Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valentine's Date Night

I LOVE Valentine's Day! All the pink, red, hearts, flowers - it is so me! Mike and I did a little Valentine's project today (more to follow!), and I got to dress up all cute in a red and white polka dot dress and heels. It got me thinking of other outfits I would love to wear on the 14th, and here is one I put together on Polyvore. This would be perfect for a romantic date night out, especially here in the Bay Area. I didn't even wear a coat today, so the little sweater would be the perfect topper. I also am loving wingtip shoes lately ... so cute!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Opened an Etsy Shop!

I had a goal last year to open an Etsy shop, and guess what ... it didn't happen.  I lost motivation. I had doubts.  I gave up on projects that were difficult instead of problem solving.  This year I was doing some thinking about all of the things I did accomplish last year, and I realized that late is better than never.  So I went ahead, took the plunge, and got to work!

The Crafty Squirrel is open for business!  The Crafty Squirrel on Etsy

All items are $10 or under.  Check it out, take a look, and if it tickles your fancy, maybe get a little something.  :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Recipe - Rainbow Cake!

A goal of mine for this new year is to bake at least one new recipe a month.  My sweet coworkers will often drop little cake recipes in my mailbox since they know I love baking, and so for January, I didn't have to look very far for ideas.  I got a page on making rainbow cake, and with a little alteration, I made rainbow cupcakes last night.

They are adorable and fun to make.  I actually was able to knock a few goals off in one with this baking session - continue adding more color to my life, bake something new each month, and update my blog more regularly. Who knew rainbow cupcakes could do so much?!


For Cake (adapted from a recipe in the Rachel Ray magazine):

1 box mix of white cake mix
Food coloring

  1. Mix box mix according to directions.
  2. Separate the mix into six bowls, roughly even amounts.
  3. Add food coloring to each bowl to give you a color of the rainbow (I'm sure the gel food coloring would give you amazing colors, but I just used regular old food coloring).
  4. Line a cupcake tin with liners.
  5. Start with violet, and add a layer (about 1 - 2 spoonfuls) of colored mix for each rainbow color, going in reverse order so red is the last color you add at the top.  You can gently spoon the mix in so it has even layers, but I just added my spoonfuls right into the middle of the liner, and it worked fine.
  6. Bake according to box mix instructions; cool.
For Frosting (recipe from the Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook):

3 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

  1. In a saucepan, boil the water, sugar, and cream of tartar until it comes to a boil.  Mix once or twice to make sure the sugar isn't sticking to the pan.
  2. As that is coming to a boil, in a mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the egg whites and the vanilla until foamy.
  3. When the sugar syrup is ready, slowly pour it into the mixer with the foamy egg whites, whisking the whole time.
  4. Let it keep whisking. For a while. Like about 10 - 15 minutes.
  5. At first the mixture will just look really foamy, but after it begins to cool as it whisks, it will start looking really creamy and smooth and white.  Let it keep going until medium peaks form and can stand on their own.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January Favorite Things

A few of my current favorite things ...

My new perfume

My new bag

My current favorite nail color

My current favorite pair of shoes ... especially when I wear them with my purple tights

My new Electra Townie bike

Happy New Year!