Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Pecan Cookies

These are the perfect fall cookies! Every bite delivers the perfect amount of crunch on the outside and chewiness on the inside. You can make these anytime during the Fall season- you do not even need a special occasion! 


~Ingredients~ 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
3/4 cup vegetable oil 
1 cup sugar 
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Torani Pumpkin Pie Syrup
1 cup pecans, crumbled  
Powdered sugar, for sifting on top of cookies

~Instructions~

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix together vegetable oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Add Pumpkin Pie syrup. Add flour mixture all at once, stirring well to blend. Stir in the crumbled pecans. Drop by tablespoons onto lightly greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool 2-3 minutes on a baking sheet. Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Once completely cooled, lightly sift some powdered sugar on top of cookies.

Adapted from Diana Rattray. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Decoration: Mini Pumpkin Candles!

With Halloween just around the corner, you might be scrounging the Internet for last minute decorations. I came across this simple, fun Mini Pumpkin Candle DIY and I could not resist making one!  If you would like to make one too, you will need a mini pumpkin, pencil, carving tool (you can find one in the kits they sell at the store), spoon, sharpies for decorating, and a tea light.
First, you will need to break off the stem of the pumpkin. This will make it easier for you to trace your circle. Now take the tea light and place it on the pumpkin. Trace a circle around it. You will want to make your circle smaller rather than larger because you do not want the tea light to fall through. Take your carving tool and carve out the circle you created. 
Next, take your spoon and clean out your pumpkin.
Take your tea light and "stuff" it into the pumpkin. Make sure you are being careful with it. You don't want to push it so far in that it falls through.
Now you can decorate your pumpkin! This step is optional. I decided to use a silver sharpie and draw polka dots. Then I wrote "BOO!" with a red sharpie. 

This Mini Pumpkin Candle turned out looking really great! It can be used as a decoration piece for your table or around the house. If you decide to make this, tweet me a picture of your creation! 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

FAB FINDS: $5 Bag Sale


My local thrift store recently held a $5 bag sale. You stuff a grocery bag with as much as you can and you only pay $5. My thrift store carries brand-new or very lightly worn clothing. Many items still have the tags on them. When I found out they were going to have this sale, I was so excited! My mom and I went together because two is always better than one at a mega sale. 

~The breakdown~
We filled up four bags with a total of 58 items. I had $10 off because for every 3 hrs of volunteer work, they give you $5. So, our total was $10 instead of $20!! If I bought everything at the regular thrift store price, the total would have been $340 (not including the 9 items that did not have a price).

We gave away two items and we were able to find two items for my uncle and one item for my nana. All of the clothing we acquired is a combination of summer and fall pieces.

All in all, we were able to score some amazing items! For instance, we found Elie Tahari heels, two Ralph Lauren tops, two Ann Taylor dresses, a Banana Republic sweater, a J Jill Cardigan, an INC International Concepts top, a Banana Republic coat, a Tommy Hilfiger top, an Elie Tahari dress, and a Laundry by Shelli Segal top.  

If you want to know some tips for thrift store shopping, make sure to check back next week for a post all about it!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You know those days when you need something sweet and you won't stop looking until you fulfill your craving? Well, I had one of those days. I found peanut butter and a Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Giant Bar in my pantry, so I decided to make cookies. They turned out to not be just any regular cookies. Instead, they are the best cookies I have ever made! Every time you bite into one, you get a combination of chocolaty goodness, rich, smooth peanut butter, and sugar coating that creates a delicious experience you will want to replicate again and again. Go ahead and test this recipe out. I assure you that it will not disappoint!


~Ingredients~

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons granulated sugar for coating
1 Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Giant Bar (6.8 oz), cut into small chunks

~Instructions~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, and continue beating until creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt. Gradually add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, beating on low speed.

Stir in dark chocolate chunks (I usually use ¾ of the Hershey’s bar; however, you can use more or less depending on how much chocolate you want in your cookies).

Cover dough and chill for at least 2 hours.

Place granulated sugar on a plate. Roll cookie dough into balls, rolling each ball between your hands. Roll balls in sugar to coat them completely. Place cookie balls 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Press fork down into balls- once horizontally and once vertically. Sprinkle more sugar on top of each.

Bake until cookies are just brown around the edges, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Julia's Album

Sunday, October 19, 2014

LORAC Cosmetics: Lip Gloss Review


I received the LORAC Rockin' Red Hot Mini Lip Glosses To Go for my birthday this year (pictured above). With Christmas just around the corner, I have been thinking about which makeup brands and items I want to give as gifts. The one brand that stands out for lip glosses is LORAC Cosmetics.  If I could only choose one brand of lip gloss to wear for the rest of my life, it would be LORAC. Their lip glosses are my go-to. I wear them during the day and for a night on the town. I wear them everywhere.

Background on LORAC Cosmetics:
LORAC, pronounced La-Rock, was created by celebrity makeup artist Carol Brody.  Her brand “puts care before color, but sacrifices neither.” LORAC Cosmetics focuses on trends and provides a variety of options for all women. It is also the “only color cosmetics brand that can credibly claim and defend its position as a ‘Red Carpet Authority’."

What do I love about LORAC Cosmetics?
I love how LORAC advertises the quality ingredients they use. For instance, they let everyone know that their lip glosses are infused with rich antioxidants: Açaí Berry, Pomegranate, and Grape Seed. They contain vitamins A, C, and E. All LORAC lip glosses are also paraben-free. It is really important to me that my lip gloss not only looks amazing, but also provides me amazing benefits. LORAC is able to give me both.

Why do I love LORAC lip glosses?
LORAC lip glosses have an amazing formula and consistency! I do not like lip gloss that is sticky or watery. LORAC is the perfect balance. Their colors are absolutely gorgeous and universal. They complement lipstick very well. LORAC lip glosses are always packaged in a gorgeous tube. You will definitely want to display and show them off! I love the applicator because it it very simple. It is easy to use and prevents any disasters or wasting of the product from occurring.

I especially love LORAC lip gloss sets/collections. They come in beautiful packaging, which makes them a great gift to give. They are also an amazing value! To receive a set of quality lip glosses for less than $30 is unbelievable!

These are the LORAC Cosmetics lip gloss sets that I have owned (I love them all!):
Sweet Temptations Lip Gloss Collection
Rockin' Red Hot Lip Gloss Collection
Rockin’ Red Hot Mini Lip Gloss Collection x 2
Rockin' Red Hot Mini Lip Glosses To Go

I cannot wait to purchase The Royal Lip Lustre Crème Set that was just released under their Holiday 2014: The Royal Collection! I encourage you to look at this beautiful set here.   

Where you can buy LORAC Cosmetics:

Learn more about LORAC Cosmetics: About LORAC

This is not sponsored. I just love LORAC! All facts about LORAC Cosmetics and their lip glosses are from their website, loraccosmetics.com. Everything else is my opinion.


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