Coffee Milkshakes with Lucky Charms

Alright you guys, St. Patrick’s Day was two days ago but amidst all of this COVID-19 stuff, things have been…off.

I’m fine. I’m working remotely as much as possible and feeling pretty lucky to be able to do so. We have a couple of photoshoots that we can’t reschedule, but otherwise I’ve been staying home. Living alone is kind of the best/kind of the worst right now. One one hand, nobody is around to drive me crazy and I can do whatever and be as weird as I want. On the other hand, things are getting really weird.

Ultimately, I’m trying to keep things as normal as possible (read: not doing work from my bed and showering daily) and use the time at home to my advantage. I’m trying to make time to draw, read, learn how to adequately paint my own nails, do live-streaming workouts, FaceTime my people, cook, watch all the movies on my must-see list, and avoid feeling too down about not being able to exercise my extroversion. Pretty shitty that I went on a great date with someone right before we all went into quarantine, right?!

IMG_1747

Annnyway, as you can imagine St. Patrick’s Day looked a little different around here. Instead of the grand plans I had to go out with friends and drink green beers at a block party in Raleigh and then a hockey game, I was left to my own devices. I still wore green, I listened to my entire St. Patrick’s Day playlist, I watched Brave & P.S I Love You, and I drank one of these instead. I developed this recipe for one of the products I’m doing content creation & marketing for (BOSS Coffee, it’s good y’all!) — it’s a coffee-flavored milkshake topped off with fresh whipped cream and Lucky Charms marshmallows. I know, right?!

So here’s what you do:

Coffee Milkshakes with Lucky Charms

ingredients:

½ cup cold black coffee
½ cup whole milk
3 cups vanilla ice cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
green food coloring
whipped cream
Lucky Charms marshmallows

directions:

add the coffee, milk, ice cream, vanilla extract, and food coloring to a blender and combine until you get a thick, smooth consistency.

Divide into two glasses, top with whipped cream (you can use canned or make your own), and sprinkle the Lucky Charms marshmallows on top. Enjoy IMMEDIATELY!💚

Couldn’t be easier, right? And look, I’m sorry I didn’t get this out to you sooner… but look on the bright side: use a different color of food dye and swap out the Lucky Charms marshmallows for crushed mini cadbury eggs and you’ve got yourself an Easter treat!

IMG_1750 copy

How To: A Statement-Making Entryway for Under $150

A big lesson I’ve learned in decorating (especially as a twenty-something on a budget!) is that sometimes putting in the work to do a simple DIY makes all the difference.

Think about how many times you’ve come across the perfect piece of furniture that just speaks to your soul, and then had your heart broken when you saw the price tag. Or, how many times you’ve seen something and thought, “that is so close to exactly what I want, but it’s just not the color”.

It’s happened to me a lot.

IMG_3259-2

Here’s the thing. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars or settle for something that isn’t perfect. If you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty, you can have the aesthetic you want at the price point you want.

A prime example of this? Back in L.A, I happened upon a cabinet outside of our apartment one night. It was poorly painted a streaky white, but it had a great shape, was clearly functional, and most importantly? It was free. Almost without thinking, I picked it up and took it inside. I slapped some green paint on it, added some gold hardware, and voilà, I had myself a pretty espresso station + place to store random belongings (you can see it here). It added so much personality and aesthetic appeal to that space, and it broke my heart to leave it behind when I moved!

IMG_3283-2.jpg

Since moving into this apartment, I knew I wanted an established entryway area. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing random piles of mail, keys, headphones, etc. all over my home. The chaos needs to be corralled, and since the entry way is typically the first thing you see when you enter your home, it’s extra important to me and my peace of mind to have that particular space well designed & organized.

My entry way is a teeny tiny little space, but I knew with some creativity and patience, I could have exactly what I wanted! The order was a tall one. I needed a table that fit the actual dimensions of the natural entryway, it had to be tall (not short like typical end tables), it needed drawers so I could hide unsightly items like lint rollers and earphones, and ideally it had to have some design appeal.

After scouring for months, I finally happened upon the almost perfect piece at Homegoods. It was under $90 (unheard of!) and fit all the above specs. Also, it had cute vintage details that I loved. Again, I took it home without thinking twice. The only issue? The color.

A8B67028-033C-4B11-A0C5-877DBB4D6FC9.JPG

So boring! Luckily, I’m now an old pro at the DIY now. As a little homage to my old coffee cabinet, I used the same green paint, spray painted the pulls the same gold, and suddenly I had a unique, eye-catching, and beautifully clutter-free entryway table. For this project, a sample container in matte finish from my local Home Depot was more than enough (it cost about $10 with the paintbrush, and I already had the spray paint I needed!) The painting project took under 24 hours. So worth it!

IMG_3276-2.jpg

IMG_3286-2.jpg

IMG_3297-2.jpg

To dress the area up a bit more, I added some neutral-colored books, a candle, a small dish to place my keys (all of which I already owned!), and a vase of fresh flowers. I bought an adorable little mirror and rug from H&M home, linked here and here, and that was it! So cute, no?!

IMG_3251-2

These kinds of posts are so fun to do. I hope you guys like them! Hopefully it inspires some of you who are designing your own spaces with budgets in mind!

MILK-Style Pistachio Cake

Damn, y’all. You ever have a whole month whir by so fast that you just kind of lose your mind in it all and forget to do 90% of your to-do list? #MARCH, amiright?!

IMG_2459-2.jpg

Anyway, time for a little catch up. Here are some highlights from the month of March:

  1. My mama came to visit! She did my taxes, counseled me on life, and bought me a ton of Easter decorations from Homegoods. As a mother does. 😉
  2. I attended a murder mystery party with my colleagues as a corporate bonding attempt. And now I am heavily considering signing up for improv classes because it was so. much. fun.
  3. North Carolina started warming up and the days got longer. Thank the lawd, cause your girl was missing the sun. And running outside after work. And sitting on her balcony in the mornings!
  4. St. Patrick’s Day came and went. Raleigh actually celebrates, which is fun! I called my grandma for a quick chat, made corned beef and cabbage, and then made this pistachio buttercream cake (the true star of todays post). It’s green, see?!

IMG_2465-2.jpg

Did anyone else watch Christina Tosi’s episode of A Chef’s Table on Netflix? It was my favorite episode by far. Since watching it I’ve had a revitalized outlook on cake decorating, in that I don’t want the stress & pressure of perfectly icing a cake to take away from the fun of actually making a delicious cake! So I made this one MILK-style. I loooved how it turned out.

IMG_2475-2.jpg

MILK-Style Pistachio Buttercream Cake

ingredients:

for the pistachio buttercream frosting

1/2 cup butter, close to room temp

1 3.4 oz package of pistachio pudding

3 cups powdered sugar

6 tbsp milk

for the cake layers

2 + 1/4 cup flour

2 + 1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4th tsp salt

3/4 cup butter

1 + 1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

optional: green sprinkles

directions:

for the buttercream frosting

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the package of pistachio pudding and 1 cup of sugar to the creamed butter, mix on high to combine. Alternate between adding the remaining sugar, mixing, then 1 tbsp milk & mixing, until all ingredients are well incorporated. Set this aside.

for the cake layers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a sheet cake pan with butter and parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, & salt.

In the stand mixer (again fitted with the paddle attachment) cream the butter and sugar together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs & vanilla, mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, mixing everything so it’s well combined in between each addition.

Pour batter into sheet cake pan, making sure that the batter is evenly distributed so that the cake comes out flat. Bake in oven for 35 minutes.

Once finished, remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely.

to assemble

Find whatever cake pan you’ve decided to assemble the cake in (preferably a tall one) and use it to trace a perfect circle on a piece of parchment paper. Cut the circle out. Place that circle on the cooled sheet cake, and begin to cut perfect circular cake layers out of the sheet layer with a knife (aim for at least 3)!

Use parchment paper to line the cake pan you will be assembling the cake in, so that the paper reaches at least 1 inch above the top of the cake pan.

Put the first cake layer down in the bottom of the pan. Cover this layer with buttercream, making sure to spread it out to the very edges of the cake. Add green sprinkles on top of the buttercream frosting. Top with another cake layer. Repeat this with the remaining layers & buttercream, making sure to finish with a layer of buttercream on top of everything.

Pop the cake, pan and all, into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove the cake from the freezer and, using the parchment paper that should be peeking out of the edges of the cake pan, pull the whole cake out. Peel away the parchment paper to reveal a perfectly imperfect and totally delicious masterpiece!

Cut & enjoy.

IMG_2498-2.jpg