Julie Anne Rhodes for Jill magazine, Paris
I normally have my Christmas shopping done by August 1st, because I break out into a cold sweat at the very thought of braving the dreaded Christmas shopping crowds. Ask Tatjana, I won’t go anywhere near a mall this time of year… not even to see a movie. She inherited her father’s “shop until you drop gene”, so she finds this phobia of mine rather frustrating. You can imagine BOTH of our delights when my prized invitation of the season arrived:

Prized invite

The solution to both our complaints, and of course “Jewels” is in BB Love jewelry heaven…

BB Love Turquoise Bracelet with Vintage Japanese Glass Tassel & Gold Vermeil Nuggets

…and busy racking my brains for a baby girl to give this BB Lovechild bracelet to!

BB Lovechild turquoise, gold vermeil, and hand carved animal bracelet
Okay , CRAZY for this little black mini… the whole look actually, and…

Clothing by Myne

… how comfy and cozy does this elegant ensemble look?! I’d live in it!

Cashmere blend casuals by Daftbird

These Literature Noir separates will easily take you morning to night with the help of a good pair of heels, a touch-up of the old maquillage, and a quick back comb of the hair.

Stunning separates by Literature Noir
Oh, and darling (you know who you are), imagine this lingerie… brilliant Xmas pressie… need I say more??? xoxo

UK luxury lingerie label Damaris, exclusive to Dollymop
And if the wallet workout makes you thirsty, don’t worry… there will be plenty of champagne to whet your whistle…

Julie Anne Rhodes, satisfied shopper
…and vegan Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes to fortify your shopping lust. Now THIS is what I call shopping!!!

Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes by the Brown Sisters
Recipe courtesy of the cookbook ‘Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World’
Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

Servings: 6



  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed meal (optional)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon corn flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne (we used double/triple as we like em spicy!!)
  • 1 cup granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • icing and sprinkles for decorating, optional

1). Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners

2). Whisk together coconut milk & flax seed meal and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

3). In another bowl sift together all purpose flour, corn flour, almond meal, , cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cayenne.

4). Whisk sugar, canola oil, vanilla and almond extract into coconut milk mixture. Gently add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and blend gently until smooth.

5). Fill cupcake liners 3/4’s of the way, bake for 22-25 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

6). Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool fully before decorating.

Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Cool Yule!


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  • December 11, 2009
    9:02 pm

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your blog. I recently found out that I am allergic to eggs and milk and was so excited to see the Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcake recipe. Thanks for posting that. I will definitely have to give that a try. Keep up the fantastic work! Happy Holidays, Nicole PS – also loved the picture posts of the turquoise bracelets. I love jewelry.

  • December 13, 2009
    1:07 am

    Hey Nicole… glad you are enjoying it… I have fun writing it. I agree… BB Love bracelets are fab!Jewels xo

  • December 13, 2009
    9:36 am

    Thanks for the blogs this year. I have loved reading about what touches your heart,l have laughed, cried and even attempted a couple of your your recipes. You are a treasure!! Merry Christmas from Australia!Love Colleen xxxxx

  • December 13, 2009
    11:46 am

    Hi Julie Anne,Love, love, love the BB jewelry. I could just go crazy with all that jewelry shopping. Also love the cashmere blend casual ensemble. I could definately see myself wearing this around the house on a lazing Sunday,drinking hot chocolate and listening to Jimmy sing Over the Rainbow.I must admit I try to get most of my Christmas shopping done early, but it just never happens. Now that I have a little baby girl (who happens to turn 1 on Christmas Day), my shopping for this year has been pretty bad. I have not had the time at all. This week will be quite busy with so much shopping to be done. No doubt I will be so nervous and in panic mode (I too just hate crowds and busy, busy malls). Parking is just a nightmare.Can't wait to try the Vegan Cupcake recipe. For the past few weeks I have been baking so many cupcakes and muffins for friends and family. This looks and sounds great.Aussie MumP.S. Love the shot of you in Jill magazine. The ensemble reminds me of my teenage days. Very, very me.

  • December 13, 2009
    6:40 pm

    Hey Aussie Mom… what's crazy is that look is contemporary again! Seeing pics in that vein all over the fashion mags, just like the lingerie pic in the blog.Thank you so much Colleen! You have made my day, week, and year! Happy holidays to everyone!!!

  • December 14, 2009
    3:02 pm

    Ooh, those cupcakes. The pictures are gorgeous. I LOVE this.

  • December 14, 2009
    5:28 pm

    Jewels, thanks so much for the cupcakes recipe. I am allergic to dairy, and it's so hard to find something tasty and vegan (usually those seem contradictory when it comes to desserts — I love vegan savory dishes). I made this recipe this weekend and it rocked.I'm glad I'm not the only one who avoids shopping this time of year. I usually finish up my shopping on the day everyone else is trick or treating, becuase the last thing I need it so to be sitting with a bowl of candy, and besides all of the stores are empty for the last time until Valentines day on that night. ;)Kimberly