Cute Apple Cupcakes

Cute Apple Cupcakes

With teacher appreciation week coming soon these cute Apple Decorated Cupcakes would make a great treat.    They are quicker than you think.  You use a boxed cake mix, homemade frosting and decorate.

IMG_6236

Cute Apple Cupcakes

Cake:
1 box White Cake Mix + box ingredients
Red Cupcake Liners

Frosting:
1 cup softened Butter
3 cup Powdered Sugar
3 TBSP Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
Red Food Coloring
Red Sparkling Sugar
Tootsie Roll Midgies
Green m&ms or Green Fruit Rollups

IMG_6244

Preheat oven and line muffin tins with cupcake liners.    Prepare batter according to box directions and bake according to box directions for cupcakes.   Allow to cool completely.

IMG_6252

Whip butter and vanilla for until fluffy, gradually add powdered sugar.   Add milk until you reach desired consistency.

IMG_6260

Add food coloring until you get a pink/red color.

IMG_6268

Frost each cupcake and sprinkle with red sparkling sugar.

IMG_6284

Insert Tootsie Roll in middle of cupcake to resemble the stem.   If using Roll-Ups, cut 2 leaves for each cupcake and place near the stem.   If using M&Ms, place 2 M&Ms to represent leaves.

Dinner Made Simple Cookbook

This post is part of a social shopper marketing campaign with participating title but all my opinions are my own.

Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets with Zucchini Salad from Dinner Made Simple Cookbook

I have a weakness for a few things…chocolate, anything with polka dots, and cookbooks.   I love having a kitchen cupboard full of cookbooks so I have endless meal inspiration at my finger tips.   I love to flip through the books and have a photo of the recipe I am creating so I can see what the end result will look like (or should look like).   Mine don’t always turn out like the photos.  : )

Busy schedule

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is busy running kids to activities, stopping by the library, picking up items at the grocery store and doing about a dozen other things on their to-do list.

350 recipes

Making dinner with a busy schedule isn’t always an easy task, but this new cookbook Dinner Made Simple by the Editors of Real Simple saves they day.  Dinner Made Simple is filled with 350 easy recipes with 35 ingredients you may already have on hand.   The Dinner Made Simple cookbook can be found at Target.com right now for $16.98 (reg $24.95).   I know many of you have the Target REDcard which means you can have it shipped for FREE!

Dinner Made Simple

I think this cookbook is so clever because it divides recipes into categories of specific food items and then shares variations of recipes containing that one item.    Here are just a few examples of the categories:

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Mozzarella
  • Oatmeal
  • Pizza Dough
  • Potatoes
  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Spaghetti
  • Tortillas

Chicken Cutlets

If I have Chicken Cutlets on hand then I will check out the “Chicken Cutlets” section of the book, which is exactly what I did for dinner last week.   I chose to make the Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets with Zucchini Salad.

cut veggies

I love that it gave me a suggestion of a salad to go with the chicken, I didn’t have to come up with something to compliment the chicken on my own.  Sometimes the less thinking you have to do for dinner, the better.  Am I right?

Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets with Zucchini Salad

This meal was quick and easy and only took about 30 minutes to prepare.   Quick dinner prep also comes in handy on those busy nights.

garden vegetables

The chicken was good and the Zucchini Salad was divine, it was light and fresh and the perfect compliment to the chicken.   This would make a great meal during the summer when your garden is overflowing with fresh vegetables.

Great gift idea

Pick up a copy of Dinner Made Simply by the Editors of Real Simple at Target.com, now is the perfect time since it is sale priced at $16.98, which is 32% off the regular price of $24.95.    This cookbook would also make a great gift!   Simply tie a ribbon around the book and attach a wooden spoon or cooking gadget and you have an easy gift.   I’m thinking this would be great for Mother’s Day.

Dinner Made Simple by editors of Real Simple

Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets with Zucchini Salad

Ham and Brie in Puff Pastry

Hillshire Farm Ham & Brie in Puff Pastryjpg

Looking for something different for lunch?  Give this Ham and Brie in Puff Pastry a try.  It has yummy Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Honey Roasted Ham, Brie spread and apples for a fun twist.  It’s super easy to make and you can even make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge

Hillshire Farm Naturals lunch meat

We eat a lot of lunch meat at our house.  We eat it for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner.   I like to ensure that I am buying quality lunch meat, so I often pick up the Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ line of lunch meat.  The lunch meat tastes great and they are good for you. They are all-natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives.  The lunch meat is gluten-free and they do not contain any added nitrates or nitrites.

Here are the ingredients you need to makes the Ham & Brie in Puff Pastry:

  • 1 package of Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Honey Roasted Ham
  • 1 box of puff pastry
  • 1 apple
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 package of Brie spread
  • 1 egg

Saute apples

In frying pan add butter and brown sugar, saute over medium heat until butter is melt and the sugar is dissolved.  Add thinly sliced apple and stir until apples are coated nicely with the butter and sugar mixture.  Cook for a couple of additional minutes until apples become tender.

Puff pastry

Bring puff pastry to room temperature, then unroll and lay flat.  Cover the entire surface of the puff pastry with the Brie spread.

Roll the puff pastry

Add a single layer of ham slices over the the top of the cheese and the puff pastry.   The Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Ham is perfect, it’s not too think and not too thin.

Add apples

Add apple slices along the bottom edge of the puff pastry from left to right.  Then roll the dough starting at the end that is covered with the apples.

roll and brush with egg

Brush the rolled dough with a beaten egg.   Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy this Hame & Brie Puff Pastry with cartelized apples inside

Let cool slightly, slice, and enjoy!    This is a great recipe to make for a luncheon because it’s so easy to make ahead of time.   I also find it’s a nice variation to lunch.  I make one at the beginning of the week, slice it up and keep it in the fridge to have for lunch.  I also send it to work with my husband and to school with my daughter for her lunch too.

Hillshire Farm Naturals Honey Ham

Hillshire Farm Naturals Cartwheel offer width=

You can pick up Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ lunch meat at Target and you can save 30% on your purchase with the Target Cartwheel offer.  You will find the Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ lunch meat in the following varieties:

  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Smoked Turkey
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Slow Roasted Turkey Breast
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Black Forest Ham
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Honey Roasted Ham

Your family will love the flavor and you will love that it’s all natural and on sale (thanks to Cartwheel).

Turkey & Cream Cheese Pinwheels

Turkey and Cream Cheese Pinwheels with Hillshire Farm Naturals

Lunch meat doesn’t only need to be used in sandwiches.  You can easily make the lunch meat the focus of your lunch by adding cream cheese and other fillings directly onto the meat.   You can pair them with fruit, cheese or veggies to make lunch a little more fun too.

Hillshire Farm Naturals Lunch Meat Turkey and Cheese Pinwheels

Lunch meat is a convenient protein option that is perfect for lunch or snacks.   These Turkey and Cream Cheese Pinwheels are a great choice for either lunch or mid-day snack.

Hillshire Farm Naturals lunch meat

I made these yummy pinwheels with Hillshire Farm® Naturals™Slow Roasted Turkey Breast.   This premium lunch meat is all-natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives and no added nitrates or nitrites.   All you get is the delicious flavor of the turkey.

Pick up the following ingredients to make these fun and easy Turkey and Cream Cheese Pinwheels:

  • 1 Package Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Slow Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 1 container of whipped cream cheese
  • 1 package of fresh chives (chopped)
  • 1/8 cup of Dried Cranberries (chopped in small bits)

Spread cream cheese

Lay out the turkey and spread cream cheese over each piece.

Add cranberries or chives

On top of the cream cheese sprinkle either chives or dried cranberries (or any other topping you desire).   Get creative!

Roll up Hillshire Farm Turkey and slice

Roll up the turkey and slice them so they are about 3/4 inch thick.

Add to toothpick

Onto a long toothpick add a Turkey & Cream Cheese Pinwheel and then a grape.   Alternate between the two until your toothpick is full.

Add cherry tomatoes or grapes

You can also get creative with what you choose to pair with the Turkey & Cream Cheese Pinwheels, you could also add cherry tomatoes, cheese cubes or olives onto the toothpicks.   Your options are endless!

Fun kids lunch with Hillshire Farm Naturals

These Turkey & Cream Cheese Pinwheels would make a fun addition to your kids lunch.   If you are like me you are always looking for new and different ideas to make your kids lunch exciting and different.  To complete their lunch pair the pinwheels with some carrot sticks, cheese cubes, and crackers.   When you are done you’ve got a healthy lunch you can feel good about serving your kids.

Hillshire Farm Naturals Ham and Turkey

Target Cartwheel

Stop by Target to pick up Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ lunch meat and save 30% with the Target Cartwheel offer.  You will find the Hillshire Farm lunch meat in the following varieties:

  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Smoked Turkey
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Slow Roasted Turkey Breast
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Black Forest Ham
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Honey Roasted Ham

I’d love to hear what creative ideas you have for serving lunch meat at your house.  Do you have a favorite sandwich or snack?

Enjoy Some “Me Time” with People, StyleWatch and InStyle Magazines

This post is part of a social shopper marketing campaign with participating magazines but all my opinions are my own. #MeTime #Adv

People StyleWatch and InStyle magazines for me time

When I get an evening to myself I like to head to Target to check out what’s new in the home decor section (it’s my fave) and of course I have to check out all those clearance racks.   I also like to pick up a magazine or two so I can kick back when I get home and enjoy a little “Me Time.”

People Magazine shopping at Target

Reading is my all-time favorite “Me Time” activity.   I love to keep a magazine in my purse so when I have a little down time like while I’m waiting to pick up my daughter from work or waiting for my son at swimming I have something to keep me entertained.   I like magazines for my on-the-go reading because you can start and stop anywhere in the magazine.  It’s so easy to pick up reading where you left off.

Magazines and smoothie

I don’t only read magazines on-the-go.  My all time favorite way to read a magazine is by making myself a yummy smoothie, kicking me feet up and just taking it easy at home.   Our lives are so busy it’s important to have some time where you can just relax and do something that makes you happy.    It’s okay to ignore the dishes once in awhile!

People magazine

My go-to magazine for relaxing is PEOPLE® magazine, it’s so much fun to catch up on celebrity and popular culture news.   In the most recent issue I got to catch up on the latest with Will and Kate, check out fashion from the MTV movie awards, get a peek at the latest movies that are coming out, and I even found a recipe for Rosemary Smashed Potatoes I am dying to try.  I love rosemary!

InStyle Magazine

Check out InStyle® magazine.  I love that this magazine is THICK, it makes me feel like I’m getting so much more for my money.  It kind of reminds me of when I was a kid and we would go on road trips and we could pick out one treat for the trip.  I would always choose SweetTarts because they would last forever.   InStyle® magazine would totally be my road trip magazine, it would last me forever.   This issue is filled with the best beauty buys of 2016.   I’ve already made my list of beauty products I want to try thanks to the recommendations in the magazine.

StyleWatch magazine

While kicking me feet up I also checked out StyleWatch® magazine.  This is actually my first time reading this magazine and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised.   It is filled with fashions that the average person can actually afford!  Not only are they affordable so many of them are cute.  I found tons of items I would love to add to my spring wardrobe.   I recommend giving this one a read, it’s filled with inspiring style ideas for every body and every budget.

People magazine at Target

Head to Target and pick up a couple of these magazines and and save $2 when you buy any 2 of the following titles:

  • PEOPLE® – $4.99
  • StyleWatch® – $4.99
  • InStyle® – $4.99

Once you’ve got your magazines head home and kick your feet up and enjoy some relaxing and inspiring “Me Time” for yourself.   You can even make and enjoy this Frosted Strawberry Lemonade smoothie while you read your magazines too.

Frosted Strawberry Lemonade

Frosted Strawberry Lemonade

Combine the following in a blender and mix until smooth:

  • 2 cups Lemonade
  • 1 cup Ice
  • 1 cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream

I’d love to hear how you like to spend your free time, what is your favorite “Me Time” activity?

Turkey & Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This is a sponsored post written by me for Hillshire Farm® Naturals™.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Turkey and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Hillshire Farm Naturals

Turkey sandwiches have always been a favorite of mine. My go-to lunch for the longest time has been turkey, havarti cheese, lettuce and mayo. I’ve recently stepped up my sandwich making game and have been trying new variations of turkey sandwiches, both hot and cold. This hot turkey and bacon grilled cheese sandwich has become a popular one at our house.

IMG_5662

The key to a great sandwich is good quality lunch meat.  I love the Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ line of lunch meat because they are all-natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. They also do not contain any added nitrates or nitrites.  This is lunch meat you can feel good about serving to your family!   They are gluten-free too.

To makes these yummy Turkey & Bacon Grilled Cheese sandwiches you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 Package Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Slow Roasted Turkey Breast (6 slices per sandwich)
  • Sliced White Cheddar Cheese (2 slices per sandwich)
  • Butter
  • Sliced tomatoes (3-4 slices per sandwich)
  • Cooked bacon (2 pieces per sandwich)
  • Bread (2 slices per sandwich)

IMG_5854

Butter one side of sandwich and place the butter side down on the frying pan on medium heat.  While the bread is toasting add cheese to the top of the bread.  I like to add the Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Slow Roasted Turkey directly onto the frying pan to warm it up for just a few seconds on each side before stacking the turnkey onto the bread.  Next, fry the tomatoes for a few seconds and then add them on top of the turkey.

IMG_5855

Add cooked bacon and another slice of cheese.

IMG_5856

Add another slice of bread to the top of the sandwich (make sure to butter the outside of the bread)  and flip the sandwich and brown the other side and allow the cheese to melt.   Cut in half, serve and enjoy!

IMG_5732

The sandwich is so good!  I love how it is stacked with delicious ingredients.   Pair the sandwich with some fruit and you are all set for lunch.

IMG_5660

You can find the Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ lunch meat at your local Target store in the following flavors:

  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Smoked Turkey
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Slow Roasted Turkey Breast
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Black Forest Ham
  • Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ Honey Roasted Ham

IMG_5820

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 9.05.15 AM

Now is the perfect time to pick up the Hillshire Farm® Naturals™ lunch meat at Target because you can save 30% with the Target Cartwheel offer.   You can save money and feel great about feeding your family this all natural lunch meat.

DIY Wood Arrow Jewelry Holder

DIY Wood Arrow Jewelry Holder

My Target’s craft aisle has recently been redone. I’m finding some really cool pieces I haven’t seen before like this wood arrow. With the right hardware and a coat of paint I turned it into a decorative jewelry holder. Want one for yourself? Grab these supplies and let’s get started!

You’ll need:

DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

With a small foam brush, paint over the front and the sides of the wood arrow. I like using acrylic paint because it dries quickly.

DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

Once the paint is dry use a pencil and ruler to measure and lightly mark where the hooks are going to go. I spaced my hooks two inches apart.DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

I picked up these cup hooks from the hardware store, but your Target might carry them. Make sure the screw part is no longer than the thickness of the wood arrow so it doesn’t poke through the back.

DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

You can use a small drill to make the pilot holes for the cup screws, but I think it’s just as easy to use a push pin.

DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

Remove the push pin and then screw the cup screws in. Keep turning until the screw is all the way in and the open part is facing the top of the wood arrow.

DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

Put in all the cup screws and that’s all there is too it!

DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

Imagine making a set of these in different colors for all your jewelry. It’s such a pretty way to keep it organized.

DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

DIY wood arrow jewerly holder with supplies from Target

Analisa is a mom and avid DIYer. Along with her family, she will travel anywhere just to say she’s been. She writes about creating, parenthood, and her family’s adventures at Parental Perspective. She’d love to meet you so feel free to visit her on Instagram or Facebook and say hello!

Easy Way to Make Cleaning Fun for the Whole Family

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpringIntoClean #CollectiveBias

Easy way to make cleaning fun for the whole family

When Spring rolls around I get the urge to do some deep cleaning around the house, but I also get the urge to get outside and enjoy the nice weather.  Our family likes to get both things accomplished.  We choose a Saturday morning to work together as a family to get all the household chores done before we head out for a day of fun.   Just because we call them chores doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun doing them.

To make cleaning the house a little more lively and fun we came up with this game to make the chores seem a little less like work.  To get ready for our epic cleaning event we stopped by Target to stock up on Lysol, Air Wick and Finish products so we could #SpringIntoClean.

Make a list of chores

I made a list of all the chores that need to be tackled and then a made another list of fun, goofy or relaxing things that can be done too.  I print out the lists and cut them into strips (you only have to do this once, you can save all the strips to play/clean again at a later date).   There are usually 2 jobs for every 1 silly or fun task.

Add chores to a bowl

All the strips of paper get thrown into a bowl.

IMG_1089

Each family member grabs a strip and tackles the job or task on the slip of paper.    When that task is complete they grab a new strip from the bowl and complete that task.

Clean shower

Some strips are real work, like cleaning the shower.  We like the Lysol Power & Free Bathroom Cleaner because it is free of chlorine bleach, so we don’t have to worry about kids and pets.  There is no need to wear gloves, masks, or protective eye wear.   I love the fact that there is no bleach, I don’t have to worry about my kids staining their clothes.

Load dishwasher

Loading and starting the dishwasher with Finish Powerball Max in 1 tabs is another job.    These Finish Max in 1 tabs are great, there is no need to unwrap them, just put them in your dishwasher with the wrapper.

snack break

In addition to jobs there are also fun things to do like, take a 5 minute snack break.   It’s best if you take this task seriously by gloating when others walk by.

teapot

You can even get a silly task like sing “I’m a Little Teapot”,  with the actions of course!

Air Wick

Once the chores are done we finish off with Air Wick Life Scents room spray.  This fast acting spray eliminates odors, so not ony does the house look clean, but it smells clean too!   I love the smell of the Paradise Retreat, it has a mixture of coconut, almond blossom, and cherry.  Once we are done and the house is clean we are ready to spend the day playing!    The great thing is this game we created makes cleaning seem more like playtime then a chore, it really is a fun way to get work done around the house.

Lysol at Target

You can find the Lysol products at your Target store on the aisle with cleaning supplies.   I found the Finish and Air Wick on the next aisle over from the cleaning supplies with the air fresheners and candles.

Lysol Target

Through 5/14, Target has an offer when you buy 3 Lysol products you will get 1 FREE.   Make sure you take advantage of the following Target Cartwheel offers too:

Make sure you check out how others #SpringIntoClean.  There are lots of great tips and tricks for getting your home clean.