What’s going on in my world

We had a fabulous weekend in Milwaukee for a dear friend’s baby shower. What a wonderful occasion to catch up! Jax and I successfully traveled alone, though upgrading to business class definitely made the experience go more smoothly than expected {thank you, Air Tran, for the affordable option!}. Here’s some other stuff going on:

~ Laura and Corey are in Bangkok! Follow their adventures here. We are desperate to figure out how to visit them at some point during their 6-month south-east Asian adventure. Can we swing it with a toddler?  This post about a dad traveling with his little girl in India is somewhat promising.

~ I am going to be an audience member on the Martha Stewart show next Friday and need to make a wild-animal mask of some sort. Shall I delve into papier maché? That is the big craft question of the week. I may just go the easy route and be a pheasant (most feathers you can buy in craft stores are pheasant ones). Monday is my deadline.

~ Yesterday was picture day at preschool and Jax was apparently all smiles. Can’t wait to see his first school pictures!

~ Oh yeah, did I mention I am working on my third dissertation chapter? Woot! When the choice is writing about 19th-century studies of hysteria and blogging, I’ve had to choose the former, but it’s been interesting. I have been slowly collecting house pictures, however, to give you all a virtual tour in my next post.

In the mean time, some snapshots of what we’ve been up to:

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We made pudding together.

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We went to a wedding in Brooklyn via train and subway.

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We tried on a Halloween costume.

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We played in the backyard leaves.

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And yesterday, had quite an artistic experience with paint!

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Laura + Corey

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As we anxiously await the photos by the talented Jarusha Brown, here is my camera’s version of Laura and Corey’s wedding day, August 27, 2009 (click thumbnails for the full images):

In Sarasota for our 2-year anniversary

We had a wonderful day on December 29th, our 2-year anniversary. We started out at the beach on the Gulf of Mexico, just down the street from the family house in Redington Beach:

Then we headed down to Sarasota to see if we could show Jax the Crosley Estate ?? the awesome 1920s mansion where we were married. The gate was closed upon arrival, but Sean, the groundskeeper, saw us and let us in. So nice!

It was as beautiful and as breathtaking as ever.

Next stop was St. Armand’s Circle, a pretty European-style round-about with cafés and upscale boutiques lining the perimeter.

We skipped the cafés, however, and opted for an ice cream snack instead.

To finish the night, we had an excellent seafood meal in the downtown area of Sarasota, on the harbor, complete with margaritas.

Anniversary

Two years ago was one of the most fun, beautiful, and meaningful days of my life. I love that we are back in Florida to celebrate our anniversary. A lot has changed in our lives: we moved back from Paris and now have a 3-month old baby. But time seems to have stood still here: there are still reminants of our wedding all over the Florida house, from pink rattan fans and favor boxes to glass vases and colorful votives. Being with family over the holidays was a reminder of the best part of the day, though ?? being together. We’re going to mark the day by touring Jax around Sarasota, the city in which we were married, after a morning trip to the Gulf beach.

Mom’s Carrot Cupcakes

Wedding CupcakesMy mom has decided that the world can know about her secret carrot cake recipe. This recipe is so good I asked her to use it to make our wedding cupcakes. She spent hours the day before our wedding making 8 or 9 batches of these, with the help of many friends. It was a lot of work. Thanks, Mom!

They were presented on the dessert table on a wooden holder that my dad made especially for the occasion. So many of the cupcake stands are cheesy and plastic. The one he made is solid and custom made for the number of cupcakes we served. He cut three circles of different sizes, drilled holes in the centers, and then attached them to a wooden dowel. We just covered it up with some lightweight fabric and used ribbon to keep the form of the three tiers. I love it.

I have tried to make this recipe in Paris, but I just can’t get the frosting right. I’m looking forward to having it when we visit the family at Christmastime.

Cupcakes Set-up
Setting up the cupcakes on the dessert table

Carrot cake

1 c oil
2 c sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 small can crushed pineapple
2 cups shredded carrots
1 c coconut
1 c pecans, small pieces
2 c. flour
Mom has a friend who also added dates to this recipe and it was great.

Bake 350 F for 45-60 minutes.
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The Cake Topper from Pixi et Compagnie (Paris 6e)
Photo Copyright Jason Angelini Photography (my cropping)

Cream Cheese Frosting

Blend together the following:
1 stick butter or margarine
1 block cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

DIY Flowers

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My bouquet was made of red, orange, and pink roses, giant white orchids, and red hypercium.

I am currently featured as the guest blogger on Connor’s Blog, where I talk about doing your own wedding flowers! Check it out at Jason Angelini Photography and click on “Connor’s Blog.” It’s a very detailed description of what you need to pull of DIY wedding bouquets, boutonnières, and decor. Added to my description are the amazing photographic works of Jason Angelini, our talented wedding photographer. Enjoy, and of course feel free to ask any questions about this process, if you’re attempting something similar, for any occasion!

As always, you can look to the right under “Projects to Download” and click on “DIYBouquets” or “DIYBoutonnieres” for pdf versions of instructions.

Wedding Bouquets
Beautiful Faces (the flowers aren’t too bad either…)

Wedding Table Decor
Reception Tables

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Wedding Bouquets, a few days after the event