Monthly Onesies

Of course the 
"cotton cupcake" baby 
just HAD to have a set of monthly onesies!
From itty bitty to 
big 1 year old, 
what a fun way to watch your little one grow :) 

CLICK HERE to see a photo album
showcasing many other samples 
of special birthday shirts!

And as always, you can visit
my Etsy shop for more 
tasty creations, 100% calorie free :) 

Any questions?

My Baby.

I just finished putting my baby to bed.  Tomorrow, she will be a 1 year old.  I savored every minute of her bedtime this evening.  Every spoonful of raspberry yogurt was offered in love and I watched carefully as her chubby little fingers picked up pieces of sweet strawberry. I am in love with this baby.  After some playtime and giggles, Eden started rubbing her eyes and looking very sleepy.  I whispered to her “it’s bed time Eden” and she nodded as I took her to her room to grab a nigh-nigh from her crib.  She squealed in delight as I threw the blanket over my shoulder and she nuzzled her head in to cuddle it, something she does every.single.time.  Then she started humming sweetly, knowing bedtime was coming soon, as I kissed her head and breathed in her smell.  Her baby smell.

I nursed her in the living room, half watching the Jets game, half whispering to her and telling her how much I love her.  We have a little blinking game that we do.  She stares up at me, her big blue eyes locked in with mine. I blink once, she blinks once.  I blink twice, she blinks twice.  It’s so sweet.  Precious moments with this sweet little one.  After she was done nursing, she started squirming and wanted to make a quick getaway.  I scooped her up into my arms and she cried a little as we were walking to her room.  I held her close and started praying and she immediately stopped crying and let me cradle her in my arms, like a baby. Her eyes were bright eyed and wide with wonder as she listened to my every word to Jesus.  I thanked Him for the very special girl I was holding.  I thanked Him for bringing us through her first year.  I prayed for health and wellness for Eden’s 2nd year.  After a few minutes, with the baby still lying perfectly still and cuddled in my arms, I started singing to her.  The song I have sang all my kids “hold on to Jesus, cling to His love...” and I held her close enough that I could kiss her cheeks and rub my nose on her soft skin at the same time.  When she was a few months old, Erik & I were sometimes able to ‘kiss her to sleep’.  It was magical.  She would actually fall asleep as we kissed her face over and over and over again. I wondered if I’d be able to do that now, but after singing the song a third time I knew that she was ready for her crib.  I lay her down in her favorite position and tucked the blanket around her, just like she likes it.  I whispered “Goodnight Baby” for the last time as an 11 month old and patted her full tummy, fully aware that tomorrow when she wakes up, it will be her birthday.  She’ll be 1.

This past year has been amazing.  Perhaps the best year of my life.  Yes, it was hard at times, but God was there.  He saw us through, and held us close.  He answered many prayers in Eden’s 1st year of life, and for that I am so very grateful.  I treasure her, I cherish her, my baby. She has brought love to our home in ways that I didn’t know were even possible.  Her sisters adore every ounce of her, and it’s exciting to know their sister relationships will only grow and strengthen.  It’s been a precious year.  And many times my eyes have filled with tears as my heart practically bursts, with happiness and thanksgiving, and I soak in every minute of being a Momma.

Candy Corn Cupcakes

I made these candy corn cupcakes on the weekend!
They were so much fun and 
I loved bringing them to our Thanksgiving Gathering!
After posting a picture on my facebook page
I got a bunch of inquires about them...
so I decided to blog about it. 

 Aren't they lovely?! Just a reminder -Even though my shop has the word "cupcake" in the name it is the COTTON cupcake shoppe, I don't actually sell real cupcakes! From time to time I get e-mails asking for prices for my cupcakes...haha. One time someone inquired about getting 500 cupcakes  made by me for an event :) WOW! I had to politely decline.
So, here's the recipe I used for the cupcakes: 
(PS -I found it here)

1 18.25-oz. white cake mix
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
Yellow and orange Wilton food gel (about a heaping 1/2 tsp. of each)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with white paper liners. Combine all ingredients except for food coloring in a large bowl and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat on medium for 2 additional minutes. Divide batter equally into two bowls. Mix about 1/2 heaping tsp. of yellow coloring into one bowl of batter and 1/2 heaping tsp. of orange coloring into the other bowl. 
Divide the yellow batter evenly among the muffin tins.  Holding the edges of each pan firmly, bang the pan a few times on the counter to level out the batter. (I found it worked to use a spoon to 'smooth' each color into the liner) Repeat the process with the orange batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. 
 As for the icing...let me begin by saying I have NEVER been able to make decent 'pipe-able' icing.  I tried this recipe, and it worked wonderfully using the Wilton 1M decorating tip!  And I think the trick with this icing is to mix it for a lonnnnng time!
"Pipe-able" Vanilla Icing
1 1/2 cups butter, cut into chunks and softened
3 tablespoons whipping cream
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups icing sugar

Beat the butter, cream, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and slowly add the icing sugar, and beat until incorporated and smooth, 4 to 6 minutes.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes.

 And, finally, a little glimpse into the middle.  Let me know if you try these out!! They would be perfect for Halloween!! Enjoy!
I'm pleased to announce that 
 Each listing in my Etsy shop 
is available 
to every person everywhere :)
Exciting stuff!

Mango 101

 We have been eating a lot of mango's around here lately.
A lot.
So many, in fact, 
that I started bragging, just a little,
about how I have mastered cutting a mango
with very little wasted. 

Then I got asked to share what I've learned.
I'm no mango-oligist, 
but here's how I do it...

 1. Peel the mango.

 (this is THE best peeler around, I use it for everything)

 2. Hold the mango like so, 
and cut beside the pit on either side.

 You'll end up with 2 huge chunks of yummy fruit, 
and a skinny piece containing the pit.

 See? Side view.

 3. Take the 'pit' section and trim off two side pieces.

 Then cut up your mango in cubes or slices...
really, it doesn't matter...
Pure deliciousness.

{BOGO SALE} - sale ended July8/12

 I am excited to announce 
the Cotton Cupcake Shoppe's 
very first 

Buy ONE Rosette Knot Hat  
(They are $14ea)
and get the SECOND Rosette Knot Hat 
for 1/2 price!


This is the PERFECT time 
to 'stock up' on baby gifts, 
for present AND future babies :) 

There are 3 simple steps in 
order to participate in this sale!

STEP 1 - Choose a hat color:


STEP 2 - Choose a Rosette:
1.Chocolate Brown  2.Light Pink  3.Papaya  
4.White  5.Hot Pink  6.Ivory  7.Pewter

1. Aqua Polka Dots   2.Leopard Print   3.Zebra
4. White Rainbow Dots   5. Red Polka Dot  6. Rainbow Swirl  
7. White/Black Polka Dots   8. Purple Swirl  
9.  10. Hot Pink Polka Dots


STEP 3) E-mail your order to:

There are so many great 
color combinations to pick from
...the choice is yours!

Here's the 'fine' print:
~I don't have an unlimited amount of these flowers, 
some WILL sell out fast! 

~this BOGO sale is on for a limited time, until July 8/2012

All this to say, if you are interested in getting in on this deal, avoid disappointment by ordering ASAP. To place your order, or if you have any questions e-mail me:


Apple Berry Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

 I had been wanting to try my mom in laws 
'Apple Berry Salsa' recipe for a while now. 
Today was the day,
and it was a yummy success.
Scroll down for the recipe.

Apple Berry Salsa
2 peeled kiwis
12 strawberries
1 granny smith apple
1 tin mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup grapefruit juice

Peel apple and chop all of the fruit with a food chopper, then add juice. Chill. Serve with cinnamon chips.

Cinnamon Chips: Take 4 soft tortilla shells and lay them on a baking sheet.  Using a pastry brush, brush them with water. Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar and then cut into wedges with pizza cutter. Bake until crispy, 10-15 minutes at 350. Cool, then store in an airtight container.

Here`s one of my professional taste testers...

...she likes her job ;)

God Is Good

Little Miss Eden was born with a growth on her tongue. It's a fairly large 'granuloma' (I try to listen closely to remember the medical terms!) near the back of her tongue, right in the center. I noticed almost right away after she was born, but thankfully she hasn't been bothered by it in the least. It doesn't effect her nursing or her breathing, which we are SO thankful for! So, after a thyroid ultrasound and a video conference with a specialist when she was only a few hours old, we found ourselves having appointments with an Ear Nose & Throat surgeon, which led us to April 3rd, an MRI for my little 8 week old baby. For the MRI Eden, again, let me remind you, my 8 WEEK OLD BABY, was to lie perfectly still for 45 minutes...they were going to bundle her really tight and hope for the best! It seemed like a crazy, far fetched idea, but if Eden wasn't going to cooperate for the MRI they would have to put her under for the test, something I certainly didn't want. SO...I want to share our experience here, as I am just in awe of how God worked out the details of that's my journal from last week Wednesday:

"What an exhausting, mentally draining day. But at the same time, what a day full of God's goodness and really, what took place was an absolute miracle.

Last night around 10:30pm Eden was fast asleep on my chest and I figured she was out for the night. This was GOOD (as she has a habit of staying awake until 1am or later most nights...and Erik & I are definitely feeling the effects of 'not enough sleep') but at the same time it was BAD as the radiologist wanted us to try to keep her up 'later than usual' so that she would be some what sleep deprived for MRI day. Well, minutes after I was contemplating putting her in her crib she woke up. Wide eyed & bushy tailed...and quite upset with her cold which has been stuffing her up and annoying her. It took until 2:30am for her to settle for the night, so in the final end, we followed instructions and in the morning were left with a 'sleep deprived' baby. Too bad Erik & I were also feeling sleep deprived, but you do what you gotta do :)

Eden woke up at 7am and I fed her and spent the time in quiet prayer. I really felt God calling me to expect good things for the day. I knew that on our own power we could never EVER make an 8 week old baby do exactly what needed to be done for the MRI to be successful, and it would really truly need to be God orchestrating the events of the day. I knew so many people were praying for us & Eden and it was really neat to feel completely at peace and just 'know' and EXPECT things to work out for good.

Around 9am I started wondering if/when I should wake Eden and feed her for the last time before the MRI waiting room feeding, but I felt a strong feeling that I should just leave it in God's hands. I asked Erik about it and we decided we didn't know what was best, so we just kind of left it. I showered & got ready and no kidding, around 10am Eden woke up good & hungry, so I fed her then. I didn't need to wake her or decide when I should feed her, she just made the decision for me. Lovely!

Watching a little Veggie Tales with the sissy's this morning.

All dressed in her 'no snaps and no zippers' outfit.
It was a challenge to find something something suitable,
as her drawer is full of clothing with snaps and/or zippers!

Our yittle happy, yet sleep deprived baby!

We left the house around 11am and the whole way to Winnipeg (we have a 1 hr drive to the hospital) she was awake (remember, they wanted her very SLEEPY and very HUNGRY when we arrived at the hospital). I sat in the back seat and talked to her/sang to her/poked her the whole way to Winnipeg as she fought sleep :)

With yawns like this, I thought for sure that it
was a lost cause to try to keep her awake!
The dangling sunglasses were supposed to entertain her ;)

I really wondered how we would keep an 8 week old baby from sleeping on the way to Winnipeg. Usually with newborns, the coziest place to sleep is in their carseat in a vehicle. She must have really been confused with my parenting skills, as the night before Erik & I were begging her and trying everything to get her to fall asleep, and here I was not letting her sleep! Haha. We stopped at Applebees to pick up some food, and that's when she started getting quite cranky because she was sooooo ready to sleep but I wouldn't let her. I really thought we would have a screaming angry baby on our hands for a few hours, but God was allowing her to be awake, yet not completely upset. That was a huge answer to prayer already!

By the time we parked at the hospital, she was very sleepy and getting increasingly more upset. It was lining up to work PERFECTLY to feed her & then let her sleep so that the MRI would be successful. We wandered around the hospital for a little bit, not really knowing where we were going, but suddenly we found ourselves by a picture of an owl above a hallway, so naturally I walked in that direction and no kidding....the MRI door was RIGHT THERE. Isn't that cool?! It could have been a picture of any other animal, but nope, it was an OWL (if you didn't know, I LOVE owls...) and then there we were at the right office :) I told Erik that obviously SOMEONE was praying that we would find the right office in the hospital without any trouble.

We checked in with reception and filled out some paper work, all the while Eden was making a huge fuss and getting louder. I felt so sorry for the other people in the waiting room -- and eventually I DID apologize to them for all the noise, but told them they wanted a tired/hungry baby, so she WAS following instructions very well! I just felt the need to defend our seemingly bad parenting as our baby screamed and we didn't work to try to find a solution ;) When we figured we MUST be able to go in soon (you know, to that peaceful dark room where I could feed her & put her to sleep) we were informed that they were running 45 minutes behind. That definitely wasn't part of 'the plan' but I felt such peace. Poor Eden was soooo sleepy and crying so much. It felt completely awful & unnatural to KNOW what she needed, but not be able to make her content! Erik & I would trade off jiggling her & 'shushing' her, but she would be very quick to close her eyes and doze off. Then we had to reposition her so that she woke up and started crying again, because we COULDN'T let her sleep. It was a lot of crying and carrying on. The poor girls throat was sounding more & more hoarse :( We were FINALLY told we could go in to a separate room and settle her down. That was wonderful news!!

The nurse & I talked and decided that it was perfect timing, that I should start feeding her & then put her to sleep. I KNEW that Eden would sleep, because we had successfully kept her awake for so long as she had been fighting sleep. Things were looking SO good! So, I changed her diaper, fed her & put her to sleep. She was OUT I tell ya! THEN...we heard some rumblings about a baby needing an IV and wouldn't you know...they came in and told us they needed to get an IV started on her for the MRI. I was a little perplexed by this, as NOW was the time they were supposed to take her in for the MRI but my perfectly sleeping baby first needed to get an IV! It seemed REALLY backwards (she should have gotten the IV first, but the nurse hadn't realized that she needed one...) She needed the IV because she needed to be injected with dye for the MRI. SO, my perfectly sleeping baby got rudely awoken to the anesthesiologist poking & prodding and looking for a good vein. Sigh. Back to square one.

After those few minutes of torture, and after 2 tries,
they had the IV started and we were left to put Eden to sleep again

Sleeping like a baby after I fed her for the 2nd time. She COULD have been really upset and not settled, but God answered the prayers of many, and she settled right down for the 2nd time.

The nurse took her from my arms and we were left to wait. That was the hardest part, as in my mind I kept thinking I heard her screaming away, but it wasn't really her, just noises in my head. About 15 minutes later the nurse came back to say that Eden fussed a little on the table, so she picked her up and jiggled her a little and then she went back to sleep and was doing wonderfully. What a relief! She was gone from us for probably 45 minutes, and we were so relieved when the nurse brought her back to us and said the MRI went fabulously and is was a success!! Thank-you GOD!

It got me, I would have never CHOSEN a tongue problem for our little baby, but without it, we would have never been able to witness this miracle. And it was a pretty awesome miracle to witness. There were SO SO many things that could have gone wrong about this day, the MRI could have been a complete fail and we would have had to come back a different day and have her put under for the MRI, but everything lined up & worked out perfectly. God is GOOD! Thank-you to everyone who prayed for us today. We certainly felt those prayers!! I LOVE how God was asking me to trust Him, and EXPECT Him to do great things...and HE gave me the strength to do just that!"

Next up, surgery at 2pm on April 13th. Thankfully the MRI showed that the mass isn't 'rooted down her throat' or anything like that. It will be easily removed, without being too invasive, I am very thankful for that. Eden will be admitted to the PICU for a minimum of one night after the surgery, possibly more, depending how things go. Her tongue will obviously be pretty sore, so it's unknown how she'll take to nursing after the surgery. Tonight (the night before surgery) I am feeling mostly at peace about the day ahead of us. As I'm snuggling my sleeping daughter on my chest, I'm reminded of my devotions a few days ago. It opened my eyes to the concept of "while I am caring for my daughter, God is caring for ME". That really hit home, and I have been trying to meditate on that for the last few days. Once again, GOD IS GOOD!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Lately I've been hungry for something potato-y.
So, I went searching to find a soup recipe
and thanks to Pinterest, I found one here.
I changed the recipe to suit our family
and it was a huge hit with the husband
and the little ones. Score!
I'd love to share the recipe with you...

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1 cup Water
1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup Celery, finely chopped
2 large Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium Red Potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup Bacon Bits (the real, crumbled kind!)
1/4 cup flour
2-3 cups Chicken Vegetable Stock
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 - 2 cups Heavy Cream

Directions: In a stock pot over medium heat cook onions, carrots and celery in water until onions are translucent. Add soup stock and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in flour and stir constantly until the mixture has thickened slightly. Add bacon bits, salt & pepper. Over medium-high heat, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the pototoes are soft. Mash the soup with a potato masher for a thicker, creamier texture. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Soup should have a creamy texture. Adjust thickness by adding water or stock. Garnish with chives, bacon and shredded cheese. YUM!

This made a large amount of soup. It easily fed my family of 5 (and my 6 year old had 3 helpings!!) and there is plenty leftover for lunch today. My kind of meal! Enjoy!

Cupcake Aprons

One of my lovely customers
was thinking outside the box.
LOVE that :)
Here are the aprons I created for her!

Kitchen Project!

First of all, I want to thank you all for being patient with me as I take some time off while waiting for baby #4!! With 17 days until due date, I am definitely anxious to meet the little one who will be joining our family! But also nervous about the how/what/where/when's of Baby E's arrival, as all Momma's can relate to :) To keep myself occupied, and stay sane during this crazy nesting period, I have made a fun 'to-do' list that is a mile long and things are being checked off daily...

The latest project was my kitchen back splash!!

When we were anticipating moving into our house last April, we had intentions of getting nearly everything finished before we moved in. Well. One day (just before we moved in) I was gonna show someone the tile I bought for my kitchen and I couldn't find the boxes! I asked my husband bout them and he sheepishly told me that he had moved them to the attic. Ok then. Apparently after custom tiling our master bathroom he was all 'tiled-out' and said the kitchen back splash would be a project for next winter. I was a little disappointed, as I could easily see the so-called 'next winter tiling project' be one of those things that took years & years to take place ;) day last week Erik surprised me by starting on the project, proving he's a man who is true to his word!

I am very happy with how it turned out...he did such a good job!!

My kitchen feels like a whole new kitchen again, and I'm back to shining the appliances (which I did constantly after we moved in, then that sort of petered out....) and cleaning up every crumb (although that may have to be thanks in part to the previously mentioned nesting stage!)

The kitchen window is just waiting for some faux Roman Blinds. I have the fabric and everything and I found a website that shows how to make some no-sew blinds. They don't need to be functional, as I have never once felt the need to have blinds on that window. I think they will finish the window off nicely, as I'm going to hang them just underneath the ceiling and they'll stop just below the top of the window casing.

The other side of the kitchen. Still looking for a suitable desk chair!

And, my 'new' kitchen has been a fun place to experiment with smoothies lately! My girls & I have been having fun concocting all kinds of fruit smoothies. I make special ones for myself though, by adding a few handfuls of spinach in attempts to boost my iron level.

Thanks to Pinterest, I have found lots of ideas, as far as smoothies go. I have even been freezing them and putting them in my oldest daughters lunches. By noon they have thawed the perfect amount and she is loving this fun treat in her lunch kit. I have to add, I am still loving making school lunches!! Hailey loves taking leftovers and re-heating them, and on the days when there are no left overs from supper she is perfectly happy with a peanut butter & honey sandwich or a ham & cheese sandwich. She's not hard to please! I love making her healthy lunches, and we are certainly on the same page about treats...they are ok once in a while, but the healthy foods are what makes our brains work extra good :) I definitely need to think about that more with what I put into my mouth throughout the day!!

Thanks again, SO MUCH, for your patience as I'm on my little break from my Etsy shop! Don't forget to check out the 'ready-to-ship' listings if you want something Cotton Cupcake :) I'm not too sure what life will look like with 3 small children and a newborn, but I hope to get back to custom birthday shirts & personalized hats eventually!!

Owl Birthday Party

My 'baby', Madelyn Soleil turned 3 on November 24th. (I guess she's not my baby for long, as the new little one is due to arrive in one month!) She had decided on an owl 'birfday' party long ago, and I was a happy Momma as I planned her party. I LOVE that she loves owls, just like me! I made her birthday shirt, and finished it around 11pm the night before her party, talk about cutting it close ;)

The invitations. I found inspiration on Pinterest HERE.

My three girlies helped with a little party prep the day before the party.

My sweet sister also came to the rescue ;) After sending her an 'sos' text pleaing for help, she came over to help me with some of my crazy ideas. Baby #4 was sucking every last bit of energy out of me and I guess suddenly I realized I'd need a little help...I love my sister!!!

Marshmallow Pops!

Owl cupcakes & acorns. We dipped donut holes in icing and then in sprinkles and stuck a pretzel in the end. Another idea I saw on Pinterest, but mine turned out quite a bit different ;)

Here's a pic of Madelyn's colorful birthday flowers & muffins for the momma's. I had planned on waking up bright & early to have fresh homemade muffins for the party but Tim Hortons insisted on taking care of that for nice.


Some of the party guests!

The birthday girl enjoying a marshmallow pop.

Sweet cousin Hudson picked his owl shirt for the party, lovingly made by Auntie Amber, of course :) Last year at Madda's puppy party he was appropriately dressed too.

The contents for the treat bags. I started working on these one Saturday afternoon and after 2+ hours they still weren't finished!! I had NO idea it would be so much work, but Madelyn's reaction to them made it all worth it. She loved them!

I traced out all of the circles and most of the other paper parts & cut them was certainly a labor of love, and I KNOW there are paper punches for these kind of things. But Madelyn happily handed them out to her party guests, and it was fun for her to stare at these treat bags day after day while we waited for the party day ;)

My birthday girl.

Studying her new gifts.

And, one last picture of the birthday girl tired out after the party!!