Is December 1st too late to write a Thanksgiving recap/why I’m thankful post? I hope not.

♥ finally visiting old friends

♥ the boyfriend

♥ colorful fall leaves (credit)

♥ Chinese takeout and bubble tea

♥ getting pampered (and free swag!) as part of my job description

You know guys, it’s the small things. How did all you Americanos spend your Thanksgiving?

~ Sarah

It’s the Great Pumpkin (Cupcakes)

Occasionally, I do something crazy – like spend a whole afternoon baking for my boyfriend and my friends. With Halloween only ten days away (!!), the obvious choice for a seasonal dessert – for me at least – was pumpkin cupcakes.

You start with the above ingredients, plus oil, eggs and water. I basically followed these two recipes, from Very Best Baking and Real Simple. And yes, these are super, super easy to make.

First, I started by following the directions on the cake mix box – very basic. I bought spice cake mix, but you can also use regular yellow mix and pumpkin spice (or cinnamon, ginger and cloves). But hey, that’s an extra step, so I made life simpler for myself.

Then comes the secret ingredient:

That’s right: canned pumpkin. Shocker, I know. You should probably be careful not to buy pumpkin pie filling – I’m guessing that changes things with the recipe.

Let’s not make judgments on the fact that I’m mixing my cupcakes in a pot. The point is to mix in the canned pumpkin with the cake mix. Then pour into cupcake holders to get this:

And then one chemical reaction later (bake at 350℉ for as long as the box tells you too)…

Plus frosting and candy corn for garnish…

Cream cheese frosting is the traditional choice for pumpkin cupcakes, but a) I had leftover chocolate frosting and b) once I made a pumpkin pie in a chocolate crust and it was great, so I frosted some cupcakes with chocolate too.

And really, candy corn is a must – it’s Halloween! I love candy corn, so I added some pieces on the cupcakes I ate – yum! Do you have any fun Halloween recipes to share?

~ Sarah

Escape From New York

Philadelphia City Hall

During the holiday weekend, my boyfriend and I headed to his hometown of Philadelphia. It was a fun weekend, full of good people, great food and crushing sports defeats (for him, at least – I was glad to see the Pats win!).

There’s been an ongoing Philly vs. Anywhere Else debate going the length of my relationship, and since I’m a huge history nerd, so it was really cool to finally visit the Birthplace of America. I always love seeing places I grew up reading about.

Independence Hall

And did I mention the weather? When we got our tourist on Sunday afternoon, the skies were clear and the sunny shining. And it was in the mid-80s. Which was wonderful and all, but not what I was prepared for in my jeans and (Miami Hurricanes) t-shirt. So I did what any rational (style) blogger would do – I went to H&M.

Dress – H&M; Bag – my mom’s; Flats – Target; Finally Seeing the Liberty Bell – priceless.

Guys, butterfly print. In purple. For ten dollars, down from 25 bucks. Thanks, Columbus Day sale at H&M – I think I’m obsessed.

Thumbs up for freedom of the press, thumbs down for not facing the camera.

How did you guys spend your (hopefully long) weekend?

~ Sarah