Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thanksgiving In April: A Little Less Crafting and a Little More Heart

The lesson I have learned this semester is that when life gets you down, life likes to kick you in the gut just to make the matters worse. Thanks life.

Being completely honest, this year so far has been trying. From taxes to our computer breaking to my major being cancelled to so many other problems, this has been a learning experience! As I was thinking about what could turn our luck around, I thought about how listing the many things that I am grateful for in the moment can put a smile on my face. Normally, this blog is more about crafting, but this post has a little less crafting and a little more heart.

I am so grateful for my family! They are amazing how they can stick together through tough situations and help everyone work through all their problems.

My dad is so smart! (Not to mention handsome!) He cares so much about his family, and he will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and happy. I love being able to call him up to tell him things and how invested he is in me and my husband. My mom is a doll. She is so happy and bubbly all the time. Constantly people are telling me how cute and friendly and stylish my mom is. She is the person to go to anytime you want to have a good time or a shoulder to cry on. She is such a good listener.

My sisters are so amazing. We have so much fun with them everytime we hang out!

Torri has had to learn a lot of hard lessons lately, and she has handled them like a champ! She is so mature and forgiving and just plain wonderful. She has a heart of gold, something that we all need to strive for.

Alexa is the hilarious one. She is so funny; we all just die of laughter everytime we hang out with her. She is caring and loving, and loves to make people smile.

Abbey is the baby of the family, and boy do we all love to baby her! She is so cute, and has been my little doll since the day she was born.

This little beauty is my baby cousin. I don't have any babies of my own, but I can only imagine how much a baby changes your life. November 2010, my grandparents told me that when I was born it changed my Aunt Melissa's life. (She was 9 when I was born.) Now the favor was returned when Melissa had her baby, because this baby girl has changed my life! She has added so much to our family. We all oogle over her every minute of every day that we are with her. I love being able to help take care of her!

I am so grateful for all my many friends! One of my best friends is getting married in June, and I am lucky enough to be a bridesmaid! She is so sweet and adorable, and I just love her. Her husband-to-be is so cute, and he is just perfect for her. I have had so many awesome friends. I can't believe how lucky I am!

What would I do without this big group of weirdos? If I don't see them at least once a week, I nearly go crazy! And I talk to at least one of them each day! They are the kindest people I have ever met. These beautiful ladies and handsome gentlemen are my best friends. They are the type of people who will drop anything to help someone out, and they have done that for me over and over and over again. They know me inside and out, and we can finish each others sentences. We do so many fun things together and we dream of the future when we have big families and all hang out and vacation together! I had no idea when I married my best friend that it would bring along another 10 best friends with it, but I tell Steven all the time that he has given me some of the greatest gifts in life.

And... the very thing that I am most grateful for...

This is my handsome husband! He is everything to me. We met in 9th grade. It was puppy love at first sight! So many people bash on the fact that we are high school sweethearts, and don't believe that at a young age we could really want to be together forever. Well to this, I steal a line from my Abuela.... "They are just jealous." :) I was lucky enough that I didn't have to go through a million stupid boys to find the good one! He has been my best friend for almost 7 years now! I don't know what I would do without him! He laughs whenever I say this, but he is seriously the absolute nicest person that I know! He always treats me like a princess and he takes such good care of me. He is a hard worker in every point in life. He is hilarious too! I love staying up late at night just having our long talks about life. I have loved every second of being with him and am constantly excited for our future together. He is such an amazing husband!

This is just the short list of things that I am grateful for, but I feel like they are the most important.
Sometimes when life gets you down, you have to just sit in the dirt for a minute and smell the roses.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So I have this class called technology in the classroom. I had to make a video for my final. I know this isn't craft related, but it is too much fun not to share!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Sunday Birthday Bash

How was everyone's Easter? We had a blast at our house! It was my baby sister's 12th birthday and we had a birthday bash/Easter celebration at our house. It was a much needed break from normal life!

I wanted to make her some special cupcakes. My family is basically obsessed with coconut, so I made coconut cupcakes from scratch with coconut frosting uptop!

Aren't they fun? Here is the recipe that I used for the cupcakes...

Coconut Cupcakes
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
5 extra large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 oz. sweetened, shredded coconut

Crem butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time. 
Add almond and vanilla.
In separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda and powder, and salt.
In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to batter, beginning and ending with dry mix.
Fold in coconut.
Fill cupcake liner 3/4 to full.
Bake for 25-35 minutes at 325 degrees. 

I found it in one of my many recipe books and then just adapted it to what I wanted.

I halved this recipe and still got almost 24 cupcakes which was more than plenty! Also, I had forgotten to buy buttermilk. I looked online and found that if you add one cup of milk and 1 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar it is a substitution for buttermilk. It worked great!

I didn't have time to make homemade icing, so I used buttermilk frosting from the store and dyed it green. I dyed coconut green to look like grass and topped it off with M&Ms as eggs. It was a lot of fun to make!

See those cookies in the middle? They are coconut white chocolate chip cookies. YUM! 

Later at night we had an Easter egg dying contest. We never claimed to be artists! :) But we sure had fun!

This was the winning egg, which was mine! Although I'm pretty sure that they just gave it to me because they felt bad. The weird green mustache on him is a very long story! We decided that it looks more like Kermit's half-brother Fernando, than it actually looks like Kermit.

Oh yes, and we also planked. Don't ask me why, I'm just the photographer! But I do know that these are my favorite people in the whole world! And after a trying week, this day was exactly what I needed.

I hope you all had a great Easter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grandma's Welcome Wreath

My Grandma is moving into a condo! This is a big move for her so I wanted her to have a house-warming gift. I love making wreaths, so I thought it would be fun to make a welcome wreath. 

I bought the wreath on sale at Michaels Crafts for $2.99 and I bought the wooden characters at the Wood Connection. 

The dangly letters were really easy to make. I cut out triangles with tabs on the end. I wanted them to be somewhat weather proof so I front and backed them with thick tape. I used the tabs to wrap around the rope and glue it in place. 

In order to make the flower pot and lady bug stay up right, I had to add reinforcement. I had a wooden stick laying around the craft room that I cut in half. I glued both sides into the middle of the wreath so that it would really stick in there. Then I glued the flower pot and the lady bug onto the stick. It was really easy. 

Hopefully this wreath brings a little bit of joy to her new home! Love you Grandma!