It all started with a simple little request from my son to have Clone Trooper and Storm Trooper Cupcakes at his birthday party. Honestly, I didn’t even know there was a difference between Storm and Clone Troopers, and pretty much assumed all the white-uniformed-robot-looking-guys were the “bad guys,” but boy was I wrong and my almost 6-year old was more than happy to give me a Star Wars 101.
Turns out in much more simplified terms than my son gave me that Storm Troopers are the bad guys and Clone Troopers are the good guys but they kind of all still look the same to me. Whether your Star Wars fan wants Storm Troopers or Clone Troopers this is the fastest, easiest and most budget-friendly way to make cupcakes worthy of ooos and ahhhs.
Box of white cake mix
Container of white icing
White cupcake liners
Black food pen (bought at my local craft store)
Bake cupcakes in white cupcake liners according to package directions, cool and frost with white icing.
Meanwhile, on each marshmallow draw one line horizontally on what will become the front of your marshmallow.
Then draw two upside down triangles from the horizontal line to make the eyes.
Next draw an upside down “V” to make the nose.
Finally, draw three diagonal lines on each side to make the breathing parts of the mask (these were very important according to my son).
Repeat until you have as many marshmallows as you have cupcakes.
Tip: If you want to do this ahead of time, simply store your marshmallows in a sealed freezer bag for 1-2 days.
When you’re ready to assemble all it takes is a little extra icing on the bottom of each marshmallow then plop them on the top of each cupcake.
At the party I gave each child a cupcake with a candle inserted on an angle (think light saber) so they each had their own candle to blow out and their own wish to make.
PS: Looking for more fun but easy things to bake for your kids? Check out my Ghost Cupcakes, my Rudolph Cookies, my Puppy Dog Cupcakes, and the Easy Way To Make a Heart-Shaped Cake (without special pans!).
PPS: Do you have a Minecraft Fan too? Check out my Minecraft Pork Chop Dinner and these awesome TNT Boxes that can easily be used as party decorations, as part of a Minecraft party game or even in place of a loot bag.
Here’s something we all know but rarely say: Being a mom isn’t easy. With that out in the open, tell me if this sounds familiar:
I drive by the gym and yoga studio I've been meaning to join every day, yet I’ve never gone in. But at work, my clients get proposals on time, my kids are rarely late for activities, and I always find time to bake muffins for my daughter’s dance team (almost) every Thursday.
I use not doing big things (like joining a gym or getting to a yoga class) as an excuse to let the little things slide. Sound familiar?
Well, it’s time to stop focusing on the big things you should be doing and start doing and giving yourself credit for the little changes you’re slowly making — because those changes, even though they may be small, can have a big impact.
Don't associate getting outside with having to do rigorous exercise. Instead, think of a daily dose of the outdoors as something crucial for your well-being. Whether it's walking the dog, pulling weeds from the garden, or teaching the kids to climb a tree - fresh air is good for you.
Tip: My number one tip for getting outside more often is to promise your kids you’ll do it. It’s amazing how a child who can’t remember to put socks on before school will never (ever!) forget that you promised them you’d go bike riding. You can also try making “walk dates” with your friends. It may surprise you to learn how many of your friends are trying to start new, healthy habits too!
This one is huge for me. It’s amazing how drinking enough water in a day can help me feel more energetic, less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks, and more alert! But as easy as drinking eight glasses a day sounds, I can't bear drinking just tap water.
When I heard about the Wellness Week Challenge with Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling Water challenge through my job here at YMC, I wanted to try it for myself. And guess what? It’s easier than you may think! Every time I switched out a glass of water for my morning juice, my afternoon latte, or my beloved glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed, I was doing something great for myself and making a healthy habit change. Yay me! Trust me, if I can do it, you can too!
Tip: Find what's right for you. Right now, my fridge is stocked with Lemon and Mandarin Orange Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling water. It has zero calories, no sugar and just the right amount of bubbles, which makes the #RethinkYourDrink Challenge to drink more water so much easier.
I bet your calendar is full, but unlike a glass of water, it can always hold more. If you can’t escape for a mid-day workout, be encouraged by some like minded colleagues to do something good for your health. Give yourself a pat on the back if you can spend 15-minutes stretching or getting up for a short walk, even around the office.
Tip: Replace your work chair with a yoga ball (research first to determine if this is right for you). Doing this can help with posture, circulation, and back and shoulder pain. It will also make you feel like you’re doing something “healthier” at work.
Sometimes it’s as easy as starting with healthy snacks or making simple switches at meals. You don’t need overhaul your entire meal plan or jump on recent fad diet bandwagons. If you choose carrot sticks and hummus instead of a bag of chips, celebrate that! If you choose salad for lunch instead of a burger, celebrate that too!
Tip: Make your veggies grab-and-go by dedicating time once a week to chopping your faves and loading them into individual sandwich bags or containers. Then, try to remember to grab one bag a day. This is a perfect addition to the #RethinkYourDrink challenge because every time you grab a glass of sparkling water instead of the drink you’re used to having at that time of day, you'll be grabbing a bag of veggies at the same time.
Depending on how busty you are, this could be a workout in itself, but believe it or not, there is some research that says if you dress for exercise, you’re more likely to do it. Something as little as putting your sports bra on when you get home at the end of the day (instead of taking your bra off), could mean you’re more likely to get out for a walk, start that 30-day leg challenge you saw on Pinterest, or play Just Dance with the kids.
Tip: Try doing this three times a week and having a couple of options for what to do once you put it on. Whether you take the kids out for a bike ride, throw on your favourite yoga video, check out a Pilates class, or even do a couple of squats while making dinner, you’ll be one step ahead of where you were last week.
Take some time every day to be disconnected and focus on what's happening around you. If you can manage this for even just a few hours a day, you'll be ahead of the average!
Tip: Start with shutting down by 7pm a couple nights a week and not logging back on until the next day. You'll be amazed at how re-charged you feel each morning.
Let's change our thinking and tackle smaller changes like mile markers along a route, instead of looking at it like scaling a mountain. Focus on making small, incremental changes to feel better. No one (except you) expects you to be perfect all the time, so try to let go of the guilt!
Want the easiest challenge you’ll ever take and maybe win a trip in the process?
It’s time to Rethink Your Drink! Register online at Sparkling7DayChallenge.ca and pledge to switch out one of your regular drink choices for a Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling water once a day for seven days.
Not only will you receive a coupon to save $3 off a case of Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling Water, six Canadians will have the chance to win a luxurious weekend away in Toronto.
It’s time to add some sparkle to your life. Register now.