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Recipe: Chocolate Dirt Cupcakes

Chocolate Dirt Cupcake Recipe via poorandpretty

Happy Earth Day! Stan’s favorite dessert is dirt pudding, so I made a cupcake version for him over the weekend. I gotta tell you: these chocolate cupcakes are the most delicious ones I’ve ever made. Mine tend to come out a little on the dry side, but these are perfect. Moist, but not super dense. They’re great for Earth Day, or kids’ birthday parties!

Chocolate Dirt Cupcakes with Pudding and Crumbled Oreo Topping — makes 12 regular cupcakes. Because you have to scoop out the center, I don’t recommend making these as minis, unless you’re baking chocolate cupcakes with a different frosting. In that case, this recipe will make about 60 minis.

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Earth Day DIY: Painted Pot Succulents

Succulents-after2-poorandpretty

I don’t know who started the trend, but suddenly succulents were sprouting up in the home of every lifestyle blogger and interior decorator across the U.S. This DIY is very simple, so even if you aren’t an artist with a brush (I certainly am not!), you can feel confident that these will turn out great. Plus, with Earth Day right around the corner, it’s a great way to get your hands dirty and celebrate our planet!

This post originally appeared as a wedding table favor DIY on PrideSource.com and as part of Between the Lines‘ annual Wedding Issue, celebrating LGBT marriage equality.

Succulents-before-poorandpretty

Supplies:

  • succulents
  • terra cotta pots — depending on how big your succulents are, you’ll want pots that are between 2” to 4”
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brushes — get them in a few different sizes
  • a painter’s palette or 1-2 plates that can be easily washed (I used plastic)
  • a cup with water, for rinsing brushes
  • paper towels and/or newspaper to protect your painting surface
  • potting mix

Succulents-painting-station-poorandpretty

Step 1: Place paper towels or newspaper on top of your painting surface to protect it from paint and set up the rest of your workstation.

Succulents-mixing-paint-poorandpretty

Step 2: Start painting! Let your imagination run wild! Be sure to let the pots dry for a few hours before re-potting your succulents in them.

Don’t be afraid to mix together paints to get different colors, or try out fun techniques like this:

pink-ombre-succulent-@poorandpretty

I achieved this ombre/gradient look by starting with white paint and gradually mixing in more and more red. I painted the top, added red, then painted the next streak, added more red and painted the next, and so on until I reached the bottom. I love how it came out!

glitter-succulent-pot-@poorandpretty

For this glittery mint look, I mixed together a little bit of green with a lot of white paint, used a large brush to coat the entire pot, then let it dry. (It dries in only a few minutes). Once it felt powder-dry, I mixed together glitter and Mod Podge and slathered it onto the  bottom of the pot, then carefully dragged the brush upwards to make it look like the glitter is being sprinkled down.

DIY Tux Gentleman Painted Succulent via poorandpretty

This one is so much fun! I painted the entire pot white, then drew out the bow tie and where the black suit would begin. I painted the purple bow next, then the black last. The black isn’t very difficult to paint over though, so don’t be upset if you mess up. Just let it dry, then correct your mistake. Like I said before, I’m definitely not an artist with a brush, so I’m confident you can pull this one off — or better!

Painted-succulent-duo-poorandpretty

Solid colors work just fine, too!

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4th Annual Trashion Show this Saturday!

Trashion 2014_sm

It’s that time of year again! The 4th Annual Trashion Fashion Show is this Saturday, April 19th 6-9pm at Hartford City Hall. Get your tickets here. (All proceeds support the Sustainable Farm School.)

I’ve been lucky enough to vend at the past two shows, but this year will be a little different. I will be teaching a demonstration on how to make your own sugar scrubs and have tons of info about some of the toxic chemicals you can find in your brand-name cosmetics. Did you see my article on the Evergreen Design Co. blog?

Trashion Show Hartford CT

I am so pumped to see this year’s trashion fashion! It keeps getting better and better every year!

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Outfit: The Ladybee: Yellow & Black

Ladybee black and yellow outfit - shades on @poorandpretty

I woke up yesterday and thought, “I want to wear yellow tights.” And so I did! I think my black skirt and shirt offset them nicely though. Come to think of it, the outfit is kind of a cross between a bumble bee and a ladybug.

Ladybee black and yellow outfit - stairs @poorandpretty

Dave took these photos of me during our lunch break yesterday — it was so sunny and warm!

Ladybee black and yellow outfit - laughing closeup @poorandpretty

See that necklace? I made it from last month’s For the Makers kit, Hello Trouble. I love the neon-meets-neutral trend.

Ladybee black and yellow outfit - paparazzi @poorandpretty

We took a few silly, behind-the-scenes type shots too. In this one, Dave asked me to pretend he was the paparazzi.

Ladybee black and yellow outfit - on bobcat @poorandpretty

Here’s the I-don’t-think-I-should-be-on-this-Bobcat shot.

Ladybee black and yellow outfit - kneel @poorandpretty

The Dave-what-the-hell-am-I-doing-on-the-pavement shot. (Note Dave’s shadow.)

Ladybee black and yellow outfit - fixing tights @poorandpretty

Oh, and here I am fixing my tights. Glad he got a shot of that! ;) Happy Friday!

Outfit Details: Black shirt: hand-me-down from Mish. Black polka dot skirt: Miami, $38 via Francesca’s (similar, similar). Yellow tights: We Love Colors, $8. Patent Wedges: CL by Laundry Marcie Patent Wedge Pump via DSW, $40. Lemon Drop Necklace: Handmade by me, with this tutorial from For the Makers. Watch: Timex Classic Originals Round, courtesy of Timex.

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DIY Homemade Natural Perfume Spray

DIY Natural Perfume via @poorandpretty

I’ve never been big on wearing perfume, especially once I discovered all the weird and toxic ingredients in them. But Stan really, really likes when I wear pretty fragrances, so I promised I’d learn how to make my own. I was kind of blown away by how easy they are. Check it out:

DIY perfume supplies via @poorandpretty

Supplies: 

  • 2 oz cobalt glass bottle with mister — the amber or blue color filters the light, keeping your perfume stronger for longer.
  • 10-20 drops body-safe fragrance or essential oil(s) — see step two for details
  • 4 tbs vodka — the higher the proof, the better, but don’t use anything flavored. I had this bottle in the freezer for a while, so I used it.
  • 2 tbs water, distilled
  • funnel (optional, makes adding the vodka to the bottle easier)
  • pipette (optional, makes adding the fragrance oil easier)
  • label
  • latex gloves (or similar, if you’re allergic)

A note about supplies: You can purchase most of these supplies through From Nature With Love, my go-to for bath & body supplies.

DIY Perfume pouring via @poorandpretty

Directions:

Step One: Place the funnel on the amber glass bottle, and add the vodka to it. Do not add the water. You’ll do that in step five.

DIY Perfume adding fragrance via @poorandpretty

Step Two: Put on your gloves to protect your hands (fragrance oils can irritate your skin). Using a pipette, add your fragrance or essential oil(s). If you purchase your essential oil from a natural foods store, they will most likely have a dropper-type top so you won’t need a pipette. But if you are using a fragrance or essential oil purchased from a soapmaking supply store, be sure to also order pipettes.

How much fragrance/essential oil should you add? It’s hard to say because oils vary in strength and your preference will be different than someone else’s. Generally, it’s safe to add up to 25% of a fragrance/essential oil to your perfume mixture. However, fragrance and essential oils also have a “maximum use level,” regulated by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). For example, the Amazing Grace oil I used here has a maximum use level 25% for perfumes because it is the “extreme” concentration (I found that info here). This means I can use up to 1½ tablespoons for this mixture (though that might overflow the bottle). I started with about 15 drops, but it isn’t very strong, so I will probably add more.

What’s the difference between an essential oil and fragrance oil? Essential oils are natural, made from the pure essence of plants, whereas fragrance oils are manmade. If you want a truly natural perfume, use essential oils. Don’t be afraid to mix scents!

Important: If you are purchasing fragrance oils, make sure they are “body-safe.” Some fragrance oils are made only for candles and can cause skin irritation.

DIY Perfume Amazing and Poppy via @poorandpretty

Step Three: Cap your perfume and shake it up.

Step Four:  Label your perfume and store it for two days in a dark, dry area, like a closet.

Step Five: Add the water, shake it up, and store for two more days.

Step Six: Unscrew the cap and replace with the sprayer pump. You may have to trim the end a bit to make it fit. Try to leave it as long as possible, so you can get the perfume at the very bottom of the bottle.

DIY Perfume via @poorandpretty

Step Seven: Shake, mist and enjoy! If you need to add more fragrance or essential oil, do so carefully, as they are very concentrated. Be sure to shake the perfume before every use, as the contents may separate.

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