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Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to follow me along as I stumble through traveling and baking adventures. Sign up to receive The Traveling Cupcake via email or RSS feed - the links are on the right! Also, make sure to check out the mini traveling cupcake for all of my baby updates. Hope to see you again soon!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Around the World Christmas Tree

The first "big" trip that Brian and I took together while dating was to St. Croix in the Caribbean for a little winter sun. We had been dating for six or seven months and although it wasn't our first weekend away with each other, it was the first trip that required a plane ride. It was exciting and a little nerve-wracking. Happily, the trip went off without a hitch (apart from that one time when we were driving down the wrong side of the road - who knew they drove on the left hand side in St. Croix??).

While we were there we bought the funniest Christmas ornament to commemorate the trip, somehow we knew we would be spending lots of Christmas' together.

St. Croix, 2007

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why I have been MIA...and some big news!

Last week I sent out a tweet apologizing for being such a bad blogger lately. I'm sure you've noticed that my posts have been somewhat lacking lately.  I went from posting 2-3 times a week to barely once a week, if I was lucky. Hopefully you'll forgive me though, now that I can finally share my exciting news!

I'm pregnant!

15 weeks!

I am just about 15 weeks now and into my second trimester. Wondering why my food posts went from 100 to 0 in no time flat? Blame that on the nausea which has finally (and thankfully!) subsided.  Curious as to where my Friday Favorites and travel posts went (apart from the couple that I managed to squeeze out from our weekend in Italy)? Blame that on the lack of energy and constant need for sleep that I had for about eight weeks straight.  I could barely stay awake long enough to eat dinner let alone troll the internet for hours like I normally do. I can now make it through (most of) a full day without needing to sleep under my desk from 2pm-4pm, though just barely.

Baby is growing big and strong and all of our appointments have gone smoothly so far. We have our 16 week appointment next week and we can't wait to see our little one again! Baby is about the size of a medium apple this week and is growing bigger every day.  

If you're interested in keeping up with our babys progress and other exciting (well, at least for me as a first time mom!) updates please visit my NEW blog - the mini traveling cupcake! If you would rather not know all the details (I totally get it, it's not everyones bag of chips) then stay right where you are - now that I have my energy back I will be posting as regularly as possible. 

Apart from being pregnant and adjusting to that huge awesome news, I have also started a new day job and my weekends have been booked up with children's photo shoots - so I have lots of exciting recaps from those to share with you. We also have some awesome trips coming up (including the ultimate Christmas Market trip) and I can't wait to fill you in once we are back! And now that am back in the kitchen making something other than a bowl of cereal (seriously, I have consumed so.much.freakin.cereal in the last nine weeks) I'll be sharing what I've been busy baking - just in time for the holidays!

Thanks for staying with me while I was so MIA.  Here's to a great winter, fantastic holiday season and a healthy mini cupcake!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photo Project - Childrens Photography part 2

I enjoyed my first time taking childrens photos so much and got such great feedback that I decided to do it again. The mother of the little boy (William) put me in contact with a whole bunch of her friends who were interested in having photos of their little ones taken. I am so thankful for this opportunity to grow my portfolio and gain some real experience.

And let me tell you - I am learning a lot.

I am learning my limitations as a photographer. I am learning how to overcome those limitations and grow and improve.

And I am learning how exhausting children can be! Man alive, where on earth do they get so much energy?!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pinterest Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle

In case you didn't know, I have a slight obsession with Pinterest.

And by slight I mean I *might* check my pinterest account before I check my emails in the morning.

I *might* have used up an entire months worth of internet on my mobile in two weeks because I was pinning during my morning and evening bus commute...which is 45 minutes in each direction.

(click on my Pinterest button on the right to see what I have been so busy pinning!)

However, as much as I pin away to my little hearts content, it is very rare that I actually do something with the items I pin.

Gorgeous white and grey kitchen with all of my dream appliances? Sure, throw that on my "Someday forever Home" board for that one day when I finally own a home, not to mention a home that is big enough to fit said kitchen and I have enough money to outfit it with all of those fancy appliances. ie - in my dreams

The amazing ivory Dolce and Gabanna ballroom skirt chic-ly paired with a fitted denim shirt? Get up on my "so pretty for my closet" board and stay there! Its highly unlikely I will ever find you in my real closet, oh beautiful stay in my imaginary one!

But, I probably came here for a post about Peanut Brittle. I'm getting there, don't worry.


Perhaps my favorite board is my "Nom Nom" board - otherwise known as the-place-where-I-put-all-of-my-food-inspirations-that-I-cannot-look-at-on-an-empty-stomach. Got that? The Nom Nom board.

Last week I pinned something that looked SO amazing, I couldn't get it out of my brain.

It was homemade peanut brittle. Covered in dark chocolate. Dusted in sea salt.

*cue angels singing*

Now, my extent to working with a candy thermometer includes the few times I have made homemade caramels and a couple of times I made marshmallows. I wasn't too nervous about making the peanut brittle (or toffee as its known to some people) until I started reading the comments below the original posted recipe. People were having problems with the mixture seizing and separating, throwing away batch after batch. Apparently, molten hot boiling sugar butter is tricky to work with.

I jumped right in, and by some grace of the big man upstairs, my toffee came out perfect! It was crunchy and crisp, it didn't have a slick of buttery oil on the top, the crunch of the peanuts and the smooth dark chocolate complimented each other perfectly. And the sea salt...

How did I live before I had sea salt in my life?

The recipe makes a full cookie sheet worth of candy. Perfect for sharing with others (or not, I won't tell). And when all the candy is gone...?

I have can think of one way to use up those crumbs, and it rhymes with ice cream.

Check out the original recipe here on I reduced the amount of butter to 3/4 lb of butter but otherwise kept all of the other measurements the same. I followed the cooking instructions pretty much to a T as well...I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!