Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday 5

This is a weekly linkup with Emmy Mom where you list 5 facts and 5 pics from your week.  It's a fun and easy way to end your week!

1.  So I attempted oil pulling this week.  By attempted I mean I tried it once and managed the full 20 minutes.  It wasn't too bad and my teeth felt really really clean afterwards.  I figured I'd do it again since I've heard people have had good results with whiter teeth.  Next morning I put the spoonful of oil in my mouth and my body immediately went "Nope!" and I spat it out.  So I'm thinking oil pulling isn't for me.

2.  I bought plants!  It's been too cold to get any seeds stared so I ended up buying plants this past weekend.  Can't wait to get them in the ground!  I got bell peppers, tomatoes and a variety of herbs.  I was thrilled to discover my oregano had actually survived the winter so I won't need to restart it.  In a few weeks I'll add some squash and cucumbers.  Can't wait to be eating fresh tomatoes again!

3.  Tomorrow the Tornado's school is doing a pirate themed Easter egg hunt.  He's beside himself with excitement.  We found some pirate themed stuff for him to wear and he wants to go TODAY right now.  It's taking some explaining as to why we can't.  While he has a pretty decent grasp on the whole religious concept of Easter we've also had to do some explaining regarding the Easter bunny.  I think he was expecting another Santa so we've had to tone that back a bit too.  The other problem is he keeps asking questions that I don't have any answers too.  The others would accept an answer of "Magic" as how the whole Easter bunny/Santa work but he doesn't.  I don't think we'll have very long with this one.

4.  Yesterday the Tornado and I went to the science museum.  We had a great time but for a few minutes in the under 5 room I was the Mommy on the iPhone (remember that annoying letter that was floating around for awhile).  I started to feel guilty until I realized that he really didn't need me to gaze adoringly at him while he played safely in this little ball pit.  His future teachers probably wouldn't want me to be sitting there gazing adoringly at him either despite that several of my teacher friends reposted that stupid letter.  So I continued checking my email for a few minutes until we left the room and went and played with water currents.  We had a really fun time.  I think next up is either Botanical Gardens or a local museum that has some farm stuff and walking trails.

5. We visited Elinor at college this past weekend and had a good time.  She's gotten a job as a waitress and hasn't been able to come home to get warmer clothes.  We took them to her and then had lunch at this really amazing burger place and walked around campus.  It was a lot of fun and great to see her. The town her college is in is an interesting mix of little town and old money with the addition of newer trendier stores and restaurants thanks to the college.
 Emma and Elinor during our visit

 What happens when you leave a 4 year old unattended

 At the science musuem

 At the science museum

With some of his pirate stuff. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Week 40 Cupcakes - Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

These were not the cupcakes I planned on making this week.  The cupcakes I planned on making were these tasty looking Boston Cream Pie cupcakes.  Instead I was flipping through my feedly  feed when the picture of these yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting came up and the Tornado insisted in the way only a sugar loving 4 year old can insist that these were the cupcakes that were going to get made.  It messed with my list making brain a bit but I didn't have the heart to turn him down.  This was a good thing on my part because these little cupcakes are fantastic!

(The Star Wars cupcake liner was also by request of a certain little boy)

1. Source: Your Cup of Cake - I don't know why I go anywhere else for cupcake recipes.  Hers are always amazing.

2. Ease of Recipe (1 being cake mix/canned icing - 5 tons of steps and very time consuming): 2. These are pretty simple and straight forward.

3. Changes Made:  Didn't have any buttermilk because when it comes down to it I can't stand the stuff.  Mixed a spoonful of sour cream with milk to get the amount needed.  I also used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder instead of regular.

4. Problems:  None other than I can't stop eating them. 

5.  Overall Impression:  Simply put - these are the cupcakes.  These are the cupcakes you make for birthday parties, potlucks or anywhere else you may need a cupcake.  The cake is light and fluffy but still holds together.  The chocolate frosting is silky and smooth.  It's rich and chocolatey and just the right amount of sweet.

6. Quantity:  14.  

7. Make Again?:  Oh yes!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday

What I Wore Wednesday is a linkup hosted by the stylish Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy.  I participate to try and get myself inspired when it comes to clothing.  Lately this has been a failure because my love of Easter candy is beating my love of clothing but hopefully I've got that under control now!  

 I got this shirt because Cartwheel had a coupon for all 20% off Converse brand clothing at Target.  It's super soft and I think will be great as a transition piece.

Top: Converse via Target
Jeans: Target
Shoes: Target 
Apparently it was a Target kind of day

 Sweater - Golden Tote
Tank - Old Navy
Jeans - Forever 21 (thrifted)
Shoes - DSW
Necklace - Lauren Conrad via Kohls

 Jacket - H&M (thrifted)
Tank - Target
T-shirt - H&M
Jeans - Levi's
Shoes - DSW

Sweater - Ann Taylor (thrifted)
Jeans - Target
Shoes - DSW
Necklace - Etsy (It says Don't Even Blink on it)

Monday, April 14, 2014

MyIreland Box Review - April

Back in March I gave myself a gift of a 3 month subscription to MyIreland box.  I figured that after 3 months I'd have gotten some interesting things and that would be that.  I didn't count on how much fun the boxes would be.  I'm thinking I'll be giving myself another 3 month subscription after I get my May box.

I loved March's box but if possible I think I like April's even more.

First up is the information card that tells you a little bit about the people who made the different items in the box and where they're from.

First up is this set of mini note cards from West Cork artist Annabel Langrish.  They're beautiful and unique and about 3 inches square.  I'm planning on framing them and am just trying to decide if I want to to frame them in 2 groupings vertical or horizontal but I'm sure they'll look beautiful either way.

  Next is this leather shamrock keychain from Holden Leatherworks in County Kerry. I'm already using it and it makes it easy to find my keys when they get lost in my purse.  Plus it makes me smile.

This coaster is from Fab Cow Design in County Dublin.  It's done in ancient Irish writing, Ogham.  It says sonas which means happiness.  I had needed a new coaster for my bedroom and this fits perfectly.

And finally, this beautiful glass paperweight with the etched in shamrock.  It's from The Irish Handmade Glass Company in Waterford and I literally squealed out loud when I pulled this out of the box.

So another fabulous box from MyIreland box.  I'm fascinated by Irish culture and my Irish heritage so this is easily my favorite subscription both for the connection to Ireland and the variety and beauty of what the boxes have contained.  If you weren't interested in Ireland I'm not sure you'd get quite as much enjoyment out of it but it's definitely a wonderful fun way to find interesting and unique items.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday 5

It's time for the Friday 5 linkup with Emmy Mom.  This is a fun way to end the week with 5 facts and 5 pictures.

1. This week was Emma's birthday.  It's hard to believe she's 17.  Her driver's test ended up having to get rescheduled much to both our dismays due to weather but we've rescheduled so hopefully she'll be a licensed driver in not too much longer.

2. Found a condo at the beach for a week this summer and am so excited to be getting out of town for a bit. We stayed at this place last summer and really enjoyed it.  A large chunk of my family will be there at the same time so it'll be fun to catch up with everyone.

3.  The Tornado has become obsessed with Bob the Builder lately.  He's very phase-y which is one of the very few things he inherited from me.  We went through a Jake and the Never Land Pirates phase, a Little Einstein phase, Daniel Tiger, Thomas the Tank and now Bob.  Star Wars seems to be sticking around so a lot of his games end up being a hybrid of Bob and Star Wars.  It makes for some interesting ideas.

4.  I'm at the point where I think it'd be best just to go on and eat all the Easter candy in the house and be done with it.  I've been awful lately with wandering by and picking up a Reese's or Cadbury egg.  Normally I'm not a big snacker but they're just so good.

5.  Paul had to be at work at 4AM last weekend to open.  He then had to work basically a 10 hour shift and had a soccer game almost immediately after.  He did great but just about collapsed when he got home.

 We've been decorating for Easter which meant I had to put some of my regular stuff up.  These 3 normally aren't together (the 2 little ones are salt and pepper shakers).  I put them on the bottom shelf of a glass fronted cabinet right above the coffee maker so if you look up all 3 are staring at you.  The reaction from the kids is pretty entertaining.

 This was part of one of the photo a day instagram challenges.  The challenge was a picture of a picture and this was mine.  It's one of my favorite pictures of my grandparents from early in their relationship.  My grandmother's the one with dark shoes and my grandfather is behind her.

Much to J's horror and my delight I put the Tornado in layers the other day.  I thought the outfit was adorable.  They weren't so sure of it.

Emma opening presents

Another tulip picture because one can never have to many tulip pictures.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Week 39 Cupcake - Vanilla Bean with Nutella Frosting

I almost didn't make this recipe because originally it makes 28.  The Tornado and I are the only ones who like Nutella and the idea of the 2 of us trying to eat 28 cupcakes didn't seem like the way to go.  Luckily this recipe is easy to half so these got made today.  Forgive the quality of the photo.  I was tired and redoing it just wasn't going to happen.  Also the bunny at the very side of the picture isn't angry but actually sneezing.  In real life it's cute not as creepy as the picture makes it look.

1. Source: Krissy's Creations
2. Ease of Recipe (1 being cake mix/canned icing - 5 tons of steps and very time consuming): 2.  The directions for making the cake are a little different than the method I normally use but it's not anymore difficult and comes together really well.

3. Changes Made:  When I was already in the middle of making this I discovered the buttermilk in the refrigerator was actually more like butter.  To make up for it I used 2 tablespoons sour cream to 1/2 cup skim milk which gave it the right tang and texture.  I also halved the recipe but that's mostly simple math.

4. Problems:  I ended up needing about 5 minutes less cooking time than she called for.  My oven tends to run hot so that's not too big of a surprise.

5.  Overall Impression:  The cake is really lovely - light and fluffy with the tang and vanilla butteriness of a pound cake.  I have mixed feelings about the frosting though.  It's light and fluffy but the combination of confectioner's sugar as well as the Nutella makes a bit too sweet for me.

6. Quantity:  12 though I could've easily gotten 14 or 15.  The original recipe makes 28

7. Make Again?: The cake yes - the frosting probably not.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday

Today is What I Wore Wednesday!  This is a linkup hosted by the very stylish Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy.  I'm participating to get myself a little inspired about getting dressed and see what fun stuff everyone else is wearing!  One thing about this week that I discovered as I was pulling the pictures off my phone.  I appear to be have worn the same shoes and dark colored jeans pretty much the whole week. Whoops!  So much for variety.

 I adore this cardigan.  I just got it so I haven't had much time to do anything with it but it's like wearing a blanket - so comfy.
Cardigan: Arizona (thrifted)
Tank: Ann Taylor Loft (thrifted)
Jeans: Forever 21 (thrifted)
Shoes: Target
I wore a bronze colored pendant on a long chain but apparently I hadn't put it on when I took this pic.

 Cardigan: Golden Tote
Tank: Target
Necklace: Target
Jeans: H&M
Heels: Cole Haan 

 This top is actually more green than brown but it doesn't photograph particularly well.
Top: Ann Taylor (thrifted)
Cami: Target
Necklace you can't see because my hand is in the way: Lauren Conrad
Jeans: Levi's
Shoes: Target

 Sweater: Golden Tote (trying to get a few more wears out of it before it gets warm)
Jeans: Target
Shoes: Target

It's no secret that I get a lot of my clothes from thrift stores and every once in awhile I'll find something that looks like a great find until I wear it and then I think "Oh this is why they donated it." That's the case with this sweater.  It's J. Crew, has really cute gold buttons on the shoulder, and looks new.  It's sized medium but fits like a small so I figured that's why it had gotten donated.  Until I wore it.  It has the itchiest collar of anything I've ever worn.  It drove me insane.
Itchy Sweater: J. Crew (thrifted)
Necklace: Lauren Cornad
Tank: Old Navy
Jeans: Forever 21 (thrifted)
Shoes: Target