Easy Blueberry Lemon poppyseed muffins with cream cheese icing

It’s been a while since I’ve made anything creative in the sweets department (not counting my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe) but I was feeling inspired by all the fresh blueberries at the grocery. Plus my kids always love it when I make muffins.

I had recently seen a beautifully delicious blueberry lemon poppyseed cake one blogger made for their sweet baby’s birthday. It looked so yummy and it got me thinking about trying to make one for us, just because.. So I went about gathering the ingredients but we had no lemons or blueberries or poppyseeds (which cost a little over $5 btw) or cream cheese for the icing…

I set about my task from another direction, a simpler, more cost effective direction. And it probably didn’t take nearly as long to make my version.

Win, win.

Here is my version of blueberry lemon poppyseed cupcake muffins with cream cheese icing.


Here’s the ingredients I used…

Do you see the simplicity of this recipe?!

All you need to do is get a bowl,

empty in both bags of muffin mix,

Add 1 cup of milk…

Add the zest of two lemons if you’re feeling adventurous (I was!)

Stir it up… pour batter into muffin cups  (it will fill 12)

If you feel even more adventurous, add some fresh blueberries to the tops of each  cup before baking!

Bake according to directions on back of muffin mix bag… don’t burn them!

Let them cool completely before icing with your “homemade ” cream cheese icing!


I left some un-blueberried… some little folks in this house don’t like to be as adventurous…


Put them out on a pretty little plate and watch them disappear!


I don’t think making these could be any easier! Unless you just buy them already made from your new Publix supermarket bakery… ; )

Go try them out! Let me know what you think! What other ways do you simplify your recipes for the win?

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Fun Fiesta Birthday Party

My baby turned one, or should I say “uno” last week! I cannot believe the speed in which this last year has passed by! Like a super-duper whirlwind! Is that normal? Maybe it’s just that there are so many people around me all the time, it feels like a whirlwind… maybe that’s it : )

We had a fiesta for Oaks’s first birthday. It seemed a good idea since it is so close to Cinco de Mayo. And who can pass up chips and cheese dip/guac/salsa… better yet, mango salsa? Not me. It was quite yummy! And we had a fun time hanging with family as usual!

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These balloons are so fun! And they don’t require helium.

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I made burrito cakes! Each “burrito” is a vanilla sponge cake rolled up with buttercream icing inside and decorated with icing and starburst candies. Wrapped up in its foil, you really can’t tell it’s cake from a distance! We had fun eating it, too!

He started sipping from a straw too! Way to go, Oaksie!

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I love that you are getting so big, but I’m sad it’s going by so fast! This year you’ve helped me keep my cool and have brought much peace to my heart.

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You have three teeth and sweet little curls. You love to eat, can crawl and pull up, like to dance, like to imitate laughing, can clap, say “ball”, “mama”, “dada” and what sounds to be ” Ezra” (big brother).  You’re not sleeping through the night yet. You are a good shopping buddy and like to people watch.  You love to wrestle with the brothers in the pillows. Everybody loves you! (especially me) Each day is brighter because you are in it!

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Happy first birthday, my baby!

Our Chicken Journey: Weeks five & six

The chickens are six weeks old now and the temps are moving up. Yay! We love warm weather! More time outside is definitely helps a mama out!

We were blessed with a (free) loaner chicken coop thanks to family and Facebook! It really makes the whole experience less stressful when money is not in the equation especially since we are first-timers! So far I’m sold on the idea of a little backyard flock! Go get some chickens, people!

IMG_6999  It’s a well built chicken coop! Perfect for four or more chickens. And we can move it around the yard pretty easily if we need to. We will probably use the larger run to put the chickens in when they need to stay put while I’m in and out with the kids, otherwise I  will let them out to roam the yard when we are outside playing this summer.

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We had fun going to get the coop. Playing in the back of a pick-up truck is always exciting for some reason!

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I think these chickens will fit right in our crazy backyard!

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Chicken Becky isn’t the most beautiful chicken in the bunch, but we still love her.

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Now if they can just learn how to go up the ramp into the roost by themselves.

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We love our chicken friends!

My goals for the summer are to keep the coop clean! I might try to make some homemade spray for disinfecting. We still have to predator-proof the larger run. I also want to plant lots of plants near the coop like herbs and flowers to pretty it up around there!

Babies in Overalls – Oaks 11 months

The sunny Spring weather makes me want to photograph everything! I want to remember the bright colors, the warm breezes and the babies! Mostly the babies! Because the next time this season returns, this sweet little baby face will be nearly two years old!

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I know! Time flies when you’re having fun! This year with this sweet nugget has been a joy! My goodness, he’s adorable! Maybe I’m a little biased ; )

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Okay, that’s enough, he says!

This has been a sweet year with you, Baby Oaks!

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Our Chicken Journey: Week Two

These little ladies are growing so fast! We brought them home two weeks ago and they are making their way into our hearts pretty quickly! It’s fun to watch the kids interact with them. And the chicks are becoming less jumpy around the kids! Every time you put your hand into the box, you will most likely bring back a chicken! They like to perch on your finger. I already feel like they’ve taken to me as their “mama” (since I am the one mostly taking care of them ; )

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We found a free chicken run that needs some TLC but hey, it was free!

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Now all we have to get is a hen house for them to roost in at night. We are hoping to find something affordable on-line but might end up constructing something ourselves…. but we still have some time.

We took them on their first backyard excursion and they loved it!

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Ez, the chicken whisperer.

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Roosting practice!

The chickens have moved out of the house (yeah!) and are living in a giant dog crate in the carport. The kitchen was getting kinda stinky ; ) And I think we are all allergic to chickens or pine shavings or something… quite a few colds are a brewing coincidentally. Maybe it’s just the wonderful pollinated spring air…or it’s the chickens!

So far it’s been really fun to have chickens! And I just have to keep thinking it’s fun!

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A few more Parties with my People

I have five children and guess what? They all have a birthday. At this point in time there have been 18 birthday parties (the baby is not quite a year old, so no party yet: )). That’s a lot of parties!

There are two spring babies and one in each of the other seasons. I love how that worked out! We get to celebrate all year long!

I have written about a few of the parties over the years (found on my party gallery page) but I haven’t kept up like I’ve wanted to. Sometimes it’s just too much trouble to host, plan, decorate, and photograph a party by yourself, let alone write about the whole thing! But I do like looking back on what we did and seeing how the kiddos grow over the years.

So I thought I’d share some photos from other parties we’ve had. Some have themes, some don’t. But all are memorable and bring a smile to my face when I see those sweet memories!

Ezra’s 4th Birthday Pirate Party

Satchel’s First Birthday – Geometric shapes and bold colors

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Satchel’s Bug Birthday Party

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Piper’s Spring themed 4th birthday Party – rabbits and flowers

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Knox’s 3rd Birthday Party – Superheros!

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Happy Houseplants

I have started a collection of houseplants as of late. I don’t know what has caused this current obsession but I think it’s OK, don’t you? As long as I don’t neglect my chores and children, I think the collection of living plants in the house will benefit us all, especially me : ) A bit of green here and there won’t hurt. And hopefully I will remember to water them.

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I especially love it when Aldi has houseplants for sale. They sell-out in hurry though, so I grab them when I see them. And Home Depot had a nice section of houseplants and succulents, I couldn’t decide which ones to get. The hot-pink cactus is the next one, I think.

I can remember my grandma’s collection of houseplants. She had a variety of them all placed in the same sunny window on an old buffet beside the piano. I remember her showing us how to use the aloe to help heal a burn. It was so slimy! Then we’d secretly break off tips of it just to see the stuff again.

My other grandparents had ginormous plants in wheeled wooden boxes in their basement. It reminded me of the jungle. But we all thought the boogie man would get us. Kinda scary, but mostly fun.

So maybe that’s why I’ve come to like them so much lately, they remind me of my childhood. And they make it look cheery. And kinda sophisticated? And clean. (oh wait, I did the cleaning)

I put them in all the living spaces and bathrooms. So I will be sure to see them (and check their need for water). The ones I have will hopefully stay hardy and survive even if I neglect them now and then. Sorry in advance, houseplants!

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I will probably move them around often, as I tend to do with lots of things in the house. The plant hanging in the living room started out in the kitchen hanging over the sink but it grew too long for the space. Plus I found a sweet little macrame hanger to use to hang it from the ceiling some day. For now it hangs from the curtain rod because I’m lazy : )

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I put one in the bathroom where there is absolutely no sunlight so hopefully it will live.

 

Behind the potty is a good spot for one that grows long.

 

On winter days when I feel like I didn’t even take a breath outdoors, it’s refreshing to see some green in the house. They really do make it happier in here!

 

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And just to make me laugh later on…as I wrote words in this post last night while the house was quiet, I heard the strange sounds of a beeping, dying microwave! It kinda freaked me out, and I didn’t want to walk in the kitchen to see if there was a boogie man trying to re-heat his supper. There wasn’t. It was just the dying 14 year old microwave I’ve had since the college days.

I put some aloe on the microwave but I don’t think it’s gonna heal this one!

 

Put a plant near your work station and it will make you want to get your work done faster so you can go outside!

And the laundry room is the best place for a houseplant because laundry is my least favorite chore. I am so bad at it. I wash it pretty well… it gets dried…eventually, but then it usually sits in the dryer until the next load comes… then it gets smooshed into a basket and maybe two days later I’ll fold it? Or we’ll wear it again. All wrinkly.

I blame my mother… And the fact that we hardly had any houseplants ; )

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So I am a houseplant addict. There are worse things. Like my new fascination with mismatched dining chairs.

I think I’ll go have a juice-box…which reminds me, I need to go water all these dang houseplants!

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What kind of plants make you happy?

And if you see any good deals on a microwave, please let me know!

PS: if anyone is interested in succulents, here is a little DIY  (faux) succulent wreath!