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Yesterday was my birthday.

Every year I use my birthday as an excuse to meet up with my girlfriends who though we are always happy to see one another, don’t get that chance as often these days due to location, work, etc.

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This year I decided I wanted to spoil my girlfriends and I wanted to eat things my husband and kids don’t like, like shrimp 🙂

I decided to go crazy with macarons because they are my latest baking obsession and I can have no peace of mind until I can make them perfectly 99% of the time and they have been being very finicky lately. They used to be easy, but either my oven is getting old or some other nuisence is occuring. I had these flavors

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German chocolate, lemon poppyseed, coconut, maple bacon, lavender earl gray, cinnamon, carrot cake and red velvet. 

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I wanted to have less cake, and more options, besides wanting a reason to experiment 🙂 I made dark chocolate cherry mousse bombs, no idea what the proper name of those might be but that is what I call them.

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And I tried a new pumpkin cake recipe for my cake with a lot of yummy chocolate. One benefit of participating in cake contests is meeting other cake bakers and then finding their recipes in blogs and magazines. Thanks to Ginta for this recipe, we enjoyed it. And I tried my tree design that I have been painting on ties for months in chocolate for another new decorating experiment.

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It was so much fun to chat with friends and catch-up, and one of our old friends who I hadn’t invited due to distance (but one friend had shared about the time and date) decided to surprise us by showing up, that made for a wonderful gift since I hadn’t seen her in 2 years.

 

We also had a lovely workshop with each lady getting to mix her own spice/salt mix with some of the wonderful Manas Garšas collection and everyone went home late, happy and eager for our next chance to meet again.

I am so thankful for the friends that God has blessed me with over the last 12 years in Latvia. Each of them is a treasure and encouragement!

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I can’t help but be a bit sad too as one year ago my Grandma passed away on my name’s day. As my birthday approached I remembered how she used to say birthday’s need to be celebrated a week, and so I started early with some girlfriends to make her memory live on with me.

My Grandma knew how to celebrate, she was full of life, spunky and energetic even at 86! I wonder if in heaven they are celebrating today, remembering the day she entered those pearly gates? We know there are no tears there and even now I can hear her voice, “Oh baby” as she gave me a nice big Grandma hug. And I can hear her beautiful voice with her delicate Latvian accent as she sang me Happy Birthday. I miss you Grandma, and always will. Happy 1st anniversary in heaven! I love you!

 

 

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