Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes // Soccer Theme

It's been a while since I baked a cheesecake, but I think there is no better occasion than a birthday, to bake a delicious treat for others to enjoy. A few weeks ago, my brother turned 17 (I swear he was just a toddler, banging on pots and pans with wooden spoons). He didn't ask for an Oreo cheesecake, but when I saw the soccer themed cupcake liners and decorate picks at Michael's, I knew I had to use them for my soccer loving brother.  Soccer balls are black and white, and Oreo cheesecake is black and white - perfect.

The first step is to bake the Oreo cheesecake. Of course I went with cupcake form to create equal portions. I used this recipe, although I changed a few things, so the complete recipe will be at the end of this post. Once the cheesecake was done in the oven, it had to cool in the fridge for about an hour until I started to decorate.

I hope you can tell that the green icing is supposed to look like grass. I used the Wilton tip 233 to get the effect, however, my icing got a bit too soft as I was holding and playing with the piping bag. I used a store bought vanilla icing mix and added an electric green food color paste to get the bright green color. For a more realistic grass, you would need to use a darker shade of green, as well as a firmer icing, such as buttercream.

Next up was the 'dirt'. I separated Oreo cookies but removing the cream and grinding up the wafer parts to create a coarse dirt. This can easily be done by placing the cookies in a zip-loc bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.

- the mess in progress -

Once you complete that messy step, you can decorate the cupcakes with the toothpick decoration. If you can't find these at a craft store, they can easily be made at home with printed soccer balls and a bit of tape or glue in between to tick together.

- sparklers make everything better // happy birthday to you! - 

The birthday boy loved them, as did the rest of the family! But, who wouldn't love an Oreo cheesecake cupcake? I was really proud of this theme idea because I thought of it all by myself. My mother even said it was something you could pick up at a special bakery. Aw.

Individual Oreo Cheesecakes Recipe (adapted from recipe found here)
- Makes 18 servings

  • 38 Oreo cookies (18 Whole Oreo cookies + 10 chopped Oreos + 10 wafers only for topping)
  • 3 (8oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of vanilla icing (I used Duncan Hines, but medium consistency butter cream is ideal)
  • Lime green food coloring
  • Heat oven to 350F.
  • Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Place one cookie in each liner.
  • Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream and vanilla and continue to mix. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed to combine. Fold in chopped Oreos until equally dispersed. Spoon into cupcake liners.
  • Bake 20 minutes, or until the centers are almost set.
  • Cool for 30 minutes (they cool faster if taken out of metal pan). Refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Add a few drops of lime green food coloring into prepared vanilla icing. Scoop icing into a pastry bag with a Wilton tip 233, secured by a coupler. Refrigerate until decorating cheesecakes.
  • After 1 hour, use this technique to get the grass effect.
  • Take 10 reserved Oreo wafers, place them into a zip-loc bag and crush with a rolling pin. Take the crumbs and sprinkle them into each cupcake to resemble dirt. Add a final toothpick for decoration. 
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's Tumblr Tuesday

If you follow me on Tumblr, you know I'm constantly uploading/reblogging other images or quotes. Recently, I've found many inspiring sources, so today I have decided to share them with you! Introducing... Tumblr Tuesday!

my ideal office space // white and simple


michael kors sandals // i want these in every color! 

cartoon nails // haven't seen these before!

emma stone // always a beauty 

hot or cold // yes or no?

comfortable knits and feminine satchels // essentials

always keep one eye on your goals and one on your successes // nyc

i have this sweater // must find Aztec shorts to complete the outfit

kendall jenner // talk about fitspiration for a summer body

and last, but not least // words of wisdom

sources // 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

follow me:  bloglovin // twitter // tumblr // youtube // pinterest // instagram 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Getting Ready With Me - Makeup and Outfit

Nothing screams 'It's Spring!' more than a bright pink coral top, right? If the weather was a bit warmer and the rain just stopped for a day, I would be wearing shorts with this slightly cropped top (and I say slightly because when I raise my arms, my whole midriff is exposed). Gold accessories have been my favorite lately, as well as studded accessories.

Neutral eyes are my go-to eye look no matter what season we're in. I don't think i've ever done a makeup look/tutorial on my blog, but since I was planning on doing a video on getting ready, I filmed my makeup look from cleanser and moisturizer, to all eye products and my quick hair look, too. 

If you want to see the video of myself getting ready, it's shown at the very beginning of this post. I listed all of the cosmetics I used in the description box on youtube. Outfit details can be found at the bottom of this post. If the video above does not work, click here to watch on Youtube.

Jeans, Clutch: Zara // Top: Urban Outfitters // Necklace: Forever 21 // Bracelets:  Jewelmint, Garage co. // Nail polish: 'Mint Candy Apple' by Essie // Sandals, Heels: Aldo

Q: What do you think of the 'Getting Ready With Me' video idea? I think I want to film another one soon, but try for a new eye look I don't do often and maybe if all goes well, I can show you pictures on my blog! Thoughts?!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Finds 10

 1 // 2 // 3 // 6 // 8 //

1. I advise you to start your long weekend off with a peanut butter and black coffee frosting cupcake. Need I say more?
2. Speaking of long weekend, if you have some time to spare, try out Merrick's t-shirt DIY.
3. Healthy, 3 ingredient chocolate fudge sauce with no added sugar. Yum!
4. I've been working on making my blog more unique. Check out this article for great tips.
5. I'm all about simple meals, especially when it comes to spinach salads
6. Emily's simple yet sophisticated outfit has been my favorite style inspiration this week.
7. No more bright highlighter colors? Is it the end of a neon era?
8. Another simple salad I can't wait to try: lazy + cheap: tofu lentil salad. Simplicity!
9. Would you believe me if I found an outfit with a crop top, ombre, polka dots AND metallic heels, and it actually looked good? Blair is the modern day Carrie Bradshaw.
10. Last but not least, here is a funny take on the duck face.

- to check out last weeks 'Friday Finds' - click here

Q: What do you guys think about the 'Friday Finds' series? Is there anything you would like to see different/more of? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Wedge With Edge

Sometimes I feel like my black wedge sneakers are too edgy for me to pull off. I gravitate towards black and dark patterned fabrics in the cooler months, but since spring is here and summer approaches, I gravitate towards floral print and pastels, naturally. However, I don't think edgy, black wedge sneakers would suit an outfit with pastels or florals, so I challenged myself to put together an outfit with a bit of black and edginess, but still spring appropriate. 

I love the pops of black added through my leather shoulders because it helps balance out the bold black footwear. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I love my burgundy jeans. I've come to the realization that they just go with everything in my closet, no matter what season. Thankfully grey is a neutral color, so the baggy top helps tie it all together. Lastly, a pop of silver jewelry here and there is a must!

- what she wore -
top: winners (similar here // here // here)
pants: dynamite (similar here // here)
shoes: aldo (same here)
necklace: forever 21 
ring: garage clothing

Q: Are you a fan of the wedge sneakers trend?
I love them, but I know a lot of people are not huge fans (ie: all of my friends, hah).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Cosmetics II

The drugstore. Ah, yes... we meet again. Less than two months ago, I picked up a few new makeup products at the drug store. They were all great products, however, last week I got an itch to buy more. I needed to stock up on some essentials like mascara and dry shampoo, but I was also tempted into picking up other products, such as the Maybelline eyeshadow and their Color Tattoos. I've heard great things about these products recently (thanks, youtube) and I was obviously sucked in. The eyelash curler was a spur of the moment purchase because I haven't had my own since the 8th grade and they were on sale.
- keep scrolling for the full product list  -

As for hair products, I didn't go too crazy and only purchased dry shampoo (an essential), as well as a new product, hair chalk! I've been trying to find a product like this in stores, but I was not successful until now. It comes in 4 other shades and I'm tempted to try them all! I'm going to be posting my thoughts on the hair chalk and the chalking process, so stay tuned!

- products purchased -
Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo 
Splat Hair Chalk in 'Violet Sky'
Loreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara 
Revlon Eyelash Curler 
Revlon Photoready Concealer
Loreal Carbon Black Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner
Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow set in 'Copper Chic'
Maybelline Color Tattoos in 'Barely Branded' and 'Tough as Taupe'

If you would rather see my purchases in video form, check out my youtube video below and don't forget to subscribe for more videos! I'm aiming to upload a new video each weekend.

Q: Have you tried any of these products? I can't wait to try the hair chalk!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Mother's Day Wrap Up

Yesterday's Mother's Day celebration was a hit! Despite a slow start to our morning (everyone slept into an embarrassing hour), we managed to put together a delicious brunch spread for the family. The kids prepared brunch, consisting of waffles, eggs, fresh fruits (strawberries and kiwis), as well as a homemade cherry and cranberry jam. We sat around the kitchen table for half an hour (a record for my family - everyone's always in a rush) and we enjoyed every minute of it. For the remainder of the day, I helped my mom clean, make dinner and joined the family at the evening mass. A low-key, simple Sunday spent with closest family - what more could you ask for?

What do you think of my first fancy, homemade card? I used Amy Tangerine designed stickers and paper, bought from Michael's many months ago (I don't think they sell them anymore). Look at my mom flashing the peace sign - what a celebrity!

- last two pictures from instagram -

Q: What holidays are you looking forward to within the next few months? 
 I just can't wait for summer to begin! It's only 6 weeks away...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Finds 9: Mother's Day!

2 // 4 // 5 // 7 // 8

Mother's Day is usually pretty low key at our house. My mom only asks for peace, quiet, time to relax and a homemade baked good, usually made by yours truly. Last year I slaved away making a carrot cake, but it was no hard task quite like what my mom does for the four kids living under her roof (five if you include my dad). If my mom were reading this, I would start with: Dear Mom, I love you and appreciate everything you do for me. The rest goes on the greeting card followed by a few insider jokes, as per family tradition.

1. Let's talk Mother's Day. Right now. With Joy, the Baker [love her].
2. Last year, I baked my mom a homemade carrot cake! It was D-I-V-I-N-E!
3. Need a last minute gift idea? Try this simple DIY peppermint lemon foot scrub.
4. Top off simple gifts with homemade fabric peonies - they look so real!
5. My mom doesn't eat chocolate, but if I had kids, I would love them to pieces if they made me raw, vegan, gf, chocolate fudge bars [I'd still love them if they didn't make these, hah!]
6. All mothers deserve fresh flowers, right? Here are a few examples of unique flowers arrangements with gorgeous flowers - some I've never seen before.
7. Homemade blueberry muffins are delicious, but imagine them in an ice cream recipe...
8. More flowers! The teapot arrangement is my favorite!
9. Need some final inspiration on gift wrapping? This full roundup includes many great ideas.

Q: Are you doing anything special this year for Mother's Day? I'm probably going to bake my mom carrot cake like last year and help her prepare the house for showings because we are moving soon! 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Emerald Skulls

It's easy to get lost on Instagram. It innocently begins by looking at one picture, then you find yourself clicking on a hashtag, then you proceed to find hundreds more of similar images and the process continues...

A few months ago I was searching through images of jewelry and I was finding lots of accessories with skulls. I know Jewelmint has become pretty popular with jewelry, so I decided to give their selection a shot and I was quite impressed with the pieces I found. Not only were they trendy, but they were my style, too. 

I'm a huge fan of skulls and emerald, so my choice to purchase their Emerald Green Skull Bangle was a no brainier. It's a simple statement bracelet that you can easily adjust to fit your wrist. Luckily for me, I own many gold accessories so this bangle is easy to pair with others for eye-catching arm candy. 

What do you think? Are you a fan of skulls on jewelry? Have you purchased any gorgeous pieces to add to your arm candy collection? I'd love to know!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Spring Nail Polish Favorites

Spring is all about pretty colors, whether they're pastels or bright shades, which makes colorful nails wearable and always more fun around this time of the year. Today, I'm going to share my top 10 spring nail polish favorites! This one was tough because I naturally gravitated towards pastels, such as Mint Candy Apple, but I had to pass on that popular shade because I wanted to think a bit outside of the box. Thus, I tried to pick more rich/bright shades that are bursting full of color!

I'm on a filming/editing Youtube kick right now, so I brought together my top picks and shared them in the video at the end of the post.

- the army - 

The products mentioned (from lightest to darkest shade):

OPI Natural Nail Base Coat // OPI Top Coat // 'White On' from Sally Hansen -- HARD as NAILS - X-treme wear// 'Miss Matched' from Essie // 'Steady as She Rose' from OPI // 'Chapel of Love' from OPI // 'Coral Me Wild' from Revlon // A hot pink shade from Forever 21- Love & Beauty // 'Lapiz of Luxury' from Essie // 'Don't Go There' from Sephora by OPI // A matte turquoise shade from KO Polishes // 'Rainbow in the S-kylie' from the Kardashian collection from Nichole by OPI

If you want to hear my opinion on why these colors made the cut, watch the video above!

Q: What are your favorite spring nail color shades? 
Do you gravitate towards a certain brand when it comes to nail polish? 
I love pinks and purples and my favorite brand is Essie! I love their color selection.

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