Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Pioneer Woman's influence

I have been influenced by The Pioneer Woman so much that when I left my nephew Caleb's soccer game and saw these horses in the parking lot, I knew I had to take a picture. My nephew Jacob, who was with me, said the horses looked like they were thinking "Why are you taking my picture?". Aren't they beautiful?

I only wish I got to spend every day with beautiful creatures like this.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Birthday party invites and cupcakes

When I was growing up, I remember having family birthday parties and enjoyed spending every moment with my family. Our parties never had themes but nowadays everybody has a theme for their parties. I have always enjoyed putting ideas together whether it is for scrapbooks, parties, holidays or anything where I get to be creative. When my sister had her kids -- my triplet niece and nephews -- I knew early on that I would be planning their birthday parties. I don't even think I gave my sister a choice of letting her plan their first birthday party. I just said this is what I'm going to do and I'm going to pay for all the decorations or whatever it takes to put together my theme so she couldn't say no.

For past birthday parties we have had a carnival theme, Blues Clues, Princess/Spiderman/Incredible Hulk, tea party, and movie party themes (I will dig up some photos and post them soon). They have all been fun to plan. As the kids have gotten older, they've gotten to the point where they want to have their parties at arcades or someplace where they can just play games. This puts a damper on my theme party planning.

This year the kids all had separate parties and I tried to make each of their parties have a little bit of homemade touch to it by making cupcakes and their invites all match what they picked for their cakes.

Sydni had a Harry Potter themed party at the movie theatre. We watched the first movie in the series while the girls had some of Sydni's favorite foods: homemade mini-pizzas (made by Sydni herself), curly fries, chocolate covered stawberries (made by Sydni), cupcakes and cake. We also had a candy shop set up like they have in the movies complete with Bertie Botts Every Flavored Jelly Beans, chocolate covered frogs (homemade), lemon drops, licorice wands, and lots more. The girs loved being able to pick out candy to take home with them. In addition to the candy, they had Harry Potter glasses and silly bandz in their gift bags. I made the cupcake wrappers and toppers for the party - but as you can see in the pictures I forgot to use the wrappers! Way too much going on.

The cupcakes were delicious. They were vanilla and chocolate and scrumptious. For past parties I have always made a movie poster that incorporates their picture into the poster. The manager of the theater then puts the poster up outside as if it was for real. I think I get a kick out of that more than the kids do.

Jacob's party was at Chuck E. Cheese. Since they do all of the work for the party there is not really anything you can add to personalize it, but I made cupcakes to try and add a little something extra to the party. The cupcake wrappers and toppers were both used successfully for this party! I added gumballs on some of the cupcakes to resemble the ball pit. The goodie bags were the standard CEC ones so I went ahead and upgraded everyone's cup as a little treat. Jacob wanted his party here just so he could have a turn in the Ticket Blaster. He also was generous and let his brother and sister do it as well since it was also their birthday.

Caleb wanted a Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR theme at his party that he had at the Park and Pizza place. This was another party that they took care of everything for us. I wasn't able to take time off work to make cupcakes so I bought them from a cupcake delivery service. Unfortunately the cupcakes were horrid. The worst cupcakes I've ever had. Thank goodness the wrappers and toppers were cute! And to top it off, the cake melted on the drive to the party but as Caleb said, "at least we have cupcakes". Well the cake was delicious but ugly. The cupcakes were cute but awful tasting. And the gift bags each had a Dale Jr. diecast car per Caleb's request.

No matter the size, theme or mishaps of a party, kids are just thrilled that they have something that celebrates them!
handmade projects

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Allergic Reaction

There is nothing worse than spending money on pricey skin care products...and then being allergic to one of them. I have four new products and one of them is giving me an allergic reaction.

I've used Estee Lauder products on and off since my Aunt Eleanor first took me to buy makeup many many years ago. I've always loved their products but whenever I run out I usually use whatever Wal-Mart has on hand until I get really dry skin and then say screw it and spend the money to replenish my stash. Several months ago I noticed I had a dry skin patch on my eye lid so I proceeded to google it and self-diagnosed myself with an allergic reaction to a skin care product. But which one? I ran out of all my Estee Lauder stuff at the same time and didn't even think anything of it when my eye lids cleared up. It wasn't until I got in my products this week that I wondered if I would get a reaction. And sure enough I did. I'm going to have to eliminate products one at a time for a while to see what it is.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Pioneer Woman

I. Am. Obsessed. With. The. Pioneer. Woman. Website.

There I've said it. I've known about her site for a while but never really looked at it. Sure I clicked on links to a recipe or photo tutorial but that was the extent of it. I'm the type of person who shuns popular things so the more I heard about her the more I avoided going to her site.

Examples of my shunning:

Harry Potter? Never read the books and only saw the first movie a month ago.

Twilight Saga? Never read the books and thought everyone camping out for the movies were nuts. Finally saw the first one about six months ago. Ehh.

Bachelor/Bahelorette? No thanks.

Top Chef? No thanks. But I'll watch Food Network 24/7.

Ok, I think you get the picture. So anyway, I'm on her site via another blog link and see this cute western pic and it says Love Story or something like that so of course my antennae perk up.

I proceed to read the first post of "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" and absolutely fall in love with the story. I read it in two days (I had to get some sleep and it was 40+ chapters) and then was looking around for the rest of their story. I was close to asking her if she was going to write a book because I'd definitely buy it but I restrained myself because I didn't want to scare her.

So I stayed up until 1:30 am this morning reading stuff on her site. Then when I got home what did I do? The work I brought home with me you ask? Not exactly. I went back to her site and am making my way from the present all the way through her old blog posts. It will probably take me a couple of years but I'm determined!

Did I mention she also has a cookbook out so, of course, I immediately go to Amazon and have them ship it to me 2-day service so I can have something to read this weekend. Never mind the 300+ books in my "To Be Read" pile. I'll get to those after I finish reading her entire website.

And yes she did turn her love story into a book and possibly a movie too!

Now I need to find a way to have her invite me to her lodge for a cooking class. And while I'm at it, I'm going to find me my own cattlerancher who looks good in chaps. She makes it look so fun!!


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Friday, September 03, 2010

Bad weather

I hate rain. I really hate rain. And I especially hate driving in it. Once I cancelled plans to go see the Dallas Cowboys play football because it was raining. But the game went on without me.

That was my view last night leaving work around 8pm. I kept saying oh crap! the whole way home. It was ugly. The photo doesn't do it justice. It was pitch black on one part of the sky and red hue mixed in. And every once in a while you'd see lightening. Very spooky.

But luckily, for us, it never hit my area and I only had to drive in a bit of rain.

(picture courtesy of NASA)

Now the folks who had to deal with Hurricane Earl -- God bless. I'd have packed up and headed for higher grounds. And to think I want to live in one of the Carolinas. Maybe not so much anymore.

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