Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Queen of My Heart

The Girl's Ministry at our church sponsored a Chocolate Festival this weekend. Girls (and their moms) were encouraged to enter a "chocolate creation" to be judged on presentation and taste. Well, my daughter has watched one too many episodes of 'Aces of Cakes' (that television is bad, bad I tell you) so we couldn't enter brownies or cookies or something common. She and her overachieving mother thought it would be best to put their complete no experience of working with chocolate together and make Chocolate Monarch Butterfly Cupcakes.

Inspired by the beautiful book, 'Hello Cupcake' we planned our work and worked our plan. I baked and iced, she piped and piped and piped.

To make the butterflies she had to pipe the outside of a wing in brown, fill in the inside, swirl with a toothpick to create the pretty mottled effect and sprinkle with white nonpariels (sprinkles). Each wing had to be created separately so it could be propped on the cupcake to look like it had just landed and then the body was piped inbetween.

They were a beauty to behold. When we were finished, I could hardly believe it.

Then, there was the judging....and our team was...runner up. Runner up! So close. And the Chocolate Queen got the whole royal setup --- tiara and the "Chocolate Queen 2009" sash. Beat out by a team who served chocolate crepes with strawberries and bananas. Wouldn't you rather eat a butterfly?

So now we're off to set the DVR for more episodes of 'Ace of Cakes' for inspiration and wait until next year.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Like most Americans, I watched the Inauguration off and on all day (and late into the night!) yesterday. In a day filled with importance and ceremony, one of my favorite moments had nothing to do with the new President -- it was more about the dress. (In recalling previous Inaugurations I have witnessed I can only remember that Mrs. Clinton wore a bright blue hat and Mrs. Bush wore red. I hope I retain a bit more historically important information about future events. But here I am again, talking about the fashions!)
While watching CNN fashion commentators discuss what Mrs. Obama wore throughout the day, the news anchor stopped and announced that Jason Wu, the designer of the dress she wore to the Inaugural Balls, was on the phone.
This young man of 26 expained that he was one of several designers asked late last year to submit dresses that Mrs. Obama might wear. He sent her three. When asked when he learned one of his dresses had been chosen, he replied, "Tonight, when I saw her on television."
Can you imagine that moment? Regardless of your politics, what an honor. You're sitting in your living room and see YOUR dress on the first lady. Not only will photos of it be in every newspaper around the world in the morning, it will later be in the Smithsonian's permanent collection.
I know nothing about Jason Wu, but I was proud for him.
Here's hoping your 2009 brings a few moments that take your breath away!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

An Accident Waiting to Happen

We've all heard the term, "He/She's an accident waiting to happen." I think it was written for people like my children. So far this basketball season (the jr high/pee wee version, not even the LONG NBA kind) My daughter....has gotten two bloody noses, two jammed fingers, and an ankle sprain that required a trip to the ER and crutches for a week. Today, my son got slammed by a ball in the thumb, taking his nail off with it (truly, it was gross; but don't worry -- one of his 9 year old teammates confidently looked at me as I approached the bench with the first aid kit and said, "I'll do that. I'm a Cub Scout.")

I'm threatening to send them to next week's games wearing bubble wrap. When I see these "Kids by the Dozen", "15 and counting", etc. shows all I think is..I hope you have a brother-in-law out there who's an ER doc!

Time to change the ice pack. Have a great weekend.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to "normal"

Christmas is behind us, we're home from our travels, school starts tomorrow. I keep hearing people say, "Now, things will get back to normal." I want to respond, "What if things weren't normal BEFORE Christmas?" Oh well. We have had a good holiday. I got very sick Christmas morning, so I spent the next week in various states of Nyquil-induced haze. We traveled to Dallas on the afternoon of Christmas Day and stayed with Darren's younger brother and family -- always a great trip (though, again, I don't remember much of it). The next day we went to Oklahoma to see our moms. The weather was great, by Oklahoma winter standards. My son got to play outside with his new baseball bat every day! Although he did, under protest, have to wear a coat and hat. The highlight (sorry loved ones) of my trip was getting my haircut. I've been neglecting my hair for many months because I haven't found a new "stylist" since our move back to Texas. Negligence is not good when you have naturally curly hair and live in humid coastal Texas! So, I decided to look up my old stylist Becki -- she started cutting my hair when I was in junior high and I went to her until we moved to Texas. The dear lady is still cutting away at Miss Jackson's in Tulsa. So, I don't remember any of the actual gift exchanges and could not really enjoy all the fabulous food cooked by my mom and mother-in-law -- but my hair looks good! Guess that made for a Happy Holidays! Hope yours were great.