This past weekend the "perfect beach body" ideal got the middle finger when this girl and her size 18 curves strutted her stuff in front of the Saturday afternoon crowds on Mission Beach.

Let me be honest with you... it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

I have struggled with body image before I even knew there was a name for it, so to blatantly look society's expectations (and my past self-judgments) in the eye and tell them to fuck off took a lot of guts that I really didn't know I had. The funny thing is though, I've never felt sexier in my life.

This exercise of self-confidence solidified my conviction in myself and my beauty.
I don't know how to put it into words, but I left that beach knowing that this was just the beginning of a life filled with body love. And I knew it was here to stay.

You might consider doing the same thing and linking it back to Rachele.
Totally worth it.



Oh Kristin, the internet has brought us together and I am a happier person because of it.

Kristin is a book ninja, previous hot pink hair owner, Hogwarts graduate, professional grocery shopper, nail art connisour, and bonafide sweetheart. Yep, all of those things. She is also a wicked sharp language lover, so read her posts and you will increase your vocabulary tenfold. Fact.

"I believe in dessert before meals, cardigans, and staying under a blanket with great steamy mugs of tea on a rainy day."

My kind of gal.
She blogs at My Life as a Teacup.

Name: Kristin
Occupation: Student/professional procrastinator
Dream occupation: Book publisher
Age: 21

What was your earliest memory about baking?
I grew up helping my grandmother bake everything from Christmas cookies by the dozens to chocolate sheet cakes, cherry squares, and a myriad of other sweets. I remember helping her with cakes and cookies and playing in the flour, using the little scoop to clear "paths" in what looked like a treacherous mountain pass.

Howd’ja get started baking?
What started out as just icing the snowmen and dousing things in powdered sugar led to enjoying the sweets out of the oven and eventually the therapeutic act of baking. After moving out of my grandma's house, I needed to bake my own cherry squares (or "nothings" as we call them!) or suffer a unbearable, dessert-less existence and learned some of her recipes as well as some new ones along the way.

When you picture “a baker” what do you see?
The Swedish Chef. Even though technically he's a chef. I see him bopping around the kitchen with flour everywhere, which I suppose is how my kitchen looks when I'm through with it.

What qualities or skills does it take to be a baker?
First and foremost, I think one needs a certain amount of patience to be a baker. A little dash of creativity and the willingness to take risks and experiment can make a world of difference too!

What was the biggest baking FAIL you ever had?
My first attempt at piping cupcake icing didn't go so well. The icing wasn't thick enough (I will admit I did not have that precious patience that day) and while the cupcakes tasted delicious it was terribly unfortunate that it was Nutella icing, and so the droopy piles of icing literally looked like poop. No one complained of the taste, but we had a good laugh at the er, presentation.

How do you feel about Martha Stewart?
Aside from being constantly distracted by her line of scrapbooking accessories in the checkout line of my local craft store (and let me just say, they're adorable!), I think she's an amazingly savvy business woman and an incredibly strong woman to persevere against the naysayers. Overall, I'm kind of neutral, but talk about branding an empire, whew!

Tell me something random that most people don't already know:
Even after graduating college, my best friend and I still spend most of our time buying Legos and action figures at the toy store, which we frequent probably too frequently.

If you had to be an ingredient in a recipe, what would you be?
I would be eggs - down-to-earth, versatile, and subtly surprising (whipping egg whites? Yeah, most magical thing ever!)

Will you share your all time favorite recipe with us?
Of course! This is the recipe for the nothings (aka cherry square) my grandma would make for me growing up. They're my absolute favorite!

  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
    2 c. flour
    2 sticks butter
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    4 eggs
    1 can cherry pie filling (you won't use the whole can, but that doesn't mean you can't eat the leftover cherries at will!)
1. Preheat your oven to 350F
2. Combine the sugar and butter and beat at high speed.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed. 
4. Add the vanilla and flour; beat at low. 
5. Pour the batter into an ungreased cookie sheet, spreading it out evenly as you go along. Score 2” squares in the batter. 
6. Add 2-3 cherries (plus some juice!) on each of the scored squares and bake for 25-30 min., until golden and baked through.



Hows that for a simple summer recipe? 
Dear Kristin, thanks for being so rad.
Also, please don't judge my grammar and punctuation...xoxo!



I have so much to do; thousands of photos to edit, emails to reply to, guest posts to write, Baker Babes to publish, portfolios to compile... and what am I doing?

Dropping everything to snap pictures of my hilarious kitties and their shenanigans. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for kitty shenanigans.

Both indoor cats were vying for my attention until they were (easily) distracted by boxes. Enjoy this break in the midst of my invisible piles of internet papers stacked in the to-do box:)

It's really hard to feel stressed with these two around:)


I'm back from California and I'm sunburned, exhausted, and happier than ever. It was a wonderful chance to be with my family, enjoy the ocean (Arizonans find water fascinating), visit theme parks, sleep in, and take life changing solo walks with coffee on the boardwalk. It wasn't a perfect trip (teenage sisters full of drama and 10 hours in the sun maxes my patience) but it may as well have been. I chose my favorite images to catch the magic I soaked in. Tacky tourist photos to come later.

See? Magic.



 My mom made fruit pizza for every extra special event in my life from ages 8-21.
Yes, even for my questionable 21st birthday party. I could write a novel about how awesome my mom is, but that would take forever so I'll focus on how awesome this fruit pizza is. Besides the fact that it was a nostalgic childhood  favorite, it's delicious with equal parts of crunchy, sweet, fresh, and tart. Its also pretty much perfect for summer picnics.

I made a grown up version, but if we're going to be honest children could make this on their own with supervision. And that's just rad.

This recipe takes three simple parts: sugar cookie crust, cream cheese frosting, and fresh fruit.

For the sugar cookie crust, I might just buy refrigerated dough and save yourself the hassle of getting all the ingredients. OR if you loooooooove to bake and have the access to everything found in a cookie recipe try this one. You overachiever, you.

Use 1-2 cups (depending on the thickness you want) of the dough and press it into a round pan. This is pretty flexible also, so if you only have a sheet pan use that. Or muffin tins, or a pie pan. I used a springform cheesecake pan and it worked awesome. Make sure you grease it, push the dough in (think giant cookie) and bake it for twice as long as the recipe says. Basically, bake it until the top is golden brown. Cool.

I find most cream cheese frosting recipes to be a little on the heavy side, so I stick to my number one recipe... wanna know what it is? Ok, fine. I'll share.

Jes's Kick Ass Cream Cheese Frosting

 8 oz softened cream cheese (not hot, just soft)
1/4 c softened butter
1/8 c sour cream
1 t vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

Using a mixer paddle whip the cream cheese for 2 minutes on high. Scrape, add the butter and mix again for another minute. Add the sour cream and vanilla and then slowly add the powdered sugar while intermittently scraping the side. Pour the frosting into the middle of the cooled ginormous cookie and spread it towards the edges. Top with fresh fruit! I used berries, but you can add mango, pineapple, grapes, apple etc. Oh my god good.

Whats your nostalgic childhood dessert?

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