Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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As the air grows crisp, I knew baking was right up my alley this past weekend. I picked up TJ’s pumpkin bread mix and ingredients for cream cheese frosting. I make these every season and turn muffins into cupcakes. I fully indulge in the pumpkin sensation, but I feel like this year the market has taken it to the next level. I saw pumpkin gum the other day. What?! Let’s go back to the basics. Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite treats growing up and my mother would make it from scratch making the whole house smell wonderful. Fast forward numerous years later and Trader Joe’s brand evolved with my favorite pumpkin mix. Of course, homemade is BETTER but TJ’s has a competitive product and it cuts the time in half.

Directions
Follow the instructions for TJ’s pumpkin bread mix for muffins/cupcakes
(you’ll need 1 cup water, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, & 2 large eggs)

While the cupcakes are cooking, start making the cream cheese frosting
(ingredients: 4 ounces of unsalted butter-softened, 4 ounces of cream cheese-softened, 2 cups of powered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with a mixer or by hand.
With the mixer on low speed, add powered sugar one cup at a time until smooth and creamy
Lastly, beat in the vanilla extract

Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool, then start frosting away!

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Tips: Cleaning Makeup Brushes

makeup1 Makeup brushes gather up dirt, bacteria and old makeup rather quickly, I always recommend cleaning them weekly. I usually save Sunday night for the following procedure, but sometimes it turns into Monday or Tuesday depending on my schedule. Instead of purchasing a separate cleaning solution, I’ve discovered ways to use home materials. My routine is below…..

Materials: gentle shampoo, towel, warm water

Directions

Rinse brushes under lukewarm water, focus on the bristles only – avoid submerging the metal part/whole brush which can loosen the glue and age it.

Take a squirt of gentle shampoo and spread all along the bristles. Rinse under warm water and create swirls on your palm to work out any layers. Repeat until the water runs clear from the brush.

Give your brushes time to dry, I usually leave them out over night. Take a towel and lay them on top with the tips completely off the counter to avoid losing it’s shape.

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Bar Cart

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I can’t tell you how long I’ve been searching for a decent, reasonable priced bar cart. Too many months. Stores are just too expensive. Decided to go the flea market route and find one myself. During a visit to Massachusetts, I spotted this red, vintage metal cart probably from a dentist office back in the 70′s. Tested it- wheels moved. Made a quick decision to clean it up and make it into a bar cart. Some may not like the rustic look, but I’m all for it. Gives the piece character.

Came back to the city and thats where the fun begins putting everything together. I made sure I had these basic essentials for a bar cart: unique wine/beer/cocktail glasses, wine key/opener, bottle opener, coasters, cocktail trinkets, seasonal decor (small flowers,pumpkins, candles, candies would do),  and of course, plenty of booze. The liquor is accumulated over time, but the wine always goes fast (hence the steamless wine glasses on top-they’re the most used!). Eventually, I’d like to expand this cart and get an advanced cocktail set, more proper glasses, and etc. For now, the basics work.

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Hello, World.

You know for the past couple of months, I’ve had a “new post” tab open…..taunting me to write again and unleash these bundled up creative juices. I went silent because of fear and uncertainty of what to do with this space. I first started out as a full blown fashion blogger, but as I’ve evolved my interests changed. So this internet space became ignored….. naturally. It happens. You work on a project and then you drop it. But actually, I missed it. Missed having a side project to work on that let’s me be expressive anyway I want to.

But let’s take LYSS in a different direction. You see, I like creating various things and putting them together to evolve into something, maybe a story or an indicator to drive emotion. This came to a conclusion to pursue the DIY direction. I see something, I like it, and then I figure out how to make it. Most things will be decor, but who knows…. maybe I’ll throw in some other things to throw you off ;)

Let’s create! I hope blood isn’t involved in the near future.