Hauntingly Halloween Cocktails

Whether it’s ghosts giving you chills or a bartender serving you chilled drinks, everyone has their own pick of activities to celebrate Halloween. For those of you staying in and putting on the costume of bartender, it’s fun to have a list of themed beverages to set the holiday mood. The following collection of themed sweet and spooky cocktails is sure to provide some adult treats. (The tricks you’ll have to come up with yourselves.)

If you’re searching for a particular spirit, here’s an index to help you find your pick of poison.
Tequila- Page 1
Vodka- Page 2
Rum- Page 3

Don’t see any cocktails you like? Can’t find what you want to drink? Comment below so we can find something to suit your cocktail preferences!

Continue reading Hauntingly Halloween Cocktails

Tastes of the Season: Holiday PEEPS® Candies

The company that makes PEEPS® Brand Candies, Just Born, is located in Bethlehem, PA. I’ll be the first to point out I have a bias for my “hometown” foods-soft pretzels, tasty cakes, and of course, cheese steaks of all varieties. However, that does not mean that they aren’t worthy of my praise and affection. The brand has expanded into an online shop and even recently opened a hometown store, which I always liken to a mini-Willy Wonka’s factory.

Whenever I think of the fluffy marshmallow PEEPS®, I’m brought back to springtime, pastels, and bunnies. I was very pleasantly surprised when I received my products to review and opened a box filled with what seemed like an endless supply of wintertime variety.

The complete holiday collection features seasonal flavors, seasonal shapes, and even seasonal plush PEEPS® chicks! The candies are available in Christmas flavors like peppermint, chocolate, candy cane, sugar cookie, mint, and gingerbread.

The traditional PEEPS® chicks come chocolate dipped and regular. Mint flavored trees are available completely covered in chocolate. These treats are individually wrapped so you can one up for your personal indulgence. Another individual sweet treat is the PEEPS® pop- four chicks on a stick.

For a colorful addition to the dessert table or a sugary gift for someone sweet, consider the bigger PEEPS® packages. Stars, snowmen, trees are available in counts of nine. Gingerbread men and reindeer come in a package of six.

Find out what stores you can purchase these candies here.

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings and Cocktails

It’s that time of year when everyone pinpoints what they are thankful for. If you can’t say you are thankful for your flawless ability to create delectable homemade dishes, consider bringing all the makings to a holiday cocktail of your choice to the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Or if you truly tried your best at great-grandma’s classic Thanksgiving dish and failed to live up to hype, fall back on these quick foolproof recipes. (You can say you’re thankful for credit cards and 24/7 grocery stores.)

For fans of Pumpkin flavored recipes, check out our articles featuring some of our recommendations and suggestions. Find my favorite here. It is “technically” named ‘Halloween Brew,” but I’d drink it any time of the year. Flip the name to ‘Thanksgiving Brew’ and guests will be none the wiser.

Sterling Aromatic White

Pick out the perfect wine for the classic dishes of Thanksgiving dinner. Sterling Vintners offers the staples of red and white wine ideal to pair with many holiday foods. Pair Sterling Vineyards Carneros Pinot Noir with anything from appetizers up to the main courses. The Pinot Noir should be your go-to with the Turkey dinner as well as stuffings, especially those with chestnuts or mushrooms.

If turkey is not the main course for some diners, the alternative could be a spinach based salad with fresh pears. Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay pairs flawlessly with a salad of this type because the wine’s crisp acidity is an ideal balance to the acidity in the salad dressing. For other food that may be served, Sterling Vintners Collection Aromatic White goes best with fruit and cheese appetizers, particularly those with dried fruits like apricots.

Want to mix things up for a change? Avenue restaurant in Long Branch, NJ mixes a sweet and spicy cocktail called the Cranberry Jalapeno Mezcal Margarita for Thanksgiving.

Cranberry Jalapeno Mezcal MargaritaCranberry Jalapeno Mezcal Margarita

1 oz. Mezcal
1 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
½ oz. Jalapeno Sour Mix
½ oz. Lime Juice
2 T. Fresh Cranberry Jam
Garnish: 5 Spice Rim (Star Anise, Fennel, Cinnamon, Schezuan Pepper, & Cloves)

Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over clean ice.

 

Looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Bring the easiest to make desserts with practically candy-coated cocktails. Smirnoff Vodkas’ new flavors, Wild Honey and Cinna-Sugar Twist Flavored Vodka, are easy solutions with their simple recipes.

It might seem difficult to find an easy recipe with such bold and distinct flavors. Have no fear! Each flavor has two recipes below with one each being simple enough you might not even need to buy any mixings. Smirnoff’s site offers more recipes, not just for these flavors, but every bottle they offer.

Wild Honey Vodka

SMIRNOFF Honey Nut Cake

1 oz. SMIRNOFF Wild Honey Flavored Vodka
0.5 oz. Hazelnut Liqueur
0.5 oz. Creme de cacao
1 oz. Cream

Preparation: Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Finish with grated nutmeg as garnish.

Honey Cider
1.5 oz. Smirnoff Wild Honey
2.5 oz. apple juice
2.5 oz. cider

Shake and serve over ice in highball glass.

 

SMIRNOFF Cinna-Sugar Twist Cheeky ChurroCinna-Sugar Vodka

1 oz. SMIRNOFF Cinna-Sugar Twist Flavored Vodka
0.5 oz. orange liqueur
0.5 oz. Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur with a Hint of Vanilla Cinnamon Flavor
0.5 oz. light cream
Glassware: Coupe glass
Garnish: Grated cinnamon

Preparation: Shake and serve

Lucky Lemonade

1.5 oz. Smirnoff Cinna-Sugar Twist
2 oz. lemonade
3 oz. apple juice

Add all ingredients together, shake well and pour into stemless wine glass over ice. Garnish with lemon wheel.

What are your Thanksgiving cocktail go-tos?

 

Writer’s Note: I received samples of Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay, Sterling Vintners Collection Aromatic White, Smirnoff Cinna-Sugar Twist Vodka, and Smirnoff Wild Honey Vodka.

A Delightful Kitchen Addition – The Miallegro MiTutto, an Immersion Hand Blender That Does It All!

Even if you’ve never been handy in the kitchen before now, the Miallegro MiTutto is about to change that up for you. This is a great kitchen addition whether you receive it as a gift or you purchase it yourself.

I found the Miallegro MiTutto to perform like a dream come true when using it. Incredibly fast, the MiTutto did its work so quickly that I felt like I had blinked and missed it. I’ve used quite a few choppers in my time, and this one is by far my absolute favorite. It offers five different speeds, so you’ll be able to prepare a variety of recipes in little to no time at all.

You can mix up so many different recipes from smoothies to soups to shakes to quiches to puddings to so much more. In fact, the Miallegro MiTutto is styled to mix, crush, chop, mince, mix, blend, puree, and whisk your food with relative ease. Among its many offerings are four innovative attachments intended to chop, puree, aerate, and blend with little effort on your part.

strawberriesmilkshakeIt has a number of accessories, including a beaker, a stainless steel blending shaft, and a food processing container. Plus, it’s easy to grip and use due to its ergonomic styling, enabling a firm, secure grip. Its 550-watt motor has five speeds, including a turbo option, so you can work with foods of all temperatures.

Reasonably priced at approximately $70, the MiTutto certainly delivers great value for a small financial investment. This hand immersion blender features a compact design that gives it convenient portability, makes it easy to bring this with you on extended vacations or to visit a friend or family member.

It makes it easy to prepare nearly any recipe, and you’ll feel like a pro doing so! You can use it to chop all sorts of vegetables, including onions and garlic without creating any odor or making your eyes tear up uncontrollably. Now is a great time to make up a batch of homemade applesauce. You can find a wide variety for sale and with the MiTutto, so you can dice up your apples quickly, giving you a head start on the cooking process!

If you one of the many consumers who enjoy taking something out of the box and using it right away without any side tasks like putting it together, just give yourself a couple of minutes. It’s not that difficult to set it up, particularly once you’ve done it. It’s easy to let yourself become overwhelmed by the number of blades and parts, but in actuality, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy using this handy implement without them. The blades offer the kind of versatility that any well-versed cook desires, and does so in a way that is highly effective.

Whether you are looking for quick preparation for your meals or the fastest way to get to the delicious taste of a breakfast shake, the MiTutto is armed and ready. It offers an 18-month warranty, and it’s easy to store. You can even use the MiTutto in your own pots and pans without any worries over scratches or nicks in the finish. The Miallegro MiTutto is available in two colors – kiwi and blueberry.

I received the kiwi version free for the purposes of this review and I love it! Of course, I began with the sweet stuff (a milkshake) and progressed to sauces (sweet and spicy) to food preparation for a variety of delicious recipes.

How to Make the Most of your Small Space

Whether you’re living in a dorm room, studio, or really small apartment, you probably don’t have a great lot of room. It can be even more complicated when you are sharing a space with someone else. I’ve got some tips that can help make your place seem more of your own while giving everything you need a home.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Dollar Store
My local store has oodles of plastic containers of all shapes and sizes. This not only saves me an incredible amount of time usually spent scouring every corner for a certain cardi or the jewelry pièce de résistance, but also saves me money that could have been spent on extravagant storage pieces claiming to save x amount of space. Because it’s so inexpensive, it’s not a heartbreak or a dent in your savings to get rid of when you need to move.

Vanity

Use every inch you’ve got.
There’s no reason a cabinet should have empty space. Find creative ways to stack items. I’ve used locker shelves waaay past high school. (They might be my best investment.) I’ve used them to stack my shoes in my closet, doubling my shoe space. They’re currently in use as extra shelving in my kitchen and giving me more space on my makeshift vanity.

Find ways to hide what you need, but don’t want to see.
Because I travel a lot, I have a lot of luggage. I use it as storage for clothes that don’t fit the season, or simply to hold all of my other travel bags. Although maybe not the most “grown-up” thing, the bed risers I have give me plenty of space to store these things and put them out of the way. For other “unsightlies,” I’ve found that the spaces between tv stands or bookshelves and the wall are perfect places to store items. For large shelves, bigger books can hide items placed behind them.

Shelves

Think vertically.
If you’re in a dorm, loft the bed. It provides excellent space for desks, dressers, couches. Back in the day, I’ve used the best posts to dry laundry or store a sweatshirt or two. Opt for tall skinny shelves rather than stubby wide tables or shelves. Place items you use most frequently at eye level. Items you use once in a blue moon belong on the tippy top. Make sure you have something stable to stand on if you need a boost to get to the top of your shelving unit.

If you live in a rented space that isn’t brand spanking new, there’s sure to be a fair share of holes in the wall. Try to avoid creating new holes by using the same ones that are already placed there. I tried to use as many of the leftover nails and photo hooks left in the wall as I could without relocating them. For my place, metallic flower accents were placed in the old tack holes. For multiple or bigger marks on a wall, large pieces of artwork or tapestries can cover spots while adding color to the room.

Studio Space

Do you have any tips for saving space for your home or apartment? Comment below and let us know!

Jack-O-Lantern Inspiration and Tips

Make the most of your Jack-O-Lanterns this Halloween with Pumpkin Masters Kits. Pumpkin Masters has a variety of decorating kits fit for every skill level. This brand’s supplies are geared towards children, jack-o-lantern novices, and the veterans of the art. I received four kits and two lights to test out and tell readers about.

Carving saws are not meant to last forever or even for more than a few jack-o-lanterns. If you plan on having a carving party, invest in multiple saws as well as kitchen knives to make sure there are not only enough for everyone, but that you have replacements for when they inevitably break.

Kid carving kit

The Kids Carving Kit includes a saw with an easy grip handle and a different type of blade to reduce injuries. It should be held like a pencil and perpendicular to the pumpkins surface to resist breaking.

The Kids Carving Kit incorporates simple designs and easy to use tools. Children can trace their chosen design with a crayon on the pumpkin’s outer shell. Before their creation is ready for lighting up, children can choose from four pairs of eyes to add mystique to their jack-o-lantern.

If you’re ashamed of your ability to carve out a triangle shaped piece out of an orange gourd, the Decorating Punches Pumpkin Tool Kit is made for you! A book of patterns included in the kit provides easy designs to transfer to a pumpkin’s surface.

Holey pumpkin

 A Yayoi Kusama inspired masterpiece in the works.

Align the punch tool with the design and push through the surface. The two different punch tool s minimize the time it takes to cut through the shell manually and guarantees a clean shape. The punch tools allow for two different sized circles or petal shapes.

The traditional Pumpkin Carving Kit includes saws, a drill, a scooper, and a pounce wheel. The pounce wheel transfers patterns by rolling across the lines of the design and creating impressions on the pumpkin’s shell. The included patterns indicate how challenging the designs as well as how to properly carve out the design to prevent breaking.

Prolong the life of your pumpkin handiwork with a carved design. There is no need to carve out any insides, so don’t expect any pumpkin seeds from this creation.

The Surface Carving Kit includes twelve patterns and three interchangeable tips for so many possibilities. Depending on the design you select and the time you carve, your pumpkin can double as fall decorations. I chose a pretty leaf pattern, which will not become irrelevant come November 1st.

jack-o-lantern

I received two LED Xtreme Strobe Flashing lights. These are the coolest pumpkin lights I’ve seen! I wish I had them as a kid. The flashing lights add a spooky flair or a dance party vibe depending on what design they are lighting up.

The Xtreme Strobe Flashing LED Lights are safer than candles and are easy to transfer to different pumpkins. (My group of carvers tried them in a few different lanterns to check out how they turned out.) No need to worry about running back to the store – batteries are included so they are ready to go as soon as they are out of the packaging!

jack-o-lanterns

Happy Carving!

Don’t forget to take pictures of your jack-o-lantern! Pumpkin Masters hosts an easy to enter Pumpkin Carving Contest. Find rules and how to enter here.

Sevenly: Stylish Awareness

Be the Change Sweatshirt

Sevenly is a charitable company that raises money for different causes each week. Unlike other charities, they offer a variety of products at a range of prices. There’s something for everyone on the site: clothing for all ages, home decor, stationery, jewelry, and toys.

The clothing lines are not limited to simply unisex t-shirts. Tops are available for men, women, and children. It’s very nice for women to have a form fitting shirt other than something shapeless or baggy. Show support and bring attention to a cause by wearing your shirt proudly and stylishly.

Each week offers tanks, a range of t-shirt styles, and sweatshirts. I received a tank and a tee — they are so super comfortable and the softest fabric.

I recommend them as perfect to lounge in, workout in, or just to run day to day errands. Basically, you will want to wear these shirts wherever and whenever.

Beauty Baseball Tee

Each week multiple designs are featured on the site for these different shirts. The designs for the causes are amazing. There are several images each week.

Seven dollars of every purchase on the website is donated to a particular cause for the entire week. Past charities have included Invisible Children, National Autism Association, The Humane Society, and To Write Love On Her Arms

Sevenly also offers accessories, like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, as well art prints.The art prints feature past designs so you can always show your support for a cause. Art prints allow certain designs to be available past the typical seven day timeline.

To see what Sevenly is raising awareness for this week, stop by their site at here.

You Are Mighty Necklace

What’s an Eye Hole?

Now that the summer is winding down, you may not be spending your time outside from sunup to sundown. Why ruin your hair-do by constantly flipping your sunglasses from your eyes to the top of your head? An innovative new product saves the day (and your coiff!) with a stylish new accessory.

Continue reading What’s an Eye Hole?

Smirnoff Sorbet Light Vodka Review

Summer’s winding down, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have a summer-y drink or three. Smirnoff features three fresh flavors in their Sorbet Light Line – Lemon, Mango Passion Fruit and Raspberry Pomegranate. I received all three to try and review. My verdict is that they are all fantastic!

Continue reading Smirnoff Sorbet Light Vodka Review

Conquer Acne with the Power of Bioré

Sometimes it’s all about teamwork. Bioré offers a skincare system that manages all forms of acne. This three product combo comes at acne from all the angles, giving your skin a fighting chance at its best complexion days. The non-irritating formulas clean without damaging your skin.

Combining cleansers with pore strips fights the battle for clear skin in multiple directions.
Combat blemishes before they even have a chance with the Blemish Fighter Ice Cleanser. Control dirt and oil with the Acne Clearing Scrub. Target clogged pores with Deep Cleansing Pore Nose Strips. Think of it as the before-during-and-after of skincare.

Bioré’s Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser is perfect for these dog days of summer. Let the cool cleanser refresh your skin while removing over 99% of dirt and oil. The pump bottle provides control over the right amount to massage onto your face.

biore face products giveaway

Bioré’s fresh smelling Acne Clearing Scrub clears up blemishes and pores in addition to preventing new blemishes from forming. I’d recommend using this cleanser in the morning for a burst of energy through the smell and a refined complexion ready to take on the day.

Bioré’s Deep Cleansing Pore Strips are designed for the notorious blackheads unfortunately residing on your nose. The strips clean and unclog pores in less than 20 minutes, so turn on your fave episode of Girls and relax as the strips do their dirty work.

If you think this system is for you and want to try it for yourself, head on over to our contest page (here) to enter to win one of our three complete sets for giveaway. Curious about what else Bioré has to offer, checkout their website for more products and where to buy them!

Bioré Sensational Skin Giveaway

biore face products giveawayBioré is offering three lucky winners sets of their great skincare line. Bioré products are offered in stores around the world. From removing makeup to a deep cleaning, there’s something in this line for your skin. For a review of these products, check out this post.

To enter our contest, simply like our page on Facebook and check out our Rafflecopter Giveaway for full instructions on how to enter and ensure your entries are tracked for our contest. Current Facebook friends have already satisfied the only mandatory entry requirement, so be sure to go to our Giveaway tab to enter the contest!

Prize: Three winners will receive a set of Bioré acne-fighting products. This includes one
Blemish Fighter Ice Cleanser, one Acne Clearing Scrub, and one box of Deep Cleansing Pore Nose Strips.

This system provides:

  • Control over blemishes and blackhead
  • Prevention of new blemishes
  • Removal of 99% of dirt and oil

Eligibility: Open to residents of the United States (including Hawaii), age 18 and up or age 13 through 17 with written parental permission. All state and local laws apply. Void where prohibited.

Time Frame: Starting Sunday, August 4, 2013 and running until Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12 a.m. EST.

Rules: You MUST follow the rules in entirety to be eligible for a chance to win this contest. Your entry will not be counted if you do not do submit it through the Rafflecopter widget.

1. Required: Be a fan of our page on Facebook and like us. Existing Facebook friends have already met the only mandatory requirement, so proceed to step 2 to confirm. (value of 1)
2. Confirm your entry through our Rafflecopter widget.
For an extra entry:
3A. Follow us on Twitter @lifel0vebeauty. (value of 1)
3B. Follow us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/itsLLB. (value of 2)
4. Confirm your entry through our Rafflecopter widget.

How to Win:
• Complete the entry process listed above for Facebook, as well as for bonus entries through Twitter and Pinterest, if desired.
• Use the Rafflecopter Widget for official entry into the contest.
• No purchase necessary. You have not yet won.
• Winner will be contacted via e-mail, and the will be added to the list of winners posted on LifeLoveBeauty.com following verification.