30 October 2013

How To: Make a Cupcake Costume


I am known for my cupcakes. So I thought it would only be fitting to be a cupcake for halloween. After much googling I found a few different techniques for making a cupcake costume. I really liked All Things Alisa's tutorial and used it as a base for building my own cupcake. I used a round laundry basket instead of a larger bin and used a slightly different technique for making my frosting. I loved how my costume turned out and I cannot wait to wear it!



Project difficulty: Medium (I would recommend having a friend to help)
Time: 1.5 Hours

Materials:
- Round laundry Basket
- 3-4 coloured Bristol board (I used hot pink)
- hot glue and glue gun
- batting (I got mine from walmart)
- Wide Ribbon
- Feather boa
- Glitter Styrofoam balls (or pompoms)
- Headband
- Cupcake plushy (Keychain from Dollarstore)

Directions:
1. Cut bottom off of laundry basket
2. Cut bristol board to desired length, I made mine about 5-10 cms longer then the basket. Fold accordion style



3. Glue folded Bristol board around laundry basket. We cut a tab on each side of our bristol board to glue under the "lip" of the laundry basket. It took about 2 and a half of the bristol boards to fully cover the laundry basket.


4. Measure ribbon "suspenders" at height where you want the cupcake to be and glue ribbon onto laundry basket. I would make the straps a bit longer then you think you will need. You can always cut and tie the ribbon in a bow on your shoulder after. I would recommend a friend help you with this step.
5. Fold batting in four into a square slightly larger then your basket. (There should be four layers of batting).  Make sure you tuck your straps into the laundry basket before you glue on the batting!



6. Glue small sections of laundry basket and tuck batting up and under so it forms a pouf and "muffin top" edge around the laundry basket. Glue all the way around laundry basket in small sections securing batting as you go.
7. Attach feather boa with hot glue around the edge of the laundry basket between the paper and the batting.
8. Use the hot glue to add "sprinkles" around the edge your cupcake. I used glitter Styrofoam balls that I found at the dollar store but pompoms would work well.



9. Cut a small X in the centre of the batting on your cupcake. Use your hands to stretch the batting into a big enough hole for you to fit through.



10. For the head piece: I used a headband from the dollar store and hot glued a plushy cupcake from a keychain onto the headband.



I am planning on wearing it with a white t shirt and shorts underneath. I think it will look great once I do my makeup all sparkly and glittery and wear my favourite pink heels! 
Can't wait! 

What are you being for halloween? 
Jaclyn



28 October 2013

Currently Reading: Lean In


Okay, so I know I am WAY behind the curve on this one, but I finally got around to reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.  I found the book to be easy to read and there was a lot that I could relate to. While there were parts in the book that I found contradicting or I wasn't sure of, overall it gave me a lot to think about and it opened my eyes to some ways I am holding myself back. I think that this book is an important book for all young women to read. It really opens your eyes and gives you something to think about. As someone who will be entering the work force in a couple of years I found it helpful, especially the parts about holding yourself back because you might have a family one day. It gave a great perspective on the work/life balance and the importance of finding a mentor that fits for you not just because you think they would be a great mentor. While working at my internship this past summer, I got to attend a Women in Entrepreneurship Discussion. I really enjoyed getting to hear from female entrepreneurs about what it meant to be a woman in business and what they felt needed to change. There were a lot of really great take home messages from that talk which mirrored a lot of what Sandberg writes about in her book. I think that by talking about these issues we can shed some light on them and begin to make change. I would love to see these ideas be taught/discussed in all business schools. While I believe it is important for women to read books like Lean In, I think it is equally as important for men to read them as well.

Have you read Lean In? What are your thoughts on it? 

25 October 2013

Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup


Butternut squash soup is one of my favourite things about fall. I got a huge butternut squash from the farmers market near my house and I knew right away I wanted to make soup with it. There are so many variations of butternut squash soup out there but I knew I wanted to add apples to mine (I still have a bunch from apple picking!). I also love the combination of ginger and butternut squash so I knew I would be adding some ginger to my soup. I roasted the butternut squash because that meant that I only had to cut it once. I hate hate hate cutting butternut squash! This was the perfect solution and it let me add flavour to the squash before adding it to the soup. The end result was a creamy soup that had a hint of sweetness from the apples but a good amount of spice from the ginger. It was really simple to make and I think you will really enjoy it!


Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash
2 tbs olive oil
rosemary
salt and peper
4 small-medium sized apples, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tbs butter
1 tsp freshly graded ginger
3-4 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Wash outside of butternut squash. Cut in half length wise. Scoop out seeds. Brush each half of butternut squash with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Place cut-side down on baking tray or in a baking dish. Bake for 45 minute or until tender.
2. While the butternut squash is roasting, peel and cut apples and carrots, set aside.
3. Chop onion.  In a large pot, melt the butter, add onions. Cook until transparent. About 4-5 minutes.
4.  Add carrots and apples to the pot. Add water until everything is just covered. (This took me about 3 cups). Simmer on medium heat until apples and carrots are tender.
5. When squash is done remove it from oven. Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Add the squash to the pot with the apples and the carrots. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
6. Using an emersion blender (or a regular blender in batches), blend soup until smooth.
7. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and stir to combine.
8. Enjoy!
Note: You can freeze the soup before adding the cream. It freezes well and will last for a couple of months in the freezer. When you are ready to eat it just defrost, bring up to a simmer and add the cream to the soup.


What is the one dish you look forward to every fall?
Jaclyn

23 October 2013

Midterm Stress Relief




I am smack in the middle of midterms. Which means my time has been spent pouring over notes and textbooks trying to memorize every last piece of information. There have been plenty of track pants, cozy socks and tea lately. I find myself googling puppies every so often when I need a break and something cute to look at. If I can't have an actual puppy well this is the next best thing.  


Good luck to everyone who has midterms! Please share any midterm stress relief or study tips you  have with me in the comments!  


21 October 2013

Akriah Robinson told 150 wedding guests that her husband doesn't complete her which probably shocked many of her guests -  I however could not agree with her more.  I know that society has lead us to believe that the person we marry completes us but it is not something I have ever really agreed with. It all started when my first year roommate told me that her boyfriend completed her. I just looked at her and said okay. At the time I was happily single and I couldn't help but think to myself "does that mean I am an incomplete person?". Can a person not be complete without someone else? This idea did not sit right with me. I was happy with who I was, a single girl, I felt complete and fulfilled. I never thought of myself as needing someone to complete me. There are many important things in my life and many relationships with people who I value all of which have helped to shape me into the person that I am today. I am a unique individual. I will always be a unique individual and who can stand on my own. I don't need anyone to "complete me". I have always felt that you cannot be completely happy in a relationship until you are happy alone. Wanting to find that perfect person to complete you is a lot of pressure on that other person. I believe girls should be able to trust in themselves and that they should have a network of more then just one person who they can lean on when times get tough. I am currently in a relationship,  which I am committed to and I value but I refuse to say that my boyfriend completes me.  Personally, I do not feel like one person can complete another, I believe that in order to be truly happy in our relationships with others and in life that we need to be able to rely on ourselves and be okay with who we are as individuals. I am not in a relationship with my boyfriend because he completes me but because he brings joy into my life, he supports me and I know that I can always trust him. I completely agree with Akriah when she says "Our lives are much bigger then each other".  You should go read her speech if you haven't yet!

Jaclyn

18 October 2013

Liebster Award: Help me Discover New Blogs


I was recently nominated by the lovely Emma of Emma's Looking Glass for the Liebster Award. I don't usually partake in these kind of things but I loved the premise behind this one. All the nominees have under 200 followers. I love connecting with people who have blogs that are around the same size as mine. When I first started blogging there were a handful of blogs that I followed and we would comment back and forth on each others post and I got to know them better. I miss that aspect of blogging as many of them are no longer blogging any more.  I think this is a great opportunity to discover some new blogs.



Here are the rules:



1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.
2. You must answer the 11 questions given to you by the person you were nominated by.
3. You pick up to 11 nominees with under 200 followers to answer your questions.
4. You cannot nominate the person who has nominated you.
5. You must tell the nominees that they have been nominated by you.


1 What is you're favourite aspect of blogging?
I love the creativity of it. I like that there are no rules. Its not an assignment for school, its not something I have to do for work. Its completely mine and I get to decide what direction it goes in. I can change that direction or reinvent it at any time (which I have done as I have grown with the  blog). Mostly its fun and I love getting feedback and connecting with a community of other bloggers.
2 What's you're favourite thing to do with friends?
My friends and I like to grab Starbucks then drive around singing 90s music at the top of our lungs. I don't know how this started but it has kind of become our thing. 
3 If you could be a fictional character who would you be any? Why?
Lorelai Gilmore. She's awesome. 
4 What's your favourite book?
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. I love everything Sarah Dessen writes, including her tweets! Lol. The Truth About Forever is my favourite novel by her. I have read it so many times that my copy is falling apart, I think it might have to do with the small crush I have on Wes. SAWOON.
5 If you could travel anywhere where would you go?
Everywhere.  I want to travel everywhere. I cannot narrow it down to just one place.
6 Whay is your favourite item of clothing?
Cozy socks.
7 What is you're favourite holiday?
Thanksgiving! I love the food and time spent with family. Plus its in fall which is the greatest season.
8 Do your friends and family know about your blog, do they read your blog? How would you feel about this? 
Only my boyfriend knows about my blog and he didn't know for a very long time. He reads it sometimes but not regularly. It doesn't bother me, now he knows why I am crazy about taking photos of my food. Lol. 
9 Who is the most inspirational person in your life?
My Parents. Okay thats two people. But I can't pick just one. 
10 What is you're favourite thing to do on a Sunday?
Wear cozy socks.  Cuddle in bed. Read a good book. Eat comfort food.
11 You're stranded on a desert island, you can chose one person and three items to be with you, what would you chose?
The boy. A fridge that is never empty. A stove. A library.

My 11 questions are: 
1. What is your favourite food? 
2. What is your favourite post that you have written? 
3. What post of yours is more popular then you excepted it to be? 
4. Three words that best describe you? 
5. TV show you couldn't live without? 
6. Favourite form of social media? 
7. Who is your style icon? 
8. What's one thing you need to cross off your "To Do" list before tomorrow?
9. What is your dream job? 
10. Coffee or tea? 
11. What is the number one thing on your bucket list right now? 

I know I am supposed to nominate 11 blogs now but to be honest I don't really know 11 smaller blogs that I can nominate that haven't been already. I know there are a lot of great smaller blogs out there and I would love to read some of them and learn more about the bloggers behind them. So please feel free to take this as my official nomination to you and if you don't want to answer the questions (although its fun and you should) please leave a comment to check out your blog and let me know if you do answer the questions so I can read them! Yay for new friends! 

Jaclyn

16 October 2013

Apple Pumpkin Bread

I have been wanting to make pumpkin bread for the longest time but I knew I should wait until Thanksgiving so I could use half of my 30oz can of pumpkin for pumpkin pie. Finally it was close enough to Thanksgiving that I could pull out the can of pumpkin I had sitting in my pantry for longer then I would like to admit. I was gathering all my ingredients when I glanced at this candle I had recently purchased from Bath and Body Works. I decided that it would be a good idea to incorporate some apples into my pumpkin bread because if they made a candle out of the two then hey it must be good right? Plus I have way more apples then I know what to do with since I went apple picking and you can only have so much apple pie. So off I went to the internet to find an apple pumpkin bread recipe. I found this one from Heather Homemade and liked the idea of the crunchy topping but decided to swap a few of the ingredients to really bring out the fall flavour. I am really happy with the way it turned out and it makes for a great breakfast or snack.  Oh and did I mention I made it all in one bowl. Yup! My kind of recipe!

I may have started eating this piece before I took the photo. Oops. 


Pumpkin Apple Bread

Adapted from Heather Homemade
 
For the Crunchy Sugar Topping
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened 
 
For the Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
4 large eggs
2 cups of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup of packed brown sugar
2 cups chopped apple ( I used a mix of the apples I picked)
 
For the topping, blend flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a small bowl with your finger tips, until mixture resembles coarse meal or sand. Set aside until ready to use.
Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Heat to 350 degrees-F. Butter two 8.5 x 4.5 inch pans.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. 
Lightly beat in the eggs. Whisk in pumpkin, apple sauce and sugar. Stir until just well combined. Fold in the apples. Divide batter between prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle half of the topping evenly across each loaf.
Bake until a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Cool loaves in pans on rack for 45 minutes, then turn out on rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
The bread can be wrapped in plastic wrap and then foil, and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or the freezer for up to one month.


14 October 2013

Weekend Snaps


Gift for the besties birthday. So exited Chapters is now carrying Kate Spade!  


All wrapped up in my signature wrapping (all the friends have gotten this bag at some point or other) 


Studying for miderms :(  


Study Snacks 


Perfect end to a turkey dinner. 

Jaclyn

11 October 2013

Thankful


I have spent the past couple of hours baking multiple pies for Thanksgiving this weekend. Over the past week I have made three apple pies and a pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is probably my favourite holiday. I love it even more now that I am away at school. It is usually the first time I come home after being back at school for the month and I love being able to see all of my friends and family. All the delicious food doesn't hurt.  I am thankful to be home, surrounded by all the people I love, enjoying wonderful food. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canadians out there! 

What are you thankful for? 
Jaclyn



9 October 2013

Falling for Fall

I was going to make a list of all the things I love about Fall to share with you. But this list sums it all up.

What are your favourite things about fall? 
Jaclyn 


7 October 2013

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


I made these cupcakes a couple of weeks ago for the boyfriend's birthday and just haven't gotten a chance to post them. I was torn about what to make; alcoholic and chocolate cupcakes are always a hit but they are my go to. I wanted something different. Lemon Meringue Pie is one of his favourites so I thought I would go with the cupcake form. 


I used this recipe from Living Eventfully that I have had pinned on my cupcake board on Pinterest for the longest time. I halved the recipe since over 30 cupcakes was a bit much and found the 15 or so the half recipe made to be perfect. 



I was most worried about making the meringue frosting. Egg whites either love me or hate me. They seemed to be on my side this time. The frosting was super light and airy. It was perfect. I have yet to invest in a kitchen torch so I used the broiler on the oven and watched them like a hawk until they were lightly toasted. 



I used the cone method to fill the cupcakes with the lemon curd.  I love the looked peoples faces when they find out the cupcakes are filled. The best is when people ask how I got the filling in the cupcake. The cupcakes were a hit all around and the boy said they are some of his favourites so I am sure they will be requested again in the future. 


Have a good monday! 
- Jaclyn 

2 October 2013

Apple Picking


Fall is one of my favourite seasons. I was so excited to go apple picking last year and I loved the farm that we visited but last year wasn't a great one for apples here in Ontario and we went very late in the season that there wasn't much left. This year I jumped on the chance to go apple picking earlier on in the season, so there was plenty of apples left on the trees. We went to a different farm since it was closer and they also offered U-Pick raspberries. Unfortunately there wasn't any U-Pick Raspberries offered that day but we got plenty of apples! I ended up taking home more apples then I know what to do with. So be prepared for a ton of apple posts in the near future (I'm sorry, unless you really like apples then You're Welcome).  



When we got to the stand we were asked if we wanted to pick a half bushel or a full bushel. We went with a half bushel and even then I didn't realize just how many apples it would be. But they are so fresh and delicious. I have been adding apples to everything from smoothies and salads to pies and crisps.  

 Outfit: Sweater, H&M. Jeans, Mavi. Boots, Steven Madden. 


Have you gone apple picking yet? What is your favourite apple recipe?
Jaclyn