Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fresh Orange Cupcakes


Hello folks! I made these orange cupcakes a few days ago for a friend's Grandma's birthday... and it was a hit! Even people who haven't tasted it but have seen photos of it have requested the recipe. :) So here it is. I actually made the cake from scratch because I already had my [butter] cake recipe mixed and the cream cheese icing already made from scratch before I changed route. All I really did was dress up my cake batter and the simple cream cheese frosting I made. Today, I am going to show you the easy way to this orange tastiness.

Fresh Orange Cupcakes

1 package butter cake or white cake mix
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 Tbsp orange zest
1 cup orange juice [please use the real deal, it will make a huge difference in the taste of your cake]
1/2 cup of canola oil
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees [at least 15 minutes] or use an oven thermometer.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, brown sugar, and orange zest. Whisk to combine. Add orange juice, canola oil, vanilla extract and eggs on medium speed until lumps disappear. About 2 minutes.

Fill cupcake liners. I use a 1/4 cup [measuring cup] or a large ice cream scoop so the cupcakes turn out all the same size. And your cupcakes bake at the same time. 

Bake cupcakes 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. 

Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

2 tubs Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup orange concentrate/juice

Mix all ingredients together. :) Pipe or spread your icing on top of your cupcakes. Top with orange wedge to garnish. 

{Note: I have tried it, and my cream cheese frosting from scratch tasted fresher than the icing I made from the pre-made stuff. If you do have a cream cheese frosting recipe from scratch, use it and if your icing comes out a little runny from the orange juice/concentrate, let your icing sit in the refrigerator for a few minutes so it will be much easier to pipe into your cupcakes}



Friday, February 17, 2012


Hello everyone! Hello loooonnggg weekend!!! :) We [read: the husband and I] do have a list of things to do in the next few days, it's going to be exhausting but I know it will all pay off in the end. I think we are on the final stretch in getting our other house ready to sell. It still puts me in a terrible mood when I go there, because when we get done with it, except for the kitchen, the house will look about 70% the way we wanted it... but we won't get to enjoy all of that, someone else will. I will be posting photos of the progress here soon. It has been a wild ride trying to get that house ready, moving, and getting settled in the new house at the same time. I've been here and done this more than I thought I wanted to, but I just cannot get used to it.

We have been in the new house since November, I think... but since we have been socking money into the other house to speed up the process of getting it on the market before spring, we have done so little, if not nothing at all to the new house.  We got the living room looking decent, but not quite to where I want it just yet, my kitchen isn't painted yet like we had planned on doing, John's music studio still needs to get organized and done, and my craft room/loft is an empty pink space right now. The list is long... and before I forget, here's what our guest bedroom looks like.


The room that is going to be my craft room is right by the foyer with nice double french doors where people can peek in, so I have shoved all my stuff here while I wait to have time to work in there... It is so messy, it has been like this since we moved in in November. But I would rather the mess be in this room in the very back corner of the house than it be in that wide open room in the front. I hate apologizing to people about messes in my house, it's really none of anybody's business but I am a girl and I am not a slob... I just don't wanna be setting up here just so I could tear it down in a month or so because I am moving to another room.


This is the other side of my desk. It's not too bad, all my Paper Trey Ink cardstock is in that pull out drawer. Sadly, I will have to let go of this desk when I move to the other room. In a couple of months I will be the proud owner of this desk from Anna White. She has a whole detailed plan for this desk on her website. And my very darling husband is building it for me for my birthday. :)

So on with my mess... Here's more! This is what's to the left of my desk. These are all the stuff that hung on my wall in my other craft room. I would hang them back up but I really don't wanna drill holes on my wall especially that I am not gonna be staying here...


This is what's going on on the floor to the right. I cringe every time I am in this room. I do not like this mess at all. It's a battle fighting myself from just going ahead and installing storage in this room to contain what the closet can't any more hold. Yes, the closet is full of my stuff too.


Even my floor is crafty too. LOL My husband always laughs when he comes in here and sees all these paper/cardstock stacks... He says, between me and my friend Sara we can probably make a scrapbook for every single person in this town with the volume of paper that we have. Haha! Yeah, not funny, paper and adhesive are very prized crafter's possessions. We don't just give them away. lol


So you ask if I have crafted in this space any? The answer is a resounding NO. However, my friend Sara's daughter has. I don't know how she managed to find anything in here but she managed to make a card for her friend amidst all of this chaos! Lol  I have printed pictures in here though to put in my junque journal... but that's as close to crafting in here that I have done. I didn't even make Christmas cards because I couldn't stand being in here at all. 

What you've seen is only a part of it. I am not proud of this, but this is my reality for now... There's just not enough time in the day to get stuff done anymore. My days get busier each day. Who knew staying at home could get this complicated! My life is on a schedule. I am just thankful that we do find time for things that really matter. And I am thankful that John and I have very wonderful friends who tolerate us... We are now getting back on the getting together more often like the good ol' days again though and that feels really good. I love to hear the ring of laughter in my home, I love to have a good time over food and tasty desserts, and most of all I love a positive, friendly, loving environment where I live rid of anything that brings people down. I love great memories and i love looking back to them and saying, "what the heck were we thinking?!" and laughing about them. :)

So here's hoping we get to crossing things out of our list this weekend and we make a huge dent. Mostly John and I work well as a team... as long as we aren't working in the same space at the same time. [that could get really ugly real fast!]

I don't think it will be long before I get my room done. :) It doesn't require too much work, it is a blank slate right now. So soon as I get it all put together, I will be showing it off like a crazy woman with a blog. [wait, i am a crazy woman and I do have a blog!] lol


Okay, so there... I vented. And I feel good now. :) Til the next post folks!!!


Friday, February 3, 2012

New Year... New Book

You all have seen my junque journal. I have been journaling and scrapbooking in it since June and it's getting too beat up. It travels with me, it is in my purse with the gazillion other stuff I carry around.



So for the new year since I don't have any resolutions, I have decided to commit to Project Life so I can give my junque journal a break. It doesn't have enough room for my thoughts. A lot of things have happened in my/our life/lives in the past six months it's crazy! And I have tried to shove all events in my junque journal like a mad woman, now it's starting to fall apart.  I have put recipes, magazine/paper clippings, pictures, french fry boxes, store/restaurant receipts, paint watches, fabric samples, etc in this thing. I journaled in it every day when we went to Daytona Beach for a week last summer.


This book is populated mostly of my husband's pictures... I have a little bit of obsession for him. Just a little bit. There's also some photos of our house and the ideas I have gathered for projects and a whole lot of other things from hotel keys, boarding passes, cinema tickets, bottle caps, Starbucks cup holder things etc.

I have always been a memory keeper. Always. I have used white gel pens way before they became a trend here. My friends and I [in high school] skipped school and hung out at a bookstore either to read books, or spend money on pens and markers! Although it was different the way I did my scrapbook/junque journal [because we used planners and notebooks and a limited number of supplies] it was as much fun as it is for me now given that I have every tool available to mankind and a beautiful craft room to make stuff in.

This is why I need to start Project Life. I want more room for my thoughts, more space for my crazy ideas and a more detailed description for everything. I love journaling, and i love taking pictures, I  take photos every day either with my DSLR camera or my phone camera. I also love printing them out... I print so much, my husband John bought me a Continuous Ink System {CIS} online because all the printing I have been doing is costing so much money on OEM ink catridges. LOL I know it's not funny but it kind of is. I don't take pictures just to look at them on my computer, part of the joy of taking them is being able to touch them and being able to show them off.

So come March, I am going to start Project Life... and I'll find out how i do with it. :)
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