52 Cupcakes-in-a-Jar Project Jar #1 – Tangerine and Cream



For the debut of my 52 Cupcake Project I chose a Tangerine and Cream cupcake. 

I would say it was reminiscent of a Creamsicle, but the flavors are much to bright and tangy.

It is a tangerine cake flavored only with the juice and zest of the tangerine, sandwiched between layers of vanilla frosting drizzled with a tangerine glaze.  I was on the fence about whether to add orange extract and I am so glad I didn’t.  The natural flavor the juice and zest give the cake are perfect and there is no hint of an artificial flavor.

Ready for the recipe:


1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 c. sugar

4 large eggs

2 ¾ c. flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

¾ c. buttermilk

1/3 c. juice from tangerine

½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract if you don’t have paste)

Zest of 2 tangerines

 1.  Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.

2.  Add sugar.  Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.

4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat to combine.  Add about half of the buttermilk and beat to combine.  Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with dry.

6.  Add the tangerine juice, vanilla bean paste, and tangerine zest, beat to combine.

7.  Bake in an 11×17 jelly roll pan approximately 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

8.  Cool cake for 10 minutes before turning out onto counter on parchment paper to cool.

9.  Once cool, use the jar to cut circles in the cake to make the cupcake layers.  The number of jars you will get will depend upon the size of jars you are using and how many layers you put in them.



 1  can Ready Made Vanilla Frosting

1  stick butter, softened

2 c. powdered sugar

2 TBS karo syrup

2 TBS milk

1.  Place frosting and butter in mixer and beat to combine.

2.  Add karo syrup and beat to combine.

3.  Mix in powdered sugar.

4.  Add milk and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy.


Tangerine Drizzle

Juice of 1-2 tangerines

Zest of 1 tangerine

2 TBS powdered sugar

 Mix ingredients to combine and sugar dissolves.  Juice should be slightly thickened, but should not lose its color and should not become a glaze.

***Layer the cake, frosting, and drizzle until you hearts content – or the jar is full!!!

Happy Cupcaking!!


Stella Visits Her Aunt Lilli…who still lives with her parents!!


Stella got to meet her Aunt Lilli for the first time on Saturday.

It was a bit of a confrontation at first.

It became more fun as the afternoon progressed.

Until it was an all out brawl….

I think they liked each other!

She also got to hang out with her cousin, Maybelle because her other aunt was back living at home again too!


(just for a couple of weeks while she finishes up her job and moves to Gillette with her husband)


They are both all tongues and ears…

Maybelle is a little disappointed she isn’t the baby anymore.

Stella also got to meet her cousin, Addy who might just be the only thing in this world that can hold a candle in the cuteness factor to Miss Stella Lu.  Case in point…see above picture!!

Stella wasn’t too excited to sit and rock with Addy, but we tried anyway.

Just in case you were blinded by Addy’s cuteness…let me remind you why I started this post!!

Happy Monday!!


I’m Gonna Gitcha…


Hmmm…who will be my prey today?


“Stop paws.”…I said, “STOOOOOP! Unsuspecting prey is near.”


“He’s getting away.  GOOOOO, paws!”


“I’m gonna gitcha…I’m gonna gitcha!”


“Hey…where ya going? I was just about to gitcha.”


“You’re a cheater…big fat cheater!!”


“GEEZ Satan…I didn’t mean to call you a cheater! It was just a joke.”


“I’m takin my paws and going to see my Mama…who doesn’t snarl her big nasty teeth at me!”


“See…she loves me!”

Too Good Not To Share


I have this wonderful new calendar that has these wonderful pearls of wisdom.  Because I only got it this weekend I haven’t had a chance to read the previous months.  As I perused through the beginning of the calendar I came across something too good not to share.  Here it is:

  • What you believe definitely affects what you do.
  • What you do affects the response from others or results you receive.
  • What you receive affects your attitude toward life, which then affects your next move, which further affects the outcome of your actions, which will then have a profound effect on your joy level, your success, your fulfillment, your everything…whew!!
  • Can you achieve this diva-tude? Absolutely, but be forewarned, old habits die hard. This will be a workout for some and a welcome change for others.

Is this not something we know to be the truth in everything we do? Of course, but do we live as if we are the cause of our circumstances or do we live as if everyone else is the cause of our circumstances? We are blamers by nature, but it is so much more powerful to be in control of our lives and take responsibility for what happens.  So today I choose to live with the above attitude…can’t speak for tomorrow, but today I am feeling powerful!

Happy Tuesday!

Puppy Subversion



Hey Mama, what’s up?

What am I doing?

You’re talking to me?

I’m chillin…

Mama would like to enter into evidence – Exhibit A

Oooohhhh that…back away slowly, Mama!

I’m not afraid to shank you with my pencil…

I’m not going back to the kennel…

I won’t go back I’m telling you!!


Verdict: Guilty

Sentence: Sentenced to time served because Mama is a big stinkin mush pot and how can you not give in to any demand of this little face!

Happy Friday!!


Atilla the Mom



I’ve recently had to crack down, not only in my own household, but in my classroom as well. 

It seems that WORK is a dirty, forbidden, awful chore that no human under the age of 21 should be forced to succumb to in any way.

And if you should be dumb enough or brave enough to request said WORK be done then prepare yourself for facial expressions you could never imagine a child ever having enough life experience to learn how to give.

It’s a combination of  “I can’t stand the sight of your ugly existence” and “You have got to be the dumbest idiot on the face of the planet”.  Of course, there is the occasional look of “I would like nothing more than for your pathetic existence in my world to cease!”

Now inevitably what happens in my house is the WORK is halfway done and sometimes only a quarter of the way done.  Do you know what happens when you are dumb enough to actually ask the question, “Why cant you do the job completely, well, all the way, without having to go back and re-do?”

She asks, “Why can’t the new puppy be mine, Mom?”

***insert cricket chirps here

The Best $26.95 I Ever Spent


Single…still on Valentine’s Day!  It was a normal work day, alone in my office with no real distractions and no hope of roses showing up on my desktop.  A couple of weeks previously I had put up a profile on Yahoo Personals to see what kind of fish were in the sea…so to speak.  Wow were there some slim pickings.  I hadn’t paid much attention to it since seeing my options.  Whether it was out of desperation or boredom I was checking my email and saw that I had a “wink” from a potential catch.  I wasn’t rushing to open the email, but I had to admit my curiosity was tickled at this point.

The picture was of a man who seemed incredibly young.  He had another picture of himself with his daughter on a horse, but he had sunglasses on and it was hard to see what he looked like.  I would discover later that the picture of the younger man was him on the day he married his first wife.  He said he thought it was a wedding he had attended.  It was….his own!!  His profile was blunt and he had 2 strikes against him.  I wasn’t going to get involved with a guy with a kid or a guy who was a recovering alcoholic.  But I thought he would at least kill some time.

I “winked” back at him to let him know I was at least interested.  For those who are not versed in the finer points of Internet dating – You can put your profile up and let anyone look at it for free, but you usually have to pay money to begin corresponding with someone.  I spent the rest of the day deciding whether I wanted to talk more with the man.   I have to admit, I was a little giddy.

That night I decided he was worth getting to know, despite his 2 strikes against him.  I ponied up the money for my 3 month membership so we could correspond by email.  Little did I know that it would be the best $26.95 I ever spent.

Love Story – Inspired


I just finished the book “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels” by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  She inspired me to do the same thing she did and write my  down my own love story.  I don’t pretend to kid myself and think I will come close to writing it with the beauty and romance she was able to capture hers, but my desire isn’t to copy or repeat what she did.  My goal is to remember all the little details that get fuzzy as the years pass.  I want my daughter and stepdaughter to read a love story.  Most importantly, I want to be able to look back later during the hard times and remember all the reasons I chose to spend the rest of my life with The Quarterback.

Strangely enough the timing for this is uniquely coincidental because we first spoke on Valentine’s Day.  So over the next however long I will be jotting down our love story right up to our First Anniversary.  I have no idea how long it will take or how many stories I will recall, but it will be a fun and exciting adventure for me.  Hope you choose to come along.

Daddy Smell…


Today I received some not completely unexpected news, but very unexpected in how I emotionally responded to it.  I’ve always been the stoic, “strong” one in my family.  I don’t break down easily, unless it’s a sappy movie.  I don’t panic in crisis…usually.  Emotionally I know how to close myself off…batten down the hatches…go on LOCK DOWN!  Today that news has started chipping at my walls.  The strangest thing is that I can keep it together as long as I am not talking to my husband…my soft place to fall…my protector and provider.  In all his quiet, kind and compassionate listening, he only made me feel safe enough to cry.  So I stopped talking to him.

I can’t imagine losing a parent and I am a grown adult with half-grown kiddos.  What if I had to lose a parent before I graduated high school, went to college, got married, had babies and my babies had babies? Parents are supposed to get to see all of those things happen in their children’s lives.  It made me think of what I would want if I learned tomorrow that my Daddy wasn’t going to get to see his grand daughters graduate high school, or go to college or get married or have babies.

My Daddy’s smell…clean, freshly showered and smelling of spicy manly cologne.  My dad is blue-collar through and through, but if you closed your eyes and he walked up to you; you would think you had been wrapped in the pages of Vogue.  I never want to forget that smell.  I may have to think about stealing a bottle of his cologne now so I can save it. 

Speaking of stealing…!  There is a certain brown and gold Wyoming sweatshirt that is somehow in my possession that may or may not belong to my dad.  possession is 9/10th’s of the law, right?  For a couple of years I would find myself drawn to the coat closet and that sweatshirt anytime I was in my parents house.  It was my dad’s and it was safe and comfortable.  He would remind me to put it back before I left and I would, but always wondering how I could get it out of the house without him knowing.  Then on a blustery day in Wyoming on a family girl trip to Sheridan to pick out a wedding dress for my sister my dad lent me the sweatshirt because I had pitifully underdressed for the weather.  A long day of driving and still one more 50 mile drive ahead of me I toted my stuff to my car, yelled goodbye and headed to Douglas.  When I got there I was putting my purse on the kitchen stool and looked down.  I’d done it! I had managed to get the coveted sweatshirt out of my dad’s clutches without him even realizing it.  I was feeling pretty proud of myself.   My dad called me a couple of days later and mentioned he had gone into the closet to get his sweatshirt and couldn’t find it.  I politely told him he needed to keep better track of his stuff in the future.

Here’s the funny thing about that sweatshirt.  I hardly wear it.  But there is something distinctly comforting about the fact that I have that sweatshirt in my possession.  It will come in handy on a night like tonight when I wrap it around me, cuddle next to my husband and thank God for blessing me with another day to spend with my family.



I got my first good nights sleep in over a week last night.  I am in a blessed good mood.

As evidenced by the following:

Loving kind words to Soda’s adorable face, followed by scratches to his belly.

A long, but awkward movie kiss for my husband.

Making not one, but two pots of coffee in the Teacher Lounge this morning.

A good morning email to my husband with the following picture in it:

For those of you who don’t know…this is Pioneer Woman’s dog named, Charlie.  He brightens my day everyday and I thought he would brighten my husbands. 

I sent him a lunch time email with this picture:


I can not imagine why he has ignored both of my emails today!?

 Happy Friday!