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HOT CHOCOLATE! Creamy, rich, delicious hot chocolate. I don’t know about you, but hot chocolate is one of my favorite treats during the wintertime. Not only does it warm you up, but it also provides you with a satisfaction you can’t get from other warm beverages. Sure, it’s not the healthiest but in moderation I believe that it is a truly delicious option for a chocolate lover like me. One variation on traditional hot chocolate is peppermint hot chocolate and as the weather gets colder you begin to see this variation pop up in many coffee shops and restaurants like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonalds. But what if you don’t have to spend $5 on a small cup of peppermint hot chocolate? What if you can make this tasty treat from the comfort of your own home? Well you’re in luck! I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to whip up peppermint hot chocolate at home…

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  1. First, start out with the base. Make the hot chocolate the way you usually make it, whether that is with a cocoa powder, melted chocolate chips, whole milk, cream, or almond milk. I have been making mine with Starbuck Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa mix, and 8-12 oz of almond milk (heated), and it actually turns out pretty well considering I am using a pre-made mix. 
  2. Once you’ve got your base done, here’s my little trick to get that peppermint flavor…CANDY CANES! Add a candy cane to your beverage and let it start to melt all that pepperminty flavor into the hot chocolate. If you want even more peppermint flavor, crush some candy canes and add it on top of whipped cream or marshmallows. You can also add a dash of peppermint extract if you like a stronger mint flavor.

And That’s it! You now have a simple and easy method for whipping up some peppermint hot chocolate! I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to check out my 4 Quick Ways to Relax During Winter!

Until next time,

xoxo

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Ahhh, the holiday season has finally kicked in. I am loving this time of the year. The smell of pine trees, cranberries, and rich mahogany; baking, holiday parties, and gift giving. December is the time where everyone comes together to spend the last remaining weeks of the year with their loved ones. But as we head into the last month of the year, many of us can’t help but note…WINTER IS COMING! Any Game of Thrones fans out there? Hahaha.

All joking aside, winter can be brutal in some parts of the country, and with the weather being less reliable than in the warmer months it can be hard to relax by going outside and doing outdoor activities.

That being said, I have come up with 4 quick ways to relieve stress and relax during the colder months!

1. Find a Hobby!

As mentioned earlier in the post, the colder months make it more difficult for people to go outdoors due to the dreaded cold. Trekking home in the snow or in extreme cold is exhausting and personally I hate going back out into freezing weather once I’ve already made it home. This makes it hard for me and probably many others to find stress relief from outdoor activities. Finding an indoor hobby is a perfect way to keep occupied and productive. I find that when I am writing, taking photos, or cooking/baking, I am so focused on the task at hand that all the other problems in my life seem to melt away for a bit. These hobbies also keep me occupied and active while staying warm. So find a hobby and relax doing something you enjoy!

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2. Tea/ hot chocolate

During the winter, I tend to switch from iced coffee and tea, towards warm beverages. To relax at night, I like to make myself a cup of green tea or if my sweet tooth is acting up, a cup of hot chocolate. I’ve tried several kinds, all the way from traditional, to Nutella, to peppermint. All super delicious! Just add some marshmallows or whipped cream and you’re good to go. I recently tried peppermint hot chocolate, and while I’m not a huge fan of peppermint, this recipe was soo tasty!

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Let me know in the comments if you’d like a post dedicated to my favorite hot chocolate recipes!

3. Put on a mask!

And no I don’t mean a halloween mask! Pampering yourself with a face mask every now and then is a great way to just sit back and relax. Even during a super busy day, most of us have 5-10 minutes to spare. Luckily most masks are meant to be kept on for just that amount of time before being washed off. Not to mention face masks, depending on the type, can help improve your complexion, deep clean, and moisturize the skin for a hydrated feeling. Here are some of my favorite masks:

 

Origins Original Skin™ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay

Origins Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask

SEPHORA COLLECTION Sleeping Mask in Rose, Ultra Moisturizing and Brightening

 

5-10 minutes is all it takes!

4. Netflix Binge

Finally, one of my favorite ways to unwind during cold weather is to wrap myself up in a cozy blanket and go on a Netflix binge. Sure it’s not the most productive way to relax, but it sure is fun…especially when you find a show you are completely hooked on. Currently, I’m binge watching Grey’s Anatomy, since I never saw it before. So grab a cup of tea, put on a face mask, and turn on Netflix!

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I hope you found these tips on how to relax in the winter helpful, and don’t forget to check out my last post!

Until Next time,
xoxo

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Hey everyone! It’s finally Holiday Season and I couldn’t be more excited. The holidays are my favorite time of the year, especially Christmas. Everything  around is so festive from the music, to the decorations, to the holiday parties. For me nothing is better than Christmas time in New York City. Gift giving season has officially commenced with sales all through this weekend for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Jcrew is holding 40% off your entire purchase in stores and online. Bras are 50% off at Victoria Secret this weekend as well. Finally major retailers like Macy’s and Bloomingdales are holding their own Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals at prices you can’t beat. This is a great time to snatch gifts for all your friends and family this holiday season. So I’ve put together a list of affordable and luxury items that are on my holiday wishlist this season, hopefully providing some fashion gift ideas for your loved ones. 

 

My Christmas Wishlist
 
 
Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals last only until tomorrow, so take advantage of these deals while you can and do a little saving. I’m so glad I got to share with you some of my ideas for fashion gifts this holiday season. I really would like to know what gift ideas you guys have! Please share in the comments below!
 
My Black Friday Haul post should be up in a few days so stay posted for that!
 
Until next time,
xoxo
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Hello everyone! This post is going to be different from all the others so far. I’ll be sharing with you how to make these delicious, vegan, pumpkin scones. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The leaves changing color, the weather cooling down, apple picking, and pumpkin everything. And while I am not a fan of the PSL per se, I am a fan of pumpkin flavored baked goods…especially those made with REAL pumpkin. I just spent this past weekend attending my sister’s college tennis tournament outdoors and it was my sister who actually stumbled across this recipe from Buzzfeed, adapted from CookieandKate.  I’ve already made these once before but I tweaked the recipe just a bit, opting for regular all purpose baking flour instead of whole wheat since my supermarket did not carry any. I also stuck with coconut oil for the entire recipe and upped the maple syrup from 1/4 to 1/3 cups for the maple glaze the second time around; however, 1/4 cups works just as well as I’ve tried both. The results were these amazing, moist scones, that are simple and quick to whip up on the weekends to take to work for the week. They are perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning, not too sweet but extremely tasty.

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Vegan Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze
Serves 8
Delicious, moist, pumpkin scones made with whole ingredients and completely vegan.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
For the scones
  1. 1 cup raw pecans
  2. 2 cups all purpose flour
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  7. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  8. 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/3 cup solid coconut oil
  11. 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  12. 1/4 cup almond milk
  13. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the maple glaze
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 or 1/3 cup maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast the nuts for 3 minutes and then chop into very fine pieces.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, 3/4 chopped nuts, baking powder, sugar, spices, and salt and whisk together.
  3. Use a fork to cut the coconut oil into the dry ingredients, and mix into the flour.
  4. Stir in pumpkin puree, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until all the liquids are incorporated with the dry ingredients. At this point you may want to knead everything with your hands to make sure everything is thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Remove from the bowl and place dough on the parchment paper in a circle about an inch deep. Use a large knife to cut the circle into 8 even slices.
  6. Separate slices and place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 15 to 17 min until lightly golden.
  7. While the scones are in the oven, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the scones and top with the remaining chopped pecans while the glaze is still wet. Enjoy!
Adapted from cookieandkate
Adapted from cookieandkate
LovelyLace http://www.lovelylace.net/

 

 

 

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It’s that time of the year again! September is officially here and with it the end of the summer season. I know :'(. We’re all weeping deep down because we know that this means we’ll have to put away our swimsuits until next year and head back to reality, a.k.a school or work. Here in the Northeast, the weather starts to simmer down and the temperatures typically begin to drop a bit towards the end of the month. Now don’t get me wrong, summer is great! However fall, along with spring, are my two favorite seasons. No more walking outside and melting in the dreaded eighty degree, humid weather. No more feeling like you’re in a sauna with your makeup sliding off your face. It’s gross and trust me you will find very few people who enjoy this aspect of summer. I enjoy the cool, more temperate weather of fall and don’t mind throwing on a light layering piece during the day. Plus dressing up during the autumn allows me to experiment a bit more with my wardrobe and try out new trends! That being said, there are a few staples that I like to include in my closet every season. So without further ado, let’s get into my must haves!

 

 

10 must haves for fall 2016

 

  1. Jcrew Vest: perfect for layering and keeping you warm
  2. Gingham or Plaid shirt: again layering… See a trend? LOL
  3. Booties: classics.
  4. Wrap choker: I’ve been seeing this style all over this season and while it hasn’t been in my closet in recent years I think it adds a little something to an outfit.
  5. Basic Tee: a staple year round.
  6. Blanket Scarf: so warm when it gets chilly.
  7. Chunky Sweater: Simple. Easy. Also more layering :P.
  8. Denim: A good pair of jeans is essential year round. Both blue and black denim are great pieces for the fall.
  9. Leather Jacket: I practically live in this come the colder months.
  10. Crossbody bag: I like a no fuss bag, that is easy to sling across my body and fits all my essentials like my phone, cardholder and some extras.
All the links for items are listed above. Hope you enjoyed my post and hope to see you again in the future!
Until then,
xoxo
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