Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Getting to know me

Since I started this blog from scratch and didn't just revamp my old blog, I thought I'd do a post on me and get you caught up on all things Aly...I know, sounds vain, please forgive me. 

-I Grew up in Southern CA
-I'm the baby of the family, I have one older sister and an older brother
-I was adopted from South Korea when I was just 3 months old
-My parents are amazing and I love them so much
-I played soccer, did dance, gymnastics, ice skating and cheerleading
-I graduated high school..quite a long time ago... with some of my best lifelong friends
-I am a Mormon
-I went to college at LDS Business College
-I met my husband my sophomore year in a health class
-He jumped out of a moving car to talk to me the day after we met in class
-He was kind of hanging out with another girl at the time we met, it got awkward when we bumped into her at the apartment complexes' welcome back party
-We started dating the next day
-We were engaged 3 1/2 months later
-We were married 4 1/2 months after that (April 2008) in the Los Angeles LDS temple
-We lived in Provo for 5 years
-My husband completed his BS at BYU in exercise science
-I completed my cosmetology license from Paul Mitchell the School, Provo
-I found out I was pregnant the week I was graduating from school
-At 16 weeks pregnant we found out we were having a boy
-I cried when I found out because my first thoughts were 1. He'll leave me for 2 years for his mission and 2. he's going to get married and I'll lose my baby boy to another woman
-March 31, 2011 I delivered my baby boy, Evan. He entered this world after 15 hours of labor, 2 1/2 hours of pushing and came out much bigger than I expected. 8 lbs 2 oz 20 inches long.
-For the next 2 years I continued to be a stay at home with the occasional "kitchen haircut" and Conryd (my husband) interned at a billion different physical therapist offices
-He applied for physical therapy school but it just wasn't a fit I suppose
-It all worked out for the best and my husband was offered a job in Miami to be the Media Marketing Manager for 2 electronic artists known as Approaching Nirvana
-My Husband moved out to Florida 2 months before Evan and I
-I got to play single mom for 2 months and only survived it because of the help of my amazing in-laws
-We packed up our stuff and headed out east March 2013
-We arrived and fell in love with the bright blue waters the Florida coast has to offer
-For only living a mile away from the beach, we don't go nearly enough
-But we do go to the park...A LOT
-And that's us. Just a little family living life in sunny Florida. Not sure how long we'll be here for but I'm hoping it's not too long before we're back in Southern CA :)

Some things that I love
-My family - Good quality Aussie style licorice - The snow - But I also equally love the beach - Kitchen gadgets - Baking - Crafting
- Music, listening to music just makes me happy - Trashy TV, ie.The Real Housewives of any city - Peonies and ranunculus (some of my wedding flowers) - The Food Network - Anything Fall time related - Glitter - Tacos - (Good) chips and salsa
This is me in a nutshell. I hope you got to know me a little better and know that I'm more than just a few pictures of sprinkled cupcakes :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Get Fit Friday

(Where we plan to spend 99% of our summer days)

Guys, summer is less than 2 months away! How did that happen? I promised myself (for reals this year) that I would be in shape and healthy by summer time and guess where I stand on that? Yeah, I am not even close to reaching my goal. In fact, I am getting further and further away from it and closer and closer to... a Wendy's drive-thru ;) and it's time for that to stop. I'm setting up a weekly series called "Get Fit Friday." I'll be posting every Friday things that I did throughout the week to help get me on track. It'll be a modge podge of healthy meals and healthy treats/cheats, music that keeps me going during my workouts, workout clothes that I love, and how I'm improving or how I've totally given up on life and now all I do is just sit on the couch and watch re-runs of Gossip Girl all while eating cheesecake and pasta. 

But seriously, I am ready to feel comfortable, confident and healthy. I would love to hear from some of you what healthy lunch/dinners you enjoy and what your favorite "fit" things are: clothes, music, exercises, etc. Please share/link them in the comment section below so I can check them out! If you're feeling up to a fresh start as well,  join me in my journey and report back weekly with me or post to Instagram and tag me @oohlalovelyblog. Don't be shy! 

To start us off, here is one of my favorite smoothies that I too easily get addicted to. It's low cal and totally satisfying.

Strawberry Peach Smoothie
Serves 4 small glasses, or 2 large

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
2 large peaches, pitted
2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 banana
1 tbs honey or more to taste
1 cup ice

Okay this gets super complicated. Dump everything in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into your desired beverage holder and that's it!
Cheers, to the beginning of a healthier lifestyle!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Best Vanilla Cupcakes

For Evan's birthday I knew I wanted to make him either a sprinkled cake, sugar cookies or cupcakes. I had envisioned myself trying to cut into a giant cake at the park with no table and tons of kids running around. Then I saw myself dropping that cake on the floor and crying in a corner over it and the kids just going at it like barbarians, shoveling the cake in their mouths straight from the ground. So I scratched that off my list. I then thought "Cookies!" Then I remembered all of that dough chilling, counter flouring, dough rolling and cookie cuttering (yes I've used that as a legit word). That's just too much work. And that's when I settled with the idea of cupcakes. Cupcakes are easy, quick and I'll be done in no time. Yeah, 5 hours later... I guess I should have known I was in over my head when my first batch I had to dump because they didn't rise enough, the second batch was under cooked on the tops but it was too late for me to put them back in the oven. But batch number 3 made it all worth it because they turned out PERFECT! A million dozen cupcakes later, I was finally done! Moving on to the next morning, it was now time to frost those bad boys, which only took me an additional 2 hours...Now I can see why people just buy boxes of cupcakes at overly priced bakeries, to keep their sanity. In the end, the cupcakes were a hit, the kids loved them, I loved them and my husband who is not a fan of cupcakes, loved them. I hope you enjoy them as well!

Perfectly Vanilla Cupcakes
makes approx. 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups *cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canola oil
1 cup *buttermilk 

*Cake flour substitute: Place 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour in a bowl. Remove 5 TBS of flour and replace with 5 TBS corn starch. Sift together multiple times. I sifted mine 6 times just to ensure that the cornstarch and flour were well incorporated. Do not get lazy with this!
*Buttermilk substitute: make your own using 1 cup milk plus 1 TBS white vinegar, let it sit for 5 minutes before using. It should be lumpy looking by the time you're ready to use it.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a medium sized bowl, whisk your cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
-In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat your eggs for about 30 seconds. Add your sugar and beat until combined. Then add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed until it's well incorporated. 
-Reduce your mixer speed to low and add half of your flour mixture and then half of your buttermilk. 
-Scrap down your sides and add the rest of the flour mix and the rest of your buttermilk. Mix until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over mix! I will usually just beat the last bit for a few seconds and then continue to hand mix until it's combined. 
-Fill your muffin pan with cupcakes liners and fill each liner 3/4 full. 
-Place your muffin pan on a cookie tray for easy transferring
-Bake for *12-20 min. Mine took about 16 min but my last tray took 20 min? I was confused over that. 
-Once they're baked through, let them cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack.
-Let them cool completely before attempting to frost them. Like at least an hour.

*My advice is to check them at 12 min to see if they're still jiggly or if  they've started to set. I will usually check on my baked goods every few minutes after that point until they look stiff and then I'll start to check them with a tooth pick until it comes out slightly clean. I know bakers will say to not do this because opening and closing the oven is bad, but I'd rather do that then have under or overcooked cupcakes. Just my opinion. 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar, depending on your sweetness
3/4 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

-Using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar and mix until smooth (about 2-3min)
-Add milk and vanilla and beat another 2-3 minutes. Frost your cupcakes to your hearts desire

Assorted sprinkles

-place your sprinkles in shallow bowls and fill it with enough sprinkles to where you won't touch the bottom when you dip your frosted cupcakes in. My bowl was a little less than half filled.
-carefully dip a side of your cupcake in the bowl of sprinkles, and repeat until every section of frosting is covered in sprinkles
-now with your fingertips, very gently and lightly tap the sprinkles in place and smooth out any bumps in your frosting. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Welcome to Ooh La Lovely

Well hello there new project of mine.  It's been two years since you've first entered my mind, and now, here you are and here we meet. 
I've been going back and forth with the idea of this blog for some time now but have lacked the courage to follow through. But with the loving support and encouragement from my husband, mom, sister and friends, I am finally able to take this giant leap of faith and start this little thing up. I'm still so terrified to enter this big world of blogging, but I hope to find enjoyment in sharing a few of my favorite things in life with you. So I hope you stay awhile, share with your friends, and stop by often as I plan to bring you some pretty awesome things! Click the icons to the top right to follow via Instagram, Bloglovin', Facebook, and Pinterest. Thanks for the love and support! It honestly means the world to me.

Preview of what's to come this week:


We celebrated our little guy's 3rd birthday and served these little beauts. I'll be posting my favorite homemade vanilla cupcake recipe with vanilla butter cream frosting.