A piece a Week – A birthday Dress and hiking action

For my birthday this weekend I wanted to make a dress to wear out to dinner with the ladies this week! I have a wonderful bunch of women from school who get together to go out and celebrate our birthdays with delicious food and cocktails – so I am looking forward to a feast this week. 
My sister sent me some fabric for my birthday that she found but this one, for the skirt in the dress, really caught my eye so I decided to make my fave dress pattern – this time with a black bodice instead of a grey wool. The detail of the fabric is like a painting and the fabric itself is a soft velvet and feels so good! 
My birthday dress!
Detail of the fabric – put a bird on it!

Eye Drama – Boo!!

This week was a bit of a bust with an appointment with an ophthalmologist to see if I had Keratoconus – my optometrist was checking in on my prescription that changes every year so with that in mind I went along to get a topographic scan of my eyeball. It is quite amazing to see the valleys and mountains of your eyeball – the ophthalmologist took one look at the scan and said to me, “oh you have Pellucid Marginal Degeneration, that explains the prescription changes.”
So I said to him, “What is it?”
It is the thinning of the cornea shaping into a beer belly after a while. So the next question was, “What is the solution to this?”
He said to me there is a procedure called Collagen Cross Linking that is available in most of the world except the USA where it still has to be FDA approved. Great, maybe I could get it done in Australia – nope $5000 for both eyes as it is considered cosmetic and here in the USA the prices vary anywhere from $3600 in Washington to $8000 in San Francisco for both eyes. As it turns out the procedure is relatively simple – Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) drops on the eyeball and a UV light to set the riboflavin in place – this sounded great, the current cornea I have will be in place for the rest of my life with no thinning. Human studies began in 2003 in Dresden, Germany and has been successful.  I still have to do more research to see what I am going to do…

This was a huge downer for me mid week, still I have more chats with my optometrist and ophthalmologist now to see how to go forward, but for now – I shall appreciate the beauty around me, our hike at Mc Nee Ranch State Park, North of Half Moon Bay.

Grey Whale Cove State Beach near the cliffs
Sunday we met up with our friends from Oakland and did a hike on the cliffs near the beach. This is one beautiful hike with the ocean on one side and the mountains and valleys as you hike inland. We started at the trailhead near the car park across the road from Grey Whale Cove State Beach and as we were there early around 10:30am parking was not a problem at all! Warning if you come late in the day parking is a nightmare and absolutely chaotic! We had an issue with a mountain goat driver not wanting to move out of the way who made 3 cars reverse out of the car park while cars were coming in – cray, cray times!!
A view from the top of the mountain
At the top of the hike – coming down!! 
Still the craziness of the car park was a small price to pay for such a beautiful day out. This time of year in the spring the wildflowers are abundant. The hike is out in the sunshine with hardly any cover so a hat is essential. It does get a little cool up top with the sea winds so a little long sleeves will be handy too. We wandered slowly with the kiddos around on the trail and then when we got to the top after a snack stop it was time to go down – yes down on a very sharp angle which is why my quads are still sore – so stairs are tricky at the moment! You can see my friend in the background of the pic above, though this part was not as steep as right at the top of the path!!!

Wildflower – yellow

Lovely leaves with this purple flower

The kids found this pine tree as a little hideout to climb and snack while we decided our plan of action – to hike down to Montara, maybe not?!? Or take it to the top and down again! We decided to go up and then come down the steep path and enjoy a sandwich at Gherkinsn – a sandwich shop at Montara.

Kids climbing tree

Looking down onto the path from the top

Playing on the edge!

After our lunch we went to check out the tide pools at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. We found a lot of seals just chilling on the rocks!

Seals chillin by the surf

Getting wet by the water! 
We came home and the kids wanted to make cupcakes for Missy’s 7th birthday so I found this awesome tasty vanilla funfetti recipe at one of my favorite food blogs The Minimalist Baker. What fun cupcakes to make, super easy and check them out after they came out of the oven! 
My baking helper for the afternoon
Sprinkles melted through – yum! 
The idea for the cupcakes was to make these – Missy wanted to make the cupcakes herself so I helped with cutting up the decorations and here they are ready to be eaten! Happy Birthday to You Missy Moo 🙂
Cat Cupcakes with gum whiskers and nose and twizzlers for a mouth and candy eyes
Missys favorite cat cupcake! 

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