Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PSL: Pumpkin Spiced Love

A girl that loves pumpkin spice lattes? Ok, I get it - I'm about to be a huge cliche*. Some of you might be rolling your eyes reading this, thinking I'm one of those girls. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with loving something delicious, & I'm thinking maybe my guy friends just don't get it. 

Either way, this is happening.

I'm a coffee person. Of course, I'd much rather say I'm a hopoutofbedwithasmileperson, but I take my happiness in a cup, dark roasted. That being said, a few weeks ago I found myself making a morning & afternoon stop at Starbucks. Coincidentally, that was the day I realized I absolutely need to start making my coffee at home. I love you Starbucks, but I love my bank account more. 

So for you my darlings, I share not one, but TWO pumpkin spice recipes. A syrup, & a creamer. 
1 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspooon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a pot, bring your water to a boil. While you're waiting, go ahead & measure out your spices. It took me a little trial & error to get the spices just right, so feel free to adjust them to your taste. 
Once your water is boiling, add sugar, spices & vanilla. Stir until dissolved (2 minutes or so). Once your sugar has dissolved, remove from heat. (Don't keep boiling, this will make the syrup too thick). 
Perfect PSL's at home? Awesome. Just steam some milk, add a shot or 2 of espresso (I use a small stovetop espresso maker) & about 2 tbsp of syrup. 
1 1/2 cup skim milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspooon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine all your spices, milks, & vanilla in a mason jar (I'm using a 16 oz jar but an 8 oz will be just fine)
Now go ahead, shake it like a polaroid picture. ;)
The creamer is a little easier to make, but still so yummy! If I don't have enough time in the morning to make a latte (i.e, make espresso, steam milk etc..) I just add some creamer to my coffee & go. 
Wether you choose creamer or syrup is completely up to you, but I can promise that they're both easy, yummy, & way cheaper than a daily starbucks fix.

*Confession time, there are pumpkin spice eggos in my freezer & pumpkin spice english muffins in my pantry. Maybe I'm already a huge cliche...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Red, White, & Blueberry Spritzer

Though its the unofficial halfway point of summertime, to me 4th of July is when summer finally starts to pick up. July in a NJ beach town is heaven, &  I can fully predict that I will spend the rest of my summer as a beach bum- enjoying all the freedom the sun has to offer. 

Of course, the best way to celebrate freedom, summer & sunshine is with a drink in hand. & this blueberry rum spritzer is the perfect drink to take you from Fourth of July weekend through the rest of the summer. 

Blueberry Rum Spritzer:
(to fill one, 16oz mason jar)

3/4 cup Cranberry juice
1/2 cup seltzer
3 tbs blueberry syrup (see below for recipe)
3 oz (2 shots) of rum (I'm using a light, mango rum)
blueberries for garnish (optional)

Shake well & serve over ice. 

The blueberry syrup is not only my favorite part of the drink, but my new favorite thing to drizzle on everything. So far i've added it to my lemonades, pancakes, yogurt & favorite ice cream. Yup, it's that good. 
Blueberry Syrup:
1.5 cup light brown sugar
1 cup + 1 handful fresh blueberries
1 cup water
1 lime

Add your sugar, berries, & water to a saucepan & bring to a boil.
Once it's boiling, add the juice of 1 lime & lower the heat. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes. 
 An added bonus; it smells incredible. 
Once you're done you can strain it, but I chose to save the berries. 1 batch should make enough syrup to fill a 16oz mason jar. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday, I'm in love.

You now the feeling. As cliché as it seems- I know I'm not alone. Friday is always different. 
I'm always a morning person on Fridays; they're the days when work flies by & coffee is enjoyed. Fridays are love. 
But of course many of us are in the "real world" now, where Fridays don't necessarily mean the end of the work week, but I don't care. The child in me still gets giddy with the prospect of the weekend. 
The child in me still loves Friday. 

So with that dolls, I introduce you to the first in my "Friday, I'm in love" series. Here i'll share my thoughts, my inspirations & my favorite finds throughout the week. (Ok, so it's pretty much a Friday Finds kind of thing)

& first we start off with some words to live by. 
Here's a piece from Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko's debut collection (F2011/W2012). It's not a new find by any means, but I stumbled on this picture on Tumblr & fell in love with the sheer skirt of this dress. 
This phenomenal cross-stitch monogram necklace by Skrynka
Right now I'm in love with lilac everything & anything, from earrings (Baublebar)...
...to hair
Of course I'm perpetually obsessed with macarons, & these trinket boxes are to die for. (on waitlist here or available here)
A quote for the travelers. (or for the girl who's moving for the umpteenth time)
This Anthro necklace is what DIY-dreams are made of. 
Much like this awesome Pom-pom DIY. (in french)

& finally, what I'm listening to today. (I couldn't help myself...)
Happy Friday!
*p.s- I said Friday 8 times in this post... That's too much. I'm sorryinnotsorry. Next week though, I'll tone it down. 
*p.p.s- unless states, pictures in this post are not mine. I do try to  find as many sources as I can & never link to Pinterest or Tumblr, but I'm only human. If I didn't properly credit a picture please let me know!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bonjour Spring! DIY Face Mist

So winter decided to linger, & I am not impressed. 

I mean, sure, the changing of the seasons can be pretty harsh on your skin. But this back & forth isitspringorisitwinter crap is killing mine. I know I can't be the only one who has been battling dryness, dullness, & flakiness. 
TGIF. Can spring please stay? Ok, whinefest over- time to get to the silver lining.
Face mist has been my saving grace. 
When I first discovered face mist, it was through the Body Shop.
Remember this from my makeup post?

I had bought both kinds that the Body Shop offers (Vitamin E & Vitamin C mists) & I went through both bottles. But in the end there were a few too many downsides for me. First there was the smell. Without fail, every single time I used it anyone in my vicinity would mention the strong, artificial smell. 
But that's minor. My biggest problem with this mist (& my biggest problem with ALL body shop products) is that, despite 'natural claims', the ingredient list says otherwise. 

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, 
Tocopheryl Acetate, Alchohol Denat., Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, 
Methylparaben, Lecithin, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Water, Butylparaben, 
Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben.

It seemed odd to me that it had as much alcohol as it did, considering alcohol actually dehydrates the skin. Counter-productive much? For something as simple as a mist, it all seemed like too much. Clearly, a DIY was in order. 
Materials needed:
A bag of either Camomile or Green tea
A capsule of 1000 IU Vitamin E (you can also use the bottled oil)
Distilled water (not pictured)
Decorative tape, washi or ribbon (optional)

First things first, set your distilled water to boil. In a pinch, you can even microwave it. 
Once your water has boiled, seep your tea for about 5-10 minutes. Then let it cool down.
The tea you use is entirely up to you. Camomille has soothing anti-inflammatory benefits, is great for brightening tired skin & reducing dark circles around the eye area. 
Green tea has fabulous anti-oxidants that protect skin, fight acne, & fight signs of aging. 

While your tea is cooling down, grab the rest of your materials.
First, we decorate. 
You can wait 'till the end to adorn your bottle, or skip this step entirely. thats up to you. 
As for me, I always get trigger happy when washi is involved. All you need to do is measure, cut & tape. (I'm using washi tape I got here & lace tape from Micheals.)
& now onto the serious stuff. 
You want to pierce the capsule and squeeze out as much as you can. Using a capsule makes it easier to control the portion, but if you have bottled oil don't fret, you can add in a few drops (as shown).
Now it's time to funnel your tea! (There's no pictures of this step because I couldn't find a funnel & ended up using a marinade syringe to get it in the bottle.)
C'est fini! 

I've been using this for a few months now & I'm in love. My skin feels soft & hydrated- not to mention how much I love knowing exactly what I'm putting on my skin. It's also considerably cheaper than any store bought variety (once you have the supplies on hand it will only cost you pennies to keep re-filling it!), but that's just icing on the cake dolls. 
Since there's no preservatives the bottle should last about 3 weeks & should be stored in the fridge overnight. But to be honest, mine don't usually make it past 3 weeks! It's perfect for tossing in your purse & refreshing your skin throughout the day. 

If you have any questions (or if you tried it & loved it!) Let the me know. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky DIY: Four leaf clover rings

While I'm all about being faux-irish on st. Patricks day, (c'mon- you know we all do it!) I'm not quite into wearing green. The closest I ever come is wearing some green in my jewelry, or maybe in my eyeshadow (of course, with emerald being the color of the year maybe i'll change that up).
Now I couldn't quite tell you why I don't wear much green- I dont hate the color at all- it just so happens to be that way. After getting sufficiently pinched last year, I'm feeling inspired to find ways to wear more green this time around. 
So this ones for those of you ladies who don't wear too much green, (or those of you who are looking for more ways to wear it) I give you a quick st. Patricks day DIY.
I got the inspiration while I was on my weekly Micheals run, & saw these cute little stickers.  They're basically cabochon stickers, & I thought they'd make perfect rings. 
Materials Needed:
-Four leaf clover stickers (or buttons- available here)
-Glue (I'm using a dollop of E6000)

Now for the fun part. 
First, remove the sticker from the back. (Mine easily peeled off)
 Then apply a bit of glue to your ring, & place it on the back of the four leaf clover. 
Now let it dry overnight...
& c'est fini!
Now feel free to shamrock it around town. (ok, ok. that was bad)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love for Conversation (hearts)

There's something about conversation hearts that I just can't get enough of this year. 
They remind me of Fourth grade, first crushes, & being given a little yellow "Be Mine".
Of course, they don't taste as good as I remember. But man are they DIY inspiring.
I somehow wanted to incorporate them in my decor, but filled dishes wasn't enough. 
So after some thought, I came up with these little plaques.
All the materials can be found at Michaels, even the conversation hearts. (The "Be Mine" eraser is from Target)
For prep, i'd recommend lightly sanding the wood. 

Then go ahead & paint. Two light coats should be perfect, or you could also try one thick coat (depending on the color).
While it dries, feel free to take a snack break & eat those sweet little hearts. 
Then once dry, lightly pencil on whichever message you'd like. 
& use your eraser on any mistakes
I find that conversation hearts themselves are flawed, which is part of their charm. So if your text is a little lopsided or anything don't worry! 

Go ahead & paint over the pencil in red. 
I went over it twice- the second time to even it out a bit.
C'est fini!

You can hang these babies, glaze them & use them as coasters, or anything you so please. 
It's a fun little craft, & it goes by quick, especially if you have some music to sing a long to. 
Songs like the ones that inspired these iPhone wallpapers, my valentine to you guys.
Just right click & save!
Happy Valentines darlings!

*The fine print: You can use these in almost any way you'd like. Use them as wallpapers, print them, share them, pin them, post them on your own sites- just please don't take credit for them. (& I promise I won't take it personally if you 'forget' to link back ;) )