Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Hem Jeans

 Hello everyone!  I hope that you're having a wonderful week.  Today, I have a question to ask you.

I always have a problem buying jeans.  If I can actually find some that manage to fit, they always seem to be too long.  I know that I can buy jeans in the petite section, but it is always so annoying when the only thing wrong with a pair of jeans is a few extra inches on the bottom. 

I found a tutorial on how to hem jeans at Sew Much Ado, but I'm a bit afraid to try changing a pair of jeans on my own.  Have you ever tried to hem jeans?  Is it worth is or should I just spend more time searching for shorter jeans that fit just as well?  I could just roll them up? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blueberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

During the summer it seems that everyone starts baking things with berries.  One of our favorite desserts to bake are these blueberry white chocolate cupcakes.  Of course, we bake lots of other things with blueberries as well, but these are the most impressive to bake for other people.  Not that we can usually bring ourselves to share them. 

I first found this recipe last summer at another blog called Purple Cookie.  You can check out the original post there.  We've made a few modifications to the recipe.  One thing we found out is that there seems to be too much frosting in the original recipe.  The frosting is very sweet, and the cupcakes don't need too much of it to taste good.  We've halved the amounts used in the frosting.  If you want more frosting either double the measurements we've given, or just look at the original recipe at Purple Cookie.


Blueberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

- makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes

1 ½ cups plain flour
½ tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line your muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
2.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
3.  Put the sugar and butter in another large bowl.  With an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until it is light and fluffy.  Then, beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Followed by the vanilla.
4.  Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 addition alternated with the buttermilk in two additions.
5.  Fold in the blueberries.
6.  Put the mixture in the muffin pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.
7.  Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes.  Then, remove them from the pan.   Let cool completely before frosting.  If you are pressed for time, put the cupcakes in the refrigerator to cool.

For the white chocolate buttercream frosting

2.5 ounces white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup sour cream

1. Melt the white chocolate either in the microwave or over a pot of simmering water.  Make sure to stir the chocolate as is melts.  Remove when melted and let cool slightly.
2.  While the chocolate is cooling, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3.  Mixing on low, gradually add the powdered sugar to the butter until well combined.
4.  Add salt, vanilla extract, and sour cream.  Mix until smooth.
5.  Add the white chocolate and mix with a spoon until the mixture is combined.  Don’t over mix.

Frost the cupcakes and eat!  I like to store the cupcakes in the refrigerator since it tends to be hot in the kitchen  during the summer and the icing stays more solid in the fridge. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Glow

Tips for a summer glow

It's summer time and that means it's time to break out the shorts and bikinis. While fair skin is beautiful, it doesn't hurt one's confidence to have a nice summer glow. However, if you're like me, many self tanners have left you streaky and splotchy. I have had the most luck with gradual tanners. My favorite is Jergens natural glow lotion which you might remember from when I posted it as one of my essentials. This lotion is great because you won't wake up with streaks the next morning. The color is very natural, and the it even has a tiny bit of subtle shimmer that adds to skin's radiance. Before you apply self tanner there are a couple things you should do.

1. Moisturize
A couple days in advance you should use a moisturizer. Pay special attention to dry areas like the knees, elbows, and ankles. Moisturizing will help prevent those areas from darkening more than the rest of the body.

2. Shave
Shaving is also good for exfoliation because it removes the top layer of skin. Plus you don't want to lose your glow prematurely so shaving is a must for areas you plan to use the lotion on.

3. Exfoliate
I don't find that heavy duty exfoliation is needed with the Jergens lotion. I would recommend using a wash cloth with your normal cleanser and adding sugar to the cleanser if you feel like you need more exfoliation.

4. Application
With a gradual lotion, application is pretty easy. Make sure your skin is dry and apply the lotion everywhere like you would a regular lotion. You don't have to apply so much that the lotion is sitting on the skin and not absorbing. However, you want to use enough that the lotion covers all the skin without missing spots. A trick I read in Seventeen magazine really helps with the hard to reach back area. To get the mid back, bend over and reach arms behind you so your fingernails are facing towards the sky. I'm not sure if that makes the distance any shorter, but it helped for me.


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