Wednesday, May 21, 2014


"You have a gray hair," she stated. Right in the middle of class. For everyone to hear. As a pimply, braces-wearing seventh grader, the last thing I wanted was to be different. Was it not punishment enough that I sported sweatpants as a fashion statement on the daily, was on the C-team in basketball, never made the cheerleading squad, and had an uncontrollable chapstick addiction?

Sure enough, as someone held a Cover Girl powder compact up to my face, I saw a single Cindy Lou Who-esque strand of gray was standing at attention atop my head. Without thinking, I yanked it out.

She couldn't have known, but at that moment an obsession began. 

Friends (and my unfortunate younger brother) would regularly comb through my hair with a pair of tweezers in search of salty colored streaks to pluck. Finding a gray hair was the highest victory; unfortunately as time passed, locating the wiry strands became much less difficult a task.

I dyed my hair for the first time on a whim one day during the Summer before junior year when I caught a group of my friends cruising around town without me. In a lame effort to show them (or myself) how much fun I could have alone, I haphazardly covered my noggin with goop. A shade best described as 'exit sign orange' is what I ended up with. My mom was horrified and immediately sent me to Walgreens for a repair kit. I sobbed as the dye stung my head, positive all my hair would fall out, and not certain I didn't want it to.

Throughout the next ten years, I dyed my hair most every shade of chocolate brown imaginable and during my hardcore phase, I opted for true black. But every 4 - 6 weeks, as the color grew out, I could see just how much gray hair I was masking under the boxes upon boxes of L'Oreal Preference. 

To be 100% truthful, it made me incredibly self-conscious. I had this idea imbedded in my mind that I was not a beautiful person because of my gray hair. Coloring my hair was an expensive and time consuming security blanket I couldn't live without. 

I stumbled a upon this article one day, which planted the seed to quit dyeing. I read it over and over, attempting to talk myself into letting the gray grow out. With the continued encouragement of friends and family, I took the plunge. It was a very anti-climactic plunge as my hair grows at a painfully slow rate. Lucky for me the growth pattern is actually quite lovely, much of the white is concentrated around my temples and takes on a blonde shade at the tips. Most people actually mistake it for a professional color.

To date, I have not colored my hair since Winter 2012 which means every single strand of hair on my head is its natural color. Perhaps a silly achievement in the grand scheme of life, but it is a major fete in the ongoing battle to feel confident in my own skin.

And you know what's funny? I have never loved my hair more.

shirt | loft // jacket | bcbgeneration // jeans | urban outfitters // boots | dsw // necklace | j crew

Friday, May 16, 2014


Recently, I have been fiddling around with a few cupcake recipes and though they have been deemed unworthy of posting or sharing with friends, I find myself eating one every single night after dinner. Just because. And, I mean, how will I know what to change if I don't eat enough to figure it out? It's quite the existential crisis. 

But on the other hand, if I don't want to share them with other people, why am I constantly eating a reminder of my disappointment? Well, we won't address my emotional eating habits today.

Onward to failure!

First was margarita cupcakes (in honor of Cinco de Cuatro). The batter was neither lime-y or sweet enough and I got a little tequila-happy with the cream cheese frosting. On the plus side, I was rocking a pretty fun buzz most nights of the week. 

Next I decided to bake strawberry cupcakes on a whim because something fruity sounded nice and obviously I couldn't just, you know, eat fruit. The actual cupcake lacked a strong strawberry punch, though it was incredibly moist (moist). For whatever bizarre reason, I decided to add chopped up strawberry chunks to the buttercream frosting which was fine the first night, but cut to a few nights later and it wasn't nearly as appealing to my eyes or taste buds. Ended up throwing over half the batch away.

Most recently I made two batches of red velvet cupcakes for my dad's birthday and Mother's Day. The cupcakes were a home run. I really knocked it out of the park, you guys--a most perfect shade of deep red, the tops bouncy to the touch, it was truly a thing of beauty.

But wait. These are cupcake disasters. 

The cream cheese frosting was runny. Like, diarrhea runny. So there I was with 21 (because I ate too much batter to make 24) perfect cupcakes and delicious, but poopy, frosting. Thanks to Zach's ingenuity, we served the cupcakes in bowls and spooned frosting on top. 

So clearly I am no expert baker. The plus side to all of this is that the recipes I do publish on my blog have gone through extensive taste-testing to ensure quality. It's all for you. 

And now unrelated to everything I have been discussing, here is an outfit I wore recently. More specifically, here are my most prized boots which took me no less than a month to settle on. 

I was in a very sour mood on the day these photos were taken.

shirt | gap (similar fit) // jacket | jcpenney (stolen from zach) // jeans | urban outfitters // boots | hunter // necklace | thrifted

Friday, May 2, 2014


Zach is not a dessert kind of guy. It's one of his few flaws, which straddles red flag territory and often creates a rift in our marriage. I'm all like, "I MUST HAVE SOMETHING SWEET OR ELSE I'LL DIE," and he's all like, "meh." Or, even more insulting, he'll pull the, "I'll just have a couple bites of yours," stunt. Um. No. You won't.

But every once in a while he has a craving for delicious baked goods, and what kind of wife would I be not to honor these requests? And so, Do You Want S'more Chata Cupcakes were born into the world. 

For Zach. 

Definitely not for my own greedy purposes. Nope. 

Ingredients for Do You Want S'more Chata Cupcakes:

1 stick unsalted butter
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tbs RumChata
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Ingredients for OMG RumChata marshmallow frosting:

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
7 oz (one container) marshmallow creme
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbs RumChata
1 tsp cinnamon

Let's do this:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees // Grab a medium bowl and whisk the dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, baking powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt) // Melt butter and semi-sweet baking chocolate together (let it hang out and cool off a bit) // Grab a large bowl and whisk wet ingredients and sugar together (eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla) // Stir in the butter and chocolate mixture // Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating between the two (bit of the dry, bit of the b-milk, bit of the dry, bit of the b-milk) // Once the ingredients are just combined, fold in the chocolate chips // Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full of the beautiful batter // Stick the pan in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes, cupcakes are done when a toothpick can be inserted and pulled out cleanly // Let the cupcakes chill out in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack // FROSTING TIME! Beat the softened butter for 2 -3 minutes // Slowly add marshmallow creme, powdered sugar, RumChata and cinnamon while mixer is still running // Continue mixing the frosting for another 3 - 5 minutes until it is fluffy and delightful // Once cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe or hand frost each cupcake // Garnish with chocolate chips and graham crackers, or nothing // Try not to eat all of them, or do and let me watch

Tips + things I learned:

Don't want to wait until your eggs are room temp? No prob. Set those puppies in a bowl of warm water for 5 - 10 minutes and you're good to go. 
I couldn't really taste the RumChata in the cupcake batter, so maybe you'll just want to sip on that portion instead of adding it to the mix. Or you could add it for funsies and also drink a glass of the stuff. 
The graham cracker garnish will soften by the next day, which didn't bother me, but I just thought you should know.

Full disclosure: the chocolate cupcake recipe was adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction