Friday, October 23, 2009

What a difference...

... a YEAR makes!

New Pictures coming soon of the Allen home Construction project!
We have UPDATES! and have taken some very anticipated steps forward!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What makes YOU HaPpY?

is it a hot bath?

how about time with a special someone?

being outdoors?

working in the garden?

baking in the kitchen?

a good hard run, early in the morning?

accomplishing a long term goal?

gerbera daisies?

reading a good book?

a chocolate cupcake?

ohhhh... how about a nice warm snickerdoodle?

serving others?

We all come from different life experiences and walks of life, yet i bet we have more things in common & things that tie us in more important ways then what we might think...

Most of us have at least one hobby or treat that instantly lifts our spirits. For some lucky people, it's their job that brings them fulfilment. For others, close relationships are the key to contentment. Or maybe a favorite hobby.

Are there ways to increase our levels of happiness, particularly in the middle of a downturn?

One of the things that i use every single day is a "gratitude journal", listing all the little things for which I feel thankful on that particular day or week, or sometimes even in a moment.

Counting your blessings and reliving a positive memory from the previous day, week, month or year are two of the most effective techniques for boosting happiness for me.

I LOVE the Fall. I am sure it is my favorite time of the year. I now have another reason to add to my list of why i LOVE it soooo much!

Can you guess what i will be writing about in my "gratitude journal"?

Here is a hint: FAMILY!

Want another hint? Keeeep scrolling... Ü


HaPpY! Ü

Frosted Pumpkins - Mmmmm the edible kind! Ü

Ingredients Cupcakes:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 box (16 ounces) confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
Orange food coloring
Fine and coarse orange decorating sugar
Pretzel sticks or rods
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12 mini cupcake pan indents and 12 regular indents with foil or paper liners. Line 6 jumbo cupcake indents with foil or paper liners.
2. For cupcakes: In a medium-size bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt together until well blended; set aside.
3. Beat sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, pumpkin puree and eggs in a large bowl on low speed for 2 minutes or until combined. Add flour mixture and beat for 2 more minutes or until just combined.
4. Divide among liners, filling each about 2/3 full.
5. Bake at 350°F for about 12 minutes for the minis, 18 minutes for the regulars and 26 minutes for the jumbos, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
6. For frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl on high for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and milk and beat until smooth and a good spreading consistency, 2 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of milk if mixture is too thick.
7. Divide the frosting into two bowls and tint to different shades of orange with food coloring. Mound the frosting on top of cupcakes and make rounded. Roll the entire cupcake in the sugar to coat or roll just edges in sugar, alternating between fine and corase sugars as desired. To make indentations, press a wooden skewer on top of the sugared cupcake. Add pretzel sticks or rods as stems.


tis the Season for "BOO-ing"

We miss Aunt Carrie.

Especially in times like these! When the "fun" holidays start to unravel. It is in times like these, that i want to be like her... i want to be her! Ü Aunt Carrie revels in Halloween & all things FUN! We were lucky enough to be the 'surprise' recipiants on occasion of a BOO treat on many a Halloween season!

I saw this post over @ TomKatStudio's (always just way too cute btw!) blog, and it made me miss my sister.
Have you ever been BOO'ed? or how bout DONE the BOO-ing?
OH! it is so much fun! it is door-bell ditching at it's finest! Just make a super fun Halloween treat & let the kiddo's make the deliveries!

So! in my sister's honor, i just had to share this adorable BOO, pre-made sign!

We will be BOO-ing this weekend!

Maybe something like...

this (by - become a fan here) or This

so, don't be too frightened if you get a knock on your door this weekend... our bite only hurts for a little while...

Wish Carrie & all the cousins were with us!

Thanks TomKatStudio! SO CUTE! Become a FAN Here! Check our her ETSY here!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mom, are we there yet?

... if you are a parent, I imagine that you have heard this prob. just as many times as i have.

" Mom, are we there yet? "

Well, today i feel like just throwing that question out there myself!

This past year has been chuck FULL of so many different & life changing things for me.
So many new things have come into my life.
  • In February, i finally started on the addition to my house; the project that I talked about for at least a year before that!
  • Around that same time... the end of February, I met the most amazing man! Since then, it has been a whirlwind love story! They just don't write them this good! I FOR SURE have one up on every romance novel out there! bet ya 5 bucks! Ü Seriously... they just don't write them this good! (some day i'll tell ya the full story! it's a good one!)
  • With my wonderful love story... my family size Doubled! That in itself has brought its many wonderful times and stresses.
  • All four kids are becoming of ages that has required me, as a Mother, to learn new things. Who would have thought an 11 year old boy, who has been a total Angel his entire childhood, could be so onry all of a sudden! geez! Ü
  • with everything under 'construction'; has been on hold for WAY too long. I can't even begin to tell you how much i miss it! how much i miss creating and sewing and seeing adorable faces come to life! Just know i miss it!

it has seriously been the most wonderful year! 2009 has ROCKED IT! I am so blessed, and my happiness over flowith Ü

with that said...

" Mom, are we there yet!? "

I am feeling it! I am FINALLY starting to feel somewhat settled! I think that i am getting Close!

  • Construction is in it 'finishing stages'. It has taken WAY longer then i had hoped. There were so many retarted hick-ups along the way, but my gosh! We have gotten past them! we are sooo close! Prince Charming has been a Hero. I don't know that i could have finished this project without him.

walls are up & painted! roof is on! tile has been laid (*side note... who would have thunk that i would have such a hard time deciding what the past tense form of lay is!!! is it layed? or laid? weird! so i had to look it up! Does Layed even really exhist? hmmmm. all of you get your minds out of the gutter! ;) ) in the studio & in the mud room! The doors are hung and they have knobs and everything! I can even lock up my house now! wow! No more of the entire backside of my house being wide open to the 'elements'. i have Even been using the GARAGE! I know... get out! with a garage door opener in my Car even! I know!... Crazy! Ü and the snow isn't even here yet! just a little taste of how NICE that is going to be!
We are nearly past our electrical 'hick-up'. soon. Geez... Power? I am going to have POWER? Niiiiice! Ü We need some hard wood floor layed and then carpet & some fixtures hung... oh. so. close!

  • the love story fairytale continues to move forward and continues to open my eyes to things that i have never experienced! Who knew love could be this good!? Not me! My Prince Charming shows me every day how much he loves and cares about me.

  • even with our instantly larger family... everything seems to be just fitting and falling into place. We have had our struggles for each of us to find our 'spot' and our roles, but it feels like it is all coming together. I am learning new things, and hopefully becoming a better Mom.

  • it must or might be the fall crisp in the air, but i have missed SugarPlumStitches more then ever! With construction almost finished, i just don't know that i can wait much longer to create-so i am jumping the gun! I am starting! and it feels OH! so good! (see below or click here) Ü

So.... the answer to my question today...??

" Yes baby! We are Almost there! " Ü

To celebrate us "almost being there", here is my first of hopefully MANY offerings of the fall/winter season! YaY!

Come on IN my Pretty...