Emily Ellyn Serving Up Retro Rad Fun on Epcot Food and Wine Culinary Demonstration Stage

Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is known for its amazing tastes of the world. Not only do guests have the opportunity to enjoy flavors from across the globe, they can have some up-close-and-personal time with some professional chefs. The Festival Welcome Center Culinary Demonstration Stage is home to exclusive cooking demonstrations, at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. and seats are $15 per guest (tax is included; alcohol will only be served to guests over 21).

Wednesday, October 22, retro rad Emily Ellyn (Next Food Network Star finalist, Cupcake Wars winning team member, World Food Championships judge) will be on stage at both 3 and 5 p.m. cooking up her Chocolate Tea Cake Filled with Rose Water Frosting a.k.a. “I’m a Little Tea Cake”, served with Banfi’s Rosa Regale. Also on the menu: Zucchini Limoncello Curd and Ricotta “Whey” Tea Sandwiches with Avero Limoncello from Campania, Italy.

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Photo courtesy Emily Ellyn Productions

Chocolate Tea Cake Filled with Rosewater Frosting
Courtesy of Emily Ellyn — EmilyEllyn.com
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11 — 35 minutes
Total Time: 26 – 50 minutes
Serves: 24 mini sized cupcake or 12 classic sized cupcakes

Tea Cake Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shake
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1 cup fresh brewed black tea (Brew Strong 4 bags to one cup water)

Rose Water Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick)(114g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon rosewater, or more to taste
Pinch of salt
Few drops pink food gel coloring (optional)

24 candied rose petals from Fresh Origins

Directions For Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.
Line a mini-sized cupcake pan or classic-sized cupcake pan with 24 mini cupcake liners or 12 classic cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, Garam Masala and salt into the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
In another bowl combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry in three additions while mixer is running.
With the mixer still on low, add the tea and stir just to incorporate (do not over mix), scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Fill 24 mini cupcake liners ¾-full with batter and bake for 11 minutes or fill regular-size cupcakes 3/4 –full with batter and bake for 30 minutes, or until baked through. Cool the cupcakes completely.

Directions for Rosewater Frosting:
In mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and butter on low, for about 2 minutes. Work in the sifted sugar until smooth and then add vanilla, and mix on low speed for about 2 minutes.
Add salt, rosewater and pink gel color, and mix on medium-high for 2 minutes.

For Service:
Gently place the cooled cakes on a pedestal or plate.
Pipe Rosewater Frosting onto cakes with a pastry bag fitted with star tip.

Garnish Notes:
Garnish with a candied rose petal.

How to Feel Good About Yourself During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, you might feel down about your changing body. Some days you’ll feel sick, others you’ll feel fine – just HUGE. Many women say they miss their bump after giving birth, so make sure you make the most of yours. Although this time is exciting, it can also be hard to feel good about yourself at the time. These tips will help you feel amazing during your pregnancy:


Do Your Hair and Makeup
Don’t let yourself go just because you’re pregnant. Do your hair and makeup the same as before. Your skin type may change, so beware of that and use products accordingly so you don’t end up with any spots or imperfections. Speak to employees at a beauty counter or salon for help if you need it. Your hair will also grow way faster than before, so you may want to visit the hairdressers to keep it under control. Remember, it’ll feel thinner once you’ve given birth and you’ll probably find it everywhere. Make the most of it while you’ve got it!

Wear Nice Clothes
You should be able to find some maternity clothes that suit you. Wearing clothes you like will make you feel good about yourself despite your bulging bump. Not all maternity clothes are frumpy, so give them a chance! Buy things that you can easily interchange, so you don’t have to buy too many items. Once you’ve given birth, it’s a good idea to stop wearing maternity clothes. You’ll want to feel comfortable, but if you want to continue feeling good make sure you wear flattering clothes. Don’t wear your best clothes though – they’ll get covered in baby sick in a matter of minutes.

Read Self Help Books
If you’re feeling confused about who you’ll be once you’re a mother, make sure you read self help books to sort your head out. They can also help if you’re scared about giving birth, and don’t know what to expect. However, remember that nobody will be able to predict what your pregnancy will be like. Each one is different. Read as much as you think will help you. You may also want to watch programs on TV.

Treat Yourself
Why not treat yourself every now and again? Pregnancy isn’t easy; you deserve a treat or two! Consider heading over to Houston jewelry store Whiteflash to see if anything appeals to you. You can then move on to makeup stores and anywhere else you like! It’ll be all about the baby once they’re born, so take this opportunity to get yourself a treat.

Get Pampered
Pregnant ladies love getting pampered, but it isn’t easy to do it yourself because of the enormous bump in the way. You could run yourself a nice bath with candles and bubbles, but why not head to the salon? You could do this right before you give birth, have some waxing, tinting, and nail treatments. You might not feel great while in labour, but you can sure look good.

Good luck!

image credit


Great Gifts for Your Crafty Kid

Do you have a child who loves arts and crafts? Great, they may grow up to be a clothes designer or painter! It’s important that you nurture their skills from a young age. The following gifts are perfect for crafty kids, as they get to be creative and have lots of fun:


Legos are perfect for creative boys and girls, as they can make anything that their imagination allows. You can find lots of tutorials online, as well as how to’s and books that can help them make creations they would never dream of creating. For some people, this is a lifelong hobby that gives them much fulfillment!

Play Dough
Play dough is suitable for kids of most ages, and it’s so much fun too! The great thing about play dough is that it can be used again and again to make all kinds of fun things. You can even make your own non toxic play dough using flour and food colouring.

Magic Sand
Magic sand makes it simple to make colourful sand castle creations and more in your own home. You don’t need to go to the beach in order to build something great from sand! This can get messy, so make sure you have things ready to protect your furniture.

A Selection of Felts and Pens
A selection of felts and pens are great for just drawing. Drawing can be a real joy, and a great way to de-stress. Some people do this as a hobby, right into adulthood. By getting your kids the tools now, you could be transforming them into an artist! Whether they prefer to use a Zebrapen gel pens set or a standard pencil is irrelevant – just encourage them to draw!

A Sewing Project
There are sewing projects out there for people of all ages – even you, if you’d like to join your child! You’ll need to supervise them with the needle, and they may need a hand with the thread, but other than that they should be fine doing it alone. They could sew a picture of their favourite cartoon character, for example. Knowing how to use a needle will help them when it comes to all kinds of other crafts.

Paints, a Canvas and an Easel
This will allow them to feel and look like a fully fledged artist. Why not take them somewhere beautiful with them paints, canvas and easel and encourage them to have a go at painting it? You could do it alongside them too!

A Scrapbook
Scrapbooks are great for kids, as they let them keep bits and bobs that mean something to them in one place. They can glue in notes from friends, pictures, newspaper clippings…anything they like!

Beads and Fabric
For the budding jewelry maker, beads and fabric is a great choice. They can make all kinds of creative pieces with these simple things!

Your child will love these gifts if they love all things crafty! Don’t forget, you may need to supervise with certain things. Enjoy!


8 Crazy Things Nobody Tells You About Pregnancy

7241780178_55eafb47a2_z.jpgTeza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa

When you fall pregnant, your body and life will change in ways you can’t even imagine. For many people, pregnancy is a trying time. There are a lot of things to get your head around when you are preparing for a baby. You have things to plan and prep for your new arrival, and you need to do all this while your body morphs into an alien being. It is not going to be easy, of that you can be sure, but you will get through it. There are loads of myths about pregnancy, and you’ve read them all by now. There are some things, though, that people fail to tell you. The reality of being pregnant is not as idyllic as you first believe. There are many weird and wonderful things that will happen to you during this period. Here are eight crazy things nobody tells you about pregnancy.

1. Pregnancy causes constipation
Perhaps nobody tells you about this, because it is a little gross. When you are pregnant, your bowel movements will change. That means that you may suffer from severe constipation. That constipation will make you uncomfortable. Many women suffer from the problem during pregnancy, but few talk about it for obvious reasons. If you have the problem for more than a week, you should consult with your doctor about it. He or she should prescribe something to help you.

2. You’ll have little control over your bladder
You will need to wee all the time. It may sound ridiculous, but it is true. Doctors believe that the reason for you needing to urinate is because the weight of your baby pushes down on your bladder. That means that you will need to go to the toilet several times throughout the day. Make sure that you are never too far from the restroom if you go out. Having no control over your bladder can also mean that you’ll have little accidents now and then. Carry some clean underwear and a change of clothes in case the worst should happen.

3. Everybody will want to touch you
When people see a pregnant woman, their first reaction is to try and touch that woman. Usually, people think it is not okay to touch a complete stranger, but when that stranger is pregnant, they seem to think it’s fine. If you’re not okay with people touching you, you need to let them know. People will likely ask you before they grab your tummy. Just say no. You may feel as though you’re a little rude, but so are they. Just because you’re pregnant, it does not give people the right to invade your personal space. Have the confidence to tell people not to touch you. After you’ve done so once, you will find it easier.

4. Losing baby weight is hard
When you give birth, you will still have your pregnancy stomach. People often make the mistake of thinking that baby weight just drops off when you give birth. It doesn’t. In fact, if you want to shift those pounds, you need to work at it. There are many exercises you can do that will help you lose that excess weight. Look for an exercise routine that is specifically for new mothers. When you’ve just had a baby, the last thing you will feel like doing is exercising. Remember to take things slow. Do ten minutes exercise a day. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it will make a huge difference to your body.

5. Your emotions will be insane
When you’re pregnant, you have many different hormones surging through your body. It is normal that you will have mood swings and become emotional for no reason. Remember, people will understand when your mood changes in an instant. They will understand if you start crying at a TV show. You should not let your emotions embarrass you. Everybody has wild emotions when they are pregnant. The great thing about that is that your friends and family will expect you to act a little strange. Don’t hide the way you feel, but know that your hormones might be affecting your emotions.

6. Everybody will give you baby advice
Everybody thinks they know best when it comes to pregnancy and babies. Your friends and family (and even people on the street) will try and give you advice about your new arrival. Remember, you don’t need to take everybody’s advice. You should be polite and listen to what people have to say. That doesn’t mean what everybody says is right. Take the time to figure things out for yourself. Read tips online at http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/ and find out what works for you. People are only trying to help, and so you shouldn’t let their advice annoy you.

7. Your hair gets thicker during pregnancy
When people say you get more attractive when you’re pregnant, they are right. During your pregnancy, your hair will get thicker, and you will glow. Many people think that getting thick hair is a myth, but it’s not. Your hair will appear thicker and more luscious than it was before you fell pregnant. Don’t get too used to your new hair, though, as it won’t last forever. Once you have given birth, you will notice that you start losing your hair. Your hair might come out in thick lumps when you brush it. Don’t worry that is normal.

8. Morning sickness can happen all day long
Just because it’s called morning sickness, that doesn’t mean it only happens in the morning. People tend to think that pregnant women are only sick in the early hours of the morning. If that is the case, you are lucky. In most cases, women will be sick throughout the day. The hormones in your body make you sick and you will start to feel ill when you are pregnant. In extreme cases, you can get some tablets to help you with the sickness. Morning sickness is no fun, but it is a natural part of pregnancy.

How To Make An Awesome DIY Fireman Halloween Costume

6191340622_0c7aaf1d10_z (1).jpgBrett Holt

With Halloween on the horizon, it is time to start thinking about what to do for your children’s costumes. Don’t spend loads of money on expensive store-bought costumes, when you can make a costume at home. There are many wonderful creations you might want to make. All you need is a little imagination, and you can make almost any costume in the world. One of the things you might want to consider making is a cool fireman costume. Here is an easy guide to making an impressive DIY fireman costume.

You will need:
- A Large Box
- Acrylic Paint (Red, Black, Silver and Orange)
- Glue
- Two Mini-Torches
- Two Strips Of Black Material
- Scissors
- A Sewing Machine
- Spare Material

1. Prepare your box
You will need a large box for this costume. You can get a box from your local department store. See whether they have any spare boxes to give you. Make sure that the box is large enough to make a fire truck, but not too big that it will be uncomfortable for your child. Cut a hole in the top and bottom of the box. Make sure that the gap is big enough for your child to fit inside. You might want to have your child try the box on at this point to make sure that there is enough space.

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2. Seal your box
You need to seal up all the edges of the box. Use the glue to seal up all the sides of the box so that it keeps a solid structure. This step is important as the costume will take a lot of wear and tear when your child wears it. Leave the box to dry for a couple of hours.

3. Paint your box
This step is the hardest part of making the fireman costume. Make sure that you draw an outline on the box before you begin painting. Draw two large windows with a fire brigade logo in the center. Much of the painting is block color. Do the largest area first and then add detail later. Again, leave the box to dry for a couple of hours.

4. Install your torches
The two mini-torches will make the headlights for the firetruck. Fix the two torches to the inside of the box. Cut two holes at the front of the box so that the lights shine through. Your child can turn the lights on from inside the box.

6191339482_fd5380c639_z.jpgBrett Holt

5. Sew your material strips
First you need to make sure that the material strips are the right length. Have your child hold the box at hip height, while you measure the material. The strips will go over your child’s shoulders and hold the fire truck in place. Once you have measured out your strips, you need to sew them. Doing so will make sure that the sides of the straps don’t fray when your child is wearing his or her costume. Use a Serger sewing machine to make seams at each side of the straps.

6. Fix the strips to the box
You can use glue to fix the straps to the box. Again, it is important that you leave the glue to dry for a few hours. Make sure that the box is secure. You don’t want the box to break when your child is wearing it.

7. Finish the look
Finish the look with a cute fireman outfit. You can buy a whole range of fireman outfits online. Make sure that you get an outfit in the right size. Sizing online can be unreliable, so it is wise to buy a size larger than your child needs. Your child will look like he, or she is a fireman driving the truck when the costume is complete.

Check Out GoPro At @BestBuy! #GoProatBestBuy

go Pro


I personally have a GoPro on my list of things I REALLY REALLY REALLY want.  I have seen video from them and it is amazing what this teeny camera can do.  Not to mention, the biggest sell for me is that it is water proof with the casing on it.  With all the water parks, pools, and adventures we go on, a waterproof camera would be AMAZING :-)  I feel like I have missed out on some awesome photo ops with my current camera because I don’t want to get it wet.

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Best Buy has a huge selection of camera, including the latest cameras and camcorders, and of COURSE the full line of new GoPro cameras, plus a broad assortment of accessories. GoPro cameras make perfect holiday gifts for everyone (including me… hint hint), from kids and teens, to gadget gurus. GoPro’s new line of cameras allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to your life.


If you decide to GoPro, there are quite a few GoPro Cameras to choose from.  I am sure you will find one that suits your needs :-)

GoPro HERO4 Black: The most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.

GoPro HERO4 Silver: The first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling The camera, playing back footage and adjusting settings is ultra-convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second, HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.

GoPro HERO: Featuring high‐quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.  12x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates

Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.


FTC Disclosure:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.  All opinions in this post are my own, honest opinions.  

If I could give one piece of advice, what would I say?



Today, as I sit here, one year after college graduation, without a job that I actually need my degree for… I am thankful that I have it.  Why?  You may ask.  Because it is one thing I have EARNED and will use that no one can take away from me.  No one can take away my knowledge, no one can take away my experience, and I have that “piece of paper”, as many call it, to back me up for the rest of my life.

I remember when I was a young(er) mom, Colton was just a baby and I was talking to my friend that was currently a stay at home mom.  She told me she had her degree and she was taking some classes to keep up her certification.  I asked her “why?”  Why if she was a stay at home and had no intention of getting a job did she get her degree?  I realize now, that was a really rude question to ask her- but luckily she is my friend and she wasn’t offended and answered.

She said that while her husband was the provider for the family, so she didn’t have to work, she was glad that she had her degree and experience to fall back on.  Her husband is a fire fighter, and she explained that if anything were to happen to him that she would need a way to provide for her family.  I was inspired.  This was a great reason to get a degree.  This was great insurance that if something did happen she did have the ability to survive without her husband, even if she was able to rely on him then (right now).

At the time I was going to school part time- I needed to stay enrolled because those student loans are not fun to pay back, with a husband that was chronically unemployed, we needed every penny I made to pay bills.  But she was right– even as a stay at home mom, it is important to get your degree if you have the ability to.

I now have my degree.  I am proud of myself because it was a long road to earn it and I stuck to it and I am done.  I have a story to tell my kids.  And when they are debating the choice of to go to college or to not… I can tell them I went to school, I worked hard, and I have my degree and they should too.  Given Colton’s intelligence already, and the gene pool that this baby is going to have, both these kids should breeze through college :-P

So moms- go to college.  If for nothing else, because you want to be smarter and set a good example for your kids.  But remember those babies won’t be babies long, they will grow up and go to school and you will want the ability to earn a decent wage when you do go back to work.  Or if your whole life falls apart and you have to go back to work to support your family- it is a nice insurance to fall back on… and you never know when you are going to need it.

Fun Tips for Having a Creative & Crafty Halloween

Halloween just so happens to take place at one of my most favorite times of the year. For me and my family, it’s a time for cozying up in front of the fire, reading ghost stories and feasting on comfort food. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that Halloween is also one of our most favorite holidays. So to help you prepare yourself in advance, we’re going to share some simple, yet creative ideas that will help your Halloween night to go off with a bang.

Source: Flickr

It doesn’t matter what age your kids happen to be – one of the most important parts of Halloween is making sure that you’ve got an awesome costume to wear. Luckily there are Halloween costumes to suit all age groups. Younger kids would look cute as a button dressed up as a pumpkin. Whilst older kids might prefer to dress up as their favorite musician or Hollywood starlet. To make sure that your child’s costume stands out from the crowd, you could try adding some embellishments to give it that personal touch.

Source: Flickr

Halloween-Themed Party Treats
This crafty Halloween tip is an easy one, and luckily you don’t have to have the culinary skills of Gordon Ramsay in order to make it work. It’s just a case of getting your hands on a few easy-to-find ingredients and then using a little creative flair and imagination. You could make zombie-shaped gingerbread men, or orange and black cupcakes. You could also whip up a batch of witches’ brew, or use red food dye to make a punch that Dracula himself would be happy to drink. It’s a good idea to get the kids involved in preparing these Halloween treats as they’ll love the interactive aspect. You could even hold a competition to see who can come up with the scariest-looking gingerbread man!

Source: Flickr

Ghost Stories
If your kids are very young, it may be a good idea to give this tip a miss. But if you’re confident that they’ll enjoy it, it’s always good fun to share a few ghost stories with the family. You can find plenty of age appropriate ghost stories on the internet if you don’t know a good one already. But the best stories of all tend to be the ones that you make up yourself. You could even use scary props to help tell your story, such as a pair of vampire teeth or a spooky witches’ cauldron. After all, doesn’t everyone deserve a good scare on Halloween?

Traditional Halloween Games & Activities
One of the reasons why we love Halloween so much is that it gives you and the kids chance to take part in fun scary-themed activities and get nice and messy in the process. No Halloween would be complete without a hand-carved pumpkin, and bobbing for the odd apple or two. Such games and activities are really simple to organize, and whether your kids are young or old, they’ll really appreciate the effort you’ve gone to.

We hope that you and the kids enjoy putting some of our spooky suggestions to the test and that you have plenty of fun celebrating this most ghoulish of occasions!

Whats the Temperature? Easy Science Experiment for kids.

As you may know, the temperature varies from room to room, sun to shade, refrigerator to freezer… This is a cool concept for kids and Colton had a great time checking the temperature around the house, charting it and comparing it.


This was a fun experiment that required very little effort, had no mess, and gave him the freedom to really think for himself.

What you will need:
Pen or Pencil
Piece of Paper

What to do:
1.  Talk to your kids about Temperature, about things that effect temperature, why the temperature varies.  Explain what the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit is.  Let them know the points of freezing and boiling.
2. Brainstorm places you think would have different temperatures and places that they are curious of what the temperature is.  Make a list on your piece of paper so you can chart all these places!
3. Create your chart.  Here is an example of one, but we just wrote ours out on paper:
My Temperature Experiment Chart

4. Complete the experiment!  Take your thermometer to all the places your child wants to check the temperature at.  We had a mercury thermometer, so if you have this type you will have to give the thermometer a few minutes to get to the correct temperature.
5. Compare and talk it out!  Compare the different temperatures and talk about why they are different :-)

This is a pretty simple experiment, but my little guy had a ball with it and enjoyed showing off his chart and even talking about it to people.

Delicious Living Room Design Ideas For Families With Young Children



For a few years when our children are young, we need to compromise with our living room design. That doesn’t mean we should accept anything but the best in our homes, we just have to approach the subject in a slightly different way. The time soon passes, and the children grow. It is just another chapter in the history of the building.

If you are about to enter that phase of your life and are looking for inspiration so that you can maintain a modern space and make it child-friendly, you have come to the right place. We are going to investigate some delicious living room design ideas for families with young children; I hope you find it informative.

Flooring Solutions
The floor poses a significant challenge in the design. It needs to be durable and easy to keep clean. Wooden flooring is likely to scratch over time no matter how tough the protective coating is. Laminate, on the other hand, has all of the properties you seek. There are many wood grain patterns to match the rest of your room. It is resistant to scratching and water damage too, so I think it is an ideal choice. You can mop it clean with an antibacterial product to protect your kids from harmful germs as they crawl around.

Furniture Ideas
The furniture is a vital part of the room, and the guys who produce Living Edge designer furniture online recognise it. Try not to introduce pieces that are shorter than your child, when they are small. If they should trip, they will not bang their head on the corner of a robust tabletop and cause themselves harm. As your child grows, they are more stable on their feet and less likely to fall. The furniture does not pose such a problem.

Kids fall asleep at the drop of a hat, and they need a sofa on which to do it. Though your minimalist design might not allow for one, this is an area on which you must compromise.

There may be a joinery nearby where you could request an individual unit to house the child’s toys for a few years. It could feature boxes with removable toy bin labels so that the toys can be stowed away neatly out of view. Quality is everything with furniture; it should be of attractive hardwood and not MDF. That material has its place, but not in this room.

Evening Lighting
Your children need to relax and calm down in the evenings as part of their bedtime ritual. Nothing is better for creating a peaceful ambiance that strategically placed table lamps. Though you can control the central light with a dimmer switch, the effect is inferior. You can experiment with the lamps and move them around until you create the perfect atmosphere for your children and the room. This subtle change will affect them on a subconscious level and over time their body will recognise that it is getting close to bedtime.

You might love the new design so much that you decide to keep it even when your children are older. Some schemes are timeless and as long as you use high-quality materials and furniture, I believe this is one of them. You can have a beautiful home and children at the same time. It’s easy when you know how.