Pumpkin Spice Latte, Fresh, Organic & Made From Scratch

Want to spice up your fall? Ditch the hot chocolate and keep warm with the delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte. Created by Hudson Tea House & Co.’s Executive Chef, Becky Geisel!

A tasty, organic & healthy fall treat is just what we’ve been waiting for. Made with a  mixture of fresh and homemade ingredients, topped off with a sweet dollop of whipped cream and nutmeg, it’s safe to say your favorite fall indulgence is finally here!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Makes 2 cups

2 cups of 2% milk or homemade Almond Milk*
3T of fresh Pumpkin Puree*
2T maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
½ vanilla bean
 1 1” ginger knob cut in half
2 whole cloves
¼ tsp of fresh nutmeg
2 shots of espresso (or strong coffee)
Add milk (your choice 2% or almond), homemade pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, ginger, ½ vanilla bean, cloves + nutmeg to sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer.  DO NOT BOIL.  Allow the milk and other ingredients to simmer for 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend together.  
Remove from heat and strain into another sauce pan. Discard solids.  Bring milk back up to a simmer.  Again do not boil or the milk will burn.  Now with a balloon whisk, froth the milk on the stove. It usually takes me about 1-2 minutes of whisking to triple the volume of milk.  It should triple in volume.  Remove from heat.
Make your espresso shot.  
Add your espresso to your favorite mug.  Top with your frothed spiced pumpkin deliciousness. Spoon the froth carefully into your mug and then top with a pinch of fresh nutmeg. Or if you would like to indulge add a dollop of whip cream. Makes 2 cups, Enjoy!

4 Ways to Fall in Love with Fall

Autumn activities for you and your pup

The leaves may be changing, but that doesn’t mean the end of outdoor fun. Fall is a wonderful time for you and your dog to get out of the house and enjoy the season.

Add these activities to your autumn schedule to make the most of cozy sweater weather with your furry friend.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Visit a Pumpkin Patch – Spend a fall afternoon at a pumpkin patch searching for the perfect pumpkin to decorate your home for the season or carve up for Halloween. For some extra “likes” from your social following, snap an adorable fall photo with your pup and your pumpkin. If you don’t have a pumpkin patch nearby, try visiting a local apple orchard then bake your picks into a fresh apple pie.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Browse Your Local Farmer’s Market – Spend a leisurely weekend strolling your local farmer’s market or fall harvest festival. You can walk your dog as you spy and try delicious seasonal produce, like apples, squash, beets and cranberries. Some stands may offer treats for your dog, or you can bring your own pocketful of fall-friendly pumpkin spice dog treats (like GREENIES™ Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Flavor Dental Treats) to keep your furry friend happy.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Take Longer Walks – Just because the weather is cooler doesn’t mean you and your dog have to spend your days cooped up in the house. In fact, after months of hot weather, you and your pup might even be able to take longer walks, thanks to the comfortable, cooler climate. It’s also an opportunity to bundle up in your favorite fall layers.

  1. Pumpkin Spice Everything – Whether you’re sipping on a latte or enjoying some sweets, pumpkin spice is the quintessential fall flavor. Now while you’re baking your favorite fall-spiced treats, you can even share in the popular craze with your dog with GREENIES™ Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Flavor Dental Treats. This seasonal treat provides an enjoyable taste while cleaning teeth and gums, freshening your pup’s breath and leaving his smile sparkling.

For more information on sharing in the pumpkin spice craze with your pet, visit Greenies.com. (Family Features)


How to Update Your Wardrobe Without Overhauling Your Entire Closet

Fun floral prints, pops of color and luxury materials are all making appearances in footwear, accessories and ready-to-wear items this fall. Fashion lovers will have the freedom to update their wardrobe by selecting a few key pieces — without feeling the need to overhaul their entire closets.

Nichole Duck, buyer for shoe retailer Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, is sharing her list of top essentials to update outfits, ensuring they are on-trend and ready for the transition to cooler weather.

Ultra-Feminine Blouses: Women’s blouses containing classic feminine touches are fresh, fun and flirty this season, with updated features such as oversized ruffles, bell sleeves and pretty one-shouldered styles.

Try an off-the-shoulder top with a favorite pair of frayed vintage jeans and neutral over-the-knee boots. Sky-high boots are on-trend in a big way.

Navy as a Neutral: While shades of black and tan are still a much-needed staple in every woman’s closet for the fall season, other popular colors are boldly challenging the traditional neutral color palette.

Brown and navy have always been a popular color combination. To add some warmth on cool autumn days, consider a pair of camel colored boots with a slim profile to accentuate a navy pencil skirt or shirt dress.

Versatile Prints and Embellishments: A fresh flower arrangement may not first come to mind when we think of the leaves changing colors. However, this season’s apparel offerings are virtually overflowing with pretty floral patterns and designs that are so lovely and unexpected, they may inspire us all to host fabulous autumn garden parties.

Other embellishments, such as lace, embroidery and iridescent accents that sparkle and shine, even during daytime, will be evident in finishing details to enhance any outfit for a variety of occasions. Try a pair of perforated cut out booties with a stacked heel to complete the look.

Velvet Crush: Designs cut from this rich fabric will be seen in a variety of gorgeous jewel tones. The decadent material can be infused with other popular fall items, like pleated gold skirts, sheer materials and such footwear as a pair of effortlessly chic mules with a hint of sparkle.

Booties’ Big Moment: While more casual-inspired footwear is definitely still on trend, Duck says it’s time to make room in the closet for more booties, especially as they feature an endless variety in features. Think lace-up detail or perforated patterns — heel heights and toe shape.

For more ideas on how to venture into the fall season in style, visit offbroadwayshoes.com. They have styles to accommodate a range of fashionistas — from top designers and name brands.

No matter which trends fit your personal style, you can make fall fashion simple by updating your entire wardrobe with just a few new pieces for the season. (StatePoint)

3 Ways to Upgrade Fall Entertaining

The transition from summer to fall – from lounging poolside to cozying up fireside – offers opportunities for a different take on entertaining your guests in unexpected ways. Whether it’s a simple dinner with a few friends or a big bash for a crowd, there are simple touches of glamour and charm that can take your hosting skills to a new level.

To help guide your vision for entertaining this autumn, top sommelier Chantelle Pabros and Spring Street Social Society’s hosting guru Amy Virginia Buchanan shared their favorite tips.

Soak in the Season

The bold colors of changing leaves and vivid sunsets mean fall is arriving. Let this backdrop serve as the perfect setting for a toast the next time you host friends. Before guests arrive, set up soft and colorful cotton-weave throw blankets so everyone can keep warm as they enjoy Mother Nature from the comfort of the backyard.

Pabros and Buchanan suggest incorporating shades of the season, including deep maroons, oranges and peaches, into a spread of finger foods. Visit your favorite local bakeshop and pick up items for a sweet station such as macarons and scones with filling like berries, butter, clotted cream and artisanal jams. As the sun sets, match the rose-colored sunset with the deep hue of Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rosé.

Pairing Perfection

A dinner party is the ultimate opportunity to show off your hosting skills as well as your taste, with wine pairings to complement each course. Take your guests on a culinary journey featuring unexpected dishes that celebrate the season.

Buchanan suggests impressing your table with a delightfully classic main course such as Pollock en Papillote paired with Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus, which is made exclusively with grapes sourced from Grand Cru vineyards.

Lights, Cameras, Cheers

Pabros and Buchanan agree that a movie night is the perfect way to share laughs and memories without much effort or time. After a delicious meal, invite your friends to watch a classic movie. For this part of the evening, popcorn is an obvious snack of choice. Instead of one big bowl, try taping together newspaper cones or using take-out boxes to create individual servings. You can also put together a salt bar for toppings such as matcha salt, truffle salt and grated cheeses. To sweeten things up, Pabros suggests picking up a jar of salted caramel and drizzling over the popcorn.

“Try pairing it with Champagne Taittinger Brut La Française,” Pabros said. “The peachy, nutty, butterscotch notes of the Champagne pair well with the caramel-coated popcorn.”

Find more entertaining inspiration at Facebook.com/taittingerUSA.

Pollock en Papillote

Servings: 6

  • Parchment paper
  • Pollock
  • butter
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1          lemon, juiced
  • 1          lemon, sliced
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • sage
  • 4-8       cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1          handful shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • dash of white wine
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Fold piece of parchment paper in half and cut out heart shape about the size of the fish with four-inch border around edges. Sit fish center of half heart, closest to crease.
  3. Butter center of fish.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper over fish.
  5. Sprinkle lemon juice over fish. Place lemon slices on top center of fish.
  6. Place springs of rosemary, thyme and sage along edges of fish.
  7. Place tomatoes and mushrooms on top of and alongside fish.
  8. Drizzle olive oil over fish.
  9. Starting at top of half heart, seal parchment by folding edges over themselves. When there are about 2 inches left before parchment pouch is sealed, pour wine in opening. Once filled, fold and twist pointed end to close pouch.
  10. Bake pouch on baking sheet12 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Pair with Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus. (Family Features)

Kobrand Importers

This Fall, Make Home Upgrades With Staying Power

Fall can be the perfect time for homeowners to complete projects that busy summer schedules didn’t allow. It’s also a great time to look at ways to add lasting value to your property. This season, upgrade cheap fixes, freshen dated looks and incorporate lasting improvements in your home. Changes that can bring impact and also increase the resale potential of your home include:

Lose the linoleum

Linoleum has been popular in many homes since the 1950s, but these days it’s not the only flooring option for durability and waterproofing in areas like the kitchen and bath. Wood-look tile has become hugely popular, and the style isn’t going anywhere. Retailers like Lumber Liquidators carry an array of wood-look porcelain tile, vinyl and engineered flooring products that are versatile, water- and stain-resistant and fit with any decor.

Upgrade laminate countertops

Particleboard and laminate are affordable options, but not ones that will create impact in the kitchen. These days the options are vast for elevating countertops with butcher block, quartz, marble, concrete and more. Create a cohesive look with countertops matched to the cabinets. Updating hardware can also be an economical way to freshen the space and tie the look together.

Scrape popcorn ceilings

Common in many homes because they’re easy to apply, popcorn ceilings are often one of the first things a new homebuyer wants to change. If you’re looking to sell, scraping the popcorn in favor of a smooth look may win over prospective buyers. Always test popcorn ceilings for asbestos before you start.

Rethink wallpaper

Wallpaper had its day, but many new homeowners want it gone — and that’s not always an easy update. Save the headache now and later and opt for neutral paint styles while bringing interest and color with your décor. Whites and neutral paints for walls and trim brighten a space and make it appear bigger.

No more wall-to-wall carpeting

Many homeowners can’t wait to get rid of old, dirty and dated carpets in favor of the quality, reliability and beauty of hardwood and wood-look floors. Now there are a variety of hardwoods, bamboo and wood-look flooring styles to choose from, and it’s possible to achieve the look of hardwood at an accessible price point.

The best part of making improvements like these now is that homeowners can enjoy them all winter long, and far beyond. And you’ll increase the odds the next generation will love your home, too. (BPT)

Inspirational Tips for Autumn Outdoor Entertaining

The days are shorter, the temperatures are cooler and kids are back in school. You’ve said goodbye to summer socials, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put away your apron and stow the patio furniture. Autumn is one of the best times of the year for outdoor entertaining, and with a few smart tips you’ll fall in love with hosting fall gatherings.

Extend the fun feeling of summer entertaining into the autumn months by taking a few simple steps to create a memorable experience.

Switch up dishes: The cool dishes of summer should be swapped with savory recipes that feature hearty ingredients. A roast or slow-cooker meal is the perfect option. Visit the farmers market and feature local fresh harvest foods. In addition to standard drinks like water and soda, offer a signature warm beverage, such as spicy hot apple cider.

Enjoy the night: Autumn evenings are spectacular, with cool temperatures and star-studded skies. Serve dinner al fresco and then ask guests to stay to gather around the bonfire to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Add an element of entertainment and guests will enjoy themselves all night.

Make movie magic: To really wow guests, host an outdoor movie experience day or night. The LG ProBeam smart TV laser projector has an HD picture of up to 120 inches with impressive visibility, sharp contrast and rich blacks, even when there is abundant ambient light. Plus, with the award-winning webOS Smart TV platform, you can stream your favorite services just like on a smart TV, creating a seamless viewing (and hosting) experience.

Set up superior sound: Whether you’re setting the mood with some music or enhancing the movie-viewing experience, a high-quality speaker makes entertaining easy. The LG LOUDR FH6 is a 600W Bluetooth speaker system that can fill your room (or backyard) with booming audio. Plus, with the Karaoke Creator feature, you can suppress the vocal frequencies of any song to turn it into a karaoke track, which is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

Mind the weather: Fall weather can change drastically throughout a day. Encourage guests to dress in layers so that attire for daylight fun can transition into warmer wear for evening hours. What’s more, keep a couple extra jackets on hand just in case people forget and need a light coat.

Create a cozy atmosphere: Whether you’re watching a movie, star gazing or sitting around the bonfire, help guests stay warm by setting out a variety of throw blankets and outdoor pillows. Nothing encourages guests to cozy up and stay longer than a big blanket, a fun flick and a mug of something warm.

Light the night: Cloudy days or early evening hours don’t have to ruin your good time. Add a soft glow and an element of safety by adding string lights to railings and pathways. For kids attending the party, bracelet and necklace glow lights are always a big hit. For bonfire and movie spaces, add a basket of flashlights guests can use as needed.

Perfect parting gifts: If you decide to offer favors when guests depart, embrace the fall feeling and consider goodies they can savor later while reminiscing about your party. Mini apple or pumpkin pies are cute and creative. Caramel apples are a tasty autumn delight. A container featuring a variety of tea will keep them warm all season long.

Once you try autumn entertaining it might become your favorite time of year to host friends and family. With these tips, everyone is guaranteed to have a splendid time. (BPT)

Celebrating the Art of Fashion

Written by Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine

Thursday, September 8 was a night of fashion Austin will not soon forget.

To kick off Austin’s celebration of fashion, Neiman Marcus (Domain) and Lexus (Austin & Lakeway) celebrated the “Art of Fashion” featuring Austin Way Magazine’s release of their Fall Fashion issue. Each guest was greeted with the vibrant energy of music as trays of drinks were flowing with delightful cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres.

The audience received warm words of welcome from Vice President/General Manager of Neiman Marcus Chris Hendel. Editor-in-Chief of Austin Way Magazine Kathy Blackwell delivered a heartfelt presentation honoring the “Drivers of Style” (A.J. Bingham, Ane Urquiola Lowe, Blake Absher, Claire Zinnecker, Jordan Steele, Lauren Petrowski, and Noel Bridges) positive role models making an impact in our community; doing it all with style. Saving the best for last, the pièce de résistance was the fashion…oh my…the FASHION! Decadent luxury designer ensembles for both men and women covered the the runway; a fall feast for the eyes.
(Photos courtesy of Waytao Shing — www.waytaoshing.com)

Updating Your Wardrobe for Fall

Photo: Courtesy of Image.net–Getty Images by Photographer: Fernanda Calfat

[By: InFluential Magazine Fashion Editor-Michelle Washington]

As summer comes to an end, say goodbye to basking in the sun on lazy beach days and cute summer sandals; it’s time for autumn and cooler temperatures! While transitioning to the fall is a welcome change for some “Fashionistas” and “Fashionistos”, others prefer to hang on to their lightweight summer apparel. The fall is an opportune time to clean out your closet and to make way for new styles. However, keep in mind that some pieces in your summer wardrobe work wonderfully as autumn garments. Whatever your season preference, use these tips to make the switch to a stylish fall wardrobe easy:

Look through all of your fall clothes. Pick out the ones that you don’t like, don’t fit in, or do not wear anymore. You can donate all of those clothes if they’re in good quality. If not, throw them away.

*Take a good look at your existing wardrobe and don’t immediately reach for dark clothing at the first sign of fall weather. Recycle your pastels and your other summer tops underneath a jacket (tailored or denim). Incorporate great accessories such as a scarf.

*Shop your own closet. The best way to refresh your fall wardrobe is to look through what you already have. This is a good time to explore your closet and uncover things you haven’t thought about in a while; put together some fresh looks with items you purchased more recently.

*Take inventory and organize. Go through your entire closet top-to-bottom to make sure you don’t unnecessarily spend money on items you already have. Take time to organize your wardrobe into the basics: dress pants, jeans, skirts, jackets, blouses and dresses.

*Take advantage of end of season preparation from your favorite designers and name brand labels; making room for the next season’s goods. July is prime time for summer sales to start, running straight through August in clearance mode. Fall sales will start in September through October. Winter sales will start directly after Thanksgiving. Sales will continue through the Holiday season and clearance starts the day after Christmas through January.

*Another easy way to update your wardrobe is to use trendy accessories. Ladies: current trend jewelry, hats, shades, scarves and shoes. Men: watches, “man-bags”, shades, cold-weather scarves, ties, handkerchiefs…etc.

A woman can mix and match items to create outfits for any occasion, even during transition seasons:
–1 little black dress
–1 white blouse
–1 neutral cardigan
–1 knee-length skirt
–a pair of black dress pants
–a pair of jeans
–1 solid color tee shirt
–1 solid color turtleneck
–1 denim jacket
–tailored jacket
–a pair of black heels
–a pair of neutral heels
–a pair of dressy flats
–a pair of casual flats
–a pair of fashion sneakers
–a pair of boots
–1 basic handbag
–1 dressy handbag
–ACCESSORIES such as jewelry and scarves…etc.

Men, your wardrobe should have at least the following basics. Start adding a few of these pieces and you’ll be ready for the fall season!
–1 Neutral vest
–1 Pair of jeans
–1 Pair of khakis
–1 Pair of chinos (chino fabric is 100% cotton and twill; heavier than what is used for khaki trousers)
–1 Chunky sweater
–1 Fine-gage sweater
–1 Denim jacket
–1 Tailored jacket
–1 Light weight jacket
–1 pair of ankle boots
–1 pair of fashion sneakers
–1 pair of athletic sneakers
–ACCESSORIES ties…etc.

Updating your fall wardrobe is an easy transition once you learn how the addition of a few versatile pieces to your closet will help you look stylish and put together for fall.

Face It! How to Prepare Your Skin For Fall.

Did you know as seasons change so does your skin? Fall is the time of year when our skin is most inclined to breakouts and consequently, the drying and aging of our skin makes us more prone to acquiring fine lines and wrinkles.  For flawless looking skin, it’s essential to prepare your skin as the new season approaches.

As a professional Hair and Makeup Artist for print, TV, and film, I always stress the importance of good skin care habits. Your makeup can accentuate flaws just as easily as it can hide them.. So remember, it’s important to evaluate your skin and prepare your skin’s seasonal needs.  

How to Prepare Your Skin for Fall

Analyze your skin!

Take notice of the changes to your skin. Define what it is your skin needs – for example, more or less moisture. As summer comes to a close, our skin typically can not balance in time to prepare for the changes in the fall months to come. Your skin is still producing oil, as it did in the summer months. The cool air that fall brings can then create a layer of dead skin cell build-up and, as a result, oil and bacteria will develop under the skin’s surface.

 Use a gentle cleanser.

Because our skin is susceptible to becoming drier in the fall, it’s essential to ensure we use a gentle cleanser.  Our oils act as a natural barrier, protecting our skin from getting clogged and building up bacteria, therefore it’s important that your cleanser is gentle enough not to remove all the natural oils. However, you definitely want to ensure your skin is clean from any of the elements such as, harsh cold winds, dirt upon other things you might have encountered throughout your day. Cetaphil is a really good gentle cleanser that I highly recommend. They also offer a variety of other products for your skin needs. Visit http://www.cetaphil.com.

Toner: *Please note that some toners may dry out your skin, taking away natural oil that is needed for your skin’s
elasticity and overall health. Please evaluate your skins needs before using your toner. You do not want your face to become dried out, especially before performing your daily makeup routine. This will cause your makeup to emphasize all the imperfections.  

Exfoliate your skin.

 It is essential to increase exfoliation if you want flawless skin! By removing the superficial dead layer of skin you will achieve your flawless look. You can use natural ingredients for home exfoliation and still achieve superb results, that is, if you are good at being disciplined and have the time. I’ve)There are amazing home remedies too. A good friend suggests one of honey, flax seeds and almond oil.. However, if you’re a busy on-the-go type like myself, a microdermabrasion or glycolic acid peel is a great procedure for a quickly achieved effective and flawless-looking skin. Here’s a special tip –if you’re on a budget, you can go to your local cosmetology schools. This will save you money and help the students further their education as well.

Use a hydrating moisturizer.

Dry skin ages faster and it’s important during the fall to protect your skin from the rough elements that fall weather can bring. Therefore, it’s imperative to ensure you are using a hydrating moisturizer. In the summer, we don’t have to use heavy moisturizes due to our skin producing more oil, as a consequence of the humidity and heat. However, in the fall, the wind dries out our natural oils and creates cracks, lines and wrinkles in our skin. Olive oil is a great remedy to this. Just a couple of small drops will go a long way and it’s soft, smooth and less likely to cause allergic reactions since its all natural.

Because our skin is our body’s largest organ, and it’s the first thing people will notice when you walk into a room, you can now see why it’s important to pay special attention to our skin’s seasonal needs. By following these simple steps, you are sure to see flawless results within no time! Even in the application of your makeup!


Contributing Writer:

Jacquelyn Crim

Pro. Hair & Makeup Artist

TV, Print, Film