Fab Friday Things


Today I started my day off right by subbing for an early morning Spin class.

What a great way to start a Friday morning!  The class had a lot of energy, and I loved seeing some familiar faces there.  I rocked this playlist.  I was reminded of my love for Lady Gaga’s “Americano.”  And I was also reminded of how freaking long it’s been since I’ve taught (or taken) a spin class!  I was huffing and puffing by the end.  My entire sports bra was soaked, but that’s always secretly thrilling to me.

For teaching so early two days in a row this week, I decided to treat myself with a giant iced coffee from Dunks after class.

Iced French Vanilla with skim milk and one splenda.  Love.  Definitely needed some caffeine to power me through today’s work day.  At least I was working from home.  🙂

Breakfast was this bowl of awesomeness:

Oatmeal with sliced banana, blueberries, raisins, toasted coconut, and a sprinkling of wheat germ.

Then it was one of those days where I kind of snacked mindlessly, but not in a bad or unhealthy way, so I didn’t really have ONE thing for lunch.  After work, I had a somewhat successful TJ Maxx trip — went with the intention of finding a new dress to wear to Jess & Brett’s wedding tomorrow.  Didn’t leave with a single dress, but I did leave with 5 new shirts, new workout socks, and new slippers.  Oops!

What are some fab things from your Friday?  What’s up for the weekend? 

I’m off to catch the bus over to Cambridge tonight for a Providence College Dance Company reunion.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen my PCDC girls all together, I cannot wait!

A Fun Easter Treat: Coconut Nest Cupcakes

I know, I know.

The other day I promised to share my Easter cupcake recipe with you, and I still haven’t.

I even posted a picture of them here to tease you guys.

I’m so MEAN.

Let’s change that – here they are!  Around [Western] Easter-time, I saw a bunch of pictures for these cupcakes floating around Pinterest.  Then I saw that my friend Jen made them and posted in her blog.  So clearly I decided I wanted to make them too.

Here’s how I did it!!

Broken down into three steps…

Coconut Nest Cupcakes

Step 1 – The cake!!

Homemade Vanilla Cupcakes

Recipe inspired by EatingWell

(Makes 12 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour — better choice than white flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce — less fat than butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean OR 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 12-ounce can low-fat evaporated milk, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
  3. Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Beat granulated sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined.
  5. Add the paste from the vanilla bean (or the 1 tablespoon vanilla extract if you don’t have a bean) into the sugar mixture, followed by applesauce, egg, egg yolk, and the teaspoon vanilla extract.
  6. Beat until well combined.  With the mixer on low, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup evaporated milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined.
  7. Divide the batter among the prepared cups.
  8. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Step 2 – The frosting!!

Fitness & Feta warning:  NOT healthy.  Like, at all.

Homemade Almond Buttercream Frosting

Recipe inspired by Taste of Home

(For 12 cupcakes, about 3 cups)

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.

I not only was excited to make my own frosting, but I was also super excited to use the frosting kit Tim got me for Valentine’s Day.  I can’t believe I still hadn’t used it yet!

First creation with the frosting gun?  I would say it was a success!

Step 3 – Transform into little bird’s nests!

After the cupcakes were made, the frosting made, and cupcakes frosted — I toasted some coconut (about 15 minutes on a baking sheet at 300 degrees in the oven) and sprinkled on top of the cupcakes to make a “nest.”

Top each cupcake off with three candy eggs of your choice — and you have a bird’s nest!

Like I said the other day, I wish Yiayia could have seen these!  She loved birds and would definitely have loved the Coconut Nest Cupcakes.

Ever baked cupcakes that had a “theme” to them?  Do share!

It’s Friday!  Do a happy dance for the weekend!!