Happy Halloween

Monday, November 02, 2009

After the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival Izzy was all about painting pumpkins. So we bought a few small ones for her to paint with Grandma Sunny. And then I carved a few for Ed and I (mainly to roast - for recipes see below).

The kids daycare throws a Halloween part for the kids and parents. Ed went on our behalf as I was stuck in commuter's h_ll. Izzy dressed up as a fairy. Her costume was still a little too big. Ethan was a monkey. It was too hot at daycare to wear the costume for more than five minutes.

Ed recaps the day and describes the funniest thing and I'm so happy he captured it on film. Apparently, Izzy was asking other kids for their lollipops. One of the boys, Keanan, let her suck on his lollipop. Uh...maybe this is how our kids come home with colds.

Halloween night we went trick-or-treating down the street off of Beachwood Drive. It was great. It is the place to trick-or-treat. The houses were decked out. There were three haunted houses on the street and several wine stations for the parents. One of the neighbors setup a caricature station. It was pretty cool. The rumor is Bill Pullman lives at the end of the street and throws a mean haunted house. At the end of the street we did go through a well-done haunted house, but I can't confirm it was Bill Pullman's. I did find a LA Times article with him that does link him to our neighborhood.

I found a few recipes for pumpkin seeds. What I've read is to get crunchy seeds it's all about drying the seeds. First I started by boiling the seeds in salt water to infuse the seeds for a consistent salty taste. Then I followed Martha Stewart's directions for slow roasting to dry out the seeds before seasoning. I roasted at 250 degrees for a little more than an hour. After turning off the oven, I left them in their overnight. The next day I followed Martha's Sweet and Spicy recipe (but added about 1/4 tsp of cayenne for a little more kick). There are so many different variations to make, but I love the sweet and spicy. They came up very crunchy, but I didn't have anything to compare it to. So next year I'll experiment to see if boiling or not makes a difference and if drying the seeds slowly at a low temperature makes for a crunchier seed.

Ethan's Mop

Ed is insistent that we don't cut Ethan's hair. It's getting long, curly and out of control. When he gets hot, the hair gets even curlier! The curls are adorable, but the long mop on his head is not so cute. I will cut it this weekend with or without Ed's consent because I just can't stand it any longer. And I believe Ethan will thank me one day.

Even Ethan looks pissed off about his hair.

Like father like son.

Calabasas Pumpkin Festival

We took the kids to the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival. It was awesome. Definitely worth traveling out the 30 miles for this free event! They had bouncy houses and slides that were free for the kids. The only downside to the entire trip was the 100 degree weather!!! It was blistering hot, but thankfully we had a nice breeze.

My favorite part was the corn on the cob. We each had one. And they even gave Isabella one for free since she was enjoying ours so much. As we were eating our corn on the cob, Rainn Wilson stood in line for the infamous corn. No pictures of us eating the corn. Too good to break the mood with pics.

Franklin Canyon Park

I grew up in Orange County near the Ralph B Clark Park, formerly Los Coyotes Park. It's a huge park with several playgrounds, grassy areas and ponds with ducks. I fond memories of feeding the ducks and wanted my kids to experience the same thing. I looked up nearby parks with lakes/ponds and found one not too far away.

Franklin Canyon Park is at the north end of Beverly Hills. What a surprising spot. It's nothing like the other parks in LA. It promotes the back-to-nature feel. There's plenty of parking. There aren't any playgrounds. It's more of grassy areas, hiking trails and ponds. The entire area surrounds a beautiful reservoir. And I found my ducks. We brought some stale bread with us not knowing we were not allowed to feed the ducks. Oops. They seemed used to the feeding so I assume others must have done the same, even with the signs everywhere.

Ethan starting "roaring" a while ago, but hanging out the ducks I noticed he sounds more like them than a lion.

Isabella's Birthday - Part 2

Isabella is very much into tea parties and playing pretend so it only made sense to throw her a dress up tea party. I found a company online that hosts tea parties in your own home. They take care of everything: invitations, catering, decorations, setup, hosting and clean up. It was perfect. Chic Partea serves the Orange County/Los Angeles area. Check them out. They are reasonably priced for all that they provide. I highly recommend it. It was hassle-free for me.

The Invitation

The Setup

We decided to use the game room which is on the bottom floor of the house, which is down three flights of stairs. With all the up and down to let in the guest, I was getting tired and winded. I had purchased a box of rose pedals so I wrote a note on the door and created a path of rose pedals down to the game room. It worked out perfect and I was in good shape to greet our guests.

Dressing Up

Tea Time

The funniest thing happened during the Happy Birthday song. Isabella's BFF, Sacha, sat next to Isabella during tea time. When the cake was brought out we all sang happy birthday. Just before the birthday girl can blow out her candles, Sacha blows them out. We all kind of laughed. Isabella turns to Sacha and says, "Sacha! It's not your cake!" Then all the kids started telling Sacha it wasn't his cake to blow out the candles. It was hilarious. I captured the entire birthday song, but turned it off for the reaction. Too bad.

Funny, I didn't really notice the game playing in the background since the sound was off until half way through the party. I guess the dad's were happy about that (and the beer).

The Guests

Wand Making

Gifts for Guests

Guests received little goodie bags of bubbles, play doh, stickers. The girls also go a heart-shaped makeup palette. And all guests received framed pictures of the dressed up guests.

It was a fun birthday. I don't think we'll go all the way out as we did this year, but I'm so glad we did it once.

Pictures courtesy of Marlene, Rebecca's mom.