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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tasting Cake

Audra threw a "Tasting Party" this weekend.  What is a tasting party?  Well, in this instance, we were invited to come & try eight different cakes...four chocolate, four vanilla.  Three of each flavor came from mixes & one of each flavor were made from scratch.  The cupcakes were served without frosting so you could really taste the cake.


Of course the presentation was lovely!


So what did we learn?  Of the devils food cakes, Duncan Hines was the clear winner.  Of the white cakes, the scratch cake won (Magnolia Bakery, I believe).  The other three white cakes tasted almost identical.  I actually liked one of the mix white cakes better than the scratch cake, but am not sure which mix it was. 


Our favors were an indication of what we're tasting next month.


Dutch was the perfect host!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ben's Birthday

I've started this little tradition with my little nieces and nephews where I give them a piggy bank filled with about $5 in quarters, wrap it up & attach a note that says something like, " Happy Birthday, Ben!  Your present from us is lunch anywhere you like with us & then a trip to Bookman's to pick out books".  I started doing this because, honestly, these kids all have tons of stuff.  Do they need another Lego?  Do they need another Super Soaker?  I've been trying to decide what to do for years for all these kids & just didn't want to seem like the lame Auntie.  Finally, I just thought, what the heck?  So the other kids at the party think I'm lame.  Who cares?

So far, I've done this three times.  Each time, the kids have been kinda ehhh, whatever at the party, but when we take them to lunch & Bookman's, their little faces just light up!  It has been the best experience!  The day we took Ryan to lunch for his birthday happened to be the same day we were going to Ben's party.  When Ben opened our present, Ryan yelled, "hey, I just did that!  It was so fun!"  Yeah, I think I might be the cool Auntie now ;)

Here's a little glimpse into Ben's party:


$5 piggy banks from Old Navy.  Love them!


I bought too many red bandana for napkins & have started using them as gift wrap.  Love this!  I used my typewriter to type out Ben's invitation.


Analise...she's good at smiling for the camera!


Ben, the birthday boy!


What a cutie!


Ben's mama cut cake slices as big as the plates.  No leftovers were wanted, I guess.


Ryan.  He's quite the smiler, too!


This kid loves the sugar!  When the other kids saw what he had, they wanted it, too.  My kid thought they were crazy (thank heavens!)

How do you feel about alternative gifts for kids?  Just wondering what you do...the experience isn't cheap, but it is worth it's weight in gold!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 4th

What a crazy day July 4th was this year!  We decided it would be great fun to attend the Realty Executives 4th of July bash downtown...oh my, was that wonderful!  Our friend Debra McCormick throws a party like no other!  (Well, except Audra & Kelly...those two are down right amazing!) We were treated to a pancake breakfast, tables with tents covering them just in case of rain, a balloon animal artist, a face painter, goodie bags for the kids, access to a bathroom, really the list just goes on & on!  Not only that, but we were able to set up our chairs across the street for some of the best parade watching around!  Here's a little glimpse into our day (photos are un-edited...you had your choice me blogging or editing...you got the blogging):



David, my nephew who lives in Tulsa.


Ray's new way of smiling...maybe because his big brother does it?  


Oh, look.  AJ is doing it too.


Kendall chose a giraffe for her balloon animal.


Nate wanted sunglasses...the balloon girl had to improvise.


They could have picked monkeys, dogs, pigs, palm trees...what do they choose?  A sword for David & AJ & a dagger for Ray. 


Jory, Audra's granddaughter.  Such a beautiful girl!


And JJ, Audra's grandson.  So happy to see him smile!


Our friend, Dave, the motor cop.


Our friend Cindy's granddaughter, Dylan.  I love how she stacked her sun glasses!


Our nephew, Logan, who truly has a smile always.


Our nephew, Ben, who normally looks at us like this...but don't let it fool you...he's a great kid!


Apparently the correct way to eat cotton candy.


I'm sure their parents were quite pleased I sugared them up before sending them home!


Our nephew, Sean, was walking in the parade, so this is the best shot I have. 

Cindy's grandson, Max.  I have about a dozen adorable photos of this kid I need to send to Cindy.



An old friend, Sherrine, that I have not seen in ages.  Too long, in fact.


Audra & Jory, who flat out refused to look at me.  But at least she smiled!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So many changes...

So many changes coming our way.  A senior.  New jobs.  Transitions.  A road trip.  Classes for me.  A milestone birthday.  Some of it scary.  All of it very exciting.  Much of it very time consuming.  Some day I'll tell you all about it.  Feeling the need to keep some things private on the blog.  Working through that in my head.  Due to a glitch with my old store's website, I now have this domain for even longer.  So I'm not going anywhere...just keeping to myself until the dust settles.  I still have this really strong urge to blog...just give me some time.

Just cleared my camera of 600 photos, just in time to take photos of a bunch of my adorable nieces & nephews.  Oh, and my other blog that I ignore lately (www.twomartinilunch.com) is doing another photo challenge...this one a color challenge that so far has been pretty dang fun!  Hoping for tomorrow to be a catch up day.  Stay tuned...