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Dear Reader: Wear Your Sunscreen!

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three

wish I could tell you that I have a hidden talent and can decorate beautiful cakes that you would “awe” over, but I don’t. I keep trying, but it’s so much harder than it looks. For the past few years, I have been taking cake decorating classes from a local celebrity decorator, Justin Salinas at Cake It With Justin, and I have a blast going to his classes, but my cake decorating skills are “emerging” at best. We didn’t even take a break during quarantine, because he figured out a way to continue virtually using a cake kit and Facebook Live. Isn’t technology amazing?

During his last class, which we finally went to in-person, I took my 93-year-old father with me. I think he may have been the oldest student Justin has ever taught. I wasn’t expecting much from my dad, because he has never decorated a cake before, but he impressed me. He smoothed the Tiffany-blue icing base onto the cake; and he even managed to squeeze out a few, semi-decent spring-colored flowers around the edge. My cake turned out okay, even though it looked nothing like Justin’s sample cake. I did have one purple flower that actually looked just like an octopus and a yellow one that I named “Banana Man!” But, Justin said it best, “It doesn’t matter what the cakes look like because it will still taste delicious.”

But, most importantly, I now have this amazing memory with my father, a retired Air Force veteran and school teacher. I could have stopped going to these classes, because I am obviously not going to be opening up a bakery anytime soon, but I love them. I have a blast and pretty much eat my weight in Justin’s deliciously perfected buttercream frosting! I even caught my dad licking the frosting off his knife.

Summer is the best time to make so many lifetime memories with your family. This year it looks like there will be more places and events opening up to have more opportunities to find some fun. KCFM’s article, written by Callie Collins, “Enjoy Your Summer: 11 ways to make this year unforgettable with family fun,” outlines different ways that you can make the most out of this time of year. These 11 things include everything from food to water to nature. To see the complete list, turn to page 12.

Another event that tends to happen during summer months is household upgrades. In the Humor At Home article on page 20, “Kitchen Remodel, Here We Come. Phase 1: Planning the New Kitchen,” Julie Willis writes about how one project starts a domino effect to many more projects. She’s thinking about how to manage the chaos with kids at home, but is sure that it will be worth it when it’s finished.

Children ages 12 to 15 are now able to be vaccinated against Covid-19. To find out more about this new guideline, turn to page 8 for the article, “In the Know: COVID-19 Vaccination Now Available for Ages 12+.” In this article, you can read about Kern County Public Health’s resources and programs. You can also visit for updates.

In this month’s Hello, Happy Mama, “Creativity, Discipline, and More: Andrea Hansen Explains Why Dance is For Everyone,” Callie Collins writes what a tremendous benefit people can experience from dancing. Professional dancer and co-founder of Kern Dance Alliance Andrea Hansen expresses her love for dance and how she has helped create an arts council for local dance studios. She was instrumental in bringing Kern Dance Alliance’s SHINE for Girls program to Bakersfield, which uses math through movement and helps to inspire women to pursue STEM fields. To read all about her and the Kern Dance Alliance, check out page 18.

Summer is here! We have had a crazy year thus far, and I am happily ready for the stress-free, fun-filled summer days to begin. I’m optimistic that this summer will be more normal than 2020. I can’t wait to make all the memories with my family that we can – bake a cake, go to the beach, travel, and enjoy every minute of life, because it is precious!

Always remember to wear your sunscreen!

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Tags: Parenting

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