Mermade Moments: 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

2014.

I came across this quote years ago. I repost it every single year. It is the perfect reminder.
Feel free to use it :) the quote was not originally mine, but this graphic is.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Body Scrub Tutorial

As mentioned in my previous post, I made body scrubs for gifts this Christmas. These scrubs are seriously perfect for any occasion. They are easy to make and inexpensive.

The Low Down:
  • Labels- I made them with an Avery circle template that I found at work. I got the Moon Flower font from here
  • Jars- Hobby Lobby on sale for 50% off! Only $1.99 each.
  • Scrub- All natural, all household ingredients, nothing fancy!
Recipe:

After searching online, I realized all the "recipes" are based on personal preference and all different. Too oily, not oily enough. I decided to do it myself. Here's what I did!
  • 2 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil (add 1/4 cup at a time)
Add the sugars and the cinnamon together in a large bowl. Mix it together. Then add the vanilla and the honey. Mix that too. Add the olive oil 1/4 cup at a time, until it is the texture you like. I added oil and stirred at the same time.


I found that 1/2 cup of olive oil was just right. It's grainy and not saucy looking at all. Just what I wanted. I spooned it into the jars loosely, closed the lid, and put my little label on top.


I wanted a way to incorporate the ingredient list without compromising the look of the jar at all. I found little kraft paper tags at Hobby Lobby and hand wrote the ingredients. On the front, I added "for when life gets rough". I tied it with red twine and I was done! It can be left out on a bathroom counter without worrying about little hands getting ahold of it. It's totally edible...no poison control number needed.


What holiday do you plan on making these for?


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cupcake or Cocoa?


...that is the question.

One of my most popular Christmas cupcake flavors is Peppermint Hot Chocolate. It is a chocolate cupcake, topped with a homemade whip cream and crushed up candy canes.


To recreate this:
  • use your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (or a box mix if you have to)
  • whip up heavy whipping cream and granulated sugar using the whisk attachment on your mixer (I guess-timate the amount of the whipping cream and I usually use four decent sized pinches of sugar)
  • crush up your candy canes, sprinkle them, and voila!
Take it up a notch:
  • bake a giant marshmallow inside for that extra hot cocoa feel
  • or bake a peppermint Hershey Kiss in the middle. Yum!
Need a cupcake fix? Visit Cakes for Days on facebook or follow me on IG at meranneduh1


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cupcakes

Fun Fact : I bake for a part of my living. I have an office job by day and I bake at night.
Fun Fact 2 : My business is called Cakes for Days. Yes, it means what you think.

This week I had the pleasure of receiving a Ninja Turtle cupcake order. My first one ever! I do character orders very rarely. I pride myself in my unique and delicious cupcake flavors, but would like to expand into more fondant work.

ninja-turtle-cupcakes

Looking at them now, they're lookin' kinda rough. Still cute though! My favorite are the little pizzas. So fun.

ninja-turtle-pizza-cupcake

I didn't follow any directions, I just kind of browsed Google images and went for it.

Masks: marshmallow fondant
Eyes & Mouths: buttercream frosting
Pizzas: marshmallow fondant, painted with food coloring

I used to make my fondant. Every. Single. Time. I decided that was too much time and too much work. I'd rather spend a few extra dollars and have PERFECT fondant. Fondant is trickaaaay. If it's too hot, it doesn't work. If you work with it too long, it doesn't work. It also makes a huge mess. Since I currently bake out of my house, I just don't have the space for a little fondant factory. You think there's oompa loompas for that?

fondant-work-station

I just rolled and rolled the little masks and shaped little pizzas. Next time, I would like the masks to be more flat. Other than that, I'm happy with them.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtle-cupcakes

Find more of my work on by "like" page, Cakes for Days.
For local orders, contact me at miranduh007@yahoo.com.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pumpkin Dip Recipe

I probably should have done this post before Thanksgiving, but truth is... I didn't even try the recipe until that morning!

I saw one variation on one of my favorite blogs, here and also a few on Pinterest. I kind of just went for it!

What you will need :
  • 14.5 ounce can of pumpkin (I used pure)
  • 1 container of Cool Whip
  • 1 box of vanilla pudding mix (just the powder)
  • A couple dashes of pumpkin pie spice
  • A couple dashes of powdered sugar
Mix it all together and enjoy! I served mine with mini graham crackers. You could use Nilla wafers, graham crackers, a spoon (if you're like my family), or I think it would be great on a bagel or even in coffee.

This dip is SO easy and yummy! Light, fluffy, just the right amount of pumpkin. It was a hit with my little sister and my mom. You know it's good if mom asks to keep it when you leave! :)

Make it for Christmas. Make it for yourself. Just make it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Diamond Candles

This is my very first (unsponsored) product post.
diamond-candle
I received my first Diamond Candle this weekend! I ordered it a couple weeks ago and I could not wait to get it. I ordered the Apple Slice.
Here's the low down.
  • $24.95 gets you a 21 ounce soy candle with a diamond ring inside! The rings range from $10, $100, $1000 or $5000!!
  • There is a gold, circle sticker on the inside of the glass that tells you where your ring is.
  • Technically, you are supposed to burn it until that point and then get your ring out. I, however, took a spoon to it. :) patience has never been a virtue of mine.
this was after I put all the wax back in

So you dig and you dig, I mean burn, until you see that shiny glimmer of gold. This is what emerges.
My ring was in the $10 range, but it was beautiful. (the website has guidelines to tell how much your ring is worth) Ready for it????
diamond-candle-ring

Ain't she a beauty??? Coulda fooled me with that $10 price tag! I got that rock and a yummy smelling candle!

Diamond Candles is the perfect gift for all the lovely ladies in your life!



Monday, November 18, 2013

Bakery Review : Room for Dessert

This past weekend, I was in Monterey for my birthday. While I was visiting, I had the pleasure of going to Room for Dessert on East Franklin Street. My best friend, Beth, has been there before and I've been wanting to go.


This place was adorable! Pink and white striped walls, banners hanging from the ceilings, cute trinkets to buy. It was like stepping into a little girl's play house.


There was a large selection of baked goods. Cookies, brownies, cupcakes, etc! I originally planned on trying the cupcakes (surprise!), but there was only vanilla. So I opted for a Butterscotch Blondie Brownie instead. SO GOOD! It was a big piece and I ate some then and saved the rest for later. My boyfriend got a peanut butter cookie and a "cup-of-cino" (cappuccino). I didn't try the peanut butter cookie, but the cappuccino was great! We paid $9.00 in total and I thought that was reasonable.


The young girl working was very friendly. She even asked what piece of brownie I would prefer. Center piece? End piece? Center, please! She was extremely patient while we made our decisions.
a stool for little ones to see (look at those love birds)

If you are ever in the area, go take a look! You'll love it!

J enjoying his "cup-of-cino"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Say Goodbye to Cellulite Sally!

Last week, I posted a 15 minute Fat Blast exercise. This week is exercises to beat cellulite. Every girl's worst enemy. Try them out and let me know what you think! :)

These exercises are broken down into 3 levels. Once you feel comfortable with one level, move on to the next level of difficulty.

Level 1 : Beginner
  1. long leg scissor > 15 (obliques and abs)
  2. modified in + out push up > 12 alternating (shoulders, triceps, chest and core) start in girl push up position, with your hands just wider than your chest, do one push up and then move your hands under your shoulders and do another push up. keep alternating
  3. side lunge > 20 alternating (butt and legs) start with feet hip width apart with your knees slightly bent...lunge to your right, bending your knee 90 degrees and keeping left leg straight...step your right leg back to start and switch legs. repeat
Level 2 : Intermediate
  1. long leg scissor crunch > 15 (obliques and abs)
  2. in + out push up > 20 alternating (shoulders, triceps, chest and core)
  3. side lunge + squat > 20 alternating (butt and legs) do the side lunges like before, but add a squat before switching legs
Level 3 : Advanced
  1. long leg scissor with knee raise > 20 (obliques and abs) this is basically a bicycle crunch
  2. teeter totter push up > 15 alternating (shoulders, triceps, chest, and core) start in push up position with left hand under your left shoulder and right hand a little wider than your chest. do 1 push up and then switch arm positions. keep alternating
  3. side lunge + squat jump > 20 alternating (side lunge and squat jump) do the side lunges like before, but add a squat jump before switching legs
See ya later, Cellulite Sally. You won't be missed.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

15 Minute Fat Blast Workout!

In a desperate attempt to actually make myself work out do cardio, I found and adapted a 15 minute fat blast work out!

Do each one for 1 minute and repeat the whole thing 3 times.

1) Jump Rope : if you don't have a rope, play pretend.
2) Squat Jump : do a squat like you normally would and then with hands overhead "explode" upward. (this does not count toward your squat challenge!! ;] )
3) Lateral Dash : place 2 items within 8 feet of each other and dash left to right, touching the items each time. (I have a section of hard wood between to areas of carpet that would work for this)
4) Run in Place : get your knees above your waist and pump those arms!
5) Jacks & Jabs : with legs shoulder width apart, starting jabbing! (8 times) and then with fists up by your chin, do the jacks with legs only. If you're feeling crazy, jab the arms at the same time! (for one minute)

15 minutes of your day & you don't even have to leave the house!
 
Say No to Cellulite work out coming soon!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1st : No Excuses!

October kicks off the holiday months and we all know what that means...food! Oh and cute Christmas outfits and little New Years dresses. Uh oh. Do you see the problem?

Since I finally remembered (at the beginning of the month), that I want Victoria Secret abs and a butt, I decided I would start up two challenges. I'm finally feeling good in my jeans again and I'm not going to let my love for everything pumpkin ruin that!

I've never made it through these challenges entirely and this blog is the perfect reason to stick with it. I always come up with some excuse like : 1) it's not Monday. I'll wait until next week or 2) it isn't the first of the month, so technically it isn't day 1. Since I wouldn't want to admit that I failed at my own challenge, I'm doing it all the way this time! 

So with a month left until Halloween and a month and a half until my 22nd birthday, I present to you...Get My A(b)ss In Shape Challenge!

For the sake of public shaming, here goes!!! No excuses! Care to join? Take before and after pictures and stick with it! Let's see how much of a difference we can see in ourselves!


I'm aware that says June...pretend it says October.
I tried to make this picture a little more appropriate...nice try?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weight Loss Update

Sunday marked the end of Week 4 for me. I woke up after a night of indulging in sweets and yummy beverages and weighed myself. I closed my eyes when I stepped on the scale, worried that the number had increased significantly. What else would I be expecting after eating cookie dough and pizza for dinner? Much to my surprise, I was 8 pounds lighter than when I started!!! Cookie dough and pizza aside... 8 pounds! I almost had a heart attack. I'm finally seeing results! I can definitely see a difference in the way my food baby looks. I can see and feel the difference in the way my pants fit. My cravings have changed. I crave water, fruit, and veggies more than anything. Now I need to concentrate on exercise and this ball will really get rolling!

Weight Loss Overview:

Week 1 = -1 lb
Week 2 = -1.5 lbs
Week 3 = no weigh in (I don't own a scale)
Week 4 = -5.5 lbs!

My initial goal was to lose 15 pounds...I'm half way there!

Although I am not feeling ballsy (couldn't think of a better word) enough to post actual numbers and my start pictures yet, I will show you a picture of me trying on slacks that I couldn't fit into 4 weeks ago.

 
One word....eeeeeeek! :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

A New Kind of Chaser...

This weekend was a fun one!

Who? Stephanie, Megan, Beth and myself
What? Girls Weekend!
Where? Marina & Downtown Monterey
When? Saturday

Grocery Shopping, 2pm...
Champagne, vodka, cookie dough, frozen pizza, vitamin water, coconut water, and 0 calorie / 0 sugar red bulls. Clear liquids have less calories...(Justification #1)

Fast forward to 5pm on Saturday...
Out of champagne... What do we do? Embark on a trek to the beach. Dunes and everything. We have to burn off all those mimosas and cookie dough. Right? (Justification #2)



Getting ready to go downtown, 7pm...
There's a song... and it goes something like, "Shots Shots Shots Shots, everyyyboddddyy!"
So that's what we did! Our two chasers of choice? Fruit and vegetable juice (Justification #3) and bananas? (Justification #4) Good job, Beth!


Downtown Monterey, 10pm - 1am
We stuck to our clear alcohol rule. Mixed drinks = vodka and sugar free red bull (Justification #5) and vodka cranberries. (Justification #6) No sugar and bladder well-being...we're on it!

The Next Morning, 9am
For your enjoyment!



Back Home, 6pm
No more justifications for me...stop light peppers. Yum!




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Egg Cup(cake) Recipe

Various recipes for egg cups have been circulating around Pinterest for months. I finally gave in and made them. I’m in love!!! They are so easy to make, easy to take, and delicious! They are made in cupcake tins and clean-up is almost nonexistent! I made enough for my dad and I to have one each day for work. I kept these ones super simple, since I wasn’t sure what to expect. Next week, I’ll be doubling!!


What You Will Need:
  • Cupcake tin (perfect right?)
  • Eggs or liquid egg whites
  • Various veggies and/or meats (ex: mushrooms, squash, bell peppers, ham, spinach, etc.)
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Seasoning of your choice

What You Do:
       1)      Sautee veggies in a pan (I had mushrooms that I needed to get rid of, so I used lots)

2)      Spray your cupcake pan with Pam

3)      Scoop veggies into the bottom of each little section
4)      I cracked one egg in each one (I took the yolks out. Next time I want to try liquid egg whites)

5)      Sprinkle cheese if you are using some (I used very little)

6)      Season to your liking (pepper and tabasco sauce for me)

7)      Give it a little stir

8)      Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes
Despite my initial worries, they came out of the pan just fine. Phew! I let them cool and then wrapped them up and put them in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, you can heat them in the microwave for a minute, or cold is good too! If you come up with any delicious flavor creations, let me know! Enjoy! J


Thursday, September 12, 2013

5 Reasons Why I'm Perfect For This Blog

When the idea for this blog popped into my head, I couldn't help but laugh. Me of all people writing a blog about living a healthier lifestyle?? HAH! Well, it's happened and here are 5 reasons why I'm the perfect person for the job.

1) Water was not my first (or even third) beverage choice.
2) I hate running. Yoga pants were used for lounging and trips to Target, not exercise.
3) Pizza was (and still is) my favorite food group.
4) Baking cupcakes is my second source of income.
5) My gym membership gets a lot of use...as a key chain.

My point? If I can do it, anyone can!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Introduction

My name is Miranda and I am 21 years old. Two weeks ago, I decided to make a change: mind and body.

After (what I considered) a self-esteem crushing relationship had ended, I found myself sleeping whenever I could. I wasn’t eating well or taking care of my body. I was sad and it showed in many aspects of my life.

It’s one year later and I have decided my time of feeling like the victim is over. I am in control of how I feel and how I look. I gained weight during the hard times and I am so ready to get rid of it, for good.

I have the perfect support system.

  • My dad, who always listens to my  crazy ideas. He tells me what I need to hear whether I want to or not. His constant "Do you really need that?" or "Shouldn’t you be working out?" really keep me in check.

  • My mom, who is working through her own body overhaul and is always available for a word or two of encouragement.

  • My AMAZING boyfriend, who loves me just the way I am. He puts up with me every day and always says "Definitely, baby!" when I ask, "Am I skinny yet??".

  • I also have a few, solid friends who have been with me through it all... laughter, tears, and countless trips to Cold Stone.
  •  
So follow me on this journey : a normal girl, losing weight in normal ways. No crash diets and no 5 hour dates with the gym because let’s face it…ain’t nobody got time for that!