Apr 22, 2013

Berry Layer Cake.....Hailey's Birthday!!!

Hailey's Birthday and her Berry Layer Cake

Hailey's birthday this year fell on a Sunday.  Lets start with the fact that we have church at 9 am and trying to fix 4 little girls hair isn't always doable.  This being said, Hailey generally ends up fixing her own hair.  This Sunday, for her birthday, she wanted mom to fix her hair and she wanted something new.  Here is what I came up with:
 It really was easy, but took about 25 bobby pins and no curling iron or curlers at all.  It didn't take long and looked great all day.

That evening after dinner she finally got to open her presents, this is just a few items she got:
 New capri's from Papa and Meme
 And, a new IPOD touch from her family.  She was so mad when Alyssa got one for her birthday two weeks ago and she is two years older and asked for one and wanted it so much more and well the list went on and on.  If only she had some patience!

Then we had her birthday cake, the Berry Layer Cake that turned out so easy and so yummy! 

She had a friends party at the park on Friday before her birthday.  She wanted to invite lots of girls and so I agreed as long as we kept it really simple.  She invited 21 girls and I figured maybe 15 would come, well, she had 21 girls at her party!  

They played frisbee golf, games with the tights and a ball on their head (pictured above), played on the playground, ate pizza and just had a blast.

11 years old at last and I think her birthday was one she will always cherish.

Now how to make this cake

I got the recipe from this site and it is a Martha Stewart recipe from an old cookbook of hers.

Cake Recipe
Unsalted butter, for pans
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 large whole eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks, all at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegetable oil

First, I didn't make a mistake with typing in 10 eggs!  That's right, 6 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks!

So here's the steps to make this easy cake:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 and butter two- 9 inch round pans

2.  In a large bowl sift together flour and cornstarch, set aside

    3.  In another bowl whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt.

    You will want to beat this on high for about 5 minutes, until it leaves a trail like a ribbon when lifted.

    4.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until mixed, otherwise you loose part of the air in the mix.  Then slowly add the oil.  Mix is just until mixed in also the with a spin fold the mix about 4-5 times.

    5.  Poor mixture into the two 9 inch pans

    6.  Bake about  30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

    7.  Remove from pans about 4-5 minutes after it comes out of the oven and cool on cooling racks

    8.  Cut the 9 inch round cakes in half horizontally (it's easier if refrigerated for a few minutes prior to cutting)


    1 quart Heavy Whipping Cream
    1/2 cup powder Sugar
    1 tsp Vanilla extract

    Combine ingredients and beat until stiff peaks remain (about 4 minutes)

    9.  Top the bottom layer of cake with whipped topping and then berries of choice

    10.  Continue step 9 through all 4 layers.  

    Enjoy because this cake is so yummy!!!

    Apr 16, 2013

    A very SWEET Birthday

    You know occasionally when you have time, time to drift through those numerous blogs of creative mothers all across this nation.  Don't even let me start about pinterest, I love it, but when you start looking at all those fantabulistic ideas, it can take you hours and it will feel like 10 minutes.  Well this was back in January and I needed some ideas, ideas for Abby's birthday.  Abby wasn't getting a friends birthday party this year, but we still needed an awesome birthday, right?  I started out thinking of something fun but simple and this is what I first came across:

    Could I pull this off in one week for Abby's birthday, well after reading about this on this blog, I decided it was not doable in one week.  So, I started right then and there planning this party for Alyssa (giving me 3 months of prep time).  First thing I had to do was get Alyssa on board and excited to have this type of a birthday party.  It didn't take long when she saw the lollipops in the stores.  Christmas was on clearance and Valentines was out so the easiest colors were pink and green, with a touch of turquoise.

    First off we had to start with Alyssa getting a "Sweet" shirt to wear for her party.  It was great in January they were still trying to get rid of short sleeve shirt so I found this for $4.  Yeah!


    Here is what we started with, I found fun candy cloth and made pillowcases and bean bags:

     Can you really believe that I made pillow case covers for a birthday party?  I did have lots of time!

    We needed a sign for our front door and thanks to my cricut machine, this was easy!

    Walking up to our house we had lollipops and cupcakes along the sidewalk.  I really got random comments from parents when they dropped their kids off.  Most were so surprised that we would decorate our front yard and outside this much.  If only they would have seen inside the house :) 

    These lollipops were made out of Styrofoam, cut into circle shapes, painted the different party colors and then covered in cellophane wrap.  Alyssa made the cupcakes and they were really cute too!

    Let's start with the simple way we created one centerpiece.  First we just got an old plant pot and filled it with scraps for Styrofoam.  This was the leftover foam from the lollipops.

    I made this pot about a week before the party just so we could be ready.  We decorated the pot with card stock and washi tape, covered the foam with pink Easter basket grass and put lollipop flowers we made from ring pops and lollipops all over to create our flower pot.  

    Then we put gumballs all over in the grass.  
    The day of the party we added skewers with gumdrops into our flower pot, they added a nice touch.

    This went as the centerpiece of the table (or stove) where the birthday presents set.

    From the very beginning I started collecting apothecary type jars and candy that went along with our color theme.  I found lots of candy that was perfect (especially with Easter, Valentines and leftover Christmas).  I had to keep them on top of a high shelf so that my little mice (I mean children) couldn't steal any of the candy :)

    Here is how the candy table turned out in the end, we can rock candy, M&M's, tootsie rolls, gumballs, yogurt covered pretzels, gummy candy, sour watermelon's, candy sticks, lollipops, a dum dum tree, homemade tiger's blood suckers, and Reese's peanut butter cups.

    The cake is another story!  There were a few issues but it worked out and looked just fine.  First the top cake ended up 3/4 inch thicker than the bottom cake.  You can see this in the crumb coat picture below.

    Then I forgot to dye the frosting for the bottom cake turquoise!  To help overcome that trial, I sprayed a turquoise mist all over the frosting so that it wasn't so white.  You can also see the paper straws were red, they were sold out of hot pink and lime green straws, so we had to go with red.  Make do, I guess.

    This is the table where the cake and appetizer's were placed

    and the Lemonade

    When the kids first got to the party they had appetizers, the ham and cheese tortilla rolls and fruit skewers pictured above.  The party was right after school and so we had them as a snack.  Then, they decorated sugar cookies shaped like cupcakes.

    Here are some of the cupcakes I decorated beforehand.  As you can see, with the blue glaze,  it was piped on forming a border around the cupcake (or the area I wanted blue).  I did the same steps with the pink previously.  Then when that glaze dried, with a slightly thinner glaze, I filled it in.

    Here they are after fully glazed and decorated, you can find the recipe from Our Best Bites

    With those bean bags, we had a few different types of bean bag tosses:

    John made this board (and I decorated with card stock cut out on my Cricut), it was a hit with the bean bags.

    We also rented this huge twister mat from BYU outdoor adventures.  It's what they use for EFY during the summer and can hold about 40 kids, so these 12 girls had plenty of room.

    It turned out to be a great party and they all had tons of fun!!!!

    Apr 3, 2013

    Wednesday Happenings

    This week is spring break and while I saw lots of jobs around the house the kids could do, they also had to have some fun adventures. Monday and Tuesday were rainy cold days but Wednesday had a beautiful forecast. Right now it's 60 degrees with all sunshine!

    My plan was to get up and get another step of our spring cleaning done, plans don't always happen like we hope. Yet, this time they did the girls cleaned the kitchen cabinet doors and doors quickly while I cleaned the windows and walls.

    By 11 we were all finished and cleaned up so we headed for our daily adventure: hiking up to the 'Y' on the mountain. John tried to talk me out of taking Abby, but she was the best trooper of them all!

     Alyssa invited her friend Aubrey to hike along with us.

    It was quite the adventure and we had lots of fun!
    We had lunch, smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, on the 'Y'

    And we all enjoyed the hike down much better than the hike up.

    Then we were off on a bike ride to a nearby park.

    Macey joined us here after staying with grandma during our hike.

    Now to prepare for tomorrow's adventures!!!