Hurry over to A Peace Treaty to check out their new Fall collection - Pitania. It's chock full of alpaca wraps, ponchos, gloves, and hats! I love this brand because they work to create "employment for skilled artisans working in places of socio-political strife, effectively supporting their craft while elevating their products to a level of high design for an exclusive, international audience." Here are a few new items I'm in swooning over...
So beautiful. And perfect for this Fall and Winter. Make sure you check out all the previous collections while you're at it! I love supporting fashion with a heart.
I've decided to start a series about, as the title suggests, things I know. These are things that I feel highly versed in. I might not be an expert, but I think there are a few areas where my advice can be somewhat valuable. And the size of my makeup bag definitely suggests that cosmetics would be a good place to start. My eyeshadow collections covers the entire spectrum of ROY G BIV and beyond.
First, let's start with cheeks. Because nothing does wonders for your complexion like a little rouge! This and mascara are the two things that can quickly make you look more alive than you might feel (hello, happy hour that went until 3 AM, oops!). The longest lasting product you can buy is Benefit's Benetint - a wonderful cheek and lip tint. Just brush a stripe or two on each cheek, rub it in along your cheekbone and the apples of your cheeks, and you have the perfect amount of natural looking color. Not only does the color last all day, this bottle will also last you for. ever.
Ok, on to the eyes. For mascara - the smaller the brush, the more separation you can get between lashes. Nasty clumps are not the same thing as fullness. Just a small tip ;). So that you don't waste your money, make sure to buy eyeshadows with heavy pigment. I love MAC makeup for this reason. Their eyeshadow pots with loose pigment provide the most options. You can easily use the shadow dry or wet depending on how heavy you want the color.
Lips! One of my new favorites. I can't commit to the super bright stuff yet, but I've been loving Lipstick Queen. Medieval is my favorite because it contains vitamin E, so it doesn't dry up on your lips while you're wearing it. Deep red lips are the perfect Autumn accessory, methinks.
So, I've admired the site Ming Makes Cupcakes for a while now. For my fiance's birthday this past weekend, I decided to make him the cupcake of his choice. He picked "Cupcake 15" - the pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. A great choice, if I do say so myself...
Here's the recipe from Ming's site:
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup pumpkin
Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and eggs. Add oil and mix at medium speed for three minutes. Add flour mixture, and then add pumpkin. Mix at medium speed until well blended. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
4 oz. room temp. cream cheese
1/2 stick room temp. butter
1/2 lb confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix ingredients together by hand. Once blended, whip with an electric mixer until fluffy. Top cupcakes and add crystallized ginger if desired.
I'll walk you through how I made them, because I will admit they turned out puuuurty good.
Starting with the cupcakes.
First, I mixed all the dry ingredients together like so...
Then, whipped up the wet ingredients...
Next, I added the flour mixture and the pumpkin to the wet ingredients to create the cupcake batter. When filling up the cupcake sleeves, note that this batter doesn't rise as much as fluffier batter tends to do. So, you can fill the cups up about halfway or a little more. Although, I inadvertently liked the smaller cupcakes I made before I knew this. So, just a heads up so you can choose your preference.
On to everyone's favorite...the FROSTING!
In order to convert the half pound of powdered sugar that the recipe calls for, I added a little less than a cup. This turned out really well! I also ended up doubling the recipe, because you can never have too much frosting! The recipe calls for you to mix by hand before using the electric mixer. I'm guessing this is a really important step; otherwise, the powdered sugar would fly everywhere. Cleaning. Nightmare. Not that I know from experience or anything...
I piped the icing onto the cupcake, then sprinkled a little cinnamon on top (instead of the ginger ;) ). Voila!