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Making the World Cuter: November 2008

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.


Floatin like a Cadillac

Topher got a present from Grandma for getting potty trained too. This car right here was the motivating factor in getting him to finally say he was ready. He had to be out of diapers before Thanksgiving for him to get this.
So for Thanksgiving, I want to thank Grandma, but most of all Disney/Pixar for making Lightening McQueen.
This kid wants to watch the movie every day and now that he has his car, well as you can see, he even wants to sleep with it.
I think it is so funny that boys just know that cars are boy toys. I tried really hard to have gender neutral toys for the kids to play with, so they could share and play together-but these are the things they tend to gravitate towards-trains, planes and automobiles. Then there is my girl who I tried so hard to keep from being a girly girl-her room looks like a bottle of pepto.
I guess I just have to accept that my girl will always love pink and my boy will probably want to own a gun someday. Yeck!

Cupcake Friday- Peanut Butter Cup

This post is super late-but better late than never right?
This cupcake is too good not to post and it will make up for not having one last Friday too, since I took a Friday off for Thanksgiving leftovers!For the cupcake itself I used the same chocolate cupcake recipe I used for the S'more cupcakes. Then I made this yummy frosting!
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
About 2 tablespoons milk, or as needed

Mix butter and peanut butter together till creamed, add powdered sugar and continue mixing. If frosting gets too stiff add a little milk until frosting is fluffy and delicious.
It's sweet, but not too sweet. I think it's perfection.

I cut a miniature Reeses in half and stuck it in top-Voila!
I made these for bookclub and had a great response, and we had the missionaries over the next night and they thought they were the best ever, oh and my kids LOVED these! This is a no brainer if you like chocolate and peanut butter together!
You need to make these for the ones you love today!



It's because of the camera...

...I have been really bad at blogging lately. I got my new camera and I love it, truly I do, but I have to install new software to upload my pictures, and I because it is such a nice camera, I feel like I have to take some really nice photo's with it before I post them on my blog. I'm sure uploading the software will take about 2 minutes, and all I have to do is point the camera in the general direction of any of my cute family members to get a great shot-but it's a little overwhelming! My goal is to have a proper post, with some great shots-before Thanksgiving. I have cupcake pictures on there (and oh my gosh they were good ones) that I need to post for last Friday.
I also have been a lousy commenter-although I read all of your blogs-that is because I am usually holding this baby, (not complaining-just how it is) and it is hard to type comments on every post.
So to all of you-Ha Ha, Love that pic, Great story, So Sweet, Happy Birthday or other holiday or special occasion, that looks awesome, yum, you are so talented, I miss you(r family), what the?!?! and big hugs!


He's a Big Kid Now!

That's right folks-he did it! No more diapers! He even is dry in the morning! He totally surpassed all expectations of ours and is doing fantastic! We let him pick out whatever toy he wanted at the store and he picked this airplane that goes with his train set-almost $50, but totally worth not having to buy any more diapers for the kid. Plus-he is so proud of himself for being a big boy, it's so cute-almost as proud as we are! Good job kiddo!


Reindeer Spy

Heading out of our yard and on to the neighbors to spy on them-you may be next!
One of Santa's reindeer paid us a visit today. Santa is sending out his spies early to see who's being naughty or nice. Next time Santa better let mom know they're coming because one, I wasn't able to grab my camera in time to get a good pic and two it scared the pee out of me!
I was nursing the baby in my bedroom and reading a book when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw someone walking by my window I turned and saw this huge deer head looking at me. My heart is beating fast again just thinking about it.

The kids were so excited to see the deer and Topher is the one that figured out it was Santa's reindeer. He said "Ho Ho's reindeer mom!" I guess he still calls Santa Ho Ho, just like last year. Love it!


Not Chad the baby.
Here's a closer look.
My little preemie is getting some cute little chunk on him. He was watching MacGyver with dad and they were both a little peeved I was snapping pictures of them, interrupting their boy time.


Cupcake Friday-Vanilla with Buttercream

Hello Lover.

This cupcake has won the popularity contest with all the other cupcakes at my house-at least with my kids and hubs. They have been gobbled, sneaked and devoured here.
I love it too-but I also really loved a lot of the others just as much.
I think the thing that really gets everyone eating till they literally can't eat anymore is the frosting.
It is scrumptious. You will like it. Your hips may not.

Vanilla Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt

Sift the above ingredients together and set aside

  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. Sugar

Beat above ingredients together until pale and fluffy (about 2 minutes on med-high speed)

  • 2 lg eggs added to fluffy butter mix one at a time, mixing well
  • 1 tsp vanilla added after the eggs (turn speed down to medium at this point)
  • 3/4 cup of milk added alternatively in 2 batches to 3 batches of flour mixture

Turn beaters back up to med-high and mix well for about 30 seconds.

Put 1/4 cup batter per cupcake liner and bake for about 17 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Allow to cool before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

This couldn't be any easier or more yummy- I will definately be using this recipe for my sugar cookies!
A little tip-chill the bowl in the fridge before hand to keep frosting at a perfect temp.
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt-(teeny tiny-just a small dash)

Beat butter on med high until pale and creamy for about 2 minutes

Reduce speed to medium and add sugar 1/2 cup at a time mixing well each time. Add vanilla and salt, raise speed up to med-high and beat until smooth.

Frost cupcakes, and fingers and enjoy!



Seven is Heaven

Well Chad and I have been married now for 7 years. I don't mean it rudely when I say it seems longer. I feel like we have always been together, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Since we have been married for 7 years I thought I'd share 7 reasons why I love this man...

  1. The obvious reason first-he's HOT, like McDreamy Steamy HOT-so hot he takes me by surprise sometimes that he's mine!
  2. He's a total and complete goof off-he has me laughing to tears most every day. These pictures are proof of his goofiness!
  3. He helps out around the house, and I mean above and beyond help out-he does dishes more than I do, he vaccuums, changes diapers, bathes kids, on top of all the typical 'man' jobs like mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, all the yardwork and handiwork that I can think of. He is my Superman. (He kind of looks like him too now that I think of it...coincidence?)
  4. He makes me feel beautiful every day, I mean it-every day-he always looks at me like he just won some kind of great prize. It's such a great feeling to feel that cherished every day.
  5. He always opens every door for me without fail, so when I drive by myself or with someone else, I sometimes sit there for a few minutes before I realize no one is coming to open my door. He has completely spoiled me (probably rotten, some may say!).
  6. He loves his kids and is a big old softy with them-he is horrible at disciplining them-he can't stand to make them sad. Unfortunately they know this and will run to him when mommy is being 'mean'.
  7. He cries every time he watches Paul Potts sing opera on YouTube. We have seen it countless time and it never ceases to choke him up. How cute is that?

What a guy I have!Oh and I got to open the boxes....He got me a new Rebel with a zoom lens and bag!

This is my anniversary, Christmas and birthday present all rolled into one! I am super excited. Unfortunately they sent everything right except the camera-they sent a power shot instead which we have to send back and they are sending a new camera in the next few days-so I will just have to admire my lens and bag for now!

Love you babe-thanks for 7 years of pure fun and bliss!


It's our anniversary today-these just came.
I am not good at waiting for surprises.
Chad gets home in about a half hour.
I don't know if I have the willpower to wait....The boxes are from Best Buy.
I think I know what one of them is-but what would the other be? It's not too heavy, but it's big. What is it!!!???!!!
I feel bad this is what I got him...
A handmade card.
He said not to get him anything because he got a truck and he said all he really wants is....well this is a family blog, so I won't say.
Just 15 more minutes- I need a distraction!


Sweet, Yummy, Tasty

My sister just moved into a new place, and asked me how to decorate her kitchen, since I love cupcakes, and she loves bright colors, I thought it would make a darling kitchen theme.

I painted these on some little 4 inch tiles today, so she could get a bit of an idea of what I had in mind. I thought she could either attach some ribbon and hang them on the wall, put them on a shelf, use them as coasters or actually put them on a backsplash. That is if I don't keep them myself, they really did turn out too cute!


Just Like Daddy

I have such a good husband who does dishes, probably more often than I do.
Topher always wants to help and be just like daddy-even while doing this job.He puts on a little apron and helps dad stick the dirty dishes in the sink.
I think it's a great thing to teach a little boy, that it's not a just a mommy job to do the housework, and that daddy's and cute little boys get more kisses from mommy when they help out!

Cupcake Friday-Chocolate Malt

I have been wanting to make a chocolate malt cupcake forever, because I LOVE chocolate malts-and I think that should be an easy transition to a cupcake. Well they were good-but a little too dark for Chad and I.
If I make them again I will only use 1/2 the cocoa in the cupcake and the frosting-but I will give you the recipe I used, in case you like the dark chocolate taste.
Chocolate Malt Cupcakes
  • 2 eggs room temp
  • 1/2 c. milk room temp
  • 4 T Butter, melted then cooled
  • 1 t. vanilla

Mix together and set aside

  • 1 2/3 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. malted milk
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. cocoa
  • 2 t. baking powder

Whisk together and then stir in milk mixture

Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Malt Frosting

  • 1 1/2 c confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 1/4 c malted milk
  • 1/2 c butter room temp
  • 3 T milk

Mix milk and malt together and then beat in rest until smooth.

Don't get me wrong-they are still really yummy and a good dense cupcake-they just weren't my favorite I have made yet-and I was really hoping they would be!



Oink Oink

Porter is 4 months old today. I seriously feel like it has been weeks, not months! He is old enough to try eating solids, and I was actually going to wait a bit because he was born early. But....the past couple of days he has been watching us eat and getting ticked off that we weren't sharing. He kept grabbing at our plates and drinks-so I thought we'd give it a try.He gobbled up the whole bowl in about a minute-and there was quite a bit there! He would scream every time Chad took the spoon out of his mouth-I don't even have a good messy face pic, because he ate every drop even if some did fall on his chin. I took a video of it, it's on his blog. I have never seen a kid that excited about rice cereal in my life. I guess he was ready!


Not Ready For THIS!

My kids sure are though! SNOW! I guess we are destined to get a LOT of it here in KFalls from what we hear!
This time of year is when I will miss Portland more than usual....
Bekah was beyond ecstatic! She can't wait to build a snowman, and was content to play out in the cold wet stuff for hours on end.I am one of those who likes to visit snow. Keep it in the mountains where it belongs! I am not a huge fan of the cold and having to go out to warm up my car, so I don't freeze solid to the leather in the bitter cold of morning is sooooo not my idea of a good time.
At least the kids had a good time-I stood outside for about 3.5 seconds snapping pictures before rushing back into the warmth of the house-while they seriously were out there for a couple of hours. Crazy kids!On the other hand-I am ready for THIS!
And FINALLY so is he! We have had many a false start at this whole potty training thing-but he had been pretty dang good the last couple of days-only a couple of accidents thus far, and he hates when he does. He doesn't like the feeling of soggy underpants-that's right, no pullups-straight to underwear!
This picture of him on the potty, I am sure will bring him great joy when he gets older to know that it is on the world wide web-so while I am embarassing him-I might as well post this as well-him getting 'ready' to go outside with sis....

Man I love that kid!



No comment....

Cupcake Friday-Coffe Cake & A Pumpkin Soup Recipe

I LOVE Coffee cake. When I was little, I always thought it was a little naughty-because of the name, so that made it even better-kind of like when my mom would sometimes on the rare occasion let us have a little sip of the caffeinated Coke.
Anyway-I still love the stuff-and it is still a little naughty-because it's so yummy!

2 1/2 c all purpose flour-divided
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon-divided
14 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces-divided
1 T Baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 lg eggs room temp.
1/2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar

First make the streussel with 1/2 c of the flour, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon-
cut in 4 T of the butter with a pastry blender, (I don't have one, I need one-but I just used a potato masher and it worked just fine). Set aside.

Sift together remaining flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

Mix sugar and butter until creamed. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour and milk alternately. Mix until smooth. Add in vanila.

Pour into cupcake liners 2/3 way full and then sprinkle streussel evenly on them.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Let cool a little before dusting with powdered sugar.
Eat, and feel a little naughty!
I am also going to share my very own Pumpkin Curry recipe, you could still use it for Thanksgiving as like an appetizer soup. It's yummy!

1 lg. can of pumpkin
2 cans of chicken broth
4 tsp curry powder
2 dashes tumeric
2 dashes nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cube butter
1/2 c sugar

Whisk ingredients over medium heat until all smooth and hot. You can serve over rice for a more filling soup-we just sprinkled some parmesean cheese on top and a spoonful of sour cream-yumm-o!

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After the Trick or Treating...

Halloween was great! We went to our friends the Appah's for a yummy Thai dinner, and then went out Trick or Treating down this street that EVERYONE goes too. It was so insane with costumed little munchkins-I didn't know there were that many people in the city! After the kids got their bags filled with goodies-we went back to the Appah's for some movies and popcorn.Bekah dressed up like the princess we had planned on and was a lovely little thing...

Topher didn't want to wear the frog costume and Paxton didn't want to wear the chicken costume he borrowed-so Topher wore the chicken costume instead. Whatever-he was adorable. I got no pictures of him in it or of Porter in his Lion costume last night-he was sleeping in his stroller the whole time we were out.

The real fun started when we got home-we threw all of the coats and costumes on the floor-I took all the candy and put it in a big bowl after I let Topher pick out a piece to eat before bed. I literally had to pry the bag out of his hands-he did not want me to take all his hard work earnings. (Chad and I were both doctors-this is the only picture I have of it-strange for me huh?)Here is a closer look at Toph's face after the candy was taken away, he was so upset with me!This little Princess fell asleep in the car on the way home, and we all sat or laid on the floor for a long time before we finally got up and went to bed-it was an exhausting night followed by a big old sugar crash!

A Carnival of Enchantment

We went to our church Halloween Carnival on Thursday night-and since it wasn't Halloween I let the kids just find some dressups to wear-this is what Bekah came up with...
When she came downstairs Chad looked at me and said "I don't know if she's going to steal my teeth or start singing, 'Let's get Physical'" Ha Ha!
So then Chad asked her what she was-a ballerina? a princess? a tooth fairy?
an aerobics instructor?

She replied, "Noooohoooo!" giggling, "I'm a trick-or-treater!"
Topher put on this costume from a couple years ago over his clothes-he didn't want to take his airplane sweater off.
This picture just makes me laugh-I love the back view of Bekah's make-shift costume! Ha Ha!

There ain't nothing wrong with the radio

Chad got this new old truck last week. I sent Bekah out with the camera to take some pictures of it while Chad was working on it. 10 minutes later she gave me back the camera with 54 new photos on it-from every angle of the truck. She'd make a great insurance adjuster!