Muffin Tin Girl's First Cake

Muffin Tin Girl made received some fun cake decorating supplies for Christmas. She made us a cake today and decorated it herself. I helped her with technique a little, but she did most of it! It turned out great! She loves cake decorating shows and wants to be a baker when she grows up. Only one problem, she wants to bake a cake every day, and there's only so much cake we can eat! And it's not exactly healthy either, but it was a fun treat.

Hope you are enjoying the holidays!

Scrabble Tiles + Muffin Tin = Alphabet Sorting Fun!

If you own the board game Scrabble (or Bananagrams, which is a "speed scrabble" knock off pictured above), then this is a fun sorting activity for your preschooler.

Grab all your tiles and an empty muffin tin.
ave your little one sort the letters into each cup.
This activity works best with two 12 cup tins (but can always be altered of course).
We ended up putting the x's, y's and z's in a little pile next to the tin.

The Muffin Tin Kids loved it!

My son, who is not as alphabetically advanced as my daughter, liked the scaled down version I made below. I chose A,B and C and had him put them in order- he loved that.

It just goes to show that there are a myriad of uses for those muffin tins!

*Originally published on this blog on 11-22-2008, reprinted with permission

Muffin Tin Monday

Welcome to Muffin Tin Monday! No Muffin Tin Meal for us this week, but I thought I would host the link up anyway for those of you that want to connect and showcase this week. In between Christmas preparations and me throwing my back out, we still managed to get a little crafty earlier this week, and made some sweet little Muffin Tin Liner Paper Doll Angels.

I loved them so much, I made a little "Muffin Cup Cutie". Muffin Tin Girl loved them and so do I.

Paper Muffin Liner Angel Craft

Today's holiday Christmas craft idea is inspired by Martha Stewart. I found these adorable snow lace cupcake muffin liners from Martha Stewart Crafts and I knew just what to do! Make little paper angel dolls.

To make these Sweet Christmas Paper Muffin Cup Angel Dolls, you'll need a few things:
  •  Paper Muffin Liners (I used these ones from Martha found online or in Michael's)
  • 1 Paper Doilie, cut into small sections for wings (see below) for angel head
  • 1 Circle Punch (or a way to cut out a circle from cardstock for the head)
  • Gold Glitter Dust and Glue ( Martha has that too ;) )
  • Craft Glue or adhesive (I used K & Co. Quick Dry Craft Bond because I had it on hand, but whatever works for you)

First step: Fold your muffin liner in half and in half again. 
Add a dab of glue to the inside fold for a little extra stability if desired.

Next: Cut out your circle for the head, add eyes and mouth with a pen.
 Add a line of glue at the top of the head and sprinkle with glitter. Allow a few minutes to try.
Cut out small sections of your paper doilie for wings
You should have all the pieces as seen below.

Now add them together: Glue the head to the body and the wings to the back.
 Poof out the sections on the bottom so it stands upright.

Look how cute she turned out! I just love them to pieces.  

Easy Christmas Kids Apples Snack

A Christmas twist on the beloved apples snack with caramel dipping sauce. Changing how you plate up your toddler, preschooler and child's food can be a creative way to inject a little fun into mealtime.

Christmas tree cup from Michaels (I think) and Christmas tree food picks are from

Painted Pine Cones

Just a little fun crafting. Our house isn't about muffin tins every day. We love to craft too! Pine cones (rescued from the roadside), acrylic craft paints, and glitter. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle with glitter (we used ultra fine white). So easy. And it takes a bit of time to paint all the little pieces of the cone, so it is a great Christmas break craft or snow day craft (but you'll have to find the cones before you get snowed in! hee hee!)

Be sure to shake off the excess glitter, or you will have glitter.every.where.

Muffin Tin Monday

 Welcome to Muffin Tin Monday! The weekly Muffin Tin Meals blog link up. We did  a "dipping" theme. Everthing in our tin could be dipped in chocolate sauce! IT was a major hit.
Strawberries, Bananas, Pineapple, Bread Cubes, with sprinkles for toppings.

 They each had their own tin with the  choco sauce in the middle on the plate in the middle
The banana slices were an instant favorite!

*Muffin Tin Monday is partnering with Linky Here, a new linky/blog hop directory where you can find information about all of the fun weekly blog link ups around. Check it out!

Now it's your turn!

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Here's a little Christmas Cute Food Link love:

Little Food Junction: Love this Kiwi Christmas Tree

Little Nummies: Make Cinnamon Sugar Snowflake Tortilla crsips. So cute (and doable!)

Jenni Price Illustration: Whip up a precious Pancake Angel with this step-by-step tutorial. *FOr personal use only please. :)

Are You Ready To Pack Lunch Fast?

Bento-style Easy Lunch Boxes are what I use to pack my kids school lunches. On occasion, I will make a muffin tin meal and put it in a low snapware container, but I don't want to deal will the possible spillage every day. So, I scoured the internets and found that the most cost effective and still super cute lunch box system were Easy Lunchboxes.
I've been using them for over a year and they are easy to use, highly durable, dishwasher safe, BPA Free, and the lids and accompanying cooler bags come in a variety of colors.

Unlike the cheap store bought disposable variety, these have withstood hundreds of trips in the dishwasher. And continue to hold up. Easy Lunchboxes are also the Top Selling Lunch Boxon Amazon. Which speaks volumes to their product. And no more spending money on little plastic baggies!

With Easy Lunchboxes, I can be creative in presentation if I want to. Or, if on busy school mornings, I need that extra 5 minutes to brush-my-teeth-get-dressed-comb-my-hair, then having these super simple lunchboxes is a life-saver. 3 items in the box plus a snack and drink and done! I highly recommend the insulated cooler bags that complete the Easy Lunchbox system. They fit the lunch boxes perfectly and come in a variety of cute colors.

For more fun kids lunchtime ideas visit the Easy LunchBoxes gallery.

Are you ready to pack lunch fast?

*Disclaimer: As an ELB affiliate, I recieve portion of the sales if you choose to purchase through the links in this post. I truly believe in this product which is why I became an affiliate. If you choose to buy, you would be buying a great product and helping a me support my family in the process

Easy Christmas Reindeer Kids Snack

*first published on December 20th, 2010
Open-Faced Rudolf Peanut Butter Sandwich Snack

To make this easy Christmas Rudolf Reindeer snack for kids, you'll need:

Antlers: 2 pretzels with the rounded edges bitten cut off
Face: 1 piece of bread cut in a circle shape with the Pampered Chef Cut N Seal and covered in peanut butter or your favorite spread (Maybe Nutella or Hummus as a healthier alternative)
Eyes: Chocolate chips
Nose: Marachino cherry
Mouth: red sprinkles/jimmies

Assemble as shown and enjoy.
Happy Snacking!

Muffin Tin Monday: Christmas

Happy Muffin Tin Monday This is the weekly blog link up where we share the Muffin Tin Meals we made for our kids. Over 3 years in the running, this little blog carnival has been the catalyst for some serious lunchtime fun. Here's what I made my daughter this week:
 Tangerines, carrots, circle ham sandwich with a Christmas tree

I used a food writer pen to make the tree. Let me just say, not a fan of food writers on bread. While it turned out pretty cute, I probably will try and find something (more healthy) other than food coloring to use -maybe cinnamon?  I bought these at the Dollar Tree. Pretty fun.

Now it's your turn!

Holiday Peppermint Milkshake With Chocolate

Peppermint is one of my favorite Christmas holiday flavors. And if you love peppermint like I do, then this simple peppermint chocolate milkshake is sure to please. Made with peppermint candies and hot cocoa mix, this treat is full of zing and pep.

What You'll Need:

5-6 ice cubes
1/4 cup Fresh and Easy Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix
1-2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk
10 peppermint candies (circle kind) Crushed, 2 set aside for topping

Place ingredients in a blender and blend on med-high until runs smooth.
Serve in a low tumbler with crushed peppermint on top.

What on your favorite holiday flavor list?

Muffin Tin Monday

Welcome to Muffin Tin Monday! Christmas is fast approaching. Providing healthy lunch for toddlers, preschoolers and kids can be a challenge during the holidays. Hopefully, Muffin Tin Meals are helping you feed those little tummies.

Ours is a not-so-Christmasy Christmas Muffin Tin Meal this week. But I couldn't help myself! We just recieved these cutie patootie sandwich punches from the wonderful folks at The Lunch Punch. If you are thinking about a fun gift for yourself or for that little chef in your life, then this is it! We tried their new Sweet line. It has ice cream cone, birthday cake and cupcake sandwich punches.

 Unofficially, it's a "Happy Birthday" muffin tin meal (for baby Jesus of course).

Look at these fun creations! Plenty of inspiration for Muffin Tin Meals.

Now it's your turn!

No Need For The Sunday Paper

I am totally in the Christmas spirit! Here are this week's links.

Iowa Girl Eats: Mini Cinnamon Rolls in a Muffin Tin. As my son would say "Oh. My. Heavens." Not only do these look delicious, but easy! Perfect little bites for Christmas Morning food.

Little Bit Funky: Quick Reindeer Thumbprint Ornament Craft  We did this with gift tags last year, but how fun with ornaments!

Lisa Storms: Reindeer Treat Bags. (Can you see a theme to this week's link round up?) These are absolutely adorable!

San Diego Deals and Steals: Recycle old baby food jars for a cute holiday teacher gift (pictured above). I love that guest poster Rory had help from her sweet daughter.

Christmas Muffin Tin Meals Supplies

I'm ready for Christmas-y Muffin Tins. How about you?

Places to find Muffin Tins:

-Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Joann's : Armed with a 40% coupon, you can get a great deal on some fun Holiday Muffin Tin Supplies.

-Dollar Store - Right now, Dollar Treee has a selection of holiday baking items such as 6 cup muffin tins, holiday themed cupcake liners and picks.

-Target: Always be on the lookout in their dollar aisle. I have seen fun muffin cups and holiday muffin tins (like the christmas tree ones pictured above) in the Dollar aisle.

-Thrift Stores: Goodwill, Salvation Army and your local thrift store may have muffin tins just waiting to be given new life!

- Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls: These discount stores offer some unique cookie cutters and sprinkles and the occasional muffin tin in the cookware sections. Be on the lookout!

Muffin Tin Meal: Fruit, Cheese and Bread Snack

Just a little fruit, cheese and bread plate for the kids. Join me every Monday for Muffin Tin Monday. When I started to put this together one afternoon last week for the kids I realized I was piling their plate with ho-hum foods. Cut it up and pop it in a muffin tin and instantly it looks more appetizing! It's an easy simple idea that will have your toddler or preschooler begging you for a muffin tin meal.

Christmas With The First Ladies

Growing up, my mother took great care in decorating our home for Christmas. She would spend days creating a veritable winter wonderland in our home. Every surface was adorned with holiday trimmings. From blankets of billowy white tulle and garland wrapped in white lights to vignettes with wise men and our vintage lighted carolers, my mom made sure Christmas was a magical time for us children. I only hope as my children grow I can create these same kind of unforgettable Christmas memories. I was always amazed at how she made decorations come alive and almost dance through out the house. When I was a girl, I used to just sit in our living room with all the lights off but the soft glow of the tree. 

(My mom's Holiday table this year)

That magic of the Christmas holiday that my mom created for us is the same holiday spirit that the first ladies of the United States create in their own home during their husband's presidential term.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I poured over Colleen Christian Burke's newest book "Christmas With The First Ladies". I snuggled up by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand and read about how the wives of America's president's from Kennedy to Obama created themes around the White House holiday decorations that both reflected their personal style and honored our Country's current political, cultural, and economical climate. 

(My sister-in-law sitting near me pouring over the book too!)

Each first lady took great care when imagining the year's theme for the Christmas decorations.
For example, First Lady Betty Ford's theme centered around the hard economic climate of the mid1970's. Her theme in 1974 was "A Patchwork Christmas", showcasing hundreds of handmade ornaments. While still ultimately costly (although today $1600 doesn't seem like that much for the White House), the money came directly from Mrs' Ford's own residence housekeeping budget.

In 2001(months after the 9/11 attacks), First Lady Laura Bush's theme "Home For the Holidays" with white, gold and silver was no seen by many visitors. Mrs. Bush recalls that the White House during that time "had the quality of stillness after a snow. Almost no one was allowed in to see the decorations." The final year Mrs' Bush would spearhead the White House Christmas decorations, she chose (at the request of many letters from the American people) a "Red, White and Blue" Christmas. She reused decorations from previous years, not unlike many Americans that year. That year, 27 Christmas trees were decorated. Can you imagine?

(White House Christmas 2004)

Author Burke had the unique honor of being granted access to the White House historical files with regards to  the holiday and was able to weave together a compelling portrait of each First Lady's experience in the White House during Christmastime. She was also a decorator for the White House in 2008. In the book she recalls "As I worked with bows, bunting, and ornaments, I was ever aware of the historical importance of the rooms in which I stood."

The book is filled with delightfully nostalgic photos and recreations of signature recipes and crafts from each of the first ladies such as Hilary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies or Nancy's Reagan's Monkey Bread (below, with an updated twist in a muffin tin).

(Nancy Reagan's Monkeybread Recipe)

Interested in finding more books like Christmas With The First Ladies? You can interact with Publisher Insight Editions on Twitter and Facebook.

A bit about the publisher: "INSIGHT EDITIONS is an illustrated book publisher focused on creating superlative books on photography, music, and popular culture. Lavishly produced and visually stimulating, every volume from Insight is dedicated to the skillful interplay of word and image. The books produced are unique works that combine the highest quality print production values with the time-honored traditions of publishing and rich subject matter. Elegant and informative, books from Insight showcase the best of art and photography in exquisite presentations of the bookmaker's craft."

*This is a sponsored post. And is advertorial in nature like when an athlete endorses deodorant only much classier. My opinions are my own and I loved reading this book. You can read my full disclosure policy here.  All photos in this post are copyrighted. 

I have been especially anticipating Christmas this year. I am readily excited to create and share in those unique-to-us holiday memories. Do you have a favorite recipe or decoration that makes the season exrtra magical?

Muffin Tin Monday

Welcome to Muffin Tin Monday! It's time for the weekly muffin tin meal photo link up. To read more about Muffin Tin Monday and Muffin Tin Meals, be sure to read the FAQ page. Muffin Tin Meals are a creative way to serve food to toddlers, preschoolers and kids. Have a "picky eater"? Why not give Muffin Tin Meals a try? 

We had a fantastic week spent with my family. We had so much fun, I'm pretty sure I need a vacation from my vacation! Here's are Muffin Tin Meal for this week:

In this tin: Leaf shaped bread, a dollop of pumkin butter (mmmm....), 
apples, bananas, green peppers, carrot sticks.

Here's the spread my mom offered over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Lots of healthy choices.

Now it's your turn!

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Here are a few wonderful links I have come across this week. Hope you enjoy!

Katie's Nesting Spot: Celebrate gratitude all year long with this DIY dry erase board dedicated to thankfulness

Sugar Jones: Quiche Your Leftovers Goodbye.  Still have leftovers? Love this recipe even if you don't.

Simple Mom: The easiest Christmas Advent Calendar ever. Seriously.