Thursday, May 31, 2012

{red velvet} cupcakes

{red velvet} cupcakes

Over the weekend I decided to try and turn gluten free yellow cake mix (from the box) into red velvet cupcakes for my mom's birthday.  They were such a hit with everyone that I thought I'd share the recipe here too!  Here's what worked for me:

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Yellow cake mix (I used this gluten free box)
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (I used this one)
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ounces red food coloring


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients together and mix for 4 minutes or until your batter is combined and medium weight.  Using cupcake liners, scoop batter till each liner is 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  My batch made about 16 cupcakes.  Serve topped with your favorite cream cheese frosting.


I was very happy with the rich red color of the cupcakes.  They really did come out the same brightness as in the photo above.  They were also light and fluffy.  The flavor was just sweet enough so I could add as much cream cheese frosting as I liked (and I like a lot ; ).  Everyone loved them, even Ryan which is a rarity.  Definitely going to have to make them again.  <3 Carrie

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{over the weekend} holiday

{the pianist}

Ryan and I spent this past holiday weekend visiting my family. Above is a pic of my little brother at his piano recital on Saturday. It's my view from the balcony. Our whole family showed up for the occasion.  He did a fantastic job, played perfectly and was my favorite performer of the afternoon.....and it was a great afternoon. I had no idea how much I loved listening to kids sing, and play music. I found it very quirky, cute, full of emotion and adorable! Plus, it kind of felt even more amazing since I was viewing it all from the balcony with lovely sound that carried our way.

On Sunday my mom, Amber, and little sister spent time around the dinner table drinking flowering tea. Right before the water boiled my grandpa showed up to share the spoils of his poker run from earlier in the day. He ended up staying for a couple hours, telling us more of his fantastic stories, which made our time together even more special.....

{blooming} tea time

Over the weekend we celebrated 3 birthdays. I brought both my mom and Amber bouquets of Peony as part of their gifts, and my little sister helped me try out a gluten free red velvet cupcake concoction that ended up being a big hit (will share the recipe tomorrow).....

{memorial weekend} collage

The weather was gorgeous, so in the early evening (after the best birthday meal) we all spent time outside.....some of us even ended up on a blanket relaxing in the backyard.....

{long day} sun {relaxing} on the grass {from above} {relaxing} weekend

To go with all the yummy birthday food, Amber and her boyfriend Waylon brought greens from their garden and made the most delicious salad (which I enjoyed a giant plate full!!!).....

{prepping} the salad {fresh garden} salad

And we actually ended up enjoying lots of other great things that I forget to get photos of, like lunch and blackjack at the casino with friends, breakfast parfait I made especially for my mom's birthday (which turned out perfect!), and all the musicians in the family getting together to play music!  All in all it was wonderful. So, today I leave you with my view from relaxing on the soft blanket in the yard..... <3 Carrie

{from the} blanket

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{what's for lunch} tea & cake

{what's for lunch} tea & cake

This afternoon I decided to take a break and pop in for a quick sec to share the most delicious treat!

Last night after arriving home from visiting my family over the long weekend I made gluten free devils food cake in a bunt pan and baked the chocolate fudge frosting inside.  This afternoon I knew I wanted it for lunch, so I warmed it up in the microwave, sprinkled some homemade gluten free granola with toasted almonds on top, and paired it with the cherry vanilla tea from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  It was AMAZING.  The cake was moist, the granola was crunchy, the almonds were toasty, and the tea was fruity.  THE BEST combo.  Period.  You have to try it.  <3 Carrie

Side note:  Since I added the frosting to the batter, I ended up baking the bunt size for 50 minutes total before it was cooked through.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

{travel} journal | my hometown

{travel journal} cover
So far I've shared the travel journal pages I've created for Val HERE, and Renee HERE, but hadn't shown the book I created yet. My theme is *your hometown* with the idea being that I wanted to document things to remember about San Diego before moving to Seattle. Here are the prompts I came up with.....

1. Scrap a photo of yourself with your name:
{travel journal} your name {travel journal} hi i'm carrie
For each prompt, I created a custom page protector (using my paper cutter and sewing machine) to hold a thin strip of paper with the prompt text on the front and the order number on the back. The base of each page is plain white paper. I wanted all the inserts to really pop! Here's an example.....

2. Add in a postcard from your hometown and write a list of places you go for running errands around town on the back:
{travel journal} postcard {travel journal} san diego postcard {travel journal} list of places for running errands
3. Add in a take-out menu from one of your favorite restaurants and scrap around a favorite dish (I really miss Chronic Tacos right now.....soooo good!) :
{travel journal} restaurant menu {travel journal} chronic tacos {travel journal} potato tacos
4. Scrap on top of a photo of a favorite relaxing spot:
{travel journal} rexaling spot {travel journal} coffee shop
5. Add a piece of map from your hometown inside one of the pockets, throw in some homemade confetti, and machine or hand stitch shut:
 {travel journal} piece of map {travel journal} confetti {travel journal} ca map
6. Scrap your favorite *just for fun* places around town for each season:
{travel journal} seasonal activities {travel journal} seasonal activities
7. Use a heart on your page and list at least five things *i want to remember* about where you live:
{travel journal} i want to remember {travel journal} things to remember
8. Embroider the name of your hometown:
{travel journal} embroider your hometown {travel journal} encinitas
9. Scrap a photo of a silhouette at sunset with the time and date:
{travel journal} sunset silhouette {travel journal} sunset silhouette
10. Scrap a piece of the earth from your hometown:
{travel journal} piece of your hometown {travel journal} backyard sand
A big thank you to Marlene, Val and Renee for asking me to join in on this project! I now have my travel journal returned to me filled with all their lovely pages and it's a treasure. <3 Carrie

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{these days} may

all around
These days there are flowers in my yard that finally decided to bloom.....

flowers blooming
There are more curtains to be hemmed.....

curtains to be hemed
There are new flavors of tea to drink (for this one I mixed vanilla cherry with vanilla almond!).....

new teas to try
There are frames to be hung on the wall.....

frames to be hung
There are chipmunks to watch in the yard and balls to be thrown.....

there are balls to be thrown
There are raindrops to be enjoyed.....

raindrops to be enjoyed
There are polkadots to be worn with floral.....

polkadots to be worn with floral
These days are good. <3 Carrie

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

{out for a walk} meadowdale


This weekend was my first spent in Seattle instead of Sequim since Ryan and I moved here.  All in all it was a pretty mellow and enjoyable time with the highlights for me being a lovely walk in the woods and the start of my Week In The Life first craft time in weeks : )

Saturday was our walk with Ryan's cousin and his girlfriend to a beautiful place called Meadowdale Beach Park. The 1 and a 1/4 mile hike (each way) is entirely shaded with a canopy giant green trees until you arrive at the beach. Here's a peak at what we saw.....

{out for a walk} meadowdale

Lots of wildflowers in different colors.....

{wildflowers} in purple

We took the doggies (Ryan's cousin has two Miniature Schnauzers pictured in the collage is swimming in the ocean with a stick in his mouth and a giant crane in the background.....he loves to fetch!).....

{dog} walk

Found on our path.....


And lots of looking up.....

{look} up
However, our day actually started out together at Ryan and my place for a homemade breakfast! I made hash brown casserole and sweet was yummy!!!  We have a limited number of cable channels at the moment, one being The Food Network.  Being use to only broadcast TV, I am thoroughly enjoying all the cooking shows right now.  That plus having lots of counter space and a dishwasher (which we didn't have in our last place) has given me the desire to cook!  I can see some food/recipe posts in my future ; )  <3 Carrie