Monday, February 28, 2011

Cake and More Cake

I gave myself a cake assignment this week so that I could practice the techniques I'm learning in class. It was our dear friend Rob's birthday this weekend and I wanted to make him a b-day cake! I was fairly pleased with the outcome of the decorating, however, I was less patient than I usually am in class, which definitely affected the results. I also didn't have my instructor over my shoulder.

As far as taste goes, I used a Chocolate Duncan Hines box mix and made a Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting. I was a little disappointed with the actual chocolate cake, but I prefer vanilla anyhow.

This is the first cake I ever decorated, which I made in class last Wednesday:


 This is Rob's birthday cake:



All of my cakes and recipes will soon be posted to the Cake Decorating link, but bear with me as I struggle to do 100 million things today and tomorrow, before leaving for my vacation in the Florida Keys!!!

Happy Monday to all!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday

Today,

even the 75 degree temperature, the windows rolled down, and "Party in the USA" turned up

did nothing to shake my bad mood. 

And I'm almost positive that if I vented about feeling blue to my dad, 

he would say I'm incredibly smart, absolutely gorgeous, and have a million reasons to be happy.

He says that. He's my dad. 

But today I knew that the only thing that could make me smile was only available on Facebook.

So, Oops! I logged on. For about 10 minutes. Just long enough to put my Facebook photos on IPhoto, since my computer is new and I had yet to put my pictures on it. 

I sorta broke my resolution, but it was worth it. To just remember being here....


















with them...

Looking into those eyes...
And laughing with those crazy kids.


Oh, and then I came across this face.....


And my heart absolutely melted.....


She has that effect. 
The heart-melting kind. 

Well, now I'm much happier. And I'll be cuddled against that furball in a few hours.

Happy Monday! 

I'm going to take a week off of blogging, but I'll be back.

Love you all :-)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cake Decorating!

I am happy to announce that I have FINALLY started my cake decorating classes! This has been on my to-do list for quite some time now.

Perhaps I will finally start posting my creations on my abandoned "Cake Decorating" link you see at the top of the page.

My instructor Barbara is fabulous! You can tell that cake decorating is her passion and I admire the time and effort she puts into her work, especially as a mom of four kids. Cake-decorating is truly an art form and she definitely has it mastered!

This week we practiced with the star-tip. Next week we're decorating a whole cake. One of my favorite things about decorating is that it is very deliberate, requiring patience and a steady hand. It's not something you can rush through and I find it surprisingly calming.

I'm excited to also explore my artistic side once again. In college, my long hours at the golf course, my work with Hope for Honduran Children, my babysitting job, and my occasional studying made it nearly impossible for me to have time for much else. Even though the school work load is much bigger now, I am taking time for my creative outlets.

I thought I'd share with you steps for boosting your creativity that I just read off a boosting-your-creativity website. The website wasn't very good, so I don't have much to share with you. But it did say that creativity and TV watching are inversely related and that reading was the #1 way of boosting not only your intelligence, but also your creativity. And lastly, it offered this:

Don't do drugs. People on drugs think they are creative, but to everyone they just seem like people on drugs.

Well said, boosting-creativity website. Well said.

I'm having slight technical difficulties uploading the picture of all my fabulously decorated cookies.
This picture is a cookie I decorated at the end of class for Brian to look at and for me to eat. It is definitely not the best showcase of my work, but it will do for now.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heart Like Mine

This has been one of the most stressful weeks I've had in quite some time.

Luckily, I'm getting better at barely getting by.

The beautiful forecast and the somewhat-relaxing weekend ahead somehow make everything okay.

And the time I can manage to read book #2 in the Hunger Games trilogy helps.

And a goblet of wine last night didn't hurt.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The dotted-line indicates that this is a completely separate thought.

Brains do that. Under stress and all.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Separate is the #1 most frequently misspelled word in the English language. Or so I've been told.
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I can't take credit for the brilliant picture seen below. That was my friend Eric.
And I can't take credit for the brilliant lyrics seen below. That was my BFF Miranda.

Cause I heard Jesus-- He drank wine
And I bet we'd get along just fine.
He could calm a storm and heal the blind,
So I bet He'd understand
a Heart like Mine. 
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Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

This One Goes Out to the One I Love...


This is not a Twilight reenactment of a romantic vampire encounter.

This is two people

madly in love.


Happy Valentine's Day to the Man of My Dreams!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's been one of those weeks.

And because I don't feel thankful for much of anything these days--definitely not  thankful that my weekends are spent doing homework, that my checking account has a balance of $11, and that I'm 23 years old and still live at home with my parents--I'm having to work extra hard to give thanks. (cue: pity party)

But one thing I am very thankful for today (besides the obvious of Duke beating Carolina)....

Read Between the Wines--my book club.

It's wonderful. I'm loving the current book. And, right now, the time I get to read the book/escape my current reality is one of the few times during the day when I'm not stressing about anything

It's helping me keep my sanity. And sanity is kinda important.

Happy Thursday everyone! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Bowl XLV

I wish I could say that the Super Bowl Party we had Sunday night was super fun.

But I can't.

I was extremely exhausted, symptoms including, but not limited to, heavy eyelids, repetitive yawning, and increased irritability.

Oh, and Bubbles, my State Fair fish, died during the game.

Oh, and the only bet I won was a $2 bet on the coin toss, resulting in a net loss of $19. Luckily, $15 of that was Brian's money. Sorry babe.

But if I enjoyed it for nothing else, I was in good company and surrounded by delicious food.

I made these bad boys:


Cream Puff Pastries. Very tasty and very messy. 

If you want the recipe, you can find it on the box of frozen puff pastry dough found in the frozen food aisle of your grocery store.

It's the recipe for "Strawberry Napoleons". And if like me, you have a boyfriend named Strawberry who has an aversion to an actual strawberry, leave out the strawberries and simply make Napoleons. They're good. Labor intensive, but good. 

I hope everyone had an excellent beer-and-football weekend!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday.

As I'm scarfing down a bowl of oatmeal, rushing to get ready for work, and trying to upload data for my Chem lab report.....

I wanted to take a moment to share with you a photo from my book club.


How cute is that?!

Our January book was The Art of Racing in the Rain. Written from a dog's point of view, it was only appropriate to have Puppy Chow as our book club dessert! Thank you to Mom and Amy for providing the Puppy Chow. It was delicious!

If you want to know more about the book and how we rated it, check out the Read Between the Wines link at the top of the page. But don't do it right now...I don't have time to update the site quite yet. So check back tomorrow.

I gotta run!!!

Happy Monday :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cooper Quote

You know, I've never really understood why FYI stands for "Before You Buy."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful that I am not a shy person.

I had no difficulty asking a million questions to the TA in physics lab, and I'm glad I did. I'm sure the other students had the same questions as me. Or maybe they didn't. I don't really know. But either way, I'm glad it helped clear up my confusion.

When it came to answering questions the TA asked us, I raised my hand to answer every question. So much to the point that he told me I needed to give the other students a chance to answer. Oh well.

The only time I didn't raise my hand was when he asked the class if anyone wanted to share their joke (we could bring in a joke for extra credit).

I didn't raise my hand.

My joke came from a Playboy magazine; therefore, I deemed it inappropriate for school.

But c'mon, this is COLLEGE....anything goes. I shoulda raised my hand.

Anything would have been better than my classmates joke, which she read off of a Laffy Taffy wrapper. Something about a duck can't laugh when it's flying because it would quack up.

That was the second worst joke I've ever heard,

The first worst joke being the fact that every single time I say "geez" (which is a lot, I suppose), Brian has to the respond "cheese?"

I hate that cheese joke. And that Laffy Taffy joke, too.

I turned in my Physics assignment along with my extra credit joke, and I'm hoping my TA finds it funny. Actually, I know he will.

What's not funny about the Pillsbury Dough Boy bending over...

and exposing his doughnuts?


Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Food, Super Bowl, and other Random Thoughts

Today has been long. Extremely long.

But I can think of no better way to end it than pouring over recipes, food blogs, and dessert ideas.

I'm weird. You probably already knew that.

In a perfect world, I would have no job, no school, and no obligations. There is definitely a shortage of hours in the day for all the treats I want to bake. And shortage of money in my wallet. And shortage of people to consume these treats (other than myself).

But lucky for me, this weekend I have a reason to pull out my new KitchenAid mixer---it's Super Bowl Party time!

If I haven't told you about the party, you're invited. Some people will be sitting on the floor, some will be standing, and some will be watching through the window as they shiver outside in the cold. We have quite the crowd forming and not quite the ample space needed. But at least no one will go hungry.

And at least one person will be hovering around the food instead of watching the game. Any guesses as to who that might be?

I'm so excited--I have mouths to feed! But unfortunately Brian has already put a cap on the number of desserts I can make.

One.

I compromised and said I'll make two.

Which may or may not become three by game time.

I mean, how could I possible decide between the Macaroon Brownies from Creations by Kara....


Or the Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars from Brown Eyed Baker?


The Noir Brownies from The Tasty Kitchen....


Or the "Oh Baby" bars from Jenna's blog?


And then there's the Nutter Butter Truffles from Bakerella....


YUM. So many delicious options. So many calories to consume.

I'll keep you posted on what I decide to make and I'll be sure to get plenty of pictures!

Alright, now on to the rest of my day (I started writing this blog last night, which might clear up any confusion as to the beginning of this post)!

Happy Wednesday to you all!