Friday, November 30, 2012

Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too!


Do you love cake? I mean, reeaaalllly love it? I could eat a piece (or 2!) of cake every single day. It's my go-to dessert when I feel like baking something.  Chocolate, yellow, lemon, cinnamon, I love 'em all!

Speaking of which, my friend April from Dimples & Delights has got a seriously yummy recipe to share with you guys today. I drool every time I see it and it's definitely on my "need-to-make" list!

Take it away, April!




Hi! *waves* I'm April. I'm happy to be one of Mia's lucky sponsors over here in the Chaos! Mia and I met through a blogging pair-up. It was supposed to be big-blogger-little-blogger, but we were both little bloggers. We learned from each other anyway! She convinced me not to be afraid about getting out there and really reaching for readers! Through sponsoring, link parties, etc. I learned not to worry so much, and she was right!

I blog about my obsession, food, over at Dimples and Delights. (with a few "bits of life" thrown in) Mia liked this cake so much I thought I'd share it with YOU! (You almost get two recipes in one, cuz trust me, you're going to want to make the Slow-Cooker Apple Butter too! It's ridiculously easy. And beyond delicious)

Enjoy!



Apple Butter Cake with Vanilla Cinnamon Glaze (adapted from Baker's Royale)

Printable Recipe

Filling:
12 oz. cream cheese
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
pinch salt

Apple Cake:
4 1/2 oz. apples, shredded (1 large apple, or 1 1/2 medium apples)
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of apple butter
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tb milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or butter a bundt or tube pan. Core and skin apples. Shred apples against the large hole side of a cheese box grater. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk, and beat until smooth again. Add in remaining ingredients, beat until well combined and smooth one more time. Set aside.



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

In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and apple butter together until well combined. Set aside. (So you have 3 extra bowls at this point!)



Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at time, beating until well incorporated after each. Slowly add the dry mixture in three batches, starting with dry mixture and alternating with the sour cream and apple butter mixture. Fold in shredded in apples.



Pour half of cake batter into prepared pan (batter is pretty thick). Pour cheesecake filling on top of cake batter.



Dollop remaining cake batter onto cheesecake filling. Smooth together gently, don't worry that it may not cover the cheesecake batter completely.

Bake cake for 50-55 minutes or until inserted cake tester is clean of crumbs when removed. Let cool before icing.




(If you bake yours in a tube pan, like me, it may flatten a bit as it cools. No worries!!)

Whisk powdered sugar and cinnamon together. Add vanilla, and beat in the milk, 1 Tb at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over cake (You might want to make a double batch, and drizzle more over as you serve!!)



Ever since reading in another blog that the writer hated bundt pans, and loved the more rustic look of cakes baked in a tube pan instead, I have been going back and forth. Which do I like better? The cheesecake ribbon turned out thinner than pictured, is that because I used a tube pan?? I don't know. No decision made yet. But I like this cake.




This cinnamon glaze is pretty AND yummy!! I mixed up another batch and added a bit of cream, to make it suitable for more drizzling. The spicy cinnamon is the perfect final note for this sweet, soft apple cake.



I like the shredded apples, giving it that fresh apple taste without big chunks, and they seem to melt right into the warmly spiced cake.



Oh, and um, hello, don't forget the spiced cheesecake filling!! Too delicious. Just too, too delicious. Without the glaze, the cake is a bit less sweet than you may think, and this filling is the rich surprise in the middle. YUM!!



Hmmm, I'm thinking I may have to try to concoct a spiced apple cheesecake...

Thanks for having me, Mia!

--
Yay, thanks, April for this amazing recipe! April has a really cool link up coming up on Saturday, 1 Dec called Nibbles & Novels. You can link up your posts that were inspired by books - they can be recipes, crafts, fashion-related, etc. I hope you guys will stop by and visit April and link up! Tell her Mia sent you! ;)

Ciao, peoples!

P.S. Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a $15 Amazon gift card from Melanie @ Now a Queen! 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Instant BRAT-ification


Dom

Will

I love my kids.  I really do.  They are my snuggle bunnies, my heart, my reasons for living.  I adore them.

But man... there are DAYS.  Moms, you know what I'm talking about!  I mean, I try really hard to teach them right from wrong, to be polite, to share... but I obviously need to do a better job of also teaching them PATIENCE.

Having to wait 2 minutes for a drink is the equivalent of a man in the desert dying of thirst.  This is how a typical conversation goes in our house these days:

-Dom: "Mama? Mama!! Mommmmmmm! Mommy!"
-Me: "What honey?"
-Dom: "I need milk."
-Me: "OK, just a minute please, let Mommy finish putting away the dishes."
-Dom: "But I need milk! I'm thirsty!"
-Me: "I know, I'll be done in just a minute, please be patient."
-Dom: *whine* *cry* *pout* *throws toys* *throws empty cup*
-Me: "Dom, that is not how you act when you want something. You ask Mommy nicely and you wait."
-Dom: "Mommy, may I please have more milk?"
-Me: "Yes you may, you just need to wait 1 minute, and then I will be done."
-Dom: "MILKKKKKKKKKKK! AHHHHHHH!"

At this point, I'm elbows-deep in the dishes/laundry/insert chore here and I'm ready to lose my mind. And usually my temper too. 

-Me: "WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE! DO YOU NOT SEE THAT I AM DOING SOMETHING? I WILL GET YOUR MILK WHEN I AM DONE! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY JUST SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET!!!!!!!"

-Silence.

-Dom: *lower lip pokes out* *lower lip trembles* *eyes water*
-Me: *feeling like a speck of dirt*

But he just knows exactly which buttons to push! As if 1 minute was the end of the world! Will's conversation is a little different, but equally frustrating.

-Will: "Mama! MUK! [he can't really say milk yet] MUK! Want some! MORE!"
-Me: "OK baby, just a minute."
-Will: "MUKKKKKKK! AAAHHHHHHH! MUUKKKKKKKK!" *cry* *scream* *throw tantrum*
-Me: *bald*

I know I've shared this video before on the blog, but it's just so appropriate for this post:







Sigh. Methinks I need a little more patience myself.



Tell me I'm not alone! Share your tips on teaching patience!! I'd love to hear them!

Ciao, lovelies!


P.S. Don't forget to sign up for the BLING in the New Year Swap here!

And enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card here!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm Crazy So It Must Be Tuesday


Well, hi there!  Thank you for flying Crazy Airlines!  I'm Mia and I'll be your Captain for this flight.  We're currently cruising at an altitude of whacko feet, so expect a bumpy ride!  At this time, please securely stow your sanity in the overhead compartment and buckle your seat belts. 

Hahaha, OK, sorry, I'll stop now.  But I've seriously been feeling a little whacky. You wanna know why? I've been watching the first 2 seasons of Pretty Little Liars nonstop on Netflix and I'm creeped out and feel like there might be somebody videotaping my every move.  [If you've never seen the show, it's based on a group of friends who are terrorized by an unknown bully/stalker who watches and films their every move and knows all of their secrets and wreaks HAVOC on their lives.]



I was in the shower yesterday and I was dreading the moment when I would have to close my eyes and rinse the shampoo out of my hair.  I'm soooo ridiculous, right?  I mean, it's just a TV show.  But... think about it.  What if somebody was literally watching your every move?

Picture me at home on a Saturday, hair looking like a rat's nest, grubby pj's on, no makeup (I know! You're gonna throw up! Don't worry, Crazy Airlines has plenty of those barf bags for your own personal use!), pigging out on cheesy puffs.  I mean... not exactly something I would want memorialized on tape for the rest of eternity.

Anyway... I promise I'm not really crazy.  Maybe a little.

But you know what's not crazy? A chance to get to know an awesome blogger like my friend Melanie at Now a Queen!  Check her out. And hey, you never know, you just might win something cool! ;)







1) Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog!

I am a 30 year old Graphic Designer who works for the local newspaper. I love photography, owls, my iPhone, Netflix, NYC and the month of October! My blog, now a queen, all started a little after I married my husband in 2009. It was mainly a journal of our married life together for close friends and family. After getting pregnant with Shelby a few months after getting married is fastly became a blog all about her. Being pregnant with her, her first everythings and our life together as a family!



2) If you could be reincarnated as an animal, which animal would you pick?

a house cat--hands down, living in a nice family home of course! We have 4 cats and they have the best life. I would love to lay around all day sun bathing and not a care in the world! I guess that is the home body in me!




3) If you could give one piece of advice that you've learned to your beautiful daughter, what would it be?

Great question! I would tell her that it is ok to be independent. If you can't learn to be independent then life is going to be very hard for you. Follow your dreams and anything is possible!





4) You've been blogging for 3 years now... what's your favorite thing about it? And what's your least favorite thing?

My favorite thing is meeting and finding new bloggers! I get so inspired by other blogs and it helps me grow and learn to be a better blogger! I also love the link ups and swaps that float around the blog world, just amazes me to see complete strangers connecting with eachother!

My least favorite thing is when "celebrity bloggers" {that is what I call bloggers who have over 3,000 followers} that don't take the time to reply back to their followers. Take it, I am only at 116, but I always find time to reply to someone who cares enough {and took the time} to comment on a post. It takes 2 minutes tops and makes a huge impact!




5) Of course, my fave question: Coke or Pepsi?? :)

Don't hurt me, but neither! The only caffeine I drink is coffee {with cream and sugar}! I am a water drinker or Sprite on rare days!


Aww, that's OK, Melanie.. coffee is good with me, too, so you're off the hook. ;) Isn't Melanie's daughter SO precious? Love her cheeks. :) Hope you guys will stop by and visit Melanie soon! BUT.. before you go... why not enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card?!!!    


a Rafflecopter giveaway


P.S. Special thanks to Abbey at The Makings of a Mess for letting me visit her blog a few days ago. Check it out here if you want to laugh at my nonsense. :)




Monday, November 26, 2012

Bling is a Girl's Best Friend



Hey Peoples! It's that time... time to sign up for the BLING in the New Year Swap hosted by Allie at A Day in A Joyful Life, Allana at A Husband and A Dog, and yours truly! Here's a recap of the rules:

-Signups from Monday, November 26 - Monday, December 3 {1 week}

-Partners will be emailed by Friday, December 7
-Packages need to be shipped by Thursday, December 20
-Link up your swap reveal posts on 31 December
-Minimum $10 package

So come join and sign up and tell your friends! Feel free to advertise with the button below, the more the merrier! :)


Grab button for insert sarcastic remark here






  Register here:






Ciaoooo!




















Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Rhymes with Thanksgiving?




Well hi there, everyone! Just a quick note to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope your day is filled with family, love, blessings, and FOOD! :)

I'm so thankful for my family and my friends, and for YOU for reading whatever nonsense pops into my head. Have a wonderful day, everybody! xo

Ciao!



Monday, November 19, 2012

Announcing the BLING in the New Year Swap!


Well, hello there, lovelies!  What are you guys up to? Me? Oh, I've just got an announcement to make with a couple of my lovely bloggy friends, Allie from A Day in A Joyful Life and Allana from A Husband and A Dog...

What? Ohhh, you want to know what it is.  OK so... I know it's a little early to be talking about New Year's... but actually it's really not.  Thanksgiving is this week, you guys! I mean... literally 4 days from now.  Then Christmas will fly by.. and then BOOM! It's time to start thinking about your New Year's resolutions and what outfit to wear and who you'll be kissing at the stroke of midnight (if you're single, that is! If you're not single.. well... what happens on New Year's...).

Soooo... what perfect way to BLING in the new year than with some party perfect accessories! Sounds awesome, right? So here are the rules:

-There's a $10 minimum.
-Swap signups will begin on 26 Nov and run through 3 Dec.
-You will receive your partner matchups on 7 Dec.
-You'll need to ship your swap package no later than 20 Dec.
-Come back here or visit Allie and Allana to link up on 31 Dec for the swap reveals!

Easy peasy! And here's a beautiful swap button created by the lovely Allana - feel free to put this on your sidebar or in a post and help us advertise the swap.  The more the merrier, I always say!


Grab button for insert sarcastic remark here



CIAO!!!!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Confessions v14




It's that time of the week again.  Super Special Sunday.  Here are my confessions:

1)  So... I haven't blogged for like 5 days now.  There's only 1 thing that can keep me away that long.  Yep, you guessed it, I'm SICK. AGAIN.  Seriously, this has been the year from hell.  I didn't leave the house from Wednesday night all through Saturday afternoon.  I'm on more !@#$ meds and hopefully this will do the trick and help me get better.  If I owe anybody anything, I promise it's coming and I'm not ignoring you! I've been keeping up on emails because they come to my phone, but just haven't had the energy to respond.

2)  I bought the movie Brave at Target because it was on sale and I really wanted to watch it and will just pretend like the boys wanted to watch it.



3)  The reason I finally left the house Saturday afternoon is because my bestie invited me and the boys to her son's 4th birthday party.  It was nice to get out for a bit to see and be seen.  Happy Birthday to Mikey Bear!

4)  I think cartoons are one of God's gifts to sick parents.  My boys have been enjoying our extensive Disney DVD collection.  See also #2.

5)  For those of you who were interested in doing a virtual pot luck with me for Thanksgiving, I truly appreciate your interest, but I am so tired and haven't had much time to do anything with it.  Maybe next year! :(

On that note, I'm outta here.  Hope everybody has a great week! Ciao!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shut the Front Door!




I know you guys have all been there: you're talking with someone, you feel like the conversation is wrapping up, you wait for a break in conversation... you spot your escape... and yet they. keep. talking.  And you feel bad, but you really want to walk away.  So you make noncommittal noises, like "mm" "yep" "uh huh" to draw the attention away from your glazed-over eyes. You even try one of these numbers "is that my phone? I think that's my phone" only to realize you're holding your phone and it is definitely not ringing. You throw in a couple of "well, it's great to see you...." hoping they'll get the hint.

They don't. They never do.




They're the type of person that you and friends/family/coworkers yell "omg! x is coming, it's YOUR turn! I talked to them last time!"

Now, we all wish we could tell these people to SHUT UP. But in reality, it's not always feasible - it's a friend or family member and you don't want to hurt their feelings or it's a coworker and you don't want to get in trouble. But I have a great solution for you and it doesn't cost a thing and you won't get in trouble. Here goes:



Take 5 seconds and whisper the name of the person you're thinking of.  I said WHISPER, you don't want their blabbermouth radar to pick up on it. And now picture them shutting a really big, heavy door. A bank vault, even.  And imagine that door is their mouth.  Ahhh, hear that? Silence.  Sweet, golden, delicious, silence. You're smiling now, aren't you? Good.  Keep that smile in place the next time they talk to you and keep picturing that door shut and you can survive any conversation they subject you to.  And if all else fails, you can picture that door shutting on their head.

You're welcome.

-----
Check out these awesome giveaways:

$10 Shop Credit to The K.O. Jewelry
$20 Starbucks Gift Card & Fall Scarf 

Ciao!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Confessions v13



It's Sunday, time for the next installment of Sunday Confessions.  If you have something you'd like to confess, or just want to read a whole bunch of awesome confessions, head over to Alyx's blog, Every Day is a New Adventure.

1.)  I confess that I've crossed another item off my bucket list! Woohoo! Charlie and I have finally cleaned out our spare bedroom and bathroom and decorated it all nice. That room used to be our "catch-all" room and was filled with junk, you couldn't even walk in there without tripping over something.  It feels really good to get that accomplished. *nerd dance*

2.)  I confess that I need to hide all of the writing utensils from Dom.  Because this happened:

Sharpie. On the toilet lid. 
Hey, at least he knows how to write his name...

3.)  If you guys follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you'll know that I confess that I am boycotting Walmart from now on. I had a terrible experience there on Friday.  Went there to do only 3 things and all 3 things got screwed up by their incompetent staff.  It was 3 separate areas too - pharmacy, layaway, and the McDonald's inside the store. No mas.


4.)  I confess that I'm feeling very loopy.  The meds the doctor gave me to get over my gnarly sinus/ear infection are making me feel funny, lol. I'm very sensitive to any kind of medicine anyway (non-drowsy? zzzzzz) and rarely ever take anything besides Advil. So I'm sure that doesn't help. This is your warning, in case you read anything that sounds weird. Well, weirder than normal. :)

5.)  I confess that I'm super excited that it's a 3-day weekend! There will be a lot of R&R going on tomorrow for me.  Pedicure, maybe some reading, it's going to be a good day. :)  But much more importantly than a day off, I'm thankful to all of the men and women who serve, or have served, our country. Your sacrifices have allowed us to enjoy freedom and for that we will be eternally grateful. Happy Veterans Day!


I hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

And if you have a few moments, check out these awesome giveaways:
FREE Maybook
$20 Starbucks Gift Card & Fall Scarf

Ciao, peoples!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Living Room Redo on a Budget!


If you guys know me, you know I hate paying full price for anything. I'm obsessed with clipping coupons, finding promo codes, the clearance section at Target, and anything that just screams EXPENSIVE... but really isn't.

So, imagine my joy when Jodi wanted to talk to you guys about redoing her living room and making it look like a million bucks! But obviously didn't cost a million bucks. :)

Take it away, Jodi!!!




I'm so excited to be guest posting for Mia today!  I'm even more excited that I'm one of her sponsors this month!  My name is Jodi and I blog over at Blue Skies and Apple Pies.  I love DIY projects {naturally Pinterest is my BFF}, cooking, going adventuring, and living life in general.  I also like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and horseback riding... JK!


{Insert awkward moment}

Moving on...


Anyway, I guest posted here at The Chronicles of Chaos in September and talked about Thrifty Decorating with a Fall Flair.  Since becoming a first time homeowner this is my new favorite topic!  Moving into a big empty house gave me lots of motivation to think of inexpensive ways to make my house feel more like a home.  I'm becoming an expert at thinking outside the decorating box, and I'm back today to share some inexpensive ways that I have added character to the most used area of my home: the living room.

One of my favorite trends right now is painting a striped wall.  I typically try to stay away from investing in trends that are too permanent or expensive since I tire of things easily.  But, I had been staring at a picture on Pinterest of a striped wall for months and decided that I had to pull the trigger.

Painting this wall was a fairly quick project that cost very little, but had a huge impact on the look of my living area.  You can check out how I did it here.



Also when decorating a space its important to think: what items do you already own?  What do you have access to that doesn't cost any money at all?  I've had these Ball jars sitting around empty for a month and after picking up branches in the yard I realized that sticks would be the perfect Fall filler.  I can't stress enough how much money this can save.  I don't know how many times I have gone out and bought something new when I had something just as great laying around in the basement/year/closet.




I recently went to a huge Fall festival and picked up this antique tobacco basket.  It was HUGE and is definitely a conversation starter.  I also think an item like this is a matter of taste.  As soon as I saw this basket I knew it had to be mine.  It was only $30.00 and takes up a big portion of one of my living room walls.  With an item like this you'll love it or hate it, but be true to what it is that you like.  Its your home after all.  At the end of the day it should be a space that you love.




Finally, I want to stress the fact that you should never underestimate a good yard sale.  There are some major finds to be found right around the corner in your own neighborhood.  I bought this picture for just a few bucks.  Its an original painting and looks great after I reframed the canvas in this inexpensive IKEA frame.



To see my whole living room redo follow my blog!  I can't wait to share with you all the fun projects I've been working on!

And thanks again Mia, for having me!!!

-----

So there you have it guys, a living room redo that won't break the bank. :) Thanks so much to Jodi for visiting today. If you guys don't know Jodi yet, hop on over to her blog and say hello. I know you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

Oh wait.. don't go just yet... Jodi is feeling generous today and wants to give away a $20 Starbucks gift card and a fall scarf!! There's a great way to save some money, let Jodi buy your next few cups of Starbucks! :)

Enter to win here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! Ciao, lovelies!