Oh Busy Times…

My oh my, how busy life have been lately! First off, I’m officially unemployed now. So, I’ve filed for unemployment and purchased more yoga pants, not necessarily in that order. I found out pretty quickly that my wardrobe had become very work-oriented and while I have a lot of ‘work-out’ clothes, they are all shorts or capris. I have a few pairs of sweats, but they tend to be my pajamas and not necessarily fit for public consumption. So, I filled in that gap, thank you Target.

I’m finding my days ‘at home’ go by really fast! Between stalking my email for job hits (only a couple of responses so far), checking my FaceBook ‘farm’ (dear Lord, why did I start that?) and then playing Mom and wife with some cooking and house projects, I’m really very busy!

First, we took a trip to Ikea. It’s what every newly unemployed person should do, right? NO! It’s not! However in this case, it was a money saver. We are working on redoing our office and we had picked out a sweet freestanding Elfa double desk with wall shelves at Container Store for the hefty price of almost $2000. It was kinda like this, but with another desk section:

Birch & Platinum elfa décor freestanding Study Zone from Container Store

But alas, Ikea had a more affordable option that offered more toddler friendly (aka, hidden from plain site) storage…

Billy from Ikea

Which we choose to pair with two tabletops with one cabinet and legs from Vika system. Sorry, this is in pieces since it’s customizable, so you will see the picture when we are all done. But, the best part of the trip, which I look forward to every time, is lunch in their restaurant. Elena LOVES it!

Mommy and Ellie waiting for lunch!

An appetizer while we wait…

Nom Nom Cheerios!
Getting the goods! Elena wasn’t sure what to think of this part and just quietly took it all in.
Success!! We got everything we wanted and Elena got a new stuffed bunny! He’s currently one of her fav toys 🙂

Furniture assembly began during Blizzard Nemo last weekend. I expect it will take at least another week or two before it’s all finished, so stay tuned for the final product and hopefully a few more updates along the way!

 

Recipe Review: Neopolitan Cupcakes

Last weekend I saw these here Neopolitan Cupcakes floating around Pinterest:

So I just had to try them. I have to say this concept is awesome and these cupcakes are nearly as good as they sound! In this case, you make one cake batter, then split it in three. One-third remains good old white cake, one-third get some strawberry, and one-third gets some chocolate. Great in concept. Only one glitch in execution…the cocoa powder for the chocolate batter makes it SUPER thick. I added some extra milk to help thin the consistency, but my chocolate cake still came out very dense. The strawberry and regular cake baked up fine.

My cupcakes:

The frosting is made the same way, one batch of buttercream is divided in three and strawberry is added to one-third, cocoa powder to one-third and the remainder is left vanilla. Similarly, the cocoa powder made my frosting REALLY thick. Also, I had to add extra cocoa powder and milk/cream to make the frosting taste chocolately and be a workable consistency. See, in this case the base buttercream frosting has significant vanilla and trying to taste chocolate over that vanilla is tough!

So overall, these cupcakes were TOTALLY edible and yummy, and my coworkers devoured them with no problem. Adding strawberry jam to make the strawberry batter and frosting worked great and this is definitely a trick I’ll use in the future! However, next time, I’ll make a separate chocolate cake batter to get the right cake consistency and also a separate chocolate buttercream.