Holiday Travels

Holiday Travels | Revamperate Holiday Travels | Revamperate Holiday Travels | Revamperate Holiday Travels | Revamperate
It’s hard to believe how quickly the year is winding down, and there’s still so much left to do this month. 

Andrew and I traveled up north for Thanksgiving, spending a couple nights with this family about an hour outside of Fresno. It was cold and we were, as expected, stuck in traffic the whole way home, but it’s always nice to get away for a few days, and he doesn’t get to see his mom very often. There’s nothing like traveling to remind you how comfortable your own bed is!

Before heading home, we drove out to a small town called Exeter where there are a bunch of beautiful murals that reflect the people of the town. We browsed through antique shops, and I wall crawled through the neighborhood, and we barely escaped in the car when it began to rain. 

Holiday Travels | Revamperate Holiday Travels | Revamperate Holiday Travels | Revamperate Holiday Travels | Revamperate Holiday Travels | Revamperate
Now that the weather has cooled significantly, I’ve never been happier to be snuggled up at home. While it absolutely kills my productivity, there’s nothing better than sipping hot coffee under a blanket on the couch with my Christmas tree lit up in the corner. Despite my overall dislike of the cold, this is still my favorite time of year and I’m soaking up every little bit of it while I can. 

Holiday Travels | Revamperate Holiday Travels | Revamperate
Andrew is almost finished with his third semester of law school, and I’m so proud of his accomplishments. The poor guy is stressed and exhausted but still manages to keep moving. Back off ladies, he’s mine! 😘

This past month has been busy in the most wonderful ways – we went to a beautiful wedding, spent the holiday with family, and I’ve been whipping tons of freelance work. Life is good, guys. I hope your holiday season is cozy and merry!

Holiday Travels | Revamperate

What’s New + Club Crafted

Holly Wade
Hey there! If you follow along here, you might have noticed that I haven’t been posting lately and there’s a reason for that. I kept it a secret for a while, but the cat has been out of the bag for months, so I think it’s time to talk about here on the blog where it all got started…

Several months ago I embarked on a new project. I had a few too many big ideas and when I finally came back to Earth, I decided it was time to start a new blog, Club Crafted. Amazingly, I started Revamperate in 2012 as just a school project but decided to stick with it and occasionally post the things that I was making anyway. I’d always loved following blogs, so it was a natural progression for me, and I loved sharing these things with others, even though I went into it with zero expectations. As time went on, I began putting more and more effort into this little blog Revamperate and saw it pay off, but it was A LOT of work for a 20-something with a full time job and I received little in return because I simply wasn’t treating it like a business. It was just me and a website with no real rhyme or reason. 

At the beginning of 2016, I thought a lot about how I would improve this blog to the point that I could use it as a side income to support the projects I make. After a lot of ideas, it all funneled back to one decision – starting over. I decided to take what I learned from this wonderful project and make a brand new website from scratch (all by myself!) and create a brand identity to stick with. I wanted to treat my new blog as a business from the start, so I wrote a business plan, created new social media accounts and vowed to continue making the things I love but only posting them if I felt it was “on-brand.” 

Given that my background is marketing, this is actually what I really enjoy! I’ve been practicing photography the last few months and really focused on trying to be unique about what I share online. Despite being a complete introvert, I’ve ventured outside of my comfort zone on social media and begun communicating with other bloggers, trying to make connections and learn from people who love what I love. 

My lifestyle hasn’t allowed me to meet people who do what I do. I don’t know anyone who really understands branding and blogging like I have learned to, which means most people think I’m crazy for saying things like “it’s for my brand” or “no, that doesn’t fit with my brand.” The difference between Club Crafted and Revamperate is that here, I see it as a personal blog where I share things I make, whereas over there I see it as myself in the form of a brand. I put together the things that I love (cats, cakes, crafts and color) and made it look like an actual business, or at least that’s what I’m trying to do. 


What happens to Revamperate?

I’m changing the way I use this website. Instead of simply abandoning it like I have over the last few months, I want to share other aspects of my life and use it as a platform to share my ideas about blogging, etc. I always saw Revamperate as a personal blog anyway, so now I plan to focus on that more and maybe even share goofy behind the scenes photos. Don’t expect any world-class photography over here, folks! 

Follow Along on my Next Adventure 

I’m really proud of what Club Crafted has accomplished over the last few months. After all, it’s extremely difficult to build something out of nothing. I hope you’ll follow along both at and on Instagram @clubcrafted! I can’t wait to keep sharing what I’m making with you! 

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Beer Marshmallow Frosting

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Beer Marshmallow Frosting | Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Beer Marshmallow Frosting | www.revamperate.comWould you ever have guessed that beer and cake could go together so well? Guinness chocolate cake is probably one of the best chocolate cakes, but what really make this particular recipe is the frosting. I made these chocolate Guinness cupcakes with beer marshmallow frosting to celebrate a birthday recently, and they’re definitely a crowd favorite. The Guinness gives the cake a unique flavor and the light coffee nodes pair really well with the marshmallow. 

It took me a couple tries to make these cupcakes come out perfectly, and the key is adding the ingredients in this order. The batter ends up thin, which I generally try to avoid, but it’s all for the better in order to achieve a moist, fluffy cupcake. The secret to the frosting is simply reducing the Guinness flavor so that it’s stronger and you don’t need to add as much to achieve enough flavor – otherwise, you’d end up with curdled frosting (ew).

Now, let’s bake! 

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Beer Marshmallow Frosting | www.revamperate.comFor the Guinness cupcakes (makes 12-14 cupcakes):

  • 1/2 cup Guinness beer
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup + 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside. 

In one bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside.

In a saucepan on the stove, combine the butter and Guinness and heat on low until the butter is melted. Whisk in the sugar until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the sour cream, vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. Once the Guinness mixture is cool, mix into the sour cream mixture until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients until fully combined. 

Bake for about 15 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Beer Marshmallow Frosting | Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Beer Marshmallow Frosting | www.revamperate.comFor the toasted marshmallow frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup Guinness

First, reduce the Guinness. Bring to a simmer in a small saucepan on medium heat and continue to simmer until the beer has reduced to about a tablespoon. Then set aside to cool. 

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the softened butter for about 5 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar a little at a time, scraping the bowl as you go. Then mix in the marshmallow fluff until smooth. Lastly, add 1 tbsp cooled Guinness and the vanilla and until for an additional 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. 

Pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with a Guinness bottle cap, sprinkles or toasted marshmallows and you’re ready for a party! 

Coconut Lime Cupcakes

Coconut Lime Cupcakes | Coconut Lime Cupcakes | www.revamperate.comPut the lime in the coconut and shake it all up…

That’s what I was singing the whole time I was baking these coconut lime cupcakes, naturally. What else?

Despite the fact that I’m not very fond of coconut, I have a few exceptions – with a lot of lime or in a pina colada. These cupcakes are a good blend of coconut and lime, so I actually really liked them. I try not to be my own taste tester though…I rely on Andrew and my coworkers and they all gave me a huge thumbs up!

These very soft and moist coconut lime cupcakes are baked with a combination of coconut oil, coconut extract, coconut milk, lime juice and lime zest for maximum flavor. I know it sounds like a lot, but that’s how you get the best flavor! Then they’re topped with smooth coconut lime buttercream and coconut shavings. This is summer in a cupcake, guys! I hope you like! 

Coconut Lime Cupcakes | For the coconut lime cupcakes:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • zest of one lime
  • 4 Tbsp lime juice (approx. one lime)
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (from a can)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners and set aside. 

Toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Then add the oil, lime zest and juice, coconut extract, and coconut milk. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients a little at a time until fully combined. Do not over mix.

Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for 14-16 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set the cupcakes aside to cool. 

Coconut Lime Cupcakes | www.revamperate.comFor the coconut lime frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp heavy whipping cream
  • Plus coconut flakes for topping, optional

Beat the butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar in batches until smooth, scraping the bowl in between. Add the lime juice, zest, coconut extract and whipping cream and beat the frosting for another 2 minutes until fluffy. 

Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with shredded coconut and/or a lime wedge! One bite of these is the perfect combination of coconut and lime that will transport you to a tropical island with a drink in your hand. So if anyone needs me, you know where I’ll be…

Dark Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Cookies

Dark Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Cookies | Revamperate Dark Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Cookies | RevamperateWhen did life get so busy? Or did I just get lazy? I made these dark chocolate caramel stuffed cookies months ago and totally forgot to post them. Maybe I forgot because Andrew and I devoured them so quickly?

This chocolate cookie recipe is based on my double chocolate chunk cookies (one of my favs) but stuffed with caramel so they’re even BETTER! Dark chocolate and caramel are one of my favorite combinations, and a little salt is great too. I think I’ll use and tweak this cookie recipe to make more new recipes because it’s really one of my favorites, and it’s the perfect base for all sorts of add-ins. 

These cookies are a fun surprise to bite into, and as you’d probably expect, they are SO good when they’re still slightly warm so that the caramel in the middle is nice and sticky. Once they cool, the caramel will solidify more (like the photo above) but still delicious this way too. Dip cookies in a glass of milk, and they’re an unstoppable combination. 

Dark Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Cookies | Revamperate Dark Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Cookies | RevamperateIngredients (makes 14-16 cookies): 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (or dark)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (higher quality is better)
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 14-16 caramels 

In one bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.  

Beat the butter with a paddle attachment until smooth (about one minute). Add the sugars and mix until creamy. Then add the egg and vanilla, mixing for about 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl and slowly add the dry ingredients. If it becomes too thick, switch to a spoon or spatula and mix until barely combined. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until the dough softens. Chill the dough for at least one hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to scoop large pieces of dough from the bowl, press an unwrapped caramel into the middle and pinch the dough around it. Space seam side down on the cookie sheet. 

Bake for 12-14 minutes. They may not appear done yet, but remove them from the oven anyway and allow to cool for several minutes. When cool enough to move, place the cookies on a cooling rack to finish cooling. 

Like I said, they’re best when they’re still a little warm and gooey in the middle! Enjoy!

DIY Ice Cream Magnets

DIY Ice Cream Magnets DIY Ice Cream Magnets Hi guys! This is Marianela from Love Vividly. I’m so excited to share this fun DIY project with you all! Who here loves ice cream?! I’m all about ice cream every day of my life. I may or may not be lactose intolerant, but I don’t let that stop me from eating one of my favorite desserts! When Holly asked me to share a DIY I had a couple of ideas in mind, but this one was by far one of my faves! Plus, now I get to cover my fridge with these adorable little ice cream bars! So get ready, because it’s actually pretty simple to make and you’ll be impressed with how it turns out (I know I was!).

DIY Ice Cream MagnetsSupplies needed:

  • Air clay
  • Needle tool
  • Wood modeling tool
  • Acrylic paints (colors of choice)
  • Paint brushes
  • Glass seed beads
  • Mini popsicle sticks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ceramic disc magnets (found mine at Home Depot)

DIY Ice Cream Magnets DIY Ice Cream MagnetsDIY Ice Cream MagnetsDIY Ice Cream MagnetsDIY Ice Cream MagnetsHow to make your ice cream magnets:

Step 1: Using your tools, mold the clay into the shape of an ice cream bar.

Step 2: Break or cut the mini Popsicle stick(s) in half and place onto the back of the ice cream bar from step 1. Using excess clay, place the clay over the ice cream bar on top of the Popsicle stick. By doing so, this will ensure the Popsicle stick is secure to your clay.

Step 3: Let dry for 24 hours; the time may vary depending on how thick your clay is.

Step 4: Paint your ice cream bars using colors of your choice. Let dry.

Step 5: Using a different color (I chose white), paint the top half of your ice cream and give it a “dip effect” Let dry.

Step 6: Put glue onto the painted “dip effect” part from step 4 of your ice cream bar, and dip into a pile of glass seed beads. Let dry.

Step 7: Using a hot glue gun, glue a magnet onto the back of the ice cream bar, and let dry once again.

Step 8: Once everything is fully dry, your ice cream magnets are all set and ready for use!

DIY Ice Cream MagnetsI’m so happy with how these magnets turned out! They’re looking super cute on our fridge right now! Not only will these magnets spruce up your fridge or workspace, but they will also make a great gift for your BFF’s!

DIY Hand Stitched Saying Pillow

DIY Hand Stitched Saying Pillow | www.revamperate.comHey there, friends! I shared a new DIY project over on CraftPaperScissors recently! Head over to the website to see my tutorial for this DIY hand stitched saying pillow and let me know if you give it a try. 

I loved making this because I find stitching pretty relaxing, and you can customize it with your favorite quote or saying, which makes it a thoughtful gift idea. You can do this with just about any pillow cover in any size or color and customize it to fit your needs completely. Have fun with it!

Head over to CraftPaperScissors to see the full tutorial!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comDark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | I’m on a cake kick, which is tough when it’s SO hot in California. I know that if I turn on the oven, our entire apartment will soon feel like the oven, so it has to be really, really worth it to bake. Of course, I always think it’s worth it. 

When I set out to make this dark chocolate raspberry cake with whole raspberries in the filling and drizzled with smooth chocolate ganache, it was at least 90 degrees outside and my apartment felt like a sauna. Unfortunately, the heat was causing me a lot of problems when I made this cake (which is now one of my favorites!) because my Italian meringue frosting kept falling apart due to the temperature in my apartment and nothing I did could fix it. Rather than wasting my time on more failed batches of too-hot buttercream, I went with a more simple frosting recipe, and I’m honestly thrilled with the turnout. 

With so many pieces, this cake takes a while to make, but in the end, I thought it was SO worth every minute of my time. I made a 6-inch cake and I probably ate half before sharing it with anyone else. Raspberry and dark chocolate are a match made in heaven, and this dark chocolate cake is moist and light with just the right amount of chocolate flavor. Here’s how to make it!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comFor the dark chocolate cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 1 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom with round pieces of parchment. This is a very large recipe and will make enough batter for 2 8-inch round pans. 

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix to combine. 

Then mix in the coffee, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs with a whisk. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing on low speed. Scrape the bowl, increase the speed to medium and mix until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter among the greased cake pans. 

Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pans. 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comFor the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen raspberries (fresh recommended)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • Dash of lemon juice (optional)
  • More fresh raspberries for filling and topping

First, make the raspberry sauce by combining the washed raspberries, granulated sugar and a little lemon juice in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until the raspberries have broken down. Once they no longer resemble raspberries and look more like a puree, strain the seeds out in a mesh strainer. Return the strained mixture to the pan and continue to simmer to remove liquid and increase the flavor for about 5 minutes. Strain again if needed and pour into a bowl to cool in the refrigerator. 

* It’s important to reduce the raspberry flavor so that you do not have to add as much sauce to the frosting and still achieve maximum flavor.

Meanwhile, beat the softened butter with a paddle attachment for about 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar in batches, scraping the bowl as you go. Add the vanilla and slowly begin adding the cooled raspberry sauce until you reach your desired flavor. Amounts will vary; avoid adding more than 1/3 cup of raspberry sauce in order to keep the frosting at the proper consistency. I only used about 3/4 of my raspberry sauce.

Note, leftover raspberry sauce will keep in the fridge for a couple days and makes a great topping for cakes and cupcakes. 

Begin assembling the cake. I spread frosting in the middle and topped with fresh raspberries before placing the next layer on my cake. Then ice the entire cake with raspberry frosting and move to the fridge. 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comDark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comFor the chocolate ganache: 

  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup 

Combine the heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan on medium heat, and place the chopped chocolate in a separate bowl. Once the mixture simmers, pour over the chocolate and whisk until completely melted and smooth. Let cool for several minutes so that the chocolate doesn’t melt your frosting. 

Remove the cake from the refrigerator, and use a spoon to drip chocolate down the sides of the cake and spread lightly on top to achieve a dripped appearance. If desired, add more raspberries on top of the ganache. 

Cut into the cake and you’ll find a sweet blend of dark chocolate and raspberry frosting with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and surprise raspberries in the middle. This quickly skyrocketed to the top of my favorite cakes list! Enjoy!

S’mores Dump Cake

S'mores Dump Cake |
Hey there, happy Tuesday! If you’re as exhausted as I am today, you probably had a really great weekend. 4th of July is my favorite holiday (other than Christmas) so I look forward to fireworks every year, and this year the fireworks show we saw was probably the best I’ve ever seen! Even though the beach was incredibly crowded, we had so much fun walking around, drinking beer, eating popcorn and bundling up in the sand to watch fireworks over the Huntington Beach pier. Now, it’s back to work, life and healthy eating. Well, maybe not so much about the healthy eating part…

I made this super easy s’mores dump cake for RecipeChatter recently, and it’s up on their site today! If you need a good go-to lazy dessert that doesn’t look lazy, dump cake is it. It’s just like it sounds and results in a cake that’s moist and usually packed with good stuff like fruit or candy – in this case, marshmallows and a graham cracker crust. 

Head over to RecipeChatter for the full recipe!

No-Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars

No-Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars | No-Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars |

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been pretty busy. But let’s be real; I think I’m always busy…Andrew is finished with law school for the semester so we’ve enjoyed doing stuff together after a lot of time apart. We went to Vegas for a wedding last month, spent a lot of time exploring our new neighborhood recently, starting working on decorating our apartment, caught up on date nights, played tennis and enjoyed lounging on our new couch binge watching Netflix. It’s been fun! When I had the itch to bake again, I decided to go with something easy that didn’t involve turning my oven on because it already feels at the height of summer in LA. 

What I ended up with were these no-bake pretzel peanut butter bars that Andrew decided are his new favorite snack. I just tried to use what I had in the house, which was a large bag of pretzels that were going stale. Thus, these sweet and salty bars were born and now I’m sure I’ll be making them a lot more often. These have a pretzel crust, a soft peanut butter filling and a thick chocolate coating. They all combine to make everyone’s favorite chocolate and peanut butter combination with the added saltiness that I LOVE. They’re no-hassle and store well. 

This recipe makes about 12-15 bars depending on how small you cut them.

No-Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars | www.revamperate.comIngredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups wafer cookie crumbs, finely ground
  • 5 tbsp + 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups pretzels, finely ground

Line a square pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. 

In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until fine. Add the 2 Tbsp melted butter and pulse again. Press the pretzels into the bottom of the pan. 

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the 1 cup of melted butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar and finely ground cookies until creamy. 

Spread the peanut butter mixture on top of the pretzel crust, smoothing out the top with a spatula. 

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and pour it over the top of the peanut butter mixture. Top with whole pretzels if desired and let sit at room temperature until the chocolate hardens or move to the refrigerator to harden faster. Then pull the piece out by the parchment and cut into bars. Let warm to room temperature before eating for best results! These should store well for at least a week in a sealed container. 

Enjoy, peanut butter lovers!