Celebration Recap

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

My youngest daughter is officially three and we had a birthday week-end celebration with friends and family.  We broke things down by celebrating her actual birthday on Friday, just us in the house.  I wanted to make a small (I like the Jiffy cake mix), funfetti cake

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and it was the perfect time to try out these Bake-Even Cake Strips (Wilton) that I’ve seen online and found on sale at AC Moore craft store.

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I didn’t realize I went overboard on the sprinkles until…

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…the cake was done and I flipped it out of the baking pan.

As you can see the cake strip (around the pan) worked, but there were noticeable differences other than the cake dome that appears when you don’t use this strip.  The cake sticks to the side of the pan more and the bottom was moist when I took it out.  I like that it baked even, but I don’t know if I’m going to use the strip again.  We’ll see.

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I melted a little bit of the Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Chocolate frosting (15 seconds in the microwave) in a glass bowl and this made things easy to spread on the cake.  I really don’t like when the cake crumbs combine with the frosting.  I threw a little bit more of sprinkles, yes more, on the frosting and then…

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…the #3 candle.  My daughter loved her funfetti cake.

I chose the theme of the cartoon Bubble Guppies featured on Nickelodeon.  I decorated with free printables from nickjr.com and purchased a huge #3 balloon.  Balloons are always a huge hit.

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The banner, poster, and pin the tail game were cute, easy, and fun to put together.  Just go to nickjr.com and click on birthdays and you’ll see all of the themes and projects available for each.

The following day was Saturday and we invited friends and family with kids to join us at an indoor playground/arcade (funtopiausa.com).  We paid for the kids admission, tokens for them to play the arcade games, and food (pizza, popcorn, and drinks).  We stayed for about two hours and when it was time to go I gave each invited guest a goody box filled with candy, toys and stickers.

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My aunt had given me these boxes about a year ago and I was so happy to finally have a reason to use them.  I glued the images of the Bubble Guppies, which I printed out at nickjr.com, and made the middle image with my daughter’s name.  I then took the glitter glue in blue and green and made swirl lines like waves on the boxes.  I then filled the boxes with candy (skittles, smarties, Tootsie rolls, lollipop, rose ring pop, candy bracelet, and sixlets) from orientaltrading.com along with little toys like a mushroom spinning top (not shown) and Easter Pop-Ups, which are a lot of fun for children and adults.

We ended the day with my husband’s homemade piñata, which he made with a balloon, scraps of paper, and modge podge.

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My husband had fun making this and the kids had a lot more fun whacking the heck out of it.

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On our last day of celebration (Sunday), my family came over and we sang happy birthday once again with another cake (Oreo No Bake Dessert), chocolate lollipops (vanilla, dark mint, & peanut butter), and great, homemade food.  Thanks Mom and my aunt Aida!

I was pretty happy with this plan of action for celebrating my daughter’s birthday.  Many people get really stressed out planning birthdays and end up spending a lot of money.  I didn’t want the headaches or the empty wallet.  No offense to anyone who goes big, because of course, if I had space and extra money, I would be singing a different tune, but at this moment minimal is the way to go.  So one birthday down, one more to go.

Take good care all and thanks for visiting.

Until next time…

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Semi homeschooling for a week

Hi everybody!  I hope you guys are well and safe.  As reported by news articles online, there are still many people without electricity in New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut (I fortunately never lost power).  Staten Islanders are feeling forgotten and help for their area is coming at a snail’s pace.  The MTA is reporting 80 percent of trains back on track and the New York City Marathon has been cancelled.  I can’t stop reading or looking at photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Some of the pictures are unbelievable.

 

Before and after of an amusement park pier in Seaside Heights, N.J. courtesy of www.weather.aol.com

This morning I read an article that featured a New Brunswick shop asking for clothing donations for the cold weather.  They provided an address and I quickly went into my daughter’s room and collected several pieces of clothing such as sweaters, a toddler’s down vest, two coats, pants, shirts, scarves, and a baby’s blanket (never been used).  The box is ready to be shipped Monday morning.  It’s the very least I can do and I will be sending out more donations in the future.  May all those affected be able to recover swiftly and you are not forgotten, at least not by me.

This past week of no school had me going online and looking for printable worksheets for my daughter.  I was able to find worksheets on practicing her writing the alphabet, adding, ordinal numbers, less and more, counting, and coloring.  Every day we did several pages without any complaints.  It’s the norm now so things went smoothly.  There was play time, snack time, lunch time, homework time, movie time, and, my favorite, daddy’s home time.  If you would like to print out your own worksheets, give these websites a try:

www.kidslearningstation.com

www.busybeekidsprintables.com

www.mathsisfun.com

www.prek-8.com

Stay alert, stay alive.  Until next time…