Almond vanilla yogurt cupcakes

Did you know that you can substitute greek yogurt for sour cream in a baking recipe? I didn’t… until today when I realized I didn’t buy sour cream for my vanilla almond cupcakes.

I’ve made these cupcakes before and they were a hit. My 8 year old son liked them so much, he wanted some without frosting on it. Now that’s gotta be some good cupcake mix if you don’t need frosting on top! If you want to make cupcakes using greek yogurt, here’s what you do:

Gather your ingredients.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

-In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
-Using a hand blender, blend the room temperature butter and sugar until fluffy.
-Add in the eggs, one egg at a time, while beating.
-Add the vanilla and almond extract and stir. I also added a couple drops of red food coloring because I’m making 50 cupcakes and I want to make sure I know which cupcakes are the vanilla almond cupcakes. Plus, it’s a farm animal theme and I’ll make these cupcakes into little piggy cupcakes.
-Mix in the flour and greek yogurt into the batter alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Be careful not to over-mix or you’ll end up with hard batter.
-Place liners in a cupcake pan. Fill liners until 1/2 way or 3/4 way full.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.
-Let them cool and decorate.

I used this recipe to make piggy cupcakes.


Today I am grateful for creativity.


Upcycled guitar “pick me” holder

For this craft, I took a lid from a jar and turned it into something purposeful- a guitar pick holder. I was planning on recycling this lid, but decided instead to upcycle it. First, I spray painted the lid black. Two coats.

To decorate my upcycled-lid-turned-guitar-pick-holder, I took a guitar pick and used pink nail polish to paint it. I also put pink glitter nail polish on top. I used the pink glitter nail polish on the side of the lid too.


I hot glued the pick in the middle of the lid. I used scrapbook stickers to spell out “pick me”… haha… punny


Now I have a place to put all my guitar picks. There’s a place for everything and everything in it’s place.

Today I am grateful for music.

My Gratitude Journal

2016 Blessings

I love doing my Ticket Shadow box update because it’s my chance to review the year by reflecting on how many fun and wonderful things I have done with my family and friends. What a great way to show gratitude for all the opportunities we’ve been given.

It all started with a ticket shadow box that I made to store my memorabilia. I wanted a place to store the ticket stubs and programs from events that I attended with family and friends that meant a lot to me. I did my first annual ticket shadow box update in 2014 and another update in 2015.

Now it’s time to review the year, 2016. There were so many fun things that we did as a family and so many fun things that I did with friends. There were many events and fun times to chose from. So I chose a few of my favorite things that I did with my friends:

The year of 2016 started off great in January with a chance to watch Bullets over Broadway at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. I watched this musical with a couple of my friends. This ticket was given to me by a friend because she couldn’t make it. I lucked out! It was fantastic. I loved the music, the songs and the costumes. It had a great cast and story line too. I really enjoyed this musical. It prompted me to become a Pantages season ticket holder along with my friends. In 2016, I also watched 42nd Street, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the King and I.

In February, 2016, My friends and I participated in an escape room. It was called the Panic room. It was our first time. We have a tradition of picking out activities to do to celebrate our birthday and this is one of the activities that was picked by the February birthday girl. We did an army bunker theme. It was really hard and we didn’t escape. It was fun to look for clues and figure puzzles out together as a team. We did another escape room in March. The theme was to escape from the zombie room. There was even a zombie tied up to the wall with a chain and every so often the chain would be released so that it was longer. We had to make sure that the zombie didn’t “eat” us. We were teamed up with a younger group and they were very escape room savvy. We found out later that they had done other escape rooms so they had some experience. Still, we didn’t escape that one either. But two more minutes and we would have.

I did my 2nd Wine and Paint night. This time I brought my friend, Marylisa, with me. It was her first time. It was a fun activity to do together. Our thing is going to tea houses, so it was nice to try something new together. I probably won’t be doing it again, so I thought I would commemorate that time by adding it to the list of things I did in 2016.

Speaking of tea, 2016 also brought an experience of tea and chocolate pairing at the Chado Tea Room. I love tea rooms. I usually do the afternoon tea which includes hot tea, finger sandwiches, scones and tiny tea desserts. So this was a different experience because we had the opportunity to try different teas that were matched with chocolates. We also experienced a blooming tea.

I did my first Halloween Haunted Hayride in October. It was fun getting scared. We had to step off the hayride in the  middle of the ride to walk through a maze and that was terrifying. But also fun. I will definitely do this again next Halloween.

That wraps up my annual ticket shadow box update for 2016.  I am grateful for these fun times and I look forward to many more in 2017. The start of the new year is a time for looking forward to new beginnings and adventures.

I am positive that 2017 will bring about many new beginnings and exciting adventures filled with happiness and joy. I am determined to make this year better than the last. As always, I remember that each day starts with gratitude. Because with gratitude, you will find happiness and joy in everything you do.

Today I am grateful for new beginnings and new adventures. Wishing you a Happy New Year.