Sunday, March 29, 2020

Quick and Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

There are times when we need chocolate. Chocolate cake.

I'm talking about rich, decedent, satisfying chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting! 

We are living one of those times we need cake. Practicing social distancing and staying at home due to the Corona Virus requires cake!
slice of one bowl chocolate cake
I know, I always preach healthy eating, but you all know I do indulge in yummy sweets, in moderation of course. Besides, cocoa is full of antioxidant flavanoids, is anti inflammatory and triggers feel good endorphins, so chocolate cake is practically a health food!

This is one of those times when we need the comfort of chocolate with all it's endorphin inducing power! 


There is an easy chocolate cake I have been making for years whenever the kids asked for a dessert or I needed to make something quick. I would make this chocolate cake as a one layer round cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. It was quick. It was easy. It was better than eating a store bought cake loaded with preservatives! 
cakes cooling in pans
The recipe I will show you will make a 2 layer cake. It can be made in two 8" round pans, two 9" round pans or one 9" x 13" pan

You only need one mixing bowl to whip up this chocolate cake.  Measure your ingredients and dump them in! I always use the large bowl that goes with my
 KitchenAid Stand mixer. It makes life so much easier. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can get one Amazon!

The ingredients are typical ingredients you may already have in the house.
one bowl chocolate cake ingredients
You can use whatever kind of milk you like in this recipe. It can be cow's milk in 1%, 2% or whole milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, etc. I wouldn't use skim milk though. I don't think skim it would create a satisfying cake. 

I use unbleached all purpose flour in this recipe. The flour doesn't need to be sifted. Just fluff it up with a fork before spooning it into a measuring cup. 


I have a gluten free version for my gluten free friends. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Raspberries



My daughter ordered these fun colorful measuring cups from Amazon.
colorful measuring cups
She said my old Tupperware measuring cups smell like onions.  I have to admit, these are much cuter than my old set of measuring cups and they are made of earth friendly bamboo.

Read my review on these Architec Purleast Ecosmart Measuring Cups 

Besides greasing and flouring the pans, I always cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan so the cakes come out perfectly without sticking to the pan. It's a disaster when the cake sticks and breaks apart!

eaten slice of one bowl chocolate cake
If you are using a 9" x 13" pan, you may want to leave the cake in the pan as an easy informal cake for the family. In that case, no parchment is needed in the bottom of the pan.

I have to show you one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It's a shot glass to measure small amounts of liquid. It's perfect for measuring vanilla extract. I use it all the time!

measuring shot glass
Get it on Amazon!

I did a youtube video so you can see all the details to making this recipe!
one bowl chocolate cake video link
Click here to watch my Quick & Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe video on youtube


slice of one bowl chocolate cake eaten
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!!!

Okay, without further ado, here is the recipe for the chocolate cake followed by the chocolate buttercream recipe!

one bowl chocolate cake

Quick and Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Prep: 20 minutes, Bake: 30-35 minutes,  Servings: 12-16

This is a chocolate cake I whip up when we need cake in a hurry! It is based on a recipe I saw years ago in a magazine. No sifting. One bowl. Easy! You can bake it as a sheet a cake in a 9" x 13" pan or make it a layer cake in two 8" or 9" pans.

2 cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk of your choice (cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc.)
2/3 cup oil, neutral tasting oil such as canola
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs

Pre heat your oven to 350° F. Grease and flour your 9" x 13" or 2 round pans, either 8” or 9”. Then, add parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pans for perfect cake removal.

In a large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.

Add milk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients. Then, beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Add one egg and mix on low till blended. Add the second egg then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Pour into your prepared pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Bake until a wooden toothpick come out clean. Clean means there is no raw batter sticking on the toothpick.

Cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans (or leave in the 9" x 13" pan if desired). Allow the cakes to cool completely on the wire racks.

Finish with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar.   

Now you will need the frosting (aka icing) recipe for the delicious One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream! 

one bowl chocolate buttercream frosting

One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Prep: about 10 minutes

This chocolate frosting makes the one bowl chocolate cake super rich and chocolaty! Reduce the cocoa to 1/3 cup for a lighter chocolate flavor if you choose. This recipe makes about 2 cups of frosting. I use one cup for the middle between the two layers of cake and one cup for the top of the cake.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup cocoa (unsweetened)
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
Dash or two of salt
1/3 cup milk of your choice (cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the butter to the mixing bowl and beat till creamy.

Add ½ of the cocoa powder and a bit of milk. Mix on low speed until blended. Add the other ½ of cocoa power and another splash of milk. Mix on low until blended.

Add 1/3 of confectioner’s sugar and a bit of milk. Mix on low until blended. Add another 1/3 of confectioner’s sugar and a bit of milk. Mix on low until blended. Add last 1/3 of confectioner’s sugar and the rest the of milk. Mix until blended. More milk can be added if frosting seems too thick.

Add vanilla extract and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes until frosting is fluffy.


It's quick, easy and delicious!!! 

I hope you enjoy this cake and frosting as much as we do!

Follow me on facebook, instagram, and youtube for links to the Juicy Beauty Word to see what I'm making and get healthy beauty tips. 

living the at home life video
Stay healthy and safe!
xo
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist, Create Spirit

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

Thanks for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Cricut Craft Idea: Clean/Dirty Magnetic Sign for the Dishwasher

Since we are all stuck at home on lock down due to the COVID-19, Corona Virus, we may as well make the best of it cleaning out drawers and closets, organizing, trying new recipes, painting, crafting, having high quality family time and generally getting all those household projects done that we never have time for. 

My project list is loooong! We'll see what I can accomplish in this unexpected furlough. I've been doing some serious cleaning and organizing in my house. I don't think it's ever been this clean! This is my usual motto.

the house was clean yesterday sign
Now, I'm finding that the smallest thing that looks a mess gets on my nerves. Like this sticky note. 
dishwasher-note
We have used this method for years to let everyone know the dishes are clean in the dishwasher. 

Well, no more!!! That little note is one of those items that is making me crazy!


It's time to craft a sign for the dishwasher indicating whether it's clean or dirty. Growing up, I remember a flower magnet on the dishwasher that said dirty on one side and clean on the other. Does anyone else remember that? I think it was green on one side and yellow on the other.


I have a new Cricut Maker that my husband bought me for my birthday and I have been having some fun creating precisely cut things like names for glassware, gift tags and stencils. I like precisely cut. Now I'm always looking for a Cricut Craft Idea!

cricut-maker

Visit the Ricci Crafting Company facebook page to see the projects my husband and I have been making


My latest crafty project is a dirty/clean magnetic sign for the dishwasher shaped like a flower, sort of like what I remember. These ideas always hit me late at night. Sometimes, I need to write them down so I can stop thinking about the ideas and go back sleep.

dishwasher-clean-dirty-magnet
I didn't have the exact supplies I wanted so I made due with what I had. Some 651 vinyl, not the exact colors I wanted, and magnets I scrounged up. I could have ordered more supplies from Amazon or Michael's but the idea hit me now so I'm running with it. 

I added some Amazon links to this post to help you get the crafting supplies you need delivered right to your door. When you use the links I provide for you, I earn a small amount at no cost to you. I truly thank you for using my links!
I really needed the right kind of magnet. A round magnet would look better. But, I'm thinking a self adhesive magnet sheet would work great. It could probably be cut in the flower shape and sandwiched between the vinyl. Or maybe the sign could be just the cut magnet with the clean on one side and dirty on the other.



I'm thinking of this as my prototype to work on and improve on!!! For some reason, the "Clean" side looks better that the "Dirty" side on my dishwasher magnet! 😂 It works though!

My nail color is Zoya Aire. It's one of my favorites! You can find Zoya Aire on Amazon.


Here's a closeup of my clean/ dirty magnetic sign for the dishwasher!

clean side of dishwasher magnet zoya aire

dishwasher magnetic sign dirty
And that stupid sticky note when straight to the recycling bin! This may be a project you want to mess around with too.

Here is the flower image I used with my Cricut if you need this DIY crafting project to keep you busy. If you try it, post a pic to my facebook page. There is a facebook link to my page near the bottom of this post. I'd love to see your creation!

eight petal flower design
I did a youtube video on the project to give you some inspiration. 

Click here to watch my Make a clean/dirty magnetic sign for your Dishwasher using Cricut 

I've got plenty more projects to show so I'll be providing more creative posts and videos for your lock down entertainment (and my own entertainment as well!!!)


Gotta go. My daughter just started my favorite Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast!!! I hear it from the other room and I'm singing already! " There goes the baker with his tray like always".......



Stay Healthy, Stay Sane and Be Beautiful! 😘
xo
Licensed Cosmetologist, Makeup Artist, Esthetician, & All Around Creative Spirit
See me at Styling Point in Media, Pa (when it is safe to re open!) for natural nail care, facials, spot massages, face and body waxing, pedicures and makeup 


I truly thank you for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Home Beauty Hacks to try during the Temporary Salon Closures due to COVID-19, Corona Virus

Is your salon closed due to the COVID-19? 
temporarily closed sign
I am not able to work at my salon due to the virus.  All of us in the beauty industry are quite panicked about not working and having no income while we are living the at home life.

living the at home life video

We all want our salons open as quickly as it is safe to do so!!! You all are apparently panicked too! I'm getting messages from people who are starting to panic about things like how to get their gel polish off and what to do about their roots!!!

Help is on the way!


I'm here to give you a few helpful cruelty free home beauty hacks alleviate your the biggest beauty dilemmas:


your brows need to be done, 
your hair color needs a touch-up, 
your lash extensions are shedding, 
and your gel polish, dip powder and artificial nails are growing out.

After all, we don't want to come out of lock down looking like this!
brows, roots, lashes, nails after quarantine
This is an image I saw shared on facebook and it says it all! 😂🤣😂

We'll all get through this together and our salons will eventually be open again to get you looking gorgeous!!! 

This post contains Amazon links to help you get the beauty supplies you need delivered right to your door. When you use the links I provide for you, I earn a small amount at no cost to you. I truly thank you for using my links!😘

Home Beauty Hacks for Brows, Roots, Lash Extensions, and Nails


Let's start with your brows.
brows with purple and gold eye shadow

Brow Shaping Help

To keep your brows from turning into caterpillars, you are going to have to tweeze them a bit until the waxing salon is open again. Many people can go over board when it comes to tweezing and ruin the beautiful shape they worked so hard to get. One hair looks out of place. You pull it. That leads to another hair looking out of place. You pull it and before you know it, your brows are pencil thin! Here are some tips to prevent that from happening.

Fill in your brows first
Filling your brows will help keep you from over tweezing. It fills in the sparse areas, especially at the edges of your brow shape, so you aren't temped to tweeze too much. You can fill them with a pencil, brow powder or even a matte eye shadow will do. The eyebrow guru, Anastasia, has provided us with some fabulous brow grooming products including the Brow Wiz pencil and the Brow Powder Duo.
No Magnification!
Don't use a super magnifying mirror. A magnifying mirror shows way more that the naked eye sees. You will definitely go overboard and make your brows too thin. 

Do the Tweezing
You are only going to do a very conservative tweeze. Only remove the darkest hairs that are between the brows and outside of where you filled in the brows. If a hair looks in question near the area you filled in, just leave it. Your brow technician will fine tune your brows to perfection when the salon reopens. My favorite tweezer style is a slant tweezer to get the accurate tweeze with out breaking the hair.

highlights roots

Root Touch-up Help

We hate those unsightly roots. Gray roots are so aging and those dark roots scream not a natural blonde!!! We may not be going out, but we still have to look at ourselves. And, our families have to look at us too!

It's super risky to try to color your hair at home with a box color or bleach up your dark roots. You may end up with a disaster and the salon is not open to do a color correction. 


It's best to hide the roots for now until the salon reopens. There are a few great products out there that will cover gray roots and camouflage dark roots.

Cover Gray Roots 

There are some temporary root touch up products that will hide gray roots. They will last until you wash your hair then you will have to re apply them. 

They come in many forms. They can be a spray, a powder, a stick or a mascara like tube with a wand. All will provide nice coverage. It's a matter of your preference for the delivery of the product. After applying a powder root touch up product, you can apply hair spray to set the powder and to help keep it from transferring.

You don't have to cover all of the roots. Just apply the touch-up product to the areas that show the most, your part and around the hairline.

Rita Hazan has always made excellent products for covering roots. There is the Root Concealer Touch-up Stick for hairline and brows as well. It is a cream stick that comes in 3 colors, dark brown/black, light brown and dark blonde, and is easy to carry in your handbag. There is also an award winning spray that comes in 5 colors, dark brown/black, light brown, dark blonde and red.

Shop for Rita Hazan Root Touch-up Products

Style Edit makes a variety of products to cover gray roots. They have a spray, a binding powder and a cream to powder stick that can be used on your eyebrows, too. The spray comes in 5 brown shades and 3 blonde shades. The powder comes in 4 brown shades, 3 blonde shades and 3 red shades. The stick comes in 4 shades, black, dark brown, medium brown and light brown.

Madison Reed Root Touch up is a root touch-up powder that comes in a handy compact with a brush. There are 6 colors. Black, dark brown, medium brown, light golden brown, blonde, light golden blonde to red.

Shop for Madison Reed Root Touch-up Products

Bumble and Bumble makes a spray on powder that comes in 2 colors, brownish or blondish and a dry fiber color stick that comes in 5 shades, black, brown, red, dark blonde and blonde.

Shop for Bumble and Bumble Root Touch-up Products

Rootflage is a root touch-up powder that has an attached brush for easy application with a large variety of colors. It comes in 12 shades for blonde, 8 shades for brown, 3 shades for black and 7 shades for red. Plus, it has a wide selection of fashion colors including pink, purple and blue! They even have some metallic colors. 
rootflage pink touchup
Mineral Fusion Gray Root Concealer is a mascara wand type root concealer. It is fast drying and comes in 4 colors, black, dark brown, medium brown and light brown.

Cover Dark Roots on Light Hair

It can be more challenging to hide dark roots on your lightened hair. There are some products that do a good job of blending them and making them less noticeable.

Style Edit Blonde Perfection Root Touch-up for Blondes is a powder you apply with a brush. It comes in 3 blonde shades to blend away dark roots.

Shop for Style Edit Blonde Perfection Root Touch-up Powder

There is also a Blonde Perfection Spray the comes in Light Blonde.

Shop for Style Edit Blonde Perfection Root Touch-up Spray

Rootflage has 12 of shades of blonde touch up powder. You will surely be able to find the perfect shade to match your color blonde!

Shop for Rootflage Blonde Touch-up Powder

eyelash extension application

Lash Extensions Help

Your lash extensions are naturally shedding with your lash hairs leaving you with odd looking long and short lashes. It is best to remove them to get rid of the weird look.

Oil dissolves the glue that holds the extensions to your lashes. Try basic olive oil or you can use an awesome product by Ardell called Lash Free Lash Adhesive Remover. It's fabulous for removing every trace of lash glue.

How to Remove Lash Extensions

Step 1. Lash removal
Apply adhesive remover or olive oil to a cotton swab. Close one eye and gently apply the remover or oil over and under the base of the lashes where the glue has been applied. Allow the oil or remover to sit for a minute still keeping the eye closed.

Gently wiggle the cotton swap back and forth to loosen the lashes then roll the cotton swab to slide the loosened lashes from your natural lashes wiping each one onto a tissue as you go. They may just fall easily from your lashes as you wiggle the cotton swab. 

Blot away the excess oil or adhesive remover with a tissue and move ont0 the other eye.
ardell lash free adhesive remover
Step 2. Clean the Residue
Use a makeup remover or a facial cleanser to clean away the oil or adhesive remover residue after the lashes have been removed from both eyes.

To make your lashes look fabulous until the salon reopens, try strip lashes. Ardell is always my favorite brand. Try the Natural 174 for a nice everyday look. Try the Whispies 700 for a more dramatic look. Or have fun trying different styles! You can get a multi pack of different styles to try. Be sure to choose a latex free adhesive if you have a latex allergy.
You can also use a lash fiber extension mascara kit to make your lashes look longer and beautiful. I frequently use this method on brides. Apply the mascara. Apply the fibers. Then, apply more mascara to seal the fibers to your natural lashes. I did a post on the details a while back.

Read Get Longer Lashes with Lash Fibers




gel polish and acrylicl nail removal tools

Gel Polish and Artificial Nail Removal Help

Gel polish, dip powder and artificial nails look horrendous as they grow out! Now is the time to remove them and give your nails some hydrating recovery time while you wait for the salon to reopen.

You will need to do a soak off for gel polish, dip powder and artificial nail removal. Acetone is the go to product to remove anything from your nails! A non acetone or an acetone remover diluted with conditioners will not get the job done. 



How to Remove Gel



You will need:
100% acetone
A 100/180 grit nail file
An orangewood stick
Cotton balls or cotton pads
Aluminum foil cut or torn into ten 3 inch squares or gel polish removal foils
Cuticle oil
Paper towels

The key to easy gel polish and dip powder removal without damaging the nails is a long soak off time. Dip powder, some gel brands, or over cured gel polish can take up to 30 minutes to soften up.


Step 1. Rough it up

Use your 100/180 grit file to remove the shine from the surface of the gel polish or dip powder.
Step 2. Saturate the Cotton & Wrap
Saturate the cotton with 100% acetone. Apply the saturated cotton to 1 nail then wrap it with foil. Or saturate a gel polish remover pad and apply to one nail. Continue applying the cotton and foil to all of your nails.

Step 3. The Soak

Leave the foil on your nails for 15 minutes. The acetone is softening and dissolving the product from your nails. The process works quicker when your hands are warm. You can cover your foiled hands with a warm towel from your dryer to speed things along. 

After the 15 minutes, remove the first foil that was applied. The product should look chunky, flaked and lifted. If it does not, put the foil back on and wait another 5 minutes.
Step 4. Scrape Off
When the product looks chunky, flaked and lifted, it is ready to be gently scraped off with the orangewood stick. You can also use a metal pusher but it is more likely to damage your nails leaving them with a rough uneven surface. 

Remove the first foil applied. Press and pull it off to remove the flaked up product. Use your orangewood stick to gently scrape any of the product still clinging to the nail. If it won't come off easily, reapply acetone saturated cotton and foil and move on to the next nail. 


Scrape from the cuticle area towards the free edge of the nail. The scrape off will make a mess. Do it over a paper towel for an easier cleanup. Scrape the nails one by one. Return to any nails that needed extra soaking time.  

Step 5. Recondition

Acetone strips all water and oil from the nails. Wash your hands after the soaking and scraping. Pat them dry and apply an oil to the nail and cuticle areas. Good old olive oil will do or use a conditioning nail oil product.  I like Orly Argan Cuticle Oil Drops or Cuccio Revitalizing Cuticle Oil. Massage the oil into the nail and cuticle areas. Wait an hour or so after reconditioning to apply nail strengthener and polish. 


How to Remove Acrylic, Gel Nails & Nail Tips



You will need:
100% acetone
A 100/180 grit nail file
A 120/240 grit nail file
An orangewood stick
Nail clippers
Cotton balls or pads
A glass bowl that your fingertips will fit in
Cuticle oil
Paper towels

Step 1. Remove Polish & Clip

Remove regular nail polish and clip off the extended part of the artificial nail with nail clippers.

Step 2. Rough it up

Use a 100/180 grit file to remove the shine from the artificial nails or from the gel polish if you are wearing it on your artificial nails. 

Step 3. Soak Off

Fill a glass bowl with enough acetone to fit in the entire length of your nails. Soak the nails on one hand in the bowl of acetone for 10 minutes. The acrylic, gel or nail tip material will become soft and mushy. 

Remove your hand from the bowl then use an orangewood stick to scrape off the nail product. Scrape from the cuticle area towards the frees edge of the nail. 
Do it over a paper towel for an easier clean up.


It will not all come off at once. You will need to put the nails back in the bowl of acetone for another 10 minute soak and another scraping. Keep soaking and scraping until all of the nail product is removed.
Step 4. Smoothing
Your nails will need some smoothing and shaping since the extended artificial nail was clipped off. Use a 120/240 grit file to shape them. Use the fine grit side of the file to gently smooth the surface of the nails if needed.

Step 5. Recondition

Acetone strips all water and oil from the nails. Wash your hands after the soaking and scraping. Pat them dry and apply an oil to the nail and cuticle areas. Good old olive oil will do or use a conditioning nail oil product.  I like Orly Argan Cuticle Oil Drops or Cuccio Revitalizing Cuticle Oil. Massage the oil into the nail and cuticle areas. Wait an hour or so after reconditioning to apply nail strengthener and polish. 

The favorite nail polish brand at the salon is Zoya. It wears very well on natural nails, is 10 free, and they have beautiful colors.

Click here to view my Zoya Polish Guide to their nail polish colors, swatches and collections.

Your nails will most likely be weak and brittle after you have removed your gel polish, dip powder or artificial nails. I have a lot of remedies to help you deal with your bare nails until you can get back to the salon in my post on brittle nails. 

Read How to Strengthen Brittle Nails


This too shall pass as the saying goes. It's not going to be an easy time but we will get through it. I hope this post helps you with your beauty issues until the salons are up and running again. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Be beautiful.


I'm doing lots of vegetarian cooking these days. Need a healthy dinner idea? Check out my Chickpea Swiss Chard Stew for a quick and easy dinner.

chickpea Swiss Chard stew
Stay Healthy and Beautiful!
xo
Licensed Cosmetologist, Makeup Artist, Esthetician
See me at Styling Point in Media, Pa (when it is safe to re open!) for natural nail care, facials, spot massages, face and body waxing, pedicures and makeup 

Thanks for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸