Weekend Highlights & Lucas’s Baptism {1/27}

Happy Monday to you all! After such a great weekend (much better than last weekend) I’m really sad to see it come to an end. Needless to say, getting up this morning for work was definitely not fun. But rather than dwell on the Monday blues, I’d much rather recap some highlights from the weekend!

Starting with a Friday night in with my two best boys. Take out Panera for the adults (BBQ Chicken salad + turkey chili…omg YUM) for the adults; peas + apples for the babe.

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There wasn’t a whole lot more happening on Friday…pretty sure I was asleep not long after 9pm. No shame.

Saturday morning included an insane workout and I loved every. single. minute. of it.

I was recently sent this R.I.P.P.E.D. DVD to try out and WOW, it was crazy. It’s 48 minutes long and includes resistance, intervals, power, plyometrics, endurance, abs, and a cool down. I will definitely be doing this one again in the near future!

Oh, and post workout scrambled eggs + cheese + ketchup is always a highlight, too.

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Later that afternoon, Jay had to go out for a little while so that meant Mommy & Lucas time. No complaining from this mama.

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At one point, I grabbed myself a banana to snack on, but somebody else had other plans for it…

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While we usually do purees with him, I have no problem with him trying out something like a banana in its regular form. As you can tell, he thoroughly enjoyed it for a while.

Sunday morning started out with a favorite…pancakes!

I was recently sent these flapJacked protein pancake mixes to try out and, honestly, I was a little skeptical about ‘em. Point being, I know plenty of you love your protein “pancakes” but I’m sorry…egg whites + protein powder + a banana (or something of the like) is not a pancake. It may look like one but it does not taste like one (at least not from what I’ve experienced!).

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But anywho…I was thrilled when I discovered that this mix does not taste at all funky and they really DO taste like delicious pancakes. I topped mine with some Justin’s vanilla almond butter, banana slices, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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Another perk of ‘em? They kept me full for a good five hours, which was good since we had a busy afternoon…

It was Lucas’s baptism!

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Lucas did absolutely amazing the entire time and was so calm and chill. Father Butler (who is actually my mom’s cousin) even wound up taking him for part of the service and he just hung out with him, taking it all in. It was totally one of those ‘proud mama’ moments.

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Jay and I had my brother, Dan, and our cousin and BFF, Sarah, stand up with us as Lucas’s godparents, and it meant so much to us to have them there on his special day.

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After the baptism, we invited the grandparents and godparents back to the house for some lunch, where we all feasted on lots of goodies. I made salad and BBQ Pulled Chicken with mini slider rolls; my mom made some baked ziti and kielbasa and pineapple.

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Seriously…so much good food.

But, of course, we had to save room for dessert! Now you guys know (although it’s been quite a while) that I’m usually more of a cupcake baker), but I decided I really wanted to attempt to make my own cake for Lucas’s baptism.

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So I made a scratch vanilla cake with strawberry filling, and my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting, and then I had a little fun with the decorations. Winking smile

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Thankfully, it turned out delicious and everyone really seemed to enjoy it, so I was happy with that.

The rest of the afternoon was fairly low key and everyone just hung around for a couple of hours before calling it a day.

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Oh, I love those boys. <3

So yeah, I’d say it was a pretty great, and pretty special weekend over here. Smile

How was your weekend?? Do anything fun?

First It Was Me

Finished!

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Just before noon today, I finished up all of the cupcakes and they’re all packed up and ready to go.

I did two dozen chocolate pb cup,

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one dozen triple lemon (lemon cake with lemon mousse filling and lemon frosting, which turned out AWESOME – I’ll have to share soon!),

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and one dozen vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream…and these cute little toppers I found at the store. Winking smile

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Now all that has to be taken care of is my least favorite part…transporting them. Keep your fingers crossed that we don’t have to make any quick stops!

Shortly after finishing up and cleaning up the mess that was my kitchen, I took time to make some lunch.

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I put together a simple veggie salad made with lettuce, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, carrots, and feta cheese. Then I added in half of a can of Bumble Bee Sundried Tomato & Basil Tuna Fish.

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The company sent me a couple cans of this to try last week and I was excited to give it a try…I’d never seen them in the store before?

So once that was added in, I chopped it all up (a la my pizza cutter) and chowed.

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I’ll tell ya…that tuna fish is SO good! It was so full of flavor that the salad didn’t even need any dressing. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for it at the store now.

Alright. Now that lunch is taken care of, it’s about time to get ready to head up to Lake George and get these wedding festivities started! Ahhhh, I love weddings…especially when they’re for my closest of friends.

Out of our group of five, first it was me, then it was Joelle, then it was Rachel, and now it’s Kathryn.

Dare I say that just maybe I’m coming down from my wedding season peak? Winking smile

Can’t wait to celebrate with these girls!!

Question for the Afternoon:

How many weddings have you been to recently?

At the Request of the Birthday Girl

Since the last time I chatted with you all, I have been a busy bee…in the kitchen!

One batch of Dark Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

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One batch of Raspberry Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Almond Buttercream (at the request of the Birthday Girl) Birthday cake

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And, ummm….oh yeah…some of these too.

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Yes, that would be three different flavors of Jell-o shots (again at the request of the Birthday Girl!). The ones marked with the orange stickers are made with Malibu and raspberry sugar-free Jell-o, so you can bet your last dollar that I’ll be hoarding as many of those as I can.

Hey, what can I say? We know how to have a good party. Party smile

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Time to head on out!

Oh yeah…and make sure you head on over to Bethany’s Blog to check out my guest post on one of my favorite all-time dessert recipes: Apple Crisp.

Question for the Afternoon:

What kind of cake/treats do you like to request on YOUR birthday?

Easy Soda Cupcakes

Soda cupcakes are a quick and easy way to whip up some seriously delicious treats. Keep reading below for a recipe and some of my favorite combinations!

soda cupcakes

So I was talking to some of my co-workers last week at lunch, and the subject of various cakes came up.  When I mentioned “soda cake”, they all looked at me like I had 5 heads.  So I started thinking, hmmm, I wonder if this is a baking phenomenon that not many people know about?!?  Well, if that’s the case, then I’m here to spread the word!

Ok, so first things first…let’s go over the ingredients for a soda cake:

Yes, that is correct!  All you need to make a soda cake is a box of your favorite cake mix and a 12oz. can of any flavored diet soda! (I didn’t have any cans, so I just measured out 12oz.)  This is one of the EASIEST cake recipes I know!  And although it’s hard to call cake or soda “healthy”, it’s definitely an option that allows you to cut some calories.

Soda Cake

Directions:

  1. Pour cake mix into large mixing bowl.
  2. Dump 12oz. can of diet soda in with cake mix.
  3. *Optional: Add 1-2 egg whites (I added one, for a little extra “fluff”)
  4. Mix together with an electric mixer.
  5. Bake according to directions on the box!

soda cupcakes

These bad boys went into a 325 degree oven for about 17 minutes, and came out looking puffy and lovely! :)

soda cupcakes

This was my first time attempting the orange soda + french vanilla cake mix combo.  Normally, my favorite combo is a devil’s food cake mix + wild cherry diet pepsi!  But really, the possibilities are ENDLESS!

angel or yellow cake + diet orange soda
banana cake mix + diet root beer
cherry chip cake + A& W diet Cream soda
chocolate cake or devils food + diet pepsi
chocolate cake + diet vanilla coke
chocolate cake + diet root beer

lemon cake mix + diet 7-up
lemon cake + diet ginger ale
lemon + diet lemon
marble cake + diet cream soda

red velvet + diet cherry vanilla Dr Pepper
spice cake + diet lemon-lime
spice cake + diet orange
white cake + diet ginger ale
white cake + diet orange

white cake + diet sprite
yellow cake + diet orange

So to go along with what I like to call my “Creamsicle Cupcakes”, I decided to make some of my own vanilla buttercream frosting.  There is definitely no way around the fact that this frosting is NOT healthy…but it’s out of this world! :)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

- 1/2 cup butter, softened

- 3 cups confectioners sugar

- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

- 1-3 tbsp milk

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and 1 tbsp. milk.  Continue to add milk until desired consistency is achieved. (I ended up using almost 3 tbsp).  And then I ended up with THESE!

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I was really hoping I had orange sprinkles somewhere to go along with my “orange” cupcakes, but no such luck.  Oh well!  At least they match the liners! :)

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I broke out the pastry bag tonight to do some “fancy frosting”! :-D

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One of the best parts about soda cakes is that they’re SO MOIST!  Look at how soft and spongy these are!

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I’ve already had one, and I think I may end up eating one more before the night is over :)

Have you ever tried or heard of Soda Cakes?  What flavor combo would you most like to try?? :-D