Archive | May, 2012

Cupcake Dreams: Reese’s Pieces Cupcake Recipe

29 May

I love to bake, and I especially love baking when I have a long weekend to enjoy the final product. So, knowing last weekend was gonna be a long one, I asked PoppaNut to pick a flavor of his choice. He picked “Reese’s Pieces,” and I went on a hunt for a new recipe.

I found this delicious recipe that combines Reese’s Pieces with cream-cheese frosting. Need I say more? My search was complete and I ran to the grocery to pick up everything I needed.

Ingredients:
Butter pecan cake mix (I couldn’t find this anywhere so I got Butter cake mix and added in two big spoonfuls of crunchy peanut butter)
Muffin tin
Bag of Reese’s Pieces
Cream-cheese Icing
Cupcake Liners
AND my special secret ingredient … applesauce to substitute for the oil called for in the cake mix

Directions:
Mix up the cake mix according to the directions, substituting oil for your cup of applesauce of course. Place the cake mix into your lined muffin tins. Place about five Reese’s Pieces right on the top and pop into the oven.

Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, put the frosting into a plastic bag. Snip the corner and easily frost each cupcake. I decorated the tops with a few more Reese’s Pieces (I’m clearly not on a diet this weekend!). Then, enjoy!

With the cupcakes complete, PoppaNut got started on the main course of hamburgers and hot dogs on our new grill! Yummy! Plus, this gave us a chance to enjoy the new rock that PoppaNut put in at the front and sides of the house. Looking good!

And that’s life in a nutshell. Let your loved one pick a favorite flavor, and then explore a few new recipes that you can create at home!

MommaNut

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Bentonville Culture: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

23 May

From time and time, I head to Bentonville, AK for work. And that last time I went, I had the great pleasure of visiting the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and I was completely blown away. Now, you’re probably thinking that a museum in Arkansas can’t compete with the likes of those in New York, Chicago, D.C. and others. Well, I’m going to beg to differ.

Crystal Bridges Museum of Art was actually founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of the late Walmart founder Sam Walton. Alice spent years collecting just the right works of art to display at the museum, and her taste is impeccable. And because the museum is sponsored by Walmart, general admission is free.

Alice has been well-recognized as an influential leader within Arkansas’ small community, and national press has picked up this story like hotcakes. And with a story like that, I was dying to check it out. Here are some of the pieces that I loved the most. I hope you also enjoy and plan a trip to visit the museum yourself.

And that’s life in a nutshell … one person can really make a different in the life of others. Alice sure did on me!

MommaNut

 

A Big Thanks: Clifford Field Trip

21 May

You guys might remember my post about my sister’s kindergarten classroom. She wanted to take your kids on a theater field trip to see Clifford, but her budget wouldn’t allow her to schedule the bus. Well, my wonderful blog followers stepped in and made it happen. This is what my sister said about it.

“I just wanted to express my sincere gratitude for everyone that played a part in providing the funding for our field trip to Clifford, The Big Red Dog.  With those funds, all eight kindergarten classes were able to get transportation to the play as well as to the park for a picnic and time to play together.  The play was a huge success and the best part was, the actors made it interactive with the audience, which really held our students attention! Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our children.  The majority of them had never seen a play before and I know it was an experience they will hold on to for a lifetime.”

My Sister and Her Students

I second all of those sentiments, and I sincerely thank each of you for your help.

And that’s life in a nutshell … investing in a child’s future is the greatest gift of all.

MommaNut

Home Sweet Home: First-Time Home Buyers

8 May

You all haven’t heard from me in quite a few weeks, but it’s not because I’m sitting around with nothing interesting to talk about. In fact, it is quite the opposite case. PoppaNut and I bought our first home.

This crazy journey dates back to late February, when PoppaNut ran across a new home listing on our dream street. Lined with beautiful palm trees, this perfect road has everything we have ever wanted in a home location: small-town feel, lots of charm, large yards, close to nearby parks and water and more. Every Sunday on our afternoon runs, we would dream about living in one of the houses on this road. We would talk about what it would be like to walk out our front door and see water or to skip next door to play tennis at the public courts. Our large dreams would usually end with a “one day” kinda sentiment, and our minds would fixate on something more immediate. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that we could make it happen.

But I underestimated us. Because we are now residents on that same street. We can see the tennis courts from our front porch and we can see water from the driveway. PoppaNut has two large garages and plans for a GIGANTIC Yankees bar. I have two beautiful porches, where I can sit and write or entertain friends. And it’s a complete blank slate for us to do a million and one things to it in the future.

But more than all the features that it has, it is what we are building there that means the most to me. PoppaNut and I are building our future, one paint stroke at a time. We have a story for every project we have already completed in the home, which needed quite a bit of love after being vacant for two years. And while some may have doubted our ability to make a house like this livable, we managed to do it with a lot of help from family and friends in just 10 days.

PoppaNut literally worked around the clock, fighting back hunger and sleep on several occasions, to make my dream of what this house could be come true. Just like the song “The House that Built Me” says “Brick by brick and board by board, Daddy gave life to Momma’s dream,” PoppaNut has certainly given life to my dream. He is my super hero, my prince charming and my best friend. And when this house tried to take down our spirits along the way, like a broken A/C our first night sleeping there, PoppaNut was always by my side.

So, be patient with my postings. We have taken on quite a challenge, but I know we are up for it. Get ready for a front-seat view! And that’s life in a nutshell … every dream is possible if you are up for the hard work required.

MommaNut

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