Author

Deborah Cruz

fashion, make-up. beauty, pro style tips, pro fashion tips

Fashion has never been an easy field for normal people to master. I love fashion but I feel that it’s very personal. My own personal style is all over the place. I don’t like to be boxed in or labeled in life and certainly not in my fashion choices. My outfits really depend on where I’m going, what I’m doing and, yes, how I’m feeling.

There are professionals who dedicate their entire lives to knowing what to wear and how to dress different body types, sizes and shapes. More than that, they know how to dress different personalities to feel empowered and comfortable in their own skin, turning heads while doing it. That’s not just a skill, that’s an art form. One that I’d like some guidance and appreciation for.

READ ALSO: Fall Beauty Tricks

Obviously, we don’t all have time to focus all of our energy on knowing the ins and outs of fashion and make-up. While I do love playing with both. My God people, I’ve got kids and a job and working out and cooking and cleaning to do. Let’s be honest, I want to live my life. I don’t want to overthink the little things like what I’m wearing. Thank goodness for professionals. While it wouldn’t hurt if we all knew the basics of fashion and what looks good and fits best for our body, we can do better for ourselves, especially with a little professional help.

Here are some Fashion and Style Tips from the Pros online

Makeup

Makeup is one of the hardest parts of a beauty routine. It can be very easy to do things that make you look out of place or a little bit strange, and a lot of people put huge amounts of time into getting their make-up look just right. Nobody wants to look like a clown. One of the most crucial elements of this is the colors and shades you choose. Natural looks are easier to achieve than those designed to make you stand out. With this in mind, you should be choosing options that match your skin tone, while also complementing the color of your eyes and hair. This will put you on the right track with your makeup and is a method used by makeup artists all over the world to get the right look for their clients.

READ ALSO: How to have a Quality Fashion Wardrobe on a Budget

Of course, makeup is more complicated than buying the best products. You have to know how to put it on. Applying make-up can be challenging and this is where most people stumble the hardest. Thankfully, there are a lot of guides around the web that can help you with this. How to contour and highlight? Bottom line is that you can do amazing things with make-up with some simple research on the web and lots and lots of practice. Believe me, my girls can contour and do eyebrows like a boss just from watching hours of Youtube Beauty Vloggers.

Colors

Know your colors. Color is the next challenge you’re going to come up against, with the hues and shades of your garments, accessories, and makeup all working together to form a unified look. Everyone will have their own preferences when it comes to color, and it makes sense that you would want to wear your favorites.

READ ALSO: Tarte Sugar Rush Collection is Adorable and Affordable

There are lots of things to consider that can factor into this equation like the color of your hair, eyes, and skin playing important roles. If you like bright colors but struggle to pull them off because of the tone of your skin, for example, it could be worth looking for ways to incorporate them as accents, rather than the main parts of each outfit. There are loads of guides around the web which can help you to choose the right colors for your clothing.

fashion, make-up. beauty, pro style tips, pro fashion tips

Keep It Simple

It’s easy to find yourself layering up beyond reason when you’re struggling to figure out a style that works for you, and a lot of people overdo it with their clothing. Nothing speaks louder than something simple, though, and this gives you an excellent route to go down when deciding on your styles. For example, if you’re able to find a dress or blouse you really like, you should use your other pieces to draw attention to the main garment. Simple necklaces will draw people’s eyes to the neckline while surrounding a skirt with basic shoes and a shirt will make people notice the skirt most of all.

Let History Guide You

People have been putting a lot of time and effort into fashion for a very long time. In fact, in some countries, this has become a source of national pride, and there is a rich history when it comes to the clothing people choose to wear. You can use the past as a resource, giving you the chance to draw inspiration from those who have dedicated their lives to fashion. Vintage and retro clothing is always popular and is a great way to create a unique, timeless look.

READ ALSO: Why Primark is the Best Place to Shop with Teenagers

These are just a few tips I’ve gathered from researching the web and years of being a woman in the world. The bottom line, do what makes you feel beautiful. Don’t worry about trends or what other people think, if it feels good on your body and it fits, wear it. The only person whose opinion accounts is your own.

What’s your best fashion and beauty tip for busy women who want to look and feel beautiful but not spend all day worrying about it?

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fashion, make-up. beauty, pro style tips, pro fashion tips, fall style tips

With each new season comes the innate desire to change the way we look. Changing weather feels like a time for a style rebirth. Changing your fashion style can lift your spirits and even change your perspective.

This fall there are so many cool trends that I can’t wait to try. Animal prints are in. Platforms are back. Pointy flats are back in style and so are tiered dresses, pleated skirts, feminine prints and cuts and, my favorite color,  Kelly green. So many fun trends, so little time.

READ ALSO: How to Teach Teenage Girls to Put on Make-Up

But it’s not just about what’s hot. There are things you can do to update your wardrobe and look without spending a small fortune on clothes and shoes. Though, that can be fun too. Below, you’ll find some fall style tips that will transform your look in no time – time a look and see what you can do!

fashion, make-up. beauty, pro style tips, pro fashion tips, fall style tips

Fall Style Tips That Will Transform Your Look

Get A Brand New Haircut

Why not do something that will make changing your look so much easier and get a brand new haircut? The great thing about getting a new haircut is that it’ll make any look you’ve previously worn completely different. You could have a bob, get a fringe, or both if you’re feeling brave. Try something new and you’ll see for yourself how simple this one is.

Try A New Makeup Look

If you tend to wear the same makeup time and time again, why not wear a new makeup look that’s perfect for fall? You could try a new lipstick shade, or even try a new eye look with a new shade of shadow or some liner. If you don’t usually wear feline flicks on your eyes, for instance, you could try it and see what you think. Great colors to wear on your eyes for fall include shades of orange, copper, red, brown, and even shades like purple! If you want to try something extra daring, try orange and purple together.

READ ALSO: How to have a Quality Fashion Wardrobe on a Budget

Switch Up Your Color Palette

If you tend to wear the same color palette all the time, switch things up this fall. For example, neutral wardrobes are easier to funk up with a bit of color. Black, beige, and other neutral shades can easily be matched with pops of color. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do something new and exciting if you already wear color. If you do, try contrasting colors for something new and exciting. Have a signature color for fall that you don’t usually wear!

Add Some New Accessories 

New accessories can make outfits we’ve already worn look brand new. Try a new belt, some layered necklaces, or even a hat from a unique boutique. See if you can put together a collection of amazing accessories so that you can always try something new.

Stop Buying Into Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is usually cheap, and even if it’s not, that doesn’t mean it will last. Fast fashion is terrible for the environment, as more often than not it is only worn a few times and then ends up in a landfill. You’ll be doing yourself and the planet a huge favor by staying away from high street stores! Instead, don’t be afraid to spend a little more on high-quality items. You could even thrift and buy vintage pieces for something unique that is so much better for the environment.

READ ALSO: Is Green Fashion the Future?

Find Ways To Make Your Summer Pieces Work For Fall

See if you can find ways of making your summer pieces work for the fall months. For example, you could layer up a summer dress with a cardigan or jumper and some thick tights or boots. If you get creative it should be really easy to do this!

Try Out Oversized Pieces

Oversized pieces always look cool and can add a little grunge to any look. You could wear oversized shirts, for instance, or even oversized trousers. If you’re worried about looking shapeless, make sure you pair the oversized piece with another piece that is more figure-hugging.

Invest In An Amazing Pair Of Boots

An amazing pair of boots will always come in handy during fall. You can wear them with tights and dresses, jeans, and just about anything else you’re thinking of wearing. Make sure they are comfortable, that they fit well even with thicker socks on, and that they will match the majority of your wardrobe. You should know that you’re going to get plenty of wear out of them.

Find A Muse

If you’re unsure of where to go with your look, find a style muse. Even just check out Pinterest and see what crops up on there. You can make a mood board or a collage of the pieces and styles that appeal to you and then change up your look and wardrobe based on that. This doesn’t mean you should just go and blatantly copy somebody else’s style – that’s boring. Instead, take pieces from different looks and styles that you like and have fun with them.

READ ALSO: Fashion and Style Tips from Pros

Add Some Glasses

Glasses almost always make an outfit look better. Both sunglasses and regular glasses can be used to create an edgier, more layered look that everybody will love. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles – those little half-moon glasses might seem pointless, but they can add a super fun 90s vibe to a look!

Learn How To Layer 

Make sure you learn how to layer different pieces so that you’re prepared for anything. Wearing your favorite short-sleeved shirt under a jumper with the collar showing through, for example, is a great way to layer and can look really cool. Layering adds lots of texture and can give a unique look to just about anybody. You’ll probably also eliminate the need to buy lots of brand new clothes.

Define Your Style

What do you want your style to be this fall? How do you want your look to be different? Make sure you define your style and you shouldn’t have a problem when shopping or putting different pieces together. See if you can find 3 or 4 words that you would like to describe your style, and then keep these in mind when dressing or shopping. If the look doesn’t align with the words you have chosen, forget about the piece. There may be exceptions to the rule, but in general, doing this will allow you to ensure all of your outfit choices and pieces are in keeping with how you want to present yourself. You won’t have a strange mismatch of styles, either!

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VSCO, VSCO girl, how to be a VSCO girl,

I’m a VSCO mom. I used to be a VSCO girl, back in the 90’s. I was one of the original VSCO girls, so I do not begrudge my girls a little social consciousness with a side of scrunchie, messy bun and oversized shirts. I love that my girls care more about the environment and saving turtles than who they’ll be giving their scrunchies too.

According to Google, VSCO girl is a term, generally used as an insult, for a young, usually white woman who posts trendy pictures of herself edited on the app VSCO. Stereotypes of the VSCO girl include wearing Birkenstock sandals, drinking out of Hydro Flask reusable water canisters, saying sksksk and I oop, and generally seeking attention online.

I actually love the VSCO girl idea because at the heart of it, what it really is, is young girls finding themselves. We’ve all been there. When I was a teen, I was several iterations of myself. I was a new wave emo girl, I was a prep, I was a social activist, I was a crunchy hippie and I was a little bit grungy. I was most definitely a nerd, an artist and at one point, I was even a club kid. I’m pretty sure I was 1000% more annoying than any kid saying. “sksksk” ever could be.

READ ALSO: Parents Guide to Teen Slang

Just to be clear, I am a grown woman now and I always use the VSCO app for my Instagram. I’ve been wearing Birkenstocks since the 80’s. My girls are wearing some of the scrunchies I’ve had since the 90’s and still wear now. Hydro Flask, Swell, Yeti…I have all of them because I drink water almost exclusively. Water is life. I am and have always been very socially conscious and I’ve put my money where my mouth was. PETA, Greenpeace, Amnesty International and WWF, I’m a card carrying member. I want to save the world. I want to save the elephants and yes, I even want to save the turtles. We (the whole family) own those metal reusable straws. We recycle and vegetarian is how we roll most days of the week.

VSCO, VSCO girl, how to be a VSCO girl, a parent's guide to understanding VSCO, VSCO girl trend, In defense of VSCO girls

What does all of this have to do with anything? What it means is that right now, your little/tween/teen/even early 20’s girl is trying on different personalities for size to see which one best fits her. Just because that might not look like what you imagined, doesn’t mean it’s not right. She’s finding her way and there is nothing we could want more for our girls (and boys) than for them to be the best them they can be and be comfortable in their own skin as they do it.

So what if she’s carrying around a hydro flask? So what if her sweatshirt can fit 2 girls inside of it and her shorts are tiny? So what if her favorite hairstyle is a top knot? Maybe this is how she feels beautiful and how she feels comfortable in her skin. Is it really the worst thing that she can do to have a wrist full of scrunchies? The “sksksksksk” is just another way to say “lol” and who among us hasn’t used that? And I know that no one who ever said, “Gnarly, dude, rad, totally or awesome sauce” is making fun of sksksk.

VSCO, VSCO girl, how to be a VSCO girl, a parent's guide to understanding VSCO, VSCO girl trend, In defense of VSCO girls

The thing is VSCO girl is being thrown around like an insult to our girls. I know we all think it’s cute and the VSCO girl memes are entertaining. Hell, even our girls being VSCO girls might be entertaining but do we really need another derogatory term to belittle our girls? There are already so many employed by the misogynist of the world do we need more?

Just remember, these tweens and teen girls are just trying to figure out who they want to be in life. It’s like trying on clothes to see what you feel the most beautiful in. Let her look at herself with an untainted heart. Maybe she’s a VSCO girl and maybe she’s not but let her figure that out. As parents, especially as moms, we are here to support and guide our girls into adulthood not shame them into feeling less than. The world will do that soon enough.

READ ALSO:  Teen Girls Rebel when teen boys rate Female Classmates

Being a VSCO girl is harmless, even if it may be annoying to you. I’m sure when we were teens, our parents thought a lot of the fads and slang we used was weird and crazy too. Maybe they said something to make you feel less than about it or maybe they just let you try it on for size. Bless my parents, they let me be and loved me for who I was, whomever that was on any given day.

This is how we grow and evolve into who are meant to be. Just imagine if that process was cut short by ridicule and we never fully reached our potential because of what other people thought? Or what if we never felt comfortable in our own skin because someone else made us feel like we weren’t good enough?

You are good enough. Your VSCO girl is good enough. Viva Hydro Flasks and long live the turtles. So next time you think about using the term VSCO girl as an insult, ask yourself, is this giggle worth making my daughter feel small or making her think twice about sharing the next iteration of who she will become with you? Because before any of us can become who we are meant to be, we have to be who we were. This is how we grow up.

READ ALSO: The TRUTH about Parenting Teenagers from a Mom of Teens

What do you think of the VSCO Girl? Did you used to be one? Are you raising one? Whatever the case may be, hug your VSCO girl, let her be all the versions of herself she needs to be to become the fabulous, fierce woman she is meant to be and keep your “and I oop” moments about her in your head (unless she’s in danger). This too shall pass.

XOXO, VSCO mom out.

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Lizzo, Halloween, Lizzo costume, Racially insensitive halloween costumes, cultural appropriations

Halloween is next week and I’m not going to lie, I want to be Lizzo. But I’m not sure I can do it because my skin is white. I’m Mexican but my skin didn’t get the memo. I’m a freckled Mexican and that’s ok because Latinos come in all shades of the rainbow. But I’m not black and I don’t know if it’s ok for me to be a famous black woman for Halloween?

Lizzo is such an inspiration to me. In honesty, Melissa Vivianne Jefferson may be one of my favorite people in pop culture right now. She is such a strong, straight up, force and I love that my girls have someone like Lizzo to see in the world right now. There is something about her that speaks to my soul, in a way that I’ve not felt connected to art in a long time. She is truth for so many girls and women.

Lizzo, Halloween, Lizzo costume, Racially insensitive halloween costumes, cultural appropriationsREAD ALSO: Happy Halloween, No Treat for You Fatty

Halloween is a favorite holiday at our house. We all get into it. We have, by far, the creepiest decorated house on the block. We have an annual Halloween party. We do family costumes and Zombie walks and on any given weekend, you will find us, as a family, binge-watching horror movies. We’re that family.

Halloween costumes are more than just dressing up as our favorite heroes or villains for a night, it’s the chance to emulate some of the people we love most in history and pop culture. I’ve been everyone from Bing Bong to Miranda Sings and Carrie White for Halloween. This year our family costume for the party is the Addams family. I will be playing the role of Morticia for the evening. But for the big night, Halloween, I really want to be Lizzo. This bitch is 100% that bitch.

Lizzo, Halloween, Lizzo costume, Racially insensitive halloween costumes, cultural appropriations

However, as a POC (if you know me IRL, you know that I can be any shade from alabaster to a golden goddess with my olive Latina skin) I find myself asking if I can be Lizzo because y’all know that I’m not about that appropriations life.

READ ALSO: Easy Dia de Los Muertos Make-up Tutorial

Lizzo, Halloween, Lizzo costume, Racially insensitive halloween costumes, cultural appropriations

I am a bi-cultural Latina woman who grew up in an urban African American neighborhood in Chicago. While my skin may be white and my culture may be Mexican, black people have always been a part of my story. I see color and I respect differences but to me, people are people. But as someone who has written about cultural appropriations and admonished those who’ve done it and warned others against doing it, would I be appropriating if I dressed as Lizzo, a strong black woman who I admire?

I think the fact that I’m even asking and giving pause, is a sign that I just shouldn’t do it. But at the same time, I feel like I’m a curvy woman with long wavy hair who loves and respects Lizzo and I really want to play Lizzo for a night. No, I won’t be adding padding or altering the color of my skin. It’ll just be me, as Lizzo. But that’s the thing about appropriations, right? I can be Lizzo for a night but then I can be Debi again. Debi the white Latina who blends in almost everywhere. And that is what is really giving me pause.

READ ALSO: Best Horror Movies to Watch with your Teens

So, I’m coming to you Internet and I know you’ll give it to me straight because isn’t that what the Internet loves to do?

Lizzo, Halloween, Lizzo costume, Racially insensitive halloween costumes, cultural appropriations

Is it inappropriate for this white Latina to dress up as Lizzo for Halloween?

I don’t want to be Lizzo because of her outrageous outfits (while the That Bitch outfit is amazing and I’d feel like a boss wearing it around my neighborhood) but I want to be Lizzo for the night because she is a force to be reckoned with. She is strong, vivacious and full of self-love. She has life figured out. All the things that women struggle with universally, she’s already had a come to Jesus meeting about and she has made peace with it. She is a strong female, maybe one of the strongest in pop culture, and I want to be that iconic empowered character for one night. It’s sort of like dressing up as Wonder Woman with slightly more clothes and 1000% more relatable to every woman.

Well, if this mama can’t dress up like Lizzo for a night, I guess I’ll just get tickets to a concert, wear the t-shirt and support her in all the ways I can because the world definitely needs more women like Lizzo in the world.

What say you, internet? Can I dress up as Lizzo for Halloween without being a skeevy culturally appropriating jerk?

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BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

Broadway musicals are my jam. I love all the arts but there is something truly special about being transformed through time and space by a story told through music sung live on stage. Music is my love language.

This being said, there is nothing I love more than an inspiring story of a strong-willed woman who bootstraps her way through life and finds her way to the top. That’s why I am so excited to see BEAUTIFUL with my daughters.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts CenterDisclosure: I was provided tickets to the show for review purposes but all excitement for the theater and BEAUTIFUL are my own.

BEAUTIFUL tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann—ultimately becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

READ ALSO: Les Miserables Proves that Where there is Love there is Hope

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, a Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. It wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

This show continues to dazzle in New York and to packed houses worldwide with its wit, charm and soul. Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, BEAUTIFUL took home two 2014 Tony Awards® and the 2015 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

READ ALSO: Phantom of the Opera Broadway Tour

Beautiful is playing at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend, IN from Friday, October 25- Sunday, October 27, 2019.

Show times:

Friday, October 25, 2019: 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2019: 2 p.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2019: 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 27, 2019: 2 p.m.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts CenterRun time:

  • ACT I: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • INTERMISSION: 15 minutes
  • ACT II: 1 hour
  • RUNNING TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes

The performance will begin promptly at the advertised curtain time. Latecomers will be held outside of the theater until the tour approved entrance time.

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Traveling, family travel

You might not always find it easy to spend time with your family in the chaotic modern world. Sometimes you just need a break from everything. You have work, and your kids have school. You also have to “adult” with responsibilities that take up a lot of your time. Forget about “spare time” that doesn’t even exist anymore.  Everybody’s under the same roof, but everyone does things separately more often now because as the kids grow up, they want to be with their friends more.

Maybe your kids binge-watch Netflix shows, play games on their phones or watch YouTube.. You might be doing the exact same downstairs. Wouldn’t it be nice if you all spent some time together? Well, here are some great ideas to help you have fun with your family every weekend. You’ve got to make that time off really count.

Go on a road trip.

If you’ve never been on a family adventure in an RV, then you’re missing out. In fact, it doesn’t have to be an RV. The point is that you should hit the open road with your loved ones and share some experiences. Make a plan regarding the route you’d like to take. Maybe you’d like to stop at a particular beach to admire the views and relax. Maybe your kids would like to stop at an arcade. The point is that a road trip can appeal to every family member. It’s a chance to do something that keeps everyone happy.

Make sure you stock your car well. The journey is part of the experience. You need plenty of snacks to keep everyone well-fed and happy. Bring plenty of water if it’s going to be a long journey, too; you might even want to get some flasks that you could refill whenever you stop anywhere. That’s a smart and sustainable well to make sure you drink enough on trips; you don’t have to buy water bottles. You should also prepare a great playlist for the journey. Obviously, you’ll talk and relax, but music will set the scene for your adventure. And you don’t have to go on a road trip every weekend, but it’s certainly something you should try to do regularly.

Play some games.

You could always stay at home and play some games if you want a relaxing weekend indoors, of course. You don’t always have to go outside and explore the world in order to have an adventure. You could unearth the dusty old board games that you might have used when you were a child. Or you could start playing some mobile games as a family. Words With Friends is particularly fun. If you want a helping hand, you could use a word unscrambler to give you some suggestions. Just don’t let the rest of the family know about your technique.

Have a movie night.

You might even want to think about having a movie night if you want to relax with the family at home. There’s nothing more exciting than turning your living room into a mini cinema. You just need some comfortable seats for everyone and a few delicious snacks. Of course, you could really switch up your weekly movie night by filming your own movies. Making a movie as a family is a great bonding experience. You don’t have to be the next great Hollywood director. The goal is to simply have fun as a family. Then, you can watch and admire the end product later.

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Torani Pumpkin PIe Puremade sauce, cheesecake, recipe

If girls are supposed to be made of sugar and spice and everything nice, I think I just might be made up of 90% pumpkin pie spice, the fiercest and feistiest spices of all. Seriously, it officially falls. The nights are cooler. The days are shorter. It’s time for leaves to change, cozy sweaters and denim jeans with boots and all the things pumpkin pie spice.

Disclosure: This is a compensated post in partnership with Torani but all opinions and my love of Torani syrups and sauces are all mine. #ToraniPuremadeSauce

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. There is something about rich, creamy, smooth cheesecake that makes it worth my carbs. It’s by far one of the most decadent tasting desserts out there.

Being that it is Pumpkin Spice season again, fall, I love to enjoy it as much as possible. I know some people think that pumpkin spice is overrated but I’d say to them, if being basic is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Bring on all the pumpkin spice. I’ll try it every which way you can bring it.

When there are no recipes out there to eat what you want to taste, I say create your own recipe and that is what I did. I decided what could be better than two of my favorite things married to one another in perfect flavor harmony. I hope you’ll enjoy eating it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Easy Vanilla Cream Cheesecake topped with Torani Pumpkin Pie Puremade Sauce drizzle

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted

Filling:

  • 4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs

Topping:

I love Torani Pumpkin pie Puremade sauce because it delivers amazing flavor with the ingredients I love. No
artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no artificial preservatives and it’s so easy to use. Add a spoonful to your coffee, cocoa, latte or dessert. The possibilities are endless.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a large pan filled with 1/2-inch water in the oven.
  • Make the crust:
  1. Mix graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon; add butter or margarine.
  2. Press crust onto bottom and 2/3 of the way up a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment.
  3. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan.
  4. Freeze until filling is prepared.
  • To make the cheesecake filling: Use an electric mixer to mix cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Whisk eggs in a bowl; gently add to cream cheese mixture.
  • Blend the mixture until eggs are folded in but not overworked.
  • Remove crust from freezer and pour in filling. Carefully place the cheesecake into a preheated water bath. Bake for 15 minutes; turn oven to 350°F and bake until top of cheesecake turns golden, about an hour.
  • Remove cake to let cool.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • Cut and serve, topped with Torani pumpkin pie puremade sauce drizzled on top for just the perfect fall dessert.

What’s your favorite autumn dessert?

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Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

If you love Disney’s Aladdin as much as my family does, you will be thrilled to know that not only is Disney’s Aladdin the live-action film being released on DVD on September 10 but so is the original Aladdin the signature series. Both Aladdin’s available on DVD on the same day!!

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series

We are definitely a house divided over here. My husband and eldest daughter are Disney animation connoisseurs and both prefer the Aladdin animated film. My youngest daughter and I fell absolutely head over heels in love with the new Disney’s Aladdin live-action film. Either way, we’re all excited for September 10.

Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

EXPERIENCE MAGIC IN A WHOLE NEW WAY WITH THE THRILLING AND VIBRANT LIVE-ACTION ADAPTATION OF ALADDIN
AND
THE ANIMATED CLASSIC JOINS THE HIGHLY CELEBRATED WALT DISNEY SIGNATURE COLLECTION

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series
The live-action adaptation of the animated classic, Aladdin, lands in homes on Digital and Movies Anywhere August 27 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD September 10. Starring Will SmithNaomi Scott and Mena Massoud, the release includes all-new bonus features, such as deleted scenes, a blooper reel and more!READ ALSO: I Loved the New Aladdin More than the Original

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,The release of the live-action adventure coincides with the addition of the original animated classic to the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection, granting Aladdin fans everywhere the opportunity to own both magical movies. In 4K for the first time, the new release features all-new bonus content, including alternate endings!

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series

We all know that Aladdin is one of the best Disney animated films ever but if you want to be blown away, you have to check out Disney’s Aladdin live-action film. I never thought I could love a film more than the original Aladdin. I remember singing along and adoring everything about it.

Then I saw the live-action film and it moved me in whole other ways. It was the same story but it was its own movie. It took a different perspective and changed just a few slight things but it made the movie more relatable for me. The soundtrack is amazing and the themes were timely and empowering.

I’m excited to add both to our Disney film collection.

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sick mom, cooties, working with preschoolers, cootie pond

Good morning from the deep end of the cootie pond. I’m on day 5 of my second illness in a month. Yes, my friends, this mom has gone back to school with preschoolers and my compromised immune system is showing.

This year is a big year for me. It’s the first year, in 14 years of being a mom, that I’ve decided to take a position working outside the home. I’ve spent the last 14 years working from home so that I could be here for my daughters.

Working with Preschoolers is drowning in the cootie pond.

I never planned on being a stay-at-home mom. But the moment they laid Bella on my chest, I knew I couldn’t leave her. I tried. God knows I tried. When she was about 18 months old, I took a part-time job as a tech at the local pharmacy but I soon fell pregnant and wanted to be home with my girls. Even being financially tight it was worth it to me to be home with my girls.

READ ALSO: Back to Scholl shopping with Amazon

I still want to be there for my girls (I’d also like to have a steady income to help out financially) but now that the girls are 14 and 12-years-old, I’ve decided to give working outside of the home another try. This time, I’ve taken a part-time job working with preschoolers. It’s fun and the hours are perfect and I still get to be there for my girls whenever they’re home.

In all honesty, I’d forgotten what it was like to be around preschoolers. 4 and 5-year-olds have a lot of energy. They’re snuggly and they love to share everything. They are so cute and full of wonder. I love working with these little people. They honestly fill my heart with energy that only 4 and 5-year-olds can.

Preschoolers lick everything.

There is only one caveat, they are covered in germs. Like me, they have spent the last few years of life in a bubble (we’re severely immunocompromised). They catch viruses. They’re too small and young to know to cover their mouths when they sneeze and cough. They lick everything. I mean everything. I forgot about that. Little kids stick their fingers in their mouths and touch everything. I’ve seen them lick tables, their hands after touching the toilet, each other and me.

Between the licking, coughing, sneezing, touching and finger sucking, they’re like little Petri dishes of germs. Did I mention that on the first day of work the cutest little boy in the world coughed directly into my mouth? Directly. It’s through no fault of their own. They just haven’t been alive long enough to learn not to do these things. They have no self-control and they don’t understand the word no. The only thing they know is to live and love full-on. Cooties be damned.

READ ALSO: Pint-Sized Bullies Beware

Anyways, I’m on sickness number two. If you’re keeping count, I’ve been sick for the entire month that I’ve been working. The other teachers assure me that I will be right as rain after the first year. Yes, you read that right, the.first.year. I’m investing in all the zinc lozenges, hand sanitizer, boogie wipes, Kleenex with aloe and Nyquil. I spend my weekends resting and recuperating to live another school week.

There have been moments when I’ve asked myself if this is all worth it. Some days I’m not sure. But, if I’m being honest, those little cootie carriers have snuggled their way into my heart and I’m not sure I could quit on them any more than I could my own girls.

Preschoolers are the cutest little cootie carriers ever.

It’s been a while since my girls were preschoolers, moms with preschoolers how do you protect yourself from the cooties your little ones bring home from preschool?

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Disclosure: This is a compensated partnership with Torani but all opinions and this iced Café Bombón recipe are my own.

Coffee is my jam. It’s something I’ve been drinking all of my adult life, and if we’re being quite honest, something I’ve been sipping from my parent’s coffee mugs since I was a child. There is something special about the creamy goodness of a good cup of coffee that reminds me of home. Nothing reminds me more of home than Café Bombón.

I remember my dad and uncles drinking Café Bombón at night after dinner at the dining room table while having late-night conversations filled with laughter and reminiscing. I have fond memories of my mom and aunts playing gin rummy and Yahtzee while sipping on Café Bombón and all of this makes my heart happy. Every time I take a drink of Café Bombón those memories are what flood my mind and fill my soul.

What is Café Bombón, you ask? It is literally, candy coffee.

What makes it different from your typical cup of coffee? That would be the sweetened condensed milk. What makes it extra delicious? That would be the Torani salted caramel syrup that I add to mine.

To be honest, I thought “Café Bombón” was how everyone drank coffee because it was the only way I ever saw it drank. The same way I thought everyone made their grilled cheese sandwiches sprinkled with a little sugar on the cheese (made with love as my mom used to tell us). Yep, apparently, my Latino dad and my southern mom made up their own rules along the way.

Typically, Café Bombón is made by simply using 1 ounce of espresso and 1 ounce of sweetened condensed milk. Simple. You can sip it or shoot it, depending on your caffeine needs that day. As I’ve gotten older, I need a little more caffeine to start my day so the 1 to 1 ratio needs to be upped for me in the morning and I like to put mine over ice in the warmer months for drinking convenience.

Café Bombón Recipe

Ingredients:

2 ounces of Espresso or strong coffee
2 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
2 ounces of Torani salted caramel syrup (if you prefer your Café Bombón less sweet, up the coffee ratio to 3 ounces.)
1 ounce of half and half
½ cup of ice

Instructions:

1. Pour sweetened condensed milk over ice.
2. Pour Torani salted caramel syrup over sweetened condensed milk.
3. Add espresso to top.
4. If you have a milk frother, froth 1 ounce of half and half.
5. Pour frothed milk over espresso.
6. You should see distinct layers of ingredients.
7. Enjoy with family and friends.
**I prefer to mix my Café Bombón all up and blend the flavors more evenly but it tastes delicious either way.

It’s that simple and even more delicious. By adding the Torani salted caramel syrup to the traditional Café Bombón, it completely elevates the flavor profile. The great thing about Torani is that is mixes well to bring out the best in your Café Bombón without overpowering everything else. Torani is made with real, simple ingredients that you can recognize.

To make this delicious and easy Café Bombón recipe find Torani at your local Kroger grocery store or online at Torani.com.

What is your favorite Torani flavored syrup for your coffee?

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