the festivication of Little Red

The Family lives in a charming and delightful home. It is tiny and it is red, hence its name: Little Red.

We are damn clever.

This weekend, The Kidling and I festive-ified (Festivated? Prepared our home for festivities? Decorated? Whatever) Little Red. We don’t do much, but what we do is important: a few planters with birch trunks and evergreen tips in the front and a few planters with spruce and pine sprinkled with tiny red berries from a shrub whose name I cannot recall in the back.  Toss up a couple of wreaths, and that’s the extent of our exterior… well… festive-ifying.

Because Little Red is on a corner, easy access is to be had travelling from our freshly festivated front door to the all-important festivication of our back steps. As we rounded the corner and entered our backyard, I spied a bird perched on our porch light. It looked happy there, and I wanted to make sure The Kidling saw our feathered friend. I held my arm up to stop her and put my finger to my lips in a hushing gesture. I pointed dramatically to the porch light and mouthed “look! a bird!” The Kidling understood and whispered to me, “They might think we’re predators, but we’re quite lovely!”

No, dear one. The loveliest. You are the loveliest.

my 4-year-old decor critic

We drove by a home this weekend with the ubiquitous pink plastic flamingo in the front yard. You know the one. Alice was, understandably, quite surprised by this.

Alice:  Why is the flamingo in the yard?

The Mama: I don’t know, Alice. Mom thinks they don’t belong in front yards.*

Alice: Yeah. Because yards don’t have ponds, and flamingos go in ponds. We know the truth about that. I think we know the truth about that.

We also, dear child, know the truth. Pink flamingos are soooooooo bad. Bad. b.a.d. Bad.**

* Don’t hate me if you love the pink flamingo in your front yard. I’m sure it is perfectly ironic. Or precisely kitsch. Or that it just works in your yard.

** Um, really. Don’t hate me if you love the pink flamingo in your front yard.

p.a.r.t.y. (aka adventures in decorating)

So, the party. After the postapalooza that was Alice’s birthday week, I never did say anything about her big day. It was epic. Okay, maybe it was just a typical four-year old’s birthday party. But we had a blast.

For Alice, it is all about the cake. Who am I kidding? For both of us, it is all about the cake. Because cake, as you might have heard, is delicious. And festive. All-around terrific. Ummm, cake…

The Kidling originally asked The Mama to bake her ” … a castle cake with a dinosaur and a dragon and a princess that’s getting eaten.” Obviously, I did not comply. But she loves dinosaurs, so I went with that. Close enough, kiddo, and your princess-loving friends didn’t have to leave the party with PTSD. Everyone is better off this way…

Two hours mixing and baking + Three hours cooling + Five hours frosting... and this was the best I could do.

I had never (ever) before touched a star tip or any other frosting tool besides a big spreader and writing gels. Clearly this would not suffice for the dino. The cake was crumbling at 8:00 pm on Party Eve. Sh*t.

I was deciding whether to serve the crumbled (but delicious) pile of messy carrot cake goodness or go buy a sheet cake when I had a big glass of wine and decided to regroup. Long story short, I figured out what the problem was (All-butter frosting. Lesson learned: when the decoration matters, sacrifice your moral high ground. Shortening would have made the process sosososososo much easier.).

Yes, that tail is dismembered. Technically, it is un-membered. Pre-membered. Too tired to -member.

As the birthday girl, I thought Alice should have first choice of which piece she wanted. Imagine my absolute delight when I asked for her decision. The tail? Nope. A leg? Nope. The Kidling must have known what The Mama went through, because she asked for… it’s head. Coming right up, darling…

This felt really good. CHOP!

One happy customer...

But look at that face and tell me it wasn’t worth the trouble…
Happy birthday, AHR!
We love
love you!*
*And I hope some day you don’t hate me for this blog!
(By the way, all of the good photos were taken by the fabulous ErBear. Thank you!)