Friday, July 19, 2013

Las Vegas

So we took our annual trip to Las Vegas, the hubs and I, and as always we had a magical time together. Las Vegas is our place. Friends tease that we are "Mr. and Mrs. Vegas", and our kids know the song, "Viva Las Vegas" and are shocked when other children are not familiar with this tune. This also was the place my parents would escape to often together. Their mini love trips, as I call them. I remember as a child saying good-bye to their weekend away and getting a shirt back from the Mirage or The Flamingo hotel. And for my honeymoon, my dad did book us the Bellagio as a gift. Yes, we even honeymooned there! Vegas is a part of our lives, somewhere the kids will one day visit too and associate with their parents. But on this last trip, while putting on my make up for a fun night out, I noticed a gold lipstick, plum was the color by Loreal, in the bottom of my travel case. I picked it up, not recognizing this color or lipstick. When I opened it I automatically knew whose it was. The shape of the lipstick was instantaneously recognizable and could only belong to one person, my mother. She hasn't worn lipstick in years and somehow this gold case ended up in my travel bag, in Vegas. This was probably left behind at my house when she used to watch the kids. I was overtaken by emotions in the marble bathroom. I put the plum shade of lipstick on my lips, the shape cradling my lips as if it was back with its original owner. The shade didn't match very well, but I had to bring Stella out with me in her favorite city. A part of her was back where she used to laugh and love with my dad. A time when she captured life with her energy and spunk for life. I could only imagine her and my dad enjoying one another and their love in this crazy city where life is always one big party.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th Happy Birthday

Today my baby boy turns 7! He was born on the 4th at 7:20am...went into labor on the 3rd at my neighborhood block party. Water broke in the street and well, it has been that much fun ever since! No one at the party was sober, but I left my children with all of them and one of our neighbors, Pat, drove us to the hospital. The joke is still alive today how we let her drive us to the hospital! Well, she did, and in record time, and we have our "buddies", as we call him, Loukas Daniel Jones. Love this guy, love our neighborhood! Happy Fourth to everyone, and Happy birthday to my buddies!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

4th of July Subway Art

We can't celebrate the 4th without some AWESOME subway art! Here's some of my favorites!
Free 4th of July Subway Art.pdf at Partylicious
From Google Docs just click and print! 

4th of July Subway art
From Media Cache click and print!

4th of July Subway Art (Free Printable) on Lacy & Crew Blog

4th of July FREE Printables | 4th of July Subway Art |
Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Happy Soon To Be 4th of July

I LOVE the 4th of July, especially because my 3rd child was born on that day! But all the red, white, and blue just makes me smile!!!! We always have a BBQ with family on the 4th and celebrate Loukas's birthday. This year he will be 7! WOW...I cannot believe it! My water broke on this very street we still live on with all our neighbors! Fun times!!! That's another blog story, but today I wanted to share one of my favorite traditions...the cake. I have always made the Flag Cake from Family Circle. I think I may have blogged about it a while ago, I just LOVE the recipe and it has become a staple in the fam! Here is the recipe...enjoy your 4th!!!

Flag Cake

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Makes: 35  servingsPrep 10 minsBake 350°F 20 minsStand 45 mins
Flag Cake
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 35

  • Amount Per Serving
  • cal.(kcal)289
  • Fat, total(g)9
  • chol.(mg)7
  • sat. fat(g)3
  • carb.(g)51
  • fiber(g)1
  • pro.(g)2
  • sodium(mg)210

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 18 1/4ounce boxes white cake mix
  • egg whites
  • teaspoon  lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup  solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 pound boxes confectioners' sugar
  • tablespoons  milk
  • tablespoons  lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup  fresh blueberries, washed and dried
  • cups  fresh large raspberries, washed and dried


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees . Coat two 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pans with nonstick cooking spray. Pour lemon juice into 4-cup measuring cup; add enough water to equal 2-2/3 cups.
2. In large bowl, beat cake mixes, egg whites, lemon zest, juice-water mixture and lemon extract to blend, about 3 minutes. Divide evenly between two prepared pans; smooth tops.
3. Bake at 350 degrees until cake springs back when lightly touched, about 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks 10 minutes. Place rack over each cake. Carefully invert cakes and racks and remove pans from cakes. Let cool to room temperature. If making ahead, wrap cooled layers in plastic wrap; refrigerate for several days. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
4. Beat butter and shortening in large bowl 1 to 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, milk and lemon juice. Continue beating on low until well blended and good spreading consistency, adding more milk a teaspoon at a time.
5. Place one layer on serving tray. Reserve 1 cup frosting for piping. Frost layer with 1 cup frosting; top with second layer; frost top and sides. Place reserved frosting in pastry bag with a star tip.
6. Mark off a field for stars with toothpicks6 inches across and 5 inches down. Fill in with blueberries.
7. Place seven red stripes of raspberries on cake as shown, leaving equal spacing for 6 white stripes between them. Carefully pipe white frosting stripes between the rows of raspberries. Refrigerate uncovered to set frosting, then loosely cover with nonstick aluminum foil. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 1967

I, Paul Dictos, take you Stella to be my lawfully wedded wife, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live. 
This is what he promised 46 years ago today in downtown Fresno at the Full Gospel Tabernacle. He promised to take care of her, wash her frail body when she no longer can. He promised to put her make-up on and wash her soiled clothes, and love her through it all. He promised to sleep besides her and constantly be aware of her well being all night, making sure she is alright. He promised to hold her when she couldn't hold herself anymore. He promised to feed her when she couldn't anymore. This is what my dad promised 46 years ago today, and I love him even more for being that man who kept his promise. Tonight you won't be going away for the weekend and you don't need sissy and I to go buy her a gift from Vonda's, or reservations, but you'll sit with her, hold her hand and tell her how much you love, even though she will not fully understand. Happy Anniversary to the man who shows us all what it means to be a husband.