Easy Bundt Cake Recipe

With my new found love of bundt cakes, I wanted to try making my own to see if I was able to make anything as good as the Whole Foods ones! The other factor I was dealing with was finding a recipe that didn’t call for heavy cream or lots of ingredients, especially since we’re trying to limit our grocery trips!
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Since I only had mini-bundt cake pan, I altered the bake time to accommodate for the smaller pans, but also included the bake time if you have a full-sized pan. I also modified this recipe to incorporate almond milk.

Bundt Cake Ingredients:
– Cooking Spray / Crisco
– 1.5 cups of stick butter (3-stick)
– 2 cups of sugar
– 4 large eggs
– 1 TBSP. vanilla extract
– 3 cups of flour
– 6 TBSP. cornstarch
– 1.5 TSP. kosher salt
– 1/2 cup of almond milk

Glaze Ingredients:
– 1.5 cups of powdered sugar
– 4-5 TBSP. almond milk
– 1/2 TSP. vanilla extract
– 1/8 TSP. kosher salt

Cake Step-by-Step:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 and grease your bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl, with a hand mixer beat softened butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
3. Add your eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added – with your last egg, add your vanilla extract in and mix well.
4. Next in another bowl whisk you dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
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5. Now take half of your dry ingredients and mix with your first bowl of wet ingredients – beating well until combined. Pour in 3-tablespoons of your almond milk and milk until fully incorporated, then add remaining dry ingredients and rest of the milk depending on consistency.
6. One your batter is ready, it’s time to bake! Pour your batter into greased pans – do not fill your batter up to the top and about half way up, smoothing the top with a spatula. I knew better, but still filled up my first batch to the top – see my #fail below, although it did make for a yummy scraps!
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7. For mini bundt pans, cook for 20-minutes and make sure your toothpick comes out clean – I was able to get 10-mini cakes, if I hadn’t over filled we probably would’ve had a dozen mini cakes. If you’re baking in a full-size pan, back for 55-minutes.
8. Let cakes cool in pan and invert cake pan onto a plate or cooling rack.

Glaze Step-by-Step:
1. Whisk together your powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Since I used almond milk, I gradually added the milk to make sure the consistency was good.
2. Pour of cake and serve!

The cake batter reminds me a lot like my mom’s Christmas cookie dough! It’s sooo yummy, and I definitely licked the bowl and batters clean. Once I filled the tins in about half way, they cooked perfectly at 20-minutes and came out relatively easy with the cooling guides. I love the little personal-sized bundt cakes for a post-dinner or breakfast snack — just add some sprinkles on top and you’ve got a sweet little treat!

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Recipe inspired by Maria’s Kitchen

Easy Birthday Inspired Cocktails

Let the birthday fun continue! Whether you’re having a big birthday bash or keeping it low key with a close group of friends, a fun and festive birthday inspired cocktail can be a delicious addition to the celebration! So I did a little research and had some fun experimenting to bring together a few of my favorite things for a tasty treat for these two easy and super cute cocktails.
BirthdayBeverages(3)Sprinkled Cranberry Rum 
Take your rocks glass and have some frosting in a dish, flip your glass upside down and twist the glass in the frosting so the rim is lined with frosting. Then take your vanilla frosted rim and roll in sprinkles to cover! Once your rocks glass rim is lined, add your ice cube ball and get ready to add your beverages. Add a shot of Bacardi Rum and then top off with your pink lite cranberry.

For both of these drinks I was looking for a cranberry mixer, but a lot of them had high sugars and a lot of carbs. I stumbled upon the Ocean Spray Pink Lite Cranberry cans at Target and read the ingredients and was pleasantly surprised and picked up a 6-pack!

Ingredients:
– Bacardi Rum
Ocean Spray Pink Lite Cranberry
– Ice Cube Ball
– Vanilla Frosting (homemade or store bought)
– Sprinkles
BirthdayBeverages(1)Pink Birthday Bubbles
This one is pretty easy, all you need is some bubbles and again lite pink cranberry and your frosting and sprinkles for your champagne flute rim. With frosting your a dish, flip your champagne flute upside down and twist the glass in the frosting so the rim is lined with frosting. Then take your vanilla frosted rim and roll in sprinkles to cover! Once your sprinkle rim is covered – just liking making a mimosas, fill your glass about 75% with you bubbles and then top off with your cranberry. Cheers!

Ingredients:
– Prosecco of your choice, I used Freixenet
Ocean Spray Pink Lite Cranberry
– Vanilla Frosting
– Sprinkles
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The frosted rim is so tasty and a yummy treat to enjoy as you sip or have once your glass is empty. I bought store made frosting, but would love to make my mom’s frosting recipe for this, especially if you’re already making a cake!  Of course the rim would also taste great with just a glass of plain ol’ delicious bubbles 🍾.

Now that you have a festive and fun birthday drink the birthday celebrating can officially commence — Cheers 🎉!

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Must-Have Birthday Party Decor

With a few of the stress out of the way with my last post, it’s time for all the fun. It may be no surprise to my bee readers that March for me is all about my birthday and St. Patrick’s Day (only because it’s the day after), so that means eating cake, fun party plans and festive decor!  So, continuing on this birthday party train — here are a few finishing touches that are easy and essential for any party celebration and can really help pull in a thoughtful and personalized flair.
PartyEssentials
Balloons. Ok, helium shortage aside — balloons are super fun and can be made affordable with the personalize helium tanks, and also make transporting and decorating easy and convenient to decorate in the party space! Bare minimum, having big gold numbers for the big milestone birthday is an absolute MUST. Ordering those off Amazon can also help save on cost and have the balloons shipped right to your door. Even adding a little bit of helium into balloons so they cover the ceiling with long pretty strings is also a simple yet bold look!

Polaroid Frame & Polaroids. This is another Dollar Store hack! If you grab their foam board, it’s conveniently the same rectangular size as a polaroid — so tracing and cutting out to make it a hand held photo prop is another fun way to make a memorable mark. You can even include a hashtag, date or event title on the bottom for all the pictures! Not feeling crafty? You can order customized ones from Etsy. If you have a polaroid camera, this is another fun way to capture memories and moments in front of a photo wall or all the faces who are helping celebrate!

Festive Centerpieces. As much as I love fresh flowers for parties and events, there are simple and cost effective ways to add a little party flair to dessert tables, centerpieces and food spreads.  Grabbing a bunch of party blowers from the Dollar Store and throwing them into small glass vases from the Dollar Store, is a fun and party festive way to add a little extra flair — and even more perfect if you’re throwing a surprise party!
PartyEssentials(1)Dessert. Whether it’s a fun party cake that represents the birthday bee’s personality and favorite flavors to a tee or custom sugar cookies with fun designs and year dates, having a variety of desserts, favorite snacks (like frosted animal crackers or chocolate covered pretzels) or just a super fancy cake, is a fun way to add another personalized touch while making the birthday bee extra happy. Don’t forget, left overs for breakfast!

A Signature Cocktail. A festive cocktail and even themed party cups is another easy finishing touch that can serve as a conversation starter and fun party favor! Whether the cocktail is a play on the number, or an ode to the birthday bee’s favorite beverage and mixer with a fun garnish, patterned paper straws or golden party umbrellas for a fun birthday beverage!

Simple Photo Collage. Creating a simple photo wall of the birthday bee can be the perfect way to celebrate the big milestone birthday and looking back at all the years before! Using a string and festive clothes pins can be a cute way to display all the pictures, also clipping onto your blind strings is another alternative that can help fill up a space without making away from streamers and other fun party decor!
PartyEssentials(3)Another easy way to help keep yourself on track and also having a cohesive look for your next birthday bash is picking a theme whether it’s a 90’s throwback theme, a color scheme, or a mood you want to invoke — this can help keep you in line for picking all these finishing touches and really make a statement!

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5 Ways to Celebrate 30!

Secret time! I’m turning 30 in under a month. Second secret time, I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m really trying to embrace it, so excuse me as I put on a fake smile and try to embrace it all — and maybe go a little overboard in doing so. If you’re like me and hitting a big milestone this year, but can’t figure out how to celebrate, I’m here to help, with five fun ideas!
5WaystoCelebrate30_beelifeblogGet out of Town. Whether it’s a week long cruise or a weekend trip to a new city to explore sometimes getting out of town is just what the doctor ordered.  A good way to figure out affordable and easy places to get to for a longer weekend trip is looking at nonstop destinations that your airport flies too, finding a VRBO or bouquet hotel, or finding a spot that is drivable – 6-hours would be the max if you’re going for an extended weekend.

Boozy Brunch. If you’re a bee reader, you know I have a strong love for brunch, from the food to the beverages — you really can’t go wrong in my opinion. So instead of ordering a mimosas, order the mimosa kit and the waffles and enjoy the finer brunch things in life. This can be with family, gal pals or even just your number one.

Plan a Spa Day. Whether it’s solo, for a full day of R&R or an afternoon at the spa with your girlfriends — a spa day is a must to celebrate a big milestone birthday and simply relax! So make sure to plan out a day to get the works, from a facial, massage to your nails, this could even be a good gift hint to family or friends.

Night on the Town. If you’re a little more low key, it’s still important to treat yourself and maybe even splurge a bit! Whether it’s rooftop bar drinks, a high-end speakeasy or a nicer dinner spot, grab your core crew, throw on some sparkles and secure a dinner reservation – the best part is you can still be home by 9pm and jump right into those PJs.

Shopping Spree. Another way to celebrate the big day is going on a little shopping spree! If you’re like me, I don’t do a whole lot of clothing shopping out of guilt and other necessities. So, start saving a few extra pennies so you can really splurge and get a few new pieces to celebrate the new decade.

Last, but not least there is one other VERY important piece of any birthday celebration that should never be forgotten is the cake or two. Please never, ever, ever forget the birthday cake or your version of birthday cake. The best part is that after your birthday, you get to eat cake for breakfast, so you’re winning even after the big day. To try and embrace and overcome my 30 anxiety, I will definitely be celebrating with a few of these over the course of my birthday month!

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Latest Obsessions 02.20

It’s Valentine week! And I have been obsessing over all things Valentine’s, can’t you tell?! From home decor, homemade valentines, picking out a meaningful gift and even getting wardrobe ready for the day of hearts — it’s been X’s and O’s, conversation hearts, everything pink and lot’s of love over here at the Bee residence, so let’s get to it!

Festive Valentine Sweaters. I couldn’t resist getting a festive oversized heart sweater for this Valentine’s Day!  I’ve had my eye on this sweater for some time now, but thought I would get it in grey or a lighter pink — but I went for the white with a bright red heart and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately these are selling out quick on Amazon, but I found a few other fun Valentine-heart inspired sweaters that you can still snatch up before the holiday!
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Shop the pieces: Red Heart Sweater from Loft ($59.50), Pink/White Amazon Heart Sweater ($26.99) + Prime Friendly option, Blue Hearts & Stars Sweater from J. Crew ($115), Sweater with Heart Elbows ($22), Dog is My Valentine Tee from Target ($14.99)

DIY Valentine Decor. From my floral letter X’s and O’s door hanger craft to my hand painted table runner, the Valentine crafts have been sweet and festive for a personalized touch around the house! I shared how I made this table runner for under $20! It was so easy, super affordable and makes such a sweet statement across the dining room table. If you want to see the full DIY breakdown, check out my blog post here. If you’re hoping to make some custom, cute and thoughtful Valentine’s — I made these cute wooden love letter’s that are festive and cute and perfect for everyone!
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Shop the pieces: Plain table runner from Amazon, Heart tassel garland from Target 

Galentine’s Brunch. I’m slowly regretting not actually hosting a Galentine’s brunch this year and will definitely have it on my to-do next year! What sounds better than a table of all your favorite girls, delicious brunch and mimosas? Not a whole lot, especially in the middle of February! In case you’re trying to finalize your Galentine brunch deets, check out my Galentine’s Brunch Planning guide, here!

Although I’ve been all about Valentine’s Day, I must admit I haven’t thought as much about a gift for my hubby, B — but the last few years, we’ve taken the less extravagant route and will probably spend our time staying in, cooking a tasty meal, playing some games and exchanging thoughtful notes/cards to each other. If you’re looking for something a little more meaningful, my Valentine Gift guide features five FREE ideas that will still show your Valentine how much you really love them! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Galentine’s Brunch Planning Guide

With Galentine’s falling on a weekend, it is the perfect excuse to host a brunch! And for me, there is nothing more that I love than a good brunch — not to mention, I think it’s one of the easier meals to host, while still being able to make an impressive spread that is tasty for everyone. But don’t worry, I have you covered from the menu, recipes, table setting, Valentine’s and decor, too!
Galentines_beelifeblog(2)When it comes to brunch food, there are a ton of great recipes that are overnight prep so all you have to do the morning of, is stick them in the oven and wait for your guests to arrive! Not to mention both casseroles are easy to prep, don’t require a done of ingredients and cover both bases for those friends who are sticking to a diet or maybe love indulging in a little something sweet! The overnight egg casserole is easy to switch out to be meat free if you’re accounting for any dietary needs. Fresh fruit with brunch is always a must, I like to go with blueberries, strawberries or raspberries – something colorful and health conscious to take away some of the guilt!

Galentine’s Brunch Menu:
– Overnight Casseroles: Breakfast Egg Casserole + French Toast Casserole
– Fresh Fruit
– Donut holes or Cinnamon rolls
Bloody Mary Bar
– Mimosas

Lastly the beverages for your Galentine’s Brunch are just as important as the food! Knowing your gal-pals preferences always helps streamline this, so you can have a mix of Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas or can stick to one. This post on how to create your own Bloody Mary bar can help you make a fun statement and if you’re planning for mimosas, be sure to grab a few extra juices besides the standard, like cranberry or pineapple plus your fresh fruit can garnish these too!
Galentines_beelifeblog(3)Set the Table & Decor. Since it’s your gal pals, keeping the table setting and decor simple, yet fun and festive is key and will also let you enjoy yourself too! Making your own table runner and place settings can help save some money with taking little time and effort on the crafting side, and still resulting in a big impact. This hand painted X’s and O’s table runner, I shared last week is just too stinkin’ cute and is pretty in pink for Galentine’s Day!

Also, don’t let your gals go home empty handed without a little keepsake; these wooden love letter Valentine’s can be customized with everyone’s names or fun little notes like, “U R CUTE” or “BFF4L” or “Ride or Die.” Adding a little note on the back is another way to send a little extra love their way! These will help finish off your table decor and filling these seats, while also bringing a big smile to your pals faces. And snag the colorful cute heart tassel garland from Target for only $6 to add to your table decor or hang in an entry way! Galentines_beelifeblog(1)Finishing Touches. Getting festive red or pink paper straws can be a fun touch for those Bloody Mary’s or the mimosas. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch if you wanted to switch out your table centerpiece.  Don’t forget to set the mood for your brunch with some music, check out my Heart Ache playlist or my emnblovetracks playlist for a mix of all those feelings of love. Heart Ache has a lot of good throw backs, especially some good ones to sing with your gals.

Happy Galentine Brunching!

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DIY – Wooden Love Letter Valentine’s

I love getting crafty and making my own Valentine’s especially when it comes to my hubby! A few years ago, I shared my go-to homemade paper Valentine, made from scrapbook paper, pictures, stickers and ribbon — but this year I wanted to mix it up and do something still crafty but different.
DIY_Valentines(3)I found these really cute wooden pieces at Michael’s for this fun DIY Valentine that is so easy and affordable to make by stacking them to make mini love letter envelopes with big hearts on them! Super easy, super cute and then you can personalize them for all your Valentines. The best part is these wooden Valentine’s can double as adorable place-settings for your Galentine’s brunch!

Craft Supplies:
– (1) Wooden Hearts – 21pcs
– (2) Rectangular Wooden Signs – 6pcs
– All purpose craft paint Valentine colors of your choice ($0.79 each)
– Hot Glue
– Smaller paint brush – I have this 7ct Paint Brush set from Target

Project Cost: $12
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Step 1: First things first, is to paint all of your wooden pieces — have fun with this and mix and match but pick colors that’ll compliment each other. I did a lot of white bases with pink or red hearts.  I also did a few pink and red bases with white hearts which was a fun pop!

Step 2: You’ll probably need to do a few coats, especially the white on the wood — it soaks up the color, make sure to paint both sides of the bases and let all your pieces dry with plenty of time!

Step 3: Once everything is painted and dried, you can hot glue your hearts onto your bases. I kept my centered, but you could offset to write if you wanted too!

Step 4: Personalize as you’d like with fun phrases, names, or cute messages on the heart and write a longer message on the back of the bases for all your favorites. If you’re using these as place settings for a Galentine’s brunch or dinner you can stick with names or write fun little notes for each of your bae’s.
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These little love letter Valentine’s are to cute, hand held and also dual purpose (which I also love!) So get your crafting pants on and head over to snag these supplies so you can create your own custom, cute and clever Valentine’s that will be the perfect keepsake for friends, family or all your gal pals.

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Gearing up for Valentine’s Day? Check out these easy painted Valentine themed table runner or this festive floral door decor!

DIY – Painted Valentine Table Runner

Ohhh, you guys!! This was a fun, easy and affordable craft and I just love how it turned out! This custom Valentine-inspired painted table runner is a spin on an everyday piece and not one that I really ever thought about making, at least one that didn’t involve buying fabric, sewing or investing a ton of time on. Read more to see my supply list, project cost and step-by-step for painting and creating your own X’s and O’s table runner, just in time for a Galentine’s brunch!
DIYTableRunner(3)Craft Supplies:
Off-white plain linen table runner from Amazon ($14.99)
All purpose craft paint: Pink / Rose from Michael’s ($0.79 each)
– Smaller paint brush – I have this 7ct Paint Brush set from Target

Project Cost: $17
(not including paint brushes)

Step-by-Step:
1. I order my linen table runner from Amazon, there was a brief though to try and make my own with buying fabric – but I quickly saw that being a disaster. Two-day shipping and $14.99 on Amazon, sounded way better! I compromised on the size (14″ x 72″), as I like a wider table runner since we have a larger dining room table, but found a off-white linen that looked to be perfect.
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2. Paint color was my toughest decision – I initially planned to do black, but thought red could be fun and then ultimately decided on a lighter pink as that worked better with dining home decor and I love how it turned out! Now to the fun stuff…
3. Before I got painted, I did have to iron my table runner to smooth out some of the fold marks! I didn’t get it as smooth as I would’ve liked, but it was much better than before – this was definitely needed before painting.
4. Get ready to paint! I put paper bags down in order to paint, and painted on my dining room table — which was a good feel for the space while I painted and scaling my X’s and O’s. Starting in the bottom corner I kept it simple and fit four across and repeated the pattern by alternating which letter I started with and worked my way towards the center.
Pro-tip: I eyed my spacing and letter size, but you could use a ruler to keep spacing even between lines and/or letter height!
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5. Keep going until you finish up the length of your runner! Keep in mind as you’re painting if you mess up, or have brush strokes showing, it’s OK — it’s suppose to look hand drawn and painted which gives it a unique look. Besides, from a distance you can’t really see any of the imperfections.

I let this dry overnight before styling this up! I had another pink table runner that was a little wider than mine, so I was able to layer underneath and the pinks complimented each other perfectly! I then added a few jars with conversation sweet heart candy, some fun colorful garland, this table was just needing a few finishing touches for a Galentine’s brunch!

Besides just completely loving how this came out (slightly obsessed!) — the price can’t be beat for a custom piece that fits EXACTLY what you were wanting.  $16 is about the going rate, if not more for you’re every day or holiday themed table runner, so I imagine I’ll be doing this in the future for more holidays or special occasions! Plus it only took me about 45-minutes to iron and paint.

What do you think!?

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Latest Obsessions 01.20

This past weekend was a cold and snowy one, which meant it was perfect to plan a few upcoming house projects, work on some Valentine crafts and get extra snuggles in with the pups while binging the latest hot documentaries on Netflix! Which brings me to my latest obsessions, aka, all of the above.
LatestObsessions01.20-beelifeblogObsession: Getting Organized. I went to town last winter on a few projects including my kitchen pantry transformation, which I’m proud to report has maintained just as pretty  and organized as it was when I finished it up! I also worked on glamming up and organizing our linen closet on the second floor – not only have then both been more functional, they both look pretty while doing it!

Next up is my office closet; this just needs more shelves and is one of the most utilized storages spaces in the house, and houses my crafting, scrapbooking and some other office goodies. So it really needs to be functional and accessible – currently I have to unload everything to access certain containers. I think I figured out my game plan this weekend, so stay tuned for a fun before and after!

Obsession: Valentine’s Decor. I have so many fun DIYs to share to help celebrate this upcoming Valentine’s Day! I know a lot of other bloggers have been Valentine ready for the last two weeks, but I try to live a little more in the present and was still enjoying Christmas around our household until last weekend! So, from Galentine’s Day planning, to some fun fashion, to simple decor around the house.

If you’re planning and getting your house all Valentined-up, check out these fun and affordable banners at Target: Fun Heart Tassels Banner for $6 or Beaded Tassels Banner from Opalhouse for $9.99! The Opalhouse banner is a great subtle addition if you’re not overly X’s and O’s and hearts everywhere.

Are you decorating for Valentine’s Day or keeping it simple?

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P.S. If you’re looking for some good Netflix documentaries we’ve loved: Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez and Don’t F**k With Cats Hunting An Internet Killer. We also just started The Outsider on HBO and just binged Seasons 1 and 2 of Good Girls thanks to Netflix (on NBC) — and can’t wait for season 3 to air this February!

 

Image Sources: Office Closet Inspiration | Valentine Decor Inspiration | Lolly Jane Blog