DIY

DIY Pumpkin Spiced Chai

DIY Pumpkin Spiced Chai

DIY Pumpkin Spiced Chai

I’m definitely not a coffee drinker, but tea, tea I do!  I like a hot beverage in the morning especially on a crisp fall morning.  I love the idea of all those cool flavored beverages that all the cool kids order, but I just can’t stomach anything coffee.  So when in doubt, turn to pinterest!  I found a recipe for a home made pumpkin spice syrup that actually turned out pretty good.  Add it to chai and Pinterest Success!!

Step 1:  Start by making the syrup.  Not only does this recipe make a ton it stores in the fridge well and you can use it plenty of other things, like apple cider or coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup orig from Annie’s Eats

  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger (or put a little nub of peeled fresh ginger root in the water as it’s cooking)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp. ginger sugar (if you don’t have any ginger sugar, you can skip this. It just adds a little extra zip to the syrup.)
  • 3 tbsp. pumpkin puree

Directions:

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2.  Toss in the cinnamon sticks and cloves, then whisk in the remaining spices and the pumpkin puree.
  3. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, without letting the mixture come to a boil. If you screw up and it does accidentally come to a boil, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal — mine did and the syrup tasted fine!
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and funnel into a bottle or jar.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.
  7. Sidenote: I like to leave a cinnamon stick in the bottle/jar

Step 2:  After you have your syrup ready, prepare some chai tea.  Any brand will do, I prefer Tazo Classic Chai Tea Bags.  I personally just seep one bag in about 4-6oz of water.  Or use the “small cup” amount on your Keurig.

Step 3:  Prepare equal parts of warm milk.  You basically want half tea half milk, so if you used 4-6oz heat 4-6oz of milk.  Heating the milk separately doesn’t make it get filmy.

Step 4:  Combine tea, warm milk, and 2-3 tablespoons of the pumpkin spice syrup and mix.

And there you go!  A perfectly spicy fall drink to enjoy while lounging in your perfect fall sweater, painting your perfect pumpkin spice mani on a perfect fall day doing basic white girl fall activities!

The Perfect Fall Drink

The Perfect Fall Drink

Trending Tuesday: #basicwhitegirl Fall

October Is My Favorite Color

October Is My Favorite Color

October has proved to be a pretty good month so far, really all of fall has!  And it’s just the beginning!  We still have Halloween and Thanksgiving and all the fall treats in-between!  Apparently though, all these fun activities I like to do in the fall, any excitement over anything pumpkin and all the fall-tastic pictures I post on social media are all #basicwhitegirl things!

Proof curtsey of BuzzFeed:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/things-all-basic-white-girls-do-during-the-fall#1zv0qod

Fall Scents

Fall Scents

This makes me giggle, A LOT.  Mainly  because I do most of these, enjoy most of these, and will share the crap out of most of these with anyone willing.  So get ready for a week of #basicwhitegirl fall fantastic-ness!  Which will include but not limited to; pumpkin spice mani, the perfect fall sweater, fall lip trends anyone can pull off, DIY Pumpkin Spice Chai, fall boots that don’t break the bank and more!

NOTE:  #basicwhitegirl fall activities are not limited to basic white girls… you know you’ve done AT LEAST one of those things!

With My Pumpkins!

With My Pumpkins!

5 Ways To Wear An Infinity Scarf from Day To Night

1 Infinity Scarf Worn 5 Ways

1 Infinity Scarf Worn 5 Ways

Happy first day of fall!  Even though I’m forever a summer child, I’m officially now ok with busting out a scarf (over a tank), lighting a pumpkin candle (like the current favorite Pumpkin Pecan Waffles from B&BW) and stepping into some booties (preferably peep-toed).  Fall adds a layer of cozy to your life as the days get shorter and cooler.  The best way to combat that is with a scarf.  I’m currently LOVING the mark. All Around Style Scarf ($18 on sale for only $10 with a qualifying purchase at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger).  It’s the perfect balance of fun and fall, and super versatile for changing weather and functions.  Here are 5 different ways to style your infinity scarf using the mark. All Around Style Scarf.

1.  SHRUG

Infinity Scarf As A Shrug

Infinity Scarf As A Shrug

As you start your day it can be pretty chilly in the mornings so start it off by wearing your infinity scarf as a shrug.  Just open it up so its the full circle the slip it around your shoulders.  Done.

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Wear your scarf as a shrug

Wear your scarf as a shrug

2.  One Shoulder

Infinity Scarf Over One Shoulder

Infinity Scarf Over One Shoulder

As the morning starts to warm up switch it from a shrug to a one shoulder cover up.  Wrap it around your neck twice then pull to one side, fluff and tuck as need be.

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The One Shoulder Look

The One Shoulder Look

3.  The OG

Infinity Scarf The OG Way

Infinity Scarf The OG Way

The OG way (original gangsta for the urban impaired) is my favorite way.  Simple, to the point, keeps the chill off and shows off the full pattern of the scarf.  It’s perfect for the mid day.

Classic Infinity Scarf

Classic Infinity Scarf

4.  Halter Top

Infinity Scarf As A Halter

Infinity Scarf As A Halter

The day has warmed up and its time to head out to happy hour which means time to step up the outfit!  Take the scarf fully open and let it hang from your neck.  Next twist it once so they sides cross over each other.  Take the open loop and flip it around your head and shoulders and put your arms through the loops created.  Adjust it to your liking.  I personally opened it up more around the chest and tucked the “straps” to keep them slim.

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Wear your scarf as a top for happy hour!

Wear your scarf as a top for happy hour!

5.  Kimono-Like

Infinity Scarf As a Kimono-like Look

Infinity Scarf As a Kimono-like Look

As the night cool creeps in and you start to get a little chilly transition your infinity scarf to almost a reverse shrug for a kimono-like look.  All you do is open it to its full size wide in one giant loop and wrap around your shoulders.  It’s like wrapping yourself in your own scarf blanket!

From The Back

From The Back

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5 Looks from 1 Infinity Scarf

5 Looks from 1 Infinity Scarf

Now that it’s officially fall it’s time to bust your  your scarfs and twist them into something new!  The mark. All Around Style Scarf is my pick for fall.  You can get it now for only $10 with a $30 purchase of any other mark. fall arrivals at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger  In these looks I’m also wearing:

Tank Dress – Express (0ld) / mark. Nail This Look Nail Lacquer and Bracelet Ring Set ($28, last seen here) / mark. Color Swing Mix It Up Eye Compact ($20, last seen here) / Avon Ultra Color Bold Lipstick in High-Def Plum ($8 on sale for $5.99) / mark. Go Royal Bag ($65, last seen here) / mark. Cube Effect Necklace ($16) / Wedges – Target (old)

BONUS!!!  Shop the look and get up to 25% off your order at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger

DIY Bridal Survival Kit with thesalonoutlet.com

If rain on your wedding day is lucky, what is arson forest fire smoke?  I’m just under 2 weeks from my big day which is seeming to be ruined by the King fire since its barely contained and still spreading.  There is no way you can plan to avoid something like this but I can plan for the other small “fires” that are bound to happen on my wedding day with a DIY Bridal Survival Kit.

 

DIY Bridal Survival Kit

DIY Bridal Survival Kit

 

thesalonoutlet.com generously provided a product of my choice for review, with my upcoming wedding I knew I wanted a “train case” for all my beauty and survival needs.  I selected the black soft makeup train case with shoulder strap ($39.99).  It’s the perfect size with tons of compartments to keep me organized and hold everything I need.  As I’ve been getting closer I’ve been adding bits and pieces here and there to build the kit.

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thesalonoutlet.com Black Soft Train Case with strap

thesalonoutlet.com Black Soft Train Case with strap

 

DIY Bridal Survival Contents:

  • Advil (or pain reliever of choice)
  • Tums
  • Band-Aids
  • Shoe Inserts (heel grips and sole)
  • Blister Stick
  • Chalk (to cover up any last minute smudges or smears on your wedding dress)
  • Clear nail polish (for runs or nails)
  • Nail File
  • Corsage pins
  • Dental floss/toothpicks
  • Eye drops/contact solution
  • Eye makeup remover (for smudges)
  • Primer (mark. Primed for Perfection) and Powder (mark. PowderBuff)
  • Extra earring backs
  • Hair pins/ponytail holder
  • Hairspray
  • Tail Comb
  • Shine Serum (for fly aways)
  • Perfume (Avon Femme)
  • Hand towelettes
  • Hem tape
  • Matches
  • Mini sewing kit
  • Safety pins
  • Scotch tape
  • Small folding scissors
  • Spot remover (aka shout to go wipes)
  • Static-cling spray
  • Straws (to protect the lipstick)
  • Tissues
  • Tweezers
  • Lotion
  • Travel size shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and toothpaste (since mine is an out of town/across the country for some wedding and who knows who forgot what)
  • Razor
  • Q-tips
  • Breath mints/gum
  • Extra phone charger
  • Lady Stuff
  • Cash
  • Nuts and granola bars (hangry is not a fun wedding day feeling)
Avon Anew Vital Day and Night Cream

Avon Anew Vital Day and Night Cream

Avon’s new Anew Vitale line is the perfect duo to pack.  It helps stressed and sleep deprived skin look awake and refreshed.  Def a must have for the weekend.  I’ve also been saving these firming eye gels for a day-of beauty treat!  Other face must haves are gentle cleanser from Liz Earle, mark. Powderbuff, mark. Primed for Perfection, mark. Mist Opportunity all to create the perfect pallet!

Avon Femme For My Signature Scent

Avon Femme For My Signature Scent

At my friend Mary’s wedding I noticed how all night long she smelled AMAZING!  I want to copy her with a nice clean scent, so far Avon Femme is the leading candidate, perfect for a wedding!

Start of the DIY Bridal Survival Kit

Start of the DIY Bridal Survival Kit

I still need to finish packing this little survival kit along with a million other things on the to do list before October 4th, but at least my train case from thesalonoutlet.com is the perfect fit for it!  Fingers crossed this King Fire gets under control and clears out so I can survive my wedding weekend!

Mani Monday: 4th Of July Nails

The Arsenal:  4th Of July Nails

The Arsenal: 4th Of July Nails

The countdown to the long holiday weekend has officially begun with all things red white and blue!  And what do I coin this countdown?  Week O’Nautical!  (basically a reason to wear red white and blue with a slight nautical influence to get me through the work week for the long weekend!).  I spent my Sunday Funday relaxing by the pool with the pups, reading magazines and doing my nails.  That’s the ultimate Sunday Funday in my book!  But I think I was so overwhelmed by all the inspiration on pinterest that my 4th of July nails turned out kinda basic… but red white and blue and glitter is never a bad thing!

4th Of July Nails

4th Of July Nails

I started with Avon’s Smooth Beginnings Base Coat on all my  nails.  For the blue I used Julep Monaco (last seen here).  The red is mark. Snowberry (last seen here) and the white is Essie She Said Yes.  For the red white and blue glitter with little stars in it, is Julep America.  (last seen here).  The white and red shades have a little sparkle to the formula, like a little firework on your nails!

Poolside with the Pup and Julep Monaco Toes

Poolside with the Pup and Julep Monaco Toes

I miiiiight just have to redo my 4th of July nails once my Julep Maven Box arrives this week… if you’re not signed up to Julep then do so here!  They offer perfectly curated sets each month with customizable options and top notch packaging to boot!  Plus you don’t have to buy every month, just when you want, and they’re definitely one of my absolute favorite polish brands!  With my July box coming I have a perfect-for-the-4th red and a couple of sea salt finishes that I’m dying to try out!  So maybe I’ll try to recreate one of these pins I’m currently obsessed with, like this accent nail in blue and 1 giant star… LOVING the simplicity of that one!

Pinspiration for 4th Of July Nails

Pinspiration for 4th Of July Nails

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Mani Monday: Turquoise and Nude Nails

Turquoise and Nude Mani

Turquoise and Nude Mani

Coming straight off my turquoise accent obsession today’s Mani Monday is nothing but fitting, especially for summer.  Ever since I got the mark. Nail This Look Polish and Ring Set I’ve basically been wearing the shade Seafoam non stop (as seen here and here).  It pairs well with everything from yellow to pink to blue to nude and more so no surprise I’m still wearing it.  Only this time with beige, Avon Barefoot Beige and a nude halo, Julep Ginger on my ring finger.

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Turquoise and Nude Mani with mark. Seafoam, Avon Barefoot Beige and Julep Ginger

Mani with mark. Seafoam, Avon Barefoot Beige and Julep Ginger

Usually my summer go-to is the brightest pink I can find but this year I’m all about the turquoise, mint and blues!  Lucky for me they’re hot this season (as seen here!)  Plus, they play well with my mark. Sparkle in A Snap Bracelet and Avon Signature Boyfriend Watch!  Shop these exact shades and accessories at my eBoutique and shop Julep here.

Mani Monday In Action

Mani Monday In Action

 

Nailed It: Super Easy Nail Art With mark. Nail This Look Nail Color and Ring Set

mark. Nail This Look Set

mark. Nail This Look Set

Mani Monday on a Tuesday, so what.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m never on time for anything.  But what they also know is I LOVE my nails.  And because I’m always late means I better know how to create some killer nail art in a super quick way!  Luckily for you I do, and its using this complete kit from mark., the Nail This Look Nail Color and Ring Set ($28).  Create a fun angled look for spring with little to no skills needed.

Final Look (with mark. All In Good Time Watch)

Final Look (with mark. All In Good Time Watch)

 

The How To:

Step 1:  Start with a base coat or on plain nails add 2 thin coats of Sunsation (yellow) with letting the first coat dry for at least 2 min before applying the 2nd.  Don’t worry about the mess we’ll fix that later.

mark. Sunsation from Nail This Look

mark. Sunsation from Nail This Look

 

Step Two:  Take Seafoam and paint an angled section starting about halfway down your nail upward toward the tip.  Because Seafoam is a bit more opaque in coloring you can do it in one coat.  You can get the idea with the video below:

Paint on an angled block with Seafoam

Pain on an angled block with Seafoam

 

Finish It Up:  Just clean up the sides and if you wish add a top coat.  Call it a day and have a super cute and super simple nail art look with just this one kit, just slip on the ring and you’re good to go!    I admit my work up close and personal is not perfect, but at the normal distance your hand are at, no one will notice the imperfections just the super springy fun nail art you did!

mark. Nail This Look Polish and Ring Set

mark. Nail This Look Polish and Ring Set

BONUS!!!  Say you want to go the extra mile do you!?  Then add a silver line of polish between the mint and yellow.  I used the mark. Nailed It in Tinsel (silver) from the holiday release.  Those mini brushes are perfect for doing such a thing.  Draw a thin stripe and you just upped your nail art game!

Final Look (with mark. All In Good Time Watch)

Final Look (with mark. All In Good Time Watch)

 

NOTES:  Not sure if you knew this but painting your nails in full on sun is never a good idea.  It makes the polish bubble and thicken up not allowing for the best application.  However I don’t care and still take any excuse to sit in the sun, which is why mine aren’t the best they could be.  Nothing a little topcoat can’t smooth out for the most part.  Either way I’ve been wearing these mint and yellow shades for the last month and I could not be more pleased with the mark. Nail This Look Set ($28).  They wear well and are the perfect fun shades to perk up your spring!  You can get the set at my eBoutique for $28.

This look was inspired by the mark. girl official tutorial using this pink from the other Nail This Look Polish and Bracelet Set.  Which is just another look you can create with the Sunsation and Seafoam set!  Try it out and let me know how it goes!

From The Desk Of Alicia – Happy 2014!!!

sealed with an a

sealed with an a

Happy New Year!  (a couple days later).  In the last couple of weeks I’ve been enjoying the holidays, a trip back east, my family, my friends, and some much needed time off!  A lot of that was spent unplugged and enjoying the moment and not worrying about capturing it electronically.  2014 is shaping up to be a big year…  not only is it the 2nd year anniversary here on the blog but I have a new nephew on the way, my niece is graduating high school and I have a wedding to plan!  I only half-heartedly make resolutions but this year with all this going on my resolution is to be more organized/on time/on top of things/etc.   I think the first step in making this happen is finding a really good planner to keep me organized… one that’s equally as chic and fun as it is functional.  Here are a few I’m looking at…

Topping the wish list, Kate Spade offerings:

Kate Spade Spiral 2014 Agendas

Kate Spade Spiral 2014 Agendas

A Peek Inside

A Peek Inside

Kate Spade Brightspot Avenue Debra

Kate Spade Brightspot Avenue Debra

The refillable agenda is really what I think I need.  Something with pockets and lots of options.  However its pink and $168 (neither are my favorite).

On the more affordable level Etsy has some great options:

Day Designer On Etsy

Day Designer On Etsy

2014 Planner on Etsy

2014 Planner on Etsy

 

Since I’m a sucker for fun office supplies these fun designs have me smitten:

Henri Bendel 2014 Planner

Henri Bendel 2014 Planner

Jonathan Adler Spade Design

Jonathan Adler Spade Design

 

laureldenise.com

laureldenise.com

 

The refillable options are what I’m searching for but I want something more fun in design, but this classic leather one from Coach has the functionality:

Coach Leather Tab Jacket

Coach Leather Tab Jacket

 

Since I’m not very good at this organization thing, I’m definitely open to suggestions.  Do you use a day planner you love?  Do you have a better suggestion?  Where’s the best place to shop for planners?  Searching Pinterest I’ve seen a ton of printable options, but what’s the best way to bind them/use them?  Leave a comment and help licia!

As for the rest of this organization thing for the year the biggies I want to tackle are my closet, my shoes, my jewelry, my office (both home and work) and my paper trails (documents/warranties/manuals/receipts/etc).  This will involve some pinspiration and diy techniques that I most certainly will be sharing here on word of alicia.

Here's to 2014!!

Here’s to 2014!!

Cheer’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

Wear and Share Wednesday – mark. girl Mani – Halloween Edition

Wear and Share Wed With mark. Nailed It Duo

Wear and Share Wed With mark. Nailed It Duo

It’s Wear and Share Wednesday – HALLOWEEN EDITION!!!  Jackie from Living After Midnight and I are bringing you two SPOOKY mark. girl manis to try for your #halloweenmanis (totally trending right now) from one mark. Nailed It Duo Trend Lacquer in Tuxedo (shiny black) and Gleam Scene (glittery gold).  Check out Jackie’s googly eyed mani over at Living After Midnight for the full details on how to get the look.

Purrrrrfect mark. girl mani for Halloween

Purrrrrfect mark. girl mani for Halloween

To recreate this purrrrfect mark. girl mani for Halloween paint your 4 fingers in Tuxedo (black).  Paint your thumb in Gleam Scene (gold) and create two almond shaped eyes with Gleam Scene on your middle and ring.  What’s great about these Nailed It Duos is that the mini size brush is perfect for this kind of nail art!  As that dries use a small thin brush to create the whiskers on your pointer and pinkie in Tinsel Town (silver).  I used an old liquid eyeliner brush from my mark. Get In Line Waterproof eyeliner.  Start with the the center whisker and flick it in a diagonal direction.  This way you can space your 2 outside whiskers off it.  I did the bottom whisker along the tip of the nail to also help with keeping it look neat.  Finally go back with Tuxedo to create the centers of the eyes over the almond shapes you created in Gleam Scene.  And DONE!  It’s actually a pretty simple and a purrrrfect nail costume!

mark. Nailed It Minis for Halloween Nail Art

mark. Nailed It Minis for Halloween Nail Art

These nails would be great to accompany a Cat Woman or just a cat costume, or even a Cleopatra/Egyptian costume!  If you’re not dressing up this would be a perfect nail costume just to theme out Halloween in your everyday. Then create a Halloween arm party!!!

Halloween Nails and Arm Party

Halloween Nails and Arm Party

I was inspired by this black bead bracelet with a black cat from Avon.  I picked this Avon Trick Or Treat Charm Bracelet up to theme out my Halloween week with the mark. Nailed It Duo’s and created an arm party perfect for Halloween.  Yes, you can wear holiday themed jewelry and not look like a crazy cat lady.  Avon has a bunch of these simple bead bracelets with fun holiday charms you can mix and match with your bracelets to make one killer arm party!

Black Cat Eyes and Charms

Black Cat Eyes and Charms

You can shop the mark. Nailed It Duos and Avon Charm Bracelets at my eBoutique:  http://www.youravon.com BONUS!!!  Today is the last day to take 25% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE with promo code AUTUMN25  This is a really good deal that doesn’t happen too often!  (check out some of my past picks and get them at this mega discounted rate!)

mark. Nailed It Minis In Tuxedo, Gleam Scene and Tinsel Town

mark. Nailed It Minis In Tuxedo, Gleam Scene and Tinsel Town

I mean with my obsession with the black and gold trend lately its no surprise I worked it into my Halloween mani, but you these mark. shades are so awesome you’ll use them far past Halloween!

25% off everything at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger with promo code AUTUMN25

25% off everything at http://www.youravon.com/aliciahessinger with promo code AUTUMN25