May 17, 2018

Pistachio Cupcakes {Recipe}

Hello everyone! Long time no see huh? Well, I'm not turning this into food blog, just popping in to post this amazing and seriously delicious recipe. Whenever I go to a party which requires me to bring food, I bring these. They never disappoint - always a hit and so easy to make. It's not mine so I can't claim it but I did come up with an awesome version of frosting so enjoy! The original recipe is from The Little Kitchen but I reduced sugar to 1/3 cup and frosting is almost like cheating on baking, it's that easy. Hope you like these!

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3.4 ounce box of instant pistachio pudding
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  1.   1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and box of instant pudding. Whisk or mix together with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add avocado oil and vanilla extract and mix until well blended. While still mixing, add eggs in one at time until completely incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed
  4. Add dry ingredients and incorporate with a rubber spatula until most of the dry ingredients are moistened. This step takes seconds and it’s okay if there is unincorporated flour. Add milk and mix with hand mixer or in your stand mixer using the paddle attachment on the lowest speed for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for another 20 to 30 seconds. The cake batter should be smooth, and very thick except for the pistachios from the pudding.
  5. Fill cupcake liners with 1/4 cup of cake batter. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean. (If using a 3 Tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out cupcakes, bake for about 16 to 18 minutes.) Or you can make mini cupcakes as I did, filling them with a tiny melon scoop, or one teaspoon 
  6. This recipe makes 14 regular cupcakes or 32 mini cupcakes.

     2.5 cups heavy whipping cream   

     1/2 cup of milk

     1 package of pistachio pudding.

   1. Combine whipping cream and pistachio pudding in a bowl of an electric mixer. Slowly start mixing on the lowest speed to incorporate the pudding. Once it has melted into the whipping cream, increase the speed to the highest and beat until it turns into thick cream. 

   2. Add up to 1/2 cups of milk to loosen up the frosting. You don't have to add the milk but the frosting will be very difficult to pipe.

    3. Cut a tiny hole in a gallon-size Ziplock bag. Place the Wilton 2D tip inside the bag pushing it out so half of it is still inside the bag. Place the bag with tip inside a large glass and transfer the frosting in to it. Gather all the frosting and push it toward the tip so there are no air pockets. Pipe the frosting on to your beautiful cupcakes in a circular motion, starting with the outer layer and going up. 
If you want to see how it works, HERE is a great video on how to pipe different types of techniques with one tip.

Enjoy your cupcakes and if you make them, tag me so I can see! 

October 25, 2017

Seasons of Life {Words for My Babies}

leggings // top

When summer was drawing to an end, and the school was starting I was a little bit sad to be honest. I didn't want the carefree, hot and fun days with my kiddos to end. I really didn't want to get into a routine of waking up early and going by schedule because our summer was full of so many adventures that happened on a whim. 
I wasn't enjoying the change.
Then came autumn. With its ever changing leaves and chill, crisp mornings. I was starting to like the fact that we can layer our cardigans and enjoy the sunlight instead of hide from it. 
Then fall became this beautiful array of colors everywhere I looked. There were gorgeous magenta tones, bright oranges and stark yellows all around me. The sun was still warm during the day but nights were refreshingly chilly. 
I started to enjoy it. 

                                It got me thinking. It's the same in life. We love or enjoy something so much that we don't want to let go or move on. There is something to enjoy in every season - in both valleys and high peeks. Right now, I'm enjoying the toddler stage in life. My children are always with me and seems like on me. But they share everything with me, I'm their best friend of choice and we do everything together. The cuddles and fears, the night time prayers and songs, the trips to the zoo and exploring, the learning about life and trying their limits. I'm here for all of it and I love it. I'm going to miss it when they are grown but every season will have something beautiful in it. So find yours and enjoy it, whatever it may be. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven                                                          (Ecc 3:1)

September 26, 2017

When You're Letting Go of a Piece of Your Heart {Motherhood}

I opened the white, front door of our family home and stepped outside. Cold morning air hit my face and I remembered that it's not summer anymore. September is here with a hint of fall and changes with it. Down the stairs and a few steps onto the street, I was trying to remember the shopping list that was his first school year's necessities. Lunch box, sneakers, uniform, light jacket, and snacks. I reached for the handle of the car door and reminded myself that I wasn't going to cry when I will be dropping him off in a few days. I will smile, wish him a good day and tell him that I will be back soon. I won't make it a huge deal and inflate this out of proportion but at the same time, I will make this milestone a little bit special. I reminded myself to add another thing to the list and drove off.
My big boy, my first born baby is going to school, pre-k to be exact. To some it may be just another trip down the road but for me it was an end of an era. It's the beginning of the end of innocence, carefree childhood and flexible bedtimes in the middle of the week. It is what so many mothers experience this time of year. 
It's a time to embrace the new and remember the old. 
It's a time to give yourself a pat on the back that you've made it so far but to roll up your sleeves and get to work on their homework. 
It's a time to clean out their room and help them settle in their dorm room, while leaving a twenty dollar bill under the rug for a rainy day. 
It's a time to give yourself a break when your last one boards the bus and waves you good bye, leaving you home alone not sure what to do with yourself.
It's a time to give yourself permission to have a good cry and watch a sappy chick flick in the middle of the day, then throw some pizza in the oven and call everyone for dinner. 
It's a time to make homemade cookies when they come back from their first day. 
It's a time to settle down and buckle up, to face the reality of your kids' abilities and push them harder to reach for more. 
It's a time to let go of the extra curricular activities that break up your family time, make your head spin and your hands reach for fast food more times then you should.
It's a time to plan family meals and listen to their conversations.
It's a time to invite the Lord into your morning devotions with your kids before they board the bus.
It's a time to encourage them and uplift them
It's a time to pray for them while they're away 
It's a huge change that brings painful and joyous moments with enormous challenges.
It's an adjustment of routines, bedtimes, shopping lists and budgets. 
It's an expansion of our hearts to find the space and strength to forgive those who will hurt our babies, those who won't understand them and those who will reject them. 
It's an appreciation of those who take the extra time and put extra effort in their success because let's face it, we can't do it alone. 
When you are letting go of a piece of your heart, let God take over. Trust Him to take you through this uncharted territory of firsts - first unaided written letter, first A for enormous effort, first totally failed exam, first oppositional college professor and even first love.
As moms we go through a lot and we all go through similar situations. We all need each other to learn from, to share with and to uplift. It's a tough job and we shouldn't be going at it solo. Find friends who will encourage you, who have gone through similar situations and those who will uplift you in their prayers.
Mama, you are strong, persevering, tough,  unbreakable and courageous. One who wants her child to not just follow the rules, but follow God Himself.
Let me take your hand. And stand with you.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

September 1, 2017

Home With Aroma Soy Candles

Decorating the house is always a favorite of mine. I love refreshing tour home with some beautiful items and new candles. The candles are a great addition for fall, as they add warmth and great smell. I love putting a candle on when I'm doing my devotions in the morning and it makes my day. The awesome natural candles from Aroma Soy Candles are handmade using only high quality-natural materials: 100% pure soy wax, lead/zinc free cotton wicks and blends of natural oils for fragrance. All proceeds from this weekend will go to benefit a family in Houston! Give the Aroma Soy Candles some love and check them out on Etsy! 

Thank you for stopping by!

August 18, 2017

Contentment is a Great Gain in the Eyes of Jesus

Have you ever thought that you got it? Have you ever felt like there is one area in your life where, really, you are on top of things? You are doing the thing you are supposed to be doing and it's going great. You know God has you in His this exact place and time and it feels so good. Then, just as you were settling into your comfy spot and petting yourself on the back for a job well done, you get the wind knocked out of you. You wonder, what just happened? Everything was going so well.
I was in that spot. I never had an issue with jealousy. Yes, others may have had better, bigger things but it was them. I was in a different place. I may have felt covetous but never jealous. I haven't felt the need to show that I want something others have. 
We bought a small house a few years and have been very happy in it since. I love the lay out, the fact that we live on a quiet street inside the city, all grocery stores are close by, both sides of the family live nearby too. I've loved decorating and making this home ours. We have a large family room which has come handy with having little children and containing the mess. We have a large, private master bedroom downstairs (currently undergoing a major renovation). We have a small but private backyard. We have large kitchen and a nice open floor plan. I've loved living in our home since the day one.
Then came the wind.
The other day I visited a friend who bought a new house. They have lived renting an apartment for a while and this was a huge blessing for them. Having multiple children, they were in real need for a backyard, more space and privacy. The home was beautiful. It had a unique floor plan and large backyard, updated kitchen and other awesome features. I felt a sprig of jealousy rise up. I tried to hide it, praising and admiring the new residence.
On the way home, I felt like a huge lump was stuck in my throat and I just couldn't shake off the feeling of not being satisfied with what I have.
I was so grateful.
I was so content. 
I was in a good place.
I had to work on this all over again.
You see, being content is not something you can just have and never work on. At one point in your life you will come along someone with something better then yours. Unless you keep the focus eternal and fix your eyes on Jesus, you will fall into the trap of wanting more. 
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:6-12)
Fighting a good fight means, it's an ongoing action which you have to keep up your entire life. It does not mean if you won one battle, you may rest. The scriptures teach us that 'the love of money is root of [all kinds of] evil'. That evil may be something you see on the inside or something that grows on the inside. Don't give discontent any space. Don't let the seed get root and destroy your whole life with poor choice, wrong priorities and shift in thinking. 
We are called into a life where the 'righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness' are main possessions we should boast about. Unfortunately we all fall into the trap and temptation to seek more earthly desires. 
Having good things isn't necessarily wrong but the love of them will take you onto the path of evil. If we desire to be rich and seek possessions with all our might, that path will lead us "into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction".
Lastly, we are in the presence of many witnesses. Whether it's our neighbors, our friends or the people we pass by on the street, we are made witnesses to the Lord. With are grateful attitudes and content hearts, we can either draw people to the Lord or push them away. We are also standing before Jesus and serving Him. If as Christians we still have to work on contentment, the Lord will have to take us through some trials before we learn to have a grateful heart and serve others. In His eyes, we are living the life He wants us to live, He supplies all our needs and gives us necessary things for life. To Jesus our soul is far more precious then any earthly possessions, or fulfillment of our temporary desires. Jesus brought us to this place and He will sustain us, our part is just be thankful and content with the life He chose for us. After all, He knows best and delights in our contentment.