Friday, July 29, 2011


Pretty much everyone who's anyone is on this site now, but if your not- get with the program! I know you've been searching for the newest time suck ad here it is! I love it because I no longer have to print out all my home decorating or to-do craft inspirations (eco-friendly!) and it's all in one place easily reviewable from any internet source. Check out my boards and make some of your own (be sure to frined me)!Some of my bedroom inspiration pins:
Love the orange wall and starburst mirror:


And of course the headboard inspiration:

Bottom right ottoman would be fun for my chair:

Cozy slipper chair inspiration:

Need a crazy fun rug in my colors (orangey coral, grey, and navy):

Enjoy pinning!

Mini Me

For those of you who know me, I'd just like to share a little treat from when I was little. My Mom recently found this somewhere in their house and thought it was so great she had to share. It's pretty self explanatory, and let's just say I've always been this OCD and ornery :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finally Received My Chair!

So that chair I've been waiting on for my bedroom? It's finally here! I received it yesterday and immediately set it up in my room. It is super comfortable and I managed most of a 3 hour phone conversation in it last night, love! I bought it from The Foundary and you should totally get on this site if you have any interest in decorating your house, it's amazing. Here are some pics (don't mind my little photo bomber):

Now I just have to wait for the loads of swatches I ordered to come in the mail so I can start on the headboard construction! Yay!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Homemade Headboard Part 1

This year I decided I needed to update my apartment from my hand-me-down/ Target/ nomad decorating style. I renewed my lease (for the first time ever mind you) and figured that since I was staying there for a little while I might as well decorate. I decided to start on my bedroom first. My plan is to add a bed frame with an upholstered headboard, new bedding, some wall decorations, and a chair for reading. So far I've bought some wall decorations and a chair (that has yet to arrive). My friend Todd graciously agreed to cut me a headboard that I can (hopefully) upholster myself. This will be the first furniture project I've ever done so I decided to post the play-by-play here. So far I have received the amazing cut piece from Todd:

I'm waiting for the chair to come in because I want to match the upholstery color to it. Until then, feel free to share any advice for how I can make that board look like this:

*Picture credit: House Beautiful Magazine

Extra special thanks to Todd for cutting that crazy design for me exactly how I wanted it!


This lil nugget made me smile yesterday:

So happy for rain and new baby froggies!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eclair Whoopie Pies

I made these awhile ago and just recently remembered to post the delicious recipe, sorry! I love pretty much everything about eclairs, except that they are generally fried like donuts and make my tummy hate me. So, when I came across this recipe for whoopie pies in the same flavor combo as eclairs I had to try them. They consist of vanilla cake cookies, custard filling, and ganache topping. They were delicious! I recommend keeping them in the refrigerator, but letting them come to room temperature before eating.

Eclair Whoopie Pies (from Baking Bites)

Vanilla Whoopie Pies
2 1/4c flour
1 1/2t baking powder
1/4t salt
1/3c butter
1c sugar
1T vegetable oil
2 eggs
2/3c buttermilk
1 1/2t vanilla

Custard Filling
1 1/4c milk
2t vanilla bean paste
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/3c sugar
2 1/2T cornstarch

Ganache Topping
1c chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/4c heavy cream
2t corn syrup

Whoopie Pies
Preheat to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vegetable oil. add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in half the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and vanilla, and finally the second half of the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated. Drop batter in about 2T sized rounds onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Custard Filling
In a medium saucepan, combine milk and vanilla bean paste. Bring milk to a simmer. In a large bowl, combine egg, egg yolk, and sugar. Beat until smooth. Add cornstarch and beat until smooth again. Pour a few tablespoons of the milk into the mixture and whisk. While continuously whisking add a few more tablespoons of the milk ad few more times until all the milk has been added. Return whole mixture to the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens- about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover the surface of the custard completely and store int he fridge until ready to use. Stir before using.

Ganache Topping
Heat cream until just starting to boil. Add chocolate and allow to sit for a few minutes. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth. add corn syrup and stir until smooth again.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of custard onto a whoopie pie cake. Top with another whoopie pie cake of relative equal size. Cover top of whoopie pie cookie with ganache.

Give em a try!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Visit Home Over the 4th

I decided to take a long weekend over the 4th to visit the family in Maryland. It was awesome and I got to see most all of the family between Sam's graduation party (congrats lady!) and hanging at the house. I was also able to see a couple of friends but majorly failed at picture taking. It was an excellent trip home, I forgot how much I love MD and DC in the summer (last summer we went to AZ for the summer family rendezvous). Here are the few pictures I managed to take:
Grandpa, Mom and I about to dig into some MD blue crabs!

All finished, feeling unsettlingly full but happy!

Picture with both the grandparents before I leave :)

Gracie doing her best sad face on the landing:

Gracie and I snuggling on the couch:

Mom and I before the airport:

Dad and I before the airport:

Next trip I promise to be better with the camera! Miss everyone so much!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cupcakery Review: Crumbs Bakery in Washington D.C.

I can't tell you how excited I am to be writing Crumbs Bakeshop!!! I've almost payed to have them shipped to me a billion times, luckily I stopped myself before forking over $71.26 for a 6-pack!!!!! total insanity. If you are so lucky to be within sane driving distance of a Crumbs, you should definitely give them a try. They get mad props for quantity of flavors available. Although I must say that they really wuss out on some of the flavors by simply flavoring the icing instead of the whole cupcake (cookie dough, Oreo). I ordered a dozen to share with the fam over the 4th of July holiday. The cupcakes themselves are really big (which is good since they run $3.75 a pop), so we ended up cutting them in 4s so we could all taste the flavors. My favorites were the apple cobbler- so many apple bits yum, the squiggle- basically a way better hostess cake, and the creamsicle-very strong orange and vanilla going on. Overall rating: A, need to really commit to some of the half-hearted flavors. Here are a few pics:
Red Velvet:

A dozen had to go in 2 containers!


East End Storefront on 11th ST NW:

Lemon meringue:

Cookies and Cream:

Note: this company recently went public so there should be a bakeshop popping up near you sometime in the future. Also, sounds like some yummy stocks to have in your portfolio!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cupcakery Review: Curbside Cupcakes- Food truck in D.C.

During my recent trip home, my Mom, sister, and I took a trip inside DC and ended up eating lunch from a food truck on Farragut Square. Incidentally there was also a Cupcake food truck that I couldn't pass up. I only tried one cupcake, but my mom agreed that her cupcake was delish. I had the dulce de leche cupcake and it was amazing! I wish I could get their vanilla cupcake recipe because it was nice and moist! If you're in DC and jonesing for a treat, try and find Curbside Cupcakes (I recommend twitter for current location).

Cupcakery Review: SWEET in City Centre, Houston

Recently I was able to convince my good friend, Ryan, to come to City Centre with me to check out the scene. I'd hear lots of good things about the area, but contrary to it's name City Centre is not anywhere near the center of the city. It is, in fact, a good 10 min NW of Houston on I-10, which means far from me here on the SE side of Houston. So, I finally trekked out there for a Sunday brunch with Ryan and his really awesome friend from grad school and her husband. After brunch we went to SWEET bakery for a little dessert. Everyone got a cupcake and I also ordered an assortment of macarons! Yessss macarons in Houston!Very exciting stuff. Here is our loot:

I kept the macarons for later (they were delicious), but we tasted our cupcakes then and there. I believe the cupcakes (from L to R) are peanut butter, vanilla, and 2 nutellas. I had the peanut butter and a bite of the nutella. Both cupcakes were very delicious and I was very impressed with the intensity and moistness of the peanut butter. The nutella was a filled cupcakes so it was extra decadent too. I can't say that I'll be road-tripping out there just for the cupcakes, but I would recommend that you swing by if you're in the area. Rating: A (need more variety).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vaughn's 1st Birthday

Love me some kiddie birthdays! Lots of fat cheeks to squeeze and then I get to go home to my quiet, diaper-free apartment. Perfect scenario. Mr. Vaughn turned 1 in June and I was lucky enough to get the invite to celebrate with the Hardy's. It was tons of fun and I got to see a lot of my adult friends that I hadn't seen in awhile and/or I wish I could see more often. And while I didn't make the birthday boy's cake, it must have been good because this is the aftermath:

Note: He's angry-looking because in his excitement he accidentally grabbed the flame on his candle, he is not afraid of me ;)
Happy Birthday, Vaughn!

Smores Cookie Bars

Summertime used to mean bonfires with smores and turkey dogs, but here in this Texas heat you couldn't pay me to get near a fire in the summer, not even at night. So, I have to get my smores fix in more ingenious ways. The quick and easy option is to throw half a graham with a marshmallow in the toaster oven until browned, smoosh with another half a graham and Hershey bar pieces. The more laborious way is to bake something with the components magically melded together. In come smores cookie bars! I liked these a lot although maybe not better than the original...

Smores Cookie Bars (recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

1-2 sleeves graham crackers
2 1/2c flour
1t baking soda
1/2t sea salt (I used kosher)
1t cinnamon (I recommend omitting for a more classic smores taste)
11T butter (1 stick + 3T), softened
1c brown sugar
1/2c sugar
2 eggs
1t vanilla
1/2c semi-sweet chocolate chips (I added more- and i recommend milk chocolate for a more classic smores taste)
1c mini marshmallows (I added more)
3 regular sized Hershey's bars, broken into pieces

Preheat to 375F. Line 11x17 baking pan with parchment paper. Lay out the graham cracker squares in the pan as close as possible. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for an hour or overnight. Place scoops of the dough (more for thicker, less for thinner)on the graham cracker squares. Press down slightly with fingers. Bake for 5 minutes and then remove to place Hershey's bar pieces on the top. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. Cool completely.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

In honor of the final Harry Potter movie premiere, I made some butterbeer cupcakes! Nothing like slipping into the Leaky Cauldron for some delicious butterbeer, am I right?! Well, being a muggle I really wouldn't know, but this is my best attempt at replicating the bev in cupcake form:

Butterbeer Cupcakes (recipe from Cook Like A Champion)

2c flour
1 1/2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/4t salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2c sugar
1/2c dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1T butterscotch schnapps (I didn't add this)
1/2c buttermilk
1/2c cream soda

1c butterscotch chips
1/2c heavy cream

1 stick butter, softened
1/3c filling
1T butterscotch schnapps (I didn't add this)
1/8t salt
1/4c cream soda
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter smooth. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk and cream soda. Beat until just combined. Fill liner 3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

To make filling, bring cream to just a boil, watch closely to avoid burning the cream. Add butterscotch chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until chips are completely incorporated. Allow to cool. Inject the filling into the cupcakes until the tops are puffing up.

For frosting, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add the butterscotch filling, salt, and cream soda. Beat until well combined. Add in powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled, filled cupcakes. If there is any filling left, drizzle on top of frosting.

Happy Harry Potter weekend! It's the end of an era...