Camouflage Cupcakes

I can’t believe that my “babies,” my twin boys, are turning 6 this week!!

Right now they are pretty much obsessed with anything related to guns, army, soldiers, etc.

Sooo… I thought they might dig some camouflage cupcakes for their big day.

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And what better way to top off a camo cupcake than with an army guy?

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Pretty cool, right?

I know tons of little (and big!) boys who would love these. No girly or fussy cupcakes for these dudes!

Here’s a little rundown of how I made these….

Start off by mixing a white cake mix in one bowl and a chocolate cake mix in a separate bowl.

Line a bunch of cupcake tins with your paper liners.

Once they’re mixed, set out 2 more empty mixing bowls. Put a spoon in each bowl.

Now, to get the whole swirly, multi-colored camo thing going on, you’ll end up making 4 different colors/variations.

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In one bowl, mix equal parts white and chocolate.

In the second, do white with just a bit of chocolate and add green food coloring.

For the other two, just leave them plain chocolate and plain vanilla.

Now, simply add dollops of each color kind of randomly in your cupcake tins.

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Since I made two complete cake mixes, I had plenty of batter, so I took the rest and did a small cake as well, using the same method.

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Here’s what they look like fresh out of the oven.

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I think they look better with a swirl of icing, and of course, an army man!

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Happy Birthday to my littlest men!

Plain Turtleneck To Easter Cardigan

There’s a mystery that I ponder every spring: Why do clothing companies make little girls’ Easter dresses either sleeveless or short-sleeved when Easter is usually still cold?

This bugs me every year! Sure, my little cutie can wear a pretty new Spring  dress, but I usually have to cover it up with a white sweater.

Well, this year her white sweater is too small.  Instead of buying a new one, I revamped a white turtleneck that’s been lying around in the back of her shirt drawer. (Hence the wrinkles in the first picture!!)

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My first move was to trim off the ends of the sleeves and get rid of the turtleneck portion. I then cut up the middle of the front the whole way.

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After that I hemmed up all of those edges that I just trimmed up, turning each in about 1/4″, then another 1/4″ and sewing.

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To add some finishing touches, I made a flower embellishment using a flower trim that I cut apart (found at Wal Mart in the ribbons and trims section, sold by the yard.)

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I also added a white grosgrain ribbon around the neckline.

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The result is a pretty, “new” white cardigan that my little girl can wear with her Easter dress, or as a layering piece with other spring items.

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Citrus Cleaning Spray

As you may know, I’m an avid fan of homemade cleaning products. I regularly use (and love!) my laundry detergent, fabric softener, tub and shower cleaner, and multi-purpose cleaning spray.

Well, I’ve come up with another one that I am quite fond of.

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This spray is also multi-purpose, and I have used it on everything from counters to mirrors to whatever else needs a good cleaning. Since it contains vinegar, which is a natural disinfectant, I would much prefer using this over something commercially made and chock full of chemicals.

Yes, the older I get, the more I am a little perturbed by the store-bought options out there. My son Andrew, whom we have dubbed “the Professor,” studies all kinds of science-y stuff. He reads labels and questions what is in our food, what we put on our bodies, etc. Just as an aside, last summer he was reading the label for a bug spray and has since been on a mission to make insect repellent that is safer for people to spray on their bodies. I have to see what we can come up with!

I can assure you that I have no reservations about spraying this in my house.

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You only need two ingredients to make this: white vinegar and citrus peels. That’s it.

I used the peels from several oranges and put them in a quart mason jar. Any other citrus would work beautifully too. Using white vinegar, I filled the rest of the jar and covered it. Then I left it sit for about two weeks, strained off the peels, and poured the liquid into an empty spray bottle. If you leave it to steep for longer, I imagine that it would be even darker in color. Then I busily sprayed away!

Happy (Almost) Spring!

No-Bake Energy Bites

If you’re on the hunt for healthier snack options that actually taste good, then this recipe is for you.

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A bonus  (besides the fact that they’re healthy) is that you don’t even have to turn the oven on to make these.

Just mix, chill, and roll. Sweet.

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The first time I made these they were gone in less than a day. My crew gobbled them up and pronounced them good.

The second time around I just went ahead and made a double batch. No messing around for this Mama, especially when it’s something they all like.

They are great for lunch boxes as well.

No-Bake Energy Bites

1 cup oatmeal

2/3 cup coconut

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients in, mixing well by hand.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes, the roll into balls. Store in the fridge.

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