Chocolate Dream Loaf

If you hadn’t already guessed, I have an insane sweet tooth. And I’m not saying I have a few pieces of candy here and there. I’m talking eat a dozen cookies and half the batter in one sitting kind of sweet tooth. It’ll probably be a problem for me in years to come, but hey it makes me happy so I’m not pulling this tooth anytime soon.
For those of you who also love sweets or just want to make something yummy for others, this Chocolate Dream Loaf’s name speaks for itself. It tastes like a dream come true. I’ve baked this loaf a few times now and every single time it turns out just so damn moist. I sliced off a piece of this loaf three days after making it and it was just as fresh and delicious as day one.
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I love this recipe because it’s super easy to make (though does make quite a few dirty dishes) and it also makes a great gift!
You can find the recipe here:

CHOCOLATE DREAM LOAF

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 6 tbsp. Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F and grease a 9 x 5-in loaf pan.

2. In a bowl, whisk milk into cocoa powder to make a smooth paste; then whisk in the yogurt and set aside.

3. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs one at a time and vanilla extract.

5. Take turns stirring in flour mixture and milk mixture, making around 3 additions of each at a time. Fold in chocolate chips.

6. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 min. Let cool in pan for 15 min. Turn over onto rack, remove the pan and let it cool completely.

7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!

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I put together a list of a few of the necessary and affordable kitchen supplies! You can shop for them below:

DOGgone Good Cause

The night before Thanksgiving, my sisters and I had just picked-up dinner and were driving back home on a dark and busy street. Cars were braking and my sister yelled, “oh my god, there’s a puppy in the road!” We both got out of the car to grab the dog, I finally was able to chase her down. She was not a puppy, but a very old dachshund. We pulled our car over and went house to house in the area for an hour.  Then we called shelters, animal control, the sheriff, and anyone we could think of to help, however, being the night before Thanksgiving, everything was closed.  We gave up and took the dog back to our house. The whole night the poor pup was making this terrible noise.  It was like she was telling us how badly she wanted to go home.

The next morning we thought to text the woman who walks our pug – thinking she might recognize the dog or could at least provide some guidance.  Guess what??  It was a Thanksgiving miracle… she knew the dog!  Her name was Moo Moo and her parents were out of town for the weekend.

What surprised us the most was that no one had stopped to help the dog. I couldn’t help but think what could’ve happened to this sweet girl had someone not stopped to get her. She could’ve been hit by a car, eaten by an animal, or taken to an animal shelter. Luckily though she’s home safe and sound with her family.

This kind of parallels the story of Blue, the pup pictured below. This cute little guy belongs to my sister and brother-in-law. They rescued him from a kill shelter in Rancho Cucamonga a few years ago. He has been such a big part of our family ever since. But before then his life wasn’t so easy. Animal Control found him wandering the streets malnourished with scabs all over his body.  He was a mess with parasites, kennel cough, an eye infection and seizures when they first adopted him.  It’s crazy to see how he’s transformed from a sick and timid dog into such a loving and adorable part of our family.

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Blue is a great example of why everyone should adopt! There are so many dogs in shelters that could really use a happy home. I know that a lot of people are unable to adopt but there are other ways to help those animals in need!

I got this shirt from a company called Treat Dreams. They have adorable shirts, mugs, as well as gourmet baked treats for your pets! I love this company not only for providing me with this hilarious shirt, but for what they stand for: 10% of their proceeds from every purchase goes to a different Canine Rescue Group each month. Check them out here and see more of their amazing products: https://treatdreamsthedogbakery.com

Treekisser is a similar company that donates 10% of its sales to animal rescue and advocacy organizations! You can purchase one of these shirts by clicking on the images below:

     

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5 Gifts that Give Back

The holidays are coming up fast!  What better gift to give someone than the gift of helping others. For the family and friends you struggle to buy for every year, I found your solution. I put together a list of my favorite companies that not only sell great items people will love, but stand for something much greater than any physical gift you could receive.

1. The Home T

This company makes apparel and home decor from each state.  Their items super cute and for those who like comfort – their shirts are insanely soft. The best part about this company though, is that 10% of their proceeds go to multiple sclerosis research, a disease that affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide. Click on the image below to get this shirt from amazon or head to their website to learn more: https://www.thehomet.com

2. Bloom & Give

This company sells adorable clutches and scarves while donating 50% of their profits to support girl’s education programs in India. No that wasn’t a typo, I said 50%!! This company is making strides in one of the world’s most impoverished countries. You can get your friend a cute bag and help support India’s gender equality in education at the same time. Who wouldn’t love to get that gift during the holidays?! Shop their bag selection here: https://www.bloomandgive.com/collections/bags

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Taken from bloomandgive.com

3. Bird + Stone

This jewelry company gives opportunities to widowed Kenyan women who aspire to be independent.   This opportunity helps to bring these women out of poverty.  You can learn more about it and purchase this cuff here: https://shop.birdandstone.com/bracelets/dreambuilder-cuff

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Image from birdandstone.com

4. Toms

I’m sure most of you have already heard of Toms, but did you know they make super cute wedges and booties now?! I’m serious – they have some shoes that I mistook for Steve Maddens the other day. Toms has always had the motto One for One. For every pair of shoes purchased they give a pair to kids in need. For every pair of glasses sold, a person in need receives an eye exam and treatment. For each bag of Toms coffee sold, 140 liters of safe water is provided to a person in need. Toms is doing some really amazing things, so why not join in this holiday. You can purchase a pair of Toms booties by clicking on the image below or head to http://www.toms.com to see what other goodies they have in stock!

5. Alex and Ani

Charity by Design is a segment of this jewelry company that gives back to organizations that mean the most to you! This bracelet in particular is of a Lotus Blossom which symbolizes beauty, strength, and grace. 20% of the purchase price for every one of these bracelets sold goes to Women & Infants Hospital, one of the best hospitals for women and newborns. You can purchase this bracelet by clicking on the image below or go to their website and see what other charities/bracelets someone would love to get this holiday season: http://www.alexandani.com/collections/charity-by-design.html

What our some of your favorite companies that give back?

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Boxfox – The Ultimate Gift Box

Running out of gift ideas this holiday season? No need to stress about getting that perfect something anymore. With gift boxes, you get to give a whole box of goodies! At Boxfox they have adorable pre-curated boxes for you to choose from and their holiday themed boxes are amazing! You can also design your own gift box out of their wide variety of items. These boxes are the perfect gift for both men and women.

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I designed this particular box for a girlfriend of mine. It’s packed with a cute little notepad, well-kept wipes, caramel popcorn, matches, and a candle from the little market. They also provide you with the cutest little cards that they will handwrite for you or you can do yourself!

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My favorite part about BoxFox is that it incorporates The Little Market, an online fair-trade shop that sells beautiful products by artisans all around the world. There are many Little Market candles to choose from but if you head to https://www.thelittlemarket.com you can read more about it and see that there is more than just candles to choose from!

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A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

Not only does this candle do a lot of good for the artisans and their families, but it also serves as a reminder that lifting others up is never a bad thing. Try and light up someone’s day today whether it’s simply with a compliment or by helping them accomplish something and tell me about it below!  screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-2-05-16-pm