Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes!

I made these cupcakes yesterday a BSU Bronco party and they were a big hit.  So yummy!  

Ingredients for cupcakes:
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp grated orange zest
red and yellow food coloring

Ingredients for frosting:

2 8 oz bricks cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange juice
3 cups powdered sugar
Red and yellow food coloring


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 standard sized muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

Beat butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, orange juice and zest in a large bowl with mixer on high 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. On low speed, beat in flour and milk, alternating in 2 additions, just until blended, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add a couple of drops of red and yellow food coloring until the batter is orange.  Spoon evenly in muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake 22 to 24 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean and tops are golden. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from pans to rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, beat cream cheese, vanilla and juice in a bowl to blend. Add
powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in a couple of drops of red and yellow food coloring until light orange. Refrigerate until firm enough to spread.

Recipe makes 24 wicked yummy cupcakes!!  Enjoy.  :)

Love and blessings,

Words to live by...

A friend sent me this via email and I love it.  Thought I'd share it with you...

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. Its OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. Its OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


Boo to you!

Here is a little Halloween banner that I created for Shimmerz Paints. I used Fiery Fiesta Vibez on the chipboard letters.


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How beautiful is my sweetgum tree? Oh, how I LOVE the fall colors!!



Back to basics...

Over the last few months, life has been crazy so I have not had the opportunity to get creative as often as I would like. I created some cards recently and figured I better get back to basics and start off simple... ease myself back into my creative groove! Last Spring I bought these beautiful papers and embellishments from The Girls Paperie. I have been dying to create with them. I grabbed my Baby's Breath Spritz and made the pretty floral paper even prettier and shimmery on these first two cards.

On this third card I used some of the latest and greatest colors from Shimmerz Paints. On the flower, I used Pop Art Pink Vibes mixed with a little Ruby Spritz to get just the shade of pink I was looking for. I used the new Peas Be Mine Pearlz on the leaves.

I guess it's time to put away the Spring and Summer papers and start creating with some warm fall ones! I suppose I'm in denial that the cold weather is coming because of this HOT weather we are having here in Idaho lately!

Happy Fall!


Seafood Chowder Recipe

Once in a while I am asked for one of my recipes that I don't have written down. I just wing it with chowder but my friend Mary Alice asked me to write it down for her. Thanks, Mary Alice! I really need to do this with many of my recipes but need a little kick in the ass. :)

This recipe makes a big ol' 8 quart pot full, which is probably about 18 to 20 generous servings.

Seafood Chowder


3-4 cups chopped clams (this would be about 10 pounds in the shell)
1 pound bay scallops
1 pound small shrimp (deveined and tails off)
1/2 pound bacon or pancetta, diced small.
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
12 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 quart heavy cream
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
3 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
hot sauce (optional)
8 bottles Snow's Clam Juice (8oz each)If using pre-shucked clams
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley


Normally I bring clams home from Washington already shucked and I freeze them. I chop them up while they are in a big brick just slightly thawed. I use the store bought clam juice when I don't have fresh whole clams.

If you are using fresh clams, transfer the clams to a large bowl or baking dish and strain the broth twice through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, being careful to strain out the sand. You should have about 8 cups of clam broth. If not, add enough water to bring the volume up to 8 cups. When the clams are cool, remove them from their shells and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set the clams and broth aside.

Cook the bacon or pancetta (I prefer the non-smoky taste of pancetta) in a large heavy pot over medium heat until crisp and the fat is rendered. Pour off all of the bacon fat except 2 tablespoons. Add 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, onions, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are thoroughly wilted, about 3 minutes, being careful not to brown.

Add the potatoes and reserved clam broth or clam juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the broth thickens slightly and the potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes.I like my chowder very thick so at this point I melt half a stick of butter then stir in half a cup of flour. Cook this down for a couple of minutes then add to pot of chowder and stir. It will get very thick!

Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves, stir in the cream. Bring temp up to simmer. Add seafood and simmer for about 7-8 minutes just long enough for seafood to cook. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.

If you have the time, set the chowder aside for 1 hour, covered, to allow the flavors to marry. Place the pot over low heat and slowly reheat, being careful not to let boil as this will over cook the seafood. Garnish each bowl some chopped parsley.


Holy Smokes... three months??

How crazy is it that I've not blogged for three months?? It's not for lack of material, that's for sure! All three boys start school on Monday and Nate will be in first grade (ALL DAY!) so I'll be back to creating and blogging but also tackling my "I'll do that when the kids go back to school" list!

It's been a wonderful summer full of happy memories and I can't wait to recap and scrap it :)

Love and blessings to you!



Change of direction!

I love making banners! (can you tell?) I decided to change the direction with this one and make it vertical. I photographed it on my front door but it's paper so I can't leave it there. I'll have to find a place in my home for it because I just LOVE it!!

I used papers from Teresa Collins Designs Welcome Home and Mr. & Mrs Collections. Thanks for stopping by today!

Blessings to you!
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A mini...

I don't do a whole lot of "mini books" anymore. I just don't know what the heck to do with them after they are done! :) I created this one for Scrappin' Girlfriends as a store sample. It is very simple. The book and the papers are from Bo Bunny. I just love love love these pictures of Joe and Nate hanging out in the back yard. They make me so happy!  You can click on each of the photos if you want to see the details.
I used the new Shimmerz Pearlz color "Espresso" which is a very dark brown, to distress the edges of the pages.  The stickers are from 7 Gypsies.

Thanks for stopping by today!




I made this banner to hang in my studio. I used Teresa Collins Designs Chic Bebe Girl collection. Love the crowns!

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Find your Spahkle!


Oh, Happy Day!

Here is another banner I recently created. I got a Design Team kit from Scrappin' Girlfriends with a Maya Road chipboard album in in and a bunch of these bright colorful Fancy Pants papers. I decided to make it into a cheerful banner instead of a mini book. I used some of the new Shimmerz Pearlz on the letters and flowers. I'm so digging the color "Samrock" which is the most gorgeous shade of green!

Oh, happy day to you!

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Graphic 45...

made me their Featured Artist for May for the banner that I created with their papers. How fun is that? You can check it out HERE and leave some love.


Back to reality!!

I had SUCH a lovely time in Arizona! I'm glad to be home because I missed my guys but it was very hard to leave this paradise...

I got to hang out at the J.W. Marriot in Phoenix over the weekend and man, was it POSH!

I'll post more pics soon!

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Banner Happy!

Hey there! I've been a little banner happy lately and have made several of these fun colorful decorations! Here is one that I  made for Scrappin' Girlfriends, my favorite scrapbook store! I used some of the brand new Shimmerz Pearlz paints on them. Love, love, love the opacity and vibrant sparkle of this product!  I used Carrot Top Pearlz on the chipboard letters and some of the flowers and Sunny Side Up Pearlz and Jeni B Bleu Vibez on the other flowers (all flowers from Petaloo!)

I used Graphic 45 On The Boardwalk papers for this banner.  Love this paper collection, so vintage but yet vibrant colors all at the same time!  To tie the banner together I used some beautiful hand dyed silk ribbon from my friend Cece of The Thread Gatherer!  Check out her ribbons and fibers, so gorgeous!

Hope you have a BANNER day filled with blessings!


Shimmerz Pearlz has 11 new colors!

Just released today! Check out the video with some inspiring projects!
(Don't forget to pause my playlist.)


Bloom and Grow

This beautiful, sweet, gorgeous little girl is Gracie. She is the daughter of Stacey McElyea, owner of Shimmerz Paints. The pictures were taken by Samantha McElyea, Stacey's oldest daughter. She has recently started a photography business and I think she's gots some mad skillz, how about you?

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I used lots of Jenni Bowlin stuff on these pages. I just love everything she makes! I used Shimmerz Vibez in Sunset Strip, Red-y or Not, Hermit the Frog and Vertigre. I also use some Mello Yellow Shimmerz.

I made the flowers with some rolled up paper and red acrylic paint. I spritzed them with a little bit of Red-y or Not Vibez to add some shimmer.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Have a great weekend.

Love to you!


Blossoming with Petaloo...

Shimmerz Paints has recently teamed up with Petaloo. Petaloo makes fabulous paper flowers and are a match made in heaven with Shimmerz Paints. Like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, peas and carrots... you get the point!

Recently I received all of Teresa Collins Design's new paper lines and I used Chic Bebe Girl and Chic Bebe Boy for this layout. See, these lines are so versatile, not just for babies!

I love the way the Shimmerz Pearlz really stuck to the white printed flowers on the transparency. I also used the Pearlz (in Ballet Slipper and Morning Mist from the Teresa Collins exclusive line of colors) on the paper edges, the chipboard embellishments, the title banner, and of course all of the pretty Petaloo flowers!

The cute girls in the pictures are Sarah (my friend Denise's daughter) and Hailey (my friend Stacie's daughter). Stacie is a photographer in Arizona and she took these adorable pics of the girls.

I have some more creations with Petaloo flowers that I will post this week so check back soon!

Blessings to you,