Henry’s first trip to Tweetsie!

This year for Christmas we got season passes to Tweetsie! Here are some pics from Henry’s first trip!

The first thing he wanted to do was sit on the horses.

Then we shopped around for a little while…

And FINALLY the train came along!

Aboard the train

 

We may have misbehaved a little and they put us in Tweetsie Jail!

Needless to say, Henry loved it and I’m sure we will be going back very soon!

(To get your season passes, visit this site!)

 

Runnin’ runnin’ and runnin’ runnin’

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(Yes, I named this post after a Black Eyed Peas song)

Since December of last year, I have participated in 4 races. I kind of got into this kick in November when I decided that I wanted to start running. It’s always been a nice “thought”, but I’ve never really made myself do it. I am the type of person who loves to exercise, and now that I am staying at home, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for me to give it a try. Once I got past my first week of it… I was hooked. I no longer had to force myself to go run. I WANTED to. I hated missing a day! I decided to sign up for a 5k. I know a lot of people don’t understand this new obsession (i.e. my family: “Why don’t you just give me $25 and you can go run around the house 20 times”) but I’ve always been a competitive person and doing something I loved AND something that I can compete in sounded awesome! So for the Frosty 5k, my sister, Cara, and my friend, Sengla, ran as well.

It was a little chilly!

That run was great. My very first 5k that I had run about a year and a half earlier, I had finished in 34 some minutes. This time, I finished 2nd in my age division with a time of 27:42! I was ecstatic!

Also note this is where I cracked my first iPhone. (cough) Cara (cough cough)

The next 2 races, I entered without really paying attention to what days they were on. BAD IDEA. Yes, they were scheduled for the very same day, thank GOD not at the exact same time. The first was the S. Ray Lowder Spring Spirit 5k. It was that morning and I was ready to go!

I ended up finishing that one 1st in my age group with a time of 25:24!

I was pretty psyched, to say the least.

So you know how I said I signed up for 2 races? Well not only was this next one just another “race”, it was an 8k. Yes, believe me, I know. I am an IDIOT.

I was super exhausted from running that morning, but I still went to the race (The Leprechaun Loop hosted by Summit Coffee in Davidson, NC). Note, the race was called “Leprechaun Loop” because it was run on St. Patricks day. You know what this girl wore? A bright PINK shirt. (bangs head on wall) I stood out like a sore thumb.  EVERYONE there had on green shirts. I literally mean everyone. Set aside that embarrassment, I psyched myself up for the race and was ready to set out on a 5 mile run.

That one I finished with a hearty 47:24 time. Not that I wasn’t excited about it, but I did wish the races had been on separate days.

Here is a pic from crossing the finish line. That race literally felt like the longest race EVERRRRR, but I was oh so happy to cross the line!

My last race was this past Saturday. It was a half marathon. (Talk about stepping it up) The longest distance I had ever ran beforehand was 8 miles. A half = 13.1. I was determined though. And isn’t that all you need? A little determination?

So that morning I set out at 5:00 A.M. for this little endeavor. Anyone that knows me would tell you it was a feat in itself for me to get out of the bed at 5:00 A.M. But with all of the nerves and excitement, it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting. The race was to start at 7:30 and it was in Charlotte, so I needed a little time. After a peanut butter sandwich was downed, I was ready to roll.

I got there, got signed in and the rest was just a waiting game. I did down a GU Gel before the race and took one along with me (which I ended up using around mile 7). Those things REALLY helped out. I totally recommend them.

I honestly didn’t start wearing out until mile 9. The rest was pure determination to finish. I had set an “out loud” goal of finishing in 2:20. My “inside” goal was actually 2:10. And I DID IT! I finished with a time of 2:10:27! I came in 848th out of 1297 people, so that was good enough for me! I do intend on improving that time, but I first just had to tackle the THOUGHT of running 13 miles!

Needless to say, hearing about the bombings at the Boston Marathon yesterday really hit home. Why would anyone want to attack people doing something so innocent and harmless? Do people not have any sense of humanity these days? All I can say is, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones and the injured.

From Junkroom to Playroom

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So our house layout is kind of strange. We have a living room, but right beside the living room, we have this “study” which we put to use as a “junk room”. Henry had been getting so many toys for Christmas, and birthdays and well, just any regular ol’ day. Where did all these toys end up? Junk room. He wasn’t getting any use out of them. Soooo, I decided to do a transformation. Playroom for the kiddo… coming right up!

Here are some pics of beforehand:

Pretty junky, aye? I was sick of it. So for Henry’s birthday from mommy, I decided to go to Lowe’s and buy a gallon of paint. Lucky little kid, ain’t he?

This was my first “paint job”. That is my disclaimer.

Henry got a playtable, chalk board, coat rack, and storage cabinet for his birthday from family and friends (possibly because mommy requested such things) and they all look FANTASTIC in his new room! All it is lacking is a giant world map that I want to hang on the wall! …still looking for one of those, so recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Here’s the finished product!

Another Catering Event…

This was my 2nd time getting asked by our hospital in town to cater an event they were hosting! I was super excited to say the least. This type of thing is totally down my alley.

On the menu:

100 cakepops; 25 red velvet, 25 yellow, 25 chocolate, 25 confetti

Lime punch

Mixed nuts

Easy schmeezy. I got this.

Everything was made, setup complete, looked as though things were going off without a hitch… then came time to open the punch. Punch. The devil in disguise, in case you didn’t know. Be warned.

As I was cutting open the last jug of punch… the bloody knife (pun intended) slipped right off that plastic bottle and sliced my hand wide open. I might have let a few choice words fly, thankfully only my friend Caitlin was near. Since I was luckily at a hospital, we got a nurse to look at it and they said I would survive. So that was a good thing. Bloody hand story over.

The rest of the night went great! I was able to hand out some business cards and everyone was so nice with their compliments! Here are a few pics from the event!

The setup

I loved my cute little place cards made by my friend Erin! Aren’t they adorable?

With all that being said.. Go local and use Pixie Cakes for your next event!

An Afternoon Tea…

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For my sisters 18th birthday party, we wanted to do something fun and different… something you don’t see very often. So we thought, what would be better than a cute little tea party??! It would fit Jenna to a T, so why not? It turned out better than we had planned. All of the girls LOVED the idea and we just can’t wait to throw another one. (Even if just for a fun Saturday afternoon get together!) The only catch… there was a lot of old furniture in the yard, so make sure there is absolutely NO chance of afternoon showers! Here are some pics…

 

We may or may not have gotten her a puppy for her birthday…

It was a lovely day for the party.  Oh, and there was one more pic… I thought it looked like it could be used for a Pretty Little Liars cover! Ha! Toodle loo! Top of the mornin’ to ya!

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Henry’s 2nd Birthday

SO today my little boy turned 2! I am still in shock over how the time has flown by. It seems only yesterday I was in the hospital with him. He has grown into such a sweet little boy. On his big day, we have done nothing but play! No nap, because those are no fun! And tonight I will make his favorite food… meatloaf and macaroni!

Mommy and Henry fun day!

We had his party last Saturday at the park and here are a few pics. We decided to go with the Thomas the Train theme. He LOVES trains, so I figured it was a good idea. And it was. He kept wanting to run his trains through the tunnel on his cake.

The party setup.

There ended up being 36 people come to his party! It was such a great turnout and it seemed as though everyone had a blast! Even the older kids!

He got more toys than he got for Christmas! He is obviously VERY loved!

His favorite toy was probably this Koosh gun that Jenna got him. He carried that thing around all day shooting anything and everything. Yes, including children.

My friend, Meg Cline, and her little boy, Bo, drove all the way from Winston Salem to join in on the fun! (Sorry again about the getting lost part. :/) It was so nice to see them again! And Henry actually enjoyed showing Bo how to shoot his new gun! I see a friend for life in his future!

Check out this cute little train shirt that was made just for his party!

I can’t believe my little boy is 2. Time flies. So I am going to try and enjoy each and every second.

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My Cute Kid

I figured you all had been missing my posts about Henry. Completely un-food related, I know, but what is a mother to do. Here are some new updates:

  1. He now has ALL of his baby teeth. As excruciatingly painful I’m sure it was for him, I am about 100% certain it was the same amount of pain for me.
  2. He knows how to jump. This took a while for him for some odd reason. But he’s got it down pat now. You go kid.
  3. He has told me he loves me without my prompting. (Also see, Most Precious Moment in the Entire World)
  4. He can count to 10 and say the blessing all by himself.
  5. He is still only 23 lbs. The little booger won’t grow. Oh well, I’m sure he will have plenty of time for that in his later years.
  6. He loves watching Disney movies. Over, and over and over and over and over and over again. I. Am. Not. Kidding. Favorites: Lion King, Cars, Polar Express.
  7. He has had pink eye twice and ringworm. I am going to blame this on my mothers cat.
  8. He is terrified of spiders, just like his momma.
  9. He loves combines. It’s his favorite tractor ever since my dad took Henry with him when he got up soy beans.
  10. He is the cutest, sweetest, kindest kid I have ever met and I am completely in love with him.

So there are a few “fun facts” for ya and one day I’m sure I will enjoy looking back at these and seeing some of the things that are going on with him at the age of almost 2!

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Coconut Cake

Ok, so, if anyone ever makes you a coconut cake… BE GRATEFUL! These things are tough! At least the frosting part. Before you make this let me warn you: YOU HAVE TO HOLD THE MIXER FOR 8 MINUTES STRAIGHT. Some of you might be thinking, Dang, she’s a wimp. Try it. That’s what I thought. It’s delicious though and if you are a coconut lover, this is right down your alley! So go ahead, give it a whirl!

Coconut Cake

Cake Ingredients:

2 sticks butter, room temperature

2 c. sugar

4 eggs

3 c. self-rising flour, sifted

1 c. coconut milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour 2, 8″ cake pans.

Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time and mix for about 4 minutes. Add flour and milk, alternately. Add vanilla.

Divide batter equally into your 2 pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool for 30 minutes before icing.

Cake Filling Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

4 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

Directions:

Stir together all ingredients until combined well. After cake has cooled, remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1-inch apart until entire cake has been poked. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again. (As I stack layers together I stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting).

Frosting Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup water

2 egg whites

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Frosting Directions:

Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

Source: Food Network/ Paula Deen

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I was inspired to try and make these cupcakes after trying one from Splat Cakes, which is in Lowell and they only have to most amazing cupcakes I have ever tasted, just in case you were wondering. So I Googled (my go-to) and here is a recipe that I found from Tidy Mom. They are absolutely delish. I like making the mini’s in this cupcake because it’s just about the perfect amount. Although I must admit, sometimes I might go for 2 or 3 of them. 😉 Try this recipe out. It’ll be worth it!

Ingredients:

For Caramel Cupcakes
For Salted Caramel Frosting

For Caramel Cupcakes:

Heat oven to 350° and line cupcake pans with cupcake papers.

In a large bowl, using electric mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, butter, cream and water for 1 minute on low. Scrap sides, then mix on high for 1 minute.

Divide batter evenly between cupcake wells and gently shake to smooth batter. Bake 18-20 minutes (10 minutes for mini cupcakes) or until toothpick inserted into the center cupcakes comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen in a covered container for 1-2 weeks.

For Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.

Add the caramel and mix until fully incorporated.

Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and blend on low speed until combined and desired consistency (you want your frosting pretty thick).

Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.(about 1 minute)

Pipe caramel frosting on top of cupcakes with an extra large round pastry tip

Drizzle frosting with caramel

Lightly garnish with fleur de sel