Jiji’s Orange Bundt

Good Morning Friends!

Monday, Monday…I’m ready for the weekend again. Haha, never mind, this week will be a good one – I’m grateful to have a great job and love the people with whom I work.

But, to get started off on a sweet foot, I thought I’d share my orange bundt recipe.

It’s another recipe I made up! Ha, I chose my favorite ingredients from a few different bundt recipes, added a few more, and voila – this one came to be! Check out the recipe and ingredients below.

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Happy baking, friends!

Jiji’s Orange Vanilla Chocolate Bundt Cake (it’s a mouthful, pun intended!)

3 eggs

1.5 cups crisco shortening

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup vanilla creamer

Half an orange of squeezed orange juice

1 tsp orange zest

1 cup chocolate pudding

1 cup white sugar

2.5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1.5 tsp baking soda

Mix together the dry ingredients before folding in the eggs. Pour in the rest. Mix until smooth – typically about 60 seconds.

Spray your bundt cake pan and fold in the batter. Bake at 350 for one hour.

Take a spatula to the sides to gently prod the cake from the walls of the pan; let cool for ten minutes before removing from the pan. Glaze with vanilla glaze.

Now, say yum! ❀

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Ferris Wheels

Summertime…it means farmers’ markets, carnivals, festivals, and kisses on Ferris Wheels…I hope you’ve been grabbing every opportunity that summer promises.

Take a moment to look events like these up in your area and try to find them at times that fit your schedule; you won’t be sorry. Leo found this carnival about ten minutes away from a work meeting we had one night this past week and he surprised me by stopping by it on our way home. We grabbed the opportunity for a little weeknight thrill!

How gorgeous is the sunset from our view atop this Ferris Wheel?! These photos below have no filter on them.

It wasn’t our first Ferris Wheel ride shared this summer. These were taken during the weekend at another nearby festival.

I purchased the pretty romper featured above at Somerset‘s Anthropologie, from their clearance section, for less than $20! They’ve been having some epic “sale on sales” — check them out if you get a chance this week πŸ™‚

Ferris Wheels are my favorite ride at carnivals. I actually have an epic fear of heights, but something about these slowly moving wheels that carry you up and up, lifting you gently into the sky gives me a thrill. It’s a slow and focused way to face my fear, and know the excitement of it… I’ve been trying to face every fear of mine, whether big or small, this year, and do it with an attitude of anticipation rather than anxiety. Perspective makes all the difference! πŸ™‚

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Hope you’ve been enjoying your summer, friends. πŸ™‚

❀

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Night in Plymouth

Hi friends!

How cute is this little corner of downtown Plymouth? These photos are taken in front of their old post office turned into a market. They still have the old US Postal Service sign printed on the building!

I couldn’t help but stop and stare at some of the beauties coloring the front of their market. I was with my sister and she snapped some quick pics

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I love flowers. Redundant for you to read those words on my blog at this point, ha! But flowers from the market are typically my favorite — so fresh and bright. I was bummed the market was closed by the time we passed it.

 

Make sure to visit the city — it’s bustling and happy and full of fun little hangout spots throughout.

Outfit details at the bottom.

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Outfit Details:

The bag and jewelry have been featured in previous blogs so I’ll stick to the clothing. It’s all from previous seasons and out of stock but I linked some similar pieces for you to shop!

Cardigan was a steal at a Guess Outlet mall years ago. But here, here, and here are some slightly similar styles.

Shorts were a steal at a TJ Max three years ago. But here and here are similar styles.

Shirt was not a steal (ha!) at an Anthropologie years ago. But click here for their current pretty tops.

Wake Up and Smell the Roses

Good morning, happy people. πŸ™‚ How beautiful are these roses Leo brought to the airport when he picked me up from my Dallas work-trip last Friday?!

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I’ve been loving them. One of my favorite things to do with my plants and bouquets is move them around the house to keep my home decor fresh and bright. I work from home often, so I like to switch things up in our condo.

Yesterday morning I had a nice little breakfast with coffee on my balcony and just enjoyed this pure Michigan sunshine with which we’ve been recently blessed.

Try to take a morning moment daily to just appreciate your life – and I use “life” in terms of simply being alive πŸ™‚

There is beauty in every day and it’s up to us to uncover it, appreciate it, and pass it along. (PS, those are my vitamin pills on the plate, in case you were wondering — I typically go with something healthier than scones for breakfast πŸ˜‰ but I decided to spoil myself a little. Nonetheless, always keep up with your vitamins and stop that thought right there – I do NOT sound like your mom). πŸ˜‰

Happy Friday Junior, folks. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Sunsets

Hello πŸ™‚ I hope you’ve all had a lovely day so far.

Yesterday evening, Leo and I strolled through our neighborhood and of course I had to stop every two feet in the beginning of our walk as the sun set —

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But do you blame me?? This sky was fantastic. Look how gloriously the sun painted these clouds! These are photos right off my iPhone with no filter:

I was enthralled. It made me think though…of endings…to sunshine. Dreams. Sometimes you grow up with certain expectations of how your adulthood will play out, with aspirations and with hope and with so much belief that your dreams will pan out – as long as you work at them with all your strength.

But you know what, sometimes, some dreams don’t. Sometimes, the sunshine in those dreams will slowly set. The last embers will paint your personal sky strikingly and you’ll take the time to snap some pictures in your mind’s eye. Because you’ll want to remind yourself of how colorful and perfect your heart felt with that particular dream alive.

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In that moment, you’ll be thinking only of the sunset. And rightly so – because a sunset like this one deserves a captivated audience.

But once it sets, and the sky has darkened, you’ll just follow the cycle you were born to follow — looking ahead for tomorrow’s sunrise. The birth of new dreams. The continuance of still-existing ones. The celebration of accomplished dreams. The hope that is a life filled with purpose.

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So take a last look, and enjoy the sunset. Yesterday’s was certainly a beautiful sun.

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“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Peony Babies

Hi friends!

So here you have those last tips on peony care I promised you on my Instagram this morning! I promise it’s the last peony post for awhile (for those of you who aren’t as obsessed with the lovely flowers as I am) πŸ˜‰

Look at these beauties, alive and healthy, even though it’s just shy of two weeks since I brought them home from the Farmer’s Market!

So, here’s my tip: Buy bunches that are full of both blossoms as well as buds — when the blossoms begin to wither, prune them away. Leave the buds on their stems and shorten them to fit into a smaller vase. In my case I used this cute little mason jar.

Be sure to change out the water daily, and you’ll find each bud opening for you – and watch it blossom ’til it’s lived the length of its sweet little life!

Happy peony lovin, friends!

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Garden Fashion

Happy Friday, friends! Ah, so glad it’s the weekend tomorrow – I can’t wait for the fun plans my family and I have coming up for Father’s Day!

Anyone looking for some weekend fashion inspo? In this gorgeous summery weather, the ideas are plenty! But today, it’s all about rompers if you ask me πŸ˜‰

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I found this pretty one at Pitaya – one of my favorite boutiques! It’s affordable and always provides a unique take on trendy fashion.

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It was perfectly pretty and comfortable enough for my visit to The Arb to see their incredible peony garden!

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If you’ve been following my blog you’ll see I’ve been drinking in every breath of these sweet peonies during their too-short season! They’re so lovely…

 

For tips on their care, be sure to reference my previous blog post here!

 

And if you’re ever in the Ann Arbor area, be sure to visit The Arb – its beauty is certainly not limited to the peony garden…you’ll find that the lovely trails rival your favorite landscape paintings!

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I hope you all enjoy your weekend! I’d love to hear about your plans and the fashion ideas with which you’ve paired them! πŸ™‚

Let’s chat soon!

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Jiji’s Lemon Strawberry Bundt

Happy Hump Day, folks! πŸ™‚

I’d say it’s the perfect time of week to mix up an easy bundt and spoil yourself with some warm and yummy sweetness!

I whipped up this yummy bundt and brought it for that pretty peony picnic shared with Tiffy! If you missed my post on that pretty picnic — click here!

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I love making up new baking recipes and this one was one of my favorite attempts — I hope you like it!

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See below for the recipe and list of ingredients needed!

Recipe:

3 large eggs

1.5 cup shortening

1.5 cups granulated sugar

2.5 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup water with a tablespoon of vanilla coffee creamer

3 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup strawberry jam

2 tbs powdered sugar

Beat the eggs, sugar and shortening together until blended. Fold in flour, soda, and salt and mix until blended. Pour in liquids and half cup of strawberry jam. Mix all together only long enough to smooth the batter.

Bake in sprayed bundt pan at 350 for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Leave cake in pan for seven minutes before removing cake from pan to let it cool on cake stand. Spread remaining half cup of jam onto the top of your cake and sprinkle the 2 tbs of powdered sugar on top.

If you you like, decorate your completed cake with lemon slices and strawberries as shown in photo.

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Finally: Ration into one piece at a time and resist the urge to gulp down half the cake in one sitting. πŸ˜‰

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I hope you enjoy my recipe, friends! I loved eating the cake for breakfast, paired with my mug of coffee on my balcony in the early mornings! …and also, of course, snacking on it during a picnic πŸ˜‰

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“Sahtein” as they say in my language — enjoy! πŸ™‚

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Pretty Peony Picnic

Happy Monday loves! Does anyone have the Monday blues? Let’s just go ahead and do away with those right now — and dream about picnicking this coming weekend, yeah?

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Just a couple of weekends ago my sweet friend Tiffy and I packed a picnic and made our way to Ann Arbor’s famed peony garden. It’s located in the Arb and draws flower lovers from far and wide…and just down the street if you count me πŸ˜‰

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Tiffy brought the drinks and snacks and that pretty white blanket and I made and brought that pretty lemon/strawberry cake and the accessories!

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Tune back in later this week to get the recipe for this yummy cake!

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Do you have plans yet for this weekend? If not, a picnic won’t be a bad idea — bring some favorite snacks, a pretty blanket or even a table cloth cover, and bake something special to bring along.

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It’s fun to go in the late morning before it gets too warm, and bring delicacies to enhance your time. A picnic doesn’t have to always include a full-fledged meal and is sometimes more relaxing without one!

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So, cheers, friends. I hope our happy photos decorate your Monday with some sunshine πŸ™‚

 

 

 

All About Peonies

Good Morning!

This week I’ll be all about peonies, peonies, peonies πŸ™‚ …starting with those I picked at the Farmer’s Market last week! Tips below on how to care for these lovely plants — but for now, let’s all just admire!

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They’re magnificent!

Care tips right from the farmer’s mouth! πŸ™‚

“Keep them in fresh water. They like to be cold so refrigerate them overnight! That’s really it.”

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Happy Sunday, friends! πŸ™‚