Tag Archives: family

Great Summer Activities for the Whole Family

There are so many good resources for things to do with your kids – Here are a few I like and really use.

Parents Connect – A well-organized easy to navigate site (from nickelodeon) that shows activities and events (on-going and special) by area – even by neighborhoods. Great listings and ideas.

Daily Candy Kids – I like the regular newsletter (for me!) and the Kids newsletter has cute stuff (usually for kids 8 and under), things to make, eat, wear and do.

KIDOINFO – Parents Guide – Providence and beyond – This is a terrific resource for all things Rhode Island and truly beyond. There is a great camp guide, summer guide and 100 things to do with your kids in Rhode Island (and Connecticut and Massachusetts, too).

Boston.com has a great Things to do section as well and organizes it by neighborhood, too. Here is a sample of this weekend’s line-up:

Cirque Du Soleil – Ovo

The thought of paying to see insects eat, crawl, work, flutter, play, fight, and …
8/13/2010 Friday 4:00p
(repeats 5 times)
Featuring: Cirque du Soleil

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WBZ Free Friday Flicks

Wouldn’t it be cute to pack a picnic dinner of meatballs to eat before or during …
8/13/2010 Friday 6:30p

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Grimm
Grimm

Seven Boston-area playwrights, including Lydia R. Diamond and Gregory Maguire, adapt …
8/13/2010 Friday 8:00p
(repeats 2 times)

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Movies By Moonlight

Fridays at dusk. Time is only approximate according to dusk time. June 18: “Driving …
8/13/2010 Friday 8:00p

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Filed under family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, local events, Parents and Kids

The story of the rainbow cake on the day we had compromised water*

capability mom makes the rainbow cake - spoonsHere is the thing. I love to bake but am not especially gifted in this area. Oh, pshaw, Capability Mom, you say, it looks like you are…well, capable. I am capable but I am not inspired. I am a nervous baker and can’t easily adapt a recipe or change part of one that I like and add something else instead. I have friends who are incredible bakers and so I know the difference.

capability mom attempts the rainbow cake

These are the pretty cakes.

When I made The Whisk Kid’s crazy gorgeous rainbow cake, for instance, I followed her recipe exactly…except when I didn’t. Here is another thing about me – I love to read but not directions…like on cake flour boxes. So I had cake flour and thought how nice it would be to use it for a cake, logical, yes? But I failed to read the box which told you the formula (not difficult – just another tablespoon or so of cake flour for each cup called for in recipe) and when we made the first batch (yes, this was before we had no water – thankfully) and they were flat and full of airholes and some were quite raw. The colors were gorgeous but I knew the cakes were a failure. Sigh. I do so dislike failure. After determining that all were mostly lost, we remade the cakes with all-purpose flour – as I should have known to do in the first place – and they came out perfectly wonderful round layers.

At this point we called it a night. I had made the base butter cream frosting from The Whisk Kid’s recipe – my first ever – and was thrilled because it was delicious.  I covered it and put it in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, I made the top coat of butter cream frosting and waited for the under or crumb coat frosting to come to room temperature. Despite the heat of the day (and it was so hot), that butter cream remained unspreadable. Rookie that I am, I was too nervous to do anything to it other than jab at it with a spoon (this does nothing) and make 3 or 4 more batches of the top coat (because I had started frosting with that and was now committed to it). Luckily, I had tons of eggs and sugar (and a container of egg whites that vaguely felt like cheating). Why did I not just go to the store and buy Duncan Hines? Because I am stubborn and I was making this cake and it would be from scratch because that would show my daughter that …what, exactly? The lesson learned was that her mom is, if anything, determined and stubborn, yeah, like that is news. I was pretty flustered but mostly capability mom's rainbow cakekept it together (except when I gave up and enlisted two middle schoolers to frost the cake because this is an area of great weakness for me) and I was putting together a party with a moonbounce, cotton candy machine and no water, thank you very much.

It was a success and thrill and surprise to most of the guests and worth the eggs, sugar and time spent. Next time I might read the directions, too.

*There was water – running water – we just had to boil it to use it for washing dishes and drinking and brushing teeth. Good times.

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Filed under Food, rainbow cakes

Chocolate refrigerator cakes, best chocolate chip cookies, googly bands and fun

nabisco famous chocolate refrigerator roll We love chocolate at our house – well, except my husband and instead of deeming that a character flaw (which it surely is), I have decided to embrace the positive result of this particular preference which basically means…more for me. It does mean I don’t have to hide chocolate (except from the children…not that I would do that) and I know any stash (if there were such a thing) would never be disturbed even if discovered. So – all good for me. Above is a picture of a easy fun cake to make with kids that a friend just reminded me about (we made it last for a favorite stuffed animal’s birthday party).

Basically it is Nabisco FAMOUS chocolate wafers, whipping cream and vanilla. Here is the recipe from NabiscoWorld.com including the nutritional information – oh, come on, there is some vitamin A in there and some calcium.  My mom made this with us when we were young (it is a classic) and it is so easy (whipped cream and chocolate cookies). Let even the youngest of toddlers stack the cookies and spread the whipped cream. Sure, it’s a little messy but the little ones can make their own and will be so excited about it. Freeze for about 4 hours. When cut on a diagonal (by an adult) it is really cute. Almost rainbow cake cute but a black and white version.  A good project with no baking but you still get a cute, fun cake.

I made the following amazing (I am so modest) chocolate ship cookies for the same friend (a while ago! but talking to her just now made me connect the two) and just made a batch for teacher gifts on Tuesday. Best chocolate chip cookies ever. From the Ghiradelli bag of milk chocolate chips and the Ghiradelli website.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

11 1/2 ounce(s) Milk Chocolate Chips
1 cup(s) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup(s) sugar
3/4 cup(s) brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
2 1/4 cup(s) unsifted flour
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 cup(s) walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Directions
Heat oven to 375ºF.

Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. I use the milk chocolate chips – or semi-sweet if you must. Really, really good.

Now…same friend and I talked about the crazy craze for googly bands.  I was going to post on these anyway because I answered a call to action from TwitterMoms about getting googly bands and writing about them but was shut out by the ferocious response by other mom bloggers like the post here on child hood – I also found out that there is a contest for designing new shapes of googly bands.  My kids love these and are all about getting more. Here is the weird thing, for me anyway. These self-same bands were out – oh, about 7 years ago in pastel colors and farm animal shapes. I know because they came in a little plastic suitcase and we gave them as a goody bag gift for a birthday party (Wow. I have way too much trivial information stored in this brain). Nonetheless, we did. When a sister asked if my girls were into them (3 weeks ago) I replied that we were past those…thinking of the ones oh-so-long ago. Thanks for the reminder of these fun things, KR!

googly bands on capability mom

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Filed under Food, rainbow cakes, there is always chocolate

Rainbow cakes are everywhere

You know I made the rainbow cake

rainbow cake capability mom

Capability Mom's Rainbow Cake from The Whisk Kid's recipe

from The Whisk Kid (and she was on Martha) but now I find rainbow cakes everywhere. Here are some of my favorites:

rainbow cake with fruit from huckleberry stew Huckleberry Stew This rainbow cake is not only topped with fruit but the coloring of the cake is fruit based – in case you are wary of using food coloring.

huckleberry stew rainbow cake capability mom

The recipe comes  from I am baker blog – gorgeous, creative and fun.

rainbow cake sweetnicks

Here on Sweetnicks, a mom makes her rainbow cake from a box mix and it is beautiful. Hey, small kids, no time to bake, purdy peas rainbow cake capability momMartha wouldn’t cut those corners but I would. Above, from Purdy Peas is another beautiful cake – check out that icing. All good and fun cakes – perfect for upcoming graduation parties.

Of course, this gorgeous outrageous layer cake from Kevin Sharkey on MarthaStewart.com

kevin sharkey's rainbow cake on martha stewart

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Filed under Food, rainbow cakes, recipes - tried and true

Sunday, lazy Sunday.

There are a few bloggers who post at least once a day – sometimes even twice – and on occasion I have done this, too. But of late I have had more stuff to do – all good – but lots of stuff nonetheless and I am sometimes take a day –  or two – off.  While I am writing every day, sometimes I have several drafts that I am working on and I bounce back and forth between them. ADD or more thoughtful writing? You will have to judge that when I finally post them.

green and blue fishWhen I started this blog I thought I would use it as a way to let other Moms know stuff that I already know. You know, stuff that I have done or been through. As it turns out, I am okay with sharing that stuff but I like writing about stuff that occurs to me now.  Maybe I should change Capability Mom to Capability’s Soap Box…no, I am not so much doing that as pulling ephemera out of the air, the web or my life and sharing it.  I am enjoying the entire process from writing and “finding my voice”  to learning about social media (Digg, del.icio.us, stumbleupon and about different hosting platforms – WordPress (.com versus .org), TypePad,  Blogger, how to buy an  URL (godaddy, bluehost) and how to manage Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

With my (geographically close) friends – we don’t use Twitter to communicate, or Facebook. So I am learning social media when four months ago I didn’t even know to call it that – and am still not sure where this is taking me but I am enjoying the journey. I am also getting to know a great group of women over at CoffeeShopBloggers where we learn and share our experiences in setting up a blog and social media in general.

Hopefully it is enough that I share and if you care about what I write about you will read it. Happy Sunday.

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“When Did I Get Like This?” book reading by Amy Wilson at Brookline Booksmith May 12

Amy Wilson, creator of the one woman show,  Mother Load (directed by Julie Kramer)  and contributing editor to Parenting magazine, wrote a funny, funny book. She is in Boston and reading from it at The Brookline Booksmith tomorrow night at 7 pm. Her blog, motherload: the blog is funny, insightful and I know you will like it. when did i get like this amy wilson at capability mom blog

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Filed under Authors, Feed your head, soul, self, library

Happy Mother’s Day!

mama mugI woke up to my third child (our dog) who needed to go out and let me know by staring at me.  It happens to be quite effective.  As I was the only one awake (this is highly unusual but it has been a busy weekend), I got up and took her for a quick walk.  It is a beautiful, clear, cool sunny day and it was lovely. I came home to a slowly awakening house and had tea and read the paper. So far a perfect morning.  Later I will have lunch with my mother and (two of three – miss you, T!) sisters and sister-in-law for lunch in town.

I hope you are enjoying your Mother’s Day!

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