Thursday, April 28, 2011

snickerdoodle cupcakes.

Now that I'm off my no-sweets kick (yes, its FABULOUS!) I've been baking up a storm. Today's cupcake is an exact copy of the cookie- light and satisfying!

 Today's Cupcake: Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising) sifted. If you don't use self-rising, it will change the outcome.
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

For frosting ingredients and directions I used this frosting called "Seven Minute Frosting".
Compliments of Martha Stewart.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated
Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low.
Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full
Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean (about 20 min.)  Cool completely before removing cupcakes.
To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar.
For frosting:
Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe frosting on each cupcake
Hold bag over cupcake with tip just above top, and squeeze to create a dome of frosting then release pressure and pull up to form a peak. 
Using a small, fine sieve, dust peaks with cinnamon-sugar. 
ps. really loving the snickerdoodle taste? here is another recipe inspired by snickerdoodle cookies that looks like it tastes JUST as amazing! Can't wait to make this one!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

making the most of it.

I wanted to write this blog post last Friday for Earth Day, but never ended up getting to it- so sorry!

I don't know about you, but I always find myself buying new shampoo, conditioner and make-up ALL the time. I feel like it always gets used up way too fast.

I found this little blurb on the exact amount's you should be using for each particular beauty product to help avoid wasting your products and your money.

Face moisturizer- use the amount of a peanut for your face, and apply while your face is damp, (from after washing) not wet. Applying your moisturizer while your face is damp allows the moisture to soak in better.
Use another peanut amount to moisturize your neck.

Hair products a.k.a styling cream-use a dime size for thin, fine hair and the size of two nickles for thicker hair. If you end up using too much of your hair product, you can end up looking like you haven't showered in days.
Make sure you are rubbing the product in the palms of your hands and putting the product at least two inches away from the roots of your hair. Grab the end of your hair to make a pony to have the product reach the ends. 
If applying the product while hair is dry, make sure you apply the product to the top layer for best results controlling fly aways.

 Shampoo- For long hair, use the size of an Oreo & for short hair use the amount of a Hershey Kiss. Shampoo is pretty easy to use more than you need. You really only need to wash your roots and can stop half way through your locks-dirt and oil is mostly found close to your roots.

Sunscreen- divide your body into three sections and use a grape-size amount for each. 
First blob, use for your feet & legs. Second blob, use for your tummy and back & third blob use for your arms, neck and face. This is one thing you can never use enough of though, so if you feel you need more, feel free to use more grape-size amounts. Apply every 2 hours for best coverage.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

rainy day attire.

I don't know about you, but this morning was a tough one getting outta bed. I am in dire need of a week long visit from the sun. These rainy days have me wanting to stay inside and not leave the house. Considering I had to work today, that was just not an option. I do; however, want to give some suggestions on rainy day attire to make the most out of these gloomy days and have you leaving your house looking chic and not soaked.

 Start by throwing your hair up in a ponytail. Ponytails are made for this kind of weather. You won't be dealing with the amount of frizz you'd normally be dealing with if keeping your hair down. You can still look put together and professional with this slicked back look.

 A trench is a MUST for the rain! Choose from this adorable ruffle trench, found here! $188
 OR how about a bright colored trench? It is Spring! You can find this trench shown here! $49.50
If your a fan of the classic's- opt for the one-and-only Burberry trench, found here. $1076.40

Everyone knows rainy days call for rain boots. Remember how fun it was to jump in puddles when you were little- well what's stopping you? Get yourself a pair of Hunter rain boots ($125) & jump away! (they are available in just about every color)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

speckled egg cupcakes.

With Easter right around the corner (& my no-sweets kick ending!!) I thought I would post extra holiday treats. They are all SO adorable that I have to share, and might I add- all look like they taste AMAZING! These day's cardboard is looking tasty. But no really, these bakers here, here & here are all SO incredibly talented-make sure you check them out!

Today's cupcakes: Speckled Egg Cupcakes.
Too Cute!

I came across the recipe for the speckled egg cupcakes here and she even has an adorable tutorial on how to create the speckled egg toppers.


All pictures found here!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

celebrity cookbooks.

There are many trends in Hollywood that come and go- the latest being a celebrity cook. One year it's becoming a clothing designer and having your their own clothing line, the next it's creating a unique scent for a perfume and now their on to cookbooks. Here are 3 of the latest celebs bringing us into their kitchen's with their very own recipes.

Gwyneth Paltrom, "My Father's Daughter"

This cookbook has gotten great reviews! Gwyneth's cookbook is a collection of over 150 recipes that happen to be inspired by growing up cooking in the kitchen with her father.

Eva Longoria, "Eva's Kitchen-cooking with love for family & friends"

Eva's cookbook is inspired by family and friends. She currently owns two restaurants and cooking is a great passion of hers. She grew up on a large Texas ranch where her family all cooked together. Here is a cute little interview with Eva on her cookbook.

Sheryl Crow, "If it Makes You Healthy"

Sheryl Crow's cookbook is co-written by Chuck White, her personal chef since she was diagnosed with cancer. The book contains 125 recipes that are grouped by season and are easy enough for Sheryl to cook up with her hectic schedule. Even if your not that comfortable in the kitchen, Sheryl promises they are "easy to do and with the addition to taste, they are about wellness."

Anyone have any of these celeb cookbooks? or planning on running out to purchase them after learning more? Let me know how the recipes turn out if you make any recipes outta the 3 cookbooks above.

Monday, April 18, 2011

dream spaces.

{kitchen edition}

I'm loving this rustic kitchen look. The mix of the wood chairs along with metal stools give this room great contrast. I love the multiple frames along the wall and the icebox, dead and center is a unique piece that ties everything together.

In this kitchen I'm loving the floor to ceiling windows and of course the library inspired ladder. Every kitchen shall have one, how fun!

I love the simplicity of this kitchen. When looking at this picture, the flowers located on the table make me think this kitchen just smells fresh and clean-like a crisp Spring day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

evening affair

summer breeze


{ YAY! This is my 100th Post!! }
If you like what you've been reading, make sure you become a "follower" of simple love.
Thank you!

How I've never know about this website until now really boggles my mind. I don't even want to admit how many hours of mine were spent yesterday exploring and putting together new outfits. It's like playing paper dolls for grown-ups!

This is such a great site to create your own personal style along with gaining inspiration from other fashion enthusiasts. See something you like? no problem, every "set" is tagged with the exact pieces used and links given for where/how to purchase.

 This is trouble ladies and gentleman...

I created the first look for more of a Summer, running around, everyday look & the second for more of a Summer night, evening-on-the-town look!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

chubby hubby cupcakes.

Anyone familiar with Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor Chubby Hubby? well yes, this cupcake combines the flavors of peanut butter-filled-chocolate-covered-pretzels with the addition of another Ben & Jerry ice cream flavor of Chunky Monkey- throwing banana into the mix. Yes, please!

Today's cupcake: Chubby Hubby Cupcakes.

I posted 36 days, 9 hrs, and 58 minutes ago (but who's counting?) I was giving up sweets for Lent. This has been the HARDEST challenge for me this year and trust me, I complain about it daily! You can bet I will be gaining a solid 5 lbs. Easter morning from demolishing my entire Easter basket and tasting today's along with all the past recipes from cupcake Thursday. I CANNOT wait to taste chocolate again!

I found the Chubby Hubby Cupcake recipe here and it sure comes with a process of steps and many ingredients; however, something tells me after you make them, they will be well-worth-it and you no one will be complaining.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

bathroom clean-up.

This past weekend I was motivated to get my bathroom organization tackled. There are tons of beauty products I never use and then there are some I don't use because I forgot I had them. Same goes for my jewelry...and certain pieces of jewelry can make or break an outfit, so getting that organized was the most important.

I started with purchasing a plastic desk/office organizer ($4 or so, found at Target) All the small broken up compartments allowed me to separate everything from chapstick to bobby pins, hair binders and make-up. I had also posted a while back about these Anthropologie bowls I purchased and was able to use them to keep my jewelry pieces I wear the most-seen and easy to grab.

I wanted to keep the things I used everyday close and up front...things I use every once and a while were put into a larger crate and stored in our guest bathroom. I purchased more clear, pullout drawer organizers and separated my jewelry. One drawer holding all gold, the second silver and the third was color/misc. I purchased a smaller version that I used only for earrings. I'm hoping this will help keep things neat and easy to find when I need them.

For necklaces, I placed a hook (more will be placed) on the inside of my bathroom drawer to hold my necklaces that are more delicate and worn on a regular basis.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

current fave.

I purchased this bag right before I left for AZ and it is THE perfect Spring/Summer carry all! The straw is durable, yet not scratchy while against your skin. It's perfect for a day at the beach, a trip to the farmers market or even for daily use. I definitely recommend it!

a pop of spring.

With the weather the way it's been and the sun shining, I felt like our house needed a little pop of Spring. This past weekend I headed to Bachman's and dressed up our house with freshly cut flowers. It was the perfect added accessory- not to mention how great they make your house smell!

I also felt the need to decorate the front of the house. I'm not one to decorate using bunnies, eggs, or other  traditional Easter decorations, but more with the use of "natural" looking decorations. I saw this idea in a magazine for an outdoor spring look and thought I would go for it. 

I went to Michael's craft store and purchased some garden moss and 2 twig wreaths. I bought the pussy willows fresh at Bachman's  & I took two of our own flower pots and came out with this...

I still feel like it's lacking a little something (color, maybe?) so we'll see what I come up with to add...any suggestions are welcome! 

How do you decorate for Spring at your house?

Monday, April 11, 2011

perfect afternoon drink.

I am LOVING this warm weather we are having and can only hope/pray/beg it's here to stay!

One thing that comes along with warmer weather is my love for iced drinks. I must say I prefer iced coffee's/tea's over hot any day. TeaSource happens to be right next to where I work and they have a GREAT iced vanilla chai

If your ever in the Highland Park area-make sure you check them out!

a friend in need.

Have you ever been out on a shopping trip solo and really just needed a trusted friend to tell you if it's a yay or nay? Well there's an app for that!

I came across the application Pose (free for the I-phone).  This app allows you to take a picture of yourself or the item, (say it's an accessory) and send along to a friend or post to a board of fellow "posers" for feedback, or information on where to purchase the item.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

you and me.

While out shopping in Arizona, I came across this adorable plate with the sweetest saying...just you and me!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

best of both worlds.

This frequent traveling of mine isn't the greatest for my blog posts; however, I'll be staying put for a while now so the regular posts will be continuing. Thanks for being patient. 

This past weekend/week I was back down in Arizona enjoying the hot sun, sitting by the pool & there is nothing more (that I can think of) that is a necessary poolside staple than a frozen drink.  I usually go back and forth between Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiri's until this weekend, I was introduced to the Miami Vice.
It really IS the best of both worlds-a flavorful mixture of the two!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a Miami Vice cupcake recipe for today, so...

Today's Cupcakes are: the 2 frozen mixtures that make up the Miami Vice individually.

Pina Colada Cupcakes 
picture source

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes
picture source
Both of these cupcakes sound de-lish!

Pina Colada Ingredients:  (makes 12)
8 tbsp. of butter, softened (1stick)
2/3 cup of Sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of flour 
1 1/2 cups of pineapple, cut into small chunks
2/3 cup of coconut milk

Heat your over to 325 degrees.
Line cupcake pan with liners.
Beat sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until it becomes pale in color. 
Beat in the eggs, flour and coconut milk.*
Stir in the pineapple chunks. 
Spoon batter into your cupcake liners.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. 
Cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

2 3/4 cups of sugar                        
2 egg whites                                    
4 tbsp. of coconut rum (Malibu)  

Whisk sugar, egg whites and rum together in a large heat-proof bowl over a bowl of hot water. 
Continue whisking until the mixture becomes warm in temperature and the sugar dissolves.   
Remover from the heat, continue whisking until the mixture becomes cold and stands in stiff peaks.
Pipe onto cupcakes and add decorations to cupcake tops.  

Decorations: (optional)
12 small drink umbrellas
12 coconut chunks
12 maraschino cherries

Strawberry Daiquiri Ingredients:
8 tbsp. of butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, blended
2 tsp. of fresh lime zest
2 tbsp. of fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. of a light rum 
pink food coloring

 Use directions from the above from Pina Colada cupcakes.
* mix in eggs, flour, rum, lime zest & juice.  

2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
3 tbsp. of light rum (Malibu) 
pink food coloring

Whisk heavy cream, powdered sugar, rum and food coloring until soft peaks form. 
Pipe onto tops of cupcakes.
Decorate with a small drink umbrella and a cherry.

 Decorations: (optional) 
12 maraschino cherries
12 small drink umbrellas

picture source

Friday, April 1, 2011

minnestoa bride feature.

Thanks Minnesota Bride & congratulations Brandon!

Check out our piece featured on Minnesota Bride Blog!