Thursday, May 10, 2012

First 10 Days of Photo a Day May

Day 1:  Peace
Stryker & I enjoying the sun
Day 2:  Skyline
The Chattahoochee River between
Columbus, GA and Phenix City, AL
Day 3:  Something You Wore Today
My wedding ring & stud earrings
Day 4:  Fun!
Night time walk with Stryker.
Day 5: Bird
Little India with an Angry Bird
Day 5:  Bird
I can't pick between two cuties;)
Day 6:  You
Me on a trip up to Atlanta 
Day 7:  People that Inspire
Dad, Jesse (my husband), and Mom
Day 7:  Animals that Inspire
Stryker, Spuz, Daisy, Wynn
RIP baby girl Daisy 
Day 8:  A Smell You Adore
Day 9:  Something You Do Every Day
Spend time with my husband, walk the dog, watch the Today show, check Facebook & Instagram
Not in that order.

Day 10:  A favorite Word:
I hope everyone enjoys the photos!  More to come:)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Morning

Happy Sunday Morning!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend,
after Jesse got off work friday we went and upgraded our phones
(anyone have any super cool iPhone apps I should download, let me know!)
then BBQ'd Down at the pool.

Here's a couple pictures I took:

I'm not going to lie, I like this grilling weather:)

We went to the Farmer's Market in Downtown Columbus yesterday
(or I think they like it being called "Uptown")
Then checked out a car show, smelled lots of BBQ, then went to lunch.
We came home, spent some time with the dog,
then went to a friend's house where we talked
(the guys played Call of Duty)
then had dinner.

Here's a picture I took in downtown Columbus:
Waterfall, Downtown Columbus, GA
We came home, Jesse went out to make beer at another friends house,
while I stayed home
(I need to prepare myself for commissary shopping tomorrow)
and then I was ridiculously tired...
So I was asleep by 11.

HUGE saturday night;)

I wanted to also share some things with everyone:
The group 
Wear Blue: Run to Remember
is doing something to remember the fallen on Memorial Day.
Visit THIS LINK to read more and pledge your miles.
It doesn't have to be running, it doesn't have to be far,
but it's a great way to remember our fallen soldiers this year.
From their website:
This Memorial Day, we are asking members of our worldwide community to hit the streets and run in honor of the fallen.  A long run, or short walk, the distance doesn't matter.  But we are asking members to go online and pledge miles in honor of the Fallen so that together we can create a community dedicated to honoring the ultimate sacrifice.

While Americans may pause to reflect, for many, Memorial Day represents a long 
weekend typically filled with backyard celebrations and sunshine.  For members of wear blue: run to remember, it is a day to remember each life sacrificed in a positive, 
life-affirming way.  

It is not about pledging money, it's about pledging miles so that together we can create a living memorial.  How many miles should you run?  What number is meaningful to you?

Pledge some miles!  It's a great cause!

I also wanted to share with you all I am going to do a photo-a-day May,
shown to me by Chantal @ B+C&Baby
that I'm thinking of doing for May.
I love taking pictures, so I think I'll give it a whirl...
But then again you all probably know I'm a flake when it comes to this, so we'll see.
But here is what you take photos of if you feel like doing this yourself:

So keep checking back, and feel free to keep me in line!! Haha:)

I hope everyone enjoys their sunday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes

This recipe is where I get most of my inspiration, the Martha Stewart Cupcake cookbook.
Highly recommend if you'd like to give it a try...
Or step your game up;)

Also seen on Instagram : )
I think these cupcakes are a great spring dessert because they're almost like a cross between a strawberry muffin and angel food cake.  The cake isn't super rich like a cake, but not quite as light as angel food cake.  The frosting does add a richer element, and after decorated the cupcakes can look very elegant.

I always debate if I should make this, but at the end of the day I never regret it when I do.

So,  for the
Strawberry Cupcakes
You will need:
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large whole eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries (about 20), plus about 10 more for garnish
  • Strawberry meringue buttercream (recipe following)
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Sift together both flours, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add whole eggs and the white, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, and beating until well combined.  Fold in chopped strawberries by hand.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters bull.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto rack and let cool completely.  Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers.
  4. To finish, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Ateco #826 or Wilton #8B) with buttercream.  Pipe buttercream onto each cupcake, swirling tip and releasing as you pull up to form a peak.  Just before serving, thinly slice remaining strawberries, and tuck a few pieces into buttercream.
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (8 ounces), rinsed, hulled, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
  1. Puree strawberries in a food processor.  Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of a standing electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, mix until stuff (but not dry) peaks form.  Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
  3. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Once all butter has been added, scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula and switch to the paddle attachment; continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes.  Add strawberries and beat until combined.  Stir with a flexible spatula until the frosting is smooth.  Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.  Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Some side notes:
  • This is something I highly recommend doing with an electric mixer.  The frosting needs a stand mixer.  No doubt about that one!  Last time I tried to make this type of frosting using a hand mixer I killed it 5 times...And still wasn't finished with the icing.
  • This buttercream is time consuming.  Be patient, it will all work out.
  • Egg whites & sugar over heat seems strange, but works.  Be aggressive with it, whisk constantly and quickly if you can.   Eventually the sugar will dissolve.  It does take time though.
  • I find that my mixer takes longer to get a stiff peak, probably 12-13 minutes.  Sometimes I adjust the speed back and forth if I feel like my mixer is having a few issues.
  • When you add the butter, the mixture will look like it's curdling.  Keep mixing, and it will come back together.
  • When the recipe calls for egg whites I do use egg whites from the carton like Egg Beaters.  I can't stand wasting my egg yolks.  BUT, you could save them and use them for something like french toast.  See the Pioneer Woman's French Toast, for example.
  • I find that these cupcakes will be OK decorated for a few days afterwards, even if not refrigerated.  I don't recommend this if you are making this for a group of people.  Do it as close to the day you need it as possible.  The day before they will probably be ok.  Anytime after that, it could be debatable, unless you freeze as directed above.
  • The frosting is made with butter & eggs.  If exposed to heat, the icing will fall apart easily.  Just something to keep in mind;)
Feel free to ask if you have any questions!
Have a great tuesday.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Funday Monday

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!
I was looking forward to this weekend, and I think I had too high of expectations.
Don't get me wrong, we had fun with friends, but we were supposed to have even more fun.
That is, until Jesse decided he had a project he had to work on every waking moment this weekend.
Now, I do want him to do well, so it's not like that,
I'm not being the disgruntled wife about it all, at least I get to see the guy.
I had big plans for some farmer's market action...
Fresh flowers, maybe some produce, some coffee...
Then BOOM.
The Army in all it's glory decided that it had other plans for me;)
We did have a sort of 'date night' on Friday,
I made steak and veggies for dinner, we watching some Mission Impossible
(The first movie.  Can you believe that movie was released in the late 90's? I feel old)
We did watch the 2nd movie,
If you get the chance to watch that movie {or watch it again}
It's not that good.
We didn't have the 3rd movie, so we watched the 4th.
I thought it was pretty good, I would buy it.
And I would like to see a 5th, too.
But other than the Mission Impossible movies and Jesse's projects, we really didn't do a lot.
We went to a friends for dinner last night which was nice.
I also made some cupcakes, I'll have to share recipes.
I have a fabulous strawberry cupcake recipe that is great for spring!
Reminds me of a little angel food cake with strawberry frosting...
Good stuff.

I hope everyone has a great week, hopefully after this upcoming weekend I will have some more exciting things to talk about!
And hopefully you'll hear from me before next monday.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cupcakes & Weekend Fun

So, here is the big 'unveil' of the cupcakes that I made on Friday:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Now, if you're interested in making these cupcakes, this is where I found the recipe.
You could also do whatever you want to do -
make your favorite cookie dough and pair with your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, you probably could do that.
The recipe given is slightly less time consuming, and is probably considered by Martha Stewart as
I don't have anything against cheating (at least when it comes to these cupcakes), because, well...
I cheated.
I am going to say that these are one of the best cupcake recipes that I've made.
Other favorites are some by Martha Stewart, which tends to be my go-to cupcake book.

So other than cupcakes our weekend was full of BBQ's, banjos, friends, food & drinks.
We also had some time to do some organizing in our office
(which tends to be our go-to clutter room)
some chores, and Stryker time.
Yes, Stryker time does matter...Spuz I love but he doesn't really care for me much so I'm good.

Stryker & I
Overall it was a fun weekend since we got to spend some time with some friends of ours we really haven't gotten to spend a lot of time with...
And got to meet some new people, which is always fun when you're in a location
with lots of people who have the same job as your husband.
It's nice to be able to relate.

Today I'm going to try and get some stuff done around the house, and call my mom...
Three hour time differences can be killer.

I hope everyone has a great monday! ♥

Friday, April 13, 2012


Thank goodness it's friday.

I was thinking today, how much changes in a week.
Sunday of last week, our good friends who are a family of four
moved to Fort Bragg.
Tuesday of last week our friend Ashley, who was staying with us for almost 2 months,
finally got orders to join her husband in Germany.
Thursday she left for her home state.
Thursday we drive up to North Carolina to visit our friends.
Sunday we came home.
Tuesday, Ashley flew out to Germany, where she will be visiting with her husband until the big "D" comes.

Today, I'm grateful that I have these friends, I am also grateful that I've had some down time.
I wasn't supposed to have a ton of down time, I was supposed to do some FRG (Family Readiness Group, for the non-military readers)-realated training this week, but Stryker got sick again so I had to ditch those plans and take him into the doctor.  Again.
So today, Friday, I am thankful it's the weekend.
I am thankful I'm able to spend 2 whole days alone with my husband, it sure has been awhile!
I'm thankful that Stryker is feeling better,
and that Spuz is feeling normal (even though I just watched him cover his wet food with my sweatshirt...weirdo).

Today I have to take the dog out to play, go to the store, make some awesome looking amazing cupcakes (photo to follow)
attempt to go to the gym (preparation for awesome looking amazing cupcakes)
and make a class 6 stop (a convenience like store that sells liquor, wine, and beer...Again for the non-military readers).
All before we attend a BBQ with some friends of ours.

I'm not sure what the weekend will bring, but I'm looking forward to it.

I hope everyone has a fun-filled weekend.
If you're anywhere down south, you're probably having some beautiful weather...
We've been battling this 80 degree weather, it's been tough;)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Well Hello There!

I know that I have neglected this blog, so again I will try and be better.
I haven't updated this bad boy since January, so let me play a little bit of catch-up for you all...


Jesse got rims for Big Black. 
Jesse & I celebrated my birthday at home.
We celebrated this little girl, Sophia's birthday.
We ate these super cute cupcakes.
We celebrated my birthday with friends.
We ate this chocolate & caramel cake. YUM.
We spent time with some of the best people ever.

We said goodbye to some friends... 
Well, sorta.
The guys watched the Superbowl...
And we socialized of course;)
We had French toast on the weekend for Valentine's Day.
We had a good Valentine's Day dinner.
We had a good ol' time for Stryker's birthday.
Jesse & I were farewelled from his unit.

We celebrated Ashley's birthday at home...
And out;)
We celebrated Renee's birthday...

Ashley & I traveled to Indiana...
And to Ohio.
We BBQ'd a LOT. 
We swam....a LOT.
We celebrated St. Patrick's day...
We celebrated Levi's birthday
We put bunny ears on pugs.
And they loved us for it.
We jumped around a lot.
We let little girls take pictures of us.
We ate blackberry cobbler & ice cream.

We went to North Carolina for Easter : )
We also said goodbye to some wonderful friends this month, our friend the Pippy's have moved on to the next chapter, and our friend Ashley finally made her way to Germany.

Hopefully in the upcoming months we will have a trip to Savannah, get a new car {more to come on that one}, see more friends, BBQ some more, my parents will come visit, we're going to Florida, and we {or myself} will be making a trip back up to the midwest again.

So basically, lots more stories and pictures to come!

Also, if you have a Droid or iPhone, download Instagram!  I am on there now, so you can follow me @marissamcadam : )

Have a great week all & happy hump day!


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