Thursday, August 16, 2012

Panda Party

Something that I really love to do is plan parties, especially kids birthday parties.  When you are a kid your birthday is a BIG deal.  I think my parents always tried to make mine fun and I want to do the same for my kids.  I will soon be blogging about Marlowe's past birthday parties, but for now here is a panda party I got to help with for our sweet cousin Elin.  She turned 13 and she really likes pandas, mustaches, and Adventure Time (which is a cartoon that all the kids are into.)  Her mom and I decided on a purple panda theme since that is her favorite color.  I was inspired by this panda cake, but I decided to make mine with coconut since Elin likes it. 


My cake:

I was really happy with how it turned out.  I just drew a panda face on the white icing with a tooth pick, then I covered it with black gel frosting.  The ears are thin mint cookies I covered with gel.  Then I just carefully sprinkled coconut over it.  I think it turned out really cute.

One taken with my phone:

We wanted to make cake pops but someone had totally bought out all the white cake melts from Michaels.  These these mini cupcakes by Bakerella are adorable.  Mine did not turn out as good as hers, but I'm not a professional.  I think her sanding sugar was finer, mine was more coarse.  I have to get my own mini cupcake pan asap!  They are too cute!


How mine turned out:  

Still pretty cute.  I think she uses flat sprinkles for the eyes, I just used left over gel icing.  Did you know chocolate chips are not all the same size?  I bought some sugar eyes to see if they would work but on the mini cupcakes they were too big.  It made the pandas look spooked.  I made some spooked ones because it was too funny, and I think Elin liked them the best.

Oriental trading has these panda lanterns, but we didn't really have time to order anything so I made my own.  Plus I was not happy with their customer service the last time I ordered something from them.  grrrr.

The ones I made:

I used Martha Stewart's party lanterns which are $15 for six at Michaels, but we used a 40% off coupon.  I liked the Martha Stewart lanterns for this project for three reasons, they fold so that it makes it easy to put the ears on, they are a good size so they make a big statement, and there are six of them so  if you have a larger area to decorate you have more to work with.  Traditional lanterns may be cheaper, but if you use a coupon I don't think you could get six for that price.  I used black card stock and cut out panda ears and faces and then glued them on.   I used a little white paint for the eyes.  If you used the more traditional lanterns you could just draw the faces on with a sharpie and use card stock for the ears.  Elin loved them and is using them in her room for decoration.

I had a blast working on these projects and I was so happy to help.  This is the first year I have been around on her birthday.
Here is the birthday girl with the mustache lollipops my husband made.  They had the mold at Michaels and we just used cake melts.  Super easy and the kids loved them!
Almost forgot!  Here is a drawing my super talented husband did for Elin.

It was a great time!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Watermelon monster

Here is what I made for watermelon day.  I literally made it in two minutes since we were in a hurry to go somewhere after dinner.  Not as impressive as many of the ideas out there, but my son thought it was cool.  Which is the point right?  I really feel like doing fun things on ordinary days is not only fun for kids but helps you keep your sanity as a parent.

Childhood is supposed to be fun, but sometimes as a Mom it feels like a lot of work.  When I add a little whimsey to my day it makes the mundane moments better.  Here's the hubs digging out some goodness.

Mar thought it was tasty too:

Pics are bad, took them with my phone!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Watermelon Day

Well, I haven't posted on here in a LONG time.  I didn't post very much while we lived in Alaska because our internet was not consistent.  You would think I would have plenty to post about living in Alaska, and a few people I knew in our village did have blogs that they kept up.  For me Alaska was not that interesting.  Sorry, Alaska lovers!  We lived there for three years and most of that time I was inside raising my babies.  While motherhood is not boring, the day to day of it can be tedious and who wants to read a blog about doing dishes and laundry?  There was really not much to do in our village and most of the year it is too cold to go outside for long.  There were times when it was -60 and Marlowe and I did not leave the house for five days.  FIVE DAYS!  Can you imagine not even stepping outside your small house with your young toddler for five whole days?  Then when you do get out it is maybe for 15-20 minutes?  Needless to say I feel like we are regaining our humanity.  We can go to the play ground or the beach, we can hang out with friends and family, or just be out in the yard.  Some people really love Alaska, but I kind of hated it.  So, enough about AK!  What I really want to blog about is anything crafty, kid stuff, family, natural living, and learning with my kids!  Crafts and projects are what I love to think and talk about.  I just got this book from the library called Every Day's a Holiday!  It has fun ideas for non traditional holidays like pi day and peanut day.

Well August 3rd is National Watermelon Day She makes a cool watermelon monster which we are going to try.  She suggests using a pumpkin carving tool.  Don't you wish you kept yours after last Halloween?  Here are some cute things you could do with your family.  This watermelon car is adorable and doesn't look too difficult.

Boys would love this:  

This one was making it's way around Pinterest and I LOVE IT:

These two are opposites, summer and winter.  I love the snow man, it would be cute for a Christmas in July party.

The Sand pail is perfect for summer and I love the shovel!

I like making little things like this on ordinary days.  It's not just fun for the kids, but for me too.  Hope you have some watermelon soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting for Spring

Well it seems like signs of Spring are showing up every where BUT IN AKIAK!!!  I talked to my parents today and they said it is going to be 75 in CO tomorrow.  It is 5 degrees here with some wind that makes it feel below zero.  Which is better then neg 20, but 75 sounds pretty nice.  Sometimes I really don't want to hear about the nice weather you are having, or where you are going out to dinner, or the coconut shrimp you are eating with your glass of WINE!  BECAUSE I CAN'T HAVE OR DO ANY OF THOSE THINGS FOR TWO MORE MONTHS!  GAAAHHH!

Spring anyone?

Right about this time of year I think we are a little stir crazy and ready for Summer.
This is Marlowe looking stir crazy.

Jared is on Spring break this week so we are going to do some cleaning and organizing projects.  Like organizing the bookcase of despair and washing out the light fixtures and sorting through clothes.  FENG SHUI here we come!
Dad and Marlowe being productive snow fort makers.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Here are some scenery shots from my trip to Hoonah which is in the scenic pretty part of Ak.

Crazy seagulls

Mountains, water, trees......sigh.

Flight to Juneau

Marlowe always falls asleep in bush planes


We had a nice Christmas!  A few months ago I was worried we wouldn't have any Christmas presents because we have had serious staffing issues at the post office and it has been closed for weeks at a time.  I went to Hoonah, AK for a week to baby sit for my friend Amy and I was able to shop while in Juneau.  Here are some highlights.

Marlowe and his Christmas barn.

He got a lot of art supplies.

Me ridiculously happy about socks.

Trying out the new marker pad with Dad.

Hope you all had a good one!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It gets pretty cold in Akiak.  I think the coldest it got last year was around -40.  During January in the Kuskoquim 300, (which is a sled dog race,)  it was in the -40's and some parts of the race it was -60 with wind chill.  Some of the dog racers got frost bite on their eyes! 
Pretty consistently December through March it was in the -20s with the wind chill.  When I lived in Chicago I HATED the cold which is one of the reasons I wanted to move to Washington where the weather is milder. Kind of ironic that I live in Alaska now.  Actually -20 doesn't feel that bad if you have the proper gear.  We always wear snow pants and parkas and face masks.  If you have those things, especially the snow pants, it doesn't feel that bad.  Now if I was out there in jeans and a peacoat like I was in Chicago I would be freezing my rear off.
When it is really cold Marlowe stays in side my coat, (he's the bulge in there.)
This is the Kuskoquim River which becomes the ice road:
When it isn't too cold Marlowe rides in his Alaskan stroller: