Friday, May 28, 2010

Texas, our Texas

This week I had the opportunity to go along on a 4th Grade field trip to Austin.  Fourth Graders here spend a lot of time in social studies learning about Texas history, so this field trip is a great way to end the year.  We toured the Bob Bullock State History Museum, the Capitol Visitor's Center, and the State Capitol Building. We also had a lovely picnic on the grounds under the shade of huge oak trees.  It was a wonderful trip!

I had not been in the capitol building since I was a kid (on a similar field trip), and I had forgotten how impressive the structure is.  The columns, moldings, light fixtures, ceilings, mosaics -- really, just amazing.  I took lots of pictures, so come along on a little tour:

The lobby is jaw-dropping:

Painting of Davy Crockett near the entrance:

Inside the capitol dome:

Art on the floor, too:

Ceiling in the Senate chamber:


Just one of the magnificent trees:

What a delightful field trip!  Great for the parents, as well as for the kids!  :)

If you're ever in Austin, stop by the Capitol and check it out for yourself.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Here comes summer!!!! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Happy Nerd

It is a happy day!  I know that I am outing myself as a total nerd, but so be it: I ran right over to Williams-Sonoma today for these fabulous Star Wars cookie cutters!  Yoda!  Darth Vader!  So exciting!

I'm so jazzed about these that I'm tempted to make cookies right now, but I'm going to restrain myself.  I'm saving these for a couple of weeks to use for a special surprise for the girls, that has to do with our upcoming vacation.  I'll fill you in on that later. :)

But as if the cookie cutters were not great enough, look what was next to them:

Pancake molds!!!  Be still my beating heart.

Hope you're all having a super day, and:

Friday, May 14, 2010


I've been busy making cupcakes for a classroom birthday celebration today, so I thought I'd share.  Chloe asked for chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  So, I went with a butter fudge mix, and made a vanilla buttercream frosting from scratch.

When planning these, I found two new things in the baking aisle that I wanted to share.  First: edible glitter!  How did I not know about this before??  Here's how it looks in the package:

I was excited about this glitter -- VERY excited.  Honestly, I didn't love it on the cupcakes as much as I thought I would.  I like the way the white glitter looks on the white icing, but the pink.... not as much.  Still, what  a fun idea!  I'm wondering what else I can use this for.  [ADDED NOTE: now that we've actually eaten the cupcakes, I have to pass along that I don't like the way the glitter tastes.  I thought it would taste like sugar sprinkles, but it tastes kind of like, well, paper.  Not yummy.  So, if you're going to use it, I'd use it on something you're decorating for show, not on something you're planning to eat.  Maybe it's just me, but I wanted to let you know.]

My other discovery was in the candy-making section: molds for candy cupcake picks!  I bought a crown mold, and whipped up these:

I made them a solid color and then "painted" on a contrasting color with a toothpick.  That worked okay, but I think I need some more practice.  These are so darling, they're fine in just one color, I think!

Anyway, here's how they came out.  Hope the kids like 'em!  :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Tomatoes Take Over!

It's official -- the tomatoes have taken over the patio!  Boy, are they big!  If you recall, here's how it all started back in March:

And here's what it looks like today:

The "Mr. Stripey" variety -- the one I'm most excited about -- currently looks like this:

I'm curious to see how much larger this variety will get, and how it will look when it gets ripe.  Should be very interesting!  The other two varieties are growing like gangbusters, so much so that I think I'm going to be sharing a lot of tomatoes with the neighbors:

I lost one pot -- the "Brandywine" type.  Before I could stake it, it fell over and broke in half.  :(  Bummer, but frankly, we've already got more tomatoes than we can eat.

It's funny to me that I get so excited about growing my own food, but I do.  There's something very satisfying about it.  Next year, we may need to plant an honest-to-goodness garden, with lots of different veggies.  Wonder if the hubs will go for it?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Lace Sneak Peeks

I just got some new lace samples in -- and I am really excited about these!  They are GORGEOUS!  I'm going to try to get them all into the shop today, between softball and tee ball games, and the mountain of laundry that is waiting to attack me in the laundry room.  Hopefully, I'll get them in the shop quickly, but in the meantime, here are a few sneak peeks:

[UPDATE: all the laces pictured here have sold.  But I'll be working on putting other new lace samples in the shop today. Thank you!]

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