Halloween Cakes And Cupcakes (And Why You Need Aunts)

Kids need Aunts because only Aunts  would be patient enough to mix up every color of frosting and teach the kids how to make their vision come true onto the cupcake.  Katarina loved the trick her Aunt taught her of making spirals on the cake then using a toothpick to make delicious spiderwebs.

I believe only an Aunt would hear from her teenage niece that she was supposed to bring baked goods hours ago to a fundraiser for her band (but she just forgot to mention it), and then proceed to whip up three cake batches (all from scratch), and then let a bunch of teenage girls take over the kitchen.

Their cupcakes were one of the first to sell out at the fundraiser and the girls had a blast doing it!

Only an aunt, after all that, would then teach the youngest how to decorate a whole cake.

And we’re very glad that this Aunt is also a chef because it all tasted very, very good. Here is the recipe for the cake batter everyone drools over:  Vanilla Bean Cake Batter.


Harry Potter Pumpkins & Why You Need Uncles

Photo Credit: Uncle Heath

Kids need uncles because only uncles will listen to you talk all about Harry Potter and then spend HOURS carving a pumpkin that will make the kids and their friends go “WOW!”

Only an uncle would go the extra mile and carve the Voldemort from Book 1 (movie 1),

and then turn the pumpkin around and carve the Voldemort from all the other movies…

This is SO cool!

If you are an uncle, or just someone who is willing to spend hours carving and wants everyone to go WOW when they see your pumpkins, I’ve collected many pumpkin carving templates and gathered them at our Halloween Pinterest Board.

Kids also need uncles because uncles tell stories of when they themselves were kids and recall how they put rocket engines in Pinewood Derby cars.  They tell you how to make rockets out of wrapping paper tubes and then explain what Occupy Wall Street is and how Occupy the School really would be the solution to changing recess rules, and can whip out the latest teenage slang at the perfect moment.

Yeah, uncles are dangerous, but they’re also very, very cool.

Plush Animal Lover’s Day

To celebrate Plush Animal Lover’s Day, I am reminded of just how much my kiddos love their animals.  If you can relate, I highly recommend handing over your digital camera to the kiddos and letting them have some plush animal fun!  Here are a few of my faves the kids produced over the years:

When Texting Has Gone Too Far…

Kitty Has a Movie Night


So they can help out with the cellphone bill, apparently.

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Makeover?!

Or consider taking many pictures from a tripod and turning it into a movie!

Here’s one Katarina made:

So let your little ones have fun with stuffed animals and cameras today!


World Pasta Day

Since today is World Pasta Day, I just have to share a new favorite pasta dish that I just made and love.  I would’ve taken my own picture, but it’s gone… I just wanted it in my tummy more than I did wanting to pause and get a photograph. Sorry.

Granted, I made it with gluten-free noodles, but I’m positive it will be just as good with wheat noodles.


Creamy Chicken Alfredo with Red Pepper, Broccoli and Mushrooms