December 31, 2010

A Year In Review!

The last post of 2010!! 

Can you believe it?

Well, 2010 has been quite a year for me! Here are a few things that made it special!!

My year began with an annual trip to Oklahoma for the Debbie Collins Memorial Scholarship Showcase. Such a great show and always a great time! The "Debbie Show" is one of my favorites.

In February I went to Texas and attended a dance convention with Mom's kiddos. They were fabulous as usual. And I, of course, had a blast! 

In March, I was back on the road with Yo Gabba Gabba and staying extremely busy. 

In April, Gabba took me to the White House!! We performed at the Easter Egg Roll!! Amazing!

May might just have been the biggest month for me in 2010. 

And I got ENGAGED!!
And getting engaged led to the most popular thing here at Dancing Through Life! 

I am pretty sure the only productive thing I did in the month of June was go to Oklahoma and teach at the SCD Summer Workshop. We had a blast!

Then in July... we found THE DRESS!! And had lots of fun just playing in the city!

August led to the usual trip to Oklahoma for more dancing! The Sailor moving back to the mainland and Gege turning 90!

September brought my favorite time of year Football Season! 

In October I had a milestone birthday! 

I was a busy busy bee in November. Dancing all the time and all over the place!
The best... The First Annual DDI!

And finally... it was December! I mean... this year has been super full!! 
First Christmas in years that the whole family has been together!!

May you and yours have a happy and safe New Years Eve!!
And here's to an even better 2011!!

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!

Key West May 2010.

December 22, 2010

Holidays w/ New Family!


Where I gush about my wedding and all things relative. 
Today is a little less about wedding and a little more about life as a couple.
Christmas Eve 2009 in Oklahoma.
As a child, I had a very traditional holiday. Not even as a child, until about 3 years ago, my Christmas has been the same and I LOVE it! Every year we spend Christmas Eve in Ardmore with my Father's family, Christmas morning is just the Crites at home and then we drive to OKC for Christmas with the Mom's family. I don't have too many things in my life that are a constant so perhaps that is why I cherish my Christmas tradition so much. 

Now, we must learn to navigate through the holidays with more than one family. So far, it hasn't been too hard as we do not have children.  We spend the weekends leading up to Christmas celebrating with Stud Muffin's family in Upstate NY and then we spend Christmas week in Oklahoma. The only times things have really been different have been because I was somewhere performing over the holidays. 

So... what are your holiday traditions? Once you were married and sharing your time with others did things change? How about when you add children to the mix? 

December 15, 2010

Wedding Workout!

Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays!
Where I gush (and sometimes complain) about all things wedding related!

Today's topic... the Wedding Workout!

Now as many of you already know, I am a dancer and the thought of dieting for my wedding seemed silly.
It seems silly to me to diet for anything because I should be in shape already! It is my profession after all. 
BUT... my wedding is at the BEACH! The BEACH people! Three days of sitting by the pool with all my friends and family. And if you know my friends... they are HOT. They are not only HOT but they have had children and still have HOT bodies! Why did I pick such gorgeous friends? Ugh! 
I am thankful that my friends are hot because it keeps me on my toes. So, for my 30th Birthday present Stud Muffin got me a personal trainer! 
Now... I thought I was in shape. Boy Howdy! After my first training session I couldn't walk. After the second my abs hurt so bad I couldn't laugh, cry, or sit up! Then I started to get the hang of it and trainer Joe had to go and make it harder!! I seriously could not sit down on the toilet without pain. The thought of trying to get back up from the toilet without holding on the a handicap railing made me want to cry. Is this torture necessary? Really? I mean, maybe, I did book a Gym Commercial after this insanity began but GEEZ! 
I better look like a million dollars at that beach wedding because this is insane! I will say this, I have not altered my eating habits a bit (I have pretty healthy eating habits) and I have lost 4 pounds! If I can continue to have hot cocoa every night and lose weight... I am totally okay with this trainer torture!
The holidays will be the biggest test! Here's to Jumping Jacks!! 


December 14, 2010

My 1st Child is a SENIOR!

Yup, that's right, I had my first set of children at the age of 13! 
And yes, I said set! 
Aren't they just the cutest?!

Okay, so they really aren't MY children but I feel like they are. They are my dance children. I was there when Spence was born...she's mine!! These girls were in the first ballet class I ever taught at the age of 16. They have been dancing at my Moms studio since they were 4!! I have watched them grow and become such wonderful young ladies. I love them with all my heart. And... they are the reason I cannot have children of my own! I blame them. They are just too perfect. How could I compete?
Anywho... my babies are graduating this year. And they are going to college to be dancers!! I am as happy as happy could be! As part of my Christmas present I got to go to their last 1st dance competition to see them dance so pretty.

Didn't they grow up to be the most beautiful ladies ever?!!!

I love love love my girls! Expect to see several tearful posts about them throughout the year!

December 13, 2010

Cider with a Kick!

It has been quite some time since I posted a recipe here at Dancing Through Life! 
I thought I would post a few this week in order to get people ready for the holidays!

Today... Cider with a Kick! 

I simply took store bought apple cider and added some zing! Stud Muffin loved it!!

What you'll need:
  • 1 1/4 quarts apple cider

  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed light-brown sugar

  • 7 whole cinnamon sticks, (6 sticks for garnish)

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • Ground cloves

  • Freshly grated nutmeg

  • Vanilla Vodka



  • Put everything but the vodka in a saucepan and let simmer for about 30 minutes. 

    Then add 1oz Vanilla Vodka to your mug, a cinnamon stick stirrer and ENJOY! 

    Of course you can enjoy this beverage vodka free as well!! 

    December 10, 2010

    Holiday Travel Tips!

    Everyone is traveling at the holidays and the airport always seems to be a cranky place during such a happy time. I travel almost every week and pride myself on being a PRO at all things airports and travel.
    So, my holiday gift to you... Travel Tips to make it through the season!

    The most important rule when traveling at the holidays is to be prepared! I find that the most cranky people at the airport are those that are upset about the rules. (those that didn't pay attention to the rules before packing!)

    So...
    1. Check in online! 
    Some airlines charge less for baggage if you check in online and then you just have to drop your bag. Also, you are more likely to have a chance to pick your seat when you check in online. *Note:  American Airlines does not let you pay for checked luggage online. Skip the long line inside and do curbside check in with them. You should tip the guy outside but totally worth it!
    2. Do not over-pack your bag. 
    Almost every airline has a 50lbs limit on checked luggage. It will cost you a minimum of $50 extra for just one pound over! You can sometimes skirt by this rule when doing curbside check in but only by a few pounds. And remember that it is cheaper to check 2 bags (if absolutely necessary) then to have a heavy 1 bag. 
    3. Do Not Wrap Presents!
    Yes, even in your checked luggage. Chances are you can get away with it but they do reserve the right to unwrap your gift. Better to just wrap when you arrive. Cute holiday gift bags and tissue paper weigh nothing and are easy to pack.  
    4. Food is still a Liquid! 
    Sure it sounds awesome to fly back home with some of grandmas homemade jam but you'll have to pack it with the checked luggage. I know, I know... but better to have it in your checked bag than to get it thrown away! 
    5. Arrive EARLY!
    The lines are always long at this time of year. You will save yourself a lot of stress if you allow for this. Better to have extra time to kill at the airport than stressing that you may miss your flight. I say allow an hour and a half minimum at the holidays. 
    6. Overhead Space is Shared Space!
    If you board the plane first and put your coat in the overhead bin, someone may not have room for their actual luggage. Remember that coats can be hung in the front of the plane or on the back of your seat. Once everyone has boarded the flight then throw your coat up top. It's the courteous thing to do!
    7. B.Y.O.B. & P.!!
    Bring Your Own Blanket and Pillow! Those planes are NASTY and germ ridden! I travel with my own pillow and blanket. That can be washed!! The last thing you want is to arrive at Mom and Dads with a nasty cold!
    8. Rules are different with Kiddos!
    I don't have kids and I know it has to be SO MUCH HARDER to travel with them! However, my friends seem to have some awesome tips for travel with the Bebe!
    Check out Hollywood Housewife and Mama Hussy for some amazing tips!
    9. Always Pack You Favorites!
    I have a list of things I simply must have when traveling. Sometimes you just need certain things to feel at home while on the road
    10. Remember Why You Are Traveling!!
    Sometimes we get so caught up in the logistics of things that our entire day is ruined by a bad mood. I don't understand why so many people are cranky when traveling. (I mean, I travel for work but who could be so cranky when off to the beach or grandmas!) It's the Holiday Season!! Approach the travel day with a more laid back feeling and don't stress. It will all be worth it when you are spending time with the most important people in your life!! 

    Happy Holidays Friends! And Safe Travels!!

    We Are The Champions!

    Last Football Fandom post until after the holidays!

    We did it friends! We sent Nebraska to the Big 10 with a LOSS! The way it should be!
    Here's to being the last Big 12 Champions EVER!!

    December 9, 2010

    Happy Holidays

    Well, this is a lil late but...
    We upgraded our Thanksgiving this year!

    We went from this

    To this!


    Oh yeah, no more TV trays at this house! Thanks to the Crazy Lady for the runner and table cloth!
    We had a great time!

    December 8, 2010

    Better Late Than Never!

    Todays edition of Wedding Wednesday is LATE! 
    But better that than nothin at all!

    Well a couple weeks ago I asked about Registry Madness. And boy did we have some fun. 
    We ended up registering at about 4 places! However, the only place they will all be listed at once is on the wedding website. I loved all the comments I got about where, when and how to register. Very helpful. 

    Since it was so helpful my next question is what does one do with all those gifts before you have a home together? While we didn't think anyone would be looking buying things for some time... my parents house is already full of Crate & Barrel boxes! Daddy O seems to be getting antsy about my taking up his space.  

    Please feel free to call, email or comment with suggestions. I mean, my 450 sq. foot apartment... NOT an option! 

    December 7, 2010

    Finals...

    And by finals I don't mean the Big 12 Championship!

    While I would love to tell you all my thoughts on the matter...

    I have 3, 15 page papers due this week...

    So... check back at say Noon Saturday! Just to make sure I'm not dead!

    December 3, 2010

    One More for the Road!

    My obsession with the Oklahoma Sooners and College Football!


    As many of you know we will be playing Nebraska on Saturday in the Big 8 Championship Game. Wait, did I say Big 8? I meant Big 12. The FINAL Big 12 Championship Game! 
    Why? Because Nebraska got their panties in a wad when they realized they were no longer the bees knees and decided to part ways with us in the Big 12 and head on over to the Big 10. (the conference w/ 11 teams... soon to be 12 teams... oh the confusion!)

    Anywho... I was very unhappy when I heard that NEB would be leaving us. Talk about a rivalry. The History between our two teams is filled with "magic".  So... I leave you with a little magic from 1986...

    I chose this clip because I actually remember watching football in 1986! 
    Enjoy "The Catch" 

    Sooner Magic! Down 17-10 with a little over 2 minutes left, the Sooners led by Barry Switzer, Jamelle Holloway, Keith Jackson, Spencer Tillman & Brian Bosworth conjure up some ol' Sooner Magic to defeat Tom Osborne's Cornhuskers 20-17 in Lincoln. OU tight end Keith Jackson supplies the game's highlight: a one-handed sideline tight-rope catch to set up kicker Tim Lashar's game-winning field goal to send OU to the Orange Bowl.

    BOOMER! And check back for tomorrow's clip... 

    November 30, 2010

    Sooner Magic Anyone?

    Welcome to Football Fandom!
    Where I share my love of college football and the OKLAHOMA SOONERS!


    Well friends... we did it! We went on the road and beat those pokes!
    I am not going to lie... I was absurdly nervous about it. We have not been playing all that well on the road and the pokes have that kid from Ardmore catching balls for them like a mad man!

    But why was I nervous... I mean... what is 1 little win for them in the grand scheme of things. The all-time record OU 82 - OSU 16 - Tied 7. I mean, really... we could throw 'em a bone once in a while right?
    WRONG! We can't. Because it was not really the W or L that was giving me sleepless nights it was the torture of listening to the "little brother" all year long!

    But no worries... We won! (on paper we shouldn't have!) But WE WON!!!
    Stay tuned for Fridays post on the upcoming Big 12 Championship Game!

    BOOMER!

    (p.s. I sat in my closet during the last 5 minutes of the game I was so nervous and made Stud Muffin give me updates!) 

    November 24, 2010

    Homework....

    So sorry I cannot write today....

    Wedding Wednesdays will be back next week. After I have finished all my homework!

    November 19, 2010

    Who will play tomorrow?

    Welcome to Football Fandom!


    The Sooners play the Baylor Bears this weekend. I have too much going on to worry about the real possibility that we may lose this game. 

    So... I just hope they decide to bring their A game. Why they look like cheerleaders in pads when they play away I will never understand. 

    On a semi-related topic... I am in Oklahoma for the weekend. (more on that over the weekend) Someone said to my Father yesterday at lunch that they were surprised we looked so happy the way the Sooners were playing this year. Um, we have only lost 2 games. 2! Not 5 like last year! And even if we, gasp, lose the next 2 we will be better than last year. Just sayin!


    November 17, 2010

    Wedding Skin!

    My weekly gush about all things wedding!!
    St. Maartin June 2008
    Today, skin!! I have crazy oily skin. I am 30 years old and still get pimples once a month! 
    So while this post is basically a plea (I am still on the road and super busy) I want to know what your favorite skin regimens happen to be! 

    At the moment I use Murad products but I am thinking I need something that really keeps my skin clear for GOOD!!!

    Do tell!

    November 16, 2010

    Oklahoma Football Facility Tour

    Welcome to Football Fandom! 
    I am traveling today and don't have time to write about my favorite team...
    But I will leave you with this!


    November 15, 2010

    Zumba Anyone?

    Saturday I shot a commercial for a women's gym. 
    It was a blast! (and exhausting!)
    Group photo after 10 hours of cardio! I look smashing!

    There were 25 girls in cast for the commercial and we were split into 2 groups so that we weren't over worked. BUT... there were only 4 blondes so we danced in most of the groups. My first thought was "Yippee more camera time!" My second thought, which came after turbo kick round 4, was "HELP!" 

    We filmed on a green screen so that they could put whatever background they wished behind us.

    I know that floor may look all fun because it is green but it was concrete. Yup. Jumping Jacks all day on the concrete. My calves are not very happy with me. I didn't really notice it while we were filming though so no worries. 

    Other fun facts about this shoot. 
    1-My make-up looked like a cracked out hooker. Sorry I have no pic!
    2-I learned that I can turbo kick like a champ.
    3- For the Zumba portion of the shoot, I was dressed in cargo pants, crop top and a do-rag. Complete with hoop earrings. Ghetto-fabulous! I was loving it!! Again, no pic... I was too busy.
    4- The dressing rooms and such in this place were insane! My dressing room was meant to look like a medieval times kind of place. The dressing room across from mine was a tiki hut! The lunch room was a rain forest and there was a board room that looked like a castle. 
    Apparently this sound stage was originally used to film adult type films. So... they needed some special scenery.  Ha!

    All in all the day was a lot of fun. I got a nice paycheck (finally!) and I made some great new friends!
    I LOVE MY JOB!!

    November 12, 2010

    BOOMER!!!

    Well, I cannot seem to bring myself to talk about how poorly we played & coached last week.
    Plus, I am crazy busy! So I leave you with this...


    Thank goodness we play at HOME this week!

    BOOMER!!!

    I would also like to mention how sad I am that I am not attending Saturday's game with my Daddy! First time since high school that I won't attend a single game! Boo! 

    November 11, 2010

    By popular request...

    Seems that my readers would like to hear more about life in NYC, auditions and all that jazz.
    So, we introduce The Subway Series! 
    Ahh... my daily subway stop. 
    I figure, I am full of stories that seem odd to all but those that inhabit the streets of Manhattan. 
    Here goes with story number one!

    The other day I had an audition down by Chelsea Market (Chelsea Market will deserve a post all its own) and because I had to walk all the way to 9th ave (too far) I saw several things that caught my eye. 

    First we had this on the train.
    See what amazed me by this particular saggy butt was the tight jeans. (& belt) I mean, they are fitted jeans. Perhaps he was taking a walk of shame and had to borrow the chicks pants? And look how tight his shirt is. Either you want to be a hipster or you want to be a gangster but I am pretty sure the 2 don't mix. 

    Then I was walking back to the subway from my audition and noticed this.
    Look very closely. Who decided to leave the car? When do you think it became someone's newspaper storage unit? And why, why of why, is there no parking ticket? I got a ticket when I rented a car for 2 freakin' hours in the city! How is it that the Upper East Side tickets every car on the road but somehow on 15th and 9th you can leave your car and use it as a trash can and it doesn't even get towed?!!  Seriously?!

    Stayed tuned kids because I LOVE talking about NYC! 

    November 10, 2010

    Photography & Video Decisions!

    Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays! 
    My one day a week to gush about all things wedding! (and sometimes share the stress!)

    First things first. I am not having a video of my wedding. Nope.
    I know, I know. All these brides tell me that I am going to miss out of so many things by not having it but I just cannot fathom spending that much money on a video that I will watch once a year if lucky. Besides, the way everyone has video and photo on their phones these days I am sure to see some unedited footage of my own wedding at some point. 

    With that being said. Photography means A LOT to me. A LOT! I have searched and searched and cannot find something that I love in the price range I can spend. My absolute favorites were these guys!  But I haven't heard back from them since September and it was going to really stretch my budget any how. My next favorite was this Oklahoma based photog but they were already booked for my date. I have now begun searching and searching online for someone local to the South Florida area but I cannot find anyone with super artistic photos. I don't want the average ol' pics. I want something very artistic. Something you can hang on your wall that looks like art. Not just a picture of you and your hubby on your wedding day. If I wanted those pics I could get my friends so take the pictures for a whole lot less! 

    HELP!! If anyone knows of some crazy good (and affordable) photographers send them my way! 
    Also, give me your thoughts on parents albums? Trash the dress? All those things! I am way overwhelmed in the photography area!

    November 7, 2010

    Run, John, Run!

    Today we went to the NYC Marathon! 

    I do not like running, so as you can imagine I find this practice of running 26.2 miles ridiculous! And, until I moved to the East Side I never really paid attention to the marathon. (Really, I was in a bubble while living downtown!) I have noticed that marathon Sunday brings more people to my neighborhood but I was unaware this was such an event! 
    TONS OF PEOPLE stand in the cold for a brief second to cheer on their friend! And some people just go and cheer for FUN! Uh?! 
    I will say, it was fun and I am glad I went to see what it was all about.

    Our friends from North Carolina came to run! Well, he did. She is 7 months pregnant! 
    We were able to track his progress on our phones so we wouldn't miss him! How cool is that?!

    There was a pretty large, and loud, group of us screaming him on as he passed!

    We were so loud that they interviewed his wife! 
    ABC 7 and Kimberly Williams!

    There were all sorts of characters in the race but these guys were pretty neat! 
    They were dribbling basketballs the entire way! Now that is athletic! 

    It was a fun day! Now we are off to New Jersey to celebrate with the runners! 

    November 5, 2010

    A Flaw in the System!

    Welcome to Football Fandom!
     My twice weekly rant about college footbal and most importantly... The Sooners!


    So I have been a bit negligent about my football rantings lately. I apologize. But I am BACK!
    It is now time to talk about the Non-Automatic Qualifier teams that are currently saturating the Top 5! Yes, that's right! #3 TCU, #4 Boise State and #5 Utah. All 3 of these teams are UNBEATEN. 

    It is very possible that one of these three teams will be in the top 2 of the final BCS Standings and play for the National Title. Here is what I have to say about that. 

    If TCU beats Utah this weekend, then yes, I believe they deserve to play over a 1-loss SEC Team.

    I am torn with Utah as their schedule was not as difficult but if they beat TCU perhaps. 

    I do NOT, DO NOT, believe that Boise State deserves to play over a 1-loss SEC Team. 

    And I absolutely will die if we have to watch two of these teams play each other! Why? Because we will never learn anything by it. If TCU play Boise State, like they did in a BCS bowl last year, it doesn't answer any questions. They need to play teams from Automatic Qualifier Conferences so we can put all this hoopla behind us. 

    I almost want TCU to play for the Title so that we can stop having this discussion. If they win, then awesome people will put more value on those teams. If they lose, people will stop talking about it as well. 

    And yes, I have heard the argument the Boise State played Oklahoma in a BCS Bowl and they won. Hello, national media and people of Idaho!!! NONE OF THOSE PEOPLE PLAY FOR BOISE STATE ANYMORE!!! 

    November 4, 2010

    Flash Mob Mayhem

    So, yesterday I did a job I normally would not do and was in a Flash Mob. 
    It was for the launch of Xbox Kinect and Dance Central. 

    Let's start with all the reasons I never do jobs like this.
    1- They hired about 350-400 dancers. (The news said 600 but that is not true, no way.) 
    2-Learning choreography with that many people is like learning at dance convention all over again. 
    3- When you hire that many "dancers" there are bound to be some people that make me crazy. Mostly because they are those types of people that have no sense of their own personal dance space vs. your personal dance space. 
    4- It is not a great paycheck for the number of hours involved. 
    5- Would anyone ever know I was out there dancing my butt off?


    Now the reasons I did the job!
    1- I need a paycheck! Small one or not!
    2- My resume' will now say that I danced with Ne-Yo and Lady Sovereign. Who cares that 300 other people did as well. 
    3- I had a great time and I wasn't waiting tables! 
    4- I made some new friends!
    5- My face was on the big screen in Times Square while I was dancing so that is always cool. :)

    Below is a video I saw on YouTube this morning of the event. It doesn't have my small group dance on it but you get the idea of what went on! 

    November 3, 2010

    Our Wedding Party!

    Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays! 
    My one day a week to gush about all things wedding!

     There are a few things I would like to keep traditional at the wedding but not many. Sooo, as you can guess, the wedding party will not be "traditional". 

    Meet my MAN of Honor.
    After Coco's ship came in from Hawaii Dec. 2009
    And Stud Muffin's Best Man.
    Corey & Addison picking apples.
    Stud Muffin and I decided to go with just two people in our wedding party for several reasons. 
    1- It's a destination wedding and we do not want anyone to feel obligated to make their vacation our wedding. While we would love to have everyone there, we don't want people to feel forced! 
    2- I don't have any sisters and the practice of the brother standing on the opposite side has always disturbed me. He is my brother and I think he should stand with me! 
    3- One less thing for me to pick out and try to please everyone! This alleviates the pressure of picking a dress in the color, style and price range that suits all my friends. I just know that would have stressed me beyond belief! 

    I love the fact that our wedding party is going to be so intimate. 

    My brother has already asked if he can get dressed with Stud Muffin and the other guys. Hairspray apparently makes him ill. Or maybe its the squealing girls. Who knows! But, of course he can get ready with the dudes! Now... when should we tell him he gets to hold my bouquet? 

    October 31, 2010

    All Hallow's Eve!

    I absolutely love Halloween! 

    Here is a little routine to get you in the spirit!
    video

    This is from last dance season. 
    "The Time Warp" Teen Musical Theater Company.
    I love em!!

    October 29, 2010

    Oops!

    I apologize for missing both Football Fandom days this week! 

    I promise I will be better about it next week!

    I am crazy busy over here!!

    Check back tomorrow and I will be right on track!

    October 27, 2010

    Happy Birthday to Me! No, wait, Mommy!

    Sorry folks, no Wedding Wednesday today. 
    Instead... 

    Hawaii December 2009.
    For those of you that don't know, I share my birthday with my Mom. It is such a fantastic way to celebrate. 
    Every year I share my Mom with about 200 other kids and this is one thing I don't have to share with them! (selfish much?) And if you know both of us, this explains "oh so much" about us! We sound exactly alike on the phone (scary), we both have insane ideas about choreography and costumes, and we both seem to think our jokes are pretty funny. Perhaps sharing a birthday makes us at just alike. Who knows! 

    Happy Birthday Mommy! I wouldn't want it any other way!! I LOVE YOU!
    She dressed in a student's costume for a special birthday. Geek! 

    October 25, 2010

    Birfday Cake!

    Only 2 more days until my real birthday! But I have been celebrating all month!


    This weekend we watched the OU game (sad) and had a little get together! It was a blast. 

    Stud Muffin made me a cake to beat all cakes! 
    Yes, I know that the icing is coming off. The strawberries dripped. 
    Who cares! It tasted SO GOOD!! When I tell you he MADE the cake, I mean it. He did the entire thing from scratch. No box mix here! Mmmmmm.....

    Speaking of cakes. The first weekend of October my future mother in law made me a cake!
    Man, it tasted so good!! Mmm, Mmm, Mmm! 
    This cake was also my present! The bottom two tiers were hat boxes with a gift in them! And... all those pink envelopes... individually wrapped hot cocoa packets! My ultimate favorite! 
    Of course you may remember that my future Mother In-Law always get crazy creative with gifts! 

    And just in case you were wondering if I was going to eat cake on Wednesday or skip the calories...
    LET THEM EAT CAKE!

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