Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Staci is Airborn

no, really.  When she jumps her feet leave the crib!  and then she claps for us.  she rocks!

my first DIY--cupcake stand!

For Staci's first birthday, we are doing a cupcake theme.  What better way to display homemade cupcakes than to put them on a pretty stand? I knew I wouldn't find one like this to buy, so I set out to make my own.

I found the instructions for this DIY from CakeJournal.  It was so easy!  I did change a few things and I have some more insight as to what worked for me and where to find what you will need, so read on!  Here is what you will need:
--Satin ribbon (I used 5/8" and it worked well)
--small silver pins from a craft store
--scrapbook paper or nice, heavy wrapping paper (or cardstock)
--round cake boards in 8, 10, and 12in sizes
--2 cake dummies (more if you want to add more tiers) I used one 4x4 and one 4x6 round styrafoam. 
--Glue stick 

Note: I had a hard time finding what I needed.  I ended up ordering the cake dummies from Taylor Foam but I'm sure you could find them at any baking supply store.  The closest ones to me were about a 40 minute drive one way, and with an 11 mo old I'd rather pay $10 for shipping than make that trip.  So I did.  I ordered the cake boards from Ultimate Baker.  The shipping was outrageous for such inexpensive items, but so worth it for the end result!

Step 1) Wrap the satin ribbon around the cake dummies and secure with silver pin. 

Step 2) Trace the outline of the cake boards onto the back of the decorative paper.

Step 3) Cut the circles out of the paper

Step 4) Paste the paper circles onto the cake boards with the glue stick

Step 5) Wrap and glue ribbon around the edge of the cake boards to get a more unified and finished look

Step 6) Stack your cupcake stand.  You can glue it together, pin it together with the silver pins, or even use Royal icing to stick it together.  Since I want to be able to reuse the cake dummies for future cake stands, I will use the little silver pins to pin each piece together.  This isn't the sturdiest way but thankfully cupcakes don't weigh very much.

Before I put the ribbon around the boards, these are the trial run cupcakes for Staci's first birthday

But I felt it was missing something, so I added the ribbon

I'm going to have to run to Michaels and get more because I ran out, but doesn't it look so much more finished and professional?  The cupcakes need their own post.  Thank you Pioneer Woman, your Yellow Cupcake recipe is the bomb!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Trip to the Farm

Max and I have been discussing joining a CSA to get more healthy produce into our diets.  It is a strong belief of mine that eating organically when possible is the best option.  I don't like the idea of putting unnecessary chemicals in my body, not to mention eating strawberries from Mexico that were picked weeks ago when I could eat produce picked just days ago from a farm up the road.  Supporting local agriculture has many benefits, and to me, it just feels good.

We got up early today, on a Saturday (yawn!).  Around 9:15 Becky and Keith us up to head to Victory Acres, a certified naturally grown farm about an hour from here. We piled into their Mazda V and headed north.  Staci and Veronica (10 months) sat and happily played Peek-a-boo with me and Becky while the husbands sat up front and chatted. 

Upon arrival I have to admit I was a bit skeptical.  The first thing we saw were two double-wides and some rather disorganized looking greenhouse structures.  I don't know.  I guess I had envisioned a cute little farmhouse complete with garden gnomes and window box blooming flowers.  (yes, I know it's March.  and nothing is really blooming yet...)  We were greeted by Terry, the head dude at the farm and Charley, an extremely lovable golden retriever mix.  Charley sold me on this farm in about 3 seconds.  He was such a sweet pup!  I think you can tell a lot about a person by their animals. :)

Terry took us through the farm, methodically explaining which plants were going where in each of the rows of field.  I have to say I expected it to be bigger.  I am amazed they grow enough food for even the small business they do, but since I am a city girl what the heck do I know?  It was hard to envision since nothing is really growing yet.  When he took us through the greenhouses it was really neat to see the teeny tiny buds beginning to peek out of the dirt.  It's amazing that in just a few weeks those buds will be vegetables ready to eat! 

Charley ate some weeds and then chased the cat.  <3

Terry pointed out the henhouses, explaining that cage free is not the same as free range chicken--apparently cage free means the chickens could still be packed in very tightly and unable to rome free.  With the free range chickens at Victory Acres, they had ample space to rome about, creating a much healthier atmosphere and in turn, healthier eggs. 

After seeing the plants, we piled back into the car to visit the animals.  Charley raced the car up the road.  As soon as we walked into the barn, the animals all came up to greet us.  The cows even came in from pasture to wink and flick their ears and swish their tails for our benefit.  We met merino goats, sheep, and a brand new 2 week old ram.  Staci was none-too-sure about the sheep.  She got pretty upset when I tried to get her closer to the sheep and then the baby ram.  I am not sure why she is scared of sheep of all things, but she calmed down after a few minutes.  Poor kid!  For now the farm is not milking the cows or goats for sale, but maybe sometime in the future. 

All in all I am glad I did not make any judgements at first, because the farm turned out to be very cool and probably just what we are looking for.  Terry sent us home with 2 dozen eggs (one dozen for each family) and a big bag of spinach to split just for coming out to visit--how nice is that? I see a fabulous spinach salad in my near future :) I am open to checking out some other farms in the area, but this one is deifnitely in the running.  I felt very comfortable there and Terry was so easy to talk to. 

Once we have a plethora of fresh veggies and fruits I will need to make a real effort to eat what we have so I will be hitting up all my friends out in bloggyland for yummy recipes!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

oh the things I would change...

If I could change one thing about myself, I would be less outspoken.  I have stuck my foot in my mouth more times than I can count, and in the process have hurt the feelings of true friends.  I have alienated acquaintances.  And I have created an image of myself that isn't altogether true. 

I wish I could be one of those people that are seen as agreeable.  I would love to sit back and fade into the sidelines and just be Staci's Mom for a bit.  But whenever I try to keep it on the inside, this voice bubbles up and spills over and I end up lashing out in the form of a facebook link overreaction or a heated (and well researched) rant.  It's not that I TRY to be over the top.  I just am. 

For example, some time ago I read an article about a hospital in Colorado that has banned The Bradley Method.  I find this to be completely ridiculous for many reasons that I will save for a different post, but when I shared the link to the article I stated, "these doctors should lose their licenses".  Do I REALLY think they should lose their licenses? Of course not.  But I DO firmly believe that ANY doctor who has done their research would never ban the safest way of having babies for healthy pregnancies, mothers and babies.  I do think these doctors have not done their research and are doing women a disservice by disallowing them to trust in themselves and their bodies.  This comment got a heated debate going in which a childhood friend (who is a doctor) had much to say. 

The problem is that when I bubble over, I then care about what other people think.  I want to be opinionated. And I want everyone to agree with me.  I don't want there to be any hurt feelings.  So, I need a filter, but I'm not happy if I try to filter the things I feel strongly about. 

So, acknowledge our differences, and love me anyway?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I've been quiet lately

I guess I've had a bit of 'writer's block' and haven't had much to say.  Hope this is a good consolation prize!