Sesame Magic – Opening Day at Sesame Place

Posted May 6, 2013 by queenvanna
Categories: Uncategorized

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Maybe it was because it was Opening day, or maybe it was because I worry in my heart that Big Girl is going to look at me one day soon and be like “Mom, I’m all grown out of this stuff now,” but everything seemed extra-magical and special that Saturday at Sesame Place.
 
A little girl, maybe 4 years old sat next to me before the evening parade. She had a new Abby Caddaby plushy from one of the gift shops that she was very happy to show me (probably because I was wearing my Abby visor and puffs.) She asked, “Do you think she’s real?” I answered, “Of course I do, she’s right in your hands! And we’ll see her in the parade!” I swear that little girl was planted there to have that conversation with me. Sesame magic has always been really-real to me.

(She was a chatty little one, she engaged all of us.)

On the long drive home, I thought more about Sesame magic and how it might seem to my girls.  When I was 5, my favorite Sesame Street bit was Bert, doing the “er-er-pigeon”.  How could he dance like that, how could see his shoes?  How does that work?  Like how it is that no matter how crowded the park is, what part of the line we are in, this girl gets whatever horse she wants every. single. time.

…how a couple years ago the girls decided they wanted to catch an Abby poof that launches from one of the floats in the parade and since then, we’ve caught at least one for each girl every time we’ve visited.  This time we caught three, and shared one with our little friend.  She was speechless, for a second.

This time it seemed like the staff at Sesame Place was extra magical, too.  The girl at Ernie’s bed bounce played tag with the big kids when it was their turn.  It was cool to give the kids a little structure and focus instead of aimlessly bouncing (which is fine, too, but you know…).

(I think Little Girl took this pic, it was on their camera)

A whole gang of workers played Red Light Green Light and Duck Duck Goose before the evening parade – it was WONDERFUL.  Rather than just sitting and asking every 32 seconds when the parade would start, everybody got a chance to stay busy.  The time went by quickly.

The girls were lucky enough to be chosen to dance in the parade too.  I SWEAR there is no trick to this, they just get picked.  Like, fairly often.  There must be something about them that catches the dancers’ eyes.

There’s a link here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlNQstRP7ig

There was a bit of a free-for-all when some streamers popped out into the crowd towards the end, lots of little kids ran into the parade path.  The dancers motioned to hold back the floats and everyone got back to their parents.  Big and Little Girl hadn’t moved from our spot, they know after all this time not step into the parade.  The “kid” that chose them to dance saw them standing there once the parade started up again and handed them a scoop of the streamers.  A simple gesture, but I think that was magic to my girls. 

That look on Big Girl’s face, I want that magic forever.

Carrot in a Cake – Carrot Cake!

Posted April 1, 2013 by queenvanna
Categories: babycakes, beanie, foooooood, i saw it on pinterest

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TEST So Easter is said and done, but I’m not ready to move on just yet.  Rather than call this an Easter cake, I’ll call it a SPRINGTIME, It’s 60 degrees outside (YAY!) cake!

I made white cake batter and tinted it orange, baked it on a cookie sheet that was roughly the size of a jelly roll pan (I don’t know what a jelly roll pan actually IS, I found a measurement online and wung it.)  SO! Orange tinted cake in a fairly large flat pan.  It took 18-20 minutes to cook and mine was not uniformly flat, it raised up in the center some, but it worked out fine for me.  I used a carrot shaped cookie cutter and cut out as many carrots as I could get.  Here starts the pictures:

I put a little chocolate cake batter in the bottom of the pan so they’d stand up nicely and lined the bottom of a long loaf pan with the carrots, pointy sides up.  Then I added the rest of the cake batter, and then maybe 3/4 of ANOTHER cake batter.  The loaf pan is LONG, it’s a LOT of cake!

I had enough batter left to make 6 little cupcakes, too.

We decided since this was a LOT of cake and we wouldn’t be able to get through it all before it went stale, we’d cut it in half and freeze part for next time we need some tasty cake!  So heeeeere’s the big carrot reveal!!

When you turn it out of the pan, the carrots are right-side-up again!

Big Girl helped decorate the top – she put a layer of chocolate glaze that slowly oozed over the sides to look a little like shiny, scrumptious mud.

Then she layered some crushed oreos on top while the glaze was still wet, and just a small handful of green sprinkles to look like grass trying to peek through.

Little Girl used a similar decorating technique on the cupcakes:

The carrot leaves were melted candy wafers put in a plastic or piping bag and squirted out on to foil to make the leafy shape.  We slit starter-holes for those, then poked em right in and added just one small bunny cupcake pic.

Not only it is ADORABLE, but everyone that’s tried it (The girls and hubs) has said YUM!!

I’m thinking this is a great springtime dessert, or for a garden or tea party.  There’s lots of ways we could decorate the top, with chocolates or candy flowers, and of course I’m pondering other  things we can “plant” inside.

Easter Roundup

Posted March 31, 2013 by queenvanna
Categories: babycakes, beanie, foooooood, she's so crafty, the girls

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I had a plan, I had a schedule, I had Easter figured OUT.  Then I needed an antibiotic for a sinus infection that made me sick to my stomach (like, a LOT) and I lost all of Saturday and a large part of Easter itself.  I am on the mend, I’ll show you what were were working on.

We colored eggs

Little Girl made a bunny paper chain

We saw the Easter Bunny.  The girls were a little bummed that we didn’t dress for the occassion, but refer to the last few posts here where it’s been 40 DEGREES IN LATE MARCH, CONNECTICUT.  The bunny was still happy to see them.

Our weekend featured lots of bunnies of all shapes and sizes and materials – food, games, icecubes in mom’s gatorade…

We had planned to host family brunch at our house, we had started a several-step dessert (more on that tomorrow) and the girls were mad that there was to be no party with mom being under the weather.  We finished making the dessert (and froze some for when we could see the family) and moods were calmed.  Until the sugar kicked in!

The most adorable handmade brag book you’ll ever make!

Posted March 28, 2013 by queenvanna
Categories: sesame, she's so crafty, the girls, workie workie

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I work in a scrapbook store.  I’ve worked there since I was barely out of college.  That’s a really long time!!  While I’m there, I look for ways to use supplies in different ways.  Scrapbooking is AWESOME, I just want to do other stuff sometimes.  You understand, I’m sure.  A couple weeks ago we got these cute bags:

and I immediately made this little spring brag book:

I was going to make a couple to give to the grandmas for Easter since I took some really cute pictures of the girls in their dresses – and they probably won’t wear their dresses for Easter because it’s 40 DEGREES OUTSIDE, CONNECTICUT.

I posted these photos on the store’s Facebook page and got a handful of questions about how I made it, so I’ll show you here.  It’s just 2 bags.  They’re lined up with openings on opposite ends.

Fold them together in half down the center, then punch 2 holes away from the edges in the fold line

Tie some string or ribbon through the holes to hold the booklet together

Then embellish as your heart desires!

Using 2 little bags, you have space for a front and back cover and 6 pictures inside.  Then if you have extra pictures or notes you can tuck them in the little open sides.  I printed these pictures as wallet size at a place that rhymes with Fal-mart and put just a tiny edge of a matte on them.  They fit perfectly.

It’s a wonderful little brag book to show off a trip to “Elmo’s House”!

(Pictures are from Sesame Place, Breakfast with Elmo and Friends Summer, 2012)

Late Winter, Early Easter

Posted March 27, 2013 by queenvanna
Categories: babycakes, beanie, home sweet home

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So this happened on March 19.  Absolutely ridiculous.

And my Easter decorations are chilling out IN THE LATE MARCH SNOW.

If there’s some good news, it’s that it’s lighter longer, and the pavement is nice and clear for sidewalk chalk.

 

We are SO ready to welcome spring!!

American Girl Uneven Bars

Posted March 17, 2013 by queenvanna
Categories: babycakes, beanie, home sweet home, she's so crafty, the girls

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My girls weren’t interested in dolls until fairly recently.  My Mother in Law bought them American Girl Dolls a couple Christmases ago and I kinda thought it was a bad call because they’d rarely ever played with dolls up til then.  Lately the dolls are about all they’ve been playing with.  They’ll mix and match their clothes, they’ll create adventures for them to go on, and Little Girl’s haircut is modelled after her doll, Kit.

Through some random clicks on someone’s tablet the other day, we found  youtube videos on how to make handmade toys and games for the dolls.  When we saw gymnastics equipment, we figured we needed to get in on that action.

ta-da! uneven bars:

Made out of plumber’s piping, the pieces fit together easily enough that even the 6 year old can manage it.  Play gets a little rough so hubs said he’ll glue the pieces so it doesn’t fall apart while the dolls are swinging on it.  That gets in the way of playing.

All it consists of is piping cut down to (2) 18″, (2) 15″ and (4) 12″ pieces, 4 t joints and 4 elbow joints.  Pop it all together and voila!

We use ponytail holders looped on the “bars” and around the dolls’ wrists and they hang on pretty well!

 

We saw ones that had been spray painted, but I was nervous about the paint wearing off on the plastic parts of the dolls.  Maybe I’ll add some duct tape or fun patterned washi tape.  For now, the girls are happy as little clams with it just the way it is.  Well, other than they’ve added a folded up baby blanket underneath to use as a mat, and Big Girl’s doll is wearing a horse-riding helmet… NOW they love it the way it is!😉

Watch This Space

Posted March 15, 2013 by queenvanna
Categories: etsy, she's so crafty

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Making a few new products for the shop, based on some old ones.  Now I have some “Countdown to Baby” calendars that work AFTER the baby is born, too – as a I Am This Old type calendar! Yay!

Baby feet! *squee!*

Baby boy zoo animals, LOVE the monkeys.

I’ve had these wooden pieces made for ages, and finally got around to making a few – double decker calendars – months, days of the week and a few other sayings.

And some regular calendars, cool designs:

And there’s so much more to come!