Nothin’ Like a Theme Party

Mom is the oldest of 10 kids.  5 girls. 5 boys. Good Catholics. Four of the boys live in Calgary.  One girl in Sault Ste. Marie and  four girls and one boy are spread across the GTA from Horseshoe to Whitby.

Each year the boys plan a golf trip.  They all fly south, Pheonix usually – I don’t really know… *Ahem* the girls aren’t invited.  This year, the boys decided to fly east instead of south – they came home, to make sure their big sister was behaving herself.

Short two... one sicko and one who still lives too far

Short two… one sicko and one who still lives too far.  Also – way to look at the camera Uncle Jim!

And golf.

We had the festivities at Mom and Dad’s – golf and dinner in one location that is also conveniently home to Mom’s bed – the lady does need to nap occasionally.  The weather tried to thwart our plans, but the Boy was there to make sure we stayed positive and golfed in the rain “that was sure to pass.”

It didn’t.

Happy Mom.

Happy Mom.

When most got back from 9 holes – (there’s only so much bonding in the rain we were willing to do) –  we were able to start the festivities, and since nothing says Party like cupcakes and a theme, I took that part on with every last Martha Stewart bone in my body.

The O and M on top were for the littles... we try and maintain some sense of appropriateness

The O and M on top were for the littles… we try and maintain some sense of appropriateness

And that formed the theme for our party.

There were a few other options, but “Nothing gets the family together like Fuckin’ Cancer” was too many cupcakes. And the other options were a bit morbid.

Now you’ll notice in the picture of the 8 that these siblings look pretty related.  And yet knowing that they all look pretty similar we were still found ourselves surprised when mom shaved her head.  As Sista tells it – it was like an out of body experience.  Before her very eyes, Mom turned into her brother.  Sista found herself saying “Stacey? Is that you? We know you’ve been channeling energy our way, but are you somehow sending Uncle Jim in more than just spirit?” There are pictures of the two of them together, of course – but I know what the people really want to see.

Is the reverse was true.  Does Uncle Jim channel his inner Carol?

Surprisingly the reverse - not quite the same

Surprisingly the reverse – not quite the same

I was reading Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls the other day and came across this surprisingly perfect quote on family from David Sedaris:

“Cut off your family, and how would you know who you are? Cut them off in order to gain success, and how could that success be measured? What would it possibly mean?”

A big family may mean a little more crazy in the mix, but I honestly wouldn’t change it.  How could I? If nothing else, when Cancer tries to take one of us for a ride – you’ve got that many more people telling it where to go.

Everybody on 3 - 1, 2, 3 - Fuck Cancer!

Everybody on 3 – 1, 2, 3 – Fuck Cancer!

And to think… that’s less than half of them.

*Update from Mom – She made it! Surgery is booked for the week of October 21. Back to a strict liquid diet for at least a week before which means… I better make really good pie for Thanksgiving.

A little touch of Irish

Can you believe that March is almost over? This is crazy to me. Crazy.

This month the Boy and I did typically well for making delicious meals, but not as good at trying new recipes.

Some tried and true favourites I rediscovered this month:

Perfect Veggie Burgers

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Dough Balls

I’ve also discovered Hemp Hearts and Chia Seeds – both are slowly but surely changing my life. Well, that may be a bit extreme but I am looking forward to trying chia gel in my next baking undertaking.

Here’s what I tried that was new:

Pineapple Fried Rice – One word. Yum.

Butternut Squash Ravioli – kind of, we used the wonton wrapper trick from the Green Pea Pesto Ravioli of February

Hummingbird Cupcakes – as inspired by my new love – Pinterest! (FYI – if you’re looking for a breakfast cupcake this is it!)

Pineapple and cream cheese? Sounds like breakfast of champions to me!

And the one I’m sharing – I’ve gotta say, I wish I had had my stroke of creative genius BEFORE St. Patrick’s Day not after.

Bailey’s Chocolate Cupcakes.

I used Martha Stewart’s Devil’s Food Cupcakes and then topped it with Martha’s Bailey’s Buttercream, which can be found in the GLORIOUS cupcake book, but is simply her Basic Buttercream recipe with 3 Tbsp of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Delicious.

Where I lost my creativity was in the colour.  Sure I made them green as per the Boy’s recommendation. It was St. Patrick’s Day after all.  But after enjoying a delish Green Monster the other day I thought – hey I should have greened up the icing with spinach or maybe avocado… hmmm so curious if it would have worked. But alas, food colouring.

Luckily they were still super delicious and I highly recommend them!

 

 

Eat This Martha Stewart

Happy Pancake Tuesday Everyone! And happy day after Family Day fellow Ontarians!

This weekend we had many a fun-family-filled adventure in the great white North that is Mom and Dads.  Mom is officially retired (woot! woot!), and we celebrated in style with another sumptuous meal at Bistro 77.  Seriously folks it’s totally worth the drive to Alliston if you are anywhere in the GAA (Greater Alliston Area).  Try as I might not to have too much to eat, it’s virtually impossible since it’s all. so. good.

The Boy and I had a small disagreement on who was ditching whom on Saturday when he went to volleyball in Oshawa and I went back to Alliston, choosing to spend the day and night with the W-family instead of the M-family. He toughed it out. And I didn’t have to make dinner for myself – Score! We topped the weekend off with a family walk in the snow – all 10 of us.

Sunday was the real family day and Sista and I spent it making cupcakes with two of our favourite littles. Do you remember being 4 and 7 and having older aunts/cousins that you thought were awesome? Well, we do so we wanted to do a little something with them that would make their Family Day 2012 that much more memorable.

One word. Cupcakes.

Now. Let’s back up just a second. You know I have a cookbook issue according to The Boy? Well I come by it honestly.  Mom has all the cookbooks.  Ever. You think I’m exaggerating but if you saw it you’d agree – it’s only a slight one.  Which is why we were all so confused when we went to check the shelves to find – no cupcake book.  To the BOOK STORE! We scoured the shelves, and decided we would go classic. Classic Martha.

I may have mentioned this before – I don’t know it’s been nearly 350 posts, but I love Martha Stewart.  And I love her baking books.  Do you know why? Martha has MAD standards and that means a crazy strict test kitchen, which is to say, if you follow the recipe you will have perfection.  Every. single. time.  LOVES it!

While we marveled at the beautiful pictures of flowers of buttercream, themes like monsters and babies and weddings oh my we made big plans of beautiful vanilla cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream, and two little girls eager to bring their creative talents to the kitchen.

Well, we may not have ended up with cupcakes worthy of a MS photo shoot.

But if you ask the taste testers they were way better.

And the bonus?

Calorie free since they were made with love.

One Giant To Do List

About 3 weeks ago I had a major “OhmygodwehavesomuchtodoIdon’tevenknowwheretostart” panic attack.

I told my friend over at A Handmade Story that I was basically freaking out and since she did all of this last year she had some words of wisdom.  Make a master to do list.  I liked the idea, but I didn’t really know where to start.  Enter Todoist.com

There’s a handy video to show you how to get started.

And get started I did. I think at the most I’ve had 110 things on my “To Do Before I Do” list.  I’ve been crossing things off and adding more things in as I think of them. And right now I’m at about 70. The tags for the list are brilliant.  I can essentially make sub-lists of “email” “visit” and “call” or “shopping” “rehearsal” and “ceremony.”  I have assigned tasks to other people – but kept them on my list using tags like “mom” “boy” or “wparty.”

 I’ve had a couple new subscribers lately that found me searching for wedding blogs, so for them I say – use todoist. The Knot, and Martha Stewart to do lists are good, but what I was finding as we get closer is there are 5 things that need to be done before I can cross off one thing from either of those checklists. I felt like I was spinning my wheels – doing all of this w-day stuff without getting to move forward in my list, very overwhelming.

But Todoist isn’t just for w-dayers.  I have Todoist lists for “Around the House”  “The Twenties Roar” and “Groceries.”  Better yet, I’ve got an iPhone app for it so I can keep my Todoist list on my phone. Though I must say, the iPhone app could use some work – you can’t sort by the tags on the app. Boo.

Anyway, I thought I’d check in and say – I’m still here. I’m just up to my eyeballs in w-day.  I’ve got some posts to come I just need some time to write them.  Blogging time is coming up… I’ve added it on my to do list!

*FYI I have not been compensated in any way for my review of Todoist, I just came across it and think it's cool. So I thought I'd pass it along.  If you find this post Todoist - feel free to compensate me - I won't mind.