New Business Launch and a Blog Series!

Things have been very very busy over here in my home office. The time has come for me to launch my new business! It is so exciting, but also completely terrifying! I will be offering services such as: social media, email marketing, business blogging, website updates, domain consultation and product setup, online business development, and events. My target clients are small businesses, bloggers, and other independent business professionals.

Here it is!

courtneyolsen.comThe new blog series is another thing I am really excited about! To start, I will be posting twice monthly for my series Italian at Heart.  I love everything and anything Italian like dining al fresco, limoncello, the language, and of course pasta! Stay tuned for Italian at Heart!

I will leave you with a sneak peek at our Italian-inspired wedding last fall!

IMG_0092Photo by Jennifer Bowen

Must Try Apps for iPhoneography Part 2

In my last “Must Try App” post, I shared two of my favorite iPhone apps for editing photos.  Today, I want to share a few more that make my list of favorite apps.

The first two fall into the same category with the simple purpose of being able to add text to photos. I heard a tip recently that mentioned adding text to your photos makes them more “pinnable”.  For bloggers, the huge benefit is that you are able to control what pinners see a little bit more.  The description of the pins oftentimes get morphed beyond recognition and what a pinner might expect to see on the site isn’t what is promised by the pin’s description.  If you have a recipe or a DIY project, adding text describing your post will help pinners know what they will see when they get to your blog.  Over and Photolettering are both great apps for making some quick text for your photos.

IMG_2760

Made with Over

 Studio, A Beautiful Mess, and Rhonna Designs  all give users the ability to add backgrounds, doodles, sayings, borders, and so much more.  They are great apps if you want to create custom birthday cards, inspirational quotes, or just fun pictures for Instagram.

dowhatyoulove

 Made with Studio

As I mentioned before, these are fun apps to use as an alternative for those who don’t use Photoshop! There are pros and cons to all of them, but hopefully you get a chance to check some of them out!

Chocolate Cake with Nutella Buttercream

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday! I had been searching Pinterest for all sorts of fun chocolate cake recipes (since chocolate is his favorite), until I remembered I had pinned a Nutella Buttercream a while back.  After some tweaks to the frosting recipe and some creamy additions to a box cake mix, we had a fabulous cake! I chose to go with the “naked” cake frosting style (without frosting on the edges) and I think it turned out pretty great!

Chocolate Cake

Adapted from an unknown source

1 Box of Chocolate Cake Mix ( I chose Super Moist Chocolate Fudge)

Whole Milk – Replace the water in the recipe with milk

Unsalted Butter – Soften the butter and replace the oil in the box mix recipe

3-4 Eggs – Add one additional egg to what the box mix asks for

1 T Vanilla

Mix and bake according to boxes directions.  I chose to do a 3 tier cake so I used 1 1/2 boxes of cake mix and adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Nutella Buttercream

Frosting for 24 cupcakes or 3 Tier 9 inch cake

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter – Softened

1 13-ounce jar of Nutella (or half of the big Costco sized one!)

2 Pound Bag of Powdered Sugar ( I used less and had about a cup leftover)

4-6 ounces of Heavy Whipping Cream

1 T Vanilla

1/8 t  Salt

I am the worst about letting butter soften on the counter; I just don’t have the patience!  I soften mine VERY slowly in the microwave in 5-10 second increments.  For frosting, you definitely don’t want the butter to be too melted.  Once softened, add the butter to the mixing bowl and add the 13 ounces of heaven… I mean Nutella. Add the salt and Vanilla then mix with the paddle attachment until combined.  Slowly add the powdered sugar to the mixing bowl with the paddle on low (or off if you are me and make messes easily!). It will start to get stiff and difficult to blend.  At this point, start adding the cream by slowly pouring one ounce at a time into the bowl while it is mixing. Add the remaining sugar, then continue adding the cream slowly until you get the desired texture.  I used about 5 ounces of cream, but I also didn’t use all the sugar! The frosting should be light and fluffy and you shouldn’t be able to taste that too-sweet powdered sugar taste on its’ own.

 Jeff's Birthday Cake