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Human, Woman, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend & Aspiring Unicorn Breeder

12.22.2016

PB&J Cupcakes

It's the holiday season, filled with holiday parties - and these are an absolutely delicious treat for your gathering! I get requests for the recipe every single time I make these, so I finally wrote it all down. No pics though... my piping bag broke on this last batch and I had to improvise with a ziplock bag and my cupcakes looked like they were topped with poop. Thankfully they still tasted good!

PB&J Cupcakes - makes 48 cupcakes

YOU WILL NEED:
4 dozen-size cupcake pans
48 cupcake wrappers
Apple corer
2 piping bags and tips
Hand or stand Mixer - (Don't try to mix by hand)
Mixing bowls
An oven - (duh)

CUPCAKES:
2 boxes of Pillsbury Moist Supreme white cake mix
6 eggs
2 cups of milk
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
20 oz (2 bags) Reece's peanut butter chips

(Filling: one 17.4 oz bottle of Smucker's strawberry squeeze spread)

CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix first five ingredients together until smooth.
Fold in the peanut butter chips.
Place the cupcake wrappers into the cupcake pans and lightly spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
Place a heaping spoonful of the batter into each cupcake wrapper (fill about half way).
Bake for 20 mins (or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean).
Set aside to cool.

FROSTING:
1 lb of cream cheese at room temperature
6 oz unsalted butter
1 & 3/4 tbsp vanilla extract
3 lbs powdered sugar
1 & 1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:
Mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
Slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until smooth.
Mix in the peanut butter until incorporated.

ASSEMBLY DIRECTIONS:
Use an apple corer to "core" the center of each cupcake (and nibble on the leftover middle bits).
Fill a piping bag with the strawberry spread.
Pipe the strawberry spread into the hollowed center of each cupcake until it reaches the top of the cupcake.
Fill another piping bag with the frosting and generously pipe onto the top of each cupcake.

EAT & ENJOY!

3.14.2016

Wedding Planning Tips

Husband and I are coming up on our 20th first date anniversary (yes we celebrate that) and it's the start of wedding season.... So I thought I'd share a little wedding day wisdom and a wedding planning tip:

When Hubs and I married we had under 50 guests. Less than $1000 total was spent (dress, flowers, food, cake, venue, decor, etc). Our wedding was simple, to say the least... 

We were quite young and no one took us seriously, which is why our families were so reluctant to help. In fact people on both sides of our families kept telling us to call it off. 

I was knocked up and no one made pregnancy wedding gowns back then. I found a lady in the yellow pages who felt sorry for me and she made me a dress for the cost of the materials. I got no say in our wedding planning, except to pick out the flowers for my bouquet (calla lilies, a funeral flower... I didn't know that at the time). 

We were dirt poor at the time but my one bridesmaid threw a fit and wanted to wear a white dress she already had and refused to buy a new one. So I had to buy her a dress if I didn't want her matching me. I bought her a black one hahaha... we're no longer friends. My grandmother wore a white lace dress anyway. Even my mom was like, meh. I had to argue with her to go shopping to get a dress to wear. 

My stepmom borrowed potted ferns from her friend and those were our decor. My brother showed up in a grubby polo shirt and a hangover. My stepmom had a conniption about my mom and dad lighting my unity candle, right before it was supposed to happen, so my brother and mom lit it (which makes no sense). Everyone argued that Our baby son needed to stay in the nursery, so he didn't get to be a part of our day like I wanted. We said our vows and afterward my uncle took snapshots of us. Then we stood around in the church mess hall eating cake and homemade finger foods until our reserved one hour time was up... then we left. There was no music and we didn't get a first dance. 

My inlaws got us a room at a local hotel for one night and that was our honeymoon. My bridesmaid brought over an expensive bottle of champagne that I couldn't drink... and that she kept reminding me was expensive, so I should drink it anyway (I didn't). Hub's friends also showed up at our hotel room and he got drunk with them. I was pregnant so I sat there bored. We ordered pizza, hung out, and our friends finally left. We consummated our marriage, hubs passed out, and I ordered a movie (The Cable Guy)... Then I went to sleep. The next day we ate our free hotel breakfast and we went home. He carried my large ass over the threshold of our little government apartment and we went about building a life together.

Technically speaking we literally had the worst wedding/honeymoon in the history of shitty worst weddings/honeymoons... But we look back on that day with love and fondness. Hubby and I laugh about all the ridiculousness of it and neither of us would change a thing. It's a great story to tell our future grandkids. Aaaaand we've been married for almost 20 years now (come November), so there's that. 󾬐

So, ALL OF THAT SAID, this is my wedding planning tip: 
Weddings really don't mean shit. The events of your wedding day mean exactly what you make of it in the scheme of your marriage. Either your marriage will be a good one and you'll look back on that day with love *OR* your marriage will be a shitty one and you'll look back on it with regret. But what actually happens that day and/or how much you spend on it doesn't really matter. So don't sweat it and just concentrate on the part that comes after your wedding... The marriage. 

Way back when...

and now. ❤️

3.03.2016

To, My Belated Valentine / With Love, Deconstructing Eden

I sampled Deconstructing Eden's new limited edition Valentines collection and I am so sorry to be bringing you all a LATE review (bad blogger)!!! But, as always, DE has knocked it out of the ballpark and I'm finding it difficult to limit myself to only two full size bottles of perfume (damn you, stupid budget). 

I'm listing them in order of personal appeal: from the one I love most, to the one I like least. And let me add that "like least" doesn't mean that I don't like it or that it's not a gorgeous fragrance... Chanel # 5 is sublime, but I happen to like Coco Chanel more. I've given my thoughts on each one, along with the manufacturer's description (in italics). So without further ado I present to you the newest Valentine-inspired olfactory offerings from Deconstructing Eden... 


Stung: Three types of honey, beeswax absolute, sweet amber, green pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg
This. Fragrance. Is. Amazing. 
If you love a strong, heady, and utterly seductive perfume Stung is the scent for you!! Dripping raw honey laced with deep amber and rich spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and smokey black & green pepper), it oozes sensuality! I couldn't stop sniffing myself!!  I feel like it's the grown-up gals version of a sexy tea party!

Crush: Sticky red lollipops, pink orchids, tonka bean, spun sugar, a drop of vanilla on a base of white and gold ambers and smooth skin musk.
Where Stung is strong & powerful, Crush is sweet & playful. It's child-like and vibrant, reminiscent of the corner candy stores of old. A polar opposite of Stung I found I loved it equally as much, just in a different way. Out of the entire collection Crush, (along with Valentine 16), read the most "Valentine" to me and left me feeling more than a bit flirtatious.

Boy Bait: Vanilla cake with tart and candied blueberries, cinnamon and grey musk.
My husband nuzzled my neck and told me, "You smell good enough to eat." I swear I can't make this shit up... Boy Bait is exactly that: Booty Boy Bait. The sweetness of the vanilla and blueberries quickly gave way to a soft and spicy cinnamon that lingered on my skin for hours, inviting my dear hubby in for further tastes of spicy, candied flesh. He loved it. I loved it. That's a win/win in my book!


Lenore: A handful of graveyard dirt, lilies, white roses, lemon blossoms and bitter green aloe. 
My extremely picky, (we're talking "Mom I need more Versace perfume" wearing), daughter told me I smelled pretty when I wore beautiful Lenore. This fragrance took me back to old Hollywood glamour... The stark freshness of dirt, the regal lilies mingling with roses, and the hint of bitter aloe caressed my senses and left me dreaming of a time long gone. Valentine be damned.. give me a night alone with Lenore, a silk nighty, a classic Elizabeth Taylor film, and a glass of wine and I'm in heaven!

Cherish: Neroli blossoms, living peaches, honey, sweet mandarin, honeysuckle nectar, nectarine blossoms, sunflowers, osmanthus, and the barest drop of bourbon vanilla.
Sweet. Fresh. New love. Romance. Lazy days in an orchard... These are the thoughts that Cherish evokes. I love it when a fragrance can bring me pure floral sweetness without being cloying. Cherish has perfected this. The fresh fruit and lush blossom accords mix beautifully with the honey and vanilla bourbon, bringing with it a lovely bouquet of spring. 

Valentine '16: Chocolate, Bulgarian Rose Absolute, Moroccan Rose Absolute, amber.
There's nothing more suited to Valentine's Day than a box of fine chocolate and a stunning bouquet of deep red roses. DE has somehow managed to bottle the two and turn them into a deliciously sexy fragrance that smells every bit as divine as the real thing. If one could bottle Valentine's Day... well, I believe she just did. This perfume is Valentines Day. And it's simply luxurious!



Be Mine '16: Pink berries, pink carnations, pink roses, pink grapefruit, white violets and white musk.
You can literally small the pink and white... This is an innocent floral fragrance with major plump, sweet, juicy undertones and a velvety soft musky finish. Be Mine '16 is inviting and romantic, it entices without overpowering the senses. 

Forget Me Not: White violets, hyacinths, pale peonies, orange blossoms, lily, peach blossoms and poppy on a base of clean skin musk.
Sharp and soft florals intertwine, creating a fragrance that is both classic and mesmerizing. The white violet, orange blossoms, and clean musk accords really stand out to me. I feel like this scent could be worn by a woman throughout her life... It's as appropriate for a 16 year old as it is for a 96 year old. In other words, Forget Me Not is timeless. 

Sonnet Macabre: Crushed gardenia blooms, Jasmine Sambac, tobacco leaves, sullied tuberose, ambergris accord, orris tincture, sweet dark amber and a drop of patchouli.
Oh so deep, dramatic, and brooding Sonnet Macabre lives up to it name! The tender gardenia weeps it scent forth into a pit of aged tobacco leaves. The sweetness of dark amber throws itself over the jasmine and patchouli, mourning that single drop of patchouli... she longs for just a bit more. This is a dark and seductive perfume, fit for a woman full of secrets and promise. 


Song of Solomon: Rich myrrh essential oil, tolu balsam, aged honey, incense, cedar wood, sandalwood, wine, vanilla, and coconut milk.
Ancient lust, a love older than time. One of the oldest love stories bottled just for you. With notes of myrrh, balsam, honey, and wine Song of Solomon harkens a primal love.. a holy communion of two souls becoming one. Intense aromas of incense gives way to soft vanilla and coconut, leaving but a soft memory of passion upon the skin. 

Bring Me Thorns: Black leather, Black Pepper, Spice Accord, Rosewood, Palo Santo wood, smooth vetiver, olive blooms, mahogany, orris tincture and patchouli.
This is the anti-Valentine, valentine fragrance... There is nothing soft or sweet about Bring Me Thorns! It is rich, robust and borders on masculine. It's mysteriously seductive, smooth, and deeply spicy. The woman who wears this fragrance is self-assured, knows her place in the world , and is completely unintimidated by the prospect of love. 


I adore how Deconstructing Eden has once again managed to perfectly capture the many different aspects of a particular season in a single collection of perfumes!! From sweet to sultry to fierce to gloom, it has all been bottled in one magical Valentine collection for you to enjoy! The 11 set sampler is a mere $29 and individual perfume prices range from $2.75 (2ml sample) to $28.00 (1oz full-size). You have until March 15th to get your hands on these lush, limited edition goodies before they're gone forever....

All photos by/property of: Deconstructing Eden