Owl cupcakes + that Zumba mojo

Hi! How’s the day going? Hope you’re having a great one so far <3 A little later blogging today, because there’s been some behind-the-scenes stuff I’ve been working on. An exciting update: the blogroll page is back! Quite a few of you let me know that you missed it, so it’s back in action on the menu bar under “Friends.”

Our morning adventure:

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Owl cupcakes!
Before you think I’m creative, I must tell you that they were a total copy of the ones on the Family Circle cover. (PS I’m not sure how or why we get Family Circle, but I do like some of the recipes!) My favorite baking buddy saw the magazine on the table and said, “We have to make these owl cupcakes! They are so cute.”

Owl cupcakes  1 of 1

So, we took a walk to the store, grabbed the essentials and headed home to make some.

Pretty flower/succulent garden seen on our walk:

Photo 191

I really love that Liv enjoys cooking and baking, as it’s obviously one of my favorite things. It’s pretty easy to think of little things she can do to help; usually it involves adding cupcake liners, stirring the mixture, or adding the ingredients.

Photo 190

(We’re also pros at “testing” the batter haha)

For the owl cupcakes, I just used a box mix of organic chocolate (spiced it up with some vanilla extra, butter and applesauce instead of oil, and almond milk instead of water) and made a simple chocolate buttercream.

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Buttercream  1 of 1

We added Newman’s O’s with chocolate chips for the eyes, and an Annie’s gummy bunny as the nose. They were very simple to put together, and I love how festive they turned out!

So I wanted to ask you guys about Zumba mojo. For me, it’s directly correlated by two things: the energy of the class, and the music. Music is the only thing I can directly control -as I can obviously help elevate the energy of the room, that’s more subjective- and I haven’t heard any good new Zumba songs lately. We listen to the En Vivo station in the car, and I’ll Shazam anything awesome that I hear. Nothing lately. If you’ve heard any great Zumba songs, please send them my way! 🙂

Hope you’re having a lovely afternoon <3

See ya in the morning!




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  1. SO stinking cute. Can’t get over these. We have some Trader Joe Joe’s in the pantry, I may have to make some! 🙂

  2. Ok so that’s looks great:) . How do you mAke the frosting?

  3. Brrrrm is one of my favorite Zumba songs because dancing to it makes me feel way more bad ass than I actually am. Lol. Heading to a class now! 🙂

  4. Yes! I totally rely on the music in Zumba! I feel like Zumba just came out with a Zin exclusive video (sent via email) and I really liked the song in that video. I remember Gina and Beto and one other person was in it. Oh I just looked it up and you can download it on the Zin page. Let It Move You.

    Also, I sometimes like it when there is an oldie but a goodie song. It’s like I forget how fun a song was!

  5. Have you heard Limbo by Daddy Yankee? I love it! Also Love y Party by Juan Magan, but I’m sure you’ve heard that one.

  6. The cutest cupcakes! They turned out so well. Liv is a natural baker. 🙂

  7. I’m somehow receiving Family Circle as well….no clue how that happened. I’m taking it as a sign that I’m getting old that I flipped through it and actually dogeared pages.

    • Fitnessista says:

      hahaha i’m glad i’m not the only one! i was like “i’ll never read this. wait… ok, that looks good… that too….”

  8. Those are adorable!!! I love the oreo choice 😉 my favorite!

  9. I made very similar cupcakes for my daughter’s first birthday!

  10. queenoffitness says:

    i shazam’d two songs from caliente on sirius a few weeks back. they were playing both during la gozadera hour con dj kito. the first is los gatos by wesly tones. i’ve used it for a warm-up but i’d love to have an actual routine to it. the other song they are playing is tentandome by juan magan ft maffio.

  11. I need a child so I can have an excuse to bake cute things all the time! 🙂 Okay, I just need to bake cute things.

  12. Those cupcakes are adorable! That is hilarious you get Family Circle and have no idea how or why. I used to get a fitness magazine, but never subscribed to it. Secret Santa maybe!

  13. Those cupcakes are really cute! I can see why she wanted to make them.

  14. At my cousin’s wedding, the bride’s family surprised us with a “La Hora Loca” and it was the best hour of dancing I’ve had in awhile! It wasn’t zumba of course, but some of the songs I’ve stolen and now workout to. My fave is Danza Kuduro by Don Omar =)

  15. Those are the CUTEST cupcakes ever! Love the clever use of oreos!!

  16. Those cupcakes are so cute! That is so nice that you and Liv spend time together in the kitchen doing one of your favorite activities.

  17. These are so adorable! I nanny a 6 year old and I have a feeling she would love making these treats!

  18. Those cupcakes are adorable – my 17 year old niece has a cupcake business; I’m totally passing this along to her.

  19. Those are so cute! Ayden loves being in the kitchen with me so much that I started a Kids in the Kitchen series where I share kid friendly meals and experiences. It’s a fun way to get some more kid foods on my blog and show that kids can help in many ways in the kitchen. The more they are involved in the meal prep the more they’ll eat of it!

  20. It’s funny you posted this today. I had a wonky day at work today and I know my Zumba suffered. As I was taking class, I realized that I was forgetting moves and counts to old dances that I know by heart. I think my day is a huge factor in how my Zumba-ing goes.

  21. Kuduro booty shake is my current favorite song at the zumba class I go to! 🙂

  22. Those cupcakes are super adorable! I’ll have to try to make them.

    Glad to hear Zumba was great!

  23. Cutest cupcakes ever. My sister and I made a bunch of animal themed ones from Hello Cupcake!

    I think we even did a shark or a poodle.

    I’m too uncoordinated to handle Zumba yet, otherwise I’d totally recommend something. 🙁

  24. These are AWESOME! What a cute idea! Once again, I love that you are showing there is a balance between healthy, and enjoying your life! You can eat sweet treats and still be healthy. I love to show that through my eating as an elite runner, but I think people often do not believe me. Love the idea of using joe joes for these, I have yet to try them though…..

  25. I’m so not a baker! I probably need to fix this before I have kids… or maybe that will be the time I learn haha. My mother in law is the queen of desserts, so I really don’t need to be making anything else, we have enough already! What I really need to do is start mastering some delicious Paleo desserts like this one: http://paleomg.com/ooey-gooey-chocolate-chip-pumpkin-bars/

  26. Your cupcakes are adorable! That is so fun that Liv loves helping you bake. Such a good way to spend time together!

  27. These look so good! I’m craving chocolate right now and these look amazing!

  28. Omg I love those cupcakes!! How fun you and Livi get to do that together! <3

  29. The owl cupcakes turned out so cute! It’s so sweet that you have a little helper! I have an owl theme throughout my apartment – it started out as a collection of cute owl tea cups, but has grown to include owl-themed kitchen towels, pillows, a salt & pepper shaker, etc. I need an owl-intervention.

  30. Cutest cupcakes!! Lately I’m loving anything by Machel Montano (especially “Float”) and “Where Yuh From” by KES

  31. So evidently Family Circle is giving away a lot of mags because I receive it unrequested too! I also get Martha Stewart Living? No idea why! Lol.

    The cupcakes turned out so cute and even cuter is the fact that Liv wanted to make them! How could you possibly turn her down?? Fun mommy daughter project 🙂 Xmas baking will be extra fun for you this year!!!

  32. Love those cupcakes! Thinking I will make them for my daughter’s class at the end of the month 🙂

  33. Gina, do you ever teach any soca songs? We have been dancing to “Monster Winer” in my Zumba class and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Also, the Romeo Santos and Drake song “Odio” is a great bachata with a hip-hop twist.

  34. I have no idea how our Zumba instructor picks her music but it’s awesome. And it plays a huge role in class energy, at least for me. One of my Zumba friends (she should totally be an instructor) will work with our leader on new routines. We gave her some requests ‘Fireball’ by Pitbull and she also did ‘Bang Bang’ by Jessie J as well.

  35. My kids would kill for those cupcakes! The oreos split down the middle are great.

  36. ha! livi is the cutest! and i think i may have to make these cute cupcakes as well…

  37. El Taxi – Pitbull – it’s kind of a sexy almost cumbia feel, and I’m still really feeling Bailando by Enrique. My class LOVES these!

  38. I am sure glad you asked that Zumba question! I just got some great ideas for songs! I’m doing Halloween and some ZIN stuff right now, but some of my faves from awhile ago: Meneando (Mr. Saik), Exotic (Priyanka Chopra, feat. Pitbull), and Sacudelo Remix (Proyecto Uno).

    Also, I’m doing Because We Can from Moulin Rouge right now as just a big cardio song and they LOVE it.

  39. Hey Gina!
    Do you ever do hip hop style in your Zumba classes? Some of my favourites from my Zumba instructor incorporate more of a hip hop element and they’re class favorites:

    1. Jason Derulo – Talk Dirty
    2. Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby
    3. Beyoncé – Crazy in Love
    4. Lil John – Work
    5. Pitbull – Pause

    Let me know what you think!

  40. My Zumba instructor has a solid dance background as both a salsa instructor and jazz/ballet dancer, so we usually get about half pop music and half Latin music in her class, so my “mojo” list is all over the place.

    Summer 2014 brought out some GREAT pop for Zumba, a lot of which has already been mentioned here (Come Get it Bae, Pharrell; Bailando & I’m a Freak, Enrique; Rather Be, Clean Bandit; Fireball, Pitbull; Latch, Disclosure; Turn Down for What’ DJ Snake & Lil Jon). We’re doing Bang Bang right now with choreo adapted from GetYourFitOn with Tara’s routine (search YouTube). Hair flips MANDATORY. SO FUN!

    I’m in the LA area so salsa and bachata prevail here, and many instructors work in quite a bit of hip hop. An old timey favorite of mine is Get Like Me by Nelly (edited version, of course, because…yeah, wow…). Funky fun.

    Our instructor also did a routine to Let’s Have a Kiki (edited for colorful language, of course…lol…) that was outrageously fun and hard. Samba, baby!

    My all-time favorite cool down songs are I Blame You, by Ledisi, The Worst, by Jhene Aiko, Love On Top by Beyonce (going WAY back now…lol) and pretty much anything by Sam Smith.

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