Monday, October 27, 2014

The Weekend | Pumpkin Picking



The end of October is rapidly approaching and I for one have mixed feelings about it. As much I love this month and hate to see it come to an end, at the same time I'm ready to move on. It's a strange feeling but I guess I'm just craving that fresh start feeling you get with the beginning of a new month. However, we can't bid farewell without tackling one last form of business; Halloween.

After last year when my mom surprised us (more so me) with not one but two pumpkins, and I was determined to make this an annual thing. As I stated in my previous pumpkin carving post, which you can read here, I lived in a neighborhood were over the years we would get less and less trick-or-treaters as they demographic of the neighborhood would continuously change. So we never felt the need to get a pumpkin. Now that we live into a neighborhood with a wide range of kids we see a lot more trick-or-treaters. Though all that aside I think the real reason we got not one, not two, but three pumpkins this year is because of how much I enjoyed carving them last year. Seriously, I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.

Anyway, I like to call this the season of the white pumpkin, because I have never laid eyes on a white pumpkin before this year and now that's all I can see and think about; so this past Saturday I was determined to get one of my own. When we arrived at the farm we soon learned that they were completely sold out. I know it's only a stupid pumpkin but I was really disappointed, and even though we did leave with two good looking pumpkins I knew I wasn't going to be satisfied until we we got a white one. So naturally we stopped at another place that had a few white pumpkins left, and holy crap were they over priced. I'm not even going to tell you how much that little white pumpkin cost, I want to see if you can guess how much in the comments. So rule of thumb for next, either buy a pumpkin from the farm or you don't get a pumpkin. Ha. Later that day I carved them up and set them on the front steps. Don't worry I'll post a photo of the finished product sometime this week.

The rest of the weekend I spent reading, baking, watching movies, in translation I spent the remainder of the weekend sleeping in till the afternoon and catching up on blog posts. Tell me what did you get up to this weekend, are you excited for Halloween?


                                                   

Friday, October 24, 2014

Chocolaty Pumpkin Spice Cookies



These may look like your ordinary chocolate chip cookie but their not. That's right we can all rejoice because I've finally stumbled upon a cookie recipe that we can have with our pumpkin spice lattes; get on board Starbucks. Let's not waste any time.

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves (optional)
1 stick or 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
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Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and the optional cloves. Next melt the butter in the microwave and set aside until it is cool.

In the meantime combine the two different kinds of sugars with the egg yolk and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl, then slowly add the melted butter and stir well. Next stir in the pumpkin puree until the mixture becomes smooth.

Now slowly combine the dry ingredients into the larger bowl and mix well. Next add the chocolate chips. I chose to add a little bit less than 1 cup of the chocolate chips because I didn't want my cookies to be over powered by them, but you can as much as you'd like. Now cover your dough and and chill in the fridge for about 20-30mins or until the dough is firm enough to scoop and mold.

Once your dough is cooled place a tablespoon sized amount on a parchment cover baking tray. Bake for about 10-12mins or until the edges start to brown. Allow for the dough to cool completly before storing them in an air tight container.

Enjoy! 

These cookies smell as good as they taste, I mean it they may look like the average chocolate chip cookies but them smell exactly like pumpkin pie. If you interested in other pumpkin cookie recipe check out this one from last year; which are just as amazing and taste more like a mini cake than a cookie. As always let me know what you thought of this recipe and if you'd like to see more fall recipes this season.
 
                                                   

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fancy Fragrance: Vera Wang Princess



Something thing that I always look forward to in autumn is wearing my favourite fall fragrances. One that I particularly look forward to wearing every year is Vera Wang Princess. I've had this fragrance for years and as you can see, from the above photo, it is well loved. I wasn't sure if I would do a fancy fragrance post for this perfume seeing as I've had it for years but then I figured why not, I'm just as in love with it now as I was then.

Vera Wang released the original princess fragrance back in 2006 and as I remember it was the it perfume at the time as it was wildly popular with a lot of girls at my school. Since then Wang has released many limited edition variations of their signature scent; preppy princess, flower princess, and rock princess too name a few. At first sniff this fragrance smells really musky and warm but after a little research and finding out what the actual notes are I was a little taken aback. This perfume contains main notes of mandarin orange, apple, dark chocolate, and tuberose; which interestingly despite it's name, the tuberose bares no resemblance to an actual rose, but is more similar to orange blossoms and produces a creamier scent. There are also strong base notes of amber and vanilla which I can only assume is the reason for the overall warm and musky scent that I find so noticeable in the fragrance seeing as the fruitier notes aren't as easily recognizable.

I wouldn't say that this is the most versatile fragrance that I own as it is quite sweet and youthful but I do enjoy it immensely. The longevity of this fragrance is like no other. I can apply this perfume in the morning and the scent will still be apparent by the end of the day. Don't even get me started about my scarves, my winter scarf locks hold of this scent so well that until I wash it the scent is embedded into the fabric. The price of this perfume varies depending on the size of the bottle and the retailer it's self and by the looks of it I may need another bottle sooner than I thought or else I'm going to have to use it sparingly throughout the winter.

 

                                                   

Monday, October 20, 2014

Manicure of the Moment | Downtown Brown



With the departure of my birthday and thanksgiving, yes I'm actually pouting about that, the fall season is in full swing and with that comes the time to embrace the dark polish trend. As much as I like me some bright nail polish and my pastel shades, fall just doesn't feel right unless I'm rocking a dark hue on my nails. Though, the same can also be said for metallics, I do love a good duo-chrom mani, but I'll save that for another time.

Today I'm sporting this beautiful brown polish by Maybelline that has the coolest blue and green duo-chrom; it's called downtown brown. Hey, I guess it does fall under the metallic category. I haven't tried many nail polishes by maybelline but I've heard good things about their recent super stay line, sadly I'm not sure if that line is available here in Canada yet; I have yet to see them in stores. This polish here is from their color show line.

I've had this nail polish for years and I can honestly say I have no complaints. It goes on well, two coats is all you need to reach full opacity, it lasts as well as most polishes, I mean within a weeks time I'm sure I'll see major chipping; as with most, I do wash a lot of dishes. There's also no sign of that gross gooey consistency that often happens when a polish gets past the two year mark, but the thing I particularly like about this polish is how easy it is to control the brush despite the round cap. Which less face it is a little odd to maneuver when you're using your less dominate hand. I guess you win some and you lose some.

What do you guys think of this shade? Do you have a go to polish that you're looking forward to wearing this season? Let me know in the comments below.

                                                   

Friday, October 17, 2014

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Face Mask


Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask

I'm about ready to secure my place on the bandwagon as I have fallen for another overly hyped beauty product. This time around it's a skin care product so I can sort of justify the means because who doesn't want invest in a well loved cult favourite product for the sake of having really nice skin, am I right ladies?

About a month ago I found myself in Sephora, as you do, and  happened to pick up the small 1.7 oz size of the popular charcoal mask by Origins. I've been interested in this mask for sometime now, as some of you might remember it being featured in my birthday wishlist post from last year. Origins is a wildly popular skin care brand, whose mission is to use natural ingredients to deliver high performing skin care products. Origins is committed to protecting the earth and it's resources, as they believe that the well being of our planet is mutually beneficial to those who inhabit it. Origins is a company with some strong values and beliefs that before I researched them I honestly thought that they were just another skin care manufacture that claimed to be all natural, boy was I wrong. I strongly recommend you give their mission statements a read it's quite interesting.

Their active charcoal mask claims to draw out deep rooted pore clogging debris  from one's skin leaving it free to breath easily, all while being formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Let me just start off by saying that this mask does all that and then some. I notice a difference in my skin each and every time I use this stuff. Not only does it calm any active breakouts as well as speed up the healing the time but I've noticed that in a exactly one month's time my pores are now half the size. About two times a week, after I've cleansed my face, I apply a nickle size of the face mask all over focusing on my troubling areas like around my nose and along my jawline. I then let the mask sit and dry anywhere from 15-20 mins. I don't find that this mask is hard to remove whatsoever, I usually use warm water or a damp wash cloth.

Word on the street is that this mask helps with blackheads, now I'm not sure if that's true seeing as I don't have a problem with those. I mostly struggle with large clogged pores and breakouts, which this mask works wonders on. This mask is also formulated for all skin types and when used sparingly, as a little goes a long way, I can see this little 1.7 oz bottle lasting me well into the new year. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask retails for around $21-$29 CND depending on the size and can be found at Sephora or your local Origins counter.      
                                                   

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