Friday Favorites | No. 40

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday is here and to celebrate happy hour is in order!  Anyone else celebrating the weekend's arrival with a fun cocktail?

Speaking of cocktails this fall sangria looks like a must try this fall. #ThankYouPinterest

Just saw a few days ago that my favorite foundation now is available in an oil-free matte version and I can't wait to give it a go.

I am loving this top and its ruffle sleeves.  Dress it up or down, it really goes with anything!  Also, this jacket.  What can I say, I am a sucker for ruffles!

In case you missed it, this week on the blog I posted about this AMAZING pumpkin recipe and talked about my favorite neutral shoe to wear especially during fall.

I can't wait to get my hands on this book and this book!  Both look like such fun reads :)

This time of year always makes me want to get crafty and artsy.  This weekend I think I will pull out my hand lettering book and get back to practicing!  The holiday season will be here before I know it and I would love to be able to address cards to friends and family with fun festive handwriting.

What are some of your favorite things from this week?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great and safe weekend!

My Go-To Neutral Shoe: Leopard Print

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Leopard print has been a favorite of mine for many years and acts as the perfect neutral shoe, especially in the fall.  I love the detailed pattern made up of several different brown and black colors which go really well with solid colors or other patterns.  It can dressed up or dressed down. You really can't go wrong when wearing it as a neutral shoe option in my opinion.

I picked up the loafers in the photo at Marks & Spencers when I was in London a couple of summers ago.  I love them so much and they have held up great!  I couldn't find the exact ones online, but these loafers are very similar.  For a heel option, my go-to is the Jessica Simpson Levin Velvet Pumps.  They are the bomb dot com and comfortable!  I repeat, comfortable!

And if you are looking to spice up a simple jeans and t-shirt combo, these flats from my fall wardrobe staples post that I did last week on the blog would be perfect as well as these Kids x kate spade slip ons.

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Mini Muffins

Monday, September 24, 2018

Fall is officially here people!  Are you as excited as I am?  I sure hope so.  There is just something so special about this time of year.

And the star flavor of the season is of course pumpkin.  From homemade pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin pie, I just can't get enough pumpkin.  Now I know some people may not be as pumpkin obsessed as I am, but these cinnamon sugar pumpkin mini muffins might change some minds...they are that good!

These light and fluffy pumpkin mini muffins are dipped in butter and then rolled in sweet cinnamon sugar.  They taste like a yummy combination of a pumpkin donut and a muffin!  Give these a try for breakfast this week and enjoy with a good cup of coffee.

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Mini Muffins
{Yield: 20-24 mini muffins}

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup milk

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Start this recipe by preheating your oven to 350 degrees, then spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, Kosher salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg and set aside.  Then in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar.  Add the egg and stir for about 1 minute.  Add the vanilla bean paste, pumpkin puree, and milk and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry.  Stir together until just combined being sure to not over mix!

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the mini muffin tins about 2/3 full.  Bake for 11-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove the muffins from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.  While the muffins are cooling, make the sugar coating.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish.  In a separate small dish, melt the butter.  Once the muffins are relatively cool, dip into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

These muffins stay soft and fresh at room temperature for 3-5 days.  You can also freeze the muffins for up to 2 months.  Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up before enjoying.

Recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Friday Favorites | No. 39

Friday, September 21, 2018

Happy Friday and wow, what a week!  Work was insanely busy and I am so happy the weekend is here.  No major plans, but I am okay with that since this past week has been crazy.

If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate the first day of fall tomorrow, you should bake something yummy for breakfast and give these homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts a try!

I have my fair share of purses and storing them can be a pain.  They fall over, bend weird, etc.   I found these clear acrylic shelf dividers and think they will help keep everything organized and in its proper place.

This would be a really fun treat for a girls night this fall.

New Gal Meets Glam September dresses arrived this week and I love the Tinsley and the Celeste in berry.

My hair is pretty lifeless and has a really hard time holding a curl most days.  I saw this new Living Proof product and think I will give it a try and see if it makes any difference.

Have you used any of these products before?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great weekend!

My Fall Wardrobe Staples

Monday, September 17, 2018

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Fall is my absolute favorite season and one of the many reasons as to why is because of fall fashion.  I just love all the rich colors and the mix of textures!  Today I am sharing with you my fall wardrobe staples that I feel every preppy girl should have in their closet.

Preppy Dresses & Skirts: Since the temps are on the warmer side in Southern California I can get away with wearing dresses and skirts well into November without having to add tights or over the knee boots.  The Cindy dress from Gal Meets Glam has the cutest preppy details with the adorable collar and ruffle on the bottom.  I am also a sucker for anything with a houndstooth pattern this time of year and love the colors in this skirt.

Textured Sweaters: My mom bought me this fisherman sweater from LL Bean two years ago for our trip to Ireland and it is still one of my favorite sweaters that I own.  The chunky knit texture is great and you can wear it with jeans, leggings, and skirts.  Every time I wear it I get so many compliments on it.

Medium Wash Jeans & Leather Leggings: I'd say that jeans are a closet staple year around for me, but medium wash jeans are a must for fall.  I love the wash on these jeans from Old Navy and how they can be dressed up or down depending on the top and shoes you are wearing.

The same thing can be said for a pair of leather leggings.  Depending on what you wear with them you can keep the look cozy with an oversized sweater and cute pair flats or dress it up with a feminine camisole and heals.

Barn Jackets: Quilted barn jackets are my go-to outerwear for fall.  They are the perfect thickness to layer with a sweater and a shirt and will keep you warm, but not too warm.

Classic Jewelry: Pearls add a classic touch to any outfit no matter what time of year it is, but I just love wearing them in the fall.  They are the perfect neutral accent to any look!  I also absolutely love these statement tortoise scallop hoop earrings from Tuckernuck.  The golden brown color of the tortoise is perfect to wear with jewel tones or neutrals.

Stylish Footwear: I always have a pair of leopard flats in my closet and wear them as a neutral footwear option throughout the year.  These pointed-toe flats from J. Crew Factory are a great option for when you are not ready to wear boots just yet! 

I purchased these booties last year and got so much wear out of them.  They are comfy and go perfectly with jeans.  Lastly, a pair of Hunter Boots is a must for fall.  They have been such a popular footwear choice the past couple of years and I feel no different about them this year!

Multipurpose Backpack: I purchased my first Henri Bendel purse last year and have been in love ever since.  The Jetsetter Convertable Backpack is the perfect bag for fall as it can transition from a traditional purse to a crossbody to a backpac in just a few simple steps.  It can go with you from apple picking to brunch with the girls in a snap!  I purchased this exact Jetsetter for fall and absolutely love the plaid pattern and texture. 

Baseball Caps: Again, anything with texture or pattern is something I gravitate towards in the fall and it's no different when it comes to hats.  I picked up this adorable tweed and suede hat when I was in Ireland a few summers ago and love wearing it with jeans and a t-shirt.  I also saw this baseball cap the other day at Target and think its just perfect for this time of year.

What are some of your fall wardrobe staples?  Let me know in the comments below!

Friday Favorites | No. 38

Friday, September 14, 2018

Happy Friday everyone!  I had a lot of content planned for the blog this week, but just completely ran out of time to post.  This weekend I am heading up to my dad's ranch for some quality father-daughter time and will also try to get post finalized for the next couple of weeks!

Treat yourself this weekend and make a pumpkin spice latte at home!

One of my best friends has a great millennial lifestyle blog, This Modern Broad which you all need to check out ASAP!  Colleen is a kick-ass lawyer by day and awesome blogger by night sharing make-up and fashion (her Friday Flatlays are my fav!) to fun restaurant and book reviews.  She is so witty and fun in all of her posts just like she is in real life!  She also just announced that she and her husband are expecting a little nugget this February and I could not be more excited for them!

Colleen also inspired me to finally purchase a felt letter board.  I have wanted one for the past year but thought they were maybe just a quick fad, but boy was I wrong as they have only grown in popularity!  I purchased this one on Amazon and loved the packaging when it arrived and the quality is great.  If you are looking into getting one, I highly suggest you do.

I bought an Apple Watch a couple of weeks ago and wanted to have a one-stop charging station for my iPhone and watch.  I found this stand also on Amazon and love it!  It cleared up a lot of clutter and cords on my bedside table.

Last week I posted about blue light blocking glasses in my Friday Favorites post and the pair I ordered arrived in the mail yesterday.  They were pretty big on my face so I decided to send them back and am going to give these ones a try.

If you love lattes and don't own a Nespresso machine, you need to get one!  It is still one of my favorite kitchen purchases of all time.  I was at Target the other day (shocker!) and saw that they are now selling Archer Farms espresso pods that work with my machine which is HUGE!  In the past, I could really only order the pods online or if I was lucky could purchase them at a few retail stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Now on my weekly trip to Target, I can scoop some up and it makes one less stop on errands day!

I drink a protein shake almost every day and never thought about adding a shot of espresso to it until I saw Kate from The Small Things Blog post about it.  This week I tried it and love how something so simple can be so delicious!

What are some of your favorites from the week?  Let me know in the comments below.

Hope you all have a great and safe weekend!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Monday, September 10, 2018

I truly love a good pumpkin spice latte, but don't love paying $4.95 for something that is so simple to make at home!  With just a few ingredients and 5 minutes, you will have an amazing, better than Starbucks latte that you can enjoy anytime you want this fall.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte 
{Yield: 1 serving}

1 cup milk
1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 lungo shot of espresso or 1/4 cup of strong hot coffee

To start, prepare your lungo shot of espresso and set aside.  Then in a small saucepan, heat up the milk, pumpkin puree and sugar over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and espresso.  Pour the latte into your coffee cup and enjoy it as it, or you can top it off with a little more pumpkin pie spice and/or whipped cream!

Friday Favorites | No. 37

Friday, September 7, 2018

Happy Fri-YAY!  This past week was a good one and I am really looking forward to having a weekend full of relaxing and hanging out with friends.

Pumpkin Spice is back at Starbucks...well it was back last week, but work was cRaZy and I wasn't able to post about my excitement for it!

My September free digital download is available here!

KitchenAid just announced on Thursday that they are releasing a limited edition stand up mixer/hobnail ceramic bowl for their 100 year anniversary and I am in total LOVE!

These recipes look amazing and are low-carb.

Love this outfit for fall! #leopardeverything

This is the cutest party favor I have ever seen!

If you are not ready to give up summer just yet, check out this recipe for a yummy steak dinner.

Looking for some fun stuff to binge-watch this weekend?  Check out this, this, and/or this!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Grilled Flank Steak with Avocado and Cucumber Salad

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I love fall and am so happy its right around the corner, but I am also not ready to let go of grilling and fresh summer produce just yet!

I made this dish with a couple of friends of mine during a "girls night in" this summer and was blown away by the flavor.  The fresh veggie salad has a wonderful spicy kick from serrano chiles and pairs great with the lime and fresh black pepper marinated steak.  And as an added benefit, this dish is low-calorie, but trust me, it sure doesn't taste like it!

Grilled Flank Steak with Avocado and Cucumber Salad
{Yield: 8 servings}

1 flank steak, trimmed
2 tbsps. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
cooking spray

1 English cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 cups torn Bibb lettuce
1 1/2 cups diced avocado
3 tbsps. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. minced seeded serrano chile
1 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. Kosher salad
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

To start this recipe, place the steak in a large shallow dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.  Rub those two ingredients into the steak then cover and allow the steak to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

While the steak is marinating, prepare your grill or grill pan.  After the 20 minutes are up, remove the steak from the dish and discard any leftover marinade.  Sprinkle the steak with 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt and place the steak on the grill coated with cooking spray.  Grill the steak for 8 minutes on each side or until your desired degree of doneness has been achieved.  Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing it.

While the steak is resting, prepare the salad by combining the cucumber, lettuce, and avocado in a large bowl.  In a small mason jar add the fresh lime juice, minced serrano chile, olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper.  Attach the lid on the jar and give all of the ingredients a good shake until combined.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently.

Serve right away with the thinly sliced steak and enjoy!

Adapted from MyRecipes.
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