Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guiness & Baileys.

I've been meaning to post about St. Patrick's Day, and somehow I kept forgetting.
I don't know how because this is one of my favorite holidays.
Starting in college, my friends and I just went all out--party all day, make food, 
fun drinks and get all dressed up! Pittsburgh is one of THE best places to be
for St. Patty's Day. Our parade is awesome--I think it's the 2nd biggest in the nation
and the surrounding neighborhoods start the festivities as early as 7 am.

This year I wanted to make something different for the party I was going to. 
Thanks to Pinterest, I found an awesome recipe for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes!
For those who don't know, an Irish Car Bomb is a shot--you pour some Guiness in a glass,
then drop in a shot glass filled with Baileys and Irish whiskey--then chug as fast as you can!

While those are great and all, I thought these cupcakes would be just as amazing.
They were actually pretty strong--and took some time to make (mainly because you have 
to start from scratch--so no box mix), but totally worth it!

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Icing:
2 cups unsalted butter
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream (I added a bit more!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bring the Guiness and butter to simmer in a sauce pan. 
When it begins to bubble, add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 
With a mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream in with the mixture. 
 Once it starts to come together, add the Guiness-chocolate mixture 
(I let mine cool off a bit). 
Line your cupcake tray with liners, and separate the batter into each. 
I filled mine pretty close to the top and it still made about 2 dozen cupcakes.
Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes--I had to keep one tray in a little longer, 
so make sure you stick a toothpick in the middle of a few to see if it comes out clean.

While they're cooking, whisk the butter until smooth--this won't work well
unless the butter is at room temperature. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and Bailey's.
Be sure to set the mixer at low or the Bailey's could splash out at you!
Ice the cupcakes however you wish! I kept it simple with some green sprinkles. 
I realied I had a lot of frosting, so for a few of the cupcakes, I cut a hole in the center
and filled the inside with frosting as well! 
They were so delicious. The batter and icing both tasted a little strong when you tried 
them separate, but together it was perfect!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's Happening.

Basket I made for ZTA's fashion show fundraiser at Clarion.
Birthday girl being weird.
Some amazing sorority sisters!
One of my favorite meals--kielbasa, potatoes and onions!
Believe it or not, I actually don't have too much happening right now.
Work is getting busier, but I'm happy about that. 
I definitely work better when I have multiple things going on--
the crazy organizer in me starts writing all sorts of to-do lists.

My sorority had a fashion show fundraiser this past Sunday up in Clarion.
I wasn't able to make it, but I donated a little Gardner Ann's basket for the auction!

We celebrated my cousin Samantha's 15th birthday last night at the new bar/restaurant Uncle Buckles. 
Pizza, wings and birthday cake--doesn't get much better! 
She was being silly and not wanting to wear her birthday cake hat, 
I only had 30 seconds to get my phone out and take a picture.

I made one of my favorite dinners the other night, kielbasa, potatoes and onions. 
It is seriously so easy to make and just has so much flavor for three simple ingredients 
(plus oil, salt & pepper of course). I like to heat up some oil first and cook the potatoes and onions. 
The potatoes get a little crispy on the outside--the burnt ones are the best!

I've been crossing my fingers that the weather starts to get nice again--
I shouldn't be compaining because for Pittsburgh we have had an amazing "winter." 

Anyway, Happy "Hump" Day : )

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not On The High Street is one of the best sites ever.
It is run by two lovely ladies out of the UK
& features all kinds of unique and inspiring treasures
from a wide variety of sellers. 

Lots of the merchandise can be personalized--
the prints, jewelry, signs, etc. can all get your name on it. 

I'm a little obsessed with the site. 
I think the fact that it's run out of the UK has a lot to do with it. 
My love for all things British really shines when I'm browsing the site.
I love when I come across a sign that says 
"mummy," "favourite," or "knickers."
The British are just so cute. 

Here are some of my favourite items:
This Autumn Bracelet.
A personalized crate for your garden.
A simple name necklace.
Danish Design letters.
Personalied House Portrait--perfect for your first home!
Rock limestone typographic art-perfect for the ultimate music fan.
Map art--you pick the city or country.
Chalkboard labels--all shapes and sizes.
Be sure to check out the site. The prices are reasonable--
even with the shipping costs to the US!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lauren's Bridal Shower

My cousin's bridal shower was this past Sunday at Hoffstot's Cafe Monaco
in Oakmont. It was absolutely beautiful. I feel like I've been working on it forever, 
and the day finally came and it all came together and looked perfect!

Everyone was talking about how amazing the room looked, the food was delicious, 
the games were fun and most importantly, Lauren had an awesome time!

I made a lot of the things to save some money--and I was so pleased with how it looked!
My beautiful little cousin, Avery.
The bride with our grandma and her mom!
The Bridal Party & Flower Girl!
Prize baskets.
Classy & simple--just the way we wanted it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Little Pick-Me-Up

Today is just one of those days. 
I can't crack this mood that I'm in. 
It's a beautiful day, and for some reason 
my mind is stuck in this gloomy place. 

Looking for a little pick me up today.
Drinks with friends? Sushi & a good movie?
I don't know but I certainly need something. 

Until then, I'll be thinking positive as much as I can--
St. Patty's Day is only 4 days away!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

She Said the Prettiest Place on Earth, Was Baltimore at Night.

I don't know, Pittsburgh's pretty great at night. 
But I guess I'll be the judge of that in just a month or so.
That's right, I'm taking a little vaca to Baltimore.
It should be great--not only am I going with five of my best friends,
but this is my first time visiting the city & we are staying right in the
We are staying at my friend Kate's house in Lancaster Thursday night, 
then driving to Baltimore Friday morning for the weekend!
Have you been to Baltimore before?? I need tips on where to go/eat/drink/shop!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


After all the travel I did last year for my job, I think it's
safe to say that I caught the travel bug. 

I cannot stop thinking about going somewhere.
I don't exactly know where. But I just want to get in the car, 
or better yet plane, and just GO. 

Maybe to the west coast. Start in Washington and make my way down.
Yeah, that sounds perfect. Hit Seattle, Portland, San Fran, LA, San Diego. 
Anywhere really. Fly there, rent a car, and just...wander.
I'm 23. I shouldn't be stuck in gloomy Pittsburgh, where the weather
is different every day. I'm talking snow one day and 60 degrees the next.
It's really starting to mess with me.
And the traffic. Oh, the traffic. It's horrible--a day ruiner, really.

I just want to see things, meet people, take pictures, write about my adventures. 
Sleeping under the stars sounds nice. Buying fresh flowers at the Public Market. 
Stand on the corner of Haight-Ashbury. Put my hands in Marilyn Monroe's star.
Dip my feet in the Pacific Ocean...Why am I not doing these things? 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Marshmallow Pops.

My mom and I saw this cute idea at a craft show about a month ago--
but didn't make them until this past week.
I'm sure many of you know, but it was just Dr. Suess's birthday, 
and my mom being a kindergarten teacher goes all out for this. 
This year she read her class "The Lorax" and made fun crafts to go along
with the book. She also made "truffela trees" for the kids to eat.

The trees were simple, pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows, 
melted chocolate and sprinkles!

They were so easy to make. First, melt the chocolate, we chose white, in a pan or bowl placed over boiling water. Once it starts to melt, stir so it becomes nice and smooth.
Place the pretzel rod in the marshmallow and carefully dip into the chocolate.
Immediately dip in your choice of sprinkles.
Let them dry on wax paper--I also sprayed some cooking spray, just incase!
My mom made brownies with green icing and put the little "truffela trees" all across the top. It looked like a colorful forest &  her kids loved them!
I plan on trying these again soon--maybe St. Patty's day?