Patriotic Cupcakes

Friday, July 31, 2015

I know July is over but I wanted to get my Patriotic Cupcakes posted. Now, I normally don't use box cake/cupcake mixes but I got a Sprinkles Red Velvet cupcake mix as a gift so I thought I would use it before it sat on the shelf for too much longer.

When I was baking them I forgot to add the teaspoon of vinegar, I realized this when I was finished spooning the mix into the cupcake tin...oops! So I thought that maybe adding some chocolate chips into the mix might make up for the mistake :P Not sure why I thought this since logically it doesn't make any sense. But I did it anyway! The I made their Cream Cheese Frosting (which in all honestly you could cut in half because I had a ton left over). The recipe went something like this:

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup salted butter, firm but not cold
6 oz of cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Using your electric mixer, whip together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and then add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Pretty easy.

{the leftover icing}
Since it was the 4th of July I added some blue sprinkles to be festive!

Hope y'all have an amazing weekend and great start to August!

Ways to Boost Your Rewards Points

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Now for some travel talk! If you followed me on my other blog, travel mi amor, then you know that I am BIG into rewards points! Our last 3 vacations have been almost 100% free because of them!

- SPG: 1,000 bonus points for activating you cell phone to be your room key. Download the app and register your phone - They will give you 1,000 bonus Starpoints® when you do...From your phone, go to the home screen of the app and click on: SPG Keyless Registration. Register once and you’re set for all future stays

- United: 750 points for signing up for MyPoints. See One Mile at a Time's post on how. United is also having their All Day Recess Sweepstakes were you can earn up to 4,000 bonus points in their teared spending set up. Check it out at Mileage Plus Shopping.

{United's Back to School Sweepstakes, source}
- IHG: 25,000 bonus points just for being Spire Elite. About mid-July I woke up to an email from IHG saying I was now a Spire Elite member and could either gift Platinum level to a friend or collect 25,000 points for myself...I choose the latter, I have always been a bit selfish. :) I haven't even stayed at an IHG brand hotel since April 2014!

{IHG, Spire Elite bonus offer}

 Hope you can take advantage of some of these great offers!

Baby Registries

Monday, July 27, 2015

When creating my registries I sat down with my best friend and mother of a two year old and we went over what I would need. It was SO helpful to have her there because she is a new mom and could tell me her reviews of the products. So here are some must haves that we use all the time:

{ (1) Diaper Genie (2) Bouncer (3) Infant Tub (4) Boppy Lounger (5) Activity Mat}

I also wanted to post about my opinions about baby registries. I had 3! Potter Bard Kids, Buy Buy Baby and Target. Mainly because some things were just cheaper at Target then other stores.

(+) is a perk of the store/registry
(-) is a negative of the store/registry

Potter Barn Kids
+ Quality products
+ Beautifully put together color pallets
+ Joint colors with Sherwin Williams
+ 10% off completion for 6 months past your even date (baby shower or birth)
- Only 10% off completion - PB Kids has GREAT sales where you can get many items for 15% - 20% off. They also offer flat discounts like $100 all cribs or $100 off all rockers (we took advantage of all their sales).

Buy Buy Baby
+ They pretty much have everything you'll ever need
+ They send 20% off coupons all the time. And you can use your Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons here too
- Slightly higher prices then Target or Wal*Mart
- Twice they let someone buy an item that was already purchased on my list. It was frusterating because I had to go and return the items and the store is about a 30 minute drive from my house
- Only 10% off completion for 3 months after your due date - I was hoping this discount would have been higher since they constantly send 20% off coupons.

+ Great Target prices
+ 15% off completion - I even lost my coupon and the store took 15% off my whole cart (even on items that were not on my list)
+ I also just got in the mail a "welcome home" coupon book with coupons for diapers, clothes and formula.
- Not all items can be purchased online; some are online only and some are in-store only. I find this very frustrating since I'm a pretty big online shopper.

*Helpful Tip: Register for things you'll also need down the line when you're baby older. I registered for sippy cups and walkers just to get the 15% discount.

Welcome to The Spotted Bulldog!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hey y'all! Welcome to my new blog, The Spotted Bulldog. I am excited to start this new blog which will be more of a lifestyle blog than a travel blog like travel mi amor.

I choose the name The Spotted Bulldog as an ode to my little girl Lola, she is after all my first baby. We got Lola back in 2009 and she has been an absolute joy! I don't think we could have asked for a better dog! She snores, farts and sleeps all day - what a life!

So take a look around and come back in a few days when I start posting about babies, diy, baking, and travel.