Life as we know told by Heather

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Almost April?

I can't believe March is almost gone! I'm pretty sure it was just Christmas. Trader Joe's is out of my favorite hot chocolate so I guess it's as good a time as any to welcome spring. Hopefully. We had four inches of snow last week so even though it's *technically* spring you can't really hold your breath around here.

Here's a run down:

The kids requested green scrambled eggs for St. Patrick's Day since they liked when I made them last year. I was multi-tasking this day though, so they were a little burnt which made for an interesting shade of......putrid.

Jordis was excited to wear her new St. Patrick's Day hair band.

She also got to hold an instrument during story time at the nursing home.

Align Center
I snuck up on her the next day. She hates having her picture taken so it's the only way to do it most of the time without it ending up blurry.

Then I got Lasik! It's incredible! I'm so grateful to Arena Eye Surgeons for giving me a 50% discount since my mom is an employee. I highly recommend the procedure even though my surgeon did his fellowship at LSU.

Xander had spring pictures and decided he wanted spiky hair. He also decided to wear a size 4 shirt and sweater vest that still fit him last summer but now barely comes to his waist band. I haven't made them try on spring/summer clothes yet to weed out the smaller items, so it was still hanging up. I was not a fan of the ensemble, but Jason reminded me that on fall picture day he wouldn't cooperate because he didn't like his outfit, so I let it go. Then he came home and told me he got to stand in the front row for the class photo. Great. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

We had a few warm days and the kids got to skate for the first time this year. Xander outgrew the skates he bought last year at my friend's garage sale, so he let Jordis have them. They are the kind you wear over your shoes. She was so excited and did a really awesome job of scooting down the sidewalk. Xander still has trouble with his rollerblades but I'm sure it takes time. He hasn't worn them but a few times and he's upset because he can't skate down the driveway yet. They both kind of walk with the skates on and call it skating. It's really cute.

March was pretty low key compared to what April will be. We're spending Easter at Jason's brother's, making a few fun stops on the way home, then both the kids and my mom have birthdays coming up.

Stay tuned......

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gorging on Goodies

Remember awhile back I told you about my super fun friend Jen? Well she found out about early ticket sales for Cupcake Camp Columbus III and ordered us two tickets. Ten dollars sounds like a lot of money to eat your fill of cupcakes, but the proceeds went to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank so our sugar high was helpful to a good local charity.

The first half hour of the event you weren't allowed to eat anything. Most people were standing around scoping out the cupcakes, taking pictures, and doing lots of posting on Twitter and Facebook.

All of the cupcakes were displayed on tables, grouped by category, and you were able to walk around and see what was available while the judges started eating and scoring the edible entries.

Then at 1:30 it turned into a free-for-all when the green light was given to grab your selections. We had taken that first half hour to make a game plan, so we were ready. There was a particular table that had a few items we wanted to try, so we agreed upon who would grab which items, then we would split up and go to other tables for random selections, and meet back at a pre-determined spot. Jen and I are experienced at food adventures, so we knew we'd get to taste more cupcakes if we split them. Somehow we managed to each bring back a whole plate full of different cupcakes, and the bigger ones had already been cut in half or fourths which came in really handy. Between the two of us we were able to taste half of all the flavors, so we felt pretty good about that.

Cupcakes could compete in the following categories: Spring-Themed, Use of Bailey's or Bushmills, St. Patty's Day, Vegan and North Market Inspired (meaning they had to represent one of the vendors who sell food there). Some that we thought would be really good, like the Pad Thai Panache, were not so great at all. Others that we tried only because they sounded different, like Lemon Basil, were incredible. This one here, Chocolate Baklava, was not one of our favorites, but we liked that it was baked in phyllo dough and you could eat the wrapper. Good for the planet.

These honey bee cupcakes were very cute, but we determined they tasted like something we could make at home.

This cupcake here was one of my favorites. It was called Irish Neapolitan and was in the Bailey's/Bushmills category. Although I'm not a big fan of food coloring, the cupcake itself was the most gorgeous shade of dark green. It was in cute scalloped wrappers, neatly iced with yummy frosting and had Italian flags stuck in them. It not only tasted good but was pretty as well.

I couldn't narrow down to one favorite, but I came up with six:
Irish Neapolitan
Chocolate Stout with Irish Cream Icing
Lemon Basil
Jen Surprise (was a chocolate Vegan option that had a filling in the middle)
I Can't Believe It's Not Butterscotch (another Vegan one)
Belgian Waffle (tasted like it had belgian waffle batter in it)
Cardamom Sweater

We also tried:
Honeypot Lemon & Thyme (okay, but didn't even compare to Lemon Basil)
Hello Hummingbird
Gluten Free Bailey's Irish Cream (good, but then I tasted Irish Neapolitan)
Irish Coffee
Pistachio Lime (WAY too much lime, not enough pistachio)
I Can't Believe It's Not Bacon (not bad, just not a favorite)
Anything Goes - The Master & Margarita
Dark Chocolate Blackout (can't believe I'm saying it, but it was TOO chocolatey {if that's even possible})
Earl Grey Chip (Jen really liked this one, it was one of my least favorites)
Hot & Cool Mango (we thought this was horrible, it was mangoes and chili - it ended up getting 2nd place)
Citrus Serenade (very amateur tasting, like one of our kids could have made it)
Chocolate Baklava
Pad Thai Panache (very dry, nothing to differentiate it from a regular peanut butter cupcake)

After awhile of tasting and critiquing we noticed there weren't very many people left. Apparently we were taking this much more seriously than everyone else. And then it was over.

Jen came up with a great cupcake idea so we might try it out and enter the contest next year. If not, we still hope to be there to eat. It's an event not to be missed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pump It Up

Last night the kids got to go to a birthday party at Pump It Up. It was Xander's friend from our old church who had the party, but Jordis plays with them too so she got to be included. They couldn't wait to go and jump all over the place.

It was hard to get good pictures since the kids were moving so much. Jordis even made me go down the slide with her. One time was good enough for me. After an hour and a half of jumping and sliding, it was time to eat. The kids were all about pizza, Spider Man cake and ice cream. Xander was most excited about getting to sit by the birthday boy...until it was time for goodie bags. You'd have thought someone offered them a trip to Disney World. They both shouted "goodie bags" and hugged each other like long lost friends. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to get a photo of that.

Happy Birthday, Wes. See you next month at Xander's party.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Mother Nature teased us this week with a little bit of spring. She can be so mean sometimes. We tried our best to take advantage of it though.

On Sunday Jason and I both had errands to run.....on complete opposite sides of Columbus. So he took Xan and I took Jordis and we went our separate ways for girl/guy time. Jordis and I were at Easton and I was excited about the prospect of lunch, even if she picked McDonald's. Jason isn't a fan of the golden arches, though I am, so occasionally I look forward to eating there. But not my little girl. She wanted a hot dog. There were only two places I could think of to get one, one being Steak N' Shake, and the other being Auntie Anne's. I tried to get her to go to Auntie Anne's and told her how yummy a hot dog would be wrapped up in a hot pretzel, but she wasn't having it. So alas, I ended up at the Steak N' Shake that I've been boycotting since I was pregnant with Xander six years ago. (They should really know better than to deny a pregnant woman some breakfast food five minutes before breakfast hours are officially over). Anyway, it clearly looks like Jordis is about to seriously enjoy this hot dog, doesn't it?

Um, wrong answer. Ate the applesauce and a few fries and declared, "This hot dog is yuck!"

A few days later it was even nicer, so when Xander got home from school I thought it might be nice to have a little picnic. The grass was really wet from all the melting snow, so we decided to sit on the driveway. First picnic I've ever had next to piles of snow.

It was also the quickest picnic I've ever had because someone saw a bee and it was all over.

A little bit later we attempted a bike ride.

That went pretty well. So well, in fact, that I had trouble getting one of them to come home.

One day this week there were two birthdays in Xander's class and Jordis was sad about him getting treats, so on Thursday morning I took her to get a donut. I'm not going to lie, I really needed an excuse to go to Tim Horton's for coffee. Her combination of short sleeved shirt and fleece pants was interesting, but I'll give her credit for matching. She was feeling quite sassy this day.

And then as quickly as it came, it left again. And now we have rain. And more rain tonight. And more rain tomorrow.

Guess that's what you get when you wish for Spring.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Big Bargains

If you know me well, you know I love a bargain. Not sure why, but guessing it might have something to do with my dad being a math teacher and always trying to find the most economical way to do things. Just yesterday, I noticed my favorite brand of lipstick had a few colors on clearance.

These are the summer and winter clothes for the kids that I bought on clearance and have stockpiled in the office closet. We've got shorts, shirts, dresses, bathing suits, sweatshirts, winter coats...just about everything.

But this, my friends, is my deal of the week: Easter clothes. I love for the kids to have fancy Easter clothes, but for as little as they get worn I can't fathom buying them brand new. Last year I found them a great ensemble at Once Upon a Child.

This week I had the same success again.

The beauty of getting your fancy kids clothes used is that, more than likely, whoever had them before didn't wear them much either. I got all of this for $19, which is probably more than the dress would cost by itself brand new. Now if I could just find Xander a green and pink tie.