Monday, September 24, 2012

chocolate spice and everything nice

with the arrival of fall we welcome a few amazing things: sunday night football, all your favorite shows are starting new seasons, and my personal favorite, leaves that crunch with every step. this season i will have plenty of time to keep up on my shows because my boss has recently answered my prayers and moved our offices to our homes. this doesn't just keep me from losing my marbles on a daily basis, it will give me the ability to bake more and strengthen my skills. i think a high five is in order!

to kick off the autumn baking season what better recipe to use than "chocolate spice" cupcakes...right? this is one of my favorite recipes, i hope you enjoy it as much as i do. recipe to follow pics..

 
i love how these cupcakes bake in the oven, very clean looking

all pretty cupcakes need a pretty box...
 
and all pretty boxes need a pretty ribbon and a monogrammed sticker...and one last thing


my new personalized maegs bakes cakes sticker...what do you think?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

chocolate spice cupcakes:
1 stick butter
1 cup light brown sugr
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (i LOVE the Trader Joe's brand)
3/4 cup of milk

using your electric mixer  beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
add eggs one at a time.

in another bowl whisk together ALL dry ingredients.

add the dry mixture to the butter mixture in 2-3 batches alternating with the milk
**i split the dry ingredients into 3 parts and used my 1/4 cup to pour milk in 3 batches

add your favorite liners to your cupcake pan and spoon the mixture - 3/4 full was perfect for me

bake 23-25 minutes

vanilla frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

cream butter for 2-3 or until fluffy
add powdered sugar one cup at a time and blend until fluffy, i like to blend at least 3 minutes after each addition of sugar
add vanilla and mix well

add a dab of your favorite food coloring, add to a piping bag with a 1M Wilton tip and you're good to go.

until next time, happy baking...xoxo


Monday, September 17, 2012

blueberry state of mind

with summer quickly coming to a close i was inspired to make a fruity treat this weekend. my boyfriend was out of town at a club championship golf tournament so i knew it was the perfect weekend to put my skills to the test and add some flavor to my cupcakes. i hopped in my car, headed to the grocery and went straight to the fresh fruit. it was my lucky day, not only were the blueberries beautiful, they were on sale! who doesn't love a bargain? i grabbed a carton and was on my way.


since I had decided to use fresh fruit I wanted that to be the main part of the cupcake, so I chose to make classic vanilla cupcakes. i chose to add the blueberries once the cupcakes had already been spooned into the pan. i wanted the blueberries to bake in the middle, but you can fold in your blueberries if you want more of a kick.


next, on to the frosting...i went with a classic vanilla frosting and used my Wilton 1M tip for piping

i added a blueberry at the end for decoration....what do you think?

vanilla cupcake: 
1/2 cup softened butter 
3/4 cup sugar 
2 eggs 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt 
2/3 cup cold milk

blend the butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs one at a time until fully blended
mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to butter mixture a little at a time until fully blended
add milk and blend for 1 to 2 minutes or until fully blended

scoop into cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees, i baked them for 19 minutes and that was perfect for my oven.

frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar (i try mine after 3 cups to see if i really need another cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract (l love the trader joe's bourbon vanilla)

blend butter until fluffy
add powdered sugar one cup at a time
add the vanilla
blend for 1 to 2 minutes

if anyone has suggestions to amend the above recipe let me know, i love learning new baking techniques

until next time...happy baking xoxo

Thursday, September 13, 2012

pretty in pink

Target has done it again....given me fabulous shoes at fabulous prices. today i am rocking a pair pink loafers, tassels and all! the best part about them is that they were gifted to me by my boyfriends mom and she only paid $5.99! i love them, i think they give a classic/audrey hepburn look to my outfit today. love me some audrey hepburn, don't you?


the in store price is way cheaper but you can order them online here PINK LOAFS

side note: check out my friend Holly's blog, GlamourMash - she too loves the shoe department at Target - check out her adorable Leapoard Loafers, and be sure to stop by GlamourMash

since i am in a pink kind of mood i was going through an old issue of VOGUE magazine and i stumbled upon some PINK inspired fall fashions...enjoy!

 via

 via


until next time...xoxo


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

blue suede shoes

don't you step on my blue suede shoes...sorry, but i had to reference the king on this one. okay, now on to the important issues, like shoes and such. with fall and winter quickly approaching i am getting my closet ready for my transition to sweaters and scarves. when i was going through everything i noticed i have an abundance of black in my wardrobe.

i used to travel with motivational speakers and anyone that travels for a living knows that black is the way to go for many reasons; (1) you can take 5 items and have 13 different outfits, (2) if you spill pen ink or food its less noticeable and (3) lets be honest with ourselves, yes we are women, and yes sometimes we sweat. a nice black sweater or top can help hide those awful stains.

with all of this said, i probably wont stop wearing black anytime soon so i had to come up with a way to add a pop of color to my Johnny Cash inspired wardrobe...SHOES!...all girls know that any really good pair of shoes can spice up any outfit. over the weekend i went to target and i don't know that last time you hit up the shoe department, but it seems to me that they finally caught up with fashion and i wanted every pair they had! i was able to find one pair that i loved...a beautiful pair of blue suede flats, the best part about them is that they were only $14.99, gotta LOVE Target...


now that i have my first pair of blue suede shoes, below are some other blue shoes that i fell in love with, what do you think?

1. via 2. via 3. via 4. via 5. via 6. via 7. via 8. via

until next time...happy shoe hunting xoxo

Monday, September 10, 2012

it's that time of year again...

baby season! it has officially started in my house. don't get ahead of yourself over there, this has nothing to do with me and everything to do with a couple of my wonderful girlfriends. as much as i can't wait to have my own little bundle of joy one day, for now i'm happy buying the gifts.

last weekend i went to the most adorable little shower for one of my friends that i have known since high school, Raeanne. i went to her wedding last year and there was so much love in the room, i know little girl is going to be greatly loved and adored.

weeks before the shower i was racking my brain to come up with either the perfect 'gift' or the perfect compilation of small 'gifts'. i began my journey at Wally World (Walmart for those of you who aren't from the South) because i know they have the best prices on diapers and toiletries. i ended my journey at Target because i know they always have great weekend sales, we all know we LOVE the dollar section!

**buying gifts on a budget can be easy but you may have to go to multiple places to find everything you need/want.

here's a few inexpensive ideas:


i wasn't able to find any boots small enough, maybe for Chloe's first birthday ;-)

now on to the wrapping! a creative gift needs some creative wrapping to be complete. i went with a brown bag and pink tissue (i prefer a vintage look). i was putting the package together and the bag looked so boring so i grabbed my scissors, some scrapbook paper, my glue stick and 2 letter 'C's to trace.


what do you think? i used a sticker to address Mommy's envelope since i don't have the best penmanship


until next time...happy gifting xoxo

Thursday, September 6, 2012

cupcakes galore

lately i have been on a hunt for all things cupcakes. if i want to own a bakery one day i gotta learn the ladies that are already doing it right!

one of my favorite cupcakerys in irvine is Casey's Cupcakes, her love for glitter and all things sweet inspires me daily...if you aren't already, you should follow Miss Casey on Facebook

this next cupcakery is new to me, in fact we were just introduced this morning. my coworker brought me a belated birthday cupcake from Frostings Cupcakes. i love the packaging, don't you?


next time you need a weekend pick me up be sure to stop into one of these fabulous bakeries...until next time xoxo