Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let's Get Physical...Physical...

Hee Hee!
On my birthday, our Tuesday crew had a Flashdance day at dance class.
What a total hoot!
The best part was walking around the gym looking like this. People would literally stop with heavy weights over the head to look at you like you grew a second head or something! Bwahahahahah! :)

These are my girlies: Shonnery, Bessie, Marla, and Corinne!
Thanks for the GREAT time on my birthday, my friends! :)
XOXO...Stac :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Drumroll please...

And the winner is...
Sandy said...
I'm always up for a possible goodie envelope. How nice of you. Happy, Happy birthday. I hope it is your best ever!
7:29 PM

Sandy...if you'll email me your addy, I'll get your goodies out to you! :)
clap clap clap clap
Congrats! :)
And on to tattoo pics b/c I know you've all just been dying to see, right? LOL :) I will say that it was quite the experience. Bob thinks I handled it better than he did...something about a higher pain tolerance from childbirth. Cracked me up! :) :) :) But he was the only one who cussed about the pain (totally out of character btw!). But they look great...or they will...when the swelling goes down! :)
XOXO...Stac :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Birthday Blessings...

What a day!!!

I wrote how great my friends are this morning, but after seeing everyone...I am a LUCKY and BLESSED girl with some great people around me!

* Bob wrote me the most awesome bday card ever! Truly touched my heart and made me cry. (made Shonnery and Bessie cry over lunch too).

* Flashdance Class was a BLAST!!! Pics to come soon! Suffice it to say that Shonnery and I The most fun was to run out and get a drink by your self though. Everyone working out would freeze with their weights and check out the looney toons in full-out 80's gear! LOL :)

* More girlfriend fun with lunch, birthday cards, a t-shirt made special for me, and a bajillion facebook birthday wishes! :)

So, I'm paying it forward! It's my birthday and I'm passing on some blessings!

In the form of a RAK! Post a comment...maybe about your biggest blessing or your best birthday memory or just "Happy Birthday Staci!" I'll do a drawing on Friday for a winner and send some lucky ducky a bit of scrappy goodness (US only please). Here's a quickie pic of some goodies I pulled together today...

There's some random funsies--fabric, chipboard, diecuts, rubons, stickers, tags, vintage bits and baubles, pins, stamps and more! By the time the envelope gets stuffed on Saturday, there will probably be even more goodies! ;)

XOXO...Staci :)

Eye Candy and Sugar Rushes...

I am a sugar-aholic. Truly. Need. Crave. Must Have.

I've been trying to be good so that I can drop a few before dancing next weekend. But my FANTASTIC friends brought cupcakes to practice on Sunday. I couldn't say no, now could I? So I dug into a yummy and crazy-huge cupcake...heaven! They sent the extras home with me so I've pretty much been in a sugar induced haze ever since! LOL The good news is that I get lots of stuff done with sugar on board in mass quantities! :)

I am up for the KI Memories blog challenge this week. Had some fun with stamps! Marla is proud of me I think b/c I used a mask over the pic to do the fleur de lis stamping. She's like a proud mama...that I used a mask, that I knew what it was, and that I knew what is was called! LOL :) I'm growing in my stamp lovey-ness for sure. :) Check it out...

In other fun stuffs, my step-sister is getting ready to have her first little one. I made a little card to go with her baby gift. She totally loved it, passed it around to show everyone and everything! It feels good when folks who don't "do crafts" still "get it". I'm lucky that she's one that does "get it". She already sent me a thank you note and said that she's putting the card on the front of the baby book. Now that is what's known as an honor, my friends. Made me all warm and fuzzy. Here's the card...

Last BIRTHDAY!!! :) I'm 33 years old today! Can't believe it b/c most days I feel like I'm maybe 23! :) Not that I want to go back...those were happy but rough years! ;) So today I'm taking myself, in my husband, in my family, in our life. I've come to a conclusion...I am a damn lucky girl. Really. I have a fabulous life, full of love, laughter, and fun! Just the way I want it! :)

To celebrate, Bob and I are going to get matching tattoos tomorrow night. Shonnery, my bestest gal-pal in the whole wide world, is totally out-of-her-mind with love for me apparently b/c she's offered to babysit my whole brood on a school night so that Bob and I can have a Tattoo Date Night. :) No doubt there will be lots of laughing and lots of pics for this one! Coming soon... :)

Off to shiggle it with my girls today! Its Flashdance day at the gym. Gotta find a headband and leg warmers real quick! ;) XOXO...Stac :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yep. I'm officially a...

Big Old Dork!

I'm all "look at this cute one of Tayvan" and then picked the wrong one to post.
At least I picked one I hadn't posted before. LOL

But here's the Tayvan one I meant to post...

And you can see it on the KI Memories gallery too.

I layered a Sheer Delight onto cardstock and chopped around it for all the cool circle bits. I'm rather with the verbology stamps too. :)

XOXO...Staci :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Random Fun & Recipes...

I love me some random-ness. Its pretty much how my brain works all the time. But there are days when you truly need a map to keep up with my jumping tangents. I've been so scatter-brained lately that I don't think even Dora would be willing to come along...singing map or no singing map. "I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the maaaaaap!"

Ahem, sorry.
Don't say I didn't warn you though.

So, with some structure to keep me focused (ooh, look at the shiny stuff!)..

1. Van's party was great! Lots of food, lots of family, lots of fun! The cupcakes went over awesome! (as below). She ran around the whole party saying "Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! I'm three! Oh Yeah!" and had us all Cracking.Up! Don't know where she got that little nugget of smartness, but yes, she is 3. :)

2. Sent off my column for March/April to Memory Makers. Had some mega-fun with this one too! I'm not supposed to say what the topic is yet, but let's just say that I've been playing with some cah-ute stuffs! :)

3. Working on other Top Secret Stuffs. Just cross your fingers for me and call it good. I'll share asap...from every the top of lungs...with jumps and dancing too if it all works out right. ;)

4. KI Memories gallery goodies are up for October! Check out this fun one I did of Ms. Van. She is really enjoying being home with me all day right now. We goof off and play, snuggle and watch tv, run errands and eat Happy Meals. Life is good. :)

6. Recipes: As requested, the recipes for the gain-a-pound-per-bite cupcakes I made for the party. :) Note: This is best done as a two-day process with the mousse on day 1 and then finishing on day 2 with the cake and frosting. It gives the mousse time to set properly.

* Using microwave or double boiler, melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips, 1/4 cup water, and 2 tablespoons butter. Set aside.
* In a small saucepan, whisk 2 tbl. sugar, 3 egg yolks, and 1/4 cup water. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until it reaches 160 degrees.
* Remove mixture from heat and slowly whisk in semi-cooled chocolate mixture. Continue stirring until cool (to speed this up, you can place the pan in a bowl of ice.
* Whip 1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream (takes forever but is sooooo worth it). Fold whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture, continuing to mix. Cover well and refrigerate overnight.

Cake: (day 2)
* Mix dry ingredients--2 cups sugar, 1 3/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda.
* Add 2 eggs, 1 cup cold milk, 1/2 cup veggie oil, 2 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix well.
* Add 1 cup of boiling water. Mix well. (batter will be thin).
* Put in cupcake pans and bake at 350 degrees till toothpick comes out clean (usually 25-35 minutes in my oven).
* When done, remove from oven and place immediately into fridge/freezer for a few minutes to cool quickly. (timesaver! :) LOL)
* When cool, use a serrated knife to cut upside-down cone shapes from the tops of the cupcakes. Basically, the point of the cone shape should be just-shy of the bottom of the cupcake (so that your filling doesn't come out the bottom). Cut the bottom of the cone off, and fit the "lid" part back onto the cupcake. You want to cut out the cone, cut off the tip, and keep it matched to the right cupcake so that they look smoother later. (lesson learned the hard way)

* Melt 1 stick of butter in microwave. Add 1/2 cup cocoa (sometimes I go heavy here if I really want it to be rich!) and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Stir until mixed well.
* Add 3-4 cups of powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of milk. Mix until desired consistency is reached.
* I fiddle around with the frosting a lot b/c the weather, the temperature of the butter, etc all affect it greatly. Basically, just add powdered sugar little bit at a time till you get a smooth, creamy mixture. If it gets too thick, you can add a smidgen more milk to correct. Sorry for the lack of preciseness with the frosting! LOL :) If you want to test it, let the bowl sit for 20 minutes or so. If its a good mix, the top most layer will form a very slight "crust". You can mix it up well again to spread on the cupcakes, secure in the knowledge that its perfect. You can also taste, taste, taste to check and double-check! ;)

* Fluff mousse to refresh. Take "lid" off one cupcake at a time and fill with mousse. Replace lid. Again, work one cupcake at a time or the lids won't fit properly.
* Frost cupcakes **generously**. These are rich, dense cupcakes so don't skimp on the frosting!! Optional: While the frosting is fresh (& slightly sticky), turn the cupcake upside into a bowl of chocolate sprinkles so that they stick, rolling and turning cupcake to cover all the frosting.
* I highly recommend serving these with ice cream or milk. They are seriously chocolate heaven! :)

ENJOY!!! :) :)
Dude, I think that's the most focus I've had in a week! But those cupcakes are worth it! You'll see... ;)