My Autumn & Thanksgiving Decor

Y'all!  It's almost Thanksgiving!  Am I the only one that is more excited to eat stuffing than turkey?  I mean I eat turkey year round, but stuffing ohmygawd I love stuffing.  And the stuffing I love to eat the most is my mom's and my hubby's Nana's stuffing.  Two different recipes but equally delish.  I look forward to that dish(es) in particular every Thanksgiving. Mouth.Is.Watering.  Okay on to my little bitty decor I have to show ya.  

I know lots of folks are already decorating for Christmas but I like to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to bust out my jolly decor.  And since it is Thanksgiving week and I never got to show you guys what I have, well here it is.  No drum roll needed.  I don't have a lot but I like to make my mantel and fireplace look cozy with what I do have.  

Most of what you see here was purchased at Hobby Lobby, Michael's or the dollar store over the course of a few years.  And the majority of it was purchased on sale or clearance.  But of course.

On the mantel I have two pictures of what I am most thankful for: my husband and our marriage...

and a picture of my babies.  One of my favorite pictures of those two.  :)

and here's a close-up of the fireplace area.

This broom was purchased from my local grocery store (HEB) a couple of years ago.  It was cinnamon scented and the smell was quite strong.  Nice but strong and it took a couple of years to actually wear off.  I stuck a couple of autumn picks in the broom to dress it up for the season.

My dining room table is plain Jane compared to others I have seen.  You see, we don't have Thanksgiving at our house.  We always go to our parents/grandparents homes.  So that is one reason why I don't have a table setting but the other is that I'm just not fancy like that.  We had turkey day at our house once and it was only a few family members.  We totally did the sturdy paper plates and plastic cups.  And it was buffet style and sit where you'd like style.  Maybe one day I'll go all out but right now this is the real deal.

Another reason why my dining room table is plain.  It doubles as a homework table.  :)

But do you like my cornucopia and owl table runner?

I scored that owl table runner at my local Dollar General store.  I snatched it as soon as I saw it.

And I know other parts of the country get some beautiful autumn colors this time of year; but it is not too common here in Texas (in my neck of the woods).  But because the central Texas area has received so much rain lately, our tree leaves have been able to produce these gorgeous bronze-like colors and I'm loving it.  Here are two trees on the side of my house.  Beautiful!

I posted this pic on Instagram (@pinktexaschick) and used the Kelvin filter to bring out the gorgeous color.  I ooohed and awed the first few days because we never get to see such gorgeousness.  

How about some straight up cuteness?  My friend's daughter made this adorable candy turkey centerpiece.  Seriously.  I could eat it (pun intended).

Sorry,  I have no step by step pics but the body and head are made with styrofoam balls.  The head is a 3" styrofoam ball cut in half and secured with toothpick and a low temperature glue gun.  Obvisouly, the rest is candy and sadly this is not in my house.  I just wanted to share with you all the talent of  an artistic 6th grader.  What a  great centerpiece for a kids table! 

This wraps up my short show and tell.  I really wish I could deck out my entire house with gobs and gobs of autumn decor.  Every year I buy a couple of things here and there and I patiently build up my stash.  I hope you all have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving holiday.  Peace.

Cookbook and Magazine Organization

Hey y'all.  Right now it's like fifty something degrees out and yes I am cold.  Insert hashtag #nativeTexan and #coldweatherweenie right here.  Yep, that is me.  So with the cold weather upon us I started looking through my cookbooks and magazines to find some new soups and stews.  This is when I realized that I really needed to hunker down and organize this growing collection of mine.  I hit up the Container Store and bought some bins and magazine files and now my all-things-cooking-and-baking resources look like this:

DIY Kitty Cat Costume & Makeup {Halloween}

Happy almost Halloween, y'all!  Okay so I told you all a few weeks that I was just learning how to sew and after those lunch hour lessons I decided to tackle my daughter’s Halloween costume.  She told me that she wanted to be a kitty and soon after I started looking for costumes on the web.  After some searching and not really finding what appealed to either of us I told myself: “Self, you just learned how to sew now show the world what you can do!”  Well I can’t do much but I was confident I could accomplish this mission so off to the store I went and in the end this was Kitty Cat costume I “created” for my baby girl. 

bad quality pic, sorry!

Fast and Simple Halloween Decor

Hey friends!  Guess what?  I'm just getting around to decorate for Halloween.  Finally!  I'm a little disappointed in myself because normally by October 1st I have the house decorated and in full Halloween spirit.  But for the second year in a row I'm off to a very late start, ugh!  The ONLY Halloween item I have in my house right now is the vase I put together a couple of weeks ago.  Now I have my second Halloween decor out and I put it together this past weekend in less than 10 minutes.  My girl helped me and she had lots of fun doing it.  It was easy & fun for her and there was no mess.  Yay for the both of us!

I wanted to "make" something that was quick and affordable.  So I got lucky when I walked into Hobby Lobby and found all the supplies for this little project on sale 40%-50% off (the mason jars I already owned).

Ready for the directions?
  • clean mason jars
  • open & pour Halloween popcorn into jars
  • decorate jars with stickers
  • insert battery in candle, turn on and place inside jar
  • Voila!
The supplies I used were two jars, a bag of Halloween popcorn (Styrofoam balls), scrapbook stickers and orange candle lights:

I placed them on my bookshelf with a pumpkin and a skull.  My girl loves coming home everyday to turn on the pretend candles.  And both my kids like they way it looks when the house is dim.  It gives it the "safe" eerie feeling.

Now I need to get going on the rest of the house even if the Halloween decor will only be up for a week.  Better late than never! :)

P.S. - Sorry if these pictures seem to small.  I'm trying to fix it! 

Lunch Hour Sewing 101

Hi. My name is Debbie, I am 39 years young and this is me learning how to sew by hand.  Yes, I am learning how to sew by hand.  Finally.

And here's me proudly displaying my practice work and a few stitches.  Like five or six stitches.  Really.  And yes I did practice sewing a skull and bones patch on a napkin.  But hey at least it was a great hair day.  :)

Okay so here’s the thing.  My kids think I’m the bomb diggity.  I’m all that and a bag of chips (Doritos nacho cheese flavor); and according to them I know it all and can do it all.  My daughter says I’m the best cooker and baker.  My son thinks I know everything.  Oh what sweet creatures they are to me.  If they only knew I was just faking it to make it. For reals.
What they don’t know is that Mama doesn’t know how to sew.  I’m not talking about machine sewing which is true (more on that later).  I’m talking about grabbing a needle and thread and replacing a button on a shirt or sewing a patch on um, let’s say a Cub Scout shirt or vest?  My boy has been a Cub Scout  since he was in the 1st grade.  I have yet to sew on a patch for him.  Embarrassing I tell ya.  We had my son’s patches on his first Cub Scout shirt (navy blue) sewn on by the ladies at the Scout center store here in Austin and my co-workers mom. 
Last year he became a Webelo which meant he now had to wear the khaki  colored shirt.  Once again we went to the Scout center and had the necessary patches sewn on but there were a couple of more to come.  Most of the badges my son has earned belong on the patch or brag vest.  That vest has been in it's original package ever since we bought it way back when my boy was a first grader.  He is now a fifth grader and all of the patches he has earned have been collecting in one of his dresser drawers.  Oh how pathetic.  

I could not take the guilt or embarrasment anymore so I bit the bullet and asked my co-worker to teach me.  I did the pretty please thing too.  Like in I'm-a-desperate-mom kind of way.  Lucky for me we are buds and she loves to sew so it was a win-win.

So here I am at my second lunch hour sewing class.  The face was serious and the hair was not having it.  My hair appointment can not get here fast enough.  

I mean how obvious is it that I am such a beginner? Look at the major concentration just trying to tie a knot and then thread the needle. I'm hard core determined like that. 

Just like my first lesson, I was only able to do a few stitches.  Probably because there was a lot of laughing and joking around and maybe a little office gossip. heehee.  But as you can see this was the real deal.  No practice patch on a napkin. 

Right here you can see my progress so far.  It took me 40 minutes just to get to the halfway mark.  And of course there are obvious signs of a beginner.  One that you can't see is that the thread kept escaping from the needle. 

So I have half of one patch down and many more to go.  Look at all of these symbols of achievement waiting to get their spot on that red vest.  Actually these are just some of them.  There are lots more.  Oh boy.  

Lesson learned and lesson learning all in one. Note to self: don't ever procrastinate again and don't be so afraid to learn something so basic and useful.  Now I'm off to buy some band-aids because that needle poking is no joke.  Hey give me a break, I'm just a beginner.  :)

Store Field Trip: five Below

Happy Tuesday! I am still savoring this change in weather and although I am a very cold natured person; walking out my door to cooler crisp weather feels so much better than the triple digit heat we must bear every summer.

Anywho, I just wanted to share with you all a store I just discovered and that recently opened here in Austin (well in my neck of the woods). I stumbled upon it a couple of weeks ago. five Below. Catchy name, huh?

My first impression of that store was that it was a souped up dollar type store. Everything in the store is $5 or less hence the name. The selection to me was what you would expect in a dollar store but the selection was better (quality & brands) and overall it seemed more aesthetically appealing. A lot more fun stuff if you will.

Pretty, Creepy and Sweet Vase Decor {Halloween}

Happy Sunday but most definitely Happy Fall, Y'all!  Who's happy to welcome the season? I am!  Yesterday morning the family and I woke up to some cooler temperatures.  It certainly put me in an all-things-pumpkin-spice mood. So I lit my one and only pumpkin spice candle.  Note to self: buy more of those yummy candles!

So after some Saturday giddiness I finished a little Halloween project I started a few days ago.  I got the idea from Better Homes & Gardens and I pinned it to my Halloween board on Pinterest.  At least I think I saw it on the BHG website.  I can't seem to find it anymore.  Here's my copy cat version.  

Pink Texas Chick

My Dallas Cowboys Nail Art

Happy Sunday, y'all!  As you all know the Fall season is right around the corner and football season has just begun.  And if you read this blog then you know that my house is a Dallas Cowboys fan zone. Born and bred baby.  Win or lose we are fans through the good and the bad. 

Fun side note: In high school, my hubby was chosen as football athletic scholar from our high school and was invited to attend a banquet where he got to meet and take a picture with the great Tom Landry.  A very proud and exciting moment for him.  :)

Okay on to the girlie part of this post.  Because we are true blue fans I thought I would have some fun with my nails for game day.  Now, all of the crazy and fun nail art I have seen lately is pretty neat but it's not quite my style.  I'll do a flower on my big toe when I get pedicures or something like that but I've never done anything else.  But something about all this nail art these days got me wanting to do a little something and this is what I came up with for my nails on game day.  

You like?

Pink Texas Chick

Thank you, Pinterest (and Jacqueline Laurita)!

Hey y'all! Well this is a thank you post indeed because thanks to Pinterest my blog has received a lil bit of traffic due to the pins and repins from the projects I've completed. It tickles me pink to think others actually like what I have created and maybe got a little inspired.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with blog land, it seems like there are umpteen-millions out there and mine is one little itty bitty one.  It's no money maker for me or anything of the sort.  It's just a little side hobby that is fun, gets me creative, gets me off my butt and is sometimes therapeutic.  So with that said I appreciate you folks stopping by and lurking around from post to post.

So thank you Pinterest for bringing people over to my blog to check out these projects of mine. Click on each link to find out more about each project.

Summer Ain't Over But School Is In Session

Happy Thursday!  Today is my Tuesday and then it's Friday.  Yippee!  I took some time off to spend with my daughter before her first day of Kindergarten.  Yep, school has started for us and yesterday was her first day.  She was terribly excited and she even had a pep in her step...

Pink Texas Chick
Come on, Daddy!

(Cheap) Bathroom Organization 2

Good Monday to you all! Last week I  showed you how I tidied up my kids bathroom which is also a guest bathroom. Today I'll show you what I did in my master bath under my husband's sink (we have a double vanity). 

Look at how bad it was before. 

Caving In To Instagram Little By Little

Hola people!  I thought I would share the fact that I am the last to catch the gravy train and FINALLY decided to start using Instagram.  I heard about the app not long after it debuted but I (for some odd reason) had no interest.  It was odd to me because I love, love, love to take pictures.  I don't know what the hell I'm doing but I love to click and shoot away especially when it comes to my kids.  A little bit about that here.

So with all that said I had a "meh" attitude about Instagram until early Fall last year.  I already had the app on my iPhone but after two attempts of  "trying it out" I thought I would take a stab at it one more time.  I guess the third time was the charm because I definitely had an appreciation for it and actually enjoyed playing around with all the filters.  And I think it was some of the Instagram photos I had seen on Twitter and Facebook that turned me off in the first place.  Yep, I totally rolled my eyes every time I saw a picture of someones coffee, sleeping cat or frying bacon in a pan.  You need a sexy, cool filter for that shit?  Excuse my French but those were my thoughts at the time.

Well look who took a picture of her coffee one morning.  Sentimental side note: I bought this mug at DisneyWorld on my honeymoon.  It has been my favorite cup ever since and the one I use the most.  :)

(why yes that is coffee with my creamer)

(Cheap) Bathroom Organization

Hey people!  How's your summer thus far?  Here in Texas we surprisingly have not been three digit heat that much (well compared to last year).  We've even had a little rain here and there.  One of the days that I was holed up in my house in the cool A/C I got down to organizing my kids bathroom.  Well it's a guest bathroom too.  Anywho, the clutter and mess has slowly evolved over time and I had just about had it.  My kids were not too crazy about it either.  So I got down to work and within a half hour it was oh so much better. 

Facing One Of My Worst Fears

My earliest memory of learning what to do in an emergency situation was in the third grade. I remember learning what to do in a fire drill, tornado drill and all about 'Stop, Drop and Roll.'  I even remember learning how to escape from the back of a school bus in case of a fire or accident. And I most definitely remember the various scenarios my classmates and I were given in case of an emergency.
  • don't panic
  • stay as calm as possible
  • know your location, address, phone number
  • if someone is hurt, stay with them
  • give the 911 operator as many details as possible until help arrives
Of course there are many more but the ones I just listed pertain to what happened at my house on Saturday, February 16th.  It was the first Saturday of the year that we did not have any commitments or major errands to run.  It felt so good to be able to sleep in, eat breakfast and stay in my jammies.  I had plenty to do around the house but because I had all day to do it; knowing I did not have to leave and I had no intention of leaving my house I was kinda taking my sweet time.  The day was all mine and my plans were to dedicate it to me, the family and the always countless chores.  But first I wanted to watch a little tube and get my FoodNetwork and HGTV fix.  Next to me on the couch was my beautiful girl playing on the iPad in her cute and colorful strawberry night gown, bed head still in tact.  After getting some laundry started and working on other chores I told baby girl that it was time for her to get out of her PJs.  I called for her to follow me as I walked to her room; she stopped playing with her toys and ran after me.

Then IT happened and the whole day took a different direction.

One of my worst fears came true and I was home alone when I turned around and saw my baby girl lying on the floor, unresponsive, eyes rolling back and scaring me so bad I began to sweat, plead and pray.  

You see I was practically in her room when I called for her so I didn't see her get up from the leaving room floor and run down the hall.  I didn't see her hit her head on the corner of a toy storage as she quickly trotted by like any playful five year old.  I did, however, hear her hit herself and I thought it was her hand or elbow thinking it happened because she was running.  You know how we sometimes hit our hands, wrists, elbows or stub our toes when quickly passing by furniture or a door?  Well she hit the the side of her head on a toy storage about as tall as her.  That hit/bump on her head must have triggered something even though it was not a hard hit.  Her head hit the toy storage in passing and she continued to run towards her room.  She cried a little and complained some saying that she hit herself and with my perifiel vision I could tell that she was rubbing her owie.  I still thought it was her elbow.  My back was pretty much to her because I was picking up laundry from the floor and putting it in the hampers.  

"Silly girl you know you gotta be careful when you're running around," I said to her as I finished picking up the dirty laundry.  I began to turn to her as I finished my sentence and that is when I heard her collapse on the floor and saw her fall straight back and heard her head bump the floor.  For a split second I thought she was having some kind of fit because she hit herself and I quickly realized something was happening to her.  It was so surreal and it was happening in slow motion.  Her body was in a weird S shape formation, her fists were clinched, her head slowly started to twist to the left as her eyes began to roll back and then flutter to the left.  And her body was slowly slithering on the floor as it was happening.  I also could not tell if she was moaning or grunting.  I kept calling her name but nothing.  Oh yes I freaked the eff out and ran to call 911.  

Panicked? Yes.  Calm? Sorta.  I do remember breathing hard as I begged the operator to help me.  I thought she put me on hold but she was actually dispatching the ambulance to my house after I told her who I needed from the three choices she gave me (Police, Ambulance or Fire).  I explained what happened and I told her that in all honesty it looked like my daughter was possessed.  Okay maybe I wasn't as calm as I thought because I do remember stuttering quite a bit while explaining to the operator what was happening to my daughter.

My daughter's seizure-like episode was over in about a minute.  It happened so fast and when it was over she started to cry, picked herself up and went to her bed.  She was burning up and continued to cry.  Her eyes were closed the entire time and she just kept crying.  At this time she was responsive and within a few minutes the fire department and a sheriff were at my house.  I'm so thankful that we have a fire station in my subdivision.  A few minutes after they arrived the paramedics showed up.  By this time my daughter had stopped crying, was calmer but was a little feisty with all the big, scary men in her room.  She would not let any of them touch her until the paramedics arrived.  One of them was a very nice lady that happened to have pink sparkly nail polish and pink sunglasses.  Score!  My distraught little diva allowed the stylish paramedic to exam her.  Whew.

So to make a long story even longer, baby girl checked out fine with the paramedics including her temperature.  They and the firemen concluded that she probably had a febriel seizure.  Since she the episode was over in a very short amount of time and she was okay, it was strongly recommended that we take her to the doctor or the hospital to be checked out completely.  Well although her pediatrician has Saturday hours they weren't able to see her because they weren't properly equipped to exam her (for a seizure).  We were told to go to the ER.  So off we went to Dell Children's Hospital.  Again she was examined and I told the story for like the fifth time that day while her vitals were checked.  Later when the doctor came to see her I told the story again. He ordered a CT scan which was normal and finally after about 3 1/2 hours were discharged but told to follow up with neurology in 3-4 days.  Oh what a long day (and story)!  

Not happy to be at the hospital
As instructed, we followed up with the pediatric neurologist a few days later and once again I told the the ever so repeated story of what had happened to baby girl.  She was examined and her motor skills were tested all of which was fine and normal.  I guess it would have ended her with a final diagnosis of "sometimes one-time seizures happen and we don't know why" but because my husband had a few seizures as a child an EEG was ordered.  ugh.

A week later (yes, there was a wait for an EEG) baby girl and I were back at Dell Children's Hospital for this test that I dreaded.  Why?  Because she HAD to fall asleep for this test to be conducted and getting this girl to nap is not easy.  Well we my husband did his best to keep her sleep deprived the night before (she got to watch t.v. until midnight) and we woke her up extra early the next morning.  I felt horrible for doing that to her especially since her appointment was not until 1:30 p.m.!  Her teacher already knew that she would be leaving early that day and that she would not be napping with her class at 12:30 p.m.

Baby girl and I arrived to the hospital shortly before 1p.m. to fill out paperwork and what not and then we headed down to the EEG lab to get started. 

The prep work is what took the longest and thankfully there was a t.v. in the room to keep my girl distracted and still for the EEG tech. Um, I think that is what she is called.  And then it was finally time for her to sleep so the test could be conducted.  At first I thought it was goign to be a struggle because baby girl was scared and couldn't relax.  The tech was able to do some breathing exercises with her and I pulled out my iPhone and turned on the white noise app I love so much.  And finally she was sound asleep.

Time to wrap this story up you say?  Yeah this is one long post.  A week after baby girl's EEG test I was told by the neurologist's office that everything came back normal and she appears to be fine.  What is "everything" by the way?  It was concluded that this was probably a one-time episode and could have been her body reacting to that hit she took to the side of her head.  Her pediatrician even said that sometimes the body reacts differently to temporary pain and seizures or seizure-like episodes can happen.  Tomorrow will be two months since that day and I am just now able to write about it.  Yes, she is fine and yes she is healthy living a happy 5 year old life but that one moment scared the beejeebers out of me.  Too many crazy thoughts ran through my mind. 

Her Daddy and I are ever so thankful that she is healthy and we are especially thankful to the Travis County Fire Department, the Austin/Travis County EMS and most certainly to the Dell Children's Medical Center.  The kindness, compassion and professionalism they all exuded was exactly what a terrified mother needed to stay calm.  And in case you are interested (or need a refresher) on knowing what to do and say once you dial 9-1-1, here is a helpful link

Holy Cross Wall!

Happy Holy Thursday and Happy Holy Week!  Well if you celebrate it and if not then g'day to y'all.  I thought I would show off my wall of crosses with you since I added a new cross this past Sunday. It wasn’t a cross that was purchased or gifted to me because I made this one.  Yep, for the first time ever I made a cross out of palms.  It doesn’t look like the one from the church bulletin but I made one!

Shame on me for taking so long to follow through with something I’ve wanted to learn how to do for years.  Ever since I can remember I have always watched people sitting around me at church making their crosses out of the palms that were passed out at the start of Mass.  It’s mainly the younger folks that make the crosses during Mass and it’s even cute to see siblings, cousins, or friends help one another.  As always, I take a glimpse at the devoted cross makers because for years I have been keeping mental notes; but yesterday I paid a little more close attention and even went to YouTube (after Mass of course) to learn the steps of this simple, humble cross.

Here is my cross.  Not too shabby for a first-timer in her thirties.  Jeez laweez!

But here are the rest of my crosses.  I started collecting crosses not long after I was married.  Little by little my collection has grown over the years and I am quite pleased with the variety of styles and colors.  And this wall in my house is the perfect spot for my collection. 

I am happy to say that the great majority of these crosses were a gift to me or my husband and me.  A couple were wedding gifts, some were birthday gifts and others were Christmas gifts.  I hope my collection grows as I continue to grow in my faith.  Lord knows I have a whole lotta learning to do!  :)

I love my wall-o-crosses and as cheesy as it may sound, it does bring serenity and peace to our little casita.  Peace be with you all this Easter season.

Lessons Learned: Barbie Doll Cake + Recipe

Okay so in my last post I shared with you all the Barbie doll cake I made for my daughter's birthday party earlier this year.  Just an FYI, I looooove to bake but I still don't know what I'm doing.  I have yet to take any baking classes or any of those cake decorating classes offered up at Michael's, Hobby Lobby or cake supply stores.  I want to.  Believe me I do but Mama just doesn't have the time, yet.  Le sigh.

So I thought I would let you all know some of the deets to the doll cake.  First thing is that I did not take many pictures while I made the cake or after!  I am so mad at myself.  I was a little stressed this day because of the challenge at hand but I really thought I had taken plenty of pictures.  After the day was over I looked through the pictures on my iPhone and realized I had very few.  Oh I was so sad.  I hope my baby girl can forgive me in the years to come. 

Here is one of her and her beloved cake just before we sang Happy Birthday to her.  Yes, I blurred her out on purpose.  But you can still see a sweet, happy girl.  :)

This picture was taken by my aunt (thank you, Aunt Lita!) and if it had not been for her then I would really be in trouble.  As far as I know, this is the only solo picture of the cake at the party. 

As you can see, I have the cake on a round board covered in pink foil paper.  It is actually two round cake boards made of cardboard taped together.  I then covered the entire board with light pink foil.  My huz bought the foil for me (in a desperate situation) at Make It Sweet cake supply store here in Austin.  I am in heaven whenever I walk into this newly expanded bake shop!  They sell decorative foil in many fun colors.  Among lots and lots of baking supplies.

Now I said that my hubby went out and bought the foil for me in desperate situation.  Like five hours before the party.  The reason is because I was going to originally decorate the cake board with white fondant so that the cake could stand out as much as possible.  Cause you know I wanted that pink dress to shine!  Well that attempt went sour muy pronto.  I wanted to do the fondant the way I saw laurapoopie do it on one of her YouTube videos.  I have seen this video a total of umpteen times so I was confident I could do it.  Not!

Mistake numero uno.  The white fondant I had in my pantry was too old.  Or not plastic wrapped properly because the thing was rock solid. 

Mistake number two: I thought I would try it anyway.  I put the block of fondant in the microwave for a couple of minutes to soften it up and then cut it up into chunks.

Disaster.  I was able to roll out just a couple of pieces and the rest was just hopeless.  Ugh.  This is when I sent my hubby to the Make It Sweet store and get that pink foil.  My man and pink foil to the rescue. 

And remember those emergency cupcakes I mentioned in the last post too?  The ones I had to make because the dome cake did not bake all the way.  Well they were lifesavers because there was enough cake and cupcakes for everyone.  And yes they were delicious thanks to a recipe I used from my January/February 2013 issue of the Food Network magazine.  I think it is one of my new favorite recipes.  I used the same recipe for the cakes and cupcakes.  I'm telling ya this is one yummy recipe.  Box mix?  Pfft!

Basic Vanilla Cake Recipe

-2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (plus extra for pans)
-3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/4 cups sugar
-4 large eggs, room temperature
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups whole milk (I used strawberry flavored milk to make it a strawberry/vanilla cake)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter two 9 inch round cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper; butter the parchment and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Whisk 3 cups flour, the baking powder and slat in a bowl until combined.  Beat 2 sticks butter and the sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium; beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  beat in the vanilla.  (The mixture may look separated at this point.)  beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with flour, until just smooth.
  3. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.  Bake until the cakes are lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.  Transfer to racks and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out onto the racks to coll completely.  Remove the parchment.  Trim to tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level, if desired.
This recipe is straight from my Food Network magazine.  Instead of two 9 inch cake pans, I made three 8 inch cake pans following the same directions.  I also used the same recipe for my emergency cupcakes and just adjusted the time to 25-30 minutes.  It all depends on your oven.

Oh and the cake that I baked in my Pampered Chef batter bowl was in the oven for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees.  I did some research (after the fact) and found out that the cake needed to be in the oven longer and at a lower temperature.  But there are so many testimonials out there about baking a cake in a batter bowl so this is something that I'm going to figure out on my with more trial and error.  Womp, womp.  

The frosting I used for both the cake and cupcakes was cream cheese frosting. I prefer cream cheese frosting over butter cream any day.  That recipe is easy cheesy.  This one I've had and got it from one of my All Recipes cookbooks.  Not sure if they still print them.

Cream Cheese Frosting

-1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 8 oz. brick cream cheese, room temperature
-4 cups powdered sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-red food coloring (few drops)

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until well blended.
  2. Add vanilla until incorporated and gradually add the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add a few drops of red food coloring until you get the desired shade of pink.  Again a gradual step, you can always add but you can't take away!
I doubled this recipe since I knew I was going to need quite a bit for the cakes and cupcakes.  Oh and I don't have a picture of the cupcakes with frosting.  Again, I was horrible with pictures that day.  But they pretty much looked like these (below) minus the tiaras and pearl candies.  These cupcakes were from her birthday party last year.  I made the cream cheese frosting except I cut back a bit on the powdered sugar and added a couple of tablespoons of strawberry jam.  I eyeballed it really.

So these are some of the lessons learned while making my daughter's doll cake.  I gave myself a few gray hairs that day but it was all my fault for not allowing myself a practice round.  I learned the hard way.  But you know what?  I was actually impressed for pulling it off and our guests were impressed too.  Receiving compliments from our family and friends was very nice to hear but most of all my baby girl was happy with her cake and that is what matters.  Right?  Oh why didn't I take more pictures?  Grrrrrrr.

Snack Station {Halloween}

Hello, happy Friday and happy kickoff to Halloween weekend!  I know, I know I’m rarely on here but I finally got a light under my butt to p...