Birthday Cupcakes

No birthday is complete without cake, especially a first birthday, right?

So back I went to Elinor Klivans Cupcakes!, and baked up a batch of Sticky Fig Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Sauce.

They. Were. Divine.

Instead of using the suggested sticky brown sugar sauce to top the cupcakes, I decided to use a brown sugar seven minute frosting, Penuche Frosting if you want to get all fancy! This frosting is stiff enough to stand up to some piping, and had I cooked it just a tad longer, those peaks would not have slouched at all… luckily, even though they were a bit floppy looking, they were still glossy, very light and tasty. The gorgeous little liners were from Bake It Pretty,which added just the right little festive touch for our celebration! I made three small edits to the recipe; I made normal cakes instead of jumbo, I pureed the figs after they soaked, since quartered figs would be too much for a one year old to chew, and when it was time to remove the cakes from the oven mid way through to pour the sticky sauce on them, I poked the center with a knife, and spooned the sauce in the subsequent hole so it wouldn’t run right off the cake and onto the paper cups.

I even had some assistance making them up.

For the first time, she licked the beaters, so I suspect she will be quite excited to help the next time as well.

Advent Calendar

What do you do with too many baby food jars, some really cool tissue paper, and a can of spray paint?

Why, you make an advent calendar, of course!!

I wish I could say that everything I used I already had on hand, and had we unpacked all of my stuff we would have, but because some of it is still packed and stored, I had to buy some modge podge, some ribbon, the glittery stickers, and tissue paper. That made me a little sad, really, since this could’ve been a 100% buy nothing project, but regardless… recycled baby food jars!!!

I would also like to say that all the jars are filled, but alas, my computer crashed three times last week, taking my print file with it, three times in a row. Something about saving my file in Illustrator seemed to make my mac very unhappy, and I haven’t had the heart to try again. For now, we’ll imagine that these little jars are filled with time tickets a la Maya Made, which I thought was a beautiful idea. For a few months I’ve been wondering what to fill the calendar with, since our kids do not need more stuff, and with the baby crawling all around, little trinkets and toys are a disaster in the making. One of my most favorite gifts of all time was the gift certificate my mom made for me for a Mommy and Me dress-up and shopping date. What a beautiful way to turn the focus back to building those precious family moments together…

OK, so I think I’ll get back to work on that time ticket file now.

Sneak Peek

The birthday sweater, although was knit, buttoned, and all ends woven in, was not completed in time for the big day. It id get wrapped and presented, since it looks done except in my mind’s eye. There is some embroidery missing that I’m struggling to get “just right”. But the yarn and the pattern are so lovely, that I can’t resist sharing a peek… and those buttons!! Oh those buttons!!

Pattern: Baby Tiered Coat (ravelry link)
Designer: Lisa Chemery of Froginette
Yarn: CosySpins Hand-dyed Chunky Falkland Wool
Spinner: Cosette Cornelius-Bates of CosyMakes

Firsts

Today was the day we celebrated a major milestone… our youngest babe’s first birthday.  The older two are now of the age that they understand birthdays mean cake and presents, and they were both so very excited to prepare something for their little baby sister. How could I resist? I put them both to work on a few white t-shirt sleeves with “Mama’s Very Special Markers.” One was for our babe, and the other sleeve is for our baby cousin, who turns one next week.

Once the artwork was complete, I pinned it under a lovely little baby doll top, traced out a big number one, ran a running stitch around the outline, then cut out the interior of the number for a reverse applique a la Alabama Chanin.

Excuse the rather sloppy photos, as I’m still getting used to my new camera and didn’t remember to reset my settings from a previous experiment.

It really didn’t take too much time at all and since I had a few practice shirts over Thanksgiving (details coming soon) I was pretty confident that I could get it completed in time.

All done! For her number one!! I am so excited that we found a way to bring the other kids into the preparations this year. Not only did they help make the shirt, but the oldest helped bake the cupcakes, and the middle guy helped Daddy put together her wooden walker.

What a wonderful, meaningful day full of  joy.

Happy birthday, little one. You are so very loved.

A Collaborative Work

Some time ago, I joined a small knitting group from a small church where we began knitting small squares for the smallest of all members. This blanket is intended for a babe who shares a name with one of my own.

It was a few months of collaborative effort with novice and bordering-on-expert knitters alike.

Each stitch labored over in love, happiness, companionship, and generosity,

standing as a testament to the adage “many hands make light work”.

It has been sent off today, where it will soon be placed in the hands of a new mother to wrap around her son.

I will miss having the blanket around, as it was, for me, a symbolic thread connecting me to the amazing group women of which I was so grateful to have been a part. Thank you, ladies, for all of your kindness and compassion. I am sad to be far away from all of you.

And many blessings, little one, on your special day. May these stitches shield you from the cold and offer comfort in the years to come.