Monday, June 20, 2011

Pokeball Birthday Cake

The kids had a joint birthday party for friends and they love Pokemon, so we had a Pokeball cake!

I used boxed cake mix and added oreo cookies to the mix before baking it in a baseball shaped cake mold. After the cake baked and cool, I frosted half of it with white icing. Then I tried to make red icing, but it turned out pink no matter how much food coloring I added.

Since there was less than an hour before the party was going to start: DISASTER!! But only temporarily.

Luckily, I spotted some cherries that we had in the fridge and they were exactly what the cake needed. And let me tell you, the fresh flavor that they added to the cake made me want to find a reason to use them on cake again!

The black banding part of the cake is made of crushed oreo cookies.

There were no leftovers.

So it was a success after all! Whew.

After we ate cake, the party was pretty much over. So. I cleaned up the yard. 

Moms always get stuck with the clean-up duties, but I made the best of it:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

ABC's of Me for You!

Elycia, who has a cute little blog and shop that I’ve been spying on for about 6 months now, did a series where she shared 28 things about her in 28 posts (sort of). At the end, she still had things left that she wanted to share so she made a post with the ABC’s of her

So, since this blog is newish and I’m just coming back, I thought it would be fun to play the ABC of me game, too. Here goes…

A. Age: 29
B. Bed size: California King…and yet I always end up with about 18 inches of edge to sleep on…thanks, honey.
C. Chore that you hate: Handwashing dishes. I washed thousands of dishes (no exaggeration there) by hand growing up. My mother fancied herself a gourmet cook and used TONS of dishes doing it. We didn’t get a dishwasher until was in high school. I remember that glorious day… Any how, we had to do so many dishes growing up that both my sister and I have sworn off of doing them unless under extreme duress (or lack of eating utensils) now that we are adults. I can load a mean dishwasher, though.
D. Dogs: Will always have a spot in my home and life. Current dogs are a 7 year old rottweiler named Berry and a 4 year old pit bull terrier named Kitty.
E. Essential start to your day:  Brush teeth, drink caffeinated beverage
F. Favourite color: Orange
G. Gold or Silver: Silver (which is weird because it used to be gold. I don’t remember when that changed…)
H. Height: 5'7" on a tall day
I. Instruments you play: Piano, drums, flute when I was in elementary school. I can kind of read music as an adult, but not really.
J. Job title: Human Resources Coordinator for Student and Temporary Employees. I help the temps and students for the second largest research institute at our local University get employed, paid, and terminated.
K. Kids: I have 2. People keep asking if we’re going to have more and the answer is a firm no. Once they outnumber us, it’s going to be all over. Right now we are at least 2-on-2. I can handle an even match-up.
L. Live: In Fairbanks, Alaska.
M. Mother's name: Is two names squished together. It drives her nuts when people call her by only one of the names, so of course my grandmother (dad’s mom) used to do it all the time. Good times. Good times. Her friends call her Aly.
N. Nicknames: I’m one of those people who seems to acquire a new nickname with each new group of people I become acquainted with. The most consistent one is Jewels, though.
O. Overnight hospital stays: 2 total. 1 for each baby I had. :)
P. Pet peeves: It's not as bad as it looks. I have two (underlined if you don't want to read about why) and I have a lot to say about them... Rude sales associates/customer service reps (it’s your freaking job to be friendly and courteous to customers no matter what kind of day you’re having--and you can’t fool me either, I worked in retail for 8 years. If I can provide friendly, courteous service after being elbows deep in a fish tank that needs cleaning to take the customer across the store to the cat toy section to spend 15 minutes chatting about FiFi’s toy preferences, you can suck it up and ring out my groceries with a half-way friendly demeanor) and people who get rid of their pets for the following reasons 1) A new baby has arrived and we just don’t have time anymore. (BS. Babies grow up. There will be time for the pet again. They’ll wait for you. That’s the cool thing about pets and the whole unconditional love thing.) 2) We’re moving and it’s too hard to find a place that allows a (dog, cat, etc). (Keep looking. You made a commitment to the animal to take care of it FOR IT’S ENTIRE LIFE not just when it’s convenient for you. After the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, I saw a picture of a woman holding her dog in the middle of a pile of rubble. No one has an excuse any longer. She can do it, so can you.) 3) They’re old or getting old. (When I was 17, my family adopted a dog who was 13 years old and was left at the pound by her family because she was getting old and was starting to need some extra medical care. She didn’t have cancer or any major illnesses, either. She just needed to be groomed more often and for the infections that she had in her eyes to be medicated. They thought she was deaf, but it turns out she just had matted hair in her ears and could hear just fine when the matted hair was clipped out. Within 2 months, she was a happy, healthy dog and lived for another 3 years with us until she died of old age. She lived with that family from puppyhood to 13 and they left her to rot at the shelter with 3 more good years in her. That’s pretty low, if you ask me. Think twice. Don't take the easy way out. I'm not saying it won't be hard, just that pets deserve our loyalty. They give us theirs, after all.)
Q. Quote from a movie: “Where do thoughts come from? They just appear.” –Empire Records
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: 1 sister
T. Time you wake up: 6:30 am on weekdays, 7-8 am on weekends
U. Underwear: Should be changed daily.
V. Vegetable you hate: Most of them. I think it would be easier to ask which vegetables I like. I was always told as a kid that I would learn to like them as an adult. I’m still waiting for that day, guys.
W. What makes you run late: Procrastinating and thinking I can squeeze more things into 10 minutes than is physically possible.
X. X-Rays you've had: Back/Neck (fell off the deck—no breaks!), Leg (fell off my bunkbed—no breaks!), Teeth (for check-ups), and lots more times for my back (I have slight scoliosis-n-old sports injuries-n-junk)
Y. Yummy food that you make: I make all kinds of yummy foods! My favorite dinner to make right now is Mongolian Beef. My husband’s favorite for me to make is biscuits and gravy. I also bake a mean cake and love to play around with different cupcake creations. I grew up cooking and baking with my mom and grandma, so I attribute my food’s yumminess directly to their influence on me at that young age.
Z. Zoo animal: Giraffes and bears. I know they’re big animals, but I’m always surprised at exactly how big they really are in real life. Also, sea otters, but I prefer to see them in the wild over the zoo. I still go visit them at every zoo I go to, though.

And that’s the ABC's of me. If anyone else wants to play, please put a link in the comments section so I can see yours, too! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Resurrection and Cake

Last night, I resurrected some posts that got jacked up in the Blogger whatever-that-was a couple of weeks ago. That was fun. I was already having issues without all the technical difficulties going on with the blog. Apparently my Backpost Series threw some added wrenches in the mix. Oh well, some good words were lost, but others have been found. It's all good.

In other news, both my kids had birthdays in the last couple of weeks. I bought a cake for one and made a cake for the other. Funny how having a birthday on the weekend changes things, huh?

I'm trying not to beat myself up about the whole bought a cake thing. I work full time and have a very full life. Of course I'm going to have a hard time baking a cake during the week. I baked cupcakes for daycare, but pulling together a cake on top of that just ended up being too much for me. I'm not afraid to say and write for the world to see (haha) that I'm not superwoman. I can't do it all. So the boy got ice cream cake and chocolate chip cupcakes for daycare.

He's 3. It's cake. He was happy so I am, too. My husband thinks I beat myself up about this stuff too much. I think he's right.

My daughter's cake was a bit different since her birthday fell on the weekend. I had time to make up a cake without having to pull an all nighter. She wanted strawberries and oreo cookies, so I produced this:

Along with the ones on the outside, I added strawberries and oreos to the inside of the cake, too.

I was delicious (if I do say so myself!). We all had a hard time stopping at one piece.

And the best part about the whole thing is that it was super easy to make. I used a box of vanilla cake mix and made it up as directed. Before adding it to the pan, I mixed in 1 cup of oreo cookies and about a half cup of strawberries (it could have used more, I think). After that, I poured the batter into the pans and sprinkled more oreos on top.

The pink frosting I used was Pillsbury Strawberry flavored frosting. It had too much artificial strawberry flavoring in it for me, but the kids loved it. Definitely going to make that one again.

And, since I mentioned the cupcakes, here they are:

The other kids at daycare think I make the best cupcakes on the planet. We should totally make more desserts for kids. They totally appreciate it and will show you by making a big fuss about when they can have more. It's a good feeling. :)

What have you been making lately?