Archive | November, 2016

3 Ways to Dress Up Store Bought Cupcakes

I’ve said it here before, two things I love are cake and champagne.  So because I love those things, I see my fair share of cakes regularly.  Either on Pinterest or Instagram, beautiful cakes are always crossing my path.  I’d love to have beautiful cakes at my house and parties regularly, but I’m not a professional baker nor do I have a ton of money to spend on cakes. So I’ve devised a pretty reasonable priced  way to get beautiful, fun, and delicious cupcakes at all of your parties.

Here are three ways to dress up store bought cupcakes and make them just as nice as fancy, expensive ones!

Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!1. Add Even More Sweetness

What makes a sweet cupcake even more delicious?  More sweetness!  Top your basic store bought cupcakes with cookies, candy, or even fruit.  I added some leftover Halloween candy and some mini cookies.  They were definitely delicious and super sweet!

Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!2. Pretty Flowers Make Pretty Cupcake Toppers

Do you remember getting a sheet cake from the bakery and it always having flowers made of frosting on it?  Well, let’s take it up a notch with real flowers.  This is a great way to tie your flower arrangements at your party in with the desserts.  Be sure to wash the flowers really well before adding them to the top of your cupcakes.  It also helps to put the flowers on top right before you plan to serve them so the flowers aren’t on the cupcakes as long.

Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!I love the color combination of the chocolate cupcakes and white frosting with the deep burgandy of the fall flowers.

3. Raid your Craft Supplies

There are so many options to dressing up your cupcakes if you just raid your craft supplies.  So many things could make great cupcake toppers.  Washi tape, paper straws, place cards, pom poms, construction paper, the options are endless.  I am totally UH-bsessed with these black and white marbled tags that I used on my black and white cupcakes.  Plus adding some black and white straws with washi tape turned out cute too.

Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!Using coordinating craft supplies is a great way to tie your party’s color scheme in throughout the whole event.

Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!Turn basic store bought cupcakes into a beautiful and delicious dessert. Click here now!What are your thoughts on these cupcakes?  Which one is your favorite?  I can tell you right now that they were all equally delicious!  I think this is just a great idea to get something you want at a much cheaper price, and you can customize it just the way you want it.  Plus this method works on so many other sweets like cakes, donuts, and muffins.

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5 Things I Learned From My Second Whole 30

whole-30-meal-plan-1I bet you thought you wouldn’t have to hear any more about my silly Whole 30 that I recently did, did you?  Well, I wanted to do a kind of wrap up post on things that I learned during the Whole 30 and ways to help you be much more successful than I was.

As I stated in my previous Whole 30 posts, I really do this as a reset for my body and eating habits.  The side effects are great, losing weight, less bloating, and clearer skin, but it’s more of a mindset reset than anything else.  We sometimes get into a rut of what we’re eating and all too often it’s things that just aren’t good for us or our bodies.  Whole 30 cuts all of that out and puts you down a much better path.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do very well this round.  I cheated a lot, but overall think my main meals were much healthier than they had been up until I started.  After I finished the thirty days, I haven’t kept up with it as well as I’d like.  I should probably read the tips below to help me get back on the wagon again before the holidays start.  Here’s what I learned, hopefully they will help you stay on the wagon if you’re attempting a Whole 30.

Lesson Learned #1-Whole 30 While Working is Easier

My first Whole 30 was done when I was still working out of the house.  It was so much easier!  There are just too many temptations while at home.  Food is always accessible at home, that wasn’t the case at the workplace.  I only ate what I took to work with me, but when my refrigerator and pantry are just around the corner I ended up eating much more than I should.  I also snacked so much more while at home.

Lesson Learned #2- Whole 30 With Kids is Hard

The first Whole 30 I did was before I had kids, and it was so much easier.  While my daughter typically eats everything we eat, even Whole 30 foods, she did eat things that aren’t approved.  Therefore, I ended up eating things that weren’t Whole 30 approved because I hated seeing food go to waste from her plate.

My biggest recommendation is to give your kids less food than you think they’ll eat and give them more only if they want more so as not to be tempted to eat off of their plate. Also, it’s not the end of the world to save the leftover food or just throw it out, especially if it’s something that’s really tempting.

Lesson Learned #3- You HAVE to Plan Meals and Snacks

Not having meals and snacks planned out ahead of time will kill your success on Whole 30.  Finding compliant snacks is pretty difficult, but you’ll quickly get used to eating bell pepper strips, pickles, or an apple as a snack.  The best part is after a few days you won’t need or want much else as a snack.  But if you find yourself snacking too much, you’re probably not eating enough protein and healthy fats.  So up your meat and avocado game to fill up.

Planning meals is another way to be very successful with Whole 30.  Whether it be writing all of your meals out for each day, meal prepping, or cooking in batches, you have to have food readily available that’s compliant.  I like to do a combination of meal planning, prepping, and batch cooking.  Some nights for dinner, I just double how much I make so I can have lunch for the next couple of days.

I also find that batch cooking and planning ahead makes going out to eat, or eating with friends much easier.  Just eat before you go and you’ll be so much less likely to indulge in something not compliant.

Lesson Learned #4- Experimentation is Great

While some may think Whole 30 limits the things you can eat, I tend to think it just makes experimenting and trying new recipes your new normal.  It’s easy to stick to just a few of the things that you can eat, but that gets boring.  For you and your taste buds.  It’s easy to find new recipes and new ways to cook things on Pinterest or Whole 30/Paleo blogs.

Lesson Learned #5- Accountability and Support is Key

Whole 30 is hard, not as hard as other things in life, but it’s still quite a challenge.  If you have an accountability partner that is encouraging you or even doing it with you, it’s so much easier.  A support system is key. If you’re family isn’t planning on doing it with you, they at least need to support you and try not to tempt you.  A fun gift to yourself at the end of the thirty days is also a great motivator. Think a new pair of expensive jeans, bonus, they’ll fit better!

For all the naysayers in your friend and family circles, I find Whole 30 gives me a whole new confidence in dealing with them.  It’s simple, you’re doing it and you know what you can and can’t have.  Whole 30 makes it so easy to say no and that’s it.  How many times and situations in life do we feel like we can’t say no? Or feel the need to explain our “No’s”?  Not with Whole 30, the rules are simple, just say no and move on.  I promise you can do it.

So, are you ready to start Whole 30?  If so, my first recommendation is to wait until after the holidays, haha!  Post in the comments below if you’ve ever attempted one.  If so, what is your biggest piece of advice?  Have a great weekend!  Stay tuned next week for a really sweet post!

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Tablescape Tuesday: A Fall Floral Centerpiece

Wow, how long has it been since there has been a Tablescape Tuesday post? Well, we’re changing that today!  The Tablescape Tuesday series is all about ways to dress up your tables.  Dining tables, coffee tables, buffet tables, dessert tables, and so much.  I feel like adding a little extra something to your table makes entertaining guests more special.

Click here to see tips on using a fall floral centerpiece and tablescape this fall.Using floral centerpieces on a tablescape is nothing new, but how they are arranged can bring some dimension to this tried and true technique.  Using a collection of fall florals I changed up my typical arrangement to make a new kind of centerpiece.  By grouping the flowers in small, short, vases I took one large bouquet from Costco and made three smaller arrangements.  This allows me to really change up how to use the arrangement as a centerpiece.

Click here to see tips on using a fall floral centerpiece and tablescape this fall.One way to use these three smaller vases was by grouping them together in the middle of the table.  This works well with a round table, or if you are short on space.  Plus all three of the arrangements can be seen from all angles.

Click here to see tips on using a fall floral centerpiece and tablescape this fall.Next, I arranged the vases in a row down the middle of the table.  Long centerpieces work great if Thanksgiving is eaten around a long rectangular table.  Vases down the middle of the table allow the centerpiece to be spread out among all the guests.  Plus, there is still room for all of your holiday dishes.

Click here to see tips on using a fall floral centerpiece and tablescape this fall.More than the flower arrangements, I also wanted to make a little seating card display.  This is a really simple one anyone can use.  All you need is a pine cone, some brown card stock, and a pen.  You can write your guests’ names, a cute message, or Thanksgiving trivia on these all purpose seating cards.

Click here to see tips on using a fall floral centerpiece and tablescape this fall.Happy November 1st, I hope you had a great Halloween and are making it through the candy coma ok.  It’s such a fun time of year gearing up for the holidays.  Be ready to see a lot of Thanksgiving themed posts coming up this month!

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Celebrating everyday!