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Archive for September, 2010

Happy Birthday to Kate!


It’s still September 15th here in the States (well, it was—until I lost the internet and had to finish this late at night) which is the birthday of my dear bloggy friend Kate! She is out celebrating in the Scottish countryside (I think) but hopefully when she gets back into Internet-land this will be a bit of a second birthday celebration for her. This is for you Kate!

First we need to decorate the place—so I think some bunting is in order. First I’ve got Wild Olive’s customizable bunting, so I can have “HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE!” on one wall…

…and then perhaps I’ll throw this cupcake bunting up everywhere else…

Cupcake mini bunting/banner - Amy Butler pinks and greens
…and fill the ceiling with balloons, because everyone loves balloons.

Birthday Balloons

Now what’s the first thing when you get to party? Yep, grab a drink. I don’t know what your cocktail preference is, Kate, but I think pink champagne would do nicely. If it’s good enough for Deborah Kerr in “An Affair to Remember”, it’s good enough for me (besides, the bottle is pretty)!

Pink Champagne

Before we start the games, be sure to leave your presents of cupcake stands, mugs, Pampered Chef items and something with the birthday owl on the gift table.

Happy Birthday Etsy Owl

Though we usually grow out of party games by our 12th birthday, I think Kate would appreciate the game I have planned. It’s very similar to pin the tail on the donkey. I like to call it “Plant the Kiss on the Barrowman”! Hahahaha, I’m sorry, I had to. It made me laugh.

After all the kiss planting, I reckon we have worked up quite the appetite. Good thing I decided to make one of my favorite recipes,  tomato tarte tatin. Yum.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax, drink some more champagne and watch a movie. The choice is obviously yours, Kate, but I bet it would either be a musical….

….or Harry Potter. You can’t go wrong either way.

FINALLY, we have arrived at the best bit of the party—desert! I love to bake but don’t get the chance to bust out my skills very often, but for Kate, baker extraordinaire, I will go all out. First, a slice of simple yet heavenly Summertime Cake (golden cake with lemon custard)…

…and a cupcake….

…okay, maybe several cupcakes. Because I think everyone needs to taste the flavor explosion of the Frida cupcake from Sugar Mama’s: Sweet and spicy cinnamon Valrhona chocolate cupcake topped with a decadent coffee liqueur buttercream frosting and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Perfection.

{January} Sunday the 10th

If we still have room, we can gorge on peanut butter cup cookies and a tall glass of milk.

{January} Saturday the 23rd

There is only one left to do at this party—sing the birthday song, make a wish and blow out the candles!

I hope your actual real life celebration was just as wonderful (if not more so) as this online version. A very, very Happy Birthday to you Kate and here is to many more!

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An Apple A Day

There have been quite a few changes in my life over the past several weeks. The good news is they were changes I chose and I believe will be for the better—but I still feel like everything is out of whack. Even when we choose it ourselves, change is never easy, right? But luckily, there are things that will and shall remain constant and that is what gets me through the day.

Take, for instance, the apple. Everyday (well, excepting holidays perhaps), somewhere around 4-4:30pm, whether I’m at work or at home, I stop and eat an apple. Pink Lady apples are my favorites—not too sweet, not too sour and perfectly crisp! The crispness factor is very important to me. I like to cut my apple into 4-8 pieces and share a slice or two with whoever happens to be around. Sometimes I sing a little song that goes like this: “Hey hey, it’s apple time!” (It’s a very short song) My co-workers look at me like I’m crazy, but they’re crazy too, so I don’t pay much attention to those looks. It’s a very simple ritual, but it makes me happy.

What are the small, simple, daily rituals that help you make it through your day? Watching the morning news with a cup of coffee or tea? Reading a book during your lunch break? Walking your dog in the evening? I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I feel certain that we all have something we do daily to keep us sane.

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Do you like the ballet? I do. Which is funny, ’cause I wasn’t one of those four year old girls who went around in a tu-tu pretending to be a ballerina. It was the movie “The Red Shoes” that got me hooked. I had read it is one of Martin Scorsese’s favorite films and is often cited as one of the most beautiful Technicolor films ever made, so I watched it on TCM one evening a few years ago. I fell in love with the movie that night and watched the 15 minute ballet sequence over and over again. It’s one of the most beautiful and moving moments I’ve ever seen on film. I was lucky enough to see a restored version on the big screen this summer and people started clapping in the theatre at the end of the ballet scene—that’s pretty powerful.

Anyways, that is how I got into ballet. I’m super excited for the upcoming Ballet Austin season and if you are a fellow Austinite I highly recommend getting tickets to the season opener, Carmina Burana, ’cause it looks like it is going to be awesome (and for what it’s worth, there are no bad seats in the Long Center).

I’m also looking forward to Darren Aronofsky’s new film being released the end of this year, Black Swan. Psychological ballet thriller? That sounds like my kind of movie.

Yeah, it’s going to be intense.

Isn’t it odd how you can unexpectedly fall in love with something you once never gave a thought to for years? Odd, but I like those unexpected loves most of all.

And now I shall close this post with some lovely ballet pictures I’ve been collecting.

Lastly, my favorite Degas, “Waiting”.

What was the last thing you unexpectedly fell in love with, dear readers?

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Christine vs. The World

Hello bloggy friends! Is bloggy the right term? Whatever—who cares, right? If you’re in the US, I hope you had a grand long weekend. Now it is back to work. *sigh* At least I got to spend a lot of time reading, eating with friends and watching movies, so I can’t complain. I saw “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” for the second time and I feel like I should tell you I LOVE THAT MOVIE. Wow, it is fun. I can’t wait to buy own copy of it on DVD so I can watch it over and over again. For me, it’s going to be in same category as “That Thing You Do”: Movies that make me happy and I love so much that the instant they are finished I want to immediately watch them again. Yep, that is Scott Pilgrim. And right now, you can go make a Scott Pilgrim avatar, which, like the Mad Men yourself site, is so much fun you may find yourself wasting spending a lot of time making different versions of yourself. The above is pretty much how you will find me at the flower shop today. It is supposed to rain all day long and I do not like driving around making deliveries in the rain. Nope. But I will survive, because as you can see, I am clearly awesome.

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I wish Hogwarts was real.

Happy September 1st everybody! If you happen to be at King’s Cross station today, wave hello to all the nerds taking pictures at platform 9 3/4 wishing they could get to Hogwarts.

P.S. This makes me laugh:

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