Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Bread Project


Whenever I list my hobbies, I always want to list cooking/baking as one of my skills, but I have to say, it just does NOT come naturally for me. I'm giving this particular puppy a second attempt. One of the gals at works (who knows me well) brought me an Amish Friendship Bread Starter Kit. I got one a year ago, but I wasn't very dedicated to the project, this time....I'm determined. Supposedly if you follow the recipe provided, and use this kit, you get a loaf of bread every ten days (which is pretty much the language I speak). You also get 3 additional kits to give away to friends (in my case, one by the time I'm done). It's sort of like sourdough (which I've never made, but spent plenty of time sampling), with flavor options. Basically, it's the neverending bread loaf.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You Never Outgrow Art Class


The past few weeks the teachers have been working on 'projects' after school in the Art Room (organized by our fabulous art teacher). This is the piece I "made my Mom for Mother's day." I think it's pretty funny, many of the ladies in the room are as old as my Mom, and I'd say at least half of us put something together for our Mom (maybe b/c no matter how old you get, Mom's always like homemade 'stuff'). I did get some other things for my Mom, but you can bet this little dish is getting wrapped and presented to her on Mother's Day...and it'll probably be her favorite gift because she is sentimental like that. Be warned, you may all be getting little clay objects for the upcoming holidays if I 'get' to spend many more faculty meetings down in the art room crafting for what they call our 'school therapy sessions.'

Monday, April 28, 2008

For Music Lovers

I have to share this website. One of the gals at work pointed it out to me. We are always looking for clean music we can play during journals, and fun activities in class, but I've also been listening on my break as well. You can use song list they have preselected, or you can have them create your own. I just typed in one of my favorite artist, and they start playing songs in that general genre. I've been on a big Elton John kick lately, so they started with an Elton song, and found similar songs with male vocalist and lots of instrumentals. If there are songs I don't like I can give it a thumbs down and they won't play that song. Thumbs up and you get more like it, or you can tell it not to play the song again for a week etc etc. It's fun. http://www.pandora.com/

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Angie's Bridal Shower


This morning Sonia and I headed to our old teaching buddy, Angie's bridal shower. It was hosted at the sweetest little victorian home here in Plano. The food was really good, and the company was full of southern charm. It was such a sweet treat to get to spend time with Angie and the people that love her. www.pattisplacetearoom.com


Monday, April 21, 2008

Maurine and Derek's Wedding


Sunday took me down the road towards a precious little Bed, and Breakfast in Auburndale, Florida. Maurine, and Derek's wedding wins for the prettiest location of any wedding I have ever attended. A storm passed through an hour or so before the wedding and really cooled off the grounds, so not only did everything look fabulous, but it was such a refreshing day to have an outside wedding. I know I've heard of the elusive outside wedding, and I've even attended a few, but this really showed me why people attempt it, despite all the variables! Every great once in awhile, it's perfect, and this day certainly was one to treasure! The theme was butterflies, and there were some really memorable moments with the little critters (in a picture, one almost forgets they are a six-legged insect, and it really was a fun aspect to add to the ceremony). Butterflies filled the place, from the live release, to butterfly fans, butterflies on the tables, cake, sign-in, wine stopper favors, butterfly bubble send off etc (it's all about those details!). I loved getting to watch the festivities unfold, and be in the middle of it all. Beautiful Day, Beautiful Bride, Beautiful Butterflies! It's another day I'll quilt into the fabric of my life, and carry with me. Best wishes to Maurine and Derek on many more memoriable days like Sunday!

The Manor
The Ceremony Location
The Bride
The Vowels
The Butterfly Kisses
The Cake
The Send Off

Epcot


Saturday, Kelly and I headed to Epcot. We spent the morning in the different lands riding the rides, and the afternoon exploring the 'worlds.' This happened to be a 'garden' festival they have each year, the weather was gorgeous, and cool, and they had some really neat garden exhibits. We did a lot of walking back and forth, and while we shopped (which we both do at an almost 'professional' level) we played around with the different things in the shops. By the end of the day my feet were killing me based on some poor planning while hitting some of the 'must see' sites. The bottom line is there is just no where quite like Disney World. It's really incredible that it exhist, and the amount of talent, time, and effort that went into creating the parks is beyond me. There is just soooo many incredible experiences to be had! We ended the day watching the evening firework's show, which was really stunning.






Downtown Disney


The evening that Kelly and I arrived at Disney World (Friday), we walked over to Downtown Disney (right across from the Hilton where we were staying). Several of my friends with kiddos asked me if I would pick a few things up for the little ones, so I enjoyed finding some goodies for them, along with tons of stuff for myself. The advantage to buying early is that you don't have to carry it around the park the next day!!! We ate dinner at an Irish Pub, Raglan Road. I tried Soda Bread (I know, get your mouth off the floor, bread is what I wanted, and what I remember the most). They had a really fun Irish band, and dancers livening up the place.

Book Ends to My April Road Trip

I have a million pictures that I'm looking forward to putting on a slide show, but in the meantime, I'm posting a few on my blog. I (literally) just arrived home from a 5 day road trip. I'm arranging this by events as opposed to days, so you are now viewing the 'on the road' portion of this trip (which made up for 2/3 of the trip :O). I must say, if you have to travel halfway across the country by car, spring is THE time to go! The wild flowers are spectacular state to state, and very different....at least down here in the south! Kelly and I headed out on Thursday, I left work a little early and we drove until past midnight. We spent the night at a place in Mobile, and then headed on to Florida the next day, where we spent two nights in the Disney Theme Park area. We headed back this way yesterday after I attended Maurine and Derek's Wedding, with another night spent in Mobile. We sang our way through most of the states, and played (and invented) some pretty creative car games, though there were some questionable rules we argued over regarding 20 questions and the 'yes' vs 'no' vs 'gray areas'.....and then there were some musical lyrics, city names etc that went under hot debate (perhaps a few of you even received calls to settle these disagreements). There were a few times I almost laughed us off the road while I attempted to drive, but other than that, it was a fun car trip! Here are a few of the highlights:
The wildflowers in Tampa (lots of pinks, reds, and whites, 70 mph from a bug covered car window don't do them justice!). In Louisiana we saw a lot of purple and yellow.










When I was driving from Disney to the wedding in Auburndale I kept searching my mind for what I had left to ferment in my car b/c I was suddenly taken over by a really overpowering citrus smell, it took me 30 minutes, and a tree full of orange balls to realize I was driving by Orange Groves (this was interesting to me, I'd never seen an orange tree that I can remember, and they had plenty.

Last, I have a reminder about the routes (this is more a note for myself). I had a long debate (mostly with myself) regarding the path you can take along the top of the states, vs following the coast lines, and wondering if there were any disadvantages to one versus the other. They both were very easy journeys, the path along the top (which we took down there) may have been 30 minutes shorter? The path along the bottom, seemed a tad bit more scenic, with an interesting 20+ mile highway built entirely over a swamp, and one major bridge scare (anything over the Mississippi terrifies me, the more alarming metal and height, the worse I am!) Note to bridge fearers, don't be the one to drive in Baton Rouge, LA! It scared me so badly the last time I made this drive, I knew to switch drivers in advance this time (and take a picture before I shut my eyes)!

Sweet Surprises!


My friend Regan sent me this sweet bouquet of daisies last week, just because. I absolutely adore flowers, and it was such a precious surprise. They are still going strong, and I'm enjoying the bouquet decorating my house. She's been one of my closest friends since the time I was 8, and we moved into the skills of mind reading years ago. In the card she included a kind note to my Mom and I without even realizing what great timing it was because (happy news) Mom got her c-scan results back, and all looks well, which was really fabulous news. Life is even sweeter with thoughtful friends to support you through all life's journeys!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Weddings, and Babies, and Bows....Oh My!

Yesterday, I walked into Bed, Bath, and Beyond for the fourth time in about a week to print off a gift registry for a wedding shower next weekend. They ALWAYS insist on telling you how to use the gift registry, even when I tell them I know how this works. This time I was a little firmer, I was polite, but I tried out a new answer, 'I promise, I know how to do this.' I think at this point, if wedding registers were an olypic sport, I'd need a case to store my gold medal (I believe they sell one in the frame section of BB&B). No true complaints, I always love a good shower, followed by an even better wedding. I have four coming up in May alone, with weddings, and 2 babies on the way (and if you are wondering, none of those belong to me ;o)). I have a roommate at school this year, I would imagine she is tired of my 'stuff' lying around b/c I'm always lugging up gifts to work for the showers, and storing them in the room, and stacking them on her math crates,and at home I have a rotating table that always is housing the 'next gift':

My roommate also has to put up with my little projects (see the shower invite below for a baby shower I'm helping host in a few weeks, we are using the Asian Theme I did previous for a wedding shower, with a twist, the Mom to be had an Asian Themed wedding, and is really into Chinese culture etc). My room was a one-man assembly line of gluesticks, scissors, ribbons, and cookies this week.



When I'm not buying gifts, or attending showers, I'm traveling. I LOVE a good excuse to travel,even for a very short weekend. This weekend I'm headed to Florida for Maurine's wedding. I leave tomorrow a little early from school, and drive to Mobile, then on to FL on Friday. Kelly is journeying with me to keep me company, and I'm sure we will create some pretty fun adventures along the way. We are making a quick stop in Epcot on Saturday, which I'm super excited about,then I head out Sunday after the ceremony. Blogs, and pictures to follow. Needless to say, life is fun, and it comes in happy waves.

The Deadliest Catch

www.thedeadliestcatch.com
I have not met anyone that understands this, but there is this show on the Discovery Channel about crab fishermen off the coast of Alaska. I know I've mentioned it before, but I really do love this show! The new season started yesterday, I stayed up until 2 watching the first two shows, I felt sleepy today, but, oh so happy my show was back. It's a little odd b/c even watching too much makes me start to feel seasick, so it's not as if I'd EVER want to go on one of those boats. Two, I don't eat fish, and I certainly don't like crab, but perhaps it is this combination of things that makes me like it so much-people doing the Deadliest Job in the world for such an unappealing reason? Oceans have always fascinated me, I guess it's just a new area to explore-ocean crab fishing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Picnic in the Park


Today after church some of my friends from Sunday School Class headed out to the Dallas Arboretum for a picnic (thanks to Maggie's hard work arranging the event). It was a beautiful day for a picnic!





Texas State Flower: The Bluebonnet

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ready to Race

This is what I'm doing June 7, 2008 for any of you guys that feel like running...or in my case...walking. This is the race up in my neck of the woods, it's a little smaller than the Dallas race in October (and usually a little hotter), with a lot of really great sponsors with some pretty fabulous booths set up to support the racers.
http://www.komennorthtexas.org/index.html
If you live out of town and want to find a race near you, you can also visit:
www.susangkomen.com click on News and Events and scroll down to your city. :O)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Night Flowers


Tonight I spent the evening with the recently engaged, Angie helping her with wedding flowers for 'somebody else's' wedding while she shared the details of her upcoming nuptial! I'm so excited for her, and per usual, I enjoyed learning. I usually get to do the bridesmaids bouquets (with LOTS of assistance from her), a million groomsmen's flowers, and I spend the evening trying to avoid having to do the coursages (my least favorite thing to do in the floral world).

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Buyers Remorse


6 Years Ago Today....I bought this funny looking girl from the SPCA at a home and garden show downtown (ironically I never did do much with my home or garden ;o), I guess I know where my priorities lay!). I knew I wanted a friend for Max, but I didn't expect to find one that day. I'm so glad I did because she's been more my little friend than anything else. It's not hard to tell, I LOVE my dogs, they are one of my favorite God creations! Tomorrow will have been 6 years since I closed on my house! They say it takes 7 years to really unpack....I'm holding 'them' to that statistic, because sometimes I'm pretty sure I'm still not finished moving in! Despites the blog heading, there is no remorse on either of these actions. I'm happy with both purchases, but it's so strange to think of how long I've been a homeowner, and a duel dog owner.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Aimee's Birthday Dinner

Friday, April 04, 2008

Buttercream for Breakfast


This is the third weekend in a row that I've made a cake with buttercream icing of some sort. Since it's me, myself, and I that usually stands around the kitchen once the work is done, I get the honor of licking the bowl. I'm ignoring the scale for now, and grouping this latest snack attack into the milk family-there were 4 tablespoons in the 2 lbs of sugar, and two cups of crisco and butter that was included in this recipe, surely that counts.