Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Brownie Cupcakes

Seriously, how did I not think of this before?  Stores sell brownie bite cupcakes.  They were in front of me the whole time.  Remember when I did the post on my woes of brownie making and how I discovered ways to cut brownies without mangling them?  Well, shoot, I didn’t need to cut them after all.

My daughter is the one who thought of it.  She said, “Mom, I kind of want brownies, but I kind of want cupcakes for my class treat.  Maybe you can do brownie cupcakes?”  Holy Moses!  Genius. 



I ran a search on Pinterest to investigate baking time/temperature.  Most I found were homemade recipes, so I went directly to Betty Crocker to get the lowdown because I’m an out-of-the-box baker.  Easy as one, two, three.

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Follow directions on box.  Use ice cream scoop to fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.  Betty Crocker recommended 2 level tablespoonsful of batter.  I may have done too much because I needed a box per 12 cupcakes and they say a box should make 24.  Hmmm???  Weird cause they didn’t overflow, they came just to the top of the liner.  Just a tip, you may want to buy more than one box to be sure.
  2. Bake 18-22 minutes.  Cool in pan 20 minutes.
  3. Dust powdered sugar over top to make them nice and pretty.

Boom, that’s it!

My daughter said they were great.  However, the top was kind of hard and crunchy, but the middle was nice and soft.  Could be a baker’s error.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really a baker.  Have you made brownie cupcakes before?  If so, any tips on the hard and crunchy thing or is that just the nature of the beast?  Let me know.  Thanks!

Have a great one!

- Kim

Friday, April 26, 2013

Outdoor Inspiration

I’m on a pink and orange kick.  It all started with this pillow. 

Trina Turk Designer Lumbar Pillow Cover - Peacock Punch 12 x 16, 12 x 18

{Trina Turk outdoor pillow via 3BModLiving}

I fell in love with it when I saw Kristin Jackson’s {The Hunted Interior} patio reveal.  (Oh, and that floor too!)

Outdoor Decorating with Color: A beautiful covered patio with an outdoor sectional, coffee table and painted floor

Obsessed really.  So I broke down yesterday and bought the pillow.  I wouldn’t normally spend that much on an outdoor pillow, so I justified it as a Mother’s Day gift.  I told my husband that when he got home and he asked if he needed to get me anything else.  I told him that was up to his discretion. Smile

That one pillow started an obsession with pink and orange and Cassie’s {Hi Sugarplum!} space just fueled the fire.

Patio Decor Ideas: An outdoor loveseat with colorful throw pillows and coffee table decorated with succulents

These talented ladies participated in Home Depot’s Patio Style Challenge.  You can see their full reveals via the links directly to their blogs or the Home Depot link. 

Two more patio reveals from the challenge caught my eye too.

Brittany from Brittany Makes (again, orange, pink, black and white).  And look at that painted floor!  Love!

Outdoor Decorating Ideas: Bold patterns and colors combine to create an elegant outdoor space

And Mandy’s {Fabric Paper Glue} patio transformation, amazing.  Apparently, I have a thing for black and white with a pop of color.

Fabric Paper Glue Home Depot Patio Style Challenge

I’m inspired.  Can’t wait to spice things up with some pink and orange this year.  If the pink and orange isn’t your thing, you can find more patio reveals at this link to Home Depot’s Style Challenge.

Besides pink and orange, I’m going full force with succulents.  Love ‘em!  Always have, but haven’t done much with them.  Stumbled upon these images on pinterest and decided it’s a must do.

Flanking my garage with something like this… (I could cry I love it so much!)


or this…


Just beautiful!  I can’t even handle how awesome they are.  Hope I can pull it off.

Oh summer, I’m looking forward to your sun-shiny days.

Want more ideas?  Check out my Outdoor Pinterest board.

Happy Weekend!!!

- Kim -

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week Coming Up Quick

Just a heads up that Teacher Appreciation Week is the week of May 6th.  At our school, we are encouraged to give thoughtful gifts during this week, rather than something of monetary value.  This year, I’m doing the bucket and subway art again.  For details on what we filled our bucket with and how I framed the subway art for free, check out this post.




If you’re looking for more ideas, I’ve got a great round up on my Pinterest boards.  Click on the links below.

Teacher Gift Ideas

Room Mom Stuff

Gift Ideas

Feel free to leave a link to your teacher appreciation gift ideas in the comments.

Have a great day!

- Kim

Monday, April 22, 2013

Addicted to Inspiration

This might sound weird, but I think I have an addiction to being inspired.  Sure, that sounds like it should be a good thing.  And it is.  As long as, like with anything, you know when to say when.  Here’s the thing.  During my great big purge-o-rama, I’m falling in love with my home again.  Not because I’ve updated anything, just because it’s being stripped of all its clutter.

It’s calmer.  And I look around and love the way it is.  Well, I’d be lying if I said there still aren’t things I want to change and update.  Ahem, the seashell sinks with brown, swirl, fake, marble counters. 

But, what I’m finding is, that I get lost in all the inspiration that is available to us.  That it makes me want to keep redoing and redoing.  When in actuality, I look around and I like what I see.   {When it’s clean that is.}

So lately, I’ve tried to be uninspired.  To be content with what’s in front of me.   Because being too inspired was creating a list that was never getting done and weighing me down.

Don’t get me wrong.  I will forever be inspired by a beautiful space and will probably forever be changing things around me.  It’s my thing and a part of me.  I’m just trying to moderate it a bit.  Think about what’s really worth my time, so I don’t spend too much time thinking about doing this or that and missing out on other things. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

{Purging} Ask yourself these questions…

What would you bring with you if you had to uproot your family and move to a different country?  State?  Or just a couple blocks away?

I’ve kept these questions close in my mind as I’ve been purging my way through our house.  It really keeps a perspective on what we really use, love and want to surround ourselves with. 

This question first dawned on me a few years back when my husband was asked if he’d consider an overseas assignment.  I remember right then, thinking about what would we actually bring with us?  What was really important to us?  And I remember feeling liberated just thinking about getting rid of all the extra.

It’s definitely a long process to go through every square inch of your home and ask yourself that question, but it’s worth doing.  I am not even close to halfway and at times I get burnt out and overwhelmed.  So then I just walk away for a bit.  And when I find myself strolling down memory lane, I stop and move onto something else.

First and foremost, I’m focusing on clearing the clutter that weighs us down, then I will go back and tackle the piles that will take me down memory lane.  Then I will give those sentimental things their proper time and thought.

There are other questions I’ve been asking myself along the way too.

  1. If I get rid of it, could I get a hold of a similar item again somehow?
  2. Am I really going to wear that?  Is it comfortable?  Does it make me feel good?  Does it fit well?
  3. How many of that item do we really need?
  4. What am I keeping this for?
  5. Do I need to buy this or that?   Am I buying it just because it’s on sale?  Do I love it or need it?

I’m plugging away at our craft room/playroom area.  It’s crazy how many crayons, markers and pencils we have.  You could color yourself around the world with them.  Seriously, time to pare down and pass some of them on to someone else.

So that’s been my main goal these days.  Hardcore purging!

So, if you had to up and move, what would you take with you?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Awesome Printables

Helloooo there! 

I’ve come across some fantastic printables lately and just wanted to share links to these very talented bloggers.  If you stop by to visit them, make sure to leave them some comment love. 

Since my simple Love Art project, I’ve become slightly obsessed with changing out the art in my empty frame.

It’s gone from Love art


…to Easter chalk art from aka Designs


…and in honor of my daughter’s birthday month, this sweet You are My Sunshine printable created by Sarah from Alderberry Hill {available via It’s Overflowing}

(FYI: be careful when you download this one.  I made the mistake of clicking on a large download button to the right of it and ended up downloading something called searchnu that invaded my homepage and changed my search engine.  I was able to unistall thanks some tips I found on google, but just be sure to scroll down and click on the small download button below the print.  Also note, the large download button is also located across the bottom of the page too.  Just don’t want you to make the same mistake I did.)


I use my beloved washi tape to stick them on and add a subtle hint of pattern and color. 

Love this Happy Birthday chalk art from  The Wood Connection too.  It will probably land on my daughter’s bedroom door on her birthday.


And I’m totally excited about this little Kitchen Conversion chart from Shanty2Chic!


You’ve got to stop over and check out how she customized hers on a wooden board with some hooks for the measuring spoons.  Of course I went the lazy route.  I stuck it on the inside of my cupboard with my handy dandy washi tape and threw up my oh-so-favorite 3M hooks for the measuring cups and spoons.


I may put each spoon and cup separate, but for now, I’m trying a hook for each set.  The cups are kind of heavy, so we’ll see if it holds.

This last printable via Ninth Street Notions will probably be used somehow for my daughter’s birthday party.  If you haven’t already guessed, it’s an April showers theme.  And with our weather right now, completely fitting.


Check out my Printables Pinterest board for more and if you’re looking to do a spring garden/April showers party, check out my Spring Garden Party board too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Friday!!

- Kim -

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Purging, Rearranging, Organizing

I’ve got spring cleaning fever and I am determined to completely gut and reorganize each and every room in this house.  It may take me a year (or two), but this is it.  You see, when we moved in here over 7 years ago, I was 9 months pregnant, had the little babe and never “properly” moved in.  Life kept moving and that was that. 

Anyhow, yesterday I tackled some purging and rearranging in my daughter’s room.  We’ve been talking about rearranging her room for about three years now.  Her birthday’s coming up, so it’s a good time to make that happen.

The main thing that was on her wish list was to move the bed to the center of the room away from the wall. 



Did that, but then I couldn’t resist moving all the furniture around.



The room will not stay this way because my girl has her own vision.  I knew that from the get go, but I can’t control myself from checking out the options.  Today, I will rearrange again according to her floor plan.  I figure it worked out well for Nate Berkus.  His parents gave him free reign of his room and look where he is today.


Monday, April 8, 2013

aaand, we’re back…

Time to eat my words.  I made fun of my husband for booking us a trip to someplace not so warm for spring break.  But in the end, Baltimore won me over.  We headed east again for spring break, but further south than last year.

Started in Baltimore {my favorite day}… historic ship tour, Fells Point, water taxi, Little Italy…dinner with college friends - good stuff.  There was so much more to do too.  Thank you, Baltimore…forgive me for doubting you!


…drove down the Eastern shore.  Stopped at Rehoboth Beach where the kids touched the ocean for the first time…  chilly but fun.  And if I could’ve placed money on who was going to end up soaked in the end, I would’ve won.  Sure enough, my little guy tripped over his feet running away from a wave and landed on his bum.  Called that one the minute we stepped on the beach.


Went back in time at Colonial Williamsburg…



and wrapped it up with a day in DC.


Just the right amount of time.  You know, when it just feels good to be home again.

Hope to be back again later this week with some projects.  Lots of purging going on, so it depends if I have something to show for it.

Have a fabulous day!

- Kim

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