Holiday “Pin Inspiration” from World Market

The Holidays are upon us and I’m online looking for gifts, as usual. I’m always stumped for gifts for certain people in my life. Along with the gift giving, I have Holiday parties to attend, baking to do, and people asking what I want for Christmas. Luckily, there’s this awesome online website called, “Pinterest”. Have you ever heard of it? I thought so.

As as avid shopper of World Market, I was recently asked to create a PinInspiration Board on Pinterest of my favorite things that I found online at World Market’s website for the Holiday Season. I had a ton of fun working on this board, and started calculating all of the money that I mentally spent while making it. World Market is going to drive me to the poor house. At least, my house will be decorated for the Holidays, and everyone will great gifts…virtually and mentally, of course.

Because there are so many awesome things that I “pinned”, I thought that I would share some of the best items:

Holiday Baking Essentials: I bake a ton during the Holidays and I found some fun and cute things at World Market. The Gingerbread House Kit and the Sleigh Cupcake Stands are two of my favorites in the baking department.

Holiday Baking Essentials at World Market.Items featured in “Baking Essentials”: Christmas Tee Cake Pop Kit, Kokeshi Measuring Spoons, Red Melamine Batter Bowl, Mint Dots Round Tin, Red and White Heart Wisk, Holiday Embelished Picks, Crunchy Peppermint Candy Cane Sprinkles, Sleigh Cupcake Stands, Holiday Sprinkles Shakers, and Gingerbread House Kit.

Hanukkah Items found at World Market: For my Jewish friends like Ciaran, who celebrate Hanukkah. For the past few years, I’ve heard about the limited selection of Hanukkah items in Orange County via my friend Ciaran’s rants. Well, World Market has quite the selection, and there are more things than just dreidels.

Hanukkah Gifts from World MarketItems featured in “Hanukkah Items”:Silver Moon Menorah, Hanukkah Tower of Treats, Multicolor Menorah Candles, Hanukkah Candy, Star of David Decor with Bell, Bag of Gelt Milk Chocolate Gold Coins, and Hanukkah Sprinkles Shakers.

Gifts for People with Awesome Taste (Like Me): These are some ideas of things that I, ummm I mean people like me would like. You know, if you need suggestions for gifts. These items are great for a 37-year old, married mom, with one kid, and likes gifts category.

Holiday Gifts from World MarketItems featured in “Gifts For People with Awesome Taste”: Purple Marbled Touch Screen Gloves, Broken Bangle Jewelry Box, Christmas Glitter Bubble Bath, Glass Retro Camper Ornament, and Heart and Destiny Metal Plaques.

Also, during this Holiday Season, World Market is promoting the Life of Pi Movie with in-store promotions, giveaways and an awesome Sweepstakes!   

Life of Pi is the story of an Indian boy named Pi, a zookeeper’s son, who survives a disaster at sea and is thrown into an epic journey. While adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another a fearsome Bengal tiger. The movie opens in theaters November 21, 2012. You can watch the trailer for Life of Pi here: http://www.lifeofpimovie.com/#!/watch-trailer

Life of Pi Sweepstakes:

  • Grand Prize package includes: a dream trip for 2 to India and a $1,000 World Market Gift card.
  • There will also be 3 runner up prize winners that will each receive a $500 World Market gift card!
  • The Life of Pi Sweepstakes runs from 11/17 – 12/28.
  • If you share the sweepstakes with 5 of your friends (via FB share or email) you can receive 5 additional bonus entries. This is part of the registration process when entering. Users can also enter daily for more chances to win.
  • Enter online at http://worldmarketsweepstakes.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/worldmarket?fref=ts

BLACK FRIDAY and Life of Pi Giveaways:

The first 100 customers to shop in-store on 11/23/12 (Black Friday) will receive a FREE Limited Edition Life of Pi ornament and a FREE Life of Pi movie ticket. The first 100 customers to shop in-store on Saturday, 11/24/12 & Sunday, 11/25/12 will receive a FREE Limited Edition Life of Pi Tote Bag and a movie ticket.

For more World Market Awesomeness, you can find them online at:

Disclosure: This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™, but all my opinions are my own. http://cmp.ly/3/KqtZiE.

Project 365: Week 50

The Holidays are here! I’ve spent my free time attending various functions, baking, eating, changing into multiple outfits, and pretty much ignoring my house and laundry. I will be spending the next week cleaning, cooking, shopping, organizing, and whatever else it takes to catch up on life!

Project 365 342/365: Random things at the gas station in Orange County: an entire display of Mexican Coke.Project 365 344/365: Random things at the gas station in Orange County: an entire display of Mexican Coke.

Project 365 343/365: Me and My Mixer. We've been BFFs today. #cookieexchangepanic.Project 365 345/365: Me and My Mixer. We’ve been BFFs today. #cookieexchangepanic.

Project 365 344/365: Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar: Day 9. X-Wing Starfighter. The Incom T-65 X-wing is the fighter that killed the Death Star. Note: The tiny blue Lego on top represents R2-D2 riding on top. #starwars #adventcalendarProject 365 346/365: Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar: Day 9. X-Wing Starfighter. The Incom T-65 X-wing is the fighter that killed the Death Star. Note: The tiny blue Lego on top represents R2-D2 riding on top. #starwars #adventcalendar

Project 365 345/365: I like to take iPhone pics of my tree. The hodge podge of random ornaments, lights, and garland makes me smile.Project 365 347/365: I like to take iPhone pics of my tree. The hodge podge of random ornaments, lights, and garland makes me smile.

Project 365 346/365: Where else can you see a gingerbread AT-AT but @discoverycube #gingerbreadDSC #starwarsProject 365 348/365: Where else can you see a gingerbread AT-AT but @discoverycube #gingerbreadDSC #starwars

Project 365 347/365: Bad Julie. Christmas themed Krispy Kreme.Project 365 349/365: Bad Julie. Christmas themed Krispy Kreme.

Project 365 348/365: I have a thing for Mary Janes. My Goodwill purchase from a few months ago. They were brand new in my size!Project 365 350/365: I have a thing for Mary Janes. My Goodwill purchase from a few months ago. They were brand new in my size!

Cookie Exchange Party Ideas

I have been invited to two Cookie Exchange Parties during the month of December. For one of the parties, I have to bring NINE dozen cookies.  They have to be homemade and have flour in them. Yikes!!! The only family recipe that I have is for sugar cookies, the kind you frost.  I mean those are amazing, but I need something brilliant.  I’m currently searching blogs and of course, my BFF, Pinterest.

Here are some of the pretty Cookie Ideas that I have found so far:

Colorful Spiral Cookies via Sprinkle BakesImage via sprinkle bakes

Colorful Spiral Cookies

Simple snowball cookies via Glorious TreatsImage via Glorious Treats

Let It Snow Cookies

Peppermint-Sugar-Cookies via Recipe GirlImage via Recipe Girl

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Do you have any suggestions? Please share in the comments below!!

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!!!

Angry Kid and I are running this morning in the Surf City 5K and Kid’s Run in Huntington Beach.  I haven’t ran a race since 2009.  We went and got our race information yesterday, and Huntington Beach was already crowded.  In between cleaning and baking tonight, I laid out our outfits for today’s run.

I’m wearing a tank top from Target (fancy) and a Red Team Sparkle Skirt.  Angry Kid is wearing shorts and a tank top from Gymboree.

Surf City Run Attire
My Sunday night was spent baking and doing laundry. I baked another two dozen red/white/blue cupcakes, which I will frost tomorrow afternoon. And of course, some yummy Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies from Picky Palate.


And because it was a busy weekend, I thought I would share some more photos.

Serious ice cream face. Hard life here in Huntington Beach.Angry Kid yesterday afternoon in Huntington Beach.  He’s a badass with his ice cream.

Angry Kid shooting.
And while mommy is at work, Angry Husband took the kid out to the desert with his friends. Angry Husband’s friends gave the kid some proper training.

I hope everyone has a great holiday!!! Stay safe!!!

Wordless Wednesday: Craft Party

On Friday night, I attended a craft party.  I had some sweet treats, good conversation, and lots of laughs.  I entertained everyone with my lack of craftiness.  I can be crafty when I try, but I’m a perfectionist.  I got a bit frustrated when trying to cut out something with a pattern.  It was quite hilarious.  I had to have Erin fix some of my issues.

I actually went out the next day and bought a new glue gun.  I will be a little bit more prepared next time.  Plus, I’m sure that I can always find someone to fix my craft mistakes….

JAD_3371Coconut Cupcakes
JAD_3380
Mique getting ready to start her project.
JAD_3375
Drink Selections.
JAD_3385
Erin working on her leather bracelet.
Cheesecake in a Jar
Cheesecake in a jar.
JAD_3388
Drew B eating cupcakes in a jar.
JAD_3386
Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie

Welcome to “Angry Julie Monday’s Wordless Wednesday Linky”!

If this your first time here, HELLO! I do a link-up every Wednesday! Post a picture(s) and link back to it here. Wordless Wednesday is a great day to post an awesome picture that “speaks” for itself, no words needed. I may be a little wordy today….

Be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Link-Ups at these other sites also:

A Beautiful MessBetter in Bulk, Dear CrissyFive Minutes For MomLive and Love…Out Loud,Parenting By DummiesSeven Clown CircusSupermom, The Divine Miss Mommy

(P.S. if you do a Wordless Wednesday or similar link-up, let me know. I will add you to my list above.)

Also, Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy does “What I Wore Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up

and

Krystina from Lollipops does “What I Love Wednesday” every week with a great big link-up.

Be sure to check out their posts too. I wish I had the extra time to do all of these fabulous link-ups.

Wordless Wednesday: Chocolate

Welcome to  “Angry Julie Monday’s Wordless Wednesday Linky”!

If this your first time here, HELLO! I do a link-up every Wednesday! Post a picture(s) that you took in the past week and link back to it here. Wordless Wednesday is a great day to post an awesome picture that “speaks” for itself, no words needed.

Leave me alone, I’m baking

Holiday Baking

I spent over two hours at the grocery store yesterday buying supplies for my baking extravaganza.  I can bake, when I want to.  Right now, I’m motivated.  Unfortunately, I did not check my cupboards very well and I kept second guessing myself.  This is my usual protocol as I seem to have three brand new rolls of parchment paper.

I’m making some breads, out of the box, cause I’m fancy like that. And some other things from blogs, and such…

I wish my husband would have listened to me when I wrote a long list of baking pans etc. on my Christmas wish list last year.  I spent already $50 at least in buying new pans, etc. this year.

So if you don’t see me around, well I’m baking, or waiting for something to bake, or running to the store for more ingredients that I forgot to buy.

 

Making Rainbow Cupcakes

After cupcake wrapper removed

I think I shocked my family and friends last night when I posted pictures of the cupcakes last night on my Facebook account.  There was quite some shock and awe going.  I can pretty much follow a recipe, if I like it. As a toddler would say, “I just don’t want to.” But really, my friend Ruth summed it up best, “The cupcake looks so good. Kudos to you Jules…who knew?? All of these years you have been playing the “I can’t cook or bake” card.  What you really should have been saying was, “I DON’T WANT to cook or bake.”

I’ve seen many people bake these rainbow cupcakes online.  I thought, “why not” and wanted to give it a try.  I rarely bake, maybe once a month. So I had to do some supply shopping before I even started.  I headed straight towards my local Sur La Table, which is way too convenient.  I also asked my friend, Kristin for some help.  Kristin has been a big help in this project.  She basically provided me with supplies, recipes, and advice.  Without Kristin, I would have nothing.  I would have had plain ole’ cake mix with frosting from a jar.

Prepping to make cake mix

Perfect Cake-Mix Cupcakes from Hello Cupcake

Yield: 24 standard cupcakes

18.25-ounce box cake mix (French vanilla, devil’s food or yellow)
1 cup buttermilk, in place of the water called for on the box (the box will call for more water than the buttermilk you are using)
Vegetable oil (the amount on the box)
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Using substitutions above, follow the box instructions to mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and beat until thick, 2 minutes longer.

Spoon half of the batter into a zip-top bag. Snip a ¼-inch corner from the bag and fill the paper liners 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from baking pans, place on a wire rack . Cool completely.

I used Duncan Hines White Cake Mix for my cupcakes.  Kristin said that I need to use white cake mix as the color stands out better. I also adapted parts of this recipe to make rainbow cupcakes.

Placing the cake batter in different bowls for colors

After mixing the batter, I separated it into four different bowls.  I used four bowls, because I was going to use four different colors for my “rainbow effect”.

After the colors were mixed in

I used Wilton’s Icing Colors to get the desired effect. The colors that I used were Leaf Green, Violet, Pink, and Lemon Yellow. I was going for a more muted effect, but obviously they are quite bright. You just need to use a teeny tiny bit of the icing color for the batter. It was my first time so I got carried away.  Like I said, it was my first time. I had no clue on what I was doing.

Getting ready to go in oven

I didn’t take a picture of the filing the cupcakes phase. It was a complete mess and I had colored batter everywhere. My kitchen is small and there are only so many places to put stuff.  I pretty much layered the batter and it sloshed around.  I started by putting it into bags and trying to drip it into the baking cups. Yea, that was an epic fail.  I gave up and used a spoon. My theory is, “as long as it looks somewhat rainbow layered, it’s good enough.” Kristin told me that when you do rainbow cupcakes, you need to use a little less batter in your cups. She said that the layered colored batter rises differently.  I didn’t know how far to fill them up.  I filled them up someway between 1/2 and 3/4 full.

Warm rainbow cupcakes

These are how the cupcakes looked after popping them out of the muffin tin. They are on the cooling rack.  They were not as big on top as I would have liked.  I was a bit apprehensive when filing the baking cups.  Next time, I will fill them up a little more.

I let the cupcakes cool for about 30-45 minutes before I started working on the icing/frosting.  I’m using a recipe that Kristin gave me for icing.

Making cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Depending on how many cupcakes you are making, you might want to double or reduce by half.

10 oz cream cheese softened
10 oz butter unsalted room temp
1.5 lbs of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of cream (heavy or whipping)
1.5 tsp of vanilla

Beat cream cheese and butter on med until fluffy, about 3 mins. Add powdered sugar, then liquids. Beat on med-high/high for about 3 more minutes. Taste. If it still tastes sugary, beat for another minute.

This makes about… 1.5 qts so I can usually frost about 2-3 dozen cupcakes depending on how much I pipe.

I split this recipe in half because I was just doing a test batch.  I would have brought out my bigger mixer if I was making the whole recipe. It got quite fluffy when I added in the powdered sugar. I also used whipping cream for my recipe.  I added the Wilton pink icing color once again, to color my icing/frosting.  I could have done several colors, but I was only making a dozen.  I added the icing color into the bowl and used the hand mixer on low for about a minute to make sure it was thoroughly mixed.

I did not get a picture of myself icing the cupcakes because well it’s pretty hard to ice cupcakes and take photographs at the same time. Plus, Angry Husband went to the store while I was doing this.

I purchased a Wilton 12-Piece Cupcake Decorating Set to pipe on the icing.  I used the 1M Star Tip on my cupcakes. Seriously, it was so easy. I just tossed some icing into the bag with the tip and swirled it around on the cupcake.  I swear, I have never ever done this before.

Iced Cupcakes 2

Not bad for a first timer, right? I’m pretty impressed with myself.  I even let Angry Kid help me out.  He thought that it was the coolest thing ever.  He kept wanting to eat the cupcakes also. I told him that he had to wait.  Angry Husband came home from the store after I had finished icing them. He was rather impressed.

But you know I’m not finished, right? I had to add some sugar to the tops of my cupcakes.  I used a pink sugar the Kristin bought for me, at a baking supply store.

Sugaring the cupcakes

Here’s a close-up of a cupcake after being sugar-dusted.

Cupcake Close-up

By the time I finished everything, it was almost 11pm. I’m such a night owl.  But Angry Husband wanted to see the center, so I cut one open.  I let Angry Kid eat the actual cake, and no frosting. I have no clue why he was up that late. Probably because he wanted to see the middle of the cupcakes also. Like I’ve always said, “I’m mother of the year!”

Center of rainbow cupcakes

I tasted one this morning. It was yummy.  This was my practice run for Easter.  I’m going to try to make the colors a little lighter for this weekend.

I want to thank Kristin for all of her hand holding and especially the recipes.  I think my text messaging probably drive her crazy, but she is rather helpful with the baking handicapped people like me. She also picked up some supplies for me too. Kristin lives in Orange County, CA and has a cupcake business. She makes some beautiful cupcakes, and they are tasty too.

Also, big cyber hugs to Rachel for her support of me even attempting this recipe!

Also check out i heart faces for Week 14: My story in photos: Dessert Recipe Edition”.