Sunday, February 27, 2011

THE Gate

Tim & I have been prolonging something we knew that had to be done...putting up a gate at the top of our stairs.  See, Tim does not enjoy home improvement and I do not enjoy dogs who are sad to be locked in, so we were kind of in agreement that we would wait as long as possible before installing a gate.  Lucky for us, Tim's super handy dad came for a visit and was more than willing to install a gate to keep his granddaughter safe.  So after several trips to the hardware store and some finagling of hardware, our security gate was installed.
Of course, we knew this would upset our dogs who live for us to throw their toys downstairs.  Addy really had no interest in the stairs prior to the gate, so we did not think she would even notice.  However, she has noticed and on several occasions has tried to help her doggies get out of the gate.  Here is just a video example.

 Just another example of how much Addy loves her doggies and how much trouble we are in for once they all three gang up against us.

Mr. Frog

When she goes to bed, whether it be for a nap or for the night, the first item Addy reaches for in her crib is her frog blanket. Mr. Frog has soothed and comforted our little girl many a night, so I felt he deserved his own entry into this blog.  And even more recently, Mr. Frog has started to venture outside of the crib, so it has been pretty easy to take some pictures of him.
Mr. Frog, you are amazing and have skills Tim & I have yet to master.  Thank you for choosing our little girl and we know we are lucky to have you!


We love visitors.  We love visitors even more when they are here to celebrate with us!  Both of Tim's parents, sister, & grandma were able to come down and celebrate Addy's birthday with us.  While they were here, we were also able to celebrate Carolyn's birthday.  Just a few pictures of Addy with her visitors.

Thank you Carol & Mormor for driving down and hanging out with us the day before the party!
Thank you Colleen & Dennis for flying down, even if just for a short visit!  And Den, thank you for working while you are here!!

First Birthday

One week and one day ago we got to celebrate Addy's first birthday.  It was one of those days that you want to savor, but in the end it flies by and you have a hard time remembering all of the little details.  Thankfully I remembered to ask my little sister, Mandy, to take some pictures so we were able to document some of the guests and details.  It was a great day and our little love bug seemed to drink up all of the attention comin' her way and performed right on cue.  Here are just a few of the pictures:
The birthday princess in one of her two birthday hats
And what would a birthday be like without your two BFFs? 
Birthday hat, number two.  Can you tell she loved them?
Of course there were cupcakes (Salted Caramel on top, Maple Bacon in the middle, & Chocolate Chip on the bottom).
And Addy got her first taste of sugar, in the form of a Salted Caramel cupcake
And boy did she enjoy it...eating and playing with it!
There were also presents...lots of presents.  Which made an already spoiled girl even more spoiled.
Of course, the day would not have been as complete, nor as special without all of those who were able to be with us. Here are just a few snapshots of some who were able to be here.

Thank you to everyone!!  We had a great day and we know it was because we were able to share it with all of you.
And Happy First Birthday Addy Kay!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Addy is trying to walk.  This is progress.  She hasn't quite mastered the whole pulling herself thing yet, so I don't think she will really learn how to walk until she can, but that does not stop me from encouraging her to walk. :-)  This is as far as we have gotten:
Not great, but trying. :-)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Round Three

Addy's birthday is a week from today and I feel pretty confident in making her cupcakes after last week's experiments.  Here are last week's cupcakes.

Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting
I followed this recipe to the "t" and they came out okay.  The recipe called for cake flour and I don't think I would use the cake flour again.  It completely changes the texture of the cupcakes.  And these also needed more food coloring to actually be red...or maybe use the beets?  The frosting was absolutely yummy!  I was also proud of myself for piping the frosting and making it look pretty.  Can you tell the cupcake on the left was with the wrong attachment?  :-)  By piping it also puts more frosting on the cupcakes, which is always a good thing.

Now the cupcake a lot of people were talking about:
Maple Bacon with Maple Frosting
I personally loved these.  Next time I am going to make sure to cook them a shorter amount of time (they were a little dry) or try adding something like apple sauce or sour cream to make it a little more moist.  Otherwise, the frosting was delicious and the the cupcakes had a great flavor.  They are definitely more savory with a little sweet though. 

So, I think I am done experimenting for Addy's party.  Now the fun part starts, actually making the cupcakes for Addy's party!!  Can't wait to celebrate my baby girl's one year birthday!!


One of the blogs I read has been about being present when you are with your family.  It really hit home with me because I have found myself distracted lately when I am spending time with Addy and Tim.  I am either on the computer, watching TV, or playing with my phone.  So, I have really challenged myself to be more present when I am with those I love. 
Thankfully, I was truly present when Addy discovered blackberries for her first time.
When Addy discovered my wallet and all of the exciting things it holds.
Since I wasn't on the computer, Addy decided to take it over.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I had a couple of requests to post the recipe I used for the Salted Caramel Cupcakes, so here it is!  This recipe is from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski and these cupcakes are delish!

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. whole milk (I used what I had, low-fat, and it worked just fine)
12 caramel candies (I don't like these candies, so I didn't buy them, but they are supposed to go on top as garnish)
Sea Salt
Caramel Swirl Buttercream Frosting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees & line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, & salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on med-high speed, beat the sugars and butter together until combined.  Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes, then spread on the Caramel Swirl Buttercream Frosting on top and sprinkle with sea salt.  I also had leftover caramel, so I drizzled that on top as well.

Caramel  Swirl Buttercream Frosting
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. whole milk

In a heavy bottomed pan, cook the sugar over medium-high heat until it begins to melt around the edges (about 5 minutes) stirring with a clean wooden spoon until the sugar has all turned a golden amber.
Carefully pour the cream down the side of the pan in a slow, steady stream (it will bubble), stirring constantly until completely smooth. Stir in the salt. Pour the caramel into a heat-proof bowl and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together with 3 tbsp milk.  Add more milk if needed to create a creamy, smooth, frosting.  Fold in the cooled caramel.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rub a dub dub...

Addy's now taking baths in the big bathtub!


On Thursday I got home from work fairly early and really wanted to go for a walk and to get some coffee.  I convinced Tim & Addy to go along and we all bundled up (seriously, it was like 54 degrees outside) and headed out.  It was a beautiful walk and Starbucks was a nice little treat.  From the moment I got my drink, however, Addy was eyeing my cup. I should have taken a cue from my friend, Lauren, and asked for some extra cups like she did here for Addy's BFF, Micah. 
When we got home, I sat down on the floor to play with Love Bug and she decided to try and grab my cup. After I was done, I let Addy grab the cup and she had a great time....
playing and chewing on the lid...
Imitating Mommy & "drinking"....
and entertaining herself for a good 20 minutes & lookin' adorable while doing it.
Thank you Starbucks, not only for the beverage, but also for entertaining my daughter!

Jake Visits!

My cousin, Jake, is in the Marine Corps and is currently stationed in North Carolina.  Lucky for us (and for him too I think..avoiding weather), he was asked to come to a conference in San Diego this week.  Last weekend, we all got together to catch up with Jake and visit with each other.  Of course, it was also an excuse for me to use my camera. :-)
Addy loves any excuse to play with her cousins.
 Tay-Tay is too cute
 And Maddie is getting to be such a little girl!!
 I tried to get a good picture with Auntie Alison, but Love Bug has learned how to avoid the camera.
 Father & Daughter
 Father & Son (Jake, our guest of honor!)
 My beautiful sister
 Cousins!! (I love this picture!)
 Father & Son
 Uncle Buddy being a ham...what is new? :-)
 Mema, Pepa, & Maddie

 Grandma & Mandy
 Even I got in front of the camera!!
Thank you, Cyndy & Josh for hosting us!!