January 1, 2011

Change is Coming

Happy 2011!

As I prepared to ring in the New Year this week, I also spent a lot of time resting in bed due to a crazy case of sickness. According to WebMD, I either had strep throat or hypothyroidism. I'm going with strep. 

In my cold medicine-induced state, I thought about my blog and what changes I wanted to bring to it this year.

For those who don't know, I started Low Cost Luxury as a final project for one of my journalism classes last semester. I knew I wanted to continue maintaining the blog after the class had ended but I wasn't sure if bargain hunting and talking about sales was the way to go. I decided that with the new year, I would start a new blog that really highlighted what I'm passionate about.

Out of that came the idea for a new bloggity. One thing that I haven't really touched on here is my strong interest in healthy living. I also love fashion and taking pictures/talking about new healthy food discoveries. I've been reading healthy lifestyle blogs for a while and now I feel it's time to start my own!  

Introducing: Fashionably Plate. This blog is about food, fashion and just having an appetite for life. ( It's also a play on words. Like "fashionably late" only "plate" because it's also about food. get it?) I am sure I will still gush about the great deals I stumble upon on a daily basis because it's just part of my life. 

 Those who have read Low Cost Luxury, thank you! I look forward to many more adventures here. 

Grab a plate and get ready to feast on food, fashion, and life! 

salad + cookie. Typical

December 29, 2010

Get Clean with Bath and Body Works

I'm a sucker for beauty products, especially those that smell amazing and can be found at the local mall. For this reason, I love me some Bath and Body Works. Despite my love for the place, I usually only shop there twice a year, during their semi-annual sales.

The Bath and Body Works Semi-Annual Sale is no joke. The products sell for 50%-75% off and they often offer discontinued scents for way less than you would normally see (if you ever come across anything in Pear Blossom, buy as much as you can, you won't be disappointed). In addition to the great prices, the sales occur during the winter  and summer, when I am conveniently home for break from school.  A couple days ago, I accompanied my mom to the store to stock up on the soaps.

After scouring the store, I ended up taking advantage of the 75% off table. I bought all of this for only $14. 
3 hand soaps, 2 huge hand sanitizers, 2 body sprays, a mini shower gel
Usually, one of those body sprays costs $12.50, showing just how AMAZING this sale is!

Among the goodies was this little gem
caramel apple hand soap. Yes. Please.
I have realized that each store carries different products for this sale, so be sure to visit as many stores as possible! 

The sale will run through January, but don't waste time. Go right now and get clean!

December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas! Recap in Picture Form.

The past few days have been filled with holiday luxuries. During this time of year, the things that do not have a material value are most important. Some of my Christmas experiences were expensive, some were low cost, some were free but all were luxurious.

Christmas Eve was spent attending church services, feasting, celebrating my Uncle's Bday, and taking an impromptu walk around town before settling down for a long winter's nap.

Christmas morning, my family and I opened gifts, traveled to my grandparents house and enjoyed a variety of holiday activities. Below is a recap in pictures.

Charlie Brown let us borrow his tree

Christmas Eve cooking

Christmas Eve walk around town

Cousins, wearing matching jackets and showing fear

Christmas morning aftermath.
(the luggage set is mine. I'm going places people)

Christmas cooks.

Christmas table at Gma's

Family gingerbread house competition

I took home 2nd place

I think I got dark chocolate from everyone this year.
(I'm totally ok with this)

Merry Christmas from Low Cost Luxury!

December 23, 2010

Low Cost Luxury Recipe: Mint Chocolate Cookie Cups

Due to the fact that today is Christmas Eve-Eve and the fact that I have been baking up a storm lately, I continued my bakefest this afternoon. Today's recipe was low cost, unique, and created especially for you by me. Consider it an early Christmas gift.

I was inspired by the cookie cups I noticed on this yummy site and my love for both chocolate and mint. Combine these together and you get Mint Chocolate Cookie Cups.

All you need is cookie mix and some mint chocolate chips

 Usually, I am against packaged, processed foods, but the cookie mix was buy one get one free at The Pubs this week, making it low cost and easy. The chips were about $2.50, which may seem like a lot but they combined dark chocolate and mint into little chips, making the price tolerable. 

Preheat the oven to 350 while singing Christmas carols. If you live in a house like mine, check the oven before you turn it on. There might be cookies stashed away in there. 
Seriously, there are cookies everywhere in this house. 

Simply make the cookie mix according to the package directions. I added a little flour to make the dough thicker, but you could leave it out. Also, place the dough in the fridge for awhile so it can stiffen up. (I put mine in the freezer due to extreme impatience).

Next, place tablespoonish sized balls into a mini muffin tin. Bake them.

While the cooks are baking, feel free to eat your weight in chips. 

After the cooks get their bake on, remove them and immediately make a "pocket"in the top of the cups. Use a teaspoon to do this. Once you make the pockets, add a few chips.

Remove the cookie cups with the assistance of a small kitchen knife. Allow to cool on a rack.

After this, I whipped up a batch of Peanut Butter Blossoms. Classic. 

Christmas Cooks for less. Love it. Just in case you need some more low cost and scrumptious cookie recipes here are a few more. 

December 21, 2010

Disney: Low Cost Luxury Style

Disney at Christmas time. I would imagine it's the next best thing to New York at Christmas time.
The only downside is that fact that the land run by a cartoon mouse is usually home to everything overpriced. The upside, Disney is also home to everything luxurious. Another upside, there are ways to enjoy the luxury of Disney for low cost. Friday night, I joined my family to do just that. We walked around the hotels and Downtown Disney receiving our fair share of Disney magic without entering one of the parks.

Carousel made of chocolate. Located at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Interesting Soaps at Basin. Located at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
sounds like bathing in death

Huge Gingerbread House. Located at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
The resort sells gingerbread pieces out from inside. (They are disgusting)

The house is made out of edible materials.

Over-priced treats on the Boardwalk.
High Cost Luxury

After walking all over the place, we took advantage of the free transportation.
Disney boat
Last stop of the night. Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. They give out free samples!
Peppermint Bark (Love)

They also sell kind-of-expensive-but-necessary drinks.
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate (soy, not too hot)

Disney, Low Cost Luxury style.

December 19, 2010

Outlets + Outback

Friday afternoon, I traveled with my family and Biff to Orlando for a Christmasy adventure. Every year, the fam makes the annual trip to Disney to look at the amazing decorations in all of the Disney Resorts.

First stop on the adventure was one of my favorite destinations- The Prime Outlets! I've been to all of the outlet malls in Orlando and this one is by far my favorite.

This is mainly because they have a giant Fashion Heaven! And because this one is in the outlet mall, the clearance section is supersized! Love. That.
dreams. come. true.
Biff is not a huge fan of Fashion Heaven, it overwhelms her to the max. Despite this, she persevered because she knows how much it means to me. She's a keeper folks. 

Biff also wrote about this experience on her bloggity. Check it. 

After shopping, we had to take a picture by the most ironic thing we could find. 
A reindeer I suppose
A moose holding cheeseburgers. Biff is allergic to bread and I am allergic to cheese. (irony)

I only spent about $15 at Fashion Heaven. The favorite purchases are these bracelets. Only $1.50 each!
After shoppingfest we trotted over to Outback for dinner and to celebrate my brother's b-dizzle. I ordered a kid's meal. 

*Tip: order off the kid's menu at Outback. The portions are perfect and the meal is cheaper! 
Grilled Chicken off the Barbie + Sweet Potato
It says on the menu that kid's meals are for children 10 and under. You can talk your way out of that. My grandma has been known to frequently order the Joey Sirloin. 

The rest of the night was spent bopping around Disney. More on that in the next post!

December 17, 2010

Tis the Season for Free Music

Due to a 24 hr flu that lasted about 72 hours, I have been spending the past few days doing nothing. When I wasn't eating saltines or sleeping, I was laying in my bed surfing the Internet. As I was surfing, I wanted to cheer myself up, so what did I think of? CHRISTMAS! Always works.

When I think of Christmas, I think of the wonderful music that comes with it. As I as surfing around, I thought of some great FREE ways to listen to Christmas music.

~Itunes- features a Holiday single of the week! You can find this in the middle of the page, by the typical free single of the week. Also, scroll down to the bottom to find previous weeks' singles.

~Pandora~ the customizable online radio station features tons of Christmas music. My favorite is the Michael Buble Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow station.

~Radio Stations~ A lot of radio stations offer all Christmas music all the time throughout the holiday season. If you live in the central Florida area, tune into Magic 107.7

There you go. Free Christmas music. Low Cost Luxury at it's finest.

I'm off to gather the biff and the fam for a night at Disney, more to come on that soon!