Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our New Addition!

Well. Needless to say the last week has been CRAZY, but WONDERFUL. Last Wednesday I got a shocking phone call... A birth mom had picked us, a baby was waiting for us! She was born Tuesday, May 17th... on my mom's birthday. Totally a God thing. We had 2 hours to get to the hospital to meet our little girl and her birth family. What a crazy trip this has been. Here is our little sweet heart.

Amelia Raymona Dean (Mia)
 Meeting our sweet girl for the first time.
 Proud big brother giving kisses!
So SOON, there will be many new crafts for girls! Headbands, clothes, I am already starting to go crazy with accessorizing. Our family feels complete. God is GOOD.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Roadside RESCUE!

My husband and I found this AMAZING bench at a yard sale in the country. We bought a lot of stuff at the yard sale, so I think this was probably $1.



I did a little touch up with white paint, and then I had a canvas table cloth I found at target on clearance that I was saving for just the right project, so that is what I used to re-cover it! I think it is a fantastic little bench now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes and Chocolate Caramel/stroopwafel cupcakes

My husband's family is Dutch. They are also a HUGE family. His cousin recently got engaged, so we are having an engagement party for her, and I volunteered to make the cupcakes. These cupcakes turned into a huge labor of love! Through many mishaps and a big mess, four hours later I had about 50 cupcakes. Here are the recipes I used!

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
  1. 1 Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. 2 Line cupcake pans with paper liners and spray the liners with non-stick spray. (It makes the liners peel off easier.).
  3. 3 Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt in an electric mixer. Mix on low speed until combined.
  4. 4 Add the butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  5. 5 In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, lemon juice and vanilla.
  6. 6 With the mixer on medium speed, add the wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down the sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not over-beat.
  7. 7 Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full.
  8. 8 Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  9. 9 Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. 10 Repeat process with remaining batter. รข?¨Should make about 30.
  11. 11 Raspberry Cream Frosting~ In the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and jam together until smooth.
  12. 12 Add the vanilla, salt and food coloring; mix until an even colored pink is reached.
  13. 13 Turn the mixer on low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time to avoid a sugar cloud. Then turn the mixer up until the frosting is smooth.
  14. 14 Place in the refrigerator until and cupcakes are cooled and ready to be frosted.
  15. 15 Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost the cupcakes and garnish with fresh raspberries.
  16. 16 Makes 30 cupcakes.

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes
(Makes 20)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Butter, unsalted, at room temperature
1 + 1/3 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
3 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup Milk, at room temperature (I used buttermilk)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cupcake pans by greasing or placing paper liners in them.

2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

3. In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl occasionally. Beat in Vanilla Extract. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in cooled chocolate.

4. Beat in the flour mixture in 4 additions alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until smooth on low-medium.

5. Fill cupcake wells 3/4 of the way. Bake about 22 minutes or until a toothpick in middle shows a few moist crumbs.

6. Cool on wire racks ten minutes. Then remove cupcakes to racks to cool completely.

Caramel Frosting*
(adapted from Betty Crocker)

1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Packed Brown Suger
3/4 cup Milk, divided
3 cups Powdered Confectioners' Sugar, plus a little extra if needed

1. In a 2-quart saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, reduce heat to low.

2. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup Milk. Heat to boiling, remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes.

3. Pour the caramel into a large mixing bowl gradually stir in powdered sugar and milk. Beat with an electric hand mixer on low about 6 minutes until light and fluffy. If too stiff add milk a teaspoon at a time to get the right consistency. If too watery add additional powdered sugar beating on low until it reaches the right consistency.

4. Store in refrigerator for 15 minutes before frosting to help it firm up.

I then drizzled some caramel over the top of the cupcakes, and added some mini chocolate chips, then I topped them off with a stroopwafel!  (They are a Dutch little dessert biscuit thing. I find them at World Market)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Homemade Tortillas

I am a HUGE fan of homemade toritllas. My friend Liz makes authentic mexican food all the time, and I go crazy for it. I always thought that making your own tortillas would be really hard, but... it isn't! And it only calls for a few ingredients! Here is the recipe I used thanks to

You will need:
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or lard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 table spoons Hot water (not boiling)

1.      In a bowl add 4 cups flour, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder and vegetable shortening.
2.      With a fork cut the shortening into the flour, till it is well blended.  It will have the texture of cornmeal
3.      In another bowl at 1 1/2 teaspoon salt to your HOT water.  Stir till salt is dissolved.
4.      Add the salt water to the flour mixture in a thin stream, stir as you add the water.
5.      Knead with your fist, till well blended (add a little more water if needed)
6.      Dough ball will start to form
7.      Place dough ball in bottom of bowl, cover with a cloth and let rest for 20 minutes
8.      Split into 4 pieces, and then cut each of them into 3…. for a total of 12 mini dough balls
9.      Use a rolling pin or tortilla press to press flat.  Or in our case we used a cup
10.  Get it as thin as you can without tearing
11.  Cook on hot pan over medium/high heat 15 seconds on each side till done.
12.  Total cook time of 30-60 seconds depending on pan used and temp.

WHO knew flour and shortening could taste SOOOOO good! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I FINALLY have the go ahead to announce....



I am wearing an orange shirt... may have been one from my no sew shirt tutorial!!!

Furniture Makeover

Like I said, I am addicted to dressers, and I love to find old junky ones and breath new life into them! Here is my latest re-make.
 BEFORE--- Missing a bottom drawer, which is unfortunate, but I found a solution.
Finished product! The flower is hand painted from a vinyl stencil and I added the photo boxes to the bottom for storage, to make up for the missing drawer!

Monday, May 2, 2011

FREE Photo Books

I LOVE getting photo books! Buy one photo book, get one free!! Here are some examples I have done.

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