Cupcake Liner Poppies

These are so simple to make but really beautiful. You could use the technique to make garlands , add flowers to invites and even make brooches.  One tip:  the labels peel off easily but if they are saturated in paint it gets tricky, so try not to gob it on the middle.

  1. Gather your materials you will need some paint, dot labels ( from stationary aisle), cupcake liners in different sizes, brushes, card stock and double stick tape. Ignore the ribbon- at first I was thinking I’d make a garland.
  2. Start by putting the circular labels in the middle of the liners.
  3. Paint. I had so much fun painting these , crafts are so relaxing.
  4. Let dry.
  5. Peel off the center to reveal a uniform middle for all the flowers.
  6. Tape some of the smaller flowers into the middle of larger ones.
  7. Tape flowers onto the card stock. I think I may frame it.

Easter Cupcakes

easy easter desserts

I love making fun treats for holidays but I am completely useless when it comes to decorating cakes. Icing is supposed to be eaten out of the tubs with your fingers right? Maybe that’s just me! These were fun to make and I made a complete fool of myself in Walmart when I realized I could use wafer cookies for the carrot I gasped and high tailed it to the cookie aisle. The poor people in the candy aisle must of thought I was nuts. If only the could have seen these awesome Easter treats!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need cupcakes, icing ( any type will do) , orange wafer cookies ( vanilla) , and edible Easter grass.
  2. Start by making your cupcakes. I am so not a baker, mine come from a box more often than not. Have your kids help .
  3. Cut your wafers in half and cut the corners off.
  4. Carefully slide edible Easter grass into the top of the wafer.
  5. Bake and cool the cupcakes.
  6. Ice.
  7. Press a carrot in the middle.
  8. Enjoy!

Need a healthier treat? Try these Frozen Smoothie Easter Eggs

Book

Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes by Pablo Cartaya and Martin Howard I hate writing bad reviews because I think even bad books can be some child’s favorite. This just might be my daughter’s but it doesn’t mean it’s well written. This book had great intentions , creating characters who are cupcakes and our heroine Tina is one without a topping. This is only an issue because she wants to compete in a topping pageant. You might guess by the title that she wins it. I was hoping that there was some twist or depth but no she finds her topping and wins. That’s it.  The writers were too ambitious and the book just didn’t work. The art work by Kristen Richards was marvelous, scrumptious even and I think it was the super cute illustrations that prompted my daughter to crawl to the book ( yes crawl for the 1st time ever). So I hate giving it a bad review but other than making me really really hungry for cupcakes it just didn’t do it for me or my son.  I am going to copy the recipes in the back for cupcakes and icing before returning it to the library.

Mother’s Day Cupcakes

Mother's Day Cupcakes

In the spirit of full disclosure these were actually made for my husband’s office, it’s his birthday today ( yay he’s older than me again) and he needed to take in treats. So I hit two birds with one stone and decided to make them mother’s day themed and make them with my little man. Kids love to help cook and bake and my main tips for a peaceful experience are, expect a mess, don’t worry about perfection and eat a healthy lunch before making them so when the sugar hits their belly it’s not as dramatic! We had fun writing out the letters and making shapes with the candy.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need your favorite cupcake mix and icing or recipes. Also to make the flowers and letter designs some rope licorice, and pink round candies.  Mother's Day Cupcakes
  2. Mix your cake – I have no pictures of this because I had everything laid out in bowls, the oil, water and eggs and my son was so helpful he through them all in. I usually pre crack the eggs into a bowl and let him dump them in when I am making something that egg shells are hard to fish out of.
  3. Bake and cool your cupcakes.
  4. While they cool tear the rope licorice apart into single strands.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  5. Cut into smaller pieces you can make into petals Mother's Day Cupcakes
  6. When cupcakes are cool ice .
  7. Make letters to spell out MOM on one cupcake each or..  put it on a single cupcake.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  8. Make petals ( it’s easier to make them before adding it to the icing ) by pressing the ends tightly together.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  9. Add to the cupcake Mother's Day Cupcakes
  10. Add a candy middle.Mother's Day Cupcakes

Have fun however you make them . Oh and a tip that worked great for us this time. If you have a mini cupcake pan, put a few spoonfuls in that and let your child have a little cupcake before decorating the larger ones.  This totally satisfied my son and made me feel better about how much sugar he consumed.  I also had a mini one ( ok 2)and was able to leave the big ones alone !

Mama Books That Make Me Cry

Here are my top 3 books that require kleenex:

A mama for owen

A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer makes me cry every time I read it, and not just because I am pregnant. It’s a true story about a baby Hippo who lost his mama in the Tsunami that so many other babies both creature  and human did . The story is one about friendship , about adoption and about love. See Owen the little Hippo finds Mzee a big old giant tortoise and even though they are different species, and Mzee is a boy, Owen treats him like his mama.

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is perhaps the classic tear jerking picture book. I read this for years and years to children and had no problem getting choked up, it never bothered me, then I gave birth and I can’t read it without sobbing. The premise is simple, a mom sings this simple song to her son as he grows ” I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as you’re living , my baby you’ll be.” until she can’t sing it anymore and it’s his turn. For days after I read this I tear up as I lay my son in bed. * Edited to add that many readers have commented that they do not like this book at all! What do you think? Leave a comment and tell us!


Hair for Mama by Kelly A. Tinkham is beautiful. The story is about a little boy who is desperate to find some hair for his mama who has lost hers to chemotherapy. Marcus wants mama to be in the family photo but she doesn’t want to be the way she looks. His mission comes to a climax when he shaves off all his own hair hoping to give it to his mama. When the barber sweeps it up with the other hair on the floor Marcus is heart broken and goes home in tears. I was sobbing reading this, I knew it was a story about a mom having cancer but the way the author wrote it , it was magical. The complex emotions this little boy felt for his mom and she for him, jumped off the page and you can’t help but cry. I wasn’t sad ,I was touched by the love and desire to fix his mom and make everything better, and his parents tenderness to his feelings. I can’t recommend this book more highly. I should note that this is not a book for toddlers, I would probably wait until a child is 4-5 before reading them this gem.

Easy Frozen Easter Treats

frozen easter treats We try to eat healthy, and during Easter it’s hard with all the candy everywhere!  I adore candy and my pregnant willpower is um… not really strong. So when I decided to make some fun treats I wanted at least one of them to be truly healthy. These frozen Easter treats are fantastic and the molds are available at discount retailers like Walmart. So it won’t break your bank either. * This post was written in 2010 but the molds are still available in 2014! I saw them this week at Walmart*

 

 

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a silicone mini cake pan ( they still have Easter themed ones at both Target and Walmart in my area), a blender,  low fat vanilla yogurt, and frozen or fresh fruit of your choice.  Easy Easter Treats
  2. Pop 2 scoops of the yogurt in ( about 3/4 cup) and 1/2 – 3/4 cups of the fruit. Easy Easter Treats
  3. Blend Easy Easter Treats
  4. Pour Easy Easter Treats
  5. Freeze ( we froze ours for 2 hours and they were perfect- formed but not rock hard.) If you freeze them longer just let them thaw for 30 minutes  in your fridge before serving them so they are soft enough to eat with a spoon.  Easy Easter Treats
  6. Pop out of the mold and enjoy !  These were a huge hit with my son.  Easy Easter Treats

Almost Homemade Carrot Cupcakes

Easy Easter Treats

  1. Gather your materials. Grab your favorite carrot cake and cream cheese icing recipes or boxed mix and a tub of icing, orange and green jelly bellys . I should note that although I did use a mix I also mixed in 1/4 cup of crushed pineapple and it was very very yummy.
  2. Bake and cool your cupcakes.
  3. Ice them and add your jelly beans in the shape of a carrot!Easy Easter Treats
  4. Eat more than you care to admit and send the rest to your husband’s office.

Valentine’s Day Playdough Cupcakes

valentine's day playdough activityWe love cupcakes, but who wants 24 cupcakes when only 2 people in your house will be eating them( which means 22 for me and 2 for my son … not good). So instead of baking them we decided to play with them. This pretend play incorporates sensory, learning shapes, and color mixing too. Not to mention it was really fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some red and white playdough, some fun cupcake liners, cake picks ( is that what they are called?), a cutting board and heart cookie cutters.  You can also add sprinkles, fancy plates and muffin tins!Valentine's Cupcakes
  2. Start by mixing some of the red and while to make pink playdough. Normally I make my own playdough but I wanted this color mixing lesson as part of the play, so I bought white and red dough, it’s hard to make true white playdough at home. If you want to make your own here are my favorite recipes.Valentine's Cupcakes
  3. Let em at it! My son kneaded the dough ” I squish it until it’s yummy!”Valentine's Cupcakes
  4. We rolled it into balls and popped it in a liner.Valentine's Cupcake
  5. Made hearts for the top – I did one to show him all the options while  and he ran with it.Valentine's cupcakes
  6. Don’t forget a pick!Valentine's Cupcakes
  7. Keep playing- this cupcake cost me $38 dollars! Good thing the playdough , liners and pics together only cost $3.99!Valentine Bakery
  8. There is no right or wrong way to play – just explore, have fun and remember to keep playdough far away from carpet, it’s such a pain to get out. Valentine Bakery 007

Book

Mr. Cookie Baker was an instant hit at our house. The book is about who else, Mr. Cookie Baker and it shows the reader how he makes cookies from scratch, ices them and sells them. It’s a great book to explain baking and bakeries. My son loves the part where Mr. Cookie Baker eats a cookie after a long hard day and then says goodnight. I like the illustrations, they are bold and detailed without being cluttered and can almost tell the story all by themselves. Be warned though reading this will almost definitely make you crave a cookie or two.