Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Burtday

Friday was my roommate, Brittany's, birthday. We celebrated by going out to eat at In The Raw, a sushi restaurant, in Tulsa. No, I did not eat any sushi, I'm not a fan, but I did try edamame for the first time, it was amazing! I loved it. Anyway, I made her a cake and on it I wrote "Happy Burtday."

Here's the story behind that. One day I started calling her Burtsknee, that became Burt's bee, which then just became shortened to Burt. That name stuck and for about a year now her name has been Burt. So, since it was her birthday I decided to change it to Burtday. She absolutely loved it. I made her a funfetti cake, which is her favorite.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Hug From Taylor Swift

If you read my about me you know that I love Taylor Swift. She is my favorite artist and I love all of her music and her as a person in general. She's so genuine and caring, from what I can tell/have heard. Anyway, she posted a video about this website called A Hug From Taylor Swift. It is about these two guys, Ryan & Michael, who are trying to get a hug from T. Swift. She found their website and has challenged them to earn their hugs. The first challenge she gave them is to help an old lady across the street. They have gladly accepted the challenge and are going to be posting their acts as they complete them. This is so fun! Of course, they will get hugs from Taylor Swift and they are going to be helping people and doing fun stuff along the way. I am so jealous of them! HA! I would love to meet Taylor Swift I just haven't come up with a great plan just yet but maybe someday!

Anyway, everyone should check out their site and cheer them on!
A Hug From Taylor Swift



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

About Me

My name is Mandy. I'm from Oklahoma. I love baking, crafting and thrifting. Anything retro or mid-century mod is my favorite. I really think I should have been alive in the 1950s.

I got married to the love of my life on September 7, 2008.







We love coffee and bookstore dates.

I also love to take pictures.

I'm obsessed with Instagram but I also use a Canon Rebel.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cake Mixes

Today, I made my uncle some cupcakes for his birthday and Fletcher and I surprised him with them. The thing about my family on both of my parent's side's is that they really aren't that close. They have both drifted apart from their families a little bit and for some significant reasons and some not. My dad's side is mainly just lack of communication. I've always known my uncles but we just never were around them much and then we all lived in different states. Now that we live in Oklahoma again we are closer to them all so we see them quite often as compared to before. I like it a lot. I'm a family person. I love my family. I love being around them. It's comforting, it's safe, it's home. Well, since it was my uncle's birthday today, on a whim I decided to make him a cake, then decided on cupcakes (easier to transport). I was in a bit of a hurry and so I decided to use a cake mix. I am not opposed to cake mixes at all. I prefer myself to eat homemade cakes and such but in general I will not turn down anything mix or from scratch. I'm a sweet tooth! I think cake mixes are almost just like making a cake from scratch. Essentially, they are the same ingredients just already put together, with a few preservatives I know but oh well, you don't notice them. I used a spring funfetti cake mix for the cupcakes today and I used store bought icing too. My mom likes to buy me a lot of cake mixes and icings and things of that sort, she calls them care packages. I love my mom. I split the icing into thirds and dyed them pretty spring colors and used the spring sprinkles that came with the icing. They turned out very cute and springy and they fit the day perfectly, it was a sunny 64 degree day! I am so excited that (hopefully) the snow is over and spring is here to stay!



Sorry about the quality of the photos. I forgot to take pictures before I left the house so these were taken on my phone.

Monday, March 22, 2010

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Book Review: The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz


I've gotten back into reading a lot lately. I'm really glad since I've always loved to read but school has discouraged me the past few years. Hopefully, i'll be doing lots more book reviews in the future. I've got a wish list of books to get to so there will be more to come!

I recently discovered David Lebovitz, a dessert chef/blogger. He is absolutely amazing! His recipes are deliciously appetizing. I have a list a mile long of recipes I want to try. Mr. Lebovitz is from the states and has relocated to Paris, France. I've been dreaming of visiting for years! "The Sweet Life in Paris" is about his life since he moved to Paris. He recounts his first months, his misunderstandings with the French, adventures in the vast city and it's shops and some awesome recipes he's come up with along the way! It's funny, witty, and intelligent. It makes me crave the romance of Paris and yearn for some authentic french breads and cheeses. Definitely a must read for a foodie or a Paris lover. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars, I loved his writing and his stories. Everyone should check out his blog and his many cookbooks and definitely pick up this book too!

Saint Cupcake

I read a lot of blogs and my googlereader almost always has at least one new post for me to read. One of my daily reads is Bliss, written by the wonderful Mrs. French. Her blog is so wonderful. I love her "I Heart Monday" posts, everything she finds is so cute! Anyway, she had a giveaway a while back for an order of cupcakes from this amazing place called Saint Cupcake, based out of Portland, Oregon. They are a mail order cupcake site and they also have a couple of locations in Portland. I was so excited that I won and a little surprised because my comment was the very first one on the post! I really didn't expect to win but I did. I had to leave a comment saying which Saint Cupcake combination I would like to try the most. I picked the pumpkin spice cupcake with cream cheese icing and chocolate jimmie sprinkles. Anything pumpkin is my favorite. I got a 6 pack of the cupcake combo I had chosen and they came in the cutest packaging. The day they arrived I was soo excited so I opened the box to see this:

A super cut set of instructions on how to put your cupcakes together. They come with each element of the cupcake separate so you can ice your cupcakes just the way you like and add the sprinkles!

Needless to say these cupcakes were PERFECT! So moist and pumpkiny. YUM! The icing was sooo good too I almost just ate the icing by itself! HA!



I absolutely love this idea of mail order cupcakes! I would love to do something like this someday! A girl can dream...

I highly recommend everyone order some cupcakes from Saint Cupcake. Get some for yourself, send some to a friend, or both!

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies (or Chocolate Chip)

I wanted to make some oatmeal toffee cookies yesterday and I had some leftover toffee bits and chocolate chips so I decided to make half with the chocolate chips and half with the toffee. I've been on a toffee kick lately, it's just so yummy. I got the urge to make these because I was craving one of my mother-in-law's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. She is a cookie queen! You name it, she can make it perfectly! I, on the other hand, am pretty good but no cookie queen. I should have listened to myself and gotten out her recipe and followed it but being the lazy person I am (which I am working on) I decided to just google a recipe. I ended up using the Hershey's recipe and though the cookies are tasty, they are no Mrs. B cookies. Mine came out chewy and flat while hers are always perfectly round and more fluffy than chewy. I was a little disappointed that they weren't like hers so I called her to see what I did wrong. Well, come to find out, the more brown sugar the flatter and chewier the cookie. She usually does half brown sugar, half regular sugar. Next time I'll know to follow the Queen's recipe rather than be lazy. I am still learning new things every single day about baking so bear with me while I make some yummy mistakes along the way.

Hershey's Oatmeal Toffee Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/3 cups (8 oz. pkg.) HEATH BITS 'O BRICKLE Toffee Bits
1 cup MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut Flakes(optional)

Note: I left out the coconut flakes and I halved the batter before I added my toffee and chocolate chips. In one half I used about a cup of toffee bits and a cup of chocolate chips in the other.

Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; beat until blended.

Stir in oats, toffee bits (or chocolate chips) and coconut, if desired, with spoon. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto prepared sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

This recipe is pretty simple and quick. I'll definitely keep it in mind just in case I need some chewy cookies sometime.




Spring is here!


Spring is here and that makes me happy! I was tired of cold and winter. It makes me lazy! HA! Since spring has arrived and the weather is getting warmer, despite our weekend snow storm, I have decided to start all over again with this blog business. The snow is melted, the birds are singing, and here I am! My name is Mandy, I am a wife, a student, a baker and a crafter. This blog will be an assortment of recipes, stories, crafts, and inspirations I get from others. I hope everyone enjoys it and if you have any suggestions for me just let me know! HERE WE GO!