Monday, October 31, 2016

Tori's Pretty Nails - This is Halloween

Halloween Graveyard Nail Art
Products Used: China Glaze Liquid Leather, China Glaze Purple Fiction, China Glaze Dope Taupe,
Essie Base Coat, HK Girl Glisten and Glow Top Goat, What's Up Nails Graveyard Stencil

Happy Halloween!

Did you have a festive, Halloween-filled weekend? Last week I shared that I wasn't planning to celebrate Halloween this past weekend, but I absolutely cannot complain.

B (my wonderful boyfriend of almost four years) and I spent a beautiful fall weekend in West Point. We celebrated love, and a a fantastic amount of foliage, at our friend's wedding :). Is there really anything better than a winding Hudson river road with arching trees of reds, golds, and oranges? Ahhh :) 

So no, I didn't dress up this year :(. But, my other traditions live on! Tonight is all about Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin, an ice cold Reese's pumpkin (because, all the yes!), and, of course, spooky nail art.

Let's talk about how OBSESSED I've been with trying my hand at a spooky graveyard scene. Let's be real, though, I don't have the time or a steady enough hand to draw it. 

Enter nail vinyls! I used the spooky graveyard nail vinyls from What's Up Nails with one of my favorite black polishes, China Glaze's Liquid Leather

I placed the scene over a a gradient of China Glaze's Dope Taupe and Purple Fiction, both stunning and opaque shades from the Rebel fall collection. I am so happy with the results :). 

Now tell me - How are you celebrating Halloween?

China Glaze Rebel Fall Collection Swatches
China Glaze Liquid Leather, Purple Fiction and Dope Taupe

China Glaze Dope Taupe Swatch
China Glaze Dope Taupe Swatch

Halloween Graveyard Nail Art 2016

China Glaze Purple Fiction Swatch
China Glaze Purple Fiction Swatch

Halloween Spooky Nail Art 2016

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Tori's Pretty Treats - Pumpkin Spice Donuts

Pumpkin Spice Donuts - Recipe Courtesy of Blue Eyed Bakers

Oh, Pinterest. How you came along when I needed you most.

I am a long-time lover of food magazines.

Rachael Ray - Food Network - Good Housekeeping. It's a thing.

In fact, even though I end most nights with a blog-binge-reading sesh, I also love to curl up with a cup of tea, a big ol' candle and a good food mag. (My fellow journalism grads would be so proud..)

But here's the thing - I'm also an avid organizer. There was just never an easy way to store and sort years and years of torn out recipe pages, at least in a way I would actually reach for.

Then, Pinterest came along. (Insert holy angel singing here.) Be still, my organized heart! 

Six years and over 9,000 pins later (seriously.), my Pinterest account bursts with seasonal fashion, decor, nail art, and, of course, recipes! Yet, with high volumes of anything, sometimes gems are overlooked and collect dust.

Like this recipe from 2011. I pinned this with the best of intentions but this recipe bounced from board to board until this October.

Last spring, I finally bought a donut pan so it was time to finally make the donuts! (If that sentence makes you think of this, you are my pop culture soul mate.) 

I cannot believe I waited so long. These donuts were DE-licious! I followed the recipe as listed with a couple of minor tweeks, like using less butter and swapping in a full-size donut pan.

 I also did not heed their warning and coated all of my donuts in one shot. Be warned - they absolutely get soggy. B and I didn't care, though. They were still yummy all week long! 

I am so sad to see that these gals stopped blogging in 2013 but I highly recommend checking out their original recipe and blog anyway. It's an oldie (in the blog word, at least!) but a goodie :).

Here's how I made them, including my couple of changes below: 

Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Cinnamon-Sugar coating
- For 9 regular donuts -
Recipe courtesy of Blue Eyed Baker  

1 3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp of salt
2 tsp cinnamon - I eye-balled it 
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/3 cup canola oil 
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2 cup milk - I used light soy milk 

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. I decided not to grease my pan but if you'd like to, do so now.
2. In a large bowl, mix your dry components - the first 7 ingredients.
3. In a second large bowl, whisk together next 6 ingredients - the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, pumpkin, and milk. Mix until they're all combined.
4. Slowly mix your dry ingredients into your wet, adding a little at a time until they're all combined. Be careful not to overmix.
5. Next, add your batter to the donut cups and fill without overflowing. I used a pastry bag to do this but the Blue Eyed Bakers also suggested a steady hand and a spoon.
6. Bake 12-15 minutes. While baking, mix the remaining cinnamon and granulated sugar in a medium-size bowl until combined.
7. Once baked, flip the donuts onto a wire rack and let cool.
8. When they're cooling, melt your butter in another bowl. I melt butter my microwaving the butter on high in 10-15 second intervals until melted.
9. When the donuts are warm but cool enough to touch, dip each donut in the melted butter and then coat in the cinnamon-sugar.
10. Eat 'em! :)

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tori's Pretty Makeup - Colour Pop Lippies

Colour Pop Cosmetics
Colour Pop Cosmetics - Poppin Lippie Stix (here), More Better Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (here),
Chateau Lippie Stix (here), November Ultra Satin Liquid Lipstick (here)

Life's funny sometimes.

My weekend was great. I worked hard to launch my blog and gallivanted at the top of the Empire State building with my best gals.

Then BAM! Stomach bug.

Thankfully, it was a quick little bugger (hehe), but this weekend was almost like an ode to my year. I keep taking two steps forward only to bump into a challenge and take one step back. It's like the universe is asking, "Do you really, really want this?"

Well, Universe. Yes, yes I do.

In the famous words of Elizabeth Taylor, my favorite retro badass, sometimes you just, "Pour yourself a drink, put some lipstick on, and pull yourself together."

Today, I pulled myself back together with Poppin', a lipstick from my very first Colour Pop order.

These days it's hard to scroll through Instagram without a Colour pop mention. Intrigued, I finally hopped on that bandwagon and placed my first order.

You guys, can we talk about how flippin' cute that card is?! I generally ignore packaging but that little touch really made a gal feel special. Aside from the super cute card, my order included two Lippie Stix, an Ultra Matte liquid lipstick, and an Ultra Satin liquid lipstick.

Those Lippie Stix? They're just everything! Super comfortable matte lipsticks that are incredibly pigmented, supremely long-wearing, and only five bucks?!. Check, check and check!

The liquid lipsticks? I'm also fan but a cautious fan. The formula and pigmentation? Excellent! Comfort and staying power? On point. Price? They're only six bucks!

The downside? More Better stains. Oh my goodness, does it stain! More Better is not the kind of lipstick you can change your mind with during mid-morning makeup. It stained my lips... stained my hands... and I even accidentally spilled it while taking these photos and it stained my ottoman :(. #clumsyfail

It could have totally been a bad batch but be warned - the color is fabulous but keep a good oil-based makeup remover on hand!

Overall? The  products are great, price is right, and I'm narrowing down my choices to place my next order :)

Tell me - have you tried Colour Pop? What do you think?

Colour Pop Poppin and Chateau Lippie Stix Swatch
 Poppin Lippie Stix (here), Chateau Lippie Stix (here)

Colour Pop Poppin and Chateau Lippie Stix

Colour Pop November and More Better Swatch
November Ultra Satin Liquid Lipstick (here), More Better Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (here)

Colour Pop November and More Better Liquid Lipstick

Colour Pop Poppin, Chateau, November and More Better Swatch

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Tori's Pretty Nails - Happy Halloween week!

Halloween Cat Nail Art
Halloween Cat Nail Art

Today's the day. It's finally the day! 

Behind the scenes, this blog has been my baby for most of 2016. I read - researched - planned - invested - planned some more - and now launched. I'm finally freakin' launching! Can I get a virtual high five?!

Of course, it's too soon for high fives. This is a brand new home for you and I'm so happy that you're here! High five me in two weeks when we've broken in this brand new home, unpacked a few boxes and started to get to know each other better. 

And, you're here because we love the same things, right? Like nail polish. My goodness, do I love nail polish...

It's Halloween week and normally I'm super pumped, with a costume planned and prepped for action. This year, though, my boyfriend and I are traveling upstate for a wedding. I'm super pumped for that in it's own right - I mean, helloooo upstate NY foliage! I'm also a tad bummed to miss out on this year's Halloween festivities. 

Instead, I'm rocking Halloween nail art to get in the spooky spirit :). Here I'm wearing one of my holy grail black nail polishes, China Glaze's Liquid Leather, with China Glaze's Getting to Gnaw you, a really cool orange glitter in a black matte base. I then used last year's cat nail vinyl from What's Up Nails to make the little, cute calico cat. 

I'd love to know - what do you have lined up for Halloween?

China Glaze Getting to Gnaw You Swatch
China Glaze Getting to Gnaw You Swatch

Halloween Cat Nail Art 2016
Halloween Cat Nail Art 2016

China Glaze Liquid Leather Swatch
China Glaze Liquid Leather Swatch

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