wax is dripping from the frosting on the cake

Last Monday I celebrated yet another birthday. And I’m pretty sure that’s the last time I will celebrate it. Although I’ve been saying that for a few years now.

This year my husband decided to bake me a cake. It was the first cake he has ever baked all by himself. And it was my favorite kind – funfetti!!

He did an awesome job. He even did the double layers with frosting in the middle! Dude – that there made turning a year older totally worth it.

Wait – you mean I turned another year older?

Who cares – did you see all that frosting?

We went to dinner at Cafe Lucci. It’s been right down the street all these years, but we’d never tried it. Great Italian place. When we got home we cracked open a bottle of Chardonnay that we brought back from Napa.

And I got a new iPod Nano!! These Nano’s are awesome! They take video. They shuffle to the next song when you shake it! The screen changes orientation when you turn it! But it’s still nice and small. And blue’s my favorite color.

It was a great night to cap off a fun day I spent downtown for lunch and wine tasting with a few girlfriends. All in all, the weekend wasn’t too shabby. Except for the whole year-older thing. I’ll try not think about that part.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Birthday Gal” by The Replacements

you can crush the flowers but you can’t stop the spring

This year for Easter we traveled home to Rockford to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday early. We were so excited to give Barb her presents that we made her open one on Friday night. Kari had bought her a bunch of cat accessories. The first thing she opened was some fuzzy mouse toys. “What?” She was really confused and of course we were all laughing. “No. no. no. no.” she said. “YES!” We were taking her to the animal shelter the next morning to pick out her very own kitten! I love how we didn’t give her a choice. HA! Of course, she warmed up to the idea. And of course, I was there with my camera, eager to snap pics of the new kitty. But first, the cake!

I had been reading a great foodie blog – Dinnercakes (I know the author personally through my sister-in-law!) and saw that she made a rainbow colored cake and I thought that’d be perfect for an Eastery-birthday cake for Barb. So I did my version with pastels. (The cake wasn’t homemade, so no recipe to post.) I made it two layers with white frosting. I poured green in first, and then right on top I poured the remaining colors one by one. Then, I dragged a skewer through a couple times to get the colors to move a bit.

I kept the decorating simple (because I’m so not good at that part.) But I wanted it to have the flower theme for Easter – and to go with the little birthday plate I painted for her at Color-Me-Mine. The plate looks like it was painted by a kindergartener (no offense to kindergarteners) – we’ll just say I mean it to be that way (instead of confessing my poor painting skills.) She loved it nonetheless.

The colors of the cake didn’t get as marbly-mixed as I thought they would – you could see the half-circle shapes and that’s still cool! It tasted great too!

Now for the kitty! We went to Winnebago County Animal Services and spent some time with all the kitties there. It broke my heart to see them in their little cages – meowing and pawing to get out. That was tough. But we found a perfect match for Barb! Meet Oliver.

He was a little shy when he arrived at his new home, but it didn’t take him long to start exploring. By the end of the day, he was jumping up onto tables and being held by everyone. He and Barb are gonna be best buds I can just tell! I get first dibs on cat-sitting!

You may notice that he looks a lot like a certain little kitty who’s appeared here before – but there is no relation. Nanaa is from Africa! I hope to chronicle the highly-anticipated first meeting of Ollie and Nans.

Ollie & Nans

After celebrating with Barb and getting Ollie acquainted in his new home, we headed to my Mom’s for a delicious Easter lunch. She had a turkey she wanted to “experiment” with (although all her recipes are experiments.) She did three or four different treatments on parts of it—braised, marinated, jerk-style. It was all yummy!

See more pictures from the weekend on Flickr.