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August 29, 2012

strawberry lemon yogurt cake.

If I do say so myself, this cake is the best thing I have ever made, and probably the best tasting. Once baked, this cake is moist (hate that word, but there's nothing better to describe it!), and delicious. It does take a little while to prepare, and the baking time is about an hour, so set aside enough time for prep, baking, and clean up!
// 2 sticks of butter
// 2 cups of sugar
// 1 lemon (both the zest and the juice)
// ½ tsp. baking soda
// ½ tsp. salt
// 3 eggs
// 2½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
// 8 oz. plain or vanilla greek yogurt
// 12 oz. strawberries, diced
// 1 cup confectioner's sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325*
2. Grease and flour the bundt pan well.
3. Mix together 2¼ cups of flour, the baking soda, and the salt. Zest the lemon into the mixture.
4. In another bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy. An electric mixer works best, but if you don't have one (like me!) then a little elbow grease and a whisk work just fine.
5. Beat the eggs in one at a time, along with a tbsp. of lemon juice.
6. Alternate adding flour mixture and yogurt to the sugar and butter until all is mixed.
7. Add the strawberries to the mixture and mix gently.
8. Add the mixture to the bundt pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Allow the finished cake to cool in the pan, then flip onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
10. Mix the confectioner's sugar with 2 tbsp. of lemon juice and drizzle the mixture onto the cooled cake.


August 20, 2012

cake batter rice krispie treats.

So I know that this is only my second posted recipe and it's another cake batter recipe, but I had some leftovers from my truffles, and I just love cake batter flavor! These rice crispy treats are so simple to make, and like the truffles are no-bake.

Here's what you'll need:
//  pre measure out the following ingredients because everything happens very fast!
//  3 tbsp. butter
//  1/3 cup yellow cake mix (DRY!)
//  1 10 oz. bag mini marmallows
//  5 cups rice krispies
//  sprinkles!

1. melt the butter in a large saucepan. once melted, add the entire bag of marshmallows.
2. once the marshmallows begin to melt, add spoonfuls of cake mix one at a time and mix in.
3. after all of the cake mix is mixed in, add the
rice krispies and stir until the mixture is one giant sticky mess!
4. add sprinkles to the mixture, and turn off the heat.
5. spread the mixture into a baking dish (WARNING! it will be sticky!
6. let sit for 30 minutes before cutting into squares. i suggest using a serrated knife, perhaps sprayed with baking spray for a particularly sticky batch.


August 14, 2012

tunes tuesday // ed sheeran.

If any of you have read Perez Hilton in the last few months, you'll know all about Ed Sheeran! His first music video was for his single 'Lego House', and it featured Rupert Grint, which kind of blew things up for him. Since then he's had numerous sold out shows all over England and the US, a few of which I've been denied tickets to because he's getting so popular!

I first heard the album this past January when I was visiting my boyfriend in England. I didn't love the entire album at first, but now I really love it. The first song that I did like though, (besides 'Lego House'), was 'The A Team', a slow and soft song. It's a little bit sad, but I think it's a really nice sounding song. It's reached the US charts, but I have only heard it once or twice on a non-mainstream station. I have a feeling the album and his singles will climb much higher on American charts, though.

A few fun facts about Ed:
1. He wrote the song 'Moments', the last song on One Direction's album Up All Night
2. He performed a cover of Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here' at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
3. His single 'The A Team' beat out Adele and Florence + the Machine for best song musically and lyrically at the 2012 Brit awards - a big accomplishment!

Below is Ed's single, 'The A Team', adapted from the official YouTube video (so disregard the first few second of birds tweeting!) - hope you love it!

The A Team
Ed Sheeran

August 7, 2012

tunes tuesday // ben howard.

This Tunes Tuesday is all about Ben Howard. Though his album came out in late 2011, Every Kingdom is really just beginning to gain some momentum in Howard's home country; England. So far the album has held a peak position at number 6 on the UK album charts and there are a few singles that have popped up on UK radio stations, but the album has not shown up on the US charts. However, Howard launched his album in America this past April, and even made an appearance at the June 2012 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, so it's safe to say that he's on his way!

The album starts off beautifully, with a really pretty sound, and only continues on to get better and better. I will admit, it took a couple of listens to completely fall in love with the album, but it was definitely worth the wait. The album is soft for the most part, definitely easy listening, and perfect for a summer drive. Every Kingdom is available on iTunes, and below is one of his songs 'Keep Your Head Up', which is definitely my favorite on the album if I had to choose just one!

Keep Your Head Up
Ben Howard

August 6, 2012

mani monday [chevron].

This weekend I tried to create triangular/chevron shapes on my nails. I used a top coat with different sized gold flecks for the chevrons, so the definition in the shapes isn't completely identifiable, but if I had used another polish the shapes would have been perfect!

All you need are two different polishes - I used Essie 'Cute as a Button' as the base color and Sephora by OPI 'Only Gold for Me' topcoat for the triangles/chevrons.

First, I painted my nails as I normally would, and finished with a top coat. After I was certain that they were dry, I applied tape to my nails to create the shapes.

After securing the edges of the tape, paint over your nails with the top color of your choice, and then the tricky part is peeling the tape off. It creates a little bit of a sticky layer where the polish meets the tape edge, so you want to make sure that you let the top color dry a little bit, and then use another layer of your clear topcoat after you've peeled the tape off. Viola!

August 5, 2012

DIY pretty tacks.

I've been saving wine corks to make my own cork board (it's not going to take much longer), and until I'm ready for that project I decided to keep busy with a related project, pretty tacks! I had my eye on a few different sets of tacks from Target, but in the end I decided that this Pinterest idea was a lot better.Like my last project, you should have most of this around the house, even the resin cabochons because they are great for making jewelry or hair accessories. I bought mine from Baubles Of Fun on Etsy in mint, spiced salmon, angel food, and grey for $2.95/10 pieces. For forty really cute pins, you would have to pay a ton, as cute ones only come in packs of 6 or so for at least over five dollars. Plus, these flowers are just beautiful and the colors are lovely, even if you choose some of the sellers' other colors.This is the world's easiest DIY, as all you have to do is superglue the tacks to the back of the flowers, which are flat and ready for application. Leave them to dry for a few minutes so that you don't end up with one giant multicolored mess, and that's a wrap, folks.