Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Your Worldly Pursuits

This is one of my favorite all time quotes:

My Favorite Quote

I found it on a blog I adored for quite some time. The author of the blog was a dreamer and a risk taker. She left her cushy job in the corporate world to become what she had dreamed - an artist and a writer. Years later, she is doing just that - living out her passion.

How many of us go through life never truly doing that which makes us happiest? Share with me those things that you did as a child that made the hours pass like minutes. I want to know. And as you share these things with me, consider doing that one thing this weekend, if only for a little while. Simmer in the delight that your inner child is never truly gone and that worldly pursuits are still in reach.

Sassy Little Me

"Into the house where joy lives, happiness will gladly come."
- Japanese Proverb

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Adventures in Baking

One of the most exciting events in a child's life is the first birthday. Okay - maybe not so much for the child, but it is an exciting time for the child's dotting family. So much anticipation surrounds the moment when the child will eat his or her first bite of birthday cake. Will the child eat it daintily, or will he or she tear into the cake like an icing craving fiend? But without the perfect birthday cake to present to the child, how else can a proud family document the celebration of a first birthday without a photograph of a frosting covered child to cherish for posterity?

I, along with my friend, Shannon, were given the task of creating cupcakes for my niece's first birthday party. We baked forty-eight cupcakes and planned to decorate them with pink strawberry icing. The snout would be made of strawberry marshmallows, and the ears would be created out of sugar cookie dough. But, like all "good" plans, our triangular shaped pig ears came out of the oven as unrecognizable blobs of cookies. So we ended up creating the snouts and ears out of the pink marshmallows and added pink sprinkles for pizazz.

Snouts and Ears

Snouts and Ears

We were going to make the eyes out of white chocolate chips, but, when placed the chips on the frosted cupcakes, they refused to cooperate with our vision. So we ended up drawing them on with black icing.

50... Er... 48 Cupcakes


48 Piggies


To present the cupcakes, we twisted black pipe cleaners and attached them to pink plates to create the bodies of the pink piggies. In the end, we ended up with a very cute dessert for the kids attending Lennox's birthday party.

Piggy Plates

Swirly Tails and Pink Plates

Pink Piggy Cupcake


Barbara ended up making the cake for Lennox. She baked two circle cakes of different sizes to create the body and the head of the cake. She frosted them with pink strawberry icing, and used strawberry marshmallows to create the snout, ears, hooves, and tail. It was adorable.

Prepping the Cake

Barbara decorating her daughter's first
birthday cake

Pink Piggy Cake

Pretty Pink Piggy Cake

I'd say the cake was a success as documented by her dotting aunt.

Make a WishFirst TasteGetting the Hang of ItHandful of CakeBarbara, Lennox, and Chucky

Itchy Eye = Frosting Everywhere

"Birthdays are nature's way of telling us
to eat more cake."

Chalk Art

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Words to Live By: Week 6

My friend Jeanine has cancer, but cancer does not have Jeanine.

First week of treatment has her going through many changes - changes that I know must be difficult, but, in the end, will make her different. Although she is already strong, beautiful, and unique, this experience will make her even more so.

Week 6
Week 6

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Words to Live By: Week 5

My friend Jeanine has cancer, but cancer does not have Jeanine.

Yesterday was the moment of truth, initiation, and execution. She faced it like a champ and let the cancer know who's the boss.

Week 5

Week 5

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Year Goes By So Fast

My niece, Lennox, will be celebrating her first birthday next weekend. Her first birthday.... I can't believe it. A year has actually gone by since this little angel came into our lives.

I can still remember the day of her birth. I waited anxiously in the waiting room with my dad until someone came to tell us that we could go in to see my sister and the baby. As I entered the room, I heard the littlest cry coming from my sister's arms. As I moved closer to her, this is what I saw:

Little Lennox
Lennox Tome Dauberman
July 26, 2008

I just burst into tears. I couldn't explain why. At that moment, everything I knew about love had changed. I was overcome for the love I had for Lennox from the moment I laid eyes on her. And soon after she was born, my sister asked me to be the god mother for Lennox. I was honored.

I have had the privilege to watch her grow into the most beautiful, hilarious little girl.

Sticking Out Her TongueStank Face
Photos courtesy of her mother

So you can imagine how excited I am to be celebrating her first year of life. To prepare for this momentous of occasions, I offered to help my sister with the party planning and preparation by creating the birthday invitations to send out to guests. My sister and her husband are going to throw a pig pickin' for their daughter at their home by the beach -- a true Southern, summer party.

Lennox's First Birthday
Front of the Card

This Little Piggy
Inside of the Card

Barbara provided me with the poem and the concept for the invitation, but she let me have free reign for the actual design. I hope she likes them. I put them in the mail late last night. I can't wait to celebrate and kiss that lovely niece of mine next weekend.

Early Morning Smile

"A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on."
- Carl Sandburg

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Words to Live By: Week 4

My friend Jeanine has cancer, but cancer does not have Jeanine.

One victory down this week. Certainly a reason to celebrate.

Week 4

Week 4

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 30th Annual Eno River Festival

For this year's Independence Day, Jason and I spent the day with our friends, Amanda and John, in Durham. They invited us to join them for the Eno River Festival. I have heard Amanda speak of the festival before, but I had never actually attended the event. When the opportunity came to go this year, I thought, "Why not?"

Jason and Me
Me and Jason soaking in the sun
at the Eno Festival

John, Amanda, and Nate
John, Amanda, and Nate cooling off
by the Eno River

The festival, which began July 4, 1980, was a vision of Margaret Nygard. She wanted to protect the river and teach the local community about the importance of preserving the river and protecting the it's precious resources. Over twenty years later, her vision has grown into a successful annual celebration that many in the community have grown to support and appreciate.

In the Eno
Festival attendees enjoying the cooling
waters of the Eno

Even with the environmentally friendly theme that was prevalent throughout the event, I was happy to find that art was a big part of the celebration as well. For every year that the festival has existed, a promotional poster has been created to promote the Eno River Festival. Since the festival's inception, the posters have been created by the same talented artist, Jenny Nygard. However, around 2002, other artists have been commissioned each year to create the promotional poster for the event. The result is an exquisite gallery of posters that are also available as prints for purchase. (To see some of these beautiful prints, click here.)

There were also many booths open with local artists' wares for purchase. From pottery to metal work to hand carved wood, artistry could be appreciated everywhere.

Field of Metal Rainbow Butterflies
Beautiful butterflies constructed from metal

Other Side of the Sand Sculpture
Annual sand sculpture

My favorite part of the festival was the parade. Men, women, and children, donning colorful costumes constructed from cloth, wood, and paper-mâché, represented the various elements of nature and the beautiful creatures that inhabit the earth. The unique and creative costumes made me want to start a paper-mâché project of my own.

Eno Festival Parade 3
Eno River Festival Parade

Eno Festival Parade
My favorite costume in the parade - she was amazing.

All in all, it was a beautiful day well spent by the Eno, surrounded by art and inspired by nature. And we have the freedom to enjoy it all. Isn't it sweet?

Happy Independence Day!
"Is freedom anything else than the right
to live as we wish? Nothing else."
- Epictetus


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