September 27, 2017

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


The weather is changing and starting to cool down. Well, it’s a bit fickle here on the west coast, but it’s getting there. In the meantime I’m enjoying the smell of pumpkin spice everything!

To embrace fall, and welcome October, I’m dusting off an old favorite, and making my delicious pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins. Last year, my recipe was slightly different by adding a pinch of salt and pumpkin spices, but this year I decided to spruce it up, and I have to say—the muffins came out absolutely delicious!

To make your own, just follow this year’s recipe below, or click here to follow last year’s version.

Enjoy!

What You’ll Need:
  •  1 large mixing bowl
  • Automatic hand mixer
  • Plastic spatula
  • 2 Cupcake tin holders
  • Cupcake wrappers
  • Oven mitts
  • 2-4 cooling racks
Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 can Pumpkin (I used the Sprouts label)
  •  1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • A few good dashes of Cinnamon;
  • A few good dashes of Nutmeg
  • Couple drops of Vanilla Extract
  •  1 bag of semisweet ENJOYLIFE mini chocolate chips




Baking directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400°. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix up the following until smooth: eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, flour, baking soda, baking powder, canned pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and dash of vanilla extract.
  • Once mixture is smooth, fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin ¾ of the way, to almost all the way, full.
  • Place cupcake trays into oven.
  • Set timer, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • (Be careful not to burn them. Tops can scorch before center is fully cooked, so keep a close eye on these.)
  • Once ready, grab oven mitt and remove hot cupcake trays from the oven and place onto cooling rack.
  • Allow muffins to cool down for 15 minutes before removing onto a separate cooling rack.
  • Allow muffins to cool 10 minutes.  Insert toothpick to make sure center is fully cooked. If not, add back into the oven for 10 minutes.


Makes 2 to 2 ½ dozen muffins.

September 6, 2017

Nailed It! Simple manicures for all seasons



Can you believe it's September sixth already? I can't. Labor day just flew by and we're closing the final chapter of summer 2017. I'm not worried though, because the heat this year has been unpredictable and downright unbearable at times, especially when hiking! Phew!


Needless to say, whether I'm outdoors or not, I always enjoy having my nails done. It's just my personal splurge. Some people overload on chocolate, buy too many kittens, or wash their car every Saturday (I know a guy), we all have our thing. Mine just so happens to be a bit more, well, girly.


So now that we're entering fall, the typical shades that come to mind are oranges, dark greens, dark reds and even browns. Although those colors may look nice for a certain day of the week, I change my mind too often.


And although I do love my hot pinks, purples and dark mauves, I've recently stuck to the basics. There's just something about French tips, French ombres, light pinks and nudes that look clean, sophisticated and go with any outfit. Just a few coats of these lighter shades with a touch of sparkle and clear coat, and your whole look is pulled together. 


As not to bombard you with a slew of manicure photos, I've pulled my top three to share. Use them for inspiration, alter to our heart's content, but whatever you do, have fun and enjoy your "me time."



































June 4, 2017

YOSEMITE AND NATIONAL GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH


























I HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING ABOUT THESE FOUR HIKES IN AND NEAR YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK.

WITH SO MUCH BEAUTY IN CALIFORNIA, IT'S IMPORTANT TO PRESERVE THESE PARKS AND SURROUNDING MONUMENTS. IT'S AMAZING TO VISIT THE OUTDOORS AND ENJOY THE FREEDOM THAT COMES WITH BEING OUT IN NATURE. 


JUNE IS NATIONAL GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH AND FOR THE WHOLE MONTH SEVERAL NON-PROFITS, NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND WILDERNESS LOVERS WILL BE PROVIDING FREE, OR LOW COST TRAINING CLASSES; COURSES ON BACKPACKING, SURVIVING OFF NATURE AND EVEN LEADING GROUPS ON HIKES. 

WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO, ENJOY YOURSELF AND TAKE THE TIME TO BLEND YOUR SPIRIT WITH NATURE, WHETHER THAT'S FISHING, CAMPING OR TAKING A DRIVE THROUGH AN OPEN ROAD. 


YOU WON'T REGRET IT.