Gingerly Made

Monday, October 20, 2014

Candy Corn Cupcakes Halloween Snacks

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.



Do you have Halloween parties before trick or treating starts? We typically go to our church for Trunk or Treating. It's a fun time where the kids can collect candy, the parents can socialize, and we offer a lot of fun besides just trick or treating. One of the games is a cake walk. It's a bit like musical chairs except you land on a number. A random number is pulled from a hat and if you are on that number you win a cake of some kind. So, I made these fun Candy Corn Cupcakes using Fanta to give as a prize.

I partly went with candy corn because Halloween is full of #SpookySnacks and I'm not a big fan of spooky. It's just not my thing. But I DOlove the colors of candy corn! It's fun and festive with out being gorey or creepy.

You might notice though that I got my colors mixed up. It's supposed to be yellow on the bottom, orange in the middle, and white on top. I made mine orange, then yellow, then white. Doesn't it just make better sense to go from dark to light?? Oh well, you get the idea right. I'll get it straightened out for the real Cake Walk batch.

If you have never made a cake using soda, you HAVE to try it. The cake turns out so flavorful and moist. It's great! And easy! I really like using Fanta because it gives the cake a nice orange flavor. And when paired with a lemon flavored cake, the citrus flavors pop.
Fair warning: Because you are using two boxes of cake mix, you will end up with a LOT of cupcakes. So be prepared to host a Halloween party, give them away, or just be really hungry. I ended up with 3 dozen cupcakes!

Ingredients:

2 boxes yellow cake (I picked a lemon cake)
12 oz. or 1.5 cups Fanta
2 cans white frosting
ingredients for 1 of the cake mixes
red & yellow food coloring
cupcake liners

I picked up everything  I need from Walmart. It's just so easy to run in and grab what you need. But I have to make a list or else I grab a bunch of other stuff too. Anyone else like that? There will be an in-store demo at select Walmart locations October 24-26th featuring Fanta, as well as Wheat Thins and Halloween Oreos. So make sure you plan a trip that weekend - like you don't end up there every weekend for one thing or another anyway.

Directions:

Start by mixing your first box of cake mix with the ingredients directed on the back of the box.

In a separate bowl, mix the second box of cake mix and Fanta. Mix. -- Yep it's that easy. 



My first batch of cupcakes came out DELICIOUS, but the color difference between the yellow and orange just wasn't obvious enough. The picture below makes the colors blend even more than they really were, but you get the idea. Or rather... you miss the idea.


So, with the second batch, I added red and yellow food coloring to the orange batter. WAY better!


Add cupcake liners to your baking pan and spray with a vegetable spray so your cupcake won't stick to the liner. Then layer your batter. YELLOW first, THEN ORANGE; opposite of what I did.

Don't overfill or your cupcakes will look more like mushrooms than cupcakes.


Cook according to package directions.

When your cupcakes have finished cooking and cooling, add a swirl of white icing on the top to finish it off.

These cupcakes are some of the moistest (is that a word?) cupcakes. You almost don't even need the frosting on top. Almost. Well, I may or may not have had enough frosting to finish all 3 dozen cupcakes and I may or may not have eaten the ones with out frosting. Let's just say that these cupcakes are rather tasty.


Whether you are going to a Trunk or Treat type party away from home, hosting a party at your house, or just looking to give the kiddos some pre-trick or treating snacks, these cupcakes are a must. And don't forget to have some bottles of Dasani on hand. Drinking water will keep everyone hydrated while trick or treating and help ward off a little of that sugar high.

And on a side note, I love that All Dasani bottles are made from plant resin. I'm usually a little weird about buying bottled water, but I don't feel so badly about it when I know that the bottles are better for the environment compared to other plastic water bottles.


 



Keep Up Fanta & Dasani on Social Media:
Fanta: Facebook | Twitter Dasani: Facebook | Twitter

 What are your favorite Halloween snacks?

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Show Me Saturday #3 {Come Link Up}

Welcome back to the Show Me Saturday link party!

Please follow each of the hostsess in some way.

3 Little Greenwoods 

Gingerly Made 

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My Creative Days

  
You are a bunch of AMAZING crafters! We wish we could feature you all, but since we can't, we're keeping up with your stand out projects on the Show Me Saturday Pinterest board. We'd love it if you followed along too!


Don't worry, we're still showing off features on the blogs! Here are my picks for the week. Don't forget to stop by Ashley and Lindsay's blogs to see their features too.


How cute is this little sweetheart and her owl costume! Mimi Cute Lips shows us how she made this adorable costume.


Restoration Beauty has been working on some affordable autumn leaf decorations. I'm loving the gold paint!



Dwelling in Happiness has been decorating too. Ombre arrow nail art, what's not to love!

SONY DSC

The Pickle Bee made some Parsley Potatoes that look fantastic! With the bacon, I could eat these as a stand alone dish and of course, they'd make an amazing side dish.

ParsleyPotatoes

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Cash Giveaway {2 $300 Prizes}



It's been awhile since I've hosted a giveaway. I've just been a bit out of the giveaway loop lately. Well, today I'm back at it. I've partnered up with some other bloggers to offer 2, not 1, TWO $300 cash prizes.

And let's face with Christmas just a few months around the corner we could ALL use a little extra spending money. So enter as much as you can and cross your fingers. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky winners.

If you win, what would you spend it on?

A big thanks to our major sponsors for this giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

8 Rules for Being a Princess & Sleeping Beauty DVD Release

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

8 Rules for being a Princess

Having two little girls means we know a LOT about Princesses. Princess stories are near and dear to their little hearts. From the classic Disney stories in which the Princesses were more limited by their culture to modern empowered Princesses, each have lessons that we can learn from. The new release of  the Sleeping Beauty DVD has gotten us thinking about what it means to be a Princess.

First we needed to do some reconnaissance. So, we headed to Walmart to pick up the DVD and some other Princess gear. Select Walmarts were hosting a "Princess Event" with coloring activities sheets and cupcakes. My #DisneyBeauties dressed up in their princess costumes and we headed out to join in the fun. Of course when we got there, my girls were interested in what they always are interested in at Walmart... TOYS.

Sleeping Beauty DVD

Since we were on a mission, I let them pick out a few princess themed toys to go along with the movie.



Now we were ready to find out what it means to be a princess. After much study, this is what we have learned from the Disney Princesses.

Kindness Counts:

From the oldest of Disney stories to the newest, I have yet to see a princess be rude or unkind. Real royal families win favor with the public by showing kindness. Kindness is, in my opinion, the #1 rule of being a true princess.

Kindness could be something as simple as taking the time to talk to a little girl who just LOVES you. Or it could be something a whole lot bigger, but you will never regret showing kindness.

Never Stop Learning:

Girls are smart, capable, engaging people. There was a time in which education opportunities for women were limited, but thankfully we live in a different world now. It doesn't matter if you start out as the smartest cookie in the box, Princesses are curious about the world around them and love to learn. Belle and Ariel are my favorite examples for a love of learning. These princesses valued knowledge.

Have Good Manners:

Never underestimate the value of good manners. A simple please or thank you goes a long way. This often goes hand in hand with being kind. A kind person uses their manners to make others feel appreciated and cared for. Look to Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle for examples of good manners.

It takes lots of practice to learn good manners.

Work Hard:

From Cinderella to Tiana, Disney Princesses have always had an excellent work ethic. It doesn't matter if her work was imposed upon her or self-motivated. The ability and willingness to work allows us to provide for ourselves and prevent us from having to rely on others.

Make Friends with the Animals:

Is there a Princess who wasn't friends with animals? I don't think so. There's a reason for that. Animals are awesome!


Dream Big & Find Adventure:

Princesses do NOT have to be prissy girly girls and adventure isn't limited to finding Prince Charming. Princesses are dreamers. They have goals. I think Merida is the biggest adventure seeker of all the princesses. She longed for freedom she didn't feel she had as a princess, so she would sneak away to ride through the forest on her horse, shoot her bow & arrows, and climb mountains.

Fashion is Serious Business:

Ok, so this one is less important in the grand scheme of things, but have you seen a princess that dressed poorly? Princesses take care of themselves, dressing and fixing their hair to the best of their ability. You don't have to dress like everyone else and conform, but you can still try to look presentable.

(I actually had a different title and angle planned for this "rule", but my girls were so serious about playing with their dolls. They were incredibly focused and barely even spoke to each other. Ha! Fashion is serious business indeed! This picture shows the most interaction they had with each other the whole time.)

EVERY Little Girl is a Princess:

Ok so THIS is the REAL #1 rule for being a princess, so pay attention.

It doesn't matter if you are of royal blood or an everyday kind of girl, young or elderly, beautiful or plain, intelligent or common, EVERY girl is a princess at heart and should be treated like the TREASURE she is.

As you can see through the pictures, we have been studying Princess for some time.  You'll notice the ages of my kids changing throughout. Their love for all things Princess has not changed.


What about your kiddos? Do you use Disney stories to reinforce lessons in manners and kindness?

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Classic Lasagne



My momma's lasagne is one of those recipes that I remember from my childhood. I suppose it's not technically a "comfort food," but this recipe is to me. It reminds me of home and puts me in a happy place. Every since moving out on my own and getting married, I've been making it and passing on the legacy to my family. I hope one day, my girls will make this recipe for their families.

Sometimes I'll serve it up with a nice salad and side of garlic bread; usually when there's a larger group over for dinner. But often times, when it's just us, we go simple and let the lasagne act as a stand alone dish. It has a great texture that isn't too dry or too cheesy and you can customize it with add ins if you like.

Ingredients:

1 package lasagne noodles
1 lb ground beef
28 oz spaghetti sauce
15 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz mozzerella cheese
8 oz grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt
pepper
Italian seasoning
Optional Add Ins: (Spinach, Mushrooms)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook noodles in salted boiling water. Drain and set aside.

Brown ground beef, drain excess fat and set aside.

In small bowl combine ricotta, parmesan, and egg.

Add a small amount of spaghetti sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. You only need enough to spread around and coat the bottom of the dish. The sauce prevents the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Now using half of each ingredient, begin to layer your lasagne; noodles, beef, sprinkle salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste, ricotta cheese mixture, spaghetti sauce. Use the back of a wooden spoon to spread the spaghetti sauce over the whole lasagne.

Then using the other half of the ingredients, add another layer in the same order.

Top with mozzerella.

Bake uncovered for approximately 1 hour or until sauce is bubbling around the edges.


What classic family dinners do you serve?

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Show Me Saturday #2 {Come Link Up}

Welcome back to the Show Me Saturday link party!



Please follow each of the hostsess in some way.

3 Little Greenwoods 

Gingerly Made 

Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+

My Creative Days


Lindsay's Week ImageShow Me Saturdays #2 mycreativedays.com 
Ashley's Week Image
party features
  
You are a bunch of AMAZING crafters! We wish we could feature you all, but since we can't, we're keeping up with your stand out projects on the Show Me Saturday Pinterest board. We'd love it if you followed along too!


Don't worry, we're still showing off features too! Here are my picks for the week. Don't forget to stop by Ashley and Lindsay's blogs to see their features too.


Her Toolbox is an amazing site that has detailed plans to create projects like this Shoe Shelf Bench, and makes you feel like you can create one too!

Love this shoe shelf bench, easily kick off your shoes and be on your way.  Free plans customized to your space on hertoolbelt.com

View from the Fridge shows us how she made this beautiful and colorful fall wreath. And the best part, it only took 5 minutes!

Easy 5 minute DIY Fall Wreath  |  View From The Fridge 

Blooming Homestead created this ADORABLE Easy Teddy Bear Costume. I just can't get over how cute this is!

Handmade Teddy Bear Costume by Blooming Homestead #diy #halloween #costume #diycostume #babycostume #toddlercostume

This Silly Girl's Life stepped up a traditional snack dessert and created Pumpkin Patch Munch.

Pumpkin Patch Munch, traditional muddy buddies dusted with pumpkin pie spice powdered sugar and loaded with peanut butter m&m's and pumpkin spice kisses! - http://ThisSillyGirlsLife.com

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Everyday Dress Up with Disney Junior

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Everyday Dress Up with Disney Junior


Parents are universally blindsided by their children. Sometimes it's in good ways and other times by the challenges of parenting. Today I'm going to talk about one of the many ways I was blindsided. And it was in the cutest way. My daughter is a dress up fanatic and still is to this day. We've recently been having a lot of fun with the #JuniorCelebrates Disney Junior line at Walmart.

I was completely unprepared for the vast imagination of toddlers. Yes, I knew kids had amazing imaginations, but to experience it put it in a whole new light for me. My girls are constantly playing some imaginary game and often are dressed up as an animal or character of some kind.

For a while I couldn't even go to the grocery store with my daughter dressed normally. She spent most of her days in dress up clothes and to ask her to change when we went somewhere just wasn't worth the battle. Besides she looked so darn cute dressed up and loved it so much, why on earth would I discourage her from it?

To this day, she still LOVES to dress up and she's teaching her sister all the finer points of playing dress-up. For Halloween this year, Caitlin is going wear a Sophia costume and Hayley is going to wear a Minnie Mouse costume. But as much as they love playing dress up, I just couldn't make them wait to put on their costumes.

I mean, look how much fun they're having!

Dress Up Play

While I always knew dressing up and imaginary play were important parts of childhood, I am now an avid proponent of it. I see how important it truly is in my children's development.

Here's a few ways that dressing up and imaginary play helps children as they grow:

Dress Up Play Child Development

Practicing Emotion:

Imaginary play is a fantastic way for kids to practice emotions. It's hard to control our emotions (toddler and adults alike) the first time we feel them. Practice through play allows them to understand acceptable ways of conveying their feelings whatever that maybe.

Actively Replay Things They Have Inactively Learned:

Kids are learning ALL THE TIME. While I try to limit TV time, there are some shows that I really enjoy sharing with my kids because of various lessons they teach; moral and academic. Also because my daughters love animals we read a lot about them, their habitats and life cycles.

Recreating those stories or lessons in pretend play further instills those lessons in little minds. I can't tell you how many times I've been surprised by the knowledge of animal life my daughter has and how she has shown me that knowledge through her pretend play. For example, one day she was a baby sea turtle and told me that she had to hurry to get to the water before the seagulls or crabs tried to eat her. Then she asked me to be a seagull and chase her. LOVE it!

Language and Story-Telling:

Dressing up and pretending to be a character gives children tons of opportunities to tell and retell stories. Maybe they start by retelling a story they have already heard, but inevitably, they will begin to make up their own stories. You'll be surprised by the vocabulary and word pictures your children use.



With Halloween coming up and so many costumes on the shelves, this is a fantastic time to load up on dress up outfits for your kiddos. Walmart has a ton of Disney Junior costumes to pick from. Check in your local Walmart for special in-store displays featuring Minnie Mouse and Doc McStuffins costumes from from Oct. 4 - 18th

While I was shopping I grabbed some party supplies too. I got a bunch of Minnie Mouse party supplies because Hayley's birthday is a few days before Halloween and guess what theme she wants. I forgot to get the table cloths though, so I'll have to head back and pick up a few more things.

Party Supplies Walmart

Anyway, whatever your kid is into; characters, animals, people they know, let them dress up and role play. It's good for them and a lot of laughs for you.

Are your kids dress up fanatics? What are they going to be this Halloween?

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