Easter Coconut Cupcakes

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How is Easter already in three weeks? I feel like it was just yesterday that the grocery store was full of Valentine’s Day treats, but I do love seeing aisles full of jelly beans and chocolate bunnies. The mini Cadbury chocolate eggs are one of my favorite Easter candies, so I decided to make some coconut cupcakes topped with the pretty, pastel sweet.

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 18.25 oz. box white cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

For the frosting + topping

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 bag Cadbury mini chocolate eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins and set aside (makes 24 cupcakes).
  2. For the cupcakes: In a large bowl, combine egg whites, coconut milk, apple sauce and coconut extract. Add cake mix and stir until combined. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins and bake for 20-22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.
  3. For the frosting: In a medium bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with heavy cream. Add coconut and vanilla extract. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add more powdered sugar if it is too thin or heavy cream if it is too thick.
  4. Frost each cooled cupcake and then sprinkle with shredded coconut. Top with three Cadbury eggs.

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Tuesday Trends: Thanksgiving Edition

Only two more days until Thanksgiving! Time to eat, drink and be merry! Check out my favorite turkey day trends for decorating, dressing and dining.

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DIY banners are a fun decoration for any occasion, especially when made with pretty ribbons and beautiful calligraphy. Burlap banners, which have also been popular on Pinterest, add country charm and are a favorite of mine. This dessert table from Paddington Way, complete with a DIY pom pom garland and several tiered cake stands, is a simple, stylish way to serve sweet treats this Thanksgiving.  Hello, mini pumpkin pies!

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For a trendy twist on this traditional fall decoration, try DIY chevron pumpkins from My Sweet Savannah. With a little bit of paint and patience, this front porch staple is transformed from simple to stylish.

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Whether you are spending your turkey day at a fancy soirée or at home dining with your family, you can’t go wrong with a simple dress paired with a sparkly statement necklace. The tailoring and conservative style of this leather dress, found on ador.com, make it look classy and feminine. A statement necklace and simple cross-body bag are the perfect accessories for this polished, sophisticated look.

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Nailed it! This color-block mani featured on NailPop will match any Thanksgiving outfit. The jewel tones topped with gold studs  create a glamorous look and are perfect for fall. b974d59a22a878f6ecb6b8e00c862c29

Give thanks this Thanksgiving with customized place mats. This simple DIY project doubles as decoration and a fun activity. What am I thankful for? My family, friends, health and job, just to name a few. Plus fashion, food, Pinterest… the list could go on and on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 10 Holiday Drinks

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These seasonal sippers are sure to add holiday cheer this year! Whether you want to warm up by the fire with gourmet hot cocoa or liven up a winter gathering with Peppermint White Russians, these decadent drinks will get you into the yuletide spirit.

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{1} Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from McCormick

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{2} Peppermint White Russian from A Beautiful Mess

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{3} Black-Spiced Rum Eggnog from Design Sponge

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{4} Peppermint Ice Cream and Hot Cocoa “Affogato” from A Couple Cooks

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{5} Mistletoe Cocktail from Pizzazzerie

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{6} Malted White Hot Chocolate with Mocha Marshmallows from Love & Flour

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{7} Hot Cider Nog from Southern Living

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{8} Mistletoe Margarita from The Realistic Nutritionist  

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{9} Berry Cider from Pizzazzerie

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{10} Any holiday “red cup” drink from Starbucks.

Cheers!
xoxo

Spooktacular Halloween Dinner

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I hope everyone is having a spooktacular Halloween! I’ve definitely had enough sugar to last me a while. That’s a lie. I will probably be baking sweets again this weekend.

This kid-friendly holiday calls for some classic childhood treats – with a gourmet twist. Take your mac n cheese to the next level with pumpkin purée and sharp white cheddar cheese. It’s rich, flavorful and festive.  For some fangtastic finger food, wrap your favorite hot dog with crescent rolls and – ta da! – you have a magnificent mummy-themed meal. Pair with pumpkin beer for some big-kid fun!

Below are the recipes for these bewitching Halloween eats. No tricks, just treats!

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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz.) box of elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Cook noodles according to directions (boil large pot of water, add macaroni and cook until desired consistency). Drain and set aside.
  3. In a medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk together for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in milk and heavy whipping cream. Place back onto heat and bring to simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg, mustard and pumpkin until combined. Add 2 cups of cheese, stirring until melted. Turn up heat and stir until thickened. Mix in macaroni until fully coated.
  4. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden-brown.

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Mummy in a Blanket

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll original crescent rolls
  • 6 cheese-wursts (or preferred hot dogs)
  • Dollop of mustard

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Roll out crescent roll dough. Cut into 1 inch strips. Wrap hot dog with dough and place on lightly greased cooking sheet.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until hot dog is warm and dough is lightly browned.
  4. Using the mustard, make 2 dots for eyes.

Enjoy! Happy Halloween :)

Festive 4th of July Brownie Bites

brownie bitesLooking for an easy, festive treat to bring to a 4th of July party? All you need are store-bought brownie bites, frosting and sprinkles! I brought these to a BBQ last year and they were a hit!  Add a dollop of frosting (cream cheese is always a good choice) to each brownie bite. Top with red, white and blue sprinkles. You can also use edible cake decorations, such as the stars and flags shown above. Enjoy!

Stars & Stripes

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Happy July! This means one of my favorite holidays, the 4th of July, is almost here! Ok, so you don’t get presents, but I love everything associated with this holiday: summertime, barbecues, America, country music, fireworks, friends, family, beer, bonfires, picnics and enjoying the outdoors. I also love the classic fashion styles of this festive day. Get ready for the 4th with some stars and stripes and red, white and blue!

The 4th of July is the epitome of summer, so a relaxed vibe with a splash of fun, trendy style is perfect for this day. Nothing says laid back and American like some star-spangled Converse! If you’d rather go with stripes, this Splendid tank top is cute, soft and cool. Coral is close enough to red, right?! Also, since chevron is basically the super-stylish sister of stripes, I think it should be included in this selection.

My boyfriend and I got in the spirit of this happy holiday at the “Red Wine and Brew” beer and wine festival in Las Vegas. With a great selection of beer and wine, barbecue food, live music and 110 degree heat, it was impossible not to get excited for this spirited holiday!

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Hope everyone has a great 4th :)