Getting Ready…

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I recently had the chance to photograph my friend, Morgan, as she prepared for her wedding. 
I love watching brides get ready.
There’s so much excitement and love.
And they’re always so beautiful!
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First came the curls…
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And then it was time for make-up!
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Some touches to the hair style…
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Then getting some help from her mom with the dress.
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I love this addition to Morgan’s dress. It was hand-stitched by a family friend, Theresa.
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Almost ready!
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Some loving looks with her mom…
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And a photo or two…
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Then time for the veil!
Now we’re ready!
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Or are we?
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Some caffeine for the road…and she was off to the ceremony!
Photos of the ceremony and reception tomorrow!
Thanks for looking!
One of my favorite things to photograph is a bride getting ready for her wedding. Here’s how my friend, Morgan, prepared for her big day!

Monkey Cupcakes

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Last weekend, I threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Alex.
We decided to go with a jungle theme and I wanted to make some cupcakes shaped like monkeys to fit the theme.
I searched online and found this tutorial from Wilton on how to make monkey faces using candy melts.
I was hooked! This is such a cute idea and I think it turned out to be very adorable.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make these yourself. :)
Monkey Cupcakes
Source: Wilton
What You Need:
Cooled cupcakes (I used this recipe) frosted with Dark Chocolate Icing
2 bags of Wilton Light Cocoa Candy Melts
1 bag of Wilton White Candy Melts
1 tube of pink writing icing (can usually be found on the baking aisle)
Wax paper
Disposable icing bags
Couplers
Icing tips (size 4 and size 2 round)
Directions:
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Pour 1 bag of the light cocoa candy melts into a large bowl and melt according to directions.
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Do the same with the white candy melts.
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Add the melted white chocolate to the light cocoa melted chocolate (reserve some of the white for the eyes) and mix well to make a tan color.
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Put the pattern under a sheet of wax paper and pipe the tan colored candy onto the paper, following the guide.
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Repeat until you have enough “faces” to top your cupcakes. Let them harden.
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Next, pipe on two dots of white to the “upper face” sections for the monkey’s eyes.
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Here’s what you should get.
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Use the icing writer to add pupils to the monkeys’ eyes and a nose and mouth to the “lower face” sections.
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He’s a happy monkey!
Let those dry overnight.
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To assemble, spread a layer of dark chocolate icing on your cupcakes.
Use two candy melts from the reserved Light Cocoa bag for the ears.
Stick the upper face on top and add the lower face, overlapping it a bit.
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Enjoy!
This tutorial shows you how to create a cute monkey face topper for Monkey Cupcakes!

*Signed* Firelight Giveaway!

It’s time for another Fall into Fantasy giveaway here at The Nerd’s Wife!
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to meet Sophie Jordan, author of Firelight!And guess what I got for you…

a *signed* copy of Firelight for one lucky reader!

This book is *so* good. You can check out my review of it if you want to know more!

Sophie and Casey from The Bookish Type have also graciously donated some signed swag, so the winner will get that, too!

 

Yay!
Here are the details:

The Rules:

Only one entry per person.

The contest is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

You *must* be a follower of my blog to enter.

If you are a new follower, you will receive 1 entry.
If you were a follower prior to the start of this contest, you will receive 2 entries.Fill out the form below to enter. Do not leave your entry in the comments.

If you have any questions, you can consult my contest policy.
Increase Your Chances:

Complete the following tasks to increase your chances to win!

  • +1 – Become a fan of The Nerd’s Wife on Facebook.
  • +1 – Follow The Nerd’s Wife on Twitter.
  • +2 – Tweet about this contest. Sample tweet: Enter to win a *signed* copy of Firelight by Sophie Jordan from @thenerdswife: http://bit.ly/9criDW
  • +2 – Subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

 

Contest ends Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
Good luck!

The Most Embarassing Post Ever

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Someday, I may come to regret this post.
But I feel the need to get this out in the open. And if I can’t confess my deepest, darkest flaws on the Internet, what can I do?
So today, I am clearing the air. I’m letting you know that things are not always happy and free here at The Nerd household.
In fact, things are often quite *cluttered.*
Yes, that pile o’ junk up there is an actual corner in our living room.
No, not the room where we sometimes entertain guests. The room where we sit on the couch each night and watch TV and spend time as a family. That room.
I may be a lot of things, and this blog can attest to them all.
But one thing I most definitely am not: A good housewife.
I would rather shove bamboo splinters under my fingernails than do the laundry.
And, so, our hampers look like this:
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I would rather pluck each hair out of my head one-by-one than do the dishes.
So, here’s our kitchen sink:
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In case you’re wondering, a love of cooking and hate of washing dishes is not a good combination.
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The counters are obscured by mail and odds and ends.
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A lot of the clutter is supplies for my job.
I have an “office” in our house. A room all to my own
But it is not very air conditioned, and with this unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having lately, I can’t bring myself to sit in there and sweat.I mean, it’s October for Pete’s sake!

So blame the weather, not me.

 But the clutter has been weighing on me lately.
I’m at the point where I just can’t take it anymore.
And there’s really not a lot I can do at this point in time.
I have a full-time job that keeps me busy from morning to evening every weekday.
I squeeze in reading and blogging in any free time I have.
And the weekends? Ha! I don’t have a free weekend from now until December.Seriously.

So, yesterday, I did something I never in my life thought I would do:
I hired a maid.
That’s right! The Nerd household now has contracted house-cleaning services to help us de-clutter!
Woohoo!
Now, I need to clean the house so that it can be cleaned.
Does that make any sense at all?
I’m so embarrassed about its current condition that I don’t think I could handle a stranger coming in and judging me.
Oh, wait. I just wrote a blog post detailing the mess, with photos and everything.Guess I should have thought this through…

And so, the cleansing begins.

In the meantime, I’m going to try my best not to add anything to the clutter.

I promise I’ve learned my lesson!
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No, those are not *my* shoes freshly off my feet from a long day’s work and laying in the middle of the floor.Why do you ask?

Clouds in the Sky…

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I just wanted to share this beautiful evening sky with you.
I haven’t seen a sunset like that in a long time.
Sometimes, it’s hard to appreciate the beauty of nature when you live in the middle of a city.
Especially a huge city like Dallas.
But every now and again, the world takes my breath away.
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So take a moment today to enjoy the world around you.
Thanks for looking!
A beautiful sunset ended the perfect evening. Come share it with me!

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

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Last weekend, I needed a simple, tasty cupcake recipe to serve at my sister-in-law’s baby shower.
These definitely fit the bill.
They were packed full of taste and each bite made you want to grab a glass of milk. Now that’s my kind of cupcake.
Easy Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted From: Nigella Lawson
Ingredients:
1 stick + 1 Tbsp butter at room temperature
1/2 c + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 to 3 Tbsp milk at room temperature
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-low speed.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined.
Slowly add the milk and mix until the batter has a smooth texture.
Add the batter to a muffin pan lined with paper cups. Each cup should have about 2 scant tablespoons of batter (filled a little less than half-full).
Be sure to measure it out or you won’t have enough batter to fill all 12 cups.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees F until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely and then frost as desired.
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Enjoy!
So, the consensus from last week’s impromptu poll was that most people just like to see the finished product, unless there’s an interesting step or tutorial included in the recipe.
I’m going to do my best to follow that, then.
From now on, you’ll get to see my lovely creations sans irritating step-by-step photos (unless I’m posting a tutorial, like I will tomorrow).
I think this is a great compromise and definitely makes a lot less work for me! 
Everybody wins! :)
Thanks for looking!
These Easy Vanilla Cupcakes are the perfect go-to dessert for when you’re in a pinch and need to whip up something decadent fast!

Dead Lady Fingers

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Last week, I posted the first in a series of recipes from young adult book authors.
Today I’ve got another for you, just in time for Halloween this weekend! These Dead Lady Fingers are, literally, to DIE for!
They are super-creepy and are the perfect spooky treat for Halloween!
Dead Lady Fingers
Source: Judith Graves, author of Under My Skin
Ingredients:
3/4 c butter
1 c flour
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c corn starch
Sliced almonds
Red icing gel
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the butter, flour, powdered sugar and corn starch until combined.
Roll the dough into narrow fingers (the cookies will bake out quite a bit) about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches long.
Shape knuckles on the fingers by squeezing the dough.
Press a sliced almond onto the fingertip to form a fingernail.
Place cookies on a silpat or foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Once the cookies have cooled, remove the almond and squeeze a drop of red icing on the finger tip. Replace the almond and let the “blood” ooze around the edges of the fingernail.
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Let the icing dry and enjoy!
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My niece, River, was pretty excited about these cookies.
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At first, we had to convince her that the “fingers” were okay to eat.
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She wasn’t convinced it would be alright, though, until she put one in her mouth.
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They turned out to be quite tasty.
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These cookies are kid tested, corrupting auntie approved!

 

Looking for more fall recipes? Look no further!