Tuesday, January 27, 2015

HOME: Loft Projects!

Ever since we moved in (one year ago!) I've been wanting to do more projects in our loft- the "rainbow room" as I call it.

It's much more colorful and less planned out than our downstairs living room. The overall theme of this room is travel and history.

I love this window frame I snagged from Target. With the hubs's help, I enclosed pictures from Scotland, Mexico, the Middle East, as well as old pics of my grandparents (check out that kiss!) and parents.

And finally, my masterpiece- the gallery wall! I love, love, LOVE the world map and Seattle skyline prints I ordered online. I'm also obsessed with the state prints I moved over from another wall- we have the hubs' home (HI), my home  (IL), and places we've either lived or visited together. I still need to order WA and CA from last year and can't wait to order more while we live here!

The pillows and sarape on the couch facing the gallery wall help tie in all the COLOR going on in this room. It's my favorite spot to read!

Monday, January 26, 2015

FOOD: How to DOUBLE Boxed Cake Mixes (and make them taste homemade!)

I believe some of the best recipes and dishes (heck, even stuff outside the kitchen!) are the happy results of mistakes. The other day I was doing my weekly target wander (ya know, Starbucks in hand, looking for nothing in particular) and grabbed one of their Archer Farms brand (LOVE!) cupcake mixes- I really wanted something sweet but didn't want to go to the trouble of making something from scratch.

Queue the mistake. I love my measuring cups and decided to use my four cup one so I wouldn't have as many dishes to wash. Buut instead of pouring in one cup of oil, I poured in two.


I was in one of those moods so dangit, I was going to have cupcakes! Since I accidentally doubled the amount of oil, I added in roughly the same amount of flour as there was cake mix.

Since it was a chocolate cake, I needed to add in something so the flavor wasn't compromised by all the extra flour. I knew I didn't want to use cocoa powder since it's dry-that's what the flour is for! Enter in Nutella.  Yumm.

I added in Nutella to taste-it was probably about a quarter of a cup. If it was a white cake mix, I would have added a touch of vanilla (or how good would some Biscoff taste??)

The end result? Instead of 12 cupcakes, I ended up with 24 and THEY TASTED HOMEMADE. The Nutella added an extra flavor that took the chocolate to the next level. Add on some peanut butter frosting and instead of taking these babies to work like I had planned, they stayed right here!

The bottom line?

-Double the amount of oil the recipe on the box calls for
-Use roughly the same amount of flour as there is cake mix
-Use a wet ingredient to act as a binder (Nutella, peanut butter, Biscoff, a little bit of vanilla) and add back in the flavor that the flour takes out

Note: I decided to not add in extra eggs. The result? Cupcakes slightly denser in texture which I love. If you prefer lighter cakes, go ahead add more eggs!

Here's to happy mistakes!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I LOVE this quote by Gina Rodriguez from her Golden Globes acceptance speech so much, I might just print it out and frame it.

HOME: Jewelry Storage

One of the benefits of where we live is how close of a drive it is to Portland. Where shopping. And no sales tax. The hubs hates Ikea because he thinks the furniture is cheap (meaning he doesn't want to put it together). And he's not wrong. But that's the beauty of it- I can change around a room without feeling guilty about the cost.

Another thing he hates? Putting holes in walls. I think a lot of it has to with how long he lived in apartments. But now we have a house.  That's ours. But anyway, he hates it. So I put the holes in our walls.

We got this rack from Ikea with the intent of installing it beneath our kitchen cabinets for coffee mugs. But ya know, holes. So I put it on our closet. I grabbed a pack of shower hooks from Target and voila! I could bring my jewelry out of the travel bag it's been in for the last year and maybe actually wear some of it now that it's in plain sight! 

This jewelry stand also came from Target- it was on clearance! Ever since our wedding where we had an arrow (and chevron!) on our invitations, I've had a thing for arrows. 

We're waiting until our March bonuses to replace our cheapo apartment dresser. These are two of my FAVORITE pictures of us- one from our wedding and one by my amazingly talented friend Amber. My aunt and uncle got us the happily ever after sign as a wedding gift and I love it here! The silver tray holds the hubs' watches and tie clips. 

More jewelry storage! I love the mirrored decor next to the purple walls and black furniture. 

More to come! Currently working on a project in our loft I'm really excited about! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

FOOD/FITNESS: 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge

I hate vegetables. My mom likes to tell the story that as a baby, the one food I refused to eat was carrots. I still hate them. Along with anything green (I'm talking about you, broccoli).

The last few months I've been focusing more on being healthy- not just looking good but actually healthy. Recently I did a Stop and Give Me 30 challenge (30 minutes of fitness a day) on Instagram which I plan to continue doing even if I don't post pictures. This month I'm also doing a 30-day Green Smoothie challenge from Simple Green Smoothies with my friend Kelsey. 

The basic tenet? One green smoothie (spinach, kale, etc) per day. 

The first one I've done is the Beginner's Luck Smoothie.

Makes 32 oz | Serves 2
2 cups spinach, fresh (tightly packed)
2 cups water
1 cup mango
1 cup pineapple
2 bananas 

Tightly pack your spinach into a measuring cup and toss into blender. Add water and blend together until smooth. Next add in fruit and blend again.

1. Use at least one frozen fruit to chill your smoothie. I bought a bag of frozen fruit containing the mango, pineapple, and banana. If you do this, adjust measurements accordingly.
2. Feel free to substitute fruit! Just follow their basic formula:

The verdict: it's really good! I'm only on day two but I already have SO much more energy. I've been dragging the last few weeks which I put off simply to not seeing the sun with our short days. Drinking one of these provides me with fruit and veggies which, let's be real, I wasn't really getting before. I find myself actually looking forward to drinking this. Bring on the rest of January! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

STYLE: Wedge Booties

I work in corporate America. You'd think it would be all skirts and high heels but let me tell you, that is not the case. I've seen people sitting at their desks in gym shorts and yoga pants.

Now I can't bring myself to do that. While I haven't worn actual "dress clothes" since my first week, I still make an effort on my appearance while trying to stay casual to fit in. Most days that means (nice) jeans, cute top, and heels of some sort. Winters here are pretty short so I was able to wear open toe shoes until around Halloween when I broke out the heeled boots (and Uggs). But wearing skinny jeans and boots everyday get old so I decided to branch out and look for my first pair of booties.

I was always kind of at a loss figuring out what to wear booties with but I couldn't find any pumps I liked so I figured I'd give them a chance.

Looove them! They're cute enough to dress up an outfit but are sooo much more comfortable than my usual heels. And they're perfect for winter! I normally wear them with a pair of boot cut jeans. The top pair are the ones I bought. They, along with the rest, can be found at DSW.