Recipe for Surprise Cupcakes

 Surprise Cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
dash of salt
1 egg
1 cup of chocolate chips (mini's work well)

Prepare cake mix according to directions. Place paper liners in muffin tins. Fill each 2/3 full with batter.

Beat cream cheese and sugar together, then mix salt and eggs. Add chocolate chips and stir well.

Drop one rounded teaspoon of cheese mixture into batter of each muffin cup.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.

Cool and frost with chocolate cream cheese frosting (my favorite recipe follows).

Makes about 26-30 cupcakes

I was given this recipe from my Sister-in-law, Jenn.
Upon further inspection, I had also been given this recipe about 2 years ago from my friend Heidi. It had been lost in my recipe archives....so glad that Jenn reintroduced it as it is now a family favorite! Thanks girls!!!

My Favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 C butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
  • 4 C sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don't care about it being as stiff for piping)
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in cocoa powder.
To cover this many cupcakes with as much frosting as I did in the picture you will have to double this recipe! I then filled up a ziplock baggie, cut a diagonal snip on one of the corners and piped away! I made sure the frosting was REALLY thick so that it would stay like that!

When they are all finished and cool, store them in the fridge....they are even yummier that way!


I found them!

Easter Morning was a huge success!! Last year Hailey found her basket (and her siblings) while we were all sleeping. She left them alone...and told us after she found hers...but it wasn't quite as fun because we missed the "search". This year we told her she wasn't allowed to search until we were up...mean right?? The picture of Talon coming out of the desk drawer is so funny to me.

We skewered jelly beans for decorations. Very fun!
Love these girls! Lexi, Jacqueline, and Tiffany Burton. This is only half of the kids!! Lexi is our beloved babysitter...not sure what we'll do without her when we move to Pennsylvania! I might be stuffing her in my suitcase.
I've explained the Easter Egg bash before. But if you are new here...this is how it goes:
 John's family has a great tradition and we were so excited to be able to do it here in Virginia this year. Did you know that if you hit two eggs together only one will crack....every time! His family hard boils their own eggs and decorates them-they are very serious about this-and then they have a tournament to see who's eggs beats all the eggs. John made a bracket sheet similar to March Madness!
Jared and his daddo! Check out these eggs...
This is the back of the most adorable egg...she has on a coconut bra!
And the winner is...Greg Burton! Well done!!!!!!



I just realized that I never even blogged about Easter! Sheesh! We had a great holiday! We of course did the traditional Ham and all of the fixins'! It is way to much food for our little mouths so we invited our sweet friends...the Burtons. I of course took lots of pictures but cannot find them right now. I'll post them later! We had an Easter Egg Bash. They came fully prepared with all of their eggs and they had decorated them SO CUTE!!! I WILL find those pictures! I love the girls Easter dresses. Perfect for Spring weather!

Spring is here!

We have had such a fun start to summer! Spring Break was a few weeks ago...and since I am always a few weeks behind...I am actually right on time! We went to the beach twice, we went to the park all day long, we went to the circus, we slept in, we stayed up late, we didn't have a schedule! Here are some fun pictures of the beach.
Hmmm...check out that belly!!! That girl knows how to stick it out!!

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus came to Norfolk and I am so glad that we went. We had the best family day ever! It was so fun and we made memories for sure!

I am SO excited!!
Norfolk, Scope

This picture is taken right after we first arrived. It seems so silly to me know...I guess it seemed a little silly then also....but I totally started to cry....AT THE CIRCUS! Tears of joy of course. I was just so happy that we were able to do this fun activity with our children. I couldn't help but get emotional because I just love them so much and I was so happy to be with them...doing what we were doing!

Seven Year Itch

Here is Wikianswers definition:
In short it is a relationship term - usually after 7 years people tend to re-evaluate their relationship. There might be evidence that it is now much shorter but the original number 7 came from a time period where the average marriage only lasted 7 years.

It's been seven years since John and I were married and made vows to be together forever! Have you ever heard of the seven year itch? We beat the average!!! It's hard to believe that it has been 7 years! Here are 7 facts about our marriage and our life...out there for the world to see:

#1 John and I love to have a clean home. I would say that it started out that we both did an equal share of the cleaning. I didn't clean a single bathroom in our place for the first two years. John was always on top of it...taking care of it before I had a chance. He was a great help with the laundry, dishes (we didn't have a dishwasher) and the vacuuming. He has always been so great about putting his things away. I never have to clean up after him...which I am very thankful for. We both worked and went to school and so we also both worked hard to keep our house tidy. He is still the one that cleans our bathroom and he does such a good job. It is scrubbed from top to bottom!!  Since he has been so busy at graduate school most of the cleaning has been left up to me...and I don't mind it. I sometimes think about couples without children and I imagine how their house stays how they put it. It only gets messy when they move things. With three busy little hands (well 6 really) I am constantly picking things up...putting things away....wiping things down...and sweeping things off. I love for John to come home from work to a tidy clean home.

#2 We have a very open communication line! We always know when something is wrong...no holdin' back in this house. I think some people would call it fighting...but it really works for us. We let it out and then make up! I try to imagine what it would be like to not express ALL of our feelings with each other and it's hard for me to imagine!

#3 We love to go on dates. A lot of people fore go the whole dating thing while they are in school...well we have been in school out entire marriage.  That wasn't an option. When we lived by family...it was definitely a lot less expensive. It is something that we look so forward to. Our favorite kind of date: Dinner, Movies, Shopping (sometimes even the grocery store...funny)!

#4 We enjoy playing games together. I have many fond memories of us playing games. Even while I was in labor!! Our game collection is quite large. Our families are all big game players too...

#5 We disagree about bed time. John hates to hear his children cry...or for them to be sad.  Of course I would also prefer that they weren't sad, however I love to have a clear schedule and quiet time with just John. It's been so interesting to see the changes that our children's bedtimes have taken in the past 5 years. He doesn't mind them in our bed...I CANNOT SLEEP WITH OUR KIDS IN OUR BED!!! I am afraid to move in fear that I will wake them up.
Hailey was always on a good schedule and she did cry herself to sleep as a little baby and has been the best sleeper ever since. You say "sleep" and she sleeps. Even now...at 5 years old. If I think that she needs a rest during the day (which is SO rare) she will go right to sleep.
Isabella is also a fantastic napper. But..we have had highs and lows with her bedtime routine. Right now she wants one of us to sit in her room with her while she dozes off at night which is so annoying. I know... that sounds rude but I would prefer to say goodnight and let her do the dozing by herself.
Talon...well...this little guy has got John wrapped around all 10 fingers!!!  I am usually the one that ends up putting Talon to sleep because he knows that I mean business. He cries and whines a lot more when John does it because chances are...he'll get his way. I also love this about John. As annoying as it is that he lets them have 5 more more kisses and a few more princess stories....it's also really sweet. I am trying to enjoy the ride!!

#6 We love treats. I love that John enjoys food and that he appreciates it. Since our anniversary was on Sunday and we don't go out on Sundays, I made Cafe Rio Style burritos (salad style) and it was heaven. The kids even enjoyed it. Since eating out costs LOADS of money and we do not have loads...I cook and bake a lot. If I didn't I would want to eat out all the time. I have learned that I would rather not eat it if doesn't taste amazing...so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I actually do enjoy it...even if I complain once in a while! The finished product always makes all of us so happy. Sitting at our dinner table with yummy food makes our family smile!
I got this recipe from my sis-in-law Jen. They are called surprise cupcakes ( a yummy cheesecake chocolate chip center) and I made chocolate cream cheese frosting. They were divine!!

                                    This picture had Hailey and I rollin'! He is loving this cupcake!

#7 I am so madly in love with this man. Seven years has given me many opportunities to learn more about John. I have seen sides of him that only I am lucky enough to see. When I was praying about marrying John, it was very clear to me that indeed...he was the man for me. Our married like has been simple. John has been a student the entire 7 years....and although we are not done yet...we are darn close. I have a feeling that we have a lot of fun and scary things to look forward to as we go out into the real world and start to become apart of society. I love you John. Thanks for being my bestfriend!