#TBT Happy Hallo-Birthday

My brother and I were pretty lucky kids growing up. Not only did we get the standard trick or treating candy stash every year, but we were also privy to Halloween birthday cake. I will never be one of those grand-kids that forgets Grandma’s birthday, because every year, yes every year, it’s on October 31st. Although I had many different Halloween throwback cakes to choose from for this post, I decided to share with you all Grandma’s 60th birthday cake. I think this was probably one of those cakes where Mom was resourceful and just used things we already had in stock in the pantry.It’s not one of Mom’s most elaborate creations, but it is a cake that gives me the nostalgic warm and fuzzies. It reminds me of the days of flashlight tag, nicktoon marathons, and eating Halloween candy until I felt sick.

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All you need for a cake like this are orange sprinkles and tootsie roles. Simple and Sweet!

The pumpkin wasn’t the only cake Mom made. Mom also made Grandma a Birthday Cake costume using cardboard, a table cloth, and crepe paper. Check it out!

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Grandma’s homemade 60th birthday cake costume 🙂

We were a good looking bunch for Halloween that year. Nikki (wrote about her in my Montana post) was the Ethel to my Lucy. Not to brag, but we won first place in our School’s costume contest.

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Lookin good ladies.

Our two siblings looked almost as adorable as we did…ALMOST.  Jokes, Nick and Mackenzie were by far the most adorable 4 year olds around. Mackenzie was a lady bug, and Nick was his childhood hero, Thomas the Tank Engine.

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He tortured me with the amount of times we had to watch Thomas and his friends drive around their train tracks looking all creepy.

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Blowing out the candles!

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My brother ruined 9/10 pictures when we were younger because he thought he could “catch the flash.” He’s always been our special child.

Birthday or no Birthday, I advise everyone to try out making a special Halloween cake this year. There are so many creative and easy ideas out there!  I’m excited to see what Mom has in store for this year…no pressure.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

Dad’s Birthday Lesson: Treat Yoself at Your Own Risk

I know I mentioned Halloween cakes in my last post, and they’re coming, but first I wanted to do a quick post for my dear old Dad’s birthday. He celebrated it with my family this past weekend. I wasn’t able to make it down to Florida to join them in the festivities, but I did order a special surprise care package that should be delivered to him anyyyyyy day now. It’s going to arrive a little late, but in our family as long as you send a present in the same month as the birthday, you get a gold star. Plus, it’s always nice to get a gift after your actual birthday. No one hates a post birthday present. Anyway, I felt it was important to send him a good gift this year, because after talking to my mom last week I honestly wasn’t sure Dad would even get a cake this year. You see, he got himself into a bit of trouble. He’s been asking for a new TV for a while now. This TV is not for the living room, his bedroom, or the family room. This is for his man cave. (AKA our garage.) Some people store cars in their garages, but we have never been those kinds of people, thanks to Dad. Our garage is for beer, football, Fox News, and the History Channel. Mom heard Dad’s less than subtle hints about wanting a new TV, so she decided to make the purchase for his birthday.

This was a surprising move for Mom, as she is not the Man Cave’s biggest fan. I wouldn’t say she’s anti-man cave, but she’s definitely not pro-man cave. She was able to put these feelings aside for Dad’s birthday, and she placed an order for a nice new flat screen TV set to arrive on the big day. Now in the meantime, Dad had no knowledge that Mom had finally come around to support the pimping out of said man cave.  So, two days before the TV is set to arrive, she comes home to find Dad in the cave setting up a spanking new TV that he bought on his own. Mom. Was. Not. Happy. I think this is one of those things they’re going to be able to look back and laugh about. Classic mixup, right? I’m still not sure which TV was returned, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is that Mom forgave Dad’s impulse buy, and still made him a delicious birthday cake inspired by one of his favorite candy bars: Almond Joy. I’m more of a Reese’s gal myself, but the cake looked delicious! Recipe can be found here. (Mom just discovered Sugarhero, and she’s in love.)

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They rounded off the weekend by tailgating and cheering the Jags. Despite a hard to watch loss to Miami, mom brought birthday cheer to the tailgate with her apricot curry cheese ball. Huge hit!

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Wishing everyone a spOOky Halloween week! Halloween cakes to come…

The trip to Big Sky Country

Whew, it has been a while since my last post. The last few months have been a whirlwind for me, so I’m excited to get back to the blog to share the adventure Mom and I took alllll the way back in August.  This whole trip came about, because I have a best friend who basically has one of the coolest summer jobs of anyone around. Nikki and I have known each other since we were 4 years old. I can’t remember exactly how or when we met, all I can remember is how inseparable we were. We made up songs together, choreographed dances, and of course we attempted to play sports together (woof.) To be honest, we really spent the majority of our time pretending we were characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fact: ANGEL > EDWARD CULLEN. Fast forward to now: Nikki lives in LA where she is pursuing her dream of being an actress. (YOU GO GIRL!) While she spends the majority of time in LA, for the past five years she has been performing at Bigfork Summer Playhouse in Bigfork, Montana. Many Bigfork Summer Playhouse alumni have gone off to do amazing things, and I have no doubt she will do the same.

Partner in crime...and by crime, I mean dorky activities

Partner in crime…and by crime, I mean dorky activities

My Mom and I had discussed trying to get out to Montana to see her each summer, but we never quite made it work until this year. Mom, Grandma, and I planned a girls trip! If you’re every looking to visit Montana, make sure to stop by Bigfork, and if you’re going during the summer, check out the Playhouse.

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Thoroughly Modern Millie

In Bigfork we were theater-goers by night and adventurers by day. Our first day time excursion included a visit to Whitefish Mountain Resort where we hiked and zip-lined. We had a little downtime before our zip-lining was scheduled, so we decided to do what any level headed human would do: hit up the bar. All three of us  had a glass (or two) of wine, and Grandma even chugged a beer, which was probably in the top 3 highlights of the entire trip. I’m not sure the zip-line instructor was fully comfortable in allowing Mom and I to participate. Mostly because after weighing ourselves (necessary evil of Zip-line preparation apparently) my mom asked, “Is this scale in kilometers?”…Classic.

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Two crazies on a zip-line.

Not to worry, we made it through the experience and had a lot of laughs. Our zip-lining crew dubbed us Lucy and Ethel, which we took as high praise. Next on our list was Glacier Park, which is easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in my life. If you don’t believe me check out the pics! Mom, Grandma, and I stuck to the novice trails. I know you’re probably thinking the reason for this was because of Grandma, or even because of Mom, but you would be wrong. If you know anything about me you know I don’t like to climb. In fact, it’s one of my least favorite activities. My 4th floor walk-up is taxing enough. Give me a nice gradual incline and I’m a happy camper, or in this case, a happy hiker.

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At any rate, we “hiked” a pretty flat trail with gorgeous waterfall views, and a bathroom half way through which was super convenient, especially for Mom, who on average goes every 10 minutes. So we’re on this one way, flat hiking trail for dummies taking a gazillion pictures and having an all around good time, when the inevitable happens. With my inherited lack of any sense of direction it was a toss up as to whether Mom or I was going to be the one who got lost on the trail. But Krista, you may ask, how does one get lost on a one way, flat hiking trail for dummies? Trust me, between my Mom and I, one of us WILL find a way not only to get lost, but also to completely justify it by giving a number of thoroughly ridiculous valid excuses that lay blame on anyone other than ourselves. For those betting, Mom was the big winner (or loser depending on your perception.) On one of her 9 bathroom stops, she took the wrong turn out of the bathroom and ended up hiking half a mile the opposite way of Grandma and me. This led to a frantic search. Well, I should say I was frantic. Grandma was oddly unconcerned. Perhaps this is because she has approximately 20 more years of experience with my mother’s antics than I have. Who knows. After 30 minutes of running around asking everyone I saw if they had seen a small lady with brown hair and a confused look on her face, I finally heard a shrill, yet familiar voice calling my name. We found her! After 10 minutes of her complaining that they should have better signs outside the bathrooms and that the trails should be better marked, we were able to continue our journey. Before the end of the hike, I had at least 3 complete strangers come up to us to say how happy they were that I found Mom. Mom told me that I embarrassed her by freaking everyone out. She gets lost on a one way trail, and somehow in all of this, I’m the embarrassing one?  Gotta love her.

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So where do the cakes come into play in all of this? I’ll tell you with one word: Huckleberries. These Montanans can huckleberry literally ANYTHING. Huckleberry jam, bread, coffee, tea, cookies, gummies, pancakes, and one of my personal favorites…FRO YO. Even the beer I told you all about, you know the one Grandma chugged? You guessed it, huckleberry flavored.

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Huckleberry Fro-Yo

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Montana Mush

Mom couldn’t come home without buying as much huckleberry flavored stuff as she could carry. All we have back in Florida are oranges, so she had to spice it up. So what did she make? A CAKE. Well, she made mini cakes. Ok, she made muffins. Delicious huckleberry muffins.

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Huckleberry Muffins. Not pictured: the huckleberry cobbler mom made that everyone gobbled up before anyone had a chance to take a picture.

The muffins were an awesome end to an even more awesome trip! It was our first Montana adventure, and I hope it’s not our last. If you ever find yourself visiting, don’t go home without the huckleberries!

P.S. Stay tuned for some Halloween cakes coming up soon 🙂