Happy Kawaii Dryer Balls

happy kawaii dryer balls

Ever heard of dryer balls? I hadn’t until recently mostly because I try to air dry my laundry as much as possible. Sometimes though, the large items such as bedding need to go in the dryer in the winter. Using dryer balls helps fluff and aerate tumbling laundry. As usual, when I found out they were made from wool, I knew had to create my own DIY.

Throwing these kawaii balls in the dryer helps speed up the drying process and means I don’t have to do a dreaded second tumble. These yellow cuties even help reduce static cling.

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Chocolate Marble Pound Cake

Chocolate Marble Pound Cake Chocolate marble pound cake was our mom’s go-to dessert when we kids. Although she’s an excellent cook, she never really liked baking and would always use a box mix for pound cake. Her signature was to create a chocolate marble pound cake by mixing in a bit of cocoa to half of the batter.  When I started getting into baking, I would take over her chocolate marble pound cake duties. I eventually began to experiment with other cake and dessert recipes, but there’s something nostalgic about chocolate marble pound cake.Chocolate Marble Pound Cake

Ryan and I have some super potent inky vanilla essence from Trinidad, so this recipe only uses 1/2 Tbsp. If you have regular store-bought vanilla extract, increase to 1 Tbsp. We also bought some butter essence from the essence store when we visited Trinidad last spring, so I added a bit of that to amp up the flavour. Omit the butter essence if you don’t have any.

Serve this cake for teatime or dessert with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries.

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DIY: Crochet Pineapple Toque and Free Pattern

Crochet Pineapple Toque with Free Pattern
Crochet Pineapple Toque with Free Pattern Crochet Pineapple Toque with Free Pattern

I started this crochet pineapple toque several times over the last few months, and I finally got around to finishing it! The lattice-like effect is easily done with double crochet stitches in two colours of yarn, and topping the hat with a pom pom made us think of pineapples. The crochet stitches are rather dense, so the toque is quite firm and not as squishy as some other hats, but I think that just adds to the warmth factor.

This hat is nicely done up in two contrasting colours of yarn from Ewe Knit here in Toronto. I chose light beige and a rusty orange Drops Nepal yarns that are 65% wool and 35% alpaca.Crochet Pineapple Toque with Free Pattern

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Rome, the Eternal City

Rome, the Eternal City

Rome was our last stop in Italy after Bologna. We dropped our bags at the hostel and set out to explore on foot!

Rome, the Eternal City Rome, the Eternal City

Rome is such a great historical city. Ryan and I would wander the small side streets then turn a corner and catch our first glimpse of the Colloseum off in the distance.

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Roma Eats: La Carbonara

La Carbonara

When we got to Rome, Ryan looked up some nearby restaurants where we could have lunch. He found La Carbonara, open since 1906, which exceeded all of our expectations.

La Carbonara

La Carbonara is a small, family-run restaurant just an easy walk from the Roma Termini.

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