Summer Weekending

June 5, 2011

Out of all the holidays and celebrations that we have in the course of a year, I think that birthdays are the most sacred. The day that we entered the world is something to be joyous over, and to mark with as much love and celebration as possible.

My dad completed his 74th trip around the sun yesterday, and the boys and I were so excited to throw him a party. It was a relaxed day filled with good food and fun, a few wishes and a lot of full bellies.

I had two favorites to this day. First, the desserts.

There is nothing that I like more about a birthday than the desserts. I made a gluten free raspberry pound cake with lavender honey whip cream, and a second dessert of frozen kiwi and apricot chocolate pops. I had seen the kiwi pops on my new favorite time suck; Pinterest, and I immediately knew they were a must. I came across a fresh basket of apricots at the farmers market and thought that I would give those a try as well, and I am so glad that I did because they were the hit of the evening.

I decided to make the pound cake after visiting the Boulder Farmers Market this week. There was a vendor who was selling the most delectable looking cupcakes, and one flavor that looked particularly amazing was her raspberry with lavender frosting. For the first time since I went gluten free, I was angry. I wanted that cup cake so badly I could almost taste it, and I came home with a mission to recreate it. After a bit of thought I decided to change it up a bit and make a pound cake instead, and the result was better than I hoped for.

Raspberry Pound Cake with Lavender and Honey Whip Cream

To you favorite pound cake recipe add

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice (in place of water)
12 oz fresh raspberries

I added in the cinnamon and orange zest with my dry ingredients, and then the orange juice with the wet. I folded the raspberries in by hand very gently, and then added 5 minutes to the bake time of the original recipe to account for the extra moisture from the fruit.

Lavender Whip Cream

1 container of heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp lavender blossoms (I used dried lavender)
3 tbsp honey

Combine your heavy whipping cream and lavender in a small pot and cooking on low, bring the cream just to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely (I refrigerated the cream for 2 hours). Strain the lavender blossoms and add honey. Whip to desired firmness and serve.

My second favorite part of the evening was the table. I wanted a table that was fun, out in the garden area, and a little different than anything we normally used. One of the boy’s closet doors recently came out so that they could have better access to their clothes, and it seemed like the perfect size for a makeshift table.

Using two Christmas storage containers as the base, I laid the closet door down and covered it with a favorite table cloth that I had gotten from the thrift store last year, and had been trying to find a good use for ever since. We cut peonies from a bush on the side of the house, lit a few candles and laid out our sofa cushions as chairs. It was a perfect way to relax and enjoy a family meal, and it will certainly be making it’s way back out for many more evenings to come.

Landon’s favorite part of the party had to be his first experience with balloons. He spent what felt like hours just staring up in awe of the vast array of colors, and he seems on track to follow in his brother’s footsteps and fall completely in love with these magical play things.

Celebrating with my dad was a great way to start the weekend, and now we are off for our final soccer game of the spring season and then on to help a very special little girl celebrate her 5th birthday.

Wishing you the best of summer weekends.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Nina June 5, 2011 at 7:18 am

I couldn't agree more – birthdays are such a special thing to celebrate and more so the older you get……though I may have to start counting backwards – in age that is – once I hit 40 next year!

The kiwi pops are lovely – hadn't thought of apricots – but I did make strawberry and banana ones yesterday, the children loved them and kept asking for more.

Happy birthday to your father.

Nina xxx

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Joy June 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

What a lovely celebration! You made a beautiful party for your dad. I'm sure he so appreciates it. The apricot pops look wonderful. What a beautiful table setting. <3

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Mari June 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Birthdays are a celebration of life. It is a time when I remember the joys of childbirth. I was part of something monumental and so special.

I have forgotten this joy….thank you for reminding me.

By the way, your precious baby looks just in awe of the heliums….oh my goodness the wonder.

Mari

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jumbleberryjam June 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Beautiful! And so creative. I just don't know how you do it all! Would you be willing to write about it sometime? I don't miss much about Boulder besides are dearest friends, but the Farmer's Market along Boulder Creek was a treat, indeed! Glad it inspired you.

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Tracey June 6, 2011 at 12:25 am

I am so glad your Dad is doing better and celebrating such a wonderful day! He and Landon have a special bond don't they? I remember seeing it in a previous photo and I see it here too. How great Heather for the whole family to have the chance to make such memories. Happy Birthday to your Dad.

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Nicola @ Which Name? June 6, 2011 at 3:08 am

Happy birthday to your dad! I love the photo of Landon with him. Such celebration given his recent hospital stay, I imagine!

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Homeowner Insurance June 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

The kiwi pops are lovely! What a lovely celebration! Happy birthday to your father.

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Kelly June 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I love how you did the table. great idea.

summer weekends are so lovely. we've been out of town for the past three weekends. time to get home & be lazy!

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Meryl June 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Oh, his eyes are so big and wide! And what a pretty party!

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Nancy June 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Precious!
I love the baby and grandfather picture :-)

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Dani June 7, 2011 at 3:57 am

What a beautiful weekend! That last picture just gets me…

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molly June 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm

oh, heather, there is so much joy in these photos! a very happy birthday to your father. and those eyes! that little landon is a sweetheart.

now, i must get my hands on that rythm of the home!

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Kimberly June 8, 2011 at 3:33 am

This post made me cry. Happy tears no less, but it seriously warmed my heart. I have read your blog off and on throughout the past year, and recently came to it again, and so glad that I did. Side note: my acupuncturist gently suggested that I go on the GAPS diet, or at the very least, cut out all processed sugar, gluten and dairy. This past week has been so very frustrating for me, though I am so thankful that you share such wonderful, gluten-free recipes with us. Thank you!

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a little crafty nest June 8, 2011 at 5:03 am

Oh my, this looks just like out of a fairy tale or a photo shoot. I suppose it is the latter, isn't it? I wish I could step through this screen and sink down amidst the garden loveliness. Thanks for the recipes, I am for sure going to try both:)
xo Jules

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Valarie June 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm

It is so heart warming to see your happy family celebrating your dad's birthday. The recipes look so good and I will certainly give them a try. I laughed out loud seeing little Landon and his balloon. May you have many happy and cherished moments like this Heather.

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_Leila June 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm

What a beautiful post!

A magical day, with the peonies, pitchers, and family gathered around. Lovely lovely.

Now you've inspired me to save the two hollow-core doors I'm replacing on the 3rd floor — that table is genius!

And the baby with the balloons, what a precious shot.

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Gesche June 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

What a magical little party!!

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angie June 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm

what a lovely birthday celebration! and such a perfect table, our garage is full of old doors, I think I will be adopting your idea!

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meredith June 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

hello!
this is my first visit to your blog and oh my! i'm hooked!! i've been checking out older posts and i'm excited and inspired. please tell me how you froze the apricot/kiwi mixture before you dipped in chocolate. did you blend together and then freeze in some sort of container to make the shape? i'm gonna try the all kiwi, but the blend sounds amazing.

looking forward to adding your blog to my daily dose of inspiration1

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Camille June 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm

So romantic and beautiful.
Also your quest post on soulemama was great!
Happy summer!

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Angela June 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm

What a beautiful celebration-spiritually and visually. I agree birthdays are super important!

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valerie June 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I agree so much with your post on Soulemama. And your pictures here are a beautiful reunion of things pretty and things of the heart. Truly beautiful! It's funny, I've just written a post on celebrations myself…they are truly important to us. Have a nice week end too!
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Adrie June 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm

So beautiful! Happy Birthday to your dad!

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bonnie June 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Your table looks like a summer wedding!!!!! It is so pretty, I wanted to be there. LOL

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agambroult June 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

what a nice way to celebrate you dad! That table is great–I bet the kids really liked that. Landon gets cuter by the day.

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Margaret B. June 15, 2011 at 6:39 am

Such beautiful photos of your youngest son and your father and I esp. love the photo of your baby and the balloons! My older son had a birthday last week and so my 11 month old had his first experience with balloons, too. He spent a lot of time talking to them! (it was really funny!)

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Shivayamama June 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Oh that is so so sweet! Both of my older boys were infuated with balloons, and in fact it was all that my oldest son asked for from Santa Claus for his first three years. Landon looks poised to follow suit :). Happy Birthday to your oldest, and happy almost first birthday to your little one! What an amazing year I am sure that this has been.
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