Tag Archives: New Year

Make Something Worth Sharing With Others

 

Perhaps you noticed I took a little hiatus. A little hiatus?! A whole year?! Well, life happens and I am back. I am here to make new content and share it with all of you.

I remember when I was in college and tried writing a haiku every day to keep in the writing mindset each day. So many of those haikus were ridiculous. I really should write every time I have an idea though. Sure, many of the ideas would be flops with just a few occasional gems tucked in but then I think you’d get a clearer picture of my family and our life.

Believe it or not, I’m a fairly private person and I do try to make sure that everything I’m putting out into the world is positive and making life taste sweeter, not more bitter. But when tragedy strikes, I don’t think it is fair to you nor me to gloss over it with a layer of buttercream and pretend everything is okay.

I’m not going to get anywhere without getting deeply personal.

I haven’t found my voice yet. I haven’t found my comfort level of vulnerability yet. I haven’t written enough of all my thoughts to stand behind them and be confident if strangers, friends or family challenge them.

I believe in a collective connectivity. The way your high school acquaintance, most recent coworker and your sister in law all posted about craving bacon this afternoon. It wasn’t breakfast time. It wasn’t a viral meme. It was a taste, a craving that spanned your newsfeed and inspired you to grab a Baconator on your way home or try these Apple Bacon Cupcakes. Somewhere in the universe we are shooting off neurons or auras and the rest of us are receiving them loud and clear.

When we get to the meat of it, my heart isn’t so much different from yours. I seek to put good out into the world and hope that it inspires others to do the same. Making life taste sweeter isn’t about adding sugar to your diet. It is about making this a better place to live. Be the sweetness you hope to see in the world. I mean, it isn’t quite Gandhi but I think you get the gist.

This year, 2017, is going to be life changing for so many. I feel our nation and community are at a precipice and this year may just decide which way we go. For some, this is a time of fear. There is the fear of the unknown and the fear of what we know all to well.

A year ago, my mother’s sister passed away. It deeply affected my grandmother, my mother, everyone that loved and cared for her. She wrote in journals like I do. These journals are not diaries with dates. They are ramblings of a chaotic mind. They are words heard on the air or in our mind, complete with images and doodles. On a page of a hand bound journal I made for her in high school, she wrote to me.

She said, “Make something worth sharing with others.”

Somehow, it didn’t matter what I was doing, she wanted to encourage me to do it. She wanted me to write. She wanted me to paint. She wanted me to cook and bake. She wanted me to create. This is the truest thing I know about my aunt. She wanted me to create. She wanted me to make something worth sharing with others.

A year ago, I wrote the following passage but at the time did not have the courage to share it. Today, I share this writing because I think it is important to open up and make that connection with my community.

She said, “Make something worth sharing with others.”

I walked through my aunt’s house peering at all the things she left behind; each organized and priced and ready for the estate sale. I slid my fingers down counter tops, dressers and lightly touched the layered paint textures of the art upon the walls. My aunt had ornate taste. Her home reminds me of World Market with deep reds and purples and splashes of orange. Lanterns hang from the mantle dangling above a large ceramic Buddha.
She may have been the artsy aunt or the drunk aunt or the whimsical aunt that would tell your fortune through tarot cards and zodiac signs. She prided herself on her business success. She enjoyed fostering creative talents and encouraging them in others.
One of my early memories includes her helping me to find the best hiding spot in a game of hide and seek. I’m pretty sure she locked me in a blanket trunk. But no one found me so I guess I won. I remember her water bed and her lovely obsession with monkeys. I remember coveting her drafting table because I understood that those are what real artists use. I remember talking her into letting me take pictures of her for a photography class. Somewhere inside I understood we had a connection, like oldest children do, like artists do, like those that feel they need to forge their own path but become their own obstacles do.

I can see my scribbles in her scribbles and her writing in mine. I’m honored she chose to use the hand bound journal I made for her to share all those thoughts and fears and dreams. Thirteen years ago I bound that journal and thought of her as each page came together. Now, I can’t remember how, but I see it is where she turned to write when her heart was broken and her vision dark. My own black books mirror hers to something eerie.
I must write all these ideas I have in my head without fear of perception. I must share the things closest to my heart.

On a whim she had purchased a fully stocked Wilton cake decorating set. She barely used it and gifted it to me. I can not ice a cake nor paint a canvas without thinking of her.

Art supplies are not something I would purchase for myself because I rate them as a selfish extravagance. Why buy paint when there are bills to pay and I’ll be working instead of painting anyway. My grandmother gifted me my aunt’s art supplies. Paints, colored pencils, canvases. I’ve painted more in the last month than I have in the past year. It is as if my aunt herself said, “Here, it is not an extravagance if your soul needs to paint.” So I paint.

As we enter a new year with new possibilities, I am going to make the same request to you as my aunt did to me. Make something worth sharing with others. Add your light, your spark, your positivity to the world this year. Bring your imagination and hold on for the ride this new journey is taking us on.

Many lost loved ones and favorite icons in 2016. I know my aunt was joined with David Bowie, one of her favorites, as well as so many others. So as we remember our loved ones, I hope we smile and remember to keep adding light to a dark world.

Keep making life taste sweeter.

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The best way to celebrate the new year is with champagne and strawberries. These Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes make the perfect kickoff for a brand new year!

I am so excited for the new year!

More excited than I was to move to Florida. More excited than I was for Christmas.

What better way to celebrate the new year than with some bubbly champagne and delicious strawberries? That sounds like a good start to a new year to me.

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I have had such a build up of excitement lately. This feeling I think normally hits people in fall or spring but for me it is right now. I want to shed all of the dead weight of 2015 and start 2016 clean, new and fresh. I have so many ideas and projects in store. I just can’t wait to share all of them with you.

Of course I will be maintaining our special Fridays of delicious cupcake goodness (forgive this one for being a bit late (I know, I know, not a great start for a new year)). But, I also have some other great recipes to share that I know you are going to love and some projects I’ve been working on as well. My house is going to undergo some changes this year with planning and budgeting and maybe some inexpensive remodels too. I can’t wait to get underway!

But first, let’s have a cupcake!

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The natural inspiration for this cupcake was bubbly champagne. You pour a glass, you toast a friend, you kiss your love and that’s what New Years is all about. Well, for most folks anyway.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesCaptain Cupcakeasaurus was working at the station on New Year’s Eve so the kiddo and I packed a few glasses, grabbed a bottle of sparkling cranberry juice instead and toasted in the new year that way. Our family was together and that was the important part.

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

I am not one to just “miss out” though. When the holiday calls for champagne, we are going to have champagne dang it! It is funny because I have been craving ham for months now expecting it to come around for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Well, when my grandmother announced she wouldn’t be doing ham for either of those holidays I practically purchased a ham the same day and announced we would be having it for our New Year’s dinner. They were a great price at Aldi and I ended up buying two.  The point is, I’m not missing out on my ham either!

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

The natural pairing with champagne (outside of orange juice for a morning mimosa of course) is strawberries. This New Year Bubbly and Berry cupcake brings you both in a supremely sweet package. The cupcake has just a hint of champagne flavor so no need to splurge on fancy bubbly for this recipe. The cheap kind works just fine. The batter will be wetter than some of our other batters but it works out in the end.

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes When they are ready to come out of the oven they actually resemble muffins in look and density.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesNew Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesDon’t let that fool you though because topping them in a fluffy sweet Strawberry Buttercream makes for a delicious little cake. You can enjoy them on their own or go ahead and serve with bubbly good stuff.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesIt is time for the toast. Hold your glass high. Here is to a new year full of energy, fun, tasteful treats  and another year of making life taste sweet!

 

 

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Light Champagne and strawberry cupcake topped with a sweet Strawberry Buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Light Champagne and strawberry cupcake topped with a sweet Strawberry Buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Strawberry Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 24 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and strawberries on medium speed. Add in champagne and vegetable oil.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients a cup at a time into the ;large mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Batter will be quite wet.
  5. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cupcakes will resemble muffins. A toothpick will come out clean when done.
Strawberry Buttercream
  1. In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 4 cups powdered sugar and vanilla to the butter and mix on medium high until well blended.
  3. Add pureed strawberries a little at a time while mixing into the buttercream. Powdered sugar may need to be added to maintain firm frosting consistency after pureed strawberries are added.
  4. Pipe frosting on to cooled cupcakes and enjoy.
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