Sunday, April 13, 2014

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

How was your weekend?  We have had a beautiful weekend here in South Carolina so I was able to work in the yard some.  It was a great workout also for me!

I felt like baking today so I made some carrot cake cupcakes that I have not made in years.  The recipe is a basic carrot cake recipe but the cream cheese frosting is what really makes them taste so good.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups grated carrots (4 to 5 large carrots)
1 cup chopped pecans - optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cupcake tin or use muffin tins.

Sift together baking powder, flour and baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, both sugars and vanilla and whisk until the mixture looks light and pale in color.  Fold in the flour mixture in thirds until just combined.  Gently fold in the grated carrots and 1/2 cup of pecans until combined.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set.

Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 ounce cream cheese - softened
1 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups confectioner sugar

In medium size bowl, beat cream cheese and softened butter until smooth and creamy.  Add vanilla. Stir in confectioner sugar.

**The remaining 1/2 cup chopped pecans can be used to decorate tops of cupcakes......

Thanks for your visit!  If you do make these I would love to hear how they turn out......

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Bird Sanctuary in the Bathroom

Hello There,

Did you notice my title?  I bet you thought I had birds nesting in my bathroom.....No, I have decorated the room with birds.

First, I bought this adorable shower curtain from World Market.  I first saw it about a month ago on display in the store and thought it would look great in my bathroom.

This room was a nuisance to photograph with my lens that I have now.  I am actually researching for another lens and I can't wait to learn how to use it and get better angles, close ups and better photography overall.

All of the bird art was from my sister, Tara. I just love the rustic look of them, not alone the different colored frames.

Did you see the sea grass cube that I had in the corner?  Yes - that was another steal from TJ Maxx.  I just love it and basically can use it all around my home.  So for now it is staying in the bathroom.  I added some of my apothecary jars (Pottery Barn) and filled them with cotton balls and European soaps.

Do you see the other bird on my glass ring holder?

I just filled a textured basket with a Pottery Barn Faux Poppy.  The wooden bird on spindle was bought at a store back in Penna.

Close up

Well it is time for my afternoon walk and to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.  Hope you are enjoying your week.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why do I Blog?

Over two years ago, I pressed the publish button on my first post in Blogger.  Although at first it was a little intimidating, it was also a great experience.

I have always loved home decorating, baking, cooking, gardening, photography, etc. and thought that blogging would be a  creative outlet for me.  I actually was inspired by reading Miss Mustard Seed's blog. See blog here.  She wrote the first blog that I thoroughly enjoyed and I thought I might actually try this myself.
Me (left hand side, and Marion - Miss Mustard Seed, Right hand side)

Almost three years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Marian (Miss Mustard Seed) in person at Luckett's Market and so glad that I did.  What a wonderful, down to earth person she was, not alone the most talented furniture painter and DIYer that I have ever met. At the time, she was not nearly as 'big' in the blogland as she is now.

Another reason I blog is the inspiration from other bloggers that I have met and the friendships that I have enjoyed while blogging.  Now I look back at my early blogging and critique my photography.  Yes,  I think that I have improved on my photography and want to further improve my skills!

Overall I am so glad that I make this choice and hopefully will continue with it.

So tell me why do you blog?  I would love for you to share with me!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Bike Ride Around My Neighborhood

It was such a beautiful day here in Beaufort, I got out my bike and took a cruise on my bike around the neighborhood.

I love my bike, this photo was taken with my I-Phone.....But see my basket on the front of my bike, well I had my camera in it so I took some quick shots of some of my favorite homes within my neighborhood.  My neighborhood is small and there is only one circle of homes (each home is a different style) which I love!  In the middle of the circle, there is a green with oaks, flowering bushes and trees.  There is an alley behind the homes with some models that have garages.  We have a garage and I am glad that we do.

Do you remember this statue of Fidella?  I had it in a recent post.  See here.  She is located on the green area of our little neighborhood....

The first is mine of course.  Can you see the blooming Azaleas?  I love them, however they do not last too long!

Some more Azaleas in bloom!

I tried to take photos of the homes that did not have cars parked in front of their home.  Aren't the palm trees beautiful in front of this home?

And of course I had to include the beautiful Spanish Moss hanging from the trees!  I just love it!

I hope you are having a lovely week!  Thanks for your visit!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Simple Starfish Wreath

I wanted to change the wreath that I currently have on my front but still wanted to use the grapevine wreath. I had some extra starfish around so I got the glue gun out and started gluing the starfish to the grapevine.  How simple is that?  Well I did use some twine to tie the starfish for extra security.  I only wanted to have three starfish on the left hand side of wreath because I wanted to have a lot of grapevine showing!

This is such an easy project to create a nautical look!

I love how it turned out and especially love it against my blue coastal door!

Hope you are having a lovely Sunday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Recently I have been craving for some homemade bread pudding.  I honestly have not made it in years so I said to myself let's make one.

The recipe I have had for years and is quite easy to make.

I usually use day old bread when making this and have made it with various breads and croissants.
(During the summer, I like to add sliced peaches too!)

2 eggs
1 quart milk
1 cup sugar 
8 slices of bread
1 cup raisins

Beat eggs, milk and sugar in a large bowl until well mixed.  Meanwhile, break bread into small pieces and add to egg mixture.  Stir in raisins.  Pour in bottom of baking dish.  (I use my Emile Henry Baking Dish for this).  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg on top. 
Bake for 350 for one hour. My dish size is 1 1/2 qt.

Here is more information on Emile Henry.  See here.  I fell in love with the Emile Henry line while visiting France and have bought these ever since for all baking needs.  Williams-Sonoma also carries the line.

Have you made bread pudding before?  How do you make it?  I would love to hear!

Thanks for your visit.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

My Coffee Table Decision Has Been Made At Last

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a old cedar chest that I have had over 20 years but never used in my new home.  At last, I have decided not to paint it and leave as is.  I am so glad and I am happy with the natural wood look.

Over the weekend while in Hilton Head, I was shopping at Fresh Market and saw these beautiful hyacinth flowers so I had to have them.  After bringing the table down to the living room, I thought I would decorate it a little for the spring season.  I placed the lilac colored hyacinth flowers in an ironstone pitcher in the basket tray that I already had.  The bird nest was bought recently in a gift shop in Beaufort as I wanted to add some spring touches and texture to the tabletop.  I just shopped around the home for the other items for the table.

So there you have it.....some simple, yet spring like accents to my cedar chest coffee table that I just love!

I have had this metal rabbit for years and the bucket is waiting for some Hershey kisses in pastel colors to be added for it to hold!

Thanks for your visit!  Hope you are enjoying your week so far!

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