Tag Archives: Strawberry

Best Gifts for Mom

Happy Mother’s Day!

We are days away from the day we honor all the people we call Mom. If you’ve got babies, step babies, fur babies, grown babies, grand babies, and so on, this day is just for you!

Mother’s Day can be super stressful for some folks. How do you celebrate such an important person in your life? Don’t worry, I have some great ideas that are sure to make your Mom smile and keep you in her good graces.

Mother’s Day isn’t too difficult for me. My mother lives 600 miles away and ever since I gave her my first macaroni necklace I realized she is pretty happy with just about anything I give her. I know she would love to have me in person or even just love to enjoy the warm beaches here in Florida, but I sent her the second best thing: chocolate. My mom is totally a self proclaimed chocoholic. There is nothing she enjoys more than savoring a  Hershey’s milk chocolate bar while sipping on a cool can of Pepsi.
Of her three children, I am not the “good” kid. I was the oldest. I was the trailblazer and rebel. So of course I didn’t send the Hershey’s bar and Pepsi. I’ll leave that to my younger siblings.

But I did find these delectable chocolate covered strawberries from Shari’s Berries.

Always keeping a thrifty eye, I also purchased a Groupon for them to save some money. Actually I got the Groupon so that I could get her more strawberries for less money.  I’m not going cheap on my Mama. I just know how delicious these things are.

#ShareTheBerries

Once your order is delivered, she can just tag Shari’s Berries and add #ShareTheBerries with a photo of her sweet loot to be entered to win even more goodies. That is a totally sweet deal all the way around!

Being my mom’s oldest child, means that there was a time when I was growing up that it was just me and her. My parents divorced when I was less than two years old and my stepfather didn’t appear in the picture until I was five. Very much like how I’ve raised Cupcakeasaurus Rex, we were both single parents with a young child.
Mother’s Day can be hard for single moms. Many times they are doing the work of both parents and not getting recognition for either roll. They work long hours and constantly have a guilty feeling about not spending enough time with their babies. They realize though that working provides finances that allows them to improve their children’s lives. Looking through my limited pictures of CRex and me, I realized that the same phenomenon happened with my mother and me. There aren’t many pictures of us together. When you are busy being the parent, there is no time to take pictures of being the parent.

A special photo session would be an excellent idea for the mother in your life that may be parenting alone or just doesn’t have the time to update the scrapbook.

You can opt to purchase a gift certificate with a local photographer or even offer to take a mini photo shoot out at the park. Either way, those pictures are memories she can treasure for a lifetime.
Alright, so my mom loves chocolates. That may seem clichè but sometimes the common gifts are the best. Think of her favorites.

Think of what she would enjoy. Flowers?
I know, I know, the clichè-est of them all! However, there are some really cute ways to personalize such an over done gift.

For example, if you are a grown able bodied person and you want to give your mom flowers, you could by chance do some yard work for her. This could include planting, trimming, edging, mulching, etc. It is a task that she probably isn’t looking forward to doing herself but she will appreciate a beautiful job well done. She can take pride in her home and curb appeal.
If you are looking for a simpler route, you can pick out a planter that is representative of her personal style or something you two share together. Hanging plants can go a long way too. There are super cute pots that are shaped like coffee cups, or boots or large cry babies even. I know! What mom would want a flower pot that looks like a crying baby? I have no idea but there are all sorts out there.

Now, you are like me and your mom lives 600 miles away? Using a Groupon for a flower delivery service like ProFlowers is an option as well.

ProFlowers delivery on my doorstep

You pick out the prettiest bouquet you can find and you can pick the date it will arrive and any extras you might want to tack on. For Mother’s Day, you can tack on chocolates, special cards or deluxe vases. A neat thing about this option is that you can surprise Mom at work or at church or at Bingo night. You can choose the delivery options and make sure everyone she knows KNOWS that she has a kid that loves her.

My lovely Tulips still wrapped up and ready to bloom on the big day. Thanks Grandma! She knows what’s up!

For more ideas on flowers and exactly which types to choose, check out this post from Tione over at Beauty That Walks.

Chocolate and Flowers too traditional? I have ideas on not so traditional ideas too.

Groupon is still my favorite place to find all sorts of ideas. You can search for deals local to you if you want to do an activity together or you can search deals local to her if she lives farther away.

Some of the Groupon offers are for massages or spa days.

They sound nice for certain types of mothers but may not work for all. I remember being gifted a massage gift card for a baby shower gift. It was super thoughtful and sounded amazing. However, I finally got that massage when CRex was three years old. Sometimes life just gets away from us moms too much for all of that.

For more practical gift ideas to help make your mom’s life easier, check out this post from Divya at Eat Teach Blog.

She has the perfect solutions for that mom that just won’t go to the spa. Like me, she also recently married and uprooted her life to move across the country.

 Groupon also offers exotic experience gifts like riverboat tours, paddle boats or PaintNite sessions.

PaintNite is a fun gift idea I’ve done with my mom on her birthday before. This is a great idea for so many reasons. First, she gets to spend time with you, or she gets to spend time with whoever else she chooses to take. I’m sure she will have a great time with your younger brother.

Second, PaintNite makes everything super easy and fun. You don’t have to do any prep work. Their instructors bring all the supplies you need to make a wonderous masterpiece. Not to say everyone makes a wonderous masterpiece by any means. The instructor is there to help and encourage all levels of painting experience. They also host their sessions at restaurants and bars so you and Mom can enjoy food and drinks while you paint.

Lastly, you can give Mom your painting just like you did with your macaroni necklace. She will love it and think of this time spent together every time she sees it. Or you can keep it for yourself because really who wants your macaroni necklace?

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge my Mama. Thank you for always supporting me and my dreams. You did all the hard and yucky jobs and I definitely didn’t make it easy on you.

I would also like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to my Mother In Law. This is our first Mother’s Day together and I look forward to our upcoming plans.

Hopefully, you have not waited to the last possible minute to celebrate Mom and hopefully one of her best achievements: you. If you have, then I hope these ideas have helped you narrow down that perfect way to thank Mom for teaching you how to feed yourself, use a toilet and function as a human being. There is not a way out of this one. You have to celebrate!

If all else fails, bake her cupcakes. Cupcakes are always a winner around here. These Pretty In Pink cupcakes are sure to make Mom smile.

 

Was this post helpful to you? Did these ideas help you find the perfect gift? What excellent idea did I miss? Let me know in the comments below! I want to know!

 

 

 

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am so excited for the new year!

More excited than I was to move to Florida. More excited than I was for Christmas.

What better way to celebrate the new year than with some bubbly champagne and delicious strawberries? That sounds like a good start to a new year to me.

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I have had such a build up of excitement lately. This feeling I think normally hits people in fall or spring but for me it is right now. I want to shed all of the dead weight of 2015 and start 2016 clean, new and fresh. I have so many ideas and projects in store. I just can’t wait to share all of them with you.

Of course I will be maintaining our special Fridays of delicious cupcake goodness (forgive this one for being a bit late (I know, I know, not a great start for a new year)). But, I also have some other great recipes to share that I know you are going to love and some projects I’ve been working on as well. My house is going to undergo some changes this year with planning and budgeting and maybe some inexpensive remodels too. I can’t wait to get underway!

But first, let’s have a cupcake!

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes4~2

The natural inspiration for this cupcake was bubbly champagne. You pour a glass, you toast a friend, you kiss your love and that’s what New Years is all about. Well, for most folks anyway.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesCaptain Cupcakeasaurus was working at the station on New Year’s Eve so the kiddo and I packed a few glasses, grabbed a bottle of sparkling cranberry juice instead and toasted in the new year that way. Our family was together and that was the important part.

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

I am not one to just “miss out” though. When the holiday calls for champagne, we are going to have champagne dang it! It is funny because I have been craving ham for months now expecting it to come around for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well, when my grandmother announced she wouldn’t be doing ham for either of those holidays I practically purchased a ham the same day and announced we would be having it for our New Year’s dinner. They were a great price at Aldi and I ended up buying two.  The point is, I’m not missing out on my ham either!

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes

The natural pairing with champagne (outside of orange juice for a morning mimosa of course) is strawberries. This New Year Bubbly and Berry cupcake brings you both in a supremely sweet package. The cupcake has just a hint of champagne flavor so no need to splurge on fancy bubbly for this recipe. The cheap kind works just fine. The batter will be wetter than some of our other batters but it works out in the end.

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes When they are ready to come out of the oven they actually resemble muffins in look and density.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesNew Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesDon’t let that fool you though because topping them in a fluffy sweet Strawberry Buttercream makes for a delicious little cake. You can enjoy them on their own or go ahead and serve with bubbly good stuff.

New Year Bubbly and Berry CupcakesIt is time for the toast. Hold your glass high. Here is to a new year full of energy, fun, tasteful treats  and another year of making life taste sweet!

 

 

New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Light Champagne and strawberry cupcake topped with a sweet Strawberry Buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
New Year Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Light Champagne and strawberry cupcake topped with a sweet Strawberry Buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
Strawberry Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Bubbly and Berry Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 24 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and strawberries on medium speed. Add in champagne and vegetable oil.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients a cup at a time into the ;large mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Batter will be quite wet.
  5. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cupcakes will resemble muffins. A toothpick will come out clean when done.
Strawberry Buttercream
  1. In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 4 cups powdered sugar and vanilla to the butter and mix on medium high until well blended.
  3. Add pureed strawberries a little at a time while mixing into the buttercream. Powdered sugar may need to be added to maintain firm frosting consistency after pureed strawberries are added.
  4. Pipe frosting on to cooled cupcakes and enjoy.
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Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes

Happy Fall Y’all!

I totally just stole that from Jujube and her nifty diy-ed yard sign. But how fitting, right? October is closing and we are right smack dab in the middle of pumpkin season. Being in Florida for my first Autumn, I am seriously missing my North Carolina  colorful wonder from the changing of the leaves. It is hard for me to really embrace Fall without those majestic leaves dancing across city streets. Instead, I get Palm trees. Palm trees in the summer, Palm trees in Autumn and I’m pretty sure they’ll still be here for Winter. So as we move into the season together, there will definitely be more season inspired cupcakes to come along. It is Friday folks and you know what that means. As promised in Halloween Spooktacular Disaster, I’m here to deliver you another scrumptious recipe from my kitchen to yours.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, as I’m sure you’ve noticed across social media with all things pink. Sticking with the theme of the month, these Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes will be a tasty addition. I know it is the end of October but that doesn’t change their sweet taste nor the importance of the cause. Please make sure you are getting that mammogram done or encouraging your significant others to do so. They really are one of the best ways for early detection.

Pretty _In_Pink_Strawberry_Cupcakes

 

Now that the important stuff is out of the way, let’s get down to the fun stuff. The recipe is similar to generic strawberry cupcake recipes but with a few additions they quickly turn into the embodiment of female empowerment. By the way, they aren’t for women because they are pink. They just happen to be pink and can really be for anyone. I have to add a dash of my Feminism in there. However, after I made this batch, it was brought to my attention that the strawberry on top slightly (or more than slightly) resembles a piece of female anatomy. Don’t let that stop you from adding them though because I really feel the fresh strawberry adds to the sweet and strawberry tartness of this cake.

Before the oven
Before the oven
After the oven
After the oven

Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes
Simple Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Pretty In Pink Strawberry Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl combine wet ingredients of butter, frozen strawberries, eggs and almond milk.
  3. Mixing on medium slow speed, gradually add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Batter should be thick and wet. Add drops of food coloring to make batter the desired pink shade.
  4. Line cupcake tins with liners and spray with cooking spray for easy cupcake removal from wrappers. Fill each cup 3/4 of the way full.
  5. Add half a strawberry (inside facing up) to the top of each cake. Bake for 15-20. Toothpick should come out clean when done.
Simple Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. whip on high the cream cheese and evaporated milk until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar about a cup at a time. Icing should thicken.
  3. Mix in salt and vanilla until well blended. If runny, add more powdered sugar as needed.
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Reminiscent of Strawberry shortcake because in Fall we often long for those primarily Summer treats, I used Cream Cheese frosting but even whipped cream would work great. It is super easy and super delicious.

Pretty _In_Pink_Strawberry_Cupcakes

You can always dress these up with a fresh strawberry on top and really bump up that presentation. I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did. Strawberry is always such a classic flavor that so many enjoy.

Pretty _In_Pink_Strawberry_Cupcakes

Tomorrow, while you are out celebrating or not celebrating, remember to be safe and have fun. I am sure there will be plenty of Elsas and Jedis out there getting their Trick or Treating on. What is my Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex going as? Well, a Daryl-esque zombie hunter/survivor of course. That means Captain and I get the fun task of being awesomely disgusting zombies for the hunting.

Let me know how your batch comes out and I would love to hear what fun costumes your little goblins are going as this year. Trick or Treating is a great way to make life taste sweeter (or maybe it is just that big bag of candy ;)).