Friday, June 29, 2012

Foody Friday: Best Chocolate Cupcakes!

I love chocolate!  Maybe a little too much.  Frankly, I think women who do  not like chocolate are a bit crazy.  Chocolate just makes everything better!  When I came across this chocolate cupcake recipe, it's like I hit the chocolate jackpot!  I mean for real!  I get weekly emails from and that's how I found it.  BC calls it the Dalmatian Cupcake.  Uh, no!  Who wants to eat a Dalmatian cupcake?  No one.  I renamed them Chocolate Surprise cupcakes.  Wondering why?  There is a cream cheese/chocolate chip center to these cupcakes.  SURPRISE!   I bet you didn't see that coming! Here's how you can enjoy them too!

You'll need:
8oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix.  I used Chocolate Fudge
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Make your filling first and set aside. 
1.  Place softened cream cheese in bowl
2.  Add 1/3 cup sugar
3.  Add 1 egg
4.  Beat

1. Depending on the occasion, I add food coloring
2.  Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (or if you're like me-more!)
{I did not take pics of the cake mix process.  Beat cake mix, 1/3 cup oil, 3 eggs.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 way full}
3.  Add a spoonful of the cream cheese mix to the cupcake mix.  Bake 18-22 minutes.
4.  Decorate.  These were for our Superhero Birthday Bash so they were decorated as such.  Otherwise, top with more chocolate chips. (white icing and chocolate chips is why BC calls it a dalmatian cupcake)  
5. Savor each bite because it will be over too quickly!
6.  Make again and again and again!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Billy Elliott-The Musical

Last night I saw the Broadway musical "Billy Elliott".  Honestly, I didn't have high expectations going in.  I had attempted to watch the movie once and couldn't get in to it at all.  After 5 minutes I had to turn it off.  Last night was fantastic!  If you have any appreciation for dance at all, you will love it.  There was even one moment I started to tear up, the dance was that beautiful.  Elton John did the music and there was one song that made you laugh at the thought Elton John was behind it.  There was a lot of humor, despite the rough back story.  There was some bad language, but it added to the humor.  To see the talent of this little 13 year old boy in both singing and dancing, it was just awesome.  You can see some clips on their website .  I am so glad it was part of our Broadway package!  A definite must see!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Photo a Day July

I came across this on Pinterest.  I have never been great at remembering to take pictures, but I am really trying to force myself to remember.  I think this might help, especially if I put it on here to hold me accountable.  Will you do this with me?  It's interesting enough to keep my attention, I think :)

Photo a day JULY. Who's up for a round of fun photo-taking?

Pinterest Favorites of the Week

I spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME on Pinterest. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?? Well, I see a lot of cool things. There are two categories for me with Pinterest. There are things that are just super cool and things I'd like to try myself. Since I see all sorts of neat stuff on there, why not make a weekly post about it? What a great idea! It might be just one favorite or it might be a top 5 list. Whatever strikes my fancy. So let's get started!  This week's favs...

So true...
Even though some of theses are funny, I'm not one to share these.  However, this is my life right now!!

Adult pillow case top Blog
This is a pillowcase top.  Same concept as the little girl dress, but adorable for an adult.  I can't wait until I have time to try this one!

Step by Step DIY Chevron lamp shade
Pomp and Circumstance
I've always been intimidated by the idea of DIY chevron, but I love how it looks.  This is a great step by step that I intend to try out myself!  (especially since I have a lamp gone wrong project to tell you about and will need to do something with the shade)

So there you have it.  These are the Pins that caught my attention.  What are some of your favs?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Housewarming Wreath

My cousin just moved into her newly built house.  It is beautiful.  She is also beautiful, inside and out.  She seems like superwoman because on top of raising her two boys and working, she some how always manages to do things for everyone else.  I am convinced she just doesn't sleep!  I wanted to make her something for her new house and she mentioned needing a wreath.  Since her house is neutral, that meant the wreath needed to be fun and bright.  I asked what colors she might like and she gave me a few.  When she said yellow and turquoise as options, I stopped listening.  HELLO!!!  My two favs!  I took it and ran with it.

My first stop was to Hobby Lobby to get supplies.  I also made a Wal-Mart stop too.
You need:  Grapevine wreath
                  wooden numbers
                  hot glue/gun

1. These are my supplies
2. Sand your numbers so they have smooth edges
3.  Paint your numbers
4.  Make your desired bow and attach to wreath.  You can use hot glue or floral wire.  I could not find my floral wire so I used a twist tie.

1.  Hot glue your flowers to the wreath
2.  Arrange your flowers in your desired pattern
3.  Bad picture of how it turned out
4.  Another picture of how it turned out.

She loved it and that made me very happy!  I love making things for people, but you never know if they're going to like it or not.  It looks great on her front door too!

Photo: Love it - Thanks!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Run Run As Fast As You Can!I

In two weeks I turn 30.  I've had a lot of mixed emotions about this.  After some serious reflection, I am just thankful.  Many people do not reach that age and even though it's a new decade, bring it on.  I'm going to rock 30!  The hubs turned 30 back in December.  We decided to celebrate this milestone birthday with a little 7 day cruise to the Caribbean.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!  We are very grateful to have parents whom are willing to help watch the kids while we do this.

Now it's time to get real.  I'm not a person that likes feeling vulnerable, but here it is.  When we booked the cruise in January, I was not happy with how I looked in the mirror.  Is anyone?  I don't know.  I'd like to think so, but I wasn't.  My weight has fluctuated my whole life.  I can drop weight, but it has never been a balanced way with diet and exercise.  I call myself chubby.  I'm not overweight, but I am too meaty for my frame.  I was excited about the cruise, but was kind of freaking about the idea of bathing suit shopping and then wearing it in front of people.  Should I care what other people think?  NOT ONE BIT.  Do I?  More than I should.  I'm getting better with age.  Oh, glass of wine anyone?  Those are better with age too!  There's just something about a vacation that can freak a girl out!  We had been given a membership to the YMCA for Christmas.  I was avoiding it like the plague. This girl is lazy!!  I take care of toddler boys.  I didn't need to exercise too.  I didn't want to exercise.  I don't like to exercise.  Frankly, exercise is like a curse word to me.  I just don't say it.  Well, thank goodness my husband knows me because he threatened to cancel the membership if we didn't start going.  We signed up at the end of January but it was almost the end of February before he was able to drag my butt kicking and screaming (that's exercise right)? I didn't want to sign up for a class so I just walked the dreaded treadmill.  That first day I walked 42 minutes.  I remember it because it seemed like the longest 42 minutes of my life.  I told you, this girl is lazy.  Lazy girl means out of shape girl!  I did feel good afterwards, though.  Good for you Jeannie.  You walked 42 minutes without passing out.  To top it off, the boys really enjoyed playing in the childcare area.  Once I got over going the first time, I didn't mind to go back.

I decided after being able to walk a couple of miles, walking was boring.  I wanted to run.  Holy cow, did I just say that?  I wanted to be a runner.  My mother in law runs and I'd always thought she was crazy for it.  Whenever she'd talk about it I'd start to tune her out.  All of a sudden, I wanted to be like that too.  This lazy girl was turning into an athlete.  What is the world coming to?  After getting a pair of kick ass shoes, I started really going at it.  On April 1, I ran 21 minutes without needing to stop.  That was the day I was officially a runner.  I haven't looked back since.  May 19th I ran my first 5K.  I had a great friend run it with me and it felt great completing it!!  There is some discrepancy on when I finished.  My mother in law took a pic of the timer as I crossed the finish line and it showed 34:00, but my official time on the website shows 34:58:80.  I guess technically I have to go with that time, but either way, I was pumped!!  To go from doing nothing to running in 3 months, I was so proud of myself.  I have 3 more 5K's as part of the 4 leg Grand Slam.

Want to hear more fabulous news??  I look in the mirror now and I'm happy with what I see.  I'm not down but 8 lbs, but I'm down 1-2 pants sizes, depending on brand, and I've lost inches.  My body looks different. I went swimsuit shopping 2 weeks ago and didn't hate myself.  I was able to pull two suits off the rack, try them both on and bought them.  HOLY CRAP!!  Did that just happen??  I have never had that happen before.

Here's the biggest shocker of all.  The hubs called and told me about a half marathon/marathon in Charleston, SC in January.  We are signing up.  He did a half marathon back in May with the Derby Festival, but 4.5 has been my max to date.  That gives me about 6 months to train.  Oh my gosh!  I'm nervous thinking about it but excited too.  I have turned in to a different person.  Needless to say, there will be no worrying about how I look on the cruise.  I have earned it.  I feel so much better about myself and that is worth a million bucks!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, My Sweet Boys

Yesterday my little guys turn 3.  It is amazing watching them grow and learn.  I miss my little babies.  I miss snuggling with them and being the one they depend on for everything. I do not miss sleepless nights, trying to decipher what each cry meant and being the one they depended on for everything :-). Motherhood is a wonderful, emotional journey that I would not trade for anything!!

We started our morning picking out birthday donuts at Krispy Kreme.  They were yummy!

Then we got to open presents from Granny. 

We got to go to McDonald's for lunch.  Batman went with us!

We went swimming in the big pool at the Y, but they weren't overly fond of that.  Two kids, two parents, no extra hands for pictures.  Too bad because they were cute!

We finished our fun filled day at the local mexican restaurant that we all love.  Not sure what's going on in this picture, but I thought it was funny.  These are my three loves!  See why life is grand?  God has blessed me in so many ways that saying Thank You just doesn't seem like enough!
Happy Birthday boys!!  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm Blog Famous!

Well, not really, but it sure does feel that way!  Even though this hasn't been up and running that long, I was featured on Vintage Gwen!!  I linked up to her the other night, while sleep blogging and it was one of her top 5!!  Yeah baby!!  You can't see the dance I'm doing, but I'll sing you the song that goes along with it.  "Go me! Go me! Yeah baby! Go me!"  Now that I'm finished being a giggly little girl, I'll get back to reality.  It's really nice to know that something I did and love was interesting enough for other people.  Those link parties are a wealth of information but there are so many linked up blogs, it's kind of overwhelming when you want to look through them.  Jennifer at Vintage Gwen has a great blog.  Go check her out and show her some love!

Here's the featured desk.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Backsplash Wishes and Painted Cabinet Dreams

That's how Robin Leach says it in my head anyway.  I have big dreams for our kitchen.  Not all are realistic, especially since my income is made up of little boy hugs and kisses.  Too bad Lowe's doesn't accept those as a method of payment.  Since they don't, I will continue to collect ideas for my dream kitchen.  My plan is to slowly, bit by bit, complete projects.
Here are my wishes:
*Paint the cabinets white and leave the honey oak a thing of the past
*Paint the island a different color, probably black
*Replace the countertops
*Put in a backsplash
*Replace the floor that's either linoleum or vinyl -but this is a need because it's cut and starting to tear more

Is that all?  Yeah, I think it's just about everything you can do aside from replacing the appliances.  So while I dream away of my fabulous kitchen, I search out inspiration.

gray kitchen
Love the color combo of the tiles, cabinets

Starter Home to Dream Home


LOVE this kitchen!!  The white cabinets and white subway tile with gray grout...Must have!
Little House Big Plans

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mutipurpose Shower Curtain

Have you been shopping for curtains lately?  Do you call them curtains or drapes?  Is there a difference?  I don't know, but I do know curtains are expensive.  They are expensive and you have to buy two of them.  Not this gal.  The last two times I needed curtains, I just made them myself from fabric.  You get a custom set for a cheaper price, depending on the type of fabric you get.  I like getting what I want and not just settling for what's available.  I had made some valances for our office to add some color in there.  The problem is there is a very nice piece of molding that's at the top of the blinds and I didn't want to cover that up.  I tried using velcro under the molding to attach the valances.  It worked for a while, but eventually, ashes ashes they all fell down.  Sorry, playing with toddlers today :)  I decided to just chuck the idea and put real curtains up.  We already had a long curtain rod from our previous house so that was going to cost me zilch.  This time, though, I didn't want to spend a lot of time making curtains from fabric.  I decided to go shower curtain shopping at Target.  That's when I saw this beauty...
Target Home™ Shower Curtain New Grid.Opens in a new window
The picture doesn't do the color justice.  It's a teal.  It's the same teal that's in our master bedroom.  You know how my heart is drawn to this color family!  I snatched it right up.  The moment the boys were in bed that night, I got started right away.  (that's a miracle in this house to get to a project the same day as purchase!)

I took it out of the box and laid it out on the floor.  I folded it in half and cut.

I ironed a seam, twice.  Folded in the edge, ironed.  Folded it again and ironed.  I definitely didn't want the edges to fray and a double hem avoids that.

I went slowly to keep the line as straight as possible.  It is truly IMPOSSIBLE for me to sew a straight line, no matter how hard I try.  I come close, though, as that's good enough for me.

Here's the dull wall.  BLAH!

Here's a bigger view

Here are the curtains up.  The lighting was terrible so I took some at night too.

See how it adds such a pop of wow??? I love the color!  I love that they give the space character!  I love that it took me maybe 20 minutes to complete!  I love that it only cost me $19.99 for the whole thing!  I just love them!!  What a simple project to totally change the feel of the space.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Before & After: You MUST Check This Out!

Do you like to see before and after pictures?  Do you like to be inspired?  Do you spend too much time on the computer and need something fresh to look at?  No matter the reason, you must go check out one of my  favoritist websites ever! (Yes, that is a word!)  Better After is just that.  A blog that showcases before and after pictures.  I couldn't even tell you how I stumbled across this website but I am incredibly glad I did.  I found it early 2011 and spend days going back to the very beginning and looking through all the pictures.  The stuff on this site is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!  The creative way these people redo furniture and DIY their home is spectacular.  It's incredibly inspiring and makes you want to jump on craigslist ASAP to look for that great find you can make over.  It literally made me do that!  Beware, though.  You will need hours to look.  It's like a Pringle.  You can just look at one!

Linking Up

Link parties are a great way to share info and get your blog out there.  It's a simple concept.  There are lots that allow you once a week to link your blog up to theirs.  You can showcase a project or recipe or whatever.  The blogs that do this are popular blogs with a lot of foot traffic.  There are a lot of link parties over the weekend so on Sundays I'm going to have a post that shows you where I linked up for the week.  I'll link one project each week to different parties.  Browse the other blogs, get some great ideas and then email me pictures of what you did!  I'd love to have some guest posts!  That means you, Allison!

I linked up to:

Positively Splendid
I Heart Nap Time
Serenity you
The Southern Institute