Tuesday, July 17, 2012

death by chocolate cupcakes!!


Who doesn't love a good cupcake...heck I will even go for an "ok" cupcake, pretty much any day!!
So this year when my mom asked what I wanted to do for  our father's day family cookout I quickly said cupcakes!!!  Knowing my dads unhealthy love for chocolate, I envisioned a chocolate, mousse kinda thang.. (we added in some vanilla super sugary cupcakes for my sister, who just happened to have her birthday on father's day this year!!)

For the cupcakes:
I used a chocolate boxed cake {follow directions on back of box}
and added
1 c. sour cream
1tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
mix together  and bake according to box

For the frosting I used this recipe  
From this amazing blog How sweet it is
Chocolate cream cheese frosting
3 8-ounce blocks of cold cream cheese
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
I left out the milk chocolate, just because I was in a hurry and I LOVED how it tasted! I then followed her recipe!! They were AMAZing !!
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and add cocoa powder, increasing the speed to mix. If the frosting it a bit too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.  If it is too thin, add additional sugar gradually. Frost cupcakes once cooled. I topped with chocolate sprinkles and shaved chocolate. 
We did have a ton of frosting left so we dipped strawberries in it...heaven!!

They didn't disappoint. They were moist, chocolate-y, and mousse-y! 


Monday, July 16, 2012

A day at the museum

We are so super lucky to have an AWESOME, BRAND new children's museum 3 blocks away from us!!! They just opened a new exhibit and it is so fun! It's one of our favorite things to do on rainy days or just-to-hot-to-be-outside days!! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

summer favorite

I will admit, I have a problem...my name is ami and I am addicted to Starbucks Iced Vanilla lattes... wow feels so much better to get that off my chest! :) So when I started seeing all of the home recipes for iced coffee I was skeptical to say the least!! WELL let me tell you I have converted!! I have found the perfect combination of sweet-but-not-TOO-sweet... and depending on my mood I can sweeten it up how i need!! 

 start with a STRONG pot of coffee, we use caffe verona from Starbucks. We  grind the beans at home and tend to make it pretty strong with our french press.
 Now here is where you can really play with this.. most recipes on pinterest called for equal amounts of SCM(sweetend condensed milk : milk) I only used 1-2 TBSP per 
1 cup of unflavored almond milk  
with 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract 

pour into larger mason jar and mix that up...

I fill my jar(cup) with ice..(make sure coffee has cooled)
then add ~3/4 coffee to 1/4 cream and top it with a paper straw!!
Lovely summer morning treat!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

the hike

One of the many things I love about West Virginia is the green lusciousness everywhere you turn, granted you pay for this beautiful scenery with lots of rainy days... the moderate green summer days  make it worth the dampness.  I love that during the summer it is still cool enough to wear a sweatshirt in the evening. I love the endless supply of lightening bugs, and I love that most of family is there.  As we hiked through the majestic Coopers Rock we explored through small caves and dared to venture off the path(for about 2 feet) and gasped at the beauty. So often we get concrete locked and fail to appreciate nature, WE WILL DO this more...I found a beautiful poem that tied up our experience nicely.  

Awaken the senses
Explore and learn
Treasure the seasons
Natures' beauty at every turn

 Climbing rocks
Walking trails
Leaves and grasses
The surface we sail

Open yourself up
Listen with your heart
Hear the wild calling
Become a whole, not part

Enjoy the majesty
Take in the sublime
Don't rush
Take time

Feel the wonder
The breeze on the air
Feel the sunlight
And be aware

Magnificent & beautiful
all coexisting
Excellence and perfection
The power of hiking

A poem by Angel Sharum

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cousins .. ready made friends for life

There is many things that bring us joy these days, but spending time with our cousins is the ultimate joyful experience! 

the immediate familiarness and friendship no matter the time apart

the silliness that pours out of us and causes constant smiles and laughter

fancy updos & sidewalk chalk

getting shot in the back & still laughing...

finding beauty & peace watching the rain

pure 100% acceptance & love 

regardless of all our imperfections!!
We are soo soo lucky to have so many fun family members!! 
We love you Keckley Family-thank you for inviting our craziness into your house!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I got stripes - stripes around my shoulders

Little Johnny Cash to start the day!! I have stripe fever right now and am so in love with all the stripes I am seeing everywhere.. here are some favorites.

The bold colors and striped walls & ceiling are perfect for a porch. I can totally picture myself sitting here drinking a lemonade. 
I need to find a wall where I can add some!!!

A funky chair is a wonderful way to add some boldness to an otherwise neutral space. 

I love striped rugs, I think I need one for the kitchen.

Who doesn't love a peter pan collar?

I have gotten on the maxi dress train!! I love the colors of this one.

Monday, July 9, 2012

hello Monday

I am going to try something new today and link with Lisa Leonard at her blog,  journey with me. She has the most wonderful blog full of beautiful pictures and eloquent descriptions...plus her jewelry is delicious!

 hello warm weather and lots of wonderful, lazy afternoons spent at the pool. I love watching these two play together!

 hello beautiful days at the bay, we have a few more weeks before the jellies invade and we have to move to the ocean...so we are eating it up!

 hello to fort making and relaxing mornings to play...

 hello running...I have missed you my old friend. I have really enjoyed this quiet time I have allowed myself..and am super thankful for my wonderful husband who is so supportive!

Hello Outer Banks!Hello 4th of July...hello spending some time with family!

Hello Grammy, we loved seeing you!

hello sneaking out for a lunch date with my favorite guy!!

hello grandpa visiting and eating lunch at our favorite restaurant on the boardwalk at the beach!! yumm

hello awesome vintage find...can't wait to see the new and improved product!

hello super yummy summer berries from our local farmers market!!

 hello to an amazing dinner out with the family, hello to super cooperative kids, hello to first dinner in um 3 years that was relaxing, yummy and super fun!!

hello beautiful heirloom tomatoes...aren't they pretty?

hello super duper yummy summertime pasta..thank you pintrest.. you can find the recipe on my here!
hello to another week, hoping its full of fun, laughter and sunshine!!