Piña Colada Cupcakes

Were you afraid I forgot to make the July cupcake from the challenge? Never fear, here is the Piña Colada Cupcake. I really think this was one of the cupcakes everyone was looking forward too, that and last months. February’s was good too. I think May’s was the worst IMO. I have a feeling May’s will always be the worst IMO… So the way to start this cupcake was to boil my Pineapple juice. Can I tell you a secret? I had to boil it twice and I forgot about it both times. Whoops.

The first time I forgot to shake my juice together. So it really didn’t boil down to a thick syrup, which made me decide to start again. The second time I walked away and forgot again that I put it on to boil. Nothing happened either time except I came back to the above picture. No big deal.

The boiled juice was actually for the icing but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget because it needed to be completely cool before I could use it. A few hours later I started back in on the cupcakes. This time I mixed the dry ingredients together in a bowl. It says medium bowl but seriously, I could have used a small bowl for the dry ingredients.

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A Week in Southern Oklahoma – Part 1

Over a year ago, my aunt and uncle made Tbug a deal that she could come down and spend a week with them at their house, riding horses. Last summer, hubby and I couldn’t get her there. At Thanksgiving they made the offer again. Hubby and I knew we were going to get her there this year, No. Matter. What.

They extended this offer to me when I was a teenager and I actually got to spend a couple different weeks with them. I’m telling you, other than it’s hot in Southern Oklahoma in July, it was an excellent experience and when I told hubby, we knew it would be a good thing for Tbug. Spending an entire week with UB and working on her horsemanship skills. What better way to spend a week than riding horses…

Earlier this spring Tbug’s mom said that she had 3 weeks this entire summer that she had nothing going on. The first was the week of the 4th of July, the other 2 were the first 2 weeks of August. I finally got it worked out between all of our schedules that we were going down the week of 4th of July. Tbug got home from Cheer camp Friday June 30th at 11something at night and we made arrangements to meet up with her mom around 4 something July 1st to head to AC & UB’s.

Friday Night

Friday evening after hubby got off work, we spent the evening checking the running lights/break lights on the trailer. We figured if we were going to be driving at 4 something in the morning and beating the sun awake, we better have lights on and working. Out of like 30 lights, at least half were burned out (or so we thought). We ran to Walmart to buy new light bulbs, when we got home hubby went to replacing lights. Out of all those lightbulbs that “didn’t work” only 2 had to be replaced. The rest were just a loose connection that hubby tightened up. Not bad for a 23 year old trailer.

Saturday

I wasn’t kidding when I said we got up and left before the sun even rose. Who knew 3 something existed? Hubby and I had a pile of stuff to load up first thing, then we loaded horses, ourselves, and headed out to meet up with Tbug and her mom. They were on their way to North Carolina. I guess we’re all crazy… getting up early to drive somewhere, right? Serious, crazy… lol.

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How To: Can Tomatoes

The other day I was down at my grandma’s and she made a comment that really kind of stuck with me. As you know I started a garden this year. This is my second attempt but first successful attempt at a garden. That’s cool, right? I planted green beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers (assorted), and carrots. At my house, we really don’t eat many raw tomatoes, so I called my grandma up and asked her to help me can them. She agreed. So what exactly did she say that stuck with me? That she was proud of me for learning how to do this because it is becoming a lost art. Wow! It was one of those things I thought of but never really made note of.

How to: Can Tomatoes

Midwestern at Heart: How To: Can Tomatoes. This is my Grandma's tried and true method of canning tomatoes so you have fresh tomatoes from your summer garden all year long.

The first thing you want to do is decide what you think you’ll use these tomatoes for. I told her I was going to use these for tomato sauce or pasta sauce eventually. Keep that in mind when trying this method!

I have a mixture of Beefsteak and Roma tomatoes in my bucket.

Midwestern at Heart: Bucket of Tomatoes

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Grandma’s Cookbook

Grandma J's Favorite Recipes Cookbook

If you know one thing about me, you probably know 100, but here’s another tidbit of information about yours truly… I love cookbooks. Yes, it is a fact that I absolutely LOVE cookbooks. I swear, I have a cookbook addiction. Some days I think it’s a bad thing and other days I absolutely love it. The funny thing is, you can probably find any and every recipe you want on line these days, yet I want those hard cover cookbooks. It’s just the thing that I need to have. I love the feel of the paper and the weight and having it right there all spelled out for you. I get frustrated when I get flour on my computer or my iPad goes to sleep before I’m done following a recipe.

Why do I bring this up? Well, for Christmas last year my grandma gave me a present I truly cherish. She compiled a bunch of her favorite recipes into a small three ring binder. All the recipes are in protective pages so I can pull them out if I need, but are easily cleanable should I get stuff on them. And best yet, a lot of them are in her handwriting.

Jump forward a couple months and she went into the Church to give pie crust making lessons. I don’t really know all the details, but I just know that a bunch of the ladies in her church wanted her pie crust recipe and wanted to learn the lessons from her. My Christmas present is a copy of one she made herself. When the ladies at the church saw this cookbook, they wanted one too. That’s when, Grandma’s Cookbook was created.

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Eetza Birthday Partaey

For about a month leading up to Abug’s birthday she begged and pleaded (okay, that’s a bit of an extreme but we are referring to a toddler here….) that she wanted cookies and a cake and cupcakes for her birthday. I promised her I would take care of her. Now, she was back and forth between cupcakes and cake, but the cookies… they were definitely a want.

She chose Princess Elena of Avalor theme for her party so the cookies were Princess Elena’s dress. I was quite pleased with how they turned out. At first, I wasn’t so sure but once they were done, I was pleased. This year I took cookies to the lake for her “lake birthday.”

A couple days before her birthday I decided on cupcakes in the shape of a Princess Elena dress to go along with the theme of the cookies. She prefers chocolate cake over vanilla although she isn’t really picky, so I went with chocolate cake into cupcakes. I made the yellow sash with a piece of ribbon. It was easier than trying to do it with icing and I was afraid a red sash wouldn’t stand out.

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Chichén Itzá

If you would have told me that this year I would see one of the 7 Wonders of the World, I’d have laughed in your face. Not because I don’t want to, but this is the closest I’ve been to seeing one….

In 2007 Chichén Itzá was added to the list of the 7 Wonders of the World. The Mayan people were simply outstanding people who I swear had to be high as a kite. Unless you are a history buff, I would highly recommend getting a tour guide if you ever come here. There is way to much that you would miss out on information wise otherwise! Holy Cow though, this place is amazing.

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Dream Big but not too big

One of my new favorite movies has got to be My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. I remember when the first one came out, it was cute but I never thought it was nearly as funny as everyone else did. When I was in grad school we learned that your perceptions of the world are changed over time due to age, learning, experiences, etc. Now I like the first one, too, but I still think this is the better one. Normally it doesn’t seem like seconds and thirds of movies are as good as the first, but I believe this one is and I hope that there are more.

Let’s ponder one of those above thoughts… life experiences change how you perceive things. Hmmm… why would I pick that to focus on? Simple… a couple weeks ago I spent the week at my aunt and uncle’s in southern Oklahoma with Tbug. She’s 14 now. How in the world did that happen, she’s just 6, right? No, unfortunately she has moved on to those teenage years.

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Cozumel Mother’s Day Part 2

About half of our group or so stayed an extra few days in Cozumel. 3 different families brought their mothers/fathers/daughters and we wanted to play “tourist” with the additional family members. One of our excursions were to jump on the ferry and travel across to the mainland. Our destination… Chichén Itzá.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to Cozumel, I’d definitely suggest taking the ferry across to the mainland. It was about 45 minutes. The cab driver that dropped us off at the ferry station recommended to buy a one way ticket since there are multiple ferry companies that travel back and forth and they won’t accept another ferry companies tickets. It just keeps you from getting stuck for 3 tickets when you only need two.

So this is a real pirate ship that travels around Cozumel but it is actually a dinner cruise from what I’ve researched.

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Cozumel Mother’s Day Trip Part 1

In May we headed to Cozumel Mexico. By the time we left I think we all needed a vacation. It was hubby, Abug, my mom, my MIL, and me who were able to go this year along with some other people to round out our trip. It was a lot of fun and after the way my day started I’m ready for some more Vitamin D and Vitamin Sea until my attitude changes!

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