Wednesday, December 31, 2014

5 Goals for 2015 - The Plan

So, I'm finally ready to reveal my ground-breaking, earth-shattering, mind-blowing, super-exciting plan for 2015.  It's so fabulous, I thought super long and hard about a great name for it.  I got so excited about the fabulous, unique, wonderful, and sparkling name that I thought of for it, that I made this collage using super high-tech software (like Paint and Picasa) and now I'm sharing it with you so that you finally get to see a picture in a post.

Isn't that a fantastic title?  Aren't you so inspired?  Don't you just want to go pin that right now?  I mean, look at that star.  That is a quality star right there.

Moving on.  While I loved doing the 101 Things Project the last two years, I noticed it was starting to get a bit old to me, so before I got sick of it and never did anything ever again, I decided to try something new.

This new year, I will do one thing from each of five categories each month, which will leave me doing 60 things.  What's nice about this system is that I don't have to choose everything I want to do right now.  I can choose November's things in November.  

Just in case you're dying to know what the categories are, I will tell you.  I don't want anyone dying because of my blog.  That would be ridiculous.

1. New Meal or Side Dish.  This must be a recipe I have never made before, although I may have eaten it or seen it made before.  Though there is not a point system, bonus points if it's healthy!

2. Health Goal.  I probably won't be sharing as much about this one, because I hate to share things about my fitness and weight, etc.  However, the goal can be different each month.  It might be losing 5 pounds or it might be a fitness goal, like being able to do x amount of push-ups or sit-ups.  It could even be a month-long goal of going for a half-hour walk each day.

3. Sewing Project.  This can be as tiny as a Christmas ornament or as big as a quilt (but it won't be). It can be as mundane as a pincushion or fancy as a ... something fancy.  (I'm not fancy; I have no idea.)  It can be as simple as a potholder or as complicated as a skirt.  I just want to get better at sewing, which can only be done through experience.  Again, no point system, but bonus points for using already-purchased, repurposed, or free fabric.

4. House Project.  This is another one that could vary widely.  This could be as small as rearranging a drawer or as large as painting a room.

5. Book Challenge.  Each month, I'd like to read a book that falls into one of the following categories: (a) a book I wouldn't normally read (i.e. a Western or a biography) or (b) a book I have been wanting to read for a long time but haven't for whatever reason (i.e. C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet).

So there you have it.  By this time next year, I will be healthier, smarter, better-read, more skilled in housewifery, and my house will be freaking awesome.


Love and Sarcasm,
Leah Joy

P.S. Let me know if you'd like to join me in this - or if you devise your own similar plan!

P.P.S. Also let me know if you're going to try a 101 Things list in 2015; I'd love to follow your progress!

P.P.S. If you think all of these lists/plans are stupid/pointless/not for you, do you make other New Year's Resolutions?  Do tell!

P.P.P.S. Did you know that P.S. stands for Post Script?  Therefore, you are currently reading the Post Post Post Script. Talk about ridiculous.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Some Life Advice

Dear Friends,

You may or may not have noticed my (unintentional) hiatus. (I'm not offended either way.)

Here's some life advice for you: If you are a skilled baker (and I've been informed I am), and you're going to open up a bakery out of your home, you may or may not want to do this right before Christmas.  You will be VERY busy.

I'm not complaining, not really.  It's just tough to balance all of, well, everything.  I was a little behind on my Christmas gift making/shopping this year, so I had a lot of that to do still this month.  I have 5 family gatherings in the next week and a half, and everyone expects me to bring desserts.  I wouldn't dream of not bringing desserts, because it's my joy and passion.  But of course, they still need to be made.  Then I've had way more orders than I ever hoped to get, which is fantastic, but they also still need to be made.

So, I've become Super-Organized Woman (which doesn't involve a cape, unfortunately), and have schedules for every day with every thing that needs to get done.

And while they're strict, they're also helping me get a lot done. For example, yesterday I got a chance to mop my kitchen floor!  Like, on-hands-and-knees-scrub the kitchen floor.  It's been mopped, but not with tons of attention to getting every last little speck of chocolate off the floor (and there were a lot of those).  Okay, so it may not sound so exciting to get to mop my kitchen floor, but to feel like I had time to do that (instead of 1,000 things that might be more pressing) was wonderful.

My list is slowly getting shorter, my house is (very) slowly getting cleaner, and I am slowly getting calmer.

And the best part about my scheduling lists is that I've planned in time to rest, relax, and do nothing.  This Wednesday was one of those days, so after work I came home, laid on the couch, read three books, and then went to bed.  It was delightful.

Speaking of books, I'm almost to 200 books for the year!  I'm so excited to be able to say that I've read 200 books in a year!

If you're wondering about my 101 Things in 2014 project, I am, too. :)  I haven't forgotten about it, but right now I have other things on my plate.  (Like cookies and pie.)  I'm not planning on doing another 101 Things project for 2015, but I do have another (hopefully fabulous) idea.  I also hope to finish many of the items on my 2014 list during the beginning of 2015, but as I discovered in 2013, the things I think I want to do in January often change by December, so I won't be doing everything on the 2014 list.

So, I may or may not post anymore in December.  I really have no idea.  However, in the New Year, you can look forward to:

  • Bakery Updates with pictures of food and boxes (exciting!)
  • 101 Things in 2014 round-up
  • Christmas things (some) (hopefully)
  • Details on my 2015 project(s)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love and Cupcakes,
Leah Joy

Monday, November 24, 2014

Red Velvet Cake

I really don't like Red Velvet cake.  Here's why:

1. It's not chocolate and it's not vanilla; it's in some no-man's land in between.  Just pick a side!
2. No one wants to consume an entire bottle of red food coloring in one sitting.
3. Most people only think they like it because it's super trendy.  There are Red Velvet scented candles, for crying out loud!  What do they smell like??  Mostly nothing, with the merest pathetic hint of chocolate, if you ask me.
4. There is a traditional frosting (which I don't like), but most people make it with cream cheese frosting (which I hate, because it makes me throw up).
5. The historical versions of Red Velvet cake did not use food coloring, but rather a chemical reaction.  They had a significantly less garish shade of red, but people also probably didn't die from toxic waste intake.

Okay, so you understand that I really don't like it.  Then why on earth did I make it - twice?

Well, a fellow library employee was leaving our branch after about six years of employment there and my boss wanted a party - with cake.  "Yes, we want cake!" hinted all the other employees, but not one of them volunteered to make the cake or even buy it.  So I did.  "What's her favorite cake?" I asked, innocently hoping it would be chocolate, like any sensible person would choose.  "She LOVES Red Velvet cake!" was the enthusiastic reply.

So, I had to learn to make Red Velvet cake.  I started with cupcakes the weekend before, and they actually turned out pretty well.  I chose a recipe with less food coloring than most.

I will say this for Red Velvet cake - it has an amazing texture.  And I guess if you really like the 'hint of chocolate' thing, then I can't begrudge you this cake.  However, if you only like it because it's trendy and/or colorful, I'm judging you.

I topped them with a vanilla buttercream, because I can't eat cream cheese frosting, and that was the perfect choice.  Except for where I just wanted to eat the frosting because it's way better than the cake.

For the actual party, I made two 9x13 pans of cake: one Red Velvet and one chocolate.

(Yes, I am aware that I'm not that great at writing on cakes.)

And for the record, the chocolate cake was gone much sooner than the Red Velvet cake.  Probably because I make a kick-butt chocolate cake.

My favorite part of the day, other than eating chocolate cake and then eating pizza, was that everyone kept saying what amazing cream cheese frosting I made!  I agree - the best cream cheese frosting is one that has no cream cheese! :)

Love and Cocoa Powder,
Leah Joy

Monday, November 17, 2014

Be Thrifty - Book Review/Rant

Yesterday, I finished reading (also, skimming) the book Be Thrifty - How to Live Better with Less (edited by Pia Catton and Califia Suntree).  While I appreciated the idea of the book and the ideas in the book, it was definitely not written for people like me.  It was written by people like me.  (Which is why I ended up skimming many sections.)

However, if you are not naturally thrifty, were not raised in a thrifty home, or just want to be thriftier, this book is a great resource.

With - in my opinion - one notable exception.

There was very little mention of libraries.

There was a part where it mentioned having to give up some luxuries in order to afford more necessary things.  You know, luxuries, like your daily Starbucks coffee, the latest trendy clothing, and novels.  You can save a ton by making your own coffee at home.  Instead of shelling out a fortune for the latest trendy clothes, invest in clothing that will last in both a literal sense and a style sense.  But there is no alternative for novels.  Apparently, to be thrifty you should give up reading.


First of all, I realize that not every community is blessed with a public library.  But if your community is, and you haven't checked it out yet, why the heck not?

Before I started working at our local library, I knew it had a lot to offer.  I was raised going there once a week, so I knew I could get any book and it would be mine for 3 weeks!  I could bring it back and get another!  (Or, more realistically, I could get out 10 books, bring them back and get 10 more.)  At some point, I also realized they had an extensive collection of DVDs and CDs, and these could also be checked out!  There was also a magazine room, and I mostly used that for the Consumer's Reports.  As I got older, I also learned that there were other library branches and a whole system of libraries who were friends with each other, so I could request books from other libraries in my state, and they would send them to my library for free!  How cool is that?

And now that I work at the library, I realize there's way more than that.  There are story times for babies, toddlers, and children multiple times a week.  There are completely free classes for adults on everything from painting glassware to using Facebook.  There are free classes and activities for kids and teens.  There are video games you can rent.  And while I knew there were a lot of sections of books and media, I never realized quite how many.  I've discovered a whole section of classic fairy tales from different countries in the non-fiction section.  I've discovered shelves full of exercise DVDs.  I've discovered repair manuals for just about every car in existence.  I've discovered audio books - not just of stories, but also ones to help you learn a new language.  My library subscribes to crochet and knitting magazines - and I can check these out and take them home with me!  And there's so much more!

I've just spent two large paragraphs expounding on the wonders of the library, and you might be wondering if I have a point.  And I do.  Several points, naturally.

First of all, you don't need to deprive yourself of books to be thrifty.  Actually, you can be super thrifty and extremely well-read, because it's free!

Second, you don't need to stop seeing movies because you don't want to pay the rental fees.  It's free at the library!  If you can be patient enough to wait until the movie comes out to DVD, you can even avoid going to the theater all together (and save about $20 in the process).  (Side note: it is fun to go to the theater once in a while for a treat!)

Third, you can expand your musical horizons for free!  Be Thrifty recommends doing this by finding an used CD store, purchasing CDs that look interesting, and then selling back the ones you don't like.  You know what's thriftier?  Checking them out from the library, making a list of the ones you would like to own, and then purchasing those from an used CD store.  (Don't rip music from library CDs; that's illegal and very mean to musicians, song-writers, and everyone else in the music industry.)

Fourth, you can learn a new skill for basically free!  Be Thrifty recommends knitting as a great way to make handmade gifts, but also warns that it can be an expensive hobby.  True, you have to purchase needles and yarn, but the book also mentions the cost of patterns ($10 each and $50 for a book).  I have never in my entire life purchased a crochet or knitting pattern.  There are tens of thousands of free patterns available online, for starters, and thousands of patterns available in books and magazines at your local library.  They might even teach a class on how to knit, but if not, there's sure to be a book on it!  (I did appreciate the tip from Be Thrifty to find a sweater at the thrift store made with cool yarn and unravel it for your own project.)

I could go on, but I think you get the point.  Your local library is an incredible source for so many things: books, movies, music, games, and classes - both for fun and for education (and sometimes both).  To not use it is a grievous waste!

In conclusion, Be Thrifty is a great book if you're looking for ways to save money or, well, be thrifty.  If, however, you were raised by a Dutch woman with a tight budget, you can probably skip over this one on the library shelf.

Love and Advocacy,
Leah Joy

Monday, November 3, 2014

Garden Project Completed!

And now for lots of pictures of dirt!

My gardening project that I mentioned a few weeks ago is finally complete!  (Ish.)  I got the front area between our garage and breezeway doors looking much nicer, though of course you can't really tell right now.  The biggest problem was the soil quality.  It was full of rocks.  Lots and lots of rocks.  So, naturally, I sifted my dirt.  Yep, you read that correctly.  This project took me over a month (granted, I ignored it for 2 weeks straight), and it wasn't until the last two days that I realized we had an old window screen, which works way better as a dirt sifter than an old colander.  That's also why there were only two days left in the project then. :)  Alright, so let's play Memory Lane, just to make the transformation really dramatic.  Or at least sort of dramatic.  Oh, who am I kidding?  It's dirt.

This first picture was taken before we even owned the house.  You can see the soil is full of rocks, and I don't mean the large, decorative ones around the perimeter.  I don't even mean those 3 medium-size rocks hanging out in the middle.  I mean all the smallish rocks that are EVERYWHERE.

Moving on.  With a little work, our garden looked like this.  Um, yeah, I said a little work.  And this is in the fall.

But this Spring, we had lots of tulips!  That was lovely!

But there were still lots of rocks.  You can see them pretty clearly in this picture:

Finally, I never really took care of the garden, which will probably never change, but it just got overgrown.

So, this fall, I pulled out everything.  I potted the plants I wanted to keep, set the bulbs aside for re-planting later, and took out all the weeds.  Then I dug down a few inches and sifted all the rocks out of my dirt before shoveling it back in.  I took out probably about 8 5-gallon buckets worth of rocks.

Looking at this picture now, I can tell that I need to add some more dirt in the back, but I think I might wait for Spring for that.

I replanted all the bulbs I pulled out, and also added 40 more tulips, 15 hyacinths, and 40 crocuses. :)

In the Spring, I plan to add more plants - mostly perennials - so that the weeds won't have as much space to prosper.

On the other side of our breezeway door, I planted this yellow mum that I won.

And look how nice and rock-free my dirt is now!

Love and Very Small Rocks,
Leah Joy

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rose Cake with Chocolate Letters

This weekend, I made a chocolate cake for a girl who loves pink.  It's kind of impossible to make pink chocolate frosting, at least it is if you're avoiding vats of chemicals.  I could make a chocolate cake and put pink roses on it, but then the roses wouldn't be made from chocolate frosting, and I don't really like it when there are two flavors of frosting on a cake.  My solution?  Pink chocolate letters!  I melted white chocolate and added some red chocolate coloring (which actually makes pink).  I piped the letters onto wax paper, let them chill in the fridge, and then carefully placed them on the frosted cake.

Isn't it beautiful?  It's so girly and fun, just like Claire!

And this rose design looks so complicated and stunningly beautiful, but is the easiest way to frost a cake!

Bonus: It also tastes delicious. :)

Love and Chocolate,
Leah Joy

Monday, October 20, 2014

Yet Again

To my dear, faithful readers (all 5 of you):

I realized over the weekend that I had no new projects to share with you this week.  No pictures, no progress, zip, zilch, nada.

There are several projects for which I have the supplies, have barely begun, or at least have thought about, but nothing to support a whole blog post.  I have a lot of big projects which I am about to undertake, but I want to do them right, and not rush them so that I can post here 3 times a week.

Also, I have a pretty big gardening overhaul in our front garden.  Sunshine is a necessity for this project (or at least not rain), so any day I get with decent weather, I'm dropping everything else (or more likely setting it down gently) for this project.

With that being said, I'll be taking at least this week off from posting, maybe more, until I can get this garden project done and/or get some more progress on my forty-two other projects.

In the meantime, here's a sneak preview of some of my upcoming projects:

Love and Rainbows,
Leah Joy

Friday, October 17, 2014

101 Things Update - Pretzel Bread

So, I technically could have added this to Wednesday's post, but this was such a good recipe, it needed its own post.  I give you, Pretzel Bread.

This recipe was easy, fairly uninvolved, and the only 'special' ingredient required is coarse salt, which I found at Meijer for under $2 (and I have plenty leftover to make this a few hundred more times, too).

This bread was so delicious.  I want to make it every day.  And then eat it all.  Chloe and I made grilled cheese on it for lunch.  And then ate another half a loaf plain.

The recipe makes two small loaves.

Like most homemade pretzel things, this is best fresh.  It's still good later, but the salt soaks in and the crust isn't as crispy.  I think I'm going to try making it into rolls next time.

Here's the original pin, with the recipe so you can also make this and be as fat and happy as we are. :)

Love and Salt,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

101 Things Update - October 15

If you check for changes on my 101 Things in 2014 - Completed Projects board on Pinterest (not that I really expect anyone to do so), you may have noticed that I have moved #54 (Embroidery Hoop Wall Pocket) to the finished projects list, but haven't posted any pictures of my project.  That's because while I technically made the project, I also apparently bought the cheapest embroidery hoop out there and it broke.  So once I fix it, I will share the photos of the finished product with you!  In the meantime:

82. Apple Cinnamon-Chip Bagels

These were amazing.  The recipe made 16 small bagels, and they lasted approximately 24 hours.

I used homemade cinnamon chips, which don't hold up well being mixed into a very thick (and warm) bagel dough, so they kind of melted and broke and smeared throughout the bagels.  This was nice, as there were some little pockets of cinnamon and a lot of smears of cinnamon, but not what the original recipe intended. :)  I'm sure both ways are fantastic!

98. Six-Berry Pie

Wild raspberries, wild black raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries went into this delicious pie.  I decorated it with a ninja fighting a dinosaur because it was for a Happy Birthday/going-away party for my brother-in-law, but then half the family got sick, so the party was postponed, and we had to eat this pie all by ourselves.  It was tasty torture. :)

(In case it wasn't obvious, this is the unbaked pie.  I hope that's obvious.)

Love and Sugar,
Leah Joy

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Birthday Cake

Learning to pipe frosting has been on my 101 Things list for a long time.  I was happy learning to make nice swirls on cupcakes, and I really don't have a desire to do anything super fancy, but I did want to learn to make buttercream roses.  I decided that once I could make a buttercream rose, I would have achieved my goal.

(Sorry, it's hard to get good pictures in my kitchen at 9:00 PM.)

I used these flowers to decorate my birthday cake!

My cake was basically one big experiment in techniques, so it's a bit of a mess, but it still tasted delicious. :)

The cake and frosting were both lemon, although the roses were made from leftover vanilla buttercream from another cake.

So, I can officially check that off my 101 Things list!

Love and #1M,
Leah Joy

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gardening: A Good Laugh

This summer got crazy.  I barely had time to clean my toilet, let alone tend my gardens.  I finally got out there a couple weeks ago to clear out the weeds and dig up any carrots and garlic that may have survived.  After doing one of the beds, I stepped back and couldn't help laughing.  I had to take a couple pictures to share with you.  Please note that before I started, both beds looked about the same.

And this, folks, is just one reason the self-sustaining lifestyle is probably not for me. :)

Love and Basil,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Apologies, Again

My apologies for my brief unintended hiatus.  I thought I had a post scheduled to go up Friday, but obviously not, and I got sick over the weekend so I didn't post Monday.  And then guess what happened.  That's right, insomnia!  Woohoo!  However, instead of getting all mopey and ranty on you, I thought I'd list some things for which to be grateful.

1. The work crew finally re-seeded our grass on Monday, which means they're probably done.  Hallelujah!

2. I started at the library 3.5 weeks ago (sorry I never told you!) and I LOVE my job!  I get to alphabetize books, movies, and CDs all day!  (Well, 20 hours a week.)  The people are nice, I have good hours, and I get to feed my habit of reading.  It's kind of like when I worked at Salvation Army and saw all the cute clothes, except now I don't have to spend money to indulge my addiction.  I'm also starting to go through the CD collection to expand my musical horizons.  I wasn't sure where to start, so I just started in the As (how alphabetical of me) and this week I brought home 4 Tori Amos CDs.

3. I can find clothes that fit me at Salvation Army.  My new job requires business casual clothing, which to me means dress pants, a nice plain t-shirt (the fitted style) or a polo, and a cardigan.  (Thankfully I'm allowed to wear clean tennis shoes.)  Before I started, I had 0 pairs of dress pants, 4 shirts I could wear, and 2 cardigans.  Now, thanks to our local thrift stores, I have 1 pair of dress pants, 6 shirts I can wear, and 3 cardigans.  All for about $25.  And if I can find a pair of dress pants that aren't black, then I can wear my 2 navy blue shirts. :)  Anyway, I'm really grateful that I can shop at thrift stores so that I can switch out my wardrobe easily when I need to.

4. Books. I love books so much.

5. Also, jelly beans.

That's all for today, but I do have a few pictures of some recent projects that I can hopefully get up soon.

Love and Dr. Pepper,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rainbow Scarf

You may or may  not remember when I shared this fantastic picture of the headband I made:

Well, I never told you about that fabric, and it's a great story.  I was a Salvation Army 5/$5 clothing sale and I found this huge rainbow floral skirt.  It said it was size small, but all the elastic had worn out, so the waistband was more like size extra-extra-extra-extra large.  But for $1, I knew I could do something awesome with that fabric.  I was wrong.  I could do LOTS of awesome somethings with that fabric!  In addition to some headbands, I also made 3 scarves like this:

One for me, one for my mom, and one for my sister!

And they're so pretty!

(And yes, that one is posing in my bathroom.  Where do your scarves pose?)

And I still have a little of the fabric left over....

Love and Soft Scrub,
Leah Joy

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rainbow Pillow

When I was in 8th grade, I was in our school's Art Club.  We actually did some really cool things, including learning to batik!  I made this awesome rainbow fabric (really, what else would I make?), then sewed the skirt myself (with lots of help from my mom):

Yep, that's 13-year-old me.  Freakishly-tan 13-year-old me.  Couldn't-live-without-a-Velcro-watch 13-year-old me.  Moving on before I get to the hair....

I had a little piece of the fabric left that I realized was the perfect size for a pillow.  I even purchased a pillow form like 4 years ago.  But I never sewed it into a pillow because I wanted it to be zippered and I didn't know how to use a zipper and also I'd have to buy a zipper.

But recently, I found an old dress that had been designated a "Use for Parts" dress, so I took the zipper and made this pillow:

It's different on the other side:

And look!  I sewed in a zipper all by myself!

And it functions!

Martha loves the pillow, too:

Love and Wax,
Leah Joy

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cupcake Chronicles: Confetti Cupcakes

These don't need a whole lot of explanation.  :)

I tried a flowery petal design for most of them:

It didn't really fit the confetti idea, so I added sprinkles to some of them.

That didn't really look right.  

Then I made smaller petals.  My Friendly Local Botanist tells me they look like chrysanthemums, which is a word I can spell correctly on only the 2nd try!

Here they all are together:

I like the recipe and I like the frosting technique, but I'm not sure they go together thematically.  Oh well, they still tasted delicious.  :)

Love and Sprinkles,
Leah Joy

P.S. Tomorrow is my birthday!  Can you guess which kind of cake I'm making?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

101 Things Update - September 24

Here are two really fun projects that cost me practically nothing!  (The best kind!)

15. Baby Dino Stuffed Animals.

The original:

I made one, and then loved it so much that I made 5 more! 

The purple and solid pink ones are made from polar fleece (scrap bin at Hobby Lobby).  The rainbow one is made from leftover fleece for a project I did in Interior Design class in 10th grade (I had an open block that I had to fill.  It was that or Weight Training.).  The pink stripy one is from a fleece blanket I bought at Salvation Army for probably $1.  The white one with blue birds is from fabric I got from Freecycle, and the blue satiny one is from leftovers from another project.

I love them all so much! :)

21. Scarf storage!!

This picture was kind of my inspiration:

I didn't really know how to do that though, without purchasing towel bars (which can be pretty expensive!).  Then my sister and her friend held a garage sale at our house earlier this summer, and one of the items was an old over-the-door towel rack, which had lost its over-the-door hooks.  I snatched it up for 50-cents, bought some mirror hanging thingies at Lowe's for $2, and now I have this beauty in my closet:

It sits on my half of the closet, just above where the hamper usually goes:

I love how pretty they all look!  And I can see them all at once!  And I actually put my scarves away now!  And they don't get all wrinkly from being shoved into a box!  So many exclamation marks!

Love and Plaid,
Leah Joy

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Monday Rant: "Streusel Cupcakes"

I got this recipe for "Streusel Cupcakes" from Martha Stewart's cupcake book.  And it is not worth your time.  The recipe comes in three parts: the batter, the streusel topping, and the glaze.  You spoon the batter into the baking cups, sprinkle half the topping down on top and then press it in to the batter, then add the rest of the topping.  And there is a lot of topping.  There was probably at least 3/4" of streusel on top of each cupcake.  After baking, you glaze the "cupcakes".  This is what they looked like without the glaze:

Um, where did all the topping go?  I can guarantee you it's not at the bottom of my oven; I checked.  And they are really, really ugly.  All I could do was laugh at them.  I tried one of them without the glaze, though, and it was actually gross.  With the glaze, they were better, but still not great.

I ended up doubling the glaze, which made them okay to eat.  We also discovered that they 'age' well.  After sitting in their containers for a day or two, they get denser, which makes them actually much better.  A streusel cupcake (or muffin) shouldn't be light and fluffy like many cupcakes; it needs to be dense.  

But still, these weren't worth it, and even after bringing them to church to share I have leftovers.  I might break the cardinal rule of being Dutch and just throw the last few away. :(

Love and Powdered Sugar,
Leah Joy