Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Patriotic Mini Cupcakes & Busy Weekends

Aren't they cute?? These little guys stole my heart. The recipe is below and figure I'll throw in some other updates in the mean time...

Last weekend, we were back in Des Moines for my cousin's baby shower, and let me tell you, the whole weekend had a baby theme running through it. My baby-inspired weekend included seeing and catching up with 4 pregnant ladies in one day and holding 1 very sweet baby. Oh my heart was happy! I'm eagerly awaiting the births of all of these babies!

I got to catch up with Maggie and see her Baby Hudson baby-bump. She is always a cute pregnant mama! I even got to see Hudson kicking and moving all around too which it so cool. It's still so amazing to me that there's a full size baby in there. He's coming very soon too!

Here's another pregnancy belly shot (the Peyton bump) of her just about 3 years ago at my wedding - ha! Love her.

I got to hug and kiss Haven too! Rachel and Jared graciously let us stay with them and it was great to see and spend more time with them and their cute family over the weekend too.

Isn't Haven adorable? All my friends have the cutest kids! I didn't even get a photo with Judah - he's a mover and a shaker at his busy age:)

Rachel and I were able to have time for dinner at Red Saturday night, which was great. I loved the red poppy's all over the place. We headed over to 80/35 afterwards to check out Death Cab for Cutie, one of Rach's favorite bands. I knew a few songs at least! This is becoming a signature sculpture in downtown Des Moines - it's just a few years old (in that spot at least).

It's pretty neat to check out!

Of course I took some on the road sunshine photos on our drive there and back too. 

A pretty day in Iowa. 

Fibro Update: I'm excited as I set up a doctor's appointment next week to meet with some RNP's that specialize in fibromyalgia. I actually connected with the leader of the support group we went to a few months back (blogged about here) about doctors in the area and she recommended these ladies. I also found them on the National Fibromyalgia Association site, and saw another site that had positive comments about their knowledge of fibro. I've been feeling like doctors I've seen lately don't know much about it and don't know how to help me, so I am excited for the appointment!

I have to caution myself though about not thinking everything will be "all better" after the appointment. I know many people never find much relief from fibro going to doctors, but rather other alternative treatments, but I'm hopeful they'll be helpful at least. 

I also get to see my parents this weekend after about 7 months of not seeing them since we left Texas. It'll be great to see them! We get to see more of my aunts, uncles, and cousins too. Yet another weekend on the road, but worth it to see our loved ones!

Alright, back to the cupcakes:

It took me a while to narrow down my options of desserts to bring to the 4th of July BBQ we were attending. I browsed many pins on Pinterest and liked so many of the desserts I saw.

Just in the nick of time, I thought these mini cupcakes with fruit on top would be the ticket. I needed something easy (that was key here!), that could be snacked on (which is why I didn't do full cupcakes) and would have a fresh element which I like for the hot 100 degree temps we were anticipating.

Since I didn't have a lot of time for baking, I used this gluten and dairy free cake mix.

I also bought store-bought frosting which I haven't don't much since I learned to make my own, but it was quick and easy and even dairy free!

Some fresh fruit, and that's an EASY dessert right there. And oh so cute and little.

Patriotic Mini Cupcakes
Recipe makes 48 mini cupcakes or 24 regular sized cupcakes

1 (18.25 oz) package cake mix (recipe said white cake, we used chocolate - use whatever you like!)
1 (16 oz) container white frosting (I was scared of "white", so I got vanilla... what's the flavor of white??)
24 fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.
Mix cake mix according to package directions. Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
Bake according to package directions (my mini cupcakes took about 9-11 minutes per batch); cool completely.
Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes then decorate with the raspberries and blueberries - have fun with it!

I'll also say I was even able to make half of the cupcakes completely gluten and dairy free. I just use a different kind of butter and they still tasted great!

Here's today's Pinspiration:

I absolutely love this!

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