Monday, September 26, 2011

Obsessive Monday - Fall

Fall has to be my favorite season!  I think living in the Phoenix area I love it even more.  After months of 100 plus degrees, it is so nice to have it finally cool off.  Time for new clothes, new colors, new smells and the start of the Holiday Season!  Now mind you, we may still have temperatures in the 90's in October, but the nights are finally cooling off and you can feel the change coming.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Obsessive Monday - Red Dresses

Did you see all of the beautiful red dresses last night at the Emmys??  In honor of the "Year Of The Red Emmy Dress" here are some of my favorites I found on PinterestI'll start with my favorite from last night!

Now on to some other beautiful red dresses.

Well, there you have dresses!!  What's your obsession??


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11/2001

I can still remember the alarm clock going off...I heard on the radio someone say "there is smoke coming out of the top of the building".  Then my Husband hit the snooze and rolled back over sleeping.  I got up to go to the gym, not knowing until I got in the car and hearing on the radio that an airplane had flown into one of the Twin Towers.  How could this had to be an accident.  By the time I got to the gym, another plane had flown into the Pentagon.  Dear Jesus, help us please!!

There was not a lot of exercise going on that morning, we were all glued to the televisions.  I managed to pull myself away and come home.  My Husband still had no idea that life had changed forever.  

When I got home, I pulled him aside and told him what had happened. 
At the time my kids were 8, 6 and 5.  What was I going to say to them?  Was I going to send them to school that day or have them stay home?? 

We all went into our son's room tried to explain what had happened, prayed, talked, cried and prayed some more.  Decided to go ahead and put our children's lives in God's hands and sent them to school.

In June, 2007, I had the opportunity to visit new York City for the first time with my girlfriends.  Needless to say, we had a blast.  We did make it a priority to visit Ground Zero.  Most of the debris had been cleared but there were still pieces of floors laying about with the rusted re-bar bent and sticking out.  That made it more of a reality than just a construction zone.  We visited the time line of that day, including before, during and after photos.  What a solemn place.  We then went down to the subway area, they had drawings by children that lost family members.  That is where I lost it.  I still tear up just thinking of the pictures and what the kids wrote.   We then walked up the street and saw where they temporarily moved the I-beam cross.  Some of the metal was still wrapped around it.
  World Trade Center Cross

So touching, so moving.

This past March, I took my oldest daughter, Colette, to New York for her high school graduation gift.  She wasn't crazy about visiting Ground Zero, But I knew that it was something we had to do.  I wasn't sure which stop we should get off the subway at, but as we past the stop that is still closed, I knew where we were.  We came out of the subway station and things had changed so much in four years, it was amazing!!  Unfortunately, because of all the changes the time line and photographs were gone.  But as we rounded the corner of a building this is what we saw:

We saw this memorial to all of the first responders that lost their lives. 
We worked our way around to the other side of the construction zone and was able to look across to where the memorial was going to be.  
I'm really not coming up with any profound things to say at this point.  What is there to say.  I'm so sorry that all of these lives were lost.  I'm so sorry for the families that lost loved ones. I'm so sorry for all the young men and women that are putting their lives on the line to protect our freedoms while at the same time, I'm so proud of them for stepping up and volunteering to fight for our country. 
In the midst of it all, I'm still proud to be an American and pray that God will continue to bless our country!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Another Year

Where has the time gone?

My baby girl, Dominique, is 15 today!
In many ways, it seems like yesterday when we were surprised that we were pregnant again.  We had a girl and a boy our family was "perfect".  

In Isaiah it says "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways are not your ways" (slight paraphrasing).  Our family was NOT perfect, not until Dominique came along.

She has such a loving, caring, passionate heart. She's fun, creative, talented and stubborn.  She's been through a lot this past year and in the end is grateful for the rough time and a much better person because of it!

Happy Birthday my beautiful "Gift of God"!!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

White Chocolate Cupcakes

I adore cupcakes...I think they are the cutest, sweetest, prettiest, yummiest little things around.  I also enjoy making them.  They are so much easier (in my opinion) to make and make to look pretty than cakes.  Each one is a little masterpiece!

I'm also somewhat lazy.  I like to make my cupcakes from a mix, BUT, I like to doctor up the mix!!  I decided to try to make white chocolate cupcakes for Labor Day.  Here's what I did.

White Chocolate Cupcakes
  1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla cake mix
6 ounces melted white chocolate chips
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

I melted my white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each.  
 Mix all the ingredients together according to the directions on the box.
Filled the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
 Notice the pan on the left??  That was my Mom's, she's had it forever!

White Chocolate Frosting
2 sticks butter, room temperature
6 ounces melted white chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (my personal favorite!)
1 bag powdered sugar
half and half

*Beat the butter till smooth.
*Mix vanilla in with melted chocolate, add to butter.  Mix well.  It will clump up a little but them smooth out again.
*Add half of the powdered sugar (I put a kitchen towel around my Kitchen Aide, otherwise you're going to have a dusting of powdered sugar everywhere!)
 *Mix well, scrape down bowl.
*Add the rest of the powdered sugar.  It will get clumpy...start streaming in half and half until it reaches a good piping consistency.

I tried a new design based loosely on something I'd seen at a local shop.  I used a Wilton 1M tip to make four round swirls with white frosting (the black specks are the vanilla bean).

I sprinkled glitter dust on the white and colored the remaining frosting with Americolor Orange Soft Gel Paste, ( I should have used a little more color like my daughter said.) and used a Bakery Crafts 3B to fill in the centers!!

These are amazing, they are light and fluffy and super tasty!!

Just a side note.  I used almond milk to make the cake a little richer.  We don't use regular milk, that's what I had and was pleased with the results!!

I was in no way compensated for any product mentions.
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, September 5, 2011

Shoe Fun!!

A few months ago, my friend Suzy V took some photos of me.  I won't bore you with all of them, but I will share this shoe collage with you!!


Obessive Monday - Labor Day

It's Monday again...Labor Day Monday!!  Yay, a three day weekend, my favorite kind of weekend!
We are so blessed to live in this country! 

Labor Day originated in 1882 and is dedicated to American workers for the social and economic achievements they've made for the well-being and prosperity of our country. It is always celebrated on the first Monday of September.
So here's to all of you hard working Americans!
A red, white and blue tribute!

Once again..I was lost in Pinterestland.

Have a great day with your family and friends!!