birthday backpack

toddler backpack front
haven loves "bapacks". and "fufwies". i remembered spotting e's backpack a while back and after a quick review i knew just what needed to be done. a special butterfly backpack for her birthday. i'm hoping havey will love it. i love the way it sort of resembles a ladybug (above).

toddler backpack back
this was a quick nap-time project. i used coordinating freebird by momo for moda fabrics purchased here on etsy (except i ordered brown butterflies instead of red butterflies) and this tutorial/pdf pattern here (and i added a loop to hang the backpack up when not in use).

edited to add: i've had a few questions about the interfacing i used. i used pellon 809 decor bond, which is a firm iron-on backing. i wanted the backpack to hold it's shape because i knew it would frustrate haven if it fell into itself.

toddler backpack side
now it's stashed away until her special day. nash keeps telling her about it when he thinks i can't hear him, but i don't think she'll catch on. let's hope i can keep it a secret...i'm never very good at that. 


can you believe...

haven sleeping

... this sweet, innocent slumbering girl is the same one who head-butted me in the lip today? she can really put up a fight.

and can you believe she's almost two (her birthday is in less than a month)?!?! i've been getting ready for her big birthday bash...it's going to be a good one!


it's that time again!

bike ms logo
iron myelin is rounding up the troops and the monies for the 2010 harmons best dam MS bike tour in logan, ut on june 26-27, 2010. in celebration of earth day you can register to join our team for FREE! (it's normally $40.) ride options include 40, 75, or 100 miles on saturday, and/or 40 or 75 miles on sunday. each rider is required to raise a minimum of $250 to participate (which really isn't that much AND they give you until august to raise it).

if you're interested in riding, click here to sign up (the team password is 'anderson'). use the promotion code 'EARTHDAY' to get the free registration.

AND...for the rest of you...we'd love your support in the form of dollar bills. please click here to donate to our team. anything helps, really. if every one of you donated $5 i'd be set. see how easy that is? of course, that's only in theory....but...maybe i can guilt you a little and remind you that i, lizzythebotanist, am suffering from MS. the treatments that i started three months ago could cost me $4,000 a month (if i wasn't on an amazing insurance plan right now ;). the MS society helps fund the research needed to approve treatments like the one i'm on and also helps people who can't afford treatments with financial assistance. and when you donate it makes me feel really good. it's better than two-hundred blog comments, i swear. when you don't donate, it makes me feel like you just unsubscribed from my blog and have severed our blog-friendship ties :( feeling guilty yet? click here.

now, i'm going to see how long i can separate myself from the computer today, since it's earth day and all. problem is that mother earth decided she cares more about her trees and flowers than her human children and it's cold and raining...as a former botanist, i suppose should be happy about this...


we heart the ice cream man

ice cream 1 web
yesterday haven met "the ice cream man*." she wasn't really sure what to do, so she took notes from nash.

ice cream 6 web
then nash gave her some instruction, "no, you gotta hold the stick like the other way, havey."

ice cream 2 web
it was kinda sticky,

ice cream 3 web
but really good.

ice cream 4 web
until someone dropped her dreamscicle on the ground...

ice cream 5 web
and gave me her best pouting face. rage followed, but wasn't so cute.

ahhh, spring. i've been saying that a lot lately, huh?

*yesterdays ice cream man was quite possibly the most "ice-cream-man-ish" ice cream man i've ever met who didn't also appear to be a pedophile. and i've met A LOT of ice cream men. i rarely turn them down. instead, i chase them down in my bare feet like a five-year-old waving my monies. mr. dread-locked rasta man, who waved goodbye to my children who kept waving goodbye to you until i had to tell you to "just go," you made our day. and your music was top-notch. 

oh, and please excuse our messy hair. nash thought he'd use the pomade on both of them yesterday morning. and i let it happen. 


bare feet!

havey's feet
our feet
sidewalk chalk
mom's feet
you know it's going to be a good day when 9 a.m. looks like this...hello, spring!

{sorry, beeves-i know you hate my feet. and looks like havey girl's are just like mine!}


happy haven


some days, and lately it seems to be almost every day, i cannot get enough of haven. she's at such a cute age. today i tried to teach her "happy birthday" and she's been walking around singing "happy, happy, happy." she has the cutest little voice and loves to sing and dance.

i made her dress out of a shirt i bought on the cheap when she was a fetus. i never wore it, but i love the fabric. i'm in love with it and the fact that she's also running around, spinning, and saying "dress! dress!"

this girl generally hates the camera, but she really worked it today. i think these pictures do her justice-capture the real haven. i mean, check her out in that bottom one-supermodel in the making! (the second photo is of her doing the sound a monkey makes.)

this girl melts my heart.


lambie cake

lamb cake

meet my lambie cake. and emmy's too, since she helped. lamb cakes are an east coast thing (i think). they're traditionally decorated with buttercream and rest in a bed of green coconut and jelly beans. they're often used as the centerpiece at easter dinner. my mom sent me our old lamb cake pan and i've been itching to play around with marshmallow fondant (aka MMF-it's so much tastier and easier than traditional fondant), so i combined the two and we came up with this pretty lady. we used dark chocolate ganache to coat the lamb before applying the fondant. it's easy and tastes a gazillion times better than buttercream. we spent about three hours rolling and coiling and attaching and dying the fondant. it took us both back to our ceramic and pottery days, which were really fun and really frustrating at the same time. we may like cake decorating a little better. it's temporary, but at least this final product doesn't have to go through a kiln that may or may not obliterate all the hard work.

lamb cake detail

since i was playing around with fondant for the first time i didn't want to mess around with scratch cake-making. the lamb cake requires a pretty heavy cake, like pound cake (but i didn't want to make pound cake), and i don't have a scratch recipe that i knew would do the trick. so, i did some googling (how to improve a cake mix) and combined every suggestion/addition/modification i found to create my own super dense, rich, and moist cake.

here's the recipe for...

the edible cake mix cake. the "i just threw in the cow" cake. the far-from-vegan cake. chocolate chip cookie cake. i don't know what to call it, but believe me, it's good.

1 box french vanilla cake mix
1 box french vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
1/3  cup melted butter 
2 T vanilla 
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 a bag of chocolate chips (i use ghirardelli 60% cacao)

mix in bowl, throw in a pan (if you are using the lambie pan follow the instructions to the T!) and bake according to package directions. allow to cool.

top with ganache:

bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil and pour over 1/2 bag of chocolate chips (in a bowl). let sit for a minute to allow chocolate to melt, then stir briskly till the mixture becomes smooth and even without any lumps.

pour the ganache over the cake.

eat it. (you'll need a big glass of milk. hey, more cow!)

then hit the gym.

and eat some more.



dyed easter eggs

easter tree

we're looking at you...

easter sunG's
the winner of the free session is ... J-ROK!  who said, "i subscribed... and now for #6 off to figure out what formspring is... oh the things I'll do for this photo session (ok, and because I like you!)." she also happened to write the most flattering post about me on her blog, but i PROMISE that had no weight in choosing the winner. it was entirely random (random.org chose #27). 

thanks to everyone for entering the giveaway and for your enthusiasm and wonderful compliments-they made my week! as a little bonus, i'd like to offer 20% off a single session for each person who entered the giveaway. (limit one per family). email me for details or questions. 

and stay tuned for more fun announcements in the future!

*photos of the kids in their easter jammies (thanks, mom) and sunglasses from the easter bunny. easter post to come...