Bluebonnets, Birthday, and Beach!

Cady

Cady didn’t like sitting the bluebonnets even on a towel or on Daddy’s lap. She just wanted to throw rocks in the creek like the big kids.

Quinn

Quinn was a really good model for me. We walked over to the park one moning while Cady and Daddy were still sleeping. She sat nice and pretty for me even though she really wanted to chase a bird. After photos, we chased the bird together.

Chocolate Cake Strawberries

My Yaya said she wanted a BIG cake for her birthday. Last year’s cake was the size of the first two tiers, so this year had a third tier!

Cady

Cady didn’t want to touch the sand with her bare feet, but she loved playing in the sand and in the water. She kept asking for “more, more” and pointing behind us when we were leaving.

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Life Lately…

Cady

At first I was having blogging withdrawals since my carpal tunnel issues, but I’m starting to get used to not posting and reading. Sorry I haven’t been a good bloggy friend and visiting your sites. The problems have slight improvements if I don’t spend time at my computer since I once spent a lot of time here and sat improperly. I’ve also realized that the way I sleep and do other activities is contributing to the problem. It’s been a major setback on all the things I wanted to accomplish this new year (like learn Photoshop, crochet, make more cakes), but today I’m feeling okay about that.

Quinn at Oyster Creek

We just did the usual types of activities, so nothing crazy happened while I wasn’t writing besides having a great time at the Barney Live, Birthday Bash Tour concert. We went to the library where a little girl kept bringing Tim toys and another little girl wanted to hug Cady with such enthusiasm that they both nearly fell over a few times had I not been cloes enough to catch them. I also went to an indoor play place where I met up with a couple of friends and their daughers. One of them kept thinking my legs were her mom’s and running up to hug them.

Sweet Shot Day

I’m planning on taking an online class for 12 weeks (with about a two week break halfway) at a local junior college, which I’ve read the syllabus for and find pretty interesting. I hope to start in February if we have the money, and if not, I’m sure we will by the time the March class starts. I really think I’ll learn a lot and enjoy it. I’ve also been reading some great books from the library and plan on starting the “assignments” in one book soon.

It’s funny because all throughout college, I was so certain of my major, and now I have no interest in the subject that I got my degree in and have totally different interests. Now I’m like, “why didn’t I study this in college?” Well I know why: because I wasn’t interested in the same things back then.

The “winter” is still bi-polar here. Yesterday it was 70 degrees, but they predict snow for the end of the week.

Tim's cake for Ian

My husband’s friend (who is his “big brother” from his fraternity but is actually younger than him) requested a cake, but he was the one who made it since my hands still need rest. I think he did a great job.

Tim's cake for Ian

Tim's cake for Ian

Tim's cake for Ian 

If you like my blog, take a second and please vote for me just by clicking this link, and Top Mommy Blogs will know you were directed from my site. Thanks!

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Please do not copy any photos of my family, especially Cady. Links to my posts are always welcome.

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A New Idea for Our Wedding Cake

After seeing the beautiful birthday cake at that party last weekend, I had a great idea that would save a lot of time/tears/effort/sanity, still save lots of money, and still give us a beautiful wedding cake display. We could order 3 separate cakes as our “wedding cake” and display them on cake stands to still give them a little something special to stand out. Cake stands on different levels would be neat and still show a “wedding cake” type of look. The plan for the groom’s cake would stay the same.

I really, really like this idea. I absolutely loved the cake from the party, and it continues to stick out in my mind. I’m thinking something like that x3 and with colors to match the reception. It will be kind of different, too. Plus it will make my life so much easier to not make it myself but still know that it will be beautiful on a budget.

{ I saw these this morning at Wilton.com. }

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Why I love Filipino Parties

 

Rockin the cupcake shirt. My favorite.

Saturday we dropped off Cady at her grandparents’ house I believe sometime around 2 to hang out. Then Tim and I went to the town square to drop off jars of baby food for the food drive and walk around to scout possible portrait locations. We got home at 4 and had an hour to rest before going to a 7 year old’s birthday party at a Filipino family’s house where we consider ourselves practically related.

Actually, the earlier part of the party was the birthday party, and the later part of the party, which went on late into the night, was a boxing match watch party for the Pacquiao-Margarito fight. Some kids left. More adults came. Kids played upstairs. Grown ups downstairs. I talked with some women who knew who my cousin Jessy was and said some very nice things about her. She’s an actress in the Philippines, and I thought it was cool that they knew about her. Before the fight started we were able to watch the Baylor-A&M game, which we (sadly) watched Baylor lose when we got home.

On the bright side, we were with nice people and had lots of great Filipino food. Buko pandan, pancit, lumpia, and Filipino style (sweet) spaghetti (with hot dogs) were my favorites. What’s even better is that when you leave a Filipino party, the hosts always ask you to take home some food since they always prepare way too much even if each of the many guests were to stuff himself excessively. Despite having eaten all the things previously mentioned plus flan, macaroni salad, chicken, dinuguan, rice, caldereta, and pho, I was happy to make a to go plate.

My Tita said, “take whatever you want.”
“Take whatever I want?”
“Yes.”
Fantastic.

Plate 1 of 3 (not counting the one I took home or the soup).
Pho. Not Filipino, but we like it, too.
Buko pandan.
The birthday cake. I love it! This is from HEB.
They make delicious, beautiful, inexpensive cakes.
My to go plate I snacked on when we got home.
Cady enjoying her new favorite, lumpia, while we finished the football game at home.

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Cady’s First Birthday Party

Here it is finally. The long overdue post of Cady’s much anticipated first birthday. There were too many beautiful photos to post them all, but here are some of the details of the party itself.

I had started thinking about Cady’s August birthday party in January when she was about 5 months old. The birthday cake, smash cake, decorations, gift bags, and party favor bows were all handmade at home with love by Mommy with the help of other family members who were key to making sure everything went smoothly for the big day. Family from West Virginia and California even few in for a few days to celebrate the momentous occasion. There were three different outfits (luckily we were prepared for the messes that would inevitably occur), lots of trips to Michael’s Arts and Crafts, and many party blogs browsed for pink first birthday party ideas.

INVITATIONS
Shutterfly

PHOTOGRAPHY
Sarah Giles, Butterfly Chaser Photography

WHERE TO SHOP
The Chinese lanterns were purchased from Luna Bazaar
Hobby Lobby: candy jars, Wilton cupcake tower
Ebay: alligator hair clips for DIY hair clips
Dessert stands from Origin Crafts
Tiny pink chairs from Big Lots
Tiny white tables from Ikea

HELPFUL TUTORIALS:
Custom bottled water from Glorious Treats
Party hats from How Does She
Tissue paper poms from Sew Sweet Stitches
Photo garland from Samster Mommy
Fan fold flowers from Pigtails Paper Trails
Bows (party favors) from Mrs. Sassy Crafter

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Our Columbus Day Weekend

Friday Cady woke up at a weirdo time, which messed up her sleep schedule a little. We took a walk in the morning, so she wouldn’t see Daddy leave and get really upset. We got some kolaches for breakfast where I ran into an old friend and Cady drank orange juice for the first time (she really loved it).

After a nap, we went to my parents’ house and met a visiting relative for the first time, (with my sister in town for the weekend) walked around the mall to get some birthday presents, and had dinner at a Japanese/latin fusion restaurant with my sister and her boyfriend. Cady started getting pretty cranky there but immediately fell asleep in the car, which explained everything.

Saturday we went to JoAnn’s Fabrics where I got the fabric for Cady and Quinn’s matching Dorothy costumes as well as some $.99 Simplicity patterns, which is what I was hoping to find since I was just saying on Wednesday that I hoped they’d have a $.99 pattern sale. I thought they might since it was a holiday weekend. Then we walked around the shopping strip to the dollar store and walked to my parents’ house while Tim met us there with the car.

We ate lunch there and went home to rest up before a birthday party for my friend’s daughter. Cady slept through the entire party and never made it, but we didn’t want to wake her since she had been in a mood since Friday. When she woke up, we went to a McDonald’s with a big play place and PS2 games, and Tim got Monopoly games pieces– something he really enjoys playing every year. Cady drank more orange juice. We got a desk chair for Tim and got some shoes for me. I wanted to get some for Cady, but she didn’t want to cooperate with trying them on.

Sunday we saw the ducks at the lake and were very popular after throwing out a few Goldfish crackers. There were ten ducks just hanging out watching us watch them including the one that’s always following us around. We met up with Tim and took a walk. It got hotter than anticipated, so we stopped at Burger King instead of taking the planned route.

Cady had more orange juice. She’s getting kind of obsessed, but once a day shouldn’t hurt. I feel a little guilty that she’s had some fast food two days in a row, but she didn’t have that much and had apple slices at both places, too. They had computers with games there, a Wi-Fi lounge, and a cockroach. Ew. Cady imitated me knocking out some cobwebs with my shoe so she wouldn’t touch them.

I baked a batch of cupcakes for Tim to bring to meeting, baked a cake for his friend who helped us move furniture (down the stairs and up the stairs), baked a cake for a little boy as requested by my yaya, decorated the cupcakes, and then decorated the cakes.

Pumpkin candies make easy cupcake decorations.
Butterscotch and mini chocolate chips make for an easy topping.

Sprinkles are another easy one for a kid’s cake.

I was worried Yaya would be disappointed since she had seen me do much more detailed and time consuming work before, but then she called me to thank me, tell me she liked it and that it was so cute, and ask me again if I would accept money for it. She is so sweet. And Yaya’s cakes are always free.

I didn’t spend much time decorating the cakes and cupcakes. Can you tell I’m getting lazy?.. Or really… just very tired… I’ve come to the realization that my cake decorating is inversely correlated to Cady’s demands. She has become more of a handful lately, so my attention to cakes have declined. Hence, why I did 3 cakes a month for 6 months, just one in July, just Cady’s cakes in August, and none in September. Being a wife and mom is a my first priority afterall, and cakes are just a hobby. I’ve been very busy with a little one who is doing a lot of this lately:

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Walking with Cady & Chocolate S’mores Cake

[ She only wears her sunglasses in the sun, not shade. ]

Now that the weather isn’t too terribly hot, I’ve decided to start walking to the store with Cady to pick up the things we’re going to cook that day. I like it because we get out of the house, she enjoys riding in her stroller out and about, I get a little exercise, and our produce is always fresh, which was a big problem for us before because we would often buy fruits and vegetables and see them go bad before they were used.

The tough part was getting the stroller out of the trunk of the SUV while holding her. The first time we went, I tried putting her on the grass when I put the stroller back in after the walk, and she was a silly sight. Granted, the grass was a tad long, but she was lifting up one leg like it was hurting her (she had no shoes on and had to sit) and crying. I took a blanket out of the trunk and put her on that while I put the stroller back, but she still fussed (even though we have sat on a blanket to picnic in the park before) because once she’s upset, it’s not easy to get her happy unless a drastic change or distraction is involved (like her mommy). Carrying her up the stairs while I have my purse with the groceries in it in my other arm isn’t easy either.

The next time we went, I put her shoes on her even though they were a tad small (don’t worry we got new ones the same day), so that she could stand while I got the stroller in and out of the car. I carried our purchase in my big bag again, but I held her hands and let her walk up the stairs instead. Halfway up the stairs, she realized where we were going and tried to go in reverse. She really didn’t want to go back inside and was pretty unhappy when I picked her up and took her up the rest of the way, but I had to make sure lunch was made and eaten. She was mad when I took her shoes off and kept pointing to the door, but once she started eating, she forgot what the problem was.

[ Cadence and Quinn helping me unpack the groceries ]
I made Zesty Crockpot Chicken for dinner and this cake with our purchase.
Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting
Marshmallow creme, mini chocolate chips, graham crackers

I was craving the chocolate frosing in a can, which I really missed. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had some, and it was delicious. I forgot how tasty it was, but it is really, very sweet.

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Marine Groom’s Cake

We’d like to have a small groom’s cake. Maybe a round cake and definitely with a United States Marine Corps theme for Tim. The edible sugar plaque will can be done as far in advance as desired as long as it doesn’t get broken while it waits for it’s debut, and I already own the molds and cutters I’d need.

The one with the chocolate covered strawberries looks particularly yummy. Maybe we should think about doing chocolate covered strawberries, too…

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Wedding Cake

My parents have asked me if I plan on doing my own wedding cake. If I do, we would save a lot of money. However, it would also take up a decent amount of time, and if I make any “big” (in my opinion) mistakes, I’ll be a huge flaming ball of stress ready to crash into earth. Another plus about ordering a cake is that I could have it delivered instead of having to worry about that part myself. The question is, how much time and stress will it be versus how much money we would save?

Maybe I should keep it simple. If we buy a cake, simple will save money, and if I make it, simple will save time and sanity. I was thinking a round, 3 or 4 tiered (depending on the size of the tiers) red velvet cake with a textured buttercream decorated by fresh florals that match the centerpieces. Last night I was also thinking about how yummy and fall-themed the same thing would be if made entirely in chocolate (although I’ve had really stressful experiences making chocolate cakes myself with the crumb and crumble factor that chocolate has).

However, fondant has a really impressive, clean look and helps seal in the cake’s moisture quite a bit more. My fondant covered cakes so far have been better than my buttercream finished. There is chocolate fondant, too. The problem is fondant takes a lot more time and effort. I will probably be quite busy in the days leading up to the wedding. Something to think about. If I wanted to have gumpaste flowers, those could always be done far ahead of time, but I’m worried they might not match the real flowers I had planned to decorate the reception.

I think the best way to answer this is to research wedding cake prices for the cake I want and try to make some cakes now to see how difficult/stressful/time consuming it really is. That’s a lot of cake though. Hmm… We’ll have to think of something…

Decisions, decisions. I really don’t have my mind made up about this yet, but we have a lot of time. The groom’s cake should be a little easier.

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Cake flavors I want to try to make (someday)

Cakes I want to try: chocolate chip, marble, pink lemonade, confetti, pina colada, margarita, pumpkin (Thanksgiving maybe), coconut, white almond sour cream, eggnog, sour cream chocolate, chocolate kahlua, key lime, darn good chocolate, almond pound, chocolate espresso pound, chocolate peanut butter, white chocolate pound

Frostings I’d like to try: Italian meringue buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream, French buttercream, key lim buttercream, key lime cream cheese, orange buttercream, peanut butter buttercream, white chocolate buttercream, white chocolate cream cheese, whipped cream, chocolate whipped cream, cappuccino, poured fondant, chocolate poured fondant, orange cream cheese, chocolate toffee, caramel, brown butter cream cheese, ganache, mint chocolate ganache, cannoli, tiramisu, kahlua, chocolate fudge marshmallow, chocolate hazelnut buttercream, raspberry buttercream

Fillings: chocolate mousse, raspberry, strawberry, strawberry cream, Oreo, chai tea

And one more: Cream-filled chocolate cupcakes (think Hostess, but homemade and better)

Whew, that’s a long list.

[ I just thought this was cute ]

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