Create

I Built a House

This weekend was stressful. I didn’t really like it all that much. Granted, the stressfulness of it was caused by none other than yours truly. But still.

Last night I was kind of at my wits end and ready to crash; Abram had been in the worst mood all day yesterday. But still felt like I needed to be doing something. There’s a whole long list of stuff to get done for Abram’s party on Saturday, and I just didn’t want to procrastinate.

But I was starting to feel hostile towards that list.

Earlier that day, I happened to open the hallway closet (that never gets opened) to find a vhs that would hopefully entertain Abram for 3 minutes and out tumbled a giant car seat box I had saved to make him a little house out of. I set it aside and picked out Toy Story 2. He ended up not paying one seconds notice to it. I never put the box back.

So back to my hostility. I’m standing there feeling the urge to do SOMETHING productive, but that list just repulsed me. I remembered the box, quickly grabbed it and started cutting. I was focused and really enjoying my time making this little house. When I was done, I felt like it needed something else, so I ran and got another box that was sitting in my room and started cutting that. A half a role of duct tape later, I had a main house with a little tunnel that had saloon-like doors.

I HAD SO MUCH FUN. It was nice to use my hands and focus on something that wasn’t pressing. There was no need for me to make that play house for Abram. I was just doing it because I wanted to. When I was done, all that stress and anxiety I was feeling had melted away.

Sometimes we need to just stop and participate in an enjoyable activity. It ends up being more therapeutic than we realize.

If you are close to a breaking point and start to feel negative about everything you have to do, then stop what you are doing. Pick up scissors and a piece of paper and cut out some shapes. Play a video game. Paint your nails. Grab your kids coloring books and focus on coloring in the lines. Bake a cake for no reason. Bounce a ball outside.

Sounds silly, but I bet you’ll feel better when your done.

Yummy Spring Cupcakes

So I had been itching to make a batch of some cute cupcakes to scarf down after I found these wonderful vintage inspired cupcake liners from The Bakers Confections on Etsy. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at baking, but the real truth of the matter is that I don’t get to do it that much. So perhaps I have great POTENTIAL… but am still working out many kinks. Anyways, I really love lemon and raspberry flavored things, so I decided to do the cake part lemon and the frosting raspberry. Here’s something that I’ve learned the hard way: if you are going to make butter cream frosting, DO NOT use salted butter. No matter how bad your hand wants to pick up that savory, fatty brick of goodness, head my advice (and probably the advice of every baker who knows anything).

Anyways, this batch of cupcakes turned out pretty delicious and I thought I’d share the recipe. I looked up several different recipes and kind of took bits and pieces from each to form my own. So here it goes:

For the Lemon cake (12 cupcakes):

1 1/8 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

2/3 cup buttermilk

lemon zest from one lemon

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temp.

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your cupcake tin. In your mixing bowl, add together the flower, baking powder and salt. Then add the ingredients in the order they are listed, giving each ingredient a few minutes to get well acquainted with the others. The recipes I read said I had to mix certain ingredients in other bowls with my hands and let them sit and then add them, but I didn’t have time to do all that and they turned out great. Spoon the batter into your liners about 3/4 of the way and your all set! Mine only needed to bake for 18 minutes, so just check them with a nice or a tooth pic if you have to go over that time.

For the Raspberry Vanilla Butter cream Frosting (unless you have your own recipe):

1 stick of butter

1-2 cups of powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/4 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/4 tablespoon raspberry extract

1-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Start with your butter. Make sure it is room temp and has a nice smooth consistency. Mix the butter by itself with the paddle attachment on medium speed for a couple of minutes. Sift your sugar in one cup at a time at low speed, and eyeball it to see where you’d like the consistency to be at. Once the sugar is well incorporated, add the salt and extracts. Then add the milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time while watching the consistency. You might not need 3 tablespoons, but only 2 or 1 so pay attention!

Enjoy your yummy spring cupcakes and let me know how they came out!

Week Review: Not So Bad

I know at the beginning of the week I mentally prepared myself to intentionally not get stressed. It turned out not to be that bad at all! I got so much done on Monday and Tuesday, that the rest of the week kinda just came together. There were some hiccups, not gonna lie. Yesterday our power went out for almost three hours, and Abram had a melt down. But all in all, I think it was a success! I could barely get my head on the pillow before I was asleep every night.