Sunday, August 18, 2013

How I Measure Up...

No, this isn't some kind of deep soul searching, it's just the first thing that popped in my head when I clicked in the title box.

At the same time I bought the plywood boards for the dining room wall decor, I bought a third piece of wood for something usual, inspired by Pottery Barn Kids.
Hint: Not the barrel or the bookshelf
I wanted to make one of the ruler growth charts for the playroom.  There is this space on the wall in between the window and the door that goes into the garage that I knew would be perfect for something like this.  For once, the PBK version wasn't crazy expensive, it just wasn't what I wanted.  We have tall ceilings and the PBK version is only measurable up to 5'.  Also, theirs is fabric and I needed something a little more heavy duty.

I purchased a piece of wood 6' long and 10 inches wide.  It was about $8.  I also purchased a small can of stain in Classic Oak Finish.
Minwax is mah favorite but you can use what you want...
I like to use a rag to apply stain, I'm not sure if that makes me a hillbilly or not but 'when in Rome' or 'to each his own.'  I feel like both apply because in all fairness, I am kind of a hillbilly.  Also, I recommend wearing some gloves if you are using a rag because I learned a few projects ago that stain is a mutha to get off of your hands (Pro tip: If you're not gonna wear gloves, after washing your hands 9000 times,  cover your hands in baby powder to get rid of the mad stickiness).  I know there are other ways to get it off that require chemicals, but I was at home with my kids when I was doing this and needed a kid-safe way to make my hands less velcro-y.

So I did two coats of stain and sanded in between.  Next, I printed off the numbers 1-6 in a huge font size (maybe 70?) in MS Word.  I found it easiest to have each number on it's own page. 
Are you checking out my wood?
Next, I went along the entire board and made a little pen mark at every inch.  Then, using
a ruler, I made a 2-inch line for the 1/4 marks and a 1-inch line for the 1/8 marks up the entire board using a Sharpie paint pen.  This part is so incredibly easy and quick, but just make sure you are accurate with your save that second glass of wine for the next step.

Next, using a ball point pen, trace the outline of your numbers where you want them to go.  Press hard.  For real.  You'll be making an outline on the wood underneath so do whatcha gotta do.  Where there were knots in my wood (perv), I actually had to tear through the paper and mark onto the wood so I could see it.  Once you do that, it's coloring time. 
Find your outline on the wood, outline that shit with your marker, and color it.  Boom.
Continue to be mindful of your wine consumption or your numbers will be out of order...and good luck explaining that to your kids.

Don't judge me by my messy basement.
I started my markings at the 6 inch mark so essentially my growth chart has the potential to measure up to 6.5'.  To hang this baby, I recommend anchors because this shit doesn't play around in terms of weight.  Make sure you measure like a boss (or at this point, have someone else measure for you) or else you'll be lying to your kids about their height for the rest of their lives.  Because obviously if your house looks as good as mine they are going to live with you forever.  

Just kidding.

Growth chart in action

Tell me that spot isn't fucking perfect. 
Also, I had some large felt circles laying around and put one on each of the bottom corners so that this shit wasn't scratching up my walls.

Seriously, so damn easy.  The grand total for this was about $13.  Way cheaper, and way more my taste than my PBK Inspiration.  

So go ahead, get the cork outta that wine and get yourself going on one of these. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Table Takeover

My home decorating madness continues. 

Believe me when I say I was NOT in the market for an end table when this started.  End tables were certainly on my list, but I had plans to finish some other projects before starting yet ANOTHER one.  So I was dropping off a donation at Goodwill and something told me I should go in.  My kid. 

So we meander about, skimming dangerously close to naptime meltdown mode for Baby 2.0.  I happened to see an end table sitting on top of several other tables.  OH.MY.GOSH.  What I really loved about the table were the feet.  Oh, and the price tag.  $7.50.  The thing was solid wood and seemed to be in really good shape.  Such shape that, if I wanted to, I could leave the thing as is.  But y'all know better.
Look at this gem shining in the sunlight amongst the disaster that is my garage...

$7.50.  Seriously.  So I took to work immediately.  First, I sanded the shit out of the thing I'll call the bridge, the bottom part of the legs, the top of the table, and the sides.   I used an electric hand sander to do all this.  I knew I was going to prime this baby, so I didn't spend to much time trying to sand the little ornamental parts of the legs.  This might be a faux pas of flipping furniture, but I don't really care and no one asked you. 
Sanded and ready to party
Some days later (because I had to do other provide care for my kids..), I packed up the kids and went to Lowe's for some materials.  I had NO idea what color I wanted to paint the table.  All I knew is that I wanted the bottom to be antique white to match the console table that is also in the room.  I didn't want to do it teal because I am getting a little bit out of hand with the teal in my living room/dining room and I needed to bring in another color.  My initial thought was mint (even though there isn't much mint in the room).  And by that I mean none.

To keep costs down (my life story), I decided to use paint samples to do this project.  I needed something higher quality than craft paint and I didn't really want to use spray paint because of the two color thing I was going for.  I'm a Valspar girl, so I went with that.  The line for the paint counter was OUT OF CONTROL which allowed me to change my mind about eight times until ultimately I let Child 1.0 pick the paint color.  Not kidding.  The paint samples were on sale for $1.49 each and there is still a TON of paint left in there.

So the next step was priming.  The primer I use is a fast dry (surprise surprise) and I probably did three or so light coats.
This table is at it's prime!  Har har.

I should mention that I really loved the color of this primer.  Enough that I almost considered leaving the legs that color and just painting the top...except it's primer.  And it wouldn't match.  And it's primer.

Next, paint.  I found this small, weird roller in one of the garage cabinets and then grabbed a foundation brush that I've been using as a paintbrush and got to work.  Ready to see the color?!

This is after one coat...
In love.  The morning sun helped it dry quite quickly so I was able to get a second (and third) coat on pretty quick.
Coat #2
Coat #3...I also spy Child 1.0's legs...
But the party doesn't stop there.  I wanted to take a gamble on distressing this baby a bit.  I didn't want to sand any of the color off, but I DID want to add a brownish tint to the top and corners of the purple.  So I grabbed some old stain and a clean cloth and added some color here and there.
Probably really hard to see.  Just imagine it, ok?
Once that was dry, I sanded it with a super fine piece of sandpaper and carried this piece of work across the threshold to it's new home in my living room.  Hold on to your hats, bitches.

I'm squealing right now just thinking about the fact that this is my table.  And that I did it.  And it cost me about $11. 

So the next time you come over, ask me where I bought my table and act surprised when I say I made it.  Because seriously, look at it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Champagne Taste on a Barefoot Budget

So I've got all kinds of empty walls in this house.  Big walls, small walls, sad walls.  We've been here nearly seven months now and the lack of decor is making me batty.  This place is roughly 11x the size of our old place (ok, I'll settle for at least 2x) and I don't want to make the same mistakes as before and rush through the decorating process.

I subscribe to all the fancy decorating catalogs and create a hard-copy version of Pinterest by tearing out pages and then trying to recreate all the things I love.  Well I stumbled across this gem in the Home Decorators Collection catalog and seriously fell in love. 
Current price is $329
I don't know what it is about these, but they really struck a cord and I knew I had to have it.  The problem was, even with coupons, they're about $300 more than I wanted to spend AND it wouldn't match anywhere in my house.  It was crafting time.

The HDC version is 22"x20" and I decided I wanted these for my "big" wall in my dining room.  The color palette in that room is mostly teal and brown, with small pops of burnt orange.  Just trust me on that one.

I started this endeavor by venturing the wood department at Home Depot (which ironically owns HDC).  I found these 24"x24" plywood pieces for $6 a piece.  I probably could have saved a few bucks by buying a larger piece and cutting it, but sometimes I don't mind paying for convenience and this was one of those times.  I chose to do these on wood because I wanted the texture and grain to show through.  If you'd rather a smoother texture, I'd say to buy a couple pieces of foam board (available at Dollar Tree).  Since this was just plywood and not a fancy (see: nice) piece of wood, it would be light enough to hang using hanging teeth and I'd probably be safe enough to not have to use anchors.    The package of hanging teeth was $1.25 for three.  To play it safe, I decided to put two hanging units on each piece of plywood.  My total cost was up to nearly $15.00 (slow down there, girl!  Just kidding).

Wood in the raw.  Don't be a perv.
That 6' piece that is sharing the table is for my next project that I decided needed to be done simultaneously.  Hah.

So I used the remaining paint leftover from my ceiling medallion adventure because I wanted it to match the rest of the space.  The paint dried super fast and I could still see the grain through it when it was dry.
When they were done, I was feeling crazy so I decided to use the rag that I was using to stain my OTHER project with to give it a weathered/antiquey look.  I was taking a complete shot in the dark here, but I am really happy I tried it.  Beginners tip:  apply your stain all in the same direction at random.  
The one on the right has a little sumtin' sumtin' extra.

Closeup of the antique madness
Now came the fun part.  I don't have a fancy press printer to make home decor items, so I knew this shit was going to be quite labor intensive.  I figured my options were stencils, stickers, or stamps.  So, like the deep thinker that I am, I packed my children up and went to Michaels.  If you have children, it is important to bring them for this part because their rash, outlandish behavior will make you make quick, irrational decisions.  

After wandering the aisles looking for inspiration (or motivation?), I stumbled upon 1" vinyl letters in a decent font.  It wasn't cost effective to buy scrapbook letter stickers because of how many I'd need (and the fonts weren't quite what I was looking for), but I found the vinyl letters in the wood crafting department.  It came with over 500 letters and I gave it an educated guess and bought three packs.  I had a 20% total purchase coup, so these stickers were less than $5 a pack.

Current cost: $28 and some change

So I came home and got to work.  A reasonable person might have laid out some sketches or did some planning, but I have two kids running around and, as Sweet Brown said it, "ain't nobody got time for that..."

Wouldn't you know that three lines into the FIRST plaque (picture?)(piece?) I RAN OUT OF LETTERS.  Well when life hands you lemons, you get your X-acto knife from 2002 and make a goddamned stencil.  Shit was about to get real.

I'm aware that beggers is spelled wrong.  That's how HDC had it on their version so I just kept it that way

I decided that some inconsistencies would give it character.  Husband came outside and said it looked like a ransom note, but I assure you that's NOT the character I was shooting for.  I kept at it whenever I had free time.  To fill in my makeshift stencil, I used an oil-based Sharpie paint pen.  It dries shiny and sort of looks like vinyl.  Or something like that.  I ran out of 99% of my stickers before I even finished the first one, so I decided to stencil the 2nd one and use what little stickers I had left just to use them.  I considered buying another three sets of stickers just for uniformity, but I was going for that whole perfectly-imperfect shit so I didn't.  And I'm cheap.

Using a hammer and a paperclip (fo' real), I attached the hanging teeth on the back of each picture.  I used the paperclip to hold the iity bitty nail in place while I HULK SMASH'ed that shit.  Seriously, those nails are small.  I suppose you could spray some kind of clear coat if you want, but I didn't.

The wall I put these on is approximately 150 inches wide.  I found the mid point (75 inches, y'all) and then used that as my guide to put these up.  I am going to need to put more on the wall (considering these only take up roughly 33% of the space), but it was a good place to start.  Before I started, I thought about doing that thing where you put all the stickers on, paint it, and then peel them off to reveal the base color, but I wanted it to be more blue than black (or whatever 'dark' color one would choose).  I'm also glad I didn't because I ran out of stickers and to do the whole thing in stickers would have cost WAY TOO DAMN MUCH.  (But seriously, even if you did the whole thing in stickers, it would still be significantly less than what the ones from HDC cost).

So my finished product:

I obviously got the spacing down WAAAY better by the second board (plaque? picture? piece?) and considered redoing the first one, but for now I'm going to leave it.  Considering I already had the paint and stain, these babies are a straight up WIN in my book, costing under $30 to make TWO 24"x24" pictures...plaques...pieces.  Whatever.

More interestingly enough, these are just random sayings...some of which I didn't know the meaning.  While I was hovering over a table in my garage spelling each one out WORD for FREAKING word, I got to think about each one and, not to get all cray cray on you, it made the project that much more enjoyable to reflect on.

...Although I sure as shit am NOT making hay while the sun shines.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You Crafty S.O.B.

I have a large, useless wall in my kitchen that can serve no practical purpose other than rattling my brain.  We intend on redoing the kitchen at some point, but at this point, that wall is white and huge and a total eyesore.  I wanted to add some decor to that space but had some difficulty considering it's size and the fact that my kitchen has no theme or color (unless you consider WHITEWASH a theme or color).

That changed when I saw these at Pottery Barn:
For whatever reason, I fell in love with the idea, but I don't really care for the oil-rubbed bronze color and I really didn't love the $169.00 price tag.  I did some hunting online and found a similar set for $60, but didn't care for the color of that particular set (also oil-rubbed bronze).  I put the idea on the back burner for the time-being. 

Wouldn't you know the damn Pottery Barn did it again with this gem:
Again, loved the idea but not so much the price tag ($49.00).

I started to visualize a quirky mix of kitchen-y wall decor on that large, plain wall.  So I was beyond excited when I found these in-store at Target:
Probably hard to tell from the picture, but they are 32" long and a brushed nickel finish (NOT JUST PICTURES OF MY OWN SILVERWARE, I PROMISE).  Better yet, the pair was only $50.

I centered those suckers on that huge wall I was telling y'all about and moved on to the next part of the project: word art.

I found large chipboard letters at Joann Fabrics on sale for $3.49 a piece and found an awesome rusty-red color (Venetian Red) on clearance for $0.97.  I painted two coats on each letter and then used a 7/32 drill bit to drill a hole in the back of the letters for hanging.

The finished product---which I absolutely LOVE by the way:

My next project includes four different sized ceiling medallions (which according to UPS are on truck for delivery today---HOORAY!).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Exercising My Right

So yesterday I found myself in a place I usually steer clear of.  You see, like dark alleys and the wrong side of the tracks, the gym is a place I've heard enough bad things about to just stay the hell away.  For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I got the sudden urge to go visit the facility that takes an EFT out of my checking account each month.  You see, my husband does enough physical work for the both of us, so I usually just let him do his 'thang with that kind of 'thang.  I'm one of 'those' people who love food waaay to much to let a silly thing like body image get in the way.  However, somewhere in between eating three generous-sized pieces of birthday cake and the reminder for my impending vacation to Beach Country, I decided maybe I should do something somewhat proactive about cramming my body into a Spandex/Lycra blend from hell.

Upon entering this place, we'll call it Oz, I saw people chatting and laughing so I assumed it couldn't be that bad.  WRONG WRONG WRONG.  It's a conspiracy; Oz hires these folks to stand towards the front and frolic about in a manner that suggests a positive experience.  As I made my way upstairs, I knew for certain I'd made a bad decision.  Panting,  sweating, the heat----and oh my oh my, the smell. It was hell on earth for sure.  People of all ages suffering to the beat of what sounded like an electronic mash-up of cats walking on piano and the Looney Tunes theme song (edit: I have actually learned that it was just a Ke$ha song).  I took my place on the elliptical.  I smashed on the keypad until it stopped asking me for my weight and date of last pap and got rolling.  After about thirty seconds I considered stopping because I couldn't stop looking around.  I was bored.  Oddly enough, there is a TON going on inside of Oz.  FIVE televisions with closed captioning rolling across the screen and shitty music blaring "music" while people of all walks of life crawl, jump, and jive across the floor.  I usually don't consider my attention span to be short, but there was so much going on in the place I found it difficult to stand in one place.  It's a bizarre conundrum to be bored out of your mind while you have so many stimulants being thrust upon you.  Somehow I was able to hang for about a half hour before I thought my brain was going to explode.

After my thirty minutes of power (that's sarcasm, friends) I was unstoppable.  I GOTS THIS GYM THING DOWN!  And this is where I got cocky.  I happened to see a lady running in place from what had to be the police.  She was faster than fast and although I don't buy in to hype, I knew I had to join her.  How hard could it be?  I decided that choosing the treadmill next to her was a good choice so that I could copy her keypad functions more effectively than I did on the first machine.  As I got rolling, I was doing good.  And then it got bad.  Really bad.  I thought my heart was going to explode and I'm pretty sure I lost my voice somehow based on how bad my throat hurt.  Although I was pretty sure I had ran about twenty minutes, the clock only said I had run for a minute and forty-seven seconds.  Fuck.  New plan.  A quick google search (whilst on the treadmill thankyouverymuch) returned in .00007 seconds with a FREE app that teaches idiots how to run.  SIGNED, SEALED, AND DELIVERED (see: I downloaded it).  Basically it starts off with a "brisk" walk followed by intervals of running and walking.  Although I was shamed to be walking next to what had to be a part-woman part-stallion, I convinced myself that she didn't come out of the womb running and we all have to start somewhere.  Still, within two minutes of my "brisk" warmup walk, I was fucking bored again.  This is where the beauty of technology comes in and the ugliness of people comes out.

Naturally, I pull up an app that I pay for monthly that allows me to watch movies instantly (take THAT, product placement).  I tap on the first thing that they recommend based on my love for Katherine Heigl and crappy movies.  I needed something I could focus on and follow if I was going to torture myself any longer.  Let me just say that I had headphones on.  This is an important bit of information because this is when bad went to worse.

As I am peacefully viewing the feature presentation whilst I run (and gasp for breath), I hear something louder than my film say, "Are you fucking serious?"  It was too loud to be something in the movie.  That's when I looked to the stallion to my right.  Glaring at me, running way faster than me, she seemed to be quite upset that I was watching a movie.  At first I wondered if maybe she didn't like the movie, hated it even, and didn't want me watching it by her.  Then I wondered if it was more of a "OH HELLZ YEAH" kind of exclamation and that she really wanted to see it.  I went with the latter and scooted my phone closer to the middle of our machines so that she could watch too.  Not the right thing obviously.  As a looked at her, smiling as best as I could as the life is being sucked out of me, I hear her say, "Get the hell 'outta here" and shake her head in a less-than-pleased manner.  She continued to shake her head as she ran and I withdrew my peace offering by scooting my phone closer to my line of sight.  Although I tried not to stew about it, I couldn't help but think that her anger was displaced.  There was a guy in Jorts casually peddling a bike to nowhere and a girl who had perfectly coiffed hair climbing stairs leading to nowhere---but she was mad at the Rulking (see: running SLASH walking) girl because she was watching a movie?!  Why not be mad at the lady watching CSPAN because let me tell you, that shit is that same thing.  Anyways, 25 minutes later I finished my workout and noticed that the Angry Woman of Oz had departed at some point so my movie distraction had worked.  As I did my cool-down and tried to convince my heart not to explode, a man came up next to me and started jogging.  Something fierce must have been occurring in his head (or on the tv he was watching that was displaying the hockey game) because this guy was PISSED.  He was swearing and shaking his head and I knew it wasn't because of me because I had already closed down my personal movie theatre for the remaining duration of my workout.  Between the Angry Woman and the Angry Man, I came to the conclusion that this Oz is a pretty angry fucking place and I probably shouldn't return.

Just kidding, I'm going back tomorrow so I can catch up on The Office.

Friends: Let this be a disclaimer of content and allow me to say this is SARCASM.  I have nothing but jealousy and respect for you BAMF's working hard at the gym.  That shit is HARD and most of you bitches make it look easy.

Also, let's just pretend I haven't fallen off the face of the earth with this blog thing, mmkay?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Agglomeration of Sorts

A real photo of the random shit I accumulate.  Nicor bill, nail file, computer software, baby clothes, birthday cards, the deed to our know, the usual.
If you've ever watched an episode of Hoarders (or similar) then you can probably summarize most of the episodes.  In fact, you probably can't talk about a specific episode without covering the details of another.

Oh, that crazy (insert man/woman) with all that shit?! The one that (insert that terrible experience or dark happening)?!  They are fucking crazy, man!  Can you believe they found a dead (insert animal) in that stuff?! That will never happen to me!

And you are probably right.  Unless you are me.  Then you are only half right.

I am the most imperfect combination of an extreme purger with hoarding tendencies.  My problem, well at least one of them, is time.  I don't have time to read the abundance of magazines that come in the mail, so they go into a pile.  I don't have time to coupon, but I'd like to, so the coupons from the paper go into their own pile.  See, I ran out of time when I was painting my nails so that's why the polish, top coat, and other accessories are in a different pile.  90% of the time one of the kids will need something while I am smack dab in the middle of something, and I'll have to run and take care of something else.  And 90% of the time, I'll start something else before I go back to that original task.  It's a vicious cycle of mess and chaos.  But you know what?  About a week of this goes by and I get batty and then throw everything in the garbage.  It's a toxic combination but the latter leaves me with a de-cluttered, clean house...and who doesn't love that?!

Today was one of those purging days.  I started with Baby 2.0's room.  I talked to myself like a real class-act, making jokes and laughing at them while three pairs of eyes stared blankly at me wondering what the hell was going on and why I was evicting five year old bath toys.  With one room done, I fiercely moved on to the bigger room, belonging to the boy who has more toys than anyone I've ever met.

I made a deal with said child.  I told him to find as many toys as he could that he doesn't play with anymore, and each toy will count as $1.00.  At the end of the process, however many toydollars he has, that is what he has to spend on ONE new super toy.  Child 1.0 was ecstatic until he realized that these toys were leaving forever.  I told him that the toys were going to kids who will play with them and treat them really nice.  Not working.  I told him that the toys were going to kids who has a mom that isn't fucking nuts and doesn't buy them something new every week might not have any toys.  Not working.  Finally I realized this wasn't going to work and I just started grabbing shit and asking him, "WHICH ONE DO YOU WANT TO KEEP!?!"  Obviously I raised my child right, because he responded with, "Both."  "Bitch."  Kidding on that last part.  For at least a few more years at least...

It quickly dawned on me that a four year old was not able to make such a decision.  All of these toys were appealing, especially considering that they'd been under the bed, in the back of the closet, etc. for the last two years.  They were practically new!  I decided to use my best judgement and exile these toys myself.  Whilst occupied by toys he actually plays with, I was able to stealthily bag up the old toys that I'm sure he won't even miss; that is, until he finds them.  And I'm pretty sure he forgot about the toydollars, so that's more money I have that will probably buy new toys anyway.

Now both of the kids have immaculate rooms.  For today.  Unfortunately it took five hours to clean/purge both rooms and all the while, the papers I had stacked on the record player blew all over the house because my stupid ass had the screen door wide open.  Tomorrow is another day.

Clean room.  I'm seriously timing how long this lasts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bitchin' in the Kitchen

So against my better judgement, I committed to doing another dessert swap.  See, it's not that I don't love me some desserts, it's just that I always overlook how much work it is.  I do this with my friends around Christmas with cookies and it's always fabulous.  Well maybe not fabulous for the fit of my pants, but alas, it's a great time that yields some delicious cookies.  Last month I decided I would do another swap, this time the focus would be cupcakes.  Each person makes X amount of cupcakes based on the number attending, we display them and bitch about how much work they were, then everyone takes their allotted amount and eats as many as possible so they don't have to share with their children or husbands.

This evening was my first attempt at baking anything in mass quantity since the birth of Baby 2.0.  I give you:
Vanilla rainbow cupcakes with nutella cream cheese frosting
(approximately 100,001 calories per bite)

FOR ZE CAKE I used a William Sonoma cake recipe and then made them rainbow:
3 eggs, 1.5 tsp vanilla, 1.5 cups cake flour, 3/4 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 12 tbs unsalted butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup milk.

  1. Start with all of the ingredients room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Since you didn't plan ahead of time, you now have about an hour or so to kill before you can even start since your ingredients are ice cold.  I turned off my oven because I had a long time before it was going to be used.  Welcome to the club.  If you are responsible, hang out with your kids, play with your dog, do some laundry.  If you are me, get a beer and get on Pintrest...tell husband you are balancing the checkbook.  He won't know.
  2.  When the ingredients are finally at the proper temp, whick together the eggs and vanilla until blended.  In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  Take a sip of your beer; you deserve it after all the whisking and sifting.  Whew.
  3.  Beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy...this takes about three minutes.  I used my Kitchenaid, so I had three more minutes to drink my beer and do some pinning. 
  4. Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy...another three minutes or so.  More beer.  More pinning.
  5. Add egg mixture and beat until well combined...about a minute.  Finish your beer.  Get another if time permits.  I'm dieting so I switched to water with lime.  I'm jealous of you.
  6. Turn your beater down to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.  Mix until juuuuust incorporated.  Don't overmix.   
To make them rainbowlicious, separate the mix into different bowls.  I used  Wilton icing tints to dye the batter different colors.  Using a spoon, add dollops of the different colors into muffin cups.  Swirl them around poke them, or just leave it alone if you are in a hurry.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Enjoy the ride.

Because nothing says "acid trip" like rainbow cupcakes.

Raw.  Although tempting, do not treat these as if they are Trix yogurt cups.

Cooked and cooling.  And my sweet Christmas potholder from 1987 is peaking out to say "hey!"

The innards.
I'm too tired to ice these bad boys tonight, so my nutella cream cheese frosting post (and the results of the cupcake swap) will be another post.  These cupcakes, sans icing, are very very good and very moist.  They will go very good with my breakfast of coffee and paczkis tomorrow.

Now I have to go load three days worth of dirty dishes into my not-high-capacity dishwasher.