Gluten Free – Plum Tart

I have been eyeing the plum trees in my backyard for a few weeks, I mean who can pass up fresh plums from right off the tree (talk about organic and local). But, their precarious location on the side of the hill made me a little hesitant. I couldn’t let them go to waste though, so last weekend I carefully climbed up the wobbling ladder and ended up picking more plums then I knew what to do with. This tart made a small dent in the huge bowl of plums that I picked. I also got to experiment with a gluten free crust, that ended up turning out great.

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Braided Necklace

This project does require quite a bit of patience, but I managed to string all the beads while watching episodes of Cake Boss. I love how the blue beads contrast with the gold, and I created this piece for around $10.

Supplies:

  • Beads (amount depends on how large your beads are and how long you want the braid)
  • String (strong but thin)
  • 6 clam shell crimps
  • Clasp
  • 2 medium sized jump rings
  • Chain (1-2 ft. depending on length of necklace)

Helpful Hints:

  • Use a needle to thread the beads, it made the process go a lot quicker.
  • Put clear nail polish on the string before enclosing it in the clam shell, this will prevent fraying.
  • If you choose a very thin chain like I did, you will need to know the basics of wire wrapping. Some bead stores can help you with this, but this is a great tutorial that gives you all the steps.

Now I just want one in plum and coral! Hope you had a relaxing weekend.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

I love Oreos and I love cupcakes, so a recipe that is able to combine the two is pure perfection. This recipe places half an Oreo on the bottom of the cupcake, adding a bit of crunch to the moist vanilla cake. The cream cheese frosting and Oreo crumble adds even more to this ideal cupcake. The recipe was relatively simple and tasted great, proven by how quickly they disappeared!

I hope you are enjoying the final days of warm weather and summer. I know I am!

Currently Lusting: Beauty Boxes

What could be better than coming home to a cute box filled with some new products? I have been thinking about purchasing a beauty box for a while now and did a bit of research to determine what is out there. Here are a few of the boxes I am contemplating.

Umba Box sends you 2-3 handmade products each month, anything from jewelry to stationary, and includes a little bio about the artist who created the products.
Price: $25/month or $275/year

Birchbox allows you to sample new beauty products every month. Samples are from well-known companies as well as up and coming brands, plus it is super easy to purchase the samples that you loved.
Price: $10/month

With Beauty Army, you get to choose up to 6 samples from 9 products that have been chosen just for you, based on your beauty profile, each month.
Price: $12/month

Glossy Box sends you 5 travel sized luxury beauty products each month. You can personalize the products you receive by completing a beauty profile.
Price: $21/month or $220/year

For the Makers is the perfect box for anyone who loves to craft. Every month you’ll receive a box of materials to create 4 projects. Previous projects have included everything from jewelry to home décor.
Price: $29/month

Do you have a favorite box of products that you receive?

Miniature Peach Pies

One of my favorite summer desserts to make is peach pie. The end of summer is fast approaching and I realized I had not made one yet. I decided to do a twist on my family’s recipe by making mini peach pies. This recipe is truly a family heirloom, my Great-Grandma used to make this for my Mom when she was a child and my Auntie has won awards from this recipe, so get ready for a treat.

                                                                 Miniature Peach Pie

 Ingredients for 11 pies:

  • ¾ cup sugar, 3 tbsp. flour, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, a dash of salt, 5 to 7 cups of fresh peaches, 2 tbsp. butter, pie crust (I was lazy and bought mine pre-made but I have had good luck with this recipe.

   Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°
  2. Combine sugar, flour, spices, salt in a large bowl.
  3. Peel and slice peaches (I make the peaches about 1” x 1” cubes).
  4. Add peaches to dry ingredients; make sure all peaches are covered, let sit.
  5. Lay out pie crust and roll slightly thinner, about ¼ inch thick.
  6. Use a round cookie cutter about 3/3.5 inches in diameter (I used a bowl with a thin lip) and cut out circles of dough. Be strategic about where you place the cookie cutter.
  7. When the maximum amount of circles have been cut, ball up the remaining dough and re-roll it out to get a few more circles (I created 11 mini pies).
  8. Spray the cupcake tin to prevent the dough from sticking.
  9. Place dough circles in cupcake tin; push down bottom so that each lays well.
  10. Make 2 cuts in the bottom of each mini pie.
  11. Fill each mini crust with peach filling; you may need to slightly rearrange peach slices so there are no big empty areas.
  12. Place a small dollop of butter on top of each mini pie.
  13. Bake 30 minutes or until peaches are soft and pie crust is golden.
  14. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream!

Currently Lusting: Happy Hour

I am lusting after these stylized watches. Happy Hour just got a little bit better.

  1. Kate Spade’s Gramercy gold watch is perfect for a dainty wrist.
  2. I am loving  the gold details on this light turquoise watch.
  3. Michael Kors’ sophisticated tortoise shell style.
  4. Love the leather strap on this Marc Jacob’s watch.
  5. Fun moustache watch with gold finish.
  6. Perfect combination of light pink, pearl, and gold in Kate Spade’s metro watch.