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The Giving of Thanks….

Just as I thought that the whirlwind of family fun was at an end, I was reminded that Thanksgiving is coming up.  It’s always held at Sly’s – and we all take turns buying the main component.  As the hostess extraordinaire, I often organize.  As the youngest sibling, I relish telling those old ladies what to do!

This year, as always, it’s family, and those friends who are like family.  It will truly be a celebration!  M2 will be back from her competition, M1 and her honey will just have returned from the honeymoon, K1 and her honey can tell us all about their new house, P1 will just hang out, and wee E1 will make us laugh with her antics.  Hopefully, everyone will be there!

I’ve started the plan, and started asking/telling everyone what they should bring.  I love when we all get together and share a big meal.  I love doing the cooking and baking – it’s so satisfying!

The days are getting shorter and colder….but at least it’s not this cold yet!

winter bbq



So, the second oldest niece got married…..and it was beautiful.  The venue, the music, the food…all beautiful.  But the most beautiful thing was watching M1 take that next step, with her friend and partner by her side.

The cake turned out just as I had hoped! Just a small freakout when setting it all up…. the leg off the cake stand snapped off.  It was a good thing someone had some hockey tape.  We jury-rigged a solution, and no one (the bride) was the wiser!  11953383_10153593606137177_2703841904463591309_o

I had a thousand and one ideas for the design.  Ultimately, I went simple.  Strips of white fondant wrapped around the cake.  I wanted it to look like pleats in a dress.  Where the strips met, I added a row of small pearl “buttons”.  Each tier had different coloured buttons to match the wedding colours; navy, grey, and yellow.   The most important thing was that the Bride and Groom loved it, and it tasted great!

M2 is headed out today to the  B.A.T.D. Fourteenth Annual Highland Weekend and North American Sadie Simpson Highland Scholarship – she’s been working on her choreography, and is ready to shine.  Pretty proud of that not-so-little girl!

It’s been a crazy few weeks, and I’m looking forward to the falling leaves and some quiet.

Cake, cake, cake……

Birthday celebrations are done for Miss Mack and now I’m focussing on wedding cake.  Making a wedding cake for this coming Saturday for my niece, M1.  I sure hope the pics in my head come out on cake.  Last night I baked several layers for the top two tiers.  I’m a little nervous about making a fancy-shmancy wedding cake; and currently, have about eleventy billion different designs in my brain (flying unicorns with sparkly rainbows coming out of their butts?).

But here’s the thing, I know, in the end, it’s going to look fine.

I was more concerned about how I would look.  Fercryingoutloud, I haven’t worn heels in years.  And a dress?!!?!?!?  I don’t do that, or at least, not for years.   It was disheartening to see how little choice there is for a larger woman.  It’s either, gross material/pattern or weird ass infantalizing crap.  Look, I am 41 years old – that is too damn old to have a BOW on my ASS! Seriously.   But in the end, I found a gorgeous dress that made me feel young, but not childish.  I did, however, have to take it to the seamstress to remove the dumb-ass sash (again, 41 year old women of any size do NOT need a bow on their ass!).  I had her make it into straps, because while I love the idea of a strapless dress, I’m just not that comfortable letting the “girls” hang out like that.  Picked it up today and it looks GREAT!

It’s hard to believe that this time next week M1, will be MRS. M1….. I remember when she had an atrocious bowl cut and was collecting stuffed toys.  Sigh…. all growed up now.

Sweet 16…..

I remember when I first met you. You were only a few hours old – I had been awake for hours, waiting to fly down.  We had picked a date between the two due dates my sister had been given…..Sept. 17th.

On the 16th I got a call from the B-I-L, I had a brand new niece (#4, if we’re counting).  I was so excited, it was hard to get through the next day at work.  I anxiously counted down the hours till my flight.

And there you were….

And here you are now…. sixteen.  When the heck did that happen?  I am astounded at the young woman you are.  You are so self assured. You are funny. You are sweet.  You are smart.  I don’t ever remember being sixteen and being those things.  I am in awe.

It’s a big year for you – sixteen on the sixteenth – a champagne year.  It’s a year of travel for you; which I hope inspires you to always travel, to search and explore. Always.

You are my sweet and crazy Mack – and I love you.  Don’t ever change.

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Long time no write…..

It’s been a crazy busy year, and I’ve often thought I should post something…. pics, words of wisdom… random babble?  Ah well, to put it simply, it’s been a year of baking, fundraising and family time!  I’m throwing up a few pics of stuff I’ve done recently….

The next two weeks will be full of cakes, icing and fondant.

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Merry Christmas

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve posted…..

It was a heck of a year, both good and bad.  We lost some very special people, and it took a lot to keep going…As sad as it all was, Christmas Eve was still a night to celebrate.  We raised a glass in everyone’s memory and smiled through tears at some wonderful memories.   On Christmas morning, I came home and raised a glass (full of the traditional mimosa we always had on Christmas morning) to my wonderful “adopted” parents.

All in all it was a wonderful Christmas – and yes, I sound corny, but boy oh boy am I blessed.  My niece M1 left me a little card and present that was just so thoughtful (it may have made me cry a little, or someone might have been cutting onions – I’m not sure).  And my other niece, M2, was so pumped at helping find the family gift for me.  She’s learned all about “theming” gifts, and was thrilled about coming up with the Matryoshka theme.   I think one of the best things is the paint-your-own-matryoshka set.

I’m looking forward to 2014.  It’s a big year – I turn the big 4-0 (and I’d better not be hosting my own party!!!).  I’m looking forward to spending time with family and friends.  This past year has really taught me how precious that time is.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and will have an amazing New Year!

Chocolate Diablo Cookies…

Big sister S challenged me to take up Chatelaine magazine’s Cooking Club task:

I countered that she just wanted me to make her cookies.  She replied that she would always be my willing taste tester….

So I made some cookies today…they smell divine!  Once the dishes are done, I’ll sit down with a cold glass of milk and some warm cookies…