Never Leave Home Without It!

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I’ve been known to carry a journal on me no matter where I go or what I’m doing. It may just be my favorite hobby. I always have random thoughts in my head that I want to spill out – so – I pour them across the pages of my journals.
Generally I’m not that picky on the kind of journal, I just pick up whichever one catches my eye at the time. Also, I’m fairly sparatic and never fill up a journal consecutively. Infact, I tend to stick to one journal for two or three days and then change, but eventually, when I’m going through all of them I go back to one I’d used in the past. That makes it more fun to discover what it was I was going through at the time.
One day about six or seven months back, in the hunt for a new journal I stumbled across a really fun journal called
Wreck this Journal, by Keri Smith. It’s delightfully silly. I highly recommend checking it out.

I’ve found journalling to be quite therapeutic as well. In flipping back through the pages of one of my older journals, I found and entry that said something to the effect of “my journal is like my best friend, I can tell it all my deepest, darkest secrets and it won’t judge. It knows me better than I know myself.

-Olio ❤

Balloons and Cupcakes vs. Flowers and Chocolates

With St. Valentine’s Day fast approaching, ads for flowers and chocolates are becoming more and more evident. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sweet gesture, flowers smell great look beautiful and bring a genuine smile to your face when you get them. Chocolates are so cute and wonderful and tasty tasty mmmm. But personally, I’d rather have balloons and cupcakes.

Balloons are so whimsical and bright and shiny and they can seem to float away to anywhere, balloons tend to let my imagination run free and keep me from being too grounded (something I like to avoid). And cupcakes… Well, it’s not so much about getting them for me as it is about the time spent making them with someone special. This time of year, in most place around me anyway, it’s pretty chilly outside – so being inside next a nice cozy oven is idealistic for me. Cupcakes can have so many flavors and colors and decorations, always make a great gift, and well… are wonderful to bite into as soon as you’re done decorating. Taste the glory!
Personally my favorite memory of decorating cupcakes with someone is of a couple of summer’s ago my sister and I were getting ready to go to visit her boyfriend who lived in another town so we decided to make a big old batch of cupcakes and decorated them in all kinds of silly ways. It was one of the most enjoyable times I’d ever spent with my sister.
The best part in all of this is when you get either the balloons or flowers not for Valentine’s Day, or your birthday, but simply just because. Those are always the most heart warming gifts. I like to just get balloons for people I know at random, because it always makes their day!
So my question, really is, in a knock-down, drag-out fight between Balloons and Cupcakes vs. Flowers and Chocolates, who do you think would win, and why?
– Olio ❤

Delicious Cupcake Recipe (not to be attempted alone!*)

Scrumptious Strawberry Cupcakes with Real Strawberries!**

– 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
– 3/4 cup white sugar
– 3 eggs
– 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
– 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries, drained

– Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease 12 cupcake pan cups or line with paper liners.
– In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the strawberry extract. Combine the self-rising flour and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in strawberries last. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
– Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with desired frosting.

*Decorating tip! Use rolled fondant or marzipan to create fun designs!
**Recipe found at