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Getting Ready For A Halloween Party

October 31, 2014

I go to a costume work party every year around Halloween, and the person who throws the party is ALL about going “all out”. This year was a Hunger Games Themed party. I waited till the last minute to come up with my costume, but I still wanted to put in my best effort. Here’s my take on Effie from The Hunger Games

Hope you enjoyed this post.

=) xo, Rachel

Home

DIY Spice Pumpkin Cake

October 31, 2014

Hey Everyone!

I’ve never been one to go too crazy for Halloween, but this year I thought it would be fun to share some of my ideas for Halloween. I first made this pumpkin after seeing a similar idea in a Martha Stewart magazine from like 10 years ago.. I always thought it was so cute, and wanted to make it myself. The first time I made it was for Byron when we were dating. He invited me over to his house for Halloween, and I thought bringing this cake would be a fun crowd pleaser for all his roommates and other friends at the time. It’s a SUPER simple Pumpkin shaped cake that anyone can pull off with minimal effort and maximum recognition.  Your friends and family will love this!

Start off by mixing 2-3 boxes of your favorite cake mix (you can also make from scratch if you have time).  Staying in the festive mood I chose a simple spice cake that can be seasoned even more with one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Pour the mixture into two bundt cake pans.  You need two, one for top and one for the bottom of the pumpkin.  Of course if you only have one pan just bake one at a time.

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I always use oil, or a baking spray, to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.

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While the cake bakes, according to the instructions for the cake mix you bought, go ahead and make orange frosting using white frosting with red and yellow food coloring.

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Add a few drops of yellow…

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…and a few drops of red.

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Always start with less food coloring, and add more as you go to get that perfect orange color.

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Once the cakes are ready, remove them from the oven and let them cool for at least an hour. After the cakes are room temp, use a butter knife to make sure the sides are not stuck to the pan and gently flip them over to release the cake from the bundt pan.

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You’ll want to gently cut the tops of the cakes off to form a flat surface. Tip: Use a long bread knife to easily slice through the cake.

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Start by frosting the first layer, sliced side up.

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Gently place the second layer of cake on top of the first, sliced side down. The cake will start to look like a pumpkin!

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Frost the cake with the same orange colored frosting.

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Tip: Use a metal icing spatula to to apply the frosting. This is will give you the smoothest coating and makes this super simple to do!

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You can add some green icing to make leaves and vines…plant a snicker bar on top for the stem…

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..and your Pumpkin cake is ready to go! Couldn’t be easier.

IMG_9998Hope you enjoyed this post, and it gives you an idea to try out at your house! =)

Here’s a throwback picture of the first time I made this cake!! haha Since I was a fairy that year my pumpkin cake just HAD to have sprinkles.. =) haha

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xo, Rachel

Fashion

Fall/Winter Fashion Must-Haves

October 30, 2014

I’m so excited for this upcoming winter season. I’ve been preparing to go to a cooler climate, so I thought I would share some of my FAVORITE winter must-haves =)

Black TurtleNeck, Gloves & Hat

Every season I get a new black turtle neck. It goes with EVERYTHING and can be layered perfectly for any type of weather.

I have some gloves I wear when I snowboard ect., but I was in need of some new ones. I ordered these adorable Kate Spade bow gloves,  and I’m sooo excited for them to come in. I love the Kate Spade bow beanie too!! hehe

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Black TurtleNeck: Nordstrom | Bow Gloves: Kate Spade | Bow Beanie: Kate Spade

Wellies

I currently own a really nice pair of Nine West black Wellies that I’ve had for years and years, so I don’t need any at the moment. These ones by Hunter, however are some of the best around. If I needed a new pair, I would definitely go with this brand, and one of these colors. Wellies are a defininte MUST HAVE for the winter months. When you invest a bit  in a quality pair, you will reap the benefits for many years to come.

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Black Wellies: Hunter | Red Wellies: Hunter | Berry Wellies: Hunter

Riding Boots

Flat riding boots are another winter fashion favorite of mine. I found a great pair 12 years ago that STILL fit me and look great.. They are just starting to fall apart a bit, so I may take them to the shoe repair, or just invest in a brand new pair.. Here are the pairs I’m currently loving.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 7.04.54 PMBlack Riding Boots w/Buckle: Tory Burch | Black Over The Knee Boot: Eden

What are some of your winter fashion must-haves?

Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by!

xo, Rachel

Home

DIY Pumpkin Spice Soap

October 24, 2014

Hey everyone!

I put together another DIY today that is, bar none, the easiest project you could take on this season.  Only requiring a few ingredients, this Pumpkin Spice Bar Soap is simple, festive and smells so yummy!  Anything that makes my house smell like pumpkin is “A-OK” in my book.

The base of the pumpkin soap can be found at almost any crafting store.  I found mine at Michaels, in a 2lb solid block.

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 I decided to use a milky glycerin soap base.  The other option is translucent if you prefer.

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One of the easiest parts about this is the measurements are not specific.  You can eyeball everything!

I had three soap molds, so I guestimated how much soap to use, cut it into cubes, and placed them in a microwave safe container.

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You can start off by microwaving the soap for 30 seconds.

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After that you will want to microwave for an additional 20 seconds at a time, until the soap is entirely liquified.  Stir between heating.

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Once the soap is liquid, start adding soap coloring to the mixture.  I’d specifically use soap coloring over food coloring as I imagine food coloring could dye your skin, and we definitely don’t want that!

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Since we’re making pumpkin soap, the desired color is orange.  Start with a few drops of red coloring…

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…a few drops of yellow…

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…and mix, mix, MIX!

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You can adjust the color even more by adding additional coloring, but start off with less.  You can alway add more, but you can’t subtract.

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Next add a 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice at a time until you get the desired scent and color that you want.

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REMEMBER: The more you add the darker that soap.

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Once your mixture is to your liking, lay out your soap molds.  I also found these at Michaels.

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Fill the molds to the brim…

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And allow to sit for 45 minutes, or until the soap has solidified.

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Once solid, gently remove the soap from the molds.

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The result of your labor will be several scrumptious smelling bars of Pumpkin Spice Bar Soap!

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You can take it a step further by packaging the soap to make the most perfect gift!

Tools

Let this be your time to be super creative!

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I used a ruler and razor blade to cut up even strips of this great textured paper.

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I layered those strips with this gorgeous lace I found in the ribbon section of Michaels…

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…and topped that off with an orange bow.

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Couldn’t be happier with the end result!

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I hope you enjoyed this post and the end product as much as I did.  It really couldn’t have been easier to pull off and I highly recommend trying it for yourself.  Who needs a pumpkin spice latte when you can bathe in one, right? haha

Until next time.
xo, Rachel

Beauty, Fashion

Wish List & Outfit Inspiration

October 21, 2014

I had a little free time this evening. I thought I would share with you some items that are on my wish list + and outfit idea I came up with on Polyvore. I recently did a video about how I create outfits on Polyvore. I generally make collages with clothes that I already own, but sometimes I will create dream outfits, and try to recreate it with what I already own.

Here’s an example.

The weather is starting to cool down, but it’s not too cold yet. I just thought this outfit was so versatile. It feels like something I can wear for many occasions; both casual and a bit more dressed up.

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Jean Jacket: Rag &Bone | Dress: Intermix |Quilted Handbag: Rebecca Minkoff |Sunglasses: Tory Burch

Lipstick: Nars

 

I have to admit, working at Nordstrom and Sephora as a freelance specialist/vendor for so many years made me a bit particular about makeup/skincare. Brands like Nars have become my weakness. Don’t get me wrong, if I find a drugstore item that kicks butt, I will cherish it forever.  I just always feel so beautiful when I wear Nars makeup. The product sits so well on my skin, and I always return as a customer both happy and satisfied. I recently got the Nars ITA brush and the Nars Albatross Highlighter and they are both amazing products. The highlighter makes me look like I just had a fresh facial, and LOVE it. The brush sheds a bit, but overall it gives the most beautiful bronze contour. It’s the PERFECT contour brush.

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Here are a few items I’ve sorta had my eye on. I probably won’t try Tom Ford until I’m completely out of both Bronzer and highlighter which will be a whiiiile. I do love that eyeshadow color from Nars though. Maybe I will ask for that in my Christmas stocking. I’ve also had my eye on that brush for years now, but I  still can’t decide if it’s worth it. Anyone tried these products?

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Nars Ita Brush Nars Albatross | Nars Himalia EyeShadow | Tom Ford Bronzer and Highlighter | Nars Yachiyo Brush

P.S. Don’t get me wrong.. I don’t NEED any of these things..  This is just a fun post sharing some beautiful products I’ve been eyeing lately. What products are on your wish list?

hope you’re having an awesome day.. or night.. =)

xo, Rachel