Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oreo Cupcakes

One of my favorite things to make is cupcakes... as can been seen by the many I've made and posted about on this blog:

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting
Soccer Cupcakes
Corney Cupcakes
Chocolate-Mousse Filled Cupcakes
Popcorn Cupcakes
Sunflower Cupcakes
Play Pool! Cupcakes

However, I've been working with pastry tips found in local stores. I finally decided to go pro and ordered an amazing set of tips from Bake it Pretty. It's not just called the Best-Ever Cupcake Icing Kit, it actually is! I'm not getting paid to tell you this but I absolutely love it! I couldn't wait to try it and just had to bake up some cupcakes as soon as it arrived in the mail. I decided to try out my hand at Oreo flavored ones and they were out of this world! I used this recipe and highly recommend it! Enjoy!

Proudly linking to:

Sumo Sweet Stuff Keeping It Simple mmm button MoMomma

Thursday, March 22, 2012

BlogHer Book Club: The Fault in Our Stars


Do not be turned off by the death theme in this book, I promise you will laugh more than you will cry while reading The Fault in Our Stars. This book covers much more than death! Hazel, the main character, is diagnosed with a cancer at 12. A new drug helps the tumors shrink and the book describes her life as a survivor at 16 years old. Her life is very different than that of a typical girl that age. She doesn't attend school, has few friends and very few outings. Her mom encourages her to join a support group for young cancer patients and that's where she meets Augustus Waters.

Their friendship is both beautiful and heartbreaking. The circumstances under which they meet are not ideal and perhaps because of that they get close sooner than they would have in another case. They are able to intimately relate to each other in ways that few people can at that age. John Green is a true master when it comes to writing about teens. He does a wonderful job of bringing out characters that are so far from the stereotype that a reader might find it hard to believe!

One of my favorite parts of the book is when Gus proves to Hazel the value of their friendship. In this day and age when bullying is more common that proms, it's nice to hear about true friendships, even if they are in a work of fiction. While I read this part in the book I pondered how I could teach my children to be better friends. This is something that I don't want to forget and I don't think it's too early to start talking about the value of friendship. It thank John Green for giving me the spark to start these conversations early on with my children!

Please join me at the BlogHer Book Club page HERE for more discussions about this book.

This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pot of Gold ~ Teacher Appreciation Gift

Next week is Spring Break which means the teachers are counting down the hours until the kids go home on Friday. We decided to make little treats for them since Teacher's Appreciation Week is still a while away and they deserve to be spoiled. Check out this article (here) for confirmation, half of new teachers are quitting within five years!

We start with the following supplies from the Dollar Store:

- Black pencil holders
- One pack of pipe cleaners
- Tissue paper
- Ribbon
- Bag of chocolates (not from Dollar Store, I wanted quality chocolate for the teachers!)

The "pot of gold" is actually a black pencil holder found in the office section of the Dollar Store.

Stuff the pot of gold with some crumbled up tissue paper- the kids love this part.

Go answer the phone and come back to perfectly split up chocolates. * This is not an actual step in the tutorial ;)

Put the previously sorted chocolates on top of the crumbled up tissue paper. Create a rainbow with pipe cleaners.

Cut out a shamrock for the label. I could have done this with my cricut but wanted to involve the kids as much as possible.

Write out a cute tag and attach it to the pot of gold using some cute curly wire ribbon.

Your kids will be so proud to give these to their teachers!

Proudly linking to:

giveaways Katie's Nesting Spot

Bubbly Nature