Saturday, 11 June 2011

Got Junk?

Finally, some absolutely beautiful weather! What do we do when we have a lovely day? Well, yesterday afternoon was spent cleaning out and organizing our shed. Not my favorite job, but I'm glad it's done. I pulled out a couple of shelves that spanned the whole length of the shed so that there was a bit more open space. We brought out a little table and some chairs and now the kids call it their club house. It's nothing fancy, but they are loving it.
We also went and checked out a couple of garage sales, looking for some fun toys for their club house. C and A were both really excited for this one.
 It's a little vintage Fisher Price stove that came with some pots and pans and the original salt and pepper shakers. Who wants hours of happy children for $0.50? I do, I do! They've been cooking soup since yesterday, using water from the rain barrel. Here's hoping they aren't eating the soup too. We had to have a little chat about asking mommy for a drink when they are thirsty, not just drinking from the rain barrel!
Another great find was this light fixture! When I offered the garage sale lady $0.50 for it, she was surprised. She actually said something about thinking it was too ugly to have sold. Hahaha! I was really excited about this one. You'll find out why later this week....

Thursday, 9 June 2011


I was looking at Pinterest last night and saw a link to this tutorial on how to get fabulous curls with no heat. I tried it out and here's how it came out this morning...

What do you think? I was worried it would be too uncomfortable to sleep with my hair all twisted up, but it was fine. It was quite easy once I figured out the technique. .I just had to use a few bobby pins, since my hair is a lot shorter (and straighter) than the lady in the video.

I had 3 ripe bananas on my counter this morning, so the kids and I made some yummy Banana Crumb Muffins. Mmmm... these are so good. They take about 18 minutes to bake and by about 13 minutes my mouth always starts watering.
The crumb crust is amazing. I could eat it plain. Are you going to try them?
I promise, you won't be disappointed.
Just ask my kids.
I just love how C wears her princess dress backwards, because she can do it up herself with the zipper in the front.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Playing in the Rain

Last night was great! We had friends over for a yummy meal of lasagna, salad and garlic bread. We love spending time with old friends and got to know some new ones too. They stayed for our family night. We all have toddler/pre-school aged kids, so we had a little lesson about taste and smell. We brought out a few little cups with different items in them (vanilla, salt, cinnamon, sugar, OJ) and had them smell/taste and guess what was in the cups. It was fun for all 3 minutes their attention span allowed.
We had planned on getting ice-cream and taking the kids to the park afterward. Of course, it started pouring after supper, so we hummed and hawed a while before deciding to go ahead with it. The kids loved the ice cream, of course, even though it was only 12°C and raining.

We let them run wild at the park for all of 20 minutes. 

Q loves running free.

Check out how wet her pants were. There is a tiny spot of dry on them. Everything else is soaked. By the time we left we had to strip them down before we buckled them in the car. Brrr...
When we got home they all had a nice warm bath before bed, at 10pm. Yikes.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Let them Eat Cake

Here's a post on the evolution of birthday cakes for our children.

A's First Birthday
Boring cupcakes. In an attempt to keep her healthy, we never really gave her sweets. Her birthday cake was one of the first sweets that she ate. Check out her reaction:

Don't you just want to kiss those chubby cheeks?

A's Second Birthday
Angel food cake, whipped cream icing and sprinkles. She's developed a deep and abiding love for sugar by now. All my attempts to keep the sugar at bay have been thwarted.
C's First Birthday
Almond cake with pink whipped cream frosting and sprinkles. Hmmm.... where did that original idea come from? Lucky for her, her birthday is in the summer, so she gets to have a backyard party.
She got her own cake and the other guests had something else. It was Gramma Neta's chocolate with brown sugar frosting, I believe. No picture of that one. She picked at her cake for a while and then launched it onto the grass, plate and all. I guess she was full.
A's Third Birthday
Owl Cake & cupcakes. This was about the time I discovered this great site with hundreds of cake ideas. Here's the link. I found an owl cake that I thought was incredible. The instructions were fairly strait forward, and I didn't need any special decorating tools other than a Wilton Wonder Mold pan, so I decided to try it. I rented the pan for a couple bucks from a local shop, shopped around for the eyes and beak & other elements, and got to work. I think I finished at about 1am the day of her party, but I was so happy with how it turned out.
Owl Cake & Owl Cupcakes
You can also see the little owl cupcakes I made with Oreo's, Jr. Mints and yellow rainbow chips. I'd have to say that the owl is still by far my most favorite of all my cake creations. When it was time to cut the cake, the kids all wanted a piece of it's head. The birthday girl got the left eye. I only have one blurry picture of A blowing out her candle.
I'll huff and I'll puff
C's Second Birthday
Pink Princess Castle cake. This was a fun cake to make. It isn't very professional looking, but it was still really fun. I got this idea from the same site as above and just modified it. The birthday girl loved it so much that she couldn't wait for her party to start, and she got ahold of one of the towers a few minutes before her guests arrived. Here is how she looked when she got caught. She is too cute!
Tower down!
Matt's birthday is the day after C, and he was a good sport about having a pink princess castle cake for his birthday cake. I think I'll make him his own this year.
Matt & C with tacky pink castle cake
Here's a closer view.
Pink Princess Castle Cake
What's my first thought when I look at it? Wow, that's tacky. Oh well, most 2 year old kids like tacky, right?

A's Fourth Birthday
This was the first year and last year that we had a 'friend' party and also a 'family' party. It was just too much. For the family party, A had a Black Forest cake and for the friend party she had a ballerina cake. 
Black Forest Cake 

The Black Forest cake was really yummy. Probably one of the best cakes I've ever made, taste wise. I used 2- 9X13 pans of Gramma Neta's chocolate cake and a can of cherry pie filling between the two. The frosting was whipped cream with chocolate shavings on top. Mmmm... so good. 

The other cake was the ballerina cake. The birthday girl wanted a ballerina party, so I looked up ballerina cakes and yet again found one on the coolest cakes site. I started working on the ruffly little ballerina skirt and head 2 weeks before the party in case they turned out badly and I needed to figure out something else. I had never really used fondant before (other than my sisters birthday cake the week before) so I was still a real novice. I made my own fondant from the recipe I found here. Molding fondant was a lot like playing with stiffer Play-Doh.One day, I'll do it again.
Ballerina Cake (fondant)
I thought she was really cute. My favorite part was the shoes and the little bun in her hair. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture from the back. A's little friends came dressed in ballerina attire and danced to the nutcracker in the living room. I know this is a post about cakes, but I just had to include a picture of the adorable little ballerinas.
It was a really fun party.

Q's First Birthday
Number 1 shaped white cake with whipped cream frosting and sprinkles. Ummm... I honestly didn't notice the pattern for first birthday cakes until now. I didn't have any pic of the cake itself, so this is the best I can come up with.
He ate all the frosting. I do mean all of it. There was almost 500mL of whipping cream on that cake. I should have stopped him. Why didn't I? I don't know. Why did I give him such a massive cake to begin with? I don't know.
Then, he ate way too much of the cake. What an awful mom.
He projectile puked it all up on the way home. In my toque. On the back of the seat that his car seat faced. It smelled awful. In retrospect, cupcakes are a much better idea for first birthdays.

C's birthday is coming up next. I have some fun ideas...


Friday, 3 June 2011

Four Eyes

One man's junk is another man's treasure. What distinguishes trash from an item of value? Take these glasses, for instance.
Figure 1-1
 To some, an old pair of glasses might be trash. To my girls, an old pair of glasses with popped out lenses makes for a great toy. I found these at a garage sale in the free pile. C has been wearing her glasses on and off the last couple of days. What a cute little squirt!

I started wearing glasses in grade 7. I dug through the memory book to see if I could find any pictures of my first pair and all I could come up with is this pic from Christmas Eve 1991. Check out my green pantsuit with shoulder pads and the purple fringe. There are no words!

Hope you got a great laugh today!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Painted Stones

We got out the paints yesterday and let the kids loose in the backyard. Dangerous idea?? Maybe so, but they had so much fun. Since the garden is all planted, I was hoping to make some plant markers like these. These are what we ended up with.

Not quite what I had in mind, but great nonetheless. My little artists had a great morning. We used a silicone muffin tray for the paint. I don't know why I didn't think of that sooner. It worked really well.

The best part was that there was no ruined clothes. It was a miracle, really. I've given up on trying to prevent it, since it was the source of much frustration. We had some painted hands and arms, but the clothing was spared. Hallelujah!

Q wanted to see what his sisters were up to, but was more interested in playing with his rock than in painting it. Give him another couple of months and I'm sure he will be right in there with them.