Christmas Cranberry Squares

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

christmas ranberry relish sqaures dessert baking williams sonoma recipe sugarly
christmas ranberry relish sqaures dessert baking williams sonoma recipe sugarly
christmas ranberry relish sqaures dessert baking williams sonoma recipe sugarly
christmas ranberry relish sqaures dessert baking williams sonoma recipe sugarly
Last year around Christmas time I sampled the most delicious, crumbly, cranberry squares at Williams Sonoma. The recipe for these squares contains a full jar of the Williams Sonoma cranberry relish. When you buy a jar of the cranberry relish you receive the recipe for the cranberry squares! I went ahead and bought the cranberry relish and made the cranberry squares and they were a hit at Christmas! This year I just had to make them again! I've made a few tweaks to make them even more scrumptious and irresistible! I hope you guys love these delicious bites as much as I do! 

Cranberry Relish Squares (recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma)

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 8 Tbsp butter, melted *I prefer using salted butter
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 jar Williams Sonoma Cranberry Relish
  • 1 Tbsp AP flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar *I prefer using brown sugar instead of white
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking pan *I like to use an 8 x 8 pan so that the squares turn out thicker. Reserve 1 cup of cake mix in a  small bowl. 
In a separate bowl stir together remaining cake mix, 8 Tbsp melted butter and 1 egg. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the pan. 
In another bowl stir together the cranberry relish with the remaining 2 eggs and milk. Pour over the cake batter in pan. 
Add the flour, sugar and cinnamon to the reserved cake mix and stir together. Add the 4 Tbsp of cold butter. With a pastry blender, fork or two knives, cut the butter into pea-sized crumbs form and the mixture clumps together, Crumble the mixture over the cranberry layer in the baking dish.
Bake until golden, about 40 minutes. *I take the dish out around 30-35 minutes when its still moist but not underdone. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Cut into squares and serve. 

Christmas Tree Hunting

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pacific Beach, San Diego CA

Thanksgiving weekend has been full of fun, family and of course lots and lots of yummy food and leftovers. Now that Thanksgiving has passed, It's officially the start of the Christmas season! What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than shopping for this year's Christmas tree! My family always gets a real Christmas tree and I wouldn't have it any other way. There's just something so wonderful about the smell of pine filling your home and having a real tree as the focal point of all the Christmas decor. 

I also want to share with you guys, the best pair of jeans that I recently picked up on black friday! I'm incredibly picky with jeans and was never much of a jean advocate because I could never find a pair that met all my jean requirements. I am particularly picky with black jeans. I like my jeans to be distressed, have stretch and be mid or high wasited, and that is a rare combination to find in black jeans. However, I recently discovered a pair of jeans that meet all of these requirements and are also under a $100 at the regular price and are currently on sale for $39! The jeans are the super skinny style from Abercrombie which you can find here. I have a pair of Abercrombie jeans from about a year ago that are a light wash and I absolutely adore them, but they stopped manufacturing that style and I wasn't able to find a similar style in any color until recently. I've tried black jeans in every cut, style and material blend imaginable and have tried many high end jeans and many inexpensive jeans and these are by far my favorite. I'm so happy that I've found the perfect pair of black jeans and I just had to share them with you guys! 
Sweater: TopShop // Jeans: Abercrombie // Boots: Steve Madden // Sunnies: Quay Australia
I'll be sharing all my tree decorating tips with you guys soon and some of my favorite ways to make trimming the tree even more fun! Keep your eye out for many more Christmas decor, dessert, party and style posts to come throughout this Christmas season! 

Maple Leaf Sandwich Cookies

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

maple leaf sandwich cookies betty crocker sugarly thanksgiving baking fall autumn maple leaf sandwich cookies betty crocker sugarly thanksgiving baking fall autumn
maple leaf sandwich cookies betty crocker sugarly thanksgiving baking fall autumn maple leaf sandwich cookies betty crocker sugarly thanksgiving baking fall autumn
maple leaf sandwich cookies betty crocker sugarly thanksgiving baking fall autumn
 Every Thanksgiving I make my signature dish, maple leaf sandwich cookies. I discovered this recipe years ago and ever since it's become a tradition to make them for Thanksgiving. What I love about these cookies is how unique they are. Both the dough and the filling of these cookies are flavored with maple and the dough is by far the most delicious, flaky, buttery cookie dough I have ever tasted. Maple is an overlooked flavor for fall but I have to say, it is one of my favorites and is always a crowd pleaser. I've included the recipe for these yummy cookie below. Hope you guys enjoy them as much as I do!

Maple Leaf Sandwich Cookies Recipe (Courtesy of Betty Crocker)

Ingredients

Cookies
1
cup butter, softened
1/3
cup whipping cream
1/2
teaspoon maple extract
2
cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
2
tablespoons sugar
Filling
1/4
cup butter, softened
1
cup powdered sugar
1/2
teaspoon maple extract
3
to 4 teaspoons milk

Directions

  • 1 In large bowl, combine 1 cup butter, whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon maple extract; blend well. Stir in flour until well mixed. Divide dough in half; shape each half into flattened disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.
  • 2 Heat oven to 375°F. On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Keep remaining half of dough refrigerated. Cut dough with 2-inch maple-leaf cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookies sheets. Sprinkle with sugar. With fork, prick each cookie 3 or 4 times.
  • 3 Bake at 375°F. for 7 to 10 minutes or until slightly puffed and edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool 10 minutes or until completely cooled.
  • 4 In small bowl, blend all filling ingredients, adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency; beat until smooth. Spread scant 1 teaspoon filling between 2 cooled cookies.

Warm & Cozy Thanksgiving Glam

Monday, November 21, 2016

thanksgiving glam makeup artist mac cosmetics urban decay laura mercier nyx sugarly mua fall autumn madewell loreal makeup forever thanksgiving glam makeup artist mac cosmetics urban decay laura mercier nyx sugarly mua fall autumn madewell loreal makeup forever

thanksgiving glam makeup artist mac cosmetics urban decay laura mercier nyx sugarly mua fall autumn madewell loreal makeup forever
thanksgiving glam makeup artist mac cosmetics urban decay laura mercier nyx sugarly mua fall autumn madewell loreal makeup forever
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I wanted to share everything I love doing for this cozy holiday with you guys! One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving (other than eating of course) is being cozy and comfy. Comfort is key on Thanksgiving so I usually don't get too dressed up but rather focus on wearing the most comfortable pieces I own, like a cute sweater and boots. That being said, since I'm not pulling out all the stops for my Thanksgiving outfit,  I love focusing on creating a gorgeous makeup look. For this look I started with applying my all time favorite lip combo and then created the rest of the look around that. 

To create this look I used:

FACE


EYES

Eye shadow in crease: Urban Decay in Smog
Eye shadow on lid and smudged on lower lash line: MAC in Arena
Eye shadow blending crease to brow bone: Hula Matte Bronzer (This bronzer works great as an eye shadow)
Inner corner and brow bone highlight: MAC Mineralize skin finish in Soft & Gentle
Liner: Makeup Forever Eyeshadow in "Espresso" applied with dampened angled liner brush

LIPS

Liquid matte lip cream: Nyx in London (This matte lipcream matches the liner perfectly)


My Thanksgiving Table

Thursday, November 17, 2016

event gathering sugarly thanksgiving table pumpkin fall party planning heirloom fairy lights twinkle candles acorn gold napkin ring target pottery barn
event gathering sugarly thanksgiving table pumpkin fall party planning heirloom fairy lights twinkle candles acorn gold napkin ring target pottery barn
event gathering sugarly thanksgiving table pumpkin fall party planning heirloom fairy lights twinkle candles acorn gold napkin ring target pottery barn
event gathering sugarly thanksgiving table pumpkin fall party planning heirloom fairy lights twinkle candles acorn gold napkin ring target pottery barn
event gathering sugarly thanksgiving table pumpkin fall party planning heirloom fairy lights twinkle candles acorn gold napkin ring target pottery barn
event gathering sugarly thanksgiving table pumpkin fall party planning heirloom fairy lights twinkle candles acorn gold napkin ring target pottery barn
Tablecloth: Target // Table Runner: Williams Sonoma (similar) // Charger Plates: Kirkland (similar) // Napkins: Crate & Barrel (similar) // Acorn Napkin Rings: unfortunately these are no longer sold but these acorn ornaments would work just as well // Water Goblets: Ikea // Candle Holders: Macy's (similar) // Fairy Lights: Target
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because you're in the very middle of the wonderful holiday season. You've had a chance to get into the fall spirit, celebrate Halloween and now can enjoy all the fun, food and togetherness that is Thanksgiving, but you still have Christmas to look forward to. 

     Setting the Thanksgiving table is really what started my love for planning events. When I was about 12, I really wanted to bring my vision for Thanksgiving to life. I planned out the table exactly how I wanted, set up the fall decor just right and even printed out a menu for each guest at their place setting. Of course, every year since, I have to come up with something even better. My favorite part of this whole process is seeing each guest's happiness when they see the special thought and love that is put into this gathering. 

   For this year's Thanksgiving table I wanted to use all the heirloom pumpkins I could fit onto the table as the centerpiece and intertwine fairy lights and tea light candles through the pumpkins to give the table just a little magical spark. Recreating this tablescape is fairly simple. Heirloom pumpkins in varying sizes are the key to creating this table, paired with simple linens in natural tones and gold charger plates. My favorite accent of this tablescape are the little glass acorn napkin rings. I'll also be including pumpkin cookie place cards on each guest's plate (you can find my post all about how to create them here). I hope you guys enjoy this tablescape. I would love to hear what you all have planned for Thanksgiving!

Cozy in Cool Neutrals

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

La Jolla, CA

steve madden urban outfitters quay Australia sugarly la jolla grey neutrals abercrombie gap fall cozy steve madden urban outfitters quay Australia sugarly la jolla grey neutrals abercrombie gap fall cozy
steve madden urban outfitters quay Australia sugarly la jolla grey neutrals abercrombie gap fall cozy
I'm absolutely loving monochromatic outfits lately, especially in cool neutral tones. Half my closet probably consists of sweaters, dresses and tops in varying shades of grey because its my all time favorite color to wear! I love pairing pieces of the same color family together that sort of contrast each other, like this dark grey, grungy crop top I'm wearing with the light grey, cozy, feminine sweater I'm wearing. Some of my favorite outfits of all time are pieces that you would never think to pair together but actually create an outfit that has unique personal flare. 

Thanksgiving Cookie Place Cards

Friday, November 11, 2016

thanksgiving cookie place card wilton pumpkin fall royal icing gold table
For Thanksgiving this year I had the idea of making each guest's place card into a cookie! I decided on using a white pumpkin with gold script and details. Not only does it add a special touch to your Thanksgiving table but everyone gets their own personalized cookie! I've experimented with a few different techniques for making royal icing for sugar cookies and the Wilton stiff royal icing mix I used to make these turned out just as delicious as making it from scratch! You can find the Wilton royal icing mix at Michael's or buy it here. I've included my own sugar cookie recipe below that is by far my favorite. What are your plans for Thanksgiving? I would love to hear some of the traditions you have and the recipes you make!

SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE (MAKES ABOUT 30 COOKIES)

1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350. Cream sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients slowly. Chill at least 1 hr. Roll out cookies and use a pumpkin cookie cutter. Bake for 7-10 minutes. 

Icing:

Water as needed
Pure Lemon Extract

Directions:
After baking the cookies, follow the instructions on the royal icing box to mix the icing. For the border icing use a small tip, such as a Wilton #3 tip, and used the icing at its thickest consistency. At this time you can also ice the stem of the pumpkin. After letting that dry, save a small amount of this thick icing in a bowl for the writing icing. Be sure to cover the bowl with a wet towel until you are ready to use it. Next, water down the remaining icing ( 1 tsp at a time) until it takes about 10 seconds for it to dissolve back into itself if you drip some back into the mix with a spoon. Use this consiency with a larger tip, such a as Wilton #5 to flood the cookies with icing. Once this is dry you can use that thicker icing you saved to pipe the names on the cookies and pipe the swirly vine detail on each cookie. For this step use a very small tip, such as the Wilton #2 tip. Finally, once everything is dry, you can mix gold dust powder with a few drops of pure lemon extract and, using a tiny brush, paint the gold onto the letting, stem and swirly vine. 

Fall Day at Balboa Park

Monday, November 7, 2016

Balboa Park, San Diego CA

balboa park san diego steve madden quay australia urban outfitters simple addiction madewell sugarly fall
Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful spots in San Diego. You could spend days exploring the beautiful architecture and vast spread of greenery and gardens alone. Balboa park also houses some of the most amazing exhibitions and artworks in its museums, not to mention its right next door to the famous San Diego Zoo. I've been to Balboa Park so many times growing up, but there is still so much to see every time I go. Its always so nice to just stop by for the day and take in the beauty. If you're ever in San Diego you can't skip a trip to Balboa Park and all that it offers! 
balboa park san diego steve madden quay australia urban outfitters simple addiction madewell sugarly fall
balboa park san diego steve madden quay australia urban outfitters simple addiction madewell sugarly fall
Turtleneck: Madewell // Skirt: Urban Outfitters // Vest: Simple Addiction // Boots: Steve Madden // Sunnies: Quay Australia
For this fall outfit, I wore one of my favorite new pieces for fall, the whisper cotton turtleneck from Madewell (it's currently on sale!). I also wore my herringbone vest from Simple Addiction with it. I love this vest because its high quality and super comfy (not to mention its almost an exact dupe for Jcrew's herringbone vest!) And of course I paired it with my two staples this fall, my Steve Madden suede boots and my corduroy skirt from urban outfitters which goes with literally everything. 

Classic Makeup for November

Friday, November 4, 2016

classic makeup november mac cosmetics urban decay bite beauty fall autumn natural red lip
classic makeup november mac cosmetics urban decay bite beauty fall autumn natural red lipclassic makeup november mac cosmetics urban decay bite beauty fall autumn natural red lip
classic makeup november mac cosmetics urban decay bite beauty fall autumn natural red lip
Now that the weather is finally cooling down, it feels a bit more like fall in San Diego and I can finally wear sweaters and drink hot cider. Most of all I feel like I can wear some of my favorite makeup looks without worrying about the heat melting it off! For this post, I wanted to share a classic look that goes wonderfully on everyone and can be worn with casual or formal outfits. My secret to making this look pop is not the red lip, but actually using dark brown eyeliner rather than black. I used to wear black liner all the time but I wanted something slightly less intense that brought out my eyes a bit more. Brown eyeliner brings out every eye color and creates a little bit more of a natural look than black eyeliner. I love using makeup to accentuate features rather than compete with them. Give this look a try and tell me what you guys think!

To create this look I used:

Face


Eyes

Eye shadow in outer corner and smudged on lower lash line: MAC in Trax, Urban Decay in Smog
Inner Corner and Brow Bone Highlight: MAC Mineralize skin finish in Soft & Gentle
Liner: Makeup Forever Eyeshadow in "Espresso" applied with dampened angled liner brush

Lips