Almond Joy Cupcakes

Interesting thing about these cupcakes: I won’t eat them.  I don’t like coconut, and therefore, don’t like Almond Joy bars.  However, my coworker requested that I make an Almond Joy cake for her anniversary (pictured below).  Since it was just for her and her hubby, I had some batter left over that I decided to play with.   Plus I bought myself a cupcake corer a few weeks ago that I’ve been dying to play with.

Almond Joy Cake

I used this recipe for the cake, then just finished it a little differently for the cupcakes, using a chocolate sour cream frosting instead of the melted chocolate drizzled over the top.  Also, I switch out sour cream for the oil in the cake.  I think it makes the cake more moist and slightly healthier but doesn’t change the flavor.

Almond Joy and Raspberry-filled Chocolate Cupcakes Continue reading


Pouring Beer Mug Cake

As I’ve mentioned several times, I make cakes for birthdays at work.  The company has grown significantly since the beginning of the year so I’ve started doing monthly birthday celebrations with generally 2 cakes (or some sort of sweet items).  Well, August is one of the few months there is only one birthday, one of our admin guys.

As usual, I asked what kind of cake he wanted and he said anything.  Asked if there were any restrictions and he said no.  As much as I love this, it almost makes it hard to have unlimited options.  I bugged him again about it and he finally told me white cake.  Okay, I can work with that.  With such a simple cake, I figured I could get a little more creative with the decorations.  I had a few other ideas, then remember seeing this on Pinterest.

I’m not the most amazing cake decorator in the world, but I do okay, so I figured I could probably handle this one.  I think it turned out pretty great:

Pouring Beer Mug Cake Continue reading

IRS Now Recognizing Same Sex Marriages

Okay, so yes, a very different blog post than normal but since I work in taxes, this is a pretty big deal for me and I’m sure there are plenty other people who are VERY interested in and excited about this change.  The IRS is now recognizing same sex marriages!  Next year, when Sally and Susan or John and Tim file their tax returns, they can filed as married… assuming they got married in a state recognizing actual marriage, not just a civil union.

“Under this rule, individuals of the same sex will be considered to be lawfully married under the Code as long as they were married in a state whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if they are domiciled in a state that does not recognize the validity of same-sex marriages.”  AKA, if you were married in New York but moved to (or lived in) Texas, you could still file as married.

“For Federal tax purposes, the term “marriage” does not include registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other similar formal relationships recognized under state law that are not denominated as a marriage under that state’s law, and the terms “spouse,” “husband and wife,” “husband,” and “wife” do not include individuals who have entered into such a formal relationship.”  AKA, if you live in a state, such as CO, that only recognizes civil unions, you still must file as single.

Want to know where your state sits as far as marriage/civil unions are concerned?  Check out this handy-dandy map here.

If you’d like to read the Revenue Ruling yourself (some pretty exciting reading), you can view it here.

Make sure you check in with your state before filing your state income tax return to see how they handle same-sex marriages.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

So yes, this is a pretty common thing to do, however, I really loved the way ours came out when I tried it this way so I figured I’d share!

My mom used to always make garlic bread with spaghetti… add a little butter and garlic powder, throw it in the toaster oven and we’re good to go.  This is not my mom’s garlic bread.

This is delicious, cheesy, garlicky, buttery, soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside… mmm, mmm good!  It’s also super simple but a great addition to any meal.  It also reheats really well!

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Cheesy Garlic Bread


  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 1 stick butter
  • approximately 2 tbsp minced garlic (adjust based on your love for garlic)
  • approximately 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (we used a cheddar jack mix but you could really use whatever you have on hand)


1. Cut french bread into slices, but not all the way through.  You want it to stay together as a whole loaf, but be easy to pull apart into slices when you’re ready to eat.

Cut Cheesy Garlic Bread

2. Put butter and garlic into a small saucepan and cook on low until butter is melted, and then an additional about 2 minutes.  You want the butter to be infused with the garlic.

3. At this point you have a choice depending on how much you love garlic.  My husband and I absolutely love it and put it into just about every meal.  Therefore, we did not strain the minced garlic pieces out of the butter.  However, if you’re more so looking for just a hint of a garlicky flavor in your butter, you might want to go ahead and strain your butter and remove all of the garlic pieces.  TOTALLY OPTIONAL THOUGH!

4. Pour your butter all over your bread, making sure you get into all of the cuts.  We used a spoon to begin with so as to not make a giant mess.  It was also a bit of a team effort.  I’d separate the bread while my husband spooned in the butter.  Not something that couldn’t be done by yourself, but if you have some helping hands around, it’s a good team project.

5. Now add your cheese.  Again, making sure that you get it down into all of the cuts.  Here, you also want to make sure that you get it on top of the bread too because more cheese is ALWAYS better.

Adding Cheese to Cheesy Garlic Bread

6. Bake at 350ºF for 12-15 minutes.  You want to make sure that your cheese is all melted and bubbly.

Baked Cheesy Garlic Bread

Let it sit for a couple minutes before digging in and enjoy!

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Shameless Promotion

So my husband has started a business, Outdoor Adventures Colorado LLC.  We love hiking, so he has decided to turn it into a business: guided hikes.

Gorgeous fall colors Continue reading

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Cheesecake with a strawberry that acts as its own little serving dish?  How perfect!  These are a wonderful little treat that is a small portion for anyone watching what they eat, plus you don’t have to worry about cutting and serving or plates or silverware or anything like that.

I took these to work for a coworker’s birthday.  Well, sort of.  His birthday was at the end of January but he didn’t start working on my team until a few weeks into February.  It was close enough to his birthday that I felt like I still needed to do something for him.  I asked what he liked and he said cheesecake.  Strawberry cheesecake.  I knew immediately that I would make these little gems. Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries Continue reading

Another Year Has Passed

Tomorrow is my birthday and like everyone else does (please tell me this is normal), I am sitting on the eve of the 27th anniversary of my birth wondering what I’ve accomplished with the past year of my life. 

While this one wasn’t quite as big as 25, I still think I had a pretty good year being 26.  I passed my Enrolled Agent exams, thereby getting me a promotion at work.  I even have an assistant now and my boss writes things like “Fantastic! Great month!” on my paychecks.  (That was today so it’s fresh in my mind.  I’m not one of those people that remembers everything.) I feel like I’ve stepped up into my new positon quite well.

We also moved into a house.  Still renting but at least we have a yard for the dogs and don’t share a wall with anyone.  It’s great. 

I was also lucky enough to be able to have Christmas with both my family in Texas and Jeff’s family here in Colorado.  I had a very blessed Christmas. I’ve been able to get some great exercise with the bike the hubby gave me and oh my gosh, how did I ever live without a mixer?!

My Aggies had an AMAZING football season and even won the Heisman… go Johnny Football!!! National Champs 2014! (That’s how it’s playing out in my head at least.)

Everyone is happy and healthy.

Unfortunately there have been some not so wonderful times too. My husband’s great-grandmother passed away last year and my grandfather just passed away on Sunday. I know it happens when you start to get older but it sucks. I wish they could be around forever.

Overall we have been very fortunate. I started working on our taxes for this year and we are probably not getting a very big refund… because we made too much money. There could be worse things for sure.

I cannot wait to see what 27 brings me… besides s’mores cakes that is currently cooling on the counter. 🙂

Thinking about starting a “things to do before I turn 30” list… any suggestions?? What is/was on yours?