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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.

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.

More in: Baking, Pets

30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta KitAfter reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life I fell thoroughly in love with her family’s inspiring year-long adventure in living the locavore lifestyle. In case you aren’t already aware locavores are people who only consume locally grown foods. The entire Kingsolver family worked tirelessly raising various farm animals, tending a large garden, and canning food for the winter month. Their efforts were truly awe inspiring.

One of my favorite takeaways from the novel was the notion that you can make your own cheese at home. I realize this is a no-brainer to most people but honestly I hadn’t really given the notion much thought, however, after reading about the process I became fascinated. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle suggested looking up Ricki Carroll online at the New England Cheese Making Supply Company for at home kits and supplies. While I’ve yet to order a kit for myself I did give one to my grandmother for Christmas last year. This year I’m going to ask Santa to put one under the tree for me. I think making my own homemade mozzarella and ricotta sounds like the perfect way to spend the holiday break from the office, don’t you?

More in: Food

Halloween Haunted House KitI can’t think of a better way to kick-off Halloween than with a creepy edible Haunted House project. Whether you live with children, parents, or roommates, everyone in your home will enjoy this whimsical kit. Make a mess, make a masterpiece, or simply dig into the candy corn. Everything you need to create a scary seasonal centerpiece is included from jet black icing to jack-o-lanterns. You’ll have to break out the Ouija board though if you want any real spirits to inhabit your gingerbread house. The dearly departed are sold separately.

More in: Halloween, Kids

Mermaid Cupcake KitThe first movie I ever bought for myself was The Little Mermaid with $20 that I received from a kindly relative on my 9th birthday. To that end I’ll forever associate mermaids with birthdays and other celebrations and I’m sure your little party princess will relish having the same opportunity. This precious kit can effortlessly serve as your theme party’s jumping off point and will undoubtedly yield dressed up cupcakes that will be the hit of the pre-teen set. Best of all everyone can pick a cupcake that “looks like” herself as these mermaids sport an array of luscious locks.

More in: Baking, Kids