Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tonight We Gonna Party Like It's 1999


Growing up back in the 70s, 80s and the 90s, the year 2000 seemed so far away. As a kid, I had visions of people driving spacecrafts and being able to teleport themselves. Not that life would be like Star Wars or Star Trek, or even The Jetsons, but you get the idea.

I cannot believe that tomorrow we will be entering the year 2010. It just sounds so weird!

Now, in celebration of the year 2010, here are 2010 things about me...

Just kidding! ;) I wouldn't do that to you!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year! Enjoy each moment you have with your family and friends. That's what life's all about.

Soooooooo...What are you going to celebrate the New Year?
Sunday, December 27, 2009

Little One's First Christmas...At Home!!!


This is where we were last Christmas. Little One was in the NICU for the first two months of her life.

Her first Christmas was in the hospital, six hours away from home. It wasn't an awful Christmas though. Little One was healthy and thriving, and doing just great under the wonderful care of all the doctors and nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Mommy had the support of all the staff, parents of other babies in the NICU, family and friends in Toronto (very special thanks to my Dad's sister and her family for being so good to us and letting me stay with them for those two months while Little One was in the NICU). The Linden Fund also helped make Christmas at Mount Sinai a happy one. There was some semblance of "normal" in a time that was most definitely not a normal one for us.

The Linden Fund put on a Christmas dinner for us and there were presents and Christmas stockings for all the babies.

This year was a very different year for us. Little One had her first Christmas AT HOME! She helped Mommy bake cookies for friends and family...

hung out with friends and family over the Holidays and enjoyed some Funeral Cake.
Okay, Little One didn't have any cake because Mommy is mean and will not let her have refined sugars, chocolate, or anything of that nature.

The funeral cake was delicious, by the way!
In case you missed the whole funeral cake post, a friend of mine made my birthday cake for my surprise birthday party. Her husband told her it looked like a funeral cake, so she made me a pink tractor cake instead. When we had them over for supper a few days later, she brought the funeral cake. We enjoyed it thoroughly. It was to die for. Mmmmkay, perhaps that wasn't the most appropriate thing to say.
Little One enjoyed opening Christmas presents. She enjoyed playing witht he wrapping paper more than playing with her new toys. Next year, I think I'll just get her a roll of paper.
On Christmas morning, Little One was a very busy girl (as always).
Trying to figure out just how much mess she can make before getting caught.

One of the best presents I received was the white hot chocolate from Second Cup and the white chocolate and cranberry cookies my friend baked. This said, the Dodge Caravan my husband got me scored pretty high!
I have to say that the very best present I received this Christmas was a happy, healthy, thriving baby girl who is HOME with us! Precious time spent with family and friends is also one of the greatest presents I could ask for.
Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Blog Before Christmas


'Twas the blog before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a thought was worth writing, not even an ounce;
The chores were all done, not that anyone else but I would care,
And, the baby? St. Nick? Who was he? Why would she care if he were there?
Little One, fast asleep and sprawled out on her bed,
Was probably dreaming of playtime instead.
Hubby in bed and I with last minute presents to wrap,
could barely keep eyes open and in need of a nap!

Okay, I was trying to be ambitious and would have loved to finish this poem. Honestly, I have nothing of interest to share. I wish I did. I wish I could have written some rather poignant post of the true meaning of Christmas. I wish I had some really outstanding story to share. I don't.

I do have to say that I wish all my friends and family a very Merry Christmas. I do feel blessed since this year, we are celebrating Christmas as a family. This time last year, Little One and I were at Moutn Sinai Hospital, where she spent her first two months of life in the NICU. This year, we are at home on the Island with our loved ones. This is something worth celebrating and being thankful for.

We are also blessed with Lola and Grampy being healthy and Baby Bro being on the Island for the Holidays.

It's sometimes hard to see all our blessings every day, but I have to learn to appreciate things more. We have our family. We have our health. We have our friends. We have our home. We have our livelihoods. We have food on the table. We have our precious Little One. We have our lives. Sometimes we lose sight of these things.
Saturday, December 19, 2009

Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti ...and Have You Ever Heard of Funeral Cakes???


For my birthday yesterday, my husband took me out to Little India because I was craving Indian food!I knew that Little One LOVES music, but I didn't realize that she absolutely loves the sound of the sitar! She was dancing to the music. It was so cute!I also learned something rather funny. One of my girlfriends said she wanted to make me a birthday cake. She had worked tirelessly to create a beautiful cake for me, and her husband told her "It looks like a funeral cake". A funeral cake?!?

Me: Do funeral cakes actually exist? Is there even such a thing?!
Friend: I don't know! My husband said it looks like a funeral cake though! (exasperated)
Me: Hang on. I'm just going to Google "funeral cakes".
***
Me: OH. MY. GOODNESS. (laughing)
Friend: What?
Me: You won't believe this! There are tons of links for funeral cakes!!
(both laughing)
Friend: Well, what would a funeral cake look like? What do you write on a funeral cake?!?
Me: Well, they look just like birthday cakes.
Friend: So, does it say "Happy Death Day to You" or "RIP"?
Me: No. More like Bible passages.

Wow. Thanks to my friend's husband, we learned that funeral cakes do exist!I love my pink tractor birthday cake! My friend baked two cakes (this is the second one) because she didn't want to bring the first cake (the "funeral cake"). I think she did a great job!

Yet another thing I learned as I turn one year older is that my husband is full of surprises. My husband organized a surprise birthday gathering for me on Saturday. I was totally surprised, because he has never done anything like that for me. Ever. He's not much of a party organizer. Why should he be though? He's never had to do it before. Plus, I always organize the family dinners and parties with friends. I was touched that he put the effort into planning something for me. He loves me. He really, really loves me.
Then he told me that the guests would be arriving in a few hours. WHAT??? I could feel the stress and anxiety sweep over me. Then I got upset. Okay, angry is more like it. It just felt so unjust that I had to clean the entire house and get things ready for guests who were coming to my surprise party. Sooooo terribly unfair.

I felt awful after because it occurred to me that my husband did in fact have the best of intentions. I didn't want to be such a malcontent or ingrate. I do appreciate him. We just don't seem to think the same way. The execution and planning just wasn't how I would have done things. I would have planned the event WAY in advance. I would have cleaned the house, made sure to have party food, and well...just be organized! A+ for thoughtfulness and good intentions though. Some of the people got their invitation/phone call the afternoon of the surprise get together!

A friend reminded me last week that Men Are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti. For a man, every element of his life is in a separate box. For a woman, everything in her life touches everything else. The talk I had with my friend really helped me understand my husband and his logic more.

I told her about an incident that took place last week. I had a meeting to attend at 7PM and asked Hubby to be back in time so he could watch Little One while I was at the meeting. I needed to leave at 6:40 to get to my destination on time. 6:43 and Hubby still hadn't arrived. I bundled Little One up in her snowsuit, put her in her car seat and left Hubby a message on his cell phone saying that I was going to be late and would have to just take the baby to my meeting with me. 6:45 and Hubby's truck barreled down the lane way.

Me: I've got to run. PLEASE feed the baby and change her diaper. Oh, and there are just a few dishes in the sink. Could you PLEASE do them for me?

Hubby: Okay. Have fun at your meeting.

Me: Fun? It's a meeting. We talk about budgets and fund raising. Anyway, don't forget to feed and change the baby...and don't forget the dishes.
***

I returned from the meeting and the baby hadn't been changed or fed, and the dishes were still in the sink.

Me: She hasn't been fed or changed? The dishes are still in the sink? WHAT on earth did you do all that time I was gone?!?!?

Hubby: Honey, she's just sooooo busy! It's a full time job just watching her!

Me: FINE! I guess I'll do it. I always have to do everything. I never get any downtime. I never get any rest. For once, I'd just wish to not have to do dishes. I'm ALWAYS doing dishes!!!

***
Fast forward to the next day when my friend and I took our girls to the play group's Christmas Party.

I told her about what had happened and she explained to me that men think about things in compartments. The dishes weren't a priority for Hubby. His main concern was that Little One was safe and being taken care of. Everything else was secondary.

Me: What on earth?! How come when I'm at home I can cook, clean, do dishes and laundry, run errands, do things for Hubby, get paperwork done, do online work (articles and other jobs), AND take care of the baby?!?!

Friend: That's because women are like spaghetti. Every part of our lives connect and overlap. We can multitask. Women are better at multitasking than men. Men think in boxes. Like waffles.

It's so true. Men and women are totally hardwired differently. We don't think in the same ways. I have a zillion examples of this, but that's an entirely different post all together! :)

I love my husband. He's such a great father to Little One. He adores her...and me. Men and women just don't think the same and we don't have the same priorities. "Please put out the garbage" to me means "NOW". To him it means "at some point in the future". "Could you please pass me the wipes? I'm changing the baby and my hands are full" means "I need the wipes NOW"! To him, it means "sometime later" or "You mean you need it now??". *sigh*

This whole marriage and parenthood thing is truly a learning process. Every day we learn new things. I've learned that my husband is the best and I love him so much! We have our moments where we just don't get each other, but we learn and try to understand each other. I've learned that I can be very impatient at times and I need to work on that. I need to work on being more understanding of the reasons behind the logic of our decisions, actions and thinking.
Friday, December 18, 2009

34



I remember a time when thirty seemed OLD to me. When I was in high school, thirty seemed so far away. I never imagined what it would feel like to be thirty. Today I am thirty-four.

In many ways, being in my thirties doesn't feel old. I feel more secure, more confident, more aware, more experienced, more understanding, more patient, and a little wiser. I use the word "wiser" very loosely, because I know that I have a long way to go still in that area!

I still have a lot to learn and I am not afraid to admit that there's still a lot I need to work on. I'll be the first to admit that older doesn't always mean wiser or more mature.

In celebration of my thirty-four years on this planet, here are thirty-four things about me:

1. I love with my life
2. ...even if my life sometimes frustrates me and feels overwhelming at times.
3. I have a wonderful husband who loves me very much.
4. I have a beautiful, healthy, happy baby girl.
5. My baby is growing up way too quickly! I can't believe she's 13 months old!
6. I love being able to take time off work to be with her and raise her.
7. Part of me is looking forward to teaching again in a few months.
8. Part of me wishes I could just stay home and take care of Little One.
9. I haven't had a nap since I gave birth to Little One (except for the day I was so sick that I thought I was on death's door)!
10. Despite the zero downtime and exhaustion, I wouldn't trade in motherhood for anything.
11. There are so many things I now realize I have been naive about (that's an entirely different post all together).
12. I didn't think I'd get so emotional at the thought of Little One self-weaning. She's down to two nursing sessions a day, but it seems like she's going to wean herself soon. She keeps BITING me!
13. I'm one of those moms who carries liquid hand sanitizer in her purse, diaper bag, vehicle, etc.
14. I'm afraid of the dark.
15. I'm afraid of spiders and snakes.
16. I live in the country.
17. It's dark in the countryside and there are lots of spiders and snakes in the countryside too.
18. My favourite colour is Cerulean.19. If you ask my husband what my favourite colour is, he'll say "blue".
20. Cerulean is a shade of blue.
21. I really should spend more time with my dog, Chance.
22. I feel guilty for spending all my time with the baby and less time with Chance.
23. I love cooking and baking.
24. I don't really like eating baked goods or sweets.
25. I'd rather bake decadent treats for other people because I enjoy the pleasure they get from the treats I make.
26. ...I secretly like that others eat my baked goods so they gain weight and I don't.
27. #26 was a horrible, horrible thing to write. I should take that back.
28. I've got a very bad memory.
29. I'm very social, friendly and outgoing.
30. I love hosting dinner parties at our house.
31. I also love just spending time at home and having a quiet night.
32. My biggest problem is that I always try to please everybody. I like it when everyone is happy.
33. I have a hard time saying "No" to people.
34. I really don't need or want anything for my birthday. All I want is for my loved ones to be happy and healthy.

Ohhhh, okay. Though I have everything I need, I would like a dishwasher so I don't have to scrub dishes every day. A front-loading washer and dryer would be great too! Our washing machine and dryer are on their last legs and front-loaders are more energy efficient! Hmmmm....a van would be great too! Having a two-door SUV is not very practical when you have to load a baby, her car seat and all her gear in and out all the time. Not fun at all.

Yeah, that's about it. ;)

Hubby, are you reading this? LOL!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Operation Christmas Basket


Tonight, I looked at the mountain the presents I wrapped for our family and friends and I felt happy and sad at the same time. I felt happy that I could bring joy and happiness to my loved ones with the special little (and not so little) things I picked out for each of our loved ones. Then, a wave of sadness washed over me.

Though Little One is still too young to understand the meaning of Christmas, I want to teach her that it's not about receiving material things. I want to create a special Christmas tradition for her when she's able to understand what it's all about. I was thinking when she's older, I can bring her to the store and get her to pick out a toy or book that she likes so we can donate it to the toy bank for kids who don't have as much as Little One does. I was thinking of getting her to help me make food baskets with non-perishable goods that we can donate to the less fortunate here in Canada. I was thinking of putting together baskets of mittens, hats and warm blankets.

I was also thinking of sponsoring a child through World Vision. I mentioned this to a few friends. A friend of mine mentioned donating to a charity she is directly involved with. Donations go to giving shelter, food and clothing to Burmese refugee children.

I'm thinking of getting the Christmas Munch Basket and the Christmas Snuggle Basket and putting it in the name of family members. That way, it's the gift that keeps on giving. Family members will be happy to know that a donation has been made in their names and that these donations make a difference in the lives of children who need them.

Check out the Room to Grow Foundation. Cheers to my friend, Jenn and everyone involved with the Room to Grow Foundation.

Another friend said that there are lots of children in Canada who are less fortunate and in need of assistance, and suggested I offer help closer to home. I agree that there are children in Canada who would benefit from donations from charities and other organizations...and I do make donations for causes like that.

I also make donations for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and for cancer research. Having a loved one suffer from a heart and stroke, this is a cause that we support. Both Hubby and I have lost family members and friends to cancers of different sorts. We believe in making donations to those causes as well. Another charity that is near and dear to our hearts is Mount Sinai Hospital's NICU. Little One was born three months premature and without Mount Sinai's NICU, doctors, nurses, staff, and medical technology, she probably would not be with us today.

Though we don't have much, we can only offer what we can.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The World Is Her Oyster


A week ago, I was e-mailing back and forth with a friend of mine and we touched upon a whole slew of things we were going through and what was going on in our lives. One of the last things she said was: "Enjoy this time with [Little One], when she's so adorable and fun and sweet, and no one has hurt her feelings yet, and she still thinks the world is her oyster. I wish it could always be so, for all of our children."

I thought about what my friend said and I couldn't sleep for the next few nights. Okay, I cried about it for over a week!!! It's just so hard to think about how innocent Little One is and how life is so wonderful for her right now...and how she doesn't know any of the hardships, tough decisions, peer pressure, and hurtful situations that she will have to face in the future.

As a mom, I look at my baby girl and see her innocence, trust, sweetness and I just wish I could keep things that way forever. I wish she never has to know that the world outside the one she knows can sometimes be a harsh place to live in. I wish she never gets her feelings hurt. I wish she never feels like she needs to be someone that she's not.

Of course, I know that she will have her feelings hurt and she will be put in situations that aren't so pleasant. I wish we could protect her from all of those things, but I think the best thing we can do is to prepare her for the outside world the best we can...and hope that she becomes a strong enough person to make the right decisions for herself.

Wow! This parenting thing is a lot harder than I thought it would ever be.
Monday, December 07, 2009

'Tis the Season...to Start Baking Up a Storm!!!


For a gal who doesn't really eat sweets often, I sure do a lot of baking during the holidays! Every year, I go on a baking frenzy and bake lots and LOTS of goodies for friends and family. It's a personal touch and a simple note to let people know they're important to me. This said, I really should be making everyone salads or vegetable casseroles to show them how much I care...and not giving them decadent desserts to help them clog their arteries. *sigh* Somehow a salad doesn't quite have the same "I love you" effect as a box of homemade cookies. It doesn't quite have the same WOW factor!

Anyway, a girlfriend asked me for recipes for freezable baked goods, so I decided to just put the recipes on the blog. Last time someone asked me for a recipe, I ended up having to e-mail the recipe to over a dozen other people. What can I say? I'm lazy. Now you all get the recipes!

Fancy Fake-Outs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:

* 1 cup butter, softened (NO substitutes)
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* dash salt
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 1-1/4 cups flour
* 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
* Chocolate Star Candies

Preparation:
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar and add vanilla. Stir in flour and oats. Shape dough into 2 rolls, each 1-1/2" in diameter. Wrap well in waxed paper, twisting the ends to seal. Chill well, at least 2 hours, before baking.

When ready to bake, cut dough into 1/4" slices and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Top each with a chocolate star. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove to racks to cool. 48 cookies

Make a few batches and store the dough in your fridge (up to four days) or the freezer (up to 3 months) to whip out for last-minute guests.

Butter Cookies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Ingredients:

* 1 cup butter, softened (NO substitutes)
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 2 Tbsp. orange juice
* 1 Tbsp. vanilla
* 2-1/2 cups flour
* 1 tsp. baking powder

Preparation:
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, orange juice, and vanilla and beat well to combine. Sift flour and baking powder and add to butter mixture. Mix until a dough forms. Cover and chill dough until firm, about 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough, 1/2 at a time, on a well-floured surface, with stockinet covered rolling pin, to a 1/4" thickness. Cut with shaped cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 6-10 minutes until very lightly brown.

When cookies have cooled, frost with Buttercream Frosting, tinted different colors with liquid or paste food coloring.

To freeze, prepare dough and divide into four portions. Shape each portion into a 1/2" thick disc. Freeze on waxed paper lined cookie sheets, then pack into hard sided freezer containers. Label; freeze up to 6 months. To thaw and bake, let freezer container stand at room temperature for about an hour. One at a time, use each disc, rolling out and cutting cookies (keep remaining dough covered). Bake cookies and frost as directed.

Chocolate Almond Freezer Cookies
Yield 6 dozen
Ingredients

* 4 (1 ounce) squares milk chocolate, chopped
* 3/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup apricot preserves

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine the almonds and the milk chocolate. Add half of the sugar, and mix well. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft. Stir in the vanilla and remaining sugar until well blended.
3. Mix in the egg and apricot preserves. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Stir into the egg mixture. Add the chocolate and nut mixture and stir until well blended. Mixture will be stiff.
4. Spread two lengths of plastic wrap about 12 inches long on a counter. Spoon half of the dough down each length of the wrap, forming strips 8 to 9 inches long. Bring the two long sides of the wrap together on top of one of the strips of dough. Press together close to the dough and smooth into a strip about 9 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1 inch high. Repeat with second strip. Freeze for at least 1 1/2 hours, or as long as you'd like.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or baking parchment. Unwrap the frozen dough and cut 1/4 inch thick slices. Place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
6. Bake for about 11 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

All of these recipes can be made in advance. Shape cookies and store in freezer until ready to bake. These are easy to make ahead of time. You can also freeze the cookies (already baked).

TIPS FOR FREEZING AND STORING BAKED GOODS:
- Always make sure you let your baked goods cool completely before you wrap, store or freeze them.
-Wrap and then double wrap your desserts. Wrap desserts in two layers of plastic wrap and then put it in a heavy duty freezer bag (like a Ziploc freezer bag). Make sure to push as much air out to avoid freezer burn.
-Make sure to THAW frozen desserts in the fridge or on the counter before serving.
Thursday, December 03, 2009

Shopaholic in the Making?



Learning to walk with the toy shopping cart her friend (and swimming buddy) lent her.

Just a few more random photos of Little One getting ready for the Holiday Season...


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

It's Not Nice To Laugh At Others


...Unless they do things like this!!!

I'd like to teach my child that it is never okay to make fun of others or laugh at their expense. Even when they do things like this...Some people make it so difficult to NOT laugh though! I mean, seriously??

Okay, the last photo isn't funny. I don't know what would possess a parent to put their child to nap in a cart and then load it up with big boxes on top. I wonder if it didn't occur to the parents that the boxes may just fall on top of their child? Anyway...

A friend sent me this link for People of Walmart. You will find all kinds of craziness if you to the site. Okay, I have to admit that some of the images are pretty funny. Have you ever seen any weird get ups or people doing odd thingswhen you've been to Walmart? I know I have seen some pretty crazy things before, but I would never take a photo of the people sporting camel toe pants or Halloween costumes in July.

*Just to let you know, I'm not being holier than thou. I actually did laugh at some of the photos and I actually do think some of the people in the photos are a little kooky! As much as I would like to tell Little One that she must never make fun of people or laugh at them, it sure is hard when people do some pretty crazy things sometimes!!! ;) *
Monday, November 30, 2009

I Did It!!!


I survived yet another NaBloPoMo! Every day for the month of November, I diligently posted on the blog. I'll have to admit that I feel like I did a horrible job. Life has been so busy and I really don't feel like I put much thought or effort into my posts.

Regardless, I did it! :)

I once contemplated on doing the NaNoWriMo challenge. Yikes. Perhaps I was being too ambitious. Maybe next year I'll try my hand at the national novel writing month. Maybe.

Oh, and I also did this...
Remember the recipe I wanted to try? Well, it turned out perfectly! Hubby says this recipe is a keeper.
Here's a cross section shot of the cream cheese filled chocolate cupcake. The candy cane sprinkles (or as my two year old nephew calls them, "pinkles") are great with the chocolate cupcake. Mint + Chocolate = A marriage made in Heaven!


Yes, the cupcakes are "Hubby Approved". :)
Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Remember


...being in grade two and really, really wanting a Cabbage Patch Kid. Back in the 80s, Cabbage Patch Kids were the biggest rage! My Mom scoured the stores and all the Cabbage Patch Kids were out of stock.

When I was a kid, my parents never just gave us toys or treats for no reason. We had to earn our prized possessions. They taught us from an early age that hard work reaps its rewards. Whether it be by doing some kind of chore and earning our allowance (which was like fifty cents a week or so when we were little!) or getting straight A's in school, we always had to earn the things we really wanted. For my brother, it was Transformers. For me, it was a Cabbage Patch Kid.

On the day I brought my report card home with straight A's (I think there was a B+ in there, but it was close enough to straight A's), my parents were very proud of me. My prize? You guessed it! A Cabbage Patch Kid! My poor Mom had to practically wrestle another woman in the store for the last one!

Alyssa Lisette was the name written on my Cabbage Patch Kid's birth certificate. Though she wasn't the one I wanted (for some reason, I wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid with long, blond pig tails and blue eyes. Alyssa Lisette had short curly hair. Despite the fact that she wasn't the one I wanted, she was the one I loved. I had worked hard all school year to get her...and my Mom had a hard time getting her for me.

That memory always stuck in my mind. It reminds me of how sweet the rewards are when you work hard and wait for it. When things are just given to us, we don't appreciate them as much as when we have to work and wait to get them.

This Cabbage Patch Kid memory just resurfaced when my cousin (one of Little One's godfathers) gave Little One her very first Cabbage Patch Kid for her first birthday. Too sweet!
Saturday, November 28, 2009

Something I Want to Try


In May, my cousin got married to one of the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful people I've ever met. Their wedding had me in tears because just by looking at the couple, you could feel the love they shared. It just radiated from their smiles and the way they looked at each other. I always cry at weddings, but this time it was different. It was a very special wedding, indeed.

At the reception/dinner, they had the most beautiful wedding cupcakes. I didn't get to try them because I left the party early. We stayed for the ceremony, the dinner, a bit of the dance, but the baby needed to nurse and go to sleep for the night.

At the brunch the next morning, there were a few cupcakes left from the night before. I was lucky enough to get to try one.

Oh. My. Goodness.
Can I tell you that these were the best cupcakes I have ever had?!

I have been thinking of making them to include in my Christmas baking this year. I found this recipe online at www.Cooks.com and I hope it is similar to the one we tried at the wedding. The only thing is that the recipe on Cooks.com calls for chocolate cake mix from a box. I don't use ready made mixes, so I think I'll just use one of my chocolate cake/cupcake recipes.
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE
FILLING

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 egg
Dash of salt
1/3 c. sugar
1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
Mix cake mix per instructions for cupcakes on box. Fill each paper liner to half full. Next, cream the cheese with the egg, salt and sugar. When smooth, add chocolate chips and stir well. Drop creamed mixture by large teaspoonfuls, 1 per cupcake. Bake per mix instructions (usually 350 degrees for 20 minutes). After cooled, frost.
The recipe looks simple enough. In fact, it looks so easy that even my husband can make it! It's kind of like one of those "half made homemade"/"homemade from a box"/fake out recipes.

I can't remember what kind of frosting was used on the wedding cupcakes. I don't know if it was a cream cheese frosting or a butter cream frosting. Anyway, here's a frosting recipe for you. Sorry, but it's definitely not figure friendly!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound (3 1/2 cups) sifted confectioners sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Preparation:

Cream butter, salt, and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beating after each addition. Add 3 tablespoons milk, beating until smooth. Beat in more milk until desired spreading consistency is reached. Makes about 2 1/3 cups of frosting, enough to frost tops and sides of of an 8-inch 2-layer cake or a 10-inch tube or bundt cake, or about 1 dozen cupcakes.

I wonder if I could do the cream cheese filling with chocolate brownies? Think it would turn out?
Friday, November 27, 2009

Adventures in Mommyhood


Against my better judgment, I put up our Christmas tree AND put a few presents under the tree for our nieces and nephew. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I honestly didn't think that Little One would be all over that tree and opening everyone's presents!

You see, she's a preemie. She was born three months early and EVERYONE told me that preemies are usually developmentally delayed. Apparently, many preemies take longer to learn how to sit, crawl, walk, and talk. Well, Little One is crawling...and crawling fast! She's also cruising from one couch to the next by hanging onto the couch or her toys and "walking" herself to where she wants to go. This is all new. This all happened within the past week or so.

She used to just sit in one place and play with her toys. Now, she heads straight for the Christmas tree. She's opened her cousins' presents and I've had to re-wrap them twice already. When I see her heading for the tree, I say "[Insert Little One's real name here], no thank you."
She looks at me and smiles and then bolts for the tree again. "No thank you!", I say (but this time in a more stern voice). Then she starts to laugh.

My newly twelve month old LAUGHS at me when I try to discipline her!

When she thinks I'm not looking, she scoots over to the Christmas tree again. "NO THANK YOU. Dangerous. Not for baby" and I wave my hand, gesturing that I don't want her to pull the Christmas tree down. Her response? She smiles and waves her hands like I do when I gesture that I don't want her to do something.

I thought she'd be exhausted because she's been crying/whimpering/screaming in her sleep the past few nights. I know I have been exhausted! But, alas! She is full of energy. Even after getting up super early to go to the doctor's for her second dose of the H1N1 vaccine AND after having a play date with the son of a friend of ours. Nope. No nap. Not even tired. She's bouncing around (on the leg that she received the shot in!) AND...

She finally cut her first teeth! The two bottom teeth are now out! This whole teething process has been long and agonizing! You can imagine my surprise when I looked in her mouth today and saw those chompers! I didn't know whether to celebrate or cry! Having her first teeth is serious business. She's really not a "baby" baby anymore. Know what I mean? :(
Thursday, November 26, 2009

I LOVE THESE!!!


I usually don't like having my photo taken, but the photographers at PhotoCaptiva are amazing! I just love, love, LOVE the photos they take! Here's a sample of just how talented they are! All the photos were taken on our farm.If you're looking for photographers to capture your special occasions, be sure to check out WWW.PHOTOCAPTIVA.COM !!!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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