Low-Key Birthdays

Two weekends in a row we celebrated Miss M’s birthday. One Saturday for the family, the next for friends. We had the family party here. I do not decorate a lot or try to spend a lot of money for birthday parties. Although I enjoy looking at the gorgeous photos that people post from their children’s parties, that is not me. Case in point, here is a photo from Miss M’s family party:

As you can see, our decorations consisted of one “Happy Birthday” sign (purchased from the Dollar Store about three birthdays ago) and one Party City balloon with the word “Rock” on both sides and a picture of a guitar on one, and a skull and crossbones on the other. Yep. Keeping it classy. Miss M picked out the balloon. It is our one extravagance for their family party.

We served pizza (takeout/Aurelio’s), soda (to be poured by yourself from the 2 liter bottles in the fridge), salad (freshly prepared by J) and dessert. J and M made an awesome Kit-Kat Cake that turned out so good:

Doesn’t that look fancy? It is really SO easy! Miss M enjoyed putting the M and M’s on top.

So there you have it. Low-key decorating/partying on the cheap. In our family (and I am sure in yours as well) our focus is on the gathering of people to celebrate another’s day of birth. I try to keep that in my focus and not get too consumed by having a perfect house with lots of decorations. I appreciate it when others do it but for me this is enough. And that is all good.

How do you do birthdays? I will talk about Miss M’s kid party soon.

Miss M is Now Eight: An Interview

Last Saturday, October 13th, Miss M turned eight.  She is getting closer and closer to that double digit number that we won’t talk about right now since it kinda scares me. Here is my annual interview with her:

How old are you?  EIGHT!!!

What is your favorite color? Pink! Pink is my first one, purple is my second one and blue is my third one.

What is your favorite food? Brownies and Macaroni and Cheese

What is your favorite toy? I like..um..any fashion toy.

What do you mean by fashion?  You make fashion, DUH!

What do you like most about 2nd grade? When somebody yells out, like, for example, when somebody yells that somebody else has a girlfriend.  That is funny!

What is your favorite subject in school?  Art.

Why? Because we get to make cool projects.

What do you like to do at recess? Chase boys or jump rope or do something funny, cool or weird.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Movie Star!

What are you going to be for Halloween? A zombie cheerleader.

What do you like about your sister? When she says funny stuff.  Like “You big fat lady!” or “Kill Them!” or “I’m Dead.”

What is your favorite TV show? I like all.

What do you like to do after school? Go on the iPad or play with my toys.

How do you think you have changed from last year? I’m getting taller and I’m missing seven teeth.

Miss M 8


The Birthday Queen (a day early)

To my beloved sister.
She is awesome.
She is strong.
She is joy.
Happy Birthday!

Star Wars Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: A Recipe

This past weekend, I made Miss M her Star Wars cupcakes as she requested for her 7th birthday.  The cupcakes themselves were from a box.  Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix, to be precise.  So that was easy enough.

Then came the frosting.  I have never made it by hand before.  I knew I wanted chocolate but it also had to require items that I already had on hand.  Oh, yeah, it also had to be super easy.  I did a search on my beloved pinterest and found it.  The one.  The best chocolate buttercream frosting that I have ever tasted.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
as adapted from Savory Sweet Life
The Good Stuff:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks!) unsalted butter (softened but not melted)
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream (or whole milk)

Where the Magic Happens:
  1. Cream butter for a few minutes in mixer using paddle attachment on medium speed.  Turn off mixer.
  2. Sift all of the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder into the mixing bowl.  (I sifted before I measured).
  3. Turn mixer to lowest speed and add sugar and cocoa powder and mix until both are fully absorbed by the butter.
  4. Increase mixer to medium speed and add vanilla extract and cream/milk and beat for 3 minutes or so.
  5. Does it look alright?  If so, you have made frosting!  If it needs to be thinned out, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.  If the frosting needs to be more stiff, add a little more sugar.
Star Wars Stencils
Miss M really wanted something to do with Star Wars on her cupcakes.  Again, on pinterest, I searched “Star Wars cupcakes” and came up with this product that Williams Sonoma makes.
For about ten bucks, you get four stencils of Darth Vader, Yoda, Storm Trooper and the Logo itself.  The stencils are quite easy to use.  You simply place them on top of the cupcake and sift some powdered sugar, cinnamon, etc over the stencil.
Here are some helpful tips:
  • make sure you refrigerate your frosted cupcakes overnight or a suitable length of time so that the frosting will not automatically absorb your design.
  • if you are traveling with your cupcakes, do the decorating once you get to your destination.  This is what we did and it took a whole five minutes for us to decorate about 24 cupcakes.  Quick and Easy.

Overall, I was quite pleased on how the cupcakes turned out this year.  We had some leftovers but they have since been eaten up.  If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.


Miss M’s 7th Birthday is Today: An Interview

Hard to believe that exactly 7 years ago today (she was born at 3:23pm) I was holding my first baby girl.  Here is our interview.

How old are you today?  I am six.  I mean Seven!

What is your favorite color?  Of the seven family.  Umm…pink and blue.

What is your favorite food?  Macaroni and Cheese

What is your favorite toy?  I like the Lego book which I just got yesterday that is humongous!

What is your favorite Lego people?  Princess Leia

What do you like most about 1st grade?  That I get BFFs like Hettie and Ally

What is your favorite subject in school?  I like to learn about art and library and library I had today!

What do you like to do with your BFFs?  Play with them on the swings

How do you like soccer?  Well, it’s good.  I like how you can do the corner kicks and stand in the corner and everybody says “I want to do it!”  “I want to do it!”

What do you want to be when you grow up?  You already know that!  A movie star.

What is your favorite tv show?  I don’t really watch any tv shows.  Well, I guess maybe…Phineas and Ferb.

What is your favorite thing to do after school?  Read my library books or whatever I am doing.

What is your favorite thing to do with C?  I like it when we tackle each other and when she talks in funny words.  I like everything about her and what she does.

How do you think you have changed from last year?  Cause I have two wiggly tooth and I look much more taller than last year.

Did we go on any vacations this year?  Yes, we did.  We went to Wisconsin just this week.  We watched the scariest Scooby Doo ever and we had S’mores and I had a nightmare.  I also love South Carolina.  We got to go to the best hotels ever!
Is there anything else you would like to say?  Nothing much to say but please send a message to Queen of the Snot Princesses and that is it.  Goodbye my fans!

We Like to Party Party (and do other things in STL)

Went to St. Louis area over the long weekend to visit J’s side of the family and to celebrate C’s birthday with them….

Smiles with MaGa
Didn’t Have to Flash to Get These Beads
13 Year Cycle of Cicadas = Lots of Noise
Dirt Cake..how appropriate.
Presents! With some sisterly help. 
Watching Pop Race
Who says little girls can’t play with cars?

Ode to a Two Year Old

On Saturday, my youngest daughter, “C” turned two.  Below is my letter to her.

Dear C,

You are now two and thank goodness!  I am so happy to say that there are no more babies in this house nor will there ever be (at least coming from me!)  You are officially a toddler and a strong willed one at that.  You hold your own against your 6 1/2 year old sister and we all respect you for that.  You are quick to give a hug and love to be held.  I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear the words “hold you” from you to be picked up.  And what do we do?  We pick you up because you are the baby of the family.  The next year holds many new experiences/challenges for you that will take you even further away from being a baby.  Some of which are to start going on the potty (we hope!) and giving up your binkie (we hope!)  We know that everything will be accomplished in your own time.

I am so thankful that you are not my first born.  Your sister made me a mom for the first time but I believe you have made me an even better mom.  You have taught me patience and comfort in the knowledge that I do not know everything there is to know about motherhood.  You see, your sister had me fooled.  She was such an easy baby that I thought this parenting stuff was no big deal, easy peasy.  You have taught me otherwise.  I now know to never judge another parent’s decisions or actions because they too might have a Miss C in their midst.  And that is a good thing.

So, Happy Birthday, Miss C!  May God’s Blessings shine on you today and always.


A Birthday

18 years ago today, I went out to eat with my boyfriend (at the time) and three of our good friends.  We all got dressed up to celebrate the 19th birthday of “J.”  I was the only girl with a bunch of guys.  We went to a supper club near our school, Beloit College.  We felt very grown up and cool.  While at the “club,” the waitress accidentally spilled coffee down the back of J’s suit jacket.  Luckily the jacket was 100% polyester (like I said, we were cool), so all the coffee did was roll off.  The waitress was very apologetic but seeing that the jacket was not ruined and no coffee got on him (or burned him), J just dried himself off and said that everything was fine.
Fast forward a couple years, or rather a lot of years, and J is now my husband.  The old boyfriend having been discarded many years ago.  It is the night before his birthday.  Another accident has happened, this time J did it to himself.  While cleaning off a knife, he cut the palm of his hand.  Stitches were given.  Once again, J is relatively calm and everything is fine.
That is my J.  He is my rock.  He is my calm waters.  Today is his birthday.  Tonight we will go out to eat once again to celebrate.  This time he will have a bandaged hand that covers his stitches.  Yet this time I will not be the only girl.  Instead, J will be the only boy amongst “his girls.”  And everything will not be just fine.  They will be simply great.
I love you, J, more than words can describe.  Here’s to many more birthdays and hopefully less accidents!

It’s the Birthday Queen’s Birthday!

No, that is not me.  It is my awesome sister, Mimi.  Today is her birthday!  She is THE birthday queen.  So I wanted to dedicate my little corner of the internets to her today.  She is my big sister and I love her sooooo much.  She is an awesome woman, friend, sister, daughter, wife, and especially, mother!  
Side note: I was given my name by my sister.  She is 9 1/2 years older than me and my parents had decided to let her name me if I was a girl.  I am so thankful I turned out to be a girl, because if I was a boy they were going to let my then 7 year old brother name me….it wouldn’t have been pretty.  Love ya, Mim!

Enter my giveaway here!  Only a couple days left!