Smash Cake for the Monster Baby

So it’s been a year. One precious, moving way too fast for this momma year. As I look back, I can’t believe we’re already here. I have been lucky enough to be able to enjoy these moments every day with this precious baby boy.
And as I planned and prepared for his first birthday of course I wanted to have a cake just for him to do as he wanted with. So off I went: pinterest, random searches for pictures of smash cakes, you name it I was looking for the best cake to make, bake, buy, whatever it took.  Now please understand I have never in my life decorated a cake but boy, I was determined. I went to the store and bought my little decorators kit and went home to bake.   The first step I took in self teaching was to mix up some pretty blue icing and just jump right in. I laid some parchment paper down and began to doodle with all the pretty tips. This is what happened.I have to say that doing this did help me. I was able to determine which tips did what, and I was able to practice the pressure on the bag while squeezing and how fast to move my hands. It  is fun.  In another life I may want to be a baker.  Just not this one.    My next step was to bake the cakes. I used two 6″ round X 2″ deep pans. The directions for how to bake with them is right on the label on the pan. They were similar to the directions on the box but I went with the directions on the pan just to be sure. After baking the cakes I let them cool according to the directions and then took a very sharp knife and sliced the tops right off. I arranged the cakes on a plate and used some yummy yellow icing to “glue” them together. Them  I took some blue icing and covered the whole cake with that. The next step was to use my shiny new decorator tools.  This is what I ended up with:

I had some grand plans to make a cake and decorate it with fish and sea-life. The reality of that is I am not a baker, and that idea while sounding fabulous was not going to happen this day.

For under $40.00 I was able to bake, color and decorate a cake that was cute for my monsters first birthday.  He loved it. It only lasted about a minute before he destroyed it.    That’s the point of a smash cake, right?

  • In the end the colors all turned a very vivid green but his hat and pants matched perfectly! What I have learned about my second first birthday party? It’s about making the memories. He’s not going to remember what his party was like, who was there or what presents he received but he will see his pictures and know that he was that fearless toddler that dove right in and ate his cake. And I didn’t cringe even once at the mess he made.

Feeling a Little Green

When I found out I was having another baby I promised myself that I would definitely make time to be able to feed my little boy with homemade baby food. I wanted to with my first but I didn’t have the resources, time, energy, you get the point. I am totally tooting my own horn when I say that I have made every bit of baby food (except for the cereal) that Knox has eaten. Please don’t judge 🙂
My reasons may be like yours, or totally different. I found with my oldest son, Kaleb, that the more processed food he ate, the more everything changed with him. When I changed his diet to try to include only the freshest food possible I saw a huge change in him. He’s calmer, more attentive, more focused. The good in whole foods with him definitely outweigh the negative. I am not in any way saying that we don’t eat fast food once in a while, or enjoy TV dinners during his football season but overall I try to feed him the freshest organic food I can and lots and lots of fresh fish. Total bonus for us living in Florida 🙂
That being said, I bring a super quick recipe for you…..Hass avocados or California avocados. I don’t know exactly the amount of fat and oils in the avocados but my pediatrician said that they are chock full of green goodness for babies.

Here’s what you will need:
**4 Hass avocados (more or less is fine)
**Food processor or blender
**Ice cube trays
**Freezer bags

Now here’s the good part-lots of pictures!!

First, I start with ripe avocados:

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They are green, but they start to get a little darker when ripe. Make sure they are ripe! Squish to make sure they are soft, not completely mushy, but definitely soft when you squeeze.

Next, you cut the avocados lengthwise around the seed:

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This is what they should look like after cutting:

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The easiest way I have found is to use a spoon and scoop around the edge between the skin and the flesh, make sure you get rid of that seed.

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Put them in your food processor, blender, whatever:

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Then mash them up a bit to make it easier to purée:

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Usually with avocados you do not need to add water, they should look like this when you’re done:

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Then I pour the puréed avocado into ice cube trays to freeze:

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I usually let them sit for a day, unless I have time that evening to pop them out. When I take them out of the trays I put them into labeled freezer bags:

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And then you can take them out the night before to defrost and feed that baby!!!

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The last picture is what it looks like while defrosting. I always stir them a little to help defrost a little better.

There are a TON of things that you can make yourself at home to feed your baby a healthy diet. I always try to find things when they are on sale and go on a baby food making binge, saving money always helps with a new baby.

How do you feed your baby and why?

When Life gets in the Way

I started this blog because I needed a place to write. I had all the best intentions of making a post at least once a week. Then life got in the way. Too much work at work, too much work when I came home to the farm. But I still keep believing I can do this, I want to do this. Now I’m at home with a newborn and I remember during my pregnancy, “Oh I can’t wait, I’m 10 years older now and I’m going to have so much time.” What was I thinking?!?

This is Knox 🙂 when he was about 1 and 1/2 months old.

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This is Knox again, taken two days ago. Now he is 4 months old.

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How can anyone get anything done while staring at a sweet innocent face like that? I do manage to get some sewing in a couple times a week to make him cute, quick things like this:

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But the other things sometimes suffer. One thing I’ve learned in the 10 years (OMG) between my two boys is to not rush it. Take the time to enjoy it, relax, the grass is just going to grow back in two days anyways.

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I mean, what’s the point of having goats if you have nothing for them to eat!

So There Is A Chicken In The House

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I’m going to start with, this post contains some not so beautiful photos….beware if you get grossed out easily.

OK, now that we have that out of the way, I’ll start my story.

We have chickens, probably close to 20 now. My son always has this bright idea every spring to let the hens hatch some eggs, and myself wanting to let him have what he wants because, I mean, really, what is a few more chickens really going to matter at our circus of a farm? And, you know, we ALWAYS will have eggs. (big egg eaters this family) So I allow a couple select hens to sit and hatch some baby chicks. Baby chicks are my top ten of cutest things ever by the way.

And so it starts. The chicks hatch. The cruel reality is that a few die every year. I don’t know if it’s me, or the way life is. I really know people who never lose a baby chick…damn those people! So…chicks hatch. We let the hens raise them until they are sick of them and then we separate them. Our chickens free roam everyday so the hens can take only so long of being cooped up (haha) before the crazy comes out. Fast forward to separated young chickens.

We have three. A rooster (because that is the way it goes, apparently 4 isn’t enough we need 5) and two hens. One of the hens is so pretty-solid white and the other is a beautiful brown with black tipped feathers. Well the brown one, Mary, decides she hates the white one Blanca (more on that later) and precedes to beat the crap out of her. So we separate again in another coop. So Blanca is now all alone while I’m treating her cuts and she heals and is big and beautiful and I can let her out with Mary and the rooster and all is well.

Fast forward again…

We have a Rhode Island Red that needed to be separated because she was also getting beat up by her flock-mates. (new word, like it?) So I come up with the brilliant plan to put her with Blanca, what could go wrong? So that night I move her and all is well, they get along! Yea! I give myself a little pat on the back and I go inside for the night. Next morning I go to the barn to feed and everything is how it should be so I go to work, and when I come home 7 hours later what a sight do I find. Blanca has been beat up pretty bad. From the top of the back of her head to the beginning of the middle of her back where her wings meet is ripped in half. The skin is separated showing nothing but neck muscle. Dammit man. So what do I do? I take her to the vet. Yup, I took a chicken to my small animal vet because I had to. My wonderful son is away on vacation and last year when he was gone one of our dogs died, so am I going to let something else die? Hell no I’m not going to traumatize my 9 year old into believing that whenever he goes somewhere that mom kills something!

So our wonderful, fabulous, says I’m not the only crazy to take a chicken to the vet patches Blanca up and she is home now. By the way, the vet techs named Blanca. They needed a name I when I brought in a bleeding, traumatized, young pullet for stitching up and I was not in a name giving mood. So Blanca it is because my not so nice sarcastic names weren’t in the best interest of the chicken although they were funny. A few hours and a bit of money later, Blanca (the now house chicken) is home. I am requested by the wonderful vet to keep her inside. Are you kidding me? Put a chicken in the house? I’m not the fruity, crazy chicken lady doc….but because of the love for my son we now have a chicken inside until the stitches heal. And people wonder why I endearingly call my farm the circus!

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