A beauty & lifestyle blog.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chocolate Sugar Cookies


Merry Christmas my lovelies! <3 At this point in time I would like you all to imagine me singing Friday by Rebecca Black substituting Friday with Christmas. It's Chriii-stmas, Chriii-stmas, gotta bake cookies on Chriii-stmas! Gotta have my butter, gotta have some eggs ... (I hope you can imagine me with a better voice than I have in reality because Tilen is half-deaf by now).

So today I wanted to share a cookie recipe with you. I got the recipe from Sweetapolita here: http://sweetapolita.com/2012/11/the-perfect-dark-chocolate-sugar-cookies/ I wanted to try these cookies because they're supposed to keep their shape and not expand. So let's get on with it!



Above is the cast of characters: brown sugar, white sugar, cocoa, butter, vanilla sugar, salt, flour and eggs (for exact measurements check Sweetapolita's blog!) The hardest part of this recipe was, as always, combining the butter with the sugars. Remember to not use chilled butter - but don't melt it either, the mixture won't be right. Slice the butter at room temperature, add sugar and mix with an electric mixer until fluffy. Then add the eggs and keep mixing. Stir in flour, cocoa, salt & vanilla. Preheat oven to 325 F or 165°C.

Okay now, it would be a good idea to chill the dough before you roll it, though I didn't have time for that. If you chill it, wrap it in foil and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If not chilling, make sure to flour your surface and the rolling pin, then roll to desired thickness.


Cut out the shapes and place on baking tray. Sweetapolita chills them again, and this is a step I wouldn't skip. My momma has taken over the fridge and freezer, so I just put the tray on our balcony for 15 minutes. After that time, the cookies were nice an' cold. I popped them in the oven for 15 minutes and they were perfect!

Tip #1: If using proper bitter cocoa, your cookies will be a LOT darker. I used Nesquick because there'll be kids eating them and I don't think they'd appreciate the less sweet flavour. Also that's all I had at home. Don't judge.

Tip #2: The cookies come out differently depending on the thickness of the dough. If you want hard & crunchy, make it thicker, if you want chewy, less thick.

Tip #3: This recipe makes A LOT OF COOKIES, y'all. I got about 4 platters of them out of this. You can lower the doses of ingredients for less cookies.

Let me know if you end up making them, they're a huge hit at my house!
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Paint the town red!


The big day is fast approaching and I don't know about you, but I'm EXCITED (hiding it well, aren't I?) So I'm already thinking what to wear to our annual lunch with the family on Wednesday and for dinner on Christmas Eve. I think a red lip is pretty much a given in these festive times and today I've prepared my favorite reddies for the holiday season.

Let's start with YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy in Succulent Pommegranate. Go for this one if you're shy when it comes to reds and don't want to go to all the fuss of applying a proper red. It's a very glossy rosy red color which feels very moisturizing on the lips, almost like a lip balm. Really nice if you plan on eating a lot - I know I am!

My next pick would be the Bourjois Color Boost Lip Crayon in Red Sunset. This is another gorgeous glossy red, but this one will stay on for absolute ages! I even went swimming with it on once and it didn't budge. Doesn't feel as moisturizing on the lips, more so glossy, but it will stay in place longer than the YSL lippie.

Next up is my current favorite - Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang. This comes in a gloss form complete with doe foot applicator, though it behaves like a lipstick on the lips. I especially love that it dries super fast and doesn't transfer on my lips (because I have had too many embarassing moments when a friend has to remind me my teeth are red). And on top of that it keeps the gloss even when it dries down. The price is great, too! Definitely my favorite pick.

I also really like Revlon's Cherries in the Snow, which I wore all of last December (accompanied by my grandma's complaining about it not suiting me, but then she says that about pretty much everything I wear, I should probably wear a potato sack to please her, heheh). It's more of a blue toned red, almost a hot pink, which will make your teeth look a lot whiter. The fact that I wore it so much atests to the fact that it is one of the best reds out there! Revlon has a few nice shades, like Revlon Red and Black Cherry if you're into the vampy look.

This last lippie is a Catrice one which I'm not sure you can get anymore, but there are plenty of dupes out there. It's a deep red shade with plummy undertones, and I only included it as a matte option. I know my friend Nina likes her lipsticks matte and with absolutely no shimmer, and I think she would love this one. It's really pretty!

There you have it, my picks for red lips, yo (because that almost rhymed. Come on, let me have my rapper moment). What will you be wearing on Christmas? Do you dress up or stay in sweats? :)
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder



Today's review is of a bit of a cult product, namely the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder. I finally got my hands on this very coveted item in Budapest and decided to go for the shade Translucent (thankfully, since I also got the Wake me up foundation and the lightest shade they had was waaaay too dark for me - I guess I'll keep it for summertime).

In the last photo, you can see what the powder looks like on my skin applied over the Wake me up foundation, also by Rimmel. It really does an amazing job mattifying the skin and it gives it almost an airbrushed finish - my skin looks a lot silkier when I use this powder. I've grown out of pressed powders lately, but I wanted to give this a try nonetheless as everyone loves it so much. I have to say I was quite impressed as it really does the job perfectly! My skin does start to shine in about 4 hours, but it's nothing a quick blot cannot fix.

The only problem I have with this is the packaging. It is really really cheaply made - my compact was broken when I bought it! Personally, I would pay an euro or two more if they added a mirror and made the whole thing a bit sturdier. Nonetheless, at the price of 5€, this is the best pressed powder I've tried in ages, I daresay I love it more than MAC's MSF Natural (gasp!).
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dove Hair Therapy Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo


Y'know, I was never one of those people who watched Youtube videos and then ran out and got everything the person mentioned. Emphasis on the WAS. Of course, then Essiebutton came along.

Recently, Essie mentioned this Dove Dry Shampoo in a favorites video and it was in the back of my mind when I went to Budapest. I was really excited when I spotted this product in their drugstore and I knew I had to have it right away. Now please whatever you do, don't ask me about the price of this, because Hungary has a different currency and I honestly don't have the foggiest. It wasn't expensive, that's all I remember. And since I just ran out of my Schauma Cotton Fresh dry shampoo, it was the perfect opportunity/excuse to get this one.

I quite like the change I made in my routine - to be honest, as much as I love Schauma's dry shampoo, I had grown a bit tired of it. This has a different scent, which is a nice change, and I also love the way it works. You don't need a lot of it, honestly, and it soaks up the oils rigt away. But let's talk about the one thing I love most about it. Volume, my peeps. Major, huge, unmistakeable VOLUME!! This makes my hair absolutely huge and I love using it on second day hair and then curling it for masses of curls. Hello, big hair! Sayonara limp locks! Other generic statements with an exclamation mark at the end!

Definitely one to try! (Živa, take it down on a notch on the exclamations, fo' real though.) I am trying to cut down on washing my hair using this - God knows what I'll do when I run out - but my hair is so so bad lately, even straight after I wash it, it still looks greasy ... I'm thinking I need a good clarifying shampoo. Do you have any suggestions? I'm just sick of my hair being so blah.
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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Guest post: You CAN have your cake & eat it too!



Hi lovelies! I just came back from my trip to Budapest, where I unfortunately didn't have internet, so I'm a bit late with posting the lovely Neja's guest post. She prepared a recipe for macarons, which will surely be made in my house soon! I love her beautiful blog and she is such a lovely girl, so I'm so thankful she decided to cooperate with me. Thank you, gorgeous! <3 Don't forget to visit You CAN Have Your Cake And Eat It Too!



Živa brightened my day when she invited me, to write a post for her blog. I regularly read her posts, because I like her energy, funny way of writing and accessibility. Sweet girl all the way!

I was thinking what to cook for her blog. It seemed to me that most suitable recipe would be something sweet, small. Something that most girls love. Macarons are so romantic, photogenic, French. Girls like to indulge in something sweet when we meet for coffee with a friend. At home, we love to prepare ourselves a cup of tea, pick a favorite book or TV series, put on something comfy, and of course, something sweet must be in the mix. Now you can try to make these little fellas yourself.
With love, Neja










Ingredients

  • 100 grams blanched, ground almonds (make sure to grind more than 100 grams)
  • 100-110 grams egg whites aged 1 day at room temperature
  • 15 grams cocoa powder or food coloring
  • 185 grams powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar

The process

1. Grind the almonds in a mixer or a food processor. Push the almond flour through a sieve to get rid of any large pieces or lumps.
2. Mix the powdered sugar and cocoa powder or food coloring  together with the ground almonds in a food processor.
3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand- or stand mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out.
4. Fold the dry mix carefully and slowly into the meringue, use a spatula. Don't overmix!
5.. Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto a baking sheet. Don't pipe too much of the mixter, because it spreads. Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin.
6. Preheat the oven to 150° C. Bake for about 14 minutes. Let cool completely, then spread caramel on them and sandwich them together.

For the ganache filling:
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), at room temperature and cut into cubes


The process

Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl.
Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to boil. Stir it into the chocolate without creating bubbles. Let sit for 1 minute. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until thickened but still spreadable, about 30 minutes.

To assemble:

Pair macarons of similar size. Remove the ganache from the refrigerator. If you choose to pipe the ganache, transfer it to a resealable plastic bag and snip about a 1/2 inch off a bottom corner. Squeeze or scoop the ganache to about the size of a cherry (about 1 teaspoon) onto the center of a macaron half.




Oooh, I'm so excited to have this beautiful post on my blog. The photos are just as lovely as Neja herself *sugar overload*. Well, I for one cannot wait to make these, and make sure to let us know if you will, too. By the way, check back tomorrow for my video of my Budapest haul. xx
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