Celebrating the Little Things

Today is my 30th Birthday - 30 years! How quickly it has gone and yet filled to the brim with so many beautiful memories it feels like it could have been 100 years. On birthdays I can’t help but get a little nostalgic, thinking of all the years past. One year ago I was 9 months pregnant, concluding the fullest year of Snowshoe Candy Co production to date and brimming with excitement. Today, I reflect on the year past and all that has changed with love and gratitude.

I love birthdays and especially after having given birth I have a great appreciation for the occasion that a birthday celebrates. The addition of Violet to our lives has been truly the greatest gift! This year I made it my New Years resolution to more intentionally celebrate the birthdays of the people I love. It is probably the only New Years resolution that has had traction so far in my 30 years - making it well past January and February, unlike most resolutions from years past. In less than a month, we’ll be celebrating the 1st birthday of my daughter and I am eagerly preparing for her celebration.

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If you’ve followed my business through the years, you’ll know this about me: I love to make things. I especially love to make things with materials and ingredients that are natural and local. To me, these ingredients are special on their own and when used with care, create something more beautiful and unique. The question I find myself asking as I prepare for the birthdays of my friends, family and child is “how can I honor and celebrate a birthday, without buying more?” A funny question for a small business owner to ask - after all, one of my jobs as a business owner is to sell things. But, I am here to say, I encourage you to get creative and make the special memories without buying more! You don’t have to buy things to make special moments “more special”. It is possible to have more with less and I find it especially rewarding.

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A homemade cake, decorated with natural, local details were the perfect way to celebrate today! Yesterday, I prepared for the celebration of our friend Jen’s birthday and (a bit selfishly) my own today by finding special cake recipe. I landed on a strawberry cake with chamomile cream frosting (based on a recipe from Half Baked Harvest) - delicate white cake swirled with strawberry preserves, an homage to the sweet fruit of spring. I opted on baking cupcakes instead of a traditional cake, better for sharing and easier to make! For the frosting, I used spring flower tea from a friend with chamomile and lilac flowers to infuse the cream before whipping it into a sweet icing. To decorate them, I used fresh organic strawberries cut into hearts (which was easy, since strawberries are basically nature’s heart emoji), bee pollen (basically nature’s sprinkles) and fresh violets and violas from our yard and garden (both edible and grown without chemicals at our homestead). Adding these details made the simple cupcakes more decadent and delightful! The natural colors and flavors imparted from these ingredients were more vibrant than any store-bought pigment or flavor could have been - like a kiss from Mother Nature herself and a smile to the day that was already filled with so much love!

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As I prepare for Violet’s May Day birthday, I am pressing violets and violas to adorn homemade lollipops for party favors, and I am gathering flowers and plants from our homestead to dye fabric for maypole ribbons. I will share more of these processes later on, in hopes that it inspires you to find creative ways to make your special moments even more extra-ordinary. You deserve it!

Today, I will be relishing in the company of my family and enjoying the confetti of flower petals falling from the spring trees! Here’s to the next year!

Ali ClarkComment