A Very Special Cake

Over the last several years I’ve made a lot of towel and diaper cakes for some very special recipients, including one of my daughter’s best friends whose wedding I planned and coordinated a few months ago.

But last week when I made one of my mini towel cakes with a beach wedding theme, complete with an “engagement ring” and a champagne cork couple designed after the recipients, it was the most special one I’ve done….because it was for our daughter Ashley and her now-fiance Chris!P1000226

It was most definitely a labor of love, but I do have to admit I had a lot of conflicting emotions running through me as I designed and made this particular cake. Excitement, absolutely, because her dad and I knew he was going to propose, and we knew he was going to ask her on the beach during the fireworks! Ashley, on the other hand, had no idea, as it should have been!

His plans were all in place, and as Ben and I sat at a restaurant on the 4th of July waiting for her excited call, we were almost as excited as we knew she would be! And of course, their first engagement gift was to be that special creation I’d made just for them! I only hoped they liked it.

Of course, when Ashley called, I could barely understand a word she said, she was so very, very happy! It’s the moment all moms and dads think about as their daughters get to that certain age, and also wonder how they’ll feel. But I have to say, we were almost as excited as they were! And very proud to welcome our future son-in-law to our family.P1000228

So Ashley and Chris, this is for you. The first gift of many as you begin to plan for your big day, and for your new life together. Dad and I wish you two nothing but the best…..and now, my role as Mother of the Bride/Wedding Planner begins in full force! Sure hope Ben has his checkbook ready……the ring enhanced

A Proper Salute to the 4th!

As our country prepares to celebrate the 4th of July this week, I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss my thoughts about this particular holiday.

Yes, we celebrate with cookouts and picnics…going to the beach or the park or other fun locations to watch fireworks! Most of us (those who don’t work in the hospitality or entertainment industry, or retail, or emergency services, that is!) have the day off to enjoy with our families and friends.

Our homes and yards are seen sporting red, white, and blue; we even have one of our “famous” flamingos in the front yard decked out in her patriotic colors, complete with Uncle Sam hat! We make desserts and other goodies to resemble our flag. And yes, our craft studio is no exception…we’ve even made this set of red, white and blue wine bottle pendants, just for patriotic parties!
Patriotic Corks

But we also need to take the time to remember what this holiday is really for. It’s actually Independence Day, as you know…the day we celebrate our nation’s actually becoming its own country…the United States…with our freedom being declared from England! Our ancestors fought hard for our freedom. Our brave men and women who served and are still serving in our armed forces put their very lives on the line every day to continue to make sure we keep our precious freedom. And we thank and salute each and every one of them for their service!

Without them, I hate to think where we’d be!

Now…do you know why fireworks are used for 4th of July celebrations? They were first used on July 8, 1776. Possibly since fireworks were traditionally used as a birthday celebration for the kings and queens, the shooting off of fireworks was done to celebrate the end of the king’s power over the colonies. The first official July 4 celebration was held the following year, on July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia, which was the capitol of the United States at that time. Soon other cities followed Philadelphia’s lead, and there you have it! The rest is history!

Being originally from Maryland, every time I hear the “Star Spangled Banner” I also tend to think about how similar the fireworks must look to what it probably looked like at Ft. McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote about the “rocket’s red glare and the bombs bursting in air”! Only those were real ammunition….not mere fireworks!

Even though July 4 was not declared an official federal holiday until 1941, it had been celebrated unofficially, since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. With the federal recognition, celebrations grew to what we have today.

So as you enjoy your cookouts with friends and family, and “ooh” and “ahh” over the fireworks, please take a moment to remember the sacrifices made by so many so that we can all enjoy the freedom we so often take for granted!

God Bless America! And Happy Independence Day!

4th July