Friday, January 14, 2011

cleaning carpets, creating cakes, and a cruising cutie!

For Christmas, I got a much needed carpet cleaner. We usually get the carpet cleaned once a year, but that just wasn't cutting it with 3 kids, so I was thrilled to get the Bissel pro heat 2X. It is working so great! I've been going through room by room, as I've had time, and the results are great. No more scrubbing on my hands and knees every time something gets spilled, or someone has an accident(...Kiersten....). The cleaner does most of the work, and I just stand there, pushing it around. Here's a before picture of my shamefully filthy livingroom carpet. We spend lots of time in this room, and so does our cat, Daisy. So it was first. and after, much cleaner.some of the spots didn't come up completely, but next time I'll use the pre treater on those, and see if it gets even cleaner!
The girls' room was another really dirty area, as that's where many accidents have occurred lately. It didn't exactly smell fabulous in their either.
after the cleaning. I feel much better about my kids living in this room now, and have even let Evie crawl around in there.
Evie stood up 4 times yesterday without holding on to anything to pull herself up. We thought it was time to bring in the hippo toy. Kara and Kiersten both used this to learn to walk, though, not at 6 months old...
Kara's birthday party is tomorrow, and it's a luau/swim party. I wanted to be lazy and buy a cake, or just make cupcakes, and put flowers on top. But Ben came up with an idea for an island cake, so I agreed to at least try. We decided to make the palm tree out of rice krispies and Kara wanted a "hula Kara" on there as well. So I made the rice krispies, and Ben shaped them for me. I know what this looks like, and, yes, there were many jokes made about the shape of the palm tree.
we dyed some fondant green, and Ben traced out a shape for the leaves. I cut them out, and then Ben cut little notches in the sides.
Then he had a good idea, to set them on this sifter to dry into a curved shape.
I was going to just stack the cakes in a column, but we decided that would make too large servings, so we went with more of a figure 8. the carving was minimal, and simple, so Ben took care of that.
then I frosted the sides blue, and the top white. I also covered the cake board with blue scrapbook paper, and then we covered that with butcher paper to protect the blue from frosting drips.
The next step was sprinkling on crushed graham crackers for the beach, and Ben kind of molded the head into a face, for me to cover with fondant. I wish I would have colored the fondant a flesh color, but oh well, it's white. Kiersten ate Kara's rice krispie body, so we decided to bury her in the sand. Ben cut some marshmallows in half, and we just covered them with the crumbs.
Ben gave her some beachy hair, and I piped on some grass. I couldn't find my grass tip, so I just used a large star tip, but we figured it would mostly get covered by the palm tree anyway.
to cover the tree trunk, we melted some chocolate, and spread that on. I did pour some burning hot chocolate on Ben's hand, unfortunately. Good thing he's such a tough guy! When it was set up, he drilled holes in the bottom and used sucker sticks to secure it to the cake. I piped the border, because we didn't like how the sand was meeting the blue.
I figured we weren't gonna be fooling anyone into thinking it was an actual island anyway, so it didn't have to be realistic.
here's a closeup of the buried Kara. She's a little surprised, I think.
He drilled another hole in the top, and stuck a toothpick down. We then made little holes in all the leaves with another toothpick, and just slid them on. It was what really brought the cake to life. Then he just clipped off the top of the toothpick that was sticking out, and we had a finished palm tree. It was looking cute, but we thought it needed a few more finishing touches.
good thing I bought these swedish fish. I didn't know what I was buying them for, but figured I could use them for something at her party. I cut out those little fondant flowers last night. Ben didn't want me to. He said they would turn a classy cake trashy. That made me laugh because classy wasn't exactly how I was envisioning the cake anyway. I wanted them all over the beach, but he thought they'd be better just in the grass, and I think he was right.
I think the two of us working together made a pretty fun cake. I do think it looks better in person, than the pictures, but so do most things, I guess. It was lots of fun working on this together, and it is my new favorite cake I've made. I'm glad I didn't cop out and just do cupcakes. It may have been cuter with the hula Kara that was supposed to be dancing under the tree, but this turned out to be less work, and that's not something I'm gonna complain about! I sure love that Ben, what a great dad, right?


Dustin and Erika said...

You guys are so creative! The cake looks awsome, and I bet she loves it.

Josh and Jackie said...

That is so adorable that he wanted you to do that cake, and that you made it together...You two are so creative and together it ridiculous what you guys can do...I love the cake and I can't believe you guys figured that all out...K-razy. And I can't believe Evie is standing up on her own...Kaymie has just started to pull her self up onto furniture just the past few days....It is insane to me that Evie is just 6 months and doing so much already!....Too cute.

Angelique said...

So cute! I love it. you are way more creative then me!! Good job guys!