Recipes

Peanut Butter Smartie Cookies

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I’m usually not a big fan of peanut butter cookies, but these cookies are definitely an exception.

Instead of being hard & crumbly like traditional peanut butter cookies – these cookies are thick, chewy, fluffy & so perfectly peanut-buttery that you won’t want go back to your old recipe. This recipe is also super easy & quick!

If you’re a peanut butter lover, give these bad boys a try!

I used Halloween-coloured Smarties because I just couldn’t resist when I saw all the Halloween candies that are now in stores! (Did I mention, I LOVE Fall? 😉 ) Use whichever chocolates you like (regular smarties, mini M&M’s).

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Peanut Butter Smartie Cookies Ingredients + Directions:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used organic peanut butter)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 1 & 1/2 cups Smarties

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugars together on medium speed until light & fluffy. Slowly mix in the peanut butter, the egg, than the vanilla. Slowly mix in the baking soda, flour & salt until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the Smarties. Cover, and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten out the cookies a bit using the back of a spoon/cup since they won’t spread very much while baking. Bake cookies for only 9-10 minutes. They will look slightly uncooked, but will firm up once they cool. Leave cookies on cookie sheets to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Enjoy! 

Natasha xo

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Recipes

Funfetti Milkshake

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Introducing the most beautiful milkshake of all…

Thee Funfetti Milkshake!

Not only is this milkshake simple & easy to make, it’s also delicious AND oh-so-pretty to look at. The milkshake is mostly made from whipped bananas, which gives it a nice soft serve taste!

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Funfetti Milkshake Ingredients + Directions

Ingredients: (makes 1 large drink, or 2 smaller sized drinks)

  • 2 bananas, chopped & frozen (unpeel and cut into small chunks than freeze bananas in a container for a few hours until frozen)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 generous scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sprinkles (the most important part!) 

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients (EXCEPT for the sprinkles!) into blender & blend until smooth and creamy.

2. Pour mixture into glass and gently stir in as many sprinkles as you’d like.

Notes: 

  • Sprinkle colors will run/bleed, so be sure not to stir too much.
  • If you want to add the layer of sprinkles on top of the drink like in the photos, dip the top of the glass in corn syrup than into sprinkles. 🙂
  • If you want to skinnify this drink, omit the ice cream & add 1/4 cup Greek yogurt instead.

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Enjoy!

Natasha xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things… (Instagram Edition)

Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with Instagram?

I love that you can find great ideas & inspiration on Instagram, its a simple way to make your photos look good, there’s literally thousands of photos for any subject that you’re looking for & its also a great way to keep up with friends & family (aka stalk-your-ex-boyfriend). 😉

On the other hand – you have to look through a ton of (how do I put it..) not-so-great photos to find quality ones, and it seems like every other photo is of a half-naked girl doing a duckface selfie.

So yes, Instagram has its pros & cons but I’d say the pros outweigh the cons…

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Here a few of my favorite Instagram photos:

(note: i did not take or own any of the photos above. instagram users are credited below.)

Top Left: Quilted Couch by Instagram User – elsiecake

OBSESSED with that couch. I will have a couch like that in my place someday. (a girl can dream!)

Top Right: Braided Updo by Instagram User – thestylebrowse

If I weren’t totally useless at doing my own hair, I would totally wear this bun everyday. (i mean it, everyday. seriously. that’s how much i love it.)

Bottom Left: Bright Floral Cake by Instagram User – goodiegirlcooks

This cake caught my eye.. I love the bright colours and the technique used for the flowers. I’d love to try flowers like that on a cake someday.

Bottom Right: Homemade Pumpkin Cozies for Coffee Cups by Instagram User – faithsyarnworks

Guys. How cute are these?! I’m obsessed. They would be a great gift for any girl who’s obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes. Ordering one soon!

Love/hate Instagram? Comment & let us know! 

Natasha xo

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Music

What’s On Your Ipod: 5 Current Favorites

Instead of choosing just one song to feature, I thought I’d switch it up a bit and feature 5 songs. These are the 5 songs on my Ipod that I’m currently addicted to…

Do your ears a favour and check errr out!

1. She Wants To Know by Half Moon Run

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Band Links: Facebook, Twitter

My other favorite songs from their Debut album ‘Dark Eyes’ are Need It & Call Me In The Afternoon.

 2. Real Love by The Boom Booms

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Real Love is available for FREE download here!

I love everything about The Boom Booms – their name, chill tunes & positive vibes.

I got the chance to see them live this past Summer and have been hooked ever since. Their live show is incredible. So uplifting – its like one big, soulful dance party. They are constantly touring, so if you get a chance to see them live, DO IT! You won’t be disappointed.

Band Links: Facebook, Twitter

3. If I Didn’t Know Better by Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen (from the television show Nashville)

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John Paul White of The Civil Wars wrote this song with singer-songwriter Arum Rae. White and his Civil Wars bandmate, Joy Williams originally recorded the song for their ‘Live at Eddie’s Attic’ 2009 album.

I love Sam & Clare’s version on the show.

Sam Palladio who plays Gunnar on Nashville is in an indie folk band called Salt Water Thief. 

4. Crying In The Night by Buckingham Nicks

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Buckingham Nicks is a 10-track LP that Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham recorded before joining Fleetwood Mac. Although the album was considered a commercial flop and was never officially released, there are quite a few gems on the CD. Crying In The Night is my favorite.

5. Crooked Smile by J. Cole feat. TLC

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From my headphones to yours, Enjoy. 🙂 

Natasha xo

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Recipes

Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie

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My pumpkin addiction continues with this Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie!

(I promise this will be the last pumpkin recipe for awhile 😉 )

Like almost every other girl, I am guilty of being obsessed with Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes & Frappuccinos. When September rolls around, they are literally the only thing I want to drink & they are one of my favorite things about Fall. What I don’t like is the $5 a drink price tag. (right ladies?!)

My mom & I decided to make our own Pumpkin Smoothie. Not only is it a lot cheaper to make, it is also healthier for you & super tasty!

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Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie Ingredients + Directions

Recipe adapted from bornandbreadny.com/pumpkin-smoothie/

Ingredients:

1/2 cup canned pumpkin, frozen (freeze pumpkin in a plastic container for a few hours before use)

2 bananas, frozen (unpeel, chop & freeze)

1 cup soy milk (or almond, regular)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Top with crushed graham crackers, or top with whipped cream & a sprinkle of cinnamon!

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Enjoy!

Natasha xo

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Song: Fresh Pair of Eyes
Artist: Brooke Waggoner

This songs been on repeat since I first heard it a few days ago on the tv show Pretty Little Liars. Yes, I watch Pretty Little Liars – its actually a pretty good show! I wasn’t interested in it at all when it first aired on tv a few years ago and never watched it, but I’ve been desperate since my laptop broke down a few days ago & since I can no longer watch any shows on the laptop, I’ve resorted to Netflix & randomly ended up choosing PLL. I’m actually pleasantly surprised at how good it is! (plus the show plays some really good songs) Just finished season one & I’m hooked. (must find out who A is!)

Okay, got totally sidetracked there – lets get back to the music…

Brooke Waggoner is an incredible indie folk/pop artist based in Nashville, Tennessee.
She has released 4 albums, and her latest (titled Originator) was released on March 5, 2013. Brooke released all her 4 albums independently, and all the music was fully orchestrated, written and arranged by her.

Over the past few years, Brooke won the ‘NBN Emerging Artist Award’ at the Nashville Music Awards, and was also nominated for a prestigious Independent Music Award, her songs have been played on many tv shows such as Pretty Little Liars & Grey’s Anatomy, she’s released a Live Concert DVD, produced/collaborated with many different artists, & has even performed/recorded with Jack White on his album, Blunderbuss.

Quote from Brooke about the recording process on her latest record:
(Quote from Brooke’s Facebook Page)

After numerous cups of coffee, late nights spent exchanging notes and emails, and geeking out over TalkTalk records we decided recording this LP in an old-fashioned and traditional manner only made sense. Vintage gear and 2″ tape. No computers — Just a room with really good musicians and ears for beautiful things.”

If you’re looking for real, genuine talent & captivating, beautiful songs – check out Brooke Waggoner.

http://www.brookewaggoner.com
http://www.facebook.com/brookewaggoner

Natasha xo

Recipes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Say hello to my new favorite pumpkin cookie!

These cookies are hands down, the best pumpkin cookies I’ve tried. They taste like a delicious piece of pumpkin pie, but in a cookie! Soft, chewy, pumpkiny goodness.

Many pumpkin cookies have a cake-like consistency, but these cookies do not. The soft & chewy consistency in these cookies is due to the melted butter, and the lack of eggs. The pumpkin in these cookies replace the eggs making them moist & fluffy.

I used a combo of white & milk chocolate chips in these cookies, but you can use whichever chocolate chips you like!

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Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients + Directions:

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 18-22 cookies)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons pure pumpkin
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of allspice
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
(Or use 1/2 cup of your preferred kind of chocolate chips)

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar & granulated sugar together until no lumps remain. Add the vanilla extract, and pumpkin & whisk until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice together. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients & mix ingredients together using a spoon/spatula. Fold in the 1/2 cup chocolate chips making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover, & refrigerate the dough for at least 40 mins. (I chilled my dough overnight). Don’t skip this step – You must chill the dough! 🙂

3. After refrigerating – preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line or spray 2 large baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Roll the dough into balls approx. 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoon In size. If you want your cookies to be flatter, flatten the balls lightly using the back of a spoon/damp bottom of a cup. (I like my cookies to be a bit thicker, so I didn’t flatten them.)  Bake the cookies for only 9-10 minutes. (They will look very underbaked – don’t worry. Once they cool, they will become chewy & perfect!)

4. Leave the cookies on the baking sheets & allow to cool for at least 15 minutes after taking them out of the oven. These cookies need to set after baking, and harden up a bit – so the longer they sit & cool on the baking sheets, the chewier they’ll be!

Notes:

– Store cookies at room temperature for up to a week.
– Recipe slightly adapted from sallysbakingaddiction.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

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