Category Archives: Notes About Fun Things

Snow Day!

Today was the first day the snow fell here in the Northland, and boy did it make a grand entrance!

On Wednesday some mommy friends and I took our kids to the zoo. It was 68 degrees outside and we found our light jackets to be too warm.

Today this is what our backyard looked like:

CRAZINESS!

We had a great snow day! We had absolutely no plans for the day, so instead of being thrown for a loop by the snow, we were able to simply stay home and enjoy a cozy day together. We read books, baked cookies, took naps (mine was perhaps a bit too long :)) and I made lasagna in the crockpot for dinner (a recipe which I will share in a subsequent blog-post).

And…of course, we got bundled up…

…and spent some time playing in the glorious white stuff outside. Daddy & W built a snowman, which W named “Na-Na”.ย  (S & I watched from the sidelines (actually, she spent most of our time outside trying to understand why we couldn’t play with the tricycle or sidewalk chalk :)), but she wanted in on the picture, too :)).

What a great day!

How did you spend your snow day?

I Interrupt This Blog…

…to promote a giveaway that a friend is doing on her blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember my post about this adorable dolly I got from my friend who makes them herself? She has a blog and a little crafty business called Threaded Basil that is really too cute to miss.

Anyway, she is giving away a Kitty-Kat-Kitty dolly (also very cute) on her blog, and you really don’t want to miss it! Go here for details, and HURRY, as she will be drawing the winner on Friday. I just did the math and that’s the day after tomorrow. Oops. HURRY!

The Cake

I grew up in a home where the cake was a key part of each child’s birthday celebration. Almost every year, on the night before our birthday parties, my mom (who is amazing in the kitchen) would bake a 1/2 sheet cake and coat it with a white layer of Betty Crocker buttercream frosting. She would also mix up the remaining frosting in a variety of vibrant colors. My dad (who is an amazing artist) would then go to town decorating the cake to fit whatever the theme of the birthday party was, decorating almost entirely with a star-shaped frosting tip. They would literally stay up almost half the night creating these cakes! I wish I had a photo of one of those cakes to share with you; they were true works of art (though, at the time, I didn’t realize how much work they took)!

So, as you can imagine, as we start to celebrate my own kids’ birthdays, the cake is key for me. For W’s birthday this year, I borrowed my mom’s 1/2 sheet cake pan, cake platter, and frosting decorating tips/bags. I also got the skinny from her on the cake mix she uses (3 boxes of Duncan Hines baked for 1 hr at 325) as well as the exact frosting recipe. She told me she felt like she was “passing the torch”, which is kind of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

As I mentioned in an earlier post, W decided that he wanted his cake to have his favorite things on it, and he even provided a handy list:

  • Crayons
  • Toy Story
  • Cars
  • Farm Animals
  • Star Wars
  • Legos
  • Waffles
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Chips
  • Apple Juice
  • Mater (*made out of chocolate)
  • Fire Engine

I saw it as a challenge. I baked and frosted the cake, and then (after a few trips to Walmart and the Dollar Tree :)) did my best to decorate it according to his wishes. Here is what I came up with:

  • Crayons
  • Toy Story
  • Cars
  • Farm Animals
  • Star Wars
  • Legos
  • Waffles
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Chips
  • Apple Juice
  • Mater (*made out of chocolate)
  • Fire Engine

As you can see, I got most of them checked off the list, though apple juice, Thomas, napkins, waffles and Mater-made-out-of-chocolate just didn’t happen (I mean really, where would one find a Mater-made-out-of-chocolate?!). I’ve forbidden myself for kicking myself over these omissions, however, and am choosing to focus on what did end up on the cake. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yeah…not the most amazing work of art (do you like the way the brown frosting border is sliding off the edge of the cake in that one spot? :)), but it was fun to make.

And…we have LOTS left over. Lots. Turns out a 1/2 sheet cake is a lot of cake for 13 people. A LOT. LOTS. In retrospect, I probably should have invited you all over for a cake party earlier this week.

We could have dined on cake and Spumoni ice cream and discussed our favorite things.

Trash or Treasure?

A few weekends ago we spotted this trunk as we were driving by a garage sale a few blocks from our house. It fit a “vague vision” we had for a piece of decor for our house. And they were willing to give us a bargain. So we bought it.

It’s old. Very old. Here’s what it looks like on the inside:

You can’t see it, but stuck to the bottom is a newspaper clipping dated 1927 โ€” which, I think, the trunk is even older than.

Our living room is currently an open play area, but eventually โ€” once we touch the trunk up and (literally) soften the sharp edgesย  โ€” it will serve as a coffee table.

I like to think that if I were ever to take it on that “Antique Roadshow” show, their jaws would drop and they would tell me it is worth thousands upon thousands of dollars. But I think I’ll humor myself and just let that idea hover in my imagination.

Because for now it has a plant and magazines on top (not pictured) and sits proudly along our wall, somehow completing the room.

And I don’t want to sell it, anyway.

A Happy Ending

Remember my sob-story of our quest to obtain a certain vintage movie projector for M’s office? Well, it just occurred to me that I forgot to provide an update to the tale.

Observe M’s office shelf as it currently appears:

Yes, we found one!! One thing I love about my husband is that in the face of defeat he is filled with determination. The very night of our ill-fated trip to Bachman’s, M hit the internet hard in search of another projector โ€” and within a couple days, he located one โ€” for the exact same price as the one that slipped out of our hands at Bachman’s!

The best part is that it came in the original case with some original accessories:

Father’s Day Gift = WIN!

(can I still count it as his Father’s Day gift even though he did all the work to find it? Hmmm…)

Seriously, I am so glad he was able to find one. Now his office area is all decked out, ready to inspire him in his video work! He’s got lots of great video ideas and projects up his sleeve, I am excited to help add just a teeny bit of inspiration to his work area. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Birthday Party Post

(Please Note: All the good photos in this blog post were taken by my sister. Yes, that’s right, all the good photos. The rest were taken by me. Once you see them I think it will be fairly clear which is which. :))

Baby S turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, so it was time to par-tay! We invited the grandparents, aunts & uncles over and had a fun evening.

I decided on a “flower/garden” theme for the party. I’d originally envisioned a room decorated with tons of homemade tissue paper flowers like these ones from Badgers On the Loose, and a cupcake stand full of beautifully decorated pastel cupcakes much like the ones on the front of my Magnolia Bakery cookbook:

(except with some cute little candy flowers kind of like the ones on the cupcakes pictured here. )

Alas, reality hit. The party ended up coming at the tail end of a crazy week, and, long story short, I ended up with only 4 hours free before the party to prepare dinner, bake the cupcakes, decorate the cupcakes, and decorate. And clean. So…with all of the craziness, the paper flowers ended up becoming an activity for the guests (which they did a better job with than I would have, anyway :)) :

…and the cupcakes ended up looking a little gloppy since I decorated them all in, like, 5 minutes…

…but we still had a lovely time celebrating the most important part of the event: sweet baby S!


(OH! And I should tell you about the cake. Did you know that Lunds offers free first birthday cakes? We got one and used it as S’s own personal cake to destroy (though, I admit, I snuck a piece or two from the untouched side of it…once the party was over, of course :)). Anyway, they are beautifully decorated, custom ordered, and absolutely delicious! All you need to do is bring your baby’s birth certificate in to the bakery to prove your babies birthdate, and you are all set to order! Quite a deal that I would highly recommend.)

Anyway, all in all a great time…though I’m still working on accepting the fact that my baby is 1!!!

Ouch!

So we heard through the grapevine that Bachman’s has some neat vintage film equipment for sale, and M was immediately interested, as he is a video guy (does video editing on the side) and has been looking for some cool stuff to deck out the office with. Thursday night we made an impromptu trip to Bachman’s, where we found this really cool looking vintage 16 mm Keystone film projector. It looked kind of like this, except black and shinier and cooler looking:

I thought it looked neat. M loved it too. But, alas, I thought the price tag was a bit too steep โ€” not ridiculous (particularly as I think about it in retrospect); just a little more than I envisioned spending on such a purchase. So I put my vote in that we not buy it โ€” for now โ€” and M, being the wonderfully selfless husband that he is, agreed. After several minutes of hanging around the projector, holding it, examining it, and admiring it, we reluctantly put it back on the shelf, left and hit the antique section where we found some cool old film reels and canisters instead.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I really wanted him to have this projector. So today I decided that, one way or the other, I wanted him to get it. Long story, but I decided to make it an early Father’s Day present. So when we were near Bachman’s today, I told him I wanted to get it for him, and suggested we stop by the store and pick it up. So we parked and headed into the store, where we had a slightly painful experience.

First, I’ll say what wouldn’t have hurt. It wouldn’t have hurt if we would have walked in and found the shelf empty. It would have been a bummer, but it wouldn’t have hurt.

What did hurt was that we literally walked in just as a gentleman had taken it off the shelf and was holding it โ€” not in a “I’m holding this to get a better look at it” kind of way; it was a much more confident “I’m holding this because I’m going to buy it” kind of way. Our suspicions were confirmed as we asked him if he was going to buy it and he assured us that he was. So we left.

And I may or may not have cried. Right there in the store.

Granted, I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is no biggie. But still I ask: does anyone have any great ideas where one might find such a film projector? Seriously. Like, I’m seriously asking. Anyone know? (*aside from EBay, of course. I am aware of EBay. :))