Vindicated.

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My husband’s birthday was last week, and his absolute favorite dessert is apple pie. So in an attempt to win the “best wife of the year award” I decided to try one of Paula Deen’s recipes. (found here, apple cinnamon roll cupcakes) I usually do pretty well with baking and cooking, but for some reason this recipe was a complete and total FAILURE. (I think my yeast was expired)

Flash forward a few days: I had planned a big surprise party for him, and invited our friends over to our humble abode for my non-existent tasty creation. So there I was, a few hours before the big surprise depressed, tired of baking, and ready to give up. So I did. I ended up buying HEB cupcakes, which were actually pretty good. I told my husband about my dilemma after the fact, and he completely understood. We were even able to laugh about it.

But something inside of me just wasn’t content with letting the hub’s birthday pass without a special treat. Fortunately, the next day I had a magical idea pop into my head (probably because I kept thinking about the failed recipe over and over agin). I decided to create my own “apple cinnamon roll cupcakes” using only 3 ingredients. (plus a homeade icing recipe)

I already had a box of Betty Crocker’s cinnamon streusel muffin mix that I couldn’t wait to try, and I decided to just add a can of Lucky Leaf apples to that. The outcome was so amazingly good!

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The hubs LOVED them, and I was vindicated! :) 

Here’s the recipe:

  • Empty one 21 oz. can of Lucky Leaf apples and cut them into bite sized pieces and place them in a bowl
  • Add 1 tsp of apple pie spice to the apples
  • Mix the muffin mix as instructed on the box and add the apple mixture to that
  • Sprinkle the included streusel on top of the muffins in the cupcake pan
  • Bake according to the instructions on the box
  • Let cool and add icing if you wish

Optional Icing

For the icing I just used powdered sugar and milk. I mixed powdered sugar with about 1 Tbs of milk. I kept adding the sugar until the icing was a consistency that I liked.

I’m so glad that I was able to make these for Keith, and I’m even more glad that he liked them. He even shared some with his coworkers the next day, and they loved them too! 

I hope you like it as well! Enjoy! :)

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Garage Sale Treasures

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Yesterday my family held a benefit garage sale for my nephew, Nathan. At 7 weeks old he died, but God, in His grace, decided to give him back to us. Nathan has a long road ahead of him, and his family has a lot of bills. So to help with the cost of a new specialized stroller we held a garage sale. So many people donated things, and the sale ended up taking up two whole yards! We also raised just enough for the stroller. God is so good! To read more about Nathan’s story you can click here.

I managed to find some time while helping at the sale to purchase a few of my own treasures. :)

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Ann Taylor, Light Pink Blazer

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Jimmy Choo, bag

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Campbell’s Soup Mugs

My new favorite thing to do is garage sale shop! I can’t wait to go to my next one, and it’s a plus when people are raising money for a good cause. Thanks for stopping by!

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DIY Envelope Budgeting

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Gross. Did I just say budgeting?

Before I was married, the word “budget” wasn’t even part of my normal vocabulary, but after being married for a few months, the hubs and I decided that it would probably be smart to start tracking our expenses. So we sat down one day and came up with a reasonable budget that we could both agree on. Then, we tracked our expenses for a month. At the end of the month it resulted in us having more knowledge of where our money was going. It was super helpful for us, and I highly recommend that others consider doing it as well. Below you will find what methods worked for us and what didn’t turn out so great.

DIY Envelopes

The idea behind envelope budgeting is a neat one. You’re supposed to pay for EVERYTHING with cash, because nowadays (yes, I’m old) swiping a card is just too easy. At the beginning of the month, you’re supposed to take out the money that you’ve budgeted for each category and place it in their designated envelopes. So when you run out of money in the envelope, then you’re done spending in that category for the month. Don’t even think about adding more money, because that’ll just ruin the whole system.

I found the template for the envelopes at a blog called, One Good Thing By Jillee. I absolutely love her blog. Click here to go to the envelope template, and check out her blog while you’re there. You just print it out (I used pretty scrapbook paper), and tape it together. Super easy!

So the envelopes are cute and all, but honestly it didn’t work out so well for us. It’s just so much easier to use a card, and it’s also difficult to share the envelopes when you’re trying to track the expenses of TWO people. So what we ended up doing was just saving all (and I mean ALL) of our receipts. I would place them in the envelopes, and enter the data into this nifty excel spreadsheet that we personalized for us. This method was so much easier for us.

Excel Budget Spreadsheet

So I’m gonna share the site where I found the spreadsheet that worked for us as well. Click here to go to a website that provides 10 different spreadsheets all for free. It’s pretty cool and generous of them to share their pre-made spreadsheets. It saved us a lot of time making one ourselves (even though my husband is the smartest, most proficient Excel user I know).

I hope you find a budgeting practice that works for you! Until next time, thanks for stopping by. :)