Celebrating Summer with Cinnabon

Cinnabon Chillatta In case you missed all of my squealing on social, I recently partnered with Cinnabon to celebrate the launch of their new Chillattas!

The launch party was absolutely amazing. It was literally in a bar made of ice in NYC, which was perfect for chillin’ on a warm summer night with a cold treat.

I was joined by four other influencers and we were all paired with a flavor based on our personalities! Each flavor was unveiled in a super cute ceremony at the event. Naturally, I was dubbed Peaches & Cream thanks to my “charming, All-American sweetness.” Their words, not mine. 😉

Cinnabon Chillattas

The other flavors include OREO Cookies and Cream, Signature Cinnamon Roll, Double Chocolate Mocha, and Strawberries and Cream. I’m currently on a mission to try them all and highly recommend that you all do the same.

Check out Cinnabon’s website and follow them on social (obsessed with their IG) for more info about these new sweet treats! You can even take their flavor quiz to see which one is the perfect match for you. Then post on social using #ChillattaChallenge to spread the word!

[This post was sponsored by Cinnabon, but all opinions are my own.]

Corona Cupcake Recipe for Cinco de Mayo

Corona Cupcakes

Happy Cinco de Mayo, lovelies!

As we all know, I love any excuse to infuse alcohol into my life, whether it be in my beauty regimen (don’t knock vodka as a toner until you’ve tried it!) or in a cupcake. Today, it’s in a cupcake. Read on for an amazingly delicious recipe featuring one of my fav beers – Corona! It’s perfect for a day like this. 😉

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes:
    • ¾ cups of unsalted butter at room temp
    • 1-3/4 cups of sugar
    • 2-1/2 cups of flour
    • 2 tsp of baking soda
    • ½ tsp of salt
    • 3 eggs at room temp
    • 1 tsp of vanilla
    • ½ tsp of lime zest
    • 1 cup of Corona beer
    • ¼ cup of milk
  • Glaze:
    • 1 Bottle of Corona beer
    • 1 cup of sugar
  • Buttercream:
    • 2 Sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
    • Juice of 1 squeezed lime
    • Zest of the same lime
    • 4 cups of powdered sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add eggs, beating after each addition then add the vanilla and zest.
  • Combine milk and beer and alternatively add this mixture and the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture with the mixer on low speed, starting and ending with the flour.
  • Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • Put beer in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, add sugar ½ cup at a time and whisk. Let it boil for 5 min. and let it sit
  • When cupcakes are done, poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes with toothpicks and brush some glaze on each while still warm. (Feel free to add a lot!)
  • Cream the sticks of butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer (2 to 3 min).
  • Add lime zest and juice, mix well and begin to add sugar one cup at a time until fluffy.
  • Load a piping bag fit with a star tip and frost the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with thin lime wedges.

Sleepy Hollow Travel Guide + Vacay Inspo

welcome-to-historic-sleepy-hollow-sign

At the risk of sounding extremely basic, I LOVE fall. This time of year is my favorite! So, to continue my annual mission to fill my fall to the brim with memories, I embarked on a trip to the infamous Sleepy Hollow.

Of course, I’ve been a fan of the tale since I was a kid and used to watch the Disney version. My interest in Washington Irving’s story was reinvigorated when the Sleepy Hollow film came out (classic Johnny Depp, hello!) and then again when I relocated to New York where it takes place.

The spooky little town of Sleepy Hollow did not disappoint, so I’m thrilled to share what I learned from my adventure! Read on for my tips and tricks before you plan your own trip…

When to go

Halloween, duh. Sleepy Hollow was affectionately nicknamed the “Halloween capital of the world” (although I’m sure there might be some folks in Salem and NoLa that disagree). Even if you aren’t big on the ghouls and goblins side of Halloween, fall is absolutely beautiful in the Hudson Valley area. So trust me on this, go in October. I took the New York Water Taxi’s Sleepy Hollow Ferry. The view from the Hudson River was breathtaking and the ride there was honestly one of the highlights of my trip! Even if you’re coming in from out of town, I think this is the route to go.

new-york-water-taxi-to-sleepy-hollow

What to wear
The most important piece is comfortable shoes! Nearly everything fun in Sleepy Hollow involves walking and exploring large, hilly areas (especially the cemetery, but more on that later). Leave your witchy heels at home, this is a job for Adidas. As far as your outfit, leggings and a flowy fall dress will do!

sleepy-hollow-cemetary

What to eat

If you’re day tripping from Manhattan like I did, I recommend kicking off your Sleepy Hollow adventure with brunch at Ichabod’s, appropriately adjacent to the Headless Horseman bar on Irving Place in Manhattan. Don’t confuse this awesome spot with The Horseman in Sleepy Hollow. That Horseman is a sad diner and you will be disappointed if you eat there. Pro tip: Walk a little farther from Sleepy Hollow to Main Street in Tarrytown where you’ll find a string of foodie friendly restaurants (The Twisted Oak, yum) and hipster approved craft beer bars (The Oath, double yum). When you’re done, grab some homemade ice cream at Main Street Sweets. SO good.

brunch-at-ichabods

Where to stay

Planning to stay overnight? If you’re coming in from another area, The Castle Hotel and Spa should be your home away from home. This stunning resort is a hot spot for weddings and special events with good reason. The grounds are absolutely beautiful and have an eerie elegance, perfect for a Halloween vacay. If you’re an NYC dweller looking to save a few bucks, you can totally skip the overnight part and ferry back after a full day (it only takes about an hour to get back to the city).

 

the-headless-horseman-bridge-sleepy-hollow

Where to play

It just would not be a trip to Sleepy Hollow if you skip the Headless Horseman bridge and take an obligatory tourist photo at the very spot where the horseman made his infamous ride and scared the bejeezus out of our friend Ichabod Crane. Also worth scoping out: Washington Irving’s Sunnyside where you can tour the grounds of Irving’s beautiful estate. Another not to be missed sight is The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, a walk-through pumpkin promenade at Van Courtlandt Manor with over 7,000 decorated jack o’lanterns on display. You also can’t miss the Old Dutch Church and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (where many of New York’s elite have been laid to rest). Spooky, but beautiful.

Follow my advice and I promise you a perfect Halloween excursion to Sleepy Hollow! 👻👻👻

Girl Scout Cookie and Wine Pairings

The season is here! And no, I’m not talking about Fashion Week season this time. It’s Girl Scout cookie season, folks.

Naturally, I love pairing Girl Scout cookies with wine. (Samoas and bubbles for the win!)

My friends at Mode do too, so they put together this handy video that illustrates the best wines to pair with your Girl Scout cookies.

Watch and learn! This is important. 😉


[This post was sponsored by Mode Media, but all opinions are my own.]

Celebrate the Holidays with Starbucks

Starbucks

I’m so thrilled to continue my partnership with Starbucks as a member of the Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community! Throughout 2016 I’ll continue to share the latest and greatest Starbucks goodies with you all.

But first, red cup season! 

Nothing says the holidays like a hot cup of coffee, am I right?!

If you love cozying up to a warm cup of coffee (or cocoa) in the wintry weather like I do, you’re in luck. Starbucks offers an assortment of awesome products that will transform you into a master barista at your next holiday shindig (and beyond). I mean, isn’t any time a good time for a great cup of cocoa? Read on for a description of my favs from the Starbucks holiday collection!

  • Starbucks VIA Instant Peppermint Mocha Latte – How amazing would it be to whip up your own Peppermint Mocha at home? Now you can! And you have full control over the amount of whipped cream. 😉 Inspired by the handcrafted winter favorite, Starbucks VIA Instant Peppermint Mocha combines natural dairy and 100% arabica coffee for rich, creamy flavor. Just add hot water and enjoy!
  • Starbucks Marshmallow Hot Cocoa Mix – I’m a sucker for hot chocolate. Back in my Florida days, I would blast the AC and drink it in the dead of summer. I have to admit that it does taste even better in the winter time while sitting on my stoop in New York!  This decadent hot cocoa with fluffy handcrafted miniature marshmallows is sure to add a little whimsy to your day.
  • Starbucks Holiday Blend – Every year the holiday flavor is subtly unique. With an approachable complexity and elegant flavor, each vintage is definitely worth celebrating. This year the blend is the perfect balance of bright Latin American and smooth Indonesian coffees.

What are your favorite holiday Starbucks drinks? Keep an eye on the blog for even more fresh roasted goodness from my friends at Starbucks in the new year!