Looking for Spring…

cloudy day

Where does one go when a person is longing for spring and it is -16 below zero outside? You go to the Como Park Conservatory in St Paul, Minnesota!

como conservatory

como conservatory

We took a trip there a couple of weeks ago. It was the perfect “escape” from the weather! It was warm and balmy inside, with the heady scent of blooming flowers everywhere…

peach roses

purple flowers

 

pink flowers

pink lilies

I fell in love with the lilies…

pink lilies

 

pink lilies

I was totally mesmerized by the delicate curves of the petals…

pink lily petal

 

pink lily petal

 

pink lily petal

 

pink lily petal

These little pink ruffles were beautiful, too…

pink flower

 

pink flower

The snow and ice on the windows at the conservatory…

como conservatory

 

snow on windows

Were reminders how blessed we were, to be able to stand in such a lovely warm place surrounded by everything green, lush and blooming – in the dead of winter…

como conservatory

 

como conservatory

The peach  flowers in the foreground of the photo below were beautiful but nobody seemed to care for them…

como conservatory

As I was standing looking at them, people would glance at them and exclaim “what an ugly flower” and would walk right passed them. I guess I felt kind of sorry for the flowers so I got down on my knees and really looked at them. People were all around me were taking photos of the lilies but just ignored these little beauties…

flower

I felt drawn to them.  I got down on all 4′s and twisted my head so that I could look up into the drooping tunnels of petals…

It was worth it…

pink flower

I wish we could’ve seen the water lilies blooming…

lily pads

Doesn’t she look carefree?…

como conservatory

She also looks like she is warm! LOL  I guess we can look at her and reassure ourselves that spring IS on the way and some day, we too, will be again wading in pools and streams, but unlike her, we will probably all be wearing some sort of clothing while doing it! :)

Winter Fairies…

frost on windows

There was frost on the windows this morning. The thermometer read -24 degrees below zero.

The following passage by Vera Nazarian seemed to describe this morning so well…

vera nazarian quote

 

frost on windows

 

vera nazarian quote

 

frost on windows

 

vera nazarian quote

 

frost on windows

 

vera nazarian quote

 

frost on windows

As the morning continued on, the air outside began to warm…

frost on windows

And soon, the winterfairy’s land was nothing but a memory…

raindrops on glass

I’m longing for Spring, but Winter has its advantages, too…  :)

I’m linking this post up to:   The Dedicated House  You’re Gonna Love it Tuesdays    Outdoor Wednesdays               

Wedding Parasol Cookies

Getting ready for the special day… umbrella cookies The parasol cookie is all dressed in white… umbrella cookies   Adorned with sparkling sugar details… umbrella cookies Placed in its carriage, all covered with  ribbon… umbrella cookies Time for the guests to arrive… peach roses   tablesetting   tablesetting     silver napkin holder Places, everyone!…   wedding guest favor The special moment is finally here!…

For information on how to make the parasol cookie, please click here…

Chocolate Cookie Cake

 

oreo cake

My mom had her 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago. She wasn’t too keen on celebrating the fact she was turning 80 and wanted this birthday, to just “slide by” but the kids and I wanted to do something to make it a special day for her. So we made her a chocolate cookie cake!

The layers of this moist cake are covered with bits of chocolate sandwich cookies…

oreo cake

And then can be frosted with your favorite white icing…

oreo cake

We topped off our cake by serving it with mint chocolate chip ice cream and a few candles on top. The kids were pondering counting out 80 candles but eventually decided on 8 candles, one for each decade we have been so blessed to have her with us!

Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you so much…  :)

 Chocolate Cookie Cake

Sift together into a large mixing bowl…

3 c flour

6 T cocoa powder

2 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 ¾ c sugar

 

Then, pour in…

2 c cold water

¾ c vegetable oil

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar

Mix well. Line 2 – 8 inch round cake pans with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray. Pour batter evenly into the 2 pans. Then sprinkle on top:

2 cups  coarsely chopped Oreo cookies ( this will take about 18 cookies)

Place the pans into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Bring the edges of the foil over and down, around the edges of the baked cake. Place another piece of foil or waxed paper on top of the cake, followed by a dish towel and then let the cake completely cool down.

When cake has cooled completely, remove the baked layers from their pans and peel off  the foil. You will be left with a beautiful, moist and chocolate-y cake!…

oreo cake