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,

Tanya

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,

Tanya

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,

Tanya

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,

Tanya

Breaking for Happy Moments as the COVID 19 Summer of 2020 Comes to an End

Just like that, summer break is winding down, and the new school year’s about to start in the coming weeks. With this summer quite different from the past ones due to COVID 19 restrictions, I tried my best to be creative and even asked my seven year old to come up with a list of activities she hoped to do. We successfully tackled most of the activities on the list and even added a couple along the way.

Though we did cancel her postponed birthday party, we still had a great time at a restaurant with outdoor seating with my sister and niece. With a smile on Quinn’s face, she said, “I had a great summer, Mommy!” There’s so many memes circulating about how 2020 is the worst year ever, so it definitely puts a smile on my face knowing that despite all of the negative circumstances my daughter still has a positive outlook and enjoys the little things, just like her mom 😊.

It’s Just Like Riding a Bike! Treasured Memories with My Daughter

Bike Riding Memories

“This is one if the best days of my life! I’ll never forget this day,” my daughter said as she pedaled on her bike with no assistance from me. I’ll never forget this day either. The pure joy in her voice and sense of accomplishment made me feel so happy. The memories of when she first said “mama,” started crawling, took her first steps and began learning to read all came rushing back to me!

Quinn asked, “How did you know I would be able to ride my bike today?” With a smile on my face, I told her, “I could just feel it!” I recall having that same feeling when she took her first steps. Days before we headed out for my daughter to practice riding her bike, she told me that going in bike rides with me using the trailer bike made her feel more confident and that she was ready to master riding her own bike. I really think that the combination of Quinn’s confidence in herself and the confidence I had in her ability to ride her bike is what gave her that extra edge in reaching her goal.

She couldn’t wait to put together a video on her YouTube channel, Quinnie’s Fun House, helping other children or even adults with tips for beginners learning how to ride a bike. I love how she always want to help others even while she’s still learning.

With each bike ride, Quinn is getting better and better, and I’m looking forward to our rides together headed towards countless destinations and memorable moments.

All the best,

Tanya

Piecing it Together With My Daughter During These Puzzling Times

Working on a 500 piece puzzle!

With some Kidz Bop music playing in the background, my seven year old and I sat at the table quietly sorting through all of the puzzle pieces, 500 pieces to be exact! Since I can remember, I’ve always liked doing puzzles, and Quinn is the same way.

Though we both enjoy doing puzzles, we have different techniques for getting started. I tend to focus on the edges and piecing together the frame of the puzzle, and she prefers to sort through the colors looking for similarities. Though my strategy yielded quicker results, leaving Quinn a little frustrated with her progress, I reassured her that once the frame was done, I too would be following her technique.

While we’re just getting started, this activity is perfect to constructively pass time as we continue to practice social distancing. It also made me think about how there’s so many things to piece together during these puzzling times. Just like working on this 500 piece puzzle, it can initially be overwhelming, but we must be patient and work together diligently. Over time, everything will start to come together and be clearly presented. Then, we’ll be able to admire our hard work and Pat each other on the back for working together as a team.

All the best,

Tanya

“Rememory:” Stories to Remember with My Little Girl

“The cards are a secret, parent and night. Ooh, I got a good story for this one!” my six year old exclaimed. A little bit before the coronavirus lockdown was enforced, I came across the game “Rememory” and thought it would be an excellent way to strengthen my family bond.

Each evening for dinner, Quinn enjoys opening that little box, filled with hundreds of cards. Little did I know she would have so many stories to share that I would be hearing for the first time. I look forward to not only reminiscing but sharing my memories with my daughter and husband too.

Actually, Rememory has offered me comfort in knowing that this lockdown will one day be a distant memory and story that we will share with our future generations.

Until then, I’m enjoying the stories and memories I am currently sharing and building with my daughter.

All the best,

Tanya

Coronavirus Lockdown: Mother Daughter Weekend Edition!

b965bb0b-889b-470d-a3c5-423d6f87eace“I really wish this weekend didn’t have to end,” my six year old said. I told her, “We don’t need to set aside a special day to spend time with each other and that I enjoy being with her.” Last week, Quinn asked if we could have a mother and daughter day so that we can have extra fun together, and I said, “Why not make it a weekend!?” She wrote out a list of  five activities she’d like to do and asked when our weekend would start. When I told her Friday at 3:30pm, it couldn’t come fast enough for her. She was absolutely ready for our day to commence and let me know when it was a 3:29pm.

On Friday, we used the cotton candy maker from my childhood along with the new flavor sugars I ordered. She went with cherry, and I had blue raspberry. Though I did give mine to my husband since I knew I’d be having a weekend filled with tasty treats.

Bright and early on Saturday after breakfast, I attended a dance party lead by Quinn and learned some new, cool dance moves to Kids Bop songs. My Fitbit watch even noticed how hard I was dancing because it logged me for nearly a half hour of an aerobic workout. We even drew pictures together and used the free app Happy Color to do color by numbers and made it a competition to see who could get done their picture first. We played Mario Kart Tour using the app (another free game) and even got my sister and niece to join in from their home for a virtual race. It was so much fun and brought back memories of when I was younger playing race car video games.

After having some pizza delivered from Papa Johns, I rented the new “Trolls World Tour” movie through Amazon Prime video. We were able to watch on our big screen in our basement, along with my husband, giving it that movie theater feel as a special surprise.  We made our own ice cream sundaes, had popcorn and just a really good time together. Honestly, I didn’t want the fun to end either.

Though many of us are now having even more time with our children as a result of the lockdown, how much of that is “fun” time together? Yes, these are serious times, but it felt so good to just laugh, be silly, play games and enjoy each other’s company. Quinn gave me such a big hug and kiss yesterday and told me, ” I love you so much, Mommy! I can’t wait to have a mother daughter day again!” To which I responded, “Me neither!”

Coronavirus Lockdown: Growing Veggies Together with My Little Girl

766945bc-81f3-4cb8-9ef6-63303d7f1480“You know what, Mommy, if we start growing our own veggies, we won’t need to order them from the store or worry about leaving the house to get them,” my six year old said. A few days ago for our home school science project was planting green peppers and tomatoes in our indoor green house. At first, Quinn wasn’t very interested but then shortly after we started that it was more fun that she thought it would be and how she can’t wait until our veggies grow.

We do projects quite often, but I’m willing to admit that we might not have gotten around to attempting to grow veggies if we were not experiencing this Coronavirus lockdown. For the past couple of days, Quinn has looked at our little green house trying to see if anything has sprouted as yet. I told her it will take a little time. Even still, she’s actually encouraged me to plant more vegetables outside. Though it would require quite a bit of work with preparing the soil and an areas to prevent squirrels, rabbits and other little critters from eating what little we grow, I think this will be an excellent opportunity for Quinn and me to grow together and continue to strengthen our bond.

All the best,

Tanya