Summertime catchup! Let’s find rainbows again!

Happy September! This year has felt like 15 minutes and 15 years at the same time. Some days, I feel like I’ve just been sitting in my little pink house watching time tick by. But I just looked at my pictures over the past 3 months, and wow I accomplished more than I thought!

We start off with some not-so-great COVID haircuts! Hey, it was the thing to do :O.

Like pretty much everyone else, I got on the bread baking bandwagon!

I’ve become OBSESSED with this recipe from Bread with a Side of Butter! I’ve probably made it at least 30 times (not an exaggeration!) The roughest month was in June when I couldn’t find yeast ANYWHERE and I had to do without (wasn’t about to spend $40 on Amazon – ahh!) This recipe is incredibly easy and you can whip up the best bread you’ve ever had in just a couple of hours.

The lockdown was great for my creative pursuits… until you couldn’t find yarn anywhere either! Amazon kept running out of my colours for my Mood Blanket! I made it to about 130 days, and unfortunately it’s a bit stuck right now. Probably something to pick up in 2021… Or maybe just stick under the bed never to think of this year ever again!

Did a splash of painting!

Sugar has got very comfy with me being here 24/7. I think that she is the one that needs the break and I don’t see her for hours sometimes!

Not sure I would be getting through this thing without her! I said previously I was going to talk about my mental health a bit (something I’ve never opened up to about to anyone).

My work has been even more crazy than usual. I’m trying not to complain, as I’m VERY grateful for still having a job as many, many people are unfortunate to have lost theirs. But 10+ hours a day of working alone for 6 months has been HARD. Then on top of that, I decided to take a few classes (including MATH – which I’ve somehow fallen a bit in love with shhh!) and the combination of everything completely fried me. July and August were ROUGH for me. Probably not a day that I didn’t bawl my eyes out at the littlest thing. I was going through the motions of work, but didn’t really care about anything. I completely lost interest in my hobbies as well, like all of the colour had been sucked out of me.

Fortunately the classes are done now, and I ended up dropping a couple I had registered for in the fall because I don’t think I can handle it at this point (maybe in the future!) AND THAT’S OKAY. My boss and I ranted about a bunch of stuff, and that helped a ton! I’ve learned to not take everything so seriously and I’m in a really good place once again.

I’ve been spending a lot of time outside to escape the day to day grind and just see people (from a distance, of course!) I’ve learned to watch the sunrise and try not to worry so much!

I’m absolutely one of ~those people~ who gets blown away and fills up my phone space with sunrise pics. Looking back on a calm happy morning fills me with joy. Everything is going to be okay. I feel like I’m becoming my happy fun colourful self again and see the colour in everything!

This has definitely been a year to remember and forget in many ways. Continue to stay safe everyone!

xoxo Erika

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April Adventures Bring May Catch Up Posts!

Hello friends!! As usual, I’m running LATE with my posts! Despite being inside pretty much the whole time, April just whizzed by!

I really want to seem like I’m nothing but rainbows and sugary sunshine, but thought I’d do some ~real talk~ about life and all that first. I’ve been working from home for two full months now, which has been mostly great. I save at least an hour each way on the commute, which has also helped tremendously with my anxiety. But I’ve also been pulling far longer hours at the virtual office which has been some *STRESSFUL* long days. At some points I feel like I’m the edge of burning out from my job. But I’m doing my best to find cheer in little things like baking, video games, and kitty snuggles and that really helps!

Now the days are longer and brighter and I’m learning to enjoy every moment at home because life will turn back to normal. Here’s some of how I passed the time in April!

The weather has been miserable, but I still found some rainbows (under a couple of feet of snow because I put out my doormat too early!! >.<)

I’m a bit of a bagel addict! But I haven’t been able to run to the bakery, so I had to learn to make my own instead. So introducing my homemade rings of happiness. The recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction!

I also made this delicious no bake cheesecake a few weeks ago! Recipe is from Tastemade 🙂

Sugar celebrated here second gotcha day on the 18th! Look how itty bitty she was two years ago!

I decided to repaint one of the walls in my living room, because I realized it was a bit too dark for space and needed a change! Now it’s a bright and airy lighter pink! There are more options for decorating now… think I might go a bit more shabby chic… but need to find new couches that match better!

And also did some spring cleaning on my spare room! Which has now turned into a craft and toy room!

I’m still knitting my mood blanket, but it’s really hard to find yarn and other supplies (seems like everyone else has the same crafty desires)! Amazon is out of most of my colours currently, so I’ll have a lot of catch up to do later on. But I’m still enjoying it! I’m also hoping to work on some sewing projects and maybe some perler beads soon now that I have the space!

And I’ve been spending a lot of time just unwinding playing video games!

Besides Animal Crossing which takes up most of my free time, I’ve been re-exploring the world of Final Fantasy 8 Remastered (usually with a kitty right in my face :D)!

So I’m certainly not bored and looking forward to even better days ahead! 🙂

Hope you and your loved ones are well and enjoying adventures of your own!

Until next time, Erika! xoxo

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Bunnies, Bows, and Baking! ~ How to Have a Super Cute Easter in Quarantine!

Hoppy easter, a perfect passover, or splendid springtime!! Hoping everyone and their families are doing well in this difficult time. Our celebrations are quiet this year, and many of us are alone ~ but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate and make the best of this situation.

Why not have a springtime party to lift your spirits?! Here’s some ideas!

DIY Easter Tree

Hello Kitty… err Hello Bunny?!, Poteusa’s (Amuse), and a Bunny Bunny Bunny hang around my springtastic tree!

Having a springtime celebration by yourself this year doesn’t mean you need to skimp on making your place look super cute for yourself~ you’ll be surprised how just a little thing like this will lift you up! I was planning on buying some decorations this year, but never had a chance to go out shopping for non-essentials because of the quarantine. So I had to make due with what I have and this seems even better!

What I did have was my super cute pink Christmas tree, some fake flowers and bows, and a ton of bunnies! So that festive little tree is now fresh and sprouting a BUN-ch of cuteness! You could easily make your own cute easter tree with springy things you have around the house:

  • mini Christmas trees or a vase of twigs
  • cute toys
  • hanging candies
  • plastic or hollow decorated easter eggs
  • fake flowers
  • bows, ribbons, or tulle
  • decorated ornaments

Colourful Easter Bun-Nana Bread

Everyone seems to be baking lately~ it’s a great way to pass the time, create something, or even finally learn how if you’ve never done it. This banana bread is a slightly modified version of my favourite banana bread recipe from Sprinkles for Breakfast. It’s stuffed full of healthy bananay goodness to make a healthy breakfast, but still sweet enough to feel like you’re indulging on easter snacks!

I followed the Sprinkles for Breakfast recipe, but instead of scooping the entire batter into the bread tins, I first separated the batter into four separate bowls and dyed them with Food Gel (I use Wilton Food Gel, which has brilliant colours!) Then using spoons, I scooped the batter out into globs on the pans.

It kind of looks like those bright gummy easter candies! And while the colours *technically* don’t taste different, it seems to be a bit more magical and happy for easter time!

Easter Meringue Cookies

You might not want a whole batch of cookies or a cake by yourself, so something small and relatively healthy like meringues is a fun choice. Meringues may seem intimidating, but they are the easiest little puffs to whip up! What’s more springy than light airy crunchy cookies of happiness (and super bonus – they’re fat free)?!

All you need are:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Flavouring – I used lemon extract because it seems so fresh! But vanilla, mint or strawberry would also be yummy!
  • Food gel

Directions:

~ Preheat oven to 225F and prepare a baking pan with a silicon baking sheet. Add egg whites, Cream of Tartar, and flavour extract to your clean mixer bowl and whip on HIGH for about two minutes, until the egg whites have whipped up bright white and fluffy with peaks

~ Slowly add a bit of the sugar until fully incorporated and you get fairly stiff peaks. You need to be careful to be slow as to not deflate the meringue.

~ Separate the meringue into separate bowls with a spatula. Very gently FOLD in the food gel by hand. Do not stir.

~ Fill a piping bag and attach a large tip and pipe them out onto your baking sheet. I only did a tiny little dollop so they’re very small cookies, but you can go as big as you want.

~ Put in oven for 40 minutes, until dry and the insides are crunchy and airy! Enjoy!

You can store them in the freezer as long as they’re in an airtight container. If they get a bit soft, you can put them back into the oven for 10 minutes (at 225 degrees) to crisp them up again!

Other cute ideas!

  • Dress up! Throw on your best pastels, frills, and bows.
  • Spring clean! What’s more refreshing than a new look for your place? Start slow and get rid of some stuff~ I went through some overstuffed closets yesterday and having them cleaned up feels refreshing! Note: most donation places aren’t taking donations right now, but store the goods you’re going to giveaway for now instead of tossing them. 🙂
  • Decorate easter eggs!
  • Have a springtime dance party!
  • Not feeling super energetic? THAT’S OKAY TOO! This is a tough time, and just relaxing and watching a favourite tv show and downing a bag of chocolately eggs is EGG-cellent!
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2019 in Review!

HAPPY LAST DAY OF 2019! And last day of the DECADE to boot!

Wow has so much changed for me in the past year ~ in great ways! I started the year so excited to create a bright happy life for myself, and am ending it even more positive about everything! The middle was stuffed with great stuff too. Here’s some of what I accomplished!

One year ago! Started off dressed like a rainbow. I dressed colourfully every single day and had random strangers tell them my outfits made them happy 😀
My sweet kitty Sugar celebrate her first birthday and we celebrated with a big bash! She doesn’t look thrilled here, but she was spoiled with attention so she wasn’t complaining!
Spent a big chunk of the year knitting, felting, and learning new things! I ran out of time so I didn’t get to create quite as much as I hoped.
Built and painted an adorable dollhouse from a kit! Still needs to be decorated on the inside, but that’s a 2020 project!
Ran and finished my first FULL MARATHON! A lot of my year was spent training and well making up the burned calories lol.
Bought my first Blythe dolls ~ a longtime dream!!
Baked for nearly a month straight for Christmas! This was my first go at decorating sugar cookies so a bit wobbly, but still adorable 😀
Made my pink house PINKER and cozier!
Most importantly, I had a ridiculous amount of FUN!!

And so much more! Hard to believe it has been 365 days! I really just want 2020 to be very similar – just happy, colourful, and creative! I think we can do it!

LET’S GO!!! Lots of love and best of luck to you all in 2020!! xoxo

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Christmas 2019 is a wrap!!

Another Christmas done! My holiday was jammed full of family, colour, cheer, and of course so much food that I’ll be full for a week (just kidding, I’m nibbling on more cookies right now :D)!

Speaking of food, I’m so happy to say my challenge to bake every day since December 1st was a big success!! I ended up whipping up well over 25 different items and had so much fun in the process and have learned so much. The crazy thing is there is almost nothing left now but crumbs as I’ve given away so many trays (phew)!!

Here’s the full list of goodies I baked (they link to the recipes!):

  1. Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
  2. Shortbread Cutout Cookies
  3. Mini Chip Butter Crisps
  4. Peanutbutter Balls
  5. German Spritzgebäck (Spritz) Cookies
  6. Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies
  7. Magic M&M Cookie Bars
  8. Gingerbread Recipes for House and Cookies
  9. White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies
  10. Double Chocolate Stuffed Thin Mint Cookies
  11. Loaded Christmas Bark
  12. Christmas Swirl Cheesecake Cookies
  13. Jam Thumbprint Cookies
  14. Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing
  15. Mixed Berry Pie
  16. Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes
  17. Chocolate Truffles
  18. Toffee Butterscotch Cookies
  19. Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
  20. Christmas Tree Brownies
  21. Grinch Cookies
  22. Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars
  23. Butterscotch Confetti Squares
  24. Cinnamon Bread
  25. Savory Spicy Rosemary Nuts
  26. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  27. One Hour Cinnamon Rolls

I’m going to continue baking into the new year because I think I’m properly addicted now! Anyways, have a great rest of the holiday season and can’t wait to see you for the next sweet thing!!

xoxo Erika & Sugar the Cat

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