Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fort Worth Flash Mob

Yes, I was in a flash mob.

And yes, it was like a month ago or something.*

I decided to go ahead and blog about it anyway because I've had a number of people comment on the video and have been wondering how it was organized, and how they can be part of one in the future.

Allow me to enlighten you... :)

I had so much fun preparing for this event. A few women began organizing the Flash Mob months before the actual performance. They sent facebook messages to their friends and asked if anyone would be interested in participating. I said YES (duh), so I was placed in a TOP SECRET facebook group, where they posted details for the big performance. These women choreographed the routine, then filmed themselves teaching the dance in segments. Over the course of about a week, they posted the segments onto this facebook group, and we all learned the dance in the comfort of our own homes.

Then, the day before the Flash Mob, they revealed exactly where it was going to be, and which direction we needed to face... all those sorts of details. It was so easy and really fun.

If you live in Ft. Worth and want to be part of the next Flash Mob they plan, you can stay up to date with everything by "liking" their new page on facebook.

*At this rate, I'll post a video of Denver walking in about six months...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Healthy Birthday Cake

As we prepared for Denver's first birthday, this mama was mainly excited about just one thing... watching my boy dive into his first cake. It's a sweet tradition, always filled with plenty of on-lookers and picture-takers. However, as we prepared for the big day, we decided to try to make Denver's first birthday cake as healthy as possible. We generally try to feed him healthy and nutritious foods, so we chose to do the same when it came to birthday cake.

I decided to make carrot cake with cream cheese icing. It is sweetened with apple juice concentrate (no cane sugar or brown sugar) in the cake OR in the icing! I found this yummy recipe on the Wholesome Baby Food website. They have a number of other healthy cake recipes if carrot cake isn't your thing.

Baby's First Birthday Cake (Carrot Cake)

(Makes 1 double-layer 9-inch round cake)

2 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 1/2 cups apple juice concentrate (you may use slightly less)
1 1/2 cups raisins
Vegetable Spray
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 whole eggs (we used local farm fresh eggs)
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup wheat germ (find near the oatmeal in grocery stores)
2 Tbsp low sodium baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with vegetable spray.

1. Combine the carrots with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the juice concentrate in a medium size saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 15 to 20 mins. Puree in food processor until smooth.
3. Add the raisins and process until finely chopped. Let mixture cool.
4. Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups juice concentrate, the oil, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; beat just until well mixed. Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
5. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 mins. Cool briefly in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Sugar-Free Cream Cheese Frosting
(frosts one 2-layer cake)

½ cup apple juice concentrate
1 pound light cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup finely chopped raisins
1 ½ tsp unflavored gelatin

1. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the juice concentrate.
2. Process the remaining juice concentrate, the cream cheese, vanilla, and raisins in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
3. Stir the gelatin into the 2 tablespoons juice concentrate in a small saucepan; let stand 1 minute to soften. Heat to boiling and stir to dissolve gelatin.
4. Beat the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese mixture until well blended. Refrigerate just until the frosting begins to set, about 30-60 minutes. Frost the cake.

Not sure if your baby will actually enjoy a "healthy" cake? Here's proof that Denver enjoyed it... and Fable thought it was pretty good too. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Denver's First Birthday Fiesta

On September 7th, 2011, Denver Patrick Hines had his first birthday. We celebrated a few days later with some family and friends. Here are a few highlights...

Playing outside

Dudes chillin' on the back porch

Denver's friend Jason playing every toddler's favorite game... croquet.

I forgot to get a good picture of the cake or the food table. This is the best picture I have of both.

Ricky has his own muppet, "Marty." Ricky and Marty were great entertainment. Yes, our friends are the kinds of people with their own muppets.

Double Stuffed Oreos stuffed chocolate chip cookies :)

Of course the most important moment of a first birthday party... the eating of the cake. And it was a success!

Denver playing with his present from his KK and Papa (Austin's parents)

Balloons! :)

Family pic! I think Denver would rather be playing with his new toys than taking this picture.