Monthly Archives: May 2016


Whomp Whomp

May 11, 2016

BRB- technical issues

This past week I’ve had the bad case of the gremlins. Those pesky lil buggers that just seem to mess everything up. Someone must have told them coffee is my weakness because they attacked with a vengeance. A week of coffee mishaps (every. single. day.) finally culminated in a destroyed keyboard & motherboard. Yup.

So ctrl+curate’s usual diy & recipes posts will be on temporary hiatus until I can get my laptop repaired or replaced. I’ll be trying to post tip posts in the interim, but am hesitant to even do that because my old backup laptop doesn’t quite support the design programs correctly. I’m not even 100% sure what color the posted image looks like published. Hopefully it won’t take long, but in the meantime please check out the archives, keep checking for those “tip” posts”, and leave any laptop recommendations below!

Create - Gift

Mother’s Day DIY Gift Guide

May 6, 2016

mother's day diy gift guide

mother's day diy gift guide

Does your mom still have a box of your preschool paintings? Ha. Mine either. I can’t really blame mom for not holding on to those scribbles. Luckily my fine motor skills have improved and now I can make her a gift she’ll actually want to keep.

Try one of these thoughtfully handmade gifts for your mom this year. There’s a little bit of everything and they can all be done by Sunday! (Which is great because unless you’re wiling to fight last minute mall traffic or rush order online, you’re out of luck now. )

1 | Kindle/Ipad case appreciated by moms who use them as cameras.
2 | Gift & girls’ day rolled into one! Pack the blanket & bubbly.
3 | A little bit of kitchen glam paired with a new cookbook perhaps?
4 | All those years making/getting you birthday cakes, treat her to some next level baked goodness*. This is the most  perfect, thorough recipe for beginner macarooners.
5 | A spa basket that’s pretty, pink, & pampered.
6 | Or maybe you’re ahead of the game and just need the finishing touches.
7 | For the mom with a sense of humor and sick of #1 mom mugs.
8 | Serving up more kitchen gifts, because really, it’s the best spot in the house.
9| Make your gift the card so she can show off how thoughtful you are.

* Photo from A Tiny (it) Blog


Citrus Cocktail Syrup Recipe

May 3, 2016

cocktail syrup

Since the breakfast bowl, I’ve been obsessed with Cara Cara oranges. They’re extra sweet, tangy and pink! (Well, pinker then normal oranges). But with a 10 orange bag still left, I had to look for other ways to use them. The delicious solution- cocktail syrup.

Quick explanation. Simple syrups are used in drinks instead of granulated sugar because they mix more easily. Most syrups are made with equal parts water and sugar (or sometimes 2:1 sugar to water for “rich syrup” & extended store time), and add the infusion ingredients later. But because orange juice already has high amounts of sugar and is a liquid (duh), using it directly in equal parts cuts straight to the chase.

cocktail syrup

Cara Cara Cocktail Syrup
equal parts fresh Cara Cara juice & sugar
(~3 oranges = 1/2 cup of juice)

Making simple syrups might be the easiest recipe ever. Start by juicing all your oranges and strain to remove pulp (Cara Cara oranges don’t have seeds! Win.).

Combine your juice and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, stir until the sugar dissolves. Let cool in a glass container. That’s it. Finito. Store in the fridge up to a month.

cocktail syrup

Tips + Tricks
1 cup juice + 1 cup sugar makes about 16 oz- a perfect gifting size! I reused a glass juice bottle and added my label. Click to download the wrap around & square versions here.

Best juicing practices- Have the oranges at room temperature and roll them against the counter before juicing. This will help the citrus release the juices. Don’t have any juicing tools? Try using the back of a spoon.

There’s a lot of debate on how long simple syrups keep. General rule is one month in the fridge, but some people say theirs have kept for over a year. Just keep an eye on it 😉

I love the tanginess of Cara Cara’s on its own, but if you want a sweeter variation add a splash of vanilla extract.

The original or sweetened version can be further reduced (like how we made the red wine syrup for Valentine’s Day) to make an amazing dessert glaze.

Cocktail Syrup
I’m working on 2 cocktail recipes using this syrup, so check back next week to see how to use it!