Posts Tagged by back to school

Adorable Back to School Cupcakes

Adorable Back to School Cupcakes

The first day of school is always a crazy time. When I considered sending cupcakes on the first day, my “mommy-sense” emphatically told me not to on so many levels. Most important, it really is just too chaotic to add one more thing to the day. We want to make a good impression, not establish ourselves as “that mom.” Next, with all new classmates, nobody knows yet about allergies, dyes, gluten, dairy, whatever.  Again, don’t want to be the mom that sends half the class to the nurse on the first day…or the first week…or at all, right?

On the other hand, the first day of school is a celebration!  Basically, it’s a great excuse to have cake…sweet, adorable cupcakes.  Brighten the day of your small people and tuck one of these cuties into their lunchbox.  Or maybe you could welcome them home with a special plateful of Back to School cupcakes!

Start with a basic cupcake recipe. Make your favorite flavor, whether from scratch or from a boxed mix. (It’s totally ok!) I used a Vanilla Cupcake recipe for mine.  Here it is:


Vanilla Cupcakes


1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold milk


Preheat oven to 350°F.Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture; stir in milk.Scoop into a lined cupcake pan and bake 18-24 minutes (12-16 minutes for minis.) Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Yields 12 regular or 24 mini cupcakes.

Back to School Apple Cupcakes

Back to School Apple Cupcakes


Cooled cupcakes you’ve pre-made

Filling (if desired)

Pretzel sticks

Green jelly candy or green fruit snacks


I filled my Apple Cupcakes with pudding!  You don’t have to, but I had some pudding cups in the fridge, so I tossed them in a bag, scooped out the center of my cupcakes and filled them with the pudding.  (I did the same thing for the other cupcakes, but used Nutella!)

Back to school cupcakes fillings

The rest is very simple. Make (or buy) some red or green icing – the recipe for Basic Frosting is here:

Basic Frosting 

1 pound (1 box) confectioners’ sugar, sifted if lumpy
2 egg whites
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and beat for 5 minutes or until very light and creamy. If the mixture is too dry and too thick, add a few drops of milk. Frosting should still be thick. If mixture is too thin add a few more tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar. Color as desired.To make chocolate butter frosting: Beat 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (1 square) that has been melted, into the recipe above.

Decorate the Apple CupcakesNext, pipe a mound of frosting on top of each cupcake. Add a pretzel stick for the stem and a slice of green jelly candy makes the leaf. Whether regular sized or minis, these are so cute!

Back to School Apple Cupcake

Back to School Chalkboard Cupcakes

Back to School Cupcakes


Cooled cupcakes you’ve pre-made

Filling (if desired) – I used Nutella for these

Chocolate covered graham cookies

Alpha Bits cereal


I scooped out the centers and filled the Chalkboard Cupcakes with Nutella! Not necessary, but I am of the belief that Nutella makes everything taste better.  You could also use caramel, chocolate or butterscotch ice cream topping. A fresh strawberry stuffed in the middle of this cupcake (after it cools) is yummy, too!

Chalkboard Cupcake

Using store-bought or homemade chocolate frosting, pipe a pretty good amount on top of each cupcake.

Prepare the chalkboards by gathering the letters you’d like to use from the box of Alpha Bits cereal. I used “ABC”, “XYZ” and found my name “Tracy”. It’s a little challenging, but what a good job for the kids! Using a little bit of icing or melted chocolate chips, glue the letters to the graham cookies to make little chalkboards. Once they’re cooled, push them into the icing on each cupcake.

Back to School Cupcakes ABC XYZ

Although I haven’t tried this yet, I think that putting the cereal letters directly onto a cupcake with flat-topped icing would be just as cute.

Welcome back to school! Hope you and your kids all have a fabulous year!




Heading Back to School with #SanDisk and Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card.

My daughter is returning to college on Monday with an apartment full of things to keep her connected and help her write her thesis. She’s an architect and creates very large files on her AutoCAD program. These are irreplaceable if lost or corrupt and its critical that she has the tools not only to protect them, but to quickly transfer them from the desktop computer in her apartment to her laptop to the printer at the school. We have purchased storage devices in all shapes and sizes, but after an unfortunate malfunction with a different brand, we’re SanDisk fans now…

SanDiskHer extensive international research for her thesis required a high-capacity, high-quality storage card for those precious photos. She can’t just hop back over to London or Barcelona if something happens to her originals. (Well, technically she could, but not on my dime again…and she doesn’t have enough dimes for that!)  For digital imaging, SanDisk products, from professional-grade camera memory to point-and-shoot SD cards to microSD cards, deliver industry-leading performance and reliability. SanDisk SD cards are also designed to meet the security, capacity, performance, and environmental requirements of next generation devices—because your stories span generations and your memory solutions should too.

Add a SanDisk microSD™ card to your smartphone or tablet, and you can carry more of the media and apps you love. Thin and light computing devices, tablets, and smartphones demand the compact form factors of SanDisk microSD cards.

SanDisk Extreme Plus for GoPro Hero

Capture more fast action, and you can record more 4K Ultra HD and Full HD video, as well as expect transfer speeds up to 60MB/s in action cameras, tablets and smart phones.  Mobile devices help you share stories every day, no matter where you go. Make sure their performance can keep up. SanDisk microSD™ cards give your smartphone or tablet a more responsive camera function and smoother media playback. Whether you want more storage for your phone or a card that makes it easy to shoot high resolution video on the go, you can choose the way you want to add fast, reliable data storage with capacity options from 4GB to 200GB.

Use this SanDisk card for digital cameras and get 10x the speed of other cards and transfer speed of 80 MB/s.

SanDisk Extreme Plus digital imaging

  • USB for IPhone and IPad allows for easy transfer between iPhone, iPad, and computers AND Frees up iPhone and iPad memory with both lightning and USB connectors
  • Dual USB for ANDROID devices allows for easy transfer between Android™ device and computers and frees up space for photos, videos, music and more.


I want my daughter’s time during her last year of grad school to be as worry free as possible and it helps knowing that we can depend on Best Buy for memory cards to support safe storage for all of her devices. Visit the site to learn what card is right for you and get great prices to boot!






30 DIY Back to School Teacher Gifts They’ll Love!

Back to School Teacher Gifts

Yeah, don’t ask me where the summer has gone. All I know is that the kids in our district go back to school on Monday!

I remember the excitement that surrounded the first day of school when I was growing up. New clothes, new shoes, brand new crayons – and an apple for our teacher. All the kids walked or rode bikes to school when I was a kid, and it was common to see a row of little red wagons lined up against the back wall in classrooms on the first day. We had so many school supplies to bring in, it was just easier to use a wagon to carry them.  All that cuteness ended in junior high, when we’d only use a backpack and a paper grocery sack. In high school, we could only be bothered to carry a Trapper Keeper, a comb, Bonne Bell lip gloss and a Seventeen magazine.

These days, not only do kids have to bring in a mountain of new school supplies, but we always like to show our excitement and appreciation (sympathy?) with a little token for the teacher.  Sort of like “here’s my kid and I know what you have coming this year, so here’s a bunch of chocolate right up front, too. Good luck.”  *salute*

Well, if you’d like to do something extra special, I’ve gathered a list of more than 30 adorable and simple Back to School Teacher Gifts that they’ll truly love and remember!


Teacher Survival Kit

From The First Grade Parade

Cup with Drink Mixes

From Jade Mingmei Designs

Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Quickbread In A Bottle

diy giftsFrom Sunset

Crayon Monograms

Homemade teacher gifts - How to make a crayon monogram

From A Mom With a Lesson Plan

Candy Bouquet

diy giftsFrom Funky Polka Dot Giraffe

Honey Brown Sugar Scrub

diy giftFrom A Pumpkin & A Princess

Back to School Emergency Kit

Emergency Kit Gift Idea... Perfect for teachers, friends and teens! #gifts

From The 36th Avenue

Personalized Glass Etched Gift

diy giftsFrom Make It and Love It

Pen Holder

From East Coast Mommy

Root Beer Float Kit

diy giftFrom I Heart Naptime

If You Give a Teacher a Cookie…

If you give a teacher a cookie back to school printable | Thirty Handmade Days

From 30 Handmade Days

Paint Dipped Kitchen Utensils

diy gifts

From Cleverly Simple

First Day of School Survival Kit

From East Coast Mommy 

Gardener’s Hand Scrub

diy giftsFrom One Good Thing

Apple Pretzel Bites

If you are looking for a very easy to make DIY Teacher Appreciation Gift or end of the year Teacher Gift try Apple Pretzel Bites - sweet, salty and delicious. Follow us for more fun gifts for Teachers.

From Two Sisters Crafting

Monogrammed Doormat

diy gifts

From Cathie Filian

Caramel Apple Dip

diy giftsFrom Event Trender

School Supply Cake

From The Butlers

Mod Podge Hangers

diy giftsFrom Long Live DIY

Mason Jar Pencil Holder


From Mason Jar Love

Cupcake Kit

diy giftsFrom Too Much Time On My Hands

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

From Caramel Potatoes

Box Of Sunshine

diy giftsFrom Happy Money Saver

Manicure and Lantern Mason Jar

Tidbits&Twine Teacher Appreciation Mason Jar Manicure Set and Light2

From Tidbits and Twine

Spa In A Jar

diy giftsFrom The Gunny Sack

Terra Cotta Apple

DIY Terra Cotta Apple

From Seven Thirty Three

Personalized Coffee Mugs

diy giftsFrom A Beautiful Mess

Back to School DIY Jars

Ice Cream Kitdiy gifts

From Mixing Bowl Kids

Vintage Ball Jar Pencil Cup

 Give You a Hand Gift

From Skip to My Lou

Hot Fudge

My most sincere thanks to all of the bloggers who have shared their creativity with all of us!  Be sure to visit their sites – I know you’ll love them as much as I do!

Do you have any cute teacher gift ideas?

What Do Teachers Make? I’m Glad You Asked…

I’ve worked for our local school system for nine years now; my husband for six. I’ve seen thousands of children come through, including my own. I’ve witnessed a very high-needs district achieve at the same and higher levels as other school systems in the state. Why do these students defy the norm?

Amazing teachers.

And for all that, you might wonder, what do teachers make?

Rules of the Road: The Ultimate Guide to Bike Safety

My daughter has been driving a bus for the college she attends for a few years now. I can’t even begin to tell you about the stories she shares about bike riders on campus who don’t know the rules of the road and risk being injured, or worse, every time they bike to class. They fail to remember that they are a part of traffic, not to mention more difficult to see.

Many college students rely on a bicycle as their main form of transportation. Some are banned from bringing a car to campus, and some can’t afford to own, insure and park a car. Some choose to bike because it is a quick and convenient way to get around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. Students come to college from communities that may or may not have had good bicycle safety education programs. Many student bicyclists are returning to cycling after a few years of driving the family car.

At minimum, bicyclists should know to:

  •  Ride on the right side of the road.
  •  Ride with lights at night.
  •  Wear a helmet.
  •  Ride predictably.

Drivers, however, also have a responsibility to help keep bicyclists safe:

  •  Acknowledge that cyclists have the right to ride on the road.
  •  Give room and slow down when passing cyclists.
  •  Check for cyclists before opening doors.
  •  Check for bikes before turning left or right or backing up.

Bike use is on the rise — the number of trips made by bicycle more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009 and many major cities are responding with bike-friendly communities. Hopping on a two-wheeler is great for you, the environment, and your wallet. But before you strap on your helmet, make sure you know the rules of the road, the proper gear to stay safe, and how to navigate the bike lane stress free.

How To Share The Road - The Ultimate Guide to Bike Safety

How To Share The Road – The Ultimate Guide to Bike Safety
Infographic by CustomMade

Note from Nest Full of New:  While it may not be a law for adults to wear a bike helmet, I always recommend wearing one anyway. It’s just too easy to fall while riding a bike and you gotta protect your coconut.

Just do it!

(ENDED) Back to School Tech Sweepstakes – HP Chromebook AND $500!

BTS Giveaway

Welcome to the Back To School Tech Sweepstakes!

At Mom Powered Media, we believe in and support education and want to help our network readers and their families reach their education goals. To help do just that, we are giving one lucky reader a $500 Visa Gift Card and an HP 14″ Chromebook PC. There will also be 20 second place winners to take home Back To School Prize Packages.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get Back To School ready…tech-style!


Special thank you to our supporting co-host bloggers to helped bring you this amazing sweepstakes:

Nest Full of NewMonica’s Rants, Raves & ReviewsThe Jenny Evolution,

Memoirs of a Clueless WomanMy Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Life,

My DaylightsBarbara’s BeatSaving You DineroShaping Up To Be A Mom,

Robyn’s View, Coupons and Freebies Mom, A Hen’s Nest, Budget Savvy Diva,

Mutterings Of A Mindless Mommy, and Your Sassy Self



One grand prize winner will receive a $500 Visa Gift Card and HP 14″ Chromebook PC!

Open your sleek, next-generation HP Pavilion 14-Q020NR 14″ Chromebook PC to get online, fast. You can access your favorite websites and Google Chrome apps on the 14-inch diagonal HD display in seconds.

HP 14″ Chromebook PC features:

  • Intel Celeron 2955U Dual-Core processor 1.40GHz
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM system memory
  • 16GB solid state drive
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN
  • Intel HD GMA Graphics
  • Webcam
  • SD memory card reader
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x Acer converter port
  • 3-cell lithium polymer battery for up to 8.5 hours run time
  • 2.76 lbs, 0.8″ x 11.3″ x 8″
  • Genuine Google Chrome OS Software


Twenty additional winners will also receive a Back To School Prize Package.BTS Packs

Giveaway ends August 15th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. Excludes Quebec. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact if you have any additional questions or comments.

Blogger Opportunity: Back to School Ride Event – BMS TBX EFI Touring Scooter!


Awesome Blogger Opportunity!

(not yet a live giveaway)

What’s Your Ride BTS Ride Event

Organized by: Mom Powered Media

Grand Prize: BMS TBX EFI Touring Scooter

Event dates: 8/4 – 9/4

Giveaway is open to Continental US Residents.


(Be sure to say you were referred by Nest Full of New)