Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Well, the cupcakes were a success!  

Though only partially.  I LOVED the banana cupcakes and I LOVED the peanut butter frosting! What I didn't LOVE was the two of them together.  Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't a situation where I tasted it and hated it so much that I couldn't eat it.  It was good.  Just not... it. The banana cupcakes were perfectly moist, fluffy and delicious!  The peanut butter frosting was thick, rich and also quite delicious!  My problem was that the peanut butter frosting was overpowering the greatness of the banana cupcake.  It was just too much together.  Separately they were perfect, but together, not so much.  However, I do think the peanut butter frosting would be perfect with a chocolate cake! YUM!  And I'll just have to keep trying with the banana cupcake.  Bakerella used a cream cheese frosting, so maybe I'll try that next time.  These recipes were amazing though and they will stay in my recipe book for many years to come! 

My always faithful taste-tester was partial to the peanut butter frosting!  

That was her favorite.  She ate off the whole top of the cupcake and wanted to scrap the rest.  Kids.  They know what they like, right?  

Well, tomorrow is my final full day at home with my girl for the summer.  Sad.  Andrew and I will be off to our end-of-the-summer get away and my mom will stay with Caroline until Sunday.  Then Monday... school begins.  sigh.  Oh how I will miss seeing her adorable face all day long!  How can you not love her?!?!  I think she's incredible!  Though I guess I am a bit partial!  

Look at that style!  She's a movie star in the making!  

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cupcakes: a confession

Well, I have a confession to make.  I want to start my own business. A cupcake business.  I've been thinking about it all summer.  Last year when I made cakepops and cupcakes for my coworkers, I got so many compliments and people told me that I should start my own business.  They said people would buy these things!   I'm sure that is true, but all I could think of was that I'm not a baker.  I made everything out of a mix. All I did was make them look cute.  If I really want to start a business, no matter how much I love the decorating and creative aspect of it, I must learn the baking side as well as the decorating.  

So, before I actually consider a business, I have some things to take care of, right?  

1.  Learn more professional decorating techniques.  So, to take care of that, I am taking a cake decorating class starting September 15!  There are two parts, but I'm just taking part one to see how I like it.  I expect to I love it and learn a lot!  Updates to come.  

2.  I must become a more serious baker.  No more box mixes.  I must make cupcake recipes and then tweek them to become my own creations.  I don't really need a class for this.  I know how to bake, I've just been too lazy to do it from scratch.  haha  So, today starts my first baking without a mix experiment.  However, one thing is going to be lacking in my kitchen.  I have no stand mixer, like every cupcake recipe I look at expects you to have.  I want one, but have you looked at them?  I don't have $300 just lying around.  *donations are welcome* :-)  I've tried to win one about a million times on Pioneer Woman, but so have thousands of other people, so needless to say I have yet to win.  But really... this is the one I want... I love red!  :-)  Maybe I'll save my money and buy one one of these days or maybe some generous soul will give me one or have one laying around that they don't use and donate it to a good cause.  But for now, I'll just stick with my hand mixer and move on with my life.  

Today I am making banana cupcakes with a peanut butter frosting.  The banana cupcakes come from Bakerella and the peanut butter frosting comes from Ina Garten.  I'm eager to see how they turn out.  I also considered doing these the opposite, with peanut butter cupcakes and a banana frosting.  But we'll see how these work first...  I hope these will turn out as good as I am thinking they will be!  I love cupcakes and I love using different combinations of flavor!  I'm eager to get started!  

In other news, the hubby and I celebrated 3 years on Wednesday!  woo hoo!!!  I have no idea why I didn't blog about it... I guess I just wasn't in a blogging mood that day... but I must tell you that it was a fantastic day!  Not only did I get a surprise flower delivery (my favorite!) but we also went to eat at my favorite restaurant Mike's.  SO GOOD!  Then we came home and cuddled up ... drank a little wine ... watched a movie ... etc.  :-)  It was a perfect day with the best man I know!   

Next week Andrew and I are going on our 3rd annual anniversary trip. (Thanks Mom for all the babysitting you've done to allow these trips!)  The first year, we just went on a super date and drove around just the two of us... went to Leesburg and Harper's Ferry and then came back for dinner and a movie.  It was a great day!  C was so little then though and I just wasn't ready for an over night trip without her.  Last year, however, I got a little more brave and we went to Philadelphia for a couple of days.  Still only one night away though.  But this time is even more exciting!  My mom is coming on Wednesday and Andrew and I will be heading out for FOUR nights by ourselves! WOW I'm sure I will miss my girl like crazy, but I'm still SO excited for all this adult time!  The first three nights will be spent on the Canada side of Niagara Falls!  I have never been and I'm super excited to see it!  Then early Saturday morning we will be leaving to go to Cleveland, Ohio (also a first for me!) to celebrate the marriage of  two of my friends and former coworkers Mallory and Miguel!  I'm excited to see them tie the knot!  They are one perfect couple, if you ask me!  :-)  

So... we have a busy week ahead... and it is also my last week of summer vacation.  It has been a good one!  

I'll end this novel now and get on with my day.  :-)  Here's to cupcakes and love!  

Monday, August 17, 2009

I had a love affair ...

...with a dog.  

Yes... it happened, I'm not too embarrassed to admit it!  While we were in Texas last week,  I fell in love with a dog named Honey!  She is the sweetest, most adorable dog on the planet!  I know... you can all tell me how wonderful your dogs are... but Honey is the best!  Just look at that face... that nose... those eyes!  What has come over me?  

She was just visiting Stephen and Sharay while we were down in Texas and boy am I glad that she was.  She actually belongs to Sharay's sister.  I'm telling you, when I saw this dog I immediately thought of our old dog Adam and I fell in love!  

For those of you who knew Adam, you know he was just about the best dog ever!  If I didn't know better, I would swear that Honey is Adam's long lost sister.  I wanted to pack her up in my suitcase and take her home with me!  I couldn't get enough of her and neither could Caroline!  

Sadly, as she rode with us to the airport on Saturday morning, we had to go our separate ways.  Us back to Virginia and Honey back to her home with her mommy in Fort Worth.  But I'm glad we at least had the week together.  

Honey made me remember how much I truly miss having a dog.  I can not wait until the day we can go pick out a dog that I will fall in love with and bring home!  That will be a happy day!  But for now, I just have to love on the dogs of other people and enjoy my kitty.  :-)  

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In case you missed it on Facebook...

Caroline got her first real haircut!  She's such a big girl!!!  

(Before... So excited!)

She thought she was the coolest thing ever going to a real salon!  It was adorable to watch!  And she loved being able to watch herself transform in the mirror.

  She was so darn good!  My kid is pretty much the most amazing thing ever!  (If I do say so myself.)  


Other than that, nothing major has been happening around these parts... hence the lack of blogging.  Though, last week an exciting event did take place in my life.  Something I've waited for for so long.  Something I've complained about and whined about, much to my husband's dismay.  I have window shopped and browsed the web for many a year... three to be exact... and finally... in the glorious land of Costco... I found it.   The perfect one.  The entertainment center that would not only house all of my husbands many electronics, but also at least a third of his 400 or so dvds.  But not only is it functional, it's pretty too!  Let me just say... I'm having a love affair with this entertainment center.  Okay... Okay... I know I'm being melodramatic here, but you do not know the trouble I've held over searching for the perfect one.  And this one, ladies and gentlemen, is perfect.  It only took 3 years.  

(Truly, I do not think this picture does it justice.  But here it is... and it makes me happy.  Though, I think I may have to do something about looking at all those dvds.  Baskets could be in the works.)

Friday we leave for our great Texas adventure!  Caroline's first plane trip and my first visit to Texas!  I am so excited!  

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Help

I just read this book and it was nothing short of amazing!  The Help is Kathryn Stockett's first novel, which in itself is a great achievement!    It is set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's during the heart of the civil rights movement.  Things were changing in the south and people were choosing sides.  The chapters alternate perspectives from Skeeter (a southern white woman in her early 20's, fresh out of college with hopes and dreams of being a writer and changing the world) and two black maids, Aibileen (a sweet and gentle woman who has raised 17 white children, but lost her own) and Minny (an outspoken woman who has worked for so many families in the Jackson area that she can't get a job with anyone but a white trash woman married into a wealthy southern family).  Skeeter gets the opportunity to write a novel and is encouraged to write about something that really disturbs her.  With thoughts of her former maid, Constentine, whom she adored, Skeeter  sets out to recruit the maids of white families to tell their stories of what it's like being "the help".  As this novel progresses, more people realize just how much change needs to happen and Skeeter comes to understand that this novel is more than a book, it's her part in changing the world!  

I found this novel warm, controversial, enlightening, beautiful and raw.  I can not describe all of the emotions that I went through reading this book.  I laughed and cried.  I felt angry with all of the brainwashed men and women who saw nothing wrong with their actions but rejoiced with these strong women determined to see change!

Seriously incredible and a MUST read!  I rarely give a book five stars, but this one deserves ten!