loving >> week 140

Hi!

The Love ListI’m loving…

MasterChef Junior{image via here}

MasterChef Junior MasterChef is a terrific show, but personally, I can’t get enough of the kids’ edition! Season Two of MasterChef Junior premieres this Tuesday, and I can’t wait to see how it compares to last year’s successful competition. Ranging in ages eight to thirteen, the young home cooks must complete a variety of cooking challenges for world-renowned chefs. They are extremely talented {my own baking skills pale in comparison}, so it’s hard to choose a favorite; I end up rooting for them all :)  Are you a fan of the MasterChef series?

Daylight Savings Time2 ♥ Daylight Savings Time Daylight Savings Times comes to an end this weekend, bringing shorter days, longer nights, and best of all, an extra hour on Sunday! I will probably use the added hour for another sixty minutes of sleep, but the books in my library pile are looking pretty good too. No matter how you spend your extra hour, you’ll need a cute clock to “fall back;” I adore these fun bunny clocks from PBteen.

Sally's Baking Addiction3 ♥ The Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook I’ve borrowed Sally’s Baking Addiction from the library for a few weeks now, but even on day one, I knew it would be a worthwhile addition to my family’s cookbook collection. Filled to the brim with scrumptious sounding recipes, the cookbook is well-organized and gorgeously photographed. I have quite a few recipes marked for potential testing, but I have only managed to make Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread so far. Fortunately, it was absolutely delicious – you should try it yourself!

Taylor Swift 19894 ♥ Taylor Swift’s 1989 Taylor Swift has been everywhere on social media and the news over the past week, but for good reason: her new album, 1989, is incredible! Like any good T-Swift fans, my sister and I were anxious to get the deluxe edition on the day of its release, and since then, we’ve been playing the album all the time. I have yet to choose a favorite track, but with our repeated playings, I’m sure it is not that far off.

Halloween Sign Melonheadz{via}

5 ♥ Halloween Finally, happy Halloween! I keep it very low-key, as nothing beats watching a Halloween classic {that would be It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown} and a good, Halloween-themed book {this term used loosely, of course, as I finish up Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins :)}.

Have a lovely Friday!
Bella

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pajama party!

Hello!

Style SnapshotI’ll be honest: If I were given the choice between a dress and my pajamas, I would almost always go with the stylish dress. However, forecasts of colder weather {I have even heard rumors of coming snow for the weekend, which is crazy, yes!?} explain my recent choices in cozy clothing, like comfy sweatshirts and large sweaters, for the school day; come nightfall, I am all about my coordinating pajamas. For this month’s Style Snapshot, I searched for my favorite PJ pieces. From floral-patterned pajama pants to thick fair isle socks, finding cute sleepwear wasn’t an issue – it was deciding what to include! Wearing my PJ’s to school may not be an option, but that is no excuse not to rock pretty pajamas at night.

Pajama Party Style Snapshot1 | Aerie Cotton Pajama Pant in Royal Navy from Aerie for American Eagle

2 | Women’s Dakota Slipper in Chestnut from UGG Australia

3 | Festive Socks in Gold Rush from Boden

4 | Waffle Tank in Iron Heather from Aerie for American Eagle

5 | Factory Flannel Sleep Pant in Rock Salt from J.Crew Factory

6 | Cosy Robe from Boden

7 | Gnome Flannel Pajama Set from PBteen

8 | Whisper Jersey Robe in Navy Ivory Heart from J.Crew

Have a wonderful day!
B

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Hello!

First of all, I was honored to contribute to The Hub, the blog of YALSA, or the Young Adult Library Service Association, for their Teen Blogging Contest today. You can view my post, in which I talk about To Kill a Mockingbird, here! :) {It should go live at some point today – I’m just not sure when!}

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin BreadAnyhoo, October is soon coming to a close, but I see that as even more reason to whip up a loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread. Pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients to bake with; its ease of use and distinct flavor is perfect for muffins and breads. Pairing it with chocolate just makes it all the better! Therefore, it should be no wonder that the first recipe I tried from the Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook was this tasty bread. With a simple batter and relatively quick bake time, this bread is bound to be made again and again, even as autumn comes and goes.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction by Sally McKenney {original recipe can be found here}

ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

to make

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars. Add in the pumpkin, oil, and orange juice.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix; your batter should be lumpy.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. Pour batter into pan.
  7. Bake bread for sixty to seventy minutes. Halfway through baking, loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil so the top does not brown too much. Your bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let the bread cool before removing from pan.
  9. Enjoy!

Have an amazing Monday!

Bella

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loving >> week 139

Hi!

The Love List

I’m loving…

Vera Bradley Winter 2014 Release1 ♥ Vera Bradley’s Winter 2014 Release Even though this release only has two patterns {instead of the usual two or three}, VB’s winter line has me all sorts of happy! Both the prints and products of this roll-out are unique – a perfect excuse to put many of the items on my holiday wish list :) I love that the patterns are “winter-y” enough, while still offering transitions from fall or into spring. Emerald Paisley’s jewel tones are calling my name, but I adore the bright and big flowers of Cherry Blossoms. It’s a tough decision, friends! What do you like best from Vera Bradley’s new items?

Gilmore Girls2 ♥ Gilmore Girls The addition of Gilmore Girls to Netflix earlier this month only meant one thing in my mind: endless marathon watching! My sister and I have been going through the episodes nonstop, and with this string of rainy days we’ve been having, I would be surprised if we didn’t see the Season Three finale by Sunday evening. The cast of characters in Stars Hollow has been oh-so entertaining so far, and of course, I’m super excited to see what else is held in store for Rory and Lorelai!

Noosa Pumpkin Yoghurt3 ♥ Noosa Pumpkin Yoghurt The pumpkin food craze doesn’t last for long each year, so I like to take advantage of it while I can! Noosa’s Pumpkin Yoghurt is one of my new fall-flavored snack choices; despite my initial skepticism, I quickly realized that when it’s mixed with vanilla yogurt and sprinkled with chocolate granola, you really can’t go wrong. Are you a pumpkin fan, or do you steer clear from September to November?

Sisters Raina Telgemeier4 ♥ Sisters Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels have impressed me on multiple occasions: Smile, for its humorous and realistic story, Drama, for exploring a subject close to my heart with bright illustrations, and now Sisters, for keeping up her amazing streak of terrific books! :) In her second memoir, Telgemeier explores her childhood family dynamics on a trip to a family reunion. It’s short, but more importantly, it’s relatable; I strongly urge you to give it a peek!

Wunderlist5 ♥ Wunderlist Finally, the organization loving person that I am, I absolutely adore the Wunderlist app! After reading about it in Hannah’s informative post, I decided to give the to-do list system a try. Weeks later, I’ve found that it is perfect for keeping unwritten book reviews straight, blog post ideas all in one place, and random tasks on my mind. Have you used Wunderlist before?

Have a lovely Friday!

Bella

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Making the Grade / Space Case

Hello!

Making the GradeWhen it came time to draft up my fall to be read list, Space Case was one of the first novels on my list. I was super-duper excited to read it; after I fell in love with Spy School, I’ve learned that you can rarely go wrong with one of Stuart Gibb’s books! Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. Written in Gibbs’ signature humorous style, Space Case is a fast and entertaining read {with an amazing cover too!}.

Summary: Like his fellow lunarnauts – otherwise known as Moonies – living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous around the world for being one of the first humans to live on the moon. And he’s bored out of his mind. Kids aren’t allowed on the lunar surface, meaning they’re trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy their time; and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games.

Then Moon Base Alpha’s top scientist turns up dead. Dash senses there’s foul play afoot, but no one believes him. Everyone agrees Dr. Holtz went onto the lunar surface without his helmet properly affixed, simple as that. But then Dash learns Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery, and it’s a secret that could change everything for the Moonies; a secret someone just might kill to keep… {Goodreads}

Making the Grade Space CaseLet’s discuss! Space Case is the first book in the Moon Base Alpha series, and I can’t wait to see how the story goes in Book Two. It doesn’t come out until the spring of 2016, however, so in the meantime, I’ll be anticipating the third Spy School novel: Evil Spy School. Do you’ll think you will check this one out?

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Bella

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