Thursday, September 24, 2009

14 days......

Yes, I think that it is official... this has been the longest stretch that I have gone without posting. It's not that things haven't been happening... it is just that too much has been happening and I have had to put some things (including blogging) on the back burner. So, I will attempt to give a brief summary of the past few weeks - not necessarily in chronological order......

First off, let me reassure you that life has still been filled with cupcakes!! And lots of them. Here are some of the mini-cupcakes that K made for a women's retreat that we cooked for this past weekend. They were a big hit!! There was even rumored to be contests happening as to who could eat the most mini's before noon. I participated and was in the running for first place!!!

It was a pleasure and a joy to spend a whole weekend with some wonderful women at a neat retreat center tucked away on 100 acres of rolling hills and pasture in the center of Iowa. It was especially fun for me as K, M and CB were all able to come and spend the weekend.

I think the hit of all of our cooking, however, were the mini-cupcakes; cake balls and warm homemade cookies that K provided. She was quite busy in the days before the retreat getting them all made. And it looks like she is going to stay quite busy! Yesterday her 'As You Wish' Bakery was featured in our local paper!!!! Check it out here. The orders started coming in pretty quickly. We are busy getting a website; brochure and price list ready... hopefully in the next day or two. Feel free to reach into your computer screen and help yourself to one of these Decadent Chocolate Chip mini cupcakes!!!!

But we haven't just been baking! We are in the process of doing some redecorating! The first room to get a facelift was the upstairs bathroom. Here is the before....

And the after:

We still have some finishing touches to put on it, but it is on it's way to being complete!

Also in the past 14 days, was a quick trip to Chicago to be with our friends Paul and Sheri. Sheri and I's destination was Stitches Midwest, which was full of fibery fun as well as running into several women from my knitting circle of friends!!! Steve and Paul headed downtown and enjoyed the beautiful parks; fountains etc... I do think that Chicago is one of my favorite cities. I love that it is only 4.5 hours away... an easy weekend destination!!

Since the camera was with Steve, I didn't get any pictures at Stitches, but we have lots of the guys downtown. About half of his pictures seem to be pictures of themselves taking pictures of themselves in this Cloud Gate structure. Must be fun photographically!!!

Well, I know several of you are wondering if there will EVER be knitting content on my blog again.. after all, it is titled 'Willow Way Knitting'.. and I ask you not to give up!!! Life is starting to settle into a routine and I think I will be getting my pointy sticks out again soon.... so stay tuned!

Until Next Time....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Morning Meet and Greet....

Morning comes early here at our house. I'm a morning person, so that suits me fine!! I am usually up before the sun spending some nice quiet time reading and journaling and starting in on the first pot of coffee for the day. I LOVE my mornings!!! I don't know about you, but I have a favorite mug for my morning java. This is it. I love the polka dots and it holds just the right amount.

Mugs are actually something that I LOVE to collect. I especially like the Starbuck City and Country mugs. I collect them whenever we travel, and it is the perfect souvenir. And it is fun when the kids bring me them home from their travels as well. These are two I got this summer. The Wales one from R and M and the Jordan one from K.

Sophie humors me in the morning and stays contently in her area until I am ready for the next part of the morning..... our walk in the back field!! We have done this morning and evening for over a year and Sophie still gets as excited as if it were her first time!! I adore her enthusiasm for life!!!

She runs to greet the sun...

She cautiously greets the cows that live in the field to the West of us.... Heaven forbid they are still laying down happily chewing their cud! Sophie will bark until she gets them up on their feet. It's time to start the day, after all!!!

Then it's over to the East pasture fence where the llamas greet her cautiously. There will come a day when she will get spit on. It hasn't happened yet, but I think the writing is on the wall.... When it does happen it will entail a bath, that is for sure!

Sumo tags along most mornings, but sticks to the paths and leaves the meeting and greeting to his younger counterpart. These cooler mornings are heavenly to him, and sometimes he even breaks into his version of a run. Through it all, I do believe he is smiling!

Sophie does pause now and then just long enough to plan out her next mad dash.

When the walk is over, we saunter back to the house and I pour another cup of coffee and look to see if there are any of K's cupcakes needing 'sampling'. Here is her new creation from yesterday - Chocolate Peanut butter cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting and a mini reeses peanut butter cup. Yeah... they are as yummy as they look!! Come on over! I am happy to share both coffee and cupcake. You can even join us on a field walk if you'd like!!!

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

One Year.......

Well, today is the one year anniversary of the arrival of that adorable golden bundle of energy we named Sophie. And life hasn't quite been the same since!!!! She was so cute back then. Sigh.

Sumo tried to warn us about the hazards of getting a puppy. I remember his looks of 'What WERE you thinking?????' We still get those looks from him a year later. Often with reason!!

Like yesterday when she got the top off of the puppy safe package container on the front step and destroyed the mail inside. I wasn't so mad about the credit card bill she ripped to shreds (pretty sure I'm exempt from having to pay it now!!!) but I was a little mad about one of CB's text books that came.

Her life was spared, however, by her good fortune that the calendar I had ordered from my friend Claudia in Germany had come registered mail and was NOT left in the puppy package box. Never was I so happy to make a trip to the post office to pick up a package!! I hate to think what would have happened to her had she shredded this!!! It was so fun to get this after hearing Claudia and her husband Andreas talk about the idea of it at the Spring Fling in April. It is a calendar of Claudia's AMAZING yarn strategically placed on the male models. (Her husband is one of the models!) All of the proceeds go to charity..... If you are interested in one, you can purchase it from Claudia here. But be warned - if you are offended by bare b*tts, you may not be interested. But it is done in good taste and the calendar is wonderful!!

We had a great weekend and got to make a quick trip to see A in his new apartment. Lunch at Hickory Park is always a treat as well!!

K made an incredible birthday cake over the weekend for a 60th birthday party. It was 3 tiered and covered with amazing flowers. (That she had made with homemade gumpaste). It was breath taking.

She also got a request for a cupcake that was coffee flavored with a hint of toffee. After researching recipes and combining ideas, she came up with these. The frosting is an espresso buttercream that is unbelievable. I couldn't stop eating it!! She is trying to decide what to call them. Head over to her blog and cast your vote: As You Wish

With some leftover fondant and frosting, I succeeded in decorating my first fondant cake. A football!! I was really excited how it turned out. I think I see more of these in my future....

Until Next Time...