All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


The Monday Snapshot – An Obsession with Cake

There is something about me that many people don’t know.

I love cake.

And more importantly, I love to make cake.

I took a fondant cake decorating class years ago so that I could decorate a fancy cake for B’s 30th birthday.  A great friend of ours was also turning 30 a few days after him, so we combined their events together into a big night out at a local summer camp.  This was extra special for me because we held the event at the summer camp I attended from the time I was 7 until I was 14.  We had a rocking good time, with a flier invitation and camp events scheduled for the entire 2 days we were there.  It was, in a word, AWESOME!

So the cake.  I made a 3-tier cake (chocolate, white, and strawberry tiers) and it took HOURS.  12 hours, in fact.  I had  to ask B to help me finish it the night before because we were cutting it close.  He pitched in and it was a lot of fun.  Getting the cake to camp was a BIG deal – it was very heavy and needed to be constructed on-site.  No biggie, but it added stress.  It looked pretty good… but it didn’t look as good as I wanted it to look.


It didn’t taste good.  It tasted normal, and decent enough, but not GOOD, you know?

After making at least a dozen cakes including the big birthday cake, I packed up my cake decorating kit.  I was burned out.

For Matthew’s first birthday, we had a fabulous birthday cake from a local bakery.  The design was clean and simple, but the flavor was amazing!  One tier was strawberry daiquiri (pretty good) and the top-tier was orange mimosa.  Oh my, that orange mimosa cake was a hit.  It quickly became my new favorite, so much so that B got it for me the next year for my birthday.  On my birthday, it was dry… not good.

For Matthew’s second birthday, we just got cupcakes.  I love cupcakes, but let’s be honest… they’re a cop-out for someone who loves cake.  😉

This year, for both of the boys’ birthdays, we’re getting proper cakes.  I was thinking of doing cupcakes again, but then saw my friend’s son’s cake and I was obsessed instantly.  I quickly found examples of what I’d like done and sent them to the cake maker.  The cake that she made LOOKED terrific, but it was a box cake.  Again – box cakes are great… but they’re just sort of… meh.  If I’m going to have a gorgeous cake, I want it to taste as good as it looks.  So…

I’m trying out a new cake tonight!  B is out-of-town, and I am making an orange mimosa cake from scratch.  It looks very straightforward and sounds fantastic!  If it’s good, I’ll do one for B’s 35th birthday to ensure I can do it again (because you know, the cake is actually ALL about me!) and then make it for one of the tiers of Matthew’s birthday cake.  I’ll have the cake gal decorate it, but I’m going to see if I can make and frost the cake and then deliver it to her for decorating madness!

Wish me luck!

Cake ingredients





The Monday Snapshot – The Last First Birthday?

I have two birthdays to plan this year – one day apart. We’re actually doing them a week apart, but back-to-back weekends. If we have a third baby (please, God!), we have vowed to do everything we can to avoid another June birthday. However, the crazy in me says to have another baby in June and just power through that month every year! Ha!

I keep wondering, “is this our last first birthday?” It sort of hurts to think that it could be. I don’t want it to be… But if it is, then we’re going to do it up right!

Our theme is simple – ADVENTURE! Because Bryson Boy is a very adventurous, curious dude. I took his photo today for his invitations. Cuteness!

DSC_0271 redo


Repurposing Party Decor

If you were reading my blog a year and a half ago, you may remember that I was WAY into planning Matthew’s first birthday party. No detail was missed. It was a lot of work! I did a couple of projects knowing I’d repurpose them in his nursery, namely the mobile that hung above the party table and the animal bouquet centerpieces (that not even one person noticed!).

Surprise surprise, I never got around to doing those repurposing projects! All I had to do with the mobile was hang the darn thing, but that involved getting a hook for the ceiling, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line – I was lazy and exhausted after 6 months of planning and working on that party. And I was sick of it!

Bryson is in the nursery now and I really wanted to make the room his own, and not just a hand-me-down from Matthew. I hung the mobile last week, and I just finished the garland I made with the animals from his centerpieces and the pom pom cupcake toppers.

That silly little garland was more work than I thought it could ever be. I’m not sure it will last for the long run, but for now, I’m loving it! However, make no mistake, this is a one-and-done project. I will NEVER make another one!

Now if I could just get Bryson’s newborn photos hung above the crib. Sigh. The last frame arrives Wednesday so they should be up soon!


The Monday Snapshot – 2!

Someone turned 2 today!

We had a terrific day – it was packed full of fun and excitement! We wanted to have a memorable day before we become a family of 4 tomorrow. Here is what we did:

6:15 – Matthew woke up (WHY so early all the time, Little Man?!?!)
10:15 – Breakfast at our favorite place downtown (La Mie Bakery)
11:15 – Science Center for the first time – it was a hit!
12:45 – Stopped at B’s work for a visit with his coworkers – they wanted to see the birthday boy 🙂
1:45 – Asleep in the car (oh no! Please stay asleep when I transfer you to the crib!)
2:00 – Nap (successful transfer!)
4:45 – Up from the nap – woke up a bit fussy (usual)
5:00 – Matthew went out to the garage to find his big present – his Strider Bike (“A BIKE, a BIKE!”)
5:10 – Played a little basketball (with the football) out back
5:30 – B took Matthew on a ride in the Burley for the first time – he loved it!
5:40 – Matthew wanted (and got) another Burley ride 🙂
5:50 – Matthew tried out his new BIKE!
6:00 – Matthew had is favorite meal for dinner – Chipotle! (Carnitas, guacamole, and strawberries)

6:15 – Hung Matthew’s room-darkening mural!
6:20 – We all went for a drive to get some frosty beverages
6:40 – B took us to the Corvette dealership just to take a look (not at all seriously looking, but thought it would be fun – and Matthew did love it!)
7:10 – Took a family walk to the neighbors’ to take them leftover cupcakes from Matthews birthday party. He got to play with his best friends, V and W!
7:30 – B’s and my best friends came by for cupcakes – Matthew was a show-off (and threw his new lantern at their 9 month old – ugh!)
8:30 – Bath time!
9:08 – Bed time
9:34 – Sound asleep

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Happy birthday, sweet, sweet boy!  I love you so much!


Birthday Photos Are Here!

My friend, Denise, is awesome!  She’s my close friend who does all of Matthew’s photos (and you know I love photos) and she is VERY good to us!  I can’t say enough nice things about her and her girls who have become the most special of special friends to us.  Matthew and I went out for dinner with her and the girls last night and we all just had a ball.  The girls love Matthew, and he loves them like he loves no other kids in the world!   He knows that C and R are special  🙂

Denise photographed Matthew’s party for us – and she is a perfectionist who would not let me see the photos until they were done.  I get that.  I do  😉  But I have been dying with anticipation and the wait was worth it!  Denise went above and beyond and put Matthew’s birthday party photos into a slide show so that everyone could see them… and it’s precious!  She always picks the BEST music to go with the mood of the event!

Birthday Party!

To my surprise, she also made a slide show of Matthew’s first birthday photos.  YAY!

The Big 1!

So there you have it – birthday #1 is officially in the books as we now count down the months to birthday #2.  I already have the theme picked out  😉

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Matthew’s First Birthday Planning Guide

(This was a page on my blog so that I could keep updating it as I worked through it, but now that Matthew’s birthday is over, I am making it a post.)

Matthew’s First Birthday Task and To-Do List:

1. Cupcake toppers – buy on Etsy? – Found tulle pom poms and will order – DONE

2. Design and make mobile/chandelier – DONE (will be put above cake on table)

3. Party Hats – Buy and then add animals? – NOT DOING

4. Design cake – DONE

5. Make cake topper – #1 and a big dear and a bird on the 1 – DONE

6. Order cake bunting and border poms from Etsy – DONE (got it done in the colors we’re using – not red, white and blue!!)

7. Design and create weights to hold down balloons – DONE

8. Order birthday shirt from Etsy – DONE

9. Order birthday hat from Etsy – DONE (did different color scheme)

10. Design and create Birthday Banner – DONE


11. Order cupcakes and cakes – DONE (I ordered 60 cupcakes for the kids, a two-tier adults-only cake (one tier orange mimosa and the other strawberry daiquiri), and a mini cake all for Matthew!)

12. Get invitations photographed and designed by White Linen Photography – DONE

13. Send invitations – DONE

14. Buy plates, utensils, table cloths, etc. – DONE (teal plates, green forks, brown napkins, orange cups)

15. Order balloons – DONE (ordered them today at party store – they will fill them up and I will pick them up 2 hours before party.  Easy Peasy!  Three bouquets of 3 balloons, 2 bouquets of 7 baloons)

16. Order Matthew’s presents! – DONE (we are not going crazy because he’ll get so many toys as gifts at the party.  He’s getting two “big” things from us.  Well… and I may did order one of these – checking on delivery times.  I’ve wanted one of these for his room since before he was born!)

17. Rent inflatable bounce house if it’s not too late – DONE

18. Check out paper lanterns for deck – NOT DOING

19. Make decorative pom poms – DONE (I have done them for the entry, but may do more for the mantle)


20. Make centerpiece sticks – DONE


Finished products:



21. Favors – DONE – Sparklers for big kids, bubbles for little kids?  Talked to B.  We will have sparklers, glow sticks, and bubbles.  Each will be wrapped in a different tissue paper color and we will have a sign next to them explaining what each color of wrapping means, so parents can pick the appropriate favor.  They will all be in a basket at the door.

22. Glue letters and animals on banner – DONE

23. Buy groceries (beverages, ice cream, other food?) – DONE  We will have pulled pork sandwiches, artichoke dip, grilled chicken fingers for kids, nuts, white wine, bubbly, fruit infused iced water, beer, soda, juice boxes)

24. Clean house and get everything in place! – DONE

25. Make Forest Friend Garland for somewhere – NOT DOING


Birthday Cake Photos

One of Brian’s coworkers took photos of our cake table and mentioned them tonight, so of course I asked her to send them my way since I didn’t take a single one!  There were two other settings of cupcakes, but this gives you an idea of it.  She took the photos as we blew out Matthew’s candle.  That was so fun!

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

New Toys! Of all his gifts, his favorite (by far) is his set of “Number Bugs” given to him by my cousin. He loves them – and loves their little “bug jar” container even more! (Notice his “Baby Sam” (boy version of Stella) in the photo – I just had to get him his own baby to love. So far, he loves giving Sam the binky – and then taking it away to give to Mommy!)