Monday, April 24, 2017

This post is a little different for me.  I usually post about crafts, recipes, and sales but I wanted to
write about something that has been bothering me for a while so here we go.

Ladies, you are important and beautiful.

Today I was flipping through Facebook and I stopped on a makeup tutorial.  It was a young girl talking about all the imperfections on her face.  She was pointing out these microscopic little pink spots that were around her nose and how her eyebrows weren't full enough and the whole time I was thinking; this girl is already pretty, she could walk outside the way she started and be killin it.  Then I thought of my three daughters and I thought if they knew how amazingly pretty and perfect they are to me, they would never put themselves down.  But, alas, I know this world, I know all the images, conversations, and ridicule they will endure.  Therefore, I am writing this.

A few weeks ago I was driving with my daughters when my five year old said I wish I was.. and she named one of her friends.  I sat there for a moment and then asked her why she wanted to be that person.  She said it was because she had heard me talk to this child's mother about how great that child was. It hit me like a ton of bricks, that my five year old thought that I like this other child more than her because I was praising her friend.  She is already comparing and listening to what we are saying and it is effecting her.  I made it clear to her that she is wonderful, smart, beautiful, and talented.  Everyone has special talents and features that make them unique; we need those unique things to make our lives, and our world, more beautiful.

Here is something I would like to change in the world.  Why is it that because someone is physically beautiful it makes us less beautiful? Why is it that we feel like because someone has an amazing talent it devalues our talents? News flash, it doesn't! Just because Sarah has amazing blonde hair (just throwing names out there) doesn't mean my red/orange hair isn't great.  Just because Jessie can play the violin doesn't mean your paintings aren't enjoyed.

I was looking at the magazine covers in the checkout line and I saw that Julia Roberts was named "Most beautiful Woman 2017" on the cover of People Magazine.  I am not saying she isn't stunning and wonderful, I'm saying that her being stunning and wonderful in no way makes you, me, that old lady that sits in her rocking chair on her porch four doors down, any less beautiful and wonderful.

Next time you feel unattractive or feel like putting yourself down, don't go look in a mirror.  Grab a notebook, I'm talking the pen and pencil kind, and write down the last good thing you did.  That is what we need to focus on.  What good did I personally put into the world today?  If you can't think of something to write down, write down something you can go do, and do it.  That is what gives us a glow, that is what beauty should be, personal development and growth. 

I have my insecurities about myself and I have had major breakdowns as an adult about some of my physical attributes.  Those don't need to be the center of our lives.  We need to forget a little bit more about the outside of ourselves and focus more on what we can do to be kind, help others, remember that we are not the center of the world but a part of the world.  We have a great purpose here in this life, and that is to help others and make it back to our Father in Heaven and to help those around us make it back.

Go, be truly BEAUTIFUL. 


Need a notebook? This one has a great cover.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Carrot Cake

I decided to scour Pinterest for Carrot Cake recipes.  I was kicking myself for not making a Carrot Cake for Easter and I think I kinda scored on my find.  This has a light fluffy cake, but is stuffed with carrots, pineapple, and nuts so it does have a good chew to it.  If you are looking for a light cupcake you might not find it with this one.  This is more on the dense, fill your belly side.  I started off with the recipe from blueribbonkitchen.blogspot.com.   Then I twisted up a little bit and added my own flare so here are the basics:


Take all the dry ingredients and throw them in your mixer.  I used the whisk attachment.  give them a plus or three to get them all nice and fluffy and stirred up.  Next get all of those wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Excluding all the fruit, nuts, and carrots.


I used a hand whisk and mixed it all up nicely. 
It helps them come together really nicely if they are at room temperature
Next, I toasted up some coconut and pecans.  I put the sweetened coconut flakes down in my broiler and let them go for about 4 minutes until the tops gained a little brown.  The pecan I threw on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees till they started to sweat out a bit it took about 5 minutes and they had an aroma to them.   I then threw the pecans in my food processor for about 5 pulses. 

The carrots, I grated up my carrots.  Ok, people, the big carrots in the bag are so good for this so go big and get yourself the big carrots at the store, or be super fancy and grown them in your garden.  Then you can see your kids walk around like this too!


I used three big carrots for this recipe.  Luckily I had four left in the bag! So grate those up and put them in the food processor for a pulse so they are in nice little pieces.
Pineapple time.  I used a kitchen strainer over a cup and I put spoon fulls of pineapple in that and pressed the juice out of it.  That way I had super drained pineapple so my cakes weren't too wet.  That will be your enemy in the baking process with these over wet batter! Extra bonus drink that yummy pineapple juice left overs...
  We've got everything now. Slowly mix your wet stuff in the the dry in the mixer incorporate well and then add all of the goodness, carrots, coconut, pineapple, and pecans.

Spoon it into prepared cake pans or lined cupcake tins. bake that baby. my cupcakes took about 21 minutes for me but my oven is slow so check them at 18.  Make sure a toothpick comes out clean. 

Ingredients:



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs-room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup buttermilk-room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups of finely grated carrot (What I did here was I grated my carrots then threw them in the food processor and sent them spinning twice.)

3/4 cup of very well drained coconut

1/2 cup flaked coconut toasted in the oven for a few minutes

1 cup chopped toasted pecans



Instructions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix try ingredients, mix wet ingredients. Grate and pulse carrots and nuts.  Drain pineapple very very well, and toast coconut.  Thoroughly mix into batter.  Fill cupcake liners, or three well prepared 9" circle pans.  I recommend putting wax paper into the bottom of cake pans, and flouring the sides after nonstick spray or butter.



Pour batter into prepared cake pans.  

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cakes.

Let cakes rest on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Remove cakes from the very warm pans after 10 minutes, remove and discard the parchment paper.  Let cool.



Once cakes are at room temperature, spread the frosting between the cake layers, on the sides and top of cake.  This is not the final coat, this is only the crumb-coat.



Chill cake in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, then apply a final coating of the frosting, add nuts to the sides for garnish. 

Refrigerate cake overnight, up to 24 hours and then serve. 



For cupcakes, this recipe makes 36 cupcakes.  Use cupcake liners, fill cups 3/4 full, bake for 18
-21
 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

I took the cupcakes and put them in the fridge once they cooled for half and hour then frosted them.  I would have put them back in the fridge in a sealed container after they were frosted but they didn't last that long!  Waaaayyy too good!!!  I think I'll be making this cake in cake form in the near future!!

 Some of these cupcakes didn't even make it to the frosting process... yeah they are that good!



Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting:  
8oz block of cream cheese softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter softened
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of heavy whipping cream

Whip cream cheese and butter in a mixer till light and fluffy.  Add in vanilla, then slowly add brown sugar, then powdered.  Whip it for a minute then add heavy whipping cream till you achieve your desired texture!  



I topped mine with a sprinkle of extra toasted coconut!   Enjoy!

I love the look of double liners on cupcakes! check out these super cute ones...



Saturday, April 1, 2017

Stuffed French Toast

I decided to make a hybrid of Stuffed French Toast and Ree Drummond's French Toast. You're welcome.

 First the french toast mixture!

4 egg yokes, no joke only the yokes!!! Save those yummy whites for my cake recipe!
Add in 1 tbsp. of cinnamon and whip them together.  If you mix the egg yokes and cinnamon together first you don't have the floating cinnamon on the top of the french toast, you know how the first 3 three pieces get cinnamon and then it is gone? Yeah, do this and it will stay mixed! All the french toast get cinnamon.
Next, vanilla, 1 tsp splash, or more if you really like it.

 Next throw in heavy cream, I put in about a cup.  Then I add a cup of whole milk.  Pioneer Woman uses half and half you could substitute that in for sure, I just don't usually have that on hand.   Mix up that goodness and move on to the filling.   Pioneer Woman also puts sugar in her french toast recipe I skipped it because of all the powdered sugar that is going into the recipe.


 Put in one brick of cream cheese (8oz) room temp.  and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar. Whip that together with 1/3 cup of sour cream.  Add in a splash of vanilla 1tsp or so. 

Next prep those strawberries, I like them cut nice and thin, that way I can spread a thin layer over the cream filling.

Cover one side of bread with the cream filling, I like a thick cut white bread or you can even use a crusty french bread. I like mine a little dried out for this. It just soaks every thing up so well when it is dried out.  If you use a loose light weight and it might fall apart so make sure you have a nice sturdy bread.

Then put a layer of strawberries and another piece of bread put a really really light layer of the cream filling so it works like a glue to hold the goodness together.


Get your griddle nice and warm.  I like mine at about 350.  Give it a good layer of butter and line up those puppies! 
Make sure you take your time. I like the outside of mine to be nice and crisp.  The filling will get warm and gooey and may leak out a little bit!

Sprinkle a little more powdered sugar and another layer of strawberries, syrup, and enjoy!
My Husband Michael is very proud of his bacon cooking skills.
He cuts them in half so they cook more evenly.

French Toast Mixture
4 Large Egg Yokes
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup Whole Milk.

Mix the egg yokes and cinnamon together then add the other ingredients.  mix together throughly.

Cream Filling
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream

Whip it all together cream cheese needs to be room temp.

1 lb. strawberries sliced thin.

You need a sturdy bread that will hold together when wet.  French bread or a thick sandwich bread :)

Sandwich it up and grill on a buttered griddle.  take your time. make sure the outside is crispy. I like my griddle on 350 and I let them cook for at least 4 minutes on each side.  Each griddle is different if it is browning too fast turn it down. If it isn't cooking at all turn it up a bit.




Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bunnies and Bums Banner

Bunnies and Bums Banner My girls and I did a crazy easy, craft project today that we wanted to share. 
You'll need:
 Crafting foam or heavy construction paper
 Scissors Glue craft and hot glue
 Pompoms
 Ribbon
First, I cut out a bunch of bunnies out of the foam. For me I just drew a simple bunny silhouette, but you can easily find one on the internet that you can print too.
I cut out about 12 of these in various colors. Next pull out that ribbon and make a swag over your window, cutting it to length. Glue those little bunny ears to the ribbon. You want to make sure you are putting more of the bunny under the hang of the ribbon than the top or you will have some hanging issues.
Next, bring on the kids let them decorate those bunnies! we decided to have the ones facing forward would have pink noses and hold carrots. Make sure your glue is completely dry. I recommend hot glue for gluing the bunnies onto the string.
I tied little loops on the ends of my ribbon and I like to hang the banner with these Command strips.
They even work great for twinkle lights. They are great because they are clear and tiny. I leave them up for all the different season and all the little banners that we make.
Happy Crafting!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring is here! Time for all the yummy berry treats to be back in season.  I made this Strawberry Rose Cake the other day for a Cub Scout auction and I wanted to share the recipe with you today.  At the bottom I show you how I cut Strawberry Roses!!!


My Cake recipe I found a  few years ago off a website alittlebitfunky  Here is the complete link: http://www.littlebitfunky.com/2012/09/what-i-made-for-monday-perfect-cake.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+alittlebitfunky+(Little+Bit+Funky)

It comes out with a really moist and yummy cake! I have made it close to 10 times at least and every time it is wonderful.  I have made it in cupcake and cake form,  and it makes about 35 cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 325

1 box white cake mix 
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups water
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Put all dry ingredients together mix it up, then put in all the wet ingredients together with the dry, mix well. Pour into greased and floured cake pans, I put wax paper in the bottom of my cake pans too so there is not sticking, or cupcake tins lined with papers.  Fill cupcake papers about 3/4 of the way full. 
Bake for 18 minutes or so for cupcakes and a little longer for cake. Close to 30 mins depending on the oven.


For my American butter cream frosting
I take 1 cup of butter AT ROOM TEMPERATURE very very important. if you forget put the butter in a bag and stick it in your pockets for a while.

Now whip it! with a stand mixer or a hand mixer for at least 3 minutes it needs to be light and super fluffy. Once it is silk pour in 1 tsp of vanilla.  Then slowly add in 16+ oz or so of powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency. I like to add a little bit of heavy whipping cream to make it silky smooth about 3 tbsp.

Toasted coconut simply open a bag of sweetened coconut and throw it under a broiler for a few minutes till it is light brown. pull it out and let it cool completely before pressing it into fresh frosting.

I put finely chopped fresh strawberries inside my cake.  I cut the strawberries into tiny pieces and pressed them lightly with paper towels to take away some moisture.  I then tossed them in 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and put a thin layer between the cake layers. with a thin layer of the buttercream frosting.

For the Strawberry Roses please refer to the video below!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Never throw away a shoe box!

I have been saving shoe boxes so that I could organize Brielle's clothes.  It turned out just how I wanted.

I was going to take a picture of her crazy drawers before the organizers, but Riley heard I wanted to rearrange Brielle's clothes and she came in and dumped them on the ground for me.  I have all of these and a laundry basket full too.  Now lets get started!


 First cut of the lids of the shoe boxes if they are attached.
Save those lids my friends!!! we are going to use them!

I placed the boxes in the drawers then measured how big of strips I would need for extra compartments.

I cut extra strips, the same height of the boxes. to make my own little compartments.

Make sure to remove the little mold strips and packets, so your babies/ kids don't get a hold of them!

So when I was done the first drawer has pajamas in a small shoe box on the right, a large one with hoodies in the middle, then the strips made four little compartments for hats, tights, socks, and swimsuits.
Next drawer has two large boxes one with pants, the other with shirts.  I decided to leave the side open so I could leave the skirts flat.

This opened up the third to be completely empty!  Yay!!!

Now I can see all her clothes and I don't have to go digging around for anything! Maybe if I get one more box later I will put it where the skirts are, as for now we are good to go. 

Happy organizing!! 





Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


I have a super simple fun craft for toddler to little kids! Actually I kind of enjoyed doing it too.. ok here is what you need. 

picture of a 4 leaf clover
green and gold kid's paint
colored paper 
white paper
scissors
two pencils with erasers
tape

Here is what we did.  I took the clover and cut out 5 small clovers out of the colored paper. If you want to cheat like me I layered two colors on top of one another when I cut it out so I only had to trace once. 
I cut them out for my girls, but you can let them cut them out if you want.

Next, take tape and have the kids tape them all over the white paper. We used this paint for the next part. 
We used three different greens and one gold. just squeeze it on a plate. The kids just dip the eraser side of the pencil in paint and dot all over the place. Make sure to get all the edges of the clovers super well. You can have the use their fingers too!


Let it all dry, then peel off the clovers and you have a fun clover picture for St. Patricks Day!
Riley wanted to trace one of hers with a pen too.  You could also do horseshoes too...

We have this fun banner to make today. I bought it last year after St. Patrick's Day at Michaels Craft Store.