Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Garden Rose Cake

Frank & Sally, the lovely owners of the house where we're staying, often host lunches and tea parties for people in the area. Yesterday, a large group came to celebrate a 75th birthday party and Sally asked if I would like to make the cake. After 1/2 a second of contemplation, I decided that I would love to make the cake. I started brainstorming about possibilities and flavors and colors and wasn't quite sure what we'd go with. Then, on Sunday morning, it came to me.

A rose cake. Chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream.

This was the first rose cake that I've made, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! The table set for lunch and tea created a lovely backdrop for pictures.

Honestly, the hardest part was trying to keep Ella's fingers off of it! I started at the kitchen table and had to move to the counter. Then she wanted me to hold her, which wasn't going to happen. There are many things I can do while holding a wiggly two-year-old, but decorating this cake is not one of them. Sally helped keep her busy while I finished the cake and popped it in the fridge to keep until the party. I'll definitely be making this again in the future!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daddy's Second Job

I mentioned earlier that Pete did something fun on the night of July 4th while Ella and I watched the fireworks in Aitkin, but I haven't yet revealed with it was. All I said was that it had nothing to do with medicine. What could it have been?

Mini Donuts!

That's right, Pete spent the night selling donuts at the park in town.

He was really good at it! Great customer service.

Two siblings of the couple we're staying with in Aitkin have a mini donut truck that they set up in town every year on the 4th. Pete was thrilled to be asked to help on the big night. I think he was pretty cute in there with that apron on!

Now we know we have something to fall back on if medicine doesn't work out!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Cupcake Birthday Party

The sugar high has passed, so I think it's finally time to post a few (well, more than just a few) pictures of Miss Ella's 2nd birthday party. I spent a few days one week of my school break to make all the decorations, which turned out to be a smart move. Once the party rolled around, I was so busy with school that it would have been impossible to do any decorating at all.

Welcome to the birthday party!

Instead of balloons, we hung white paper lanterns in the big tree out front.

These paper fans welcomed guests over the front door.

We didn't spend any time at all in the living room, but this bunting was hung over the fireplace. Not sure if anyone saw it. That's okay, though! I made it from fabric, so it will now hang in Ella's room.

My favorite was the strawberry fabric.

These party hats were made from heavy scrapbook paper with ribbon sewn across the bottom.

Miss Ella had her own cupcake party hat!

The cupcake bar...

...with 3 cake flavors and 4 frosting flavors...

...and lots of sprinkles and candy toppings.

The front of the party table.

Bubbles and chalk in the back yard!

Some of our party friends.

Finally time to EAT the cupcakes! Ella had her very own jumbo cake.

Ella preferred sitting in the middle of the floor than in her chair. We went with it! She was the birthday girl, after all.

Elias was super excited about his cupcake.

Look at that creation! Amazing!

Miss Malena enjoyed her cupcake on the floor near Ella.

Mama Bex and Malena.

A wagon full of gifts!

The girl knows her style!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who was able to join us for the party! We had a great time!

*thanks to Auntie Kristin for a few of the birthday pictures*

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Celebrating the 4th

Just a couple days after getting to Aitkin, we celebrated the 4th of July. I've always enjoyed celebrating the 4th in small town style. We spent the morning driving to Pequot Lakes to watch the parade, which felt odd since my parents wouldn't be there to watch it with us. They were in Park Rapids celebrating with my aunt and her family.

Miss Ella was ready and waiting for the parade.

Ella had a great view from Daddy's shoulders.

My last year or two of high school in Pequot, I played the tuba. It was basically because I had gotten tired of all the flutes in the band and wanted something completely different. I'm guessing one of those big white tubas was one of the same that I played 10 years ago!

Riding in style.

Remember these? I used to love Pop Rocks! After the parade, as we headed back to Aitkin for the fireworks, Pete picked these up for us. It was like being back in elementary school! Ella loved them too, but it's hard to snap a pic of them popping in action. You'll just have to take my word for it. She thought they were great!

Before heading to the ball fields for the fireworks, we stopped at one of the only places still open at 6:15 on the 4th of July. I'm sure this place has a name, but I only remember a big RESTAURANT sign outside. It's one of those places that basically consists of all comfort foods - hamburgers, fried chicken, mac & cheese, corn dogs, and big plates of fries. Yum yum yum.

Miss Ella enjoyed her corn dog. Seemed appropriate for the 4th.

We eventually made it to the ball fields where kids were playing pick-up games while their parents sat on big blankets talking to other parents. Ella could have watched the games all night.

I was eventually able to lure her away from the fields with the promise of pie. She helped me choose a big piece of strawberry rhubarb with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Once the mosquitoes came out, I settled Ella in the Burley. It has a nice screen over the top. Wish I could have crawled in there with her.

We parted ways with Pete once we got to the fields to watch the fireworks. He had been recruited for some very important work. What could it have been? I'll only say that it had nothing to do with medicine. Watch for a follow-up post to find out what he was up to. It still makes me laugh.


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