Friday, July 3, 2020

Festive Fruit Pizza

Happy holiday weekend! Almost every year I make a fruit pizza for the fourth of July! I love how you can arrange the fruit in so many different ways, and my favorite fruits happen to be very patriotic colors (strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries). Fruit pizza is the perfect summer treat because it's fresh and light, and perfect for a hot day. It is always a crowd pleaser!
This year I wanted to try something a little different and little more personalized instead of one big cookie you had to cut into. I decided to make individual little fruit pizzas. I used little springform pans to make them which can be found here (I used the smallest size) and they worked great! I stacked four of them into a cake and then did a couple more on the side - you can do it either way!


Here is the recipe:

Crust:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter

Bake 8-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Frosting:
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 small pkg. (8 oz.) Cool Whip

Make sure the cookie crust is completely cooled before frosting. Arrange the fruit on top and enjoy! Keep refrigerated before you serve!

Have a safe 4th of July weekend!

XO,
Sarah

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Mini Blueberry Pies


Crust:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
4-6 tbsp. cold water

 This recipe is for 2 crusts (top and bottom). You will need 3-4 crusts for 5-6 mini pies. You could also buy remade crusts and use those also.

Mix the flour and salt. Cut in shortening using knives until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water 1 tbsp. at a time. Flour should be moist and dough should be able to be formed into a ball. Form into ball and divide in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 45 minutes or until the dough is firm and cold. If you refrigerate any longer, let it sit out at room temperature before rolling out. Flatten out the crusts using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. 

Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
6 cups fresh blueberries
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. butter

I made 5 mini pies and used one recipe of the filling and 3 crusts (one and a half recipes of above). You could also use this filling recipe to make one 9 inch pie.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a bowl. Carefully stir in blueberries. Sprinkle with lemon juice. 

Grease pie tin and place bottom layer of crust down. If there are air pockets, make small holes in the crust with a knife or fork to let the air out. Fill with blueberry mixture. Cut the butter into small pieces and sprinkle on top of each pie. Put top lattice pie crust on alternating over, under for each strip. Sprinkle some sugar or cinnamon sugar on top before baking. 

Bake for around 25-30 minutes. Start with tin foil on top of each pie and remove it when there is about 15 minutes left.

Enjoy!

XO,
Sarah

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

New Beauty Favorites

Today I wanted to share all my latest beauty favorites! I've tried a lot of new products in the last couple months so I wanted to share the ones I loved and will reorder!

Since being home during quarantine these past few months, I've had lots of extra time to try some new products. Some I had been wanting to try for awhile and others were ones I just happened to find. Today I wanted to share all of the ones I've found that I LOVE.


I've been using TULA products for year, but these three are ones I've tried more recently. First is this Smoothing Primer Gel. When you put this on it gives such a cooling feeling. It is lightweight and doesn't clog your pores but helps your makeup going on super smooth. Next is the Rose Glow Brightening Eye Balm. I've used the Brightening Eye Balm for awhile and I'm obsessed! I wanted to try the newer version to see if it was any different. I honestly didn't see/feel much of a difference, but I love them both. I use them daily. They are super cooling and feel amazing when you put them on. I use mine under my makeup and also as a finishing touch for a little extra glow or highlight. Last is this Blurring and Moisturizing Filter Primer. It also comes in this supersize! I think I prefer this primer to the first one. They are both great, but I even love using this one when I don't wear makeup because it has a glowy finish. Next on my list to try is their brand new sunscreen. I've heard great things about it!

Next is this Charlotte Tillbury Magic Powder. This setting powder is very lightweight and very smoothing. I've never felt like a powder was a necessary step in my beauty routine until I started using this one! I use shade medium.

Now, this is one that I've been wanting to grab for awhile because I've heard it's a great staple and it did NOT disappoint. The formula is great and the color is perfect for everyday. Can't say enough good things about this Charlotte Tillbury Lipstick in shade 'Pillow Talk'. You can also get it in a set with the lipliner as well here.

I'm always looking to try new mascaras and these two are my current favorites. The Taste Surfer Curl Mascara is a clean mascara (which I love) and it isn't very heavy. I use it on days I'm not wearing much makeup or even when I'm not wearing any and just want a little something. It's volumizing, but not as lenghtening. In my opinion this Too Faced Mascara called 'Better Than Sex' is the BEST. It makes my lashes look so much longer and fuller. It's my current go-to!

These products are ones I have wanted to try to awhile and finally got around to ordering. I must say, they are worth the hype. They are GREAT. First is the Tarte Shape Tape. I use color 'Light'. This is such a great concealer and I think it will be one that I purchase over and over again. A little goes a long way. The coverage is great and it wears well throughout the day. Next is the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream. I wear shade 'Light', but will probably need to get a lighter shade for the winter. This is such a good coverage foundation. It goes on smoothly and makes such a big difference in my beauty routine. I love that it has SPF built in too! Last is the Shape-Tape Glow Wand. I love that this product does the same job as the shape tape, but gives more of a glow. I also love that the beauty blender is built in, which makes it super convenient. 

I've been trying to give my hair a bit of a break lately and trying to goin longer between washes. I've never found a dry shampoo I've loved until now. Now I have two I love! The first is this Living Proof one. I've also been loving this Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast. My hair is VERY straight so I need all the volume I can get. Some products weigh my hair down too much, but this one is lightweight but gives a ton of volume! 

So I've been hearing about billie razors A LOT lately. Of course I needed to order one. Honestly, I JUST tried the razor for the first time this week and loved it, but I want to use it awhile longer until I'm sure this is the one I want to stick with. However, when ordering the razor I also ordered this dry shampoo and these wonder wipes and I AM OBSESSED WITH BOTH! I've been using them both for a couple months. They are both full of natural ingredients and work amazing. This dry shampoo seriously makes my hair look and feel clean. I also prefer the powder to the aerosol (personal preference). I will definitely be reordering! Also I cannot say enough good things about these wipes. I use them every night (when I'm wearing makeup) and they feel amazing. They are full of great, clean ingredients including hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serums (no alcohol) and they work so well. They get my makeup off perfectly every time. I already have my second container on the way!


I had to include some of my OG favorites when it comes to beauty. These are my tried and true favorites I keep coming back to. A few of these items are Beautycounter, which I can't link but if you are interested in trying them, I know a few consultants, so let me know and I can point you in the right direction!
First is the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. This works wonders for getting your makeup to stay put all day and night. 
Next are my Cosmakery favorites including this Highlighter in the color 'Lightbulb' and these Sculpting Sticks in shades 'Light' and 'Light Medium'. This is my first highlighter I ever bought and I think I'm on my third or fourth now. It is amazing. These sculpting sticks make it so easy to contour and are just as amazing as their foundation (which I also love). Also Cosmakery brushes are THE SOFTEST things ever. I use mine every single day. 
The Beautycounter makeup items I love are the tint skin foundation and the concealer pen. Next, is my favorite Anastasia Brow Wiz. I use shade 'Dark Brown'. Last are my other two favorite mascaras including the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara and the Chanel Volumizing Mascara. Both are ones I go back to when I'm looking for a mascara I know I will love.

Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for stopping by!

XO,
Sarah


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Summer Dresses Part 2

The next collaboration I was super excited about was Target x Lisa Marie Fernandez. I would say all of these run true to size or a little big. I'm wearing my normal size. I love that these dresses can be worn with or without the ties and/or a belt. The quality of these dresses is AMAZING and all are under $60! There are still quite a few available online and there were a ton in stock at my local store.


Target x Lisa Marie Fernandez







Summer Dresses Part 1

            Hi everyone and happy Thursday! Today I wanted to share these recent collabs at Target.      
            They sold SUPER fast, but there are still some styles/sizes available online and in stores! 
             Even went today today, there are still so many available. The first one I want to share is 
         Target x LoveShackFancy. I've always loved this brand but the price tag always held me back. 
                         All of the dresses in this collection are SO adorable and all are under $60! 
                       They are perfect for summer. Don't forget to check your local store as well! 
                   

                                                 Target x LoveShackFancy

FYI: I sized up for length - wearing size Small






XO,
Sarah

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

New Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe



A friend recently sent me this recipe to try for Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies and THEY. ARE. AMAZING! They are seriously so good, I was shocked how good - I will definitely be making them again. The recipe can be found on Food52.com as well, but I'm not positive who the recipe belongs to. I knew I needed to share the recipe with as many people as possible, because I promise you will love them. 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. turbinado sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate cut roughly into 1/2-inch chunks (if you want you could also use chocolate chips)
1-2 pinches of flaky salt for finishing

1. Cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light in color and texture (about 5 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl and slowly add to first mixture.
3. Add chocolate chips and mix until it just comes together. You may need to mix with your hands at the end. This dough is a lot thicker than a traditional chocolate chip cookie dough.
4. IMPORTANT: Wrap in Saran Wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. *I always refrigerate my chocolate chip cookie dough before I bake them, but not usually 24 hours.
24 hours of resting the dough intensifies the toffee flavors and improves the texture of the baked cookie.
5. Preheat oven to 360 degrees (yes 360 not 350). Line the baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Scoop the dough onto the baking sheets. Top the cookies with a pinch of flaky salt just before baking. 
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Don't overbake. You can rotate sheets halfway through if they appear to be baking unevenly. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes then transfer to wire cooling rack. 

This recipe makes 18-24 cookies.

ENJOY!

XO,
Sarah

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Twinning with my TWO Favorites










Skirt, Tank, Toddler ballet tutu, Toddler ballet shoes

Last week Zach and I spent the week in Philly visiting my sister, brother-in-law and two nieces. We had so much fun! Spent more time running around and laughing and less time on our phones. We baked a ton of yummy treats, did at-home vacation bible school, ran through the sprinkler, went on walks, practiced riding our bikes, did sidewalk chalk, had picnics outside, played dress up, and took ballet lessons. We were busy all day every day, and loved every second! It is always hard to leave, but it sure if nice to sleep in again.

Thanks for stopping by!

XO,
Sarah



Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I've never made cinnamon rolls from scratch, but I tried making them this week with my niece and they were GREAT! Seriously so amazing. They taste like Cinnabon. I found this recipe online, so I can't take credit for it, but wanted to share it since it is such a good one!

Dough:

1 package yeast (1 tbsp.)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. sugar + 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs at room temperature 
6 tbsp. butter melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
4 - 4 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat which is why my dough is so much darker than normal, but white flour works great too)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

STEP 1: Start by proofing the yeast. Warm up the cup of milk to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm the milk up in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds. It should be warm, but not hot to the touch. Mix in the 1 tbsp. sugar until it is dissolved. Add in the yeast and gently stir. Let it sit about 5-10 minutes. You should see a bubbling/foamy top on the mixture. That is how you know the yeast is still good! If not, discard and try with new yeast.

STEP 2: I used a stand mixer with the dough hook, and that is what I recommend. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix. Then add the dry ingredients slowly. Once the dough is firm, but slightly tacky, turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead by hand, adding more flour if necessary. Knead the dough for about 2-5 minutes.

STEP 3: Once the dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a lightly greased bowl to rise. I covered mine with a warm, damp towel and put it in a warm place to rise. At first I didn't put it in a warm place and didn't notice much rising happening. Once I moved it to a warm place I noticed a big difference. It should about double in size (should take about an hour).

*TIP: for making your dough rise faster: Boil some water and put it in a bowl next to your dough bowl. Cover them both with the damp towel. 

Filling:

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
6 tbsp. butter softened 

STEP 4. While the dough is rising make the cinnamon sugar filling. Mix with a fork until it is is completed mixed together. 

STEP 5. After the dough has risen, press it down to release the air and form it into a rectangle. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it into a 12" by 24" rectangle (dough should be about 1/4 inch thick). If it is too sticky, add a little more flour to the surface. 

STEP 6. Once the dough is rolled out, add the filling. It is a little tricky to spread, but If you press and break apart the pieces as you go, it's not too bad. At first it might look like you don't have enough filling, but there is more than enough! Leave about a 1/4 inch border with no filling so it doesn't leak out.

Step 7: Roll up the dough tightly then cut 12 (2") pieces. I use a very sharp serrated knife. Be careful not to push down too hard because you will squish your rolls. You can measure out 2 inch pieces and mark them beforehand. That makes it a LOT easier. 

Step 8: Put the rolls into a greased (or lined with parchment paper) 9x13" baking dish. 

*TIP: I did all the above steps and then covered them tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and put them in the refrigerator. I then took them out and finished them the next day. There is a lot of prep work and it makes it easier to do all those steps the day before you want to eat them. You could also do these steps weeks in advance and put them in the freezer. If you freeze them, let them come to room temperature overnight before baking. 

Step 9: Time for the second rise. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and put in a warm place. They should double in size (about 45 minutes). While they are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 10: Bake the cinnamon rolls for 18-20 minutes until they are golden brown on top. The outside of the rolls should feel firm (not doughy). While the rolls are baking make the frosting. Leave the frosting at room temperature (do not put it in the fridge).






Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups powdered sugar

*TIP: All frosting ingredients should be room temperature.

Step 11: Frost the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm. Serve them warm and everyone will LOVE them!



*TIP: You can freeze baked and frosted rolls by putting them in an airtight container. You can individually wrap them in plastic wrap to be able to get them out easier also. When you are ready to eat them, just take them out of the freezer and let them come to room temperature before microwaving them or putting them in the oven at 300 degrees. 

If you make these, you won't be disappointed because they are AMAZING!

XO,
Sarah

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Homemade Granola Bars


Today I wanted to share this recipe for another old favorite of mine - homemade granola bars. I used to make these a LOT before I got married, but haven't made them in years. I'm so glad my mom reminded me of them so I could get back into making them.  They are pretty easy to make. Here is what you need:
3 cups oatmeal
2 cups whole wheat or white flour
1 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sesame seeds

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the water and oil together. When the water and oil are mixed as best you can, add immediately to dry mixture. Stir until combined. I usually use my hands to mix everything together - it will be pretty stiff. 
Lightly grease a cookie sheet and press dough into the pan as seen below. I use a lightly greased glass to press the dough evenly on the pan, as seen below.





Make sure you cut BEFORE baking. They can be very difficult to cut afterwards. They can be any size you want. Drizzle a small amount of honey on the top before you put them in the oven. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
I like to add a little more honey to the top when they come out of the oven or right before I eat them.

Enjoy!

XO,
Sarah