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:

Owl cupcakes  1 of 1 2

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.

Cupcakes  1 of 1 6

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. haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine.com on October 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm

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

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      love those joe joes 🙂

  2. Jodie on October 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

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

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      shoot i was going to link to it. i’ll add it in now!

      • Jodie on October 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        Thank you thank you .

  3. RachelG on October 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    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! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      hahah same! i like that one too 🙂 have fun!

  4. Britt@MyOwnBalance on October 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    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. Liz on October 15, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    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. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on October 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm

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

  7. Jacki on October 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    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 on October 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      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. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on October 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm

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

  9. Laura @FitMamaLove on October 15, 2014 at 3:55 pm

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

  10. queenoffitness on October 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      thank you so much for these! downloaded both 🙂

  11. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on October 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      hahah! 🙂 i used to just do it anyway, but it’s definitely fun to have a buddy

  12. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on October 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    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. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on October 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

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

  14. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on October 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    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 =)

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      loooooove danza kuduro. i used to teach it for aqua zumba and it was so fun 🙂

  15. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on October 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

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

  16. Alex on October 15, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    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. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on October 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

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

  18. mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on October 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm

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

  19. Giselle on October 15, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    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!

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      love that idea! and it’s so true that they eat it when they help make it.

  20. Erin on October 15, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      YES. totally happens to me, too!

  21. Naomi on October 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm

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

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      i hadn’t heard that one! just downloaded it 🙂 thank you!

  22. Julie on October 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm

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

    Glad to hear Zumba was great!

  23. Kay on October 15, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    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. Tina Muir on October 16, 2014 at 4:02 am

    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. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on October 16, 2014 at 6:12 am

    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. Angela @ HonestlyAngela on October 16, 2014 at 7:28 am

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

  27. Alex @ True Femme on October 16, 2014 at 8:14 am

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

  28. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on October 16, 2014 at 8:32 am

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

  29. Tina on October 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

    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.

    • Fitnessista on October 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      haha i love that so much! super cute theme to have 🙂

  30. Katrijn on October 16, 2014 at 9:01 am

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

    • Katrijn on October 16, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Also Iwer George – “COME TO MEH” is super fun. We divide the class into a face off/battle and mirror each other’s moves.

      • Fitnessista on October 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        i will definitely download it!

    • Fitnessista on October 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      so awesome- thank you!

      • Katrijn on October 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        yay! maybe a YT video to come…? 😛

  31. Tracy on October 16, 2014 at 9:23 am

    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!!!

    • Fitnessista on October 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      xmas baking will be AMAZING!!
      haha so funny you’re getting random magazines too 😉

  32. Maria on October 16, 2014 at 10:48 am

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

  33. Andrea on October 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on October 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      ohhh i haven’t heard those ones! i do a couple of soca songs but haven’t added a new one in forever

    • queenoffitness on October 16, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      I love Odia!

  34. Melissa on October 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on October 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      ohhhh i love that she did ‘bang bang!”

  35. Michele @ paleorunningmomma on October 16, 2014 at 1:47 pm

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

  36. sue on October 16, 2014 at 2:33 pm

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

  37. Cheri @ Overactive Blogger on October 16, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    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!

    • Fitnessista on October 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      ohhhhh i love anything pitbull 🙂

  38. Alissa on October 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    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.

    • Fitnessista on October 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      thank you for those! i’ll check them out now
      and LOVE that song from moulin rouge!

  39. Shelly on October 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    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. AmyK on October 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

    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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