My son's 4th birthday is upon us so I thought I better go ahead and post last year's birthday cake. Better late than never, right? He wanted a safari, dinosaur, train birthday party. I baked chocolate cake and my husband assembled and decorated the train with a simple buttercream frosting. We put some clean toy dinosaurs and a zebra on top of one of the train cars to coordinate with the party theme.
My very artistic husband was a natural at cake decorating.
The birthday boy blowing out his candles
A happy birthday boy with Grandpa
I realized tonight that I don't have plain old buttercream frosting on the site. It's really simple and will hold up for basic decorating. It's not stiff enough for something like roses, but will work fine for most kids birthday party cakes. (I made the sweet peas and pea pod in this photo with gum paste.) You can make it a little healthier by substituting the shortening with butter, but it won't hold up as well for decorating.
1/2 C. (1 stick) real butter, slightly softened
1/2 C. vegetable shortening
4 C. sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Whip all in a mixer until you have a delicious and fluffy frosting. (Start slowly or your powdered sugar will go everywhere.) You can color with icing colors or use as a white frosting.
Disclosure: I received the product for review. All opinions are honest and are my own.
HOOPERSIZE by KidTribe is the first retail fitness kit designed for children and their families.
Kit includes an easy-to-assemble, indestructible full sized Pro-Hoop that’s designed to be a bit thicker, heavier, and a lot sturdier than typical hoops you may have seen. Built for success, this bigger diameter surprisingly makes tricks easier to accomplish and allows kids to hoop for longer periods of time. It also includes two Parents’ Choice Foundation Award-winning DVDs featuring instructional music videos that teach tricks, lead dynamic routines and entertain with nutrition and other tips. The kit is packed with 12 instructional games. Also included is a HOOPERSIZE CD with seven heart-pumping tunes.
Pieces easily fit together to form the hoop.
HOOPERSIZE is recommended for ages 6 and up, but the little ones will want to play with it too. They can play and have fun, but might not be able to follow along with Miss Kellee in the videos.
Our 6 year old struggled the first couple of times he tried to HOOPERSIZE so we put it away and tried again another day. The third time he tried it, he was able to do it and had a really fun time. Older children should be able to pick it up even faster. You can see how excited he gets in the video when he realizes that he can HOOPERSIZE.
My favorite part of the HOOPERSIZE fitness kit is the DVDs. Miss Kellee does an outstanding job. She is a great teacher and motivator. She was nicknamed “the Pied Piper with a Boom Box” by the LA Times. If you watch the DVDs, you will want to get up and move. I tried it, following Miss Kellee's instructions and it was a really fun way to get some exercise.
HOOPERSIZING is a fabulous way for the whole family to get some exercise while having fun. I am excited to have the HOOPERSIZE fitness kit for the cold winter months when the kids will be indoors more and will need an outlet for their excess energy.
Enter to win a HOOPERSIZE Fitness Kit. (USA only)
Frozen raspberries are one of my favorite healthy treats and they are so easy to make.
Since we love frozen raspberries, when I see raspberries on sale, I stock up and freeze extras. Of course, anytime you can get fresh picked berries, they will freeze wonderfully too. Frozen berries are delicious and they work well in recipes too.
Gently wash your raspberries and try to shake or blot off any excess water.
Place the berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Put in the freezer until berries are frozen. It doesn't take very long. You can easily freeze several pans in a day.
Transfer frozen berries to zipper seal freezer bags, then return them to the freezer.
Disclosure: I received products for review, however, all opinions are honest and are my own.
Super Duper Publications has a huge selection of engaging and fun learning toys and activities for kids. I am always impressed with both the quality and selection available at Super Duper Publications. Just in time for the new school year, you can use coupon code DJPC3MGP to receive 30% off your purchase. This code is good through Sept. 30th. Super Duper Publications even offers free shipping to the USA and Canada on purchases of $20 or more.
We received three games from Super Duper Publications for review.
The boys and I had so much fun playing Grammar Gumballs. We had to put it away so that they could go to bed and they asked if they could play the next day. They were having fun while learning grammar skills!
Grammar Gumballs includes 180 illustrated cards (20 for each area) to teach nine grammatical forms:
I read the questions to the boys for each card they drew. They answered the questions, then spun the spinner to see how many gumballs they received. We went through the irregular plurals cards and at the end of the game the boys excitedly counted their gumballs to see who won. They actually tied and were both pleased with themselves.
The boys have really gotten into playing bingo this summer so I knew they would love Ask & Answer® "Wh" Bingo. This bingo game helps teach how to ask and answer "Wh" questions. Bingo is a wonderful teaching tool. I created a banking bingo game when I was teaching high school Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) and my students loved it. Bingo is a great way to make learning fun.
This is a very nice bingo set with cards for each type of "Wh" question that coordinate with color coded bingo cards. There is even a nice cup and cup holder for the bingo chips.
We took our new Ask and Answer "Wh" Bingo with us on the road. I sat in the back and played with my 6 year old. It worked well as a travel game because of the nice organization tray (pictured above).
Auditory Memory for Short Stories Fun deck is a set of cards with short stories and questions on one side and story titles and pictures on the other side.
Your child will listen to short, silly stories like "Aunt Pat's Hat," "Hannah's Bananas," or "Ollie the Octopus"—and then answer questions about each story.
These cards provide a fun way to improve your child's auditory memory skills.
Enter to win a $50 Super Duper Publications Gift Certificate!
Open to US and Canada
I took some things in to consign at the local Children's Resale Store on Friday and saw this adorable little kitchen. I looked it over and wondered if this would be a nice toy kitchen for the boys.
I have been on the lookout for one for a couple of years and have never seen a used one that was in good condition. I'll admit, I have been very picky. I wanted it to be sturdy and have the cuteness factor. Also, it couldn't look too girly since I have all boys. Check out my Pinterest board, For the Home, and you can see an adorable green kitchen made from a nightstand. I have also been on the lookout for the right nightstand to make my own.
In looking over this kitchen, I noticed the markings on the back and thought it was probably a quality piece.
I was not familiar with this company, but liked that the kitchen was made in the USA.
I never wanted to spend much money so I was excited and surprised to see that this kitchen was priced at $20. I had $10 credit in my store account so I decided to buy this toy kitchen for $10.
When I returned home, I looked up Elves and Angels toy kitchens and discovered that they are in fact handcrafted heirloom quality pieces. Online prices ranged from $100 for a pre-owned kitchen on ebay to $269 for new models. I felt really good about my $10 investment.
The boys have had so much fun playing with the kitchen and I have become a much sought after soup taster trying delicacies such as watermelon, carrot, apple, and bread soup. There has even been the appearance of a super hero cape as the super hero soup maker got to work in the kitchen.
Disclosure: I received products for review. All opinions are honest and are my own.
We have been Kidorable fans for a long time so we were excited at the opportunity to review their new and improved rain coat and rain boots. The designs have remained irresistible, while the comfort and functionality of the products has improved.
We own the older version of this same dinosaur raincoat in a smaller size so we were able to compare the two side by side. These raincoats are very durable. We have had our old Kidorable dinosaur raincoat for years and it is still in great condition.
The older version is unlined and the new and improved raincoat has this practical and attractive waterproof nylon liner.
Kidorable Coats are changing from PVC to a lined PU. These are lighter, more comfortable and more attractive than PVC. Kidorable chose a nylon liner for the raincoat because nylon is water proof and matches the feel of the PU. The PU+nylon is much lighter, easy to fold, and carry to go.
The overall feel of the new raincoat is softer and more flexible than the old version.
Check out these action moves. My little model had lots of fun posing for the camera in his new softer more flexible raincoat.
How cute is this pocket? I love the design details of Kidorable products.
Check out the cute dinosaur spikes at the shoulders.
Such attention to detail! I love the eyes and teeth and if you look closely, you can even see nostril indentations.
Kidorable boots have a custom sole and new custom printed lining.
Visit Kidorable to see the many styles available for your little one and enter to win a pair of Kidorable rain boots in my giveaway.
Ground beef and vegetable soup has been a favorite meal in our house for years. The boys love it so much that they literally cheer when they hear we are having it for dinner. With so many busy nights at the pool, we have been having this soup a lot lately. I have been browning the meat with onion and garlic on the stove and then transferring it to my slow cooker and adding the rest of the ingredients so that when we get home from swim there is a hot meal waiting for us.
The origin of our favorite soup: my husband and I ate in a small country restaurant a few years ago and I had the most amazing ground beef and vegetable soup. I was so in love with my new favorite soup that I came home and created this recipe.
This soup is so easy to make and delicious too. You could substitute your favorite vegetables or use whatever you have on hand. Canned corn and green beans work well in this soup as well as fresh vegetables from the garden.
1 lb. ground lean beef or ground venison
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes or 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (include any juice)
16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. or more creole seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 quart (4 cups) beef or vegetable broth
1 to 2 cups water
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large pot. If you use a leaner beef, you won't have much excess grease. If you need to drain off excess grease, drain before moving on.
2. Add the remaining ingredients.
3. Bring to a low boil, then simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
4. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Pin on Pinterest
Yum on Yummly to easily save this recipe.
Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by Betty Crocker® through MyBlogSpark.
One of life's simple pleasures is to relax and enjoy a good meal with the ones you love, and who couldn’t use a little help in the kitchen after a busy day?
We tried the Ultimate Hamburger Helper Three Cheese Marinara and the Betty Crocker Ultimate Cheddar Mashed Potatoes. The boys loved the Ultimate Hamburger Helper Three Cheese Marinara. My husband wanted it spicier and added creole seasoning, but the boys loved it just the way it was. I added fresh, chopped Spinach for a little color and added nutrition.
I liked the texture of the Betty Crocker Ultimate Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, but honestly I think I would prefer a plain flavor to which I could just add butter. They were so easy to make and would be convenient for a weeknight dinner, but again I would rather have a simpler butter flavor. However, if you like cheddar potatoes, you will love these.
I am giving away an awesome prize package to one lucky reader.
In addition to getting to try Ultimate Hamburger Helper and Betty Crocker Ultimate Potatoes, my winner will receive this great prize pack with everything listed above. I received an identical prize pack and LOVE my new dishes. The fun modern printed plates are dishwasher safe and great for casual dining. The serving spoon and bamboo serving bowls are attractive and functional and I love the bright color.
Enter on the rafflecopter form.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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