March for Babies, for my niece Miss Opal Rose

This post will be a slight deviation from my normal baking posts. You have been warned.


My adorable niece, Miss Opal Rose amazes us every day. She is literally a miracle baby.



She was born at 23 weeks and 6 days.

She weighed 1 pound 6.7 ounces and was only 12 inches long!

She could literally fit in your hand (though we obviously could not touch her).

She was in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for a whopping 105 days! It seemed like an eternity, especially the first two months where her condition could change so drastically minute to minute. This was an intensely difficult time for my family, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Naturally, we cherish every second we have with our little Miss Opal Rose.


She has since bloomed into a happy, healthy baby girl!

Just look at that face!

She is 16 months old and loving life!

She is meeting all of her (adjusted) developmental milestones and has only experienced minor complications.

However, there are many babies born prematurely who are not as fortunate as Miss Opal Rose. We saw it time and time again during Opal’s stay in the NICU.

I will be walking in the March of Dime’s March for Babies in Valparaiso, IN on April 28th. The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

I wanted to publish this post in the hopes that someone out there may read it and feel inspired to learn more about the March of Dimes, and to generate awareness of the struggles that can occur as a result of premature birth.

Please consider getting involved or donating to the March for Babies, so that other babies like Opal Rose can have the opportunity to live long, happy, and healthy lives.


Here is my personal page, and here is my team page.

To learn more about the March of Dimes please click here.

Thank you!



Breaded and Baked Tilapia


I declared in my January: A Month in Review post that I was going to create and bake more entree dishes. And I haven’t really done a very good job of seeing that through.

My last 5 posts were sinfully sweet little treats (Paczki, Granola, Chocolate Cupcakes, White Cupcakes, and Pavlova), which I enjoyed both making and consuming. However, I am trying to be a well-rounded baking blogger here and I need to throw a bone to my savory side every now and again.

Tonight I decided to dig some tilapia fillets from the freezer to prepare a nice oven baked dinner. Working with what I had in the pantry, I cooked up a pretty nice little meal.


I also baked some carrots that we had in the refrigerator left over from a chicken noodle soup Wills made earlier in the week (My dad and Grandpa’s recipe: Peel and cut carrots, toss in olive oil with salt and pepper, bake for 45 minutes, enjoy!).

This tilapia is crispy on the outside and a little tangy. I did not follow a recipe so I will provide my own 🙂

Breaded and Baked Tilapia

Prep: 10 minutes     Bake: 20 minutes


  • 2 tilapia fillets
    Coated with wet mixture, coating in bread crumb mixture
    Coated with wet mixture, coating in bread crumb mixture
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray glass pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Rinse and dry thawed tilapia fillets.
    Ready for the oven!
    Ready for the oven!
  3. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Rub into tilapia fillet.
  4. Combine Panko bread crumbs, paprika, garlic salt, pepper, and parsley in a bowl. Dip coated fillets in bread crumb mixture coating evenly.
  5. Place fillets in prepared baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until fillets are cooked throughout. Fish will flake easily with a fork when it is done.


Fresh Fruit Pavlova


My lovey dovey’s GOLDEN birthday was yesterday, and when I asked him what kind of treat he would like in celebration, he requested fruit.

Fresh fruit.

This man has GOT to give me more to work with here. I operate a BAKING blog for Pete’s sake.

Time to get creative. How can I still bake something impressive AND stay healthy (a relative term) and light.


My mom had mentioned this dessert recently and it is something my man meat would just LOVE. I have made meringue before and he devours it, so this really was a no-brainer. Plus, I can top it with some beautiful fresh fruit!


I found this recipe titled Best Ever New Zealand Pavlova from a contributor to I was unaware of the ongoing battle royale between New Zealand and Australia as to who can claim the origin of the pavlova.

I don’t really care, I just know it’s delicious. So thank you. Whomever. I’d also like to thank ballerina Anna Pavlova for inspiring such a treat. Crispy on the outside, marshmallow-y on the inside. Thank you.

I topped with sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Not to mention heaps of fat free whipped cream.


Prep: 10 minutes     Bake: 45 minutes


  • Before pouring on to baking sheet.

    Before pouring on to baking sheet.

    3 egg whites

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper and sprinkle a little water over paper.
  2. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in water, then mix in cornstarch, vanilla, vinegar and salt.
  3. Pour entire meringue mixture onto the center of the pan. Pavlova will spread as it bakes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and leave Pavlova in the oven until cold. Turn upside-down onto plate and top with fresh fruit and whipped cream. *

* I did not flip mine upside down.

Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!

Before baking

Before baking




Classic White Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting


Okay so the other day when I baked Chocolate Cupcakes for my staff, I also baked some Classic White Cupcakes per Wills request. When I asked him what his favorite kind of cake was, he said white. WHITE of all things. I thought HOW BORING.

But my god these cupcakes are good.

I came across a Simple White Cake Recipe on that just got rave reviews, so I decided to give it a whirl- and let me tell you these little nuggets are the bomb-diggity (Yes. Yes. I just said ‘bomb-diggity).

I got so many compliments on these cupcakes, “Oh My God did you make these?”, “My whole family was fighting over these”, “They’re the best cupcakes I’ve ever had” – you get the picture.

The buttercream recipe was also divine and can be found at the bottom of my Chocolate Cupcakes post 🙂

Classic White Cupcakes

Prep: 20 minutes     Bake: 30 minutes     Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when it springs back to the touch.
  4. Finish with buttercream frosting!



Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting!


Oh my goodness.

I have not posted in nearly a week, and I am NOT happy with myself about that!

However… I do have good reason: I interviewed for a special education preschool position last Monday, started Thursday, and am still trying to wrap my head around my new students, classroom, curriculum, staff, and school!


Hilarious. We sing a lot of songs. Like A LOT.

I wanted to get back to my baking basics and make something that can show my appreciation to my support staff for being so amazing this week, so I decided to gift them some thank you cupcakes! I really don’t know what I would have done without them.

I decided to follow Martha Stewart’s recipe for her Chocolate Cupcakes, and Savory Sweet Life’s recipe for Classic Buttercream Frosting.

The cupcakes themselves are dense and intensely rich little nuggets. The consistency is between a brownie and a cake as these babies are moist but heavy. They are also somewhat bitter so the buttercream frosting helps balance the flavor.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Prep: 30 minutes     Bake: 20-25 minutes     Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then finish with buttercream frosting!

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Prep: 5 minutes     Yield: 2.5 cups


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream


  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.



Mixed Berry Granola


Okay Valentine’s Day is over, lets get back to the basics. Enough with the heart shaped this, the chocolate dipped that, I want my normalcy back!


I love granola.

Fresh from the oven.

Fresh from the oven.

It is such a versatile food, you can eat it on your own, over yogurt, as cereal, with ice cream (yum), on fruit, on the go, sitting at home. And for the most part, it is natural and (somewhat) healthy! It adds that crunch where you crave it!

This is my first time making granola and I referenced Alton Brown’s recipe, though I did not copy it exactly.

I used walnuts, added flax seed, used light brown sugar instead of dark, swapped sunflower oil for vegetable oil, used less salt, added cinnamon, and used mixed dried berries instead of raisins.

Definitely a little change up from his recipe, but it turned out fabulously!

I will be enjoying it until it is gone in various fashions!

Mixed Berry Granola

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 1 hour, 15 minutes     Yield: 4 cups


Granola mixture before baking.

Granola mixture before baking.

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup nuts, I used slivered almonds and chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried mixed berries


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Combine oats, nuts, flax seed, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. In separate bowl, combine maple syrup, sunflower oil, and salt.
  4. Stir together both mixtures and pour on to two baking sheets.
  5. Cook for 1 hour, 15 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
  6. Remove from oven, transfer to large bowl and stir in mixed berries.



Fat Tuesday Paczki


Happy Fat Tuesday!

Or better yet…


It is Polish tradition to indulge in these delectable donuts on the last Tuesday before Ash Wedensday, which is also the last day of Mardi Gras!


Now here I should clear one thing up…

I don’t exactly honor Lent, and I’m not Polish.


I do love honoring other cultures food traditions, obviously.

I found this Pączki recipe on this Eastern European Food site posted by Barbara Rolek. She explains her busia, or grandmother, used to make this Pączki recipe without a filling, and dusted with granulated sugar.

Her recipe is easy to follow, and is typed below.

Blackberry filling

Blackberry filling

I did find this dough to be extremely tacky and hard to work with, so where it says ‘lightly floured’ be a little generous. My dough kept sticking to my lightly floured non-stick mats, and to my floured fingers. Hence why some of my pączki are not the prettiest. I also used a 3 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (aka my English Muffin rings), so my  pączki ended up a little larger than her recipe describes. The rises also only took me 2 hours total.

I made most of mine with a Blackberry filling (I let Wills pick it out), and dusted with powdered sugar. I also dusted some in granulated sugar and cinnamon. YUM.

Polish Pączki

Prep: 45 minutes     Cook: 6 minutes     Rises: 3 hours     Total: 3 hours, 51 minutes     Yield: 2 dozen


Before the third rise!

Before the third rise!

  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (no warmer than 110 degrees)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or rum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 gallon oil for deep frying
  • Granulated sugar (optional)
  • Confectioner’s sugar (optional)
  • Fruit paste for filling (optional)


Into the fryer!

Into the fryer!

  1. Add yeast to warm milk, stir to dissolve and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs, brandy and salt until well-incorporated.
  2. Still using the paddle attachment, add 4 1/2 cups flour alternately with the milk-yeast mixture and beat for 5 or more minutes by machine and longer by hand until smooth. My grandmother used to beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it blistered. Dough will be very slack. If too soft, add remaining 1/2 cup flour, but no more.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise again (about 30 minutes).
  4. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Pat or roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut rounds with 3-inch biscuit cutter. Remove scraps, and re-roll and re-cut. Cover and let rounds rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer.

    Fresh from the fryer!

    Fresh from the fryer!

  5. Heat oil to 350 degrees in large skillet or Dutch oven. Place pączki top-side down (the dry side) in the oil a few at a time and fry 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Flip them over and fry another 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot so the exterior doesn’t brown before the interior is done. Test a cool one to make sure it’s cooked through. Adjust cooking time and oil heat accordingly.
  6. Drain pączki on paper towels or brown paper bags, and roll in granulated sugar while still warm. Note: You can poke a hole in the side of the pączki and, using a pastry bag, squeeze in a dollop of the filling of choice. Then dust filled pączki with granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar or glaze.

Enjoy while still warm!

  • Pączki don’t keep well, which is the perfect excuse to gorge yourself on them!IMG_5952
Cinnamon and sugar

Cinnamon and sugar


Southern Corn Muffins


As promised in my Jambalaya post, here is the Southern Corn Muffins recipe!

Now, I know I usually claim that everything I make is yummy and delicious and amazing, but today I simply cannot.

These muffins were kind of bland (which may not be such a bad thing as my Jambalaya was mucho spicy!).

The bacon fat and corn kernels were a saving grace in these muffins, though not enough to enable them to stand alone.

I utilized the recipe for Southern Corn Bread (pg. 777) from the 1997 Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. I followed it almost exactly, but added frozen corn kernels, and baked in a muffin pan rather than a 9-inch cast iron skillet (which I unfortunately do not own), or a 8 x 8 glass baking pan.

Southern Corn Muffins

Prep: 10 minutes     Bake: 15 minutes     Yield: 12 muffins


Whisking in my buttercream

Whisking in my buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:

  • 1 3/4 cups stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (3/4 teaspoon if using buttermilk with salt)

Whisk until foamy in another bowl:

  • 2 large eggs

Whisk in:

  • 2 cups buttermilk

Optional add ins:

  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels


Fresh from the oven.

Fresh from the oven.

  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Grease muffin pan with bacon fat. Place in oven until the fat smokes.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just blended, fold in corn kernels. Pour evenly in to muffin pan.
  4. Bake until the top is browned and the center feels firm when pressed, about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately!





It’s Mardi Gras, and what better way to celebrate when you can’t actually BE there, than by EATING like you are there!

And boy do I love to eat!

I haven’t had good cajun or creole cooking in quite some time, so tonight I thought I’d give it a whirl with some homemade slow cooker Jambalaya, because after all, it did originate in New Orleans… and… it just sounds damn good.

So I know I call myself BAKING & Brewing, and Jambalaya doesn’t really involve any baking… but I thought I’d share this recipe anyway because it was so delicious! And I did bake some yummy Corn Muffins to go along with the dish, which I will post next 🙂

I went to the store with an ingredients list based off of Emeril Lagasse’s Cajun Jambalaya, but when I got home I decided to use these ingredients (and some of my own), in different proportions in my slow cooker. The recipe that resulted was then something I kind of conjured up (except for the Emeril ESSENCE Creole Seasoning, which follows).

I added a full recipe of Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning which made this Jambalaya MIGHTY spicy, which I prefer. If you do not like spicy, you can use as little as 1 tablespoon of his creole seasoning mix to your dish and still get some good flavor!

This dish was not very easy to photograph, but I promise it is yummy!


Prep: 15 minutes     Cook: 4 hours     Yield: 6 servings


Tons of seasoning = spicy!

Tons of seasoning = spicy!

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 13 ounces andouille sausage
  • 20 medium shrimp, cooked


All the ingredients simmering away.

All the ingredients simmering away.

  1. Turn crock pot to high. Add olive oil.
  2. Place chicken breast, onion, celery, red pepper, and garlic in crock pot, stir. Let cook for 15 minutes covered.
  3. Stir in Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (recipe follows). Let simmer another 15 minutes covered.
  4. Add in tomatoes, bay leaves, Worchestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Simmer 30 minutes covered.
  5. Stir in rice. Add 2 cups chicken stock. Let cook 1 and 1/2 hours until rice begins to soften.
  6. Add in andouille sausage and shrimp. Turn to low and allow dish to cook 1 hour longer.
  7. Serve hot with a hearty corn bread muffin on the side!

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme



Hidden Heart Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hidden hearts in my red velvet cupcakes ❤

 I have always wanted to bake a shape inside of a cupcake. I have seen this done for years (even before Pinterest) and I always wondered how it was done. It’s like a present inside of a present. First you get the deliciously sweet and cute little cupcake, and you open it up and there is another little darling surprise!

This year, in the spirit of the season of love, I decided to try to bake a little heart in to some red velvet cupcakes. I know Valentine’s is still a week away, but what can I say, I got a little trigger happy.

Typically, these shape-hidden-within-a-cupcake recipes call for you to make the batter, then separate 1/3 of the batter for coloring and baking and subsequent shaping of the core. I didn’t want to do a boring old white cupcake, so I decided to spice things up for my hunka hunka burnin’ man love and do a red velvet cupcake with a white with pink marbled heart center.

Marbled white cake.

Marbled white cake.

I bought some crappy white cake box mix from the store (I hung my head as I did it, but really… I am just cutting it up and dying it… no point in making a whole quality cake to only use a few pieces of it). I spread my batter on a cookie sheet, marbled the color throughout, and baked. I did it this way because  I wanted my hearts to be as thin and petite as possible. I then stored my hearts for use in my red velvet cupcake recipe.

A couple of things did not go perfectly in this little baking craft.

I love my yellow Kitchenaid mixer!

I love my yellow Kitchenaid mixer!

First, I marbled pink gel color through my white cake, but after baking the hearts in to the cupcakes, you cannot tell that I even took the time to complete this step. The hearts just look like white cake. Which is fine, they are still cute 🙂

Second, I had filled my cupcake liners about 1/3-1/2 full of batter before sticking in my hearts. I then covered the hearts with more batter, making sure that they remained upright. I assumed as long as the batter is covering the hearts, it will rise above the heart. This did not happen, my hearts rose with the cupcakes and ended up very close to the top of the cake. If I were to repeat this recipe, I would fill the cupcake liners only about 1/4 full and make sure my hearts are as close to the bottom as possible. I made this adjustment in my directions below. 

The recipe I am using for my red velvet cupcakes is here

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Prep: 20 minutes     Cook: 20 minutes     Yield: 20 cupcakes


  • Hearts are covered, ready for the oven!

    Hearts are covered, ready for the oven!

    1/2 cup butter

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 20 cupcake liners in muffin pans.

    Hearts are covered, ready for the oven!

    Hearts are covered, ready for the oven!

  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring, and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. 
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling 1/4 full.*
    1. Place a prepared heart standing upright in the center of each cupcake, being careful to have all the hearts facing the same direction so you remember which way to serve them!*
    2. Disperse the remaining batter evenly among the cupcake liners, making sure your hearts will be covered during baking.*
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. 

*I added these directions so that you will have hidden hearts in your cupcakes ❤

Cream Cheese Icing


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract last.
  2. Prepare piping bag with star tip. Spoon icing in to bag and decorate your cupcakes!

I topped with some Valentine’s colored sprinkles and some red hot lip sprinkles. Get creative with your decorating, that’s the fun part!