Sugar Rush Family Edition: Baking Puppy Cupcakes

About a month ago, my daughter and I have a fun time having a “Sugar Rush” Zoom bake-off with my sister and niece, so since we all had off today, we decided to do it again, and it was just as much fun if not more! Our theme was animals, so of course we immediately knew what we wanted to create: cupcakes that look like our eight month old puppy, Zack!

He’s been with us since August 7th and is such a wonderful addition to our family. After looking at various ideas on Pinterest, we decided on a chocolate cupcake with a caramel center. We tinted our buttercream frosting and used star piping to mimic his coat. For his eyes, we used black sixlets. After giving some thought, we decided on halves of milk duds for the nose, which turned out better than we expected. For his cute little tongue, we used Starbursts by heating it a little to remold it, cutting it into fourths, reshaping it and using a toothpick to give the line in the tongue. For his floppy ears, we used Werther’s soft caramel creams.

Our cupcake is almost as sweet as our puppy. We can’t wait to do this again in February!

All the best,


Breathe and Just Be: My Daughter, Barbie and Me!

“Repeat after me. I am strong!…I am loved…I am unique.” These are positive affirmations we all can benefit from, especially children. While I’d like to take credit for sharing these with my daughter, it was her new “Breathe with me Barbie” leading my seven year old in a brief meditation.

Watching Quinn close her eyes and repeat these words made me think about how powerful words can be and how important it is for us all to take a few moments to relax, relate and release any negative feelings whole letting in positive ones. Though we’ve meditated together on a number of occasions, we haven’t really included positive affirmations. I think I’ll be taking Barbie’s lead and making sure we include them in ours in the future.

All the best,


“Exercising” and Strengthening My Mother and Daughter Bond

“Kickboxing class starts in just ten minutes, Mommy!” my daughter excitedly told me. For the past couple of weeks, my kickboxing studio has been closed due to COVID restrictions. Though I’ve missed being in the studio, I’ve enjoyed taking kickboxing Zoom classes with my seven year old.

For almost every workout during winter break, my mini me was by my side pushing me to go harder. She put in her little boxing gloves and gave it her all. This upcoming week, it’s back to school for her, and the studio will be open again, but we both agreed that we’ll miss doing the kickboxing classes together.

Thank goodness for pre-recorded Zoom videos so we can still workout together whenever we want to bond over exercise.

All the best,


Sugar Rush: Family Edition! Baking Cotton Candy Cupcakes with My Sweet Girl

Sugar Rush: Cotton Candy Cup Cakes

“Just ten minutes bakers!” My husband yelled out and startled me as my daughter and I raced to put the finishing touches on our cotton candy cupcakes. Being cooped up in the house can be real downer at times, but it also is a wonderful opportunity for some family time. A few weeks ago, my sister came up with a terrific idea for us to have a Zoom Sugar Rush competition against her and my niece just like the Netflix show. Both Quinn and I were both on board with this idea, and once all settled on the carnival as our theme, we knew immediately that we wanted to do cotton candy cupcakes, so I ordered us matching aprons for the theme.

The only problem is that I never made them before! So I scoured Pinterest and YouTube looking for ideas and piecing together recipes we both felt comfortable using. We baked cotton candy cookies. I found this perfect and simple recipe using cotton candy sugar. I also ordered cotton candy flavoring for the buttercream frosting and simply swapped out the vanilla extract for the cotton candy flavoring. Lucky for us, we already have a cotton candy machine, so it was able to be freshly spun. The cupcake itself was a yellowcake recipe I learned from my grandmother.

Both Quinn and I agree that while it was a lot of fun, the pressure was on to put together a tasty treat, especially with my sister and niece on the Zoom call making delicious funnel cake cupcakes! It was such a fun experience that we all agreed to do it again. Our next theme is animals, so stay tuned!

All the best,


On the Actual Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Smile Big Enough to Light a Christmas Tree

On the Actual Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Smile Big Enough to Light a Christmas Tree

A Christmas gift I absolutely loved this year and every year is seeing my daughter’s smile, hearing her squeals of delight and feeling her appreciation through a big hug and kiss. Though we didn’t spend Christmas with our extended family, Quinn made my Christmas extra merry.

All the best,


On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Target Gave to Me Pajama Fun with My Family!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Target Gave to Me Pajama Fun with My Family!

Even though my husband’s pajama size was all sold out, which he didn’t mind since he’s not into wearing funny pajamas, my daughter puppy and I absolutely love it! Well, our puppy tolerates it.

Here’s to having a fun-filled Christmas Eve, watching “A Christmas Story,” eating cookies, playing games and just getting ready and excited for Christmas Day!

All the bes,


On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Fun Baking Yummy Cookies

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Fun Baking Yummy Cookies!

I love baking cookies, especially with my daughter, especially around this time of the year. It strengthens our mother daughter bond and allows us to have a tasty treat to eat and share with some of our loved ones.

Every year, Quinn gets better and better at helping to bake from start to finish. She helps measure the ingredients, sift the flour, add the ingredients to the mixer, including cracking an egg all on her own this year, and getting the cookie batter on the baking sheets. She told me that she loves being my assistant, and that one day I’ll be able to be her assistant. This made me think about when I would help my mom bake as a child or even help my grandmother.

There truly is just something so special about baking and relating together. I just love this festive time!

All the best,


On the Tenth Day of Christmas Christmas, Santa Gave to Me…A Feeling of Joy Seeing My Daughter Believe

On the Tenth Day of Christmas Christmas, Santa Gave to Me…A Feeling of Joy Seeing My Daughter Believe

“I know the world and the way we are living right now looks a little different. Don’t you worry, things are moving right along here at the North Pole. Ho ho ho!” This is how Santa started off his heartfelt letter to Quinn. She was absolutely tickled when she saw her elf on the shelf waiting patiently in the morning for Quinn to open her red box from the North Pole. I was too, especially considering that Santa informed me that it was shipped two day priority mail nearly a month ago.

“May I open it before breakfast,” my seven year old asked? “Sure,” I replied as I got my phone ready to take pictures. The joy in her voice as she read the letter from Santa put a huge smile on my face. He explained how he, Mrs. Claus and the elves are doing their part to stop the spread of Covid 19 and how they’re still happy and on schedule for Christmas. The special red box also contained a nice certificate, a letter from Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, a cookie from Mrs. Claus, hot cocoa from Santa, a snowman marshmallow, Rudolph’s special bell, reindeer food and a decal for Santa to stop by our house.

I really wish I received one of these packages from Santa when I was a kid. I’m so happy that Quinn still is in the Christmas spirit and that she was so excited to get something special from Santa before Christmas Day.

Al the best,


On the Sixth Day of Christmas Jib Jab gave to me…A Fun Video with My Daughter and Our Puppy

Christmas in Hollis!

On the Sixth Day of Christmas Jib Jab gave to me…A Fun Video with My Daughter and Our Puppy!

I’ll never forget the excitement I had when I saw Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” music video. My siblings and I would rap and dance along, and my mom, who’s never been a huge fan of rap, even enjoyed the song too. So when my sister texted me a link to a Jib Jab video she created with her, my nephew and niece, I couldn’t resist creating one with my daughter and “puppy son” too.

Though I’ve played the song around Christmas time, Quinn didn’t really know the words, especially considering that it debuted when I was just ten years old, three years older than she is now. But as result of creating our video, she just loves the song and wanted to create more Jib Jab videos including the entire family. I do too!

All the best,


On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Smile to see her on Santa’s Nice List

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Smile to see her on Santa’s Nice List.

We all know Santa’s making a list and checking it twice. He knows who’s naughty and nice. My seven year old may not be perfect, but she really is a sweet little girl who listens, never talks back, tries her best, does well in school, tends to our puppy Zack, helps out around the house (even though I occasionally have to give a gentle nudge) and was even willing to help me shovel snow when I told her she could just play.

Though most children are resilient, we mustn’t forget how tough this year must be for them with not seeing family and friends and possibly not doing traditional Christmas activities. I am so grateful for my daughter. She definitely deserves to be on Santa’s nice list!

All the best,