Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pre-School Parade and Trick-or-Treating

Gracen had a Halloween parade at school, and for that day she chose to be Pinkalicious. This would be costume #3 for this year. That's the good thing about having girls and lots of dress up dresses :)

We were incredibly fortunate with the weather, it was probably 60ish that day. You never know with KS weather. I remember Halloween's from when I was little when we need layer upon layer, and then some where we could've worn flipflops.

They paraded around the playground, then sang us some Halloween songs. It was hilarious. I loooove watching them sing, they get so into it and don't care a thing about what they look like!

That night we headed over to Aunt Nanie's and her new(ish) house for some jack-o-lantern pizza and trick-or-treating!

For trick-or-treating Hadley was the cupcake again, and Gracen was workout Barbie. I am super pumped about her costume becuase we totally threw it together last minute. She originally wanted to wear her tutu from her dance recital, but refused to wear a long sleeve shirt underneath. So we started out with her black leo from dance and black tights, and then I put on her fleece 80's-esque sweatshirt for the flashdance look. Then a stroke of genius hit and I took a pair of my warm fuzzy socks and cut the feet part off and voila! leg warmers! She loooved them. She put on the headband and as soon as I told her she was Barbie she got really excited! I love when things just happen to work out like that.

Isn't she just the sweetest thing ever?? I could just eat her up!!

I think trunk-or-treats have kind of slowed down actual trick-or-treating. We went around the neighborhood for probably an hour, and hardly saw anyone. Most houses would give the girls handfuls of candy and we would be like no no that's plenty! We got plenty from Aunt Nanie too, she said she didn't get many trick-or-treaters. We had candy overload for quite a while (mommy wasn't complaining). Overall we had a blast the whole month of October. Seems like it was Halloween all month long!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Carving Pumpkins

This year we decided to do something cray-cray and actually carve pumpkins! the past few years with itty bittys in the house we just painted our pumpkins. And that was pretty fun, but last year our pumpkins didn't last long. We don't have a porch anymore, and one night it rained and washed all the paint off - damn you washable finger paints! And then the squirrels came and ate the pumpkins. Literally, ate it all.

Seriously this was after the first day on the porch last year. By the third day it was totally gone, stem and all.

By "we" I mean the Mr. carved the pumpkins. I got the lovely job of cleaning the pumpkin seeds (g-ross, but totally worth it) and roasting them. Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my all time fav snacks, and they're totally good for you. BONUS!

Don't mind the ice pack on Gracen's head. She previously wacked her head on something messing around with Had, but was not going to miss out on the dangerous fun of carving pumpkins.

I'm pretty sure all those seeds lasted us like a day and a half. They were just so delicious. And luckily the squirrels did NOT attack our pumpkins this year. I think without the seeds in them they lost their appeal.

All lit up on the front porch!!! Luckily no blood was drawn, and no tears were shed. I'd call that a successful first year of carving pumpkins.

Also in case you need a super easy and yummy roasted pumpkin seed recipe:
  • 4 Tbs melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp worchestershire sauce
Mix the above and coat pumpkin seeds, place on a cookie sheet and roast in a 275 degree oven stirring every 5 minutes. Then try not to eat in one sitting :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pumpkinpalooza / Trunk-or-Treat

This year Halloween lasted the whole month of October for us. Seems like we had something going on every weekend. As the kids get older, we get busier.

Pumpkinpalooza is a fundraiser at Aunt Jaime's work the Sunflower House. We decided that would take place of our annual pumpkin patch visit since we were getting our pumpkins there, and our weekends were pressed for time. Aunt Nanie snagged the KSU pumpkin, so we got one with Hello Kitty painted on it, and one that was chalkboard painted to color on ourselves. The girls got their faces painted, had some lunch, played in the bouncy house while Mom and Dad waited in line for like an hour for balloon animals.

 For this day Gracen was little red riding hood and Hadley was Tinkerbell. This year I opted not to buy new costumes. The girls have plenty of dress up dresses, and other clothes that I totally jimmy rigged every single one. I love that little fur cape!

While we were there we ran into Gracen's friend Adele from preschool! They were inseperable, even while getting her face painted!

Hadley was pretty apprehensive of the face painter and made Gracen go first. She also made sure that it matched her dress. She is my daughter after all :)

Finally! Gracen's kitty!! Too bad it popped shortly after and we had a mild melt down...

Miss Tink got 2 puppies kissing and a heart. She's really into Lady and the Tramp right now and loooved that it was a bracelet too!

It took us forever to get them out of the bouncy house. I'm pretty sure we were the last people there. But they had a blast, and definitely took a good nap that day.

It was a fun morning, the weather was gorgeous and it all went to a good cause. I'd call that a successful start to Halloween 2012!

Next up was trunk-or-treat at Gracen's school. It was pretty chilly out that night, but the Mr. had class and we had nothing better to do, so we switched up costumes and headed to St. Ann's!

Gracen was a cupcake last year, so Hadley picked that to wear this night since it was so cold. Gracen wanted to be tinkerbell this time, so she looks like a little chunko with so many layers underneath. Overall we were only there for less than 30 minutes, once it got completely dark out the temps dropped quickly. We got some good candy though - I may or may not have been steering them toward the Reese's. We had a blast, and it was fun to see so many of the families from Gracen's school!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chiefs n Chopper

Yes I know Price Chopper is no longer the sponsor for the Chiefs. But that's a big mistake in my book PC, you just can't beat Chiefs-n-Chopper!

Anyhoo! A couple weeks ago I went to the Chiefs game with my siblings and brother in law. It was actually perfect weather, cool but sunny. We started out bright and early to tailgate and I about choked when I saw it was 27 bones to park. I mean really? For the Chiefs? The first thing we saw upon entering the gates was a huge sheet someone had hanging that said this is an embarrassment. Now we all know the Chiefs suck. But I have to admit that KC has some of the greatest fans in the NFL, so to see that sign you knew it was going downhill quickly.

We grilled some dogs, drank a few beers, and chuckled as a plane flew overhead that read Bench Cassel, we deserve better. Now I don't know much about professional football politics, but the fans were not happy. It was kind of sad because I have a lot of really great memories of Chiefs games despite them sucking for as long as I can remember. A few years ago me and Stephanie went for her birthday at the end of December, were in the nose bleeds, it was FREEZING and it was still a total blast. I don't think I could say the same thing in a few weeks if I went to another game.

We had pretty great seats, and sat by some really rowdy fans. This was the game where Cassel got hurt and Quinn finally came in, and started the whole controversy of our fans cheering for an injured player. The only thing I cheered for was Quinn coming in the game, but I can't speak for everyone. He got hurt at the other end of the field, so we had no clue what was really going on until he was walking off and they announced that he was injured. Overall it was still fun, and I had a great time with my fam. I just hope the fans return to days of cheering our hearts out despite how bad they are.

That's great, but who are the chefs? Hahah one of my all time fav commercials. Snickers you get me every time!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A purple birthday party

This year for Hadley's birthday party I went with a color instead of a theme. Not only was it easier to plan, but a lot more fun. We had it at the park again since our house is so teensy, and I decided to do a dessert table instead of a bbq, again mostly for simplicity, but it's a lot more fun to plan that too. I decided on purple/turquoise since we already had a lot of purple decor to reuse, and her super cute invites were purple and turquoise.

The birthday girl getting ready to head to the park! I made her that rosette shirt, for like 25 cents. We already had the white long sleeve shirt, and I made those rosettes in seriously less than 5 minutes (all 3!) and then just hand stitched them onto her shirt.

The dessert/presents table (minus the cake - we'll get to it!). The purple and white roseballs are left over from the bridal shower I helped my sister plan. I bought the silver and plastic platters at the dollar store.

Close up of the rosette balls. Those suckers took forever. So if you'd like to rent them out please let me know, but don't ask me to make you any ;)

Chocolate covered marshmallows were a huge hit with the kiddos, and super easy to make. Much easier than cake balls, and pretty inexpensive. I'm sure all the parents are very thankful for the sugar rush I sent their kids home with!

Aside from the cake, this was definitely my favorite thing I made. I just made rice krispie treats the normal way from the box, and pressed them in muffin tins to get a cupcake shape, and frosted the top and added sprinkles. Talk about easy peasy and super cute!

White chocolate covered pretzels are one of my all time favorite treats, and oddly enough were the most time consuming thing I made (along with the lollipop cookies).

And now for the piece de resistance - the cake! I am soooo proud of the cake and how it turned out, and that I didn't stress out over it at all. Even though it looks really difficult to make, it was actually super easy, just took a lot of steps. I made it over a period of 3 days, mostly to allow room for errors :)

It's a 4 layer purple ombre vanilla cake with raspberry filling and white chocolate buttercream frosting! (Now that is a mouth full)

If I make an ombre cake again, I'm going to try and make the colors a little more defined. It felt like I was using a lot of the purple dye, but when they came out of the oven they weren't quite as prominent.

The rosettes were actually really easy with a pastry bag and tip. Frosting the cake first was what was annoying. Frosting kept falling off my knife and getting EVERYWHERE. So for my next cake I will definitely be purchasing one of those fancy frosting spreaders (whatever they're called).

All in all we had a great party. The weather was absolutely perfect, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Hadley was spoiled beyond belief, and filled to the brim with her favorite sweets!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hadley Jean is 3!

Here's a few photos I snapped of Hadley around her 3rd birthday since I didn't know when we'd be getting our family photos done. She was such a little cheese ball for me, which I'm glad about since the day we took our family photos she was not very cooperative. That's what happens when you're the big 3!


Doesn't she just melt your heart?! I can't believe she's already 3. Let's not talk about it, I'll just be happily in denial until she turns 18 and I have to deal with reality :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

We are the Champions

This year I had the privelege of coaching Gracen's soccer team. And let me just tell you 4 year olds are awesome. I played soccer my whole life, and nothing could prepare me for pre-k soccer.
Gracen had a blast playing. Each Saturday they had a 30 minute practice with a trainer, and then a 30 minute scrimmage against another team. I really like how they got to practice with a trainer, because they're attention spans at this age is slim to none. The trainer knew a lot of great games to play with them to keep them attentive, as well as learning basic ball skills.
Gracen had quite a cheering section at each game. Every morning before her games she would ask who was coming to watch her. She may or may not like attention.
Luckily they don't have goalies at this age, or keep score. Pretty much every time there was a kick off they ran down in a clump and somone either scored or kicked it out of bounds. It was also quite humorous to see some of the kids just pick up the ball and try to move it and then keep playing like it was no big deal.
We were pretty lucky with weather, we got to play all of our games. It rained one day but we got to finish out the game and the kids thought it was really funny that they got to play in the rain while all the parents sat under the umbrellas. Only one week was it very cold, but it didn't same to phase the kids very much except for of course Gracen. She refused to play or even practice at all. She kept begging to go wait in the car. But I don't blame her, it was VERY cold.
Hadley had just about as much fun as Gracen did, and enjoyed playing on the sidelines with other siblings and of course Gracen's cheering section. She can't wait to play next year!
Gracen told me snacks were her favorite part, that and the medal she received at the end of the season.
I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids to coach, or better parents. Everyone seemed to have a great time playing, and I can't wait to do it again in the spring!