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Happy Friday...


Happy weekend!

{see you in a few days...}



Splash Studio: A Milwaukee Painting Bar...

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the the ribbon cutting for a brand new bar here in Milwaukee.


Splash Studio, a painting bar, is located on N. Broadway, right in the middle of Milwaukee's Third Ward. The location, which is very close to the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, is perfect for bringing together Milwaukee's emerging artists.



The concept is simple: you drink and you paint! There are painting instructors who, during the three hour session, guide you through a reproduction of a previously painted work of art by the instructors themselves. I like this concept because not only do you get to paint your own gorgeous painting, but you're able to acquire new skills along the way. This is very helpful for the convinced-I-have-more-artistic-talent-than-I-actually-have type like myself. 





The evening started off with drinks, appetizers and cupcakes from the Milwaukee Cupcake Company. Guests sipped on wine, beer and champagne while the instructors prepped for the session. The painting that we would be recreating for the night was called Evening Drinks by Daniel Fleming, a Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design graduate, designer and artist.






As everyone took their places in front of their canvases with their paint and paintbrushes in hand, the instructor began to guide us all through the basic outlines of the design. Most people followed the guidance of the instructor, while others branched out on their own to create their own masterpieces.  





I'm extremely excited for this bar to officially open in the Third Ward. Owners Marla and David are honestly some of the nicest people I've ever met and they truly have a passion for creating a place for local artists of all skill levels to drink, paint and enjoy a totally unique experience! The studio opens to the public on March 21st, 2012 and offers three hour sessions Wednesdays through Sundays.



For more information on Splash Studio, visit their website and reserve a session for a great night out with all your friends!


Stunningly Unique Ceilings...


Absolutely taken by these gorgeous ceilings... 










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Happy St. Patrick's Day...


This made me so incredibly happy. 

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Happy St. Patrick's Day!

{Have fun, be safe... see you in a few days...}

Make Me Happy...



Ten things that are making me ridiculously happy this week...

{and i'm having quite a ridiculously happy week at that}


Imagine Dragons. I just discovered this band, and I'm actually not quite sure how I came across them, but regardless, I did and I love them. Check out this song, It's time. Also, check out their song, Radioactive.




Cinnamon Coffee. I make my own. And when I say I make my own, I mean I combine two tablespoons of Maxwell House Cinnamon Dulce coffee mix with hot water. I obviously must have been a barista in another life.

The weight lifting burn. Oh, how I missed it. Even though I'm back in the gym for the first time since December, I'm not able to do all the cardio I used to because of my leg. For now, I'm doing a lot of exercises to strengthen and heal the calf muscles in my left leg, so I definitely get that 'burn'... but it really is the best pain ever. 

My new phone. I had a Samsung Mesmerize last week, this week I have a Motorola Electrify. I won't be jumping on the iPhone bandwagon anytime soon, because to be completely honest, I see more problems than benefits with Apple tablets and phones. When the time comes that I actually want one because I feel it's superior to any other phone out there, I'll get one. But until then, I really like my new phone and it's amazing how much smoother it makes my day to day life! 

Also, My new phone's alarm makes me happy.... It gradually increases in volume. And let me tell you, that is WAY more pleasant to wake up to in the morning than getting scared out of your mind from some screaming noise that came out of nowhere.

My little sister moving to Milwaukee. She's planning on moving to the Milwaukee area this summer, after she gets back from a trip to Europe. As busy as my life is, I always like having something to look forward to not only for myself, but for someone close to me. In this case, I'm looking forward to her moving here and finding a job, so I'm currently on the hunt for a PR/Advertising/Marketing position for her...
Sidenote: I used to be terrible at this... involving myself in other people's lives. I used to spend wayyyy more time focusing on figuring things out for other people than I did for myself. Let me tell you, that is the most stressful thing you could ever do to yourself. You have no control over the outcome of the situation, because it's not even your situation. So unless it turns out exactly how you invision it, which it never will unless the person on the other end makes identical choices and life decisions as yourself, then you will undoubtedly leave the situation more stressed, angry and disappointed then you were before. It's no good for anyone. It took me a while to realize that not meddling in people's lives, didn't make me a bad friend. I was convinced that if I didn't meddle, they would think I didn't care. That's not the case at all, but I found that out the hard way. Let people make their own decisions, even if you think they're wrong. What's right and wrong is different for every single person, and it's not your job {or your right} to define those lines. 

Army Wives. I used to be a military girlfriend, so for a few years, everything in my life revolved around the army. I only got to see my boyfriend when the military told me I could. I was only able to plan vacations last minute, because the army changes their schedule at the drop of a hat. Of course, I wasn't a military wife, and they go through so much more than I did, but I related to their struggles and worries.

Army Wives is one of my favorite shows because I get it. It is in no way real military life, but it comes close to tackling some of the issues military spouses have to deal with. I have always loved this show because it really strikes a chord in me, but this last episode made me cry to the point of hyperventilation. The scene that hit me like a truck had this song playing in the background...
 

Planning. To do lists, my planner, budgets... all these things sound stressful, but I need them. I thrive off of life organization. Don't confuse that with material organization because I lost my boyfriends house keys the other day and found them in his fridge, next to plate full of cupcakes. Embarrassing, but that happens more than I'd like... Anyways, when I check something off a to do list, or plan my budget through the end of the year, it's like a HUGE weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can breathe again, because I know that the life that is happening all around me, is happening right on schedule... leaving me way more space to be spontaneous and relaxed whenever I choose to be.

Warm weather pups. Now that it's almost 80 degrees in Milwaukee, yes, 80, there are pups all over the place! My next door neighbors have two bearded collies that I absolutely love seeing out and about, but I've recently discovered that my boyfriend's neighbors have three gorgeous afghan's that they walk every night... they're seriously gorgeous. It's such a strange sight to see three of these walking down the street.



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Dule Hill. He is definitely one of the funnier people on television. If you don't watch Psych, you should. It's humor is pretty much a combination of Scrubs, Family Guy and CSI { I just picked a random crime show}, but it makes me laugh hysterically every single week. This is probably my favorite clip to date...
 

My brothers coming home. My brothers are coming home for the first time in what I think might be a few years! They currently live out in Utah/Montana doing mountain man stuff {Whitewater rafting guides, ski instructors, park rangers... that kind of stuff} I really have no idea where they're living currently to be honest, they move around depending on what season it is. I am so excited they'll be home for a week though... when I found this out, it definitely made my day!


What's making you ridiculously happy this week?


I'm Smitten with These Gorgeous Spiral Staircases...


When I was younger, I always told myself I wanted this amazing spiral staircase someday, that led up to some secret room full of candy and bean bag chairs and trampoline floors, that only I could get to. I also dreamed of having a fire-pole that went from my bedroom straight into a pool a few floors down... obviously safety was my first priority when I was conjuring up my dream house at the tender age of 11.

Since then however, I've developed a bit of an anxiety regarding spiral staircases, I'm convinced I'm going to take too sharp of a turn and topple head first over the railing, plunging to my death, a whole four foot drop, to the floor below. Regardless of my irrational fear, I have to admit that these staircases are simply gorgeous.

{sidenote: who knew the plural to spiral staircase was spiral staircases? Boy, how foolish would I have looked if I called them spiral stairwells...}













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Green Velvet Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream...


I love all things cupcakes. So, in honor of St. Patrick's day, I decided to play around with a few flavors and... colors... that I've always wanted to try out.

These cupcakes were fantastic. The cake was moist and light, with the slight hint of cocoa and the rich taste of buttermilk. The Bailey's filling didn't use any coffee as an ingredient, but tasted exactly like espresso with a hint of irish creme. The frosting was light and sweet and perfectly offset the espresso flavor of the filling. The three flavors in this cupcake combined perfectly and made for one pretty perfect cupcake creation!

The recipe may seem a bit complicated, but I promise you it's not... word of warning however, if you serve these cupcakes right after they've been frosted, you'll be able to taste the tiny 'alcohol burn' from the Bailey's! After about 1/2 hour though, the alcohol taste diminished, and all you could taste was the fantastic flavor of Bailey's Irish Cream...






Green Velvet Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream...
Makes about 24 cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 oz. green food coloring {use more if you want a richer green color}

For filling...

  • 1/2 cup bailey's irish creme
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For frosting...

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup bailey's irish creme 
  • 2 tsp amaretto liquer
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp salt, to taste

Preparation

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Fill your muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together two eggs, then add oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring. Mix together until well combined.
  • In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine dry ingredients, then slowly add your wet ingredients until well combined.
  • Fill your liners about 3/4 of the way and bake for about 20 minutes.

For the filling...

  • Meanwhile, in a small maxing bowl, combine all your filling ingredients and mix well. Place a piping bag with a small round tip and set aside.
  • Remove your cupcakes from the oven and let cool completely.
  • Once fully cooled, core the center of each cupcake for filling. To core, I used the reverse side of a piping tip.
  • Fill each cupcake with your bailey's filling, and set aside.


For the frosting...

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix 4 sticks of unsalted butter on high, until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add your powdered, cinnamon and salt until incorporated, then add your bailey's and amaretto until smooth {Be sure not to over-mix the frosting!}. 
  • Place in a piping bag with an extra large round tip, and frost away!


enjoy...

Happy Friday...



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Have a fantastic weekend full of adventure!

{see you in a few days...}

Make Me Happy...

Ten things making me ridiculously happy this week...

Opening a brand new jar of peanut butter. I almost don't want to ruin it; It's so smooth and pretty... but I'm hungry, so I'm going to of course.
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Daytime drinking for St. Patrick's Day. I'm not good at it, at all. I'm definitely a two-beers-and-done kind of girl. But, I love daytime drinking {it's mostly just sober-me hanging out with my drunk friends!} and bar crawls because they're so much fun. So, Milwaukeeans, if you're out for St. Patrick's Day this Saturday, I'll see ya on North for the Shamrock Stumble!

Sleeping with the windows open. I understand that it's literally a gift from God that we had a high of 64 degrees today in Milwaukee, so you better believe I'm sleeping with the windows open tonight!

Paying off bills. Thank you tax return for getting me out of debt.

Aquaphor. Heaven.

My new gym. Well, it's a health and wellness center... so it's mostly physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga and pilates. It's so calming though, and completely different from the last gym I was at {which was basically a game of 'who can wear the tightest yoga pants' - I guess the Bucks Basketball cheerleaders took the cake on that one...}. This is the first time I've worked out since my 'accident', so I'm still taking it easy, but I'm excited to get back in shape and running again!

Body Butter. Unfortunately, I have an arsenal of bath and body works lotions that I've built up over the years and will never, ever use. Body lotion simply does nothing for my skin. Body butter however, is like winter never happened. Plus, it keeps me warm when I'm cold... like whale blubber... I just compared myself to a whale.

This song. It's been my absolute favorite song since I was probably 15 years old. It's always been my favorite song, but since the days of Myspace and AOL Instant Messenger Service surveys are over, it's been a while since I thought about it. The other day, my boyfriend asked me about it, and I've been listening to it non-stop since.






Joni Mitchell. I know absolutely none of her songs. I don't think I've ever actually heard one of her songs in full. But, I can recognize her voice when I hear it... and every single time I do, it reminds me of the movies Sleepless in Seattle and Mixed Nuts {two of my favorite movies}. Her voice is comforting I suppose. As unfamiliar as I am with her, her voice is rather familiar to me.

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My hair growing out. It's in that awkward shoulder stage right now and flips every which way, so I've been wearing it up every chance I get... I cannot wait until it's halfway down my back again... patience Meesch, patience.


What's making you ridiculously happy this week?

In My Imaginary Life, These Are The Views From My Bedroom Window...


A girl can dream...

For now, all I see is dirty city snow and power lines... oh well. 









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