Eight Is Great! Celebrating My Daughter’s Birthday

Eight is great! I’m not just saying that because it rhymes, is a nice round number, or that it’s a beautiful skating move, but because it’s a new year for my daughter who’s officially eight years old today! Though I’ve been keeping a blog and chronicling moments with Quinn since she was just one years old, I still can’t help but wonder where the time went. As a birthday surprise, I took her to the hair salon for the first time, and we even did a family photo shoot with my niece snapping some pictures.

I looked at her all dolled up with her hair down it be a clear that in just two more years, she’ll be in double digits!

I’m in no hurry for her to get there and am just embracing the kind-hearted, thoughtful and talented girl she is right now. Seven was heaven, but eight is absolutely great!

All the best,

Tanya

Anticipating Celebrating My Daughter’s Birthday!

In a little over a week, my daughter will be eight years old! Time is flying by! It’s actually been about a year and a half since she did her first YouTube video on her channel, Quinnie’s Fun House. She’s created so many cool, fun and educational videos that children and some adults may enjoy and even learn from,and I am so proud of her! We’re both so excited that she has a little over 90 subscribers, and she is hoping that she will reach 100 very soon. Want to wish Quinnie a happy birthday? Subscribe today to make it extra special!

Sugar Rush Family Edition: 80s Theme PAC-Man Edition

Yesterday was our fourth “Sugar Rush” Zoom bake-off with my sister and niece. Our theme was 80s, and upon my sister seeing our matching t-shirts, she knew that for the first time we both had the same idea: Pac-Man! Quinn initially picked Pac-Man because she’s familiar with the game and enjoys playing it even though it was out way before she was born. We went through a few different ideas, like a boom box radio, roller skates, Adidas and a cassette tape, but Pac-Man was our final decision.

This was a tricky one because we incorporated fondant, and this was our very first time using it. After watching plenty of Sugar Rush episodes, I decided that we could give it a try. Since fondant is an acquired taste, we made the ghost out of it and made the star of the cupcake, Pac-Man, out of lemon buttercream frosting. To make his both stand out, we thought about black frosting, but in knowing that it’s not our favorite, we got creative and used crushed Oreos to cover part of the lemon cupcake. We also had plenty of leftover black Sixlets from when we made puppy cupcakes, so we were able to use them for the eyes.

Though I can use a bit more practice with fondant, we both agreed that the cupcakes turned out better than we expected. Though my sister won’t be able to join us for a few months, we definitely look forward to continuing this fun activity in the future!

All the best,

Tanya

Tag! About Time to Laser in on Some Family Fun!

It’s been quite a while since my daughter and I’ve attended a birthday party. So when my cousin invited us to attend her son’s 13th birthday party at iPlay America, we were both excited. Admittedly, I felt like I was coming out of the wilderness after surviving off the grid for over a year with limited social gatherings, but once we pulled up and were inside with my sister and niece, who rode with us, there was an overwhelming feeling of joy to see our extended family and to just have some fun enjoying each other.

Of course, we were all wearing masks and still looking for the nearest sanitation stations or restroom to wash our hands after each activity, but these practices are the norm now and did not stop us from having a great time. Quinn was so happy to get on rides and play games, and I was happy to get the first ranking in laser tag. I know we still have a ways to go before masks will be a thing of the past, but I’m hopeful that we’ll have more fun outings with our family and friends allowing us to appreciate life and each other even more.

All the best,

Tanya

Easter Fun with My Daughter: Dyeing Eggs, Easter Baskets and Family Togetherness

I love dyeing eggs with my daughter. It’s a fun activity and a great way to involve science. Yesterday, Quinn decided that she wanted to dye eggs for her Youtube video, and I was all for it! For some reason, these activities bring us closer together, and I get an opportunity to see what she knows and is capable of doing without my assistance. When I think about the first time we dyed eggs and how far she’s come with barely needing my help, there’s no doubt that my little chickadee is growing up.

It also was great to see her eyes light up as she eagerly looked through her Easter basket and gave our puppy, Zack, his Easter toy.

Happy Easter, and all the best,

Tanya

The First Day of Spring Brings a Roar at the Zoo

The past year most certainly has been quite different. Many of the traditions my daughter and I look forward to have either been canceled or modified beyond recognition. Though there was no free Rita’s water ice for the first day of spring yesterday, we still had a wonderful time spending a day at the zoo with our cousins.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that many of the animals were our and about and quite vocal too. We’ve been going to the zoo since Quinn was a baby, but yesterday was the first time we saw and heard the lion roar. In some weird way, it offered us comfort in knowing that the lion was claiming the day and was ready for spring to get underway. While we are still navigating these new norms, seeing the animals, being in the fresh air and feeling the sun as we casually walked around was a wonderful way to bring in the spring.

Lion Roaring at the Zoo

All the best,

Tanya

Sugar Rush Family Edition: Baking Flower Cupcakes

Sugar Rush Zoom Family Edition

Yesterday was our third a “Sugar Rush” Zoom bake-off with my sister and niece, and my seven year old and I are having a blast while honing our baking skills. She actually picked the theme of spring since it’s just a couple of weeks away, and after giving it some thought, we settled on flowers because they’re not only beautiful and fragrant, but they truly are a sign that spring has spring or is on its way.

This time around, we used a yellow cake recipe courtesy of my grandmother who shared it with me years prior to her passing away. This made them extra special. We just had to cut the recipe in half because was meant for a three layer cake. Our frosting was a simple vanilla buttercream, but for the first time, I ordered and used Russian piping tips to make our cupcakes look like beautiful flowers and the Wilton leaf tip to enhance it.

Though I can use a bit more practice with the new piping tips and am eager to see how creative we can get, our cupcakes were a delight to make, and they made us smile as we look forward to seeing blossoming flowers and the hope and new life that spring brings. We can’t wait to do this again in April!

All the best,

Tanya

The Little Things Make a Big Difference

While scrolling though my Instagram feed, I came across a picture of a familiar girl in a setting that’s been unfamiliar to her for nearly a year. It was my daughter in her second grade classroom posing for Reading Across America Superhero day. Though her mouth was hidden behind her required face mask, due to Covid-19 restrictions, I could see her smile through her eyes. It was a smile of joy to be back in the classroom simply doing a classroom activity. A smile may not seem like much, and being in the classroom certainly would have been considered a regular occurrence last year. But after missing seeing her teacher and classroom in person, I know Quinn and her other three classmates, who are in-person on a hybrid schedule, consider these little moments to be a big deal. I know I do!

All the best,

Tanya

Sugar Rush Family Edition: Beach Theme Cupcakes

The beautiful, warm, sunny beach with the sand between our toes and the ocean beckoning us to come in to cool off is exactly where we’d love to be. But since that’s not an option right now, a “Sugar Rush Beach Theme” Zoom bake-off with my sister and niece is a place my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed. This actually makes our third bake-off. The first was a carnival theme. We made cotton candy cupcakes. The second was an animal theme. We made cupcakes in the likeness of our adorable puppy Zack. With our beach theme, the inspiration was my wedding in the Dominican Republic and the picnic reception, which were nearly ten years ago. Though Quinn was just a twinkle in our eyes then, we hope to take her there one day. Also, the cupcake is a reminder of the wonderful time my sister and I had on that beautiful day at the beach.

Our cupcake is almost as refreshing as that magical day with a simplistic, moist vanilla cupcake, a frosting containing lemon zest tinted aqua to represent the ocean and topped with an edible sugar seashell displaying its beauty.

All the best,

Tanya

One Amazing Girl Plus One Sweet Pup Equals Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day is a phrase some people may utter to a significant other, but for me, especially since my daughter was born, I look forward to displaying love to all of my family and friends, especially my seven year old. This is our puppy’s first Valentine’s Day, and we both were excited to share some extra love with him too. Though being surprised by Quinn with Reeses’s Cups, one of my favorite candies, made me happy, there’s nothing like getting big hug kisses from my daughter and kisses and snuggles from our puppy Zack to put a huge smile on my face. Of course, my husband is my valentine as well, but those two have a special place in my heart. I am grateful for the love I receive from the both of them.

All the best,

Tanya