Monday, April 28, 2014

Wake up Crawling

I woke up this morning thinking it was going to be just any ol' typical Monday morning. Lola usually sleeps in a little bit longer than the sunrise and they always seem a bit slow and easy going. Apparently she snuck onto my computer and read this post I did a few weeks back and decided to amp up our usual Monday rituals. I was dreaming of something Game of Thrones related (too much late night reading...nah not too much) and then suddenly my eyelids peeled open too slowly like an annoying band aide. In my right ear rang my human alarm clock (aka Lola's squeals and chants). This morning I swear she transformed into Godzilla. I shuffled into the kitchen and blindly started her breakfast and popped her door open to find her sitting up, dangling Maxine the bear over the side of her crib, poor Maxine had to feel the wrath of Godzilla Lola while I lay snug in bed. I scooped up the overly excited hunny out of her crib, fed her the feast of champions and that's when the fun began.
Lola is officially a mobile baby. I feel as though I've been preparing for this since the second she came into this world, but today I had to take a few steps back and recuperate. Prepared? No. She bonked her head numerous times today because she woke up with a new sense of bravery after being a scaredy cat for the first 10 months of her life. She yanked and threw anything she could get her hands on and was quite proud of it as well. I burnt a few toaster strudels in the process of keeping her out of certain things and my tortellini for lunch became a new fascination, before it was just "mom food." Every head bonk and every little thing she grabbed and tossed made my stomach drop to my toes. She no longer sat there in the only position she knew and played silently with her toys gathered around her...there were way cooler things to explore.
And that's exactly what she did, she explored and tomorrow will be a whole new adventure.

A whole new adventure. That's right the season of our lives is changing.
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Needless to say, Ryan and I spent our afternoon at Home Depot learning the ins and out of baby proofing our house. We also did a huge mega house clean up and made it more baby accessible, but made sure to still make it adult friendly. I think that's extremely important in baby proofing and we decided that our kitchen will have a baby gate and be off guards to Lola when she is roaming the house. We also said no to a play pen since our apartment is well, an apartment and that would be a teeny bit impossible. In turn, we are using Lola's bedroom as her "safe haven," when we're doing dishes, putting groceries away etc. I also want to get her use to playing in her bedroom so that'll be good in the long run.  photo 846964af26fce626b2d1d6c3400a173f_zps55f955ac.jpg  photo 259f2610639d5ccf9603da1f670ef54d_zps75ba09f3.jpg  photo 635d86417ff0bcf1ada9ae47246b6526_zps7fb80255.jpg  photo 4cdef7a523524424015b46d1030bdd9e_zps95a999e8.jpg
We have found some of the pieces of the puzzle so far, but we've got a long way to go and who knows if we will ever finish it...but hey unfinished puzzles are way more fun. Once you think you got this parenting thing down to a science the world flips it all around and gives you burnt toaster strudels. But you know, I'm totally fine with burnt anything as long as I get to share the icing packet with my little hunny.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Heaven in Cake Form

Excuse my complaints of runny nose, sore throat and hacking cough. I absolutely hate being sick, and the chorus of our last few days has been too many "bless you's" and a nasty cough that just won't quit. Probably too much information, but whatever we've all been there. Not to mention,  my whole family has it even Jebdia has been suffering from the plague (overly dramatic I know, I just really hate being sick). I'm just not a functional person when I'm sick and being a mom and being sick making me wanna climb in Lola's crib and cry like a baby while she laughs at me. Today we are heading to the kiddy doc to get this ugly bug out of control for the hunny because her little coughs are heartbreaking to me. I figured since I'm couching it up while she tries her little hardest to nap through sniffles, I would present one of my all time FAVORITE white cake recipes.
Yes, I know totally unrelated to anything I've just said, and I hope I haven't grossed you out too much to scare you away, but seriously you must keep scrolling and jot this one down. This recipe has become my best friend for birthdays. 
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  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 3 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons softened butter (I use the spreadable kind)

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The label speaks the truth ^

Making heaven in cake form:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, spray two round 8 inch pans with Pam and gather your ingredients.
  2. In a medium bowl crack your eggs whites and the whole egg together. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and vanilla to that bowl. Whisk it up. 
  3. Fit your electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Combine all the dry ingredients together on the stir setting for about 30 seconds.
  4. Keep the mixer going on stir, and add a tablespoon of butter at a time to the dry ingredients. Continue to mix on low after all the butter is added, and once you get a fine crumbly sandy looking texture turn it off. Now add the 3/4 of milk to the dry ingredients and butter and mix on low for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Take your egg mixture and add it after the five minutes are up in three separate batches. Mixing until your kitchen starts smelling like a cake bakery and it gets that light and fluffy look like you could sleep on it. This takes about 4 minutes. Take a spoon and do a quick stir before you pour. 
  6. Now evenly divide the batter into both pans. Bake the cakes until a toothpick comes out crumbly not completely clean, but not slimy. About a 30 minute bake time.
  7. Let the cakes cool on racks, then I usually take them both out of their pans slice off the tops and finish cooling in the fridge for frosting.
  8. Whip up your favorite frosting or use a good tub from the store  (like I do) I'm not so much of a pro at making frosting. Someday. 
And it's as easy as that, cake box mixes are totally non existent to me now because of this recipe. 
Now I'm going to go smother my face with tissues and dream about birthday cake. 
Happy Baking!

Thursday, April 24, 2014


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*daisy shorts, a warm bottle and Grammies couch, all a girl needs.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Basket Stuffing

I am no expert when it comes to creating the most extravagant easter basket for a baby. There's a reason I'm not an expert, and that is because this is Lola's very first Easter. I wanted to keep things simple and not  go overboard because it's easter people not christmas. I mean when I was little all I REALLY wanted was a live bunny, that's not too much to ask for right? Well probably, but hey at least it fit in a basket. Our goal was to make sure we didn't overflow the overly cute, wicker basket that we chose. Obviously Lola is too young to have candy of any sort which is a bummer because easter candy is right up there in the ranks with halloween candy (and all you have to do is wake up and SUPRISE it's waiting on the table in a cute basket).
So here's how we conquered Lola's first Easter:
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1. Choosing a basket:

As we were scouting the baskets, we knew we wanted an old fashioned wicker one. Now a days (wow I sound old, although I am not) the stores are stocked with these weird easter baskets that are cushioned character faces. Mildly creepy, especially because you're stuffing them with candy and whatnot. It's just weird, but apparently a hit because they are STILL selling them. The reason I like wicker baskets is because they are the perfect size, not too big and not to small. 
They also are more appealing and can be reused for something around the house AFTER the good old easter holiday has long passed. So we chose a basket that is cute, colorful and wicker wonderful.

2. What goes inside:
This is my favorite part honestly, just the idea of stuffing a bunch of random stuff in an adorable pastel basket just puts me over the moon. We stepped foot into Target and got absorbed into the one dollar section. A lot of the stuff wasn't even "Easter" related, but all of it was magical. Our cart instantly got filled with bath toys, a cushioned tiara (totally in love) and a matching princess wand. We also got some cheap plastic eggs to scatter around the bottom which are pretty much toys in themselves to a 9 month old. JUST SAY NO to easter grass, it's never worth it. 
We didn't go over the top because we didn't feel we had to. Some people like to do it that way, but keeping it small and sweet to us is the best route. We DID make a deal with the Easter bunny to leave one "semi big" gift for our hunny (Ariel's dollhouse castle thinga mabob in little people form, which you can find at Target). Our key to the basket stuffing is to keep it simple, and make sure the contents will actually fit in an Easter basket. 

And here's a peek into Lola's very first Easter morning:
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Renaissance Festival

This past weekend the usual crew and I set out for the Renaissance festival! Every year people dress up in medieval wear and take themselves back to a different time and place. A place where kings and queens ruled, things were only made by hand, and people spoke in a different way. The times now are so hustle bustle and less in the moment. People lived in the moment back then. Things came unexpectedly because there was no such thing as phones and internet to prepare them for just about anything. Although the festival is...well just a festival it still acts as a time machine for me.
I like to bring myself back into that time every once in a while to be free for a few hours and live simply.

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If only I owned an actual time machine...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday nights + Cinnamon Roll recipe

What do you do when you have the entire house to yourself? (with the tiny exception of a sleeping hunny in the room down the hall, of course.) Well, you make sweet dough and with that sweet dough you make wonderful rolls of cinnamon commonly known as the cinnamon roll. Ryan is out for the night at a Lightning game with his brothers and I get to party it up here holding down the fort. Tuesday nights definitely take second place to Wednesdays when it comes to favorite days of the week. Tuesday nights I get to satisfy my reality show addiction and we treat as a weekend in a sense because in the bread man world Wednesdays are their days off. It's fabulous in its own little way.
You know what else is fabulous? 
This Cinnamon roll recipe. I'm telling you, it WILL steer you clear of any Cinnabun shops anywhere near you. It's that impressive. 


For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, room temp.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour (depending on consistency after kneading)

For the filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (I use spreadable it makes it easier, you'll see)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

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How to make:

The dough:

  1. In the bowl of your lovely stand mixer plop your dough hook on and get all your dough ingredients prepped. 
  2. Add the warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to the bowl of your mixer. Whisk it around a few times and let it sit and get bubbly and yeasty for about 10 minutes. When you come back it should be foamy and puffed up looking. 
  3. Grab a small bowl and whisk together the buttermilk, egg, salt and oil. Add this mixture to the yeast mixture and the rest of the sugar (7 tablespoons). Let it mix on the stir setting for 30 seconds.
  4. Now add 2 cups of flour, let it incorporate and slowly start adding 1/4 cup of flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides. (You might have to take a long spoon and scrape to incorporate better since the dough is very sticky.)
  5. Take the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until in a round smooth ball. Spray baking pam in a big glass bowl and let that baby rise for a good 1 and a half to 2 hours. Be patient!

The filling:

  1. Come back to your dough ball that should have tripled in size! Flour a large surface, for me that's my dining room table (thanks small apartments). Punch air bubbles out of your dough while it's still in the bowl then place it down and roll out until its roughly 20x30 inch rectangular type thing. Doesn't have to be perfect, just get a nice rectangle.
  2. Now with the back of a metal spoon take butter and spread it generously around on the rectangle. Leave a 1 inch strip of dough that's farthest away from you untouched. 
  3. In small bowl mix the cinnamon, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Sprinkle it all over the butter, don't be afraid to dump it all on there you will thank me later. Next, take your rolling pin and roll over the rectangle of dough across the sugar mixture and the butter. This helps mash it in perfectly.
  4. Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you begin rolling up the yummyness into a log of some sort. Seal it with the untouched edge. 
  5. Slice off the uneven sides and begin slicing into the log to make the rolls. You can make these as big or small as you want. I like making massive ones so I only make about 6-7 every time I use this recipe. 
  6. For the pan I use a spring form pan to really lock in the flavors and keep the filling from melting out. You can also use a glass baking pan. I also don't line mine with parchment, but you can if you want to be careful. I just use baking Pam and it does the job for me!
  7. Place all the rolls into your baking dish of choice and let sit with the oven preheating so the rolls with begin to rise even more. You want them to be almost hugging each other, that's how big they really get guys.
  8. One risen to your liking, bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-17 minutes and golden brown on the tops.

The cream cheese frosting (the most important part):

  1. While your rolls are baking away, get our your ingredients for the frosting. This is what really makes the Cinnamon bun sparkle or should I say shine?
  2. In your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, mix well. Pour in the powdered sugar gradually, not all at once. Mix mix mix and now you've got yourself a beautiful frosting to pour over these heavenly doosies. 
  3. Take your rolls out of the oven and pour the frosting over top. Let it melt into the creases for about 5 minutes. Then pour once more over top and serve!

Happy rolling and baking!

Monday, April 7, 2014


Since Thursday things have been on the move. It's a wonder that I even remembered to breathe these last few days, luckily I remembered oxygen is an essential ingredient along side all the other tasks that are busting open my mind at the moment.
Thursday and Friday my kitchen consistently smelled of almost every fragrance you can think of, and probably some that you have no idea of. Not because I was cooking up something grand, but because Stephanie and I were in candle making mode and setting up shop, which is here by the way if you haven't swung by yet.
Saturday was a work day and Saturday night Stephanie and I had a girls night which is actually code for supply ordering, and click clacking away at our keyboards, setting up our candle listings and social media accounts. (also a sneaky trip to the Cheesecake Factory). I can officially say I am finally at peace with the setting up process, I have been pretty on edge with all that piled up  in my brain and now it's just time to promote promote promote, which I'm slightly okay with.
Sunday we opened shop, did a lot of friending (probably not a word, whatever) and more click clacking. Then we were off to the Renaissance Festival for a break from reality which was more than needed, I'll be posting about that later on this week when I have a moment.
Then it was home to scoop up the shoosh, plant lots of miss you kisses on her chunky cheeks, do some hardcore playing and ship her off to dreamland.
 photo 22c450b0a4130f5f2af2cc2b98f153f0_zps4293c10e.jpg  photo 242e0f3e7eda51647a3aec38d6a1eba3_zps0276a92d.jpg  photo 48fc73005fa283dacbd8da38b05d6e4b_zps8e57efb5.jpg So as far as Mondays go, I could hug them if they were huggable. I've come to realize that Mondays are mine and Lola's veg days. Where we kick up our feet with not a care in the world and repair ourselves from the days past. Lola tends to nap a little bit harder from her trips to Grandma's and Grandpa's and I always appreciate that so I can meal plan and do some reading or just do some recouping and kick myself back into Mommy mode. The house always seems a little bit quieter on Mondays too, like the house is snoozing away to. I can hear each step I take as the pads of my feet hit our wood floor. The house is still and that's the way I like it. So here's to Mondays, I know most of you would kick Monday's ass if you could, but for me it's the total opposite. I need Mondays and they need me.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Happy Sunday everybody!
Stephanie and I clipped the red ribbon on our Etsy shop and launched it full throttle. We have spent probably the last month fiddling with the idea of opening a candle business online. It all started in the dusty back corner of Michael's. We even made it official with a handshake and all. So we got straight to work, and after weeks of experimenting with wax, wicks, and scents we finally have a system down. There are still many things we have to learn, but that's the most exciting part, and not to mention we will be creating our own product for people to enjoy. I mean seriously who doesn't love candles? ESPECIALLY Game of Thrones based candles. Yep, that's right, our first selection of candles will be dual scented character candles from the HBO TV series that everyone is raving about. (Including myself, that is just a little bit obsessed).
So our site is brand spanking new, three candles are up (Arya, Sansa, and Khaleesi) with more to come in the following weeks. So if you view this blog frequently you will also be hearing about updates on new candles that will be filling our electronic shelves in the future. 
Also, if you're not a fan of Game of Thrones and you're just looking for new and unique candles to make your home smell fabulous, just wait because we will be adding seasonal scents and collections as well.
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Welcome to KnickNaxCandleWax, make yourself at home.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Art from the Heart

Two weekends ago Ryan and I made our way to Downtown Dunedin in search of pottery to paint. And we found just that, with a little help from google of course. It's a little hole in the wall place hiding in the back of the hustle and bustle of the downtown shops and such. We opened the door and were automatically welcomed by the two eager ladies that ran the joint. They led us to the back corner where all the pottery pieces lived, this is where we picked our soon to be masterpieces. I think I was still in awe of the place though because I couldn't keep myself from glancing around, first of all, at the abundance of people painting pottery (who know?) and second of all how absolutely quaint and adorable this place was. There were tables set up with mismatched everything on each table and the sunday afternoon light shone through the windows so perfectly. I snapped out of it to get back to Ryan who was probably clueless on what to choose. Which I found out he was, but who am I kidding so was I. There were vases upon vases, bowls, teacups, salt and pepper shakers galore! We made our final decision and he picked a skinny mug and I picked a not so skinny mug (see what we did there?) to add to our growing mug collection.
We scored a window seat and set to work on our creations.
It was a blast and we will definitely be back to make some super cool salt and pepper shakers and bring miss Lola so she can slap some paint on something of her own.
 photo b3e6fca0de585d36a639793f8dd373b1_zps9baff4c0.jpg  photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps36065943.png A week went by and Sunday came around and it was time to pick up our mugs which gave us prime opportunity to scope out what else Dunedin had hiding around in it's nooks and crannies. We stumbled upon a mexican restaurant that fit our coolness standards and scurried inside. The place was decked out in Day of the Dead decor and purples, greens, yellows and reds. So many colors and so many skulls. I honestly don't even know the name of the place since we were walking and just made the sudden decision to walk in, but it was really good and we found out that it was authentic organic mexican food.
We left skeleton land and oohed and ahhed at the shops and found ourselves in an icecream shop (of course). I blame Lola and her ice cream addiction. I swear she was begging for some of my peanut butter icecream.
 photo 34e78b3cb3e83553fc2fe1211c8d1031_zps9bb39441.jpg  photo 8bd27e5be9233216fbc712afac4ed5bd_zps74ee2f88.jpg  photo fc9151c906c424aec2946a4b09516b06_zps56547ea2.jpg We left after the air started getting that late evening chill that we've been experiencing lately and Ryan napped in the passenger seat the whole way home since I took the long long long way home (aka missed a turn and got a little lost).
A day well spent, we will be back for you Downtown Dunedin.