Hello There...

 

I'm Diana.

I like to create pretty things and sweet treats, collect vintage finds, & build a beautiful life.

You can read more about me here.

SideNote

 

Everything on this page is original content that was written and photographed by me. Anything that I use as inspiration or ideas will be linked in the posts, &I hope that you will do the same.

Etsy Shop

Sponsors

BonLook Eyewear for women only $99 - Free Shipping

FabBetsey JohnsonSteve Madden

Oscar Blandi

Entries in December (11)

Wednesday
Dec042013

Chai Tea Cupcake Recipe

 

Chai tea lattes are my favorite coffee shop treat. Hot, creamy, spicey and perfect for cold mornings when I need a little pick-me-up. For other chai tea lovers out there, these are perfect for an after dinner treat (or maybe even a quick breakfast!)

Chai Tea Cupcakes

Yield 12 cupcakes

  • 2 tsp loose chai tea or 2 chai tea bags
  • If using loose tea, you'll need a fine mesh strainer
  • 3/4c milk
  • 2c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 8 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Simmer milk and tea over low/medium heat for 5 minutes or until milk is a caramel color. If using loose tea, pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy and combined. Add each egg, one at a time.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture, alternating between the dry and milk/tea mixtures. Only mix until combined so you don't overmix. Overmixing=dry cupcakes.

Fill each cupcake liner with until 3/4 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream

Yields enough for 12 cupcakes

  • 8 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2c confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp milk, as needed
  • cinnamon sugar, optional 

Begin by beating butter until fluffy, then slowly add sugar. Once combined, add vanilla and tbsp milk. If the buttercream is still too thick, add more milk in small increments.

I frosted these cupcakes with a piping bag and a large circle piping tip. Top with a pinch of cinnamon sugar and enjoy.

Break this recipe out the next time you are looking for something a little different to serve!

Monday
Dec022013

Modern Paper Advent Calendar

Growing up, my family always had advent calendars. Each year we had one of those push-out chocolate ones that you can pick up at any grocery store, and one that was shaped like a paper chimney with little boxes that my mom filled with candy and dollar bills. So this year, I knew I wanted to put together an advent calendar for Tim and I to open each day.

I had this idea for a super modern black, tan, and gold advent calendar made from patterned paper boxes, and then I stumbled upon this free printable by Hey Look. It's literally the exact idea I had, but the printable was so great that I decided to give it a go. I printed the boxes out on kraft cardstock and followed her great instructions. I highly recommend this printable, the patterns are so cute!

Once I had all my boxes folded and glued, I moved on to mounting them.

To mount the boxes into a calendar you'll need, your boxes (which I glued together with Paper Mod Podge), a piece of wood or foam board, rubber cement or other strong adhesive, a cheap paintbrush, and washi tape.

Start by laying out your boxes in the order you want. I took a picture to refer back to once I started gluing. Keep in mind spacing and order.

Take each box and spread the rubber cement on the bottom. Use the paint brush to spread it evenly along the entire bottom. After the glue is applied, press each box into place. Hold the box down until it appears to begin sticking before moving onto the next box. Once all the boxes are glued, take something with some weight to it (such as ceramic coasters or a trivet) and lay them on top of the boxes to help the sticking.

Candy time! Fill your advent boxes with candy, dollar bills or change, mini liquor bottles, snacks etc. Anything you want that's tiny and fun!

After you've filled your boxes, use strips of washi tape to secure your boxes and make sure the candy doesn't fall out.

And that's it! Each morning, you are greeted with a little chocolatey surprise. Advent calendars are great for children, but as adults, we are also enjoying our little treats each day. Welcome to December!

Tuesday
Jan082013

Recipe Card: Toffee Crackers

Out of all the cookies and candies I made and came across this holiday season, these have to be my ultimate favorite. My mom used to make them every year and when she let me know she wasn't going to have time to make any cookies, I knew I needed to have my own batch to share with friends and family. Super simple, oddly delicious. Here we go!

Toffee Crackers

Makes a cookie sheet full.

A sleeve and a half of salted saltine crackers

1c butter

1c brown sugar

2c milk chocolate chips (you can use semi-sweet too!)

Preheat over to 400. Line a cookie sheet with non-stick aluminum foil.

Line the sheet with crackers. Use whole crackers until you can't fit anymore, then break them in half to fill the rest of the sheet. I try to make mine pretty neat, but I'm also a bit anal of things like this. Haha.

In a small pot, combine butter and sugar and bring to a boil. Continue cooking for another 3-4 mintues or until a dark caramel color. Pour mixture over crackers and try to spread it out over all the crackers. Doesn't have to be perfect, once you put it in the oven it will continue to spread and coat.

Bake for 4-5 minutes. 

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave for a minute or two, then pour over hot cracker/sugar mixture. Spread to cover. Cool completely then break into pieces. Store in a sealed container.

I need to make these more often. Enjoy!

Friday
Dec282012

Christmas Recap

[sorry for the iPhone photo!]

So Christmas has come and gone. It's amazing how much prep and excitement is built up for one day, one morning, one family dinner. This was T and I's first Christmas in true togetherness. Even though we've spent four Christmas together prior, this is the first one with our own home and tree with presents under it. It was a great deal of fun, trying to instill the same love of Christmas and opening presents that my mom shared with me for so many years. We've always done Christmas with a great deal of presents and a big breakfast. We did a lot of driving back and forth, but it was still a very nice day. 

In true me-style, I took no photos of us doing anything. Not from Christmas day, Christmas morning, or the Christmas party we went to on Friday night. Thankfully, my friend took this one of us in our lovely Christmas sweaters. I hope you and your family had a lovely holiday!

Tuesday
Dec252012

Happy Holidays

Here's wishing you a happy holidays from my little family to yours!