Pin-spiration: Life quotes

Happy Sunday everyone!

I’m going to be upfront with you, I’m not in the habit of doing my blog entries ahead of time (I know, I can hear the gasps of horror already!) So here I am, writing my weekend entry on a Sunday night. Forgive me yet? (In case you can’t tell, I’m batting my eyelashes and attempting to look adorable!)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about where I’m headed and what I want to do with my life. I’m turning 24 this year (eek) and I’ve been working full time at an amazing stater job since I graduated 2 years ago but I figured I would just know what I wanted to do with my life at this point. And I know the uncertainty is actually really good, it means I have options and I’m open to a lot of exciting possibilities (thanks to a Boy Meets World episode that taught me that haha). But I’m not one for leaving the future unplanned, it’s just freakin me out a little. So here’s some Pinterest inspiration that I’ve been using to remind myself that uncertainty is healthy.

I got the idea for Pin-spiration from one of my blogger friends Nicole over at Treasure Tromp. Check out her blog and her Pin-spirations, she has such a lovely blog!!

Found pin via Lauren but original source unknown 😦

Found pin via Sabrina but the photo links back to Style Me Pretty

 Found pin via Brenna, I’m completely obsessed with this print from this Etsy shop!

Found pin via Jacqueline but original source unknown 😦

Found pin via Anne but original source unknown 😦

Anyone else grappling with uncertainty? I know in my heart, it will all work itself out but it’s just allowing fate to take you there that is difficult for me. For those of you established in life, what was the turning point when you realized “This is where I’m supposed to be”? Anyone else have good quotes they rely on to soothe growing pains?

Follow me on Pinterest if you’re interested!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends! Did you do anything exciting?

P.S. If you know ANY of the sources of the prints listed above, please let me know! I’d LOVE to credit them directly.

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Simply Baking: Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars

Happy Tuesday everybody!

So last Saturday was baking-palooza for my sister and I and one of the recipes on Pinterest we decided to try was Two Peas & Their Pod’s Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars.

We already had all the baking ingredients the recipe needed except for the caramel squares and heavy whipping cream. The main deviations we took from the recipe included using normal brown sugar (instead to light brown sugar) and inaccurate measurements of butter (Much to my dismay, we were out of butter bars with the nice measurement lines so I used a tablespoon and hacked it out of an abnormally large chunk of butter we had for when my Dad makes massive servings of mashed potatoes). Moral of the story, not sure how accurate my hack job was…

But we took these to my brother’s team party and they were swooped up in a manner of minutes with pre-teen boys grunting in approval.

Overall, I wasn’t thrilled with the way ours came out because they were crumbly and a bit dry. I can only assume that is due to our odd butter measurement methods and possibly the brown sugar.  But honestly, everyone who ate them was impressed and I’d definitely try this recipe again but with more precise butter calculations. The sea salt is such a nice touch to the taste of these bars too. 

I’d be really interested to see how they turn out for you if you choose to make them, so let me know! Make sure to check out the amazing food blog of Two Peas & Their Pod for more incredible recipes (especially if you can follow the recipes better than I can 😀 lol).

Movin’ on up

Last but not least, I was feelin sorta down last night so I did what any normal person would do: Bought myself the new MacBook Pro! While I admit I am an emotional shopper/eater/etc, I’ve been contemplating the Pro for about 6 months now and I finally worked up the courage to do it. I was set on getting it on a simple $100/month payment plan but I found out their financing is basically opening a credit card. I’m deathly afraid of opening any more credit lines so I dipped into the honey jar of my savings and left a happy woman.

Welcome home baby!

I haven’t had a laptop since sophomore year of college and I’ve been doing all my blog work on an old model desktop (imagine the obscenities I used when Internet Explorer froze at least once an hour). Now for the important question: Fellow Bloggers with a Mac – What program do you use for photo editing? Is Photoshop Elements 10 enough? Should I at least swing for the CS6 student version? I might have a panic attack if I need the $649 Photoshop CS6. Also, share some Mac tips with this newbie, I’ve been Windows all my life! I’m excited for what a functioning laptop will do for Simply Evani and I hope you continue to follow along!

Have a great day everyone!

Simply Baking: Strawberry Cupcakes

Happy Hump Day readers!

Can I confess something to you all? I had no idea what “hump day” meant until recently. Lol, can you imagine what I thought it was before I understood it was the “hump” of the week?

Anyhoot, my Aunt brought us fresh ripe strawberries from SoCal and I had 2 recipes in my Pinterest board just waiting for them! I’m happy to share these 2 amazing recipes from Eat, Live, Run and Baking Bites.

I initially made this Strawberry on Strawberry deliciousness from Eat, Live, Run but I wanted to try it with a Chocolate cupcake from Baking Bites. Both options were winners in my book!

The Strawberry frosting was the shining star of this recipe, and it made enough to ice 24 cupcakes, 24 mini cupcakes AND approximately 3 cups worth to save for a rainy day (AKA, an excess of frosting). I have to be honest and say I rarely ever sift anything (its possible I don’t have the technique down but it takes me HOURS to sift) so maybe I got powdered sugar happy and it made extra? Anyhoot, it was DELICIOUS so I didn’t mind having extra.

The Strawberry cake was yummy too but for some, it might have been a little too much Strawberry on Strawberry action.

So two days later, I opted to try them with a chocolate cupcake recipe. When I finished the chocolate cupcakes, I only had time to snap a picture at dawn (bright and early before my 9-5) so I apologize for the yellowish tint.

Overall, I heard the combination of the recipes (Fresh Strawberry Frosting and Chocolate Cupcake) was a true winner but I really loved both of these recipes and you can’t go wrong with either! Check out the blogs for the full recipes:

Eat, Live, Run’s  Strawberry Cupcake with Fresh Strawberry Frosting

Baking Bites’ Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
(FYI, I only made the cupcake)

Hospital Fashion

Check out this suh-weeet photo of my sister and I rockin the latest fashion trend:
Hospital Gowns and Latex gloves

My Grandma is set to come home either tomorrow or Thurs so all is well! But because of a potential bacteria, we had to suit up in order to visit her. It sounds more intense than it was.  I also got a huge kick out of saying “Suit Up!” a la Barney Stinson (HIMYM fans anyone!?)

Thanks again for all the prayers and good thoughts! Have a great Wednesday!

Caught in the Web

First off, I have to apologize because I’m seriously lacking in the creative department right now. So if this blog isn’t terribly inspired or ridden with wit, its because I’m simply in a rut. However I decided that since I’ve got a healthy stream of websites and blogs I frequent, it would be a good time to share those with any of you reading my blog. So here’s the break down, by frequency:

Everyday:

  • Groupon – Ridiculous deals. Nuff said.
  • Living Social – Ridiculous deals AND Getaways. I once saw an amazing deal for a Disneyland Good Neighbor hotel and I let the opportunity slip me by. I regret it all the time.
  • Pinterest – OBSESSED with this website. It’s by invite only and frankly difficult to explain it’s function but basically a website that lets you share and catalog anything and everything on the web. You create “boards” based on things you want to “pin” (mine include “Foods I’ve got to learn to make”, “Party ideas” and “Crafty things and DIY”) and basically you have all these projects/recipes/cool sayings all saved in one place. I was wracking up a serious count in my bookmarks tab when I found Pinterest and it changed my life altogether. It’s a crafty domestic diva dream website come true.
  • Facebook – Obvi. Anyone who knows me well knows that I do my share of facebook activity. I’ve ceased my obsession with facebook games such as Cityville and Hotel City because it took up 80% of my life. I could no longer allow Facebook to be my best friend.
  • Gmail – Since UC Davis moved its Gecko Mail to Gmail, I’ve never looked back. I have my personal e-mail and work e-mail all in one place. Also I’m on gchat ALL day for when things get slow at work.

Blogs I can’t live without:

  • Loving Life – I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty sure this is creepy but I have NO CLUE who this woman is. All I know is that she is lovely, takes amazing pictures and I can’t go more than 2 days without checking in on her life. She posts some wonderful recipes and her blog is what I envision my future Mommy blog to be like: relate-able, easy to read and full of my children’s crazy adventures.  Check her out!
  • The Problem with Young People Today is… – Funniest blog I’ve ever read in my life. Just read one entry and you’ll be hooked.
  • The Tall Gringo – In case he doesn’t already have a million readers, I definitely adore Mike Hower’s Blog about teaching in Colombia. I don’t want to inflate his ego any more than it already is but it’s SUPER well written and gives an excellent account of Colombian living. Along with his witty repartee, I think he paints Colombia in a realistic but heartfelt way and somehow makes me feel like I could be crazy enough to visit someday.
  • A Jenny for your Thoughts – One of my favorite college roommates ever, Jenny has a blog about postgrad life that I always look forward to reading. She doesn’t post nearly as much as I wish she would but when she does, it’s worth the read. When she writes, I can hear her literally telling the story as it is in the blog and that alone is worth the read. She’s so incredibly funny and her blog is amazing. READ IT.
  • TravelGirl – One of my other college roommates Jackie has some of the most amazing travel adventures and a blog to prove it. Not only does she go cool places, but she has an amazing sense of humor that shines through in her writing. I could read Jackie’s blog all day, it is so witty and it doesn’t even seem like she tries hard at all to be so good at blogging!
  • Salt and Nectar – An amazing Mommy blog written by two former lawyers from DC who have since settled in LA and Kentucky with their families. Both authors are named Sarah and the blog is such a refreshing and enjoyable read.
  • TheBeautyDepartment – This blog literally became my favorite overnight because one of it’s editors is one of my fashion gurus, Lauren Conrad (yes from The Hills, go ahead and judge me). Everything on this blog is do-able and I’ve tried at least 4 tutorials they’ve shown. I LOVE LC.
  • Oh Hello Friend – I consider this to be one of my hipster blogs, she posts super hip images of cool home decor, downtown LA or her lovely craft line. Her pictures are what really draw me to this blog and I love the discount deals she runs on different Etsy and up-and-coming jewelry companies. A very cool website.
  • Tours Departing Daily – You knew I had to have a Disney related blog eventually right? It’s a website of Disney images taken by a series of photographers who clearly know their stuff. The pictures are beautiful and I even have one of their images as my desktop at work!

I know that’s a lot of websites but I spend a lot of time online!

Happy Thursday readers 🙂