Princess Sophia Dress Cupcakes Cake

Princess Dress cake

Yes! You read it right. This yummy delicacy that looks like a giant cake is actually the cluster of cupcakes. The placement of the cupcakes make it look like a Princess Dress cake.
I love making the such cakes that are super easy to assemble but look like you worked on them very hard. 

You can pretty much prep the board ahead of time like I did here. I took a foam board and decorated the border with glitter ribbon and glued the cupcake liners on the board in the shape of a princess dress.

Now on the day of the party, I had to make the cupcakes, ice them and trim the dress. Using the Wilton 2D piping nozzle, create the roses on the cupcakes. It is not very difficult, trust me.
Now using the edible sugar balls and other bling, decorate the dress the way you want. 

And when you are ready to serve, just pull apart, no cutting needed. Your princess is sure to love this pretty dress.

Princess Dress Cupcake Cake

5 ways to start your day right

5 ways to start your day!

"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." I've heard this Benjamin Franklin's quote from my grandfather a lot during my childhood. I am not a morning person at all but now that my life revolves around my kids school and husband's work schedule, it is very important for me to make my mornings productive. I try to follow these 5 things daily to make my mornings proactive.

1. Plan ahead - It is easy to tackle a task if you have a plan. Make a to-do list a night ahead so you know where you want your morning to head. Having a goal makes a lot of difference. You can have an elaborate planner or jot down some to-dos on the back of a receipt. As long as there is a list, it doesn't matter.

2. Make your bed first thing in the morning - You may have heard this a million times but take this from me the million and oneth time(totally made that work up). Making your bed is the easiest way to feel accomplished and organised. And if you feel that way right after you wake up, you know your day is sure to be productive.

3. Empty the Dishwasher - I don't know about you, but this one task can make or break my day. Dealing with the sink full of dishes is what I dread the most. But if I have an empty dishwasher and I can rinse and put the dishes directly in dishwasher rather then piling them in sink, I won't have a bulk load of dishes.

4. Eat that frog - "Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day" - Mark Twain. The idea is that if you do the worst thing on your platter first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will be a cake walk.

5. Eat healthy breakfast - If you make right food choice in the morning, you are likely to do so thru out the day. And for some reason if you can not eat healthy during the day, you have at least had one healthy meal in morning. Drinking water in morning helps too.

Is there anything you do specifically in the morning to make you day productive?

How to prevent apples from turning brown?

science fair
"Apple contains an enzyme called Polyphenol Oxidase that reacts with the oxygen in the.........." Okay, now that's too scientific. But cooking is a science too.
Few weeks ago, my daughter participated in a science fair at her school and was supposed to do an experiment. She picked "Apples and oxidation" as her topic. I won't go in detail about her project. But I want to share the results of her experiment with you guys as I think its useful in our daily lives.
Apple oxidizes and turns brown in few hours after you cut it because the oxygen reacts with the enzymes present in apple. There are few ways you can avoid apple from browning. Coating the apple with an antioxidant can slow down the oxidation process. 
We used 9 different ingredients to coat the apple. Not everything we used was an antioxidant but we used them for experiment purposes. 
Here's what we used- salt water, sugar water, lemon juice, honey, citric acid solution, vinegar and baking soda solution. We cut the apple in 8 slices and put them in 8 different bowls. Then we coated apple with different 7 ingredients and left the 8th slice as is without any coating. For example, we mixed salt in water and soaked an apple slice in it for 30 seconds and then drained the liquid out.
The apple slice coated with nothing, honey, sugar water and the baking soda were the first ones to turn brown. 
Vinegar, lemon juice and salt water coated slices lasted for good 5-6 hours before starting to turn brown. But the one that lasted more than a day was the slice covered in citric acid solution.

I still use salt water to soak my apple slices for my daughters lunch and it doesn't turn brown by the time she eats it. The taste is also not bad but its still more sodium. So I am going to give lemon a try and see if she likes it.
What do you do to prevent apples from turning brown?

Who helps your kids with homework?

It’s always me in our household. I am the person in charge of my kids school projects, homework and learning. So when I was contacted by people at FutureSchool to try and review their educational website, I jumped on it. What better way to give my kids that extra help from the comfort of my home.
FutureSchool is an online tutoring site for kids, parents as well as teachers. It covers content from kindergarten through to Year 12. Online Math and online English tutors are among the many other tutors available through the online tutoring site.
As a parent, we all want to give our kids the extra help they need to exceed in school. With FutureSchool, you can add all your kids (max. 5) on the same account. You can set a personalized tutor system for each of your child according to their grade and learning ability. There are lesson content aligned to your kids classroom work that they can practice plus some video tutorials too. You will also be able to monitor their progress. And if you are worried about the writing skills, there is an option to print out some assignment sheets. There are online tutors available in case the kids have any questions.
Homeschooling parents can use this online tutor site for making a lesson plan for their kids and teaching them as well.
FutureSchool also has a program for teachers and schools.
Registration is pretty simple and you get 30 days to try FutureSchool for free. Once you sign in, you will get an email with a video explaining how to get started. 
To learn more about the program, visit

*Disclaimer: I was compensated for my time to write this review. All the opinions expressed are my own. 

One Dip, Three Ways - Cream cheese Dip

pinwheels, sandwich, dip

Keep these simple ingredients on hand to make this creamy and cheesy dip that you can serve not 1, not 2 but 3 ways.

Ingredients for the dip-

Cream Cheese - 1/2 cup
Sour Cream - 1/2 cup
Diced colored peppers - 1/2 cup
Diced olives - 1/4 cup
Diced Jalapenos pepper - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

Method - Mix all the ingredients mentioned and your dip is ready. Below are the 3 ways you can serve this quick and easy yet tasty dip.

1. Pinwheels - Spread the dip on flour tortillas and roll them up. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Cut them into 1/2 inch slices and serve them cold.

2. Crackers and dip - Put a spoonful of dip on top of a cracker and drizzle some cheese on it. You can also serve both of the things separately with dip in a bowl with crackers on side.

3. Cold Sandwich - Cut the edges of wheat/white bread and spread the dip in between 2 slices. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Cut it diagonally and serve.

cream cheese dip

This Oh-so simple dip can be prepared ahead of time. 
Let me know if you try out this dip. Do you have ant favorite?

Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn

valentines day treat

I enjoy baking.... lets say for most of the time. Every few weeks I try to make a yummy dessert for my kids and hubby. But there are times when I just don't feel like it. Some days you just want the same "ohhs" and "aahs" from your family but without spending more than 5 minutes in the kitchen. This treat is the answer for those times. It is so easy, even a kid can make it.
All you need is a microwavable popcorn packet and some baking chocolate(candy melts).
Pop the popcorn and melt the candy melt in the microwave. Empty the popcorn in a baking tray or a large place and drizzle some melted chocolate over it. Let the drizzled chocolate harden for a minute or so. That's it! Yummy treat with big impact and less effort is ready.