The Real Housewife of Santa Monica
Holiday Update & Carmelized Mushrooms with Chive Biscuits recipe

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Holiday Update & Carmelized Mushrooms with Chive Biscuits recipe



Phew! It’s been a while and I have loads of recipes to share with you. And a lot to keep to myself (read: “Coxy’s Kitchen Disasters.”)

I hope ALL my loyal readers (Dad?) enjoyed your holidays and are set for the new year. Or, are at least recovering from overdoing it in every way.

We’ve had a wild month and if it was hectic, we brought it on ourselves. We had a Christmas party over here that was loads of fun. Unfortunately, there are no pix as our hands were literally full the whole time. Luckily Bea had just started walking so every so often I’d see the crowds part and a little 2 footer stagger on through like a tiny drunk looking for her Mama (her nickname for George.)

The party presented me the opportunity to live a lifelong dream of making decorated/frosted sugar cookies for Christmas. Until around 12:45AM the night before the party, as I stood up squeezing Royal Icing onto each of the three dozen cookies when I started hating the cookies. Those cookies were privy to lots of F bombs.

Anyway, I’m a little bummed we didn’t get any pictures as we saw a lot of friends we haven’t seen lately – some in over a year. We sure did appreciate them coming by to see us!

Around the middle of the month, Patsy arrived and we couldn’t have been more thrilled! Having Nana here as another set of ears to listen to the 3 year old soap operas going on between a green alligator finger puppet (named “Toy Store”) and his sister, a golden lab Calico Critter named “Bella” was a HUGE relief for another set of ears. (Mine.)

Maddie finally understood the tree decorating. I still don’t really understand it but I’m glad she does.

And Bea helped too.

Between our party and Christmas, we were invited to a 3 year old “Under the Sea” birthday party. Stay tuned – that will be a separate posting for those of you interested. Amazing work by a talented & extremely pregnant Swedish woman.

Enough about family reminiscing – let me insert this yummy Carmelized Mushroom recipe for you before you’ve fallen asleep for the night!

G doesn’t “do” fungus but Maddie & I do. Since he was working late every night, we threw all mushroom caution to the wind!

This recipe marks my first attempt to use egg replacer. I picked it up at The CO-OP in Santa Monica. It comes in a groovy, totally Brady Bunch looking box.


You can probably get egg replacer at any health food store or maybe even Whole Foods? The kind I got comes in powder form.

Ok. Let’s make the biscuits first!

Here’s what you need for those:

2.5 c all purpose flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 c chopped fresh chives
3/4 c unsalted butter, cold & cubed
1 large egg (I used egg replacer!)
3/4 c buttermilk, cold

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, black papper & chives.

I spent so much time buying, chopping and photographing my chives…

that I forgot to add them until the end. It worked out fine though.

2. Add butter to dry ingredients. Just look at it!

3. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer & buttermilk.

5. Make a small well in the center of the fat and flour mixture.

6. Add the buttermilk mixture.

Use a fork to combine the wet & dry ingredients.

7. Be sure to moisten all the flour bits with the liquid. Your dough will be “shaggy.” No problem!

8. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface & kneed together until well combined. Use a rolling pin or your hands to make your dough about 1.5 inches thick.

9. Use a round 1.5 inch biscuit cutter to cut the biscuits. I didn’t because I didn’t have one. But I did use a flower cookie cutter. Because I did have one. Doesn’t my biscuit look cute?

Place biscuits on a cookie sheet, wrap with plastic & refrigerate until ready to bake.

Here’s what you need for the mushroom mixture:

2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 pound small cremini mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite size chunks
1 medium purple onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 teaspoon dried thyme
2 medium carrots, sliced thin
2 cups diced sweet potatoes (small!)
1.5 cups frozen peas
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth (Mushroom broth? They really have that?)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
dash of balsamic vinegar (optional)

1. If you plan to make the whole kit n caboodle, then set the oven to 375 right now!

2. Melt butter into olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add mushrooms in a single layer in the pan and allow to cook, without disturbing, for about 4 minutes. Add a hearty pinch of salt & black pepper. Toss the mushrooms every once in a while until softened and golden brown.

You’re probably looking at this picture and thinking to yourself, “That doesn’t look like a single layer of mushrooms to me.” I need to use a bigger saucepan next time. So sue me!

Remove mushrooms from pan.

3. Add more olive oil and sautee onions about 4-5 minutes, until soft & translucent.

4. Add garlic & cook for another minute.

5. Add carrots & sweet potatoes and sauté for 5-7 minutes. I actually did 10-12 minutes because I worried I hadn’t chopped them small enough.

6. Add thyme. Return mushrooms to the pan. Turn heat to low and add flour. Toss. Slowly add broth, stirring constantly until thickened. Add peas.

7. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir in Worchestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.

Pour mushroom mixture into an 8×8 inch pan. Or whatever you have that comes close. I think I used an 8×11 glass casserole baking dish. Place the biscuits on top of the mushroom mixture.

8. Bake for 20-35 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.


These will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and they get better!

From Joy the Baker.


Carmelized Mushrooms with Chive Biscuits
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6

Tasty & filling, not to mention good-looking healthy comfort food!
  • 2.5 c all purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ – 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • ¼ c chopped fresh chives
  • ¾ c unsalted butter, cold & cubed
  • 1 large egg (I used egg replacer!)
  • ¾ c buttermilk, cold
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 pound small cremini mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 medium purple onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thin
  • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes (small!)
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups vegetable or mushroom broth (Mushroom broth? They really have that?)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • dash of balsamic vinegar (optional)

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, black pepper, and chopped chives.
  3. Add butter to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to quickly incorporate the fat into the flour. Break up the butter with your fingers until some of the fat is the size of oat flakes and some of the fat is the size of small pebbles.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk.
  5. Make a small well in the center of the fat and flour mixture. Add the buttermilk mixture. Using a fork, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Try to moisten all of the flour bits with
  6. the liquid. Dump the shaggy biscuit dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead together until dough forms a disk about 1½ inches thick.
  7. Use a round, 1½-inch biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Gather the dough scraps, knead for a few turns, and cut out more biscuits until no dough remains. Place biscuits on a small cookie sheet and place in the fridge until ready to bake.
  8. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  10. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter into olive oil. Add mushrooms in a single layer in the pan and allow to cook, without disturbing, for about 4 minutes. Add a hearty pinch of salt and black pepper. Toss mushrooms every once in a while until softened and golden brown. Remove mushrooms from the pan.
  11. Add a touch more olive oil and sautee onions until softened and transluscent. Add garlic and toss for one minute. Add carrots and sweet potatoes and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, softened the potatoes slightly. Add thyme. Return the mushrooms to the pan. Turn heat to low and add flour. Toss together. Slowly add the broth, stirring constantly until thickened.
  12. Add peas.
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Worchestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.
  14. Pour mushroom mixture into 8×8-inch pan. Remove mushrooms from the refrigerator and place 9 biscuits over the filling. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown and cooked through.
  15. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Mushrooms and dumplings will last for up to 4 days, well wrapped, in the refrigerator.

Stores in refrigerator for up to 4 days! The only thing I changed was to use egg replacer instead of the egg.

Please excuse the funkiness of the printable but that’s the only way to insert two recipes on one posting according to my technological prowess.

I was going to go into more about the neighbor who “adopted our cat” and renamed him “Maxwell” despite him sleeping here every night but I think we’re all tired so I’ll sign out here.


Tomorrow check back for the Christmas pix and, more important, the recipe for the EASIEST NO-KNEAD (no need to knead?) rustic bread you’ve ever (or never) made in your life!! If you’ve never made bread before, you only need FOUR ingredients, all of which can be purchased at Ralph’s. So definitely check back tomorrow for that posting! And then call Maddie & ask if she can take a nap tomorrow so I can actually write it. Thank you!

Halloween & Corn Cheddar Chowder Recipe


Maddie’s been obsessing over Halloween all year since we saw THE MONSTER last year! When we went trick or treating last year, some guy in an “Alien” costume. We should have noticed the front step was littered with abandoned candy. When we walked up & yelled “Trick or Treat” the door opened reaaaaaaalllllyyyyyyyyyyy slowly, smoke came out, an alien with a skull face slithered over to the door and held up a massive claw which we finally figured out, he expected us to “high five.” Most of the kids shrieked and some dropped their candy. Maddie & her friend Aston DID eventually high five him & get more candy to replace the candy they had spilled/dropped.

Here’s some of the poorly shot video. I was Foofah. If you know what that means, we are bonded for life. Or until our children move out.

Ever since, she’s been scared all year but dying to see more monsters.

Oh, here is a cute one of Maddie & Aston lest you think they were terrified the whole time.

Finally, the year passed & it was almost Halloween again! We headed over to the Grant School Halloween Festival a week prior.

First the girls got dressed.

A fairy princess.

And a Kentucky Wildcat cheerleader.

Maddie insisted on pulling Bea in the wagon. It seemed like a good idea at first.

But was slow-going. (30 minutes later we are now 2 houses from ours.)

Maddie went in the bouncy house.

Should I or shouldn’t I?

She went for it!

Her dismount.

Bea at the petting zoo.

This baby goat entertained everyone by jumping on his mama’s back.


Then he nursed from his mama as the outdoor part of the festival was shutting down.

After the sun went down we decided to venture into the “Haunted Hall.” The girl at the door asked us how scary we wanted it. How scary? That’s like asking how spicy you want your Thai food. “Medium scary,” I answered, playing it safe. We walked in and instantly 3 figures approached us, horrible, scabby, melty faced folks – Maddie shrieked in my ear – a never-ending shriek – which brought out the girl from the front who then ran through the hallway instructing the various demons, ogres, witches, corpses, monsters & what looked inexplicably like Batman’s “The Joker” to not be scary. The Joker thought it wouldn’t be scary if he sang “It’s a Small World.” The Joker was mistaken.


We went home & stewed on that for a week and finally the day had arrived, and it was Halloween. I tried to feed the girls this beautiful corn chowder I had made but no. They preferred not to fill up on vitamins & nutrients when they knew candy was coming.


I ended up doing what I end up doing every night, I ate the corn chowder myself. Maddie & G ate some later that night and everyone ate it the next day. What was I thinking?

Anyway, you will LOVE this corn chowder! If you have fresh corn, it’s better but you can definitely use frozen if that’s what’s available.


Here’s what you need:

NOTE: I either forgot to include before or changed some of the items in this picture after taking so enjoy the picture but read the directions!

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 bell peppers (red, yellow & orange), finely diced
4-5 ears of corn (I only had 4), kernels sliced off
1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups milk or half & half
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 c green onions
8-20 smallish potatoes (You can omit these if you don’t have them – just cut out 1 cup of veg broth and 1 cup of milk. If it’s too thick, add some back!)

OPTIONAL: bread bowls



1. Chop onion fine. I think I go overboard on this since people in my family are so sensitive about natural looking/shaped plant matter.



2. Saute chopped onion in oil/butter on medium high heat (you can do all 4 tbsp butter or all 4 tbsp olive oil or do what I did: 2 tbsp butter & 2 tbsp olive oil.) for about 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.



3. Add chopped peppers & saute (stirring occasionally) for another 2 minutes.



4. Add corn for another 2 minutes. (ALWAYS stir occasionally to be sure all the veggies are coated in the butter/oil.)



5. Add flour & stir, being sure all the veggies are coated with flour.



6. Add the broth & stir. Soup will start to thicken at this point.



7. Add milk.



8. Remember the bag of potatoes in the fridge and quick as lighting peel & dice them! I made the pieces pretty small since I didn’t think I had much time to make them tender. Oh wait, you diced them already being that you probably read the whole recipe BEFORE you start cooking! Well, truth be told, the recipe I was looking at didn’t have potatoes in it and it was at this point I realized I had a lot of broth in my soup and a lot of potatoes in my fridge so I went for it! But you were prepared ahead of time. Add those taters to the soup & turn it to boil hard for about 7 minutes. Test a potato or two & turn it down low when they’re tender enough.



9. Add green onions & cheese. I usually prefer to grate my own cheese – I read something about the pre-grated cheese having mold inhibitors on it and it also seems kind of dry. That being said, I still use grated sometimes! In short, add whatever cheese you have, like, was on sale, etc. to the soup & stir, stir, stir!!!! Now it’s looking reallllllllyy good! NOTE: I hardly had any green onions. It was one of those times you’re in the store thinking, “Oh yeah, I have a TON of those!” when you don’t.

Cheddar Corn Chowder Recipe
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6

Comforting, healthy, fresh, yummy cheese corn chowder. How can you go wrong?
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 bell peppers, diced (red, orange or yellow)
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels cut off
  • ¼ c all purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (or any cheese you love)
  • ⅓ cup green onions, sliced
  • OPTIONAL: bread boules (for bread bowls)

  1. Sautee onion in oil & butter, stirring occasionally for about 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add peppers for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add corn for another 2 minutes. Yep, you guessed it, stir a little!
  4. Add flour & STIR!! Coat all the veggies in the flour.
  5. Add veggie broth keeping it at medium heat.
  6. Add milk.
  7. Add potatoes. Turn to a hard boil for 7 minutes. When potatoes are tender to eat, turn down to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add cheese & green onions & stir. When cheese is melted & combined, turn heat off & add salt or pepper as needed.
  9. OPTIONAL: If you are using bread bowls, cut off the tops (saving them!), scoop out the innards (most, not all of them) and ladle soup in. Trader Joe’s has some nice boules that are not too big – they come four to a bag. Just look in the crusty unsliced bread section.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Corn & Cheese Chowder.


Maddie ate some when she got home from trick-or-treating!

After taking inventory.

Strawberry Lemonade Butterfly Cupcakes

Maddie wanted “flowers & butterflies” at her birthday. I found this idea on Pure & Yummy. It was surprisingly easy. Between these & the store-bought Breakstone’s French Onion Dip

it was my most asked about recipe at the party. Really people? Store bought onion dip? (But honestly, I love it too!)

Here’s what you need for the strawberry lemonade cupcakes (filthy toaster not included):

2 1/4 c flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest
12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1.5 c sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c milk
2 c fresh strawberries, chopped

For syrup:
1 c lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 c confectioner’s sugar

Get started!
1. While you are preheating the oven to 325, look at the clock.
What? Only 10:37PM? PERFECT time to start making these for tomorrow!

2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt & lemon zest


in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until it is fluffy.

4. Add sugar and eggs (one at a time).

5. Add half of the flour mixture & mix on a low speed.
(Someone forgot to take pictures of the next few steps. I was “in the zone” i.e. tired.)
6. Add milk and mix until smooth.
7. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture & mix on low until JUST blended.
8. Fold in strawberries.

Now spoon mixture into the paper liners



about 3/4 of the way to the top.

You should have 24 cupcakes.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. I did the toothpick test- it should come out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool.

Now you’re ready to make the syrup! Get out your “ingredientses” (as Teresa Giudice calls them):

This is really easy: just whisk together the confectioner sugar & lemonade concentrate in a small bowl. With a toothpick, make holes in each cupcake (deep holes as you are going to saturate each cupcake by drizzling the icing over the tops and into those deep holes (that’s what he said.) How many holes? I dunno – 6-8? 4-10? Whatever you’re up for! In the original recipe she made mini cupcakes but I made standard sized so you decide! WARNING: this is likely to make a sticky mess so put something under the cupcakes to catch that stuff unless you really love cleaning & re-cleaning your counters.

Strawberry Lemonade Butterfly Cupcakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 24

A fresh, sweet, summer cupcake!
  • 2¼ c flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1½ c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ c milk
  • 2 c fresh strawberries, chopped
  • SYRUP:
  • 1 c lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • ¾ c confectioners powder sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Fill cupcake tray with paper liners for 24 cupcakes.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Stir with a fork and put aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter until it’s fluffy. Add sugar & beat well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add half of flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low until just mixed. Add milk and mix until smooth. Add remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Fold in fresh strawberries with a spatula.
  5. Spoon batter into liners about ¾ of the way full. Should fill all 24 liners.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. They are done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let them cool COMPLETELY! (I’m serious.)
  8. SYRUP: Whisk together powdered sugar & lemonade concentrate. **MESS ALERT: Lay some wax paper under your cupcakes before you go any further!**Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops of each cupcake. Drizzle syrup over tops of cupcakes saturating each one.
  9. Frost as desired!


I made a plain vanilla buttercream for the frosting because I wanted something firm and less sweet (HAHA!! – RIGHT!) that could hold up those butterflies. This is SO easy and I completely forgot to take pix. I added fuschia food coloring to it and voila! I had pink frosting upon which a butterfly could light. (Light?)

Anyway, here’s a link to the recipe!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Make sure your frosting is firm enough to hold the butterflies. Just add powdered sugar until it’ll work!

How did I make those dad-blamed butterflies, you ask?
First, all you need is:

1. Wilton’s Candy Melts (whichever color(s) you like) for the WINGS. (From Michael’s or Party City or you can even order online.) I had green & brown.

2. Store-bought frosting for the BODIES.

3. White or colored non-pareils (which I totally forgot to add)

4. A couple of Ziploc bags.


Here’s what you do:

1. Cut up pieces of wax paper. A piece for each set of wings and another little piece for each antenna. Put them on whatever surface you plan to use to cool them.
2. Add about 1/2 cup brown (or whatever will be your OUTLINE) candy melts to a Ziploc bag. Follow the directions on the Wilton’s bag. It will tell you how long to microwave, then massage/mix, microwave some more. When it is all melted and gooey, close the Ziploc and cut a corner off of it.
3. Put your drawing or printout of the wings/antenna under each wax paper so that you can trace it with the melted candy. Apparently I did not take pix of this but I will attach a PDF of my drawing in case you want it. Trace the outline of the wings and antennae (they should not be connected).


4. Now melt whatever colored candy melts you got in another Zip-lock. This will be what you use to “color” the wings. Just fill in between the lines. Don’t worry about being too perfect. Thank garsh I got a pic of this!

You’ll get the hang of it quickly!

Buttload of wings!

5. Let them cool. I actually made these the night before and left them out. Out of reach, that is, of tiny hands.
6. Frost your cupcakes. I used Wilton’s cheapest disposable bags with tips that didn’t even fit! I just forced the tips in and hoped for the best! After frosting the cupcakes (making sure my frosting was on the “stiff” side) I stuck the wings in and using a small round tip and another frosting bag I connected the wings with the brown bodies. What did I make the brown bodies with, you ask? Good question! I used that Duncan Hines store-bought chocolate frosting. It’s very firm and since you barely need any of it, who gives a fig if it’s not homemade? Who’s gonna notice? Then stick the antennae in however you like them!

Thank garsh only my hands are in the picture at that hour!

I wish I had more photos of the decorating steps. That part was done in the morning up against the clock so I had no time for fanciful pix. But I’m sure to do it again and will leave myself more time. Or not!

Don’t worry too much about these – they’ll look cute – you don’t have to be a perfectionist about them. I saw other versions of these that were VERY cute with different colored butterflies, each matching its own cupcake. That was way too ambitious for me, not to mention both Michael’s & Party City were out of pink candy melts.

The butterfly idea came originally from a book called Hello, Cupcake! via Pure & Yummy.

Here’s where I got stuff:
- cupcake tray – TJMaxx
- Wilton’s Candy Melts & napkins, plates, etc.(Party City)
- Frosting bags & tips (Michael’s)

Next time I will cut out 1/2 cup of the sugar in the cupcake recipe. It is just too sweet though I got TONS of compliments on them. I don’t think anyone would notice if it were gone.

I think that covers it! Please comment below if you have any questions, if I forgot anything. I probably did!

Maddie & Bea are 1 & 3 or “Cupcake Porn”

Well, Maddie’s 3 and Bea’s 1 but Bea and 1 don’t rhyme. We were really lucky to have my dad and the A’s come celebrate with us!

Maddie told me she wanted a “butterflies & flowers” theme until I was done making 24 chocolate butterflies. Then she told me “I changed my mind. I want DRAGONS!”

She got butterflies.

Thank god my sister in law was there!! She appeared like a magic fairy princess around 6AM to help me with EVERYTHING and then she took photos at the party! I couldn’t have done it without her!
That’s my torso next to the cupcakes. I don’t like it but I DO like the colors of the veggies!

This was a pink & green park party. I spent all day Friday & the wee hours Saturday preparing everything. To be honest, my sister in law, angel, sent from Heaven, also spent the wee hours Saturday. And the later morning hours too. Oh, and she took all these photos as well. THANK YOU, ALLISON!

This is not a cupcake porn page.

Or is it?

Stay tuned for the cupcake HOW TO in the next posting…

Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

Cucumber/cream cheese sandwiches.

G hauling 3 of the cutest kids in the world around

Andrew & Grampa

Little Sylvie just turned 1 a couple of weeks prior. Happy Bday!


Aston mastered rings and now bowling.


Ava goes vertical!


The place is lousy with babies!


Thomas, Bella & Root Beer. Root Beer, you are NOT a gentleman.


Thanks for the idea, Charlotte!

Coffee filters + paint + a pipe cleaner = a butterfly!

"First you do this, and then you do that. Is anyone listening??"


"Where'd everyone go?"


Maddie did hers one-handed.


Aston, don't leave your cupcake here!


We absolutely LOVED having family there! We loved seeing friends at the party – friends we don’t get to see very often due to busy schedules and that pesky little thing called “work.” And I love baking and planning. But because of all the things I had to leave till the last minute…I was exhausted by the time the party started!

With Rebecca.


By the time this photo was taken I was too tired to get back up & light the candles on the cake.

The words of my mother in law rang in my head, “I always hated birthday parties.”

Next year G and I will be taking the girls to this place. They recently got a beer/wine license. Phew!

We came home and sat around watching football. (Not me, I wasn’t watching football.) Maddie loves having family around. And so do we.

Patsy, don’t blame Andrew for this:

And thanks to Allison, we got a family shot!

I have crazy eyes here.

Later that night, after a yummy dinner with margs at Gilbert’s, we finally cut the cake! This is an excellent triple layer chocolate cake that I made last fall. This time it was DRY. And I ran out of time to decorate it. But it was the candle ritual that mattered!

The next day we headed to the Natural History Museum.

Andrew & Allison had to leave soon so we finally opened presents. Ready….set…


I thought I’d never finish this posting & I hope you didn’t think you’d never stop reading it! Happy birthday to both our sweet girls!!

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