Thursday, October 27, 2011

Easy Coconut Cupcakes

Tomorrow is my counter manager's birthday, so last night I whipped up some coconut cupcakes. Happy birthday Jami! Who doesn't love coconut? Especially in cupcake form!

I went for the super easy route, and simply used a white cake mix, and switched out the water for coconut milk. I also added a splash of vanilla extract and coconut extract. Topped those little guys off with some cream cheese frosting and coconut. So easy and delicious.

You need:
1 white cake mix
canned coconut milk (I used light)
1 tsp each of coconut and vanilla extract

Simply follow the directions on the cake mix, and swap out the water for coconut milk! Allow to fully cool before frosting.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
sweetened shredded coconut for the top

Cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Blossoms

Cherry blossoms have always been a favorite of mine. There is a long, straight road in my hometown lined with them. When they bloom in the spring, the sidewalk is covered in dainty petals. Seeing all the pink fluffy trees in a row, I can't help but be reminded of trees from a Dr.Seuss book. Or cotton candy.

Up here in Bellingham, I don't have any cherry blossom trees around my house. But, there is a large tree in my neighbors yard that has covered my lawn with leaves. Pink on one side, and fiery red on the other...who needs spring when we have fall?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tomato & Basil Soup, courtesy of Spoon Fork Bacon

 It might have been the stress of my crazy week, or the fact that I called in sick to work when I wasn't actually sick (karma!) but I have caught the cold bug. Sore throat, plugged ears and a stuffy nose...I got it all. Needless to say, I was in need of some major comfort food! Soup here I come!

I was sick of chicken noodle...I needed something different. That's when the amazing blog Spoon Fork Bacon came to my rescue! If you haven't checked out this food blog, you must do so now. The recipes are awesome, and the photography is so beautiful, sometimes my mouth starts to water while reading.Yesterday this recipe for roasted tomato and basil soup was posted, and I new I had to try.

Up until last night, I claimed to not like tomato soup. I think this is because the only tomato soup experience I've had was with Campbell's. Yuck. Thank you Spoon Fork Bacon, for opening my eyes to the fabulousness that is tomato soup.

Again, see the original post here. Here is a little step by step!

1 ½ lbs Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup heavy cream
fried basil
goat cheese, crumbled.

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Spread tomato halves onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast tomatoes for about 1 hour.

 I added some oregano as well.

4. While tomatoes are in the oven, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
5. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the garlic and thyme and sauté for another 5 minutes.

7. Add crushed tomatoes, basils and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

8. Stir the mixture and reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
9. Pour broth and roasted tomatoes into the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Continue to simmer soup, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
11. Carefully pour soup into a blender and blend until smooth.
12. Pour soup back into the pot and stir in the cream until fully incorporated.

13. Simmer the soup for 3 minutes before ladling into bowls.
14. Top each soup with a sprinkle of goat cheese and fried basil and serve hot.

I needed some toasted cheese to dunk as well, so I made some sandwiches with an olive loaf and some havarti cheese. Mine didn't turn out quite as blended as the original...probably because my blender was less than $10.

   Eat up!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Phew! What a crazy week. For a minute there, I didn't know if I'd make it. And here we are, it's Friday, all my tests are done and I'm enjoying an Apricot Ale. Winning!

My younger sister Amber was able to visit me yesterday and today. It's rare that our schedules mesh, so I am always really excited when we can spend some time together. We spent the day rummaging through a consignment store, did a little grocery shopping, and took a few outfit pics to share. Isn't she beautiful? Not only is she stunning, but she is witty and smart. I got pretty lucky in the sister department.

  Love her glittery nails!

Top: Old Navy
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Jacket: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Unknown
Necklace: c/o me!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


    The coming week is going to be one of those, where by Friday I am going to need a glass (or two!) of wine and a nap. Not sure which of my professors organized the rest of my them to hatch an evil plot against me, and schedule three tests and a project due on the same week. I have my suspicions.

 This was my go to dress for most of the summer. Now that the temperatures are falling, I'm adding boots, tights, a scarf and denim jacket to warm it up. I would also like to add that this is one of my favorite scarves, not only because of the texture, but because it was made by my grandma!

My backyard is going through some transitions as well with apples falling and rotting, and cute little mushrooms growing!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Uncommon Handmade

 How awesome are these pieces from Uncommon Handmade? I especially love the doily inspired coasters and clock! Check out the rest of their work, here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Luci Everett

Loving these cheery works from Luci Everett. Visit her site here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

DIY: Fridge Frames

Here is a super easy DIY to spruce up your fridge!

What you will need:
  • Picture frame (old, vintage, new...whatever kind you want to use!)
  • Magnet strips -or- round magnets
  • Super glue
  • Scissors
The kind of picture frame you use doesn't really matter. Although, the frame will work best if it's not too heavy (unless you have very strong magnets), and if the back has a flat surface on which to glue your magnet strips or round magnets. I made this mistake with the frame I painted yellow, the back didn't have enough space to glue with magnets without them being seen from the front. I got my frames from the thrift store, and painted them to add some color.

 I decided to paint my smaller round frame a bright yellow, and added a bit of blue to my square frame.

If you're using magnet strips, cut them to fit your frame.

Glue magnet strips to the back of the frame.

For my round frame, I had to take a slightly different and more time consuming approach. I cut the magnet strips into little squares, and glued them around the back. I also threw some round magnets on there for good measure.
A TIP: Try to avoid these types of frame. The back had such a small area to glue the magnets, that it made it very difficult to glue them. You can see that a few magnets are barely holding on. This frame still worked fine, it was just a little tricky. In the end, you could also slightly see the magnets from the front. Learn from my mistakes :].

Let dry overnight and hang!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

a tale of forgotten fashion


   When I buy a garment, I do so with the intent of wearing it. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Sometimes a purchase sits in my closet, just waiting for the day when I will walk out the door with it on. Don't get me wrong, this lonely piece of clothing gets plenty of action inside the house. It usually gets paired with about a dozen different tops, bottoms and accessories, just trying to find the perfect combination. But why doesn't it ever get a taste of the outside world?

    Well, it depends on the article of clothing. Sometimes you try something on in the fitting room, and fall in love. But when you get it home...something changes. Maybe it was the lighting or the tilt of the mirror at the store, but it just doesn't have that magical quality at home. Maybe it was a sales associate or friend who told you how amazing it looked on, but without their pep-talk your confidence waivers. "It's not you it's me," you tell your new blouse.
    Sometimes you get one good wear out of it, wash it, and it totally warps into something ill-fitting and tired looking. This is sometimes the worse of all the scenarios...the first time was great, and it will never happen again. For me, most often than not, these items that sit in my closet are fashion risks or splurges. Something special to jazz up my wardrobe for some special occasion, and that opportunity never arrives.

   Sadly, this is what happened to my Betsey Johnson heels. I purchased them on Ebay thinking I would wear them to prom. But then I got them. The heels were much taller than anticipated, and the hot pink soles with no traction were intimidating. The thought of wearing them all night seemed daunting and painful. So, they sat in my closet. They even became a piece of art at one point, sitting upon a shelf in my dorm room.

  It's silly, but I kinda feel bad for them. Yes...the shoes. I know it's crazy! But they are not living to their full potential just sitting in my closet. Some hipper, more fashion-daring girl could be sporting them all around town if it wasn't for me holding them back. But just the thought of wearing these in my everyday life makes me chuckle. I picture myself tripping on the wet campus bricks, as people in sweat pants and NorthFace jackets walk by, wondering what crazy train I got off of.

  So, what to do with them? Keep them until that special day when I'll have an occasion to sport these babies? Sell them on Ebay? Continue to simply glance at them on the top shelf of my closet?

  What do you do with these pieces of forgotten fashion in your closet?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shades of Grey

  Before class Tommy and I went for some brunch at the Harris Cafe and a drink (Gasp! A drink before class?I know... I'm such a rebel) at Skylarks.

Top: Delias
Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Tights & Scarf: Target
Shoes: Anthropologie
   After a long Intro to Counseling class, I came home to snap some pics. This outfit has a lot of patterns going on with the stripes, paisley, floral and geometric. But somehow I think they might have something to do with all the shades of grey. Speaking of grey, the Bellingham sky is quickly returning to the never ending season of grey that is fall. Luckily we have lots of beautiful green trees to keep our spirits up.