Friday, January 25, 2013

Rainbow Heart Valentines, Strawberry Shortcake Jars, and a coupon for YOU from Mud and Twig on etsy!

Valentine Gifts using hand stitched jar labels

Introducing Mug and Twig Homegrown Stitchery!  I first SAW and then FELL in love with these hand stitched canning labels in an issue of my Country Living Magazine.  It was one of those moments when you turn the page, fall instantly head over heels, mind racing with the adorable-ness of it all, and then that
relaxing-couch-magazine browsing moment is over!  I jumped right up and was inspired to create.

Mud and Twig has a big variety of simply stated, warm, classic, and precious canning labels.  I had a little-big collection show up at my doorstep.  I've used a couple over the holidays.

You may remember...

The Christmas tree labels for my cookie jars...

And the sweet peppermint labels for my peppermint cream dip...

And now! For Valentine's Day, I'm using the rainbow heart collection.

I'm going to share THREE ways 
to use these rainbow heart 
canning jar labels today!

1) The first and PERFECT way to use these are for their intended purpose: canning jar labels.  ;)

Make your favorite jams and top with a rainbow heart label for the sweetest BE MINE gift.  (I only canned a couple jam varieties, these other jars of delicious jams are from extra sweet friends!)

Fill in the blank: Blackberry Jammin', Peach Jelly, Apple Butter, etc etc.

2) The second way to use these is NOT as a canning jar label BUT as a name card at a dinner setting!  I will be doing this for our Valentine Meal and hopefully posting some pictures later.

What color is your love?  A colored heart place card and colored napkin at each place...future is looking bright!

3) The third and final way I used these heart labels is for Strawberry Shortcake CAKES in jars.  To me, Strawberry Shortcake is the classic DAY OF LOVE dessert.

  I used a cake recipe from Pioneer Woman.  Ree said eating these made her cry.  So. yeah.  I had to make them.

Dig in

I've pushed a lot of cute food into jars over the years on this blog!  Now I'm adding strawberry shortcakes to that collection! If you don't want to make an actual recipe, easily layer angel food cake, strawberries, and whip cream in a jar and tighten on a cute lid.

Other Rainbow Heart Valentine ideas to fill your jars:

- colored skittles to match the colored hearts   
- homemade pudding
- cupcakes in jars
- colored fruit salad

I have some EXCITING news for each of YOU!  Time to cozy up on the couch and do some etsy shopping at Mud and Twig for your own hand stitched labels!  Mud and Twig is offering MooreMinutes readers a 10% off discount.

Simply enter this code at checkout:
10moore to instantly receive 10% off your order.  

Happy Shopping! This offer expires 2-15-2013.
Shop HERE.

More DAY OF HEARTS Valentine Ideas coming up next week!

"Love one another"
- The Bible

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The best chocolate cake you'll ever have...really! And a 78th Birthday, a gathering of generations

This will certainly, surely be the best chocolate cake you've ever had.  It's rich mocha with a layer of cream in between.  It's dark, moist perfection.  Oh yes it is. 

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa 
"Beatty's Chocolate Cake"


  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder (I used King Arthur's Dark Dutch and this makes a BIG difference!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli's )
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.
* I made a cream filling whipping together 8oz cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar then folding in one carton of heavy whipping cream.

Ok, go be a baker!  Your lil mouth with thank you for it!

The occasion for this decadent cake?

 My sweet grandma turned 78 this year!  

We were able to spend it together because she visited us in Colorado for the holiday season.  The last time she visited us over her birthday I threw her a Blue Birthday (as in the color not the mood) ;)  My grandma has always played a very special place in my life and my heart feels extra blessed and expanded to have the GIFT of her love.

Not only is she cute and sweet, she is a crazy girl! And she looks SO YOUNG!
She will do almost anything.  I remember how much she loved roller coasters when I was a little girl.  Some things never change.  I wrote a blog post a couple years ago about how she went SLEDDING with us!  (See here for pics)

Wellll...on this trip:

My Grandma learned how to rap & dance, 
My Grandma did the Can-Can line dance, 
My Grandma had sword fights with my boys, 
My Grandma held a big gun with a mean face, 
My Grandma did yoga stretches on the floor, and lifted weights!

Ohh,  I have videos of this stuff!  but I suppose I don't need to share everything. ;)

with her great grandsons

Grandma was able to stay in our home for just a handful of the days during her visit.  As I stood back and observed life in action, I realized what a beautiful thing it was to have so many generations living under one roof: Grandma sitting on the chair by the fire, working on her to do list, the boys noisily racing hot wheels around her feet and across the floor, Chris making black coffee, and me working on preparing kids' lunches.    It just makes sense how other cultures live together as a norm!  The blending of generations weaves together dynamics that can't be felt elsewhere.  Every generation has something valuable to throw out into the world, we simply need to look up, keep our eye on it, and catch it.  Recognizing and embracing what the blend of generations has to offer will overfill our lives with depth. 

My grandma doing her signature thing: 
making beautiful music

Nighttime puppet shows for Great Grandma!

She is back at her Arizona home now, but we're leaving the chair out by the while just a little while longer, to remember the smiles she brought us for those days when we had 3 generations under one roof, each of us learning NEW things from one another.

What have you learned lately from the generations ahead of you?...
or the generations under you?

The cool "IT" generation isn't the one you're in, it is ALL of them, collectively together, that makes the biggest impact on this life we live. 

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter lessons, Jack Frost, lazy nights, and Ugg obsessions

Every season teaches us something to enhance and beautify our lives!  January teaches us about cleansing, detoxing our homes and bodies, fresh starts,  minimizing life from the excited extravagance of November through December, and about resting in quiet peace.

 Summer is loud, winter is silent.  Spring and fall are busy with growth and gathering, winter is still with cleanliness and rest.  The thick white comforter of cold snow freezes the rush of life underneath the soil and allows a season of STILLNESS, giving us a masterpiece of white purity to witness during the time of reprieve.

  Nothing in nature in more soothing to my spirit than brand baby new fallen snow, a white winter wonderland for sure!


The season of quiet rest in our spirits

Hot pink and lightening blue 
candy canes for a winter snow day!

Waking up to see THIS right out my window is a giant message bolding telling me
"girl, you better grab life today."

New snow is exciting because it's an excuse to pull on my WHITE Ugg snowboots
that I just love so much I want to marry them!
 More about Uggs here and here. ;)

pastel white sunsets out my parent's back door

photo via @mooreminutes instagram

Brrr! Baby it's cold outside

Remember these FUN knits my Mom made for ALL of us at Christmas?
I still can't believe she knit 8 perfect hats for 8 people she loved
 in the month of December.
I {great big heart} these hats!

"But since we've no place to go,
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"

Photo via @mooreminutes instagram

White glowing nights laced with mysterious cold fog

Taking every season captive...

WINTER brings us IN early, gives us renewed appreciation for warm covers and cozy walls.  WINTER provides lazy nights to relax, and clean white days to play.  

Lazy date night with my babe.
This is how we do it.

(mugs from Anthro, thank you Brandi!)

Computers on laps
and books under toes.

Cozy socks pulled up high!

I must mention UGG stuff AGAIN.
You know I'm crazy about them. My brother went to Las Vegas
 and brought me back a BIG surprise!  I love him!!! Best brother ever!

Random acts of kindness make my winter perfect.
New Ugg bag and new Ugg gloves

Thank you Kyle for making me super excited 
and for making me feel special on just an ordinary day!

My new Ugg love:

And Ugg gloves!

Keep getting cozy,
 let yourself snuggle into the corner of the couch,
and don't forget to 
get outside and crunch footprints into the snow!
Happy Winter

Visit our winter home decor 2013 here if you missed it!