Yep, it’s been a few days, but I’ve been busy.
On Thursday, we had our first Girls’ Circles of the season, and I followed it up with a meeting, so my day was pretty much shot right there.
On Friday, Deb and I were on WNYT’s Live at Noon talking about Halloween fun. I know: I forgot to tell you all to tune in. Sorry about that. Even sadder, the clip isn’t online this time–I’m not sure why. This is particularly unfortunate because the piece also starred many Halloween decor gifts from my mother-in-law, one from my mom, and J’s pumpkin. . . oh, well. But the good news is that for those of you who are always working when I’m on tv, Deb & I are going to do a couple of weekend spots–the first one is in December.
Then, after tv, we headed to Crossgates Mall for a tour of the new Latitude 360 that’s opening soon. Except, as you’ll see, “soon” is not “next week”:
That’s right! It was a hard-hat tour! It was fun to check the place out, and we had images from some of their other locations to help us with visualizing the joint. The place is huge. There’s a restaurant and bar, an arcade section, performance space, and a bowling alley. They’re hoping to open in December. After that, we visited Dave & Buster’s, where I learned that games are half-price on Wednesdays, that tacos are $1 each on Tuesdays, and that Deb used to be some sort of Pac Man champion.
Meanwhile, I was also frantically getting ready for J’s birthday party on Saturday. After offering up zero birthday party ideas for months, J settled on a party request about a week before her actual birthday: a party at Flight Trampoline Park.
It’s a busy place, and we’ve got activities, too. so we finally settled on a party for late Saturday afternoon. It was my first visit there, and the place is huge:
For our birthday party, the girls had one hour to jump, and then we had 45 minutes in a party room. Staff from Flight set up the room for you. Now, this is basically so that they can fit in as many parties as possible, as efficiently as possible, because it allows a new party every hour, with staff cleaning up after the earlier party and setting up for the next one. In between doing that, they also help carry all of your stuff and tuck it away while you deal with the kids. The effect is that you have your own attendant who functions as your sherpa/cabana boy, which pretty much rocks. If I were a normal person who ordered in a pizza and brought a store-bought cake, it would have been an extraordinarily simple and stress-free party. Of course, we had to provide homemade foods and we included a craft, too, which was way too ambitious given the time allowed. But that’s okay. J loved the menu, and she’d requested the craft, paracord bracelets, which I’ll post about later. Oh! And, at the end of the party, the birthday child gets a t-shirt and a coupon for a free hour of jumping, and all the guests get a goody bag with a 50% off coupon. So that was excellent.
So what was on the menu? Well, buffalo chicken dip, for one thing. When we first started making this dip, only the grown-ups in our house ate it. Eventually, the girls came around, and now they love-love-love it. Whenever they’re reluctant to try something new, or they turn up their noses at something they’ve tried once or twice, I just smirk and remind them that they used to think buffalo chicken dip was yucky, too.
I’ve made some pretty good birthday cakes over the years, and this time, J requested our standard chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (from McCall’s Cooking School, and it is the best chocolate cake ever), but she wanted it to be a gymnastics cake. After looking at Pinterest to assess my options, I decided to go with basic silhouettes. I Googled up a bunch of figures, and J chose several that she liked. Then I printed the silhouettes, cut them out, and used them to cut out the gymnastics figures out of Wilton edible paper:
Once they were cut out, I just pressed them onto the frosting.
And the bracelets were quite a project, too, but I’ll save that for the next post.