October Blogging Challenge! Day 15: Thankful Thursday

I try my best to keep my blog and my life as upbeat and sunshiney as possible even when it’s really tough! That said, this week has been a CHALLENGING one and put my life view to the test!

We’re all at month SEVEN of the pandemic and I think it is really taking a toll on all of us lately. For me, I miss my family so much (even though they pop every couple of weeks when they pop in for groceries), work is difficult and people seem to be at each other’s throats, the news of the world is hard to watch, and I just miss having that freedom to do little things on a whim. I’ve broken down a couple of times this week ~ but then come back to reality…

I AM very fortunate (and I know others sadly aren’t in the same place). This IS temporary. We WILL be okay in the end!!

But painful weeks like this have made me truly think about all the things I am truly THANKFUL for and what brings me back to my happy place! I find it important to list out the things that brighten up my day and it doesn’t take long before it is LONG!

  • My cat ~ she always knows when I need an extra cuddle
  • Rainbows ~ they always seem to jump out at the most necessary time!
  • Family
  • Internet friends!! <3 No matter what, they ALWAYS brighten up my day.
  • Creating! Shutting out the real world and being transported into a magical world of my own creative mind and seeing what comes out in yarn, felt, drawn form!
  • My happy little house
  • Being healthy!
  • Positivity and happy moments! Lots of them to come 🙂
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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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Let’s Rewatch Sailor Moon! ☽

Hope everyone is doing as well as they possibly can! Certainly the latest turn of events in the world is something that nobody was expecting. But instead of wallowing, we should make the best of the moments where we have a bit more opportunity to relax and stay healthy (for ourselves, and of course for others)!

Finding an ongoing project is something that I need to fill the time and stave off boredom, so I’ve chosen to rewatch one of my all-time favourite TV shows ~ SAILOR MOON! Sailor Moon is the type of sheer positivity, motivation, and overcoming something dark and unknown that we all need right now so I thought it was appropriate!

If you’ve never watched (or need refresh!), Sailor Moon is an anime show that originated in Japan in the 1990s, and then was initially brought to North America by DiC in 1995. The show is about a clumsy 14-year-old girls’ adventures with her friends, cat, school, and well… badass enemies to destroy and a love story that spans a whole millenia – and was a huge hit and began many kids’ anime journeys. The more you watch, the deeper the story is and the love remains just as strong to this day. Let’s take a look!!

What are you doing to fill the time in lockdown?!

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