Cup cakes are cute. Sheets of cake is boring and many times just too much for us. My last minute cake hunt for our anniversary landed me at Velvet Bake Shop. They make these tiny cup cakes in the shape of a small ball and roll it in chocolate.
I got a few chocolate-espresso for me, red velvet for the kids and German chocolate for all of us.The picture may not be too appetizing, but trust me the cake balls are.
Also I will be in Virginia next week for work. Will let you all know if I met Ms Irene.
Summer is officially over for me (YAY!!!) with the kids starting school today. You already know all the movies I watched this season and the places we traveled. We also did a whole bunch of small things. For all you know my kids might fondly recall these mundane memories of small things than anything else, when they are grown up.
Water Park - We frequent NRH20, a small-to-mid size water park for younger kids. The rides are small and keeps the adrenalin filled teenagers at bay. That makes it less crowded than other water parks. My kids have out grown NRH20, so next Summer we graduate to Schlitterbahn.
Community Pools - I usually enroll kids in swimming classes but did not do so this year. I have plenty of reasons/excuses - travel plans, too hot (yes there is such a thing as too hot for a swim), job switch, etc etc. But the primary reason is that I just did not feel like doing anything structured this Summer. Instead we played in the pool and came down the water slides until I remembered exactly every twist and turn in the slide.
Beyblades - This tops the chart this year for the most popular toy. When I made this comment to a friend of mine, she said, her kids played with it when they were young many many moons ago. It comes as no surprise. A beyblade is nothing but a mass production spinning top with a fancy launcher to set the top spinning. All said and done, we love this and had way too many family battles. My son for one reason or the other declared himself the winner every single time. It is true isn't it - the little ones do get away with a lot.
Chess - We had a little bet this time. My daughter has to win me over a game of chess. Her grandma is her coach. Do you have any idea, how much chess masters charge to train kids? What happened to the old fashioned ways of parents/friends/neighbors/relatives teaching kids to play?
Gardening - We had no luck with the vegetable garden this year, what so ever. Not even okra and mint, that grow like weeds. The only saving grace was basil, lots of it and a few cucumbers. Roses were far and few.
Lessons - Three months is a long time to keep brains inactive, in a specific academic way. I buy grade books for the following year and the kids work on it twice or thrice a week. When they complete a few chapters or so, we treat them with a trip to Barnes &Nobles and head to our favorite yogurt place.
Making soap from a kit
Painted on a ceramic jewel box and horse in a place called 'Art From The Heart'
Trip to the libraries
Froze various sorbets
My son's experiments, which closely resembles what is known in the parent world as a mess
Painting the patio with chalk and cleaning it all over by spraying water on each other through a hose
Umpteen unscheduled play dates that start early afternoon and stretch all the way into the night.
One tip I use to survive a new job is to note down every little work related thing I hear the first few weeks. Each piece of information is a tiny part of a big jigsaw puzzle. I sort, analyze and build a big picture. Assumptions can only take you so far. The key is to confirm the new understanding with a colleague.
Top three reasons I am loving my new job -
1. A happy hour in the first 3 weeks
2. A business trip in the first month.
3. A colleague who happens to follow my blog, recognized me and introduced herself.
For the record, I saw the most number of movies this Summer. You can blame it on the scorching sun coupled by a week break from work (in-between jobs) and bored kids at home.
Bridesmaid - I saw this movie on a girls night out. We were trying to pick one between "Horrible Bosses' and 'Bridesmaid'. My friends chose Bridesmaid and I was pleasantly surprised to see how humorous the movie was.
Harry Potter- Part 2 of the last part - I bought tickets for this movie. My son was not ready for it and I had to exchange the tickets at the last minute. Team mommy and son watched Cars 2 instead. Team Daddy, daughter and grandma watched Harry Potter. Heard from an ardent Harry Potter fan aka my daughter how great the movie was.
Cars 2 - I could have very well slept through through the entire movie or gone home mid way, except for the fact that we had all come in one car and I had to wait for team daddy-daughter-grandma to finish off with Harry Potter. My son is not a big movie fan, we could have well spent that time at a book store or even better bowling.
Delhi Belly - The best part of the movie is that it ended in 1.5 hours and did not drag for 3 like the rest of the Hindi movies. I liked the movie, but will issue a word of caution for those who find bathroom humor gross.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobarah - My favorite one this season. At the end of the movie, I was a much bigger fan of Farhan Aktar. He was simply superb!!!
Smurfs - If there is one movie you plan to take your kids, do take them to Smurfs. I am sure they will enjoy it.
Monte Carlo - This Summer's teen or pre-teen-flick. My son and I could not wait for the movie to end, while my daughter enjoyed it. I emphasized to my son the value of doing things for others ... :-). His future girlfriend can thank me later for this training.
If its been a while since you visited Middle school, you will be in for a big surprise. Kids, Mostly girls decorate their lockers with magnetic products. You can choose from dry-erase boards, mirrors, pencil/pen holders and wall papers in a few color choices. The cherries on top are the rug and the chandelier. You can visit their website for more decorating ideas. Roll your eyes all you want, but it sure looks ultra-cute. We bought a few for my daughter from Hallmark.
As you walk down the streets of Montreal you are sure to find pastry shops offering good quality coffees, desserts and chocolates, making you wonder if you are in France, the original pastry capital of the world. Among the numerous pastry shops we visited, the Patisserie De Gascogne was my favorite. Its a local favorite and very very French. Too bad they have a policy against publishing pictures of their pasties on other websites.
I try to bring back a little something that reminds me of the vacation; this time around it was old fashioned hot chocolate powder. Well, its not time for anything hot in Dallas so I made cold chocolate-banana yogurt smoothie. What better way to start a lazy Sunday morning.
If you do not understand the context of "Bag-wati", you should see the movie "zindagi na milegi dobara", a delightfully entertaining movie. My husband has been calling my Burberry as "bagwati" ever since. The best part however is the bag has been getting a little more respect from the kids - like not rubbing off food stains or other sticky stuff from their fingers on to my bag.
I started my new job this week and loving it so far. Its a bit of a drive but the good part is that its all against the traffic.