Themed cupcake kits with cute adornments are all the rage these days. They’re also extremely handy for those of you (like me) who can’t decorate baked goods to save your life. In an effort to not bring treats to parties that look like a five-year-old was getting busy in the kitchen you can still swirl on the boring layer of plain icing, but then brighten things up immensely with just the touch of a toothpick.

This particular kit is perfect for all of the lazy football filled Sundays that await us this Fall. The helmets and cheerleaders are especially fetching, and if you get bored with all the intentional grounding and first downs you can always pull off the paper footballs and flick them at other people’s heads.

Just when you thought that cupcakes couldn’t possibly get any cuter someone comes along and designs costumes for them. For local readers please note that I happened upon these Yum Bot silicone bases while browsing at Henry Bear’s Park, a toy store in Porter Square.

While I’m never been one to geek-out over cupcakes, the science fiction nod that this product brings to the table truly speaks to my inner geek. These would, of course, make excellent additions to any child’s themed birthday party, but honestly I think I’d rather break them out for a Doctor Who marathon. As long as the Yum Bots don’t try to take over the world I think we’ll be in good shape.

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I so shouldn’t tell you guys this because I know you’re going to sneak in and buy all of the really cool things before I remember to log in, but this Saturday starting at 11:00 AM EST a Mario Batali Boutique is opening at Rue La La. Trust me. You’re going to want to check it out!

In case you aren’t familiar with this awesome service, Rue La La is a fabulous members only shopping site that offers huge discounts on designer goods ranging from handbags to lasagna pans for a limited time each day. Speaking of pans I so hope one of those enormous cast iron Batali lasagna pans is available in this weekend’s sale!

While a cooking related boutique isn’t available every day over the past few months I’ve seen a large number of culinary related sales on Rue La La including items from The Culinary Institute of America, Kate Spade Home, Wedgwood’s Vera Wang collection, and Henckels. Not to shabby, right?

If any of the above items even remotely interest you then definitely sign-up to become a member of Rue La La. Honestly those 11:00 AM emails each morning announcing the opening of various boutiques have caused my heart leap with joy on more than one occasion. Happy shopping! [A big xoxo to Maggie for originally introducing me to this service].

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Good Morning! I wanted to alert you to a sale on Amazon featuring a select array of Le Creuset. The sale appears to pertain to the multi-purpose enamel stockpots. I own one in Caribbean and love it. In addition, other items available at a significant discount include the 2-quart stoneware pitchers, single stoneware baking dishes, sets of stoneware bakers, and the square cast-iron grill skillets. These are all really functional pieces to own and they come in a variety of fresh and funky colors so I’m positive that you’ll find at least one piece that will appeal to your tastes and kitchen needs. Happy shopping!

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You Bake 'Em Cat TreatsGrowing up my mother would often make homemade treats for our dog, Dixie. Dixie would lose his mind over these treats. He’d dance in place, spin in a circle, and eat the large bone-shaped biscuits in mere seconds.

I don’t have a dog now but those of you who read my other blogs are probably well aware of my fondness (bordering on crazy cat lady obsession) for Watson and Dexter, the two cats that I adopted this year. Remembering how earnestly that sweet old dog loved his freshly baked nibbles I’ve been wondering if my kittens would also appreciate such care and attention to their food.

I was able to find a number of recipes online for cat treats but recently I stumbled upon a You Bake ‘Em Cat Treats kit. Frankly a kit is more my speed, especially when I’m attempting something for the first time, and this set appears to include everything you’ll need (5 cookie cutters, a recipe book, and even little gift bags) to have your furry friends purring their fuzzy heads off in record time.

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String of Pearls TrivetDiamonds may be a girl’s best friend but pearls are apparently king of the kitchen. This string of pearls isn’t to adorn your neck though. These porcelain gems protect your counters and tables from unsightly scorch marks. But the best thing about this trivet is that it’s adjustable. Simply twist your pearls into the shape and size that best fits your pot and you’re good to go. Besides…your country bumpkin dutch oven can probably use all the help she can get in the glam department.

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Eggnog FlavorBe still my eggnog loving heart! King Arthur Flour sells a professional-quality flavoring that will apparently knock your baking socks right off. I just adore eggnog and I’m simply over the moon with thoughts of waffles, muffins, cookies, cakes, and even candies spiced with this unique essence. So order a bottle and get your teaspoon ready. The holiday treat experiments you could whip-up with this simple addition are endless.

More in: Baking, Christmas, Food

Flower Measuring ToolsYou can never have too many sets of measuring utensils so put the groove back into your baking routine with these smashing flower-shaped tools. Available as cups or spoons these bright essentials are made from super strong melamine and they’re dishwasher safe. You’ll be amazed at what a little flower power can do for your overall kitchen mood.

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Hello Kitty ApronThis Hello Kitty apron is absurdly cute and very pink which automatically makes it a must have in my book. Protect your pretty clothes from random splashes and other kitchen disasters with this functional frock. Hello Kitty totally has your back! Perhaps the best thing about this item though is that it comes in miniature too. Now your “mini me” can bake in identical tandem with you. Besides, everyone knows that two kitties are better than one.

[Thank you to Babette & Manouschka for the link].

More in: Baking, Clothing, Kids

Butterfly Pot Holder I dare you not to burst into the theme song from Reading Rainbow whenever you pull a hot tray of freshly baked cookies from the oven while you’re sporting this lovely Monarch Butterfly Pot Holder. This fetching mitt is so pretty that it will effortlessly serve as functional art in your kitchen. Although, personally I’m a tad afraid that I might burst into tears the first time I splatter it with spaghetti sauce. Thankfully it’s machine washable.

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