Archive | May, 2013

“You are Loved” card

I just learned on Wednesday that a dear friend and neighbor is moving! :( I know that moving is chaotic and overwhelming sometimes and so I was inspired to make the following cards in her honor:


I am just enthralled with “Sunshine” cards (yes, it goes with the name of my blog!) and this one surprised me because it turned out in shades of blue, rather than yellow! I tinted the embossed sentiment with Distress Ink in Peacock and added some glitter to the “sunburst.” I will re-visit this idea later, because I think it looks more like a quilt or sky than a sunburst. Funny how things turn out sometimes.

(to be continued: see the next card in the next post…)

So, dear friend who is moving (you know who you are)…these are for you! Everything IS going to be alright. And you are loved.

Linking up with Simon Says Stamp challenge.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Everything’s Going to be Alright, you’ll see

Everything’s Going to be Alright, you’ll see


This one is perhaps my favorite of the two. I glittered up the clouds a bit and added a yellow ribbon. Then I used some liquid pearls in pink to add dimension on the sentiment stripe. Fun!

I love this saying. LOVE. I have my husband trained to tell me “Everything’s going to be ok!” when I ask him to tell me “something.” I know that I might worry too much, and this really calms me down. So this card is so endearing to me. :) And I love the sky when it is filled with clouds. It is so peaceful. This paper with clouds is adorable!

So, dear friend who is moving (you know who you are)…these are for you! Everything IS going to be alright. And you are loved.

Linking up with Simon Says Stamp challenge.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe (versus Mini Chocolate Souffles)


This Taste Test Tuesday was very exciting and quite close! In fact, both of these recipes are SO delicious, that I would recommend trying them both out for yourself! Last week, I posted the Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Sauce recipe. And today, I will review both contestants for you and share the Chocolate Molten Lava Cake recipe. Does this sound delicious or what?!

I can hardly wait! First, let me share with you this delicious little Molten Lava Cake recipe. I got it from my daughter, Amber, and she made it as one of her goals last summer. She was working on her recipe book (getting ready to leave the nest…which I was not happy about). But I WAS happy about her sharing her delicious recipes with me, including this gem of a chocolate dream recipe. :)


I call these the darlings of all mini cakes…I mean, just look at that cute little cake! It’s adorable with it’s crown of whipped cream and sprinkle of powdered sugar. I added a strawberry, too, since it was competing with those little Chocolate Souffles and needed to be on a “level” playing field.

If you were to compare the ease of whipping these Lava Cakes up versus making up the Mini Chocolate Souffles, I’d say the Lava Cakes win. All you have to do is melt a little butter with the chocolate (in the microwave!), add the powdered sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour and Voila! You’ve got your batter all ready to put into the oven. Then you just cook them up for 12-13 minutes, pull them out and invert onto a little plate. Easy. (Note: I let them cool for about a minute before inverting them onto the plate)

If you add the whipped cream too early, it melts a little down the sides, but these Molten Lava Cakes are BEST when eaten warm and fresh out of the oven!


Doesn’t that still look so yummy!? I really don’t mind that dripping whipped cream. Just let me at it!


The insides of the cake are all gooey and molten. So smooth and chocolatey. Wow.


These little darlings are delicious with whipped cream and/or ice cream! Yep, you can put a scoop of ice cream right on the top and sort of let it melt down into the cake. So. Good.

But before you make these yourself, a little note of  WARNING: do not overbake these. Really. It is easy to do (not that I would know), and it RUINS these cakes! They become dense and spongy and not delicious. Seriously. It’s bad. The last batch I only cooked for just over 11 minutes to make sure the inside was still melted and yummy. You will know these are just about done when the sides of them look cooked (like cake) and the insides are still a little soft, but not jiggly. Every oven is a little different, so you’re gonna have to test this out for your oven.

Ok, so here’s the recipe. Are you going to try this one?


Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe

Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe


  • 4 pieces (squares) Semi-Sweet baking chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 T. flour
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • whipped cream for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray 4 custard cups with cooking spray and place on cookie sheet.
  3. Place chocolate and butter in microwave safe glass bowl and microwave on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. Stir until all the chocolate is melted, too.
  4. Stir in powdered sugar until well blended.
  5. Add eggs and egg yolks and whisk until well incorporated. Stir in flour and vanilla.
  6. Divide between 4 custard cups. Bake for 12-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute.
  7. Invert onto small plates and top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Now, with all that delicious description done, I must now announce the winner of the taste test! I didn’t forget. But I must remind you that BOTH of these recipes are so good, and the winner only barely edged out over the other.

They both have a delicious chocolately flavor. They both have melty amazing centers. They both are just exactly the right size. They both are perfect for a special occasion dessert.

But the winner was the one with a little sugar coating on the outside, and an amazing ganache center. It won out a little bit because the cake part was delicious, but then pushed over the top with an addition of the melted chocolate to make it so smooth and so decadent…(my mouth waters a little). And the winner is still delicious the next day…it can be refrigerated and then warmed up again and it tastes just as good as the first day!


I guess the extra effort for the chocolate souffle really did shine in this competition! Congratulations to the Mini Chocolate Souffles with Chocolate Sauce.  While I still love the Chocolate Molten Lava cakes, I love these more (and the other judges agree). Try the recipe here and see if YOU agree.


Until next time, enjoy every bite!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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“Take a photo” Card Challenge

It’s a perfect day to send a card or two. Today I was up for the challenge from Simon Says Stamp. The theme for the challenge is: Take a Photo.

I was also a bit inspired by “Memorial Day” and the memories of loved ones. I love the idea of taking a picture and holding it in your heart…so you can always feel those good times and bring them to mind. See how I “framed” those good times in the card below?

So here’s my card:


Inside card:


I’ve been playing with a new technique that’s kind of fun: I embossed the arrows with white embossing powder and then watercolored over the top of them. The embossing resists the watercolor and the arrows remain white, but adding that color behind them makes them really pop!

I love the red glitter heart added to the frame, too. I used Stickles in Christmas red on that little heart.

Until next time, hold onto those good memories in your heart!


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Dose of Sunshine Monday — God Bless the USA

Happy Monday and Happy Memorial Day! This is a wonderful day to give thanks to all those who serve or have served in the military. A BIG THANK YOU!

Both of my Grandfathers served in the military and sacrificed much to keep our country safe. (I can’t even imagine how my grandmothers worried when they went off to war…)

So I wish all of you a safe and happy Memorial Day and a time to reflect on all those who have sacrificed for our freedoms. We are blessed beyond measure.



May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Bruleed Orange French Toast (so worth it!)


We’ve been making good use of our Arizona oranges from our very own orange trees, and since the season is almost over, I’m making the last of them really count! This is one of my favorite breakfast/brunch recipes. It’s full of flavor and so easy.

And I’m so excited because I’m guest posting over at Mom Endeavors…so click on over to get the recipe and full instructions.

Then try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Thank you, Sara, for giving me the opportunity to guest post today. Until next time…Enjoy!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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A plain box to a fancy box!

I got these plain kraft boxes from PaperMart and they are small and cute, but they are PLAIN! So, to dress them up a bit, I am going to show you how easy it is to add an initial, some paper, and a ribbon to make this box Spectacular.


You can use any color scheme you like. I chose pink and black today. It would be cute in purples or red, white and blue, even!

Here’s a quick video on how I made them:

I got the initials from here, but I did have to reduce them in size so each initial was about 2 inches. I printed them on white cardstock and cut them with a circle punch.

Aren’t they cute? And they don’t take long to decorate this way. I have to admit, it was the first time I used the Xyron Sticker Maker and I LOVE it!! Why didn’t they have these around when I was a kid? I would have turned everything into a sticker!! :)
But don’t worry, you don’t have to own a sticker maker, you can attach the initial with glue dots, pop dots (or you can print the initial out on sticker paper). Lots of options!

I’d love to see your box decor, send me a comment with a link or email me. See ya next time!


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Taste Test Tuesday– Chocolate Souffle vs. Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

It’s a great day. Not only is it Taste Test Tuesday, but my Dad is here for a visit! I knew that there needed to be CHOCOLATE for him. And he agreed to be a taste test panelist. (I may have gotten my love for taste tests partially from my Dad…we have been doing taste tests at home ever since I was a kid!)

So this is a special edition of Taste Test Tuesday. The taste test results will be posted next week, but today I am sharing the recipe for “Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Sauce.” Oh. My. Goodness. These little souffles are amazing. I got this recipe a couple years ago from my co-worker, Aubrey. (Hi, Aubrey!) And I’ve made them only a few times for special occasions, but these are some of the easiest and BEST Chocolate Souffles I have ever eaten!


I’m going to challenge these homemade Souffles to a taste test versus  homemade Chocolate Molten Lava Cake! (I’ll share this recipe next week.) The Chocolate Molten Lava Cake is a favorite recipe of my daughter, Amber. (Hi, Amber!) They are both amazing recipes that I honestly don’t know which one will be crowned the winner!

I will have some more pictures and results for you next week. Until then, try this Chocolate Souffle Recipe. You’ll either be glad you did, or you’ll be cursing me for sharing such a tempting dessert that you crave weekly! :)

Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Sauce


Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Chocolate Sauce


  • ½ cup sugar + 4 teaspoons for coating
  • 8 squares (8 ounces semisweet chocolate)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°.  Lightly rub four individual soufflé dishes with butter.  Put 1 teaspoon sugar in each dish, and tilt the dish so that the buttered surfaces are covered with sugar.  Use more sugar if necessary.  Set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heavy frying pan over very low heat, stirring constantly.  When the chocolate is almost melted, turn off the heat and set aside to cool.  The heat of the pan will melt the remaining chocolate.
  3. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a medium metal or ceramic bowl with no traces of grease, and the yolks in another medium bowl.  Set the yolks aside.
  4. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer just until they form stiff peaks.  Do not over beat.  Set aside.
  5. Add the ½ cup sugar and vanilla to the yolks and beat with an electric mixer or a whisk for about 1 minute, or until thick and light yellow.
  6. Add half the melted chocolate to the beaten yolk mixture.  Set aside the rest of the chocolate for making the sauce.  Stir the chocolate mixture thoroughly.  Add the beaten egg whites and fold them together gently with a rubber spatula, turning the mixture over repeatedly until no white is showing.
  7. Pour the mixture evenly among the four prepared soufflé dishes.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the mini soufflés have risen and are beginning to brown.  Remove from the oven.
  8. To Make the Sauce: While the mini soufflé are baking, add the cream to the reserved melted chocolate and stir thoroughly to incorporate, If the chocolate is too firm, heat it for about 1 minute over very low heat, stirring constantly, until it softens enough to combine with the cream.
  9. Unlike most souffles, which must be served as soon as they come out of the oven, these mini souffles can wait to be served for up to 30 minutes. Their tops will fall a little, but no one will notice because, just before serving, you make an incision in the top of each one with a knife, and then spoon in about 2 tablespoons of the warm chocolate sauce. If the souffle hasn't fully cooked, no one will notice, because of the added sauce. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator. (Ha! What leftovers?)


Chef’s Note:

This recipe may look intimidating, but it is rather simple, with just a few ingredients. And it is Foolproof. The first time I made it (for Valentine’s Day a couple years ago), I left the vanilla out of the souffles, so I added it to the chocolate sauce instead. They still came out delicious…proof: my husband ate TWO of them!

I like to serve mine with a little whipped cream and a strawberry on top, but if you’re a chocolate purist then you can certainly leave this part out!


To help get the soufflé dishes out of the oven easily, bake them on a cookie sheet and then simply lift the cookie sheet out of the oven.

You may have noticed that one of the choices I categorized this under was “Inspiration”…if you are in need of a little inspiration, I’m convinced that these souffles will do the trick. Chocolate can be very inspirational, right?! 😉

I can’t wait to post the results. Until then, Enjoy every bite!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Dose of Sunshine Monday — Believe something wonderful

It’s Monday. Not only that, but something wonderful is about to happen! Yes, for you. Do you believe it? If you believe, then something wonderful WILL happen!

This is one of my favorite sayings and I had to make a printable of it. It’s a nice little reminder of how to live. Wouldn’t you rather have a nice anticipation for something great that is surely coming your way, rather than feel sorrow, fear, nervousness or uneasiness? I thought so.

So this week, remember to live with the feeling of looking forward to something wonderful, exciting, glorious, positive, or fabulous! And enjoy!


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Hot Pink Breakfast Drink weekly prep (in four easy steps!)


Just look at that pile of veggies! Am I the only one who LOVES to look at vegetables (and fruits)…they are so inspiring and colorful and happy!

I love to make veggie juice (Hot Pink Breakfast Drink) each morning, but sometimes my mornings are a little hectic! So, I found a way to prepare every week. It’s simple. And it requires only a little time.

1) Get all the veggies/fruits together.

2) Spread out 6-7 grocery bags

3) Place required amount of each ingredient in each bag

4) Stock them up in your refrigerator

Now, it’s just grab and go!

packed-in-grocery-bags packed-in-refrigerator

How’s that for easy! So each morning, I just select one bag, wash up my veggies, juice, and drink!

What makes your mornings easier?


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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