Warm Up For the Holidays – Trendiest Beauty Products You Need To Try ASAP

Brands are gearing up for the holiday shopping season with a multitude of new products. This year, retail giants are having an early start with a variety of new shopping services and exclusive cosmetics brands are aggressively launching the best of what we’ve seen so far for 2019.

Get ready for the holidays with these new skincare and makeup products (and everything in between); they will earn a spot on your vanity and help you look and feel your best. These products also make exceptional gifts to someone who knows how to flaunt their beauty swag.

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Hold my PSL – A Serious Guide to Fuel your Pumpkin Spice Addiction

Love it or hate it, pumpkin spice is the flavor of the fall. The cozy and warm flavoring rarely involves actual pumpkin but that won’t stop this big lie to be one of America’s obsessions.

According to the chicagoist article, “The Dark And Murky History Of Pumpkin Spice”, the earliest reference of this popular blend can be traced back to 1936. Published by the Washington Post , the “Pumpkin Spice Cakes” recipe was a very “appropriate dessert for a family dinner “ and most likely, had actual pumpkin listed as an ingredient, just like any other pumpkin-ish type desserts from that time. The 1950s marks the end of the Dark Ages – the “Pumpkin Pie Spice” blend is  released nationwide by the big spice companies. Life was good in 1996: puffy vests, baggy corduroys and the very first pumpkin spice flavored coffee were introduced to mankind. 2003 was the turning point of human evolution as the culture-bearing upright-walking, Homo sapiens, evolved to a distinctively and unexpected scientific subspecies; the Homo pumpkinus-sapiens was recognized by a scientific community off Main Street, shortly after Starbucks introduced the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) to primates.

So far this year, the pumpkin spice empire is worth a whopping $600 million. Are we ok with this? Absolutely. Do we have enough pumpkin spice products in life? No, we need more, but for now, let’s cherish the little we have.

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Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding

Fried chicken, jambalaya, fried green tomatoes, hushpuppies, shrimp and grits, and po’boys are some of the South’s most iconic dishes, but banana pudding is unequivocally, the ultimate Southern obsession. This cool and creamy sweet treat is cheap, easy to make and will become a family favorite.

Paula Deen’s version of this classic, takes the basic banana pudding recipe up a notch (or two). Prepare your taste buds to something incredible; these essential ingredients will deliver an exciting and delightful taste of the South.

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A 3-day Itinerary in Portugal’s Hidden Gem – São Miguel, Azores

Shaped by dramatic landscapes, gleaming green pastures and vibrant blue hydrangeas, the Azores, a remote nine-island archipelago in the mid-Atlantic, is one of the most beautiful destinations the world has to offer. There are nine major Azorean islands and an islet cluster: Flores and Corvo to the west; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial in the center; and São Miguel, Santa Maria, and the Formigas Reef to the east. Across the archipelago, there are 26 active volcanoes.

The island of São Miguel (Saint Michael) is the largest and most populated island of the Azores. With plenty to offer to nature lovers and tourists seeking a special but affordable destination, Portugal’s hidden gem is located 2 hours away from Europe and 5 from North America. São Miguel’s delicious cuisine, breathtaking views and crystal blue Atlantic waters will captivate anyone who appreciates the simple things in life.

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It’s Giveaway Time!!

It’s time for the first (of many) Sugar Muffin’s giveaway! This is for U.S. residents only and to enter, you must follow Sugar Muffin on Twitter and retweet the giveaway post; follow Sugar Muffin on Instagram; and leave a comment below in this giveaway post. The winner will be announced in the blog and all Sugar Muffin’s social media platforms. Continue reading for a detailed description of the prizes. Good luck!

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The Art of Food – Mobile Eateries of Western N.C.

The food truck industry can be traced back to the years after the Civil War. According to the History Channel “Chuck wagons and pushcarts served cowboys and urban workers…” The wagons served breakfast, lunch and dinner on vehicles designed to prepare, cook and store food. Pushcarts served cheap and on-the-go lunches to construction workers, delivery boys, busy newspaper reporters and anyone who would enjoy a cheap but nourishing meal.

The 1920s brought us the first motorized food vehicles – while the Henry Ford-led automobile industry expanded, Harry Burt Jr. invested in 12 refrigerated trucks for distribution of Good Humor ice cream bars in the city of Youngstown, Ohio. By the 1960s, thousands of ice creams trucks became part of communities across the country.

Since the 2008 recession, the food truck industry has grown in popularity, and the most devoted foodies love the convenience, the quality, and overall experience street food has to offer. To enjoy this finger-lickin’ experience, you must step out of your comfort zone – support our local entrepreneurs and try delicious street-side cuisine from these mobile eateries in the Western North Carolina region.

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5 INTERESTING ITEMS YOU CAN FIND ON AMAZON – Beauty and Personal Care Edition

Sephora, Ulta, Walgreens and CVS continue to dominate the beauty and health sector but Amazon is not far behind, being a popular preference with online shoppers. According to the article “These are the top beauty brands dominating Amazon” on www.fastcompany.com, Amazon is now the second-most-shopped retailer for beauty products and shows no signs of slowing down. Back in March, Amazon launched an exclusive skincare line and “Indie Beauty Shop”, an online store dedicated to emerging brands. The online retailer has also private labels dedicated to health and personal care categories: Presto, Basic Care, AmazonBasics, Mama Bear and Mountain Falls.

This can be frustrating for competitors but great news for frugal customers, offering shoppers the opportunity of scoring great deals. Check out my tested and approved Amazon’s beauty and personal care items!

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Creamy Grape Salad

Perfect for summer cookouts and a must during warmer days, this Grape Salad is a quick and versatile side dish that everyone will love. The silky sweet cream cheese dressing will deliver a delicious mix of flavors that will satisfy crowds. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans or eat it as is, this easy and creamy grape salad recipe packs a punch and can be made in 20 minutes or less!

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Sea Dragons, White Walkers and the Age of Heroes – How Game of Thrones Prequel is Set for Success

In the epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, the power struggle for the Iron Throne among the great Houses of Westeros, reveal a convoluted plot with fantastic elements. Martin’s storytelling ability offers a complex and ambiguous world that remains throughout the centuries – important points in the history of Westeros and Essos are highlighted in the narrative, shaping the actions and reactions of many characters. The Age of Heroes and the Targaryen Dynasty periods are exceptionally lore-rich, indulging readers into a world of magic, dragon riders, and extraordinary cliffhangers.

According to the official synopsis, HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series will take place “thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. “ If done right, this spin-off has the potential to outshine Game of Thrones’ popularity. The new series will be shrouded in mystery but with many stories to tell.

If you didn’t read the books, you might be wondering what exactly the Age of Heroes is and what stories can unfold. Although the information on this particular period is limited, book references can give us an idea on what to expect in the upcoming series.

Are you ready for spoilers?

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