Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Décor inspiration: Tray Chic

How do you display your lovely things -- jewelry, perfume, books, makeup?









The picture above is my own room. I found the vintage mirror tray at Salvation Army for $5.00 and I made my own jewelry hanger out of a converted candle holder that I found at Urban Outfitters. I like looking at my little display...it makes me feel like a fancy lady. Ha-ha.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DIY: Beautiful Little Packages (Free Printables)

I found cute packaging ideas from Oh The Lovely Things. This will come in handy when you need smallish pillow-boxes to put your little gifts in. Here are some free printables!



{MEDIUM SIZE - 1 per page}



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{TINY SIZE - 4 per page}

Monday, November 28, 2011

Churros con Chocolate


One of my dreams is to temporarily house swap and live in Spain with Danny! Oh how great would that be? Dan was a lucky duck; he grew up in a bilingual family and can switch from English to Spanish like it ain't no thing. Spain could be my chance to finally learn Spanish fluently! Until then, I will continue to practice my Rosetta Stone and make Churros con Chocolate -- a popular breakfast treat among Spaniards. Believe it or not, this recipe is really easy to make. And...it's AMAZING!

Churros are usually served plain with a hot chocolate dipping sauce in various European countries. And check this out...when we were in Costa Rica, they made their version with dulce de leche in the middle! Awww so good! But my all time favorite would be rolled in cinnamon-sugar and dipped in chocolate!

Makes approximately 20 churros (depending on size)
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter (I used salted butter, if you use unsalted add a pinch of salt to the batter)
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
3 eggs
oil for frying

Cinnamon sugar
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Chocolate sauce
100g (3.53 ounces) dark chocolate
50ml (1.69 fluid ounces) cream

  • Start by making the chocolate sauce and the cinnamon sugar. Melt the chocolate and cream together and set aside. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Allow the butter to melt and stir everything together.
  • Combine the saucepan mixture with sifted flour and stir until a ball starts to form.
  • Transfer the mixture to your stand-alone mixer or to a separate bowl if you are using a hand-held blender.
  • Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.*You don't want the hot dough to currdle the eggs
  • Place enough oil into a pot to fry the churros and allow to heat.
  • Start beating the dough and add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. The mixture will become slightly sticky and more like a batter, but still thick.
  • Place the batter into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
  • When the oil is hot, pipe long shapes into the oil and allow to fry until golden brown, flip them over and fry on the other side.
  • Continue until all the batter has been used.
  • Coat the churros in the cinnamon sugar.
  • Serve warm with chocolate sauce.


Adapted from Simply Delicious

Professional Beauty & Makeup Tips


1. "Take a shimmery gloss to the center of your lips, top and bottom - this will attract light to your lips, making them look pouty."-Katrina Barrion, makeup artist for Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics

2. Breakout before a big event? "Take oral cortisone a few days before the event to clear your skin"- Ava Shamban, dermatologist and author of Heal Your Skin.

3. For fuller lips, extend the lip line using a flesh tone lip liner. Be careful not to go overboard!

4. Always use an oil free moisturizer with SPF in the morning.

5. Winter can be especially harsh on your hair leaving it extra dry. Eugene Davis, celebrity hair stylist suggests using an Avocado Hair Mask.

6. "Use your concealer as a base on your eyelids" it will help even out your skin color and keep your liner set for longer.-Melissa Silver, Maybelline makeup artist.

7. When choosing the correct shade of red lipstick keep in mind your skin color. If you have dark to olive skin pick a shade with orange, yellow or golden hues. If you have fair to light skin, pick a shade with a blue base.

8. Drawing thick dark lines all around your eyes will make your eyes look smaller. To avoid this, don't close the lines---line only the outside half of your bottom lid or don't line the bottom lid at all.

9. When using lipstick always be sure to put a tad more product on the middle of your lips. This is the first place where lipstick tends to fade.

10. Brighten eyes with a dot of pale gold cream shadow at the inner corners. “It makes the eyes look wide open and beautiful in the light,” says makeup artist Tom Pecheux.











Friday, November 25, 2011

DIY: Avocado, Olive Oil and Honey Hair Mask

A week or so ago, Danny bought a bunch of avocados from a man with a veggie cart on the beach. The avocados were tasty, but unfortunately we didn't get to finish them before they went mushy. I looked in the refrigerator today -- darn, a few of them had turned brown. Hmmm what to do? Throw them away? Noooo!

Make your own hair mask!



3 mushy avocados
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey

Mix in a blender until creamy
Massage into dry hair and twist into a bun
Leave mask on for 1hour (or more...even over night if you're hair is feeling extra frizzy)
Shampoo hair 2X to rinse out.

****Hair will be SHINY and SOFT when it dries!****

DIY: Wooden Wax Seal

I love snail mail! These days people e-mail, text, call etc.  Snail mail is becoming a thing of the past. I don't know about you, but I love sending and receiving had written letters. Click HERE to learn how to dress up your personal notes with a wooden wax sealer.
*If you're sending this through the mail, make sure to place your sealed letter inside an additional envelope, so that the wax won't get ruined in the mailing process.
Have fun!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mmm...Reese's Stuffed Chocolate Covered Oreos



Ooooh my. These are a must! Click here for this awesome "how to" recipe by Cookies and Cups.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Decor, Entertaining and Recipie's

Thanksgiving is only a day or so away! Here is your one-stop-and-grocery-shop planner for a classic Thanksgiving with your loved ones!
(Click on the titles)


*****Decor*****

 

 
*****Entertaining*****


 

*****Classic Recipe's*****




















Pears en Papillote with Chocolate and Vanilla



Good luck my friends!
P.S. I am THANKFUL for you!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bartlett Pear Pastries with Almonds and Spiced Honey

I bought some pastry sheets from Trader Joes a few weeks ago and I've been eagerly brain storming what I could make with them! It was a stormy Sunday and I was in the mood for some cozy cooking. Here's what I came up with! They are super tasty, EASY to make and fancy to boot!



Here's what you'll need:
Makes ~12:


Pastry Dough (flat sheets)
1 Pear
1 Handful of Almonds

Almond Paste:
1 Cup Almond Meal
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Egg White
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract

Spiced Honey:
1/4 Cup Honey
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon


Directions:

- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix 1 cup of almond meal with 1/2 Cup powdered sugar, 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a small bowl. Set aside.
(the consistency of the almond paste will be a tad soupy...don't worry it will thicken-up in the oven)
- Cut your pastry sheets into 4-inch squares and place them on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat.
- Spoon a bit of almond paste onto each pastry square
- Cut your pear into thin wedges and place on each pastry
- Chop almonds and sprinkle over pastries
- Place pasteries in the oven for 15 minutes
- Mix 1/4 cup of honey with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and drizzle over the pastries

Enjoy.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tasty, Healthy Kale Chips

Kale is one of the most vitamin packed veggies you can find. It is so good for you!
Two problems though...One, it tastes nasty and two, no one knows what to do with it! Fear not my friends, I have found a tasty way to bring this veggie into your life! I made these chips from eatingwell last week and they are amazing! They remind me a little of salty potato chips with a hint of bacon.
Enjoy!



1 large bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces (about 16 cups; see Note)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

  1. Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 400°F.
  2. If kale is wet, very thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the oil and salt onto the kale leaves to evenly coat. Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a layer of kale, making sure the leaves don’t overlap. (If the kale won’t all fit, make the chips in batches.)
  3. Bake until most leaves are crisp, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes total. (If baking a batch on just one sheet, start checking after 8 minutes to prevent burning.)

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Note: Choose organic kale when possible. Nonorganic can have high pesticide residue.

Nutrition

Per serving: 110 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 6 g fiber; 210 mg sodium; 642 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (767% daily value), Vitamin C (192% dv), Calcium (20% dv), Potassium (18% dv).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DIY: Lace Denim Shorts

Such a cute idea. I know it's November, but I coudn't resist this DIY! You may want to hold off until a warmer month before you sport these babies!


Add lace inserts to denim shorts, via Oohsochic

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fabulous Wedding Ideas


So I've been collecting wedding pictures like crazy this past week. I bet my friends on Pinterest think I have a problem. Ha-ha. But hey...I've got a wedding to plan so I need all the ideas I can get! Here are a few of my recent finds. Let me know what you think!
































Pictures: Pinterest