Tiny Green Pusheen Cakes in Cans!

It’s Bug’s twelfth birthday today and she is far far away at an Outdoor Ed camp put on by her school. She was so nervous to go on this trip that she woke me up four times the night before. Mostly it was just nerves. She was really excited for this four-day sleep-away camp in the mountains but she was also super nervous about getting an ear ache on the bus ride up. She’s a worrier like that.

We took her to urgent care and thankfully she didn’t have any fever at all.  She gets ear aches now and then and we think (but are not sure) that it has something to do with allergies.  We got her some Flonase and a doctor’s note to say she could use it if she suffered from any pain. I’m pretty sure she was fine and didn’t need it but I have no idea because she’s away at camp and they have no internet access and are not allowed to use phones! It’s like they are back in time! Gasp!

I’m sure I’m freaking out about it more than they are. Actually, I’m not. The teachers who are with them are kind enough to post pictures on a privacy-protected site and I’ve been hitting refresh every hour or so to see what they are all up to. It’s kind of like watching April the giraffe. So far not much has happened. They are wearing coats and holding snakes. Sounds like fun! Heh.

In the meantime, I am planning her party for this weekend and spending a small fortune on ridiculous party favors. Pusheen is a very expensive theme if you choose to buy products instead of make them. I have not been so busy as I usually am making things. What can I say? I’m getting old or something. Or I just have less time on my hands.

I am making little cakes though. So far it’s been an experiment of great entertainment value. I decided I wanted to make little cakes in tin cans. I emptied out four bean cans, making chili of course, washed them in the dishwasher and then made a lime cake from scratch and filled the cans almost all the way to the top with cake batter. That was a mistake because the cake in the cans rose and exploded over the sides of their little cans. Good thing I’ve been around this block before and I had the forethought to put the cans on top of a cookie sheet.  Funnily, the cake inside the cans was baked perfectly AND the cake outside the can was too! Who knew! The girls ate the cake outside the can (it was delicious) on Monday when I first did this experiment and declared it a smashing success. I made lime cream cheese frosting and we dolloped a spoon on top of their experimental cakes before they were cool and it turned into a melty delicious mess.

Then I froze the rest of the cakes and today hopefully I’ll ice them successfully. I’m not too sure on the frozen part though so I’m defrosting them in the fridge as I type this. Anyway, this is all just the test run so I’ll have to do it all over again on Saturday. I might just opt for cupcakes by then because I bought these really cute cupcake boxes that look like square Pusheens and I’m not sure how my cakes are going to fit in them AND I also tossed my cans out because they were a mess of baked cake batter running down their sides and I didn’t feel like washing them. So either I’ll buy more cans (ugh, the thought of more chili farts makes me not like this idea) and do it all over again OR I’ll just make cupcakes and no one will be the wiser.

Isn’t it fun being in my brain?

And that’s just one of the twenty-seven things I thought about writing about.

Descanso Gardens Again!

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Remember last year when Payam and I went to Descanso Gardens Enchanted Forest of Light? We went again this year and took the girls! I loved it so much last year I couldn’t wait to take them but it only lasts until the first week of January so I had to wait another year for it to come around again.

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They loved it! Of course. How could they not?!

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Of course it helped that both girls got phones this year for Christmas (big year!!) and documenting the forest of light was an explosion of wonderments to share on social media with their friends.

I know. I know. We all have mixed feelings about kids using phones but I am the queen of guiltiness when it comes to sharing on instagram so I was happy to have two new co-conspirators as Payam stands by, rolling his eyes and asking if we are “having a moment.”  (Watch the link. It’s hilarious. We are not that bad—yet.)

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It was so fun! You like Joon’s new sweatshirt? Yeah. Black is a thing when you are almost eleven apparently.

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Anyway, we had a blast tromping through the forest from exhibit to exhibit. It really is done so magically. I have day dreams of owning land someday and making my own enchanted forest in my backyard. Probably won’t happen but it’s fun to dream.

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These spinning crocheted lights captivated me. I immediately took a mental note that I have to recreate this someday for an alphamom craft. The shadows spinning on the ground were dizzyingly fun. I did find a couple small metal lanterns in the gift shop that are similar but nothing of this scale.

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Of course the misty lake is always magical. They have joysticks on the side of the lake mounted on little stumps that you can interact with and make the lights shine this way and that. Then of course everything shifts in color to moody music and you feel like you’ve landed in Neverland.

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The drinks though? Absolute crap. Last time we made that mistake too. Payam and I got mixed adult beverages and promptly threw them away because they tasted more like water with a splash of alcohol and maybe some lemon and lime thrown in for looks. This year we got the girls hot chocolate and it was the same mess. Hot water with a splash of something powdery which may have been chocolate. Poor Bug carried her’s around for ten minutes because she didn’t want to waste Payam’s money but when I tasted it I completely agreed. Good thing the lights are so amazing because nobody’s going to go there for the drinks!

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Look at those colors? This is just me shooting my camera on sport mode with no flash. I’m sure a real photographer could get a tri-pod and some less wiggly models and really go crazy shooting here. I wonder if they’ve ever done any fashion shoots here.

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We tried. But it was a little too dark.

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Not too dark for fun though. These meandering paths that light up when you step on them felt like a life size game of Shoots and Ladders. I wish there had been some slides, that would have clinched it. Can you imagine?!!

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The girls loved it. We could have stayed all night and thrown a party here.

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I’m sure if you follow them on Instagram you saw more than you even wanted to of this adventure. I think they live-storied the entire trip. Just kidding. I didn’t let them do that.

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Then we ended our adventure with the tea garden and a quick trip through the gift shop, like I mentioned earlier. They said we could go back through again with some funky light-reflecting glasses but we were pretty hungry by then so we opted to go get dinner instead. Next year we’ll try the funky glasses.

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Pretty much this my new favorite winter tradition.

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