The Panda Cubs are Growing (and so is everything else)

Phew, it’s been a busy few days in the Panda Cage. (Fun new name for my house, right?)

Maverick’s lessons this week are centered around “Mardi Gras”. For those of you who don’t know, Mardi Gras is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, a celebration of revelry before lent. For people in Louisiana, “Mardi Gras Season” begins January 15, on the epiphany (for Catholics). This week we’ve done lots of crafts to celebrate. (Mardi Gras fall on February 21st this year).

Mardi Gras parades are one of the best things to happen during Mardi Gras season. Maverick LOVES them, the music, beads, toys, people, everything about a parade. So, we made a miniature Mardi Gras float on Monday.

Shoebox float

This craft is incredibly easy for anyone to do. We printed from the internet a picture of a Mardi Gras jester, and Maverick colored it. We used an old shoebox, covered it with construction paper and thin cuts of tissue paper. The Mardi Gras colors are purple, green, and gold, so we stuck with that theme for the most part. The “stage” on top is just the lid to the shoebox cut to look like stages on Mardi Gras floats.



The big project for this week, though, was our Mardi Gras Cupcakes! These were so much fun to make.

Below is a photo tutorial of how we made them:


Split your cake batter into three bowls, and color each bowl whatever color you like. We used purple, green, and yellow, for Mardi Gras. Just layer the batter by spoon fulls into muffin cups until you have filled each up about 3/4 of the way. Follow the directions your cake batter comes with for baking.


Let your cupcakes cool before frosting, obviously. This is what the tops looked like after baking.


Hollow out the tops of the cupcakes and fill with whatever you like. We used blueberry pie filling.


Frost and decorate. We also colored our frosting and used gold crystal sugar and green sugar to top them off. This colorful cupcake can be done with any batter, we plan on doing them again but with valentines day colors and maybe trying for a striped effect!


Aren't these ADORABLE? You can see some of the coloring under the icing on the green one.

In addition to all these Mardi Gras goings-on, I think both boys are in a growth spurt. I can’t stop either one of them from eating everything in sight. Ethan is noticeably taller and Maverick’s waist seems bigger, I had to adjust the drawstring on his pants (adjustable waist bands for thin children!) this morning because he couldn’t button them. They’re both getting so big, so quickly.

My insomnia has returned, full-force, and as such I’ve become holly hobby the gardener. I converted an old footlocker into a cold frame for my tomato plants, and today I’m going to transform my rock garden outside into a flower bed. I’m pretty excited about everything I just wrote. For those who are wondering, here is the cold frame:


I drilled a fluorescent light into the lid so that it hangs inches above the plants, and lined the inside with reflective insulation so that they get the maximum amount of sunlight possible. They're only a week old and thriving in here.The whole project cost me about 15 dollars (light, fixture, and insulation) with lots of insulation left over in case I find something else I can convert into another one. The small planter is full of viola seedlings I'm trying to encourage and the terra cotta planter off to the side has basil seedlings.

Later this week we are making home-made Valentine’s Day gifts for Maverick’s favorite people, and making sweetheart cupcakes! I’ll post progress on those, too. Have a happy Wednesday!


1 Comment

  1. cissyblue said,

    February 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    all your little seedlings are very inspiring 🙂

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