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Popsicle Stick Christmas Ornaments

It's November, which to many over-enthusiastic holiday lovers means CHRISTMAS! Yes, I love Thanksgiving as well—it's just one big holiday celebration for me from now to the end of the year. So far, I've refrained from putting up my Christmas tree, but that doesn't mean I can't prepare, right? This past weekend, I spent some time making some ornaments. I love to create handmade ornaments to add to my little tree each year. 
Lately I've been interested in popsicle stick crafts. I found some super cute ideas on Pinterest (see the links to my Holiday Crafts and Food board and specific posts below). I like that such a simple material can have so many possibilities. Just add paint and glue!
I was able to get my kids involved for part of my craft day. They are ages 2 and 3, so they didn't do much beyond just paint a few popsicle sticks. I turned these painted sticks into little Santa Claus ornaments—two for each daughter as they're bound to ruin some of them …

My Husband Made a Cake




At the beginning of the month, my husband, Nathan, had knee surgery. All went well, and he's recovering nicely. I accompanied him when he went to have the procedure done. The surgery itself was quick, and afterward, I spent some time sitting with him in recovery. Those few hours turned out to be pretty entertaining.

I was aware that my husband wouldn't quite be himself when he came out of surgery due to the anesthesia, but I wasn't expecting him to be as funny as he was. At some points, though I tried hard not to, I was laughing hysterically. I just couldn't help myself. He talked continuously. In normal circumstances, he can be a talker, but this was different. This was more of a one-sided conversation, mostly him rambling on to the nurse about any random thing that popped into his head, like how much he loved his wife (aww) and what kind of ice cream he liked. Most of what he said wasn't that unusual, but his dazed, out-of-it demeanor and nonstop pace made it funny and adorable.

One of the best moments was when he told the nurse that some people call him Superman, and that I refer to him as Clark Kent. I really don't. In fact, I don't think I've ever called him that. But that made it even funnier. Hmmm...maybe he was expressing some inward desire for me to call him Clark Kent... Hahaha.

So, anyway, for the past week, Nathan has been taking it easy at home while his knee gets better, just resting and hanging out with our little baby. After a few days, I guess he started getting restless because he texted me while I was at work and asked what he could do. My response was for him to find a recipe and learn to make something. He doesn't cook all that often, but he'd just recently taught himself—rather successfully, I might add—to make a pretty good steak, so I thought, hey, if I could get him excited to try something else, it would give him something to do and—bonus!—I'd get dinner when I got home that day. Win-win.

That afternoon, I got another message from him. He had decided to make a cake. So much for dinner.

Nathan had never made a cake before. Not only that, but he then sent me a screenshot of what he found online.





This. THIS was the cake he wanted to make. Well, the cake he wanted ME to make. A Superman theme, of course. When I got home, I had two layers of chocolate cake, some cans of frosting, various colors of fondant, and an eager husband waiting for me. Now, I am NOT a professional cake decorator by any means. Yes, I've dabbled in cake decorating for birthdays and such, but it was mostly just a lot of improvising with sprinkles and globs of frosting with simple, messy piping. Also, I'd never worked with fondant before. Despite all this, he had complete faith that I could help him pull it off.

So we did it together. Nathan rolled out sheets of fondant, which I cut, shaped, and placed onto the cake using the photo he had found as reference. I think considering that it was the first time he'd ever baked a cake and my first time working with fondant, it turned out alright. Admittedly, I took the easy route and skipped the elaborate cake carving, and I enlisted my artist sister for the most complicated part of drawing and cutting out the "S" logo from sheets of sugar paper (which I didn't even know existed until now—how cool!).




It was a successful team effort. Here's the final product. Not perfect, but not bad! And yummy, too, which is all that really matters in the end, right?


It's funny, I never would've thought to make a fancy decorated cake without a specific occasion to celebrate. I was a little perplexed at first by my husband's sudden urge to make a cake, but I think—besides the fact that he just thought the Superman design was really cool—he wanted to find something for us to do together that I would enjoy. Now that I think about it, he is always on the lookout for new projects for me. He encourages me to try different things all the time, and he shows off my finished projects to his friends. I love that he loves how creative I am, and I'm lucky to have his support. I guess that's a good enough reason to celebrate—a cool Superman cake for my super guy. :)

Till next time,
Niki




LINKS

The original cake design (which is WAY better than ours—check it out...)

Undercover Superman Cake 



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