Monday, December 24, 2012

Visiting Santa

Well, Blakely was definitely not Santa's biggest fan this year. She freaked out when I tried to hand her to him but calmed down once she realized I would sit with her. I was hoping for a picture like last year (see below) or even like her picture with the Easter Bunny. But at 18 months, I guess I'll take what I can get.
Christmas 2011

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Here are some picture highlights from Thanksgiving 2012!
Uncle Warren, Aunt Karen, Lexie and Eli
Lexie and Blakely enjoying their Thanksgiving breakfast picnic!
Sweet cousins!

Nana loves her girls!
Sitting with Elmo in Nana and Papa's yard!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Maple French Toast and Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes

Yum, yum, and YUM!!!  For Kevin's family Thanksgiving, I was asked to bring cupcakes. As always, I was happy to oblige! I made two different kinds...maple french toast and caramel apple pie. For the maple french toast, I filled them with a Nutella and cream cheese filling. However, Kevin can't eat Nutella so I set aside 4 cupcakes without the filling for him. I must say, they ones without filling were WAY better. However, I'll include the filling recipe for those that may want to try it. The filling was good but it took away from the maple french toast flavor. I may try it again one day in a chocolate cupcake.

Maple French Toast Cupcakes


  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
4. Stir in the flour mixture alternating with the sour cream.
5. Add the cinnamon and syrup. Beat together well.
6. Bake for 14-20 minutes.


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup nutella
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Cream together the cream cheese and butter.
2. Add the nutella and vanilla. Beat well.
3. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
4. Scoop out the center of the cupcake and add the filling.

Maple Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
2. Add the vanilla, salt, and syrup.
3. Add in the heavy cream one tablespoon at a time.
4. Beat until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes


  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat to cool.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Beat together eggs and sugar. Add flour mixture until incorporated.
5. Add in the milk mixture and vanilla. Beat until blended.
6. Bake 14-20 minutes. Cool completely. 

Apple Pie Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large Honey Crisp apples
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon water
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add apples, sugars, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Cook until apples are tender and release their juices (about 10 minutes).
2. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water.
3. Add cornstarch mixture to apples and continue cooking until mixture thickens.
4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package store-bought caramels (about 9 oz.)
  • 1/8 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cold
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Melt the caramels in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. As they begin melting, add the heavy whipping cream. Continue stirring until all the caramels melt. Set aside to cool.
2. With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
3. Add the vanilla and cooled caramel. (Make sure caramel is completely cooled. Otherwise the frosting will be runny.)
4. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat until desired consistency is reached. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Let's Go Back: Halloween 2012

Yep, tomorrow's Thanksgiving and I'm just now getting Halloween pictures up. That's pathetic! Oh well...better late than never.

Our Halloween plans changed just a bit this year thanks to Hurricane Sandy. Our church does an annual Fall Festival that got moved to the Saturday after Halloween. It was so much fun getting Blakely dressed in her Halloween costume. She was a garden gnome this year but refused to wear her hat so she looked a little more like a little Dutch girl. Oh was still cute.
 Lexie Kate was Little Bo Peep (or Mary...I forget) and Eli went as her lamb. It was so darling!!

At least we got one picture with the hat!
We tried giving the pony rides a chance. Blakely wasn't so sure about it at first but ended up doing just fine. She also got lots of chocolate which she graciously shares with Mommy. When it comes to chocolate, there is no denying that she's my girl!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Family Photos

Kevin and baby Eli
Blakely loves her Aunt Karen!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blakely 15-16 Months

Where to begin! Blakely has grown so much over the past few months! I am constantly amazed at how much she seems to have learned just in the last couple of weeks. Her vocabulary has exploded and she's talking all the time now. She says everything from "shoes" when it's time to go outside to "sauce" whenever I open the refrigerator.

She loves reading her books and will say "Sit" whenever she wants me to sit and read with her. 

She's also learning how to pick up her room, which I love. She, of course, makes a mess wherever she goes and I'm trying to teach her how to pick up after herself. When I take her back into her room and tell her to pick up, she gets right to work on putting away her toys and books.

One of her favorite places in the house is in her "Bye Bye Buggy" which is hilarious since it's in a corner and she has nothing to look at. So many times I will find her just sitting in it while drinking her bottle or her juice. 

Size wise she still pretty small, but that could be because she doesn't eat much. She weighs right at 20 pounds and wears mostly size 12 -18 month clothing. However a lot of her 18 month clothing is still too big. She is finally (very slowly) moving into a size 4 shoe (which by the way is for 6-9 month old babies)! It's really difficult to find her shoes because most size 3 shoes are soft soled since they aren't made for walkers. I have no idea how her foot got to be so tiny since Mommy wears a size 11!

Oh, there's so much more I could write about but instead I'll just leave you with these adorable pictures taken over the weekend. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blakely's First Haircut

I know, I know...I have been such a blogger slacker lately! Starting back to school has kicked my butt and, when I get home I have no energy.
But enough excuses, on to the good stuff!!

Blakely had her first haircut this weekend and she did so well!! No crying, no wiggling, and no pulling off the cape.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. "First haircut?? The kid has hardly any hair." And I agree with you. However, I decided to go ahead and get it cut for two reasons.
1. It's growing funny in some places and it needed to be evened out.
2. (and most importantly) My mom visited this past weekend from South Dakota and I really try to let her experience as many of Blakely's firsts as possible. So what better time to get a haircut than when Grammie is in town.

She looks so cute now and definitely a little less wooly!

Getting Ready!

Scraggly before shot!

"This isn't so bad!"

"Man, I'm looking good!!"

Much better!