As you get older, you start to realize that sometimes the best present you can give someone is something you've made. In a lot of ways, it's like reverting to elementary school, but instead of gifting your mother with a hand-colored macaroni necklace or a marigold you planted yourself, you can make more substantial gifts.
Take for instance the fact that a big chunk of my girlfriends are turning 30 this year, as am I. Presents in the traditional sense - clothes, jewelry, DVDs - are more the exception than the rule. In the last few years, we've moved from gift giving to time giving. You spend your time with me on my birthday, and I consider myself a lucky gal. Of course, 30 is something to be celebrated. Right? Right.
Personally, I've felt the need to come up with a gift for the folks who have already gone the way of their third decade on this planet. I have also felt it important that it be something I've made. I want to put a little heart and a little love into their gift. Sure, I want to finish it off with some sort of sassy card, but the gift needs to be top to bottom them and top to bottom me. A little amalgamation of two friends. If you know anything about me and my escapades in the kitchen as of late, you know what I'm getting at.
I know, I know. You're probably thinking, seriously? And my response is seriously. Be it right or wrong, it feels as if it's the thing for me to do. So I'm doing it.
My dear, dear friend Jessica turned 30 this month. Yes, her name is Jessica. Yes, that is how we met. It's a somewhat long story involving a merry-go-round, a girl named LeAnna, and one fateful recess almost 24 years ago. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say that thanks to LeAnna and her big mouth, I met Jessica. Jessica who has not only been a fixture in my life through all the awkwardness of puberty and high school dating and post-college successess and failures, but who also began referring to her 30th Birthday as "The Dirty 30."
You know what that meant, right? I had to make "Dirty 30" cupcakes. Had to. No choice. It was mandatory.
So I did.
Yes, it's a take on the old "dirt and worms" dessert, but aren't they just too cute? I was pretty excited about the 30s as well. Making them out of candy melt turned into quite the art project, but after a little bit of time to practice, I managed to make them passable if not perfect. Perfect may have to wait for something that's not themed around dirt. However, it was the perfect occasion to debut the "A Little Something Sweet" labels.
I was quite proud. As you can tell from the fact that I took a picture of a label. What can I say? It's the little things that bring me happiness in life.
Amanda is up next in the Tour de Birthdays. I already have an idea worked up for what she'll be receiving. Cupcakes? Maybe. Maybe not. I can't divulge here as she reads this little blog of cooking love. Just know, Manda Pie, that I have something up my sleeve.
Are you ready? I am.