back from hiatus…

OMG…  I just realized that I have been gone from the blogging world for 4 years.  ;p  I had tried very hard to keep it up as a reminder of my daily/yearly experiences.  NO. SUCH. LUCK.  He he!!  Anyway, I am back and will try once again to keep you up-to-date on the events of our lives.  XOXO!

sickie sickie go away…

and do NOT come back another day!!  ;p  UGH!!  our household has been sick for the past couple of weeks.  first the boys last week and now the girls.  i have been sick since mon and offline this whole time.  i couldn’t believe it.  i am usually online ALL the time!!  even if i’m not at the computer…  i am plugged in!!  ;p  but not this week.  the “busy-ness” of my life probably caught up and told me to slow it down or else.  HA!!  well slow it down it has.  i have spent the past 5 days laying on the couch in my living room with two kids going stir crazy.  unfortunately my youngest has finally caught this dreaded illness and is starting to have a hard time with it.  i thought it would be a lot harder for her but the past few days she was actually pretty good.  i would give her motrin for her fever and then she would take a nap…  wake up from her nap without a fever and then play…  repeat all day long for two days.  but today…  she is complaining and whining.  phew.  it is all i can handle especially since for some reason i feel worse today than i did yesterday.  which is weird…  because each day i was feeling better…  that is until today.  😦  grrrrr!!

anyway, with that said…  i did catch up on some reading.  i read “p.s. i love you” by cynthia ahern.  what a great book.  i absolutely love it.  as sad as it is…  it demonstrates a great love between a wife and her recently departed husband.  i hope that my husbands picks it up and reads it and learns a thing or two.  HA!!  when pigs fly.  ;p  ha ha ha!!

and now i just started reading “sushi for one?” by camy tang.  camy and i attend the same church and used to run in the same volleyball circle way back when.  i give her great kudos for writing a series of books with an asian flair as i am always looking for more asian writers to read.  go camy!!

with that said…  this illness is kicking my butt and is making me go lie down now.  i just had to come and be connected for a bit.  ;p  stay healthy!!

in love with cupcakes!!

it’s so strange… i originally started this blog to keep up with my daily life and my crafting… but as i look at my blogroll it appears i may be more of a foodie than a craftie. ;p and i am just in love with cupcakes. they are the cutest thing ever!!

anyhow… i am blogging about my special red velvet valentine cupcakes!! i originally bought the feb 2008 issue of better homes and gardens to re-create the cupcake on the cover for valentine’s day. a sugary dessert for my family to share on this sweet holiday to celebrate our love. 😉 however, right after i bought the issue i came across the serendipity bake-off on my friend’s blog, familia bencomo.

before i post the recipe and my photos… lemme start by saying that the cupcakes are very moist!! however i was a little disappointed that the cocoa flavor didn’t come through as much and was surprised at how red the red part of the red velvet came out!! 🙂 it’s a very sweet and cute cupcake that i will definitely make again… but maybe with a little bit more cocoa mixed in!!

red velvet sweetheart (from red velvet cake recipe)
better homes and gardens, feb 2008 issue, p. 166

prep: 1 hr 15 min
bake: 25 min
cool: 10 min
oven: 350 degrees F

ingredients
3 eggs
3/4 cup butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1-oz bottle red food coloring (2 Tbsp)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1 /2 tsp baking soda
1 1 /2 tsp vinegar
1 recipe buttercream frosting, below

preparation
1. let eggs and butter stand 30 minutes. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. grease and flour three 8 x 1 1/2-inch round baking pans; set aside.

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2. in medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, and 3/4 tsp salt; set aside.

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in large mixing bowl beat butter on medium-high 30 seconds. add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. one at a time, add eggs; beat on medium after each.

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beat in food coloring on low.

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3. alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture; beat on low-medium after each just until combined. stir together baking soda and vinegar. add to batter; beat just until combined.
4. spread in prepared pans. bake 25 – 30 minutes or until pick inserted near centers comes out clean (cakes may appear marbled). cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. remove from pans; cool.
5. prepare buttercream frosting. place layer flat side up on plate. spread top with 3/4 cup frosting. stack layer, flat side up; spread top with 3/4 cup frosting. stack final layer, flat side down; spread remaining frosting on top and sides. makes 16 servings.

buttercream frosting
in medium saucepan whisk together 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 1/3 cup flour, and dash salt. cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more. transfer to small bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap. refrigerate until cooled (do not stir). in large bowl beat 1 1/2 cups softened butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 2 tsp vanilla on medium 5 minutes until light and fluffy and sugar is almost dissolved. add cooled milk mixture, 1/4 cup at a time; beat on low after each until smooth.

sweetheart cakes (this is the version i made)
for cupcakes like those on our cover, bake batter in 2 1 /2- inch cupcake pans 15 – 17 minutes, filling cups two-thirds full.

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cool. top with chocolate cookies cut out with 1- to 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. dust with powdered sugar. makes 28. i didn’t have the heart shaped chocolate cookies (didn’t want to take the time to make them) so i used my heart paper punch and punched out a 1 1/2- inch paper heart to dust the reverse image of the heart on to the top of the cupcake. 🙂

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after i baked them all… i went and took some to my friends jane and amy!! amy’s of course was all dolled up because she was the inspiration for the cupcakes… and only cuz i only had one box left. ;p sorry jane!! next time yours will be all dolled up!! 🙂 and NO… it wasn’t a bribe… just a sugary sweet happy valentine’s day wish from one friend to another! *wink*!
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happy valentine’s day!!

hope everyone is having an extra special valentine’s day today!! our valentine’s usually consists of a meal picked up from a local restaurant (steak for me of course), a family movie, popcorn and an exchange of valentine’s gifts!! once we had children we had decided to make it a family holiday vs a holiday just for the parents to share their love… they are of course… a HUGE part of the love of this family. 😉

anyway… this year the kids made a picture for papa and bracelets for each of the family members. 😉 the kids each got some candy, a book and a movie from us… papa got some reese’s peanut butter cups and movie from mama… and mama bought herself a couple of romantic comedies. HA HA!! the kids are way into making things this year to give to people. they made photo cards and bracelets for their teachers. i had asked s what he would like to give to his teacher and he said that he would like to make her a necklace (they turned into bracelets due to the size of the beads i chose). we had been making things with alphabet beads so i had automatically asked him what he would like to write on it… and he said… i love teacher carol. 😉 so sweet!! and they made a frame similar to the one for their papa for each set of grandparents… but the picture is of just the two of them!! so sweet!! 🙂

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this year both s and papa are sick so our day went a little bit different. i started by making heart and bear shaped pancakes for breakfast.

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and then i baked in the morning (hitting 3 birds with one stone, please excuse the visual)… for a contest, for our dessert, and for our friends… red velvet cupcakes!! the recipe was taken from the better homes and garden february 2008 issue. and the idea was straight from the cover of the issue. 😉

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i will make a separate post with the recipe and step by step pictures so you will all believe that i actually made them myself. ;p he he!!

enjoy your valentine’s day… with love from our house to yours!!

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calling all friends and family… need your help!

hi everyone…

i don’t know what possessed me… but i decided to take on the board position of fundraising co-chair at my children’s preschool yet again… and it is silent auction time of year yet again! ;p this year our theme is carnaval and we are collecting beads and masks to pass out to all of our party goer’s. if you have any you’d like to get rid of or find any at your local party store on sale (since mardi gras has come and gone) and would like to donate it to us… please send them on over!! 😉

it is at gordon biersch in downtown sj once again and will be just as fabulous as last year if not more!! you are more than welcome to join us with or without children. 🙂 it is on march 30th from 4 – 8pm.

however… here is where the plea comes in… we are always in need of some great items to auction off during the silent auction portion of our event. we would love products, gift cards, services, handcrafted items, signed memoribilia, big stuff, little stuff, kid stuff, adult stuff, family stuff, singles stuff, anything goes… if you have anything or your work would love to donate anything, please contact me via email at lso{at}sbcglobal{dot}net and i will send you a donor letter. thanks so much in advance for your support!!

the kids and i appreciate all of you!!

best friend lost

years ago… i had a best friend… a girl i hung out with non-stop. we took class together… we skipped class together. we went out to eat… for drives… partied together… etc. i started seeing a guy… and started to spend less time with her. due to my immaturity and naievete at the time… a couple of our friends wrote and said some really mean things to me. it hurt my feelings that my friend would do this… plus that my other friends would write such cruel things to me. i would sob this to my boyfriend at the time and he told me that i needed to cut it off with them. that true friends wouldn’t do such things. i had thought this was such a harsh response but i was hurt and i didn’t know what else to do. at the time it seemed like the best thing to do… so i had basically told her that i could no longer be her friend.

i would think about my friend from time to time and she was a really great friend… we used to be inseparable… we were like sisters plus best friends!! and since i was an only child it was perfect… to have such a wonderful friend. anyway, due to the time that had passed… we just never got back in touch… until…

this past week. a friend found me through facebook. i couldn’t believe it. it was her… my best friend lost. she contacted me and we decided to get together because she was in town. when we got together… it was as if no time had passed. we just laughed and told stories… and caught up on what the last 10+ years have been like for us!! although we probably can’t be instantaneously best friends once again… i am sure and i am hoping that our friendship will be mended and that we will be close once again! i am so happy for her… she has a wonderful life and she deserves all the blessings she has received!!

xoxo, d! 🙂

Are you crafty?

If you love to scrapbook, make cards and alter items, please think about joining the Design Team on get your scrap on! It is a friendly environment hoping to create inspiration for others. My friend and I created it since I was in a crafting slump and I kept bugging her for sites to give me inspiration… she said… why don’t we just make our own!! 😉 And so we did!! Anyway, check out http://getyourscrapon.wordpress.com/ for details!! 🙂