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Live, Laugh, Relax–If it’s good enough for a Mickey t-shirt, it’s good enough for me!

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Above, our chef, Remy, and his assistant when we had dinner at Les Chefs de France at Epcot. It was great, only Remy kept suggesting nothing but cheese dishes!

 

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A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I took one of our two-day getaway weekends (on a Tuesday/Wednesday) and went to Disney Beach Club Resort  at Epcot for two nights. Now, that might sound foolish for people who live thirty minutes away from Disney World, but that’s kind the kind of thing we do. We’re just a little weird, I guess. I once read on a Mickey t-shirt those words, live, laugh, and relax, and decided they were definitely words to live by!

 

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Above, I am chillin’ at the pool with Mickey!  My husband Steve is at the pool–the hotel in the background is The Yacht Club, but it’s next door to The Beach Club where we stayed–they share the same restaurants and pools.

Below, we are at the Les Chefs de France at Epcot and the other pic is the background of The Boardwalk where we were strolling around.

 

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While we were walking along holding hands on The Boardwalk, this young man in his twenties stopped us and said that we looked very much in love and  he hoped  he would find someone someday that he could spend the rest of his life with, too. It was pretty cool, although the mood was sort of broken five minutes later when my husband and I started bickering about why I hadn’t worn proper walking shoes. Then I started thinking that this is sort of what life has been like for us the past forty years. We’ve spent some of our time hand-in-hand, sometimes bickering, and sometimes steppy toeing along when I’ve worn the wrong shoes–but it all works out in the long run.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but life just travels at an incredible speed and we should never waste a minute of it. If we don’t eat, love, pray now–when will we? My husband and I both had parents who always put their lives on hold, promising they would enjoy life later–when they retired–but unfortunately, they never did. Life is precious and there’s simply no time like the present to find time to spend with your loved ones or your friends and just enjoy life in whatever way that you find fun.

I guess my takeaway here is to remember how important it is to do those things we want to do now and not wait for a better moment–because what if that moment doesn’t get here on time and someday never comes? Live, laugh, relax–if it’s good enough for Mickey, then it should be good enough for any of us.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Bren

If you’ve got a sweet tooth–check this out!

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Don’t you just love people with a passion? I know that I do.  I’m so excited to have Kim Comiskey here, owner of Kim’s Confections, baker extraordinaire! If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you might be lucky enough to sample some of her creations!

Thank you for stopping by, Kim. How did you get interested in baking confectionary delights such as your delicious cakes and cupcakes? 

My love of baking started when I was 2 years old and my Mom would stand me on a chair and let me “help” her bake.   Licking the beaters was the best part!  My Mom had actually attended the Wilton School of Cake Decorating and made beautiful buttercream cakes.  I remember being awed by some of the gorgeous wedding cakes she created.  My Grandmother was also a wonderful baker.  She made the best cobblers, growing her own apples, cherries and peaches.

Excuse me, Kim, I just had to wipe my keyboard, I was salivating a little there. I was remembering my own Mom’s cobblers as well.  Did it take a lot of training to be able to make those tasty, artistic confections, or were you naturally gifted with such a yummy talent? 

A combination of natural talent, my Mom’s patient instruction and professional training created the baker I am today.  The professional training expanded my decorating skills to include fondant, sculpted cakes and making beautiful gumpaste flowers, one petal at a time.

There’s a comedy series, “Two Broke Girls,” where the girls on the show work in a restaurant but have a cupcake business on the side. Do you think this show is helpful exposure for your own business? 

I have never seen this show.  Between working a full-time job and baking at night, there is not a lot of time for watching TV but I think it could inspire others who have a special talent and passion for something who want to test the waters while still keeping their day job. 

So who do you bake for and how do they contact you if they want a special cake or cupcakes made?

I have been making my confections for 25 years for family and friends.  About 3 years ago I decided to make it a side business.  I have a lot of clients who I work with every day and from there I’ve received many referrals from my co-workers, family and friends.

I’m not surprised word-of-mouth works so well for you because your confections are delicious. You work out of your own home, but do you have another dream for your business in the future? 

I would love to expand some day.  I am inclined to start with a food truck so I can be mobile and touch more people with my sweet creations.

From my own personal, lucky experience I know your cupcakes and cakes taste as good as they look. Is there something special you do, or is that a trade secret? 

Thank you!  I have a few tricks up my sleeve I have learned over the years that I keep just to myself.

Do you have a favorite style cake you love to make? 

Not really.  I do like to challenge myself and try new things.  One of my favorite cakes is my beagle cake.  It looks like my beagle Trixie and tastes great….it’s chocolate after all.

I’ve seen Trixie, and the cake above really does show her personality! How about a favorite cupcake? 

I am a chocolate lover so my triple chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream icing is my favorite.

Oh my goodness, I just went into a chocolate fantasy! You can see tons more of Kim’s creative cake designs on her Facebook page below.

How do people contact you if they are interested in learning more about your confectionary business? 

I can be contacted via email at kimsconfections@hotmail.com or via phone 972-571-6687.  Be sure and visit my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kims-Confections/200419143403877.  I hope you will “like” me on facebook.

 

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions for Kim.

Thanks so much for dropping by today.

Bren

One great thing about this is just looking has no calories–but tasting these confectionaries are much, much more fun. If you really want to be amazed, check out Kim’s Facebook page where she has more photos of creations she has made which are absolutely fabulous. Again, the best thing about her work is that it tastes wonderful as well!

Check it out for sure.

 

 

 

Happy birthday, Dad, if you were with us, you’d be 99 today!

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001 My dad and I on my wedding day. br7 My sister and I with our dad.

It’s been nearly ten years since my father passed away, and on the one hand, it seems like much longer, and yet on the other, it seems like I just spoke with him last week. Losing a parent is one of those surreal experiences that nobody is really ready for whether at age thirty or age fifty. There’s always unresolved issues left behind and it’s easy to wonder what they’d think of you now. Our memories of our family keep us in touch with the past, reminding us of who we are and where we came from, and who we hope to become. Below is a picture of my dad and mom a year before World War II. How scary it must have been living during World War II and having their first child before the end of the war. The other picture below is of my dad when I was a little girl. I remember thinking that he was so strong and handsome and would always take care of me.

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It’s interesting because I’m sure that my memories of my father are not the memories my brother or sister have him, or even the memories his grandchildren have of him. It seems when we were growing up, he was so busy trying to make a living for the family, we weren’t that close to one another. But when the grandchildren came, he had more time to share with them. Below are his grandchildren. I remember they had many memories of camping with Grandpa and Grandma at Oak Island, as well as eating the fresh vegetables that came from Grandpa’s garden. The garden seems a good metaphor for the family because both need love and nurturing in order to thrive.

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This is a picture of the whole family spending Thanksgiving together–well, my brother is taking the picture and our daughter wasn’t born yet. The other picture is of my dad and my daughter, who is the youngest of the grandchildren.  I do think  how proud my dad would be to see how his kids and his grandkids turned out. I  like to think  he and my mother are looking down from heaven and smiling at the family.

My father came from Arkansas to California during the depression. On his journey to California he rode the trains looking for work and he’d get off a train when it slowed down. He’d be real dirty so he’d wash up at the hobo camps and maybe get something to eat there.  He picked fruit or cotton or corn to earn a little money as he traveled the rails. He was turned away at the border because California didn’t want anymore people there who didn’t have a job. He had to go back and sneak in at Needles, California–the only place that wasn’t guarded along the Arizona border. When he finally got into California, he got a job at the sugar mill in the Bay Area, then he went back to Arkansas and got my mom. They settled in California and raised their family there and their kids raised their children there, too.

Many of the family no longer lives in California. Once my dad died, the roots in the garden weren’t as strong. At the end of his life, my dad told me some of his stories and I wrote them down, but I waited a little too late and didn’t get nearly as many stories as I’d have liked. I guess my takeaway is that time goes so fast and we should love and nourish our families as much as possible. And I’d like to say, “Happy birthday, Dad, your life wasn’t easy but you did a lot with what you had. Your family is proud of you and hope that you are proud of us as well!

We love you!

Bren

Please feel free to leave a comment if you’d like.

Irish eyes should be smiling with scenery like this! Stunning!

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These are the Cliffs of Moher–and if they don’t take your breath away–nothing will!

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This is one of the ring forts of Ireland, which were settlements often built on the bogs for protection. In the front is the peat–ah the peat!

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This was taken on our trip around the Ring of Kerry, and this will totally convince you that Ireland created all the shades of green on the earth.

My husband and I took an eighteen day bus trip (bus trip–yikes!) around Ireland. Was it worth it? This is a country who claims the only saint that allows we in the United States to get whacked out of our minds on March 17th all under the guise of acting Irish–so I would have to say–God bless the Irish! We were pleased to travel through an Irish village by the name of Adare, a happy coincidence because I have cousins with the surname of Adair. It was a beautiful, peaceful village and below is an example of a thatched roof there and a Trinitarian Abbey.

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Ireland is an amazing, mystical land and when you see it, it’s easy to see why so many writers, poets, and singers come from this country. And you can even forgive James Joyce his lack of punctuation!  Below is a picture of a 12th century Celtic cross, a picture of Blarney Castle, and yes, I kissed the Blarney Stone.

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Below are pictures of a castle we stayed in as well as a friendly dragon at the castle. The castle was a prison in the late nineteenth century and is supposed to have ghosts where the dungeon once was. Always being intrigued with the paranormal, my husband, myself, and another woman from our tour went down to the library to investigate. My husband tried to open the library door, and it wouldn’t open. The woman from the tour tried to open the door, and it still wouldn’t open. I tried to open the door, and it wouldn’t budge. Not to be deterred, we went to the concierge to see if he could unlock the room for us. He looked surprised, but willingly went down with us. Low and behold, he turned the doorknob and the door opened without a hitch. It was rather obvious that we weren’t exactly welcome to this room. We looked around the library where there were bookshelves to the ceiling on the right and a billiard table on the left, but there was a feeling to the place that made us uncomfortable and we left rather quickly. We’re intrigued with the paranormal–but we’re not crazy!

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We ended our trip to Ireland in Dublin, which is a pretty easy place to get around. Of course we went to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, and most importantly, Jameson Distillery.

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I think the takeaway from this trip is that Ireland is a gorgeous country well-worth visiting and the people are warm and friendly–and I don’t believe it’s just the Jameson talking. LOL! Speaking of which, below I have a recipe for Irish coffee, a drink my husband embraced while in Ireland. Me? I’m still a five-o’clock somewhere kind of girl and margaritas are still my drink-du-jour.

This is a recipe that a barkeep shared. For those over twenty-one only please!!! Irish coffee: 1 measure of Irish whiskey, 1 or 2 tsp. sugar, freshly made hot black coffee, 2-4 tsp whipped cream

Warm the Irish whiskey in microwave for 30 seconds. Pour whiskey into a warmed 7-ounce Irish Coffee glass and add sugar. Fill with hot coffee up to half an inch from the top of the glass. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Spoon whipped cream on top of hot coffee and serve! Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave comments.

Bren

 https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrendaStinnett  if you liked to come by and ‘like’!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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