Friday, May 31, 2013

Thanks for my Giraffe TOMS!

So a couple of weeks ago, I saw this on the TOMS website! and absolutely fell in love =)
I told my husband about them, and he liked them too! (for me), so he actually ordered them for me =) it's not the first time he's gotten me something I talked about that I like, but it was unsuspected this time. lol. even though I did drop him hints. heheh.
Here's the un-boxing >>>
I love the detail the giraffe silhouettes and the combination of navy and orange works well together. the navy color is pretty neutral and the size of the giraffes are small enough that it wont look too busy when worn. Anyway... my husband got major cookie-points for keeping this a secret for a week! 

<3

DAY 1: Planting Flower Seeds

since my obsession over plants started, I have yet to actually plant seeds, until today. it's been quite a while now since I've had this guy >>
...and he is still ALIVE! so I figured I was doing something right. He actually looks awesome, in his new spot! thriving and looking very much longer than when I first brought it home seen here. Green thumbs up!!
So i thought it might be time to try planting from scratch. Just like when you bake from scratch...the feeling seems similar...lol. Anyway...These are the ones that made the cut from all the selection they had at my local Home Depot. 
I used the same kind of pots I used for these guys. and used the the regular potting mix i use for all my other plants. To start, i got the pot 3/4 filled with soil, then added just a few seeds the package comes with, then i covered the whole thing with more soil. 
The package instructions has a bit more details on how to space the seeds, and actually be successful at growing these, but I seriously was just going on "instinct." Once I was happy with the whole thing, I just watered it enough to dampen the soil. 
I will for sure be updating you plant lovers out there about the progress of these flower seeds. Today shall be called DAY 1. 
Happy Planting!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nate Berkus Curtains

I love Nate Berkus products I find at Target. But regular price items can sometimes be expensive. I tend to wait for clearance or other sales before I think of buying them. I knew we needed curtains in our room, but curtains can cost up to $30 each panel. So I decided to shop around. 
As usual, I took a trip to my local Goodwill and I found awesome curtains which was the right color and size for our bedroom window. They were in brand new condition and cost only $4.99 each. When it was time to hang the curtains, I was so surprised to find they were actually Nate Berkus™ Lockstitch Window Panels! Score, right?! 
Online these same curtains cost between $19.99-$24.99 each. So finding them for $5 each was a happy buy for me. =) The material feels like a soft, light, natural burlap feeling. It lets in a lot of sunlight, and adds just the right amount of privacy in our space. It also adds a little bit of style into our once-bare-bedroom. 

To hang the curtains, I used a few supplies, some I had already, and some I purchased new from IKEA, such as the curtain rod and brackets. Other supplies you will need is a drill, some screws, and a tape measure. 
Once I got my stuff together, I was ready to work. Here's how they turned out!
Here's how it looked after we added our DIY nightstands seen here and here, and lit a couple candles. 
We were in need of some window treatment, and these curtains were the perfect match. This next photo was taken at night under room lighting and are not really doing the curtains any justice. It almost looks peach colored. But the curtains are actually tan. Slightly darker shade than the wall color. 
Here's a better photo shot during the daytime, with sunlight bursting right through them. I love that about them. The room still feel air-y and clean, but still adds the needed privacy. 

<3


Saturday, May 25, 2013

House Plants

Remember those succulents I transferred onto glass containers a few weeks ago, seen here, here, and here? well...I re-transferred them onto terra cotta pots. I bought these pots from Home Depot for $0.78 cents each (the matching trays were also about the same price each). And they look great! Although I loved the glass ones, I realized the plants may not thrive the best in them. One big thing the glass containers lacked were drainage holes. I was reading this blog article by Elise Blaha and it gave a lot of good tips on raising indoor plants. 

Now, onto some photos >>>
They even look bigger now...sort of? lol... at least that's what I'd like to think. I do like how they turned out, especially since they were so easy to put together. I think small plants are so understated, but they have a big impact in our apartment. I do have to fight the urge to water them all the time, because these guys should only get watered about once a week, with the exception of the snake plant, which may need more watering.
One thing's for sure though, they look great next to our window =)

Happy planting =)

Cakepops + Tip on Blog Photos

Whenever I get a chance, I like to take pictures in the daytime. There's usually better lighting because it's natural lighting. Pictures of food and desserts especially look great when taken with sunlight. I used my Canon EOS Rebel T1i to capture these shots today.
The big tip about blog photos is to take photos in the day to help capture the objects best. Take the object near an open window that has a lot of sunlight coming through. Better yet, if you have a porch or patio in the backyard, take photos there. I guarantee your blog photos will look better no matter what camera you use.

I took photos of these same cakepops yesterday night with my iPhone 4S under kitchen lighting and they just don't look great. Here is the link of the cakepops taken last night. Big difference, right? 


Have a wonderful day! Take lots of daytime photos =)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Baby Boy & Girl Cakepops

I had left over cake...so I made more cakepops! These would be really simple for a baby boy or girl baby shower party, or any party at that...=)
I used baby blue and pink Martha Stewart cupcake liners, and used colorful nonpareils for decoration. They turned out amazing, and tastes really chocolate-y good!

Nutty & Chocolate-y Cakepops
Makes 30 cakepops
1 box cake mix + ingredients (use only 1/2 the finished cake)
4 oz cream cheese (half of a brick)
1/4 cup crushed cashews
chocolate syrup
1 bag light choco candy melts
30 candy sticks
nonpareils or sprinkles
cupcake liners

Instructions
1. Make the cake.
2. Crumble half of the finished cake. 
3. Mix in melted cream cheese. Add crushed cashew nuts. Mix a little bit of chocolate syrup until you have a dough-like consistency
4. Form dough into 1-inch sized balls like so...
5. Refrigerate. 
6. Melt the candy melts in the microwave (30 sec at a time, mix in between) and wait until it cools a bit before use.
7. Remove cake balls from refrigerator and dip stick into the melted chocolate and into the cake ball like this...
8. Refrigerate again. 
9. Dip each cakepop into melted chocolate and place each in cupcakeliners.
10. Decorate with nonpareils or sprinkles before chocolate hardens.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mint Green Cakepops!

It's been awhile since my last "baked goods" post. So here it is... mint green colored cakepops! I was inspired to make cakepops for someone at work whose going on maternity leave, 
she's having a boy
I'm so excited for her, and I'm super excited to share these yummy cakepops with her =) They are sweet, so I hope she doesn't have sugar problems with her pregnancy...but anyway...it's the thought that counts, right? hahaha...here's a closer look...
I was on a time pinch, so I did use box recipe for these guys...but still just as good, trust.

Here's what I used to make about 20 cakepops:
Ingredients:
1 bag chocolate cake mix + ingredients (I used 1/2 the finished cake to make 20)
4 oz cream cheese (that's about 1/2 of the brick cream cheese)
1 bag of vanilla candy melts (i added a mint green food color by Wilton's)
a bit of vegetable oil (to thin the candy melts a bit)
Colorful nonpareils (sprinkles will do as well)
20 candy sticks

crash course instructions:
Bake the cake. Let cool and add softened cream cheese. Mix until it gives you a dough consistency. Mold into balls. Regrigerate for about 10 minutes. Dip sticks into melted candy melts (of your color choice), and stick into cake balls. Refrigerate again for about 10 minutes. Dip each cakepop into the melted candy melts. Add nonpareils while the candy melt is still soft. Refrigerate again until serving. 
>>
Note: for this tutorial, I did NOT use frosting, because I know the candy melts are already very sweet. The cream cheese tames the sweetness down, and still compliments the overall taste of the chocolate cake. 
>>
Here's my other tutorials from older posts with more details on how I've made other cakepops:
Here's a few other related posts:
Over the past couple of years, I have enjoyed baking, and decorating cakepops, sometimes, I do get lazy and settle for cake, but the extra steps to make cakepops are so worth it!
Enjoy & Stay Creative!