Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh My, Look Who's Forty!

Well, I finally did it. I turned the big 4-0!

For years, I dreaded turning forty. Why?!?!? I guess because as a child, forty just "seemed" old. Well, I don't feel forty, I don't look forty, so, no big deal! In fact, I just had someone tell me this week that I look like I'm in my late 20s, early 30s. She was really shocked that I was 40...but then, she's only 21 and she probably didn't want to be rude to her "elders". LOL!

C was supposed to have to work all weekend and wasn't going to be able to be with me on either Valentine's Day or on my birthday, so we rearranged our celebration days. We decided to celebrate my birthday on Valentine's Day and Valentine's Day on my birthday - so it would work out for everyone. We could go out for dinner as a family (me, Davis', Tuckers, and Duffys) and then C would meet us there when he got off work, and then C and I could have a quiet romantic evening for Valentine's the next night when the fam wasn't able to come because of other obligations. But, alas, things were not meant to be as planned and C ended up having to work a later shift on Saturday so he couldn't go with us to dinner at all, but he DID end up getting Sunday off, although that then through off my plans for a quiet, romantic dinner as I had planned.

A couple of weeks ago, Auntie Sigie had been over on my side of town with Lisa for a vinyl party at Arlene's house (Auntie's friend for the last 50 years). Auntie wanted to go to Real Deals, Hobby Lobby, and Der Wienerschnitzel, but things didn't work out. So, I called her up the other day and asked her if she'd be able to spend Valentine's Day with me and we'd go to all those places before my birthday dinner at Macayo's that night. I was feeling like I wanted a mom figure with me that day and since my mom is gone now, Auntie's the next best thing. She and I were both excited to spend the day together. She and Uncle Ward met me at the Best Buy parking lot at Arrowhead where Auntie switched vehicles and said goodbye to Uncle Ward for a few hours. She hopped (not really) into my truck and off we went!

First, to Real Deals. We were there for about 45 minutes just browsing and having a great time. I got a few fleur-de-lis rusty metal hooks to hang out on the patio to hang swim towels on during the summer, a metal container for a plant arrangement I'm going to do for the top of our $25 garage sale find armoire in our bedroom, a shamrock for my seasonal hanging thing next to our front door, and a steal on a carved wood nativity set! I'd seen the nativity during Christmas and I really wanted it, but it was too much for me at that time. This time, it was only $35 and I couldn't pass that up. Now that I'm looking at this picture, I'm wishing I'd bought that clock on the wall too! But, I didn't really see it then...and, I'm not sure where I would put it at this point. So, I guess it's a good thing I didn't! Ew...not so sure I like this, I have got to go on a diet or have lapband surgery! Auntie's lookin' all hottie-like!

Next, we were off to Hobby Lobby. Auntie had been to Real Deals once before with Arlene, but she'd NEVER been to Hobby Lobby! I knew this place was going to take her a while. It's so BIG!
We went up and down every aisle - some two or three times. She looked at everything. I would go up and down the aisles with her and then we'd split up for a little bit, then we'd meet up again, then we'd split up. On and on that happened for two and a half hours. We'd be, like, Auntie, come look at this, Kristin, come look at this this! It was a lot of fun! (The only bummer was that my poor feet still cannot take walking for a long time, even with my orthotics. C wants to go to Disneyland this spring or fall and I just don't know how I'd be able to do it.) There are no benches in Hobby Lobby to sit and rest on so, when I couldn't find Auntie and I couldn't walk anymore, I headed to the checkstand thinking maybe she'd venture up there while I was waiting in the very long lines. She finally came about 5 minutes after I'd checked out, so once she saw me I headed into the foyer area where all the furniture is and I sat on a bench out there to wait for her. Twenty minutes later, she was checked out (see, the lines WERE long!) and we headed off to....
Der Wienerschnitzel! Now, I don't know that I would 100% agree with the statment on this bag because my mind is in the gutter when I read it, but these truly are the best chili dogs ever! Their chili is so yum. The dog part is truly, oh, so good, too. We finally have one on our side of town (Northern and the 101) and I'm thinking that may make it even easier for me to go to Real Deals more often! Although...$3 for 2 big chili dogs is certainly a lot cheaper than going to Real Deals!

By this time, we were trying to hurry to get back to my house so we could get it picked up (I worked 60 hours this week so needless to say, I hadn't really had much time to pick up around the place) and then get my birthday cake made, so we just ate in the truck. Auntie savored every bite while I scarfed mine down so we could get back on the road. Oh, that flavor is still in my mouth....yum!

We headed off to Fry's for a few items for the cake and Auntie picked up a few things too. We rushed home and off I was to make the "Sunny Day Rainbow Cake." I'd been looking for something on the web the other day and came across this pretty and fun looking cake. I decided to forego the traditional Cherry Chip cake and the newly traditional brownie trifle, and try this cake instead because it was just so "pretty!" Plus, it was fat free and mostly sugar free for those of us either trying to lose weight, needing to avoid sugar, or just plain needing to lose weight but still wanting to have our cake and eat it too!

I hurried and made the cake and Auntie swiffered helped clean up. While the cake was baking, Auntie and I tried out this new mopping stuff on the Pergo floors. It was like a miracle drug for dark Pergo! I couldn't believe it! I knew the floors needed to be mopped and all, but I thought they still looked okay shine-wise. Boy, was I wrong! When we (mostly Auntie) started mopping, it was like pouring liquid glass all over them! They were so beautiful! I couldn't believe it! It made me happy to have them again! (Note to self: NEVER again put dark wood floors in a house if you have a dog - their hair and drool is awful in trying to keep the floors clean!)
As soon as the cake came out of the oven, we ran over to Macayo's for dinner. Lisa, Craig, Uncle Ward, Josh and Mere were all there waiting for us. About 8 bowls of chips and probably 12 bowls of salsa later (between all of us), our dinner finally arrived. Yum. (Okay, is day about yummy food, or what?!?!?) I had my new fave - the Carne Asada Chimichanga with spinach queso sauce on top. Oh, it's like heaven! The staff soon came out singing to me and I was thoroughly embarrassed. When they announced I was celebrating my 40th birthday, I felt like a gazillion eyes were on me and they were saying, no way, 40? Awwww, that made feel good!

After dinner, we headed back to the house and played Mexican Train (a dominoes game). It was a lot of fun! There are a few of us, whose names I won't mention (Josh, Mere, ME) that are incredibly competitive. We had a blast playing and then it was time for cake!
Okay, so it's kind of shaped like a crown (I AM a future queen, you know!), but oh well. I'm not real fond of baking, so I think I did a pretty good job. This isn't the greatest picture of the inside of it, but you get the drift! The colors were very bright and colorful and fun. One of the layers fell at the end of baking so I had to add a little extra frosting to fill the gap between the layers, but that's okay!
These pictures don't do it justice of just how fun and cute it was. Oh well. Oh, and I finally got to use my cute birthday cake plates I got at Poppies a while back!

The recipe is REALLY easy (there are only 5 ingredients for the entire cake!) but I would definitely do some things differently next time....

Sunny Day Rainbow Cake


2 white cake mixes
16 ounces (diet) Sprite (I would just use regular, not diet)
2 small boxes instant sugar free vanilla pudding mix (I would use one box)
1 large tub of Cool Whip
Gel food coloring in the 6 rainbow colors (I just used my cake decorating colors)

In a mixing bowl, dump the two cake mixes and the Sprite. Mix as instructed on box (don't add oil, water, or eggs, just mix for the length of time noted on box). Measure out 6 equal portions of the cake mix into 6 bowls. Add enough of each food coloring to thoroughly color the cake mix. Don't put too much though...especially if it's decorator will darken and deepen as it bakes.

Once each color is mixed, start pouring half of each color into two 9" round cake pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray. In one, pour in this order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Pour in the remaining cake mix in this order: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red. Be sure to pour each color right on top of the other. Do not swirl the mix together. Bake the cakes as directed on the cake box for rounds. Ensure the cake is completely baked by using the toothpick test. Once cake has cooled enough to remove from pans, do so.

Frosting Instructions:

The original instructions say to use 2 small boxes of pudding mix to one large container of Cool Whip. Personally, I thought that was way too much pudding and it left grit on the back of my teeth. So, I would only use one box. You can also make a buttercream frosting, but that has so much sugar in it and I don't like buttercream so I did the Cool Whip kind. Just dump the pudding mix into the Cool Whip and use a mixer to mix it in well. Then, frost your cake like you normally would a two layer round cake. Voila! When you cut it, the inside will be wonderfully rainbow-ish! Oh, yeah, and it tastes best cold.

Oh, and I can't forget presents! Josh and Mere gave me this very darling card and inside of the "candles" was a gift card to The Cheesecake Factory! Again...yum!
Lisa and Craig gave me this darling yellow bunny cake plate along with this red and white heart tablecloth. So cute! I'm all into the cake plates right now for some reason which is weird because I don't have a ton of space to display them nor do I make cakes very often (maybe once or twice a year and then they're usually in a 9x13 pan)! Maybe all these cake plates though will inspire me to bake round cakes more often!

Thanks to everyone who called and wished me a happy birthday too. It was a great day and I'm so glad I have such wonderful people in my life!


Casey Lu said...

I am sorry I didn't know it was your birthday! But I am so glad that you had a wonderful day!!! The cake looks really good, I will have to try that recipe! I love your cake plate, very beautiful! I hope you got my message. Miss talking to you!

Meredith said...

We had so much fun hanging out at your place! Thanks again for inviting us!!!! And that cake picture really doesn't do the cake justice! It was so cute and the best tasting cake i've ever had!!!!

Cindy said...

Love it. Love it all! Thanks for all the pictures, and I'm definitely going to make the cake. I heard it was amazing.