My Favourite Yellow Cake + Icing Recipe

Yellow cake is so simple, yet there are many different recipes. It seems like a baker should have a favourite classic yellow cake recipe. After years (maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not really) of trying different cake recipes this has been my favourite by far!

Recipe

It is originally from Ana Olsen. Link to the recipe here.

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsalted butter. I used salted and it turns out fine.

1 1/3 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cup cake and pastry flour. In this recipe, I remove 2 tbsp out of each 1 cup of flour and replace it with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. For the 1/2 cup I only replace 1 tbsp. This is an alternative to the cake and pastry flour combination.

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 8-inch cake pans. Parchment paper can also be used to cover the cake pans.

Beat butter and sugar on high in an electric mixer until nice and fluffy. Then add one egg in at a time beating between each addition. After the eggs, add in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Starting with the dry ingredients, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately into the butter and sugar mixture. Beat well between additions.

Once the batter has been well mixed, pour evenly into 2 cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Mine tend to be ready at 25.

Icing

This is by far the best icing recipe I have found. It was originally from C. Taylor on Genius Kitchen here.

Recipe

The only adjustment I usually do is to use whipping cream instead of milk. In this case, I will usually put in more cream until the frosting is very light and fluffy. This also tones down the intense sweetness a little.

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

3 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp milk. Or about 2 tbsp whipping cream, until icing looks fluffy

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

For chocolate icing, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder.

Instructions

Beat butter on high in an electric mixer until it appears to have gone very white. The fluffier the better. I let it beat for awhile here then a lot more later on.

Add in sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Beat even more, stopping to scrape down walls of the bowl. Continue to beat until very fluffy. If making chocolate icing, add in cocoa powder and beat some more. Frost cake once it is cool and enjoy!

What is your favourite flavour of cake?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Piña Colada Smoothie Recipe

Piña colada smoothie is my current favourite. It’s a subtle flavour and very creamy. The coconut milk has healthy fats which are satisfying so it’s a good choice for breakfast. I posted a picture on Instagram the other day of my piña colada smoothie, here is the recipe for it!

Recipe

Ingredients

Makes about 3 servings.

  • 1 can of pineapple + the juice from it.
  • 1 medium-large banana
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut yoghurt. Vanilla can also be used.
  • Toasted shredded coconut for topping
  • Granola or other toppings of choice

Instruction:

Put everything in a blender and blend until the pineapple looks like it’s all smooth. I put mine in the freezer for a bit before eating or use a frozen banana to get an ice-cream like texture. If you prefer more of a coconut taste, because it is quite subtle, more coconut milk can be added. The coconut on top really brings it out.

What’s your favourite summer smoothie? Would you like to see more food posts?

P.S. It’s Peri

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School Mistakes Were Made

My school of choice starts admissions in May (fingers crossed for acceptance!!) so in mid-March, just before spring break, I emailed the admissions office to double check that everything was OK for applying. I highly recommend doing this, especially if you’re homeschooled, to ensure you have everything you need for the application process. Admissions wrote back and said that I would need to take the required courses for Kinesiology through an Ontario high school in order to be considered for admissions. In retrospect, this makes complete sense and they had said that in the requirements, but I assumed that it was just the school saying it was easier for them if you go to public school for grade 12. They want everyone to be evaluated as fairly as possible, so having homeschool applicants take at least the required courses through a public school takes everyone to a level playing field.

In order to be considered for Fall 2018, I had to submit progress grades within 2 weeks (hence the short hiatus) of having emailed the school. This meant that taking these required courses at a public school was not an option for the time crunch. So, I enrolled in an online public school that allows students to work at their own pace. In future posts, I will talk more about the experience of switching to an online public school. Progress grades were submitted within the short time limits and currently, I’m working on fully finishing the courses!

Some points if I were to do this again/tips

  • Email admissions early! About as soon as you apply, that way you have plenty of time to do whatever else may be required.
  • They only required 4 courses in the final year to be taken with a public school, so you do not need a whole year’s course load at a public school. Other schools may be different, though. I only double checked with my #1 school choice.
  • It was actually a benefit having a time crunch because it forced me to get lots of schoolwork done. Good motivation.
  • The first term of grade 12 can be homeschool courses (I would take things relating to the required public school courses because there would be less pressure initially and more time to fully learn concepts) and the second term can be public school courses.
  • Even though it’s been stressful, overall it’s not too bad. The more I work for this the better it will feel once it’s over and hopefully once they accept.

 

 

P.S. It’s Peri

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Clean Skin Makeup Review

I always try to find natural makeup products (usually free of parabens and talc) but it can be hard to find things reasonably priced, that are the right colour and natural. My go-to natural makeup brand is Physician’s Formula but since it’s been winter in Canada FOREVER and I haven’t been outside, most of their skin products are not pale enough for me. So I ventured out to try new products and I’m very happy with what I got!

The products

I find skin makeup quite confusing, do I want powder, BB cream, tinted moisturizer, foundation or just concealer? I decided to try powdered foundation because I had read it’s great for sensitive skin and I like the ability to build it up for more coverage without looking cakey, but having the options of it not being heavy for days when I don’t need a lot of coverage. And I also got a concealer to cover dark circles, pimples or any other blemish.

Powdered Foundation

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Loose Powder, Translucent Light, 0.49 Ounce

This powdered foundation is honestly magical. You tap a little bit of the powder into the cap and use a big fluffy brush to distribute it all over your face. Then after the first layer, you can add another layer to places where you want extra coverage. With just a little bit of product, it covers so well. It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing makeup at all and it also doesn’t come off while sweating. Both concealer and the foundation have lasted hard workouts and looked better than any other skin product I’ve used. The only downside is that if you apply it and you’re wearing a dark colour it might become a little powdery. But that’s not too bad for the benefits of this product! Before applying, cover your face in moisturizer and wait for it to absorb in, then that way the powder has something to stick to and you get the hydrating of moisturizer.

Concealer

Marcelle Cc Concealer + Corrector, Light To Medium, 3.5g

The concealer I often find is too yellow or orange toned for me but this one is a great fit! The coverage is also very good and it can be added on top of the powdered foundation for maximum coverage and a flawless look. Marcelle products are on the higher end of drugstore but definitely worth it for natural products that are gentle on sensitive skin.

Do you have a favourite natural cosmetics brand?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Purchase products:

I Met An Online Friend And It Wasn’t Creepy + Niagara Falls Travel

This accidentally got posted on Tuesday, but I was busy and had forgotten to fill it in (AWKWARD) so now it’s the legit post! Sorry, about that! Now on to the actual post.

Homeschooling and online friends

Often with homeschooling, people are concerned about socializing and how it is done when kids are not in a traditional school. (you can read my post where I talk more about socializing here!) Just because it’s not the traditional way doesn’t mean we don’t make friends. We make friends everywhere from homeschool groups to communities classes, one just has to be creative.

A big source of friendships for me has been online. It allows for a broad range of friends and people around the world who you can interact with at any time (or not interact with if you don’t feel like it!) as opposed to if they were friends from school who you would just see during school hours or when you hang out after. This is good for homeschoolers, too, since they can interact during the day. I will definitely talk more about online friendships in the future, but for now, this is on meeting one of my close friends for the first time!

How we met online and meeting IRL

We met each other in 2016 (I think??) on a game and the first day she invited me to join in on a Skype call with a few others from the game to chat while we played. A little while later I created a group of a bunch of people that I liked and wanted to get to know better and since then we’ve had many calls where we do things like try to recreate makeup looks, watch movies (usually Disney Channel classics that I haven’t seen because I failed at Disney Channel watching besides Phineas and Ferb), cook or sometimes just talk. From calling and the amount of time spent together we had gotten to know each other for awhile before the meeting, just needed to get that in so it doesn’t sound too creepy. We found out we didn’t live too far away from each other and decided we would plan a trip to Niagara Falls together on my birthday!

  Niagara Falls has an amusement park where for a pretty good price (about $30) you get tickets to 6 attractions, which were a lot of fun. It’s a good idea to have something to do when meeting so it doesn’t become too boring or awkward, plus it’s in a public area for safety.

We found each other and took pictures right away and got some food before starting with the attractions. It would seem like meeting someone for the first time in person after years of knowing each other would be weird, but it felt pretty normal besides that fact that we were in an amusement park.

The first attraction we did was the Movieland Wax Museum, quite creepy to be honest, but fun to take pictures with all of the celebrities. There was a haunted hallway (I’m not actually sure what it was but it was like a haunted house as part of the museum) that we walked through and I was absolutely terrified and screamed like crazy when there was a loud noise. We tried to get out fast. Next was Ghost Blasters which was built into The Great Canadian Midway. It sort of reminded me of the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyworld only in 3D. I did not win at that and also jumped at anything that was coming towards me in 3D. I have the best of nerves. After that, we rode the Wild West Coaster, which is a 3D movie in special chairs that make it feel like a roller coaster. With the Fun Pass, you get arcade tickets so we played there and won 2 matching bracelets (which we both ended up losing).

There is a giant Ferris wheel over the falls also included in the pass. It provides good photo opportunities of The Falls.

Next on the pass was glow in the dark mini golf which was very fun and a 6D zombie ride similar to the coaster but with lasers shooting the zombies. After we had finished the pass we walked down to the falls then got tea before heading off. All in all a very fun and memorable birthday.

Have you met any online friends before? Have you been to Niagara Falls before?

P.S. It’s Peri

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18 Notes To Myself For My 18th Birthday

Tomorrow is my 18th birthday (the Internet keeps pointing out how it’s Aries season, also my fourth Friday The 13th birthday) since that is often considered the start of adulthood this post will be on a note to my future self going through adult life, mixed with “things I’ve learnt so far”.

To Peri

  1. Be friendly! People are always way less friendly than you’re expecting and it’s nice to see people who are genuinely friendly.
  2. Consistently doing things to work towards goals is key and makes them easier to achieve. Make working towards goals part of your everyday habits.
  3. Tea solves all problems, also smoothies.
  4. And good music. Even if it’s what might be considered weird.
  5. Hard workouts are satisfying and it also correlates with doing small steps towards goals everyday.
  6. Always push yourself because you’re always better than you think.
  7. Draw lots!
  8. And take picture to savour every beautiful things in the moment.
  9. Pet cuddles are great but cats might try to kill you haha.
  10. Fairy lights need to be everywhere possible.
  11. Reading isn’t too bad if you’re reading something you enjoy.
  12. Drink lots of water then drink even more because you’re probably not hydrated enough.
  13. To pre-teen Peri, you didn’t make it through without acting like a teenager at all.
  14. But also, 18 doesn’t magically make you an adult.
  15. Doing schoolwork is better than being bored. And nothing good comes from procrastinating.
  16. The outdoors is your friend but mosquitoes aren’t. Otherwise it’s fine.
  17. Good clothes make you very happy.
  18. And always do your best.

This post felt very cheesy. 😂 I’m curious, do you all like having big birthday celebrations or do you keep it lowkey? What kinda of things do you do for your birthday?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Easy Smoothie Prep

I was going to post a green smoothie recipe then it turned out to be bitter and the colour ended up brown, not what you want in a smoothie at all. So now it is easy smoothie prep!

 

Fresh Fruit

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The best thing for this is to get lots of discounted fruit that is very ripe and freeze it for future smoothies. Strawberries can be sliced and put on a cookie sheet to freeze, same with peaches or other soft fruit. Berries can be just laid out on a tray or pre-blended. Put the berries of choice in a blender with a splash of water ( or even juice, milk, or milk alternative ) and blend until smooth, freeze in an icecube tray for easy cubes of fruit. I talk about freezing bananas in this post! Cubes and frozen fruit can be mixed and matched for different smoothie flavours.

 

Greens + avocado

I have recently discovered you can freeze avocado and it taste and look, perfectly fine! It saves a lot of avocados since I was throwing out overly ripe ones but now they can be frozen at prime time before they go bad. Throw a few ( I find 3 whole avocados fill 12 ice cubes ) avocados in a blender, again with a splash of water, and blend until smooth then put into trays. Another option is blending some leafy greens ( like spinach ) until it looks pretty smooth, then adding in the avocado, for quick and easy green smoothies!

 

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The green smoothie cubes. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day? 

 

 

Do you make smoothies from fresh or frozen fruit?

 

P.S. It’s Peri

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Trying Meditation

Enjoy the completely unrelated photo.

A few weeks ago I started to include meditation with my workout routine to help mental health along with physical.

How to get started

Step 1 – find an app or videos

I tried several apps at the same time ( got to check out all the options ) to try to find one that I liked the best. It’s good to have one that has topics that are applicable to you and if they’re guided meditations, with someone who has a voice that you can listen to for a bit.  My favourite apps were Simple Habit Meditation – it costs money to subscribe but my friend gave me a free trial – and HeadSpace. HeadSpace is a good starting off point to learn the basics. After using the apps for a bit and once I felt like I knew what I was doing I went to YouTube videos for more options. My favourite has been Boho Beautiful ( it sounds cheesy but she has a very calming voice ), there is a daily meditation playlist which focuses on self-acceptance and love.

Step 2 – fit it into your daily routine

At first, I tried to work meditation in 3 places in my routine, to see if I could do it that often and to find when worked best. First thing in the morning, while stretching post-workout and right before bed. In the morning it’s a good way to start the day being calm and having a clear mind. I find it allows me to stretch better because of being relaxed and focused in the moment. Right before bed is a great way to sleep better and calm yourself down.

Step 3 – be consistent!

Best way to form a habit is to stick with it until it becomes part of your day. This can be hard on days when your mind is racing and it feels difficult to calm it, but that’s when you need it most.

Some benefits I’ve found

  • My mind feels calmer. The main reason to start meditation. It really helps with anxiety and sleep.
  • Less negative thoughts, more appreciative, more positive. I’ve been trying to consciously work on this, too, so the meditation didn’t magically solve this, but it has helped. Especially with being present and trying not to worry.
  • More focus, which also helps during workouts. If you try to incorporate meditation into something you need a lot of focus for or during your workouts it can improve your performance because you’re living in the moment and your mind is either clear on thinking about whatever it is you need focus for.
  • Feels like you have more control over your mind. If you start thinking negatively you can use meditation as a tool to stop it or at least redirect.

It seems so simple yet it feels like it’s made a substantial difference in how I think and I would highly recommend learning how to meditate. Have you tried meditation?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Hygge To Help Anxiety

Hygge has been everywhere lately and I’m all for this trend! Wikipedia defines it as ” the Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. Hygge refers to “a form of everyday togetherness”, “a pleasant and highly valued everyday experience of safety, equality, personal wholeness and a spontaneous social flow”” I think of it as the feeling of walking into your cozy home after being out in the dark and cold winter. Pretty much like a nice warm hug but all the time.

Why hygge?

Denmark is often named one of the happiest places on Earth and this definitely helps them get that title. I saw a TED talks ( this one! ) a little while ago about how humans need traditions to feel less alone and just to improve the overall quality of life. Since then I’ve been a little fascinated with the small everyday traditions and how they help make good days. Between hygge emphasizing everyday transitions and the overall beauty and coziness of hygge, it’s an awesome idea to embrace. It creates a more calm and welcoming living space and lifestyle which helps with anxiety and making your home ( or room! ) a calming sanctuary.

Some ways to incorporate hygge into life

Cold weather

  • Warm drinks. I especially like spiced teas such as chai, apple cinnamon, ginger and liquorice, etc.
  • Fairy lights and candles! Having a bright home keeps away winter blues. Also, keeping curtains and blinds open to let in the sunshine.
  • Fire in fireplace or pit outside. Bonus points if you roast marshmallows!
  • Fluffy socks, cozy blankets, fluffy pillows, rugs to add more warmth.
  • Soups, stews or any warm comfort food.
  • Take a little tea or coffee break during the day and really savour it.

Warm weather

  • Freeze fruit into ice cubes to add flavour to your water.
  • Iced tea and coffee.
  • Walks in nature and taking everything in.
  • Bright and cool living spaces.
  • Having windows open to get lots of fresh air.
  • Eating outside.

How I’ve been trying to embrace hygge

Fairy lights

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Fairy lights, lots of cozy blankets and pillows, coordinating happy cat. A cat is not required, he is just a model and loves the camera.

My favourite part has been adding fairy lights everywhere I can. Luckily, we had a large collection of lights from past Christmases, I would try to get them right after Christmas because that’s when they are cheapest and easiest to find.

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Fairy lights outside. In the summer, having a fire is a good way to get outside and enjoy the warmth. 

Tea time

Every day around 2:30-3:00pm my family tries to have a cup of tea together. It’s a nice way to have a break and a good time to have cookies!

Weekend playlist

Playing weekend music differentiates the days. Usually, I play old music or jazz to give a coffee shop feel.

Being grateful

I think being grateful and appreciating the coziness in things is a huge part of hygge and adds to the feeling of comfort. I make lists of all the little things I’m thankful for and try to appreciate things in the moment.

How do you feel about the hygge trend?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Seeking Style 5 – Outfit Planning

This instalment of the Seeking Style Series will be on how to streamline your outfit choices and make sure you’re using all of the clothes you own.

Get everything out and ready

The first thing I do is take all of the clothes out where I can see them so I know what I’m working with. It’s pretty messy and could probably be done in a neater way, but this is what I do. I find that I often forget things that I have or there’ll be a shirt that I don’t enjoy wearing, but once it’s put together with something else I might like it a lot more and start wearing it often. The main point is to get the most out of what you own.

 

Putting things together

Once everything is out, it’s time to start putting outfits together and taking pictures. I start with outfits I usually wear and from there switch a piece out and see how it looks, sometimes trying on the new combos to see how it feels and if I like it. This way you can get more outfit options out of what you have. I will also look up things like “how to style utility jacket” to get more inspiration and ideas for things to go together that I would have never thought of.

 

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My phone’s camera roll after putting outfits together 

 

 

 

Using Pinterest

Once there are some outfit combinations, I lay everything out and take pictures of them. Then I create a secret Pinterest board where I pin all of the photos I’ve taken of my outfits. The board can be sorted by season or weather to make finding outfits even easier. With a bit of initial time commitment, you can have quick and easy outfits and not have to think about them!

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Exposing my secret Pinterest board

 

 

 

 

 

Read the previous Seeking Style posts here: 1 – Stalking, 2 – “Uniform”, 3 – Closet Clearing, 4 – Shop Online 

Do you like to wear different outfits or do you have a few favourites you stick with?

 

P.S. It’s Peri

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