birthday

Alexa Turned Two

My little girl, Alexa, has turned two (last month — another late post)! Time flies just like that! We also had welcomed our new bundle of joy, Luise, a few weeks back. Hello, sleepless nights!

Just like Alexa’s first birthday, we had another DIY party for her. But she had fun this time because her friends were there too! We did not have any games like other children’s parties (due to my poor hosting skills and space constraints), but we had lots of food, non-stop Barney videos, and kids running around, laughing, and screaming. It was such a fun chaos!

Now let me share with you my labor of love for Alexa for this year…

The cake.

It’s a funfetti white cake with rainbow petal buttercream frosting. I did enjoy doing the frosting. I got both the cake design and cake bunting printable from posts in Pinterest.

cake1

cake2

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The cupcakes.

They are rainbow cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and rainbow rice sprinkled on top, also from a post in Pinterest.

cupcakes

May this year be as colorful as these cakes for our first princess.

Thanks for dropping by!

Alexa’s Mom

Alexa @ 4 Months

My baby is 4 months old today!

Mommy and Daddy is having so much fun playing with her. She would laugh and make a high-pitched “aaaaahhhh!!!” when she’s happy. She’s is starting to imitate sounds around her, and the one she imitates best is Mommy’s cough! Lol!

Alexa loves it when people notice her and talk to her, and cries when nobody does. What an attention-seeker! Just like Grandpa, haha! She also likes watching TV, those shows with people talking because she thinks that they are talking to her. While watching, she would smile and respond.

At night, she can sleep for 5 to 7 hours straight, which is good because Mommy and Daddy gets some rest too. No more sleepless nights! I hope her sleeping pattern stays that way.

When awake, she doesn’t like lying down. She would try to pull herself to sit up, which she can’t do yet. She can lie on her side, though. And she loves eating her fingers! (I think she’s sucking on her fingers to pacify her hunger at night, she doesn’t want to wake us up!)

If only I could just spend the whole day cuddling this cutie pie. *gigil*

*Gigil n. 1 tagalog word; trembling or gritting of the teeth in response to a situation that overwhelms your self-control. 2 when seeing a cute baby, one gets overwhelmed that it’s hard to resist from pinching the baby’s cheeks.

Alexa @ 2 Months

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Alexa turns 2 months old today. Isn’t she lovely in that little dress and pink headband?

Daddy and I were amazed the first time we heard Alexa’s “ooh” sounds like she can understand what we are telling her. She would look at us in the eye as if she’s trying to remember every detail of her parents’ faces. And those little giggles? Priceless!

At night, we sleep next to each other, and I would wake up with her lying on one side facing me. In a few weeks, maybe she would already be rolling over to lie on her tummy. Another milestone of hers to look forward to!

We can’t wait to see how she is as a toddler, a school kid, and as a grown up. But of course, we’re taking things one step at a time and we would not want to miss her “firsts” for anything.

A great weekend to all!

Oven-Baked Potato

My sister, Alexa’s Auntie B, arrived on Saturday to meet Alexa in person. Since it was her birthday the day before she came, I made her a Red Velvet birthday cake which was way better (color- and taste-wise) than the first time I made it for hubby’s birthday. Better, so we had to save a few slices to send and to share the calories back home to the family this weekend.

Her being a potato lover, I also made some oven-baked potato which says in Pinterest “better than fries“. I thought that was the best time to give it a try.

How to do it?

Cut potatoes almost all the way through (my knife went all the way, cutting the potatoes like chips), drizzle with olive oil, butter, some sea salt, and pepper over top and bake @ 220 deg C for 40 minutes.

That’s it!

It was tasty and healthier than fast-food fries. Try it!

She’s Here, Finally!

It’s 4:20 in the morning and I just finished one of the early morning breastfeedings for my little angel. Yes, finally she’s here! My Emilia Alexa (a.k.a. Baby Max)…

Isn’t she the cutest?

She arrived on the 22nd of September 2013 at 0818 hrs (SG time) via emergency C-section.

My birth plan is to go for normal delivery WITHOUT epidural, but as they say, a plan is just a plan! Baby wants to come out the easy way, so I have no choice but to go with it.

We’ll be sharing with you more stories of our adventure as parents to Baby Alexa in the next posts.

For the meantime, let Mommy catch up on some sleep ‘coz the little one will be back for her next feeding in 3 hours.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Everyday I am thankful for all the wonderful blessings that I have been showered with. But today is extra special because it’s my birthday. I am thankful for another year of life full of love and happiness. What made it even more special is that I spent it in our new home and with the best gifts that God has given me… my loving hubby and our growing baby girl who we will be welcoming to the world and to our family next month.

And so for my birthday, I baked my own birthday cake. I made another favorite, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! It has cinnamon, which I love, and I am able to use the leftover cream cheese frosting from hubby’s birthday cake.

I tried to style it using this free printable which I found on Pinterest. Cute, isn’t it? I want to do something like this again for my baby shower. Of course, it has to be more colorful, pink and girly!

Here’s the link to the original recipe. She’s right, the cake was amazing hubby thinks it’s the best one I’ve baked so far! And my friends loved it too! She also took such lovely photos which made the recipe so easy to follow.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I used cake flour which made the cake lighter and fluffier. Just now, I found this post on how to turn all purpose flour to cake flour. Good to know just in case cake flour is not available. It’s quite difficult to find it in nearby supermarkets.)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups (about 3 sticks) of grated carrots (hubby grated for me ‘coz it requires muscle power)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (I used cashew and macadamia nuts. It was good!)

Procedure:

  • Start by preheating the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.  Then spray pam or spread butter/oil and flour a 9×13 inch pan
  • Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix.
  • In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients: brown and white sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil. I mixed using a wooden spoon to avoid over beating of the eggs.
  • Incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet in three equal batches. I used a mixer for this step.
  • Mix in the grated carrots by hand to avoid over beating. Then fold in the nuts.
  • Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes. I set the timer to 45 minutes but checked at the 40-minute mark, as recommended.

Cream cheese frosting:

(I used the leftovers from hubby’s cake birthday cake, but added some more cream cheese and butter to create a lighter texture. I think this recipe is less sweet than the one I used before. I would definitely try the next time I make this.)

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 stick) softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Procedure:

  • First add the butter and cream cheese then sift the 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. This makes the frosting smooth.
  • Mix until you get the consistency you want.

This is a recipe worth trying, and repeating… over and over again!

My birthday is ending in half an hour. Today has gone by so fast! I greatly appreciate all the love and wishes sent to me by family and friends.

For now, birthday girl is signing off… Good night!

Red Velvet Cake

Yesterday was hubby’s birthday. By request, I made for him my very first Red Velvet Cake. It seemed easy to do, but being a newbie at baking and still getting used to my new baby (a.k.a. Rowenta oven), it did not turn out the way I wanted it to be. *sigh*

I spent the whole PM in the kitchen — baking, cooking, and cleaning up. Really tiring but hubby was delighted so it’s all worth it. We had a simple, candlelit dinner (tea light candle also served as his birthday candle, haha!) at home. One of our moving-in boxes served as our dinner table, covered it with a very big red scarf from my sister. We need to improvise ‘coz our house is still in chaos! Need to finish unpacking during this coming 4-day weekend so we can continue with our normal life.

Here’s the recipe for the Red Velvet Cake, thanks to Bakerella! Lovely photos, btw, Bakerella!

Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used buttermilk substitute)
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 oz. red food coloring

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
  • Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid  ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
  • Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
  • Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.
  • Then make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
Procedure:
  • Sift sugar and set aside.
  • Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.
  • Then, add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.
  • And frost away.

Below photo is how my cake turned out. It was a bit of a mess, haha! Plus the frosting in between layers is not thick enough. Again, I need more practice. But then again, the taste was not bad for a first timer. I like the frosting especially, I can’t help myself dipping my fingers in the bowl like I had to taste it every time.

I also made Baked Macaroni for dinner. Will post the recipe soon.

On the side note, we had our doctor’s appointment yesterday morning and saw Baby Alexa. I am now at my 32 weeks, and so far everything is good. Got the results for my Gestational Diabetes blood test as well, and I’m proud to say that it’s normal. Yey! Told you positive thinking works wonders! So, I can eat more of this cake! (kiddin’)

Gotta get back to work now. Till my next post!