Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins!

Today I tried a new recipe from Pinterest combining two of my favorite things: pumpkin and cheesecake! The recipe isn't hard but it is a tad time-consuming since you have to mix the cheesecake filling, muffin batter, and topping separately. Then you have to assemble each individual mini muffin by layering batter, filling, and topping. It was totally worth it though because they are so delicious! This  treat is perfect for Halloween week and throughout the rest of fall and the holiday season. The recipe is here on Sugar Cooking blog. You can adjust the spices according to personal preference. I didn't have any ground cloves on hand so I omitted them. The recipe yields approximately four dozen mini muffins or one dozen regular muffins.
The finished product fresh out of the oven!

Happy baking and enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Carvin' Palooza

This week I partook in another festive fall activity: pumpkin carving! Monday night I went to a pumpkin carving party and took two cute little pie pumpkins to carve along with two different design templates. I thought I would have time to do both at the party since they were small but the first one was more involved than I anticipated. So I carved my UNC logo pumpkin at the party and then saved my Tory Burch logo pumpkin to do on my own another day. Here are some pictures of my handiwork:
Scooping out pumpkin guts!

My UNC logo pumpkin

All lit up- Happy HEELoween!

Tory Burch logo pumpkin-didn't turn out quite as well as I would've liked.


Have you carved pumpkins yet this year? What designs?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Featured Outfit: Haunted Hayride

This past weekend I went to visit my best friend and on Saturday night we went on a haunted hayride. It was so much fun and luckily it wasn't too cold. Here is what I wore:
Cardigan: J.Crew; Camisole: LOFT; Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer (from Spring 2010); Jeans: Citizens of Humanity Avedon skinnies; Boots: Ariat Heritage Western R-Toe; Earrings: Kate Spade Metropolitan Pearl Studs
Then on top of this I wore my North Face Denali Jacket and I was perfectly bundled up for the evening.
I love my North Face Denali-I've had it for six years now and it's still in great condition and I'm sure has many more years of wear ahead. The North Face Denali is a great investment and perfect for those cool fall evenings.
And here is my best friend and me on the hayride ready to go:
Have y'all been on any festive "haunted" outings this fall? What did you wear?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Beauty Buy: Cover Girl Smoothers BB Cream

I am not one to splurge on beauty products and get almost all my makeup at Target. Last week I decided to try out a tinted moisturizer and picked up this Cover Girl Smoothers BB cream that functions primarily as a tinted moisturizer and SPF 15 sunscreen. Normally I just wear a little bit of foundation on my face (and often skip it if I'm not going anywhere important), but I have read in style magazines about the importance of using a moisturizer. They recommend tinted moisturizer as a great option for lightweight coverage. I have been pleased so far with my Cover Girl Smoothers tinted moisturizer. It is not greasy at all and blends easily. It doesn't provide a lot of coverage but if you don't want to put on full foundation it's a great way to subtly enhance your skin tone. At some point when I will try it underneath foundation for when I want more significant coverage. This BB cream is also supposed to improve skin elasticity. The package says it won't clog pores and I haven't had any issues. I also like that it comes in three shades: fair to light, light to medium, and medium to dark. This takes the guesswork out of choosing the correct color for your skin tone. I went with the light to medium. Overall Cover Girl Smoothers BB cream is a good inexpensive choice for a daily moisturizer with sunscreen and sheer lightweight coverage.
Have any of y'all used Cover Girl Smoothers BB cream as a tinted moisturizer before? What is your usual skin makeup routine?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Black Cats Lilly Style

My newest favorite Lilly print is especially fitting for October because it features black cats. Cameo White Fancy Fest features black cat silhouettes against a white background. Lilly even knows how to make a plain black and white print fun, especially when it includes cute cats. (Y'all may remember that one of my all-time favorite Lilly prints is also black and white and features another one of my favorite animals.) Cameo White Fancy Fest is available in dresses, tops, and accessories and I hope to add at least one of these to my Lilly collection at some point. Here are some of my faves:
I love dresses that give the illusion of a separate skirt and top and I really like the asymmetrical look of the top of this dress.

The Elsa is a favorite top of many Lilly fans, and this lovely print would really pop against a pair of colored skinny jeans.

Lilly's beloved Murfee scarf in a loop style.

I have been wanting a Lilly ID wristlet for awhile and have yet to get one. Perhaps this print will be on my Christmas list.

It comes in a precious coin purse with a key ring as well.

What do you think of Cameo White Fancy Fest? Have you bought anything in this print or is it on your wish list too?


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

LBD: Little Black Dress

Even a pink loving Lilly girl like me knows that the Little Black Dress (LBD) is a wardrobe essential for every woman! The LBD is a great go-to for fall semi-formals, cocktail parties, or weddings. Christmas party season starts in just six weeks and the LBD is a great option for those holiday events that call for dressier attire. My favorite brands and designers have come out with some great LBDs this season and I want to share some of my favorites here:
Lilly Pulitzer Rosaline Dress 
Lilly is best known for their colorful printed shift dresses, but they do a great LBD too! The gorgeous lace detail makes this LBD perfectly Lilly.

Lilly Pulitzer Claudette Dress 
Another Lilly LBD, tunic-style with sleeves.

Tory Burch Adrianna Dress
This beautiful sheath-style LBD by Tory Burch has a high neckline adorned with lace.

Tory Burch Ashlee Dress
A one-shoulder option from Tory Burch. She may be best known for her shoes and accessories but she sure can design some gorgeous dresses too.

Banana Republic Monogram Strapless Lace Dress
I obviously love an LBD with lace. Here's one in a classic strapless silhouette.

Banana Republic Black Strapless Knit Dress
If you really want your accessories to be the focus of your ensemble, this simple black strapless dress is a great choice.

J.Crew Misha Dress
A classic one-shoulder look from J.Crew.

J.Crew Sinclair Dress
This silk chiffon party dress has a unique halter neckline.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Favorites

I absolutely love this adage I found on Pinterest, original website here.

Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury
I read another great book by my favorite author this week. Brad Cutler seems to have it all-he has a stellar career underway at one of the top New York ad agencies and he's about to marry the girl of his dreams. However, he is haunted by memories of a high school girlfriend and decides he needs to take a trip home to the North Carolina coast to resolve some issues before he can move forward to the next chapter of his life. This novel has a wonderful message of the forgiveness and healing available only through Christ that is available to everyone, regardless of past mistakes. 

Fun Magnets:
Lilly Pulitzer Shift Dress Magnets
The perfect way to brighten up your fridge!

Giddy On Up by Laura Bell Bundy
I was reminded how much I love this sassy song when it came on my shuffle during my run today. I was initially familiarized with Laura Bell Bundy when she played the original Elle Woods on Broadway in Legally Blonde the Musical. So I was excited when she dabbled in country music. You can watch the actual music video here.

Fall Dress:
Lilly Pulitzer Shauna Tunic Dress in Big Bang (Fall 2010)
When Lilly sundresses are out of season, a dress like this is perfect to wear for church, parties, and special occasions. The sleeves and darker, bolder colors are great for fall. 

Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Think Pink!

Of course I never need a reason to wear pink, but one of my favorite things about October is that pink is everywhere in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wearing pink during October is especially meaningful because it brings attention to the year-round battle against breast cancer. So in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month here are some lovely pink things:
Lilly Pulitzer Breast Cancer Awareness Murfee scarf (Fall 2010)
Close-up of the print-you can see the pink ribbon. Lilly donated proceeds from the sale of every scarf to  the American Cancer Society. I love mine and was super excited to win it in a raffle two years ago!
North Face Denali Jacket in Razzle Pink
Cooler temperatures means time to break out the North Face fleece. Their Denali Jacket is a classic with exceptional quality and it comes in a pretty pink.

Lilly Pulitzer Elsa Top in Neon Bright Pink
I love the Elsa Top by Lilly- I have a cotton one in a similar shade of pink. This is a great top to wear with skinny jeans and cowgirl boots or Tory Burch flats.

Lilly Pulitzer Swift Vest in Lilly's Pink (Fall 2010)
I love my pink Lilly fleece vest-it's great to wear on days when it's not quite cold enough for a North Face.

J.Crew Factory Cardigan in Bright Azalea
J.Crew makes the best classic cardigans. A pink cardigan is a perfect polished preppy look for supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Vineyard Vines Cotton Coral Lane Sweater
A cozy cable-knit sweater is another classy preppy way to wear pink.

UNC baseball cap
A perfect way to wear pink and show team spirit.

What are your favorite ways to "think pink" with your wardrobe?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More Game Day Attire

Last weekend I got to attend another UNC football game. Since it was the White-Out game I opted for a cute white ruffle top, skinny jeans, my UNC pearls, and my silver Jacks. And of course I rocked my Lilly flamingo koozie during tailgate time.
Top: Loft; Jeans: iT Palo Alto cropped skinny; Earrings: Kate Spade; Pearls:  Carolina Blue & White Spirit Pearls; Sunglasses: Ray-Ban vintage with Lilly Pulitzer croakies
Silver Jack Rogers with Revlon #410 Dreamer polish on my toes-a perfect match for Carolina blue!

I have not worn the following outfit for a game yet, but I did wear it one day last week and it would be an excellent option for a future UNC game day:
Top: Lilly Pulitzer Jonni Shirt in Worth Blue Little Master of the House (from Fall 2009); Jeans: Citizens of Humanity Avedon Skinny; Shoes: Jack Rogers Gold navajos; Earrings: Kate Spade; Pearls: Honora; Ring: Lilly Pulitzer Cherry Blossom Critter Ring
Here's a better view of the Lilly print in my shirt as well as my jewelry. In the event of cooler weather cowgirl boots would work in lieu of Jacks with this outfit.

What are some of your favorite game day outfits?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Reading Rec: Sunrise Series

Last month I read the four books in Karen Kingsbury's Sunrise Series, which is the third series of Baxter Family Drama. I loved it and highly recommend it! You can read and understand the Sunrise Series on its own, but I recommend reading the Redemption Series and Firstborn Series first. Those two series give a detailed background on characters and events in the Baxter family leading up to the Sunrise Series. The Sunrise Series continues the relationship saga between Hollywood actor Dayne Matthews and small town theater director Katy Hart, as they move into the next chapter of their lives and attempt to bridge their two different worlds: Hollywood and Bloomington. Members of Bloomington's Baxter family face new struggles including a crisis pregnancy, a struggling marriage, and uncertainties about the future. They also receive blessings of new births and new relationships. The Flanigan family of Bloomington plays a prominent role in the Sunrise Series as well, particularly Jim and Jenny's teenage daughter Bailey as she navigates the high school world of peer pressure and relationships while standing firm in her faith. And like all of Karen Kingsbury's novels, the Sunrise Series books will encourage and inspire you. The plot lines do a beautiful job of illustrating how God works all things to the good for those who love Him. This is a very bare description of the Sunrise Series-y'all will just have to read them for yourself to find out what happens! Here are the four books in the series-definitely read them in order:

Book 1:

Book 2:

Book 3:

Book 4:


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Fashion Essential: Scarves

A bright fun scarf is one of my favorite fall accessories. It's a great way to add a pop of color to a neutral top or to complement a solid colored top. It probably comes as no surprise that Lilly Pulitzer is my favorite brand for scarves. I love their silk/cashmere blend Murfee scarf. They are so incredibly soft and since they aren't super thick I don't have to wait until the weather gets super cold to wear them. Honestly, they are great to wear about 3/4 of the year. Since the summer months are a bit too hot to wear them here in the South I enjoy incorporating them back into my wardrobe once mild early fall temperatures roll around. Here are a few of my favorite Murfees from my closet:
Amani Children's Foundation Special Edition (Fall 2011)

Deep Cyan It's Getting Hot In Here (Fall 2010)

Shorely Blue Pirates Bootyniere (Resort 2010)

Lilly's Pink Purrfect Paradise (Spring 2010)

And here are a few lovely Murfees currently available from Lilly Pulitzer:

Multi Georgia from the States Collection. I'm not a Georgia girl but I think the peaches print is precious. (See my previous post for the lovely North Carolina Murfee scarf.)

Do y'all like to make a fall fashion statement with scarves? What are your go-to brands/styles?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Precious Pumpkins

Hope all y'alls October is off to a good start! My Lilly planner has the most adorable pumpkin print on the October 2012 cover page:

And this print, called Punkin Chunkin, comes in the most precious little girls Lilly shift
If I had a little daughter, niece, or cousin I would totally have to get this dress. Way too cute!