Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coffee Table Organization

Living in a tiny apartment has its ups and downs, but there are times (many times) that I start to go crazy when things start to pile up due to a lack of space. Lately I've been getting more annoyed than normal and have been trying to find ways to make our tight space work, while still enjoying where I live.

Our coffee table is the dumping ground for mail and all those miscellaneous items in our house, mostly since our living room and front door are within reach of each other (sigh!). It looks clean now, HA, but you should see it when it's not picture worthy. I cleaned it yesterday (that's why it looks clean), so it's good till tomorrow when the week starts again. Well, there's nothing you can do but make it work. I saw a basket at Marshalls and at first didn't think anything of it, but when I came home and was looking at my coffee table, I had an epiphany. This would be perfect! I ran (well drove) back and bought it and it's perfect for what I needed.

THE coffee table

Empty space than can be used :D 

 THE Basket

New dumping ground :) I'm so excited!

I love my new basket. I think it's going to make my coffee table less of a mess and more organized and useful. I love me some good organization!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snippets from the week

I haven't had time for my normal everyday posts for a few reasons. School, school, Pure Barre, school and life!

This past month I signed up for the 20 day challenge at Pure Barre - 20 days in 30 days. It's been really hard to keep up with my schedule and I've been exhausted every night due to it, but I'm happy to say I have 5 more days to go and I will have met the challenge.  I have already started to see changes and I feel really good. Tired, but good. I have been forcing myself to exercise at least 4 days a week and for the past 2 months, I've been doing just that. I have also been biking to work most days, which has also helped. Have I lost a pound, well, I've lost a measly 3! But, they say muscle is more dense than fat, or that fat is replaced by muscle and therefore the scale won't move but you will look thinner. Well, I want the scale to move OKAY. Is that so much to ask for, jeez!!  So, I like to think I've lost more, but it's just all muscle baby! Ya! Sigh...not satisfied yet. I'm in this for the long run. So, I've accepted the fact that the changes I want to see are going to take a while and that I need to also watch the food I consume. Well, that's the harder part...but it's a work in progress.

That's my rant for today. Here are a few pix from the week, oh and it rained today :)

Beautiful masks I really considered buying - when my parents were visiting a few weekends ago...ok, so this isn't from this week! :D 

 Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies - see here for the recipe!

 Rocky and his usual antics

Something about this leaf reminded me of the cartoon 'The Land Before Time', from when I was small :)

 New candle holders my mom bought me :) I'm in love with them!

 Hello radishes :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Icing

Apparently Fall has started, but you wouldn't know it here in SoCal. It's 80 degrees today (my face just cringed). However, the leaves are changing and the nights are cold, so I have been pulling out my sweaters and warm socks and trying to get into the spirit of fall and maybe, just maybe, the weather will have pity on me and give us some actual Fall weather.

So, in the spirit of Fallness, my new word :) I have been craving all things pumpkin. Pumpkin latte's, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pies and pumpkin cake. I came across this wonderful recipe for a yummy scrumptious pumpkin cake and I wanted to share :)

*Cake recipe adapted from: Gourmet Magazine and The Baker Chick

Cake Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves or all spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (light would be fine too)
3 large eggs

Glaze Icing:

1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk

Cake Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Note: grease and flour the heck out of a 10" bundt pan.
  • Bring the eggs and butter to room temperature - it makes all the difference in the texture of the cake, especially with room temperature butter.
  • In a medium-sized bowl: whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In another bowl: whisk together the pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (if you have one, or just use a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined.
  • Alternate adding the flour and pumpkin mixtures, mixing on low speed, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Don't overmix.
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Invert and cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack before icing.

For the glaze:
  • Measure the sugar into a bowl. Add a few tablespoons of milk at a time, till it gets to the consistency you want.
  • Stir until it forms a thick, creamy paste.
  • When you have turned the cake out onto a cake plate, drizzle the glaze over the top. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.



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