Stella May I know what is on your Autumn bucket list?

8:00 AM Unknown 0 Comments

It's that time of the year where everything is changing colors and all I want to do is stay home under covers. But I want to change that this year and make a list of activities. Here'e what I've got on my list:
1. Apple picking at the farm
1.5 Bake an apple pie
2. Drinking pumpkin spice latte check!
3. Rake leaves
4. Jump into a pile of leaves
5. Take a hike
6. Corn maze
7. Hay ride
8. Roast marshmallows
9. Pumpkin picking
10. Pumpkin carving
11. Go to a local fall festival
12. Dust off coats, sweaters, and scarves
13. Visit a state fair
14. Read a book (more on this next week)
15. Light a fall candle
16. Watch Hocus Pocus (for the first time, finally)
17. Make chili
18. Learn to crochet (mermaid blanket maybe?)
19. Vote!
20. Plan Thanksgiving menu
21. Learn the history of Thanksgiving

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Stella May I know how you make your coffee? How about for fall?

9:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

 Of course you may! While some may just pop in a pod and the machine brews your daily cup of coffee, I take some extra steps and make my daily joe delicious. It's going to be a lot more steps with a lot more equipment, but it tastes so much better than anything coming out of a pod. So come back next Tuesday for how I make my cup of coffee.

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Stella May I know how you store your makeup?

12:05 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. I live in a small space, so having a vanity with beautiful makeup storage is not in the works right now. However Mister has let me commandeer the top drawer of the dresser.
It's a piece that came with the apartment. (It also acts as our tv stand & a place for all our little knick-knacks to hang out. ) It drawer itself is pretty shallow and before I moved in Mister used it as a sock drawer.
Now it houses all of my makeup. From L-R: eye shadows (not really pictured), lip products, face/base foundation, and face color like blush and bronzer. This is what it looked like before I had a little clear out and rejig of everything.
My DIY makeup palette sits right on top of all the lip products and in this picture you can see the eye shadow palettes. (Aren't palettes always the most tempting to buy but I don't use them as much as I should.) Between the palettes are some of the products I have been receiving from the Sephora subscription boxes. 
On the far right houses all of my face products. This is after my little reorganization. I like to use little trays and boxes to keep things organized. In the white box holds liquid, cream, and powder foundations. In front of the foundations are my concealers. (all those pots and tubes) Then to the right is all the color products. From front to back are my highlighters, blushes, then bronzers. (I don't bronze so much as I think I am already tan.)
As you can see I am more of a gloss girl but there are some lipsticks in here.
How do you organize your makeup?

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Stella May I know how you bake your mashed potatoes? Potato Knish

9:00 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. Inside each one of these baked pasty knobs is potato. Specifically mashed potatoes. I wanted to change it up with the classic side. As Mister is a meat and potatoes man, potatoes are basically in every meal. (Well at least once a week). I was started to get a little bored whenever I make the side (mashed potatoes and baked potatoes), so I found this classic recipe for a potato knish. Potato knish is a Eastern European snack food of potato covered with a pastry that's baked, fried, or grilled. (It's not limited to potatoes either, meats and other veggies are common too.)
 Starting with dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
 Wet ingredients: 1 egg, vegetable oil (traditional made with chicken fat), vinegar, and water.
Add in wet to the dry ingredients.
Mix until it comes together and dump onto your countertop (or cutting board). Knead until smooth.
Cover and rest for 1 hour.
 Meanwhile mash some boiled potatoes and season. (This is when Mister got a hold of my idea and seasoned it his way. He added garlic, paprika, black pepper, Old Bay.. lots of seasonings.) Just season it how you want it. As we were having it with some chicken Mister went heavy since the chicken lighter in seasoning. Roll out the pastry and create a little worm for the potato filling.
 Then roll up the entire thing.
& make little knobs every 1½ inches. (or however big you want it. Just make sure it's even so they bake evenly.)
Then just pinch off each knob.
&seal off the ends. Then just brush with a little egg wash.
Place each knish onto a ungreased baking sheet and into a preheated 350° oven for 40-50 minutes.
This whole thing is a little unnecessary as my potato knishes are just wrapped mashed potatoes. But since it's Great British Bake Off season, I though I would take unnecessary measures. #nosoggybottoms Anyone else watching this season?

What you'll need: 
Dough
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ cup water
Filling
1½ pounds (about 3 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Egg wash
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water

What to do: 
Dough: Mix dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the egg, vegetable oil, white vinegar and half the water. Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry and mix to combine. If the dough doesn't come together then add in a tablespoon of water at a time. The dough should stick together and form a uneven ball. Then dump out the dough onto a flat surface and knead just until smooth. Cover the dough and rest for one hour. 
Filling: Make the mashed potatoes how you like. Place potatoes into a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook for twenty minutes or until you could easily pierce the potato with a fork then drain. Meanwhile sweat the onions in a pan over medium heat until translucent. Then get creative with your seasonings. Mash the potatoes (or through a ricer) and mix together with the seasoned onion mix. Set aside. 
Preheat then oven to 375°F. Using half the dough at a time, roll out the dough as thinly as possible. Form a log of potato at one side of the dough and roll it up. (You want to loosely roll it up so when when form each knob, the filling won't gush out.) Then form each knob and pinch it off. Push down the ends and set onto the baking sheet. Brush each knish with the egg wash and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown. If the tops are baking too fast then cover with some foil. Let it rest before digging in! The insides will be hot. 


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SMI National Dumpling Day.

1:00 PM Unknown 0 Comments


It's National Dumpling Day! To celebrate I though about showing you my two past dumpling recipes. 


First the savory one with shrimp, pork, and leeks. 
 Second is the makings of a dessert dumpling: banana and peanut butter.
 Of course this recipe can be luxed up with some chocolate chips.
links: savory pan fried dumpling post    sweet fried dumpling post 

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Stella May I know what is Equilux?

2:40 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. We have already celebrated the First Day of Autumn (Autumnal Equinox), so what is the Autumnal Equilux? Equinox means "equal night," and equilux means "equal day." This year, the two days are separated by 4 days. How does that happen? The equinox is calculated when the center of the sun crosses over the horizon, while equilux is when the sun first appears over the horizon. That's why you will notice that back on Thursday, we didn't actually have 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of nighttime. For the day that has exactly 12 hours of each is the Equilux.

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Stella May I know how you like the Red Velvet Oreo?

9:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. It's kind of expected now to see Oreo come out with different editions to their classic cookie, but I have always just been partial to the standard boring one. When I spotted these Red Velvet Oreos with Cream Cheese flavored creme middles I couldn't resist and fell into the hype.
I think just the red hue to it makes it a little bit more exciting! It's such a pretty red too. Definitely reminiscent of a red velvet cake.
These come in the classic packaging with 24 cookies inside.
Looking it up online, it seems that this was originally released as limited edition for Valentine's Day. But looking at my little pack there isn't any mention of limited edition so I think these are a permanent stay now. You just have to be quick to snap them up. I got the last one at my store.
To me the cookie tastes really similar to a regular Oreo cookie. It's the cream cheese frosting flavored center that makes the Red Velvet Oreo special. It's almost creamier and fluffier than the regular Oreo creme. Overall I'm a fan. Oh and when you dunk the cookie in milk it turns the milk a soft shade of pastel red.
You've got me all red in the face. 

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SMI Autumn Equinox

10:21 AM Unknown 0 Comments


At 10:21AM Eastern, Autumn has arrived. (It happens at the exact same time everywhere in the world, unlike New Year's.) If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, Hello Spring!
Today we have equal sunlight to nightlight. That's what equinox means in Latin: equal night. From today until the first day of Winter, we will have shorter days.
In other constellation news: Libra also enters our skies today. Sign of balanced scales, equal days and nights..

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SMI It's the end of an era.

8:00 AM Unknown 0 Comments


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Stella May I know what is in this month's Play by Sephora box? September 2016

10:50 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. This month's box came a little later than usual (mid-month) and it got me a little concerned! For today's At First Blush post, I'll show you what I got. Spoiler: there are 3 makeup products. This month's theme: The Unbasic Basics.
What's inside: 
- Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel
- Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer
- Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector
- Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte
- Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
The one skin care product is an odd one. The Dr. Jart+ moisturizer starts off like a thick, silicone formula, but as you smooth it over the skin, little "water drops" form and then sink into the skin. I haven't tried it on my face yet, but I'm intrigued! (I made Mister try it out too and he was bewildered by it too.)
The one hair care sample in the box looks more like a moiturizer than the Dr. Jart+ one. This Living Proof reads like a hair mask but the name makes it all sorts of confusing. According to the directions you apply it do damp or dry hair and sleep on it. Then shampoo in the morning and you will have soft and shiny hair for a week. But you don't have to wash it off in the morning. It's like a hair mask product that somehow works with whatever schedule. It results last through clarifying shampoos and since it absorbs super fast, it's pillow proof! I couldn't wait to try this and I don't know if it has made a difference. I replaced it with my leave-in conditioner step and didn't wash it out, the result was about the same. I'll let you know if the results will last a week.
This is the first time since starting the box that I have had a repeat product. I think. But if I had to have a product repeat I guess the Clear Brow Gel is a better choice than others. Going along with the theme of this month: The Unbasic Basics, it is a basic product that anyone can use, so I might just pass this along as I haven't even opened the other one I received! 
The other super basic product is the Kat Von D liner. This is such a staple and favorite for so many people. I'm excited to try this one! What people like about it? it's waterproof, the a brush tip (as opposed to felt), and the jet black color.
The one color product of the entire box is this lipstick. The Sephora Rouge Shine isn't a formula I have tried before but it seems like a shiny, sheer formula. With last month's box also including Sephora brand products, do you think they are going to keep including their own products? I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand I like trying Sephora brand things, but with a the other brands they carry I feel a little jipped that they keep including their own stuff.
 Liner and lipstick swatched. 
This lineup looks nice doesn't it? The one thing I haven't mentioned is the perfume. I'm not that impressed by it. It's a safe, floral scent that reminds me more of spring than the upcoming fall season. Did you like your box this month? Have you had a repeat product yet?

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