Friday, June 10, 2011

Healthy 1st Birthday Cake Recipe for Baby - Carrot Cake

Your baby's first birthday cake is most likely the first sugary treat your child will have. Often babies do get sick from their first birthday cake because they are not accustom to having so much sugar. Below is a birthday cake recipe that has less sugar than your typical boxed cake mix. Please note this recipe contains eggs. Please ensure that your child does not have an egg allergy before feeding him or her this birthday cake.

Baby's First Birthday Cake (Carrot Cake)

(Makes 1 double-layer 9-inch square cake; adapted from "What to Expect")

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/Shortening
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp low sodium baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two 9 inch square cake pans with waxed paper and spray the paper with vegetable spray/shortening.

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 a blender of 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 below or sprinkle a wee bit of powdered sugar if desired.

Perfect 1st Birthday Presents for Boy or Girl - 2011

 baby's first birthday is such a momentous occasion. When attending a 1st birthday party you should always bring a gift. The first birthday is a great milestone in toys. It is a point where the baby can actually start playing with real toys.  I have listed 4 great toys that would be perfect gifts for a boy or girl. I recommend purchasing the gifts on Amazon if you shop ahead of time. Amazon is a terrific choice because the toys are usually 10-30% lower than Target and you do not have to pay tax or shipping if the order is greater than $25. Below are some of the top birthday gifts for a 1 year old in 2011:

LeapFrog Potsy (Click link to view Amazon page)
The LeapFrog Cook and Play Potsy is the perfect toy for a 12 month old. The manufacturers recommended age is for 12 - 36 months (1-3 years). Potsy is also a learning toy. Potsy has two play modes. The first mode is Cooking. When Potsy is on his Cooking mode he sings songs about stirring, food and nutrition. Potsy comes with cheese, broccoli, tomato, peas and corn. Potsy promotes healthy cooking and eating. The second mode is educational. This option offers learning in colors and counting. Potsy helps kids count to 5 with numerous fun songs. Removing Potsy's lid during either mode teaches kids about opposites, such an on/off and open/closed. Potsy also encourages open-ended pretend play with interactive prompts.

LeapFrog Counting Cake (Click link to view Amazon page)
The LeapFrog Counting Candles Birthday Cake is not only cute and fun for the first birthday but is entertaining for all ages. The manufactures recommended age is 12 months - 5 years. This toy is also a learning toy. The learning skills taught with the LeapFrog Counting Candles Birthday Cake include: counting, pretend play, music and motor skills. The most fun part about this gift is the child can actually "blow out the candles." There is a sensor on the cake that triggers the lighted candles to burn out when someone blogs on the sensor. The child can also choose how many candles to light by clicking on the star button. The balloon button allows the child to choose from a number of fun birthday related songs.  This gift will help any child relive their birthday.

Melissa and Doug Spill and Fill Picnic Basket (Click link to view Amazon page)
This picnic basket is perfect for the younger crowd.  One of its best features is that the fabric play food pieces can be thrown in the laundry if they get dirty. The four colorful pieces are perfect for pretend play and even chewing when teething. The flip-top basket allows the child to practice taking pieces out of the container and filling it back up. This toy helps develop young motor skills. Each piece makes a different noise from a squeak to rattle to a jingle. The sandwich is a fun feature because it pulls apart into 5 different pieces. If your boy or girl loves the picnic basket I also would recommend the Melissa and Doug Sandwich Game.

Cozy Coupe Shopping Cart (Click link to view Amazon page)

The little tikes Cozy Coupe is a classic favorite. This grocery cart merges two great ideas. The grocery cart is perfect for a 1 year old as it will help the child improve their walking skills. It can even be used by a child that cannot yet walk. The cozy coupe is a fun place for the child to put their favorite stuffed animal.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Birthday Invitations

Birthday party invitations are the first step in planning your party. You have a number of options for invitations, big and small. If you want to go the simple route you can just pick up invitations at Party City, Target, or Walmart. You can even some times find invitations at your local dollar store. If you are looking for your child's favorite action hero or princess you can shop online at or

I am an avid picture lover. You can order party invitations at,,, or If you wish to order invitations online, plan ahead and allow 3-10 days for shipping and processing.

Sunbeam Cupcake Maker

For smaller parties, I definately recommend Sunbeam's Cupcake Maker. It makes 6 cupcakes at a time and is perfect when hosting a small event. My cupcake maker doesn't burn cupcakes and actually bakes the cupcakes better than my oven does. You can find it for $40-$50 at Target or Amazon.

Party Food - Cheesenstein


 Cheesenstein will be a hit at any fall or Halloween themed party. He is very easy to make and everyone loves him! At my party, I had several people take a picture of him. However, since everyone loves him so much people were afraid to tear into Cheesenstein. You as the host should be the brave one to cut into him first. Once you do, your guests will follow.


  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cartons (4 ounces each) whipped cream cheese
  • Moss-green paste food coloring
  • 1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives, drained
  • 2 pepperoncinis
  • 3 colossal ripe olives
  • 2 slices peeled parsnip
  • Black decorating gel
  • 1 pretzel rod
  • 1 small cucumber
  • Assorted fresh vegetables


  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce until smooth. Stir in the cheddar cheese, bacon and onions. Shape into a 5-in. x 4-in. x 3-in. rectangle; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • Unwrap rectangle; place on a serving platter with a 3-in. side on top. Tint whipped cream cheese green; spread over top and sides of rectangle.
  • Add chopped ripe olives for hair and pepperoncinis for ears. Cut one colossal olive in half; add parsnip slices and olive halves for eyes. With black decorating gel, pipe the brow, mouth and stitches.
  • Break pretzel rod in half; add a colossal olive to each end. Press into sides of head for bolts. Cut a small piece from end of cucumber for a nose (save remaining cucumber for another use). Serve with vegetables. Yield: 3 cups.
Editor's Note: Look for pepperoncinis (pickled peppers) in the pickle and olive section of your grocery store.
Nutrition Facts: 1/4 cup (calculated without vegetables) equals 329 calories, 31 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 545 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.

Birthday Party Ideas - Bounce House

A bounce house is fun for all ages! I rented a bounce house even for my son's first birthday. He even loved bouncing in it. A bounce house is great for partys because it will keep kids busy and happy. Trust me, no one will be board at a party with a bounce house. I was able to rent a bounce house for a whole day for $75. You can typically find good rates for bounce houses at or just google bounce house with your local city.

Birthday Party Idea - Hay Game

The best party game I have ever witnessed was a hay game. Basically, the host bought a bale of hay and spread it out in her back yard. She put toys, pencils and candy underneath the hay. The kids all dug through the hay looking for prizes. Hay was flying everywhere! It was awesome. The kids had a lot of fun and there was no fighting either. My friend did it for a Halloween themed birthday party. But you can even do it for school Halloween parties.

You can also use straw instead of hay for this game. Hay or straw can be found at your local grocery store in the fall season. Otherwise, you can also find it at most animal feed stores. If you are having a spring birthday party you can use Easter Straw of varying colors.

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