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Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

Teen Bedroom Makeover

Being a military family can be rough on kids, especially when moving often makes it difficult to create a home out of a new house. By using Enbrighten Café Lights by Jasco and a small budget, I was able to create a Teen Bedroom Makeover that my daughter was crazy about!

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

This post is sponsored by Jasco Products Company in conjunction with Acorn: An Influence Company. I was compensated & given a set of lights, but all the ideas and opinions are my own.

Being a military family that moves every few years, we get used to living small. We don’t hang much on our walls or get really into decorating because we know we’ll have to take it all down, fill the holes and start over in just a few years time.

In just a few months, my husband will be medically retiring from the Army after 3 deployments and 12 years of service. This means that we’ll be moving out of military house and into private housing that hopefully will become our forever home!

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

The new townhouse we moved to has a big basement with a bedroom and bathroom perfect for Emily. Emily is 16 years old and loves the privacy and access to her own bathroom! The only downside to this room is that is has no windows.

But that’s okay, no windows makes it the perfect space to use the Enbrighten Café Lights!

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

You can see from these before pictures that Emily’s room wasn’t very big and had no personality. Emily is full of personality and I knew I wanted to have that translate into her bedroom decor!

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

I really wanted the Enbrighten Café Lights to be the centerpiece of the room. Emily’s bed doesn’t have a frame or a headboard so I decided to use the lights to create a focal point above the bed. Hanging the lights above the bed brought your eye from the bed to the ceiling, giving the space height and depth.

To add color and texture to the lights, I wrapped tulle around the entire strand of lights. Doing this brought the color from the bedding into the light display tying it all together.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

To makeover the bed, Emily chose a new duvet cover and pillowcases in lime green and decided on an accent color of hot pink. To cover the box springs, I placed a flat sheet over the box springs and let it hang just to the floor giving the illusion of a dust ruffle. It was an easy, inexpensive way to have the look of a dust ruffle even without buying or making one.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

Instead of end tables, I used two metal and wood bar stools. Not only are these a fun alternative to traditional end tables, but they serve as seating for guests. I think we need to get a rug to tie this room together. I’ve seen some great ones on websites like Bazaar velvet so Emily will have to choose one.

To add another pop of hot pink, I placed several bunches of hot pink silk flowers in a vintage style porcelain vase. I chose silk flowers over real so that Emily can enjoy it all year round.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

Finally, I brought over the green tool from the light wall onto the dresser pulls and mirror as well as a single hot pink silk flower. I hung a picture I had painted (which had hot pink in it) on her wall and set out a few of her favorite trinkets and her jewelry box to add a personal touch.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog

I really love how the Enbrighten Café Lights by Jasco bring Emily’s room to life! The LED lights will never die so this look can last as long as Emily wants it! We’ll never have to worry about changing a light bulb, ever! Their soft light is the perfect way to brighten this basement room.

Teen Bedroom Makeover with Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco | The JavaCupcake Blog


How would you use a set of Enbrighten Cafe Lights? Leave a comment below telling me how you’d makeover your space with these lights then enter to win a set below!
Cafe Lights Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Jasco Products Company in conjunction with Acorn: An Influence Company. I was compensated & given a set of lights, but all the ideas and opinions are my own.

Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Chocolate Glaze |

Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Chocolate Glaze

Take your banana bread to the next level by making this simple, delicious Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Chocolate Glaze!  It’s moist, flavorful and so easy to make!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Chocolate Glaze |

I’ve teamed up with 25 amazing bloggers to bring you this mouthwatering round-up of incredible Thanksgiving recipes!

So make sure to scroll down to see all the amazing recipes, visit their blogs and enter to win!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Chocolate Glaze |

I had a few bananas that need to be made into bread but was tired of the same ole recipe.  So, for this bread since it was just about to be pumpkin season, I thought why don’t I add pumpkin to my traditional batter and see how that turns out?

And that’s what I did!

This recipe made one large loaf and one smaller one to share with a friend.  You can see in the picture above the two sizes I got.  I’m sure you could use two medium size pans to get two of the same size or several small ones or even fill up the big one to the brim!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Chocolate Glaze |

Adding a chocolate glaze to the top of my bread was an after thought, but boy am I glad I did!  That bit of extra bitter sweetness is the perfect decadence that makes this bread really special!

That and I used my beautiful new Bavarian porcelain china to enjoy a slice of bread and a cup of tea.  Everything tastes better when it’s served on something pretty!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Chocolate Glaze |

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 50g heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease, flour and line with parchment paper one large 9x5in loaf pan. Prep a second, smaller pan (whatever you have on hand) the same way. This recipe makes enough for one large loaf with some leftover for a smaller as well.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat together for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the pumpkin puree and the mashed bananas until incorporated. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed together.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Add this to the wet mixture in two parts mixing until just combined. Do not over mix!
  5. Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the large prepared pan or enough to fill leaving about 3/4in of the pan free. Pour the remaining in the smaller pan.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. If you underbake the bread will fall in the center. The smaller loaf will take less time, check after 20-30 minutes.
  7. Allow the breads to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Once cool, melt together the milk and the chocolate slowly in a microwave until smooth. (20 second increments and mix after each, it won't take long)
  9. Pour the chocolate over the loaves and spread gently to the edges. You want most of the chocolate on the top, not the sides. Do not slice until the chocolate has set.

Click on each image or link to check out the recipe & enter to win their giveaway! Remember, more than $1250 in prizes are up for grabs!

Overnight Pumpkin Monkey Bread Fig and Goat Cheese Ball Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberry Side Dish Homemade Orange Cider Cranberry Sauce Cheesy Garlic Herb Potatoes and Squash 5-Ingredient Pecan Pie Fudge Brussels Sprouts and Farro Salad Classic Apple Pie Turkey Tenderloins with Mushroom Shallot Tarragon Gravy Classic Pecan Pie Green Beans with Almonds and Bacon Sweet Potato Cheesecake Acorn Squash Puree Sweet Potato Casserole Donut Holes Green Bean Quinoa Casserole Twice Baked Potatoes Homemade Cranberry Sauce Triple Spice Pumpkin Buttermilk Pie Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes Pumpkin Banana Bread Warm Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Leek Salad Pumpkin Ricotta Chocolate Chip Bread Prosciutto Wrapped Parmesan Pears & Greens Cranberry Apple Charlotte Pumpkin Slab Pie

I’m giving away a $50 Starbucks Gift Card to one lucky JavaCupcake reader! Open to anyone who can use this gift card in the USA. Fill out the entry form below to qualify.

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Party Style Blog Tour & Giveaway

If you’ve ever wanted to throw an elaborate birthday party for your kids, then this book is for you! Party Style: Kids’ Parties from Baby to Sweet 16 by Gemma Touchstone is an all-inclusive guide for hosting the party your kids dream of.


Welcome to the Party Style Blog Tour & Giveaway! I’m thrilled to be sharing with you a few details of this new book by Gemma Touchstone.  I met Gemma earlier this year while collaborating with Tiny Prints for the My Favorite Things Party.  Gemma graciously featured my party on her website where a brand new audience of party lovers was able to share the excitement of that party! So, when Gemma asked if I’d like to be a part of her Book Tour for her new book I jumped at the chance!

If you’ve been following JavaCupcake for a while, you’ll know that this year I started hosting parties of my own this year.  It’s been so fun to incorporate more than just baking into my blog and parties have become my new passion!  I only wish I had Gemma’s new book when I started because it would have made planning so much easier!

small card front

In Party Style, Gemma shares every detail you’ll need to think about when putting together a themed party for your kids.  She really has gone above and beyond in thinking of every detail so you don’t have to!  There are downloads, checklists and ideas that will help guide you to the perfect party!

Need an idea for a theme?  Gemma’s got you covered there too! From a Skate Party to a Plane Party to a Joker Party, Party Style is full of fun, colorful ideas for your party!




Buy Gemma’s Book Here!

And… in case you wanted to know more about Gemma and what she’s up to… check these

  •  Gemma’s next HOLIDAY HOSTESS book is already in the works and will be out in time for the holiday season in 2016!
  • Gemma Touchstone will be teaching pin worthy parties at the Pinners Conference in Salt Lake City, UT Nov 6th & 7th Save 10% on tickets with ticket code partystyle.
  • Find Gemma at the OC DATE NIGHT MARKET March 11th, 2016.
  • For more dates on her tour around the USA, visit the


Gemma is giving away her must-haves for any party!  Enter below for your chance to receive…

  • KitchenAid stand mixer
  • iPad Air
  • Honeycomb Decor Pack with multiple sizes and colors
  • Bakers Bling sanding sugar in several colors
  • $100.00 gift card to Home Goods
  • $100.00 Gift card to Michael’s Craft Store
  • Autographed copy of Party Style
  • 3 ft LOVE Balloon Set

Contest is open until November 15 for US residents only.

0 Book Tour Giveaway Party Style Gemma Touchstone

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Review: Cupcake Envy

I’m super excited to bring you the first of three cookbook reviews this week!  Each day, you’ll have a chance to enter to WIN all three books so make sure to come back tomorrow and Friday too!


Today’s book is a cakelette decorating book, Cupcake Envy, by the talented Amy Eilert.  Amy Eilert founded her online shop Cupcake Envy in 2006. Her cakelets have been featured in local and national media outlets such as, Skirt Magazine, Brides Magazine and the Ugly Betty show. She travels throughout the U.S. and Canada teaching classes and judging national cake competitions including That Takes The Cake Sugar Art and Cake Competition and Cakelove 2011 and is also a certified instructor at


Earlier this year, Amy released a new book, Cupcake Envy! Cupcake Envy walks readers and aspiring dessert chefs through techniques and preparations to bake exquisite treats that resemble amazing objects such as stylish party dress, a wicked voodoo doll, an adorable baby bottle and more than two dozen other amazing likenesses that people will buzz about!


These clever single-serving cakelets assume beloved forms that will appeal to all the special people in your life. Amy’s instructions are easy to follow, and readers will easily be able to customize their own creativity to each of the designs.


Even those who don’t have an aptitude for baking, will enjoy decorating these mini cakes. Every cake can be made with a simple box of cake mix and store-bought toppings, giving more time to devote to the fun and creative parts of the process—shaping and decorating the cakes.


Find more about Amy and Cupcake Envy on the web or Facebook! Cupcake Envy is availble in most major bookstores and online at Amazon!


One person will win a copy of each book I’m reviewing this week!  Come back each day for more enteries and chances!  A winner will be chosen THIS SATURDAY! Simply fill out the widget below every day to add more chances to win!  Open to those with a USA mailing address only.


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Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

Ritter Sport ChocoShop – Waldenbuch, Germany

If you love chocolate and you’re in Europe you must take the time to visit the Ritter Sport Chocolate Factory, Museum and Store in Waldenbuch, Germany.  It is a chocolate lovers paradise!

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

On my husband’s bucket-list of places to see before we leave Germany was the Ritter Sport Factory & Store in Waldenbuch, Germany.  I went to the Ritter Sport store in Berlin a few years ago with friends, but my husband was deployed and couldn’t come. Boo.  So, our family made sure to stop for a visit on our last vacation!

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

The Ritter Sport Factory has a beautiful art museum that is full of art inspired by the square.  In the museum you’ll find Marli Hoppe-Ritter’s collection of contemporary geometric and abstract art in the museum building designed by the Swiss architect Max Dudler.*   It’s fascinating and really quite fun to see so many bright colors and shapes.  Matty, who is three, loved picking out the square shapes in the art and found all the bright colors fascinating to look at.  I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures of the art, so you’ll just have to take my word for it!

*from the Ritter Sport website

In addition to the museum, Ritter also has workshop for kids and a cafe.  An experience for the entire family!

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

Upon walking into the Ritter Sport ChocoShop, I felt a rush of excitement and joy as I was surrounded by chocolate!  It was overwhelming and exciting all at once and I couldn’t wait to explore the store.

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

Shelves lined the store from wall to wall filled with every flavor of Ritter Sport chocolate you could ever imagine.  Classic flavors like Alpenmilch (chocolate made with milk from cows raised in the German Alps) to adult flavors like Honig-Salz-Mandel (chocolate with honey, salt and almonds) and Rum Trauben Nuss (chocolate with rum, grapes, and hazelnuts).

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

Chocolate as far as the eye could see.  Around every corner was a new flavor to explore!

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

One of my favorite surprises in the store were the tall, thin boxes filled with chocolate squares reaching one meter long!  An entire meter of chocolate!  Oh my!  Of course, I needed a photo-op with the meter-o-chocolate! HA!

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |  Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

One of my favorite parts about the ChocoShop was the bright colors.  Everywhere I turned it was a rainbow.

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

The store even had a cookbook full of recipes to make using Ritter Sport chocolate!  I walked out of the store without buying this and I totally regret it!

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

Tucked into the back of the store was a special room.  The room that had everyone excited and frantic.  The Reject Room.  Well, that’s not the official name, but that’s what I called it because it was full of the chocolate that wasn’t good enough to sell in the store.  The imperfect chocolate.  The defect chocolate.  The ugly chocolate.

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

But really, do you care what your chocolate looks like when you eat it?  I don’t.  So… I bought a lot of chocolate from this room.  It was SO CHEAP.  Seriously.  Pennies.  I was in heaven.  Blocks of 4 bars wrapped in paper just for me?  Yes, please.  I’ll take 3!

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |  Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

In this room was also chocolate sold in bulk.  Bags and bags of bars of chocolate they just made too many of ready for me to take home and eat.  Grab and go.

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

There were even bulk bags of the mini bars of chocolate.  I can’t even.  Seriously.  What’s this?  A huge basket full of tubs of hazelnut spread (aka the Ritter Sport version of Nutella).  Yeah.  Tubs for days.  I could have bought all of those too.

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

There was one section of the Reject Room that I couldn’t get a picture of because there were people crowded in front of it the entire time.  It’s for good reason too… this section had all the test bars.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Test Bars.  Flavors that Ritter was testing out for possible future sale.  Flavors you’ll never find anywhere else.  Flavors like…

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

Wiesse Zimt Crisp.  I mean white chocolate with cinnamon crispies inside.  Have you ever heard of such deliciousness before?  I seriously hope this become a staple Ritter Sport flavor because it was so incredibly delicious.  Also in the test bar section was Schoko Brownie (chocolate brownie), Haselnuss (hazelnut), and Aprikose Holenderblute (apricot elderflower).  My husband was in love with the elderflower bar as it was unlike anything he’d ever put in his mouth before.  So good.

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

We picked out as much chocolate as we thought we needed and went to the register to pay.  All of this for only €20.  We went back three more times to get more.

Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

Including this super cute tote bag.  Living in Germany you tend to collect a lot of canvas bags.  When I saw this one it went in my cart.  Done deal.

For more info about the Ritter Sport Factory, Museum and Store make sure to goto their website!  So much info there to help you plan your trip!

Ritter Sport
Alfred Ritter- Str. 27
71111 Waldenbuch
phone: +49 (0)7157 974 74

SchokoAusstellung – Chocolate Exhibition
Monday to Friday: 0800 – 1830
Saturday: 0900 – 1800
Sunday: 1100 – 1800

SchokoShop – Chocolate Store
Monday to Friday: 0800 – 1830
Saturday: 0900 – 1800

Museum Ritter – Art Museum
Tuesday – Sunday: 1100-1800

Museum Cafe
October – March: Daily 0900-1800
April – September: Daily 0900-1900

All sites are closed on: Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 1. May, Whit Sunday, 24. – 26. December, 31. December, January 1 & 6

Parking and Admission:
Parking is free.
Admission to the museum is €6 for adults. See their website for more pricing info.


Ritter Sport ChocoShop - Waldenbuch, Germany |

You know I wouldn’t goto the Ritter Sport ChocoShop without getting some for my readers!  I picked up 8 test bars, 6 mini bars of my all time favorite Ritter chocolate Goldshatz and a 10 year anniversary bar.  You won’t find any of these in the USA, that’s for sure!

The test bars include 2 each of Weiss Zimt Crisp, Haselnuss, Schoko Brownie and Aprikose Holenderblute.  The anniversary bar is a is a chocolate bar with crispies (knusper) and tortilla chips.  Crazy, I know.

Open to USA and Germany mailing addresses only.  Fill out the entry form below.  Winner will be chosen July 22, 2105.

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Homemade vanilla extract 3 ways with Beanilla vanilla beans

3 1/2 years ago I discovered the online vanilla bean company Beanilla and have been in love with their beans ever since!  When I moved to Germany, getting my hands on local affordable, high-quality beans was impossible so I was excited to have found Beanilla.

Homemade Vanilla Extract 3 Ways |

Before I go on… if you’re here for the GIVEAWAY scroll to the bottom for all the details! 

I reached out to Beanilla a couple months ago and expressed to them how much I loved their beans and would love to partner with them for a post on JavaCucpake!  I have been using their beans in my homemade vanilla extracts as well as in all my vanilla recipes.  Every time I split open a Madagascar vanilla bean the aroma fills my kitchen and I go to my happy place!

Since I make all my extract in bulk, Beanilla and I decided that I’d create for you a “How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract in Bulk” tutorial for you.   This tutorial will feature three distinct Beanilla beans paired with three different liquors.


I really hope you are able to get a lot of helpful information from this tutorial! Vanilla extract is super simple to make and it really is so amazing in place of store bought extract. Once you start making it yourself, you’ll never go back to imitation!


The Video Tutorial

I created two video tutorials to help you make homemade vanilla extract.  This first video below is longer with more details about the beans and alcohol I used. The video at the bottom of this post has been edited to only include the specifics of making the extract.

The Flavors

  • Madagascar vanilla beans and vanilla vodka extract – Creamy, strong, full, rich vanilla beans paired with a smooth vanilla vodka make for the ultimately perfect vanilla extract for baking

Homemade Vanilla Extract 3 Ways |

  • Indonesian vanilla beans and honey bourbon whiskey extract – Floral, sweet, delicate beans with tones of fruit paired with a honey infused sweet bourbon whiskey create a simply sweet vanilla extract for desserts with deep flavors

Homemade Vanilla Extract 3 Ways |

  • Ugandan vanilla beans and spiced rum extract – Strong, creamy, rich tones of chocolate and caramel beans paired with a caramel spiced rum produce a bold vanilla extract strong enough to hold up to any chocolate recipe.

Homemade Vanilla Extract 3 Ways |

The Supplies

The Technique

  1. Start with one type of beans and the alcohol paired with it.   Prepare those vanilla beans by using the straight edge of the paring knife and pressing the vanilla pod flat evenly distributing the beans inside the pod.  Split the pod in half the long way.  Repeat until all the beans are split.Homemade Vanilla Extract 3 Ways |
  2. Place the beans into the clean, dry glass jar and pour the alcohol until it reaches the neck of the bottle.  Place the cork on top and shake gently.
  3. Add a label to the jar noting the date you made the extract.
  4. Store the jar in a cool place away from direct sunlight for a minimum of one month up to four months.  
  5. Repeat this process with the two other types of beans and their corresponding alcohols.

The Labels

  1. Download these bottle labels made exclusively for JavaCupcake readers by Rachel of Glitter & Bow.
  2. Vanilla Extract Labels | Vanilla Extract Labels | Vanilla Extract Labels | Vanilla Extract Labels |
  3. Print the labels on sticker labels and adhere them to each bottle.
  4. Write in the type of extract you made along with the date made and when it will be ready to use.
  5. Alternately, you can print the labels on regular paper and use double sided tape to adhere them to the bottles.

The Giveaway

Thanks to Beanilla, I’ve also got a custom designed Vanilla Extract Kit exclusively for one of my JavaCupcake readers!

Homemade Vanilla Extract 3 Ways |

One person will win:

You must be 18 years old to enter and have a USA or Germany mailing address.  One person will be chosen by random on Monday, December 1, 2014.  Total value of this package: $100

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How to make Vanilla Extract – Condensed Version