Cupcakes (and the best icing ever)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Saturday was devoted to cupcake making. It didn't take me long to decide what kind of cupcakes to make: Chocolate with peanut butter icing.

Let's be honest: nothing will ever compare to chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. Nothing will ever compare to chocolate and peanut butter anything. Whoever decided to put the two together has earned my total respect. 

For the cake part, I used Betty Crocker's Super Moist triple chocolate cake mix. The icing was the show-stealer for me, though. It was light and fluffy and the best peanut butter icing I have ever tasted. And I'm not even an icing person. I usually scrape the icing off. Yeah. It's that good. You can find the recipe here at Java Cupcake.

Then I drizzled some Hershey's syrup on the icing and topped the cupcakes off with halved mini Reese's P-nut buttercups. Depending on how many cupcakes you make, you'll probably have lots of buttercups left over (which is a plus).

And of course there was plenty of icing left over. So now there's a jar of icing sitting in the fridge, just waiting for someone to spread on a graham cracker. It was a good day, indeed.

How was your Saturday?


Things Working in a Daycare has Taught Me

Monday, April 20, 2015

I absolutely love my job. It doesn't feel like work--it's fun and my coworkers are just amazing. While my actual classroom is with the infants, I start out my morning working with the two year-olds. You can learn a lot from little kids, you know? They say the funniest and sweetest things sometimes. There is never a dull moment. So please let me share the things that little kids have taught me.

Sharing is caring.

However, if someone takes your toy, it's a fight to the death.

Never tell the truth about whether or not you wet your pants.

School buses are the coolest thing ever.

What students remember most about teachers - Quote as a FREE printable download! I love this quote makes me think twice about how I interact with my kids and other children.  How did a teacher inspire you?

Kissing a boo-boo instantly makes things better.

Tissues are optional.

If you know anything about Frozen, everyone will like you.

Reading is fun at any age.

Everyone thinks the new teacher is a sucker for tears (they may be right...)

Apologizing does wonders.


Silence = a big.big.big. mess.

Asking a little kid about their day makes them feel important.

You can reason with kids more often than you might think.

Germs are everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

"Clean" is a subjective term.

This Pin was discovered by Sabrina Wittman. Discover (and save!) your own Pins on Pinterest. | See more about jewels, children and looking forward.

And most importantly....

Something as simple as a smile can change someone's day.


Beautiful People // Sibling Edition

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Beautiful People is back for April! I completely fell behind on last month's, so I'm excited to answer these next round of questions. Now let's get to it, shall we?

This month, we are focusing on siblings, though the characters don't have to be actual siblings--they can simply have a sibling-like relationship. I pondered which characters I should use and finally decided on one of my favorite duos that I've written: Lee and Elsie from my Civil War novel, Rebel Yell.

The two cousins have a special bond; they are closer to each other than they are to their own siblings. There was no big moment that brought them together--Lee simply knew that Elsie was his to protect and Elsie grew up worshiping him. They are both the golden children of the family, so maybe it's only natural that they drew close together.

Paul Walker

1. What is the first memory they have of each other?
Elsie remembers Lee lifting her up to pick apples off of the apple trees at their grandparent's Virginia home. She was only two and had a hard time biting into the apple, so Lee peeled and cut it for her. It's one of Elsie's favorite memories.

Seven year-old Lee peeked into his cousin's frilly bassinet and instantly thought that Elsie was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. She opened her eyes and smiled at him, then reached for his finger. Lee decided that he and Elsie would be the best of friends. She's been "his girl" ever since.

2. Describe their relationship in 3 words.
More than cousins.

3.What kind of things do they like to do together?
Ride horses, check the grounds of their grandparent's farm, play charades... Sometimes they can be found in the kitchen--Elsie tries to make pies and Lee eats half the dough. It never matters what they do. They just want to be together.

4. What was their biggest fight?
Fight? They never fight. Ever.

 5. How far would they go to save each other?
They would risk their lives, reputations, and the lives of others around them. There isn't anything that they wouldn't do for each other.

6. What are their pet peeves about each other?
Elsie occasionally wishes that Lee wasn't so concerned with honor, though in her eyes he can do no wrong.

Lee sees the family trait of stubbornness rooted in Elsie. It doesn't annoy him so much as worry him. What gets him most is Elsie's tendency to rush into things without thinking about the consequences. Put her impulsiveness and stubborn streak together and you get a deadly combination. Lee prays that Elsie will grow out of it.

7. What are their favorite things about each other?

There's a sweet innocence about Elsie that Lee has always loved. Her stubbornness--while it frustrates Lee--is also somewhat endearing. And her laugh. Oh, does Lee adore her laugh.

Lee doted on Elsie when she was little, and she returns the favor by worshiping the ground he walks on. What Elsie loves most about her cousin is that he only does something if it helps others. His selflessness is a virtue that Elsie yearns to cultivate herself, though she believes that she fails miserably.

8. What traits do they share? Mannerisms, clothing, quirks, looks, etc?
She doesn't realize it, but Elsie takes after Lee when it comes to taking care of the family. She's also picked up his nervous habit of stretching her fingers when she's anxious.

They resemble each other more than they resemble their own siblings--same blond hair, same skin tone, the family nose... Since they were both practically raised at their grandparent's farm in Virginia, they share the same Virginian twang and love of their "home" state.

9. Who has the strongest personality?
That's a good question. Both have strong personalities, but in different ways. Lee has strong code of ethics and will fight for what he believes is right and honorable. Elsie has a wild, stubborn streak and will put on her war paint if pushed far enough. Elsie is much more vocal about her beliefs, while Lee quietly controls the situation. It depends on what your definition of a strong personality is.

10. How does their relationship change throughout your story?
When the war starts, Lee and Elsie completely depend on each other. They consult with each other on every major decision until it's impossible to. Not a day goes by that they don't think of each other, but that doesn't mean that Lee and Elsie can't cope. Both start to trust their own instincts (though they still ask themselves, "what would Lee/Elsie do?"). As friends and families are split by the war, Elsie and Lee realize that their unconditional bond is something rare. They cling on to that like their lives depend on it.

Thanks to Sky and Cait for this meme--it has helped my writing so much :)

Anyone else linking up? If you are, let me know--I'd love to see your answers!


Lyric Medley Tag

Thursday, April 2, 2015

'Ello there! I dropped off the face of the earth for most of March because I had the flu, started a new job at a preschool (which I love!), got the stomach flu, and I still have a cold (sickness is one downfall of working at a preschool). Now that I'm getting used to my new work routine, my goal is to get back into the habit of writing and blogging a little more--not to mention reading. I haven't read a book in a long time. I need to find some good reads. As in, right now.

But I digress.

Jamie over at Through Two Blue Eyes tagged me in the lyric medley tag. I adore music and tags, so this is right up my alley. The hardest part of the tag was that I kept thinking of amazing songs that I want to share with everyone. Oh well. That is a completely different post.

Now for the tag....


A song that describes me perfectly.

This was a hard choice. There are a lot of songs that I think describe me, but I think that this one comes the closest. I can hold my breath/I can bite my tongue/I can stay awake for days if that's what you want/Be your number one...//...But I'm only human.

The happiest song I know.
Obvious answer for this one.

I like to say that this is my theme song because my family jokes that I'm always happy (that isn't entirely true...). It's almost impossible for me to not be happy when I hear this song. My feet start to move and I'm dancing before I realize it. This is one of my favorite songs. Also, this video includes minions. You're welcome.

A song that makes me want to dance.
I have two for this one.

This song. Every time I hear it, I can't help but dance. It's a happy song with a good beat and I totally agree with it. Sometimes you just gotta shake it off. But I keep cruisin'/Can't stop, won't stop groovin'/It's like I got this music/In my mind sayin' it's gonna be alright.

This is another song that always makes me dance. I also tend to belt out the lyrics when it comes on in the car. I regret nothing. Now dance, like a dandelion/In the wind on the hill underneath the pines/Yeah, move like the river flows/Feel the kick-drum down deep in your toes.

A song that makes me feel rebellious.

I liked this song the first time I heard it. It makes me feel reckless and daring--the perfect song for doing something crazy. Not that I ever would do something crazy... But if I did, I would be listening to this song. Now me and that girl that I met on the street/We rollin' down the road down to New Orleans/Got a full tank of gas and the money out the mattress/Got a real good feeling somethin' bad about to happen.

A song about a story.

This is an oldie but an amazing song. My parents were the ones who introduced me to this song and I've loved it ever since I first heard it. It's actually a really sad song, but it's so beautiful. I found her diary underneath a tree/And started reading about me/The words she'd written took me by surprise/ You'd never read them in her eyes./They said that she had found the love she'd waited for/Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it.

A song that would play during the apocalypse.

Safe and Sound is obvious, but I don't care. I can imagine this being a lullaby in the apocalypse. It's mysterious and soothing at the same time. Don't you dare look out your window/Darlin' everything's on fire/The war outside our door keeps ragin' on/Hold onto this lullaby/Even when the music's gone.

An "I can't even" song.

What can I say? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. This song leaves me speechless, and not in an "it's so beautiful" way. I have no words. Dog goes "woof", cat goes "meow"/Bird goes "tweet" and mouse goes "squeak"/Cow goes "moo", frog goes "croak" and the elephant goes "toot". 


A song that gives me chills every time I hear it.

This song always gives me chills. Especially the one line in the last verse: No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand./Till He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I'll stand. It helps remind me of all that I believe in and what my Savior did for me. This is definitely one of my favorite songs.

A song of hope.

I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind/The God of angel armies is always by my side./The One who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine/The God of angel armies is always by my side. How encouraging is that? I love to listen to this song on my way to work. If you are looking for a song of hope, I think that this is a great choice.

See? I told you that I would enjoy that. Thank you, Jamie, for tagging me! I'm going to tag anyone who wants to do this tag (because it's getting late and I'm tired). If you decide to do it, make sure to let me know, because I'd love to read your answers!

The rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
2.Make a collage that represents your taste in music to go along with your tag post.
3. List a song for each of the 10 questions (or make up your own!) and include your favorite lyrics from that song, if you'd like. If you want to explain why you chose that song, that's cool too -- go crazy with it!
4. Tag at least 5 bloggers.

Have a great Thursday night,