Lately, it's been pretty difficult to bring new ideas to the table when creating posts. Either I'm creating a PDF with images I've found while browsing Polyvore, or I'm getting inspirational images from Pinterest in which credit is given to every photographer. But do I have ideas that are exclusive just from my mind, or do I constantly need to be getting outside sources to bring it out of me? It's hard to find the balance between what's coming from my creative mind, or what's coming from someone else. I hope that my readers do enjoy what I come up with, since I'm consistently trying to bring my own voice into the mixture.
To all of you who do read Mostly Lisa, thank you. Thank you for being a fan, this blog is my baby and will hopefully be around for a long time. While my writing voice may not always be the best, or the most interesting, I'm trying to make it fun for the people who take time to read what I have to say. I'm even trying to bring my own flair to the local blogging scene here in Minneapolis, but I haven't quite reached it yet. A lot of the fashion bloggers here post a lot of outfit posts, which creates more brand awareness for boutiques around the Twin Cities, but I don't fit in a lot of the clothing that those beautiful places create. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I need to find my niche... While my tagline says 'fashion & lifestyle blog', I want it to be essentially Lisa and everything I believe in and aspire to be. So I'm asking, what do you think I should do to bring Mostly Lisa to the forefront? Post more Fashion Friday outfits? Re-do my layout? Host giveaways? If you have any ideas, let me know! I'd so greatly appreciate it. I'm sure something will pop in my head as to what to do in this predicament, but it's always nice to get other (kind) opinions on what can be improved. As for today's post, I actually was inspired by a color that is part of the fall collection at my place of work. It's called 'Botanical Berry' and is a lovely start to the upcoming season that you can easily incorporate into your wardrobe. I've done this myself and I'm excited to be wearing it when the colors to start to change in September. Oh, now I want Autumn to be at my doorstep already.
I'm a big baker, and I really love adding my own flair to whatever I'm cooking in the kitchen. I'm not a professional, and this is not a food blog but I thought I'd switch it up and share with you a favorite cupcake recipe of mine. It's along the lines of that Semi-Homemade Show with Sandra Lee? I start with the traditional Funfetti cake and cupcake mix from Pillsbury, but then I like to add to the frosting tub I get and put my own twist of frosting on top. Whether it's with food dye, a flavor or anything in between. In this take, I'm making it buttercream.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
(1) Pillsbury cupcake mix
(24) cupcake liners
(2) 12-cup cupcake pans
(1) cup of water
(1/3) cup of vegetable oil
(3) large eggs
PAM cooking spray
(1) freezer plastic bag
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Spray cupcake tins with PAM cooking spray, and then fill with cupcake liners.
Combine cupcake mix, water, oil and eggs into a big bowl. Blend together in a mixer or by hand for two minutes.
After everything is mixed well, begin to fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Spread evenly between the 24 tins.
Cook in oven for 22-24 minutes.
Let cupcakes cool for about 10-15 minutes.
While waiting for cupcakes to cool, begin to put together your buttercream together.
(1) tub of vanilla frosting
(1/4) of powdered sugar
(1) tbsp. of vanilla extract
After cupcakes have cooled, frost generously with butter cream frosting. (Since I'm not a professional cook, I made a D.I.Y. frosting tube to make it easier.)
Then top with sprinkles or something chocolate. I decided to top with a chocolate M&M! It is delicious.
I'd thought I'd start off the week with some good thoughts since last week was pretty devastating in more ways than one...... I've had the itch to travel again probably every single day since I got back from New York in 2012, and it looks like it's going nowhere fast. I will say that I've been so insanely lucky to have been able to travel outside of the country, twice, in my lifetime. The first time was when I was in my Sophomore year of high school, I was in band and we were given the opportunity to travel to Ireland for a week! I believe I was 15 years old at the time and the only places I'd been to outside of Minnesota were other states in the U.S. My biggest anxiety about this trip was that I was about to go on an airplane for the first time, and I wasn't with my family. Eventually I got over that hurdle and I grew up day by day while I was there. The best part was being in such a beautiful country and getting the opportunity to see so much of it in a short amount of time. I'd say this trip was the first time I learned how to be independent.
Fast forward to my first, literally my first, quarter of college and there just so happens to be the perfect chance to travel to my favorite city in the world! Not only would I be abroad for two weeks, but I'd be able to spend it in London and in Paris. At this time I'm 20 years old, a little older and a little wiser and able to embrace everything this trip had to offer. We were given more freedom during it, which included the ability to venture off on our own, drink if we wanted to and go to clubs late at night. This trip was centered around fashion history, and what perfect cities to learn more about the subject?! We went to Bath, Versailles, the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower and so much more. I enjoyed London exponentially more than Paris, not just because in the latter I caught a nasty cold, but because the London was so incredibly inviting and friendly while we were there. I've been dreaming of London ever since, someone go with me?!
While my last 'big' trip wasn't abroad, it was something that completely changed my life. It was an inside and outside revaluation of everything I believed about myself. At this point of my college career I wasn't really happy with how I was motivating myself to actually graduate, because I wasn't inspired enough to push myself in the direction I needed to go. One night something clicked and I took charge and started looking for my dream internship, which included me having inner dialogue about what I was exactly looking for and where I wanted the internship to be. All roads led to New York City, where I found the perfect internship company to help set up everything I couldn't. This gave me the ability to set sail to spend two months in the most magical city in the world. I landed an internship with a lovely fashion public relations firm, and spent my summer wandering the biggest fashion capital in the country. I have three words to sum up that summer: hard work, majestic and spectacular. It gave me the boost to find self-confidence and to learn to trust myself when left to my own devices. I grew up, very fast and it showed me that you gotta do you. Now I just hope that I will be living there when I get older.... Maybe if I win the lottery.
This brings me to today, where I'm dying to go back to the places I've been and to go to places I've only dreamed of. My list is big, but I don't think it's too crazy to put on my bucket list. These are just a few places on my list, hope you enjoy!
Who wouldn't love bathing in that water, and staying in that hotel?!
A wee bit of Scottish heritage makes me want to visit Edinburgh in a heartbeat!
"You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you... Peter Pan. That's where I'll be waiting." - Hook (1991)
I think I can say that it's been a very tough and emotional week for everyone, especially people who grew up during the popular time that Robin's movies were out. It's been trying for me because the cause of his death hit very close to home, and to just understand that mental illness is real and can affect even the happiest of people. I try not to talk about these issues a lot on here, it's just not that type of blog, but depression is a disease that is very personal as I've had to battle my own war with it for the past 8 1/2 years. It is something I have to stick up for in regards to saying that it's real and sometimes it's not fixable. While I wish Robin's passing did not have to happen, I am very grateful that it's brining more awareness to mental illnesses. Thank you, Robin for building my imagination up with your movies and making me laugh. If you think someone you know is suffering, reach out to them, but when you approach them just try to understand they might not want the help right away. It's the worst to feel that when someone is on your side, you just might treat them like dirt. Just take it a step at a time.
Moving on from the sadness, which has been hard to do the past couple days, I wanted to share a few items that I'm thinking of getting before summer ends! Yes a lot of them are a dream item, but some are more attainable and what I've been looking to buy to spruce up my bedroom. The desk is probably at the top of my list, it's from Pottery Barn Teen and matches perfectly with the armchair! I like the more sophisticated feel of it, and it's definitely a step up from the current desk/chair I have now. If anything it's going on my Christmas list! Also, I'm in awe of the embellished dress by Holly Fulton! How gorgeous is it? And only $3440! Can I be rich for like a day? Finally, I obviously need to update my DVD collection and re-purchase 'Hook' again, just in honor of Robin. They seriously need to play some of his movies on T.V. soon.
Another Monday is flying by before my eyes. I hope you all had a lovely weekend though, and that you're able to enjoy this new week that has been presented to us. I'll be quite busy this week with working and trying to fit in some relaxing time. I'd like to enjoy some of the days outside when it's nice out, but I guess I'll be savoring that next week! The Minnesota State Fair begins next week, and it's a time honored tradition in my family to go every single year. I believe last year was the first one I skipped, though something must have been happening during that time so I couldn't attend. It's a lot of walking, eating and being in crowds of people but if you start at the right time it's not too bad. I'm sharing a link to all of the new foods they're coming out with this year, and I'm down for the Hot Toasted Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich.... Anyways, enjoy these links that I've been looking at for this upcoming week.
Are you in need of a new wallpaper for your laptop or phone?! Check out Design Love Fest's guest designs for this month!
As I said before, the MN State Fair has produced the list of new foods that will be at the different stands this year! Interesting choices, I have to say.
If you live here in the Twin Cities, Southdale Center is going to be hosting a great event with the insanely talented Sarah Edwards hosting! It's called ABC's Of Styleand there will be a fashion show, giveaways and much more! I'm definitely checking it out, hope you all do too!
This is just the truth!!! I can't believe it's going to be 10 years since this first was on air, boy do I feel old.
I need these SHOESfrom BC Footwear! That cameo though!
Hello Mr. August, how are you doing? You've come too quickly, but I'm looking forward to what you have in store. Most of the events are happening at the end of the month, but I'm sure it'll be here before we know it. This month reminds me so many different things, and while I don't have to worry about going back to more education, it's nostalgic to start seeing those back-to-school commercials that pop just when you least expect them. Is anyone else noticing how different they are now? They're so flashy and there's always tons of singing or dancing involved, haha. Not how I remember it. August also reminds me of seasonal transitions, the weather starts to cool down at night and the air smells so good and refreshing. I'd love to experience this feeling while outside of the city, where it's quiet and you can actually see the stars. That's my goal for this month, what's yours?! Also, what do you love about this month? Hope you all have a lovely one.