Walking in a Winter Wonderland (in November…)

I woke up on November 12, 2018, wondering if I still lived in Southwest Missouri. Why do you ask? Because we got snow. Snow in November. That doesn’t typically happen in Southwest Missouri until late December or January if any at all. And it wasn’t just a light dusting… oh no… it was flat out snow. I think we got a few inches.

And of course, school was canceled. So we went out and played in the snow. (more…)

3-Layer Microwave Cake (Happy Birthday Momma!)

Yes, you read this correctly! This 3-layer cake was made in the microwave. Mind blown! haha.

So a blog I like to follow called Bigger Bolder Baking (mentioned a time or two) said you could make a 3-layer cake in the microwave. Now if you know anything about me… of course I’m going to have to try that out.

Once upon a time for Christmas, my mom bought me a silicon baking set… but at the time I didn’t really care for it and never figured I’d use it ever again, so of course I got rid of it eventually. To me, it was just taking up space in the cabinet. And this time frame was like when I was still in high school or just first into college. Like a long time ago. By the way, I think I’m hanging out with my 15-year-old too much… like has been said like way too many like times. haha! Yes, sometimes we count how many times she uses that word in a sentence. 1 sentence. I think the record was 6 so far. One. Sentence. Let that sink in a minute.

Anyway… I had to go online and get new silicon baking pans because obviously metal ones and a microwave aren’t friends. Also, just for future reference… a metal bread tie and a microwave aren’t friends either.

3-Layer Microwave Cake

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Pecan Pie Cake

As we all pretty well seem to know, this year has been the year of cakes. I stumbled across this cake a while back and thought, Perfect for Thanksgiving! In fact, I debated making this for Hubby’s birthday cake since I knew he wasn’t going to be home. But then he was going to be home. In the end, he wasn’t home. Then I made a cake he would like just in case. Heck, we were eating it without him and he can’t have nuts so…

So one of the ladies my mom works with asked me to make a cake. It was going to be one she’d had I’d made before… a Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake. Somehow with some convincing, I conned (haha) her into this one instead. She decided that yes, we’d do this one because the other flavor was more for her taste and this would be more for her whole family. My only request was I had to know how it was because I wasn’t going to get to try a bite. I hear it was excellent! I don’t know. I’ll probably have to make it sometime so I can try it! I like Pecan Pie.

Pecan Pie Cake

Unlike most of the cakes here lately 2 things… 1. I didn’t pull from here and there to do exactly what I wanted. I followed the recipe to a T. 2. It was only 2 layers high, not 3 or 4. The cake itself was made with brown sugar instead of regular sugar. It gave it a more molassessy feel/taste. Yup, totally made up that word. But as you know, brown sugar has molasses in it if you have to make it yourself. (more…)

Getting to This Point

Thursday morning… November 29, 2018, a day I never figured would happen. It was an uphill struggle the whole way. I had a meltdown a few times along the way. We all did. It was frustrating as hell (pardon my language). If you’ve ever thought about buying a foreclosure house, my thought is… DON’T. Okay, maybe that’s being a bit melodramatic.

I was told if it was worth it, keep fighting. There were days I questioned my sanity and wondered why I thought it was worth it.

With all the buy/flip shows on HGTV and DIY Network, everyone seems to want to buy houses and flip them these days. That wasn’t our goal… for the most part anyway.

Remember back to September 2016, we sold our house. In fact, we moved out on our Anniversary weekend. That weekend felt like a slap in my face. These last few years haven’t gone anything like I thought they would. I can guarantee they aren’t anything like 25-year-old Nicole thought they’d be. Maybe that’s the fun in life… maybe not. I’m not really sure. But… needless to say, we sold our house and moved back in with my parents. That was just supposed to be a stepping stone to the next thing. (more…)

Christmas Tree 2018 (And a Surprise)

Finally, the tree went up at our house over the weekend. I’ve been pretty much chomping at the bit (horse term) to get that tree up. I would like to say it went up without any hitches, but it didn’t… NOT. AT. ALL. In fact, I think the term hitches is a nice way of saying how things went on Saturday when we put the tree up. Sad day! Part of me wants to jot those memories down and part of me wants to forget it ever happened. No use in dwelling on the past, right? Let’s just say, Christmas is my favorite holiday (followed so close by Thanksgiving and all of the rest of the holidays) and I used the phrase, I Hate Christmas. Sadly, I try to teach Abug not to say hate. It’s something I try to instill in Abug, don’t hate. Yet I was so frustrated I kept saying HATE. Hypocrite! (that was directed at me, not you :))

The Tree

A few years ago we bought this tree at Lowe’s on sale after Christmas. Best purchase we’ve ever made when it comes to Christmas trees. It goes together so nicely and yeah, I love this tree. Plus, I’m a white light girl and hubby is a colored light guy… This tree flashes back and forth between white lights and colored lights. Best of both worlds!

My friend Harriett told me I needed to make a tree skirt for my tree, but it was too late to start it when she suggested that… so next year. I’m holding you to that Harriett! So Abug decided she was going to put the tree skirt on the tree… (more…)

Thanksgiving 2018

And just like that, Thanksgiving is over.  I saw a meme the other day that I actually saw a year ago… something about spending 10 hours cooking for it to be gone in 30 minutes and then spending 5 hours cleaning up or something. haha. But that’s kind of the fun in Thanksgiving!

It’s also funny how short weeks feel the longest sometimes. Thanksgiving is always the 3rd Thursday of November. And that week, every year feels so long! Probably because of the anticipation of what is to come that week. That’s what I’m going with anyway!

This year, we had plans to leave Tuesday after Abug got out of school to head to my aunt and uncle’s house in Oklahoma. I love when we get to go see them. I have a pretty small family as is, so when we don’t get to see each other on holidays it makes it feel so weird. Weird is the only word I can see to describe it. My family did get bigger when I married my husband, but still… unfortunately they don’t care for me very much so I’ve heard. I get blamed for things that are out of my control and that sucks. But my husband, he’s my rock. He loves me and that’s what matters!

Anyway, Tbug couldn’t come down with us because she had a dentist appointment on Wednesday. My parents weren’t able to come down until Wednesday night so they brought her with them. It was a big happy family!! (more…)

Tiramisu Birthday Cake with Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

When my husband and I started dating, he was living in Kentucky or was it Tennessee? It was right on the border and he called it Tuckasee. Technically he lived in Clarksville, Kentucky. He was working at the army base Ft. Campbell.

Not long after we started dating, just a couple months, he decided to move home. If you’ve been around these parts you’ll know we went to high school together. I actually fall in that 18% of people who marry someone from their graduating class. So here we were, he moved home in October. My mom and I found tickets to see Dracula at the Ballet and we bought them. Turns out, we bought them for November 1st that year. Does anyone know what November 1st is? It’s my husband’s birthday. Yup, I missed my husband’s first birthday together.

Hey, he wasn’t here for mine… haha. Mine was in the middle of the week and he was back in Kentucky. My mom offered him her ticket but he refused. And now he hasn’t let me live down missing that birthday since. But this year he was traveling for work on his birthday. I’m here to tell you though… I didn’t forget his birthday. I made him a Tiramisu Birthday Cake with Homemade Tiramisu Truffles. THEN, I took it to dive club meeting and we all ate it and celebrated without him. I wasn’t going to get accused of forgetting his birthday, again.

 Tiramisu Cake with Homemade Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

Here while back, we bought my little helper a hammer of her own. She has rules that it has to stay in mommy’s tool bag until she is told she can pull it out. Unfortunately, we got her the hammer and she hasn’t had a chance to use it… Bummer! It’s almost like giving a kid candy and saying don’t eat it. (more…)

S’mores Cake

Late last month a friend of mine asked me if I would be willing to make a cake for a fundraiser and what I would charge her. I said I’d do it for the ingredients. Heck yeah, someone else to help fund my new found interests. I don’t know, do you call it a hobby? A job? Perhaps we stick with interest? I don’t really know the answer. The thing I can tell you though is I really like decorate these types of cakes. Piping like you learn in Wilton classes aren’t really my thing. Too stressful. Wedding cakes are too stressful too.

Truthfully I could have had a “moment” with this particular cake. But that was okay. I relaxed and continued on. It was easier that way. And in the end, it worked out. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

S’mores Cake

I mulled over my options quite a bit.

  • It’s fall. I wanted the cake to scream fall. So there are pumpkin, apples, s’mores.
  • Ooooo s’mores. Truthfully I’m not a fan of s’mores, but a lot of people are.
  • So what kind of cake portray’s s’mores? Bigger Bolder Baking Gemma came to my rescue. She recently posted a video/recipe for a S’mores Cake.
  • She used Marshmallow for the topping. Can that stand up to being out all day? I don’t know. That and I didn’t think hers was all that s’mores pretty looking. So what about Swiss Meringue.
  • Ooooo Swiss Meringue. I like a good Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This is a newly found taste.

See guys, this is what I sit and debate and debate and debate when it comes to making a cake. These are only just a few points going through my head too. (more…)

Wonder Woman Cupcake Cake

I didn’t leave you hanging! I told you yesterday with the Wonder Woman Cookies that I had a Wonder Woman Cupcake Cake post coming up and here it is! Yey, go me, go me, it’s my birthday, we’re going to party like it’s my birthday.

Please tell me you kind of know the song I was just referencing. I mean I totally botched it up and all but please tell me I’m not THAT old. I was singing that around a kid here recently. By kid, she’s an early teen. I think maybe 8th or 9th grade this year. She looked at me straight-faced and said, it’s not my birthday. Yes, yes I know… it’s a song. Sigh. I tried then to explain the song and yeah, it was lost on deaf ears I think. Sad day! I’m the “old” person in the room. In my life, I usually am the youngest of the group of people I run around with. I’m kind of used to it…

But… let’s not focus on that… let’s focus on the fact that I made a Wonder Woman Birthday Cupcake Cake for my friend Jody’s daughter. Oh who by the way, Jody is younger than me. WHAT? Yup, I show my age there too, but I’m only a couple years older… I think ;). Shhhhh, don’t tell, please! (more…)

Life – Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Oh MY!

I have been in a true funk this year. Really, the last couple of years. I’m tired of being in this funk but I don’t see it ending anytime too soon.

I stumbled across a post earlier this year that I wrote claiming 2018 to be the year of Nicole. Kind of taking a cue from my friend Sue Sue Heck (Yes, I know she’s a tv character… I’m not totally crazy). But this has been anything but… sort of… I guess that totally depends on how you look at things. We’ve just had a lot of life-changing events playing out this year and it’s wearing me out. One was hubby and his job. Ugh! That was a stressful event that started last year. The other major one I’m not ready to divulge on just yet. I think it’s too stressful to even think about at this point in time.

Truthfully, the final result is coming soon and I’m afraid of the outcome. I’m afraid of jinxing it. Really, I’m just ready for an answer. I promise it will all come out soon! I hate when people are so secretive. Some know because I’m about to go crazy waiting! Whew… (more…)