I experienced my first six-year-old-nail-painting-pizza-party and I’m mentally exhausted. Five- and six-year-old girls have a LOT to talk about. And screech about. What a handful — a sweet, fun handful, but a handful nonetheless! They were so cute, excited and innocent. Little girls are so much fun to watch and listen to. What could be more fun to a little girl than going to a nail salon, eating pizza and cupcakes and getting adorable, handmade purses (GO Carrie!) stuffed with goodies? Not too much. Happy birthday to a sweet, happy girl. Emma, may you keep your smile, spunk and innocence as you celebrate each year!
The girls received their very own live caterpillars. It has been truly amazing to watch them grow each day. They quickly ate their way through the nutrients in their jar and formed chrysalids. After watching for nearly a week, five beautiful Painted Lady butterflies emerged. We’ve been waiting for warmer weather before we release them, but enjoy watching them drink from their tasty watermelon pieces in the meantime. Poor things’ lifespan is only two to four weeks. Boo.
One of my favorite foods growing up was my Grandma ‘Stelle’s babka. It is absolutely delicious. We typically ate it at Easter with the traditional Ukranian kielbasa and pierogies, followed by Grandma’s super-sweet yellow cake with vanilla frosting — topped with marshmallow Peeps®, jellybeans and any other sweet, colorful Easter candy she could find.
My mom has since mastered baking Grandma ‘Stelle’s Babka and I couldn’t be more thankful. I received my box filled with three loaves just before Easter and have been savoring every bite. I prefer it toasted and topped with sweet, unsalted butter. Thanks, mom, Grandma would be proud!
For those of you who have never had Babka, here is Wikipedia’s definition (we eat it with raisins only… no icing or rum):
Eastern and Central European babka, especially among Christians, is a spongy, brioche-like yeast cake that is traditionally baked for Easter Sunday. The cake is traditional in Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Western Russia, as well as among the Rusyns (Ruthenians) in northeastern Hungary. Darra Goldstein, professor of Russian at Williams College says “babka comes from baba, a very tall, delicate yet rich yeast-risen cake eaten in Western Russia and Eastern Poland.” Traditional babka has some type of fruit filling, especially raisins, and is glazed with a fruit-flavored icing, sometimes with rum added. Modern babka may be chocolate or have a cheese filling.
I’m quickly running out of room on the computer. I took way too many pictures of the little cuties this weekend. The weather was beautiful, food tasty and company perfect. We decided on a low-key, barbecue-style Easter this year and boy, it was delicious! The Easter Bunny left eggs for the girls to find and they had a blast running around the yard, filling their baskets.
Between raindrops this weekend, we were able to fit in our annual Easter Egg Hunt with my moms’ group. There are way too many cute kiddies to include, so I just picked some of my favorite shots from the day. It’s pretty hard trying to follow and enjoy the thrill of egg hunting with my girls while trying to take photographs of all the other cuties, but I did my best! Thanks to Shauna, Megan and Camile as always for making our events great!
Here in New Jersey, the weather likes to trick us. 85 one day in April, ice-cold rain the next. As I sit here typing, it is POURING down rain outside. On Monday the kids at school were running around in short sleeves in the sunshine, so I took the girls for ice cream at my MOST favorite place for treats — Dairy Queen. Hands-down, the soft-serve vanilla with cherry dip is my favorite. I opt for the cup because I’m a slow ice cream eater and well, ok, I like when the cherry candy clumps at the bottom to make a bonus treat. So I say to you, with ice cream raised high, here’s to a quick spring and my first DQ treat of the “summer”.
What a busy weekend we had with friends and family! Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day here in the Garden State. Cousins Brian and Sarah came up from Virginia for a visit with their adorable two-year-old son, Maxwell. It was so nice to see them – way too much time had passed since the last visit! We were joined by Chris and Anne, my brother and sister-in-law and our adorable niece, Adeline, who we adore. We had a fun afternoon picnic and playtime at the park, followed by naps for all the littles and daddies. When do mommies sleep?
Until next time! We had a blast, cousins … Stay-tuned for Busy Weekend, Day Two, tomorrow.