Monday
Jul062015

Yay! BOOM!

The 4th of July has always ranked high on my list of Best Holidays. Earlier in life, it was high on my list because it was a good holiday to volunteer to work. Hardly any humans wandered into the department store where I worked, we closed early, and work in no way interfered with the fun. So, holiday pay! Without sacrifice!

Later I learned to love the holiday because, well, HOLIDAY. Any day that is not spent at work while you are getting paid is a good day, you know? Plus, it's a day spent eating all of the foods and looking at sparkly things that go BOOM.

It's probably no surprise that I think fireworks are the bestest.

I should probably clarify that statement, though. I think fireworks that go boom on the 4th of July are the bestest. Fireworks that go boom on the 5th? Blurgh. Fireworks that go boom on the 3rd? Well, I don't like them very much.

Fortunately, we live in a fantastic neighborhood so nearly all of the booms came on the 4th. They were spectacular, gorgeous, phenomenal booms. They were the sort of booms that shake the windows, send the dogs into hiding, and wake the babies.

Which was fantastic.

Miss Mila wore herself out floating from person-to-person all through our 4th of July get-together, so it was no surprise when she fell asleep a bit early. I briefly considered fighting the battle to get her to sleep in her crib, but then came to my senses. There is exactly one thing that should happen on the 4th, and that's BOOM.

I knew she'd wake up when the fireworks started.

And I'm so glad she did.

With a nice little nap under her belt, Mila was ready to whip her head to-and-fro as fireworks went off all around. She gleefully observed the big kids as they twirled sparklers. She ooohed and aaahed over the sparks from the ground fireworks. She even stared big-eyed at the giant rockets in the sky. It only took her a few practice rounds to figure out the whistle sound that tells you a loud boom is coming, so she quickly knew when to lean in and protect her ears.

Not a single tear was shed. Just smiles and awe.

Which ... ummmm ... I think Alexis was 7? Maybe 8? Definitely MUCH older before she learned to appreciate fireworks. It was only very recently that she was able to enjoy them without bawling her eyes out and making me question my devotion to things that go BOOM.

But now I have two girls who love fireworks.

Thank goodness I also have lots of neighbors who love fireworks so I can continue to trade cupcakes for a good show.

Sunday
Jul052015

Magic Cake Cups

This is a thing that happened this weekend.

But it's not really the point.

The point is actually this.

These things are related because one is the cause and one is the effect. I made a dinosaur princess cake for a friend's birthday, and in doing so, I ended up with a bowl filled with cake scraps (to make the princess dress, I stacked three 9" round cakes and then trimmed them into the shape of a volcano). I couldn't very well just throw away the cake scraps, so ... effect.

It occurred to me that these little cups filled with magic would be a most excellent way to deal with not just cake scraps, but any ruined cake. Trying to decorate something and failing? Burned the edges of a cake? Tried to get the cake out of the pan and wound up with a billion pieces? It's all good. Cut whatever is salvageable into little cubes and work some magic.

Magic Cake Cups

1 cake, any flavor (I used this recipe. The only trick was that I baked the 9" round cake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees then covered it with foil and baked it for another 10-12 minutes.) (It would be super fun to use multiple flavors of cake.)
2 cups whipped cream (canned or make it using whipping cream and sugar)
Handful of berries

1. Place the cake cubes in the bottoms of the cup.

2. Add a few dollops of whip cream.

3. Top with berries.

4. Pretend like you were planning the Magic Cake Cups the whole time.

BTW, kids are super helpful with this one. Alexis did a lot of the cubing, most of the whipped cream, and all of the berries.

Saturday
Jul042015

Fireworks, Fun, Food, and Friends. An Excellent Fourth.