Happiness Is…Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Latte


Happiness is FRIDAY!  I am actually calling this Friday SUPER FRIDAY because…

Happiness is NINE days at home with my family!  Today is our last day of school until after Thanksgiving.  I have always looked forward to this break.  This year, we have been plagued with many illnesses since the beginning of October, which has had us scrambling to doctor’s appointments, trying to figure out who has the best schedule to take the day off, and missing out on sleep to cuddle sweet, sick babies.  And, to top it all off, our hot water heater went out yesterday, in the midst of still trying to get two of the three littles, one with bronchitis and one with croup, healed in time for Thanksgiving.  However, even through all of that, we have been very lucky because…

Happiness is a sister who lives right next door.  And, true happiness is two nieces who love their beauty products so much that showering in their shower was like a spa experience.

Happiness is a little boy who has gained two years of expressive language development in the one year since we discovered that he has Childhood Apraxia of Speech and put him in private speech therapy.  Ethan is having an amazing year at school, and we are so happy to see him truly shining.


Happiness is a bigger little boy who sang his little heart out at the State Capitol yesterday. And, true happiness is that he was so happy to see us.  I am not sure when/if that will end.  I just keep hoping and praying that we are modeling our family life in such a way that he is always happy to see us, always proud of us, just as we are of him.


Happiness is a little boy who loves his big brother.  I did not even know that Ethan was kissing his brother on the cheek during this picture until I looked through all of the pictures last night.  It made me smile.  It made me very, very happy.


Happiness is a little girl who has been so sick for the past 5 weeks – stomach virus, bronchitis, pink eye, herpangina, and croup – but who still wanted to go to the Capitol to support her biggest brother.  I know.  All of the illnesses sound awful, and they have been. And, I have worried and worried about her immune system because she has always been my healthy one. But, she has also always been at home with me – no day care or preschool. So, apparently, Kindergarten is just the year to start really building up her immune system. Gabriel missed around 20 days of school in Kindergarten, and Ethan missed at least that much when he started the Early Learning Program at the school.  It will get better, and she will have a stronger, healthier immune system in 1st grade.


Happiness is a husband who has taken all of the balancing sick days and work schedules in stride.  He knows that I love working and going to school with my littles, and he values me as a wife, a mom, and as a teacher, too.


Happiness is a yummy, hot drink on a cold fall day.  I am not a coffee drinker.  Instead, I prefer tea. However, when I saw this Pumpkin Spice Latte over on Lori’s blog, I knew that I simply had to try it.  Click here for the recipe.  You will be so happy that you did!


Happiness Is….Recipe: Tres Leches Cupcakes


Happiness is Friday!  I was so ready to start the weekend that I picked up the boys from school at lunch to start our weekend a bit early.


Happiness is Cinco de Mayo.  We cannot wait to celebrate tomorrow!


Happiness is movie night…especially when we have an added guest in the form of my youngest niece.


Happiness is making this cookie cake for my oldest niece to take to her end-of-the-season volleyball party tonight.


Happiness is getting this text photo from my sister.


Happiness is the sweet feedback that I received from Ethan’s Progress Report yesterday.  Thank you so much for your kind words.  I appreciate it.


Happiness is Tres Leches Cupcakes.  I made these last year on a whim, and I received such an amazing response that I knew I had to make them again this year.  I took three dozen to school to hand-out to sweet teachers and staff.  We love Cinco de Mayo so much that I wanted to spread that joy to others.  From the smiles that I received at school today, I am pretty sure that these cupcakes are pure happiness.

Tres Leches Cupcakes

Tres Leches Cupcakes


! Cupcakes

1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated white sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups water

2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

4 large egg whites


1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream


1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla


    Making the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Place foil cupcake liners in cupcake pans. This recipe will make 34-36 cupcakes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2 minutes, or until well blended.
  5. Using ice cream scoop, fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake 17-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Move to a wire rack to allow to cool completely.
  8. Adding the Filling
  9. Mix together the three milks - sweetened condensed, evaporated, and whipping cream.
  10. Using a wooden skewer, poke several holes into each cupcake.
  11. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk, pouring onto the top of the cupcakes.
  12. Repeat with all of the cupcakes.
  13. Once the liquid has absorbed, add another 1-2 tablespoons.
  14. Finishing Touches
  15. Add the whipping cream to a mixing bowl, and start to mix on low speed.
  16. Add the sugar and vanilla, while continuing to mix.
  17. Increase the speed to medium, and whip until thickened.
  18. Add the whipped cream to a decorating bag, and, using your favorite tip, pipe the whipped cream onto the top of the cupcakes.
  19. Top with a strawberry or cherry, optional.

 The white cupcake is RecipeGirl’s  White Wedding Cupcakes.

Have a happy weekend!!

 I linked up at the following:
Tidy Mom for I’m Lovin’ It
Alli ‘n Sons for Sweet Tooth Friday
Six Sisters’ Stuff for Strut Your Stuff Saturday

Happiness Is…- Recipe: Monster Love Cookies


Happiness is Friday.  After a short but long week, we are so happy to celebrate Friday with pizza and movie night tonight.


Happiness is knowing that my sister is at school with my boys every day.  I am not sure what I would do without her.


Happiness is spending a day in the kitchen baking and cooking.


Happiness is Instagram.  I love the convenience of taking pictures on my phone and sharing them with family.

PhotobucketHappiness is hearing, “Momma, I am going to decorate the house red for Valentine’s Day.” from my girl. She gets me.


Happiness is these Valentine Everything Cookies.  I decided to start making cookies each Thursday for an after-school snack, as a little celebration that we just have one more day until the weekend.  I love how a red M&M changed these cookies from Halloween cookies into Valentine cookies.    It is all about the fun, simple, celebratory things in life.

Monster Love Cookies

Monster Love Cookies

These cookies are Sugarbelle's Halloween Monster Cookies I just changed the Halloween theme to Valentine's with the red M&Ms.


3 eggs

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3/4 cups M&M’s

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup candy corn, finely chopped

4 1/2 cups cooking oats, gluten free

2 tsp baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Beat together eggs and sugars.
  4. Next add the salt, vanilla, butter, and peanut butter; whip until fluffy.
  5. Add the oatmeal and baking soda, then fold in the M&M’s, mini-chips and candy corn.
  6. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.

Have a happy Friday!

I shared this recipe at Mom Trends, Tidy Mom, Alli ‘n Son, Simply Sweet Home, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Ladybird Ln, 30 Days, Creation Corner, Designs by Gollum, Whipperberry, Bizzy Bakes, and Crazy for Crust.