Fly, swim, eat cupcakes


Thanks to Red Tricycle we discovered that Berkeley hosts a lovely kite festival down by the Marina once a year.  It is a melee of kites soaring through the sky.  I couldn’t help but sing this song in my head…

Let's go fly a kite  Up to the highest height Let's go fly a kite  And send it soaring  Up through the atmosphere  Up where the air is clear   Oh, let's go fly a kite Let's go fly a kite!


These octopuses were huge.  My favorite kite was this little black and white dog that looked like he was walking through the air.  Isabella and Parker favored this little whimsical fairy that likened to Tinkerbell.


All those specks up in the sky are kites.   They are tiny in comparison to the big octo kites.  It was quite entertaining to see people launch their kites only to get tangled with a neighboring kite or like in my case accidentally hit you in the leg.  It’s okay! It was barely a flesh wound.  No, I am kidding.  It did not hurt at all. Thank God kites are so light.     The bay breeze at Cesar Chavez park makes it a perfect place to fly a kite anytime you fancy.


Parker enjoying a lovely latte after the festival at our new haunt Cafe Leila.


Isabella dined on a plain bagel with a berry smoothie. Super Nutritious.


I enjoyed a tart berry hibiscus lemonade.   The food at this cafe is organic and really delicious.  But from what I have been told that the Bay area is known for good eats and they are telling the TRUTH!20110806-095417.jpg

We started swim lessons at a local community pool.  Thirty preschool age kids from three to five descend on the pool to fifteen different instructors that are waiting for them in the water.   Isabella loves it.  She only asks, “When are we going swimming?” a hundred times before we go.


This is her teacher Jillian.  She’s teaching Isabella mermaid kicks, basic swim moves,  how to cut a pizza and of course the song motor boat.  But the best part is that she got Isabella to dunk her head under the water.  Isabella was so proud of her accomplishment.  “Mom, did you see me?  I bobbed my head in the water!”


The best part is that Isabella can stand above the water.  She thought that was that was so cool.   We intend on continuing swim lessons in September and October.  Thanks to the lovely Indian summer here in Berkeley.

I have been a baking machine as of late.  We keep visiting family so I have a reason to pull out all those recipes that lay dormant all year until birthdays and holidays.  Chef Isabella and I made chocolate chip cupcakes with butter cream icing.  Here is the recipe.

One Bowl Vanilla Cup Cakes

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups cake flour

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 24 cupcake tins with baking papers. Place the butter in a medium, heat proof bowl placed over a pot of gently simmering water. When the butter is just melted whisk in the brown sugar. Let cool to lukewarm temperature, about 4 minutes.

Whisk the eggs into the mixture. Add the milk, vanilla, baking powder, and salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in the flour until evenly combined.  Fill each baking paper two-thirds full. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Found in Cupcakes Year Round by Sara Neumeier


Then add a sprinkling of chocolate chips in the bottom for a nice surprise for the last few bites.


Voila! The yummiest cupcakes ever.  Please note that Isabella frosted the pink ones.


The cupcakes were for my Grandma’s eightieth birthday! We went to dinner to celebrate and of course I brought the cupcakes.  What is a birthday party without cupcakes especially pink ones?

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One response to “Fly, swim, eat cupcakes

  1. Hi Jen!!!
    I was so happy to see a comment from you on my blog! What a pleasant surprise!
    Wasn’t that colorful cake amazing? My friend Katie made it, and I’m pretty sure that she found it on Pinterest.
    It looks like life in Cali is keeping you busy with new adventures… I am a bit jealous! This summer for us has mostly been a lot of days at home. I’m beginning to get a bit restless.
    You are in my thoughts- I always think of you when I finish running stairs at Stroller Strides. I always appreciated how you would wait for everyone to finish and cheer us on and give high fives 🙂

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