Smurf Cupcakes and Family Night Ideas!

As a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community, this family date night shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study to share fun dinner and movie night ideas using featuring Tyson Batter Tenders & Smurfs 2.

By now, you guys know I love any type of theme night, right? With some creativity, a bit of DIY skill, and just a little extra time, any mom can create a really fun family date night on a budget. And for me, the easiest way to put together an easy family day {whether dinner or playdate} is to base my theme around a super fun family movie. {A couple recent examples: Monsters U lunch, Little Mermaid crafting party} This week, I decided to do a fun movie date night featuring the new Smurfs 2, and those totally yummy Battered Chicken Tenders from Tyson. Some of you might remember me whining – er, mentioning – that I’ve had the flu for 3 days now. But even being under the weather, this was an easy little evening to put together, and the kiddos had a blast. I think I’m feeling better already… :)

Family Date Night with Smurfs 2 [Read more...]

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How to Make Easy Peasy Monkey Cupcakes

These cupcakes were as fun as a barrel of monkeys… Well, that’s probably because they were a tray of monkeys, almost the same thing :) I threw a big double birthday party earlier this summer for the kiddos – my little girl turned 3, and we did a DIY Disney Princess party for her and the little girls, then I created a jungle-themed birthday party for the little boys. {Although of course there was lots of overlap – kids love everything.} I’m just finally getting a chance to show a few of the fun things we did for the jungle theme – so to start, I’ll show you how to make super easy peasy monkey cupcakes. They’re so simple and quick that you can you make them any time – parties, lunches, weeknight desserts – whatever!

monkey cupcakes [Read more...]

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Free Cupcakes for People Like Us – Mothers!

free cupcakes for mothers day

Free Mother’s Day Cupcakes!

I told you about the other free cupcakes giveaway from Sprinkles Cupcakes last week, to celebrate the new movie People Like Us. Well now they’re doing another SWEET freebie – {yep, as always, pun intended. I’m so punny…} – On Mother’s Day, May 13, head into any Sprinkles Cupcakes location and say, “People Like Us” to get a totally free cupcake to celebrate people like us – Mothers! {And, watch for the movie premier, in theaters June 29, 2012.}

Love Cupcakes? Check out my Pinterest Cupcake Idea board filled with super fun ideas today!

 

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Sometimes the Past is a Present…

People Like Us

People Like Us

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about this movie – but hadn’t stopped to take a minute to see what it was all about until tonight. Why made me take a break to watch the trailer – finally? Well, I got an email that tomorrow is Brothers & Sisters Day, and Sprinkles Cupcakes has partnered with People Like Us to celebrate – by giving away FREE cupcakes at all of their locations. Awesome, right? But then maybe you’re like me, and thinking – what does this movie have to do with Brothers & Sisters Day? Which is why I was finally intrigued enough to Stop the Blog for a minute {lol}, and check out some clips from the movie. And since I know YOU are interested now too – here ya go, ladies:

Rethinking the meaning of family

Here’s the official info: “In a story inspired by true events, Sam, a twenty-something, fast-talking salesman, is tasked with fulfilling his estranged father’s last wishes—delivering an inheritance to a sister he never knew he had. Starring Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde and Michelle Pfeiffer, PEOPLE LIKE US opens in theaters June 29.” The unofficial info: I predict needing a tissue or two for this film! I’m such a sap – it’s not too touch to get me cryin’ during a movie. But this one seems like the kind of thing to really get me – a mom who is struggling to provide for her kiddo as best as she can, an older brother who wants to help her out, and protect her…. Yep, totally gets me. {Love you brother!}

Brotherly {and Sisterly!} Love

If you want to do a little celebrating for Brother’s & Sisters Day tomorrow {which is May 2nd} – Check out the link for a fun quiz to learn how much you really know your own bro or sis. And make sure to find the Sprinkles Cupcakes location nearest to you for your FREE cupcake tomorrow! {Details in that link.} I don’t have one near me – but if YOU get one, share a pic on my Facebook wall tomorrow so I can be totally jealous. Happy Celebrating!

birthdayFB.com

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Valentine’s Day: Chocolate filled Golden-Cherry Cupcakes

Looking for a fun Valentine’s Day Cupcake idea that looks super impressive, but takes only minimal skill? Then these super delish Chocolate filled Golden-Cherry Cupcakes are perfect for you! {They start with a boxed mix. Love that, right?} Keep reading to learn my secret trick to jazzin’ ‘em up!

Valentine's Day, Cupcakes, Red frosting, baking

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” – Ernestine Ulmer

As I mentioned over on the Click, Color, Capture Photo Challenge post earlier this week – I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. But – I am a fan of cupcakes! And these Chocolate-Cherry filled Golden Cupcakes totally brighten up the holiday for me! They’re incredibly easy to make, and super delicious too. They’re like – cute puppy faces and pretty flowers delivered to your door and sparkles and pretty shoes – everything that’s happy and good, all put together, and transformed into a cupcake. They’re also why my jeans are fitting tighter these days… Lol.

Baking, Cupcakes

“Forget love – I’d rather fall in chocolate!” – Sandra J. Dykes

This cupcake recipe is a kinda-homemade style dessert – Because that’s the only way I do my baking! It starts with the new Fun-da-Middles Yellow Cupcake Mix, with chocolate frosting. But I’m never happy with a plain ol’ boxed mix, I like to get creative – But I admit, I have much more creativity and enthusiasm than I do skill, so there are disasters sometimes. Luckily, this experiment was a total success!

Chocolate filled Golden-Cherry Cupcakes

  • 1. Stir up the Fun-da-Middles mix, following the instructions on the package – but instead of adding regular water, use the Clear American Cherry Flavored Water from Walmart. It fizzes a little bit when you pour it in, which is cool. Now stir up the batter just like you usually would, and move on to step 2!
  • 2. Put adorable cupcake liners into your cupcake pan. I prefer polka-dots.
  • 3. Now, things get a wee bit tricky – You want to use just enough cupcake batter to cover the bottom of each liner, but have enough left over to cover the filling! So, fill each cupcake liner with a small scoop, and make sure it fills the whole bottom of the cup.
  • 4. Now the fun part – Grab the pouch of chocolate filling included in the package, and squeeze it for a minute or two. I listen to my music loud while cooking, so I dance while I squeeze. It’s up to you.
  • 5. Now that the chocolate filling is warmed up, snip off a corner, and start squeezing dollops of it onto each cup of batter. Make them even, and keep it in the middle, not touching the edges of the liner. You don’t want it to ooze out while baking!
  • 6. Now, add one maraschino cherry on top of the chocolate filling! I absolutely love the combination of chocolate and cherry together!
  • 7. Next, use the rest of your batter to cover the cherry and chocolate filling in each cup. Bake ‘em up at the temperature recommended on the box. It’s ok to have a glass of wine while you wait….
  • 8. Now, you can take a short cut and use a canister of Betty Crocker red frosting, or tint your own favorite recipe with the Wilton Red Icing Color, and use your own bag and tip to swirl on some fun frosting!
  • 9. Almost done – Grab a pretty sprinkle to top your cupcakes! I used some silver pearls on half, and chocolate sprinkles on the other half. I love sprinkles. A lot.

“I’d give up chocolate, but I’m no quitter!” – Author Unknown

Sounds good, right? These are so super fun, and the kids love the surprise of chocolate and cherry in the middle. They’re also pretty enough for fancier events too. So, while I boycott most things Valentine’s Day related – I do support holiday themed cupcakes, and will be making these again this week! Enjoy…. And – if you’re a cupcake junkie too, check out my Pinterest Cupcake Board!

“Save the earth.  It’s the only planet with chocolate.” – Author Unknown

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Click, Color, Capture – Photography Challenge Linky – Week 1: Red

Photography, Color, Click, Camera, Photos, Challenge

Click, Color, Capture Photo Challenge!

Welcome to Week 1 of the Color, Click, Capture photography challenge hosted byEast9thStreetA Helicopter MomNap Time Is My Time and Sunshine and Sippy Cups!  Our color this week is RED.

Cupcakes, Valentines Day, Baking, Red

“When life gives you lemons… just bake some lemon cupcakes.” – Unknown

I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s never really been a good experience for me. But – there’s nothing that a great cupcake can’t fix, right? These little beauties started with the new Fun-da-Middles mix from Betty Crocker, with a little bit of extra creativity thrown in. Recipe will be posted later today – so stay tuned!

Weekly Photography Tip

Our first photography tip comes from Rebecca Cooper who blogs at Simple As That.  A professional photographer, Rebecca has written a eBook called, 40 Top Tips for Better Photos that contains easy-to-follow instructions with lots of images to guide you!  Since most of want to capture images of our children, this first tip is one that is easy to apply.

No More Cheese Please. While it may seem to do the trick, asking your child to ‘say cheese’ will yeild a smile that is just that…cheesy. Try engaging your child in a conversation about something they are interested in (ie. an upcoming birthday, their favorite tv show, a recent family trip, what you’re going to do after pictures) and be ready to catch that winning smile. While it may take a little more time, that beautiful smile is always worth the wait!

Want to participate in our challenge?  It’s super easy!  Here’s how It Works:

  1. Take a picture the represents the color of the week.
  2. Write a blog post that features your picture and link it up.
  3. Visit other people’s posts and hopefully find some inspiration!
  4. You can put the button and link code on your blog if you wish but it’s not a requirement.

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{Rafflecopter} elevencupcakes Sesame Street Party Planning Kit Giveaway!

Sesame Street Party Planning Kit

Sunny Days…sweepin’ the clouds away…on my way to where the air is sweet… Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

How can you not smile when you hear that song, right? And who doesn’t LOVE Sesame Street? Even the Grouch loves Sesame Street- and he’s the grouch! So what better theme for a kids party?

The lovely ladies at elevencupcakes have created the most adorable Party Planning Kit ever- and it includes everything you need to put together an unforgettable kids party!

What you get:

Party Guide: 24 pages of step by step instructions and beautiful pictures that walk you through everything you need to do to prepare for your party! The guide gives you directions on how to create all of the super fun stuff you see in the picture, like-

  • Happy birthday party banner
  • Party centerpiece
  • Decorative ribbon wall
  • Kid friendly finger food ideas
  • Colorful cupcakes and toppers
  • And more!

Trust me, even if you’re not a crafty type, these are all totally do-able. The instructions are simple, the ideas are super fun, and with the printables included- it will be so easy to put together! You even get ideas for games and kids activities, as well as some cute trivia for the grown-ups.

They include helpful things like a party timeline to help you plan, cool party tips, ideas for do-it-yourself favors and a resource guide- everything you need to stay organized! And think of how much money you can save by putting this together yourself, vs buying a bunch of overpriced supplies at your local party store? Plus- this is much cuter than anything you’ll find in a big store, for sure!

Create and Celebrate!

Look at the TON of great printables you get with this kit-

  • Customized invitations
  • Customized welcome sign
  • Happy Birthday Banner
  • Customized food labels (14)
  • Customized cupcake toppers
  • Birthday party hats (elmo, cookie monster, big bird, oscar & zoe)
  • Thank you notes
  • Customized water bottle labels
  • Kids games
  • Adult trivia
  • Customized thank you tags

Sounds like a good time, right?

The ladies at elevencupcakes put a ton of time into making these party printables- they hand-cut each character individually from textured papers, and then scanned in those images. What that means is that you can really see all of the fun textures and details, making these a really unique printable. So cute!

When you order your kit, you get to customize it too- You give them the following info, and they’ll create a personalized party set just for you kiddo:

  • Child’s first name
  • Child’s age (that they will be turning)
  • Party date, time, and location
  • RSVP date and contact (phone or email)
  • 14 food labels (character name for the top and food for the bottom).

The party guide is just packed full of fun ideas– This would be a great Birthday Party, obviously. But it would also make a super fun playdate, mommy group meeting, or for any other event you want to celebrate. And since you get the PDF files for all of the printables- you could most of them again- since you can print as many as you want. Awesomesauce.

Win a Sesame Street Party Planning Kit!

To win the Customized Sesame Street Party Planning Kit, use the Rafflecopter form below to get your entries in! And you can come back each day too, for the daily entry options– Good Luck!

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