Friday, September 27, 2013

treat time

These vegan peanut butter rice crispies are my go-to treat. They are quick and easy, and only use a few ingredients. The trickiest thing for me is to make these treats last through the whole weekend ;) The recipe comes from Alica Silverstone's book The Kind Diet, but ever since I discovered vegan marshmallows, I've added them into the mix.

Vegan Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
1 box of crisp rice cereal
1 3/4 c brown rice syrup
3/4 c natural unsalted peanut butter
1/2 c non-dairy chocolate chips
a pinch of sea salt
Pour the rice cereal in the a large bowl. Seriously, use the largest bowl you own. You'll need plenty of room when mixing time comes. Next, heat the brown rice syrup with a pinch of sea salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it liquifies, add the peanut butter and stir until combined. It will smell so good, so try and resist just eating the mixture then and there. Remove from heat and slowly pour the mixture over the cereal. Gently mix and once it is combined well, let it cool to room temperature before you add the chocolate chips.
While the crispies are cooling, measure your chocolate chips out. I ended up using less than the recipe calls for just because I eye-balled it. That's another great thing about this recipe, you can tweak things a bit without ruining the final product. I cut up the marshmallows into smaller pieces and planned to frame the crispies with them. Other times, I have mixed the marshmallow pieces into the mixture. It just depends on my mood.
Once the cereal is room temperature, mix in the chocolate chips (and marshmallows if you want.) Then, pour the mixture into a rectangular pyrex dish or the like. You can wet the wooden spoon to help with pressing the mixture into your dish. Finally, I added the marshmallow pieces on top. Once it's all set up, I like to slice them into squares and transfer to a container with a lid. They'll keep for about a week, but they never last that long in my house!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

home life

A quick look at life at home lately via my iPhone. Tiny peaches on my baby peach tree; sunflowers and roses are still blooming; Mona cannot get enough of weekend walks; stir-fry with sea vegetables for dinner and fig for dessert; love our mantle and excited to dress it up for fall.
This week has been getting back into my routine after returning home from a little trip to visit my best friend in North Carolina. I will share some photos of my trip soon and I'll be back tomorrow with a fun and easy treat recipe. I hope your enjoying this time transitioning into fall! I'm more than happy to unpack my fleece leggings, tights and cozy sweaters.

Friday, September 20, 2013

treat time

The weather here in Seattle has definitely shifted towards fall. And I'm so thankful! Can't wait to layer up, make soup and enjoy warm cookies on the weekends. These vegan snickerdoodles are inspired by this Vegan Yum Yum recipe, which I tweaked slightly. Whenever cookies call for sugar, I like to do half brown sugar and half white sugar. I prefer the consistency of the brown sugar, and the smell of brown sugar reminds me of childhood.

Vegan Snickerdoodles
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C Earth Balance butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs ground flax seed + 3 tbs water
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp sugar for rolling the cookies in
First, cream the butter, sugars and vanilla together. Next, add the flax + water mixture until combined. In another bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until it's all combined, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. After the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge, form the dough into balls and roll them in the cinnamon + sugar mixture and place on cookie sheet. Use a fork to create the fun design and press the balls into circles. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending what texture you want; less time for chewy, more time for crispy. Carefully move the cookies from the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let them rest for a few minutes before enjoying one. Or 10, like I usually do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

seeing clearly

I've worn glasses since the third grade. That's two decades of glasses wearing. And while I often wear contacts, I still need frames with prescription lenses for times when my eyes need a break. Honestly, I can't walk more than a few steps sans-glasses without running into something. But I'll say I'm blessed with extremely bad vision, since it gives me a reason to invest in some great frames.
Warby Parker has loads of styles for men and women, and they have a great home try-on program! I picked 5 frames from their website, and a few days later, I received a lovely package. My choices were Mallory, Zagg, Webb, Wilkie, and Baxter. I decided to style each frame to help me decide which style best suited me. I ended up choosing the Mallory frames in blue marblewood, which may or may not have been influenced by my styling it with my favorite hat and sweater. I packed the demo frames up, mailed them back, and placed my order. Bonus: when you buy a pair, they give a pair to someone in need. Pretty great, right?
Mallory : sweater - Modcloth / similar hat - Anthropologie
Zagg : similar tops - Anthropologie / similar hat - Anthropologie
Webb : very old wrap sweater - Nordstrom
Wilkie : tee - vintage / similar hat - j.crew
Baxter : blouse - Modcloth / similar hat - Anthropologie

Monday, September 16, 2013

park stroll

One evening this Summer, we stopped by Volunteer Park and snapped these photos. We were out celebrating one year as homeowners with dinner at one one of our favorite places and decided to walk through the park. I used to live nearby and it had been too long since I'd wandered amongst those giant trees! After one year in our house, we've done a lot, there's lots left to do, and I know the project list will continue to grow. When we get overwhelmed by it all, even the daily chores, we make a list of what we can tackle today, this week, this month, etc. My lists can be pretty ambitious, but it is a great feeling to check tasks off and reward ourselves with a night out or simply have a relaxing evening of doing nothing at home.

Lace top - similar styles at Modcloth
Jeans - Paige Denim similar
Shoes - similar styles at Modcloth

Friday, September 13, 2013

summer lace

Looking back at this Summer, I've enjoyed it more than most. I bet it's the trips to the farmers market, evening walks, and meals on our deck that have me savoring the season. Also, the perfect summer hat doesn't hurt either. I'm always on the hunt for a great hat, and when I saw this one on sale at Anthropologie, I had to have it. It goes with nearly everything I own and I'm in love with the texture.
I wore this outfit on a trip to the Fremont Sunday Market with a friend. In typical Pacific Northwest fashion, the day began cloudy and mild, and turned hot by noon. So off came the cardigan, and I was so thankful to have ventured out of my comfort zone into this lace back tie front top from Modcloth. It kept me cool while I perused the market. Now, looking at the forecast, I'm definitely packing this top for my trip to North Carolina next week!
Hat - Anthropologie similar
Tops - Modcloth but no longer available
Cardigan - J.Crew similar
Skirt - Nordstrom similar 
Moccasins - Vintage

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Welcome to Jess the Mess! I want to create a space to document life, style, home projects, food and travel. In planning this blog, I've been excited to write, take photos and share some stories. The basics? I'm a native Washingtonian living with my husband and our two rescue dogs Lenny and Mona. Lenny is the brown and white guy and Mona is the black girl, but more on them later. I love music, wearing hats, baking treats and being home. Our wedding was last fall, 2 months after we bought our first house. You can click on the Ruffled badge on the right sidebar to see our wedding if you'd like! Our 2012 was busy, to say the least, but it was wonderful. Balancing our lives is definitely an adventure, and I hope you'll follow along as I share recipes, style posts, diy projects and whatever else comes up. Thanks for stopping by and please say hello in the comments! Have a blog? I'd love to check it out, so leave me a link!