Monday, September 28, 2009

Gluten Free Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

I love to bake, but have seriously tried to cut back lately. Sometimes though I just can't help myself! My Mother in Law's birthday was a few weeks ago and I took the opportunity to try out a few things that had caught my eye.

1. The Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mixes (thank you, thank you, thank you Betty Crocker)
2. The Boston Cream Pie Cupcake recipes that are flooding the foodie blogs

The results...FABULOUS!

The Betty Crocker cake mix got mixed reviews on several of the blogs I checked out so I used some easy suggestions like adding pudding mix and orange juice to dress it up. I added some custard cream I found of google and drizzled some chocolate ganache on top. So easy and delicious...hubby at 3 before I got them put away for the night.

Betty Crocker Cake Mix
Boston Cream Pie Custard filling recipe from Annie's Eats

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

and a close up of the goodness...

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Twitterholics, Facebook Fiends and Social Media Mavens

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via Wikipedia
Ok I admit it, I'm a social media fiend. I love twitter, facebook, linkedin, and blogging, and all together these types of applications are known as Web 2.0.  There are so many great applications out right now that can make keeping in touch, or promoting your business so much easier. I've mentioned this guide to several of my friends and wanted to share it here for anyone looking for a great getting started guide for Twitter and business.

How to use Twitter for Business Guide by HubSpot

I'm working on several presentations for work and Web 2.0 and how to use social media for business is playing an integral part in each one. The age group with the biggest number of uses on facebook is 25-45.  Financial gurus who know are forcasting that Twitter's stock is fixing to go through the roof and the number of uses to quadruple. 

So if you are looking to dive into this new era of marketing and advertising I highly recommend checking out the guide above, trainings on Hubspot, and other free trainings like Googles Marketing Professional designation. These are resources that take nothing but your time and will drastically broaden your horizons on communicating with a wider audience.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Time Flies

My birthday is coming up soon and it's causing me to ponder... :)

I've never been to upset about getting older. Let's face it we all want to rush to those first big milestones, 16 so we can drive, 21 so we can drink, and then reality hits. Work, responsibility, getting dinner on the table, you know what I'm talking about. Nope getting older isn't bothering me, it's that weird sensation that time has gone so fast I've missed something. Cliche as it sounds, it feels like yesterday that I got married, and only a short while ago that we had Alex.  Today I looked at him while we were waiting at the doctor's office, really looked at him (he was quietly pretending to read a book so I grabbed the 30 precious quiet seconds :)) and saw a little boy. Not a baby, not a toddler, but a little boy like the ones you look at in the store and think "they're old enough to know better."  There have been so many warning signs lately that I should have seen this coming. He's refused to hold my hand recently on the way into school, "It's not the parking lot Mom...," He can full dress himself head to toe (who cares if his underwear are on inside out, he's darn proud), and most telling of all he asked us to cut the strings off Puppy. 

A little background on puppy :).

Here's what Puppy looked like when DeeDee and Dad gave him to us at our baby shower.

And here is a "before and after" 3 years as a constant companion to Alex shot :).

From the time Alex became attached to puppy, the strings that should have been used to tie him to the crib were held in or near his ear as he went to sleep, any time he was scared and finally just out of habit. I caught him putting them near his mouth one to many times and threatened to cut them off which resulted in a major tantrum.  So imagine my surprise last Thursday when he calmly came and repeatedly asked us to cut the strings off Puppy.

Fair warning for later in life I guess...if I don't cut the apron strings my son will do it for me!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Changing the Way You Think--Suzy Welch's 10-10-10

Reading is far more than a hobby for me. It’s a passion, a method of escape and relaxation. Unless it is a super busy time, I almot always have a book I’m reading, and one on deck. I just finished Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10. Her PR company contacted me by email and asked if I would like a review copy of the book. We’ve already covered that I love reading so it should come as no surprise that I quickly agreed to review a book that I’d never heard of…I mean come on books aren’t always cheap and my library can’t keep pace with my addiction so I quickly jumped on a free book deal. The book arrived and I did what I always do, I scanned the book jacket to see how intriguing this might be…are we talking a lock myself away and ignore life for three days, Twilight-esque read,or a flashback from college, plodding away to garner slivers of insight through pages of words.

Obviously since you are reading this it was a GREAT read. Suzy writes in a down to earth, easy to read way, letting you see yourself in the stories she shares. 10-10-10 looks at logical ways to make decisions. Large or small we typically either know instinctively what decision we want or need to make, or we spend far to much time agonizing over a decision. Suzy touts looking at how the consequences of any decision (from work to parenting) will affect your life in ten minutes, ten months or ten years. By looking at the short term, mid-term and long term consequences of your decision you can make a rational choice on what the best over all outcome will be for you. We’ve all made decision on the fly that we would have changed later, or agonized over what the right choice is, but this helps you put a rational, defensible approach to decision making, taking the guesswork and the guilt out of the equation. I highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone. It was a great read and I’m passing my copy on!

Congratulations Jeremy and Michelle!

We spent the weekend out in West Texas celebrating the wedding of Jeremy, my husband's cousin, and Michelle, Jeremy's new bride. I LOVE weddings. This one was beautiful and touching in a way that not all weddings are anymore. This wedding reminded me days gone by when a wedding was a promise, a celebration of life-long vows and joining of two families. Today many weddings are productions (I should know mine was one! :)) that can drive any sane female not obsessed with planning into depression before the big event. For one day of perfection, many of us spend a year or more planning, preparing, negotiating, and working towards finding the right caterer, DJ, baker, florist, decorations, you name it. Sometimes it's just wonderful to see something different. Like I said I LOVE weddings and big or small they all celebrate that special moment for two people joining together, but after this weekend I have to admit there was something incredibly sweet and touching about a wedding that obviously centered around family and friends. They were surrounded by family in church, celebrated the traditional milestones in the church reception hall, and were the guests of honor at a beautiful backyard BBQ...sounds great doesn't it! To Jeremy and Michelle, I wish you guys all the best that life can offer for health, wealth and happiness. Keep yesterday's joy with you forever, we are so very happy for you!

Oh and I had a little fun playing with the camera! :) Here are some shots of my favorite little tyrant from that weekend too! :)

My little rule abider...raising his hand for cake! LOL

Helping to unwrap the bride and groom's cars.

Having fun at the reception.

I think he went through 10 bubble tubes before anyone left! :)

Couldn't keep his hands off the decorations!

Opening presents with the bride and groom.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Random thoughts

We hung out with some friends tonight and seeing my kiddo running around with their kids brought me an amazing amount of joy. I grew up in a great neighborhood with a good bunch of friends, and together we spent every afternoon riding bikes, racing around, and generally just having a great time. Maybe it's just my quiet neighborhood but I haven't seen any kids running around playing like we used to. I hope as Alex continues to grow that he'll see the fun in turning off the TV and heading outside to play!