I am going to stray away from my 11List model today for something a bit different! Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I have been running around trying to create some thoughtful gifts for my lovely mom. That being said, my mom is the hardest woman in the world to shop for because she LOVES to shop and usually buys herself the things she wants before I even get a chance to ask what it was she wanted.
For example, when we moved to our new house, she had to leave behind one of her favorite plants, a yellow peony. We were joking the other week about going back to the old house in the middle of the night and digging up the plant to bring to our new house. That sparked an idea for Mother’s Day– I could get her a new yellow peony plant for our new garden, without stealing from the poor, unsuspecting family! But of course, I get home the other day, and what is sitting out in the driveway to be planted? A new yellow peony plant. Classic.
So, this brings me to what I decided to do for the woman who has it all: bake, arrange flowers and create a homemade card! These things she can all do, but it’s (hopefully) more special coming from me.
I had a lot of fun creating this watercolor card for my mom, complete with a photo from the early 90’s– check out that floral print! My parents are huge fans of homemade cards, so every occasion I can, I’ll spend a little time making something special for them. Today I headed to Target and picked up a set of watercolor paints and paper (inspired by Taylor Swift’s recent Instagram-I should be embarrassed, but I just love arts & crafts!!) Next up, I put together a flower arrangement and made my mom’s favorite cupcakes.
Below are a few tips for arranging a bouquet and my super-secret (just kidding- its from Pinterest) DELICIOUS Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cupcakes recipe– you can thank me later. So good.
Tips for flower arrangement:
-Consider the season & occasion you are arranging for. Since it’s Spring and Mother’s Day, I tried to incorporate bright, happy colors. I also know that my mom is a huge fan of the color orange, so I tried to base my arrangement around a bunch of orange Rununculus.
-Try to vary color, type of flower, and/or texture. You want your arrangement to have different visual interest points- even if you choose all flowers of the same color, try to pick some taller flowers or fillers (leaves, grasses, etc.) to create height and drama. You don’t have to go crazy with a million different types of flowers either, you can cut the flowers at different lengths to create texture and height that way, too.
-Use lukewarm water & add in plant food if you got it! I usually buy my flowers from Whole Foods, and they generally come with a packet of plant food. Add that in with lukewarm water and your plants should last a bit longer. Also, be sure to cut the stems a bit (if you don’t plan on cutting them for height).
-Choose a fun vase! Don’t just throw the flowers in a cup of water! To me, the vase is one of the most important parts of the arrangement. I personally love square vases or mason jars, which always add a little extra something to the bouquet.
And lastly, my “Famous” Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting– yep, you read that right. They are really simple and ridiculously good. Probably the best cupcakes I’ve ever made…
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
For Cupcakes (24 total):
Bake @: 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes (start at 18 and check with toothpick)
-1 pkg. Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix
-1 pkg. Instant Chocolate Pudding
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup vegetable oil
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-Miniature Reese’s Cups
-Mix all ingredients together (except Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) in a mixer until combined.
-Line 24 muffins tins (you can get creative here with the muffin tins)
-Fill each tin with about 3 tablespoons of batter.
-Press a Reese’s Cup into each tin, making sure to not push too far down. (Batter should not cover Reese’s)
-Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick will come out clean. (Remember when doing the toothpick trick to not poke directly into the center since the Reese cup is there. The center of the cupcake will look fallen even if completely baked due to the tiny chocolate morsel of amazing-ness hidden inside)
-Leave cupcakes on rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing:
-1 cup peanut butter
-1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
-2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
-2 lbs. powdered sugar (2 boxes of confectioners sugar)
-3 or 4 Tablespoons low-fat milk, depending on desired thickness
*note: I usually half this recipe as it always seems to be WAY too much frosting. It does make for good leftovers, though 🙂
-Cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth.
-Mix in vanilla and alternate powdered sugar and milk until you reach your desired thickness. *I generally add 4 tbsp or possibly 5 because the icing is so thick.
-Decorate your cupcakes! You can even add a mini-Reeses if you want peanut butter overload (who doesn’t?!)
There you have it, my three “homemade” gifts for my mom, that I know she will love!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Let me know if you have any ideas that you’d like to share on fabulous gifts for mom.