Tag Archives: pumpkin


isnt is too early to blog halloween stuffHalloween is just around the corner, so I decided to write a post on some struggles we may have during the Halloween season.

Struggle #1: Who will I pretend to be this year?

The number one problem most people (including myself) have around Halloween is deciding who (or what) they want to dress up as. There are just SO MANY OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM.

Last year, a couple of friends and I decided to be deceased Disney princesses. We made our own costumes. 😀

We were so serious about this that we went to the store in August (yes, August) and bought clothing items similar to the princess of our choice. Then we began destroying them so we’d look like we were deceased.

By the time September had come to an end, I was so annoyed with my costume that I decided to just reuse one of my old costumes and be a vampire (for the third time) instead.halloween photo 2014

Then Halloween came and I spontaneously decided to be a shadowhunter (from a book series called The Mortal Instruments) instead which meant wearing black from head to toe, carrying a fake dagger (so I could kill demons – duh), and using a body crayon to draw a series of tattoos on my skin.

(My friends hadn’t stuck with the deceased princesses idea either.)happy halloween

One of them continued working on the costume but decided to change her mind at the last moment as well. Instead of impersonating a zombie Rapunzel, she was the cheshire cat.

The other friend had been entirely done with the idea of making a costume, and so she went out and just bought one. Which brings us to…

Struggle #2: Buying a costume has never, and will never be easy.

We all know how this one works. It’s the week (or days) before Halloween and you’ve decided to dress up as….. a pirate (gotta love my random hypothetical scenarios ;p ).

and when the clock strikes midnight halloween will be overNow, you want to be cool so you go to that Spirit Halloween store (you know which one I’m talking about) and try on that first cute pirate costume you lay eyes on. Usually you fall in love with the costume, try it on and it looks AMAZING on you!

Then you check the price tag (and maybe cry a little). Your costume costs $50. Nope, don’t have that.

Then of course you act like you didn’t really like that costume all that much (pshhhh) and you go check all the other pirate costumes they have in stock.

The only one that costs $20 is for a 3 year old kid.

Then you keep calm and go to Party City where unfortunately they have run out of pirate costumes. This usually results in choosing the cheapest costume that fits and just rolling with it. Even if the costume is a banana.


Of course there are always those planners who go online and pre-order their costumes.

But then there’s that 90% of us. Who. Just. Don’t.

I’m going to be completely honest right now…. I still don’t know what I’m going to be for Halloween!  😮

Struggle #3: Is the pumpkin supposed to look dead?


Pumpkin carving.

I think this one speaks for itself. 😉

Every year, my friends and I boast about whose pumpkin is going to be better and what we are going to carve ours as.

surprise meThen we all go out and buy those little pumpkin carving kits with the stencils and that tiny plastic scoop.

Getting the stencil on the pumpkin is no problem.

Getting the blade to follow the design? Now we have a problem.

Usually the results (in my personal experience) involve what one can only classify as a ‘zombie pumpkin’ and two considerably orange and sticky hands.

Now, even though the struggles Halloween brings with it can sometimes be painful, I admit, I still enjoy the holiday.

And a lot of the kids at my high school do as well.  For example, my friend spontaneously decided to bring a mini skeleton to school the first week of October. Believe it or not, she started a trend. POOF! Mini skeletons here, there – everywhere!

I guess that just goes to show how much Halloween spirit many people have. And how much they enjoy the month of Halloween leading up to the day itself. 🙂

So, have you decided what your costume will be this year? Did you carve a pumpkin? And if so, was it challenging for you, trivial for you, and did you succeed (TELL ME YOUR SECRETS)? Share in the comments below, I look forward to reading all about it. 🙂

Until next time!

~ Rina Raj


It’s Raining Cupcakes! (Includes Recipe) :D

Hi everyone! 🙂 We all have hobbies and things we do to express ourselves. my favorite thing to do is sleep

Some people are really creative and like to draw or paint.

Some people put all they’ve got into a sport.

Some people play video games.

Some people like to capture precious moments through photography.

And some people pour their hearts into words and write! 😉

Regardless of your hobby, if you have one, it is a definite part of who you are.

Although I have many hobbies, one of my favorites is baking.

keep calm and bake onI love to bake cupcakes! 😀

My obsession over cupcakes didn’t begin until I had finished reading practically all of the books I owned (one of my hobbies also includes reading).

By the time I entered into the 8th grade, I had read the Harry Potter series a total of 28 times (and then proceeded to read it again 4 more times for a total of 32 times 🙂 ), finished The Hunger Games trilogy, the Divergent trilogy, the Percy Jackson series and more. I was running out of things to read, and this was a huge problem that no one really understood.

One night – after I had debated about reading Harry Potter again – I wound up grabbing the first book I saw and reading it just because.

It was called It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder. After reading this book, I was inspired and decided to try baking my own cupcakes.

I had baked before, but not without the help of my grandmother or mom, so the experience of doing this alone was new to me.

After my first batch of cupcakes came out a success, I kept experimenting when stressed and in doubt, cupcake it outwith cupcakes and creating my own unique flavors, just like in the book.

I made cinnamon-raisin cupcakes, strawberry-lemonade cupcakes, apple-pie cupcakes, and candy-cane cupcakes (which I handed out for Christmas gifts that year).

Cupcakes became my ground for a while.

you only live once lick the bowlIf I was bullied at school, I’d bake.

If I got a poor grade on my test, I’d bake.

If I won a contest, I’d bake.

It was like throwing a bunch of random ingredients into a bowl, attempting to create a flavor and getting an awesome result. It showed me that even though something may be a mess for a while, eventually that mess will result in something wonderful.

After Christmas with my candy-cane cupcakes (which took a total of 4 days to perfect by the way), I took a break from baking. This past week was the first time I’ve baked in almost a year!

Due to the fact that Halloween and Thanksgiving are approaching, I noticed how everything has recently become pumpkin flavored. I’ve seen pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin spaghetti sauce, pumpkin soups, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies and so on. tis the season for pumpkin everything

However, there was something missing. Where were those pumpkin cupcakes?

I decided to create my very own Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes! 🙂

I created this recipe from scratch (literally adlibbed it on the spot) and was very impressed and baking = loveproud of my results! I shared a few cupcakes with my friends and everyone has loved them! 🙂

So if you’re feeling like pumpkin, and feeling like cupcakes, I suggest you give this recipe a try!  Let me know how it turns out for you!

image (1)

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1/2 cup pure cane sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup Earth Balance butter

1/2 cup applesauce

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 tspn vanilla extract

2 tspn pumpkin spice

1 tspn cinnamon

1/2 tspn nutmeg

1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 tspn baking powder

1/2 cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the sugars together and then cream with the butter (you can use a electric beater but I just used a spoon and mixed it very well).

Add the applesauce and pumpkin and mix well. Stir in the vanilla, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Then, add it to the wet ingredients and stir.

Add the almond milk and mix until the batter is smooth (aim for no lumps).

Pour batter into a greased cupcake pan (or use cupcake liners), making sure to distribute the batter evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

This recipe will make one dozen (12) cupcakes.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tspn vanilla extract

2 tspn pumpkin spice

1 tspn cinnamon

4 cups powdered sugar

Using an electric beater, mix the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and vanilla on low speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating slowly and mixing well.

This will make more than enough to frost all 12 cupcakes.

Creative Tip: If you would like to get “fancy” and decorate your cupcakes, try frosting them with white frosting, and then adding some yellow or orange food coloring to the remaining frosting. Add little dollops of icing on top of the white frosting. Also (if you have the patience 😉 ), you can try putting edible pearls on each dollop of colored icing.

“We’re throwing stuff in a bowl, and yeah, it’s a big mess for a while. But we’ll keep stirring, and we’ll cross our fingers, and we’ll hope that when we pull the batch out of the oven, it will be something wonderful.”– It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder 

Until next time!

~ Rina Raj