5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Well, I was hoping to have a new recipe for you this week, but my weekend baking didn't work out this time around. I spent the morning making pie crust and popped it in the refrigerator to chill out for a little while. A few hours later I got to work on a filling, only to remember (after the fact) that I no longer own a pie pan. In an attempt to salvage things, I tried making some hand pies, but it just wasn't coming together. I ended up throwing my apple pie filling into a pan over the stove, heating it up, and eating it out of a bowl covered in ice cream and whipped cream. You win some, you lose some. 

In other news: Abbey, who was sick all weekend and took a rather traumatic trip to the vet on Monday, seems to be on the mend and no longer throwing up or sick to her stomach. Thank goodness. AND I'm throwing a pumpkin carving party this weekend, which was one of my Fall Bucket List items! So all in all, it should be a good week! 

Here's some things I've been LOVING lately:

  1. A friend of mine gave me a blender and I love it. I've never owned a blender that actually worked well, and I feel like I was this is a game changer. I've been making a ton of super-simple smoothies in the morning and I last week I made you this Pumpkin Pie Milkshake.
  2. I bought a PopSocket and it took me all of 5 minutes to decide I LOVE IT. It's such a silly thing, but it's so helpful for holding my phone. I've been using it now for a few weeks and can't go back.
  3. I used up the last of my body wash and decided I was going to take a break my favorite LUSH wash and pick up a big body of Dove. Later that day I found myself walking through Center City after two margaritas with a friend and stopped into LUSH and repurchased Olive Branch from LUSH. I have no self control around LUSH products...
  4. As someone who wishes she were a better cook, loved this article: Pro Tips: Ask A Butcher.
  5. I've been using Later as a way to schedule my Instagram posts and grow my audience for a few months now and I really love it. I used the free version for a little while and decided to "upgrade" to their next level. It's simple to use and really helps plan out my week and remind myself to post. There's a lot of different apps and services out there that help with Instagram scheduling and I've used a few others, but so far this is my fav.

Hopefully I'll be back in the kitchen this week with a new recipe and/or cocktail next week! <3


Recipe: Pear and Brie Tart

As someone who balances a full-time job, this blog, a potential side hustle, friend and family obligations, boyfriend time, sleeping, and commuting to work every day, weekends mean a lot of things to me (as I'm sure they do most people).

Weekends need to be my social life and my alone time and my blog work time. I want a lot of things out of my weekends and that often leads to conflicting desires and maybe even a hangover in the mix, which always complicates things. I want to go to brunch with friends, but I also want to stay in bed all day, and I want to knock out 3 recipes for you. And as much as I tell myself that it's okay to not do it all, I'm still sometimes left feeling disappointed when I waste a precious weekend cuddled up on the sofa with strong tea, two cats, and hours of Netflix. But maybe it was the break I needed? A break that creates space in my brain for bigger and better content for this blog or something I've been struggling with at work? Who knows.

My biggest way to combat this Weekend Productivity Worries is by creating lists. Sitting down and thinking about what I want to accomplish in those 48 hours, breaking down each item into steps, and having a visual representation of what I've gotten done. And you know? It helps. When it's Sunday night and I think back on a weekend, I have a detailed report of what I knocked out. Or I know exactly what I need to work on this upcoming week/weekend. Plus, I like the feeling of being on top of things. In control of my time and what's going on in my life. It's something I strive for often in my life and rarely find (which is okay with me, I like the challenge and constant change of my life as well). But when I feel on top of things, in control, knocking things off that to-do list left and right? It's the greatest.

Whether you have oodles of times this weekend or not, this tart is simple and quick and great for a crowd. This tart also contents a lot of my favorite things: flaky crust, brie, pears, and dried cranberries. I encourage you to buy extra dried cranberries for this recipe, so you have enough after sneaking handfuls while assembling this tart.

Pear and Brie Tart with Cranberries

Makes one tart

1 sheet of thawed puff pastry
2-3 pears
squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 lb brie
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1-2 teaspoon sugar
1-2 tablespoon honey
ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Thinly slice pears and place in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over them and lightly toss. This will keep the pears from browning. Set aside.

Unfold puff pastry sheet and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Fold over all four edges of the puff pastry about 1/2 inch and press down with the tines of a fork, creating a small "crust" all the way around.

Slice brie into 1/4" slices and arrange on the puff pastry within the crust. You'll want to pieces of brie to be about an inch apart throughout the entire tart. Using clean fingers, lightly press the brie into the puff pastry so it spreads out and isn't as tall. Reserving a small handful of the dried cranberries, add the rest of them over evenly over the brie. Next, arrange pears in an alternating pattern, using any small slices to fill in gaps. Place remaining dried cranberries on top of the pears, and sprinkle the entire tart with sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden and flaky.

Remove from oven, drizzle with honey and top with a little cracked black pepper. Serve warm as an appetizer or light dessert.


Fall Bucket List

Hi friends! I'm here with a weekend post (say whatttttt). As I'm writing this, I'm currently freezing in my office but I hope you are still cuddled up on the sofa, drinking strong coffee and strolling through the internet this morning. This summer I put together a Summer Bucket List that I loved. It's helpful for me to think about a season and how I want to embrace it and not let it slip away. Time has a way of slipping away unnoticed and all of a sudden it's winter again and I wonder what happened to Fall. Or summer for that matter.

As a way to celebrate Fall, I'm putting together a handful of things I want to make sure I do in the next couple of weeks. Most of these things are little things to get me out of the house and not spending all my time on the sofa binging Netflix. But regardless, I'm excited to check some of these babies off the list!

  1. Pick apples
  2. Reorganize my house
  3. Carve pumpkins/have a pumpkin carving party
  4. Make more time for friend hangs
  5. Bake more pies
  6. Try out 5 new restaurants/bars in the city
  7. Cook dinner at home more
  8. Do something with my extra bedroom (hang art, get bedding, move computer up there, etc.)
  9. Post blog posts at least once a week without missing a week
  10. Clean the back deck and light the chiminea at least once

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

It's October, friends! One of my favorite months of the year!

October in Philadelphia is when Fall finally kicks in in full force. Leaves are changing, the weather is crisp but still warm during the afternoon, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. And in my opinion, fall is the best season for baking and desserts. Pie is by far my favorite dessert in the world, with pumpkin pie and apple pie being my absolute favs. It's a challenge for me to walk passed a pumpkin pie in the supermarket without buying it. And pie for breakfast? YES PLEASE.

I was recently gifted a blender and knew immediately that I wanted to make some kind of a milkshake for you. Milkshakes are a treat that I don't indulge in too frequently, so I wanted something that felt extra special and very Fall. And this Pumpkin Pie Milkshake hits the spot.

I know there's a handful of ways to make a pumpkin milkshake, but I wanted something that really taste like pumpkin pie. We could use pumpkin pie ice cream or pumpkin pie spice or canned pumpkin, but I felt the only way to get a true crust taste was by adding the whole pie. It's a great way to use up extra pie after Thanksgiving or make sure a store-bought pie doesn't go to waste. 

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

Makes one shake

1 piece of pumpkin pie, about 3" in circumference or a 1/4 of a 12" pie
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream or 4 large scoops
1/4 cup milk
Whipped cream (optional)
Pumpkin pie spice (optional)

In a blender, add a piece of pie, ice cream, and a splash of milk. How much milk you add really depends on how thick of a milkshake you prefer. Blend until everything is combined and no giant lumps of pie crust or ice cream remain. If you are having trouble getting things blended, add more milk, turn the blender off, and stir with a large spoon. Then pulse again.

Pour into a glass, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with a tiny bit of pumpkin pie spice (or ground cinnamon). Enjoy immediately. 


My Everyday Makeup

So I know that this blog usually focuses on my love for making sweet treats and cocktails, but today I wanted to pause the baking brain and talk about what I've been loving in the cosmetics department lately. So if you aren't interested in some old fashioned product reviews, you can probably just close out this blog window and check back next week.

Although I don't talk about it much here, cosmetics are some of my favorite things to try out and mess around with. I follow a lot of beauty blogs and love seeing what normal people are playing around with and keep in their everyday beauty bag. And since this blog is part recipe/part my life, I wanted to spend today talking about some of my favorite things that I've been using lately. Below I'll talk about some favorite recent purchases, and then list what my normal makeup routine is looking like right now. If you're not interested in cosmetics, thanks for bearing with me :)

I'll start by talking about some of the brand new things that I've added to my everyday makeup arsenal in recent weeks. Most of these can be purchased at Target or the drugstore, which is pretty new for me. I'm usually a Sephora type of girl, but these are all pretty affordable options.

I had been searching for a nude, my-shade-but-better lipstick for a little while now that was long lasting, not matte or uncomfortable to wear, and not too expensive and I found all of that in the Lasting Finish by Kate Nude Collection lipsticks. Easy to pick up at the drugstore or Target, it's a lovely formula and a great color for me. I use the shade 47, which is one of the darker shades in the collection.

Bronzer has always been something that made me nervous. So many options, so many tones and shades, so many possibilities to be too orange and glittery. But I've watched enough beauty bloggers use bronzer in a way that looks lovely on the face and really adds dimension and warmth so I wanted to give it a try. I picked up this Hourglass Ambient Luminous Bronze powder in Light and I really love it. I found a mini travel size (which is so tiny and cute) in the check out line.

I had been using a tinted moisturizer for most of the summer, but I wanted to pick up something that would provide a little more coverage and the L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion really does the trick for me. The idea of a cushion foundation was really interesting to me and I like that it's really buildable and doesn't have too matte of a finish, or too glowy. I will say that I don't need a full coverage foundation so if you did, I would imagine you would want something different. I use the shade W2 (light ivory).

Doing my brows is something I rarely leave the house without doing. I have pretty thick brows naturally (because I barely touched them during the 10+ year period I had bangs), so I like to just fill in any gaps and define the shape of them. When I picked up the foundation and lipstick, I also grabbed the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer Pencil in the shade Dark Brunette and I'm so happy with it. A bit of an adjustment since I was previously just using a powder, but once I got the hang of it I love it. The pencil has a tiny little nib and the other end is a great spoolie brush on the other end.

I'm always on the look out to try new dry shampoos because I use them A LOT. This tiny Amika: Perk Up Dry Shampoo was just too cute and pretty to pass up. I'm not crazy about the scent, but it goes away quickly and seems to work pretty well!

Here's a look at everything I throw on my face on an average morning! Most of the products here are things I've been using for a long time, except for the new things that I spoke about above, and really work for my needs, skin tone, and desired finish. I also should mention that my skin ranges from combination for most of the year with drier spots popping up in the winter.

Face: The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion with SPF 15, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Captivating, Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Neutral and No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder in Translucent.

Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Urban Decay Shadow Box, Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler (the best eyelash curler!), Lashblast Volume Mascara in blackest black, and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (shown in first photo).

Lips: MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl and Makeup Monster Liquid Lipstick in Sedona (shown in first photo).

Brushes: All my brushes are Sonia Kashuk for Target brushes, except for my powder brush, which is a really old Mary Kay brush that I believe came from a set. Of the Sonia Kashuk brushes, I believe I own the Medium Angled Multipurpose Brush, the Large Domed Eyeshadow Brush, and the Small Eyeshadow Brush.