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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 July 8, 2020

                  18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                  18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                  The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                  1. Understand Yourself Better

                  Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                  Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                  2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                  I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                  Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                  3. Become Aware of What Matters

                  As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                  You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                  4. Boost Creativity

                  The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                  When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                  You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                  5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                  A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                  Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                  6. Process Life Experiences

                  When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                  Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                  7. Stress Relief

                  In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                  Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                  8. Provide Direction

                  Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                  One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                  9. Solve Problems

                  Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                  Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                  When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                  10. Find Relief From Fighting

                  Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                  Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                  11. Find Meaning in Life

                  Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                  12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                  Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                  13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                  When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                  14. Let the Past Go

                  I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                  15. Allow Freedom

                  Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                  16. Enhance Your Career

                  Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                  Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                  17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                  All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                  18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                  No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                  We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                  Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                  Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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