Sunday, January 5, 2014

So it begins...

Happy New Year! I know it's a little late but hey, I've been busy... Every holiday season, without fail, I'm always busy even though I plan way ahead. My biggest accomplishment of this past holiday season was managing to stay stress free. I don't know how this happened, oh wait, I do, I didn't host any major events at my house last holiday season and it was fantastic! I also managed to get all of my Christmas shopping done in November instead of December which was AWESOME!!! Now that NYE has passed and a new year begins I have some major goals I need to work on this year. No, not a new years resolution but a goal, and it's not lose weight or make more money in my job (but that would be cool) or find love (already have that one!), but to be settled. This year will be my first full year home with my husband. I can feel the eyebrows raising in confusion. Six months every 2 years I move close to 300 miles away from home for work and this year is my "off" year. So, I have a lot to get done before I leave again. Here are my top 10 goals for the year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas is Almost Here!

Hi All!

Yes, it has been a while since I've posted and for some very legitimate reasons. First, my husband and I have been doing a bit of traveling. Secondly, I've been training for a half marathon which I was suppose to run a couple weekends ago but because of an awesome ice storm here in Texas it was cancelled... so I'm still training. Thirdly, family. While I see my families often through out the year, during the holiday season we get extra close and enjoy things like breakfast with Santa and touring the DeGoyer house at the Arboretum and so on... Fourthly, shopping!!! I was on a mission this year and I nearly succeeded! The goal: to have all of Christmas shopping done by December 1st. Everyone gets so wrapped up now a days shopping during December instead of really enjoying. Well this year I have really enjoyed December! Lastly, a very very good friend of mine who has had an "awesome" pregnancy, sense the sarcasm, delivered her beloved little boy late last week as an early Christmas present. I told her he really wanted to see Santa!  That's a wrap up of my life from the past month and now Id love to share so fun things I've done around the house this Christmas season.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Give Thanks

This week I have seen so many Christmas light crews going in and out of my neighborhood and everywhere. Like so many other people, I love this time of the year. Truly! Christmas carols start popping up in my head, I start present shopping along with so many other fun things. However, is Thanksgiving slowly being forgotten about? Besides the shopping centers that put up their Christmas stuff in early October, on a run around the neighborhood the other night I counted numerous houses that already had their Christmas lights turned on, garland around the doors and staircases and Christmas trees up! Did I miss something? Thanksgiving for me is a time to be with family and celebrate the fact that we have all that we have been blessed with and celebrate those blessings with one another. It is the beginning of a month of gratefulness and selflessness. Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm old school with my firm belief in nothing goes up till after Thanksgiving. Anyway, rant done!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

I'm afraid to jinx it but I'll say it anyway, it's finally starting to feel like fall here in Texas! The leaves are starting to turn their beautiful fall colors and slowly starting to fall off the trees. It's not cold enough to turn on the heat but it's definitely cool enough to turn on the fire and get nice and warm in the evenings. I can't believe it's already November; I wish time would slow down just a little bit so that I could enjoy the seasons a little bit more (mainly fall). Like many of you bakers, I love pumpkin during this season but it's been a little hard for me to get into this year because its been so warm. There is one pumpkin thing I always jump on early and that's my pumpkin spice coffee creamer. The second I see it out in stores I make a purchase. Later this week I'm going to attempt to make my own but we'll see what happens. Anyway, one of my favorite fall deserts to make are these pumpkin spice cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting. They are seriously amazing! I've had the recipe for a few years now and for the life of me I can't figure out where I found it but I just had to share the amazing-ness of this yummy treat!

What You'll Need:
1 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground all spice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
What to Do:
1. In a large bowl, whisk, pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices one at a time, whisking between each addition until completely combine.
3. Stir in nuts.
4. Fill cupcake cups 3/4 full and bake at 350 (f) degrees for 22- 24 minutes.
For the Icing:
1/2 c. butter , at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 c powdered confectioners sugar
1tbsp heavy cream, whipping cream or milk (whatever you have on hand)
What to Do:
1. In a mixer, beat butter till creamy.
2. Add cream cheese to butter and beat until combined.
3. Add vanilla extract. Beat.
4. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time on medium speed until the icing begins to get fluffy.
5. Add heavy cream, whipping cream, or milk. Beat till combined.
6. Use immediately or put in refrigerator till ready to use.