This week has been very eventful in the Epley Household. We have continued renovation of the Dining Room and it looks amazing! We are down to the staging aspects now so it's about 99% complete. We have never had a completed, huge formal dining room and are so excited to have one now. We love to entertain and now with our basement and DR completed we have a significant amount of room to do that.
It also hit me this week that our sweet beautiful Bella is almost a year old. I praise God for the continued health and blessings that he bestows on us. This year has gone so fast and it's a bit sad to realize that the "baby" stage of our lives is rapidly coming to an end. I rocked Bell last night and thought there might not be many of those days left as she already tries to say "down" and would prefer to be on floor instead of being held. I have bought party invites and started getting them addressed since we will be gone on vacation the week before her birthday. I'm trying to stay ahead of the game:) This led me to the Birthday cake and cake pop discovery!
I LOVE cake. ABSOLUTELY LOVE cake! I love watching cake shows and started dreaming about having a topsy turvy cake for Bella's first birthday. I don't know why I thought the cake would be $100-$150 imagine my surprise when I called and they START at $250!!!!!!!!! Now as I mentioned earlier I LOVE CAKE but even I cannot justify that amt of money on a cake. Especially for a 1 yr olds birthday (that's Wedding cake prices there). So I rolled up my sleeves and made my own. It turned out fairly well if I say so myself. I used box cake to practice, but for her birthday I might get some of my friend Tehea's cake recipes. She is the bomb at homemade cake/cupcakes! I bought fondant and then made some so see which I liked better. The homemade tasted better (if you like fondant which I think is OK but I prefer buttercream icing yummo) but the premade was considerably easier and faster to use. I had a few structure issues and I learned that I need to decorate each layer then stack them but I think I'm going to try it. BTW even with buying some new cake pans total cost of this cake was maybe $40.00 next round even cheaper since I have most of ingredients. I mean who keeps cake glucose and glycerin around the house? I will try to post a pic of the cake. No promises as Greg is at work and he's a bit more on top of computer/ iphone dealings than I am (don't judge)
A few days ago when it was yucky and cold out, the older girls asked for Starbucks after school. Now our family has a severe Starbucks habit. They know our order at two or three starbucks around town and the 3 yr old tells the speaker that he wants Chai and Sconces when we pull up. Well they have a new product called cake pops. Again my love affair with cake causes me to use some extra Weight watchers points to indulge in a cake pop. They were FANTABULOUS!!!!! but they cost $1.50 each there are 6 kids during the school week and two adults. If everyone gets their drinks, an artisan sandwich (sometimes), Scones (sometimes) and now cake pops well our starbucks bill per year could easily add up to the cost of a vacation. I went home and did some research and made my own cake pops (again I will try to add a pic later) They were awesomeness on a stick!!!!!! I gave some away to friends because we didn't need those sitting around the house they were that good! Trust me when I say there is nothing good for you about these! I think we are going to serve these at Bella's party also for those who just want a bit of cake. I will blog the recipe soon :)
Friday morning a dear friend of mine watched Riley. It was such a blessing because Ryan had his annual "muffins with mom" at school. Now it is a great thing to do every year but lets be honest it's a total gimmick to get moms there for the Book Fair going on in the library! I don't mind the book fair we love that our kids love to read and we always buy books, but it is wall to wall craziness. Took me 30 min to check out and then 10 min to get out. They really need to think about doing K-2 and 3-5 on different days! I can't even imagine what it would have been like trying to hold Riley down in line after feeding him donuts (yes muffins with mom includes donuts )
After Ryan was settled at school and my nerves calmed down from M-W-M, I made my way to pick up Riley and his friend Simms Simms was staying at our house for the weekend. Riley and his friend are both high energy 3 yr old boys but I am not lying they are sooo good when they are together here! We had such a fun weekend with those two. It doesn't hurt that Simms also LOVES our older children and they adore him. Usually Riley and Simms play in the basement with Syd and Ryan. Friday night Simms even crawled into Sydney's bed and fell asleep. Today, I miss Simms' sweet little voice saying "Ms Araine, Ms Araine" I also miss his stories. He is a bit more vocal than Riley and he can spin a 10 min tale that will keep you giggling for an hour! All in all a busy week but a good one :)