares me a little!), but I did go shopping the Saturday and Sunday after to see what deals were left.  I wasn't able to find much clothing wise, but I did score at one store in particular--Bath and Body Works.  They were having a 2 for $20 sale on their 3-wick candles, which are my favorite candles in the world!, so of course I had to stock up on some.  Here's what I bought!:

I purchased two of their Winter Candle, which is one of my favorites for the season!  I also bought two Twisted Peppermint candles.  I also bought Marshmallow FiresideCashmere,Merry Mistletoe,Fresh Balsamand Spiced Apple Toddycandles.  Then, I just got a cute snowflake candle holder and gold gift bags, because some of these candles are gifts for other people.  Finally, because they were 4 for $15, my mom, sister and I bought Twisted Peppermint soap to take home with us.  

That's all I purchased!  Now, of course, not all of these are for me.  The sale ends at midnight tonight, so you still have time to place orders online or run to your local B&BW store before they close!

What are your favorite candle scents from Bath and Body Works?
Did you get anything on Black Friday, from there or anywhere else?
Let me know in the comments below! <3 i="i">
Make sure to follow if you like it!

xo Sarah

Friday, November 16, 2012

College Essentials: Cold Weather

Hey everyone!

I got an email the other day from someone requesting a post on what to wear when the weather gets cold in college.  She told me she is a freshman, and at her school (much like mine!), most girls wear shorts and a t-shirt to class when it's warm outside.  But, now that it's getting colder, it's important to stay warm while still looking cute for class.  College fashion, at least where I go to school, is about all being casual during the day.  I've put together some items that are most commonly worn on my campus by girls in the winter.  Keep in mind that you should ALWAYS wear whatever makes you the most comfortable--this is just how I stay comfortable and cute while going to class!

I'll start off with the most important part of any college girl's wardrobe--leggings.  Where I go to school, they're a denim replacement during the day.  Leggings are SO much more comfortable for when you have to sit through a long day of classes, and if you wear a big t-shirt (which I always do), it's completely appropriate.  
Now, people all over my campus wear NorthFace or Patagonia jackets and vests.  I have plenty of jackets, but I'm DYING for a vest.  (It's on my Christmas list this year ;) )  Either the jackets and vests or a big chunky sweater can keep you cozy all winter.  Just throw on a big knit scarf and you'll be in heaven--trust me!
Finally, riding boots.  These are my savior for days when I don't want to wear tennis shoes.  You can get them expensive or inexpensive, and they have them most places that carry shoes this time of year.  

I hope you all enjoyed this, and I hope it helped some of you!
What's your favorite thing to wear when it gets cold?
Comment and let me know!

Don't forget to follow my blog if you like it! :)

xo Sarah

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