Cinnamon Roll Muffins

dsc_0678If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of during the fall season it’s cinnamon. I love the smell of it, I love it added to foods and I especially love it in my coffee. Once October 1st rolled around I went into full fledged cinnamon mode. First up on my list were these muffins. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good cinnamon roll, but I don’t always have the patience to make them from scratch nor do I want to eat anything that comes out of a pop open can. Enter cinnamon roll muffins – the perfect combination of quick and indulgent. These are so much easier to make and take only about half an hour from start to finish.

Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup skim milk

Cinnamon Swirl Mix

  • 1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons skim milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

dsc_0664Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 12 liners to a muffin tin and lightly spray with cooking oil.
  2. Combine and whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine butter, egg, and skim milk and whisk until combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix all cinnamon swirl mix ingredients. Gently fold half of the mixture into the muffin batter.
  4. Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin tin and top with remaining cinnamon swirl mix. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire baking rack and allow to cool completely.
  5. While muffins are cooling, mix together glaze ingredients. Once combined, drizzle over muffins.
Recipe adapted from: Some the Wiser
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Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Haul

Ulta recently just ended their 21 Days of Beauty which ran through September. For those of you who don’t know what that is, I’ll explain. Every year, for 21 days straight, Ulta offers big sales and discounts on items that usually never go on sale. The sales are good for that day only and tend to sell out pretty quick. Anyone who shops in stores or online at Ulta.com can buy these items and there are even extra items on sale for Ulta Platinum members.

The best part about the 21 Days of Beauty is that you can see all of the items that are going to be on sale ahead of time. I usually get a catalog in the mail and circle each item I want to buy. I work a later shift so it’s always hard for me to stop into Ulta and pick up these beauty items each day. Luckily, being a Platinum member, I was able to place orders online and get free shipping for every order during the sale. This came in handy when there were items I wanted that I knew would sell out quick (cough, cough, Becca blush).

Now that the sales are over, I can share with you my thoughts on all of the items I was able to get my hands on and test out for the past couple weeks.

fullsizeoutput_810IT Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner – Highlight
This eyeliner is so, so creamy. I wanted to get the highlight color specifically for my waterline when I feel like I need something to help me look a bit more awake. The color on this is a perfect soft blush hued highlight and stays on all day without smudging.

fullsizeoutput_812BECCA Mineral Blush – Flowerchild and Wild Honey (Platinum perk)
I adore Becca Cosmetics. Becca is most known for their shimmering skin perfector but I think I actually like the mineral blushes even more. Flowerchild is the perfect everyday peachy pink for my skin tone and Wild Honey is such a nice peachy nude for fall and winter. The color payoff on these is amazing and each blush will probably last me for an eternity.

fullsizeoutput_811Anastasia Brow Powder Duo – Ash Brown
I have tried a lot of brow products over the past couple years and I always go back to Anastasia. Nothing quite compares to the spot on shades and quality and this brow duo is so perfect for my ash brown hair. I use the lighter shade for the inner part of my brows and use the darker shade from the arch through the tail. I also love how slim the packaging is; perfect for traveling.

fullsizeoutput_816Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash
I was skeptical about trying this since Philosophy products don’t usually tend to work well with my oily skin but I ended up loving this wash. It’s gentle enough that you could use it everyday and not feel like you’re constantly scrubbing off layers of your skin. I tend to have issues with cleansers either not fully cleansing my face or completely drying it out and this cleanser did neither. I usually use this at night about two to three times a week when I feel like I really need a good deep clean.

fullsizeoutput_80fPUR Cosmetics HydraGel Lift
Ulta describes this as a “hydrating all-purpose, cooling eye primer that preps and smooths the skin for better wear throughout the day.” I love the cooling effect this has when I apply it to my skin but it really doesn’t do much for priming. The packaging is also misleading. It is a decent size when you look at it overall but there is not a lot of product inside (only 0.15oz to be exact). While I do love the feeling of applying this to tired eyes, I probably won’t buy this again.

fullsizeoutput_813IT Cosmetics Fully Buffing Mineral Powder Brush
If I could lay on a bed of IT Cosmetics brush heads I totally would. This brush is SO incredibly soft and works perfect for face powder or blush. The brush head is dense but not too dense; it applies the perfect amount of product and blends out easily with help from the tapered handle. I absolutely love new makeup brushes and I was so thrilled to see this on the list.

fullsizeoutput_815Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths
These facial cleansing cloths are SO unique. I have never used anything even close to these and plan to repurchase these as soon as I run out. These facial cloths are perfect for those nights when I get home from work and am dying to take off my makeup but don’t want to take the time to wash my face quite yet. The coolest part about these is that they foam up! You simply take out one cloth and rub it together until you feel it foaming then wipe your face. There is no need to rinse and the cloth does such a great job of removing makeup prior to washing. It has a slight cooling effect and is super gentle yet effective at taking off even stubborn eye makeup. Love, love, love these.

fullsizeoutput_814Fiona Stiles Sheer Sculpting Palette – Light/Medium
Fiona Stiles is pretty new to Ulta so this palette really intrigued me when I found out it was going to be a part of the 21 Days of Beauty. I’ve eyed up a few products in Ulta before but never took the plunge on purchasing anything until this. The shades of this work well for me but the color payoff isn’t quite there. The lightest and darkest shades are a bit chalky while the middle shade is amazingly buttery and soft. The first shade barely shows up on my skin but can at least be used to blend out the darkest shade if I get a bit too heavy handed.

fullsizeoutput_80eTarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
Tarte products typically make my list of holy grail products and this mascara is no exception. It has a standard tapered wand (which I absolutely love) that applies just the right amount of mascara without leaving my lashes looking too wet and clumped together. The only odd thing about this mascara is that is smells like paint. It doesn’t bother me at all but for someone who is sensitive to makeup scents it probably wouldn’t be the best choice. (Another great mascara from Tarte that doesn’t have a strong scent is this one: Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara).