sea salt + caramel + cake (in cups) = sea salted caramel cupcake yumminess

So in an effort to relieve some stress, I had decided it was time to venture back into the baking world and forget about my delicious red velvet cupcakes and try something new.

I’m usually very finicky when it comes to my recipes, but due to lack of concentration with my cat walking into walls, I chose a fellow blogger’s recipe based off of Shelly Kaldunski’s Salted Caramel Cupcakes recipe in the Williams Sonoma Cupcakes book. Except she used her own salted buttercream recipe. I’m not going to lie, I really didn’t like her take on the frosting recipe so in turn I made my usual one, which is just guessing mostly (that’s right, I’m a magician when it comes to baking) and adding things in until it tastes yummy.

Here is the recipe I used from Savory Bites:

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Sea salt (preferably Fleur de Sel!) (NOTE: DO NOT PAY $8.99 for Sea Salt. Be cheap, like me and buy a large container for $3.99)

Recipe:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a standard 12 cup cupcake pan with liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat the sugars, milk and butter using an electric mixer. You want them to be light and fluffy, which should take approximately 3 minutes if the mixer is on medium-high speed. Then, add in the eggs  and vanilla until combined. Add in the flour mixture.  Beat until smooth and  use an ice cream scoop and pour into cupcake tins (lined with paper cups).

My Buttercream Recipe:

So for my version of the buttercream recipe. I used 1 cup of butter or 8 ounces, 4 cups of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavouring, two splashes of milk, a pinch of sea salt and a tablespoon of the caramel (which you can make from scratch beforehand or purchase at a bulk store). Then beat it with your blender, ice your cupcakes and use the leftover caramel to dribble in a pattern and sprinkle sea salt on the tops.

The Process:

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etsy obsession: Miss Annie May

Craving for a few more statement pieces to add to my wardrobe this fall, I decided to scour the pages of Etsy to find unique pieces that would be perfect to don with a tee and a pair of skinny jeans (the only pants I will ever wear willingly).

So when I stumbled upon Miss Annie May‘s Etsy boutique while perusing through the jewelry pages, I was impressed. Her designs use vintage costume jewelry and an abundance of chains. Miss Annie May heavily uses of brassy colours that adds just the right amount of perfection to create her vintage aesthetic.

With pieces like the “Queen Rebel” (above, left, $70.89 CAD) and my current favourite, “Desert” (below, $80.74 CAD), Miss Annie May’s designs are the perfect piece to be donning as the weather cools down and wardrobes change from summer fun to chilly fall.


ashley and the finale

It’s almost near impossible to live in North America and not be aware of ABC’s The Bachelor/The Bachelorette series. I remember watching the first season and seeing Trista jilted as third runner-up. I then vowed to never watch it again. That was until this season, when I got caught up with Ashley’s annoying Bentley drama that consumed the regular weekly magazines I read. I was anticipating the finale to be perfect. After all, Ashley has a stylist and a beautiful backdrop for her staged proposal.

I was severely disappointed with her dress just as much as I was with her final choice (sorry JP, but Ben was a smarter choice and I’m pretty sure a huge chunk of the female population would agree).

The dress made by designer Randi Rahm and according to HollywoodLife, cost $16,790. Overall, I think the dress was absolutely breathtaking — that is, on the hanger. However, on Ashley, the dress was not flattering at all. With her small chest and an awkward set of straps that were only there for decorative purposes, this overpriced frock made her look like she had saggy boobs and wide hips. Though I will give her immense props for feathers and glitter, a combination I favour dearly.

Additionally, I absolutely hated those pearl drop earrings from Cezua of Beverly Hills. Don’t get me wrong, I love pearls and have a set of pearl drop earrings myself, but the contrasting black pearl and white pearl did not suit the blush Rahm gown and I certainly hated the fact that the earrings were the opposite of each other.

As for the boys, I’d like to congratulate JP on picking the prettiest engagement ring out of the Neil Lane collection offered to him.

And Ben, if you’re reading this in the Sonoma Valley, even though the ring you picked out made me want to vomit, call me.


cindy sherman is a clown

I look forward to M.A.C.’s unique collaborations and limited-edition collections but for some reason the announcement of Cindy Sherman’s fall collaboration line has put me off completely.

If you are unaware of who Cindy Sherman is, luckily I do. I studied her in my Art History class and she is a notable photographer. Her series, “Untitled Film Stills” is a series of portraits that capture the artist in different looks. She has also done fashion work with Comme des Garçons, Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga.

I shouldn’t say the entire line is bad, a vast majority of the palettes are subdued neutral tones that one could easily wear. But then there is a few colours that make Sherman look like she wants to go to a rave, which to me, looks a bit weird for an A/W release.

However, I’m judging based on the promotional shots that M.A.C. has released. I just know as an avid M.A.C. lover, this limited-edition collection does not appeal to me and I really don’t think there will be a mass appeal amongst regular customers.

The Cindy Sherman for M.A.C. Cosmetics collection will be available September 29 to October 27, in M.A.C. Cosmetics stores/stands and online.


fresh tees with StyleMint

As a major fan of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, I have grown up surrounded by products produced under their name. From playing with their versions of Barbies to watching Passport to Paris, the duo has managed to not only capture my attention but hold it for years and years.

And now, this fashionable duo has come out with a more affordable fashion club that will ensure to keep your casual styles chic with StyleMint. The StyleMint site is a once-a-month style shop that allows you to see, based on your “StyleProfile,” what would be the best T-shirt for you. To create your StyleProfile (which is purchase obligation-free), you just need to answer simple questions from your style preferences as well as your age and what size you normally wear.

The StyleMint website sells all T-shirts for $29.99 and also offers free shipping.

 


sample sales

I recently went to a Toronto sample sale, courtesy of my internship. Designers such as eliza, Chloé Comme Parris and Muttonhead. Of course, this was only last month and the start of my shopping diet. But in all seriousness, who could turn down the chance to go to a sample sale with free wine?

What was weird was the location. Every day when I go home, I pass by the Nestle factory. And you think, well chocolate is delicious! But the thing is about the Nestle factory is that it is located on a really sketchy industrial road. The sample sale was in an extremely old, sketchy building. But once inside, the fabulous designer goods were plenty. My friend and I even found a shirt for our coworker (see left, below).

“I Love My Hooker”

Believe it or not, I was tempted to purchase this men’s shirt for myself. It was the perfect boyfriend tee and an awesome design overall. Turns out, the designer’s female intern agreed, she had just purchased it as well.

Anyways, back to the actual purchase in this post. I found an eliza necklace that I just adored. I have a thing for sparkles and oddly fringe and it had both. So I have summed this purchase up to fate after I found out it was only $40 (which was my cap on any item as per shopping diet). I also met the designer, Eliza Kozurno and her work is definitely worth checking out.

It’s so pretty.

It’s a major statement piece. Goes great with blues and my favourite Club Monaco tank my best friend got me for my 20th birthday. Fringe-tastic.


nail polish of the week

My nail polish addiction continues to grow. I’m determined to change it every week.

So this week, I’m wearing from Gosh’s nail lacquer line, Pink Rose (#543, $6.00?).

It’s a nice soft pink that has some vibrance. What I like about Gosh’s nail lacquers is that they never seem to chip easily. I can get away with about a week’s worth of colour before it has to come off. I also prefer darker colours thanks to my fair skin, but this colour actually looks nice on any skin tone. Perfect summery shade.