Holidays, 2015

Holidays, 2015
A Winter Scene - red door, a dusting of snow, and a vintage bicycle

Friday, February 25, 2011

Our Anniversary Get-a-Way

Last Friday night, we packed up and headed to the airport.  It was a complete surprise to my darling because it was my gift to him to whisk him away during our anniversary week.  Saturday was the 'official day,' so rather than spending it traveling, we were able to sleep in and leisurely enjoy our day.  I packed the suitcases so he truly had no idea where he was going.  He later told me he thought we were going to Seattle.  Of course, he found out at the ticket agent when they took our bags and said, 'Two to Santa Ana?" 

a bit of antique research....better to call it that when shopping with a guy
We did so many things in those 4 days!! Of course, the weather is always a big 'if,' and it was 10 degrees cooler than normal in Southern CA, but lovely just the same!  This antique shop is one of my absolute favorites in Old Town Orange.  My daughters and I went there a couple of times and now it's on the list of 'must do' every time we go!
caught him when he wasn't looking!

As you can see, things are GREEN in CA!

A part of my research always includes bakeries.....and there were several new ones to visit.  We went inside A perfect Circle Cupcakery, featured on the Cupcake Wars and a brand new one to the mix:  Casey's Cupcakery in Laguna Beach, which is also featured on the cupcake wars.  I'm telling you though, I'm not up for spending 3-4 dollars on a cupcake.

Birds of Paradise were everywhere....almost like Hawaii!

We were on the 10th floor and this was our view from the room.  Not too many people, however, took advantage of the pool.  Highs hovered around 60 degrees F.

A morning sunrise
 On Sunday, I had planned a train ride to Santa Barbara.  I had never been on an Amtrak train before.  Susan Branch should get 'free bonus miles' for all of her talk about trains!  It definitely added to my desire to give it a try!  It was so much fun!!  The Santa Ana station is gorgeous!!  It has a mission styling would beautiful pavers and gorgeous flowers!!
All aboard!!  Here I am....the plane departed Santa Ana @ 7:57 AM....I'm ready to go!

So many flowers are in full bloom!! Their deep rich colors are intoxicating

And, at Roger's Gardens, vegetables were ready for the planting!
Here's the train track @ the Santa Ana station....gorgeous snow-capped mountains that morning!

Inside the train

Passing OXNARD...I got a kick out of the elevation, living in CO, that's a speed bump!

This is how close the train was to the ocean at some points!  Maybe that's why they call it....The Surfliner!

A cupcake store in Santa Barbara....a bit on the gawdy side

One of my favorites: ranunculus

Pacific Coast Highway on the way to Laguna Beach....
Yes close!!

Casey's Cupcakes in Laguna Beach

going across the ferry in Newport Beach
We ate at a fabulous Indian restaurant in Santa Barabara; however, the place must have had new was not as good as I had remembered.  We also ate at True Food Kitchen, Cafe' R&D, and brought home smoked fish from The Crab Cooker.
Today......there are no birds of paradise anywhere.....

But there's a GREAT BIG 'ol Woodpecker on my feeding dish and it's snowing like crazy!

It's good to be home!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Post # 101 and 11 years together- a week of Celebration!

Some of you know that this week was my 11th anniversary! My first marriage, although 21 years long, was not a millionth of the wonderful kindness and joy I experience with my sweetheart.  God certainly had a plan for both of us finding one another.  Some of you also know that Valentine's Day is not a day that we celebrate.  It never was a good time in years past, and as fate would have it, my divorce papers were filed on Valentine's Day of all days! To further the taintings of that day, my father passed on Feb. 12 and was buried on Valentine's Day....SO instead, I like to bring joy to others because I know that for many, it is a painful day in one way or another.

We met on Feb. 19, which is also my father's that has become our anniversary day, the most important one and this year marked 11 years.  For Christmas, I was given concert tickets for 'anniversary week,' so on Feb. 15, we headed to Denver to the Paramount Theater to see Sarah McLachlan in concert.  She was incredible and the 4th row seats gave me ample opportunities for wonderful pictures!
Driving through Denver traffic

the lights of 16th St

Gorgeous old church in the center distance

from parking garage to street below

there it is....the Paramount Theater

You can see Sarah's name on the marquee

Architecture inside theater

a lovely old theater...

from below the streets....steam, like in NYC but without subway

Quite lovely decor throughout

box seating

and there she is!


close-up of her piano
What a wonderful evening we had!!  Next posting....our 4 day anniversary get-away!
Stay tuned!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day at School

Just a quick post to show you all the goodies I brought in to share with my colleagues....the high school is so very drab, it seems, that even the Valentine's Day tablecloth does not do too much to brighten things up.  I made 120 cupcakes, a lemon cake with raspberry filling, white chocolate popcorn, lime bars, mini carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting, and brought in candies and GIANT marshmallows which were a huge hit.  I also made old-fashioned 7 layer cookies with graham crackers, white chocolate, butterscotch, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, walnuts, coconut and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk....very ooey-gooey and popular with all!  They were all very appreciative...and I felt the love!!
They were a wonderful bunch of people to work with and it was very difficult leaving them....but I have a passion that is outside of the classroom and I need to focus on making that come to fruition.

the giant pink and white!

white chocolate popcorn was awesome....really, it's difficult to stop eating it

sorry this is sideays but it's a heart-shaped lemon cake with raspberry filling and raspberry buttercream

I made it 'Rachel style' and didn't frost the sides

so many flowers came in for students

and stuffed animals, candies, and more

this came for the secretary in the main office from her husband

small treats were coming in all through the day
I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day....our celebration will come this I'll tell you more about it later.....Thank you to all the tweetlettes for my wonderful cards and cutie things!!  I adore them made the week extra special for sure!!  I love you all!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My favorite cooking store & french cooking class on 2/9/11

I love to cook....that is an understatement.  I'm certainly not perfect, but I'm always willing to learn a thing or two and I find that cooking classes renew my energy, my spirit, and give me more confidence in the kitchen.  I consider myself a life-long learner of many things....but cooking is at the top of the list!

There are several wonderful places in Colorado to learn techniques.  Of course, the best are in Denver, but that's quite a drive away for a class....but I may someday!  Here nearby, however, is a wonderful shop that has classes.  I got my classes mixed up, however.  I thought that Wednesday night's class was French pastry....that's coming up.  This class was a classic French dinner for two taught by a French chef who teaches other chefs all over the US.  He used to own Chimney Park restaurant in Windsor, but now has other ventures.  It was a wonderful class....I wasn't able to take pictures of the food; however, I did take pictures of the shop so that you could enjoy it along with me!  In future posts, I'll tell you more about the menu and hopefully will be able to recreate some of the wonderful things he made!!
From my parking spot to across the street where my class took place

I bravely stood in the middle of the street to take this for you!
It would have been nice if I had added the correct date onto the picture; I was
practicing with photoshop and wrote the wrong date!  Sorry!!  I did just take this photo
on Wednesday 2011!!
                                                                   class awaits!

LOTS and lots of mixers...but I'm afraid that none of them is quite as pretty as....

the cheery 'cranberry' one that the lucky UK tweetlettes received from Santa Claus this year!
My youngest daughter received the soft green one for her wedding gift from her middle sister...she loves it!!
But then, her favorite color is GREEN!!  I have the red one, middle and oldest daughters have white ones.

They have an outstanding collection of cookbooks on the 2nd floor

wonderful candles, rugs, baskets

and a tin ceiling....I love this!

They carry many hard-to-find baking ingredients

And baking dishes, pie pans, and such from all over the world.  I love their quaint wood floor, too
I had an amazing night of learning and tasting....I came home with a full tummy....and hopped shortly thereafter into a hot bath after driving home on such a cold night.....
I wore my Aussie boots that my youngest daughter got me for Christmas and kept them on all day at work! I had happy toes!!
If you are interested in The Cupboard's website, visit them @

Bon Appetit!