Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maine Books

It has been such a busy week- all fun stuff that was nice to be a part of! This afternoon our family was fortunate enough to attend another first birthday party. It was a great time and I took lots of pictures to share with you when I get back to regular posting. I'm taking the next week off as we head to Maine for vacation. I'm excited and a little apprehensive- I have no idea what to expect from this vacation!

Of course, we are taking the very books that inspired this trip in the first place!

One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey is actually based on the area in Maine that we are visiting. It's a delightful story and the pencil drawings are perfect.

Since we read Charlotte's Web by E.B. White last year we are taking the audio version, read by E.B. White himself, to listen to in the car.

L is for Lobster by Cynthia Furlong is our newest state book!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Sailboat Party

First birthdays are the best! Kristin and I recently helped our friend, Barb, to put together a party for her youngest who has "sailed" through his first year! Here are some of the details...

We hung the nautical banner over the picnic table where we put all the food. Barb had the idea to use bamboo to hang it from and it worked perfectly!

To garnish the drinks we used candy in the basic shape of a sailboat and made a little banner for the top. It was even cuter when the glasses were filled with lemonade, but I didn't get a shot of that!

We wrapped the utensils up with a lifesaver.

We served "fish and chips."

Kristin made these adorable cookies for the children to take home but they didn't make it that far!

I made the cake and was a little frustrated that the cookies kept falling down/off!

We also had a fishbowl full of blue jello and some gummi fish (that were floating at some very odd angles!). On top we put little walnut sailboats.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I'm thankful for rain and the rainbows that come after. We have had such a hot and dry summer. So dry that our grass was brown 2 months ago, the hydrangeas are looking like they really might not make it and the trees are losing their leaves. Two days ago, for the first time in many weeks, it rained. Significantly. And it has kept raining for the past few days. A steady, light mist that really made me want to cuddle up on the sofa with a good book. Or take a nap.

I'm thankful for a husband that cleans up after my colossal messes in the kitchen. Have I shared with you that I am a very messy cook? We made a deal when we married that I would do most of the cooking and he would do the cleaning. He has always stuck with that deal- even through marathon days of cooking/baking!

I'm thankful that my Mom still makes my children's Halloween costumes. We went today to pick up the fabric for the costumes (she wanted to get a head start) and Harris is beyond excited about his costume and Grace is going to be really sweet. They have both chosen characters from a book which makes my heart happy! I love that the children have complete and utter confidence that my Mom can make whatever costume they desire. I believe it too.

I'm thankful for our car and the gentleman who sold it to us. He lives here in town and when we purchased the car we never had to go into the dealership- not once. He kept bringing us cars to test and when we finally purchased one he brought the papers to us. Tonight, he came to pick it up for maintenance and left us with another one to drive tomorrow. Sweet.

I'm thankful for all the little, beautiful moments that make up my day. A kiss and a tight squeeze from Harris. A word of praise and love from Grace. A phone call from a friend. Coffee made perfectly by my husband. A perfect tomato, a juicy peach and pesto over penne. Cats who jump into laps or rub against legs. Zinnias blooming in the children's garden.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Superman Cake

This weekend Bryce and I made a Superman cake for a friend's son who adores Superman. I gave her two choices of cake styles- one being a flying Superman and the other being Superman's emblem. I was glad her son chose the flying Superman because it was more fun to make!

The cake was rather large and so I had to tape two large cake boards together in order to have a surface large enough to hold the cake. I also thought it would be cute if the background of the cake boards looked like the sky. This was achieved by spray painting the boards with food safe spray paint! I think that it turned out perfect!

The cake body was made using an 8 inch cake pan, a loaf pan, 4 mini loaf pans, and 2 cupcakes! We also used scraps to piece together his boots.

We used items we had on hand for his facial features- candy for his smile, chocolate sprinkles for his hair and the white part of oreos and a food safe pen for his eyes. His cape was just icing on top of cut wax paper. We printed out an emblem on the computer instead of trying to ice one!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Date #2- A picnic

Tonight Bryce and I went on the 2nd date of our year long date series. For this date I thought we should take advantage of the remaining summer and go on a picnic.

My menu was simple and one that I was able to make ahead of time. I should note that cherry hand pies are my newest favorite thing. I got the recipe here. They couldn't be easier to make and are adorable in little brown bags!

Picnic Menu

Tequila Lime Chicken
Berry Soup
Assorted tomatoes
Cherry Hand Pies

We had a lovely time together, then the mosquitoes showed up and we had to head home!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Art from Annapolis

When Bryce and I were first married we decided that whenever we traveled we would buy a book about the place we had traveled to or a piece of art from a local artist. Occasionally we have bought both and we always purchase a Christmas ornament to commemorate the trip.

The pieces in our house that were purchased on a trip have special meaning and memories, and I'd much rather have that in my home than something I purchased just to use as decoration.

Last winter, while over at my friend Barb's house I noticed that she had pottery mugs that were sized just right for her children. I thought it was a great idea (my children can't ever seem to finish a regular sized mug of hot chocolate) and when I saw The Annapolis Pottery shop I knew just what I would go in looking for. They didn't have anything specifically meant for children but they did have mugs that were labeled for Espresso. The shopkeeper told me that they were most likely "mistakes." I sort of love that they are different but by the same artist.

And now we will remember our trip to Annapolis while sipping cider on cool fall evenings and hot chocolate on cold winter nights.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Annapolis, Maryland

We just got back from a mini-vacation to Annapolis, Maryland. We found that Annapolis was a lovely, charming town. We ate our fill of seafood, toured around a bit and even got out on the water.

Our first evening in Annapolis we dug right in and had she crab soup and crabcake sliders. Yum.

We ate at the hotel for breakfast and I loved how the napkins were shaped to look like sailboats!

We toured around the Naval academy for most of our first morning. Here, we saw the space capsule, the chapel and some new midshipmen. We also toured the museum that has many, many models of ships plus the history of the Navy. It was really fascinating (mostly to Bryce and me!).

We also walked around the historic district. Here is where the state house resides and a very active main street! During our short stay we somehow managed to try out two ice cream shops and a fudge store!

We made our way around Annapolis in a shuttle that the children absolutely loved. The "dunebuggy," as Harris liked to call it, was driven by a gentleman who would entertain us with bits about history and fun little tours around town! Doesn't it look fun?

One of our main reasons for traveling to Annapolis was to go on a pirate adventure. This was a real highlight for all of us! Upon arriving the children dressed up, got tattoos, and learned how to properly talk like a pirate. They soon boarded the pirate ship to go hunting for treasure. Once out on the open sea they studied the map and were on the lookout for the treasure. They came upon a pirate and were forced to attack! Fortunately, the treasure was found and they were all able to take some home!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Love Notes

Grace likes to leave love notes for us around the house. Often, they will be by our bedside or on our bed. Other times they will be in an unexpected place like the basement refrigerator or the basement stairwell. They might be encouraging or environmentally conscious. I even found one that went with frog day (she tore the mickey mouse head off of a paint chip from Home Depot). One thing is for certain, they always make me smile.

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