Pretty in Pink

My nickname as a little girl was Princess. My favorite color is purple. I love all things glittery. Ruffles make an outfit special. Needless to say, I've always been a girly girl. So when I saw these sweet little cupcakes I knew they were destined to sit in my kitchen. Plus, including strawberries in the buttercream counts as healthy, right? Well, maybe not. But these are still delicate and delicious nonetheless. I could see them sitting on one of my antique cake platters at a baby shower for a little girl. Now to find someone who's having a baby...

This recipe is from Sophistimom, and goes something like this:

vanilla bean cupcakes
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream (I used Greek yogurt instead)
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean (these can always be left out, and the cupcakes will still be delicious)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Fill cupcake liners slightly more then halfway full.
2. Bake for 15 minutes, or until center cupcakes bounce back when touched. Transfer to a wire 
rack and let cool completely. Frost with strawberry buttercream.

strawberry buttercream
3 large strawberries at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream (I used Greek yogurt for this as well)
In a food processor, pulse strawberries until pureed. Add in butter and vanilla, and about 2 cups of the sugar. Pulse until well combined. Incorporate cream. Add in small amounts of powdered sugar, pulsing after each addition, to reach the desired consistency. Frosting should be smooth and soft, yet hold its shape.

Nothing too difficult, as you can see. And with a hand-held mixer, making that buttercream was a snap. Just be sure to let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them or the buttercream will get melty and slide right off. So go put on your frilly apron and high heels, put on a pot of tea, and make these pretty cupcakes to channel your inner girly girl! 

Makeover Monday

Makeover Mondays now has a super cute button...yay! Feel free to grab one once I get it up on the sidebar over there -------------------------->

Today I'm making over my makeup. Since I'm usually up before the sun (no lie), my makeup routine has become pretty standard:
1. moisturizer 2. foundation 3. powder 4. eyebrows 5. swipe of eyeshadow 6. mascara

It does the job, but I'm getting bored with my everyday routine. Here are a couple of lovely, but easy makeup looks I plan on trying (very) soon.

That is the perfect red lip

I love pink lips as a girly alternative to the red...I need to find that color

Keiko Lynn does some great makeup tutorials...this is one of my favorite looks

Eyeliner on the top and bottom can look harsh, so choose navy instead of black to offset that (especially if you are more fair-skinned) - PS: who else is in love with Emma Stone? I have a girlcrush on her and think she's awesome.

What makeup look is your "go to" during the week? Have any awesome products to share? Lemme know! I'm always looking to try new makeup. 
{Happy Monday!}


X's and O's

Valentine's Day is seriously one of my favorite holidays. In elementary school I loved picking out the perfect box of valentines to give to my classmates. Some years me and my mom (mostly my mom) made them. I meticulously decorated my white paper sack, and skipped around the classroom to deliver my lovelies. One year, I made a special one for the boy I liked. It even had hand-cut confetti in it. My classmates teased us mercilessly. Needless to say, he didn't want to be my Valentine. Like almost every other girl, I went through the "I hate V-Day" phase. Yes, I even called it "SAD-Day" (Single Awareness Day). So dramatic. But I'm over that now and have reclaimed my love for this grand holiday.
I still think that the corporations have taken things a bit far, and that the holiday isn't all about boys buying expensive stuff for their girlfriends, and that it shouldn't be the only day you show your love. BUT - I think it's nice to have a day set aside to dedicate to not only your significant other (if you have one), but all of the people who hold a special place in your heart. 
Well now that my rant is over, I give to you some of my FAVORITE V-Day pins!


Also, Kori at Blonde Episodes is having a V-Day Giveaway that I'm very excited about. Go check it out and enter to win a lovely Poshlocket heart bracelet! <3

Finally, to fill your cuteness quotient for the day...
So precious. Have a good one!


Carrot Bread

I have way too much food in my freezer at the moment, so I'm looking for new and inventive recipes to clear things out. For some reason I bought lots of shredded carrots when they were on sale and now completely regretting that decision. Some girls impulse buy shoes...I impulse buy groceries. This is my life. Anyway, after furiously looking up recipes with pureed carrots I found this one. As usual I made a few changes...Here is my full ingredient list (the original recipe is located in the link above):

1 bag of shredded carrots 
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup greek yogurt

*Don't forget to preheat your oven to 350 degrees! Not that I ever forget...haha*
1. Cook your carrots until soft. Then drain them and puree. 
(I put mine in my bullet blender and pulsed until they were almost all mush with some small chunks. Set them aside
2. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside
3. Cream together butter and sugars
4. Add eggs and mix well
5. Add carrots and yogurt
6. Gently fold in flour mixture until just combined
7. Pour into a loaf pan and put in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. Mine took 35 minutes. Stick a toothpick in and it should come out dry or with only a few crumbs.
8. Take it out and let it cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the edges and release it on a cutting board or cookie sheet.

 This recipe made my little apartment smell sooooo good! Although carrots are naturally sweet, this was definitely not a sugary sweet bread (maybe it would have been sweeter with the extra sugar), but I really enjoyed it. It was sweet like cornbread. Like a savory sweet? Either way, I would definitely make it again. But maybe I would add a little bit of cinnamon next time. Yum. ;) Now to tackle the rest of my freezer!


Go for the Goal Friday

At the end of every month, I'll be linking up with the "Go for the Goal!" linkup. It's a great way to keep me accountable for the goals I've already set, and for the ones that I will continue to set throughout the year. For those of y'all that missed it, here are my goals from the beginning of January.

I've actually kept up with the continuous goals, and tried not one but two recipes this month! Honestly though, the hardest thing for me is reading my Bible 2-3 times a week. And it's such an EASY thing to do. It wouldn't even take that long...so why do I have such a hard time with it? I put so much effort and time into my school, work, and relationship. Why don't I do the same with God? It comes down to the fact that I'm just "too busy". And it shouldn't be that way. He's not "too busy" for me, so I need to make more time for Him. February is going to be different. So are March, April, and the rest of the months in 2012. I'm going to start with post-it note reminders. Everywhere. My Bible will stay by my bed unless I take it to church, so I can read right before bed or when I wake up in the morning. I'm determined to go through with my resolution.

A new resolution for February: Be physically stronger. In the past I've put so much emphasis on losing weight, looking skinny, having abs...and while those goals are appropriate for some, I feel that they've only contributed to some underlying issues that I'd rather not rake up again. So, the word for this month is STRONG. I want to be able to lift more weight with more reps, I want to be able to run longer and faster, and I want to feel my workouts before I see them. 

That's it for me this time. How are your resolutions going? Have you added any new ones since the beginning of this month? Feel free to link up with us and let us know! :)


It's Ok Thursday

It's Ok...
...To be a little upset at the college students who are wasting the college education that their parents are paying for, while others are working their butts off to stay here.
...To be highly considering Mexican food or a burger for lunch instead of something healthy.
...To be ready for bed at 10:30 in the morning.
...To be excited about the giveaway at Brunch with Amber. I love coffee!
...To also be excited about the NHL All-Star game. Yes I love hockey. Yes I'm a girl. No I'm not from Canada.
...To be a little bit homesick. I miss my family and my mom's homecooking.
...To get really homesick at the thought of not living at home this summer. :(
...To just be in an overall grumpypants mood today. Rawr.
...To get an insane confidence boost when people comment on posts (hint-hint haha)

What are you Ok with today? Link up and comment here to let me know!


Finally, a recipe

I haven't blogged a single recipe yet this year. My mom cooked for the family almost the entire time I was home on vacation (a full month!), and when I did cook, I didn't feel like taking photos and writing about it (call me lazy if you want, but I was hungry!). But finally, after what seems like forever, I made dinner for the Boyfriend and I this weekend. We're both trying to eat healthier, so I'm trying to be cautious about what I make for us. However, I convinced him that these aren't really that bad for him, and they even have spinach! It wasn't too difficult to get him to agree. ;) 

I found this recipe from What About Pie on Pinterest, and since I'm actually trying to do the things I pin I figured this would be an easy thing to start with.

You only need 4 basic ingredients
*Frozen bread/pizza dough (I used the roll of canned dough from Pillsbury)
*Mozzarella & parmesan cheeses 
*Olive oil
*Italian seasoning 

I added to this
*Pepperoni (you can use this or other meats)
*Raw spinach (it cooks when you put it in the oven)

Even putting it together is simple. 
1. Roll out your dough into a square
2. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning
3. Add cheeses
4. Top with meat (and other ingredients)

5. Roll it up
6. Put it in the oven and bake 
What About Pie suggested 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes, and mine took 20 minutes at that temperature. Set your timer but be sure and watch them. They'll be browned on top and slightly crunchy when you touch it. 
7. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until cooled
It's going to look delicious. You're going to want to try it. DON'T. Just let it sit. You'll thank me later when you don't have a scorched tongue. :P
8. Enjoy your yummy pizza rolls. We dipped ours in some homemade marinara from my freezer and had them with a tossed salad.


Makeover Monday

Today for Makeover Monday I'm focusing on hair. I LOVE looking at different styles, colors, and cuts but am too indecisive to ever make a drastic change. I dye my hair, but only with semi-permanent dye. In high school I cut my (very long) hair to above my shoulders so I could donate it, and that was the first and last time I cut off so many inches. I'm good with trims, thanks. :) But that doesn't stop me from constantly pinning the adorable hair I find on the Internet. I dyed my hair bright red back in November, but now that it's faded I'm itching to try something new. Then I spotted this photo from Girl and Closet and fell in love with her hair.

That spawned a yet another Pinterest search for cute bangs...

But I just can't help but think about the growing out process. I always hear people complaining about that...Do any of you have bangs? How do you feel about them? Comment below and lemme know! :)


Commuter Student Essentials

Commuter Student Essentials
Any commuter students out there? This year was my first year as a commuter student, and as I quickly found out, commuter life is a lot different than on-campus life (like having to fight for a parking space every day!) Here are 8 things that make my life easier. Things that I believe no commuter student should be without.

From top left, moving clockwise:
1. A sturdy backpack to hold all of your stuff
2. A tumbler for coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day
3. A small notebook for random thoughts, homework assignments, or daily to-do lists
4. A travel toothbrush for an after-lunch refresher
5. Energy bar or other small snacks to keep you fueled throughout the day
6. Small bottle of hand sanitizer...because college can get messy sometimes
7. Charger for your computer, for those long study sessions (with Internet breaks in between, of course!)
8. Earbuds, so you can listen to music or watch funny YouTube videos in the quiet section of the library

Any other suggestions? :)


It's Okay Thursday

Good morning everyone! Today I'm linking up with "It's Ok Thursdays" for the first time, because I have nothing else interesting to say right now. School has officially started back up and I am already a bit swamped. Hopefully I'll be cooking a new recipe in the next few days though, so be on the lookout!

{It's ok...}
…to still have unpacked boxes in my apartment a week after I moved back in
…to substitute one hour of sleep with one cup of coffee
…to make lists for EVERYTHING
…to sneak online for a few minutes during the boring parts of class
…to briefly consider spending my book money on something more fun (like new clothes or hockey tickets)
…to buy a brand new tote bag because I have so much stuff to carry
…to stay in bed an extra 15 minutes because it’s the warmest spot in my apartment
…to want to watch the newest episode of my favorite TV show instead of run in the cold
…to want to go to Central Market just to walk around and look at all of the cool food items
…to miss my doggie just as much as my family

Link up or comment here telling me something from your "It's ok" list! :)


Oh how Pinteresting

Not feeling well at all today...toughing out what I think is a cold, and having issues that only you girls can sympathize with. The Boyfriend just doesn't understand...*sigh* 
{Yes, I'll have a supreme pizza, an order of buffalo wings, a pint of lactose free icecream, and a pan of warm brownies please...with a side of fries}
So this week's "Oh how Pinteresting" will be dedicated to the foods I've been pinning like crazy. Enjoy and try not to drool on your keyboards...not that I know that from experience or anything. ;)

French dip roast beef sandwiches...the Boyfriend loves them too

Potato casserole is hands down my favorite casserole/potluck dish...awesome Southern comfort food

Ohhhh sushi...I always crave it at the weirdest times. Pretty sure I'm grabbing some for lunch today

I made this Cajun Chicken Pasta a couple of weeks ago and it was DELISH

I'm a sucker for mozzarella sticks...especially if they're dipped in ranch and marinara

Words can't even explain how amazing this is...brownies and icecream AND peanut butter? *moan*

And of course I couldn't forget the cinnamon roll...Ooey gooey sugary goodness


Tagged...I'm it!

The lovely Bre at Sugar N Spice tagged me, and since I'm a sucker for these "All about you" things I decided to complete it even though it's been a couple of days. I haven't had much time to blog, because Winter break is almost over and I headed back to college (and my little apartment) this weekend. Now I'm laying next to the Boyfriend watching The Lion King. Because we're cool like that.

{the rules}
one. you must post the rules.
two. post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
three. answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
four. tag eleven people and link them on your post
five. let them know you've tagged them!

{eleven fun facts about me}
1. I don't drink soda anymore, but am in LOVE with sweet tea
2. I love monogrammed things!
3. Football and hockey are my two favorite sports
4. I still watch Disney movies (and tear up at the sad parts)
5. Children are awesome. I'd love to have a couple one day, and hope to work with them as well
6. I am a bookworm and looking for my next read - any suggestions?
7. I wear the same few hairstyles, but want to shake things up and try some new styles 
8. I hate celery...something about the weird stringy-ness and the bland taste blehhh
9. I love school supplies...endless supply of post-it notes, pens in every color (they're the only good part of school haha)
10. Pinterest is officially my biggest addiction/time waster right now...check me out!
11.  I am currently craving either pizza or mexican food...preferably both. ;)

{My questions from Bre}
1. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Other than the US, I would love to live in Greece
2. What is your one comfort food?

Mashed potatoes and fried chicken

3. What is your one jewelry item you have to wear everyday?
A diamond heart necklace given to me by the Boyfriend for Christmas last year
4. Favorite TV show? Old or new.
How I Met Your Mother, or anything on the Food Network
5. Dream job?
I would LOVE to open a bakery
6. Do you hate coming up with random questions as much as I do?
Yes...I feel like mine are too generic and not interesting
7. One reason why you blog?
I love to write
8. One thing you don't like about blogging?
Writer's block...it sucks to not know what to write about
9. If you could only shop one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?
If I had endless amounts of money it would be J Crew. On my budget I'd have to choose Marshalls/TJ Maxx
10. What is the first thing you notice in the opposite sex?
Their smile. I'm a sucker for a genuinely friendly smile
I also notice how they're dressed.
11. One song you could listen to over and over again?
"The Prayer" - Andrea Bocelli & Celine Dion (it's so beautiful)

Now I'm off to finish the movie and then go grocery shopping...after being gone for a month I have about zero food in my fridge. Yikes.  
{PS - breaking rules 4 & 5 - I won't tag anyone but if you'd like to do this and link back then feel free!}


Oh, How Pinteresting...


This morning I'm linking up with Michelle from The Vintage Apple for Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday.
I'm getting ready to start a new semester at school, and am yearning for a couple of updates to my still-incomplete apartment. While my budget is practically non-existent and I can't really change anything in my small rental, I look forward to the day when I can put all of my home decor pins to good use!

IN LOVE with this giant furry beanbag. Uglysofa.com is having a giveaway for 3 of these that ends tomorrow...and of course I entered *crossed fingers*

The freestanding bathtub with a window view

 I have some teacups that would work perfectly for this

The pop of color with the pink couch, and the book-filled shelves

That light is amazing 

I really want my own vanity, complete with girly mirror 

How can a random collection of stuff look so good?

One of the most gorgeous wall galleries I've seen...plus that wall color is HOT!

The Vintage Apple is also having a FABULOUS 1,000 follower giveaway...Go be her next follower and enter to win! :)