Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Carrot Cupcakes

Ever since the last time I used this recipe for a birthday cake at work, one of the scholars here has been telling me that I have to make it for her again, before she leaves. Today is her last day, so I stayed up late last night making little carrot cupcakes, perfect for her flight back to Paris.
I'm always a bit nervous when making these, because it always seems like there are more carrots than batter. I got nervous they wouldn't come out.
Carrot Cupcakes
But, they were fine!
Carrot Cupcakes
I was so tempted to eat one up, but I didn't. Eighteen naked little cupcakes await her. Since she's leaving on a flight, she mentioned that if I do make it for her, she'd prefer the frosting on the side, so it would be easier to take on a plane. I did have some extra batter though and made a little cake, which I frosted.
Half a Carrot Cake
I cut the cake in half so that one half can go to the people in my office and the other half can go to Brian and my bellies. The cake recipe is the same as last time, but I did use a new recipe for the frosting and it came out pretty good.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, 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, May 29, 2007

Farmer's Market Dinner

I'm so glad Brian enjoys cooking (and that he's really good at it). He also has excellent chopping skills.
Brian chopping potatoes
Brian chopping cucumbers
While he was chopping, I was preparing the corn. We boiled the corn for about 10 minutes, covered it with butter then grilled it.
Salmon with mesquite seasonings, lemon, rosemary, and a little olive oil.
The salad had lettuce (not really sure what the official kind was, but it was a leafier version of Romain), tomatoes, cucumber slices, and onions. The dressing was made of lemon, olive oil, chopped fresh basil, and pepper.
The salad
Baked salmon, corn on the cob, salad, and potatoes. It was technically still lunch time, but this meal did the job for dinner too.
The farmer's market food
No strawberry-picking/farmer's market dinner would be complete without a fresh strawberry pie!
Strawberry Pie
We were so full, but somehow managed to eat almost the entire pie!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Strawberry Pickin'

Brian and I took a trip to Underwood Family Farms this morning to partake in a little old fashioned strawberry pickin'.
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
We ended up with about 3-4 pounds of strawberries, which was plenty. We walked around looking for berries, but when we finally found them, they were swarmed with bumble bees.
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
Bees were a problem. I've never been stung, but I do have allergic tendancies in general, so I fear the day. They were also a problem for Brian who kept trying to pick me sunflowers, though they were also covered in initals b.b.. Soon came accross a bee-free flower zone. I guess the bees weren't into these flowers, but I sure was. After Brian picked me one, I kept pointing out new ones for him to pick.
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
Flowers and strawberries later, we strolled over to the farmer's market and it was magnificent.
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
Strawberry Picking - May 28, 2007
We decided to make a farmer's market dinner/lunch (since it was still only 12). I realize this post is getting a little picture heavy, so I will post those pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Duvet Cover: In Progress

The fabric has been washed, ironed, and now cut down to size. I'm using the pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing book, it's pretty and simple.
Fabric cutting...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fabric Purchased

I went a little nuts at the fabric store today. I bought all the fabric for my duvet cover and some other lace to experiment with.
Future duvet cover and other room colors
This afternoon, I'll wash the fabric and maybe begin construction tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not Only Good For My Hair

Bleach is great for my sink too! It's crazy how fast the sink can turn ugly on you, when you're not paying attention. Mine developed some seriously gnarly stains.
Sink Stains

I filled my sink with water and about 3/4 cups of bleach and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Equipt with a heavy duty glove, I drained the sink and it's stains.
Water and Bleach

I noticed there were a few darker lines still lingering on, so I scrubbed those with some comet and voila'!
After some scrubbing and bleaching


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Love For Martha

Another book I got yesterday:

A lot of these recipes are similar to ones she has online, but I just had to own this, such a good reference.

Monday, May 21, 2007

In An Ideal World

I would have the extra $500 to own this...

... and throw away my cluttered mess.

Happy Monday

pancakes, zucchini pancake, veggie sausage patty, veggie sausage link
Two pancakes up front, in the back (from left to right) zucchini pancake, veggie sausage patty, veggie sausage link. I made Brian and I breakfast and cleaned out my freezer of faux sausage/pancake/patty products (though the 2 pancakes up front were au naturale).

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Books, Check 'Em Out

I got two new great books this weekend from my dear friend, Crystal.
The Best Bake Sale Ever Cookbook
The Best Bake Sale Ever Cookbook
Cutest cookbook ever! Not only do the recipes sound good (I can't wait to make "whoopie pies"), but they offer great tips on how to package and display your yummy treats, which I found very inspiring.

The second book totally creeped me out, because I was just thinking about how I want to go camping, but have no idea how to camp! Crystal totally read my mind...

Let's Get Primitive; The Urban Girl's Guide to Camping
A cute read with lots of great tips for a beginner camper, like myself. Also, really adorable illustrations by the very talented Susie Ghahremani of Boy Girl Party!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Possible Pillows

I just purchased this new fabric from Repro Depot Fabrics. I think these will be pillowcases and some possible trim for other projects in the bedroom.
Just Purchased - new fabric, possibly for pillowcases

I loved it because it matched so perfectly with my new blue stitch vase!

Operation Organize

Somehow I need to fit all this...
The junk that needs to go on the shelf (or in the trash)

... into this!
My new shelf
I'm planning on getting rid of and selling a lot of the junk and furniture in the messy area. I also have been thinking long and hard on a way to make the shelves look totally organized and clean. I've been thinking a lot about possibly wrapping my books in vellum, it's probably a lot better for them too. Only thing is that I love looking at my vintage book collection and all of their fun colors. Something to think about. I can't really start moving things into my shelf yet either, because I want to mount it first... but before I mount it, I have to decide where it's going to officially go and be mounted to. I plan on making some of these decisions this week, so more on that soon.

I've had this mirror sitting around in the junk area for a while now.
Yellow Mirror
It used to be this ugly white thing, but now it's a yellow thing and still kinda ugly. I'm working on it! I think using cheap paints did not help at all. Time for re-sanding and a new coat of paint. I think this one is going to eventually live in the bathroom.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cherry Limade Jello

Brian was fasting for a doctor's appointment and all he could eat was Jello, so I tried to make a little something fancy so he didn't feel too deprived of food.
Jello - 3 layers
It took a while to let each layer settle, but it reminded me how fun and yummy jello is! This summer, I want to experiment a little bit with summer flavors, like watermelon and lemonade jello!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

190 Pounds of Good Design

That's right. This bad boy was lugged up my stairs and now sits peacefully in 3 large boxes in my living room. I haven't even attempted putting it together yet, but I think I'm going to tackle the beast tomorrow.

I really liked this in white, but I went for the birch-effect to match my computer desk. I'm really excited for my new room to be completed. I'm thinking toile fabrics, lots of white, and lots of getting rid of stuff. I'm tired of all the mismatched colors and chaos.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yummy Cupcakes

For Brian's birthday, I got him some cupcakes from Yummy Cupcakes, in Burbank.
Yummy Cupcakes, Burbank

We have been here before and thought it was pretty good. Last time we went, we had Happy Day and Peanut Butter and Jelly. The Peanut Butter and Jelly was pretty amazing! They have such a creative selection of cupcakes, unfortunately, on Monday they didn't have any of the flavors I was itching to get Brian (Peanut Butter Cup, Coffee, Old School), but I think he was pleased.

I ended up getting (from left to right, starting with the top) Cream Puff (which was not as good as I thought it would be - hardly any cream in it, with a name like Cream puff, you want cream), Devil Dog, Chocolate/Chocolate and Red Velvet.
I only had tastes of Red Velvet and Cream Puff, and they were good. They weren't Sprinkles good, but then again, Sprinkles puts me in a 16 hour sugar coma, and that didn't happen with these guys. Brian said the chocolate cupcakes were amazing. For some reason, I always notice that chocolate cupcakes at various cupcake shops always taste the best (and I'm not even a chocolate person, I prefer vanilla). Chocolate ones always come out the moistest, so I've noticed.

Yummy Cucapkes
2918 W. Magnolia Blvd 91505
Burbank, Ca

Monday, May 07, 2007


It's been a great birthday weekend and it still continues on as today is Brian's birthday! One more week of fun ahead! We had a nice brunch at Milk (also reviewed, with good pictures, Oishiieats), we had the Herb Roasted Chicken Breast Sandwich (on the left) and Cheeseburger (daily special, on the right), then did a little half and half to taste a bit of both.
Food at Milk, Los Angeles
The burger was the winner, but damn they were both so good. One of the best burgers I've ever had, actually. I'm a sucker for putting ketchup on everything, but in this case, ketchup would only take away from the wonderful flavor! We both were very into the food. But the best part of this meal was dessert, gelato filled macaroon sandwiches.
Macaroon-Gelato sandwiches at Milk, Los Angeles

I had the strawberry and Brian had the coffee.
Strawberry and Coffee
Very, very good. The coffee tasted just like coffee and the strawberry tasted a bit like the color pink would probably taste, sweet and good! The only thing I did not enjoy at this place was their Jasmine iced tea. I usually have a cup of Jasmine tea everyday and well, I couldn't even drink it.

7290 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Friday, May 04, 2007

A New Patch Of Scraps

I love that I really don't know where I'm going with this, except it's going to probably be a blanket. This is turning out to be one of the funnest projects I've started.

More scraps

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

It's true, today is my birthday! I've been having a great year so far, so I think 25 will be okay.. hectic, but okay. I got lots of beautiful flowers today! I really enjoy the process of cutting and arranging them into vases.

Lots of green was cut, and the end result equals a lot of full vases.
I got lots of flowers for my birthday

I was going to mix and match the bouquets, but they were from different people and I'm a sentimental gal, I couldn't separate 'em. The rest of the month is going to be fun; I plan to celebrate until June.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cut The Scrap

Cutting, sewing, cutting, sewing...

Scraps are growing

... they're not little pieces anymore! It's a little-big guy now! I'm planning to do laundry soon, so I will probably start my more complicated crib size quilt soon, but this little scrap project is more fun than I thought it would be. Plus, I think it will be something I can continue doing when I start school.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Strawberry Shortcake

Last night, I had the best dinner ever.
Strawberry Shortcake

It may look a little sloppy, but strawberries, angel food cake and some fat free whip! YUM.