Thankful Muffins

With Thanksgiving and the holidays fast approaching, my mind is a buzz with ten thousand different things that I must somehow accomplish in the days that I’ve got left. Every year the same thing seems to happen as I find myself stepping into the second week of November.

I find myself making lists…

And checking them twice, even thrice.

Then there’s shopping.

More lists.

Cleaning.

More shopping.

Panicking.

A mild breakdown that leads to a “why in the world do I do this to myself every year?”

A self talk that usually involves more list making, perhaps a glass of wine with soft music and candles and then finally a calm

I remember that I am human, not super woman…

that I live in Suburbia not on an HGTV set…

and that my guests and family will remember the special details not the hours that I’ve spent killing myself.

So you know what I do to make Thanksgiving less stressful? I make boxed pumpkin muffins iced with a pre-made icing and topped with a sweet festive handmade flag!

Here’s how to do it…

A box mix is so simple and easy and ya know what? It still fills my house with the deliciously intoxicating spicy pumpkin aroma that the muffins from scratch do. Only with less work.

I happen to love the Trader Joe’s pumpkin mix! It’s fabulous!

Have you ever tried Pillsbury’s cream cheese frosting? Um, incredible.

I could whip up the frosting in no time flat, but why bother when I have this?

Begin by following the easy directions on your boxed pumpkin mix, pour the batter into pretty paper muffin liners placed in a muffin tin (I used the gold ones) and bake according to box instructions.

While the muffins are baking, it’s time to make the flags.

Here’s what you’ll need: a paper cutter (or scissors) glue, and some pretty paper.

I happen to love scrap booking paper as you may already know, but any paper will do. I chose colors and subtle patterns that I thought looked “Thanksgivingly.”

You’ll also need toothpicks.

Now cut the paper into long, thin strips (the length of the paper)using a paper cutter or scissors.

After you’ve cut the long strips, you’ll then want to cut them into 4 inch long pieces.

Fold the four inch piece in half and cut a little triangle piece out of the open end. Then squeeze a bead of glue on the inside of the fold and down the inside length of the flag, place the toothpick along the fold and hold the two pieces together until you think that they’ve stuck together.

Next, grab a pen and write what you’re thankful for on the flag. It can be anything, family, laughter, hope, Starbucks…oops, did I just say that out loud?

Or sometimes I just like to write my guests names on one side and what I’m thankful for about them on the other side!

Just use your imagination and have fun with it! Obviously this idea can carry over to any holiday or special event!

After the muffins have cooled and you’ve told your kids for the hundredth time that they can’t eat any muffins until Thanksgiving…

Just slather on some of that creamy, rich and yummy pre-made icing…

Then stick a flag toothpick right in the center…

and make a silent promise to yourself to never, ever, let yourself get stressed about hosting a family holiday or get together again.

Aren’t they just darling?

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned through all the blood, sweat and tears of life, it’s that life is too short to be stressed and to always try to have a house full of …

Now go enjoy the holidays! I know I will!

Wenderly

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20 Comments

  1. Posted November 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    These are so cute and festive…and what a wonderful way to remind ourselves of what we’re thankful for!

  2. Posted November 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of the flags with what we’re thankful for. Even if we don’t end up doing pumpkin muffins, I’m sure I can transport that idea to a different part of the meal. Thanks, Wendy!

  3. Posted November 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I’d be thankful if you grabbed one of these, hopped in your car, stopped by Starbucks and came over to my house.

    I’d be real thankful.

    I would.

  4. Posted November 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Just love your thankful muffins, Wendy. I dread the holidays all year long because of all the stress and expense. I need to take your advice and realize that my house, food and gifts don’t have to look like they came from the props room at HGTV :-)

  5. Posted November 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Good. Idea. You are so right. I find myself hyperventilating frequently and around the holidays it gets worse. So, now, I’ll remember your post…and make muffins. And, laugh. And, be thankful. Thanks, Wendy!

  6. Posted November 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea! Your flags are so cute. And I too am a huge fan of anything Trader joe’s.

  7. Posted November 9, 2010 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Beautiful! SO thoughtful!

  8. Posted November 9, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I don’t stress as much about Thanksgiving as I used to; we always host and we always have overnight guests for the whole weekend. And yep, there’s work to be done but if I miss a cat hair or two (or three) I’m good with it and in fact, I’m certain the sun will come up tomorrow morning. We plan our menu, we make what we want and share what we’re making with everyone – then we tell them to bring whatever they’d like to add to the table with the stipulation that whatever you bring, you must take the leftovers home. I tell you that ONE change has made all the difference in the world! I no longer have to ‘assign’ dishes or work around someone’s pickiness, etc. because they’re free to bring whatever they’d like. These ‘Thankful’ muffins are super cute too!

  9. Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I love this post, Wendy!!!

  10. Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Love your philosophy! You are so right about no one caring about the hours you spend prepping.

  11. Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Okay, my friend….you never cease to amaze me with your highly creative and inspiring ideas. I just may have to make some of these and perhaps have the kids write something to be thankful for on the little tags. Lovely post….

  12. Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    What a great reminder that we don’t have to slowly kill ourselves during this busy holiday season! I think we get so stressed out over all the things that we have to do without taking a step back and really analyzing what’s truly important — family and friends. I’m down for quick and easy cupcakes any day! :-)

  13. Posted November 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Very sweet idea. I love it!

  14. Tricia Baber-Everson
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful Wendy, Thank you!

  15. Posted November 10, 2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Love this idea, Wendy!

  16. Posted November 10, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I love you, Wendy! We are only human…. that is sooooo right!
    Have a calm holiday, my friend!

  17. Posted November 11, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    What a cute idea!! You are so a supermom :)

  18. Elizinwfb
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I am going to use this! thank you. Today I am extra Thankful for all of our Veterans! God Bless America!

  19. Posted November 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    These muffins are so pretty & so very happy. Great little messages & so festive for the holidays too :)

  20. Posted November 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Came across these little beauties this morning as I was STILL SEARCHING for Thanksgiving recipes. Yep, I’m THAT one… that’s always just a little behind. Hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    [K]

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