Friday, December 31, 2010

Who Wants a New Theme?

This girl. That's why I completely changed the design of my blog. I liked the old background, but it definitely didn't go along with the title of my blog or my vision of what I wanted my blog to look like. However, I will give it a few extra bonus points because it did have animal print, and anyone who knows me knows I love animal print. Nonetheless, I am much happier with my new blog. After searching websites with cute (free!) blog backgrounds like this one or this one, I finally  found a background I was happy with on Also, I love the name of the website. Hot bliggity blog. After that I decided it was time to download Adobe CS5 that I got for my birthday back in October. Yes, I was very excited to get it, but I knew I would spend to long playing around on it during school. That's what Christmas break is for. I got a bunch of old jewelry together and took some pictures, played around with it in Photoshop, and then created my own blog header. My brother helped me with it some, and I know it is no design masterpiece, but I designed it, and it matches what I had in mind for my blog. It may change in the future, but for now I am happy with my little creation.

If you want to design your own header you can do it without Photoshop. Check out this blog to learn how to create a header in Picasa, or this blog to help you get ideas for your new header, or this blog to learn how to design in GIMP. If these don't have what you want, search around some, you will be surprised how many resources there are out there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chocolate Lover's Cupcakes

If you are a chocolate fanatic, you are probably going to want to make these cupcakes. They are so rich and moist. I wouldn't consider myself a chocoholic, but I love these cupcakes. People have told me they are the best cupcakes they have ever had in their life. Not kidding. I make them for so many parties, showers, birthdays, etc. because they are so good. Another great thing about them? They are super easy to make, and actually have a cake mix base. Here you go...

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake mix
  • 1 small box instant chocolate pudding
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Mayo (not low-fat)
  • 12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
Mix everything together except chocolate chips. Add chocolate chips by hand. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 degrees. The time varies depending on the pan. For cupcakes I usually bake them for about 18 minutes. This recipe makes about two and a half dozen cupcakes, but it can be made as a cake too. If you're making a cake, look at the cook times on the back of the cake mix box and keep a close eye on it. However, this cake is really hard to overcook because the chocolate chips melt and make it really moist.

I usually use a cream cheese icing when I make these, but I have tried buttercream and it is good too. You may have your own cream cheese icing recipe, or you could just pick up a container at the store, but I thought I would share my favorite recipe with you. I like to pipe my frosting on the cupcakes and have been looking for a stiff cream cheese icing and finally found one on Here it is...

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 pound cream cheese (2 boxes), softened
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract (you could use regular, it just isn't as white)
  • 3 1/2 pounds sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream butter, shortening, cream cheese and extract. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and salt. Beat
on low speed until nice and creamy. 

This recipe will easily ice five dozen cupcakes. I halve the recipe if I only have two dozen cupcakes to make. This recipe is for a stiff consistency. For a thinner consistency, use three pounds of confectioner's sugar. Here are a few pictures of various ways I have decorated them....

These decorations honestly are not that hard. If you aren't familiar with piping, all you need is....
a decorating bag
a 2D icing tip if you want to make a swirl like the ones in the last two pictures
or a 1A icing tip if you want to make a swirl like the first two pictures
If you want to use a 1A time you need a coupler since it's smaller. A coupler looks like this...

A coupler goes at the end of the icing bag to hold the tip in. All of these supplies can be found at any craft store such as AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, or Michael's. Walmart also has a cake decorating section where you could buy this. To make your swirls, just simply move the icing bag in a swirl pattern. It may take you a few times if you have never used a decorating bag before, but it shouldn't take you long to catch on. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Andrew!

I love birthdays. Anyone that knows me at all knows this about me. My parents say that I treat my birthday like it is a national holiday. But I don't just love my birthday, I love other people's birthdays too. Last week it was my boyfriend's birthday, and I am pretty sure I was more excited about than he was. When he was giving me gift ideas he gave me some boring ideas like a soccer jersey, PS3 controllers, iPod adapter for his car, or clothes. Then he told me maybe I could get him some "paraphernalia" for his room. I don't know why he chose to use the word "paraphernalia" or why he decided he wanted that, but he had me sold on the idea the minute it came out of his mouth. The other gift ideas didn't stand a chance. Here is what his room looked like before...
I wish you could see the other pictures, but I took them on my phone and can't figure out how to get them to my blog. There was a (very unorganized) bookshelf in the other corner of his room. He bought this huge bookshelf at the beginning on the year and didn't really have anything to put on it, so he turned into a "filing cabinet" for all the notes for his classes. His "filing cabinet" consisted of small stacks of paper scattered among the shelves. Also please notice the jersey decorations he made. He loves soccer jerseys, which is what I got him last year for Christmas. He loves them so much he decided to display them on his wall by putting a nail in the wall and hanging them up on a wire hanger. Oh Andrew, this is why I like you :)

So I decided I would help him with his room a little. I obviously couldn't decorate it to the extent that I wanted to 1) he would hate it and say that I went overboard, and 2) I didn't have the budget to do everything I would have liked to. I had to still keep it simple and manly for him. This is what I came up with...

Found this comforter at Kohl's for 80% off and decided it was manly enough to get. Also got some Clemson pictures to post on the wall, annnnd added a throw pillow. Andrew HATES excessive throw pillows. We had an ugly couch in my apartment last year, so we covered it with throw pillows to make it look pretty. Also had lots of throw pillows on my futon freshman year. Andrew hated them, he always threw them on the ground when he came over. Needless to say, I knew I couldn't get away with getting him more than one, and one was pushing it. 
I also reorganized his desk area and framed this Zlatan poster and hung it up. I had to add Zlatan in there somewhere because he is Andrew's favorite soccer player. Remember the jersey I said I got him last year? It was Zlatan. When I first started asking him what he wanted for his birthday he would just say "Zlatan! Zlatan! Zlatan!" What does that even mean??? 
Here is the bookshelf when I finished with it! I wish you could have seen it before. It actually looks full now. Plus, all the sport stuff that was scattered on the floor of his room now has a spot. Seeing a theme with sports? We are a little bit opposite if you couldn't tell :)
Another shot of the bookshelf +the beautiful picture his mom painted for him. 

He was very surprised when he came in his room. I think he liked it, at least he said he did. Maybe for Christmas I will do a more boring fun gift for him :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Calling All Online Shoppers

Online shopping has changed the way some people shop. Some choose not to fight the crowds at the mall and instead buy everything online. If you are one of those people, you need to know about free shipping day. On December 17th, more than 1,000 merchants will offer free shipping on orders purchased that day. Apparently they promise to get your order delivered by Christmas Eve if you live in continental US. Go ahead and check out the list of merchants to see if any of your favorites are participating!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Deal of the Day

Gift cards are always a popular gift to give at Christmas. Especially for that person that is really hard to buy for because they have everything. Gift cards that you can buy for half of what they are worth makes the present even better. And the gift recipient will never know. Introducing Groupon.

Every morning when I check my email I have a little something like this waiting for me...

$15 for $30 Worth of Sushi, Japanese Cuisine, and Drinks at Sushi Hana

See Today's Groupon Deal
Company Information:
Sushi Hana Authentic Japanese and Sushi Bar
765 Haywood Rd.
Greenville, South Carolina 29607
$15 for $30 Worth of Sushi, Japanese Cuisine, and Drinks at Sushi Hana

Groupon sends you deals everyday based on the best things to do, see, eat, or buy in a certain city. Much to my delight, Greenville was just recently added to the Groupon family.  Being the bargain hunter I am, I like to hear about the deals even if they are for things I would never do. If you want to sign up click here. Also, if you email your friends and ask them to sign up, you get a $10 gift certificate for Groupon when they make their first purchase. 

Another website similar to Groupon is I also receive daily emails from LivingSocial that offer me some great bargains for things to do in Greenville. If you buy the daily deal and then get three of your friends to buy it too, the deal is free for you. Most of the discounts on LivingSocial are at least 50% the normal price. For example, the other week there was a deal for a hour-long massage for $30, originally priced at $65. Not bad huh? Here's todays deal for LivingSocial...

David Michael Salon & Day Spa

Keratin Hair Treatment
buy now!
  • 57%
  • 7
  • 2 Days
If a keratin treatment existed in Rapunzel's day, she would have been all over it (after escaping that dad-blasted tower, of course). Years and years of having her hair being used as a rope definitely did a number on her locks. While your tresses don't have that much stress, you... (show more)