Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cowboy Cupcakes

I had to share the pictures of the cupcakes I did this weekend.  You can go to my cake blog for more details about these cupcake and to see other cake works.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Family Friendly Mardi Gras

Every year my little family and I have a Mardi Gras at home.  We let the kids put on masks and beads, and I make my famous jambalaya and/or crawfish etoufee and we have king cake.  Sometimes I make the king cake and sometimes I buy it.  It's so much fun.  We have Cajun music, cajun food, and just enjoy being together.  It all kind of started when Tuck fell in love with my jambalaya.  It takes hours to cook so it is not something I want to cook all the time, so our first year married I said why don't we have a Mardi Gras. It's the one time a year that I suck it up and stand in the kitchen to make my jambalaya.  I know there are faster ways to make jambalaya, but this way makes the very best jambalaya. We have done it every year since.  It is more fun having the kids, and the older they get the more fun it is.  They love the beads, and running around to the music.  Last year was loads of fun since my little sister and her hubby were staying with us they joined in on the fun. 
Having Mardi Gras at home is simple run to your party store, get beads and cheap masks.  Then go to the grocery store and get a king cake.  Hide the baby in the king cake, unless your kids are really little.  You do not want them to swallow it.  Then go home make some yummy food, download some Cajun music and enjoy!  It is really just a reason to have some fun with your kids, and they will love it.

King Cake yum!

Teeter's First Mardi Gras

Bowbas's First Mardi Gras

Look how tiny Bowbas was

Teeter Bees

The girls

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Day

So last Thursday morning it began snowing, and it did not stop until early Friday morning.  Parts of our yard easily had a foot of snow.  It was not the normal snow we get here in North Texas.  Snow that isn't really snow.  The hard ice snow.  This was soft, fluffy, giant flakes of snow.  It was beautiful.  I probably would not want to live somewhere with snow all winter long.  But it was beautiful for the two and half days that we got to see it.
Teeter Bees loved playing in it.  Bowbas enjoyed it but she was not feeling so great.

Early Thursday morning, shortly after the snow began falling

This too was early



Things I Could Not Live Without...

My favorite book!  Sylvia's writing style is amazing. This is her masterpiece. I get lost in this book.  I start questioning my own sanity during certain parts of the book.  I become her characters as I am reading...hence the questioning my own sanity.  (Hahaha)  It is a wonderful book.  Even though I know what happens, everytime I read it it is like reading it for the first time. I cannot wait to turn the page and find out what will happen next.  I want to fight for Esther.  I want to befriend her. Once you open the cover you do not want to close it it until you have reached the end.
It is the best. 
 I love it. 
 Read it. 
Enjoy it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 14 Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  I hope you enjoyed all the posts.  All the cookies, candies, and crafts.  I had so much fun doing this! I hope all of you have a great Valentine's Day with your hubby, or your boy, or your babies.  Don't tell Tuck but honestly, Valentine's Day is more for my babies.  They love getting treats especially when it's supposed to be something special like Valentine's Day.
This morning I made a big breakfast with pancakes, fried eggs, and bacon. My girls got a small box of chocolates and each got one Littlest Petshops or as Teeter Bees says "hetshops."  They were so excited to get new "hetshops."  Tuck made his amazing Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and greenbeans and we watched Couple's Retreat.  Such a fun movie.  It was a great Valentine's Day!  I hope everyone enjoyed their day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 13 A Different Kind of Love

     This post is not technicially Valentine's Day related, but it is important and cannot wait until after Valentine's Day. I am calling it A Different Kind of Love, because it is about a love for people other than you, your family, and your friends.  About a love for human kind.  We are all God's children, and in his eyes we are all the same.      Alittle over a week ago someone forwarded me a link to someone's Carepage.  I follow a few families that I do not personally know on Carepages so I went to take a look.  Her name is Jenny Bizaillion.  Although her picture looks very familiar, I have never met Jenny or her family but at this point I feel like I have known them for years.

     Jenny is very ill.  Her family has stayed by her side, and I am coming to you and asking for your prayers for Jenny and her family.  The doctors have told her family that she is the sickest person in the hospital.  She is married and has children.  Her family loves her and needs her.  God has already worked so many miracles in their lives in the last couple weeks, but she still needs more prayers.  Constant prayers.  I am including the link to her Carepage so that you can read all the information and know exactly what is going on. Click to receive updates so that you will know what prayers are needed and when.  Leave them a message of encouragement. Even though the family is in need of funds to pay for the hosptial bills that are rapidly piling up, the only thing they are asking for are your prayers.

Jenny's Carepage

So on this Valentine's Day weekend, I simply ask that through all the roses, fancy dinners, and chocolates that you would take the time to show love for someone that you may not know.  Take five minutes out of your day to stop and pray for Jenny.

*UPDATE* 02/23/2010:  Jenny passed away yesterday afternoon.  She is in a better place now with no more pain.  Please keep her family including her little girl in your prayers while they mourn the loss of someone they loved dearly.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 12 More Chocolate

The other day I got my usual Pillsbury e-mail.  The subject line was Chocolate.  Everything looked so good but this Chocolate Mousse Macadamia Tart looked amazing!!

I knew I had pie crust at home, and butter, and corn syrup.  Looking over the recipe I realized all I needed was bittersweet chocolate and macadamia nuts.  I ran right to the store, picked up my items, went home, and made it.  It has to chill for 2 to 3 hours so Tuck and I had passed out.  So we had a slice the next day...before noon but that's ok.  It was amazing!  I used dry roasted nuts and it really gave this a nice sweet and lightly salty taste.  It was so good. Click the Pillsbury link and pick up the recipe.  It is so good.  Did I mention that it was so good?  Well it is! 
This recipe gets 4 out of 4 forks for yumminess!  One tips when making this; the recipe does not tell you to have the whipping cream at room temperature when making the chocolate mousse portion of the tart.  If the cream is not at or close to room temperature when you pour it over the warm melted chocolate, the chocolate tries to get hard on you.  Other then that it's perfectly delicious!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 11 Chocolate

This isn't your typical Valentine's Chocolate.  This is red chocolate!

When I was growing up, every Valentine's day my mom would go to MJDesigns and pick up red and pink chocolate waffers.  We would go home a make tons of these heart suckers to hand out at school with our Valentine cards. These days you cannot take homemade edibles to school anymore.  Too many kids are allergic to too many things. So you have to be crafty to come up with homemade Valentines and take store bought treats. "Semi-homemade" as Sandra Lee would say.  Even though your little ones cannot hand these out at school, they are still really fun to make together and enjoy at home.
 MJDesigns had every color of chocolate waffers that you could imagine.  An entire isle of these things.  Maybe it was a crafter trend at the time and it is just not as popular now.  I am not sure why you cannot find as many color options anymore. Either way...

You can generally find white, chocolate, darker chocolate, red, yellow, and green. Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels carry these.

The heart molds can be found online or at a cake supply shop.  They are cheap.  Don't forget to pick up your sucker sticks too.
Put the chocolate waffers into a glass measuring cup and melt in the microwave.  Do it in 15 second intervals.  If you get the chocolate too hot it will look dull when it cools.  The beauty of these suckers is the nice red shine when they cool.
Pour the chocolate into the mold with the sucker sticks already in place.  Tap the mold lightly on the counter to even out the chocolate.

Place the mold into the refrigerator until the chocolate sets.  Once the chocolate is set the suckers will pop right out of the mold.

We would wrap the hearts in cling wrap and seal with white curling ribbon.  My siblings and I always had so much fun making these with our mom.  They taste good, they look good, they smell good.  What a wonderful memory.  Have fun and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 10 Cocktails

What is the perfect Valentine's Day cocktail?  A chocolate martini.

1 1/2 shots Godiva® chocolate liqueur

1 1/2 shots creme de cacao

1/2 shot vodka

2 1/2 shots half-and-half

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 9 Pink Pancakes

Pink pancakes...what more needs to be said?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 8 Valentine's Weddings

Red wedding ideas for a Valentine's Day wedding.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 7 Cupcakes

Conversation Heart Cupcakes

They are adorable.  Simple.  And everyone loves them.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 6 Classroom Treats

When I was a kid, we took homemade treats to school for Valentine's Day every year.  At school we would decorate the shoe boxes or white paper sacks with pink and read hearts, glitter, glue, and anything else we could get our hands on.  The on Valentine's Day everyone would bring their little store bought cards with Ninja Turtles or Carebares on the front, their name signed on the back, and a homemade treat to go with.  These cannot take homemade treats to school.  Apparently, too many kids have too many allergies so everything has to be store bought.  Here is an idea combining the homemade idea with store bought treats.

You will need:

Cellophane baggies
The store bought treat of your choice
Cardstock or scrapbooking paper of your choice
Embellishments to match
Letter stickers
A stapler
Glue dots or double sided tape
Scissors (regular or shaped)

Place store bought candies into the cellophane bags.  Fold the top over and staple.
Cut the cardstock or paper wide enough to cover the top and long enough to fold over.  Use glue dots or double sided tape to secure cardstock to the baggie.  Decorate the cardstock as desired.  You can spell out the name of the receiver on front and let your little student sign or write a message on the back.
We embellished with little flowers and brads to hold in place.
Fun, adorable, "semi-homemade," and super simple.
Have fun!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 5 A Love Story

Sorry about my tardiness with today's Valentine's Day 5 post.  Originally, I had planned to present you with another craft, but I decided to tell you a love story that involved two amazing men.  Man 1: Tuck.  Man 2: Brenden Morrow. 
The story starts back years and years ago. My dad had amazing season tickets to the Dallas Stars.  A friend of mine was screaming at me "We HAVE to go! You will LOVE it!"  Boy was she right.  I was immediately addicted to the sport.  It was loud, it was rough, and it was amazing!  Not only was I immediately in love with the sport.  I wanted to take one home with me.  Brenden.  Oh Brenden.  How feisty and...well...amazing he  I would beg my dad for tickets as often as I could.  I was even blessed with some playoff game tickets one season.  It was the life.

A few years into my obsession, I was dating this fellow.  He was nice enough, I suppose.  One day I was leaving his apartment after having lunch. As I was walking out this tall, blonde, good looking fella was walking in. We did not exchange words.  We just starred at each other for a moment, and I continued to walk to my car and he continued to walk into the apartment.  I had already made plans to go back the next night for dinner and to watch a Dallas Stars playoff game on television.  It is about half way through the game, and I was about half way through a bottle of wine.  I am a loud hockey watcher as it is, but the combination of playoff game and wine may have made me a little louder then normal.  That is when the tall, blonde, good looking fella walked into the apartment.  All he saw was long blonde hair flying about and this tiny little woman underneath screaming at the tv.  "Let's go boys!  Shoot the puck! Yeah!!!"  He was immediately in love.

Almost 7 years after he fell in love with the loud, screaming, hockey obsessed little girl, he had a surprise for her.  (About a week ago) "Honey, I have a special Valentine's gift for you this year.  My company game me tickets to a Stars game."  Boy howdy! Was I excited!  Not only was I excited, but Tuck was excited that he would again get to see that little woman he fell in love with screaming down to the ice.  The seats were amazing.  Very close to where my dad's season tickets were. I felt, at home.  My main man sitting right next me, screaming right along with me.  And my other love skating around down on the ice.  Tuck did not even mind that I was swooning over Brenden.  He just laughed, and kissed my forehead. Now that is real love. The Stars won, 4-2.  Tuck got a little reminder of the day we fell in love.  And I had the best Valentine's present ever!  True love: a man that knows what his woman likes.  Me+Stars= Perfect Valentine's Day Gift. 


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 4 Gift Ideas

Here are a few Valentine's Day gift ideas.  The first is a piece of artwork you can order that looks like your names have been carved into a birch tree.  Adorable!  Roses are always well received.  They smell good and they make any lady feel warm inside.  Next is an adorable personalized rubix cube.  Love it!  Breakfast in bed is always always always a great gift.
For the baker or crafter in your life, this Valentine's themed apron is a really cute gift.  Next we have a bangel with the couple's initials.  And finally, a pink KitchenAid Standing Mixer from Williams-Sonoma.  Any baker or cook would be happy to receive this for Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 3 Valentine's Day Proposals

So I did a little research and something like 10% of marriage proposals in the United States, happen on Valentine's Day.  At first I did not think that number was very high considering it's Valentine's Day, but here are my thoughts on this statistic.  10% of all marriage proposals happen on this one day when there are 364 (sometimes 365) other days in the year that he could pop the question.  So yeah, 10% for one day out of the year is fairly high. 

Since 10% of marriage proposals will happen in 11 days, it is only right that Day 3 of our 14 days of Valentine's Day be all about proposals.

Before we go any further I will tell you that Bakerella is amazing!  We are using one of her photos in this post, and I just had to tell you that if you have not seen Bakerella's blog... you need to! You should go over to her site just as soon as you are done reading my blog.

So here it is, this guy wanted to propose to his lady.  His lady LOVES Bakerella.  Why wouldn't she?  He contacts Bakerella and they came up with this amazing proposal together.  This is only one photo from the proposal so go to her blog and see the rest...

No he did not propose on Valentine's Day, but this guy gets brownie points like crazy!  He really took the time to think about what would take his lady's breath away, bring tears to her eyes, something she would never forget. So to all the men out there, whether you pop the question on Valentine's Day or on one of the other 364 (sometimes 365) days in the year remember to take her breath away. Valentine's Day is a great day to pop that special question.  It's a romantic day, and I am pretty sure an engagement ring qualifies as an excellent Valentine's day gift.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 2 Kid's Craft

Kiddies love to do crafts.  With the younger kids I have learned that foam stickers are really exciting for them and easy for me to clean up after.  So we used foam heart stickers and turned clothes pins into magents to hold the Valentines we receive.  On the larger hearts I wrote with a sharpie words to look like conversation hearts.  The girls had lots of fun!  And our Valentines will look great on the fridge.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 1 Cookies

Macaroons are the hot thing right now.  I made these adorable red, tiny, and light as air cookies for day 1. I used Martha Stewart's recipe from her website.  They are amazing.  Tuck ate the entire batch except for the one I got away with before he noticed there were cookies in the kitchen. Enjoy!