Pistachio Nut Bundt Cake

I don’t think of myself as someone who leans toward pistachio flavored things, but when it comes down to it, pistachio really has a similar flavor to almond extract which I LUURRRRVVVVV. So I guess that means I’m a pistachio flavor lover too? Anyways, this Pistachio Nut Bundt Cake has that old school appeal with the green color and the bundt cake style and it was different from my normal chocolate calling so I got the ingredients and tried it out! Find the recipe here!

I found the recipe from Pinterest. I thought it was interesting that instead of water it called for club soda (that was a new one for me), and it also used pudding mix in the frosting (something I’ve always wanted to try), and something called Dream Whip which is super grandma-y to me and feels nostalgic even though I’ve never used it before!

The recipe called this cake Watergate Cake which I wondered about. I gave a slice of this cake to my friend and she did some digging on the name.  She found out that pistachio pudding came out around the time of the Watergate Scandal and some people started calling the cake that name because it was filled with nuts and fluff like the Nixon Administration.

The bottom line is this cake is delicious and you should definitely make it!!

Find the recipe here!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Beauty Faves

I got really great feedback the last time I did a “things I’m loving” in terms of beauty products so I figured it was time for another one. These are my latest beauty faves!

You may notice the mascara is familiar looking…it’s the same brand I posted about last time except it’s BLUE! Yes! L’Oréal came out with their same fabulous L’Oréal Voluminous Original mascara formula in a blue hue. I get too many complements when I wear it it’s almost embarrassing (especially because I forget I’m wearing blue mascara!) oh, and you can buy it at Walmart for under $7! It’s a no brainer and way fun for spring/summer.  This is also a nod to the first makeup I ever wore, which was purple mascara 🙂

The next thing I’m loving is my IT Your Skin But Better CC+ Full Coverage Foundation. I have acne prone skin that gets oily before the day is over.  This stuff really does make it look like it’s your skin BUT BETTER! And it helps keep my skin from looking like a shiny mess by the day’s end.  It has a nice light lemony scent that is the farthest thing from a makeup smell, it’s quite nice! I set it with my Bare Minerals Mineral Veil and it’s awesome. You can get this at Ulta for around $38 (a little goes a long way).

The final product is this stunning gold, shimmery, perfection of a color nail polish. More specifically it’s Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish in terra coppa. My friend introduced me to it and said she loved the formula so I gave it a try. I honestly thought I had tried all the nail polishes out there but this one surpasses them all. This stuff is self-leveling so you have a smooth finish on your nail bed and it LASTS SO LONG considering it’s not an actual gel polish. You don’t have to cure this under an LED light and it removes with normal nail polish remover. Totally try it, you won’t be disappointed. It easily lasts a week without chipping and that’s super long in my opinion. I want all. The. Colors. And a bottle will cost your around $8. Not too shabby.

Which one are you wanting to try?!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Our Visit to Magnolia Silos!

If you’ve read or followed along some of my DIY posts, you may have noticed I’ve mentioned my love for Chip and Joanna Gaines and their show Fixer Upper on HGTV. When we moved to Houston almost two years ago I’m pretty sure the first thing I said to my husband was, “We’re going to be SO much closer to WACO now!!!!” Ever since they bought the property with the silos and moved their work headquarters there I was dyinnnnggggg to visit it. They have thought of everything with this property. I was like a kid at disneyworld – it was an amazing day! 

So the Magnolia Silos is easy to spot because of the, you guessed it, silos! There is also a HUGE shop called Magnolia Market. It is filled with gorgeous farmhouse items that you may have seen Jo use in her Fixer Uppers on TV. The quality of everything seems to be top notch, and you will find items that you can’t really find easily anywhere else (besides their website, magnoliamarket.com) They have decorated the inside of the shop almost like you’re walking through parts of a home. It’s so well done inside, that the store actually feels homey.

These faux flowers feel REAL! They are amazing quality

Then there is the little building called Silos Baking Co. You. GUYS. Listen to me now, and listen good. Because I love my baked goods, and I’ve eaten my fair share of cupcakes and desserty things. This little bakery has better tasting and better looking treats than other places that are ONLY bakeries and ones that have been around forever! I’m not exaggerating either when I say this. I’m not giving you a biased opinion because I love the Gaines’s family and everything they do. If I don’t like a cupcake from a place that’s supposed to have the best cupcakes, I would tell you. Their sweets were so delicious that I would make the three hour drive just to get some more. #forreal

Get the almond pastry! Best everrrrr

Out back is a little building where Joanna has planted gardens of seasonal flowers and produce. You can pick up things for your kid’s fairy gardens or just admire all the beautiful plantings.

If you get hungry they’ve got you covered. There are food trucks that I heard numerous people talking amongst themselves about how good all the food was. I had a Dr. Pepper pulled pork sandwich on a jalapeño cheddar bun that was suuuuuper good.

We got really lucky and were able to venture out to Waco when they had their “Spring at the Silos” event. It was three days of over 100 different vendors with all sorts of goodies from artwork, to clothing, to pottery, to housewares. It all was very cohesive with Joanna’s style and what she emulates on her show. One of the vendors even said, “I feel like everyone here could be friends!” and it was so true! We were all there because we love the show and that farmhouse style! We all had so much already in common!

We spotted Joanna’s mother, and there was a meet-n-greet with Jimmy Don (the man who makes all her custom metal signs in the homes she restores); there is a lawn to hang out on and play corn hole, relax on cushy lounge chairs, swing on the swings, listen to live music from the Silos “stage”….we even took a short drive to see Joanna’s original Magnolia store and also to see Harp Design Co. (You’ve seen Clint make custom tables and things like that on the show) – his tables are so stunning in person. You just can’t stop touching them!

Where it all began!

We took advice from others to make our trip more successful and fun and it really seemed helpful. The main things were these:

  1. Get there early
  2. Go to the bakery first (even if the line is long, it MOVES fast! We waited 45 minutes in a looooooong line of people) Order LOTS of things to eat there and take home!
  3. If the market is too busy, go right before closing (we didn’t chance it and only spent 30 minutes in line after we went to the bakery)
  4. Expect there to be a lot of people, and your wait times to be long (then you’ll be pleasantly surprised when they’re not!)
  5. Relax on the lawn and people watch
  6. IF you don’t have time to wait in the line for the bakery for whatever reason, one of the food trucks is actually out back on the lawn serving all their baked items as well with a much shorter line. You don’t get to experience the inside of the actual bakery, but you’re getting the same delicious stuff.

Overall, I thought the planning that the Gaines’s and their team did was simply phenomenal. I for sure thought that with this 3-day event happening it was going to be a mob scene and that they were not going to have everything in stock, but it was quite the contrary. They were busting out cupcakes left and right, they were restocking everything before it even ran out at the market, and they had so many friendly and happy workers that it was a fantastic experience. I don’t know how they seem to be so good at everything they do! Everything details was thought of. Everything feels genuine there. This sounds really cheesy, but you feel welcome there and that there is just a spirit of friendliness in the air. Even with tons of people around, I felt uplifted and refreshed the whole time!

If you have any questions for me if you’re planning a trip to go visit Waco and the Silos, just ask! It was one of the best day trips I can remember!

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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Homemade Hamantaschen

The Jewish holiday of Purim was this past weekend and we “took part” in the celebration by making these delicious homemade Hamantaschen cookies. Even if you are not Jewish, you should totally make these because they are THAT good! You could even make these into thumbprint cookies instead of forming them into triangles. They are traditionally filled with poppyseed, fruit preserves, or chocolate. I used strawberry preserves that I had on hand and put some semisweet chocolate chips in others (yummm!).

If you have never heard of Purim, don’t worry – I hadn’t really either until I started attending basic Judaism classes. The holiday is unlike the other Jewish holidays because it is very carnival-like; there are costumes, drinking, noisemakers and booing at specific parts during the reading of the Megillah (the Book of Esther) at synagogue, and giving gifts to the poor. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this website.

Here’s how to make these awesome cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  •  2 large eggs
  •  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
  • Filling of your choice, canned or homemade (I realized afterward I totally could have used lemon curd that I had in my fridge…guess I’ll just have to make more!)

Directions:

  1. Line unrimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat until lighter in color and fluffy.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix just until the mixture starts to hold together.
  5. Very gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface about 10 strokes or until the dough is smooth and holds together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (preferably for 30 minutes or more).
  6. Roll the dough out on a board that is lightly covered with flour or confectioners’ sugar. Note: The sugar will slightly glaze the baked cookie and make it a little sweeter. (I used the confectioners’ sugar and in my opinion it did not make them taste too sweet, which I was nervous about!)
  7. Preheat the oven now to 350 degrees
  8. Cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch circles, and place 1 scant teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Don’t roll the dough too thin or they are hard to shape. My second round came out better when I rolled the dough a bit thicker. (between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick)
  9. Shape into triangles by using your thumbs to push up from the bottom of the circle and your forefingers to pull down from the top sides. Pinch the top seams of the dough well to securely enclose almost all of the filling. A little should peek through the top of the opening.
  10. Pinch the dough together so that the filling is exposed only at the top of the cookie.
  11. Bake the hamantaschen in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden.(mine took about 12 – 13 minutes. Store in a plastic bag or container when cool, or freeze for later use.

    my first batch had some that didn’t hold up so well!
  12. Enjoy your cookies! They’re really good with a cup of your morning coffee!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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DIY Vintage Wooden Backdrop

Browsing through Pinterest one day I was inspired to make a Vintage Wooden Backdrop to go with my new magnolia wreath (inspired by watching Fixer Upper…I LOVE them!) In only a few steps I had just what I envisioned. Stick around and see how simple it is.

Supplies:

  • 1X4s (enough so you can make the size backdrop you need)
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • grey wood stain
  • white chalk paint
  • sander
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • hand saw and mitre box (or have the guy at Lowes or Home Depot cut your wood for you)
  • rag
  • metal connectors
  • screws
  • saw tooth picture hangers

Instructions:

  1. decide the dimension of your backdrop and cut your 1X4s to size (I knew I was hanging my wreath on it, so I went a bit bigger than my wreath)
  2. sand all edges of your wood cuts; they get ragged and you want rounded, softer edges so they don’t look so brand new
  3. stain your wood
  4. once your stain is dry, paint with chalk paint; two coats should do it!
  5. hand sand where you want the distressed look to show through 
  6. align your wood slats the way you want it (I purposely chose some pretty beat up wood and I made sure to put those where the wreath would NOT cover up that charm)
  7. flip your wood over and screw each connector to the back of the wood so that your slats stay put together
  8. add your sawtooth picture hangers at the top – I put two hangers on my backdrop because it was a bit heavy and thought it would be safer with two

I used a finishing nail and used that to hang my wreath on the backdrop. I eyeballed the whole thing and hung the wreath with that plastic thing that holds the price tag (I never took the tag off because I knew it would work well to hang without me doing any extra work!)

See? Simple. Farmhouse. Vintage. YAASSSSSS.

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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Scrap Wood Wall Hooks

I made this project with a scrap piece of 1X4, and then added wall hooks from Hobby Lobby. It was a pretty simple DIY actually! I’m still going strong with my love for farmhouse looking details and I wanted to get rid of our awkward coat rack that took up too much space by replacing  it with these Scrap Wood Wall Hooks. This could be the perfect thing for your entryway to hang your purse, umbrella, light jacket or cardigan when you come inside while still being stylish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Materials:

  • scrap wood of your choice in length
  • wood stain
  • rag
  • hammer
  • sander
  • sawtooth picture hangers
  • screws
  • wall hooks
  • index cards and black inky pen
  • ruler
  • scissors

How to:

  1. Sand all edges of your scrap piece of wood so that they are rounded (it looks more used than brand new that way)
  2. If you want to get a more rugged distressed look like I did, take your hammer and hit the piece of wood in random places. Try using different pressure and take the prongs of the hammer (what do they call that part of a hammer?!?!?!) and scrape it across the surface. This will mark up the wood and show up nicely when you stain it.
  3. Stain your wood. (you can follow this with painting and distressing, but I chose not to)
  4. measure where you want your wall hooks to go on your piece of wood. I used 4 total.
  5. mark and screw them in
  6. Add your sawtooth picture hangers to the back. I used two to help distribute any weight from items hanging on the hooks. Make sure they’re even.
  7. Hang your wall hooks on the wall!
  8. I had a cool spot in my wall hooks to make labels so I googled vintage numbers and came up with this design. I free handed some of it, and traced some of it directly from my iPhone screen. It was actually really convenient. Do this on index cards or paper with some weight to it. Make sure to fit your labels into their slot first, THEN do your drawing/tracing. (HELPFUL HINT: my extra fine point permanent marker did NOT make clean lines because it bled on the paper. I used an inky black pen and it was perfect!)
  9. put your labels in, and voila!

What do you think?

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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Most Used Wedding Registry Items

Items from our registry: Waterford vase, The Cellar cake stand, Kate Spade Champagne flutes, Michael Aram Orchid cake servers

Call me a procrastinator, because I have been meaning to write this post since August. August! Oof. That’s a long delay. But hey, I’m finally getting this post up!

My wonderful hubby and I just celebrated our one year anniversary! (our wedding cake tasted JUST AS DELICIOUS as our wedding night!) We actually had a hard time registering for items for our wedding because we had already been living with each other for a few years and had a lot of things that we didn’t feel were necessary to register for. The things we DID register for, were to either replace things that were mismatched/hand-me-down items, things we had that were broken and we needed to replace, or things that we knew we would use but didn’t have the money to purchase for ourselves.

Out celebrating our 1st anniversary!

If you’re already married, have a look at my list – maybe there’s something you didn’t even realize you NEED! and if you’re single, hey, you might need some of this stuff for yourself too!

Without further ado, I give you our most used registry items!

  • Dinnerware; finally we have matching dinnerware!!!!
    • Hotel Collection Bone China Mugs: here
    • Hotel Collection Bone China Coupe Salad Plates: here
    • Hotel Collection Bone China Coupe Dinner Plates: here
    • Hotel Collection Bone China Cereal Bowls: here
    • Hotel Collection Bone China Large Serving Bowl: here
    • Hotel Collection Bone China Dinner Bowl: here
    • The Cellar Whiteware Words Tidbits plates and bowls (for snacks/apps): here and here
  • Barware; no more dollar store wine glasses!
    • Riedel O Cabernet and Chardonnay Wine Glass: here
    • Hotel Collection Whiskey Decanter : no longer available
    • Towle Modernist Copper Plated Moscow Mule Hammered Mug: here
    • Lenox Tuscany Craft Beer Pint Glasses: here
  • Decor:
    • Waterford Grant Vase: here
    • Nambe Amore Small Heart Bowl: not available
    • Nambe Aquila Candlesticks: here
    • Decorative 16″ silver platter: here
  • Serveware:
    • The Cellar Whiteware Lasagna Baker and Narrow Rectangular Platter: here
    • Martha Stewart Collection Whiteware Pitcher: here
    • The Cellar Cake Stand with Dome: here
  • Bakeware/Cookware:
    • Simply Calphalon Nonstick 11″ Square Griddle: similar here
    • Calphalon Nonstick Large Cookie Sheet (2): here
    • Analon Advanced Umber 12 piece anodized nonstick cookware: here
    • Wilton Stoneware loaf pan: here
  • Cleaning supplies:
    • Black and Decker Pivot Dustbuster: similar here
    • Shark pro steam mop: not our exact model, but similar here
  • Kitchen appliances:
    • Breville Smart Coffee Grinder: similar here
  • Bathroom items: Moen shower head: here
  • Linens:
    • Charter Club Damask Queen 4-pc Sheet Set 500 thread count: here
    • Hotel Collection Finest Elegance Bath Towel Collection (hand towels and Bath towels): here
  • Kitchen items:
    • Silverware: Michael Lloyd Martello 5 piece flatware: here
    • Microplane: here
    • Silpat Nonstick Baking May: here
    • Rabbit Super Wine Aerator: here
    • Nautical Jute Rope Knot Trivet: here
    • OXO colander: here
    • OXO measuring cups and spoons: here and here
    • OXO cookie scoop: here
    • OXO 2 cup angled measuring cup: here
    • OXO 12″ tongs: here
    • Anti Fatigue Kitchen Mat: here
    • Spicy Shelf stackable organizer: here

I hope you found this useful, whether you are a bride-to-be, looking for new household items, or shopping on someone’s registry and wondering if they really WILL use and enjoy those anti-fatigue mats. (yes, yes they will!)

In case you’re wondering, the top tier of our wedding cake was snickerdoodle cake, chocolate ganache filling, and marshmallow buttercream icing. YUM!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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The Power of Spraypaint

This is sort of like a Transformation Tuesday thing. I had this outdoor decorative hanging ornament thing that had faded in the sun and just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. Instead of donating it to goodwill or throwing it away I decided to see what spraypaint would do for it. It made it better, and definitely more “adult” looking without the bright lime and turquoise colors. Now that is the power of spraypaint!

If you have something laying around that could use some sprucing up, try a couple coats of spray paint. You would be surprised what changing something with black, white, or metallic spraypaint can do!

I scrubbed the ornament and let it dry, covered up the marble and faux crystal with painters tape and sprayed it with two coats of Krylon Hammered Spraypaint. I wouldn’t say it looks hammered in texture, but the bronze color is really pretty and kind of rustic which is what I was going for.

Check out the pictures of how it came out. I definitely have a running list on my phone of things around our apartment that I want to “transform” with spraypaint. What are you dying to spraypaint? Give a look around and see what you find – it could make something you like, into something you LOVE!

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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Repurposed Candle Jar

Today’s project isn’t really a project at all. I think it took me all of 5 minutes (and that’s being generous). Im sure you have used empty candle jars for things like cotton balls and q-tips in your bathroom already, but this one is to “transform” an empty candle jar into a pen/pencil holder for your desk. I like the femininity of the silver lid so instead of just throwing it away and putting my pens in a clear jar, I decided to make the lid a permanent part of the jar by making it the base of the container.

This is almost too easy to count as a DIY…

Supplies:

  • empty and clean candle jar
  • E6000 craft adhesive (I’ve heard amazing things about it); I used 732 multi purpose sealant because I don’t have E6000 yet 🙂

Instructions: (are you ready?)

  1. clean the wax from your used up candle. When my candle no longer lights but there is still wax at the bottom of a jar, I use my candle warmer to melt the wax; pour it into the garbage (NOT down the drain!); and wipe it out with paper towels and then wash with soap and an abrasive sponge.
  2. put a ring of glue around the inside of the candle lid
  3. set your clean empty candle jar on top
  4. put your pens in, and voila!

See? Easy!

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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DIY Rustic Table Caddy

I am in LOVE with this DIY! In a few steps you can have this cute rustic table caddy that you could use for all sorts of things! I’m thinking bud vases for a unique flower display, candles in mason jars for a centerpiece of a table, or like I styled it here – with silverware for casual dinner get-togethers!

I made this project with scrap pieces of 1X4’s and ordered some rustic handles from Hobby Lobby (they were 50% off!). Keep reading to see how to make your own!

Supplies:

  • 3 long pieces of wood all the same length (this will be the bottom and side lengths of your box)
  • 2 end pieces that match the width of your box
  • handsaw (I had to cut the end pieces from scrap wood I had)
  • miter box (I used mine to hold the pieces of wood I had to saw since I don’t have a work bench or anything like that to work from)
  • wood glue
  • clamps
  • white chalk paint
  • good quality paint brush
  • wood stain and rag
  • rustic handles (2)
  • fine grit sandpaper (I use 220)
  • electric sander (if you have one; you could use some muscle though and do it by hand)
  • ruler
  • screwdriver/drill
  • pencil

Instructions:

  1. Take the 3 pieces that will be the bottom and 2 long sides of your caddy and use the wood glue to connect the pieces. Use your clamps to hold them together, being careful not to overtighten – this will cause the side walls to bow inward.
  2. Once that is dry (I waited a few hours), put your end caps on and glue those in place. Clamp those as well.
  3. Once it is completely dry, take your electric sander and round all the edges of your box. This softens the look of the very square edges and makes the wood look more worn instead of brand new.
  4. Wipe away the dust and stain your box.
  5. Once the stain is dry, paint 2 coats of chalk paint.
  6. Once dry, sand with the 220 grit sandpaper by hand to distress your caddy.
  7. Measure where you want your handles to go and mark with a pencil.
  8. Screw in the handles.
  9. Put your new caddy on display and enjoy your handiwork!

Check out the details below – the woodgrain and the handles…ugh love them.

Don’t you love how this looks?! I love seeing the wood grain through the chalk paint. I think I’m a little obsessed with the farmhouse look lately. Please don’t go out of style anytime soon!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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