Friday, February 28, 2014

Cat Photos Friday #2 - Ikea greenhouse

It's time for another edition of Cat Photos Friday! You can find my first one here.

This was when my cats decided to "help" put together my mini greenhouse from Ikea.

Disclaimer:
(Please ignore the monstrosity that is my kitchen floor. I am not a fan of that pattern!)







They totally gave up!

 Can you find Cloud?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Veggie Garden- Goodbye Grass!

After dreaming about it all winter, the day finally came for me to start digging up the grass for my vegetable garden! I was beyond excited, as you could probably tell from this post. I started early last Saturday morning and my mom came down to help. When we were ready for a break we took a trip to Lowe's ( Like you always have to do when starting project! It's one of my favorite parts.) And bought some nice dirt, bonemeal, a  good rake and got back to work. 


 This is what it looked like before. I really wanted to move my neighbor's trash can so it wouldn't be in the photos, but I chickened out!








Can you find a hidden Jeeves?



And of course, these guys supervised us the entire time!

We got all of the grass dug up last weekend. Next we are going to build a picket fence around it to keep out the rabbits. Hopefully the weather will be nice this Saturday!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cat Photos Friday #1

I decided to start a weekly theme called Cat Photos Friday! I have 100s of random cat photos on my computer and I thought I might as well share them with the world. (Plus it gives me an excuse to keep taking more ;-) Hehe) 

I have three cats, and they are completely nuts. They race around the house like maniacs and create all kinds of ruckus. I feel like I live in a zoo most days. A very entertaining zoo though! This particular day was sometime last spring when I bought them a new canvas cat condo because they destroyed the last one. A year later and this one is now looking pretty bad.. But these pictures cracked me up and I feel like they capture their personalities perfectly. So, let me introduce my nutballs!




This is Cloud. Her hobbies include dragging her favorite toy mice into dark rooms and yowling at them. 

This is Jeeves. He enjoys meowing at the top of his lungs for no reason and doing back flips off the walls.

This is Chester. He loves water from the sink, water from the bathtub and knocking glasses of water onto the floor. WATER.


 I'll end the post with this very flattering picture of Jeeves.



You can find loads more photos on instagram at #chestercloudjeeves

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow day number 2!

I really didn't expect it to snow again, and especially not this much! I didn't measure it, but we probably got around 10-12 inches in total. Here in NC it usually doesn't snow enough to cover the blades of grass, but about every 10 years or so we'll get hit with a big snowstorm.

 It started snowing last Wednesday afternoon while I was at work, and about 45 minutes later my boss told me I better get the heck home! I'm glad he did because a drive that normally takes 5 minutes took me 30, I couldn't believe the roads got covered that quickly. 

 It snowed all day Thursday too, and luckily we were able to stay home from work, which was nice. I finally got around to unpacking the last few boxes we had sitting around since we moved in. Which was a year and a half ago by the way. ;-) I planned on going to work on Friday because it was sunny and warm, but my car wouldn't budge, and in fact, I ended up having to dig it out of an ice block Monday morning! It's been in the 60's the past few days and there still quite a bit of snow hanging around. Crazy!

And of course, I took plenty of pictures!

This was about two hours after it started. Goodbye road!





My mom's cat Sookie ran outside to join us, and immediately regretted that decision!


The snowflakes were huge!





And of course, no snow day is complete without building a snowman! (Even if I did pull a muscle in my back.. Snow is heavy!)


I'm glad we got a really good snow this year. I am super ready for spring and gardening, but looking at these pictures makes me miss it already.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lavender Lemonade Cupcake Recipe

On my birthday blog post I mentioned that my mom and I made lavender lemonade cupcakes and I thought I would share the reciepe. (Plus some more cute cupcake photos!) We used this recipe that we found on pinterest. 


Ingredients:

1 package of white cake mix
1 6 oz can of lemonade concentrate
1 tablespoon of finely ground, dried culinary lavender
1 carton of sour cream
1 package of cream cheese
3 eggs



A supervising cat is a must have!

I think our lavender may have been too green and for that reason we only put in half a tablespoon.


Set aside two tablespoons of the lemonade concentrate to use for the frosting.

Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and beat at low to medium speed for 3 minutes, making sure everything gets incorporated.


Spoon the batter into muffin cups, leaving room for them to rise.
Bake at 350 for approximately 22 minutes.


 

Once the cupcakes come out of the oven, let them cool for 5-10 minutes before adding the frosting.


We used buttercream frosting:

2 packages of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup of softened butter
2 tablespoons lemonade concentrate
2 cups of sifted confectioners sugar

Whip the butter and cream cheese together, then mix in the lemonade concentrate and slowly add the sugar.  Add purple food coloring one drop at a time until the desired color is reached.



 Add as much or a little frosting as you like, top with colored sugar sprinkles and enjoy!



**My thoughts on this recipe**

These were absolutely delicious!  However, since we were concerned about the green-ness of the lavender we didn't add very much and then couldn't taste any lavender flavor in the cupcake.  The lemonade flavor was divine though! And the addition of the cream cheese and sour cream give them a really great texture, almost like a fluffy pound cake. 

I would definitely bake these again and not be afraid to add more lavender.  You should try it too!



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Birthday Adventures

February 8th was my 23rd birthday! And I must say that this has probably been the best birthday ever. It was an entire day filled with fun activities! (Yay for birthdays falling on Saturday!) Since my new goal has been to take more photos, I tried to document all the fun moments of my birthday adventure.

I had a party Friday evening and my mom made these super cute drinks. I don't exactly remember what was in it, but I'm pretty sure it involved cranberry juice and wedding cake flavored vodka.


Instead of a cake I had delicious brownies with frosting. 


We started my birthday morning off with a trip to McDonalds for an egg and cheese biscuit and a hazelnut iced coffee. I am obsessed with those coffees..



Next it was time to do one of our favorite activities of driving around and exploring. We set out to find a creepy place we found about a year ago while exploring. 


Found the creepy place! Looks like they were building an entrance to a fancy neighborhood but then abandoned it.



After that we checked out some antique stores. 


*Wait a minute... What's that in the corner...*


 IT'S A LAND CAMERA.

I have been wanting one of these for a while now and I was just telling everyone the night before how much I really wanted one. I was so excited!  The downside is that they stopped making this film in 1992 and it's really hard to find. And expensive!! But I'll probably give it a shot, just to see how it comes out. I still would like to get a slightly newer version of the land camera that you can still but film for. But this guy is in perfect shape!

 After all the camera excitement it was time to bake lavender lemon cupcakes with my mom. I took a bunch of photos  that I'll share along with the recipe later.

For dinner Steven and I went out for Thai food. We shared a shrimp and vegetable curry and sticky rice with ice cream for dinner.




We ended the day with a bag of yummy Indian snacks!