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Friday, April 29, 2011

Girl Scout goings-on.

Counting bridges.

With her birthday only 3 days away, I'm warning everyone now that the next few posts are going to be very Lauren-centric. First, I thought I'd catch up on our adventures in Girl Scouting. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking our troop on their first hike. Unfortunately, a few of the girls were ill and could not make the trip, plus the constant rain throughout the last several weeks made for a muddy trek. Still, we made the best of it and finished the day without major incident. Just look at me leading the way, pointing out all the flora and fauna (Which amounted to zero, since it was only the beginning of April).

The spectacular natural wonder!

As I've mentioned before, our town boasts it's very own waterfall. The park is literally minutes from our house. Come to think of it, I bet we belong to a very small group of people on the entire face of the Earth who can say that they live minutes from both a waterfall and a rollerskating rink. But back to the hike. In the past, when we've visited the park as a family, the waterfall has always been barely a trickle. However, this time around the recent rain storms had created practically a raging torrent! Practically! Well, all things considered, it was pretty impressive.

Snack break.

The girls took a snack break at the top of the waterfall.

At the top of the falls.

Photo op! Look how tiny we all are.

Posing by the waterfall.

Aren't they adorable? This was right before they decided that Mark was "Big Foot" and started hunting him down like an an angry mob through the woods.

Cake decorating.

Next up - cake decorating. Earlier this week, our service unit held a cake decorating contest for all the troops. This included girls from our level (Daisies) all the way up to Cadettes and Seniors. I had it in my mind that each of our troop's teams who come up with a theme, like dinosaurs, flowers, or under the sea. I had visions of volcanos made from pretzel sticks and coral fashioned out of Tootsie Rolls. The girls, however, had entirely other plans, most of which consisted of piling as much stuff as they could on the cakes.

Looks good so far.

Not bad...looking good so far! While Lauren and her teammates are working, let's take in some of the other girl's creations.

Igloo cake.

Here's a igloo cake, complete with fishing hole!

Spring cake.

A pretty spring cake (Someone brought fondant!).

Easter cake.

An Easter cake.

Gumball machine <br />cake

My fave - a gumball machine! How cool is that!

Rainbow cake.

The older girls got really elaborate. How 'bout this rainbow cake?

Cheeseburger cake.

And look - a cheeseburger!

Lauren's team's cake.

Let's see how our girls our fairing...oh my. They've been busy, haven't they?

Team #2's cake.

More from our That's like all the holidays represented on one cake!

Team #1's cake.

I guess I can officially claim that the Peeps that I brought were a hit.

The finished masterpieces.

And here are the finished masterpieces ready for judging. Talk about creative use of pretzel sticks.

Other troop's cakes.

Here are some of the Brownie Troop's cakes, so I suppose we shouldn't expect the cake decorating skills to develop dramatically over the next couple years.

2nd place finishers!

In the end, Lauren's team won 2nd place. They were really excited to get their red ribbon medals. All the cakes from the event were donated to a local soup kitchen, which I suppose was a positive thing (Just kidding).

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Treasure hunters.

I'm sorry to say that this year, with the exception of these two treasure hunters sprinting through the backyard searching for eggs, I don't have any photos of our Easter celebration to share. It was just too hectic for me to juggle the duties of hostess and family photographer. Instead, I have more photos of jewelry and muscari. I really need to start branching out.

The secret of a happy life isn't buried in a treasure lies within your heart.

I'd almost forgotten about this bracelet, but it immediately came to mind when I thought about this challenge. I purchased it from Etsy last year. It's just too cute - the treasure chest actually opens too.

Little treasure.

It's funny how children understand generosity so early in life and express it in the simplest, yet profoundest of ways. Lauren is always giving me little tokens. When she was very small, she would give me rocks that I would slip into my coat pocket for safe keeping. During the commute to and from work, I would often put my hand into my coat pocket to check to see that they were still there. As she got older, she branched out into drawings and flowers. Just today she gave me this small bouquet. As she grows older, I know that I will miss the days of these simple little treasures.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Basketful of Blue Flowered Muscari.

I intended to make Easter cards this year, but I thought that everyone might be disappointed if they didn't include a family photo or at least a solo photo of Lauren. Since a posed photo involving Lauren usually begins in bribery and ends with mental anguish, neither of which are in the spirit of Easter, I decided to forgo the idea. Then as I was editing photos I saw the one of the chick and the one with Easter eggs side by side in the viewer pane and thought that they looked great as a diptych. So I decided to put them to good use and make them into a blog banner instead.

The photos in this entry are a mix of those that I was planning on using for the Easter card and those that I shot for the challenge theme, "whimsical." Either way, I think they're all pretty whimsical.

The basket of blue muscari pictured above sits in the middle of our dining room table. I bought 6 pots, each costing only $1.25. I've been enjoying having a little bit of spring indoors these last couple of weeks, but unfortunately, they're not going to make it to Easter. I hope I can find some similarly priced potted bulbs to use as replacements.

Looking back.

Speaking of spring, I've been spending a lot of time laying on my stomach in the grass taking photos. I'm so glad to finally see some green around that I can't stop using it as a backdrop! Lauren is constantly bringing home little toys that she either finds on the playground or receives as gifts her generous school friends. This My Little Pony was Friday's acquisition. As we were eating dinner, the way that the pony was looking over her shoulder caught my attention and thought it would make a cute photo. You mean I'm the only one who has tiny ponies living in the backyard?

The characteristic of coquettes is affectation governed by whim.

And now for one of my recent acquisitions posed in the grass. I've been searching for just the right pair of black heels. It's been quite a challenge because the style right now is the higher the better, 4 inches and up. Now in addition to the dangers of tottling on 5 inch heels all day, I think it would freak people out if one day I was 5'8" and then the next day, I'm a midget. Luckily, I found these which are just right at around 3 1/4 inches. The concept that I had in mind here was someone had just come home from work and slipped off her heels to run barefoot in the grass. It's much harder than you think to setup shoes so that they look casually tossed aside even though they are intentionally composed.

The Easter Beagle, er, I mean shepard mix.

Lastly, poor suffering Daisy as The Easter Beagle, I mean, Shepard mix. Don't worry, Daisy, I think you've finally represented every major holiday.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Paris at my fingertips.

I can't believe it's April already. Winter continues to go down swinging. We've actually had snow flurries during the last two days, which is putting a damper on our extracurricular activities like soccer.

These were all shot with the D50. I really need to start using my new camera.

I took this shot one handed while holding up the Eiffel Tower in the other hand and balancing on a chair. I originally enlisted Lauren's help, but she couldn't seem (or wasn't willing is more like it) to hold the Eiffel Tower straight. This would have worked well if it was the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but not for The Grande Dame. Speaking of which, why aren't there a gazillion replicas of the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Maybe I should start collecting Leaning Tower of Pisas to set myself apart. Anyway, given the conditions I'm shocked at how sharp this turned out.

Hello, cupcake!

Mel C gave me this cupcake necklace for my birthday last year. Thrilled with this one because I purposefully set out to turn the chain into a spray of bokeh (the bunch of little circles). Usuallly when they appear, they're are just happy accidents. We decorated the dining room for Easter today, hence the purple tablecloth backdrop.

Happiness in a box.

Normally, we are die hard Wendy's diners (Especially since they turned our local Taco Bell into a Dunkin' Donuts, but we're not bitter, no. On the contrary, now I'm getting fat from eating their donuts all the time.), but Lauren wanted to get a Littlest Pet Shop Happy Meal for lunch.

That's all for today - there's a donut with strawberry icing calling my name...