Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Beachside Birthday

Happy 1st Birthday Clara! A summer birthday means that we get to celebrate outdoors, and what better locale for a my "bright pearl" than the local beach? My first two both got 1st birthday themes that related to their names, (Sam - Green Eggs and Ham, Rosemary - rosemary), so I had to keep the tradition going. 

It was a beautiful day at the beach celebrating with family. We rented a little pavilion right next to the water, (no decorations were needed as nature provided!), and had your standard cookout fare - hot dogs, chips, watermelon, etc.  Of course we can't forget the birthday cake!

I absolutely loved how this one turned out, it was just perfect for the occasion and easy to put together too. Of course when I use boxed cake mix and canned frosting everyone tells me how delicious my cake is, but what are you going to do? 

To make the cake I stacked four 8 inch round layers, alternating between orange sherbet and strawberry flavor, which made for a nice effect when cutting into it
Next I did a crumb coat in white, and let the cake sit in the fridge for a little bit to firm up. After that I covered the whole cake in Pillsbury's Aqua Blue Funfetti vanilla frosting. I don't think I could've gotten that shade of blue on my own, and it comes with fish shaped sprinkles! 

Next I pulverized some graham crackers in the food processor and lightly pressed the crumbs onto the bottom section of the cake to look like beach sand. The oyster with pearl on top was made with two Voortman's sugar free shortbread cookies, pink frosting, and shimmer white Sixlets candies I found in the baking aisle of my grocery store. 

I finished things off by covering the top with the Funfetti fish sprinkles, pressing more of the candy pearls into the bottom, and writing "Happy Birthday Clara" on the top in pink frosting. Of course the bright blue frosting made for some great making a mess with the birthday cake pictures! 

We spent the rest of day playing at the beach, and nobody wanted to stop swimming and playing the sand. Our sweet one year old Clara is truly a beach baby! I love you Clara, and I look forward to watching you grow. Here's to many more beach days to come. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Outdoor Fort Chalkboard Wall

Happy Summer! There are still a few  end of year tasks for this teacher to do, but the kids are done and it's time start enjoying more time outside.

My kids absolutely love drawing, so playing with sidewalk chalk is a natural summer activity - unfortunately our country driveway is mostly dirt and we  don't have any sidewalks, so drawing space is limited. Last spring to help combat this we created a drawing wall on the side of the kids' play fort. I was 8 months pregnant at the time, so trust me when I say that this is quick and easy project! We just grabbed a piece of plywood, spray painted it with chalkboard paint, and screwed it in to the side of the fort. Voila! We didn't treat the plywood in any way before painting, so you can't really erase easily by wiping the rough surface, but a spray with the hose or waiting for rain words just fine - just like you would if you were drawing on a driveway or sidewalk.

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