Mani Monday

I love St. Patrick’s Day so much, I dedicated a second mani to it, this one using all three different shades of green nail polish I have (Pacifica “Sea Monster,” Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Me, My Elf and I,” and Holo Taco “Wicked Potion”), plus gold glitter (Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Sunken Treasure”)…I think it’s leprechaun approved!


I always feel a little nostalgic in the days between the March birthdays of my oldest and youngest children. This year I can’t help but appreciate these brief few days where they are “20” and “10.” It reminds me of a day over a decade ago when Turkey realized he was nine years and nine months old at the same time Chickadee was just nine months, and in remembering that, I had to get a picture of the two of them again, much older, but still oldest and youngest:

Twenty Already!

As hard as it is to believe, Turkey turned 20 years old today. There’s something significant about those ending-in-zero birthdays, and this was no exception!

As has become tradition, I made a Thanksgiving-style birthday dinner. I’m not going to lie…this was one of the worst turkeys I’ve ever prepared. The rest of the meal was good, though, and I think Turkey enjoyed it!

I made a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake for dessert. It was possibly the best cheesecake I’ve ever made, and also one of the prettiest! Conveniently, candles come in packs of 20, too!

I always have a fun time celebrating my children…I’m so blessed to have a considerate, kind, funny, intelligent son!

St. Patrick’s Day 2023

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! We started the day as we always do, by setting out our leprechaun trap:

And, as always, we found evidence that Lucky had visited, but no leprechaun himself…he did leave some nice candy, though!

We had our traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast of Lucky Charms:

And our standard dinner of corned beef and cabbage, roast potatoes and carrots, and soda bread with Irish butter. Oh, and a local favorite, Ski soda, just because the bottle is green!

Dessert was a little different…Bunny took our recipe for Guinness cake and made mini bundt cakes. Just as delicious, but so much more adorable!

It was a fun day, but only a warm-up to an even bigger day tomorrow…stay tuned!

Mani Monday

I was inspired by one of my Erstwilder Care Bears brooches to create a rainbow mani for St. Patrick’s Day! I went with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Can’t Beet Royalty,” “Eternally Grapefruit,” “Sunbrella,” “Me, My Elf and I,” and “Tidal Wave.” I’m not going to lie, the orange isn’t quite what I wanted, but it is what I had. I also feel bad about leaving out purple, my favorite color, but alas, I only have five fingers on each hand. To make up for that disappointment, I used “Sunken Treasure” to add a little gold glitter on top of each color, because you always look for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Mani Monday

I combined two of my favorite colors for this mani, using Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Purplexed with highlights of Quartz and Kisses. I also tried a little more nail art with stripes and polka dots, and while I’m still not great at the application, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

A Story of Daffodils

A long time ago, maybe not the first spring we lived in this house, but probably in 2008 or 2009, I planted some daffodils outside of our house. They must have been already blooming when I planted them, because I didn’t (and still don’t) know anything about bulbs. I think they were your average, run-of-the mill daffodils, but I don’t know enough about flowers to know exactly what kind they were. I also didn’t (and still don’t) know enough about bulbs to do anything with them, so they died off after their season was done, and I just waited until the next spring to see what, if anything, would become of them. Well, they’re returned every spring, without any intervention whatsoever from me (literally none), and they’re bright, and cheerful, and…small:

If you guessed that the “vase” they are in is a shot glass, you’re correct! For some reason, the flowers seem to smaller and smaller every year. It’s something of a family joke, my miniature daffodils. I don’t know enough about gardening to know why they’re so tiny (soil quality? the fact that I’ve never done a thing with them? lack of space?), but I do know that they’re cute and they make me smile every spring when they reappear. I worry that one year, they’ll be so small, they won’t bloom at all, but they’ve been going strong (if not stunted) for around 15 years now, and I think that’s pretty good for flowers growing in the yard of someone who definitely knows nothing about gardening!

Mani Monday

Today’s mani is special, because it’s my first attempt at ombré nails. I’m not fancy enough to do an ombré pattern on each nail, but I did do a color shift from one nail to the next using the Holo Taco “Barista Bundle.” Starting from the thumbnail, the colors are “Espresso Your Holo,” “Need I Say Mocha?” “Holo Cappuccino,” “Blushed Ice,” and “Oat Couture.” They may be fairly neutral colors, but these are the prettiest nail polishes I have ever used…the glitter and rainbows from the holographic micro-flakes are simply outstanding!

Bobunk on Kirby Day

Last year, we celebrated Bobunk on Twosday, this year, we’re celebrating it on Kirby Day, because Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe was released on the Nintendo Switch today!

Ladybug made Kirby-inspired hot chocolate bombs, and today was the perfect chilly day to enjoy them!

I made the Kirby mocktail I invented last year…it looked really nice in our pink glasses!

For dinner, we did something new for Bobunk and got Super Gyros, which was delicious and made our house smell like Chicago:

For our Kirby Day dessert, I turned to the new Official Disney Parks Cookbook and made the Grand Californian’s Storytellers Cafe recipe for mini strawberry cheesecakes.

It was nice to have something fun to look forward to in the endless abyss that is February!

Mardi Gras 2023

As hard as it is to believe (since it seems like we just celebrated Christmas), Lent is upon us already. But first, let’s take a look at Mardi Gras 2023 in the Markel house!

As I did last year, I made plum Berliner instead of pączki. I’m not saving myself any work by doing so, but I like the Berliner a little more.

I don’t understand why the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Festivale event is on Monday and not either the weekend or Tuesday, but I had a fun time hanging out with Pavé!

For dinner, I turned back to two of our favorite recipes from the Entertaining with Disney cookbook…Tiana’s Famous Gumbo and Bayou Queen Punch:

For dessert I made a King cake. I couldn’t find quite the shade of green sugar I wanted, but it was still pretty and tasted great!

Now that the celebration is over, I guess it’s time to really buckle down for Lent.