Sunday, July 27, 2014

My New Home!

It's been several years in the making, but Fiscally Chic is now at its new home on WordPress! You can find me there at

I'm still working out the kinks and spiffing things up, so let me know if you have any feedback. And don't forget to update you're RSS feed.

Thanks so much for reading along! And come on over to the new blog!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas in July

Mini stockings: white, red
Pillow covers: top, middle, bottom
I don't talk about it much on the blog, but I still have an Etsy shop filled with lovely Marimekko pillow covers. Around Christmas, I also stock mini Christmas stockings. Since it's currently Christmas in July, I thought I would bring back the mini stockings and have a sale! You can get 20% off through Sunday July 27 using the coupon code "CHRISTMASINJULY20"

Ho ho ho!
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tidying Up

first row: Target (no longer available), right
second row: left, center, right
third row: left, right
While it appears to be all quiet on the western blogging front (it is summer, after all), I've been tidying up my blog design. (And moving to WordPress...eek!) At the same time, it's a battle to keep things tidy at home. As Monica has grown, so has her collection of toys and books. To contain some of the chaos, I bought the two baskets from the top row. Not only do her things have a "home," but it's easy to move a bunch of toys from one room to the other. Say, from the front room to our bedroom so she can play while we get ready in the morning. Or from the backroom to the back yard if we want to play outside. Now if only she can learn to put her toys back into the baskets!

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Monday, June 30, 2014

On Blogging and Running

About a month ago, Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum was a guest on The Lively Show. I enjoy reading food blogs, but hadn't heard of Pinch of Yum until then. In addition to sharing delicious recipes with gorgeous photography, Pinch of Yum shares their monthly income reports. Their first income report was for August 2011 and the blog made $21.97. In May 2014, Pinch of Yum had net income of over $23,000! Suffice it to say, I've read more of their income reports (and related tips) than recipes ;)

What does this have to do with running? In January 2014's report, Bjork (Lindsay's husband and behind the scenes guy of Pinch of Yum) shared the following mindset for growing a blog:

Be a cross country star, not a tennis star. I love tennis. It was my favorite sport in high school. But I always had a ton of respect for the cross country guys and girls. Not only because of their crazy ability to run long distances, but because of the mindset they had in regards to their performance. With tennis, if you beat your opponent you consider the day a success. With cross country, if you beat your own previous record you consider the day a success. Your journey of growing your blog will be much more fulfilling if you aim to outperform yourself as opposed to other blogs.
Amen, brother!

Like blogging, I took a bit of an extended maternity leave from running. Sure, I ran a 10K this past October, but I wasn't running consistently. About three months before Monica's birthday, John's sister talked me into running a half marathon. I pulled up a Hal Higdon training plan, dusted off my running shoes, and got to work. The day before Monica's birthday, I ran my first half marathon in over three years. Was is pretty? Not exactly. But I went out there and finished.

Likewise, this past spring, I felt ready to get back into blogging on a more consistent basis. The analogy isn't perfect, but here are a few more thoughts about why blogging is like running:

You have to start somewhere. Whether it's sitting down to write or starting to run after some time off, the hardest part is starting. For running, the hardest part is getting out the door. But once you get going and see your progress and improvement, the momentum encourages you to keep going.

For example, the first recipe (and second blog post!) I shared on Fiscally Chic was for Raspberry Champagne Cupcakes. My photo wasn't fantastic, but it got the job done:

September 2010 - Raspberry Champagne Cupcakes
More recently, I shared a recipe for Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes. This picture isn't perfect, but it's exponentially better than the first:

June 2014 - Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Over the past 4 years, I've had more opportunities to bake cupcakes, photograph cupcakes, and blog about said cupcakes. That's not to say there haven't been a few hiccups along the way. While the following cupcakes tasted great, the photographs were less than stellar (don't laugh too much):
February 2011 - Banana Split Cupcakes
Ugh...I know. In blogging and running, you might have a few setbacks, like writer's block or a knee injury. You can either let it get you down or use it as a learning experience and moment of growth.
In addition to having more experience, my blogging and running has improved (or become a little easier) as I've obtained the correct tools. For blogging, that would be getting a better camera (and knowing how to use it). For baking cupcakes, that includes finally buying a pastry bag and piping tips. For running, it's having a proper pair of running shoes, iPhone armband, and our BOB jogging stroller.
Finally, sometimes I need to adjust my expectations and benchmarks of running and blogging. Going back to Bjork's point, "with cross country, if you beat your own previous record you consider the day a success." With my first post-baby half marathon, I couldn't compare that performance to my previous personal record. This time around, I didn't have as much time to train. As with blogging, there are only so many hours in the day and I think it'll be a good week if I post once or twice. That sure beats my current track record of posting once or twice a month!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Toolbox Essentials for the New Homeowner

It's summertime, which means DIY projects and household improvements are filling people's weekend "to do" lists. The summer is also a prime time to buy a new house, which means you need to be prepared for repairs. If you're in either of these camps, you'll enjoy today's post sponsored by Gotstock.

What’s in Your Toolbox?
Whether you live in an apartment, condo, or house, you should have a few basic tools on hand to tackle simple household repairs. This isn’t about being an HGTV DIY expert; it’s just about being reasonably self-sufficient.

Think about whether you would be able to deal with an emergency. If you don’t have to the tools to do this; you need to make a trip to the hardware store. This applies to both the ladies and gentlemen. 

What is the Best way to Acquire Tools?
There are ready-equipped tool kits on the market which give you access to a variety of different sizes and types of tools. The problem is that the majority are not cheap, and you may not need all of the items in the kit.

The best time to buy the very basic tools is when you first start running your own home. Then as you go on, you can acquire, rent, or borrow extra materials as jobs require them. So what are the essentials?

These tools are probably the most essential of the essentials. Whether it’s changing an outlet or putting together furniture; a screwdriver always comes in handy. It's useful to have a selection of screwdrivers for different sizes and types of screws (i.e. flathead vs. Phillips head). A really small screwdriver is also helpful to tighten a loose screw on a pair of glasses or sunglasses; check out Gotstock for more on this.

Claw Hammer
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a hammer, you just need one that will do the job. This is pretty essential for a lot of basic household DIY tasks such as hanging a picture frame. A claw hammer also allows you to remove nails to take down furnishings in your home.

Wrench Set
Again, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money on wrenches, but make sure that they can withstand a fair amount of pressure. You don’t want to leave a bolt unscathed and bend the wrench instead.

Cordless Drill
If you're going to put shelves or curtain rods up, you're going to need a few holes and anchors in the wall. A cordless drill is the best way of doing this. Being cordless reduces the risk of tripping, but you still have to be really careful that you use it correctly.

You hope you never have to do it, but unblocking a toilet is easy with a plunger. Tie a plastic bag tightly over the end and plunge with vigor; the toilet will be unblocked in no time.

Yes, it is a bit big to fit in a toolbox, but it is an essential item for completing a lot of jobs in the home. Something as simple as putting a shade on a light, is a lot easier and safer when done off a stable ladder instead of a chair.

Other helpful tools include a measuring tape, level, box cutter, pliers, and safety glasses.

Be Careful with Storage
Storing tools safely is common sense, but sometimes people are in a hurry and items get left around the home. If this happens, a child might pick up a tool and do damage to the house, or worse to themselves. Ladders are also very important to be aware of. Never store them where there is a significant chance that they can be knocked and toppled over.

A tool box or tool chest is ideal for storing tools, but at the very least, you need to make sure that they are protected and dry. This will ensure that you have a useful set of tools to use for many years.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Raspberry Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes

On June 8, Monica turned one! She started walking the day before she turned 11 months old, so turning one sealed the deal of her becoming a toddler (sniff).
While I had a secret Pinterest board filled with birthday party ideas, I didn't go over the top crafting elaborate decorations. I ran a half marathon the day before her birthday, so we decided to keep things simple. We catered Buona Beef, served food on pink plates with pink silverware, bought a canopy for the backyard which we decorated with pink paper lanterns, and had several coolers of chilled beverages. 

One thing I didn't want to skimp on was the dessert. I had pinned several mini layer cakes as inspiration, but ultimately decided to bake cupcakes. Since the loose party theme was pink, the cupcakes had to be pink. In addition to baking exactly what I Monica wanted, I could avoid hard to pronounce food additives and artificial food colors.
Monica has been enjoying berries lately, so I decided to bake vanilla cupcakes with raspberry buttercream (strawberry being a close runner up). These weren't organic by any stretch, but I felt a little better knowing exactly what was in the cupcakes.

In addition to Monica's current love of raspberries, these cupcakes were inspired by The Cup's Raspberry Beret cupcakes. I don't think I ever had this flavor, but The Cup can do no wrong, in my opinion. Monica's birthday cupcakes are also reminiscent of the first recipe I shared on this blog, raspberry champagne cupcakes. Obviously there wasn't champagne in these cupcakes.

This may be one of my favorite pictures of Monica eating her birthday cupcake. Yes, there are other pictures of us singing to her and her enjoying her cupcake, but I love the expression on her face in this photo. It's like she's thinking, "Oh no! Cupcake down!"

One last minute (and extremely playful) detail I loved from the party was using one of Monica's bath toys as a paperweight. I just grabbed the purple walrus and it just went perfectly with the pink napkins. The napkins and walrus might still be sitting on the buffet.

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes
Vanilla cupcakes adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Raspberry buttercream adapted from Eat Live Run (where she shared strawberry buttercream)

Vanilla Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes (I tripled the recipe, which made 45)

1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup yogurt (The original recipe called for vanilla greek yogurt. I used strawberry greek yogurt since that's what we had.)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350*. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Melt butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Transfer this to the bowl of your mixer. Using the paddle attachment, stir in sugar (the mixture will be gritty). Add in the egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined.
Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

Raspberry Buttercream
Note: I was able to frost all 45 cupcakes using one batch of this recipe

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 pound)
1/2 cup pureed raspberries (about 1 cup whole raspberries, optional: strain out the seeds for a smoother frosting)
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 cups powdered sugar (from two 1-lb boxes or one 2-lb bag)

Beat the butter using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer until creamy.

Add in the pureed raspberries.

Slowly add the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time.

Finally, add the lemon juice and sea salt. Continue beating until very light and fluffy.

Pipe* or spread frosting on each cupcake. Enjoy!

*I bought the Bake it Pretty Best-Ever Cupcake Icing Kit (5 jumbo pastry tips and 1 pastry bag) just for these cupcakes and it was fantastic! You can currently save 10% off your order using coupon code "BALLOONS".
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Wedding Looks

Hi, friends! Wedding season is upon us! While we only have one wedding on our calendar thus far, I was having so much fun creating a wedding guest outfit that I put together three for you! Since I absolutely love using Rent the Runway* (I rented dresses for the last two weddings we attended), each dress and some of the accessories are available through RTR.
Earrings, Clutch, and Dress via Rent the Runway, Wedges
The first outfit was inspired by my sister-in-law. She rented this very dress for a black tie wedding and looked gorgeous. While the wedding we'll be attending isn't this formal, it's fun to dream and hopefully inspire you.
Necklace and Dress via Rent the Runway, Clutch, Pumps
I'd say that this dress and ensemble is a little closer to what I'll actually wear to our friends' wedding. It's less formal than the pink dress, but still dressed up. I also love the colors and pattern of the dress. And that peek of pink on the pumps? Such a fun surprise!

Necklace and Dress via Rent the Runway, Clutch, Wedges
Finally, here's what I might wear if we were invited to an outdoor wedding. A bit more casual, but the necklace dresses things up. And the wedges will ensure that I don't sink into the ground while walking.
What will you be wearing to a summer wedding?
*No, this isn't a sponsored post, I just really like RTR. If you also have a wedding on the calendar and are looking for a lovely dress at a lovely price, you can sign up through my Rent the Runway referral link, and we'll both get $20 off our next orders. Muchas gracias!
for more wedding lovelies, visit {long distance loving}

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

To Friends of Young Kids

Monica's first birthday is this Sunday. Where has the time gone??? I didn't become a mom one year ago. Or even one year and nine months ago. The process of becoming a parent started over two years ago. Two years ago yesterday, I lost my first pregnancy. I was 6 weeks pregnant. While we're extremely blessed and grateful that we have Monica; other couples are struggling with infertility and/or waiting to become parents through adoption for much longer than two years.
My friend Marie doesn't have a blog, but wrote a letter that she wanted to share with parents of young kids. Some of you might relate to Marie, so I've given her this blog post as a way to share a little of her story.

Dear Friends of Young Kids,

Happy Mother's Day! Mothers are a precious gift from God and you show such grace being mothers. Here is my thank you note to you.

Thank you for taking me Easter outfit shopping at the newest children’s resale boutique. I enjoyed being out with you, shopping, and looking at cute kids clothes. I may not have my own kids to buy clothes for, but I enjoy looking at frilly pink dresses and enjoyed helping your almost-screaming almost-two year old try on clothes.

Thank you for inviting us out for beignets and coffee. Though it may not be the easiest to take a 5 month old to a coffee shop, we had a nice time sitting outside with you and laughed when your husband changed your daughter on the bench in the coffee shop. I dream of one day taking my daughters out for coffee with friends.

Thank you for calling me to tell me you are pregnant. I love to hear your voice and celebrate with you. Though we have yet to have the opportunity to make such joyful phone calls to friends, thank you for telling me in person, so I don’t cry seeing someone else announce it on Facebook.

Thank you for posting your good news on Facebook. I planned five years ago what we would post and how fun it would be. Most days it is so joyful when you post online your good news. Forgive me if I cry when I see you good news; it is not that we are not soo happy for you, it is that we want that same blessing in our lives as you have in yours.

Thank you for inviting me to your baby showers. I love shopping and planning showers gifts and celebrating God’s gift of new life. I hope you understand how sometimes, I just can’t come. It's not that I don’t want to, but my heart is too heavy and too hurt at times to celebrate.

Thanks for giving me time to grieve my own loss and celebrate with you. Thank you for sharing your losses and struggles with me. I understand where you are coming from and I will pray with you, cry with you, and celebrate with you when you have good news to share.

Thank you for helping me to know your children, telling me what they enjoy and what clothes they wear and how fun they are. I really love your children and love that they know me.

Thank you for asking how we are doing. Thank you for caring sensitive and understanding. Really, I am no different than you are. Some days, I am calm, collected, hopeful. Some days I am a wild mess, with dirty laundry and a messy house. We both love kids, we both have busy lives and thank you for being my friend.


Thank you, Marie. My friend Stephanie is going through a similar chapter right now and blogs at Blessed to Be. She shares about their journey to parenthood. If you are struggling with infertility and/or in the process of adopting, you can find comfort in reading her blog. She also has a lovely blog link-up called "Little Happies" where she shares little moments of happiness while waiting for the next big thing to happen.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Hiding a Cable Box and DVD Player

Hello and happy weekend! Do you have anything planned for these next few days? Lately, our weekends have been a mix of relaxing, half marathon training (my recent 9-miler was a beast), and house projects. Last weekend, I finally converted our "new" buffet into a media center.

In keeping with our "theme" of hiding TV cords in our back room, thus making things a little more baby-friendly, I wanted to tuck our cable box and DVD player out of sight. At first, I thought about putting the cable box and DVD player in a drawer and adding a hinge to the drawer front so that it would drop down when we wanted to watch TV. After talking with Meg, she suggested drilling holes in the back of the buffet and buying an Infrared Receiver Extender Cable. The cable plugs into the cable box or DVD player (out of sight) and the receiver is mounted to the front of the TV or somewhere else in sight of your remote control.

Unfortunately, that model was incompatible with our U-verse HD cable box (a Cisco ISB 7005). Fortunately, one of the Q&A commenters on Amazon suggested a model by Nextronics. I ultimately purchased the Nextronics IR Infrared Remote Extender Repeater (Dual). I liked this model because we could control the cable box and DVD player with one infrared receiver.

This whole project, not including the cost of the buffet, costless than $30. About $21 for the infrared extender and about $6 for a Bosch 1-1/2-inch spade bit from Home Depot.

I ultimately decided to put the cable box and DVD player in one of the side cabinets. There's a little more room for the DVD player to open and I only had to drill through one layer of wood. Based on Young House Love's similar project, I marked off 4 holes (3 inches apart) for the wires and ventilation.

After donning a pair of safety glasses (trust me, wood was flying!), I made quick work of drilling the holes.

Once the holes are sanded, you can hook everything back up. The HDMI cables were already connected to the TV and tucked behind the wall thanks to the Wallblade (see how we installed it here).

The infrared extender cable uses the USB port on the TV as its power source. Once connected to the TV, I fed the wire with the two mini transmitters through the Wallblade and through the holes in the back of the buffet. I then stuck the mini transmitters on the translucent or infrared window on the front of the cable box and DVD player. Finally, I mounted the large receiver to the front of the TV.

So far, everything is working well. The large receiver has a light that turns green when turned on and will flash red when it receives a signal from your remote control. Just be sure to point the remote at the receiver.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Urge to Purge

Hi! Remember me? I hope you're enjoying the spring weather while crickets have been chirping around these parts. As I touched on a while back, blogging has moved down on the list of priorities, while chasing after a baby toddler and training for a half marathon have moved up. But I'm feeling inspired to start writing again. We've been doing some projects around the house and somebody has a 1st birthday on the horizon!

If you follow me on Instagram (@FiscallyChic), you'll know that I went on a little cleaning frenzy a while back (clearly this post has been sitting in draft form for a while). This happens every so often, usually when we have company coming over. Last year, the mega cleaning bug also bit after going to an estate sale and while still pregnant and getting the house ready for Monica.

I keep a bag of items to be donated in our closet and take it to Goodwill once the bag gets full. When the bag was more than full, I knew it was time to clean house. I was feeling inspired by Jess Lively's most recent "Throw out 100 things challenge" and had also read about the minimalist challenge on Design*Sponge where you get rid of one item for each day of the month: one item on Day 1, two items of Day 2, all the way up to getting rid of 30 items on Day 30. They also linked to The Minimalists and I fell down the rabbit hole reading about minimizing. More recently, I discovered the Minimalist Baker after hearing Dana's interview on The Lively Show. Which, by the way, is a must-listen-to podcast!

So back to the post at hand...I also felt the urge to purge because Monica is crawling (!), pulling herself up on things, standing (!!), and now taking a few baby steps at a time (!!!). She loves to put everything in her mouth, so I'm trying to minimize the choking hazards and other household perils. Plus, we now have her stuff to contend with and reign in.

Instead of just donating the items in that shopping bag, I started to take a closer look at other items cluttering my life.

I donated clothes that didn't fit well, clothes that I haven't worn in years, and clothes that don't fit my current lifestyle. I also donated kitchen items we haven't used in years and threw out clothes beyond repair, old makeup samples (I tend to stick to a few tried and true products), and beat-up shoes. I also recycled old papers and magazines.

During the cleaning process, I came to realize that I'm a sucker for freebies (I'm looking at you unused and discarded Clinique Bonus Time gifts) and hold onto too many "just in case" and "someday" items. I sometimes place a little too much emotional weight on things, particularly gifts, which makes it harder to part with them thinking I might offend someone down the line. I also feel the need to hold onto something to remember an event. For example, a brochure from Galina, IL has been sitting on my dresser for quite some time now. We visited Galina in October 2010! What the heck was I still saving it for? To scrapbook it? That's not really my thing.

After donating fives bags and a box of stuff, in addition to throwing out or recycling a few more bags of things; it didn't feel like I made a dent. A lot of things were out of sight and out of mind, tucked away in storage bins and behind closet doors. It's a lot like The Minimalists' post "Organizing is often well-planned hoarding." Though I'm happy to report that some of my clothes drawers are easier to close and there's a little more breathing room in my closet.

I still have a ways to go, especially with some unopened boxes in our basement, but I feel like I'm making progress. I'm trying to be better about buying new things and what I bring into the house. For example, I'm resisting buying all sorts of new baby things unless Monica really needs it or it would make our life that much easier.

For example, we haven't bought special baby plates or bowls yet. We received baby spoons from a shower and fed her purees out of our mugs or put food directly on her highchair tray. I'm used our current ice cube trays to freeze food cubes instead of buying "special" baby food ones.

More recently, we traded in our Ikea "media center" for a "new" Midcentry Modern buffet by MegMade. It's totally baby proof, has concealed storage, and fits the style of our house much better than the yellow Ikea shelving. There are other updates to the back room and rest of the house, but I have to save a little material for future posts ;)

It's great to be back!
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Showers

Umbrella, Leather Tote, Hunter wellies, Gingham Shirt, Pants

I don't know about you, but this week seemed to drag on forever. Add some rain and cloudy skies and I've practically self-diagnosed myself with seasonal affective disorder. One thing that helps me get through the week is having something fun to look forward to on the weekend. Sometimes it's just going for a walk as a family. Other times it's trying a new-to-us restaurant or cooking a new recipe. Once the weather gets consistently warmer, I'm sure we'll go out for ice cream or Italian ice.

This weekend, we don't have anything planned yet. Do you a fun weekend idea to share?

see {long distance loving} for other Friday's Fancies

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby Broccoli and Cheese Egg Souffles

Heeeey! You know it's time to get back into blogging when the baby is back asleep at 2am and you can't fall back asleep because you're thinking about blogging.

What's new with all of you? It's been a busy few months at work for me, but I'm slowly starting to get my groove back. John's sister convinced me to run a half marathon with her this summer, so I've been hitting the trails and treadmill. I've also started to get back into the kitchen (thank goodness for a husband that cooks!). One of my recent forays included these mini egg soufflés.

My Mom had visited for the weekend and left a bag of broccoli florets with us. I figured they would be a good addition to Monica's lunches, but wasn't exactly sure how until I saw this recipe for broccoli, cheddar and wild rice casserole on Smitten Kitchen. That reminded me of the baby soufflé of spinach I saw on Wholesome Baby Food. After a little more research, I found a third recipe for broccoli and cheese mini egg omelets on Skinny Taste.

I realize that introducing eggs to babies can be a little controversial, so talk with your pediatrician before introducing any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby. Additionally, it's important to wait three or four days before introducing a new food. Monica was nine months old when I made these mini soufflés and she had already eaten scrambled eggs (and all of the other ingredients) without any reactions.

But these baby soufflés aren't just for babies! I enjoyed them more than Monica because she was teething and didn't want much to do with solids at the time. You could easily make these for brunch or on a Sunday night to eat for breakfast during the work week. The recipe is also extremely versatile, so feel free to use up whatever odds and ends are in your fridge. 

Baby Broccoli and Cheese Egg Soufflés
Yield: About 15 or 16

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 eggs
2 cups broccoli florets, steamed and crumbled into smaller pieces
Cooked rice, maybe a few tablespoons
Salt (omit if cooking just for baby)
Shredded cheese, such as Parmesan, Romano, or cheddar

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a mini muffin tin and set aside.

Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until softened.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Add in onion, garlic, crumbled broccoli, cooked rice, and shredded cheese. (I just eyeballed the amount of rice and cheese.) Season with salt (if using) and pepper. Mix well.

Spoon egg mixture into mini muffin tins until a little more than 3/4 full. Top with additional grated cheese.

Bake in the oven until cooked, about 15 minutes.
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 Super Bowl desserts

It's that time of year again! Time for entertaining commercials, tasty snacks, and a pretty big football game. Once again, I'm taking inspiration from the competing teams to bake a dessert for our Super Bowl party.

Going into the NFC/AFC championship games, I hoped that Denver and Seattle would make it to the Super Bowl. Denver (and all of Colorado) is all about craft beer and Seattle is home to Starbucks. That means a boozy and caffeinated dessert is on the menu!

I already have a few such cupcakes in my recipe box:

Dark Chocolate Smoked Porter Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting - The bottom half deemed the best cake I've ever baked by John.  

Dark Chocolate Smoked Porter Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream - Because I also enjoy an occassional Chai Latte from Starbucks.

Mile High Chocolate Stout Pie4
Mile High Chocolate Stout Pie from The Beeroness

The Beeroness also has a bevy of beer-infused dessert recipes. Her Mile High Chocolate Stout Pie sounds divine and somewhat fits with my Denver/Seattle theme. Denver is the Mile High City and the recipe uses Rogue Chocolate Stout, which is from Portland (not exactly Seattle, but still in the Pacific Northwest).

If you really want to stick with Colorado microbrews, I'd go with Great Divide Brewing Co.'s Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Breckenridge Brewery's Vanilla Porter or Oatmeal Stout, or Left Hand Brewing Company's Milk Stout.

What are you bringing to your Super Bowl party this year?
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Where My Brain is these Days

Hi friends! How are things shaking? I feel like it's been forever since we last chatted. My last blog post was about a month ago, which feels like an eternity.

During this break, life has been taking center stage between my cousin's wedding, Christmas, and spending all sorts of time with Monica. John also turned 30, which means I'm next! And let's not forget the polar vortex/Chiberia.

Plus, things are busier at work between being promoted and it being year end. And when I get home from work, it's dinner, a quick few hours with Monica before putting her to bed and then getting everything ready for the next day. By the time that's done, I'd rather crash on the couch with John and watch some reruns of Modern Family instead of blogging. Especially since boss lady is still waking up in the middle of the night. Please send coffee.

And honestly, I didn't feel like I had much to share. I deal with accounting and numbers all day at work, so I didn't want to think about personal finance related posts. And I didn't want to overshare on the baby posts. Though can I brag for a second that she's almost crawling on her knees?!! Fiscally Chic isn't going to become a mommy blog, but Monica obviously occupies a majority of my brainspace these days.

I have a few posts in the hopper, but I'm curious about what you want to read. Are you cool with baby posts? More DIY? Recipes? Back to personal finance? If nothing else, I'll be sure it's a quality post before I launch it into the Internets.
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