Made with a thing called love...

This Valentine's Day, I was totally conflicted on what to bake. I was inspired by all of the heart-shaped cookies, cakes, and truffles flooding the blogosphere, but craving something simple and sweet like cupcakes.

The compromise?

A tasty fusion!

The results were chocolate heart-cutout cupcakes filled with a luscious strawberry-cherry cream cheese frosting...YUM!

And the finishing touch?

I found these adorable cupcake wrappers from Pink Peacock Paperie! B creates some insanely cute designs that are free to download (like this one!) or available for a small fee. Drop by her site for some eye candy!

Anyways, you may be curious as to the fate of the leftover pieces of heart-shaped cake...

Heart-shaped mini cakes + leftover frosting equals...

Squish together and stuff into mouth. Immediately.

Bite size ice cream cakes + whipped cream + sprinkles = JOY!

Nothing screams "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" quite like an ice cream cake!

Middle Name Silly's (the boyfriend!) birthday was last month, and as an avid devotee to the wondrous marriage of smooth ice cream and fluffy cake, there was little trouble deciding what to make for him!

The trouble started when it came time to choose the flavors.

I knew I wanted to have a chocolate cake base, but what flavor of ice cream to pair with it??

Cookies and cream, chocolate fudge, vanilla bean, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, coffee...

WAY too many options!!

After much deliberation, I settled on strawberry with a hot fudge filling.

Which flavors would you choose? ♥

A spoonful of warm berries helps the chill go away...

Now don't get me wrong: Winter and I are life long buddies. We go way back.

However, after a long winter break filled with freezing rain, a dusting of snow in the central valley (can you believe it?!), spending each night mummifying myself in a mountain of blankets, and far to many wet sock incidents; I've had it up to my ears with my chilly friend.

I hate to say this Winter, but I need some space.
I need to feel the sun's warmth and save my poor, little frozen toes.

I need to warm up in the morning with some molten berry sauce over french toast.

It's getting toasty already!

Where in the world....

...have I been??

The short version? Sure!
How about chewed up, swallowed, and spit out by end of semester insanity, holiday bliss, and start of semester franticness?

Left little dizzy? Yes. But miraculously, I am still in one piece with my limbs all properly attached!

After a brief hiatus, I'm back and ready to kick off a new year full of creative prosperity and adventure! In the next week, I'll be posting some new recipes, some of my favorite photos, and a project or two!

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