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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 December 2, 2018

                  How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                  How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                  Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                  The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                  The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                  Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                  Review Your Past Flow

                  Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                  Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                  Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                  Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                  Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                  Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                  Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                  We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                  Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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