Sunday, August 19, 2018

Guitars and gelato








This weekend, we've been celebrating the Bear's birthday. We had a nice time! His birthday kicks off our "birthday season" here, with both kids' birthdays coming in September and my own in November. We have all the birthdays packed into just over three months' time, which is fun and just a little bit crazy.

We started celebrating on his actual birthday, Thursday, with little chocolate cakes baked in ramekins (the recipe is from a blog called Dessert For Two, which I love!). I've made these chocolate cakes several times already and they always come out delicious. I doubled the recipe to make four ramekin cakes. We have made some recent dietary changes in our household, so to account for that, I substitute Eggbeaters for the eggs (I used 1/3 cup because that's what the carton recommends for baking, and it seemed like a good equivalency for the two egg yolks that doubling the recipe would require), and I substitute almond milk for dairy milk in both the cake and the icing. I haven't noted any difference to the flavor or structure with these changes, so I'd call them a success. We had our cakes, then he opened his presents, which included an Epiphone electric guitar and a small amplifier. He's wanted one for a long time and we decided this was the year for it, especially since both small Bears are becoming quite accomplished players themselves (the LB is in his eighth year of lessons, the GB is in her fifth). All three of them have spent the weekend trying out the new gear. In fact, right now, I can hear the distant strains of "Iron Man" from the living room.

Our celebrations continued on Friday night with a trip to PF Chang's (his choice) for a birthday dinner out. Later, we went to Uptown, a local upscale outdoor "lifestyle center" to walk around, look in store windows, and eat gelato. I had my favorite flavor, gianduia (chocolate hazelnut). We only go out for gelato a couple of times a year, and I pretty much always have the same flavor, but it's such a wonderful treat, perfect for a birthday celebration. We're so glad he had a nice birthday.

We've spent the rest of the weekend doing things around the house, including delivery of a new mattress set for us. Our old one was pretty much a pancake with springs sticking out of it. We bought a memory foam mattress this time around, and though we still have 29 more nights of our 30-night trial, I think it will be a keeper. Before the delivery men came, we took the old mattress and box spring off the frame and vacuumed and dusted our room. Then the vacuum cleaner started making a horrible sound and we found that the beater-bar belt was shredded. Yay! No more vacuuming! Ha. We ordered a set of two new ones for like, five dollars, and have no fear, I'll be back to vacuuming by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. This morning, I helped the Bear go through his closet and weed out old clothes. I offered helpful insights until he told me to stop. In particular, I pointed out that his wardrobe made him look exactly like Chandler Bing. The good news is that we don't need to buy much of anything new; the black hole of that closet yielded plenty of options.

I hope you're having a good weekend and that you'll have a good week ahead! Here, we'll have our second week back at school (the first went very well, thank you for the well-wishes!), and some of our extracurricular activities will start up again. I'm looking forward to some more quiet mornings at home and I'm also planning to get back to regular walking now that I have a little more time to myself. I'm glad to be back in the swing of things.



I just had to share these two photos of faint rainbows that we saw when we were out and about on Friday night for the Bear's birthday meal and gelato. A storm was starting up just as we went into the restaurant for dinner and by the time we came out, the rain was letting up and there was a rainbow across the whole sky, but broken up into small sections. I didn't have my big camera with me, just my phone, and I took these photos from inside the car, but you get the idea. The Bear has had rainbows on his birthday most years; I know it's really a function of his birthday falling during the monsoon season, when we have lots of storms and plenty of chances for a rainbow, but I like to think it's a little more special than just the weather.

20 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to your Bear, my husband loved the look of that new guitar.

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  2. Happy birthday to your Bear, his guitar looks great! Glad life is treating you well and settling down into a new routine. School is still off in the UK. My youngest is away on a summer youth camp for the week. Take care and have a good week. Cathy x

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  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR
    https://www.melodyjacob.com

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  4. Happy Birthday to your Bear! You know how to make a Birthday special, it sounds like a perfect few days of celebrations. A new mattress is such a treat, enjoy the restful nights without springs sticking in your back :-) We got a new one a couple of years back, I remember it felt like all of a sudden sleep was more restful. We are starting our second week back at school, too. I am so glad about it, the children were craving more structured days (they didn't think that of course but their behaviour was ample proof). Have a wonderful week. I wish we could go on walks together and chat! x

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  5. I hope he had a lovely birthday, the new guitar looks like fun. I love the look of those desserts, chocolate is always a winner in my book. A memory foam mattress sounds wonderful. A new mattress is something I could do with I think, I imagine sleep would be pretty blissful for a while. Glad all is going well with you. CJ xx

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  6. Happy Birthday πŸŽ‚

    Glad you all had a nice time celebrating.
    love the rainbows it always lifts the spirits
    to see them.

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  7. sounds like a very lovely birthday!!! so glad for your Bear! OH dear, vacuums and repairs! glad it is an easy fix! it's special to have treats like that only once in a while! why not see that a rainbow on Bear's birthday is a special blessing... I think it is! :) :)

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  8. It sounds like a wonderful birthday and I agree that the rainbows are special.
    The guitar is a special gift and a special thing to share with the small bears!
    Glad you are enjoying your new mattress!

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  9. Happy Birthday to your Bear! I enjoyed the account of your celebration with the grand finale of rainbows :) May your second week of your school routine be blessed xx 🎢🎸🎢

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  10. What a wonderful weekend, it sounds like he had a lovely birthday. I think men are so hard to buy for so it's nice that there was something he really wanted, and I'm sure he'll be sharing with the other guitar players in the family.

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  11. happy birthday to your Bear - many blessings for the year ahead.

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  12. I was thrilled to hear you had such a wonderful celebration for your Bear, belated birthday wishes. Its amazing the difference a new mattress makes to a good nights sleep, hopefully it will be a keeper after your trial.

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  13. I am longing to be back in the swing of things. We have two more weeks left before the girls return to school. Those puds look delicious. I had to laugh at the picture of your husband because it looks like he is playing his guitar in his underwear!! But that is just me being silly. Have a good week of quiet mornings and walking - I am jealous! Jo x

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    Replies
    1. Oh god, you're right! He had shorts on, and not the underwear kind! Haha.

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  14. This post just oozes of contentment Jennifer. Happy birthday to the bear and what a fun gift. I like the idea of individual cakes. No opportunity to overeat then is there? Ha!
    Rain. Oh my goodness. We need rain so badly up here. Just one day of a steady soaker would be so welcome. Our air-quality is the worst in the country right now. I hope you have a lovely week my friend. Blessings, Betsy

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  15. Happy birthday to your hubby! Great minds must think alike, because my hubby's bday was in July and mine was just a little over a week ago, and I was going to do a post about birthdays today. ;-) Your little cakes in the ramekins are just perfect. I don't know why your family isn't eating egg yolks, but instead of using Eggbeaters (which have a lot of artifical ingredients in them - check the label!), just use 2 egg whites for each egg called for in a recipe. You can also use what is called a "flax egg" - this is what vegans do. Just use 1T of flaxseed meal and 3T water (mix it up) to replace one egg. I haven't tried it myself since I don't have any egg allergies, nor am I vegan, but I've heard from vegan friends that it works.

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    1. Thanks, Melanie. I'm definitely a proponent of real eggs (I raise hens and love their fresh eggs), but a member of my family has made some recent dietary changes under sound medical advice, so we keep Eggbeaters around sometimes too. We feel okay about the limited consumption of them. :)

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  16. Happy Birthday to the Bear.. look like you celebrated well

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

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  17. Looks like it was a great birthday. Happy new school year. My boys both have their birthdays in October and it is also our anniversary month. :)

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  18. Happy birthday to your Bear! Excellent gifts and cake. You always seem like the nicest family just enjoying each other's company and doing really nice, normal things together.

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