Happy National Cupcake Day!!! – Tell us your Favorite Cupcake?

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QUICK DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

1 box devil’s food cake mix, such as Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

2 to 3 cups White Faux Buttercream, recipe follows, colored or swirled with your favorite color

Cupcake Toppings:

Licorice whips

Crushed peppermint candies

Crushed lemon drops

Multicolored jimmies or nonpareils

Mini white and dark chocolate chips

Small chocolate candies

Colored decorating sugars

Cereals such as corn pops, fruit rings or graham cracker cereal squares

White Faux Buttercream:

3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Food coloring, such as yellow, blue and red, or your favorite, if desired

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two 12-cup standard muffin tins with paper cupcake liners and set aside.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, mix the cake mix, 1 1/3 cups water, oil and eggs on medium speed until moistened and smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, stirring it occasionally to redistribute the chocolate chips. The batter will nearly fill each liner to the top. Evenly sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips over the tops of the cupcakes. Bake until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

When cool, put the White Faux Buttercream out with spoons or small spatulas along with bowls of the cupcake toppings for the kids to decorate their own cupcakes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high speed until very soft. Meanwhile, place a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Using a large sifter, sift the confectioners’ sugar onto the parchment. This helps prevent clumping and makes the mixing easier. Lower the speed of the mixer and, using the parchment as a funnel, pour half the sugar into the bowl and mix slowly until combined. Add the milk and mix until combined. Once combined, add the remaining sugar with the vanilla and mix. Once it is combined, turn the mixer speed up and beat the icing until very light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. If desired, divide the icing into smaller batches and color with food coloring.

Spread the icing on cooled cupcakes while at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftover icing, but be sure to let it come back to room temperature before using. Re-whip the icing to make it fluffy again. Makes 4 cups (enough for 24 cupcakes).

Yield: about 8 cups, enough for at least 6 dozen cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ease of preparation: easy

SIMPLY CALPHALON NONSTICK 6-PIECE BAKEWARE SET

This is your Chance to Post on BLW!!! (Share your Thoughts, Stories & Ideas with Us!!!)

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WE AT BE LIKE WATER BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALL PART OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE, SO WE WANTED TO REACH OUT TO OUR FRIENDS & FANS TO SAY WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT

AND WE WANT TO GIVE BACK BY SHARING YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, STORIES OR IDEAS ON OUR SITE.

SO, IF YOU HAVE A STORY OR TOPIC YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US, JUST LEAVE IT IN THE COMMENT SECTION WITH A LINK TO YOUR TOPIC AND WE WILL POST IT ON BLW,

OF COURSE THE TOPIC HAS TO BE SHARED WITH OUR OWN PHILOSOPHIES. THANK YOU AGAIN!

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This is your Chance to Post on BLW!!! (Share your Thoughts, Stories & Ideas with us!!!)

10

WE AT BE LIKE WATER BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALL PART OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE, SO WE WANTED TO REACH OUT TO OUR FRIENDS & FANS TO SAY WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT

AND WE WANT TO GIVE BACK BY SHARING YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, STORIES OR IDEAS ON OUR SITE.

SO, IF YOU HAVE A STORY OR TOPIC YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US, JUST LEAVE IT IN THE COMMENT SECTION WITH A LINK TO YOUR TOPIC AND WE WILL POST IT ON BLW,

OF COURSE THE TOPIC HAS TO BE SHARED WITH OUR OWN PHILOSOPHIES. THANK YOU AGAIN!

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Happily Ever After # 1 by Tales of North Shore Princess (BLW Contributor)

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I have been in relationships good and bad. I’ve been engaged 4 times and married twice. I also made my share of bad choices in choosing toxic men that
took pieces of me I can never get back. I had my heart broken twice in my life and one of these heartbreaks nearly ruined my life.

Everyone is looking for their “happy ever after” but not everyone is meant to find Mr. Right.

Friends of mine look for love in all the wrong places, for example, online dating sites and social media. Lucky for me cell phones and the internet were not even invented when I met both my husbands. I met my first husband at the tender age of 23 on a Tuesday night at NYC club called the Palladium. This very tall dark handsome guy locked eyes on me when I first entered the club and 15 minutes later he was standing right behind me at the bar and overheard this guy say he was paying for a drink I just ordered. I didn’t bother even turning around to thank him when I saw a 100 dollar bill pass right over my head. I remember muttering the word “Asshole” to myself.

Okay, I was a thinking already all i need is another cocky egotistical guy to waste my time. He noticed I was ignoring him so I thanked him for buying me the drink and turned around to face him. He was even better close up and I remember thinking why he decided to pick me out of a crowd of hundreds of pretty girls.
He was tall, real tall like about 6″4 or so. He was also a bit older than me. He had charm and seemed ” cool”, so I decided to hang out and party with him the rest of the night.

Though I fought my best not to like him I let him into my crazy life that fateful night. He worked for a big Brokerage firm and lived in Brooklyn in his own apartment.
That was far away from my North Shore, Long Island home. I was still living with my parents. I was also at the time involved in a three year relationship with a religious Jewish guy who just graduated Podiatry School and was also still involved with a guy who I still believe was my soul mate who I met my Junior year at Hofstra University. I kept that info all a secret from this new cute mysterious mature guy.

Something about him was getting my attention and by the end of the night I barely knew anything about him besides his first name. He took my number and I was thinking ” he is not going to call me, and walked me to the club entrance where I found my older sister, Fran, who obviously had one drink too many. She was “sloppy drunk” and I was like please don’t embarrass me in front of this cute guy. Too late, she was in her dangerously drunk state and blurt out to Ron, ” I see you met my bleached blonde little sister.” Totally mortified thinking this guy is so not going to call me, I tried to hold up my sister and make a quick exit. Then when I thought things couldn’t get worse my sloppy drunk sister tripped and Ron grabbed her arm before she fell. My sister looked up at Ron and said . “My sister, that would be me, always gets the cute guys and it isn’t fair.”

I was feeling like just let me get out of here and knew this new mysterious tall guy would run in other direction after he met my sister but to my surprise he helped me get my car from a nearby garage and practically hold my sister up as she could barely walk.

I made it home from NYC to Long Island in 20 minutes that night. I managed to get my very drunk sister to our house and up stairs without my parents waking up.
I wrote Ron off figuring he would never call me but two days later he called me at work and asked me out. Could this guy I wondered be my “happy ever after?”

To be continued…..

Check out other great articles from Tales of a North Shore Princess https://talesofanorthshoreprincess.wordpress.com/

Domestic Violence by The Heart Stories (BLW Contributor)

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Why did you chose to hurt me?

Show me love than call me unworthy

Beat me down emotionally and desert me

Put your hands on me, scream and curse me

Blame, accuse or deny and then try to convert me

And though I stayed because of love I always felt absurdly worried

But I woke up today tired of how this lesson learnt burnt me

My pain never mattered to you and that only concerns me

So I removed myself and my self worth from this unpleasant journey.

Check out other great articles from The Heart Storieshttp://theheartsstories.wordpress.com/

Forget me not – John Lennon “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…”

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John Ono Lennon, MBE, born John Winston Lennon; (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980), was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the rock band the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. With Paul McCartney, he formed a songwriting partnership that is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century.

Born and raised in Liverpool, as a teenager Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960. When the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Working Class Hero“. After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to raise his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.

According to Rolling Stone during a recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, Paul McCartney recounted how he found out about the death of John Lennon. The Beatle was murdered outside of his New York City apartment 34 years ago today.

“I was at home, and I got a phone call,” McCartney told the talk-show host. “It was early in the morning…. I think it was like that for everyone. It was just so horrific that you couldn’t take it in – I couldn’t take it in. Just for days, you just couldn’t think that he was gone. So, yeah, it was just a huge shock and then I had to tell Linda and the kids. It was very difficult. It was really difficult for everyone. That was like a really big shock, I think, in most people’s lives. A bit like Kennedy, there were certain moments like that.”

Credit: Wikipedia

Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon

Group Gratitude by Bare Naked in Public (BLW Contributor)

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Late this afternoon I found myself driving on the California freeways as the sun was setting. I was coming home from a day in LA. Pink and blue cotton candy clouds filled the sky and I knew sunset at the beach would be amazing. According to Siri and her skillful navigation, I would be home just in time to catch it.

As I drove down my street, Catalina sat on the horizon, straight ahead . . .  the sun setting behind her, the sky a beautiful magenta. I quickly parked my car and with my phone in hand ran to the beach. In just a couple blocks, I passed several people headed the same direction to join the gathering crowd, some with fancy cameras, some with phones like me, and of course the surfers, just taking it in. I snapped a few shots. Unable to capture the richness of the colors, I decided to enjoy the view with my very own eyeballs.

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As the sun set, I looked around at the people standing on the steps and along the beach trail, all there to take in the beauty of mother nature. Warmed my heart to see the glow of the setting sun on their faces. The appreciation and gratitude was palpable, truly. Makes me happy to witness folks enjoying the simple things . . . the world slowed down for a few minutes . . . and it felt good.

Grateful for a beautiful end to my day.

xo

Check out other great articles from Bare Naked in

Publichttp://barenakedinpublic.com

Weekend Inspiration – The Power of Hope

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When did we become less compassionate? by My Random Musings (BLW Contributor)

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“You were born with the ability to change someone’s life, don’t ever waste it.”

I was walking home from visiting a friend last night when a car stops by and the driver, seemed upset and kept talking about not having gas and being hungry.

For a minute I was absolutely confused about what she really wanted and I had to insist that she calms down and tell me what I could do for her. Well she gave me some story about how she is a diabetic and needed some food and money for gas.

However when I offered her the only 3$ that I had in my wallet, she said that was insufficient and I should ride with her to the seven-11 that was a few blocks away. For a minute I assumed she wanted me to do that, to buy her some food, considering there was no gas pump here.

I refused to get into her car, despite her assurance that she was not going to harm me. I told her that no one who was planning to hard me would warn me before doing it. But as I stood there on the cold November evening, something inside me made me agree to her idea, and I got into her car. Even though I made the silly spontaneous decision to do that, I had a sane moment to call a friend and make sure she stays on the phone with me.

I can hear everyone aghast at my decision and yes I admit it wasn’t a sane decision to make.

We get to 7-11 and I offer to give her 10$ and she then insists that she wants more. For a brief moment it crossed my mind that maybe this was a tall tal. But if she was, it was on her, because all I was doing was trying to help someone in their hour of need.

I know this might seem like a random story to read, but stay with me and continue to read about why I chose to make that decision of getting into the car.

The first thing that crossed my mind was, that this could me or someone I know. We could be this person who was in desperate need for money for gas or for food.

When I related this story to one of my friend’s, her first statement was “what has happened to you? When did you become this person who cannot say no?” In honesty I don’t even know when it happened.  Has getting older made me soft and naïve and gullible or is it just that I have become more compassionate with age.

I may never know and I don’t want to know, does it really matter why I am this way ?

As much as I admit, getting into a car was an absolutely foolish thing to do on my part, but I think for a moment I wanted to have faith in another human, believe in the goodness of people, even if it meant putting my life at risk.

We have lost so much of compassion as a society, fearing to stop to help someone, always worried that the person was out to hurt us. Maybe we give money to charitable organizations and volunteer our time to a good cause, but is that really enough ?

I don’t recommend getting into strangers cars, but as much as her story maybe a lie, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. My friends lecture me about having put myself at risk and  there is no disputing that, but at least I live to tell this tale and feel better about having helped someone in my own little way. I may have not made a huge impact, but then again maybe I have.  I want to believe in humanity and that people ask for help because they need it and not because they want to. So why should I not reach out and help someone in whatever way I can ?

 

Happy National Cookie Day!!! – Tell us your favorite Cookie!!!

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GoWISE USA Slim Digital Bathroom Scale – Measures Weight, Body Fat, Water, & Bone Mass 400 Lbs Capacity Tempered Glass (Black)

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