Mermade Moments: May 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Burnt Almond Cupcake Recipe


It sounds weird, I know. I first tried Burnt Almond Cake at my current job. I work in San Jose and there is a bakery called Dick's nearby. Their Burnt Almond Cake is life changing. It's a vanilla cake, with a yummy frosting, toasted caramelized almonds and by request they will layer the cake with pastry cream! I scoured the online galaxy in hopes to find something to base my recipe off of. With very little luck, I'm assuming it's deliciousness is top secret.

Like usual, you can substitute a homemade cake for a box cake. Like usual, I won't tell. So grab a box of vanilla cake or whip up a batch of your own! Regardless of the cake you decide on, add extra vanilla and almond extract! It's all about the almonds, people!

For the frosting, I used a stick of butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla creamer. I used 3/4 of a bag of powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of vanilla creamer. (I'm still experimenting with different frosting components.) This turned out really good! Make sure you whip it good (lol), so it isn't grainy!



Now for the almonds. I bought a standard bag of sliced almonds from the store - I think it was 6 ounces? This was more than enough for 24 cupcakes. You pour the almonds into a pan. Spread them out, as flat as you can. Sprinkle 1 cup of powdered sugar over the almonds. Use a spatula or rubber scraper to stir the almonds. You don't want to let them sit for too long or they will burn! It takes awhile, so be patient! I was worried that I was doing something wrong, but it is just a slow process. I added a little butter, in hopes that would help the melting process. What can I say? I panicked. Adding the butter is optional. After the cup of powdered sugar is melted, add another half cup! Stir until melted. I put a paper towel on a plate and poured the almonds on that to cool.

Once your cupcakes are cooled and frosted, sprinkle those sugary almonds and enjoy!! I turned the cupcake all the way over and just dipped the frosting into the almonds. I still had extra almonds, so I put them in a Ziploc and my dad has been snacking on them since!

I've decided the real name  for these should be Delicious, Caramelized, Sugary Almond Cupcakes. Burnt just doesn't do them justice. 


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Save vs Splurge - Mascara

I'm sort of a cheap-o. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE buying other people presents and things. When it comes to myself, I just can't justify spending the money.

I hardly wear make up. Mascara sometimes and lipstick on special occasions. I usually buy drugstore mascara. My favorite has been Maybelline Rocket Volume for awhile. It's usually around $6.



I was at ULTA the other day and decided to search for a certain mascara I had seen on a blog. (Of course I can't remember which blog) It's Bare Minerals Lash Domination and it was $18. I had been paid in cash for cupcakes that morning and considered it a small splurge. It wasn't being taken out of my bank account, so that made it totally okay ;)



I AM SO GLAD I BOUGHT IT. It has a normal brush, but with a spiral around it! It separates every lash PERFECTLY. No clumps. Just perfection. It also doesn't make my eyelashes super crunchy or stiff. They were still soft to the touch!

This was my first time trying "expensive" mascara and I could totally tell the difference in quality. I may never go back.


What's your favorite mascara? I would love to try some more!



*This post isn't sponsored in any way. I'm just passionate about pretty eyelashes. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Thoughts On The Isla Vista Tragedy

I found this image on Facebook. It is not my own.

I've been writing this post in my head for a few days now. I was trying to sugar coat my words and I just can't.

I do not feel bad for him. 

I've seen multiple posts about people "feeling bad" for the shooter. He must've been "mentally ill". He just needed "friends". He was "crying for help" by posting those Youtube videos. A girl "should've just kissed him."

Being lonely doesn't give you the right to shoot people. Considering yourself "fabulous", "magnificent" and "superior" does not give you the right to kiss somebody or be sexually involved with somebody. He felt like he deserved women. He deserved the attention and "sexual pleasures" from these "beautiful, blonde girls" he lusted after.

So what if girls didn't like him? So what if he had never been kissed? So what if he was a 22 year old virgin? Everybody feels lonely at times. Everybody has their awkward stages in life. That doesn't make shooting sorority girls okay. It just doesn't. He stabbed 3 guys in his apartment complex. He shot innocent girls and other innocent people on the street. He left parents without their kids. He left students without their friends. He took away innocent people's lives because he was unhappy with his.

I have a lot of friends that live in that area. It could have been them. I spent two Halloweens in Isla Vista. I loved it there. My heart goes out to all of the people affected by this - the innocent victims, their families, and the residents of Isla Vista. 

I am disgusted. His Youtube videos disgust me. The fact that somebody feels entitled to a woman's body disgusts me.

I do not feel bad for him. 

A long time friend pointed out that the victims deserved to be known. I couldn't agree more.

Weihan Wang - 20 years old. Studying Computer Engineering. He was the "joy of his family."
Cheng Yuan Hong - 20 years old. Studying Computer Science. Was always smiling.
George Chen - 19 years old. Studying Computer Science. Loved working with children.

Katherine Breann Cooper - 22 years old. Loved to paint. Was about to graduate with a degree in Art History.
Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez - 20 years old. English major. Planned on studying abroad in London for his Junior year and attending law school after graduating.
Veronika Elizabeth Weiss- 19 years old. She loved sports and got straight A's. Math was her favorite.

I do not feel bad for him. I feel bad for them. Their parents. Their friends.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What My Resume Should Really Say



I hate job hunting. Applications are waaaay too long and they are all the same. Interviews are nerve wracking and awkward. I never know what to say in cover letters. I don't want to under sell myself, but I don't want to seem cocky either. Why can't we just be totally honest??

Here is what my resume should really say...
  • I'm writing this in bullet form so it's easy to read. I know you managers like that. 
  • I'm probably the best worker you'll find - for the following reasons.
  • I don't fake sick because I'm a guilty person.
  • I'm not late because running late stresses me out.
  • I cover shifts because I have a hard time saying no.
  • I'm a really good fake smiler and I know how to shmooze the customers. 
  • I don't steal. It's just wrong. And sad that this has to be included.
  • I'm tall, which means I can reach things that everybody else cannot.
  • I bake a lot and your break room will constantly have treats.
  • I also pack good lunches/snacks because my Momma taught me that way.
  • I always share because I can't say no. 
  • I'm dying to be a mermaid and if the opportunity arises, I will quit. Sorry.
  • I like tacos and pizza way too much. 
  • If a song is playing and I know the words, I will be singing and probably dancing. That shows personality right? 
  • My hair is usually in a fun bun by the end of the day.
  • I run on caffeine and not enough sleep. 

What can I say? I'd hire me. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Do You Have A Bikini Body?

Whenever I'm bored at work, I like to browse articles of all kinds. I found myself on Huffington Post today. A title caught my eye..."Do You Have A Bikini Body?" I clicked out of curiosity. Seeing the graphic immediately annoyed me. I went through the questions...yes...no...yes. All the while thinking, who creates these things????

When I answered the last question, I was pleasantly surprised. Answer the questions and see for yourself! I bet you have a bikini body already :)


I've been stressing out about being "bikini ready" and in my eyes, have failed. So, thank you for this, Huffington Post. It was a breath of fresh air. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Weekend Away in Monterey



Asilomar State Beach


J and I spent a long weekend in Monterey. We got there Thursday night and left Sunday afternoon. We hardly ever get to stay for multiple nights, so this was exciting.

On Friday, I had an interview. Not sure how it went. I might wait to job hunt because this place thought my vacation could be a problem. Lame.

calories don't count when you're with your best friend, right?




The rest of the weekend was spent eating, shopping, and exploring.


I'm a sucker for sea shells

baby jelly!
On Sunday, one of my sweet coworkers from my last job, threw us a going away dinner at our favorite bar/pub! All of my old coworkers came out to eat and have a few drinks with us. <3






Only 12 days till moving day!

What did you do this weekend? Anything exciting?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Corn On The Cob Cupcakes




I'm taking it back today, guys! I used to have a strictly cupcake blog, back in the day. It was soooo 2010. ;) I decided to look at my old posts and I plan on sharing my favorites over the next couple weeks!

You Will Need:
  • 3 cupcakes per cob (any kind will do)
  • white frosting
  • yellow food coloring
  • various yellow and white jelly beans
  • yellow Starbursts
These are so easy! A little meticulous, but super easy. You frost your 3 cupcakes together using the yellow frosting. Then arrange your jelly beans in rows. The "butter" is actually a yellow Starburst! Use the heat of your hands to shape it like butter. I sprinkled real salt and pepper for looks, since they weren't going to be eaten. You can always use sprinkles for that! I found the little corn trays at Target in the dollar section.These are perfect for April Fool's Day or those summertime BBQs!



What do you think? Feeling corny? (lol had to)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

4 Fitness Accounts You Should Follow



27 days until the Caribbean! I've been consistently inconsistent with my workouts. I actually completed the squat + pushup challenged last month! This month my goal was to complete Jillian's 30 day shred...I've done it once. I've been exercising 3ish times a week - trying to mix it up every time so I don't get bored. I'm really hoping to up that number to 5 times a week. I'll sleep when I'm dead, right?

I wanted to share some of my favorite fitness accounts, blogs, and motivators.

1. Katy @ Fit Personality - She is freaking hilarious and makes me want to work out and eat healthy. Seriously. She's a college student living in Hawaii. She still drinks and has fun with her friends, but maintains a healthy, active lifestyle and looks hawt while doing it!

2. Lauren from Eating_Whole on IG - I stumbled upon her account and her food always looks good! She always has pretty plates that are healthy for you and easy to make! She also has a blog. She posts recipes all the time. I really like her IG because we are the same height, so I can use her as a legit motivator. (I know we aren't supposed to compare our bodies, but it's going to happen. It might as well be with someone who's as tall as me.)

3. Cassey from Blogilates - I started her videos on Youtube recently and they are killer! She makes it fun and challenging. All her workouts are between 10-20 minutes long and the time flies by! It's really hard for me to sweat and she had me sweating after 10 minutes! She has free meal plans, work out calendars, and newsletters that gives you work outs straight to your inbox! How easy is that??

4. Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up - I'm currently doing their Bikini Series and I looooove them. They have toned, realistic bodies and great personalities! I've been doing their Youtube videos a couple times a week. The time flies by with these girls too! You can sign up for the Bikini Series on their site and get weekly fitness plans emailed to you! Oh! They also just came out with their own swim suit line that is to die for.

Do you have any favorites? Please share! I'm always looking for new workouts or people to follow.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Our Weekend At IKEA

I spent my Saturday at IKEA. Shopping, dropping, eating Swedish meatballs, and battling over the last pieces of furniture. Okay, so 3 out of 4 of those are true.


If you've never been to IKEA, you are missing out. It's fantastic. They have little apartment set ups all over for examples. They show you how to style spaces on a budget and on limited space! They have TWO food courts! One in the middle of all the furniture goodness (cue Swedish meatballs) and the other is right after you check out. Well played, IKEA. There is also a warehouse part, where you pick out the large pieces of furniture you saw in the set ups. I'll explain how that works later.

this is how the price tag looks. you take a picture (or write the numbers down) and find it in the warehouse later!
ikea-swedish-meatballs
the famous meatballs

IKEA is basically 360,000 square feet of everything you would ever need to have the cutest house/apartment/dorm/bedroom ever.

J found a whole Swedish library to relax in

We ended up buying a dresser, a book shelf, a desk, 2 lamps, a craft cart and a few other random things for $398 with tax! Split in half, we only paid $193 each! Talk about a steal. I won't be sharing any actual furniture pieces until we have our room set up, but I figured I would show you some pictures from our adventure.

everything comes super compact!
 Here's a few of my IKEA shopping tips. 
  • wear comfy shoes - you do not look cute wobbling in wedges!
  • take a picture of all the price tags you are interested in
  • grab a map when you first walk in
  • have a set budget - you will go cray in there!
  • eat something before you get there - it's a loooong walk
  • be sure to stop at one of the food courts before you leave - you deserve it!
  • leave your Subaru at home. We watched a couple struggle to get a box into their car that was longer than their actual car!!!!!

I'm also co-hosting the Weekly Wrap-Up with Rachael and Lisa! You should link up too!
1) Follow your hosts Rachael @ The Rachael Way and Lisa @ Ameliorer la Vie.
2) Share what you have been up to this past week and link your post up with us every Monday.
3) Hop around and comment on at least two other people's posts.
4) Link your post back to us in some way. We have a cute button for you to grab. :)
5) Have fun reading about how other bloggers spent their week!



The Rachael Way

Style Your Life With Kleenex


This post is sponsored by Kleenex, but my love for their Style Studio is 100% my own!

isaac-mizrahi-kleenex


I sort of not so secretly hate tissue boxes. They aren't cute. When I started my job, there was the cheapest looking box of tissues left behind. It is now underneath my desk, hidden from everybody's eyes. I feel like that's the norm. Most boxes I see are hidden or have some sort of cover over them.

floral-isaac-mizrahi-kleenex

Well...not anymore! Isaac Mizrahi has worked his magic and come up with 4 of the CUTEST tissue box designs for Kleenex. (I may be a little partial since he's one of my favs.) They are colorful, fun and stylish! 

I went to my local Target and stood there for a good 5 minutes, trying to decide which box was cutest. I decided on a 4 pack of boxes and little purse packs. I kept some for myself, put some out during a party at my mom's house, AND my dad took a box for his desk at work! You know they are cool if your dad likes them.


These tissue packs are perfect for purses, back packs or diaper bags! They are flat and super compact, while still being stylish! They come in packs of 8 for $2.49 at my local Target. What a steal!


Watch this video to learn more about styling your come with Kleenex!



How do you style your home for guests? Tell me! Don't forget to visit the Kleenex Style Studio!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I Got It From My Momma

mother-daughter-cupcakes
that one time I randomly saw my Mom on the street of a town that neither of us live in...

I guess this title is a little misleading, since I look A LOT like my dad. Buuuuut. I did get my cray cray, creative, mother-hen traits from my sweet mommy.

Oh hey Momma! You're the coolest. Your cooking is the best. Your gifts are always on point. All my friends love you because you feed us awesome sandwiches. You always have the best snacks. AND. You are always available for words of affirmation. Thank you for all of that.

engagement-photo
the day she got engaged!

 Here's a picture of my fur baby because I'm a mom too! ;)

fur-baby




Happy Mother's Day to those of you who have real babies and fur babies!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

J + M = 1 Year!

our first picture together

Jarad and I have been dating for one year! Oh how time flies. It's been my favorite year yet. I thought I knew what love was before I met him and I was wrong.

Quick love story : We met randomly one night out with friends. He knew somebody that I was with. That was  the end of that. Months later, I was out with my girlfriends. We went to a couple bars and ended up going back to the first one we were at. I almost went home! I'm so glad that I didn't. Jarad was there and the rest is history! 

baking cupcakes for the first time

To put it simply, he's the Prince Eric to my Ariel. Buuut, when do I every put things simply?


  • He's patient and kind.
  • He puts up with my crazy girl mood swings.
  • He supports me. He's stayed up with me countless nights cutting ribbon for cake pop bags.
  • He believes in me.
  • He tries to bring me out of my comfort zone.
  • He loves food as much as I do.
  • He's moving with me to Monterey, so I can have my best friend, the beach, and my boyfriend.
  • He taught me that I am worth loving.
Plus a ton of other things that I know you probably don't want to read. So I'll shower you with picture overload instead.


Happy one year, Jarad! I can't wait to see what our next year will be like.


I just realized that Jarad looks different in every picture he takes.

Girls. The right guy will come along. It may take awhile, but he is so worth it.

**UPDATE** He sent me tulips at work. My favorite! <3 

How long have you and your significant other been together? Do you have any anniversary traditions? 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

More To Love With popchips!

This post was sponsored by popchips. All opinions are my own.



The first time I tried popchips, I was sitting in a 1 hour meeting for work, dying of boredom. I saw them sitting in a basket and was intrigued by all the words on the packaging.

Real ingredients. 
No added preservatives.
No synthetic colors.
No cholesterol.
0 grams trans fats. 
Gluten free. 



Uhhhh these are chips right??? Never fried, never baked. Dare I say healthy chips? You can eat 22 chips for just 120 calories! 

The best part? popchips is now giving their customers 15% more chip goodness for the same price!!



What can you do with all those extra chips? 

- make a Greek yogurt ranch dip to accompany your popchips. No guilt! 
- use popchips for a crunchy chicken breading
- toss popchips on a salad instead of croutons
- make a yummy homemade salsa and buy tortilla popchips
- or maybe even share with a loved one! 

popchips are the perfect summertime snack. No yucky stuff means no guilt!



You can enter the More to Love sweepstakes until 5/31! Share your popchips love story and receive a coupon for 55 cents off. Try them for yourself :) 

The winner will receive $500 and 3 cases of popchips!

What's your favorite flavor? I'd have to say BBQ or sour cream and onion!


Thank you for sponsoring this post popchips! I just had to try the 15% more ;) 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ombre Rose Cake Tutorial

Ombre rose cakes are all the rage on Pinterest, if you haven't seen them, you must live in a cave...just kidding...but seriously.

I made my first one for my niece's first birthday party. I made my second one this past weekend for a second birthday! (anyone else notice the numbers?)

These cakes look intimidating, but they are pretty simple! If you haven't already, check out my crusting buttercream recipe. It's the only frosting I will use for this cake! The frosting stiffens and will not move or slide or anything! Perffff.

What You Need:
  • a cake  (obvi)
  • that crusting buttercream I keep raving about
  • a 1M Wilton piping tip
  • a piping bag
  • a frosting spreader
  • food coloring of your choice
What You Do: 

1) Make sure you are using the 1M Wilton tip. It's like it was made for this or something!
1M-Wilton-piping-tip

 Here's a tip! No pun intended. For mess free piping bag filling - put the piping bag in a cup! 
 

2) Make sure you leave a little white frosting in the bowl, for crumb coating! Crumb coating is when you spread a thin layer of frosting around your cake to seal in the crumbs. It's sort of a hassle, but needs to be done! 
crumb-coat-cake
3) For this cake I did shades of purple. Decided what  color or colors you want and how ombre you want your cake to be. I did three shades of purple. Separate some frosting into different bowls for each color. Dye and mix!

4) Ready?? Make sure your piping bag is full of frosting goodness! You are ready for your first flower. You can practice on wax paper beforehand if you want. I just start in the center and make a counterclockwise circle. You can decide which way you want to do it! Let it flow! I started with the darkest purple on bottom.
frosting-rose-purple
5) Continue the same way all around the bottom of your cake. This is row one.
ombre-rose-cake

6) I went with the middle shade of purple for the next row. Do the same thing as the first row. If you want your cake to look uniform, make sure you are starting and stopping in the same place each time. 
purple-ombre-rose-cake
rose-cake

Tip #2! If you have gaps in between your flowers, make little swoops to fill them! You can also apply a little pressure for a star shape filler.

7) I think the top is my favorite part to do! I just start in one spot and fill the gaps. I used little purple accents for the centers of the flowers on top of the cake. (It was a Princess party, after all)
purple-ombre-rose-cake
pearl-accent-cake

That's it!!!!!! I really hope you guys attempt this! Honestly, the hardest part for me is making sure the cake layers are even! This is a small cake. Ombre styles will vary depending on the size cake you are working on! 

Here's a few pictures of the party. I made the cake pops as well :) 
dessert-table

The birthday girl loved her smash cake!!!

smash-cake

Here's a picture of my first smash cake - in case you missed it!

pink-ombre-rose-cake