Thursday, February 04, 2016

Dance Recital Preview

Both the girls are hard at work at dance preparing for their upcoming Spring recital. Although both classes' costumes have been ordered, Jocelyn's costume has already come in! She was SO excited and wanted to try it on right away :)






I can hardly wait!!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

A Pirate Party

January is full of birthday fun and it's not all just for Jocelyn, either :) We also celebrated our friend Logan's birthday. Joce and Logan were due a month apart, and were supposed to be born in different birthing centers in two different towns. Instead, they were born at the same hospital a little over 24 hours apart. Is that not crazy?

Logan's mom and I try to coordinate our kids' celebrations on different days if we can manage it. Luckily, this year wasn't a problem at all. We had the parties a week apart.

Danielle came up with the most creative fun party you could have! Jayce had a blast. Jocelyn? Well, she was not having it whatsoever. She refused to dress up like a pirate. She refused to play with the other kids. She then spilled soda all down her shirt and spent the rest of the party topless because she refused to wear any clothes. Hence, there is not a single picture of the party pooper. I really have no idea what got into her. She doesn't normally act like that.


Isn't the cake amazing? Dodi always does such a great job!


The kids went "fishing" for pirate booty.


Then they had to find buried treasure in the rice bins.


Watching the kids hit the pinata with inflatable swords was hilarious to watch :)



Yep, even the adults dressed up like pirates. I think Brian was going for a goofy pirate look :)


Happy 4th Birthday to our buddy Logan!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Macaroons

I, personally, have never eaten a macaroon in my life. Nor did I really have any desire to do so.

Somehow Jaina got it in her head that she would LOVE macaroons. And she wanted one last weekend. I told her we'd buy some at the grocery store next time but instead, she was set on making some herself.

She looked up several recipes online and found one that sounded good. Now, I have no idea if this is how you are supposed to make macaroons or not. Brian, my mom, and I both thought macaroons had to have coconut in them. Yet, this recipe called for almond flour and cocoa and didn't have a hint of coconut in there. I now have learned there are 500+ recipes online for macaroons and you can flavor them how you want.

Jocelyn helped, of course.


Some recipes call for a sifting of the almond flour to get the lumps out. Ours did not. It was lumpy.


Photographic evidence as to why I don't let Jaina bake often:


Making macaroons calls for some pretty advanced baking skills. Jaina had to learn how to separate eggs. Thank god for YouTube! She used the water bottle method.


Next, she learned to beat egg whites into a meringue.  I had never seen this done, either. We were both pretty impressed that egg whites can turn into stiff white stuff. Whoever thought of doing that??

Jaina added some pink food coloring. Unfortunately, we didn't put enough to balance out the brown from the cocoa powder.


She also learned what it means to "fold" something into a batter.

And we also learned that we don't have the correct tip. Instead of a large circle tip, we had to use a scalloped one. It was really difficult getting the shapes uniform.

And here's where it got tricky... Jaina read that the next ingredient we needed to make chocolate ganache was "heavy cream", which we totally don't keep on hand. I googled "making ganache without heavy cream" and tried adding corn starch to regular milk. Total failure. We ended up using a can of icing for the middle.



Jaina was happy with the taste. I thought they weren't worth the trouble. I think we'll buy them from now on :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jocelyn and the Palace Pet Party

Jocelyn turned 4 years old yesterday and we celebrated this past weekend at Pump It Up with a Palace Pet themed party. Some of our friends had a rough time trying to get out of their driveway because of the snow and ice!












Coordinating toddlers and preschoolers for a group picture is always challenging!


Then we had pizza, chips, soda, and cake in the party room.









Jaina was my designated photographer during the gift opening time. She did a great job!








We also had to celebrate again yesterday with some cupcakes and more singing :)






I think we are all birthdayed out by this point :)