Turkey Cupcakes

Raise your hand if you love routine? Now raise your other hand if your kids love routine? I know from first hand experience that the week of Thanksgiving can be a stressful week for families, and while the reasons are numerous, I think one big factor is the abrupt change in pretty much everyone’s routine. This change can be even more extreme for everyone when kids find themselves outside out of their home (e.g. traveling for the holiday) or have guests hanging out in their home.

Because the truth is kids like routine. They’re going to wake up when they’re used to waking up. They’re going to be ready for snacks when they’re always ready for snacks. Sometimes, as much as we try and want to, we can’t keep them on their routine though. We also can’t assume that everyone else we’re celebrating the holiday with is going to jump right into our kids’ routine.

So, it’s really helpful to have a few go-to activities for your kids to do in those hours when their routine isn’t meshing up with how the days’ schedule is unfolding.

They can be simple, like new coloring pages and crayons or a secret stash of legos (we have such a secret stash that we only bust out when we’re on vacation- usually when we’re staying in a hotel room). I made a couple dozen of these Turkey Cupcakes several years ago before we had kids, and stored the idea away as one I knew I’d like to try again with my kids, whenever we had them, and whenever they were old enough.

My kids are 3 years old and 1 year old, and I knew they were ready to at least attempt decorating these cupcakes. I knew they probably weren’t going to look like something you’d see on Pinterest by the time they were finished, but the entire project, for the most part, would be edible (so I wouldn’t have to worry if they put something in their mouth), easy to clean up, and inexpensive- all I had to buy for it was a box of cake mix and some candy corn. AND, the best part, this is a TWO part activity, so it helps pass the time TWICE. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean…

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What do you need for this project:

  1. Cake Mix (and whatever the mix calls for … like eggs and oil)
  2. Cupcake pan
  3. Chocolate Icing
  4. Candy corn + assorted candy (we raided their left over halloween candy)

Steps:

  1. Make + bake cupcakes! And LET YOUR KIDS HELP. They may not be ready to crack eggs, but give them the whisk or let them operate the mixer by pulling levers or pushing buttons. They probably can dump the bag of cake mix into the mixing bowl if you cut it open for them and help direct the bag. Even my one year old can place cupcake liners into the cupcake pan, so he and my three year old did that part together. And older kids can, with guidance and oversight of course, ladle batter into the cupcake pan.

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  1. Let cupcakes cool – overnight even! This is what I did. We made the cupcakes in the afternoon, and we decorated them the following morning. See what I mean… TWO PART ACTIVITY.
  2. Decorate cupcakes. This is where you need to put your perfectionist bend to the side. Let them play while they decorate. The purpose of this activity is not to have perfect cupcakes when you’re done. The purpose of this activity is MULTI-purpose: have fun, engage with your kids, spend quality time together, and give them something to do in those windows when they’re feeling the effects of their routine being thrown off.

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Tips for SUCCESS:

  1. Make sure your icing is room temperature and one that easily spreads. I made mine from scratch and wished I’d just picked up a $1 jar of it from the store, because my decadent chocolate, cream cheese icing that I threw together right before we iced the cupcakes didn’t spread so well. And I think it was just too thick and too cold still. ALSO, because I used cream cheese frosting, I had to make room for the cupcakes to stay in the fridge. You’re not going to want to do this when you also have all of the Thanksgiving food in the fridge. So, just use the store-bought stuff that can sit on the counter without worrying about it spoiling.
  2. Change their clothes. We have “eating” clothes which are clothes that are stained-beyond-saving or a little too small that we keep in a bin. When we eat food that I know is going to stain- like red pasta sauce or chocolate ice cream, I have the kids go to the bin and pick out “eating clothes.” They also wear them when we paint or do a messy art project. So, change into clothes like that. Don’t have them decorate cupcakes in the clothes you want to take Thanksgiving pictures in. That’ll just make the whole experience stressful, which is counter-productive.
  3. Use what you have to decorate. The only candy I bought for this project was candy corn. We used skittles, sweet-tarts, and cereal to make eyeballs on our turkeys- all stuff I either pulled from the pantry or our kids’ leftover Halloween candy.

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Do you have a go-to activity for your kids to do when their schedule is thrown off? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

P.S. This post does contain affiliate links, but my opinions are always my own. Thanks for clicking through!

Laundry Room Makeover

I’m excited to finally share the little laundry room makeover I completed last month. Our laundry room was in desperate need of some love. It was the only room (minus closets) in our home that still had builder’s paint on the walls, but it’s probably the most traversed room in the house.

A laundry room is the most traversed room in your house?

Yeah, you read that right.

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It has three doors – one to our kitchen, one to our garage, and one to our powder room, which is definitely the most used bathroom in our home as the kids and I use it more than the other bathrooms during the day, and it’s the bathroom guests use too.

Also, like most families with attached garages, we enter and exit our home through the garage more than we do our front door, so we enter and exit our home through our laundry room.

Lastly, our trash can lives in the laundry room, as does our pantry, and one of our dogs sleeps in there at night (and he’s the dog who sheds the most). Soooooo, as you can see, our laundry room really needed some lovin’.

And what better way to love a room than to give it a fresh coat of paint?

My mom recently had her downstairs repainted in a beautiful blue gray. When I asked her for the name of the color she gave me an extra unopened gallon of it from the garage. (It may have felt like it was my birthday!)

Next I pulled everything out of the cabinets above the washer and dryer and everything out of the baskets above them. I ended up throwing half of what was there away which gave me a lot more storage space for things that had been cluttering up the kitchen (specifically lots and lots of toddler friendly arts and craft supplies).

Then I moved whatever could live in the garage into the garage, including the star hooks. AND the fly swatter. (Does anyone else have tons and tons of flies in their backyard? Accepting all tips on how to make them go away!!)

Then I mulled over how to keep my laundry room functional without it looking so cluttered in the open space in between the cabinets. Because, let’s face it, I can’t NOT do laundry things in my laundry room. I need to be able to hang stuff in there, and I knew there had to be a way to do that without it looking so junky. I reached out to a gal pal with a great eye for design (waving to you Jessica!), and she suggested more hooks to replace my hangars. I couldn’t be happier with these beautiful cast iron shabby chic wall hooks I found on Amazon. They’re subtle, functional, and pretty all at the same time.

While I waited for those to be delivered, I ran out to my local Homegood’s and grabbed these black baskets to replace the white ones and this cute Love sign. (So yes, I have a total of 12 hooks in my laundry room now, and I am 100% ok with that!)

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Lastly, I replaced the green/yellow tray I had on top of the dryer with a beautiful wooden serving tray from Crate & Barrel we were given as a wedding present. I think it’s gorgeous against the grey blue walls and white appliances.

I love that this tiny room is so inviting now and because I threw a bunch of things away, reorganized, and invested in a few more storage pieces (ah hem, hooks!), it’s actually more functional than it was before. Even the dog seems to enjoy sleeping in it even more now. : )

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

This post does contain affiliate links, but all opinions are always my own. Thank you for clicking through!