Chocolate Chip, Sour Cream, Walnut Cake

This is a recipe that was passed down by my grandmother. I make this cake almost any time I have something I need to bake for such as parties or as a thank you gift. This time I was baking for a thank you gift, a former boss, co-worker and friend of mine helped me get a decent parking place for school and he has helped me find jobs many times, so I owed him a thank you and he loves sweets. 

Now on to the cake. . .

Traditionally this cake is made in a bundt cake pan, which you need to grease and flour the pan. However, I have made this cake into muffins, mini muffins and other shape cakes. When I do muffins I use mini-chocolate chips to get a better distribution. 

1/2 Cup - Butter (softened)
1 1/2 Cups - Granulated Sugar
2 - Eggs
2 Cups - Flour
1 tsp. - Baking Soda
1 Cup - Sour Cream
2 Tbsp. - Milk
6 oz. - Chocolate Chips
1 Tbsp. - Vanilla
1/2 Cup - Brown Sugar
2 tsp. - Cinnamon
1/2 Cup - Walnuts

Step 1: Grease and flour your pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Cream butter, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla and eggs until light and fluffy.

Step 3: In a separate bowl, combine baking soda and flour.

Step 4: In a third bowl, combine sour cream and milk.

Step 5: Slowly add a little flour mixture and a little sour cream mixture at a time to the butter mixture. Once it is all added it will seem think for a cake batter but thinner than cookie dough. It should be just about as thick as cold sour cream. If it seems too thick add another tablespoon or two of sour cream.

Step 6: Fold in the chocolate chips. (If you like extra walnuts you can add extra walnuts into the batter. I usually do this.)

Step 7: Mix the remaining granulated sugar (1/2 cup), brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts in another bowl (you can re-use the flour bowl.)

Step 8: If you are using a cake pan, put half the batter in the pan, put a layer of the cinnamon sugar mix, then add the rest of the batter and top with the remaining cinnamon sugar mix. You can also add more walnuts in either of the layers. If you are doing muffins, fill the liners about 3/4 of the way and top with the cinnamon sugar mix.

Step 9: If making a cake, bake for about 45 minutes, but start checking the doneness at 30 minutes. If you are doing muffins, put them in for 20 minutes and then start checking. 

*Checking for doneness: Either use a knife, tooth-pick or skewer and poke the cake or muffin in the middle. The cake/ muffin is done when the knife, tooth-pick or skewer comes out with only chocolate on it, if there is any batter, put it in for another 5 minutes.

If you want a pdf of the receipt without pictures, I have loaded it on to google drive for download here.

Some of you may know that I talk about being gluten-free, which I am, so I can't eat this cake as I have made it, which makes me sad :( I am working on a gluten-free version and I will post as soon as it is perfected. 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, please let me know if you make it! Also let me know if you like this post and want to see more recipes.

Bests, Cittie

Fall Home Goods Haul

Fall homegoods haul

Along with some of my recent beauty shopping, I have also done some home goods shopping.

Candles, owl candles, tyler candles

The owl tea light holder on the top left was purchased as part of my birthday present from Bridgette, she bought it at target. The owl candle holder on the right is from World Market. The candle is the Tyler candle Kathina candle. Tyler candles are the best candles I have ever had, they last a very long time and you can smell them even when they aren't burning. Kathina is a combination of lilly, citrus and rose, it smells devine.

Owls, Halloween, Candles, Scenterpiece, Cookie Cutter

On the top left there are owl salt and pepper shakers from target and a cookie cutter from William Sonoma. On the top right is a Halloween tea light holder from Yankee Candle. On the bottom left is a pistachio gellato candle from target, that smells super yummy. On the bottom right are two new scents for my Yankee Candle Scenterpiece (if you want to know more about the scenterpiece let me know), I bought Apple Pumpkin and Autumn Wreath, which are prefect autumn scents.

Yankee Candle Halloween Tree

This is another Halloween piece from Yankee Candle that Shawn bought me because he knows I love Halloween.

London Wallart

Last I found this wall art on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I have been looking for something for our living room, this matched the colors and features my favorite city!

I didn't realize until I was posting this, but I sure did buy a bunch of candle stuff. I think I might have a candle obsession!

What are you treating yourself to this fall?
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Ipsy Bag: September 2014

September Ipsy Bag

September Ipsy Bag

The theme for the September bag was Street Style and I really love the bag, it's a darker silver, not quite guntmetal gray with silver studs. I think it's probably more Rock and Roll than Street style but awesome either way. 

Pacifica Eyeliner - Fringe

The first item was a travel size Pacifica eyeliner in the color fringe which is a milk chocolate color (Full-Size retail $11.00). The application was smooth and dark, but I think it might wear off too fast considering how easily I could wipe it off my hand. This is with Urban Decay 24 hour liner as kind of my benchmark for endurance.

NYX Eyeshadow Innocent

Next there was a NYX shadow in the color innocent which is a very light champagne color (Retail $4.50). I like NYX shadows but this one is probably to light to use alone, but it might work well as a highlight since the shimmer is not chunky. 

Hikari Lipstick Cabernet

I was very excited by the Hikari lipstick in Cabernet (Retail $13.00). It was easy to apply and a very wearable red. Also the lipstick felt like a decent quality, I would compare it to the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks. 

Briogeo and Crown Brush

The last two items were a Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair: Hair Conditioning Mask in a 1.0oz sample size (Full size 5.24oz Retail $26.00). I am curious to try this, but I'm not as excited about this as I am the other products.

The final product was a double ended Crease and Shadow Brush number C476 from Crown Bush (Retail $6.99). I love trying new brushes but double ended brushes are a pet peeve of mine because I don't like to put them in my brush container. I have tried this though and it is a very good synthetic brush, minimum fallout.

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Bridal Shower Favors: DIY Painted Mason Jars

Painted Mason Jar Favors

I might have mentioned that my friend Bridgette just got married, but my other best friend, Melissa, is getting married October 4th. We had Melissa's bridal shower on August 23, 2014 and as part of the "planning committee" I offered to make the party favors. I bought a 12 piece case of mason jars for $8 and painted them with white and purple to match Melissa's wedding colors. Now the trick to this is using the right paint and follow the directions on the bottle. I use the enamel paint for glass and then you have to put them in a cool oven and heat it up to 335 degrees Fahrenheit, bake them for 30 minutes, and then let them cool in the oven. Baking them makes the paint last really well, it claims they will be dishwasher safe but I still prefer to hand wash them just in case.
Painted Mason Jar
These were not hard to paint because they are all shapes that we have made since Elementary school except the wedding dress. You could also just make them a solid color with an initial or something. Additionally if you mess up and want to start over you can get the paint off with acetone nail polish remover or by running it through the dishwasher before baking them. 
Painted Mason Jar Wedding Favors
You can find these enamel paints at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Also I have used this method to paint other glass things such as wine glass. I painted everyone wine glasses for Christmas last year. 
I filled the jars with microwave minute cake, recipe is here.
Let me know what you are crafting? Have you tried painting glass? Let me know if you have any questions.
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Fall Beauty Haul

Beauty Haul
Hey guys, I have done a fair bit shopping in the past couple weeks and have picked up some new stuff, this is one of two hauls that I am going to do, the other will be more homegoods type things. *Disclaimer* Please keep in mind that I don't shop all the time and these rings were purchased over a couple of weeks and several shopping trips.
OGX teatree mint shampoo and conditioner

The blue bag is a shower caddy from target. Since we moved to a new place we only have one bathroom and it's much smaller so I keep most of my beauty stuff in our bedroom and I thought this would be an efficient way to carry what I need back and forth. Next I bought the tea tree mint shampoo and conditioner from OGX after I had my hair done and needed a sulfate free set. Thus far they have worked well though I haven't noticed anything particular unique or exciting, but the tea tree and mint do make it feel refreshing. The last thing above is a product container with a flat pump. I bought this for my toner because I thought it would be go for putting the toner on cotton pads and I was right, I love this. 

Limited Edition Sephora Cinderella Palette

This was my splurge purchase. It's the Sephora limited edition Cinderella palette. I thought that it was completely sold out but found this is in the Sephora clearance area for $39 (originally $55). I am in love with the colors and will do a post with a look and swatches soon.
It Brush for Ulta and Essence eyeliners

Like I mentioned in my Ulta news alert, the IT brushes for Ulta are in and I bought number 105. So far this brush is great for blending just like I hoped. I also picked up three eyeliners from Essence, now I know you are thinking 'Cat, why do you need three black eyeliners from essence?'  Well I bought the regular and the superfine on the same day to decide which style tip I preferred, so far I think it would be the regular but the fine tip could be useful. Anyhow I really liked the regular but had wanted the waterproof the day I bought it and it was sold out so the next time I went and it was in stock I bought it. They were each $2.99. 

Owl Jewelry Stand

This item is not really beauty and I didn't buy it. This is an owl necklace and Jewelry holder that Bridgette bought me while we were doing the wedding registry at Target. She bought it as a late Birthday present.

Beauty Haul

Speaking of birthdays, I got my Sephora Make up Forever birthday set, which includes a mini lipstick and mini mascara. I also got my Ulta birthday present which was a CK mascara, not pictured. I was looking for a good bubble bath at Ulta and one of the girls recommended I try using the vita bath body wash as bubble bath. I bought a small bottle in  heavenly coconut vanilla to try. I also have been having some random breakouts and thought I would try a product recommended by Essiebutton. I bought the body shop tea tree cool & creamy wash that was in her empties video. I also bought the tea tree cleansing toner. 

Finally I really needed a new hair dryer and I found this Eva.Nyc one on clearance for $29.99 from $60 originally. If you are curious, my old hair dryer was the little ConAir travel hair dryer that cost like $16. It was pretty awful, the heat element barely worked and the power was not even close to enough for my thick hair. Anyhow the beautiful cosmic print on this hair dryer caught my eye and it came with a brush and some heat damage protection spray. All in all a great steal for $29.99.

Sephora Samples

I also picked up some other little tid-bits at Ulta and received a pack of samples at Sephora (My friend Bridgette also gave me some of her samples).

Montagne Jeunesse- Green Tea Peel Off
Ulta brand bath fizzed in Pumpkin Latte

Sephora Samples
Make Up For Ever- HD Primer
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz (Medium)
Make Up For Ever- HD Pressed Powder
2x Sephora 10HR wear perfection foundation in Sand (Medium)
2x Lancome Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Powder & Foundation in shades #130 and #315 
Wow, that was a ton! Anyhow, if there are any products that you specifically want to hear more about, please let me know. Have you bought anything fun lately?
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The Autumn Tag 2014

So its starting to be fall, halloween decorations on sale, turkeys popping up left and right and school is back in session. However, I live in South Carolina, so unlike a good part of the US, it is still hot out. The changing seasons are probably the only things I miss from New Jersey, but at the same time I love the hotter summer and less extreme winter. In honor of the "changing" season, I want to do the Autumn tag that I found on MakeupSavvy,   and she gave the credit to Makeup-Pixi3 for the tag.

1. Ok we're talking coffee's - what's your favourite seasonal drink from Starbucks/Costa/Cafe Nero etc?  
The second Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is in the building, I am all about it. Thankfully, I made friends with the barista at my local Starbucks and he got me a PSL a few days early!

2. Accessories - what do you opt for, scarf, boots, gloves?
My fall accessory is definitely boots, but like I said, I live in South Carolina, so it will be October before I can comfortably wear them.

3. Music - what's your favourite music to listen to during Autumn?
I think the biggest change is that I listen to less Country, I find that I listen to a lot of Country in the summer. I would say that I listen to more indie and alternative in the fall.
4. Perfume - what's your favourite scent for this time of year?
Victoria Secret's Be a Bombshell is my go to right now, but I might look for a new fall scent soon. I am thinking about buying the Katy Perry Killer Queen, its a super warm and rich scent that would be perfect for the fall.

5. Candles - what scents will you be burning this season?
 I just bought some Yankee Candle Apple Pumpkin and Autumn Wreath that I will be lighting up soon.

6. What do you love most about Autumn?
I love the lead up to the holidays and the holidays. I also love everything pumpkin spice flavored.

7. Favourite makeup look?
I will be doing a darker neutral eye, not quite smoky, but not quite natural either. I might also try a cranberry eye. A little bit of rosy blush and definitely bringing back my berry lips.
8. What are you looking forward to most in Autumn?
I'm looking forward to going to New Jersey in October to see my family and shop for a wedding dress. I am also looking forward to Halloween. Any doggy costume suggestions?

These are my feelings about Autumn, what do you think about Autumn? If you have a blog, do this tag and send me the link.

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