Spring Cupcake Designs – 6 easy spring and Easter cupcake designs

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Easter and spring cupcake designs

To celebrate spring (or the hope of spring soon?), I’m re-publishing my Spring Cupcakes designs, originally shared in 2013 . .

I’m not very good about decorating for holidays or going over the top with cutesy seasonal foods. But yesterday I had a wild hair and decided the kids and I should decorate cupcakes. I think it was the sunshine – it makes me do crazy things. I had fun getting creative with the kids trying to come up with fun easter cupcake designs for you. They are each 3 steps or less and EASY. We hope you enjoy them!

Step 1 – Your first step is make a batch of cupcakes. You can make them from scratch or make them from a box (like I did, there is only so much you can expect from a girl in one day).

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Baby Chick Cupcakes

1.) Frost it with yellow frosting (I used vanilla frosting with couple drops of food coloring)

2.) Dip in yellow coconut. To make colored coconut, put plain coconut in a Ziploc bag, add a couple drops of food coloring, close bag and mix it around until color coats coconut.

3.) Add two eyes. You can use dark colored candies, chocolate chips or I used frosting. Then add a beak. I used a Reeses Pieces.

I actually got this idea from my Parade magazine.

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Homemade hummingbird food (nectar) recipe

Hummingbird-Nectar-Recipe-FoodPhoto taken in my backyard! I have feeders everywhere. This recipe works like a charm.
I have this pinned to my Gardening Pinterest board here.

Homemade Hummingbird Food (Nectar) Recipe

I love the satisfaction of spotting a hummingbird. They are such fast little buggers that you barely get more than a buzzing over your head as they fly to their next sweet spot. My friend gave me a homemade hummingbird nectar recipe many years back – and it works like a charm at beckoning these long-beaked beauties. The birds love the nectar, it’s simple and frugal to make, and it is safe for the birds (unlike some of the red colored packaged stuff from the stores).


4 cups water

1 cup white sugar


Boil water, add sugar, stir until dissolved.

Don’t boil too long – it will change the ratio of sugar to water. You want a ratio of four (4) parts water to one (1) part sugar. So you could do 2 cups water and 1/2 sugar, if you wanted or any quantity that follows the ratio.

Wait for it to cool and add to feeders. If you have leftovers, keep in fridge for up to two weeks.

Don’t add food coloring – it can be harmful. I’ve found red feeders with clear nectar are very effective without adding extra colorings. Also placing the feeder near flowers and/or greenery – the birds like a quick escape into a tree or brush. Try to avoid spilling – or else you’ll be in the business of attracting ants.

Clean your feeders about twice a month to keep build-up at bay. Once the hummingbirds find you – you’ll need to be filling them up about that often anyway! Lowes or Home Depot carry window hooks that allow you to put the feeders on your windows – which is a fantastic way to see a bird. In fact, we had a hummingbird on our feeder throughout most of dinner last night – right on the dining room window. The whole family enjoyed watching it and we were glad he/she joined us for our meal. 😉


If you don’t spot hummingbirds right away – don’t fret. Just keep putting out the food and they’ll come once they’ve deemed it safe, promise. Then they’ll come in droves.

And just for fun, I want to share one of my favorite mom memories. This is a photo of my son when he was about 9 months old. Watching the hummingbirds fly around the back deck and sip from the feeder. I can’t believe he’s going to be  even years old this year. Time flies, almost as fast as a hummingbird. . .

Do you have any secrets for attracting hummingbirds?

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Construction Cake – Kid’s Birthday Cake Idea

Construction-Cake-DIY-ideasPinterest – Construction Birthday Cake Idea

Construction Cake – Kid’s Birthday Cake Idea

My friend Erika posted this Construction-themed Kid’s Birthday Cake on her Facebook wall and I was so impressed I had to share it with all of you!  She gave me permission to share a picture and she shared her tips for how she made it. She started her planning with the yellow and black  CAT Construction Equipment.

Basic instructions:

1.) Make two 10″ round cakes and two 8″ round cakes. Use food coloring to dye the cake mix yellow and black and swirl together. Bake the cakes per the instructions on the box and freeze them overnight. Erika found that freezing the cakes helped with the frosting and decorating.

2.) The next day, make TWO batches of homemade fluffy chocolate frosting – 1 stick of unsalted Butter, 3 Cups powdered sugar, 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup milk, 2 tsp vanilla, and WHIP, WHIP, WHIP!

3.) For the the base of the cake cover a round piece of cardboard with aluminum foil. Start with one round 10″ cake, add a layer of frosting on top and sprinkle top with crushed Oreos then cover with the second round 10″ cake. Basically your stacking the cake – but putting a layer of frosting and Oreos in between!!

4.) For the top part of the cake, start with one round 8″ cake, add a layer of frosting on top and sprinkle layer with crushed Oreos then cover with second round 8″ cake. Just like you did with the bottom.

5.) Dig out a small crevice from top cake to make it appear like the diggers are. . .well digging. Frost rest of cake with the homemade fluffy chocolate frosting.

6.) For the number 2 (or whatever age is needed), print out a number 2 on your computer – as big as the cake. Then cut it out and place it on cake. Sprinkle crushed Oreos over  top of cake. Remove paper 2 when done – it should be Oreo-free like the photo.

7.) Using popsicle or sucker sticks and paper you can make signs to spell out a name. Erika used her Cricut to make the letters.

8.) Finish it off with Toystate CAT Mini Machine, 3″, 5-Pack (Amazon) pushing around yellow and brown Reese’s Pieces. Instead of piping (which can be tricky) – bead frosting around the bottom edge and top with Whoppers for a decorative edge!

What do you think? Isn’t it cool? What other ideas do you have things you can put on the construction cake?


This cake reminds me of these Choco-Rock cupcakes with worm and dirt that I posted back in April of 2012!

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Craftsy – FREE online crafting classes


Have you heard of Craftsy? It’s FREE website that regularly offers FREE crafting classes. I saw today that they have a collection of cake decorating classes for FREE, which I think would be really interesting. They also have FREE recipes for cake decorating – like frosting, marshmallow fondant, gum paste recipe, and even a Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe!

The FREE cake decorating classes include:

The Hand-Painted Cake

Modern Buttercream Frosting Class

Basic Fondant Techniques


They have a lot of other FREE classes available right now – I’m seeing 27 FREE classes at this time. Everything from drawing, to knife skills to photography and more.

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Freeze juice in muffin pans for smoothies

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Freeze juice for smoothies

We love making smoothies with our Vitamix. But we aren’t juice drinkers – so we often don’t have a carton of fresh juice in the fridge. So I started buying juice when I found it on markdown (read: super cheap) and I’d just take it home and freeze it in muffin trays (or ice cube trays) for use in smoothies as needed! It also works great if you need juice for a recipe!

1.) Pour fresh juice into muffin pans, mini muffin pans or even silicone molds
I found it was a little easier to pour juice into a 2-cup measuring cup and then pour into molds. I didn’t spill as much.

2.) Freeze for at least 24 hours

3.) Pop out juice and store in freezer bag
To pop out I found if I just set them on the counter for 5 minutes they loosen up. Or take a cookie sheet with sides and fill with hot water (in the sink) and set your frozen muffin pans in hot water – just a few seconds! It should loosen them right up.

4.) Pop them back into the freezer and when needed, pull one or two frozen juice packs out of the bag to make your smoothie!





What do you think? Good idea? What else could you freeze for your smoothies? 

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DIY Costume Ideas – Raggedy Ann, bag-o-popcorn, Pacman crew, LEGO man

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I know we’ve blown past Halloween, but I couldn’t move on without sharing some of the DIY costumes readers sent in this week. You’ll have to PIN them for next year, because they are some great ideas!

The adorable Raggedy Ann costume pictured above was sent in by Melissa. She writes, ” I love to craft, so I had the ribbon in her hair and on the straps of the apron sitting around the house already! I purchased some clearance white fabric from JoAnn’s for about $3 total.. And the dress was handmade by a friend who can sew and had fabric on hand. The hat/wig was crocheted, partially by a friend, and the yarn cost me about $10. Some lipstick and eyeliner that I already had completes the Raggedy Ann look! Not too shabby for $13!”

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This Popcorn costume idea was sent in by Kylene, she wrote, “Since I knew I would be carrying my son while my older son goes trick-or-treating, I decided to do something that I could incorporate his carrier with. I decided to have him go as a bag of popcorn! The costume couldn’t have been easier, or cheaper. I took a white piece of felt I bought by the yard (on sale even!) and cut it to fit the carrier. I hot glued red stripes, also cut from felt, to make the bag. For the letters I printed out the text that I wanted from the computer and traced out on the felt. For the popcorn hat, I took a larger, stretchy hat and hot glued popped popcorn. All told, the costume took about half an hour to make, and cost less then $5. I received a ton of compliments during our town’s Halloween celebration, and we took 1st place in the costume contest!”

Pacman-Crew Pin it.

This adorable Pacman team was sent in by Clara, she wrote, “I bought the felt at JoAnn’s on 40% off deal so I made costumes for my family of 8 for a little over $10!  And we won the costume contest last weekend at Fred Meyer and got a $20 gift card.  And we did a simple tacking stitch so we didn’t ruin any of the shirts.” 

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Easy Owl Craft for Kids – Make your own line-up of owls, using cotton batting

Originally published last year, I’m sharing again!

This craft was a hoot. I couldn’t help myself, sorry. But it is true. I think these fluffy little owls are as cute as can be and it really is an easy, easy craft. My five- and two-year-old both loved it and I luckily had all the items here at home. I stole this idea from preschool.

I especially like how you can line up your kid’s projects – so you can have a long row of owls. This looks really cool in a classroom or a hallway at school.


Construction paper – black, brown, orange and yellow

Cotton batting or stuffing – From an old throw pillow or quilt batting. You could try cotton balls but I had a hard time getting them to stick together.

Garage sale price stickers – or you can just cut out round eyes from regular paper



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