October 8, 2015

Breakfast at Hillary's | Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Muffins

One of my favourite recipes is for French Toast Muffins. 

They are topped with cinnamon and sugar right when they are taken from the oven. They're a heavenly treat! Seeing as it's October, and because of the fact I purchased 6 cans of Pumpkin last week, I decided to incorporate pumpkin in my muffin recipe for a nice, festive treat. 

They turned out fantastically well! They disappeared within 2 days of baking them.

Since I am gluten-free, I substitute flour for rice flour! Check out the recipe below and let me know if you make them! 

for the muffins

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée
  • for the topping
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger). Mix and set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, add the butter (room temperature), brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on high for 2 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing until just incorporated.

Line your pan with baking cups, and fill about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes if you are using a cupcake pan, or 30 minutes for standard muffin size. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes.
For the topping, mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon in one bowl. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a second bowl. Brush the top of each muffin with butter, then dip it in the sugar mix.

Makes 12 standard sized muffins or 18 cupcake size muffins.

August 22, 2015

Donut Worry, Be Happy

A popular staple on Instagram, blogs and YouTube this summer has been fun and adventurous pool floaties. I received this donut float and laughed, full of excitement. 

What girl doesn't want to lounge in their pool on a donut float? Sounds like a perfect Summer day to me! 

The first time using the donut float by Big Mouth Inc., I wore my beautiful Wildfox Fruit Punch one piece bathing suit, which I scored last year for $2 during the Summer clearance event at Winners. I threw on some Quay Australia Kitti Sunnies in pink and hopped in my parents salt water pool on top of a floating Homer Simpson donut. 

I think next Summer I will have to upgrade and get the pizza floatie, or the swan... They bring so much life into the pool! 

Book Club : The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

I first stumbled upon this novel at my local Costco. It's like a treasure hunt whenever I go there, I bee line right to the book/magazine section. The cover of this book caught my eye; the delicate coconut cake. Upon reading the back, I knew it was a book I would throughly enjoy. Enjoy I did. 

I have been reading the novel for 30 minutes every night before bed since I purchased it. Reading before sleep has been a long time tradition of mine and I love that I am not staring at a TV, computer screen or iPhone screen before I close my eyes and drift off to dreamland. 

This book starts of quickly, and you are immediately hooked on what will happen to "Lou" next. 

First her fiancee cheats on her. 
Then she gets a miserable restaurant review that ruins her restaurant. 
She meets the love of her life. 

Everything that happens ties together in the final two chapters. I was delighted to see that at the back of the book they included the famous coconut cake recipe, which I can't wait to try by the way. 

I don't want to give too much of the book away. I would HIGHLY suggest you pick it up. It was a very addictive book that will have you both laugh and cry while reading it. 

July 19, 2015

Get Tropical | Palm Print Style

Summer is the season where bright patterns and eye catching prints are a regular attraction. My Summer wardrobe is anything but boring. I love to rock bright patterns with cool and slightly obnoxious footwear and accessories. Have fun with style! 

I was recently in H&M and came across the most darling Palm Print romper that I immediately purchased. It is from their Conscious Collection and is quite extraordinary. It reminded me of a swimsuit from Swimsuits For All that Ashley Graham posted a photo of herself wearing on Instagram.

Upon running in my front door I immediately stripped and put on my new palm print romper. It was love at first zip. I enjoyed the pattern so much that I decided to check online for some more style inspiration and unique palm print pieces to add to my Summer collection.

I'm not the only fashionista that has fallen in love with the tropics - palm prints are trending right now. 

Get tropical with me with some inspiration below!

Get Tropical

July 9, 2015

Cherry Pie

I adore this 50's vibe bathing suit. It's extremely flattering and is a throwback to Marilyn Monroe's signature style. The gingham print was a MUST and I purchased this suit from ModCloth. It's by a bathing suit designer by the name of Esther Williams. It was suggested to size up TWO SIZES. Boy, I'm glad I did! I think that my large busted sisters would have to size up three sizes to make this suit fit comfortably. I'm usually a size 6, 36B bust and purchased the size 10 for that stellar fit. 

I went to the local beach with my two brothers and sister for a beach day, sand in between our toes and ice cream in our bellies. It was a fantastic day! 

Outfit details: 
Bathing suit : Modcloth/Esther Williams
Hat : Dollar Store
Sunglasses : Quay Australia Kitti Sunnies in Red
Striped Shirt : Joe Fresh (tie the bottom hem in a knot for beach to street!)

July 2, 2015

Bohemian Goddess

Summer to me is an automatic nod to bohemian style. 

I went to American Eagle Outfitters in my local mall, saw this olive green maxi and crochet bralette and had to purchase them. I mean, it would practically be a crime not to! Right?!

The necklace I wore with the outfit is a handmade outfit that I received as a gift from a dear friend on my 18th birthday many moons ago. It complimented my outfit perfectly. 

I wore my tried and true Aldo gold gladiator sandals (which I also have in black!) to finish the bohemian goddess look. 

That's the flower I picked for all of you lovely readers!

Hillary Gail Stewart

June 4, 2015

Book Club | Lunch In Paris. A Love Story, With Recipes

I thought that a fun way to connect with you guys would be to have a sort of "Book Club"/"Book Review" after I have read a book I really enjoy (or didn't). Since it's those "lounge on the beach and read a book" months I figured that we could all use some help in choosing that perfect beachy book to read while catching some rays. 

Lately, I have been fantasizing a lot more about Paris, France. Reading all sorts of literature on the city and those little hidden gems and secrets I MUST know before I go there for a visit. 

My first book on my list was found by fluke at the local library. I was actually looking for a book on Anastasia, and low and behold found this baby looking right at me a shelf above. 

I was immediately transfixed with this book. It's a true story, and is that perfect treat for anyone who dreams of that "what if" of packing up and moving to the city of lights (and love). 

The book starts with telling how Elizabeth meets her boyfriend, Gwendal and their romance in Paris. You can tell right from the get go that Elizabeth loves food, and is quite the foodie. Every chapter ends with a few recipes for the food she mentioned during the chapter itself. A couple of them I even copied down to try out at home! 

I enjoyed how you can tell the evolution and growth of Elizabeth as the years pass in Paris, and as her relationship blossoms with Gwendal. She is, after all, an American Girl in Paris. The book even references Sex and the City, as the only city true New Yorker's dream of going to is Paris. 

In all honesty, I loved the book. However, I didn't enjoy the last chapter. I found that it was a quick end, too quick for my liking. I understand it is a true story but I wasn't quite ready to not hear anymore of Elizabeth's Parisian mistakes! 

I definitely would suggest this book to any fun loving gal who dreams of travel, and most of dreams of Paris. It's reminiscent of Eat, Pray, Love! If you enjoyed that book in the slightest than you will enjoy Lunch in Paris! 

Author : Elizabeth Bard

June 2, 2015

Spice Up Your Life | My Metamorphosis

May was an interesting month for me. Filled with dedication to my personal well-being (working on my fitness/health), friendships renewed and a lot of bright and colourful additions to my life. Do you ever feel like you are not staying true to yourself? Remember if you are living vicariously through someone else's life, once it's your turn to get that golden ticket it's all going to be a lie and not feel so good deep down inside. I love my life. It's wild, colourful and full of life and love. It look me a while to embrace the fact that I am not your average "blogger" or "fashionista". But here I am! Ready to spice up your life! I am working on Hillary in Wonderland (check out my instagram!) and it makes me delightfully happy, and in turn I hope it makes YOU smile!

CFDA Awards 2015 | Olsen Twins

It's not The Brunette Shake without a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen update post! 

They took home another big win at the CFDA Awards last night! Womenwear Designer(s) of the Year for The Row! They looked stunning on the red carpet as well. Seeing the Olsens these past few years have become equal to sightings of unicorns. You rarely see them! They both looked stunningly gorgeous last night, and I really enjoy that they both wore flats. Totally dominated the red carpet with their head to toe black, elegant look. 

SnapChat has a CFDA story right now. Make sure to check it out! You get to see the twins meeting Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, and I dare say that Mary-Kate seemed super excited about the meeting! 


May 20, 2015

Bad Blood | Strong, Sexy, Powerful

Taylor Swift's new music video for "Bad Blood" is amazing. I mean, total squad goals, am I right?!

Taylor and all her friends have a super sexy, powerful, womanly vibe and I'm lovin' it! Just because we're women doesn't mean we can't KICK ASS! 

It makes me totally want to rock my new Oh La La bandage lingerie for a powerful photoshoot.

May 11, 2015

Shopaholic Stays Local | Vintage Hot Spots

I recently stumbled upon a magnificent vintage shop that is local to wear I live. It's called "SDV Vintage" and "OK My Dear Vintage". Two vintage shops in one! They have the most lovely vintage finds, and the vibe of the shop is so fantastic. It's one of my top favourite places to shop vintage. 

I first walked into the shop and had to do a double take at a 1950's vintage petticoat in rainbow colours, YES RAINBOW COLOURS! If you don't follow my new instagram Hillary in Wonderland, you should. It's where I can share my colour fascination and creative self! 

Anyways, back to the story. I left the shop with the petticoat, a 1960's red and white checkered tote in a brown paper bag tied with a vintage scarf and lovely little card from the shop owner. The ladies that were working were absolutely ADORABLE. 

I immediately called my boyfriend and told him the news, that I had found my new favourite spot.

 SDV Vintage and OK My Dear Vintage both have Instagram accounts which I love to look at on a daily basis. They post incredible content! Vintage styled outfits, body positivity and so much more. The very next day, I noticed a fantastic vintage 1970's dress posted on instagram and rushed to the store to pick it up. Sadly, it was far too small for me, but Stephanie (SDV Vintage owner) gave me lots of other options and I walked out with the most fabulous vintage pink leather skirt a girl could possibly dream of! 

I've actually been dreaming of another dress from SDV Vintage and I positively cannot wait to scurry back to pick it up off the sale rack. It was pink and polka dotty and reminded me of a vintage Barbie (a la Moschino). Hopefully it's still there tomorrow when I swing by! 

If you guys live in New Brunswick, and in the Moncton area I HIGHLY suggest you make a stop at SDV Vintage and Ok My Dear Vintage. In the meantime, check out their instagram accounts and get dreaming of vintage. 

Address: 327 Mountain Road, Moncton NB

By: Hillary Gail Stewart
Ph: O. Stewart