Lego Birthday Party

My youngest turns six today. We celebrated on Sunday with a small birthday party in the theme of his choosing — Lego Dinosaurs. I did a simple invite based off the Dino Lego website, using the Legothick font I downloaded for free:

The day was beautiful, a little warm for my (arctic) taste, but my in-laws lent us their canopies and we had a great time chatting in the backyard and watching the kids play.

For the cake, we chose to do a Lego brick cake — actually two, since I made one chocolate and one vanilla cake. My son’s choice was blue frosting on his vanilla cake, so I made the buttercream, too. First time, and I think it tasted pretty good. The chocolate cake was covered in green buttercream. We had liquid food coloring at home so I used that, but it took so much coloring to get the shade I wanted that I think next time I will use gel food coloring. My son saw the blue buttercream and gave it a thumbs up. Then he tasted some and wanted to eat the whole container so I had to refrigerate it for a while ;D

A couple of friends suggested Ding Dongs for the Lego studs on the cake:

Here’s my sweet Alex blowing out the candles:

It worked out perfectly that I made a six-stud brick and he was turning six, I just stuck a candle into each, uh, Ding Dong stud. Man, that sounds bad, huh? lol

For the piñata, my husband made a fabulous, Alex-sized version of one of the Lego Dino wranglers:

Here you can see the “model” on the shoulder:

Clothing details:

It’s alive!

My husband gazes at his creation one last time before the kids go at it!

Alex with his piñata:

After the carnage, my oldest made sure to save the head for our future “trophy room” — seriously, we have saved the heads off a few piñatas and costumes, and I told my husband we should mount them on the wall the way others mount moose and tiger heads 😀

Hope you’ve enjoyed looking through our Lego party – have a great Tuesday!

Thursday Favorite ThingsWeekend Bloggy Reading

Sponsor: Signs on the Cheap

Please welcome my new sponsor, Signs on the Cheap!

As their name says, Signs on the Cheap provides a variety of signs, all very reasonably priced. Their ordering process is super easy and they offer pre-made templates as well as the option of uploading your own design. I chose this last option for my new blog business cards, and I received my beautiful new cards within a few days.

I designed them on Photoshop, using the fonts I use on my blog, and of course, my favorite colors ;D

I was very happy with the ease of use of the website, the option to use my own design, and the quick turn-around. If you are looking for signs, posters, business cards, etc. I would urge you to check out Signs on the Cheap!

Disclaimer: I was contacted by this company to do a review of their product. The product was received free of charge, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Five Shades of Teal

I am in such a turquoise and teal kick, I swear, every other color in my polish stash is being completely ignored. Last week I went to a local nail supply store with my college friend Carina, and I got a few pretties in summery teals and turquoises.

From left to right:
SpaRitual’s Off the Grid, this one I already had, purchased at Sephora to match my Shellac manicure.
Color Club’s Gossip Column, a very saturated creme formula.
China Glaze’s Deviantly Darling, one of their luster chrome shades that changes color as you move your hands around.
Essie’s Dive Bar, darker on the nail than in the bottle.
Jessica’s Fishnets and Fringe, the darkest of all five.

I am so in love with these shades – today I am wearing Fishnets and Fringe and at first look it looks black, only once you stop and look can you detect the dark teal tones.

Now I am off to bake some cakes and watch the Olympics opening ceremonies – I love the Olympics, will you be watching?

Peruvian Pisco Drink

This week I am celebrating Peruvian Independence — yeah, I’m the lucky girl who celebrates three countries’ Independence in one month: 4th of July for my beloved America, Bastille Day for my home-away-from-home France, and Fiestas Patrias on the 28th and 29th for my homeland, Peru.

Today I bring you a little something-something to enjoy, the recipe comes from my brother, the awesome bartender at the Union Square Hyatt in San Francisco — thanks bro!

2 oz. Pisco
1/2 oz. Sweet & Sour
1/2 oz. Strawberry Puree

Enjoy as is or on the rocks!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Icing on the Cake

The boys and I are continuing our cupcake adventures with a visit to Icing on the Cake, a local shop in Los Gatos — my friend G is a fan and we met up a couple of days ago to sample some goodies.

The shop is adorable, it has not only cupcakes, cookies, cakes, etc. but so many bowls, cupcake stands, paper straws, aprons, party accessories, and more, that I was surprised at my own willpower because I seriously wanted to blow the month’s grocery money right there and then.

My youngest checked out the cupcakes but then headed over to his favorite section – cookies!

He ended up getting a chocolate chip behemoth that he shared with his big brother. Big bro, in turn, shared his vanilla cupcake with my little man. My husband got a carrot cupcake and I got my chocolate fix. I have to say that I liked this chocolate cupcake a lot better than the ones I got at our two previous cupcake outings (Sprinkles and Kara’s). This cupcake was very, very chocolaty, there wasn’t an obscene amount of frosting so I could enjoy the cake itself, which is what I like the most.

We hung out with G and her adorable daughter for a few minutes and then the boys and I had to go grocery shopping (see? good thing I didn’t spend all that money 😀 )

Pretties in the dining room

My love affair with Paper Source is never ending. Their Cavallini paper is my favorite “cheap art” and it has graced numerous frames throughout the house. This time, our newly-painted dining room got some pretty prints to jazz it up.

My beloved Eiffel Tower anchors a corner next to the sliding doors.

Above one of the hutches, two vintage-looking prints become a focal point:

Our kitchen and dining room are very rustic and very, very far from modern, so I thought these prints, with their old-fashioned images and desserts from yesteryear, would fit in very well. Hope you like this little update!

Stepping Stones

My family and I have been making some stepping stones for our backyard — some of them with leaves pressed into the wet cement as embellishment.

This lavender one is my favorite!

My oldest made this T-Rex stone:

We had a ton of glass stones (vase fillers) so I used up a few on a monogram:

Here, after a few days:

With round glass beads, I made a fleur-de-lis motif. I can’t draw freehand to save my life so I found a picture I liked, traced the outline and then cut it out, laid it gently on the wet cement, and outlined it with the glass stones.

When the cement had solidified a little but still had some give, I stamped in our last name and the current year:

I am very happy with the finished look of the stones, and we’ll be making some more before summer is over — hope you all have a wonderful week!

Le breakfast

Tomorrow is Bastille Day, a.k.a. France’s National Day — celebrating the storming of the Bastille, one of the major events of the French Revolution. There will be parades and celebrations, not only in France but in many countries, and various cities in the United States.

I will be enjoying one of these – a lovely, delicate macaron au chocolat, not made by moi, as my baking skills are rudimentary at best, but from good old Trader Joe’s. I saw a box of six the other day and decided I would try it.

It is quite the indulgence — lovely chocolate ganache sandwiched between two shiny, smooth meringue cookies. Along with a cafe au lait, it will make for a perfectly appropriate breakfast.

Laduree, the famous French pastry shop, makes a mouth-watering assortment of Macarons, and I promise to try every flavor every time I am in Paris. Well, maybe not the licorice.

The little Eiffel Tower on the left is a door stop from World Market. Anyone else still call it Cost Plus?

The gorgeous prints in the background are by the talented Georgianna Lane.

July starts and ends with national celebrations I observe, with Bastille Day in the middle – Vive La France!

A visit to the Oakland Zoo

This past Sunday, my husband and I took our boys to the Oakland Zoo.

It’s been a favorite since the other large local zoo disappointed my oldest by not having elephants.

The zebras were some of the boys’ favorites 😀

But my youngest’s absolute favorite was this one elephant. He was super sweet and came over to our side, hung out for a few minutes, and then went back for some food.

One of my favorite details was this high-relief trail of ants, set on one of the little pathways.

This meerkat was a total poser 😀 turning this way and that, making sure we captured all his good angles.

These rabbits were adorable!!!

My youngest liked this leaping lemur – both my boys loved Zoboomafoo!

We had a great time on the Sky Ride, our oldest and I rode behind my husband and our youngest.

My oldest does some yoga poses atop a wary frog.

The last ride was the zoo train, and then we headed home after a great time.

It was a really nice day in Oakland, a lovely breeze kept things from being too warm and the employees walking around were very nice and helpful, stepping in to tell the boys about whatever animal they were looking at, etc.

I hope your Wednesday is a wonderful one!

Adventures in Cupcake Tasting

Last week I took my boys to a cupcake shop — my oldest got a trip to Sprinkles for his birthday back in February, so this time we went to Kara’s Cupcakes in Santana Row.

The boys wanted one type of cupcake and the array of flavors could not dissuade them from their choice.

They each got the Sweet Vanilla mini cupcakes.

I chose some other flavors for me and my husband.

Sweet chocolate for me, yum yum.

Red velvet on the left for me as well, and Kara’s Karrot for my hubster.

By the way . . .

Is anyone planning to see the new Total Recall? 😀 If you got the reference, you’re awesome. And about my age.