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Stitch Fix Maternity

I know this is weird and totally not dessert related. Let me explain.

Stitch Fix, in case you haven’t heard of it before, is basically a personal styling service. You pay a monthly fee of $20, and you get a box once a month with 5 items in it. You get to try them on at home, pair them with things you already own, and get your spouse’s input without having to drag them to the store. ;)

You pick which items you want to keep, and send the rest back. They even give you a pre-paid envelope that fits right in your mailbox. So easy. Then you check out online and pay for your items. The $20 styling fee gets deducted from whatever you decide to keep. If you send all items back, all you pay is the styling fee. If you keep all 5 items, there’s a 25% discount! They send clothes mostly, but also jackets, jewelry, and scarves.

You can leave a personal note such as “I have a Christmas party coming up, send all dresses” or ask for a specific item like a certain brand of pants you loved from your box the month before.

You can also create a Pinterest board with clothing that you love and they actually look at it and try to find things similar to things you’ve pinned. How cool is that?!

Anyway, I’ve been doing Stitch Fix for probably over a year now. I recently left a note asking for no pants or bottoms, and flowy-er tops because I’m in early pregnancy. I also let them know that the next box would probably be my last until after baby.

To my surprise, Stitch Fix now does maternity! There’s always a little note from your stylist, and she let me know, so I went online and updated my Stitch Fix profile. They even ask for your due date so they can keep track of how far along you are.

Immediately I started scouring the interwebs for “Stitch Fix maternity.” Every result I got said something like “even though Stitch Fix doesn’t exactly do maternity…” and went on about how you can make certain things work or tailor your box to your current needs. So now Stitch Fix does do maternity… This must be BRAND NEW! So since I couldn’t find anything, I decided to be the place other searchers will find. Stitch Fix DOES DO MATERNITY NOW!

So I thought I would share what I received in my first Stitch Fix Maternity box! Here we go….

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This cardigan was huge on me. I liked the colors a lot and the style, so I was a little disappointed. It has pockets in the front too. This particular cardigan might not technically be maternity (I don’t know if it is or not), but it doesn’t matter. Cardigans are perfect for maternity because you can wear any maternity shirt with it. I was pregnant last time in the summer so all of my shirts are short-sleeved or sleeveless. I sent this back. It was just too big.

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I really liked the colors and pattern of this shirt. I also love that it comes down to a V in the front. I wasn’t a big fan of the band at the bottom. My belly got pretty big last time so I don’t think this would fit for long. I sent this back.

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I LOVE this sweater. It’s light but still warm, and will fit for a while. The color looks brown here, but it’s really more of a dark purple. I prefer brighter colors, but it’s not bad. I kept it.

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These pants. As you can tell, they’re pretty tight. Really comfy, but a little too “skinny” as far as skinny jeans go. The top is amazing though. The stretch bands are to the side, so I think they would stay up better than most maternity pants do. I sent these back.

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This dress I don’t think is technically maternity. The front-view on the left is the dress pulled down where it’s supposed to sit. The band it right across the top of my belly. Not comfortable and probably wouldn’t fit for long. In the front-view on the right I kind of hiked the dress up a little bit. It fit a lot better and was more comfortable. As dresses with pregnant bellies go, if they’re not maternity they just shorten in the front as you grow. And that’s exactly how this one would go. If I wasn’t pregnant I probably would have kept the dress. Cute for a night out or for a holiday party.

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If you don’t do Stitch Fix, you should try it! Whether pregnant or not. ;) Clicking on any of the links above will take you to the site via my referral link.

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Big News!

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Baby #2 is on the way!

I’ve been feeling great most of the time. So little symptoms I almost forget I’m pregnant! (While you’d think that’s good it also causes anxiety at times!)

No cravings to really speak of yet, and no particular aversions either. Certain things just don’t sound good at certain times. But that’s normal for most people anyways. ūüėú

I am definitely getting bigger faster this time. It started getting pretty hard to hide at work, so I ended up just having to come out and tell everyone. Most of them said they already suspected.

My little guy is 15 months, and will be 21 months when I deliver in June. I love that they’ll be so close in age, but it will definitely be challenging too.

I look forward to the year to come and plan on sharing a little bit more about myself, my journey, and my experiences. If that’s okay!

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Christmas Cookies

A little late but better late than never right?

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4th Bloggy Birthday

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Today is my 4th bloggy birthday. I can’t even believe it’s been that long!

Unfortunately I have been too busy making other things to make a blog birthday treat, so nothing to share today. But lots of new stuff coming soon!

As always, thanks for following, thanks for reading, thanks for everything!

Facebook –¬†facebook.com/cookiecarrie

Instagram –¬†cookiecarrie

Twitter –¬†cookiecarrie

Pinterest –¬†icookiecarrie

 

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I am Cookie Carrie

After some thought, I have decided to change my blog name from “Carrie’s Creations” to just Cookie Carrie.

I realized it was a tad bit confusing having 2 different names that people know me under, so hopefully this will simplify things.

As always, you can find me on :

Facebook – facebook.com/cookiecarrie

Instagram – cookiecarrie

Twitter – cookiecarrie

Pinterest – icookiecarrie

Thank you all for hanging around through me absence! I promise a new treat is coming your way this week. :)

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Baby Franklin is Here!

Apologies for my short absence, but my little one has arrived!

Introducing:

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Carter Ray Davis Franklin

He was born on Saturday September 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm.

He weighed 9 lbs and was 20 inches long.

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The labor went very well. Start to finish it was about 13 hours, only 6 of which were really rough. We ended up having an all natural water birth, just as I was hoping. :)

So far he’s a very laid back little guy. Doesn’t cry much and likes to sleep in good 3-4 hour chunks. And MAN can he eat!

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I’m home from work for a while, but haven’t felt up to making anything yet. The urge is coming soon though, I can tell!

Thanks for being patient with me friends. :)

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2 Years!

Today is my 2 year Blog Birthday!

Unfortunately I have been too busy to make anything special, even for myself. This photo I found on google will have to do. :)

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Thank you everyone who stays with me and reads about my creations. I appreciate you all!

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Sharing My Sketches

As promised, I would like to show my sketches, mock-ups, and how I tend to plan when I’m working on a set of cookies. (Most of the images will open bigger if you click on them.)

Sometimes when I know the shapes and designs I am doing but I just need to work out the number of each and the colors, my mock-up/planning looks like this: (correlating cookies are here, here, and here)

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In the 2 mock-ups below, I listed out the shapes on the left and the colors of buttercream and icing necessary for each design on the right. I try to limit the colors of buttercream as much as possible. (correlating cookies are here, here, and here.)

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If all the cookies are the same, I might just trace the cookie cutter a few times and sketch out designs until I’m happy with it. I did that for these bird cookies:

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For this sea creatures set, I traced each of the animals once and did a lot of erasing until I was happy with each animal. I wanted the whole set to have the same “feel” of simple and cartoon-ish, and I knew I wanted them all to have the same eyes. One couldn’t be too much more detailed than the rest so it helped me to have them all together on one page like this.

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Other times I trace the cutter over and over and do something different in each one. Then I decide which I like best if they’re all going to be the same… (correlating cookies here)

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…or if I want a variety in my set, it helps me brainstorm ideas and make sure none of them are too similar. (correlating cookies here)

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Once I have my design I am happy with, I trace the lines in marker to make them stand out. This way I can see it without the actual cookie shape, just in case there is extra cookie that can distract me, like in this one:

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As you can see in a few of the pictures above, I sometimes label the parts with the colors or ideas so I remember later. In the picture below, I labeled it so that the person I made them for could see the design and help me decide which color from their theme should go on which part. (correlating cookies here)

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Each set of cookies calls for a different planning process, and most of the time I just make it up as I go. But this is what has been working for me!

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Snickers Cupcakes with Chocolate Rose Frosting

These cupcakes are life changing.

Life changing. Seriously.

I’m going to just get right into it.

Snickers Cupcakes with Chocolate Rose Frosting

cupcake ingredients:

1 box white cake + water, oil, and eggs called for

1/4 cup brown sugar

3-4 snickers bars

frosting ingredients:

1 stick of butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup cocoa powder

3 tbsp + 1tsp milk

2 tsp vanilla

1 lb (16 oz) powdered sugar

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Directions:

1. Cut snickers into small pieces, spread out on a glass plate, and put into the freezer for 30 minutes. This will keep them from melting when you bake the cupcakes.

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2. Mix together the water, oil, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Slowly add the cake mix until fully combined, then add the eggs.

*For the record, I forgot the last part. Yup, I forgot eggs. They still came out great, but they kind of crumble apart as you try to eat it. Tells me that if you are vegan, you can make these without eggs and they’re still amazing!!**

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3. Use a cookie scoop or a 1/4 cup to scoop batter into your cupcake liners.

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4. Remove the snickers pieces from the freezer and shove a few into each cupcake.

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5. Bake at 350* for 18-20 minutes.

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Mine came out puffy but sank in a bit after cooling. I don’t know if this is because I forgot the eggs or if they will do that anyway, but I thought I would mention it just in case it happens to anyone else.

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6. To make the frosting, mix together the butter and cocoa powder, adding the milk slowly to make a fudgy paste. Add the vanilla, then slowly mix in the powdered sugar.

This frosting is not too chocolaty, because the cupcake is really sweet and rich already.

I took a couple photos to show how I made the frosting roses. You basically start in the center and go around in a circle while squeezing out frosting. When you get to the outside, stop squeezing and pull to stretch the end of the rose.

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The insides are gooey and rich, and absolutely perfect!

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Tools I Couldn’t Live Without

There are a number of tools that I use when I bake and create that I couldn’t live without.

I thought I would just share a few of them today for a couple reasons. Sometimes you don’t realize you’re doing something the hard way until you see someone else doing it their way. Or you don’t even know that certain tools exist until you hear about it from someone else. I’m sure there are easier ways of doing some of the things I do.. if you have any ideas for me please feel free to share!

A lot of my items are Pampered Chef. I am spoiled when it comes to kitchen gadgets and I just LOVE my Pampered Chef items. Speaking of, I am having a party next week so if you are interested in ordering anything let me know and I can direct you to my wonderful consultant’s site!

These are in no particular order…

Mini Spatula (Pampered Chef).¬† I have 2 of these. They’re the perfect size to lift my rolled cutout cookies to place on my cookie sheet to bake. The second one I use to move the cookies from the sheet to the drying rack without cross contaminating my cooked vs. uncooked.

Toothpicks and Boo Boo Sticks. Toothpicks are a bakers #1 tool. You test your cake with them, use them to add gel food coloring to cakes and frostings, to poke, push, swirl, pop, and scrape your cookie icing… the uses are endless. I recently purchased a few boo boo sticks from Karen’s Cookies. The sharp end I use in every way I use my toothpicks, except it never gets dull or splinters into my icing. The other end is a perfect icing scraper for when you make mistakes or need to start over.

   

Squeeze Bottles (some Pampered Chef). A few years ago I went to a Pampered Chef party and saw these little accordian squeeze bottles.¬†The consultant said they are great but a pain to clean… but she had put buttercream in hers. Somehow it hit me to use them for my cookie icing. See before that, I used to have my icing in a small bowl and spread the icing on with a cheese spreader or small knife. Turning to these bottles made the whole process faster and more fun! Back then I also didn’t flood my cookies. I would just squeeze the icing on, then spread it around with a little knife. After I learned about flooding, I realized that everyone uses squeeze bottles. And I thought I was a genuis for thinking of it. Oh well… Michael’s also sells squeeze bottles. I¬†like their big bottles, but their small bottle have these teeeeny necks and it’s impossible to fill them without making a mess.

 

In case you don’t know what flooding is, it’s when you outline a cookie first with a thicker icing (I actually use buttercream for this part) then you “flood” or fill-in the cookie with the thinner icing. Gravity is your friend here, and the icing dries smooth and perfect. Everyone will ask HOW did you get it so smooth?!

Marble Rolling Pin. I LOVE my rolling pin. Most cookie bakers use wood or plastic pins because the weight of the pin can make it hard to get an even width of dough. Lots of bakers also use tools to ensure the dough is even. Some use bands (think rubber bands) that you slip on the pin, other use wood slats on the sides (like those paint stirrers you get at Home Depot), and others use special boards to roll on. I think I just know my width from so much practice, but I never feel the need for any of these things. Maybe someone wants to try to change my mind? What do YOU use?

Cling Wrap and Parchment Paper. I use cling wrap when I roll my cookies. I lay it over my dough and then roll roll roll. It keeps the dough from sticking to my pin and helps make it smooth. Parchment paper goes down on the cookie sheets and then the cookies are baked on it. Without it, the cookies stick (just a little bit) to the pan. I have never broken a single cookie since I started using parchment paper. And it makes clean-up easier!

   

Flour Shaker (Pampered Chef). When I first saw this little shaker, I thought it was silly. Then one day I realized that the way I was flouring my surface was silly! (Hand in flour bag not so pretty.) It shakes lightly or heavy, depending on how hard I shake it and what I need. And my hands stay clean(er).

My Sheila. My KitchenAid is the best investment I could have ever made. I would forsake all other items on this list for my beloved mixer. If you love to bake, save up and do everything you have to do to get yourself one. It will change your life!

There are of course many other tools that I use, but these are the most important items and those items that probably set me apart. If you use something unique, I’d love to hear about it!

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