EcoTools Flawless Face brush set GIVEAWAY (international)

It’s been forever since I last did a giveaway, so I thought I would pick up a prize as a sort of belated “happy Valentines day” for you lovely readers. This gorgeous five-piece mini brush set from EcoTools caught my eye and I thought it would be just perfect!

This giveaway is open internationally through the end of the month; the last day to enter is February 28th and I’ll be moderating the entries and contacting the winner by March 3rd. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. Boom! That’s it.

Please click on the “terms and conditions” tab at the bottom of the widget if you would like to see the full giveaway rules. Thanks for reading, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vegan red velvet white chip cookies (February Recipe Writers)

www.SewMuch2Say.com

I admit I’m a day late with this delicious Valentine’s recipe, but when I got home from work yesterday and got out my mixing bowl I realized I didn’t have an essential ingredient: cream cheese (vegan, natch). And there was no way I was going back out to the store for one item.  So apologies for the delay, and I hope the deliciousness makes up for it!
I first got to thinking about red velvet when it started popping up all over my Pinterest board for Valentine’s Day. Chiefly in mind was this recipe from the blog New Mama Diaries–it looked so simple to prepare (always a good thing). But of course, I had to veganize it before I could try it…so here are my results. I bet if you serve these to family and friends, they’ll never guess that they lack eggs and real cream cheese!
What you’ll need:
One package of red velvet cake mix
1/2 cup coconut oil
One 8-oz. package cream cheese
Two cups (or one package) white chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Use a hand mixer to cream together the coconut oil and cream cheese. Add in the red velvet cake mix and beat until ingredients are thoroughly blended; stir in the chocolate chips. Drop onto cookie sheets in rounded spoonfuls; bake at 375 for ten to twelve minutes. Allow to cool before serving (the cookies will be too gooey to pick up when they’re fresh out of the oven!).
A note on ingredients: Many vegans find the Duncan Hines cake mixes to be acceptable, but if you’re looking for a brand that says “vegan” on the box, check the baking aisle of your local health food store (mine has tons of such items that I have not found through online sellers). Alternatively, you could whip up a from-scratch recipe–it will take a little longer than using a box mix, but it will still taste good. Just remember that a wet cake batter won’t need added coconut oil, and you’ll need to adjust the wet-to-dry ratio so the batter won’t be super-runny.
Vegan cream cheese is pretty easy to find at health food stores and even some regular grocery stores. Vegan white chocolate chips can be harder to find, but if you don’t have any on hand, regular chips will work fine too–the taste will be slightly different, but the cookies will still be delicious!

Random Thursday: What I Love/Hate About Valentines Day

I’m totally in the “I love Valentines Day” camp. I don’t think it has to be only about romantic love–it’s a great day to celebrate love in all forms, between family, for friends, for your furry friends, for life. Love is an excellent thing to celebrate!

I love the excuse to eat rich food, especially chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t? I always see lots of rich desserts that I want to try for the holiday.

I love seeing flowers everywhere. I love flowers.

I love the excuse to get fancied up and go out. I spend way too much time sitting around at home in my sweats with no makeup on. Putting on some lipstick and high heels and going out to a nice restaurant is A-OK by me!

Secretly, I love that it marks the halfway point of February. This is just one of those months I dislike, though it’s not Feburary’s fault; it’s just so gloomy and grey and cold, and I feel stuck between proper winter and the promise of spring. So hitting the halfway point is a big deal!

The major thing I don’t like about this holiday is the same thing I dislike about all major holidays: the focus on consumerism. The pressure to buy gifts, to go on expensive dates, etc.–everyone feels pressured to spend enough and give enough, everyone ends up broke and unhappy. It’s dumb. Shouldn’t spending time with loved ones be enough?

Another thing I dislike: how mean people can be toward the singles on V-Day. It seems that no matter how accomplished you are in life, if you’re single on Valentines, you’re a loser. That’s so wrong. Why should you be defined by your relationship status?!

What do you love or hate about Valentines Day?

Hey, It’s Okay (on Wednesday again…)

Whee! Amber has a blog button now! This week I think it’s okay…

…to want dinner but not want to cook it. I just want to snap my fingers and have it appear.

…to consider hot beverages to be their own food group.

…to feel that bathing two cats counts as my daily workout.

…to enjoy the warmer temps but not the melting snow. Boo hiss.

What are you okay with this week?