Mermade Moments: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Endsly's First Birthday!

To start this post off,  I thought I would  give a little information about my immediate family.

I have a mom and a dad - they are divorced.
I have an older sister - married with 3 daughters + 1 baby on the way.
I have a younger sister - she lives with my mom.
I have a dog.
The end.

So, Endsly is my youngest niece - for now anyway. She turned one last week and we celebrated her birthday party on Saturday. Her party was at a family owned burger place and the food is always phenom. (lol had to)

The "theme" of her party was pink, yellow, and orange. Super bright and happy. Perfect for Spring and all the joy she brings to our lives ;) She's seriously the sweetest baby.

I did a lot for this party and I am soooo happy with how things turned out. I made a smash cake, mini cupcakes, a cake topper, Endsly's tutu, baby barefoot sandals, and bunting for her high chair. Phew!

homemade cake topper
 
my first ombre rose cake!
 
Funfetti and fresh strawberry cupcakes
 
dessert table
 
baby knuckles are the cutest thing
 
my sister's friend made the cutest flower arrangements!
 
it was really hard to get a picture of E's outfit
 
she always crosses her feet
 
high chair bunting
 
I made tulle hair bows for the bigger girls.
 
 
Talk about cuteness overload. I will be posting tutorials for these things soon. Happy birthday, E! I love you, sweet girl!
 
PS. My sister asked that I don't show the kid's faces, so that's why you can't see her in any of these.
 
PSS. I would like to party plan every day of my life now. Call me.  
 
 
Ameliorer la Vie

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Love in a Box Blogger Swap - March

This month I was paired with Maddie from Caramel and Salt. She's a baker/blogger like myself and I knew we would get along instantly. She's the sweetest! (no pun intended)

She really paid attention to the things that I like and it showed!

She got me:


This Paddywax candle. I've actually always wanted one! She chose this scent for me since I love the beach.


COFFEE. Need I say more?


And! These cute little cupcake toppers!


Does she get me or what?

You should definitely join in on the fun for next month! Here's how!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

*Closed* Woven Wisdom Shop and Giveaway!

Hello lovelies!

I was going to wait to do any sort of giveaway until I reached 50 followers, but I found a worthy giveaway item and patience has never been a virtue of mine.


Woven Wisdom. Wipe Every Tear.

I don't even know where to start, so I will let shop owner Kaylee tell you about this cause.

"First off I'd like to say how entirely honored I am to be on this blog. I was completely shocked when I got asked and can't express my gratitude towards this post. My friend Ebie asked me on Valentines Day if I'd like to join her on a trip to the Philippines to help get girls out of sex trafficking and I instantly felt at peace with going. I waited that day with a response and towards the end of the day pieces fell together and I told her that yes I'd love to! I was nervous but felt so at peace. So I started talking with The Lord asking him how am I going to get this money? I have two months to do so and that is not a lot of time to raise three grand! Last year I went to Cambodia and I had the hardest time raising money. The Lord taught me so much out of it but it was still a hard and stretching time. I prayed for an idea and The Lord gave me the idea of making bracelets. I started to make the beads out of clay and making the clay hands then painting them after baked. I thought maybe I'd sell 5 and make fifty dollars. But nooo people kept buying so I started an Etsy shop to sell to people in different states. People kept buying. Then I started making headbands. I wore one to church and girls went crazy for them. I went crazy over them. I just love the concept of wearing a headband and also being able to make it into a necklace. I've also seen girls wrap them around there buns and braiding them into there hair. I had no idea this concept would actually sell, so when I got orders I was slammed, staying up all night, not hanging out with friends as much and just devoting my time to it. Every time I got discouraged I kept going back to the thought of "No! Keep going. Girls are trapped this very moment in the city you are going to. You need to get on that flight to help get theses girls out of slavery. They are literally being sold to a man this very moment." That thought process kept me going. I'm in love with everything about Wipe Every Tear and I haven't even set foot in the Philippines. This organization makes relationships with the girls and gives them hope for a future. They help these girls get into safe houses give them food, shelter and hope to see a brighter day. Lately, Wipe Every Tear has been providing girls with the opportunity to go to college and get a job outside of selling there bodies to men. It is a Christian organization but they don't shove Jesus on them, they love these girls like Jesus would, they take in orphans and widows how Jesus tells us to do and this organization just radiates who Christ is. If you feel led to help this organization either by buying a headband, sponsoring a girl every month or even in prayer you can go to my etsy shop, visit Wipe Every Tear's website, or contact Ebie or I on Instagram."
 
Insta: 



I have the head band in turquoise and I will be giving away the hot pink one! It's a wire headband, totally adjustable AND it doesn't fall off. It can also be worn as a necklace. SOLD. The beads are handmade out of clay! There's soooo many cute colors and bracelets to match :)


So simple. Giveaway + Good Cause = Happy Heart!

No crazy Rafflecopter for this or anything - I just ask that you follow me on Instagram and comment below. I will put all of the entries in a hat and my boyfriend will draw a winner :) or maybe I'll just use random.org. The hat thing just sounds fun.

RULES:
FOLLOW & COMMENT : since this post is on the heavier side, tell me a joke in the comments! Winner will be chosen at random, not by the quality of the joke! I will announce the winner on INSTAGRAM first, so keep an eye out! You can leave your email address with your comment, if you would like to make my life easier :) 

The winner will be announced on Friday 3/28 :)

If you are interested in learning more about what these amazing girls are doing, check out the links below.

Etsy     Blog     Wipe Every Tear


This was not a sponsored post. I simply believe in the cause and want to help these girls get to the Philippines!

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Open Love Letter to Target



Dearest Target,

I hope you understand why I am writing you this letter today. In order to keep my thoughts and feelings organized, I am writing this in bulleted style. I love you too much and I am afraid that are relationship is getting too serious. There are too many reasons to count, but this is a start.
  • Your clothes. Too cute. I cannot compete with that kind of style.
  • Your dollar section. I literally die from the cuteness every time I step foot in that aisle. That cannot be healthy.
  • Your home decor. I want everything. How is my house supposed to have a theme when I can't even make a single decision?
  • Your holiday sections. They come out too soon and I get way ahead of myself. I then forget what I bought and have to wait until the next year to use it.
  • Your food. Great prices, yummy food, growing waistline.
  • The lies. I always say "I won't spend any money, I don't need anything." The lies have to stop.

Overall, this is just not a healthy relationship. I miss you when I'm not with you and I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of great things if I don't visit you often. My bank account suffers a loss everytime we meet. I can't keep up my emotional health and my budget plan with you in my life. Maybe we should take a break? Nothing permanent. We both know my heart wouldn't be able to handle never seeing you again.

This isn't a goodbye. It's a see you later.

Until next time,

Miranda


LOL. Okay but seriously you guys. My love for Target is ridic.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Track Your Progress Without a Scale


Scales suck - like Target has the shirt you've been eyeing on clearance in every size but your own - suck.

I don't consider them to be accurate. My weight fluctuates way too much during the day and I always feel bad when I get on the scale. I get discouraged if I ate healthy all week and gained weight. I get encouraged in a bad way if I ate terrible and lost weight.

I'm back on my eating healthier kick and I've decided to kick the scale to the curb - not literally because it's my boyfriend's - but I'm figuratively taking a sledge hammer to it.

Here are better ways to track your progress without being a slave to the scale :
  • take your measurements - I measured around my stomach for awhile and noticed a positive difference. It was cool to see the measuring tape go smaller and smaller.
  • go off how you feel - When I eat like crap, I feel like crap. I get stomach aches constantly when I don't watch what I eat. I use my stomach aches as a sign of how I'm doing diet wise.
  • notice how your clothes fit - This is a big one! When my jeans are loose, I sing with the Hallelujah choir.
  • go off how you look - confession : I straight up have a food baby if I eat a lot or if I eat crap. Like 4 month old food baby. My bloat goes waaaay down if I'm eating healthy. So watch that food baby, girl! Assuming I'm not the only person in the world with this problem.
I refuse to let the number on the scale make me feel bad. Will you ditch the scale with me?

Let's be friends.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thoughts I Have While Watching Pretty Little Liars

source

I hope I'm not the only PLL lover out here in the blogosphere. I'm addicted. Right when I start to lose interest, something cray happens and I get sucked back in. Well played, ABC Family, well played. The show causes a roller coaster of emotions for me... happy, sad, mad, confused. I think I'm getting whip lash actually... So here are my thoughts while I watch PLL - in no specific order.

  • WHO IS A?
  • Why did everybody like Ali so much? She's mean!
  • Mr. Fitz is so cute... He's A??? Heart broken... Oh he's not. Let the crush commence.
  • Caleb come back from Ravenswood. It's not safe there!
  • Hanna! Stop kissing everything with a pulse! Caleb loves you, not Miranda! I think.
  • Spencer was a druggie??? She did what with that shovel?
  • Mrs. D is A?? I just don't get it!
  • Who wears heels to school? Oh they all do...I must be the odd one out.
  • Spencer's "baby sitter" is kind of cute...cuter than Toby maybe?
  • Speaking of Toby, why did he leave the country and when is he coming back?
  • Stupid Paige, why would you go to the cops? Emily, dump her!
  • I hate you, Mona.
  • Where did Aria's musician hottie come from and why can't he make another appearance?
  • Oh Aria's mom. I loved you as Piper on Charmed and I still love you now.
  • Hanna! Stop texting on your dates! Rude!
  • I wish my hometown had a coffee shop like The Brew.
  • I want to read Mr. Fitz's book.
  • Aria has the ugliest ugly cry. Waddup Kim Kardashian?
Do you watch the show? What are your thoughts and feelings on what has been happening? Are you ready for ALI TELLS ALL tonight? Eeeeek.

Let's be friends.

Monday, March 17, 2014

$100 Kate Spade Giftcard Giveaway!

Happy Monday! I normally don't consider Monday to be a very happy day, but today is an exception! Allison from Allison Leighann is hosting this fabulous giveaway with help from me and 13 other great girls. Eek!

The winner will receive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

$100 to Kate Spade
Bow Decal
Half Glitter/Half Pink Canvas

There aren't many rules - participants can be from anywhere!
However, please do not follow someone to just unfollow them a day later.

Entries will be checked!
 
So please make sure to be honest with your entries. :)
 
I wish everybody lots of luck! It is St Patrick's Day, you know! I can't wait to see who the winner is!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting


Top of the morning to you, lovelies!

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and an ode to my half Irish heritage, I wanted to share a cupcake recipe with you today! Guinness cupcake with Irish Cream Frosting!!! Delicious. The Guinness creates a moist, rich cupcake and the Bailey's butter cream is a little taste of heaven. (I used an off brand Irish Cream because Bailey's was $16 for a small bottle! Ain't nobody splurging on that.) With this combo, you can get your alchy fix and not have to nurse your hangover the next morning.



I adapted the recipe from here. I didn't do the Jameson ganache because I thought that might be a little much. I'm definitely going to try it in the future though.

Cupcake Ingredients:

1 cup of Guinness - I used draught
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Cupcake Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

Frosting Ingredients:

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream

Frosting Directions:

Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.


There you have it, guys! Super simple and soooo good. For the record, I follow frosting recipes loosely. I just add until I'm happy with the flavor and consistency.

These cupcakes are perf for St. Patty's celebrations, 21st birthdays, bachelor parties, or just because! 

Let's be friends... I have cupcakes.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Green Lipstick!

That's right...

G R E E N lipstick!



Say whaaat?

It looks green in the tube, goes on clear, and then turns a different shade of red or pink depending on the PH of your lips. Not really sure how it works, but my lips haven't fallen off yet!

I learned about this from one of my favorite blogs. Check out Kate here.

Although the lipstick is under $4 a tube, the shipping kills! It's international. So there's that.

The real name is Hare Magic Moroccan Lipstick - not "green lipstick".

It comes in a super cheap case and it isn't that cute. But it's what's on the inside that counts...right?

ignore those cuticles - recovering nail biter - ( old picture, my cuticles are fine now :) )
It goes on like a chap stick, but stays on for quite awhile! I ate lunch and napped with it on and I still had some color when I woke up.

my lips aren't always chapped looking.
green lipstick!
shameless Saturday selfie. - different light

after nap time!

picture with the photographer!

Buy the lipstick here.

What are your thoughts on this? Will you be buying it? Let me know!

Let's be friends!

Monday, March 10, 2014

October June is Hosting a Giveaway!

The wonderful Lizzie from October June is hosting a giveaway of all of her favorite things! Raewyn and I are sponsors. You should check out both of their blogs and enter Lizzie's giveaway. IT IS FANTASTIC.

Enter here. Just go. Now.

This picture is from Lizzie's blog.
 
One winner will win everything pictured, including:

1 Betsey Johnson pouch

1 Choose Happiness Aromatherapy candle

1 Mason Jar drinking glass

1 small size Cashmere Glow body spray 

1 Parfumerie scented nail polish

1 paperback copy of John Green's Looking for Alaska

1 "Believe in Yourself" journal

1 set of adorable gel pens
 
 
I cannot handle all this cuteness. Good luck, ladies!!!!!!!!
 
 
Let's be friends. 


My Lilly-Esque Canvas Painting


I intended this post to be a full on, super fabulous tutorial - showing off my undeniable Lilly skills.

Fail.

I started full of hope and with each paint stroke, my hope deflated like a balloon on a hot summer day.

I was trying too hard and I knew it. My boyfriend sat across the counter from me doing homework. He watched my frustration grow and said "Why don't you just be you? Let yourself shine through - with hints of Lilly throughout." Should I start listing off reasons why I love him now?

I turned my phone over, grabbed a smaller canvas and just started messing around. This worked out much better for me.

So. I give to you! My super fabulous Miran-Lilly painting. I can hear your ooohs and aaahs from here. Thank you, thank you.


In all seriousness, I think it turned out super cute. It's small, but so pretty! Boyfriend said I can hang it in our room when we move to Monterey. Score!


All I did was make little brush strokes in alternating colors, paint the outside space blue, and then paint the white spots in the flower over with white paint (after I took the pictures). Ta daaaaa!



Sorry for the iphone pictures!
 
Let's be friends.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Trip to the Beach House

Work sucks. Work especially suck after you spent all weekend at the beach. I took Friday off and my boyfriend and I headed to Monterey to spend the night with my best friend and her boyfriend. (we will be moving with them soon) It was a lovely trip like usual. I went to Whole Foods for the first time!!!! And loved it. Then we ate cupcakes from Kara's cupcakes and loved it. Of course. Then we drank too much champagne, ate pizza for dinner, and danced to Lil John radio all night long.
On Saturday, my boyfriend and I went to stay with my aunts at a beach house in Pajaro Dunes. There was a staircase right outside the house that lead to the ocean. It was FANTASTIC. I would have lived there if I could. Our beach house was pretty normal looking from the outside, but there was some crazy cool ones. Each one is different!
this was our beach house. those windows! I had a view of the beach all day.
 

There's castle beach houses. Beach houses that look like crazy diving helmets. Beach houses with cool shapes and pretty windows. I loved walking around looking at all the different ones. Our beach house is on the left of the stair case. The beach was SO CLOSE. (obviously, I guess) The beach house on the right is actually a private/permanent residence. Jealous much???
My super cool brother in law bought me that tank for Christmas. I thought it was appropriate.

Do you love the beach as much as I do? Where's your favorite?


Let's be friends!