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8 Genius Birthday Cakes You Can Make To Surprise The Kids

8 Genius Birthday Cakes You Can Make To Surprise The Kids

You want to create a Pinterest worthy cake that’ll make your kid the envy of every birthday party attendee. You really do. But fondant? 3 tiered cakes covered with edible glitter that rise from perfectly coiffed beds of grass icing? Sorry, kids. So not your thing. That’s okay. You can still create a genius themed cake for the kid’s next birthday soiree that’ll wow the crowd but won’t keep you up until 2 am the night before running on desperation and tears.

These eight birthday cakes use simple techniques and minimal decorating talent to maximum effect. Step aside, Martha Stewart. There’s a new cake boss in town.

Sandcastle Cake

Sandcastle Cake

    Throwing a beach bash for your little mermaid? Check out this castle cake concoction from yummy mummy kitchen. Use a couple of different sized round cake pans, stack layers, frost lightly and then sprinkle liberally with crushed graham crackers to mimic sand. You can use upside down ice cream cones for turrets and paper straws and card stock to make pennants. Garnish with real seashells and stand back and admire your beach bucket build.

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    Rainbow Cake Trifle

    rainbowtrifle4

      Take a look at this gorgeous array of cake, whipped cream and white chocolate pudding brought to you courtesy of The Kitchen Magpie. Trifles are easy because they simply involve layering ingredients in a big glass dish. The effect is a charmingly pretty variation on cake that is perfect for a rainbow or artist themed party. You’ll need a cake recipe or a box mix and some food coloring, but the technique to create the rainbow variations in the cake is impossible to screw up. You’ll get tons of compliments on this treasure at the end of the rainbow.

      Construction Cake

      Dump Truck Construction Cake

        There are many, many versions of this cake from Chickabug and all of them involve the delight of demolition. To construct this heavy duty themed cake, simple bake two layers of your favorite cake recipe, slap them together with some brown frosting, frost lightly, and sprinkle liberally with graham crackers. For extra effect, mix in some roughly chopped dark brown sandwich cookies. Top with plastic dump truck and a variation of round, irregularly chopped candies cascading down the sides of the cake. Creative construction coming through!

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        Chocolate Box Cake

        Chocolate Box Cake

          Looking for something incredible for the candy loving kid? You’ve found it with this Chocolate Box Cake from the Whoot. Simply bake your favorite cake in a 9 x 13 pan, spread with chocolate frosting and let the candy extravaganza begin. You’ll need a plentiful supply of Kit Kats to create the walls of the chocolate box and the dividers, then simply fill in with colorful favorites: M&Ms, Skittles, Oreos – whatever you like. The possibilities are endless. And so is the sugar high.

          Ice Cream Cone Cakes

          Ice Cream Cone Cakes

            Celebrating a summer birthday? Keep things cool with ice cream cone cakes from passion for savings. These are as simple as they look. Bake a cake of your choice inside store bought cones, frost with piles of fluffy white frosting that mimics whipped cream and top with sprinkles and maraschino cherries. These are so easy you won’t mind when your kids scream for ice cream cakes.

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            Lego Brownies

            lego brownies

              Want a Lego themed cake without having to build one? You’ve scored with this version of Lego bricks made out of brownies by In the Playroom. It’s pretty much exactly what it looks like. Bake your favorite brownies in a 9 x 13 pan, cut them into Lego sized bricks, apply frosting in primary colors and top with matching M&Ms. The kids will think everything is awesome when they spy this brick build on the table.

              Ice Cream Cake

              ice cream cake

                Does your little one have a soft spot for ice cream cake? Rather than buy one, consider making your own next birthday by following the instructions for this ice cream sandwich cake over at Just a Pinch. Just stack sandwiches, frost with whipped cream, sprinkle with candy and freeze until the event. It’s a pile of frozen fun that’ll earn you kudos with the kids.

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                Cupcakes!

                Cupcakes

                  Cupcakes are versatile virtuosos of the cake world. If you’re clever enough, you can come up with ways to match any theme. If you’re at a loss, check out the 30 days of cupcakes over at Today’s Parent for help. From rainbows to monsters, clowns to campfires, they’ve got easy ways to execute decorating tips for any cupcake. So gather up your inspiration and head for the kitchen – your canvas awaits!

                  Featured photo credit: The Kitchen Magpie via thekitchenmagpie.com

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                  Last Updated on February 18, 2019

                  13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                  13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                  Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                  Why is this so critically important to you?

                  The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                  Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                  1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                  Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                  When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                  • The man facing the judge.
                  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                  These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                  Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                  Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                  2. Accept Your Fear

                  Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                  We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                  And here’s what can be done.

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                  3. Get Some Perspective

                  I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                  And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                  That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                  We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                  So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                  • Are you really at risk?
                  • Will this kill you?
                  • Which leads us on to..
                  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                  4. Hold a Hand

                  As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                  Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                  We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                  Ask yourself:

                  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                  • Could that really happen?
                  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                  By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                  5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                  This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                  Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                  The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                  It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                  For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                  Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                  6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                  I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                  Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                  Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                  Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                  Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                  Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                  7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                  Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                  I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                  It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                  One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                  Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                  It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                  8. Assume the Worse

                  If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                  Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                  And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                  When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                  Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                  9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                  If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                  Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                  Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                  10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                  One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                  11. Go with Fear

                  When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                  I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                  Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                  One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                  However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                  We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                  12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                  And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                  The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                  What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                  13. Own Your Fear

                  Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                  We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                  You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                  More Resources About Fighting Fear

                  Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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