The Flamingos Try Baking

In our household, fall usually means along with football, the baking season is about ready to begin. I’ll start with blueberry muffins and definitely cornbread to go with chili on a fall Sunday afternoon. But then pie and cookie baking season starts.

The flamingos never really showed a lot of interest in baking, except to eat as many cookies as they could, sometimes taking entire batches away as fast as I’d make them. Which didn’t make me happy, but how can you stay mad at a flamingo?

However, one day recently they strolled in the kitchen and announced they wanted to learn how to bake and decorate cakes and cookies! Their reasoning…they enjoyed the beautiful and tasty desserts at their recent bridal and baby showers so much, they decided it was time to learn how to make their own! “Think of the money we can save for our parties,” they said! And it’ll be so much fun!

Fun for who? I wondered, knowing they’d use my kitchen as usual, turning it pink while they were in there, and making a mess. But they always cleaned up afterwards, so how could I really refuse? So I told them they could, as long as they shared some of their creations with us!

They readily agreed, and told me they’d already picked out several cookbooks from Amazon that they were planning to buy…with my credit card! Uh, that was a no! They looked at me with their big flamingo eyes and blinked their huge flamingo eyelashes, and I agreed to buy one, with them getting the rest. What’s a flamingo mom to do?

When the cookbooks arrived, the flamingos spent hours going through them, picking out favorite cake and cookie recipes to try. I suggested they try just one of each at first, but each bird wanted to try their wings on their own creation. I knew we were in trouble.

The following Saturday they strolled into the kitchen, wings full of shopping bags filled with baking ingredients, cookbooks, baking pans and cookie sheets, and of course a supply of wine and champagne. (Remember, they ARE flamingos!

Of course I left them to their fun as they started setting everything out, turning my kitchen pink, putting on their flamingo aprons, and spreading out their cookbooks! I must admit, I was a bit worried about what the house would look like when they were done!

When I came back I did find a bit of a mess, which I expected. The flamingos’ feathers were full of flour and cake frosting, not to mention my kitchen floor and countertops. And they were all a little tipsy. But surprisingly, there were a number of flamingo cakes and cookies set out on the counters. 

“So explain what happened here,” I asked. The flamingos looked at me, obviously a bit embarrassed that I’d caught them in that shape. They looked around to see who was going to speak up, and Flossie, who looked the least inebriated, put down her wine glass and tried to explain.

“Actually,” she began, “mixing the dough and baking everything wasn’t hard. But then we had to decorate them, and well, it was a lot harder than we thought. So we decided we’d just have a bit more wine to see if it helped…and it sort of did. I mean, look at these creations!”

They were quite good. I was impressed. But I still had to wonder…then the doorbell rang. With a delivery of another beautifully decorated flamingo cake and 2-3 boxes of decorated flamingo cookies!

I looked at the flamingos, and they looked incredibly embarrassed. “Well,” Flossie began, taking a big sip of wine,“  we’d promised the rest of the flock to bring home our goodies got a party, and none of them really turned out that well, so we had to order some from that bake shop you told us about, so the rest of the group wouldn’t know how bad we did! Please don’t tell on us.”

I promised them their secret was safe with me. They looked so relieved. 

So they cleaned up their mess, turned my kitchen back to normal, and promised from now on they wouldn’t try their wings at baking. And they’d be sure to continue to buy their cakes and cookies, rather than try to make them. 

“Good idea,” I replied. And before they left I even had a glass of wine with them along with a couple of cookies! 

And I got to keep one of the cakes and all of the cookbooks!

Now, I wonder, what are they going to think of next?

The Flamingos Tour a Winery?

You’re probably finding that idea to be a bit unusual just like we did, but after all, they’re flamingos. They love to party and enjoy good food and drinks. 

And as much as they like their champagne and fruited margaritas, they also like good wine! Just like us.

So one early fall morning they strolled in the house and informed us their limo would be there shortly to pick them up. I should be used to these excursions by now, but when they said they were going to visit a winery, I was a bit surprised.

They explained how they found this place a few hours away in the Virginia mountains that specialized in some of their favorite wines, and when the owners discovered they were flamingos, well, they were only too happy to arrange a special day for them there. 

“Don’t worry,” they said as they were leaving, “we’re not driving! Our limo service knows us by now and we’ll be fine. We’ll even bring back a bottle or two for you guys! And don’t wait up for us, because we’ll be late getting back!”

What more could we ask, I guess. However, they at least could’ve asked us if we wanted to go! 

Guess there wasn’t enough room for any more in the limo….

The next morning we found three cases of wine in our foyer, so we guessed they had a good time. However, we weren’t sure whether the wine was ours or the flamingos’!

We found out later when they told us all about their day, and what a fun time they’d had, and of course showed us all their pictures.

The winery looked more like a mansion, a huge estate in the mountains surrounded by acres of vineyards. Being a part time event planner, I immediately imagined planning beautiful weddings and parties there!

They had a private tour of the winery itself and got to see the inner working of a winery. They’d asked about stomping the grapes with their feet, and were quite disappointed to hear that it was no longer done that way.  Evidently they’d been looking forward to that.

After the tour they were treated to a picnic on the grounds of the winery. Complete with wine, of course! The views were amazing! And the food was delicious!

After the picnic it was time for wine tastings. 

Of course they took the time to look through the gift and gourmet shop first. And they had a great time shopping!

But the most fun was the actual tastings!! Of course. Complete with tasty crackers and bites of cheese to help cleanse the palate after tasting each wine.

It’s a good thing they had the limo waiting to take them home! I have no idea how much wine they consumed!

And neither do they! But they did say the limo ride back home didn’t seem to take very long. Most likely they fell asleep or passed out as soon as they crawled in the back!

Gotta love flamingos that like wine! Hopefully they’ll take us the next time!

Flamingos Need Pampering, Too

Flamingos at a spa? Impossible, I thought. What in the world would they do at a spa?

When they told me they’d booked a weekend retreat at a very exclusive and probably expensive spa a few hours away, I thought they were crazy.  And I told them so.

“Did you tell them you were a flock of flamingos?” I asked. “What kind of spa treatments can they possibly plan that you all could use?”

They just looked at me and smiled the way flamingos do when they’re up to something. Or when they have a plan they don’t want anyone to know about. 

We don’t call them feisty flamingos without good reason.

And with that, they hurried out to their waiting limo, and said, “Don’t worry about us. We have it all under control. We’ll tell you all about it when we get back!”

Well, at least my husband and I had the house and backyard to ourselves this weekend, I realized, hoping they wouldn’t get into too much trouble at the spa! But I kept my phone nearby, just in case we had to go there and bring them home.

But obviously I was concerned for no good reason, because the flamingos walked into the house Sunday night, looking relaxed, refreshed, and happy, their bright pink feathers looking softer and even seemed to be glowing a bit.

“Let us tell you all about our weekend!” they said. “It was fabulous!” And they had pictures, of course.

The limo had dropped them off at this luxurious pink (of course) spa which was nestled a few hours away in the mountains near a lake. They were shown to their suite of rooms decorated, of course, in perfect flamingo style. There were even pink fluffy bathrobes and slippers for each of them, along with welcoming gifts and baskets of herbal treatments they’d be using.

The next morning the pampering started with a special cucumber treatment for their eyes. And being flamingos, after the treatment was over, they ate the cucumbers! 

Their beaks were soothed and polished with a coconut milk treatment which they thoroughly enjoyed. 

Then it was on to the sauna. Which wasn’t their favorite thing, but they had to try it out.

After a relaxing lunch on the patio by the pool, it was time for more pampering.

This time it was a massage. They’d never had one, so they weren’t sure what to expect, and they were concerned that no one at the spa had experience in massaging flamingos. 

They were assured there were masseuses who had that experience, and actually they did, and the birds received excellent massages with lotions and potions they didn’t know existed!

After all this excitement they were relaxed but exhausted, and looking forward to relaxing on the patio with some refreshing cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Spas don’t usually provide alcohol to their guests, but they ARE flamingos, and you just can’t deprive those pink birds of their favorite refreshments. And they were certainly treated to an array of choices, even including raspberry popsicles (most likely with a touch of framboise!).

After a refreshing swim in one of the saltwater pools, they went to bed to prepare for the next day, which started with a yoga class. If you’ve never seen a flamingo doing yoga, well, here are a few pictures!

Then it was time for pedicures! The flamingos enjoyed a luxurious foot soak in a floral and citrus foot bath. And they really needed it, since they’re on their feet all the time in mud and sand as well as ocean water. In fact, the spa had prepared an extra special and extra long session, since their feet needed it so much.

They even selected special nail polish designed to last longer than regular polish. They proudly showed us their toes, and they really did look good! And of course they had designs put on each nail. They ARE flamingos, you know!

The last part of the day was having their feathers washed, conditioned, and fluffed. And I must say the spa did a great job! They even got eyelash extensions!

And they must specialize in pampering animals at this particular spa, because they took a picture of this cute little dog getting her hair done as well!

So did they have a good time? Absolutely! I think these pictures are proof!

And now they want me to go with them next time! That’s something we’ll have to discuss a bit later.

A Flamingo Baby Shower

Did you know that flamingos lay one egg at a time? But before the egg is laid, both parents help to make the nest, carefully mounding it just right with mud and twigs and feathers. Then after the mother bird lays the egg it incubates 27-31 days, and both parents take turns sitting on the nest.

We didn’t know it either, until some of the flamingos came to us ask us to do a baby shower for one of the flock. And they wanted it in two weeks, because they had to be sure to have it before the baby was hatched. And since Felicia had just laid the egg in the nest she and Frankie had built, the flock only had two weeks to plan and have the event. 

And Karen and I were already in the middle of planning baby showers for our own daughters! “Please, PLEASE help us,” they said. “It’s important!”

So what were we to do? It’s not pretty when flamingos start crying, so we had no choice but to squeeze another baby shower into Karen’s company’s schedule. Fortunately she didn’t have anything on the books for that day so we were good! 

How to do this quick? Well, first of all there wasn’t time to print and mail invitations, and since all of the invitees  had email and Facebook accounts, digital invitations were perfect! We’d suggested the flamingos could fly to each home and deliver them, but they said they had too much to do and that would simply take too long, plus flamingos don’t really like to fly a lot!

And all of the flamingo ladies invited accepted immediately! This was going to be loads of fun! Decorating was easy, because we already had decor stored from other parties.

What to serve? Not too tough, since by now we were used to planning parties for our flamingos, and we knew what they liked, but we still had to make it a bit unique, with more appetizer items and fruit. You know, nothing heavy, because the mom-to-be had to get back to the nest for her turn incubating the egg. 

And course there had to be cakes, cupcakes, and cookies! And the cuter the better!

Only at this event, since it was a baby shower, we elected to serve an assortment of non-alcoholic punches and drinks, along with limited cocktails. Momma had to get back to her nest, you know, and she couldn’t be tipsy!

Felicia arrived right on time for the shower, leaving Frankie to take his turn on the nest while a number of his friends kept him company and fed him his favorite chilled shrimp appetizers. So everyone was happy!

And the girls had a great time! They played games, again led by Karen and me. They’d wanted to play the “How Big is the Egg?” game, a version of the popular “How Big is Mommy’s Tummy?” game, but Felicia hadn’t wanted to disturb the egg by moving it around to measure it, so that didn’t happen. After the games it was time for food, and everyone ate and ate, and then Felicia opened a huge pile of gifts! So many cute and fun things for the baby flamingo, including a baby book! (What kind of gifts do you get for a baby flamingo? We didn’t know, but her friends did, and they were perfect!)

Everyone kept an eye on the time, and when it was time to leave all the guests signed the guestbook, gathered up their shower favors, and took Felicia back to the nest where she showed Frankie and their friends all their goodies for their first hatchling, who would be arriving in a few days.

It was a great day, and a great party!

And a week later we received pictures of the newest flamingo, hatched just three days after the baby shower.

Isn’t she precious? Now eat lots of yummy shrimp, little one, and soon you’ll begin to look like mommy and daddy, and you can join them on their adventures!

Photo Sources: 1st Row: designMyParty; Pinterest; Dazzle Expressions – 2nd Row: via Pinterest – 3rd Row: Pixabay; Pinterest- 4th Row: via Pinterest – 5th Row: via Pinterest- 6th Row: via Pinterest – 7th Row: via Pinterest; via Etsy- 8th Row: storytender.com

A Flamingo Bridal Shower

Several weeks ago a few of the girl flamingos came to me with a problem. Or really a question. One of their friends, a flamingo named Fiona, had just gotten engaged, and they wanted to give her a bridal shower. 

Not just any bridal shower though, but one she’d remember for years. A very special, and of course, very pink event. And since they remembered the wedding I’d helped them with a few years ago for another friend, they figured it would be much easier if my friend Karen from Main Stream Events and I helped plan and coordinate it.

How do you say “no” to a group of flamingos when they’re looking at you with those big flamingo eyes and ruffling their bright pink feathers?

Knowing Karen would happily agree to help, I told them to get a guest list together, give us a couple of dates and a few of their ideas and we’d take care of it.

Of course, they already had all that ready for us, and after thanking me several times, they flapped their wings in excitement and headed out to buy shower gifts for their friend while Karen and I set to work!

The first thing we did was to select shower invitations. We presented the girls with several styles to choose from. With so many opinions it took a while, but they finally selected their favorite and Karen sent the order to the printer. 

We even found a special flamingo bridal shower stamp to use for mailing the invitations! How awesome was that!

Next on the list: decorations. They had to be feminine, pink of course, with a hint of gaudiness that flamingos just love! And we gave them a lot of ideas to choose from! So many, in fact, they wanted to use them all and use every room on the first floor of our house (where else?) for the party!

“Only if you flamingos clean up afterwards”, we said. And they agreed. Fortunately.

And no bridal shower is complete without a few games, and we ordered some really nice ones to use! (With Karen and I volunteering to host the games so we wouldn’t have to play.)

Next came ideas for the food. Flamingos love their shrimp, as we all know, so of course their favorite shrimp dishes were included, along with some colorful charcuterie boards.

And of course, no flamingo party event is complete without cocktails, including of course, pink champagne to toast the bride-to-be.

Flamingos also love fancy desserts, and this event absolutely has to have an array of beautiful yet delicious cakes and cookies, of which the leftovers, if there were any, would be boxed up in treat boxes for shower gifts for the attendees as they left. Karen and I actually saved a few of them in the kitchen just in case there weren’t enough left to fill up the leftover boxes!

We gave them a choice of cookies and cakes to choose from, and although they wanted them all, we insisted they pick only two cakes and four trays of cookies! Which do you think they chose?

And of course, all the gifts were wrapped in pink! Fiona had a wonderful time opening everything, and wondering how she’d get them all home!