Archive | October, 2012

Happy Birthday Noa!

22 Oct

Happy Happy 7th Birthday to my awesome boy!

I’m so proud to be your mom.

You have grown significantly in the last year.  You talk and act beyond your years.  (But, you are still my baby boy!)

Your video gaming skills are amazing.  Although I give you a hard time playing your games, you have mastered the skills quite impressively – hesitantly admitting.

You are sharp, witty, and funny.  You have charisma.  I can tell you have inherited the mannerism and tongue from your daddy.  You say things that really surprise me.  Wow, did that just come out of your mouth?!

You are convinced that you have the Spiderman gene now that you really think you were bitten by a spider.

Your achievements in school are impressive.  I’m sorry when I am hard on you, I sometimes forget that you are only (now) 7, and I realize afterwards that I am expecting you to know or do so much more.

Your professionalism as a working model is outstanding.  Everyone on the set loves working with you.  I’m glad that you enjoy it, and grateful that you are blessed with this opportunity.

You are a kind boy.  You are a good brother.  You are awesome.

I’m so fulfilled with gratefulness that you are my son!  I enjoy and constantly amazed, watching you grow.  I love you with all my heart!

Mommy

What happened to your etiquette, ladies?!

20 Oct

Today I went to Barnes N Noble, and of course, my daughter needed to go to the bathroom.  I try to avoid going to their bathroom.  I avoid going to public bathrooms, period.  But with kids, it’s unavoidable.

I already know the stench, and the filthiness that we are walking into.  We walk in, and the air is stinky, the floor is wet…yuk!  Then, I see in one of the stalls, a purse on the floor!  You know there’s a purse hanger on the door?  I’ve seen other ladies do that.  They just drop their purses right there on the bathroom floor with all the splatter of who knows what liquid that is… eek!  When they are done, they just pick that purse off that filthy floor, and who knows where they place that purse next?  When they get home, they probably place it on a kitchen counter, or the dining table, or who knows, it ends up on the floor again.  I’m sure they are the type that is fine with shoes on the bed.  I’m Japanese, and it is Japanese custom to take off the shoes before going into the house.  It is taboo for me to have shoes in the house.  It makes me very uncomfortable to walk into someone’s home with shoes when they have carpet.  When I see people with shoes on the bed, it really irks me.  Okay, going off the subject…

Anyway, my point is, most of the public bathrooms are disgusting.  Ladies, please clean off the splatter you made on the toilet seat, and please flush.  PLEASE FLUSH!  Don’t you flush at home?  When your papertowels do not land in the garbage, please have some etiquette to pick it up and put it where it should be.  Thank you!

Hello Kitty Birthday Cake for Mia’s 4th!

19 Oct

This year, for my daughter’s 4th birthday, I made another Hello Kitty birthday cake!

I made a Hello Kitty cake 2 years ago, but this year, I wanted to elaborate on it, and found the perfect recipe on Wilton.com.

Since I needed to make my life as simple as possible, I used cake from a box and store bought icing.  The Strawberry cake mix was perfect, because it is PINK!  The only thing I do not like about using cake from a box is that it’s too sweet (for my taste.)  However,  I still need to pick up my son at school, run some errands, and the party is tomorrow, so this time, it will do.  I need to buy as much time as I can (just in case if anything goes wrong, I have time to make other arrangements.)  Ok…excuses, excuses…

So, here’s how I made my Hello Kitty Birthday Cake:

1. Butter and flour the cake pans.  I used a 14inch round pan for the base, and a Hello Kitty cake pan.  I used 2 boxes of Duncan Butter Cake Mix for the base, and 1 box of the Duncan Strawberry Cake mix for the Hello Kitty head.  Bake the cake according to the instructions on the box.  Set it aside on a rack.

Duncan Hines cake mix

Strawberry pink!

Base and head cake baked

Closer look at the head cake

2. cover the cakes with icing.  I used 1 tub of Duncan Hines Creamy Premium Frosting, Classic Vanilla flavor.  1 tub was just enough for everything I needed.  I put a plastic over the frosted cakes, so it does not harden.

Hello Kitty head frosted.

Base cake frosted

3. Roll out the fondant.  I used the Wilton Rolled Fondant.  I always do the Hello Kitty head first, because it needs to be pure white.  I roll out until it is thin enough that it easily drapes over the shape.  Make sure it is big enough that it will cover the shape and still have enough edge all around to tuck under.

Rolled fondant for head piece

Wilton Rolled Fondant

4. Drape the white fondant over the Hello Kitty head.  Use the rolling pin to lift and transfer (it can rip or the thickness can become uneven if you use your hands/fingers.)  Make sure your hands are completely dry and free of grease.  Softly run your hands over the shape so the fondant sets nicely and securely all around the shape.  Use your fingers to go over the indentations of the cake, like the bow, eyes, nose and whiskers.  Leave about 1.5 cm all around, and cut off the excess.  Gently lift and tuck in the edge all around the cake.

Cut off excess fondant

Tuck in edges all around

5. Make Rose color fondant for the base.  I used “Rose” icing color from Wilton.  Take a tooth pick and get food coloring onto the fondant, and knead.  Knead, and add color until the color  is completely solid.  Roll it out.  I have the Wilton Roll-N-cut mat, so it gives me a guideline as to how large the circle has to be, but keep in mind, that you need enough to cover the height of the cake and also a little enough to tuck under the sides (I learned that the hard way…)

Wilton Rose Icing color

6. Drape the Rose color fondant over the cake.  Again, use the rolling pin to lift and transfer.  Use your hands, or the fondant smoother to smooth over the surface and all around the cake.  Cut the excess, and tuck the edges under the cake.  Transfer the covered cake on a cake tray/mat.

covered base

Covered cakes

7. Make the face pieces.  Cut out the bow, eyes, nose, and whiskers.  I used the Hello Kitty cake pan as a guideline to cut out the exact shape I need for the kitty face.  Hello Kitty looks simple, but has to be precise.  Otherwise, it will look fake.  A dedicated fan (like me) can tell an authentic from a cheap imitation from a mile away.  So, I can not stress it enough, how important it is, that the shape, size and placement has to be perfect.  Put a little water in the back of the pieces (I use a small brush to apply the water) and place it in it’s place.  You have a pure white canvas, so when placing these items, hold your breath, have a steady hand, and make sure it sets where it needs to be.  You have one try, because the dye on these pieces will stain the base.

Hello Kitty head

8. Make small balls with pink and yellow fondant.  I used the guideline on my mat to make enough balls to go around the diameter of the cake.  Apply water with a brush and place it around the cake.

My little pink helper 🙂

9. Carefully lift the face portion and place it on the base.  Choose the best side of the base cake to face forward, and also position the face so you leave enough space on the bottom for name/decoration.  Alternative can be, to position it on the center, and put candles/decorations all around it.

10. Detail and decorations.  I cut out my daughter’s name and flowers with remaining fondant, in different colors.  Apply water and place it on the cake.  I also used Sprinkles to add detail to the decoration.

The birthday girl helping me make her cake!

Name applied

Wilton Sprinkles Yellow Sugar Pearls

Ta Da!  This cake was an improvement from the one I made 2 years ago, and I am very happy how it turned out.  My daughter was excited about it, which is all that matters!

The aftermath…

This was the one from 2 years ago.

Fight, tomorrow, at recess!

2 Oct

Here’s the conversation I had with my 1st grader son, on our way home from school yesterday.

“there’s going to be a fight tomorrow.”

“what??? where?”

“when we go to the park”

“what???  Who?  Who’s going to fight?”

“J and M.”

“Why?”

“because…they said they will”

“What?  Do not get involved, okay?  You need to stop it.  Do I need to tell the teacher about this?  Should I call J’s mom?”

“no.  I’m not fighting.  but if J needs help, I’m going to kick M’s butt, because I’m his friend.  That’s what friends do.  They have their back.”

“No, I don’t want you to get involved at all.  Really, I think I should email Ms.X”

“No!  Don’t do that please.”

“But why are they fighting?”

“whoever wins, gets to be friends with Mia.”

Then, my daughter, whose name is Mia, says “No, I don’t want to be friends with J or M”

“No, it’s not you.  It’s Mia that sits in our table.”

Our Mia insists it’s her, saying “No, I don’t like J or M.”

“No, it’s another Mia, Mia.”

“So does J and M both like Mia?  Is she pretty?  How about you? Do you like her?” I asked.

“they both want to be friends with her, but only the winner gets her.”

“Oh.”  I’m kind of worried, and smiling at the same time.

“it’s going to be a good fight.”  my son says excitedly.

“Well, if it gets serious, or if anyone is hurt, you need to tell the teacher right away, okay?”

I left it at that, but was contemplating the rest of the day, whether I should contact the teacher or J’s mom about this.

But my hubby told me, that’s what boys do, and not to intervene.  It’s boys’ stuff.  I guess it’s kind of a “rite of passage” so I let it go.

Today I picked him up from school, and I asked him, “So, what happened today?  Was there a fight?”

“No”

“What happened?”

“I don’t know, they forgot about it.”

“oh good!  that’s good…”

I’m so glad the “fight” did not occur.

Really, these are 6 year old boys…  fight over a girl?!  what do I have to look forward to?!