Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Layer Cake

My contribution to Thanksgiving Linner on Sunday (see my earlier post today) was a 4 layer pumpkin cake. I was very nervous to make this because I had never made a cake bigger than 1 layer. I have to say I was very proud of myself because it turned out great and it was a big hit. It's actually a very easy recipe and it's great for feeding a lot of people. If you need to make a smaller version it can be easily converted to a smaller 2 layer cake. It's also a great recipe for the fall season whether you make it around Halloween or later in the season at Thanksgiving. I should have done more pictures of the steps, but sorry guys I didn't think about it until after it was done. I was too busy concentrating on it so it didn't fall over! Enjoy.

Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake

1 pkg. (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip
1/4 cup caramel
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
Heat oven at 375 degrees. Beat cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and 1 tsp. pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 in. round pans. Bake 28-30 minutes, cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, cool completely. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin and spice; mix well. Stir in Cool Whip. Cut each layer horizontally; stack on serving plate, spreading filling between layers (not on top). Drizzle with caramel and nuts just before serving.

*I wanted to give you a couple pointers that I learned while making this...since I had such a busy weekend and couldn't make it all on Sunday, I made the cake portion 2 days prior and froze it. That was really nice because while I made the icing I let the cake thaw out and it was easier to stack and spread the icing. Also, when you're cutting the layers in half the best technique is to have another person help you. Instead of cutting it with a serrated knife, use string or plain dental floss. It makes it so much easier and cuts it evenly through. Stand on either side of the cake and have one person hold it down by gently pressing on the top. Each person take an end of the string or floss and use a saw motion through it. Thank you to my wonderful grandma who told me that trick











♥ Erin

PSU vs. Indiana and Thanksgiving Linner

This is a short week for most of us so may not be many posts this week. We'll be traveling tonight to get down to South Carolina to visit my Mom and Step dad for Thanksgiving. I would have posted earlier this week, but we had a lot going on.

So just to catch you up on my weekend, my Dad, Step mom and sister came down because they got us tickets to the PSU/Indiana game at FedEx field on Saturday. It was a long day, but we had great seats and a wonderful time. We started out the morning (yes morning) tailgating until game time. We had quite a spread (thanks to the rents) that consisted of meats and cheeses, fruit and dip, mimosas, bagels and donuts. I even got to meet up with my suite mates from PSU freshman year. I hadn't seen them in almost 10 years! I can't believe I'm old enough to say something like that. Anyway here are some pics from the day. I have more pictures coming from my step mom, but I haven't gotten them yet. Here's what I had so far.

Out front of the stadium with our friends Bonnie & Rob

The view from our awesome seats

Tim & me

Cyndie & my sister Alex

My sister survived her first PSU tailgate.

Bonnie & me

Dad & Cyndie

Yes that's a flamingo, and yes he's going to drink out of it.


After we recovered on Sunday, we headed over to our friend Ben's house for our first annual Thanksgiving Linner (yes linner, it's between lunch and dinner). There was a total of 10 of us and we also had 2 visitors attend that were in town visiting Roman and Jenny our neighbors. Everybody made a dish and let me tell you, I have no problem have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner a few days before. Everything was wonderful and especially before we get into such a busy time for everyone, it was nice to just eat, laugh and enjoy time with our closest friends in VA. Here are a couple pictures from our event. If you're wondering what I made, you may have to stick around later for a post about it...I'm sure there will be one.

The spread


The crew


What are everyone's plans for Thanksgiving? Are you traveling or do people come to you?





♥ Erin

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Recent Ulta Purchases

I had to make an Ulta run because I was completely out of one of my foundations from BareMinerals. I had a couple coupons that were going to expire so I splurged on some cosmetics I desperately needed. Thanks in part to one of my favorite bloggers, Miss K @ Love, Lipstick, and Pearls (if you haven't checked out her blog I suggest you do so), I have decided to be a little more daring with my makeup purchases. I get stuck buying the same stuff all the time. I'm slowly adding to my collection and I really love what I bought recently.

All Ulta nail polish was bogo and $5 each, so for $10 I got 4 new fall colors. Sunset Bronze, Chic Peek, Gentle Ginger and Brownette.

For the baptism last weekend I wore a beige sweater dress and wanted to match it so I tried the Brownette. It's a very nice neutral color with a little bit of sparkle to it.

I also got this cute Jasmine La Belle eyeshadow kit for $6.

Last but not least, I picked up 2 Ulta baked duos which were bogo as well ($9 each), Maybelline Falsies mascara that I have been dying to try and Glam Eyes eye shadow in Spicy Bronze by Rimmel. I loved the Rimmel eye color, it's bold but not overpowering; and I am in love with the mascara. My everyday mascara is Maybelline's Colossal Volume, but Falsies gives you just a little more length and thickness.

Since my last picture wasn't very bright, I took another one so you could see these great colors. I haven't tried them yet, but I tested them on my hand and I can already tell they'll be just what I'm looking for. The one on the left is Plum Gorgeous and the one on the right is Taken. Hopefully if I remember I'll do a review on them as soon as I get a chance to wear them.


When I get a chance, my next stop will be Sephora. There's a bunch of products I want to try from there.






♥ Erin

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weekend Recap

This past weekend we traveled up to PA for our nephew's baptism. It was a weekend that we spent totally with our family. It was really nice not having to drive all over the place to meet up with this person or that person. Don't get me wrong I miss our friends, but it's nice to actually relax when we're up there.

Saturday night we got to babysit Tyler for a little bit. Utley had her first experience with a toddler. I don't think she's quite comfortable with smaller children. She's not mean, she's just scared of them. She let Tyler play with her because he was stationary. His cousin, Sophia, is 1 year old and walking; Utley ran away from her. Dakota on the other hand loves kids of all ages and let Sophia hang all over him. He also kept walking up to Tyler and licking his face. I think Utley just needs a little more time with "smaller humans".

Not only did we get to spend a lot of time with Tyler and Tim's family, but we got to spend some time over at my Dad's introducing Utley to everyone including his two dogs. Here are some of my favorite pics from the weekend!

















♥ Erin

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...of the Harry Potter Premiere

The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) World Premiere was in London last night. Of course the red carpet was full of fashion winners and losers. Below are as many pictures as I could find of the actors from the movie, I didn't even want to include ALL the celebrities that showed up (we'd be here all day). Below you'll find my likes, dislikes and ones that I was just indifferent to. Although, when you think about it, a lot of the actors in these films were very eccentric just like the characters they played. So their choice of outfit isn't as shocking when you think about it. I am disappointed though, Alan Rickman (Professor Snape) was missing from the premiere (or at least I couldn't find one picture of him there). What are some of your favorite pictures from the premiere?

Likes

These three looked fabulous. Emma definitely stole the show with her lacy outfit, and not many people can pull off that hair cut. They've all grown up so much.

Totally impressed with these two, they really clean up nice.

There was never a doubt in my mind that Ralph Fiennes wouldn't look handsome.

Jason Isaacs is a very good looking man (especially without the long white wig).

Now I know some of you would have put this in your dislike column. However, it's Helena Bonham Carter...this is her style. I think it was one of her better choices.

I love the green and blue to bring out his hair and complexion. This suit was a good choice for Tom.

Imelda channeled a little bit of Dolores Umbridge in this outfit and she looks stunning.

Ummm, when did Neville Longbottom get hot?


Dislikes

I was really disappointed with Clemence Poesy's choice of dress. She's beautiful and classic, but this does nothing for her.

Bonnie is 19 years old, she looks like she's going for 50.

Evanna looks much better as a blond, and this color does not work with her hair or complexion. She looks washed out.

Mark looked a little too disheveled for me.


Indifferent

This one was a hard one. I neither like it nor hate it. I'm a fan of the dress and I think Katie looks good, but I feel like her gothic hair and makeup mismatched everything.

I'm indifferent to plain outfits. Even though Julie looks nice, it's just too boring for me.

I'm not quite sure what John is trying to pull off. A little bit of Sherlock Holmes?

Emma pulled off black lace really well, JK didn't have as much luck. I was expecting something better from her.

Like I said, I'm indifferent to the plain outfits. What was with all the black?


I cannot wait until this movie comes out next week. Unfortunately, I have a crazy week ahead and probably won't get to see it until the week of Thanksgiving. I am almost done the 6th book and will hopefully finish the 7th and final book before I see Part 1.





♥ Erin

Thursday, November 11, 2010

EMU vs. UGG

All of you know that I love my UGG's and that I've already got my eye on the pair I want next (check out this post) . And by now you all should know that I've been frequenting 6pm.com lately because they've had a ton of my favorite brands on sale. Well I got an email the other week that they were having a sale on EMU Australia boots which are very similar to UGG. UGG's are a great quality boot and very comfortable and it's reflected in their price. I was very impressed with the selection of EMU boots on 6pm. Yes they were on sale, but they also show the original price to compare. The prices are not as expensive as UGG, but they're not cheap as say Bear Paw brand which you can get at DSW or Famous Footwear. I haven't tried on EMU's but I'm really interested to. Some of their styles I like more than UGG. So I was wondering, has anyone bought these or tried them on? I still plan on asking for my Argyle Knit boots from UGG for Christmas, but there are a couple from EMU that I might throw on there as well. What do you guys think about the two brands? Here are a few of the styles that I really liked. What are some of your favorite styles from UGG and EMU? If you head over to their website, they have a lookbook filled with celebrities like Hilary Duff, Katie Holmes, Kate Hudson and Denise Richards who apparently choose EMU over UGG.












♥ Erin