Happy Mother’s Day!

Call Your Mom Cup

Happy Mother’s Day to all the fabulous¬†moms out there ūüôā

Only a parent can truly understand the sacrifice and support that goes into loving someone unconditionally, and a mother has the special power to show you how to be beautiful inside and out.

I make it a point to thank my mom for being amazing and to let her know that her strength and passion has paved the foundation for me and my sister to grow into confident, independent women with big dreams and ambitions. I know I should show her my appreciation more often and I hope she knows that all my hopes and accomplishments are because she first believed in me.

If you are fortunate to have your mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, or daughter please take a moment to connect and share your love with them. Celebrate them. Cherish them¬†‚̧

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‚ėÜ I’ve Been Nominated For The Liebster Award! ‚ėÜ

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To my pleasant surprise, I recently received a nomination for the Liebster Award from the darling Irina @¬†MakeupAmour! What an¬†honor it is ¬†to be recognized by you–Thank you so much : )

(Liebster is a term of endearment in German meaning, beloved, dearest, sweetheart, lovely, preferred and etc.)

{The Liebster Award Rules}
You must link back the person who nominated you.
You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers
You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

{Here are MakeupAmour’s questions}

1. Do you tend to straighten more or curl your hair more?

To be honest, my hair has been going au natural lately but when I feel inspired, I reach for my curling wand to get some romantic waves.

2. What are one of your habits that you have to break?

My bad habit is not drinking enough water and sleeping late. Both are essential to good health, and I¬†definitely¬†need to hydrate and catch more beauty Zzz’s. What’s a busy gal to do?

3. How do you brainstorm your blog post ideas?

I believe the more you open yourself to new experiences and the more you open  your eyes to the world, the more inspiration will come pouring into your life. I read loads of magazines and blogs to keep my pulse on beauty and style news. However, it is engaging in dialogue with girlfriends and other bloggers that gets my creative juices flowing.

4. Name a product you heard was good, but didn’t like?

Just before the BB Cream phenomenon hit US stores, mainstream/drug store brands released their versions of whipped and mouse foundations. I heard a lot of buzz surrounding the Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse and had to try it out. I love Maybelline products but I am sad to say that this is one product that didn’t work for me.

5. What brand of high end make up do you own?

Where do I start? When I need a pick-me-up, I will treat myself to a high end beauty product. My go-to brands are Chanel and YSL.

6. You can only pick one item from your makeup collection to keep. What is it?

Concealer. I need it every day in every way! I believe in the need to achieve a clean, even canvas before applying any color; therefore, concealer is the most basic and versatile tool to own. Check out my four part series: Best Summer Concealers for some great staples!

7. Who is your celebrity style crush?

Kim Kardashian. All comments and opinions about her life aside, Kim always dazzles and knows how to work it. Hair, makeup and fashion. Kim K is my style spirit animal.

8. If you can go anywhere in the world, what would that one place be?

Paris. I visited when I was 8/9 years old and it changed my life. Paris, Je T’aime.

9. What are your summer/ vacation essentials?

Sunscreen (SPF 40), lip balm (the fruitier, the better), my iPad to blog and research!

10. What 4 words would you use to describe yourself?

Honest. Curious. Compassionate. Fabulous.

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{Here are my Liebster Award Nominees (drum roll, please!)}

*I apologize if you have more than 200 followers. Either way, YOU ROCK!

MakeupAmour

Pearlsandparis

MillieMuppet

Joannaloves

parisandnewyork

On the-in-side

Rosyisme

Theposhblog

Vivalabeauty

Myclosetnbeautyfinds

Congrats, Ladies ~ keep up the fabulous work!

Please check out their blogs to see how amazing they are : )

E Peony

{My Liebster Award Questions}

1. Who is your favorite YouTube Beauty Guru (please link to their channel or your favorite video!)

2. What song is currently most played on your playlist?

3. What movie or TV show best reflects your life?

4. What is your “holy grail” skin care or beauty item and why?

5. What makeup look are you afraid to try?

6. What are you currently reading that inspires you (be it book, blog, whatever)?

7. What Fall beauty or fashion trend are you most looking forward to?

8. Whose closet would you raid and what one item would you most likely keep?

9. Which cause or organization do you support? (Link if possible!)

10. Do you watch Pretty Little Liars? If so, what is your most convincing ‘A’ theory?

E Peony

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XOXO Liz Signature

Big Sister Banana Nut Muffins

Having a big sister usually means you have a best friend for life. Someone who knows you longer and better than anyone else; who protects you and teaches you everything they’ve already learned about school, style, boys and life. As my big sister and I grow and become wiser, I have a lot to thank her for since she has always been a source of love, inspiration and of course great baking ideas.

Here’s a super easy, possibly healthy way to bake scrumptious banana nut muffins. Turn your weekend (or any day) into a sweet treat!

So I woke up yesterday, made my coffee and went to grab a banana and lo and behold, the last three I had were soft and brown. Somehow this always happens.

Then my sister popped into my head. One time when I visited her she just happened to have fresh, homemade banana nut muffin bread seducing me from inside the oven. She gave me a tip to salvage any over-ripe bananas with her quick recipe and I wanted to share this with you.

Well, I didn’t have a loaf pan readily available and decided to use the foundation of her recipe and modify it to make muffins.

{What You Will Need}
Good news is  you probably have many of the ingredients already and you can be clever and substitute when necessary.

3-4 over-ripe bananas (mashed)
3/4 cup granulated pure sugar cane (or white sugar)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
1/2 cup ground or chopped nuts (skip for any food allergies)
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Lemon juice from one whole lemon (or 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice)*
A little extra lemon juice, sugar and brown sugar to create a simple glaze
1 Toothpick

*I love the taste of lemons and add them to recipes whenever I can. For this recipe, I used the juice inside the batter to work in tandem with the Baking Soda. Since I didn’t have Baking Powder (which has a combination of Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar to help breads rise), the lemon juice should bring enough acid to react with the Baking Soda (click here for a more thorough explanation of pH¬†chemistry for¬†baking . Apparently, baking soda + lemon juice is great for a green household cleaning agent and can also safely whiten teeth!).

First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin pan or line with liners (I prefer pretty little liners).

I used a small 4-cup processor to chop and grind whole nuts. I had to use the last bit I had from the container, so some of the pieces were already small. I just pulsed the processor twice for each setting: chop and grind, chop and grind.

To mash the bananas, I took the easy way and used a spoon to cut and press until I achieved a smooth, thick consistency.

In a large mixing bowl, add the smaller ingredients, the sugars, salt, oil and egg. Mix these into a yellow paste. Then add the mashed bananas and chopped nuts and mix together.

Next, incorporate the flour, baking soda, vanilla extract, spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) and the lemon juice. Mix all ingredients evenly until you have a medium thick batter.

Tip: I use my Ikea ice cream scoop to transfer batter into the muffin pan. This helps me control the portions and minimize mess.

Once all the cups are full of banana batter, place the tray onto the top shelf of the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. By this time the muffins should rise and take on a delicious medium brown glow. Take a toothpick and insert into the muffin in the middle of the tray and one on the outer edge. If no batter sticks to the toothpick, they are done! If batter sticks, whomp, place the tray back into the oven for another five minutes and check again.

At this point, I use a trick I saw my sister use to finish muffins. Make a simple glaze by mixing about a tablespoon of lemon juice and sprinkle in some white and brown sugar (add a dash of cinnamon if you love cinnamon like me!). Use a silicon basting brush to mix and drizzle the glaze over each muffin while they are still warm and let it can cool naturally. This will give you a pretty sheen for display and a yummy, slightly tart first bite.

Tip: This in another big sister tip. If you end up with extra batter for any cupcake or muffin mix and need to only bake a few more, make sure to begin placing the batter in the middle of the tray, moving outward. Since the cups on the outer edge can heat a little differently, starting in the middle when you only have a few cups to fill will help ensure a more even distribution of heat.

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My version is not overly sweet or dry but I can’t guarantee that you will be able to eat just one. I apologize in advance : )

Now you have a fool proof way to make banana nut muffins. Go ahead, bring these to ¬†your next brunch or to the office. Your friends and coworkers will thank you. Just don’t forget to thank your sister, younger or older or twin, for all they have done¬†‚ô•

{Cuteness Alert}

Speaking of muffins, here’s an adorable handmade “Stud Muffin” card ¬†from Cherry Blossom Tree Designs. Very cute but not edible!

Available: Cherry Blossom Tree Designs

Retail: $3.50 USD

Do you have a favorite tip from your sister? Let me know!

XOXO Liz Signature