Nolan III turns 1!

Aunt Autumn's sweet boy turned 1!
I can't believe what a big boy he has grown into . . . I guess I should have expected it when he was born this big! We had such a good (busy) weekend celebrating, but oh so much fun!

Aunt Autumn & the bday boy

Tearing into that cake!

Yay, opening presents with Mommy!

Worn out from all the partying! Dalton did the same thing, but at the beginning of his party!

Happy Birthday, Nolan!
We love you!

Cupcakes for a Little MONKEY!

I saw these little monkey cupcakes in a parenting mag a while ago and knew Aunt Autumn had to create them for lil' Nolan's monkey-themed 1st bday party!
I'll go through what I did, and then tell you what I learned! I improvised a lot and there are still things I would change.

What you'll need:
Mini oreos
Icing of your choice--if it's homemade, then you are better than me (ERICA), canned worked fine for ME
Ginger Snaps (I used the Nabisco ones and I think the size worked best)
Cake mix (Recipe called for banana bread mix)
White icing in squeeze tube

Separate mini Oreos, remove and eat centers! These will be your monkey ears.

Grab your sharp knife and the ginger snaps, and cut into those suckers! They are VERY hard so I found that cutting all the way through only crumbled the cookies and made for some crooked lines (which doesn't work if you're OCD like me) . . . so it works best to make a perforation, like 1/4 way into the cookie, then break. You can tidy up the lines with your knife. :)
These are your monkey mouths/noses.
Then I used chocolate icing in a snipped baggie to add the nostrils (The actual recipe called for mini semi-sweets, but I can't find those that are peanut-free!)

Cook those cupcakes according to the box. Or if you are bored, according to your homemade recipe! Let 'em cool.

Add your icing. Then add the bottom of the monkey mouth.

Here's where it gets tricky... Add the top of the mouth/nose but don't push too far into icing, cause next you're gonna add the Oreo ears under the edge. (I tried adding the ears and then the top mouth, but somehow the mouth didn't wanna stick good enough, so this worked best for me)

Add those ears!

Squeeze a little bit of white icing and then add the eyes. I used little pieces of broken Oreos, but it called for m&m's. Again, not peanut-allergy friendly.

There you have it!!!
Here you have it. I also made confetti cupcakes with turquoise icing and banana Runts on the top b/c they matched the decor! Those aren't quite as difficult.

So here's the scoop:
I made them the day before, trying to be time efficient.
***The cookies absorbed the moisture from the cupcakes.***
In the case of the Oreos, this was not a good thing. When I took them out at the party, the ears started falling off and crumbling. :(
If you know ginger snaps, you know how HARD they are. So this actually was great for them. The kids didn't have to remove the ginger snaps in order to bite into the cupcake, with them so soft, you could just bite into everything!!



Just hang on . . .

Update in progress . . .

Check out this awesome pic I snagged today in the beautiful sunshine!