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August 29, 2012

5 Ways to Make a Boxed Mix Better

Nothing is better than homemade dessert. Sometimes you just don't have the time or patience to devote to a more complicated recipe so you reach for that cake mix and it's good but it could be better. Here's a couple of tips I use to fake a homemade dessert using a cake mix

1. Dairy: 
Whenever a boxed mix says to add water I usually add milk or half and half, depending on what I have on hand. There's nothing wrong with using water but any dairy product will add extra flavor.

2. Extracts:
I usually use vanilla but almond would also work here. Most homemade desserts call for at least a teaspoon of vanilla extract so adding a splash of it into a boxed mix is another way to add flavor.

3. Extras:
Instead of sticking with a boring plain cake or cookie, make it something special. In the above picture I transformed plain oatmeal cookies into oatmeal chocolate & craisin cookies (which disappeared within two days!).

4. Butter:
No I haven't turned into Paula Dean but have you ever made anything from scratch that called for vegetable oil? I haven't. So for boxed mixes, I'll substitute the same amount of melted butter for the oil. It'll make your cake moist and delicious.

5. Lie:
No one will no it came from a box unless you tell them... I'll keep your secret.

 kristen from living bittersweetly

August 28, 2012

End of Summer Shopping

Yesterday, I spent more than I have all summer. I've been working like crazy to get a DSLR camera and to work on paying down some of my school loans. I've been really good and haven't purchased a bunch of unnecessary items (for once) but what I've bought yesterday is pretty excited so I'll share it with you guys.

Modcloth is currently running their Last Hurrah Sale and there is a ton of great deals! You can expect some Outfit of the Day posts once I get these awesome pieces in. Here's what I bought.

Modcloth Sale Purchase

1. Arbor Rose Belt // 2. Tom to Spare Scarf // 3. Bonbon Voyage Top // 4. Floral Aura Skirt in Navy // 5. Always Pleasant Dress // 6. Peaseblossom Dress

Best Buy
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I've been saving up this summer for a DSLR camera. Currently, I'm shooting with a Cannon PowerShot SX130 IS which I love. It's a great high quality point and shoot but it's time I upgraded to a better camera. So finally I splurged and ended up with the Nikon D5100 with a 18-55mm lens. I haven't played with it yet as I just bought it last night and I have work all day but you can expect photos from this baby really soon.

 kristen from living bittersweetly

August 26, 2012

[[inspired by]] Sarah Greaves

Clearly I like unusual things. Including art. Especially art. While clicking around on the internet, I happened upon Sarah Greaves's portfolio. And wow. Her portfolio is full of every day objects touched with embroidery. I love the idea of embroidery. How it looks, the history behind it, its connection with the stereotypical ideas of femininity. Anyways, the artwork clearly speaks for itself and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sarah Greaves tongue chocolate bar

Sarah Greaves I'm alright chair
Sarah Greaves kitchen

Sarah Greaves the end door

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these amazing pieces.
photos via Sarah Greaves Art
kristen from living bittersweetly

Back to School!

vintage back to school banner

I'm going back to school next weekend and I can't wait. I'm so excited to get back to Boston and put this stressful summer behind me. I can't wait to begin my classes (graphic design, photography, print making, Gothic literature and Critical Theory) and see my friends. With a week to go I'm still packing and buying school supplies (which I love!) and saying my good byes to friends and family. 

kristen from living bittersweetly
original photo via

August 24, 2012

Links of the Week || 001

1. Wedding Tiara DIY- No, I'm not getting married. I dont even have a boyfriend. But this wedding tiara is just too beautiful not to share. The photos in this tutorial are gorgeous too. That lighting! 

2. foodgawker- I'm addicted to food porn... This site is pretty much just gorgeous food photo after gorgeous food photo. I really just can't express how much I love a well styled food photo.

3. My Little Pony Creator- I found this when I was reading Cheeky Cheeky. You can make your own personalized My Little Pony. Enough said.

4. A Softer World: 481- I love reading A Softer World. I was revisiting their archives recently and found this one and I love the mixed emotions it evokes.

5. Puppy- Uhmmm. It's a cute puppy. Just look at it.

Have you found anything exciting on the internet recently?

kristen from living bittersweetly

August 20, 2012

Outfit of the Day: Party Dress

This weekend I had a bunch of parties to go to (a birthday, a baptism and a going away party). The baptism celebration and going away party were back to back on Sunday so I needed an outfit to work for both events and here's what I wore.

party dress
Dress: American Eagle Outfitters // Shoes: Madden Girl // Belt & Necklace: ModCloth

August 19, 2012

Photos from my Weekend


Kristen from Living Bittersweetly

Babies and Cake

This weekend while at my aunt's house I played with some cute little kittens that one of her cats had a few months ago. One of them took a liking to my toes and then I couldn't help but cuddle with him after dinner. 

On Sunday my little cousin Charlotte was baptized. She's so cute and I snapped a few pictures of her during the service. She lost one of her tiny slippers most likely because her big sister, Sadie kept touching her feet to show every one her shoes. Charlotte Quinn and I spent some time together during the party and she was having a great time bouncing up and down on my lap and giggling from pulling my hair.

At the party, Sadie was going around pouring sand from her sandbox on everyone's feet. It was so adorable and when she was done "sanding" my mom she helped her put her sandals back on. Charlotte's mom made a gorgeous cake complete with a fondant baby that ended up getting saved in the freezer because no one could eat it. My other sweet cousin, Leila had a great time playing with Charlotte and then stole my camera and took about fifty out of focus pictures of Charlotte. 

How was your weekend?



August 13, 2012

Life Lately.

My summer break has become anything but. Between the class I’m taking, my jobs and my internship, I’m busy just about every second of the day. Being this busy is good but a little overwhelming. I wanted to spend more time with my family and friends and draw and journal and blog and…. The list could go on and on. I know I took on a lot this summer; things did not go as I expected and to be frank I’m disappointed. This is not a space for me to complain about my lack of a summer vacation so I’m moving on. In my absence from Living Bittersweetly, here’s what I’ve been up to.
coffe studying stamping

vintage stamping crafts puppy

yum cookies puppy

Studying has been my life. I’m trying to do as well in this class as possible and so cat insides have been my life. I can’t wait until I can get rid of this book with photos of cat guts inside and my lab manual and lecture notes. I may burn them.

I’m trying to make little things here and there when I get the time so I’ve been playing with the adorable stamp set I bought from the Plaid Barn and will probably post a how to for this vintage inspired stamping technique I’ve been stamping on everything. One of the things I’ve been making a lot is shortbread cookies. My entire family (including Penny!) loves them and they’ve been a hit at all the gatherings my mom and I have gone to this summer.

What have you been up to this summer?
xo, Kristen