This summer, I've been entertaining a lot. So on my quest to find new dessert recipes, I stumbled upon this Banana Cream Pie Parfait from What's Gaby Cooking. A childhood favorite of mine, banana cream pie has always been the perfect end to a delicious meal. Perfect for parties, last minute gatherings, and summer soirées, I had to try this banana recipe. Both tasty and easy to make, this recipe can also be made ahead of time leaving you more time at the party and less time in the kitchen. Try these delectable summer treats both you and your guests will love now!
For the Crust:
- 2 Cups vanilla wafers, crushed
- 1/8 Cup white sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
For the Vanilla Pudding:
- 2 Cups almond milk
- 3/4 Cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 Large egg yolks
- 1/4 Cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 Vanilla bean, seeds removed
For the Whipping Topping:
- 1 Cup heavy cream
- 1/4 Cup powdered sugar
- 2 Ripe bananas
For the Crust:
1. Place the vanilla wafers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to break the wafers up and then process for 1-2 minutes until the crackers are the same consistency as the sugar. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine so the crackers look just damp. Remove the mixture from the food processor and transfer to a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 375° F.
2.Bake the crumbles for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
For the Vanilla Pudding:
3. Bring vanilla almond milk and cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolk to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth but very thick. While whisking constantly, gradually add the warm almond milk mixture to yolk mixture. Once the 2 mixtures are fully combined, return everything back to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thick, about 2–3 minutes. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until the butter has melted.
4. Transfer everything to a medium bowl; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream. Chill until set.
For the Whipped Cream:
5. Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat heavy cream and powdered sugar until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover and chill. ** If you’re in a pinch for time, grab a tub of Cool Whip. It makes for the most gorgeous dollop EVER! **
6. Arrange 8 small glasses on a clean surface. Layer in the pudding, whipped cream, sliced bananas and crumbled wafer mixture. Serve with a dollop extra whipped cream.
This summer, I've been all about orange lipstick which means the brighter, the bolder. Unlike red lip colors, orange shades don't have saturated blue or red undertones which allow it to be quite versatile. From sheer tangerines to bold red-oranges, orange lipsticks tend to look good with every skin tone, meaning you won't need to spend much time trying to find that "perfect shade." So ditch your go-to nude and pale pink lipsticks for the bold hue that compliments your complexion perfectly now!
1. Fashion Fair Lipstick in Orange Ole, $18
2. Shea Moisture Shea Butter Luscious Lipstick in Coral, $9.99
3. MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Ambrosial, $21
4. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Lip Color in Le Orange, $37
5. Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl Lipstick in Abstract Orange, $8.79
6. NARS Matte Lipstick in Heat Wave, $28
Each summer, I always have a friend or two who decides to move. And with every move comes a housewarming party. If you're like me, it's only natural to bring a present. Tired of my usual gifts which were a bottle of wine or candle, I decided to head to Pinterest for some new gift inspiration. There, I found this super easy DIY crystal planter from Jojotastic. So simple, yet beautiful, these crystal planters are sure to make the perfect summer housewarming gift!
Here's what you need:
- Large-sized geode
- Mini crystal
- Mid-sized air plant
- Small succulent that will fit comfortably in the concave area of your crystal
- Floral adhesive
1. Dab a small amount of floral adhesive to the bottom of your air plant and press gently into place on the geode. Hold for 10-20 seconds until it begins to dry.
2. Add a small amount of soil to the concave area of your geode and carefully plant your succulent. Add extra soil as needed.
3. Finish by adding another small crystal
If you're a lover of vintage jewelry or quirky baubles, we're got the brand for you; A. Carnavale by Abby Carnavale. Growing up surrounded by artistry an ingenuity, Abby developed a curiosity for how things were made. After graduating form the University of Vermont where she studied Film, Carnevale applied the spirit of Old Hollywood glamour, Technicolor, and stylized mise en scene to her love long time hobby of making jewelry.
Carnevale furthered her education studying design at Studio 174 and Instituto de Allende and apprenticed under notable designer’s Alyssa Norton and Joomi Lim. In 2014, inspired by Audrey Hepburn's portrayal of a quirky ingénue in the classic film Funny Face, she debuted her collection Don't Buy Me Flowers.
The line has quickly garnered domestic and international recognition, having appeared in likes of; Refinery 29, Bullett, Tidal Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, Elle Mexico, Glamour Italia, and the cover of Playboy.
Priced at $110-$407, A. Carnevale pieces are available for purchase online and at select boutiques in North America as well as Europe. But in the meantime, let's get to know more about this NYC-based jewelry designer- from her secret talents to her guilty pleasures, get to know more about Abby now!
My style in 3 words...Eclectic, vintage and colorful.
My nicknames are...Abs and Abbadoo
My last purchase was…A bright blue worker’s jumpsuit
My top 3 make-up bag essentials are…Mac Ruby Woo Lipstick, mascara, Smith's Rosebud Salve
I smell like…Agua de Colonia Concentrada Alvarez Gomez
I keep in shape by…Biking everywhere
My de-stress trick is…Watching Seinfeld or cooking.
My secret talent is…Whistling to hail a cab
My first celebrity crush was…Joey McIntyre
The music artist who always gets me dancing is…Chaka Khan
My fashion icon is…Solange
My guilty pleasure is…Potato chips
Right now, I’m obsessed with…Getting to the beach
My favorite website is…Smitten Kitchen
My favorite TV show is…Seinfeld
When I have some free time, I…Go to the gym
For breakfast, I always have…A smoothie
My favorite restaurant is…NIX NY
My ultimate travel destination is…New Zealand
The best advice I’ve ever received is…It’s a marathon not a sprint
A fan of the color pink my whole life, I've been ahead of the curve on this whole Millennial Pink trend. If you're not familiar with the term, it's not a new hue. If fact, versions of the color have been around since 2012 and span anywhere between rose quartz, candy pink, beige and even peach. As Véronique Hyland of The Cut put it, "It's ironic pink without the sugary prettiness."
And, since I love pink and have been rocking athleisure lately, I thought it'd be fun to share my top athleisure must-haves...in millennial pink, of course! From sneakers, to sunglasses and socks, I can't get enough of these happy hues. Bring on the millennial pink!
1. H&M Pink Denim Jacket, $35.99
2. Deux Lux x Shobop Backpack, $50.00
3. Topshop Scoop Neck T-Shirt, $18.00
4. Quay Eclipse Sunglasses, $55.00
5. New Balance 410 Sneaker, $65.00
6. French Connection Enamel Dagger Front/Back Earrings, $16.80
7. Stance Ankle Cuff Socks, $9.95
Whoever said less is more is completely right. Especially when it comes to nail art. A little bit of design can go a long way.
As a long time fan of rocking "ballet slipper" and nude-colored nail polish during summer, I thought it was time to start venturing out a bit and experiment with minimalist nail designs. From colorful stripes to polka dots and glittery accents, check out some of my favorite ways to elevate an otherwise demure manicure. This summer, try one or try them all!
1. Stripes- Add a strip of color to all your nails or to a select few. Mix and match contrasting colors or double up on the stripes for a more modern look.
2. Tribal Print- Rock a lightly etched ethnic print on all your nails for a unique design. I prefer white polish but a colored one would do as well!
3. Stickers- A bit of sparkle goes a long way, especially in the form of a gem-like nail sticker. I love the simplicity of the star but other fun shapes include hearts and lightning bolts.
4. Polka Dots- A simple dot on each nail gives off a contemporary vibe. Although I've only seen black dots used in this manicure, a bright color like turquoise or yellow would be fun!
5. Eyes- The evil eye design has been quite popular these past few years so incorporating the design onto nails only seemed right. Sure, the eyes look intriguing but since I'm all about the lip at Kiss & Wear, I prefer to sport pairs of lips over eyes.
6. Glitter- Since I love anything that sparkles, adding sparkles to anywhere on the nail works for me. Whether you like to cover your entire nail with glitter or just a small portion, that's fine with me. As long as there's sparkle.
7. Half Moons- If you prefer to rock a little more nail color, try this clean look by painting half moons in the color you desire. Remember, pastels AND neons are the color families to wear during summer.
8. Flowers- A floral design is the epitome of a girly summer manicure. I love to get daisies due to their simplicity in color but I've also been known to rock some hot pink flowers with rhinestone as their centers.
Lately I've really been into poke cakes. And if you don't know what a poke cake is, it's basically a cake that you poke holes in after baking. The holes are then filled with a liquid or some type of filling like condensed milk, pureed fruit, chocolate cream, or pudding to infuse extra flavor into every bite. Poke cakes also tend to be a go-to of mine for parties since they are not only simple to make and delicious but super pretty when cut into.
This weekend, start your 4th of July festivities with this fun 4th of July inspired Strawberry & Blueberry Poke Cake recipe I stumbled upon from Dashing Dish. So fresh and tasty, your friends and family will be begging you to make this poke cake every 4th of July.
*Note: The estimated time to make this recipe is 4hrs or overnight
For the cake:
- 1 box of white cake mix
- 5 egg whites (or 2 whole eggs)
- 1/3 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
- 1cup water
For the strawberry jello:
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs unflavored gelatin
For the blueberry jello:
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbs sugar
- 2 tbs unflavored gelatin
For the whipped frosting:
- 1 cup cold milk
- 1 small package of instant white chocolate pudding
- 2 (8oz) containers of Cool Whip
Optional: Additional blueberries and strawberries for decorating
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch round cake pans with non-stick spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, egg whites, yogurt, and water. Beat until cake mix is smooth. Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool to room temperature, but leave in cake pans.
3. In a small saucepan, combine strawberries, water, and sweetener, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 3-5 minutes or until berries are soft enough to mash. Place strawberries in a strainer, and mash over a bowl, to remove strawberry pulp from strawberry sauce. Dissolve gelatin in strawberry syrup, and stir, (be sure to do this while it is still hot so the gelatin dissolves). Let cool to room temperature. Repeat with blueberry sauce.
4. Use a skewer to poke holes in the top of each cake layer, (cakes should still be in pans, and completely cooled at this point).
5. Pour cooled strawberry syrup over one cake layer, and the blueberry syrup over the next. Cover cake pans, and place cakes in fridge until gelatin is set, about 2 hours.
6. To make the frosting, whisk together the milk and pudding mix until smooth. Fold in cool whip, until smooth. Chill frosting in the fridge until the cake is completely cooled, and ready to be frosted.
Remove cake from cake pan by running a knife around the edge of the pans. (Run outside of pan under warm water if cake is difficult to remove. This will loosen the gelatin).
Remove the strawberry cake, and place on a cake stand, (or serving plate of choice). Spread 1 cup of the whipped topping over the cake. Top with the blueberry cake. Frost the cake with the remaining whipped cream.
Decorate with additional blueberries and strawberries if desired.
Chill for at least one hour before serving. Enjoy!
Trade in your mega hoops and chokers for this summer's hottest new accessory; statement earrings. There's no better way to upgrade an outfit than by rocking a fun pair of earrings guaranteed to get you noticed. From colorful tassels to gold geographic designs, these dangling earrings will take you from drab to fab all summer long. Effortlessly cool and unexpected, feel glamorous with our top 8 picks of earrings that will definitely make top your go-to list of summer accessories.
1. Beehive Woven Dangles, $38.00
2. Vintage Squash Blossom Earrings, $5.99
3. Kenneth Jay Lane Floral Drop Earrings, $24.99
4. Pavé Fern Statement Earrings, $11.99
5. Baublebar Tratar Drop Earrings, $32.00
6. Madewell Geo Statement Drop Earrings, $34.00
7. Tempe Bead Statement Earrings, $14.00
8. John Wind Maximal Art Druzy Crystal Earrings, $48.00
Now that summer has officially started, treat last year’s summer wardrobe to a mini makeover by freshening it up with some new accessories. To achieve an updated summer look, sport something nautical, stripe, or floral printed. Add a pop of color, an eye-catching cuff or statement pair of earrings to accentuate your look even further. Either way, feel free to mix and match these fun summer accessories- especially since they’re all under $60.
1. Tommy Hilfiger Striped Modal Scarf, $50.00
2. Black Floral Sunglasses, $16.99
3. Ale by Alessandra Love Clutch, $33.00
4. Trina Turk Sphere Geo Cuff, $48.97
5. Yochi Large Door Knocker Earrings, $48.00
6. Kiss & Wear Brooklyn Pendant, $68.00
7. Toggle Rope Belt, $42.00
Known for her creative instinct, precise attention to detail, and love of color, it’s no surprise that this celebrity manicurist and all around nail expert, Michelle Saunders is a force to be reckoned with.
A native of San Francisco, Michelle began working as a manicurist at various Chanel boutiques in the city. It was there that she developed her gentle and thorough approach to manicuring. After a few years of refining her technique, Saunders finally decided that it was time to open her very own appointment-only nail salon. However, after a decade of success in San Francisco, Michelle relocated to Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, Saunders became an agency-represented manicurist, working with many entertainment and fashion industry clients. Today, many A-list celebrities like Kate Beckinsale, Taylor Schilling, Pink, and Mandy Moore seek after her. She’s also worked with high-end publications such as W Magazine, Elle, and Vogue and shoots frequently with world-renowned photographers like Inez & Vinoodh, Mert & Marcus, as well as Peter Lindbergh. As a nail expert, Michelle constantly contributes manicure and nail care advice to readers of InStyle, Allure and Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few. When she’s not manicuring a celebrity or model for a shoot, Saunders plays key manicurist during New York Fashion Week for shows like Prenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, DVF, and Carolina Herrera.
One distinctive feature of Michelle’s nail work is its durability. She achieves this through precise preparation of the nail bed and the use of high quality products. A bicoastal artist, Michelle continues to explore and experiment to create visually rich, fashion-forward looks. Whether it’s a classic nude nail or some intricate design, Michelle can do it all!
Read on to find out how this super talented manicurist starts her morning and more now!
My style in 3 words...Eclectic mix of trend and classic
My nicknames are...I have none
My drugstore must-have is…Maybelline Dream Cushion Fresh Face Foundation
My last purchase was…Acetone
My top 3 make-up bag essentials are…Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Perfecting Gloss by Hydropeptide
My beauty secret is…Getting a full 8 hours of sleep a night
I smell like…Gardenia and Orange Blossom by Natalie
I keep in shape by…Pilates
My de-stress trick is…Watch TV
My secret talent is…Cooking
My first celebrity crush was…Rick Schroder
The music artist who always gets me dancing is…Michael Jackson
My fashion icon is…Diane Kruger
My guilty pleasure is…Chocolate
Right now, I’m obsessed with…Vitamin C cream
My favorite website is…Honestly WTF
My favorite TV show is…Face Off
When I have some free time, I…Travel
For breakfast, I always have…Eggs and a green drink
My favorite restaurant is…Republique in Los Angeles
My ultimate travel destination is…Kona, Hawaii
In my career, I am most proud of…Opening my nail salon
The best advice I’ve ever received is…You are never as good as someone says you are and you are never as bad as someone says you are.
As a manicurist, I’ve learned…Comparison is the thief of joy.
My goal in life is…See where my life moves forward as a manicurist.