Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 304 - Cake Pops - Part II (FAIL!)

Happy Halloween - today I set out to be extra crafty knowing I would be decorating my cake pops . . . little did I know all my fun ideas and plans would be crushed by the reality of my failed cake pops attempt.

Here's how it went down . . . First I took a Styrofoam ring and wrapped a pretty green ribbon around it to use as a base for my cake pops. Next I poked 26 holes into the ring, through the ribbon so I could easily insert my cake pops once completed

So far so good. Next I arranged my cake-pop decorating space. I had sprinkles out and a bowl to sprinkle them over. A large baggy filled with tinted green food colored frosting so that I could add leaves to my pumpkin cake pops. I had my 26 lollipop stick all counted out and ready to go (exactly enough for each cake ball I prepared yesterday). With the tray of cake balls before me - all I had left to do was melt the orange wafers and start dipping away . . . right?

(I stopped taking pictures at this point . . . things just weren't pretty!)

This is the point where my cake pop fun took a turn for the worst. First I burnt my first batch of wafers. I tried melting them in the microwave at 30 second intervals (one of the websites I read said they did this - Lies!) It did not work. (NOTE for next time - melt 1/3 of the wafers at 20 second intervals in the microwave and then add the remaining wafers and let them melt by the heat of the other melted waffers).

Next I tried other ways to melt anew batch of wafers, very carefully, as this was the last of my orange colored ones. I tried setting them in a bowl of hot water - using a double boiler - pretty much nothing worked. I ended up adding some vegetable oil to thin it out a bit and leaving the bowl of melted wafers in another bowl of very warm water.

When the wafer candy coating was as good as it was going to get I finally sat down to start dipping. First I dipped the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating and then slid one cake ball onto the stick, going just a bit more than half way down BUT either my cake balls were too big or too moist (probably both) PLUS the candy coating consistency never did get thin enough and as I went to dip the cake ball into the candy coating the ball fell off. After a couple of very frustrating attempts to engineer a way to make it work I finally decided cake pops were not going to happen today and with all the time I wasted my block party was now going to start any minute. I didn't want to show up empty handy so I somehow managed to coat a few of the balls in the candy coating and sprinkle them with orange sugar. I then used the green frosting to add leaves and used part of a tootsie roll to make a stem.

Today was not my proudest decorating moment, but that's just the way it goes . . . Everyone did say they tasted really good, so that counts for something!

As for you little cake pops, beware - I am not giving up this easily and will try again another day . . . stay tuned

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 303 - Cake Balls (Cake Pops - Part I)

Today I made cake balls for the first time. I used boxed cake mix and almost forgot how quick those mixes whip up. We've had a busy day, so quick & easy was great!

Ingredients for Cake Balls:
1 boxed cake mix (and additional ingredients to bake cake)
1 container of frosting

Ingredients to transform cake balls into cake pops (for tomorrow):
Candy melting wafers (or chocolate)
Paper lollipop sticks
Extra frosting for decorating
Optional - Edible Ink Pen & Sprinkles

Tonight I decided to just make the balls and let them chill in the fridge over night, since I have never made cake balls before I wasn't sure how much time it would take (not very much). Here's all it takes:

1. Bake a cake per the directions on the box

2. Let cake cool completely. Once cool, crumble to very small pieces.

3. Add frosting.

4. Roll misture into balls and set on wax paper to chill in fridge for at least 20 minutes and up to a day. ***Side note: some of the recipes I found said to add 1 entire can (which I did) and it was too much, I was still able to form the balls and hopefully once they chill over night they will set up alright, but my advice would be to start with a half can and very gradually add more, just until you can easily form a ball.

Also, a couple pictures of my nieces Talia & Mia, while watching the Husker game earlier today :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 302 - 3D Ultrasound

This afternoon Quinn and I headed to our 3D ultrasound. I was planning on this being my something new today - but we hardly got any pictures, I think there were maybe 1 or 2 of a leg or a foot, which were so awesome to see, but since we got the option to come back for a complimentary re-do we didn't have get any pictures to take home today, instead we will be back next Tuesday and hopefully have a more trained person to do our ultrasound and that the boys will be on their best behavior :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 301 - Homemade Draft Dodger

Tonight I decided to make a draft dodger to use on our door out to the garage.

I bought some basic rice & split peas for the filling and grabbed a pair of nylons I don't wear any more to fill up.

I mixed the rice and peas in a large baggie (I am not really sure how I decided on this combo and I am not certain it will work, but I went with it. . .)

The easy part about using a nylon to fill up was I was able to pull it all the way over the baggie and pour the filling in.

Then I simply tied a knot on the open end. I ended up making 2 of these - each one with 32 oz. of rice and 16 oz. of peas.

Next I went through our current stack of goodwill donations and found an old shirt of Quinn's (actually one of his favorites - so it was fun to surprise him with a new use for it) that I made a cover out of.

(I don't sew much, so I had to use safety pin to hold everything together - it worked) After some simple stitches everything was ready to go. I slipped the 2 filled nylons into the cover and tied that off into a knot as well.

It didn't turn out perfect, but it was still pretty good and for a total cost of less than $4 it will work for me :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 300 - A Video Post!

Getting Ready for the Boys . . .

Tonight Quinn helped me upload a video we made on Sunday night, after we finished putting the cribs together (I never intended to post this to our blog, but I wanted to do something fun for DAY 300!! - but didn't have much energy, so making a new, more planed video was out of the question) so without further ado . . .

(please pause my music player)

I must admit, even though this was a pretty low-key & unplanned video, I can't help but smile every time I watch. I think I have Todd the Tortoise to thank for that!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 299 - Finished Baby Beanie

Tonight I finished my first every knit beanie.

it's not perfect, but it's made with love :)

Now onto beanie number 2 . . . (it will be the same colors, but opposite).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 298 - Hospital Tour for Labor & Delivery

Childbirth class number 3 tonight . . . We toured the labor & delivery areas at the hospital we will be having the babies at. It was really interesting to see everything and Quinn was sure to figure out where to find his snacks & coffee for the big event :)

Another night of feeling just a little more prepared for this whole adventure of becoming parents!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 297 - Infant CPR & Assembling Cribs

Today Quinn and I took our infant & child CPR class. We were both lifeguard certified back in high school and took CPR then, but it's been a long time and a lot has changed. It also takes on a whole new meaning when you consider it may be your own child who needs CPR or the heimlich maneuver! Hopefully we will never need to use these skills, but it was a really good class and provided some peace of mind.

Other Firsts: After our class, we headed home, had some dinner and then got to work on assembling the boys cribs :) Quinn and I both agreed the worst part was getting rid of all the packaging! I also want to add how Quinn made a pretty funny comment after we finished the first one - something about now moving on to #2 and how we need to get use to that! Can't wait :)

(pictures coming soon)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 296 - Yogurtini

Today we stopped by a great little yogurt place (these types of stores are popping up like crazy!!) called Yogurtini - love the name!)

I tried the Blueberry Tartini & Vanilla both were excellent.

Of all the new yogurt places popping up, this one has been one of my favorites. It was clean organized inside and the yogurt and topping selection was impressive.

I will certainly head back soon!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 295 - Comedy City Improv (at Westport Flea Market)

A while ago I bought a groupon for an improv show at Westport Flea Market called Comedy City.

It was getting close to expiring, so a few days ago Quinn and I picked a day that worked and made our reservation for tonight.

We actually had such a great time. The set up was simple and there 2 'teams of 2' the Sharks & the Jets and they basically played these little games and kept score along the way, all in an effort to make us laugh - and it worked!

It was great to get out on a Friday and even better (for my pregnant self) that we were home by 10. Such a fun night out and a great start to our weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 294 - Q & C's babes

This past weekend Quinn's sister Hope asked if Quinn and I had morphed our faces together on oany website to see what our kids will look like - I hadn't, but I thought it sounded fun so tonight I found this website, morphthing

Not so sure how accurate it is, but it was simple and good for a quick laugh - good thing I am not having a baby with Brad Pitt!

Or Quinn with Brittany Spears

Of the 3 baby morphs I did, I must say Quinn and my baby turned out the least strange looking :)

You can also morph 2 picures to make one person . . .

super weird! ah ha ha!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 293 - Creative Space Relocation

Time to make room for our babes . . . For the past 3 years the nursery to-be has been used as Quinn's closet, my craft space, an ironing room, storage and the list could go on, so tonight we started the big project of clearing out all our stuff and making way for cribs, gliders and changing tables.

With the holidays around the corner (and basically here) I had one request - to make a new space for being creative, here's the space I was using (I'll admit it's nothing to be proud of and was getting a bit unorganized & messy)

For the new space I decided to use a smaller folding table and we set it up upstairs

So far I have only gotten as far as moving everything upstairs - so I have some organizing & sorting to do, but I like how we set it up in front of a shelf so I'll have some good space to keep things neat.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 292 - Big Red

Our neighbors are originally from Texas and recently spent some time 'back home' and they were nice enough to think of us while away and brought us back some Big Red soda, in honor of the Huskers - we had planned to bring this to the tailgate last weekend, but in our early morning departure forgot it at home, so tonight I decided to give it a taste . . .

It was really sweet and tasted like bubble gum and maybe a hint of a cherry flavor - definitaly interesting . . . I think I will save the other 5 cans for a very special occassion (maybe someone will want to use them as drink mixers for a future husker game? :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 291 - 2 years of loving Q as my husband (our wedding video)

Today is Quinn and my second wedding anniversary

We celebrated with dinner last night and met for lunch at work today. Then we had our child birth class this evening and when we go home Quinn suggested we watch our wedding video, which made my day! We only "fast-forward" watched it for about 15 minutes with my parents back when it first arrived, so it was really special to sit down together tonight and relive the beautiful day.

> I am the luckiest girl in the world!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 290 - Cascone's Restaurant

Today I attended a bridal shower lunch for one of Quinn's cousins, Nolan and his bride to be Amanda. It was held at Cascones, an Italian restaurant that I had never been to until this afternoon. I had the lasagna which was really good.

It was a nice shower and the food was yummy. Next time Quinn and I are thinking Italian for dinner we may just have to head back and try more of Cascones menu out.

Other Firsts: Quinn and I began our second wedding anniversary celebration tonight with dinner at the Capital Grille, the restaurant wasn't a first, but the confetti on our table was :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 289 - Pregnant Tailgate

GO BIG RED!!! Quinn and I try to get to a Husker home game at lest once a year and this year we had our sights set on the Nebraska vs. Texas game, especially after being in Dallas last year for the big 12 championship and all the heart ache that come with that game.

We were so excited when we were able to track down tickets for the game today . . . sadly it wasn't the redeeming victory we had hoped for, BUT it was a gorgeous day with lots of fun tailgates.

Quinn's sister Meredith and her husband Robert had a great set up right in the horseshoe and his other sister Hope & her husband Chad were there too, so that was fun to spend some time with them.

Then after the game we met up with my sister Michelle who is 21 and was in Lincoln for the fun bar scene. She hadn't seen me since Chicago, nearly a month ago, so she was loving my growing belly :)

I also need to thank my friend Lindsey for letting me borrow this great Husker shirt! I even traced an extra 's' out of white duct tape so everyone knew I had 2 'future Huskers' in there and it was such a hit all day long!

Other Firsts: My Parents 30th wedding anniversary is tomorrow. So this morning Quinn and I set off from KC to Lincoln and made a little detour to stop out at the lake where my parents will be celebrating tomorrow and I arranged some flowers (I picked them up yesterday afternoon and we put them in a large bucket for transportation - I felt very professional)

I also bought them a pretty vase to arrange the flowers in so they would have something to keep once the flowers died.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 288 - Furniture for Our Duo

Today we placed out order for all of the main pieces of furniture in the babies room. 2 Cribs, a dresses with a changing table topper and a glider with an ottoman.

I was going to add some pictures from the website to give a little preview, but I decided you will just have to check back over the next couple of weeks to see our duo's nursery come together :)

This is all starting to seem more real . . . ahhh so exciting :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 287 - Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes (yes please!!)

I hosted book club tonight and for dessert I wanted to make something delicious. I turned to my Martha Stewart cupcake book and decided on Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes

**A note before baking these: they take longer too make - so I am really glad I decided to bake the cake portion yesterday. The actually cooking & prep time isn't so bad, but some steps require fridge time.

Cupcake Ingredients: (makes 18)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for tins
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for tins
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Cream Ingredients: (makes 1 1/2 cups) - more than enough
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Glaze Ingredients: (makes about 1 1/4 cups)
2/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light corn syrup


Preheat oven to 350 and butter and flour standard muffin tins.

Whisk or sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Warm milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Beat eggs and sugar with a mixer on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow and thick enough to hold a ribbon, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the mixer to medium and add in dry ingredients. Mix just enough to incorporate ingredients.

Bring milk and butter to a boil. With mixer on low speed, add milk mixture to batter in a slow steady stream; mix until smooth (do not over mix)

Beat until smooth.

Add vanilla.

Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each halfway. Bake cupcakes, rotating tins halfway through, until light golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool in tins for 10 minutes on wire racks, then transfer cupcakes to wire racks. Let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature.

*** Have vanilla cream and chocolate ganache ready ***

Using a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Spread 1 tablespoon vanilla cream on each cupcake bottom. Sandwich with top. Spoon glaze over each, and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

These turned out pretty great. Next time I will spoon some chocolate ganache on the bottom layers too and possibly keep the cakes a bit thinner.