I've mentioned The Dirty Guv'nahs before because they rock (pun intended), but today I mention them because they want you to have their latest, greatest cd for free. Yep, free. No strings attached.
It's great southern rock, and you'd be a fool not to download this album. And nobody wants to be a fool, so go download it & then tell me which song from this album is your favorite. Mine is "Brown Little Bird".
It's been the most miserable summer I can remember in a long, long time.
We can only take Baby outside if we're out there after supper (when it's still 100+ outside, but at least it's that in the shade).... and if the kiddie pool is full. We did go out for a little while tonight and she had so much fun. It was a toss-up between if she had more fun with Daddy's shoes or the bubbles.
She accidentally took a nap for 3h instead of 2h. The Hater went to get her up and ended up putting her back down and going to sleep. So we all had a wonderful nap this afternoon. Hopefully it doesn't throw our tomorrow into a tizzy. Even so, it was a fantastic day.
Go ahead. Say it out loud. You know you want to: Cake Balls. Cake Balls. Cake Balls. The only thing more fun than actually saying "cake balls" is eating them.
One of my best friends introduced me to this magical concept on my birthday when she made cake balls for me. I inhaled them because they were just that yummy. Then on the 4th she had us over and she made over-sized cake balls and put them on ice cream cones and iced them to look like ice cream. They were scrum-diddly-umptious.
The Hater's birthday is on Tuesday. He had the option of a birthday cake or birthday cake balls for the celebration. He chose the latter and so began my quest to make cake balls.
I began with an extensive interview with the dessert goddess. She explained in detail and then directed me to this website, one she had found when reading about it. This lady makes completely over-the-top cake balls. In fact, if there could be a cake ball goddess it would probably be this lady.
The first thing you do is decide what kind of cake and icing you want. The Hater and I stood in front of the box mixes and imagined combinations, but he decided on Devil's Food cake and milk chocolate icing. We also bought a package of vanilla almond bark for the candy coating of goodness.
Step one: Make cake per box directions. Let cool completely. (Easy enough, right?) Baby loves to help make cake. She also likes to lick the beaters after the cake is in the oven.
Step two: After completely cool, crumble cake into large bowl. Think in terms of super fine crumbs.
Step three: A dollop at a time, mix an entire container of icing into the crumb mixture. Mix until completely mushy.
Step four: Roll into balls and place on parchment paper. I used a mellon baller and also sprayed a little bit of cooking spray on my hands to keep the chocolate mush from sticking. I did not include Baby on this step, although she would have loved getting chocolate everywhere. It made about 70 balls, which I fit onto one cookie sheet.
Step five: Chill in fridge overnight.
Step six: If you don't have a double boiler, improvise. Melt almond bark. This takes forever, so keep your cake balls in the fridge until the almond bark is smooth as silk.
Step seven: Coat cake balls in almond bark. This step is trickier than it sounds. I had difficulty getting the almond bark to stick evenly without the cake ball crumbling. It worked best when I dropped the ball and just used a spoon to roll it around to cover it.
Step eight: If you're going to add sprinkles or anything that you want to stick to the almond bark, do so while it's still wet.
We also bought a package of squirt icing that Baby had a complete ball squeezing onto the cake balls. And we had to have a candle for his birthday!
Would I do them again? Yes and no. The double chocolate combo is just about too rich for me, which is a bold statement because usually I'm the one who has no problem eating what everybody else says is too rich. (It was me pushing for the dark chocolate cake mix at the store...)
Let me go back and say some more about the ice cream cone cake balls that my friend made. She made large cake balls (steps 1-5) with yellow cake and buttercream frosting (a divine combination, btw), and then mashed them into waffle cones to look like a scoop of ice cream. Then instead of using almond bark she used more icing to ice it on top to look like vanilla ice cream, then put sprinkles on top. It was super cute. And now that I've made them I like the idea of skipping the almond bark step of annoyance.
On the webpage I mentioned earlier - I saw in one place that the lady made cake balls and then put them into mini cupcake liners, iced and decorated --- also skipping the almond bark step.
The final verdict: The Hater thinks they're great, which means they were a success because they are, after all, for his birthday.
Someone has discovered that her pretend microphone hooks into the keyboard. It's not what normal people would consider a functional microphone - it doesn't get any louder when it's plugged in - but she thinks it's the most fantastic thing. EVER.
She takes turns plugging and unplugging it, over and over, and then plugs and unplugs it again. When that gets old she plugs it in, runs to the front, and plays the piano. Occasionally she'll play and sing at the same time. It's the most entertaining show I think I've ever seen.
Speaking of shows, we're going here this weekend to let her rock out to Spaghetti Eddie. I'm hoping that since she knows their cd, she'll think it's fantastic. Part of me wants to let her take her broken microphone with her, but I'm halfway afraid she'll try to just plug it into their amps if I do, and that's the meltdown I'd prefer to avoid.
Last weekend I found a fantastic indoor air-conditioned play area that was part playground and part art studio for little kids. Fantastic. This is one of her masterpieces that she made while she was there (my favorite). We will definitely go back.
But not this weekend. This weekend will be about rock and roll and songs about kitty cats and spaghetti. But not at the same time because even Baby would know that's ludicrous.
We received a tee-tiny shower yesterday afternoon. And by tee-tiny I mean that on this side of town it mostly only looked like rain and got even more humid. Bleh.
Had supper with friends yesterday. The kids played in the pool and had a good time. We had a good time, too. I could seriously eat cake balls in the shape of ice cream cones every single night.
The Hater and I wondered if all of the neighbor's fireworks would wake a sleeping Baby, but they didn't. Yay! We were also able to run outside and watch our neighbors' fireworks while she slept.
This one was The Hater's favorite.
This one is an honorable mention.
This one was my favorite.
I love what the holiday stands for -- but I hate that fireworks are used in its celebration. They're only pretty briefly, they're terrible for the environment (smog + trash --- nevermind the fire risk), and many people get hurt from them. The risk doesn't outweigh the benefits in my world.... which is why we watched other people's fireworks instead of buying our own.
I have a tendency to overpack for things. Not completely over the top, mind you, but I want to have certain things with me for all of the "what if" scenarios:
In the diaper bag:
I want to have at least three more diapers than I think I'll need because I've been stuck without diapers before and that's just not pretty.
I want to have at least two small healthy snacks for Baby because you never know when you're going to get stuck somewhere and she's going to be hungry and cranky.
Extra change of clothes for Baby
In my purse:
A hidden $20 bill
A small zippy with tampons and maxi pads because I have been stuck places without these before and that's just a terrible thing I don't ever want to repeat.
Deck of cards.
Chapstick. (This is the state where the wind comes sweeping off the plains, after all.)
The Hater bragged on me when we went on our vacation because I really didn't overpack at all. I packed my stuff and Baby's stuff for one week in one bag. The other bag had diapers, snacks, and bathroom stuff.
Occasionally things happen where I look into one of my bags with eager eyes to find exactly the thing that The Hater said I wouldn't need that, voila, we suddenly need. And, ta-da, we move on.
This is a common theme in my house. I'm constantly fighting the over-packing, over-preparedness gene. The Hater is always bemoaning that my bag is too heavy.
Today we stopped for lunch at a fast food place that has a little indoor play area. The highs since we've been back have been 100+ each day with the 10 day forecast looking equally bleak and hot with no rain in sight. It's just too hot to play outside right now. So we ate lunch at this place so that she could play on their playground and be merry prior to her nap.
During lunch she had a huge poop, so as soon as lunch was over I took her to the bathroom to change her before play time. We were in line behind one other lady who had a son who had also pooped. She laid him on the changing table, which was out in the open of the ladies room, talked about how big his poop was, then reached over and used dry paper towels to clean him. I try not to stare and gawk about the time she turns around and asks if she can borrow a diaper.
I tell her she's welcome to them, but that they're size 5. He looked bigger than that to me, but she said that's what size he's wearing now. She takes it and starts to tell me about how he had a huge poop before he left home so she didn't even bring any diapers with her to town.
I try not to drop my jaw and look completely shocked. Then I try not to stare at this poor boy's diaper rash bottom. I decide against offering diaper rash cream.
They leave. I change Baby's diaper with all of my important things in my diaper bag -- like a diaper, wipes, diaper rash cream -- things that I consider to be not over-the-top packing.
Later we're all playing in the little indoor playground area. She tells me this particular son is 20 months old. I continue to try not to be totally shocked that she didn't bring one spare diaper.