A few weeks ago, I was planning on making some of my regular pumpkin muffins, when I thought, hey, I wonder if they would be good with lots of chocolate? Answer: why yes, of course they are! The pumpkin taste isn’t very noticeable, but it does bring a little more depth to the chocolate flavor, and makes the texture more muffin-like than cupcake-like. Not that chocolate cake isn’t a perfectly acceptable breakfast sometimes, but these make you feel like you’re being a little healthier while eating your chocolate for breakfast.

I’ve made these several times, and finally got around to taking pictures so I can share them with you! The recipe is based on my Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Muffins, and is still adaptable to be allergy friendly. I did add an egg to this version, but an egg substitute should work just fine if you need to avoid those. By the way, that recipe is also good as banana muffins (use mashed bananas in place of the pumpkin, and I like to use ground ginger instead of the cinnamon) or bread (pumpkin or banana; bake in a loaf pan instead of muffin tins, for about an hour). I’m sure this recipe below would also be good using bananas in place of the pumpkin, if you have some that need to be used, or just feel like experimenting! Let me know if you come up with any yummy variations of your own!

{GF} Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Gluten-free, dairy-free, double chocolate pumpkin muffins
  • 1 c sugar
  • ¾ c white rice flour
  • ¼ c potato starch
  • ¼ c tapioca flour
  • ⅓ c cocoa powder
  • ¼ t xanthan gum
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c oil (any kind)
  • ¼ c milk (dairy or non-dairy, any kind)
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ c mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is allergy-friendly)
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, stirring well to get out any lumps.
  2. Add egg, oil, milk, vanilla and pumpkin, and fold in until everything is combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop into greased muffin tin, evenly dividing the batter between the 12 cups.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Substitutions: Flour: Use 1¼ c of your favorite all-purpose gluten-free baking mix, or regular all-purpose flour if not avoiding gluten. Omit xanthan gum. Egg: A flax egg, or your favorite egg substitute should work in this recipe.


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I’m not totally sure what inspired this project… probably a bunch of different things on Pinterest, including graphic tees and sharpie projects. I was originally planning on trying this with a regular sharpie, but after a bit of research, decided I’d be better off getting an actual fabric marker. JoAnn’s had a pretty big selection. I just got a black chisel tip marker like this.

I found this sweatshirt at Target (it’s actually sleepwear) and liked the cut. After washing it, I stuck my cardboard cutting board (covered in a plastic bag) inside, and measured across the front. I found a font I liked and set up a page in Illustrator to the size I’d measured to get the right font size. I printed it out, cut out the letters, and roughly traced around them with the fabric marker. I filled in all the letters, and then went back over some of the areas that were a little lighter. Here’s an in-progress shot to show the steps (The printed letters are on the right. My printer was low on ink, hence the ombre effect):


I let it dry overnight, and wore it the next day! The paint is nice and flexible, and the little odor it had wet disappeared once it was dry.

I have since (after I took these pics) washed it again, and the paint faded a little to more of a dark grey than black, and looks more like part of the fabric, though you can still feel the painted area. I am curious to see how it would work on a thinner material, so one of these days I might try that out, and I’ll let you know how it works.


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After living in my apartment for about a year and a half, I finally decided to do something about the terrible lighting in my living room! There is an overhead light in the adjacent dining room, but I really wanted some better lighting in the living room itself. I thought about getting the REGOLIT from IKEA, but decided it looked a bit too big for the room. Instead, I got a paper lantern shade and a light kit, and figured I could come up with a way to hang it that would probably end up being cheaper than the REGOLIT anyway ($50). There’s asbestos in the ceiling, so just putting in a hook was not an option.

I ended up getting an 84″ shepherd’s hook from Home Depot (the kind that sticks into the ground), and my dad helped me drill some holes in a cool piece of wood he inherited from his grandfather to make a base so it could stand up indoors. The dimensions are approximately 16x13x2.5. The holes are tight enough that once we got the hook pounded in, it’s not going anywhere. I liked the rustic look of the wood, so I didn’t bother to sand it or anything.

The circular piece lantern frame that is supposed to hold the cord broke off, so I tied the light kit on with a piece of string, and made a loop at the top to hang it. I should have bought the light kit in black, but I got the white one since I wasn’t sure yet how I was going to hang it. When I wrapped the cord around the shepherd’s hook, it just looked cheap, so I got some wide black ribbon to wrap around it. I thought about using duct tape, but decided this would be easier if I ever need to take it apart. The ribbon is just tied at the top, wrapped all the way down, and then tied off on the cord a few inches past the base. The cord ended up giving it a little more bulk and a bit of texture, so I’m happy with how it turned out.


Here’s a close-up of the base (Please excuse my awkward-length curtains, they ended up being just a bit longer than the top of the heating vents, and I never fixed them):


Cost breakdown:
MORUP Shade (IKEA): $3.99 on sale
HEMMA Cord Set (IKEA): $5
84″ Shepherd’s Hook (Home Depot): $12.47
25′ spool of 2.5″ black ribbon (JoAnn): $6.99 -40%  off coupon = $4.19 (and there’s a lot left over)
Wood for base: Free
TOTAL COST: $25.65 (I’m not including the cost of the light bulb, because I would have need to purchase it with the REGOLIT too)

Overall, this project cost half of what the REGOLIT would have, fits in the room better, and is one-of-a-kind. It doesn’t arc as much as I thought I wanted, and is in a different place in the room than I was originally envisioning, but it works pretty well, and gives a nice diffused glow to the room.

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I made this skirt a couple of weeks ago, and finally got around to taking pictures just in time to submit for Skirt Week 2013!

Like my purple plaid skirt from a few years ago, this is just two rectangles sewn together with an elastic waist. Instead of the contrast waistband, this time I just sewed the elastic right to the skirt, stretching as I went to gather it, and flipped it under to finish the waistline. Super easy for a basic summer skirt. Here’s a close-up:


Be sure to check out the other skirt week entries!


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