Friday, May 13, 2011

The Squirrels Have Gone Crazy!

Recently I posted about all of the fun we had on a nice weekend and included our bird feeder issues.

We realized we couldn't hang the bird feeder from the pump house, because it was WAY too easy for the squirrels to get to it. They literally emptied it in a day. So not cool.

We decided to try to help the situation by putting them on a shepherds crook in the middle of the yard. A really skinny pole. In the middle of nothing.

The bird seed (over a week later) has about 1/4 left. Way better than before.

But still....

The crazy squirrels got to it.


One crazy squirrel.

I have a theory that all of the squirrels in the neighborhood had a contest to see who could get to it.

Only one red-tailed squirrel won.

The others hang out. Wait underneath. And reap the rewards of this crazy teenage squirrel who has no fear.

Here is a video of the super talented and crazy squirrel!

Here are some photos:

The poor bird is wondering why he doesn't get a chance at the food!

I guess a real squirrel proof feeder is in my future! We had dinner with my in-laws for Mother's Day and they have several bird feeders. They talked about different options. My birthday is coming soon, so I am crossing my fingers!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cinco De Mayo and Fudgie in a Bakset

Fitting in with all of the dress-up fun over the last week, at school we celebrated Cinco de Mayo!

We dressed up wearing red and green and of course I busted out a sombrero I borrowed from my cousin!

We had yummy chips and salsa in the lounge and DELICIOUS food cooked by our bilingual staff for lunch. Seriously. AMAZING lunch. I tried to convince them that this should happen once a month, but I don't know if my attempts convinced anyone.

It has also been a while since I posted any pictures of our crazy cat. I think I have mentioned before how she loves anything that is different. If a package comes, she has to sit on the box. If I put a piece of paper or a bag down, she has to sit on that. A couple weekends ago, we bought these baskets to hang from shepherds crooks outside. Of course, what did she do? She sat in them!

Crazy cat!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Wiggin' Out!

My friend Kristina turned 30 recently and for her birthday she had a "Kristina's Turning 30 and She's Wiggin' Out" party! Everyone was invited to wear a wig. At first I was a little skeptical. Because....well. I don't have a wig. But I borrowed a wonderful blue wig from a friend, sucked it up, and it was a blast! It was fun to see the other wigs people were wearing and Kristina and her husband both had wig changes throughout the night!

Kristina and her husband

My girls!

I'm not usually hugely into dressing up, but I dressed up that Friday for the Royal Wedding and then the next day for the wig party! I was more nervous about the wig party and my friend Bridget asked me how I could be nervous about that when I wore a bridesmaid dress to school. But school is kids. And co-workers that know me. And mostly kids. Going to a party with a wig with people I don't know if intimidating. What if other people didn't wear a wig? That would be sad. I didn't need to be worried at all. It was a blast and though it was itchy and pressed behind my ears like a headband (ow!) I still had a blast!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Royal Wedding Preschool Style

So did you see some of these hats in the Royal Wedding footage?

Well at school last Friday we had our own Royal Wedding celebration! At first we invited everyone to wear a hat. Then we decided jewelry would be fun. Then we thought fancy dresses would be even better!

Our staff dressed up in their Royal Wedding attire!

Erin and I dressed up for the wedding! We decided this was a replacement for our nonexistent picture from my wedding!

Aren't we fancy ladies-in-waiting!

I could totally have been a Royal Wedding attendant!

We had a blast celebrating the day and Erin and I are on Operation: Make Work Fun and this was a great start to the operation!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter was at our house this year because my mom was not really up for hosting. It was OK with me, because I love to have people over!

I have been dying to try the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls for quite some time now and because we were hosting brunch, I decided this was the perfect time! I didn't, however, need 70 of them, so I used this recipe to make a smaller batch (I actually doubled this to have about 24).

I spent 10.5 hours the day before standing on my feet in the kitchen; but it was totally worth it! Everything turned out great and we had a fun day.

In addition to the Cinnamon Rolls, I also made the Pioneer Woman's crumb cake. I didn't have fresh blueberries laying around, but I did have a frozen berry mix and it was delicious.

As I said, I doubled the small batch recipe of the Cinnamon Rolls. Which was easy. Until I was a dork. I had been looking at both recipes: one for the measurements and doubling them and then the other for the instructions. Well at one point I looked at the recipe and saw I needed 8 cups of flour. Times two? 16 cups! I didn't have that much flour! So after making the base for the dough, I ran out to the store and bought more flour. I got home and added 16 cups. Well. That didn't look right. Then I checked the recipe again. The ORIGINAL recipe called for 8 cups. The small batch called for 2 1/8. So really? I needed 4 1/4. Not 16.

So I had to dump the whole thing in the garbage.

And start all over.

But I went with it and kept on baking and cooking! I set up my laptop on the counter (to the left of the photo below) and watched TV and movies the whole day and night. You can also see my disaster of a kitchen with all my ingredients and dishes everywhere. I much prefer when my sister is over to help before cooking for a family party because the ingredients and dishes don't pile up as much when there's two people working to cook and put away and clean together!

For brunch we had ham, a spinach/broccoli/cheese egg casserole and a sausage/cheese and egg casserole.

But I finally finished everything! Easter morning we went to church and then hurried back to finish getting the food ready. My uncle helped make the skillet potatoes. They were yummy!

After we all ate a ton of food, the kids opened Easter baskets and then we had an Easter egg hunt in the backyard. It was Adam's idea and I was so excited about it! Another brilliant idea of Adam's was to give each kid a different egg color that they were supposed to find all of the same. And I call myself a preschool teacher! It went really well and I think we found all of the eggs. If not, the lawn mower sure will!

What am I doing?? Climbing up on the dumpster (still there from tearing down the garage) to drop those parachute guys down so their parachutes open up better. Don't worry, my freshman in HS tiny cousin spotted me!

Everyone enjoyed lots of snacks, Easter candy and Christian (my cousin's son) ate candy for about 6 hours straight. Check him out sneaking another piece of crumb cake below:

A family party wouldn't be complete without playing some Wii. We didn't Just Dance this time. We Wii Party-ed! We really had fun with the hide and seek game!
We celebrated Easter with just my parents and my sister the Monday after Easter. What? My mom still makes Easter baskets. So what? My mom is awesome. And my sis and I snuck some things in her basket as a surprise for her.

Those are my 5 thousand pictures for my Easter 2011 post. It was another great holiday with family and yummy food!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Cupcake Pops

A couple weeks ago I decided that I wanted to try making cupcake cake pops. It had been seeing them pop up around the Internet and I thought they would be really cute! I found some instructions here and used that in conjunction with what I learned about when I made my first cake pops for new years.

I thought they were actually a little easier to decorate than cake pops!

My main problem was shape. I thought I was going to shape them by using a Wilton candy mold, but alas, that was not going to happen (too sticky to hold its shape when I pulled them out). I will definitely get one of these cookie cutters Bakerella recommends for next time. Instead, I molded them by hand into a row of little mushrooms (sorry no picture).

The part that made them easier than the cake pops was the decorating. Cake pops you have to be really carefull that when you put the candy coating on, they don't fall off the stick. That means you have to spoon it on and that is pretty time consuming. With these, you dip them by hand first to make the bottom of the cupcakes and put the sticks in. After they have dried for a few minutes, holding the stick, you dip the top in. And they stay on the stick because the bottom candy coating is holding it on there. Much easier than trying to spoon it over the top!

The problem I had was dipping them so the top and bottom were both covered. A lot of them had a bare midriff in between. And no body likes to see a muffin top?! I think that problem would be solved by having more evenly shaped cupcakes. Also, I would dip the top in further if I did it again.

They are a work in progress and I will definitely have to try them again sometime. Even if they weren't perfect, they were yummy