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My Mother’s Day actually started on Saturday night. The BF has never been good at waiting to give presents and Mother’s Day was no exception.  He just gets so excited that I think he really might explode if he has to wait. So Saturday night, I got a bundt cake pan, a knitting book, some yarn, and a new coffee mug.

I was over the moon excited about all of my gifts, and I spent all day Sunday playing with my new toys.

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I'm pretty sure coffee tastes better when you're drinking out of your new Mother's Day mug.

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Brown sugar toffee cake with caramel sauce

After O had breakfast, The BF took him on a ranger ride around the property while I baked this (insanely delicious) cake. When they got back, they presented me with freshly picked wild flowers.

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Learning to knit!

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After dropping off my flowers, the boys zoomed off again so I could have some more peaceful quiet time. The cake was in the oven and I had the kitchen cleaned up, so I grabbed some scrap yarn and started to practice knitting.

I spent the rest of the morning sipping coffee and knitting, pausing once to put the boy down for his nap when they got back. I love that The BF so sweetly made sure that I got to have a little quiet time.

The BF was in and out for the rest of the day because he had a few things he wanted to get done before the work week started. One of which was washing my car because he’s awesome.

My brother, SIL, and niece stopped by for a visit and surprised me with flowers and a balloon. I was sad that I didn’t have anything to give my SIL, so I cut a big chunk of cake for them to take home.

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My parents stopped by on their way to visit my Mamaw. O gave mom her card and I made them eat a piece of cake before cutting another big hunk for them to give to my Mamaw and Aunt.

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Where did my cake go?!

The BF came home and showered, then played with the boy so I could take a super long, hot shower. I even shaved my legs!

We piled into the van and headed to dinner at Rancho Bravo, where I stuffed myself with chimichangas, fresh salsa, fresh guacamole, and a homemade hot sauce that is just out of this world. It’s also SUPER spicy, so I recommend it for anyone suffering from a stuffy nose.

We had the sweetest waitress…She complimented my perfume and didn’t bat an eye when the boy tried to share his food with her. As we were getting ready to leave, she brought me a rose and wished me a happy Mother’s Day.

We ended our day with a nice drive out in the country. O babbled and sang in the back until he finally gave up and went to sleep, while The BF and I chatted about all kinds of things.

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I’m thinking that Mother’s Day might just officially be my favorite holiday. I’m also thinking I have some major planning to do so I can make sure The BF has a kick ass Father’s Day.

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My kitchen window is full of Mother's Day flowers.

Here’s hoping that everyone I know had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I know I’ve only had two so far but I declare this one to be the best ever!

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day?


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Happy Mother’s Day to all of my fellow human jungle gyms, boo boo kissers, butt (and nose!) wipers, food fixers, tantrum calmer-downers,  huggers, and givers of love.

I hope you all have a beautiful day!


We’ll get to the cake in a minute, but first…A story:

I didn’t drink in high school…I think it’s safe to say I was a bit of a goodie-goodie. When I got to college, I seriously wasted no time discovering alcohol. Like, orientation night. Vodka and I became friends, and I learned that I liked Boone’s Farm (strawberry, of course) because I could get two bottles for super cheap. I liked beer because it was always in abundance at parties and, better yet, it was FREE.

One evening, my friends and I headed out to a party that we heard was going to be pretty awesome. Like most college parties, It was being held in the basement of someone’s off-campus rental house. As we descended the stairs we began to hear rumors that someone had forgotten the all important tap for the keg. Surely not! What kind of irresponsible party-thrower would forget such a thing?

It was true. There we stood with our empty red solo cups, crammed into a hot, smelly, damp basement with a shitload of other college students that were all getting more sober and grumpy by the minute. Just as we were getting ready to leave, someone materialized in front of me with a gallon of cheap tequila. In the real world, this would be a sketchy situation that should be avoided. At a college party, this was like a light shining down from Heaven.

The next thing I know, I’m drinking straight tequila out of desperation and complaining that it tastes like smelly feet. Somehow I ended up finding Tequila Man and getting refills, and when the tap FINALLY appeared I went ahead and topped my tequila off with beer. It still tasted like dirty feet but it was doing the job pretty efficiently.  So well, in fact, that I ended up drinking a few more half and half cups before I lost the ability to find the dude with the tequila.

I don’t recall much of the rest of that night. I DO remember that my friends thought I shouldn’t be left to wander home alone, and that it was decided I would crash in a buddy’s top bunk. They escorted me across campus, while I dashed (ok, stumbled) around, hiding behind potted trees and shrubs while singing the Mission: Impossible theme at the top of my lungs (DUN DUN DUN DUH DUH DUN DUN DUN DUH DUH… DOODELEEEDO…DOODELEEEDO). At one point, I decided to steal one of the potted trees that lined the campus sidewalks…”for camouflage”.

Needless to say, at some point that night the tequila left my body in a rather violent manner. The next day was spend wishing death would come relieve me from the throes of my very first real hangover. I swore to never drink tequila again. My body made sure I would keep that promise by gagging at the mere smell of the stuff.

Fast forward a couple of years (wink, wink).

Friday was my Mama’s birthday. My dad planned to take her out for dinner and a margarita, and since I make a cake every year, I offered to have everyone come to my house after dinner. I knew that I wanted to make her a margarita flavored cake so I started searching for a recipe.

I discovered lots of “recipes” that started with a white cake mix. Um, NO. Lucky for me, just as I was starting to get annoyed I discovered the darling Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe for from-scratch margarita cupcakes and frosting that looked promising.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

For the directions, please visit the original post here.

I followed the directions almost to the letter…I did leave the tequila out of the frosting (but I added lime zest) and I skipped the brushing. I took a teeny nibble out of one of the cakes and felt like the margarita taste was definitely there, and I didn’t want the tequila to be overpowering. I also used salted butter because I always use salted butter…and I left the extra salt out of the frosting.

I did have a teeny issue with the cakes…they did not rise at all. I ended up making two cakes and just stacking the four layers to be the size of a regular cake. Problem solved!

Everything still turned out beautifully. The margarita flavor was there, but not in an overpowering way. I was a bit disappointed that you couldn’t see the lime zest in the frosting, so next time I’ll reserve some for decoration.

tequila

cake layers   2013-09-21_19-01-26_361

cake and candles

That scarf that my mom is wearing? I totally made it. I taught myself to crochet last week after getting all of my Grandma’s stuff. Neat, huh?

Make this cake (or cupcakes!) if you enjoy margaritas. If you REALLY enjoy tequila, go ahead and douse them in it. You could probably leave the tequila out altogether if you’re not a fan (like me) but I sacrificed my own comfort for my dear sweet mother. I’m a giver.

I ate a whole piece to be a good sport and I didn’t even barf, so that’s a plus!

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My heart healthy lasagna post is still viewed a handful of times a day… In fact, it’s one of the most common searches that brings new readers to my blog. I like that people are interested in making healthier versions of their favorite foods… So when my mom told me about this better version of pie crust I knew I had to share it with my readers.

I like this pie crust because it’s super easy, quick, and cleanup is a breeze. It’s just as flaky as your typical pie crust and it tastes so good you won’t miss all of that hydrogenated oil.

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1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons ice cold water

Seriously, couldn’t be easier. Preheat your oven to 375. Mix all ingredients in a bowl… I use a fork and save the water for last. You may have to use more water, so if your dough doesn’t come together add any additional water a tablespoon (or less) at a time.

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Roll your crust out between two sheets of parchment paper. This really cuts down on the mess and makes it easier to move into your pan. I wouldn’t recommend rolling it on a floured surface because you’ll end up with a tough pie crust.

I made this crust specifically to eat with macerated fresh strawberries, so I simply transferred it (still on the parchment) to a baking sheet, poked some holes in it, and stuck it in the oven. If you’re doing the same, or if you’re blind baking the crust for a pie, bake it for 13 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Otherwise, follow the directions of your pie recipe.

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I got one edge a little thinner than the rest and it got a bit dark. It was still good, though!

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I had strawberries and pie crust for breakfast this morning and it was delicious. I can’t wait to try this crust in a pie!


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Hallmark seems to be getting lazy about their poems. The very best my ass

In honor of Mother’s Day, an interview with my very own mother:

Me: Ok Mom, what do you think of Mother’s Day?

Mom: What do I think of it? I think it’s just like Father’s day…I think it’s a nice tribute. But I think the feelings you express on those days should be expressed every day. You know what I mean?

Me: I do! What’s your favorite Mother’s Day memory?

Mom: Hmmm…I don’t think I have one. Am I supposed to?

Me: Ok, what about your funniest?

Mom: Really?! I don’t know! (To dad) Have I had a funny Mother’s Day?

Dad: Huh?

Me: Ok…If you could get anything you wanted for Mother’s day, what would you ask for?

Mom: I’ve got what I want. God blessed me with two healthy kids and a loving family and two grandkids we can spoil rotten and send home.

…Then she got distracted playing with O and watching the NASCAR race. I had to rein her back in…

Me: AHEM.

Mom:…

Me: Do you feel differently about Mother’s day now that you’re a grandma?

Mom: Well, I don’t know. This is the first one. I’m proud of my family…and the love that I feel for my family…but I guess it just doubles it, being a grandma.

Me: Do you remember what you did for your first Mother’s Day?

Mom: Um…probably…OH YES, I do remember. (To Dad) Wasn’t that the Mother’s Day that mom came up and we went to the Redwood Inn for dinner?

Dad: I think so…

Mom: Mom and I took you and we went there for dinner. Maybe this would count for a funny story? I didn’t think it was funny at the time. Let’s see…you were 8 months old. We put you in a high chair and you did fine ’til you started fussing. You scooted yourself under the tray, so you were kind of hanging out under the tray of the high chair. You just kind of raised your arms up and slid…Anyway, you were crying and carrying on and everyone in the restaurant is trying to have a nice Mother’s Day and here I am trying to hang on to you when a waitress comes over. Her and Mom are trying to get the tray off of the high chair and you were crying and I’m trying to keep you from sliding all the way through…we get the tray off and I get a hold of you and I was just done. We paid and I never went back to that restaurant. So that was my first experience of being a mom on Mother’s Day.

Me: Well thanks for not dropping me in the middle of the restaurant.

Mom: I didn’t! I held on!

Me:  So what’s your favorite thing about being a mom?

Mom: It’s hard to put into words… I mean, I don’t know. I guess it’s…Well, the first time they grab your finger, or they say ‘Mama’ for the first time, or they hold up their arms and say ‘carwy me!’… Or when their first words are ‘dirt’ and ‘pepsi’ (for the record,that would be me), or remembering your brother humming while he ate… Seeing you getting excited because Dad brought the backhoe home and saying ‘I ride the tobacco!’

I had piles of rocks from the driveway that I couldn’t get rid of because they were SO special…You kids just loved to bring me rocks. Then there are days when you just want to pull your hair out…and you wonder, ‘who raised these kids?!’ I don’t know if that’s even the right answer for your question…but it’s everything. It’s the day your baby is born and your heart just melts. And you think, ‘this is ours. this is what we created with our love.’ And the thing is, there isn’t a day that goes by that there aren’t little things that, no matter how many years it’s been, you can just see it happen. You’d be surprised…You’ll always remember your baby’s smell.  And things like, after you got old enough we couldn’t get by with cheating when we read you a book. You’d say “Nuh uh, that’s not what that says…”

…Did that answer your question? I don’t even remember what the question was…

Happy Mother’s Day, readers!


Mom: Ron! They’re doing it again!

Dad: What?

Mom: They’re taking our trash!

Dad: Every. Single. Week. And they take it all, too!


So… lots of things have changed during my extended blogging hiatus… It’s been crazy. I’ll eventually get to write more about what I’ve been up to but for now, here it is in a nutshell:

March 29th I went to the doctor to talk to her about my options for getting a fibroid removed…And found out I was knocked up. Um, SURPRISE!

Sometime in May I was let go from my job. That actually wasn’t a surprise since I’m pretty sure my boss started interviewing for my position as soon as she found out I was knocked up. Can I prove that’s why I was let go? No. Do I think that’s the reason? Absolutely.

September 6th I turned 31 and had a very uneventful (but happy!) birthday. Turns out going out to dinner is about all of the celebration you have the energy to do when you’re toting a fibriod and forming a brand new human life.

September 29th was my baby shower…I’ll never forget it because it was the last good day I got to spend with my Grandma.

October 1st my Grandma was sent to the ER with stroke-like symptoms. My mom and I met her there and found out that tests indicated a minor heart attack and a possible stroke. She was transported to Arnette Hospital in Lafayette (where my Dad had his heart surgery).

Mom and I spent the week at the hospital with Grandma. Neither of us were prepared for an overnight stay, much less a whole week. She passed away on October 8th.

The BF lost his Grandma about two weeks later.

On October 27th my little brother got married.

On November 16th at 7:48 am my sweet little guy was born.

On top of everything else, my dad had to start traveling for work again after probably 25 years of working reasonably close to home.

So…lots of things going on, but they seem to have settled down so I’ll be slowly getting back into the whole blogging thing. I have some ideas for new stuff and I’m sure being a new parent will provide me with plenty of blogging material.

Plus I still pester my mom as much as possible.

Thank you to all of the readers that stuck with me! I can’t wait to get back into a more regular blogging routine.


My Dad’s sense of humor is at times almost painfully corny… I think a good chunk of my sense of humor is the same way. My dad somehow always has a terribly groanworthy joke to tell and while some people might think they’re stupid, I find them hilarious.

Q. Why does Santa wash his clothes in Tide?

A. Because it’s too cold out-tide!

Q. How to you top a car?

A. You ‘tep on the brake ‘tupid!

Q. Why are turds tapered?

A. So your butthole doesn’t slam shut!

I’m sure my mother is just bursting with pride after reading that one…

My absolute favorite Dad joke is one that wouldn’t be funny at all in this format… It’s one of those joke I will never get tired of. I go through phases that involve me telling the joke over and over until it really isn’t funny to anyone but me. Hell, at times I just like to yell the punch line at people.

Then again, I tend to think sneaking up behind people and yelling anything at them is funny. I would LOVE to capture the joke and the victim’s reaction on video someday but as you can probably imagine, I’ve told the joke to pretty much everyone I know. Now they all know what’s coming and it isn’t nearly as hilarious.

I’m a big fan of startling people, too… My mom is pretty easily startled and this is (as usual) an endless source of amusement for me. I really enjoy waiting at the door bathroom door whenever she’s in there with my nose practically touching it, so when she opens the door I simply say “Hi!” and startle the daylights out of her.

I’m giggling just thinking about it.

One person I try hard not to startle is The Boyfriend. He has guns.

 

 

Share your favorite corny jokes in the comments!


We ended up with approximately a ton of apples somehow and, as much as we all enjoy them, we couldn’t possibly eat them all before they went bad.

I made apple cake today. Problem solved!

I should mention that baking while watching football could be a little messy… There were a couple of times that a cup full of flour almost went flying through the air but I somehow managed to keep the mess to a minimum.

Anyway…

The recipe I used was given to my mom a while ago. I don’t know who Darlene is, but her name is on the top of the recipe. Thank you Darlene, wherever you are, because this is a damn good apple cake.

For the cake, you need:

3 tbsp butter

1 c sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 c flour

3 c diced apples

1/4 c nuts (I used chopped walnuts)

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350. Cream together butter, sugar and egg. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, soda and flour to the creamed mixture. Add in apples, nuts and vanilla.  Pour into a pan (I greased mine with a little Baker’s Secret but I don’t know that it’s necessary) and bake for 40 minutes.

Naked cake

Once the cake is out of the oven make the topping:

1 c brown sugar

1 c water

1 stick margarine

2 tbsp flour

1 tsp vanilla

Put brown sugar, flour, margarine and water in a saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened, then add the vanilla and pour over the cake.

Appropriately dressed cake

It may be necessary at some point to chase your mother away from the topping…

Luckily she waited ’til I had already poured it over the cake before she started getting all grabby.

The recipe makes a LOT of topping…I kind of wish I halved it because it’s extremely sweet. Depending on your taste you might want to make less topping. Or more. Do whatever feels right to you.

Yum!

Now I know what you’re thinking…that picture is missing something. Well, you’re right. This would be delicious warm with vanilla ice cream but guess what…We still have no ice cream.

I don’t know how I live in these conditions.

Still, that’s a damn good apple cake.


My mother likes to ignore the way things are spelled and make up her own pronunciations.

Blockbuster = Blockbusters

Episode = Appisode

Andy Griffith = Andy GriffiTT (with lots of emphasis on the TTTTTTT)

It drives me crazy but I can understand where she gets it… My Grandma has her own special language:

Wash = Warsh

Shortening = Olio

Oil = Oral

…And that’s not to mention her way of sneaking “that-there” or “them-there” into every sentence.

It makes me wonder just how I managed to end up such a shining star in the subject of grammar.

Guess it came from my Dad?

 

 



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