april

No this isn’t an April Fools’ Day joke. I’m really posting and since it has be awhile I thought I’d do a quick recap on what the heck I’ve been doing the last couple of months.

Survived winter.  Which if you’re not familiar with the emotional roller coaster that is winter, please see 20 April Ludgate GIF that describe how I and probably everyone else who has had to deal with below zero temperatures and the other sick jokes that mother nature has played on us for the past six months.

AIR yoga

Joined ClassPass.  If you’ve been following my Instagram you’ve seen that starting in February I worked to complete thirty classes in little over a month. I completed my goal in early March and have gone down to 3 to 4 classes a week and getting outside for runs.  I have a lot to say about ClassPass and the workouts that I’ve been doing, so I’m going to post more on that tomorrow.

Read books.  A few days before winter break started I realized that I had not finished one of the three books (Night Circus, Wild and Goldfinch) that I had started months before, so I resolved to finish Goldfinch before going back to work and I did!  I also started and finished The Circle and I’m about 50 pages into The Marriage Plot and can’t wait to pick up The Girl on the Train. I also started listening to books and for those of you who commute, check out Audible.  I listened to Yes Please and loved it! I just picked up #Girlboss and once that is done I plan to listen to Girl in a Band. I find autobiographies the easiest thing to listen to. Tip: listen to the preview before you buy. There’s a reason why they give Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word.

house

I decorated. With the help of a vintage store going out of business, my parents hand me downs and a small town interior design store in December and January my apartment went from odds and ends to a full blown adult apartment. I have rugs, a dinning room table, throw pillows, etc.  It is so cozy and I love it.  Above are just pictures of the living and dinning room but I’m always posting kitchen photos on Instagram.

I knit. More on this later. I have four friends expecting babes in the next three months and I have been busy.

I baked. Cookies, muffins, bread, etc.  Nothing really new, I mostly stuck with my standards but this week I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe The Chewy from Alton Brown.  I wasn’t impressed and as a friend said, “They aren’t bad but you’ve made better.”

I watched a lot of shows. Again I’m going to do a whole post on this but if you haven’t checked out Bloodline, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or the HBO documentary Going Clear, please do.

Hope you enjoyed this update.  I’m happy to be posting again and I hope you continue to check in.

Happy spring!

Tattly Party Fun

Alexe_Cooney_Photo_One

 

It was my friend Sue’s 30th birthday (on the right, the one wearing the tiara) last Monday and to celebrate we threw a big backyard bash a the weekend before. We knew that we were going to be throwing the party since the start of Summer, so when Tattly a temporary tattoo company run by swissmiss had it’s Two Year Old Sale I jumped and ordered just a few fun tattoos for the party.

 

Alexe_Cooney_Photo_Two

 

The tattoos were a huge hit and so much fun to see how people decided to wear them One friend did a whole bunch on his neck and throughout the night added more tattoos. I think they would be a hit at any party and would suggest skipping decorating your party space and just let folks decorate themselves. These were all that tattoos I ordered: F Haters, Sheriff Badge, Party Watch, Red Yarn, Premier Set, Nautical Set, Birthday Set, Unicorn, and Rainbow.

 

Alexe_Cooney_Photo_Three

Tips for putting on Tattly temporary tattoos.

 

1. Make sure you take the protective plastic off. There were a few tattoos that had a second layer or plastic film, so the tattoo adhered to that instead of the skin.

 

2. Have a tattoo buddy. You will probably need someone to help you place the tattoo or possibly suggest a better place to put the tattoo.

 

3. Be creative. A lot of people took scissors to the tattoos and cut out the part of the design they liked and then shared the remaining tattoo with a friend.

 

4. Stay hydrated. Make sure you have enough water on the towel that you use and do the water rinse after. It really did help keep that tattoos on longer.

 

5. Be prepared. If someone asks if your tattoo is real and I promise they will, be prepared and have an awesome answer and then follow it up with the truth.

 

p.s. Thank you Alexe Cooney for the pictures & more pictures of that temporary tattoos and party from Nicky Cheese will be available soon.

 

p.p.s This was not a sponsored post.

happy weekend

 

McNulty and Bellatrix Lestrange as Burton and Taylor

 

Great ideas for how to display family photos.

 

Need a summer scarf and a Summer time sewing project? This Smocked Summer Scarf project is perfect for you!

 

A new and positive way to start your day.

 

New style of my favorite print from Megan Lee Designs.

 

50% off sale at Tattly! Buy a few for gift bags, to put in care packages or to slap on before you go out for the night.

 

It has been months since I’ve watched The West Wing but I still think about Josh Lyman and want him to be my best friend, like him and Donna before things got mushy.

 

birthday cake!

Julia Child

Birthdays, birthdays, birthdays, so many March birthdays and I love celebrating each of them but this past weekend I celebrated a very special birthday, my niece’s first birthday!

 

The birthday girl’s parents requested cake pops for the big event, so a few weeks before the party I started to pick up different colored candy melts, sprinkles and cake mixes. The best part about the Spring themed party was everything was brightly colored, which is so nice because even though Winter was not invited to the party it still showed up.

 

I know I’ve talked about cake pops before but I wanted to go over some of the things I’ve learned from making them over the past couple of years, like how to transport them.

cake pops

One. When you add the frosting to the crumbled cake, add a few tbsp mix together and then add more, like you do when you make frosting. This way you prevent making the mix too moist, which will make it difficult to roll them into shapes.

undecorated

Two. I always have a hard time making each ball the same size until I used an ice cream scoop, like this one to scoop out the cake and then mold them into the shape. Not only does this help with making them uniform, it helps with making sure you don’t make them too large or heavy to stay on the lollipop stick.

 

Three. Although you can put them in the freezer, I’ve learned that keeping them in the fridge for a few hours is a better method because when you freeze them the cake tends to expand and crack the coating or ooze out.

decorating

Four. When decorating keep the candy coating warm. The second the candy chips start to cool down (about 5 minutes after you first melt them) it makes it more difficult to coat the cake pops and for the sprinkles to stick. Don’t get lazy, just pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds stir and keep decorating. Also, sprinkle over a bowl and use the  fallen sprinkles to decorate more pops.
all the pops

Five. Transporting cake pops. Let them set over night or for at least 5 hours, then take them from the floral foam block, place them in freezer size baggies- this way any loose springles will be contained, take a plastic container and line it with bubble wrap or towels, put the cake pops inside and close it up. When you get to you destination, decorate the floral foam block, then take the cake pops out and put them in their home. These cake pops made it on a 2 hour car ride from WI to MN and I didn’t loose one.

chocolate coated birthday cake oreos

Also, since the Birthday Cake Oreo truffles didn’t turn out how I wanted them to, I decided to just coat them with chocolate almond bark, white candy melt and lots of sprinkles. Super easy to make and super addictive.

moving

The new roommie and I have signed a lease, hired movers and started to complain about packing.  But all the moving pains don’t compare to how  stoked I am to live in a house with an office space, two kitchen aids and possibly a lazy boy recliner love seat!  I’m also pretty pumped to use my DIYness to decorate.  I’ve been pursing Design Sponge’s Best of Bedrooms parts 1, 2 and 3 to gather ideas because guess what I can fit more than my bed and a dresser in my new room!

Like I said before we have an office space that we plan to use for grading (new roommie will be student teaching this Fall), sewing table and “library.”  The walls of course are that horrible white that all the landlords in the world paint their walls, but neither of us wants to have to do the whole “paint the walls then paint them back,” so I’m looking in to this nifty DIY white wall paper.  It is a self adhesive wall paper that you can paint and then remove from the wall when you move out. I’m thinking it would be great for an accent wall.

Last but not least the first night you spend in a new place usually means eating take out and drinking an adult beverage from the local corner store but the first thing I plan to make when we have guests is this recipe for Slow Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Ketchup and Roasted Potatoes.