Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Every year it seems I lose a little bit of that excitement that comes along with a birthday. I used to be the biggest, brightest most in-yo-face girl about my birthday but as I continue to move closer to the big 3-0 there's just something that lingers over me saying, "you'd better get this life going girl". And oh how I wish I could answer back, "I'm really trying... but how. Like, seriously... I'll take any answers on what's supposed to happen next". But that's for another post.

This year to try and bring a little of the fun back to the birthday; I thought there was nothing better than a cupcake.

A simple little fluffy nugget of sweet joy with a simple frosting and a tart red plump raspberry on top.

So here's to 2014 and 28 years young on Saturday. If anyone's listening my wish this year would definitely be something shiny for my left hand. You know, if candles have a real say in these things.


Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes from Pastry Affair

Yields about 18 cupcakes

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
3/4 cup (169 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (76 grams) sour cream (or plain, non-fat yogurt)
1/4 cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the milk and lemon juice, stirring until batter is uniform and smooth. Gently stir in the raspberries.
Fill baking cups about 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack, and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups (500 grams) powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. If frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add milk until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
Before serving, pipe or spread frosting on top of cooled cupcakes and decorate with a few fresh raspberries, if desired. If cupcakes will sit out more than a day, keep refrigerated in an airtight container to help preserve them. Serve at room temperature.

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Reading: Been lacking in this area lately. If I do make some time to read it's usually blogs online because I LOVE checking in on my friends and seeing how their lives are going. But if you'd like to see what's next on my "real" book list: check me out on Goodreads. If you aren't using this app/website yet; then get to it! I highly recommend it for keeping up with what you want to read, have read and what your friends are reading.

Eating: Well due to part #2 of my dental horror story ($10,000 worth of dentistry to fix my crazy bad soft teeth) I am not able to eat normally at the moment (for the past two weeks to be exact). So it's been a test of creativity to see how many ways you can make pasta, mashed potatoes, soup, and all things soft. I thought I'd love an all pasta diet but I actually LOVE veggies so it's been a challenge since I can't chew ANYTHING. I'm craving a cheeseburger so bad.

Thinking about: How entirely lucky I am to have what I have. Seriously. I'm still primarily a pretty cranky person but the past week or so I've just taken extra energy to notice all the little things I have to be grateful for everyday. My man is the kindest soul I've ever known and he's ALWAYS there for me; ABOVE and BEYOND in any situation. I have a job that appreciates me and allows me the space to also write and work on my personal goals. I just feel so much more in control when I have time in the day to write, relax and CLEAN my house. :)

Listening: A couple weeks ago we got tickets to a free concert that was happening here in Los Angeles. The band, Fitz and the Tantrums was filming the show for a series on PBS called "Artists Den". It was such an incredible venue (a converted church), such a great energetic band and the songs have been playing in my head over and over since. LOVE live music; especially in small venues.

Watching: LOVING Suits. It's been awhile since there's been a really good courtroom/lawyer drama and with those two cute faces...how can you really resist? As usual, also watching RHOBH, HIMYM, Under the Gunn and Teen Mom 2. Yep. #guilty

Loving: all of you who take the time to read my posts, to leave comments, tweets, messages, emails, etc. I appreciate all of you so much and you make this blog such a fun place to share things that I love. I can't thank you enough because it's such an important connection for me.

p.s. If you are Hayley or Megan you've WON a new pair of glasses from Firmoo. I'll be emailing you your prize soon! Thanks all for entering!

So, how about you? What are you up to today? Feel free to do your own "currently" post on your blog and link back in the comments for everyone to check out. And thanks again to my dear friends Danielle & Illy for providing the original inspiration for these posts.

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FIRMOO Giveaway

Hey all. If you didn't catch last week's post on FIRMOO, check it out here.

This week I'm hosting a giveaway in which there are FIVE winners. Each of you five will be winning a $30 gift card to use at Firmoo.com on a pair of one of their classic styles of glasses! Oh and did I mention that most all of their styles are just $39?! ALSO right NOW their CLASSIC frames are 30% off w/ code: CLASSIC30 so you'll be saving EVEN MORE if you win! You can peruse those beauties here. (please note that shipping is excluded in this credit) Also to apply for this giveaway, all winners have to be in the range of their delivery. Check out the countries they deliver to here

Let me show you a few of my favorites and what I'd totally choose if I were the one winning:

option one:

option two:

option three:

option four:

So many choices and those are only just a very few. So what are you waiting for? HURRY and enter this giveaway now! You have until Monday March 3rd at 7am (pacific standard time) to enter. Winners will be announced shortly after close of giveaway. 

This is a sponsored post from 4sponsor.com with my unbised thoughts.

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Hello, meet FIRMOO

For all you fellow four-eyes out there I'd like to share with you a little about a company that's pretty great called FIRMOO. Next week I'll be sharing a giveaway with you so take time now to get a little more familiar. Friend, meet Firmoo. Firmoo, meet my friends....


Our Aim - Vision & Fashion the Frugal Way (Firmoo)
  • Vision - An ideal pair of prescription glasses as a half medical tool to correct vision should be made up of a quality frame and lenses with accurate prescription. We promise all our eyeglasses frames are of high quality. Besides, all eyewear provided by us goes through strict inspection by our experienced opticians before shipping to ensure the accuracy of lens prescription. That's why we keep the lowest return and exchange rate among all online optical stores worldwide.
  • Fashion - We offer classic and fashion glasses frames for you to choose from. All of these frames which are quite popular in the world are elaborately picked by our staff from thousands of frames in the market.
  • Frugal way - Our prescription eyeglasses are inexpensive even though with high quality, therefore, everyone can afford it.
If you never tried Firmoo or bought glasses on-line, here are some tips that might help:

The virtual try-on system is a great help in choosing your favorite glasses:
1. You'll see all wearing effects by switching to the virtual try-on mode on the product list page.
2. Upload your own pictures to see how you'll look with the chosen glasses on.
3. When you move the mouse over your favorite glasses, you'll find some users wearing the pair on the right side of the page. Which will be a great reference.
See more real and unbiased comments from users:
1. Do people people wearing your chosen pair of glasses under the product info go with your styles?
2. Take more customers feedbacks for reference.
Pictures and Videos from Customers:
Click here to view more related videos on youtube.

(The above customer photos are all derived from Firmoo+.)

**This is a sponsored post from 4sponsor.com with my unbised thoughts.
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