A Long Time Ago…

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Okay. So maybe it wasn’t that long ago.
In fact, it wasn’t long ago at all.
It was just last weekend.
But you get the idea.
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April got wings.
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Eric was there, too. He didn’t have wings.
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James got to play with an axe.
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Watch where you’re swinging that thing!
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I took pictures of pretty things.
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This man blew some glass. Hehe.
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Birds flew over our heads.
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This guy showed them off.
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And, of course, we took photos of each other!
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It was a good time for all.
At least, it was a good time for me.
And James had fun because he got to play with an axe.
I guess I can’t speak for April and Eric. But I hope they had fun!
Happy Friday!

Wish I May…

So, I’ve gotten pretty attached to my camera.
As you can see in all of these posts.
And I’m always scouring the Internet for new accessories for my play thing.
That’s how I came across this bag:

I want it. I want it *bad.*
It would be the *perfect* camera bag. 
Those separators are removable. Can you say purse/camera bag/whatever I need?

And the gray color! Swoon
Not that I’ll *ever* be as stylish as the model in this pic. 
But hey, a girl can dream, right?
Too bad they are sold out at the moment. 
This particular model won’t start shipping out again until mid-June.
Le sigh.

But wait! Love Affair Workshop is having a giveaway for this bag! Squee!

Check out the LOVE AFFAIR BLOG and enter to win a Kelly Moore Bag & a seat to their upcoming workshop in Dallas!

 It would be a great thing to take with me on the I *heart* Faces Photowalk on June 5.
Yes – I’m going!
And so is my friend Christy.
It’s going to be lots of fun.
I can’t wait!
Until next time, live long and prosper!

Spring in Texas

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Do you want to know the best part about spring in Texas?
Bluebonnet Photos!
When April and Eric were here last weekend, we convinced them to go with us to a nearby field of the lovely blue flowers to snap some photos.
(I am so thankful for friends who put up with my quirky need to “document” all of our adventures!)
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The four of us. So glad we have such great friends!
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April and Eric — aren’t they cute?
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We had to get a kissing pic!
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The Nerd and Me
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We love each other (sometimes)!
Thanks for enduring the “kissy” pics. They can be a bit tacky at times. But I can’t help myself.
Hope you all have a great week!

Post It Note Tuesday

It’s Post It Note Tuesday again!
This week’s theme: My To-Be-Read List!
What books are you looking forward to?
Happy Tuesday!

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
As for me, I totally did *not* almost break down in tears last week when I found out that a current customer has chosen to work with another company next year. Not me. I am perfectly capable of separating my work and personal life.
And I did *not* fret about it all weekend, beating myself up and wondering what I did wrong. Not me. Things like that just roll off my back.
Then, I did *not* bawl like a baby this morning when I told my boss about it. Not me. I would *never* let my emotions get the best of me and lose control like that. I am Super Woman, didn’t you know?
Wow, that one still stings. Let’s move on to happier topics. 
After dinner was ready on Friday, I totally did *not* sneak off into the dining room to take photos of our meal for the blog. Not me. I would *never* neglect our two friends who had just driven four hours to visit (and who laughed at my efforts to “document” our meal).
On Saturday, I totally did *not* wear flip flops to the Renaissance Festival. Not me. I would *never* forget that it had rained that morning and not think that the ground would be muddy. 
Then I definitely would *not* try to jump over a puddle, only to land in a big pile of mud and get my feet *completely* dirty. 
And I most certainly did *not* walk around the festival the rest of the day, muddy feet bared for all the world to see. 
We had fun, though. I’ll post pictures from the festival later in the week. 
Happy Monday!

Blooming

All of that hard work has started to pay of.
African Daisies are popping up all over our flower beds!
The yellow ones are so bright.
And just look at this cute little white one. Love it!
Even the Angelonia has decided to come out and enjoy the sun.
Speaking of sun, my tomato plant has started bending up and toward the sunlight.
It’s kind of freaky, isn’t it? Looks like it’s just coming right at ‘cha.
This is my favorite. I love the deep purple around the center of the flower. It’s so vibrant and real.
Maybe I don’t have such a black thumb after all. 
Look for more fun flower posts in the future! 

Irish Carbomb Cupcakes

These cupcakes are yummy. Dreamy. Steamy. De-lish.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
The Bailey’s buttercream frosting is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. 
Reminds me of the Girl Scout Cookie shots we did at the Dry Bean Saloon back in the day. And Four Horsemen shots. And Dragon Wars. Ah, college. How I miss those carefree days.
But I digress.
Irish Carbomb Cupcakes
A couple of things: Annie’s recipe yields 24 cupcakes. Yikes. That’s a lotta fat for my hips. I cut her cupcake recipe in half to make it an even dozen cupcakes. So, the “half recipe” is what’s listed below.
She also adds a Bailey’s Ganache Filling to her cupcakes. That was a little too much Bailey’s for my taste, so I left it out. You can head over there to get the instructions for adding it to yours.
I didn’t change anything in the recipe for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting. I made the whole amount in Annie’s recipe and just had a little left over after I frosted my cupcakes. I guess I just use a bit more frosting than she does…
Cast of Characters (for the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes):
1/2 cup Guinness
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup sour cream
Directions (for the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes):
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
Mix the Guinness and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the butter is melted. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the egg and sour cream. Add the Guinness mixture and beat just to combine. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until just incorporated.
It should look like this when you’re through:
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them 1/2 full. Resist the temptation to fill it to the top. Trust me, you don’t want to do that. It will rise as it bakes, so just leave it at 1/2 full, k?
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Mine took about 15 minutes and they were done.
Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, start on the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting.
Cast of Characters (for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting):
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream
Directions (for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting):
Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
Slowly add the powdered sugar to the bowl until it is fully incorporated.
Add the Bailey’s Irish cream to the mixture until it is smooth. Add more Bailey’s as needed for the icing to reach piping consistency.
 
Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it onto the top of the cupcakes.
Enjoy!



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