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The Better Chocolate Pudding: Chocolate Mousse

April 28, 2012

Given the fact that The Better Dad is a doctor, I have been advised not to eat some foods (raw egg and fish) at sub par restaurants more times than I can count. All of his warnings have made me very bourgie careful about where certain types of foods are consumed. Understandably when a family trip was taken to the east coast, and The Better Dad said he'd be picking up the astronomical dinner tab, I took the liberty of ordering a $20 dollar serving of mousse just for myself. 
It was so divine that only the eyes of nearby patrons kept me from licking my cup. Perfection like that couldn't be replicated, so I didn't bother trying. Plus, the idea of working with raw eggs terrified me; I didn't even make an attempt until a random bought of bravery spurred me to try. I’m not keeling over, and it’s been a full 72 hours so I am confident in my execution. The best way to describe this decadent dessert is as a creamier, fluffier, more sophisticated chocolate pudding. I am SO glad I did not double the recipe. Had I done so, I assure you I would be spending the next few days eating straight from the serving bowl while watching a NCIS marathon. 
I know that many of you will be a bit hesitant to try this recipe because it calls for raw eggs, and I understand that. You can make this without them, though there won't be the same fluff without it, and you won't be able to call it an authentic French mousse. If you decide to take the leap and make the recipe without deviations, I advise you to use the freshest pasteurized eggs possible. Not only because they whip better, but also for your safety. 

The Better Orange Espadrilles

April 25, 2012

With summer right around the corner trips to Nordstroms have become increasingly exciting; espadrilles, white dresses, and shorts are hitting the shelves. Though I swore to myself I wouldn't do any shopping until back to school, I couldn't resist buying these gorgeous, orange, Tory Burch wedges. They even go perfectly with my nail polish!

The Better Martha & Friends Do The Color Run

April 24, 2012

This past weekend Mackenzie, Olivia, and me participated in the 2012 Irvine, CA Color Run. They really are not kidding when they say that it is the happiest 5k on the planet. For those of you who want to know more about the color run, watch this video, and if you ever have the opportunity to participate DO IT! 
{Such a colorful group of ladies!}

{Clean, shiny, and ready to go! Look at me bringing back the fanny pack.}

{You could see the clouds of color from so far away!}

{After the first color tunnel: yellow}

Because we all were very late a tad tardy we got to go in the last group where they just dump all the leftover powder on you. This was definatly the way to go since we all said we wanted to be covered from head to toe. 

The Better Homemade French Bread

April 22, 2012

French bread first won me over at the age of 4 when I had it with my first plate of spaghetti (or spagottie as I liked to call it).  With crunchy crust and warm, soft center who wouldn't like it? Whether it’s from my local market or a authentic patisserie, it’s always a treat that doesn’t last long in the Bartley household. I decided I would try something a little wild: make my own from scratch. Now looking back, it wasn’t as audacious an endeavor as I thought it would be. The process was surprisingly simple and the result was fantastic! 
I think that bread making is one of the most magical activities. At each step there is a marvelous transformation that seems as though it could have only taken place with the help of a wand and a charming spell.
{Time to knead!}
{Place dough in the bowl}
{Cover it and say the magic words...and wait}
{Voila! Just like magic it's twice its original size}
{Shaping and cutting the first time around was a bit tricky}
{But practice makes perfect}

The Better Way to Revamp Your Bathroom

April 19, 2012

I decided to do a bathroom revamp that wouldn’t take too much time and would not require a tape measure or any kind of tool. In total, it only took a couple hours and the results are fantastic!
{Before: Ugly shower doors}
{Before: Hot mess of a shower caddy}
{After: Corner shelf shower caddy}
{After: Floor to ceiling shower curtains*} I had a number of these silver mason jars leftover from a previous project and had no use for them.
{After: Neat way of organizing every day bathroom essentials}
{Floss/toothpicks, Q-tips, cotton balls, hair elastics, small make up brushes, large make up brushes}
*Behind the silk drapery is another shower water resistant shower curtain.

The Better Room of the Week

April 13, 2012

I’m in love with this cute and quirky kitchen! While the appliances are pretty modern, I’m not overwhelmed by stainless steel and flashy accents. The wood-topped island combined with the woven rugs and light blue cabinetry add a rustic charm.  
image via Decorpad

The Better Wardrobe of a True Prep

April 09, 2012

Prep, prepster, and preppy chic are words people use to describe my style, and until I organized my closet I didn’t think I was that preppy. For the most part my fashion choices are classic and simple. I try to avoid falling victim to season trends so getting dressed in the morning takes less time than most of my friends perceive it to. Here are my true prep essential items.
{1. Dark wash straight leg jeans/ 2. Duck boots/ 3. Pearls/ 4. Quality tote bag/ 5. Cable knits/ 6. Simple flats/ 7. Classic watch/ 8. Chinos/ 9. Summer dress/ 10. Loafers/ 11. Polo shirts/ 12. Oxford button downs/ 13. Puffer vest/ 14. Aviators/ 15. Versatile leather belt

The Better Way to Make a Salad

April 04, 2012

It’s 4 months into the new year and I’ve started to become one of those odd people who actually enjoys running and eating vegetables. Ever since I started eating these massive salads every day, I have been irritated by the prep work they take in the morning before I head off to school. It wasn’t until I found this idea on Pinterest that my salad woes faded away. I learned that by layering salads with the wet things on bottom and the leafy greens on top I could prevent a soggy, wilted salad. In my salad I put the dressing, chicken, sauteed mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes at the very bottom. Next I layered carrots and cucumbers to keep the leafy greens away from the wet items. Salads can be prepared up to a week in advance without losing freshness. 
IMG_8088 IMG_8090
I purchased these huge mason jars from Michaels Craft Store, but they can be bought almost anywhere. I like the largest size because it fits a really big salad. IMG_8100