Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


I have to admit, I hate Halloween. It's my least favorite holiday, the only redeeming quality about this day is all the candy I have an excuse to eat. Seeing people in ridiculous costumes is entertaining too I guess. But ever since I was a little kid, I've never liked it. HOWEVER. This doesn't mean I didn't take this opportunity to bake some pumpkin treats for work tomorrow.

I searched all over for the best looking pumpkin cookie recipe and this one from Joy the Baker seemed to be the best bet. I tweaked it a bit, because I wanted the pumpkin spice taste to be stronger, I added some ground ginger and nutmeg. Whenever I try out new recipes, I like to follow the directions step by step, because I'm so afraid of messing up. But for this one, I kind of just added whatever I wanted. These cookies are very cakelike and pillowy soft, especially right out of the oven. I wish the pumpkin taste was stronger, but I think you can just add more pumpkin puree. Next time! Because I will definitely be using this recipe again!

Recipe makes approximately 24 cookies


2 cups all purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup canned pumpkin puree (I used Trader Joe's)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can add any kind you want to this recipe)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil, which is what I had at home.

Stir all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt).

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until the consistency is smooth and a light yellow color. Use those arm muscles! Or you can use a handmixer too I guess. Mix in oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract until well blended.

Add pumpkin mixture to your dry ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips.

Scoop dough onto baking sheet set about 2 inches apart. These cookies will spread. Bake the cookies for 16 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool them on the baking rack and use a wide spatula to transfer the cookies.

Store the cookies in a tightly covered container after they're cool. They should last for a few days, but why wait that long when you can eat them right away?

Check out Joy the Baker's blog! I love her recipes and her posts are so personal, like you're in the kitchen with her.

I hope you guys try out this recipe and tell me how it goes! Have a safe Halloween! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Favorites

It's that time of month again! Is anyone else kind of freaking out that it's November next month? What did I even do this year?? Oh, work. How could I forget? 
Let's get on with the products.

Yes, I have the THIRTYMUD mask in another favorites post, but I had to! This mask saved my skin on all our flights.  I had to go through one layover each on the way to Barcelona and on the way back home, so my skin was super dry and parched from all the recycled air on the planes. Just a thin layer of this was enough to keep my skin from going completely wonky. I won't get into the details again, but you can read the last favorites post from September here

Picked this baby up on my trip and I've been using it every day since. It's not a scent I normally go for, it's very fresh, fruity (not sweet though), and a bit woody. Not floral in the slightest, which is what all my perfumes smell like. The fragrance is very distinct. I loved it at first sniff. You can wear this scent all year round, but it's definitely more of a daytime fragrance. Go to your nearest Jo Malone counter and check this out!

An oldie but a goodie. It's finally Fall, so I've been wearing darker lip colors. I actually think Sultry is a very good dupe for the Kylie Jenner lip trend lately. This color is a darker pink, with some brown undertones. You can see how it looks on me in my Revlon Balms post. I've been loving mattes lately, and this one is so comfortable on the lips and not drying at all. Can't even feel it and it's long lasting too.

I've been pairing my Sultry matte balm with this lip liner from Rimmel. I never thought I would be a lip liner girl, but since using this product, I've noticed how lining your lips and filling them in makes your lips so much fuller. My lips are very thin and I have a small mouth, so anything helps. The color is a perfect match to the Revlon balm as well. The lip liner goes on smoothly, isn't drying and slightly waxy, so the color stays put. Besides you can't beat the price point at $5.99.

This was the only mascara I brought with me on my two and half week trip. It survived the sweat and sun of Barcelona and Rome, and the wind and rain of Amsterdam and Berlin. The only issue I have with this mascara is the wand, it's too big, so it's very easy to get it on your eyelids. But it's an easy fix. This stuff doesn't budge at all, and I never have any problems with smudging or flaking under my eyes.

This app is a lifesaver. It helped us out so much on the trip. The amazing part about this app is that it doesn't require data or WIFI, you can use it anywhere and it'll locate you on the map. For anyone traveling, download this app right now, it's free too! I used this every single day, it helped me find landmarks, restaurants, bars, everything.

What have your favorites been this month? Let me know down in the comments! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Music Mondays

Music Mondays are back!! I missed 3 weeks...eeek. It feels like forever. Have a good week everyone! Enjoy! :D

Nice and catchy beat. Heard this song when I was traveling.

My favorite video from Ed Sheeran so far, he's dancing!!

ON REPEAT. Love this song, Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding made another hit.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Barcelona Photo Diary

Hello! I figured I should probably show you all where I actually went on my vacation, so I'm going to do a separate post for each city. These posts are going to be extremely photo heavy, but that's the whole point right? Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer, everything you see was shot by me though. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday! :)

Arc de Triomf

 Sagrada Família

Inside the Sagrada Família

Hospital de Sant Pau

As a person with a fear of heights, I was very proud of myself for climbing up the stairs for this view of Barcelona.

There I am!

Park Güell

Christopher Colombus

La Rambla

La Boqueria

So so much food. It took a lot of self control to not buy and eat EVERYTHING.

Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia

Katie and Claire!

And tapas! I wish I could eat all the tapas!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Little Life Update And A Little Haul

Hello there! I'm back! I really do apologize about the lack of posts, but as some of you know, I was on vacation in Europe and I did not have access to a computer and I also wanted to not spend my time thinking about anything. But I wanted to write this little post updating you guys and showing you all some things I picked up over there and a couple things I bought in duty free, because why not?

First things first, the product I'm the most excited about and this is something I've been debating about for almost a whole year, is the Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay cologne ($120 USD for 100ml). I was at the JFK airport and I was so happy to see a little Jo Malone store, and I went in smelling everything, but in my heart, I think I already knew which scent I wanted. I splurged on the bigger bottle, just because it's so much more worth it. They really do know how to suck you in, especially with the pretty packaging. Another thing I picked up at the airport was the MAC 217 brush. This was definitely an impulse purchase. Oops. No regrets though, it's so fluffy and soft!

I tried to limit shopping for clothes when I was over there, because my suitcase wasn't very big and everything is just so expensive (when you convert euros into dollars, it's depressing). I loved browsing all the flea markets and outdoor markets though. These markets go on for blocks and they sell everything and anything! 

In Amsterdam, we stopped by the Albert Cuyp market, and I fell in love with this old, pocket watch necklace. The design was so interesting and I loved the vintage look and color. We got to talking with the older Vietnamese man selling the necklaces and he was so nice. It was very quiet at the market that day because it was raining. He told us to come back to Amsterdam again and he gave us each a small bracelet as a gift (I picked purple of course).

When we got to Berlin, our trip was halfway over! The markets in Berlin are normally on Sundays only, so it gets crazy packed with tourists and locals. One vendor in particular caught my attention. He was selling bright colored bowls and cups. (Am I weird for liking this kind of stuff?) So yes, I spent 4 euros on a tiny, purple bowl. Look how cute it is!

Last stop was Rome. I always hear European bloggers talking about Kiko Cosmetics, so I really wanted to try some of their products. The two products I bought were:

I haven't used them yet, but when I swatched them in the store, the colors were gorgeous and so pigmented.

Sorry about the long post! But I have tons of blog posts coming your way, I'm going to do a little photo diary for each city that I went to. Hope you enjoyed reading and I missed you all! :)