Monday, March 5, 2012

Wall- E Party

Well the big event Wall-E party came and went.  As you remember the invites. Here is what the table looked like.  We had Juice boxes, mini pigs in a blankets, apples, and carrots.  
 Here is our jello pudding dirt cups, with little sluggy hopefully roachy looking bugs in them.  (I obviously made more pudding cups, but this is all that fit on my cake dish. Then treat bags in the background, that I had to assemble-- glue wall-e on yellow bags.
 At one point we did wall-e pin the cockroach on wall-e, which is on the door. We used post-it notes with the roach from the movie glued on the paper, so we wouldn't ruin our poster.  We also did wall-e bingo, the pinata, and the last event was trash toss, of newspaper balls thrown in a box.
 With that many kids we had a picnic for dinner.
 The birthday boy blowing out is 6 candle.
 Eating the pudding cups, I thought they were super yummy.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Birthday

My son turned six a few weeks ago as you and know, and I made a lot of chocolate chip cookies the day before.  I made a giant cookie pie again, and was once again not happy with the results, it was better than the previous year, but it was too dry.  Although I'm not convinced anyone makes a yummy giant cookie, I think it just looks exciting. Although I need to work on my decorating skills of giant cookies, I've improved but I still have a way to go.  My son asked for those candy candy cake things. 
My boy is adorable isn't he?  I'm so crafty.

 Then for his birthday in school, I make chocolate chip cookie sandwiches. Which meant I had to make 60 perfectly size chocolate chip cookies.  I used betty crocker cookie creme, which you can buy in the premade frosting section. Everyone said they were yummy (ie half the kids, the teacher, the teacher's assistant, my friend who I gave the last four cookies to), but I thought the cookie creme was too store bought tasting, I would be interested in finding a yummy homemade recipe.
 The birthday boy loved them!  He also loved being sung too, and getting to eat the first bite (a tradition in the kindie class). It was also 100 day at school, so he was dressed up like he was 100 years old.  Note the mustache that is actually a beard.
Just for the record, I needed two bags of cookie creme for my 30 sandwiches, and I think I used less than recommendations.
I still want to try out the chocolate chip cookie ice box cake.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sensory Box

Last year when my daughter was in speech therapy one of her favorite things was a sensory box.  Once I found out my husband did not move the sandbox, I always planned on making one, but I just never could decided how I wanted to do it.  Finally enough was enough, and I did it. It has hard black beans, hard kidney beans, hard macaroni noodles, beads, and a bunch of little animal toys that plague the toy box, plus other stuff the three year old added. Kids love putting their hands in all that stuff.
She loves it.  I originally though I wanted a big box for it, but now I realize that was crazy talk, because it would be a potentially bigger mess.  Sensory boxes are great, but you need to be in the same room as them, because sometimes its tempting to be naughty and throw the beans.  
 Even my 6 year old was fascinated. Ignore the fact I used a camera that couldn't take bright light pictures.
If I would have paid better attention in speech therapy I probably could tell you the benefits of sensory boxes, but I just know they are great for little fingers and brains.  The great thing is they are cheap, if you don't have a plastic shoe box, they are only $1, but we had millions, I use them for everything.  The beans, and macaroni were all out of food storage, and the toys, well the toys obviously needed a new life, and so it was a free project, and great for winter days.
Speech therapy was for my daughter, but I was present and participating in all of her classes, it turned out it was great mothering class too, it taught me what is normal for kids, and how kids want to touch and move to learn. (I hate moving and touching when I'm learning.) So when my son is trying to do is homework, and stops to jump all over the room, then calmly sits down and writes another sentence, I now realize that is normal. When his homework is counting, and he wants to jump to count, counting each jump around the kitchen table, I now just let him, instead wanting to ornerily tell him to sit down and count.
Here is a fun website for other preschool things.

Mini Candy Cake

We had the Elders over for dinner from our church, and made mini candy cake.  Luckily they were brave souls and didn't think I was trying to kill them with sugar.  Mini cakes are so much more enjoyable I think, 6 inches is the perfect size to get nice mini piece of cake which is a necessity for this cake to prevent a sugar overdose.
 My six year old was very involved in the process.  We started with finding this idea for nerd confetti cupcakes on pinterest. Which is incredibly simple, just add nerds into white cake batter. Then instead of buttercream frosting I had been dying for some pudding frosting.  I add grape kool-aid to the frosting for extra candy taste, and for color.
Don't mind that there is a massive amount of frosting in the middle of my cake.  I live at 7,000 ft and well you try to make a cake that doesn't collapse in the middle at that altitude.  Just for perspective a lot of baking says, for high altitude (3,500 ft- 6,500 ft), and then how much flour to add.  Yes, I live higher than the instructions even list!  
So back to the frosting, in case you haven't had wonderful pudding frosting, here is the extremely simple recipe.  I didn't grow up eating pudding frosting, but luckily my mother in law makes it.

1 (3 oz.) pkg. instant pudding, any flavor
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. cold milk
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed

Combine pudding, sugar and milk in bowl. Blend well. Fold in Cool Whip. Frost cakes and store in refrigerator.
Before I added the cool whip I added in grape kool-aid powder.  I got the idea from this nerd cake recipe.

Look at her eyeing that cake, she just wants to smash her hand in it like she is on her first birthday.  By the way the frosting was so good, I probably consumed about 2 cups worth of it after I finished frosting the cake.  It was a mini cake after all and we didn't need all the frosting. 
We actually baked the cake on monday when we also made cupcakes.  I froze the cakes, and we ate a few cupcakes for FHE.  These are the few cupcakes that survived the week, and they ended up with some frosting too. On monday I just put straight cool whip on the cupcakes with nerds, because I didn't feel like making frosting, or have time.

 Overall the project was a success, my son is normally not a cake person and asked if I would make this next year for his birthday.

By the way part of the reason I love mini cakes, is very rarely do you have enough people over to eat a full size cake.  So I bake two round 6" cakes, for a mini cake, then cupcakes, this time I ended up with 24 mini cupcakes, 12 normal size cupcakes after the two 6" round cakes.  Now mind you I get a little bit more cake out of a box mix for some reason at this altitude, but that is two desserts right there.  Cupcakes for one party, a mini cake for the next dinner event.  According to this site you can freeze a well wrapped cake for a month. Not only is it healthier not to consume a whole cake, it saves money and time.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I made a valance for my laundry room.  I have absolutely no practice in making valances, but I saw a cute one on pinterest that I never could find again, and I realized that is what my laundry room was missing.
I hated the window and especially the honeycomb blinds, but that is when I realized a valance, I didn't want full on curtains since a laundry room is so dusty and linty.  I think its perfect, although I do know it would look better if I knew how to make a professional looking valance.  I love the material, I love toile, I love green and since had the material waiting for a project, it was perfect. The project was only the cost of a cheap curtain rod, and it matches my wreath, sort of, the greens do match.


I painted these lucky letters years ago for St. Patrick's Day, but what I had done with them fell apart.  I finally re-purposed them into this sign. I love it, the frame has a little bit of glitter in the paint but not as much as the letters.  The rainbow picture was taken in our backyard.  Not the best ever rainbow picture, but definitely not bad.  I was surprise how well it went with the frame-- at least in my opinion.
This is pretty much my new favorite thing in my house, until March 20th.
Once again I'm a fan of the variegated paint job.