Kisses of bliss

…that we just had to share with you!

First For Women - - We put you first -

Bliss in ev­ery bite Salty-sweet treat

“Whether it’s at a car­ni­val or a Hal­loween party, caramel ap­ples are one of my fa­vorite fall treats,” says Alyssa Rosen­thal, FIRST as­so­ciate ed­i­tor. “But caramel can be tricky to make—not to men­tion high in calo­ries. My swap: a caramel made with dates! To make, I process 16 oz. of Med­jool dates, 1⁄4 cup of milk and 1 Tbs. of vanilla ex­tract in a food pro­ces­sor un­til smooth. Then I push wooden skew­ers into 6 Granny Smith ap­ples and use a but­ter knife to cover them with the caramel. To fin­ish, I sprin­kle on coarse sea salt and pop the ap­ples into the fridge for 30 min­utes to set. My taste buds and my waist­line are thank­ful.”

Daz­zling on a dime Fresh-picked joy

“Hot ap­ple cider, vi­brant flow­ers, hayrides…I adore ev­ery­thing about au­tumn,” says Melissa D’Ag­nese, FIRST se­nior ed­i­tor.

“So to cel­e­brate the sea­son, I cre­ate mini har­vest bou­quets. To make each one, I cut 18 sea­sonal blooms and berries to 5 inches and pop them into a 3" wa­ter-filled juice glass. Next, I wrap a rub­ber band around the glass, slip wheat snip­pets un­der the band un­til the glass is cov­ered and tie a rib­bon around the glass. Then I place two bou­quets on a tray to make a cheery cen­ter­piece—for pen­nies!”

Craft­ing up smiles Spooky-cute gourds

“I got a great deal on mini pump­kins at the farm­ers market, but in­stead of carv­ing them, I came up with a faster way to add fes­tive flair: I dressed them up with pa­per bats,” says Patty Bon­tekoe, FIRST deputy ed­i­tor. “To make, I cut bat shapes out of black scrap­book pa­per, drew on faces with a black marker and used push­pins to se­cure the bats to the gourds. The re­sult was fright­fully fun!”

Genius find Won­der­fully witchy helper

“Ev­ery time I make a pot of my go-to pea soup, the drip­ping spoon dirt­ies the counter,” sighs Melissa Sor­rells, FIRST se­nior ed­i­tor. “Then I found this en­chant­ing gizmo: It dou­bles as a spoon rest and a steam re­leaser for cov­ered pots. So cute!” (Spoon Holder, $14, An­im­iCausa.com)

Makeup we A gor­geous glow

“As the weather cools down and I spend less time in the sun, my skin starts to lose its glow,” shares Lau­ren Gat­combe, FIRST as­so­ciate beauty ed­i­tor. “To help my com­plex­ion look as ra­di­ant as Kyra Sedg­wick’s, I like to use an il­lu­mi­nat­ing foun­da­tion. These for­mu­las con­tain light-re­flect­ing par­ti­cles that make skin look dewy while also visu­ally blur­ring wrin­kles. And one that’s in­fused with vi­ta­min E (like CoverGirl Vi­tal­ist Healthy Elixir Foun­da­tion, $12, Ulta.com) hy­drates en­hances youth­ful ra­di­ance.”

“It is the sweet, sim­ple things of life which are the real ones af­ter all.”

—Laura In­galls Wilder

What we’re clip­ping & mag­net-ing to our fridge “Ev­ery leaf speaks bliss to me, flut­ter­ing from the au­tumn tree.”

—Emily Brontë

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