Friday, February 28, 2014

Tidbits: 2.28.14


I love Anthropologie Hacks and specifically this one.

I have so many conflicting thoughts about this Barbie Op Ed. What do you think? 

Ice cream birthday squares with sprinkles. So fun!

After watching Carla Harris speak at the Take the Lead launch, this book is on my list.

This iPhone case is calling my name.

For the literary nerd in your life.

I am also smitten with this house.

Gluten free beignets? Yes, please!

I'm loving the concept of more adult-like couples baby showers. I'll get my fix in a few weeks celebrating my cousin Sara!

I dream of having a foyer someday to decorate.


I'm heading to my very first blogger event today - Happy Hour with the MN Bloggers group!

Have a fabulous weekend!

xoxo,
Alex

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Philanthropist Diaries // Success

//In early 2013, I started a blog called The Philanthropist Diaries. In trying to simplify my life, I'm consolidating blogs and will now feature posts of The Philanthropist Diaries on Life Law Luck. This post was previously published on 3.12.13. //
Two weeks ago, I was in Reno presenting at the Alpha Kappa Psi Principled Business Leadership Institute.  I co-facilitated three programs with a good friend and had a blast during the weekend.  We saw Dan Harbeke speak based on his book, Get In! How to Market Yourself and Become Successful at a Young Age.  Dan gave a definition of success that has resonated with me in the weeks since:
ambition + focus + integrity = success
Ambition is the desire to get up and get started; focus is knowing what you want to do; and integrity is doing it well.  Success.
What's your definition of success?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nerd Alert: Vlog #1

I made a little video this weekend. My mom and I were out walking on the lake and it was so beautiful I had to share. I sometimes forget that walking on lakes in the winter is a unique experience for us Minnesotans. So for my friends in warmer temps - here you go!

video

xoxo,
Al

Friday, February 14, 2014

Tidbits: 2.14.14



Happy Love Day!


These Chocolate Chips = Decadent.

On a brave day I might attempt these concrete candlestick holders.

Elopements are kinda romantic, don't you think? Pop-up elopements are genius.


I can't wait to make this Chicken & Sausage Paella.

Minneapolis tops another list


How do you find inspiration?


I want this so I can attempt to make macarons. 

I am OBSESSED with the Olympics.

And in case you missed it: I discovered a real winner in Sea Salt Cocoa Brownies, the science behind happy couples, and don't forget to show your love for your favorite organization today!

Happy Love Day!

xoxo,
Alex

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Couples

The other day, I stumbled across this Lifehacker article about the science behind happy relationships. As we head into Love Day 2014 as a married couple, I thought this was worth sharing.


Agree? Disagree? Tips for staying happy as a couple? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,
Alex


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sea Salt Cocoa Brownies


I knew when it came to Love Day, I had to make brownies. Fudgy, dense, chocolatey brownies. I've tackled gluten free blondies, but when it came to normal brownies, the GF mixes out there are pretty spot on.

Since the new year, I've tried to cut back on sweets. A ridiculous attempt but I'm trying to be good. Then, a few weeks ago, I started craving brownies. So I made a couple mug brownies, but they are more cake-like than fudge-like.

At our weekly dinner with my parental unit, I knew the time had come. Plus with Love Day on Friday, it was the perfect opportunity to get a little festive up in here. These are delicious so do yourself a favor and make these as soon as possible.


Sea Salt Cocoa Brownies
10 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
1 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 and place an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Because I still don't have a 8x8 square pan, I used a pie pan. Line it with parchment paper. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add in the sugar, cocoa, and sea salt and mix well. Do this quickly while the butter is still warm. Stir in the vanilla, and then mix in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the flour, stirring quickly to incorporate the flour. Keep stirring - the batter will smooth out. Add the white chocolate chips if you wish, giving the brownie batter one last stir. The batter will be thick. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth. Sprinkle the top with sea salt before putting the brownies into the oven.

Bake for about 40 minutes. [I started at 20 minutes like the original recipe, but for whatever reason, I needed double the time to set the middle.] When a toothpick comes out clean, the brownies are done! Let cool on wire cooling rack.

You can stop here or add some festive decorations. Simply sprinkle the top of the brownies with powdered sugar. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, shake red sugar sprinkles to create hearts. Serve with milk or event better, ice cream!


These completely hit the spot. The dark chocolate mixed with hints of sea salt. I die. And how cute would these be in a single serving with a sprinkle heart on top?! 


A messy kitchen but a happy girl, baking the world a better place, one brownie at a time.

xoxo,
Alex



Monday, February 10, 2014

The Philanthropist Diaries // Show Your Love For Philanthropy

//In early 2013, I started a blog called The Philanthropist Diaries. In trying to simplify my life, I'm consolidating blogs and will now feature posts of The Philanthropist Diaries on Life Law Luck. This post was previously published on 2.14.13. //

I was speaking with my good friend Lauren about our shared love of of philanthropy when she mentioned that she recently looked up the etymology of the word philanthropy. I had never actually done this before so I quickly searched for it so I could be in the know.
Philanthropy
from Late Latin philanthropia, from Greek philanthropia "kindliness, humanity, benevolence, love to mankind" (from gods, men, or things), from philanthropos (adj.) "loving mankind, useful to man," from phil- "loving"  + anthropos "mankind"
The heart of philanthropy is love. That makes total sense to me. At the core of my passion for nonprofits and philanthropies is love.  Love for the world. Love for others. Love for those who inspire and give of themselves. Love for big ideas and big dreams. Love for the faith and hope in humanity that this work gives me.
I'm in this game because of passion and big dreams to make this world a better place.
This Valentine's Day, a day devoted to hearts and romance and passion, show your love by donating $14 today to your favorite charity.  A little love often goes a long way.  Encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same in the name of love!
What do you love about philanthropy?

Monday Motivation: 2.10.14


Hope you had a fabulous weekend! I can't stop watching the Olympics. I am obsessed. Have you been watching?!

xoxo,
Alex

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