Saturday, November 16, 2013

Crazy Faces + Hide and Seek

Playing with mom's new iPhone 5's camera leads to the many faces of Lauren...
I was also able to capture Olivia's "Best hiding place ever Mom!"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Veteran's Day Shenanigans

First and foremost, thank you to all those who have in the past and currently do serve our great nation.  And for those who we've lost, paying the ultimate sacrifice-here's a toast...
As for how we spent this Veteran's Day, Nate took us all on multiple, never seen before "adventures"!  First stop, the National Arboretum!  We did miss peak fall colors last week, but it was still a beautiful and dazzling display of trees and foliage.  We brought the girls' bikes along and Lauren was in heaven!  Zipping on and off paths, up and down hills.  If Nate would've let her, I honestly do believe she would've had a go at riding her bike down stairs.  Really!  She was that amped up about biking.



Then after a brief nap and lunch at home, we went to Windmill Hill Park in Old Town Alexandria.  There we got a lot of playground time, coupled with a little bit of feeding ducks time.  It was an awesome combo! :)

What a great and adventurous day we had with out Vet!  We sure love and appreciate our daddy! ;)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

DC Area Cupcake Tour

So I went on a self-guided DC area cupcake tour with some friends today, and it was simply awesome!  My friend Tori is due with her second child this coming Tuesday, so we wanted to make sure she had some sort of last hoorah before she's home bound, temporarily, with the needs of her new bundle of "joy"! :0P  Tori is very well versed in most things DC and NOVA; however, she had not been to all the cupcake shops in Georgetown, where there is an abnormally large amount of storefronts with this specialty. Nor had I, or Kristine, or we went today to take our cupcake tour.  And what a beautiful fall day it was for this adventure.  Perfect for cupcake hunting.  
So we began our tour at Crumbs...and decided we would buy a red velvet at each store and split it four ways, for comparison purposes.  Of course we are qualified to perform the taste testing.  We're all connoisseurs, and I love to try and recreate the "hits" of the cupcake world.  Therefore I'm self-proclaimed "qualified". Mmmmm....yep! Qualified!  

Crumbs cupcakes were extra large (largest of the four stores), good icing to cake ration, dense cake with good flavor, & buttercream frosting.  An 8 out of 10 in my book.  Only fault being the frosting.  I'm a cream cheese base frosting kind of girl, and I was expecting it on red velvet.  A hand-and-glove combo I'd say...they did have a pretty unbelievable variety of flavors though.  Can you say Girl Scouts Thin Mint cupcake?!

Then on to Sprinkles we went...a "normal" size cupcake, light cake with great chocolate flavor, airy cream cheese frosting, and minimal decoration.  Grade: 7 out of 10.  Though this cupcake did have the cream cheese base frosting, I prefer denser cake, and a bit more decoration would've been nice.  Still a very tasty cupcake!
Tori, Me, and Kristine

Next came Baked & Wired...This was my favorite place and favorite cupcake that we visited today.  I don't believe that my cupcake opinion was swayed by my fascination and love for the vibe of this place; but I can't guarantee that.  Their glass stands layout kept patrons around the counter and looking at the different flavors and fun presentation of it all.  I love the variety of glass stands - it's right up my alley.  Also, the vibe of the place is of the hippie, funky, free spirit flavor.  Kristine's from Oregon and Tori is from Washington State originally, so they both said this gave them a feeling of home.  I also got a flash of home in that it was filled with the aroma of coffee (it shares an open wall with a coffee shop).  Though I don't drink it, I love the smell of coffee.  It reminds me of my mother, and I love that and the creature comfort it brings. 
Back to the cupcakes though...they were the second largest cupcakes on tour, dense and flavorful cake, fudgy frosting, and fun bakers cup & decoration.  Rating wise, I'd say this was a 9 out of 10.  Marked down only because I think the frosting-to-cake ratio could be a little better balanced (needs more frosting for the amount of cake).

We then hit place # 4: Georgetown Cupcakes!  Delicious and smooth frosting, chic presentation, light and flavorful cake, and extensive variety of flavors overall.  Though, it is noticeably the smallest cupcake of the day.  Also, I admittedly haven't done the math, but I'd confidently guess that it's the most expensive (penny per ounce) of all the shops we visited as well.  Overall grade: 7 out of 10.  Portions aren't close to any of the other shops, and their cake is too airy/light for my taste; however, I do love their decorations and variety offered.
It was a great tour, with beautiful scenery and only minor stunt-driving on my part to get us parking. :0P  But it was great to spend time with friends, see the sites in the city, OD on sugar, and pick up pointers for when we all have family/friends visit. *Hint, hint*  Just tell us how you like your cake (light, dense, fudgy) and what type of frosting you prefer (airy, cream cheese base, heavy), and we can point you to the right cupcake shop! Or so we'd like to think! :)

It's Autumn Time

It's so hard to get pictures of the fall trees that can capture the unbelievably vivid colors.  At least for me.  But it doesn't keep me from trying.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Little Bunheads!

...or ballerinas for those of you that don't speak dance-ish.  Which quite obviously, I'm not fluent!

The girls insisted on wearing their leotards, tutus AND leg warms to their rec center class on Friday.  Only thing is, that they're not taking dance this quarter.  So where did we wear this awesome get up?! To their "Zoom Around the Room" class.  Nothing screams foot traction and ball-pit play like a ballerina get up.  Really.  Just ask Lauren and Olivia. :/  I might add that this was the day after Halloween and they had just wore their ballerina "costumes" to their school the day before.  I get their confusion, but they got the stares ;0P  They were "oh they're so cute" stares, but stares nonetheless!

Oh, and they were rocking their rain boots with no jackets.  Mom fail perhaps on that one...but I didn't feel like being the recipient of their bunhead attitudes (no offense to my dancer friends).  And these babies were rolling deep with the hands on hips vibe and 'tude.  So much so, I had to take a video.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Burlap Banners

I loved making burlap banners!  They were quick, easy, cheap to make, and you could have a finished product to hang up and look snazzy that day!  The ONE thing that drove me nuts though was the loose threads/pieces of burlap left behind on everything!  Items not even close to the action of making these banners ended up with loose burlap debris.  So since I loved the look of these banners, but hated the mess they left behind, I decided to make numerous banners all at once.  Because then I could put the burlap and all of it's debris, away. I'll definitely be making more, especially since my cricut makes it all so quick.  Love, love, love these!!!
"Give Thanks" is the banner I currently have on my mantel.  It does need some sprucing up (bows, buttons, flowery poofs, etc), but that's best added while the banner is hanging.  Guess I need to get on the ball!  It is November after all!