Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ready For February


What say's February better than mini-cupcake cake-pops? I've been chomping at the bits to do this little project. There is a drought of birthdays from January-May in my immediate family circle, so-I made up a reason to bake these-Valentine's Day seems appropriate, and since I like to be early....January 31st seemed like as good a day as any. They really weren't hard to make, but I also didn't quite master the shape. There is a cookie cutter involved in making the bottom look more 'ruffle-eee'....the lack of accurate shape has more to do with my impatience than it being more difficult than it seems. OK, rewind a bit-I was given the yummiest bag of hard shelled, soft centered 'cake balls' for Christmas. They were SOOOOO good. I picked them apart, and asked the gal who gave them to me how she made them, and she said she just baked a cake mix as the directions said, as soon as she got it out of the oven she broke it apart in the pan, and mixed in a can of store bought icing (chocolate with chocolate icing, red velvet with cream cheese icing etc). Then she rolled them into ball shapes, put them on a wax papered tray in the freezer to harden, then rolled them in melted chocolate, and sprinkled them for decorations. They were sooooo fantastic. I knew I was going to make them someday...soon! Fast forward to a night of blog surfing and I came across this site http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2008/04/make-your-cupcakes-pop.html She uses the exact same recipe, but she makes all sorts of incredible little shapes (I love this site so much, I'd say almost as much as my 'old Cupcake Hangouts'!). If you go to her site, you'll see what the cake-middle looks like, and the step by step to making these little yummy goodies. Mine made about 30+ a few that didn't make it to the packaging process (let's call it-quality control). I can't wait to make them again, and dedicate myself to fine tuning the shape and decorations! Two thumbs up!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day


Yay for a snow day! I stayed up until 2 am last night and listened to the ice hit the roof, slept until 11 today, read until 3:30, stayed in my PJs until 4, ate frito chili pie for lunch, and watched Judge shows on TV. It was a nice little gift I enjoyed to the fullest!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How Can I Keep From Singing Your Praise?


I love this song, it was such a good way to start off my Sunday morning (and my week), hopefully I can carry this message in my heart throughout the week....and beyond.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Something I Didn't Enjoy....


Cross Stitch is just not for the me I currently am. Maybe someday I'll fall in love with this craft (I anticipate I probably won't, given how difficult it was to see the stitching at this age). I tried a counted-cross stitch, and it was just not fun. I had to count, and recount. Then I would discover, despite all my careful efforts, that I counted wrong. The colors were hard to sort, especially the blues and purples. What's more, this was a tiny project, and yet....it took me forever. I'm usually one that likes to start and finish a project within a very short time frame, but this dragged on...and on...I finally made myself sit down and finish it, while listening to 19 1/2 hours of Jane Eyre for my upcoming bookclub meeting (listening has been less painful than reading that book). As all good (and in this case, bad) projects go, I think this'll be a Mother's Day gift. Mom never critiques the missed stitches, or lazy finishes (I finally starting making huge leaps with my needle on the outline, instead of the tiny backstitching the pattern suggested. I call this 'personalizing a project). I'm a little disappointed because in my head, I was going to love this, but I can also appreciate the discovery because I do NOT need another project. Now I know.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The To Do


Finally! I finished an 8x8 scrapbook I took the pictures for last spring, bought the stickers for this summer, and began the album for last fall (I'm pretty sure this is a grammatically inaccurate sentence, but it's my blog, my grammar rules). It is a short album from my quick Disney trip, but it took me forever to get it together, and so goes the line of scrapbooks in waiting. My other interest have taken my time. Sunday I went over to my pal Amber's house and we scrapbooked, and talked, it was a nice evening, and it made the scrapping so much more fun. I can also check the album off 'the list.' My pictured page (from the 'future' area of Epcot) has absolutely no Disney Stickers, but just know, the rest of it is a flood of Mickey stickers. My pal Kelly came along for the journey to Disney (a quick side trip on the way to Maurine and Derek's wedding), but she abandoned me in the scrapbook making process (yes, I'm documenting her scrapbooking abandonment HERE). I hope to pull out my 2008 album soon as the 'next' scrapbook project, which will then lead to my album from last summer's trip, I can't WAIT to work on that album, which is why I am making myself wait...or it'll be 2012 when I'm trying to rebuild my memories from 2008 to piece together the album! The next big project on the agenda is a quilt. I'm headed to a retreat in a few weeks, so I need to pull out my fabric, and get out the iron and cutter so I'm a little ahead of the game, so I can keep up with the other players at the retreat. I also am starting another wedding flower order. I have not decided what I plan to do regarding flowers when it comes to flowers for people beyond my friends, but for now I'm taking the jobs as they come along, and they fit into my schedule, nothing serious. I'm not looking for a second job as much as something I can enjoy away from my first job, life is too short to be too busy due to monetary draws and obligations!

Raiding the Pantry


My Mom and I went to Historic Downtown McKinney this weekend. They have the cutest mix of antiques, and eclectic stores, tea rooms, and a really great little restaurant called The Pantry.

The Pantry has delicious homecooked meals, and equally as yummy desserts. I wish I could describe their desserts in detail, but this visit I didn't partake. I've been thinking about THAT for the last 24 hours. It was my last 'free' Saturday for awhile. I have a few events over the next few months I'm looking forward to taking up my Saturday mornings, but I also have a line of Saturday Schools that extend through the end of April, so it was nice to 'choose' Saturday's events. It was well chosen.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Molten Chocolate Yummy-Ness!


Someone told me about Betty Crocker's new Warm Delights. I tried out the Molten Chocolate version this weekend. They are sold in two packs (single servings), and end up being a little over a dollar a piece, but it was worth every penny. They only have 150 calories (though they taste like they have about 300 calories), and it only took 40 seconds to heat in the microwave. This is my kind of 'baking'. They also suggested I try it with whipped cream, but I was too hungry to go the extra mile, and wasn't disappointed with 'just' the cake. It was so yummy, I had to share, and now I'll have to try out the other 'flavors,' I'll just call it investigative reporting research.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Diaper Cake


Jodi gave me all the details on "How to....Make a Diaper Cake" after she made one of her own for a shower she was hosting (It was soooo cute!). I filed this information away, knowing I would need it someday. Yesterday was 'the day.' My boss, who I also call a friend, is hosting a diaper shower for a second time Mom, and we were discussing ideas. I told her she had to have one, which turned into I'd make one. I may be the only person who has never seen the inner workings of a cake, but if you don't know-you fill the center with goodies too like wet wipes, roll the diapers and tie them, then create the 'diaper shape.' You can add all sorts of fun 'stuff' I have q-tips, and other little baby goodies like mini powders, shampoos, lotions, bottles, utensils etc on the backside of the cake too (you can't see in the picture), but you get the idea. I also saw some really cute ones with little stuffed goodies as toppers, but I wanted to keep cost down since I was spending someone else's money.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A (Work) Week End Review

Monday: A mini-ice storm hit, but the grounds were too warm for it to stick, so I came back to work, which is a good thing. I now have another week under my belt. BUT, I got to enjoy how beautiful the trees look when they are covered with ice. I think that is my favorite thing about an ice storm!
Tuesday: Eeeck, my computer crashed, again. I really need to get over the idea that I, and all the things associated with me are invincible. I spent a month trying to restore things from the last computer crash, and I began new projects etc, but did I save them? No, not this time either. The crash isn't my fault, but the loss is because I should have known. What I learned is that it's not the end of the world, just a little annoying. I need that reminder. Oh...and I need to save my files more than once a year.
Wednesday: I finally got a hold of my dermatologist for some 'test' results. I had an unassuming mole I probably would have ignored b/c it has never seemed very threatening. It's flat to the surface, and I never really watched it until I was looking at a surgery scar one day (on my stomach, next to this mole). I saw this mole had turned really dark (I'm not very good at checking). I remembered a few stories lately about people who had problems with moles, and I decided to go see my dermatologist last week. I almost canceled a day before my appointment b/c I thought I was being silly. She took it off right away, and the results came back a week later (Wednesday). I'm glad I went, it was 'something' with a long, very boring name. It's not melanoma, but it's not benign either. So now, when it heals, I continue to watch, and head back in a month. I'm not worried, I'm just so grateful that I noticed (due to that itchy scar, and people sharing their stories).
Thursday: I attended lot's of meetings today, but I did squeeze in a little sewing-no felt.
Friday: I'm headed to Starbucks with Mary and Sonia after work-I can't wait to get their wisdom and feedback on life, and the events listed, but mostly not listed in my blog from the past few weeks...and to laugh about the things that don't need to be analyzed, just re-lived one more time through our words for the sake of laughter, and mental health!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Summer 2009


This is my anticipated route for my summer vacation. There are still a lot of things up in the air. I'm going with a tour company, and they have to fill all the spots to go, and with the economy who knows... I'm leaving my ultimate summer vacatiom plans in God's hands. But at this time, this is the vacation route I have begun the planning process with, I'm excited! It will be my first time in Europe.

Felt Food: Pizza

I'm moving on to a new project now. I'm full of felt food! (For the time being.) All the toppings are removable so you can build your own (borrowed blog idea). Most of the 'toppings' have velcro on the back. I sewed a little napkin today after going to Hobby Lobby for fabric for the 800th time this week. The End.

Monday, January 05, 2009

#2 Winter at Beavers Bend, OK

My focus this time was on landscapes. I took a million pictures (which equals more than 250), and I'm trying to play around with my different settings. I never capture the onesI think will be 'good' ones, I want to know how to transfer those to my camera. I should read the book, books are written for a purpose...I do not do this nearly enough when I acquire new 'tools.' I can't wait to go back in the spring....or/and fall and see the colors then.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Beavers Bend, Oklahoma


This weekend I headed up to Southeast Oklahoma with the family. I'm on the lookout for a new park now that Lake Murray is being renovated. Beavers Bend definitey has a lot of fun personality. It's not the 'same,' but it's really neat in all it's own individual ways. The drive up was really peaceful. We headed down little country highways with few trucks. We passed a lot of places that 'used to be'...something, but are now vacated. It always makes me a little sad to see the small towns that once were....and to wonder about their stories. Beavers Bend Resort is located near the city of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. It is, again, what I would consider to be a relatively small town (this from a born and breed city girl), but it's definitely the largest you find for quite some time. It has a Walmart, so that says something about it's size. On Friday we spent most of our time exploring Beavers Bend. Everything is quite spread out, but it looks like there is a lot to do in the spring and summer months. There is a river they stock with Trout every other week with lots of fly fishermen trying out their flies.

The river feeds into a really large lake with different watersports, and hiking offered up among the hills and mountains. It is part of a National Forest as well. I got to see a lot of deer, a variety of birds, and my good old friend, the raccoon....oh, and don't let me forget the rainbow trout, I saw tons of those leaping along the river driving the fishermen crazy, and quite a few dangling from hooks as well. Saturday, Mom and I went into town and explored the city of Broken Bow, more specific the historic main street.

So much was closed for the season, or at least for the weekend, and things that were opened had very limited hours. I did find the cutest Quilt Shop with a really fabulous owner (and "just" the fabric I was looking for), and we ate lunch at this little tea room called "The Pie Lady." Lunch was fine, but the pie was the best slice of pie I've ever had (chocolate), I don't eat a lot of pie, but still.... I'd highly recommend a stop there to grab a pie. We had dinner at a place called The Hill Steakhouse. Again, it was great food, and I forget what it's like not to be 'rushed' through a meal, it's an adjustment, but a nice reminder about the pace of life. The rest of the weekend was spent exploring Beavers Bend, our cabin was great with a great fireplace, all sorts of goodies for cooking (which we did the rest of the weekend), and heat/ac. I took a ton of pictures I'm going to go through and post later, and Jason did a lot of fishing. I definitely plan to head back in the future. I can't wait to see Beavers Bend in the spring/summer!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Felt Food: Sugar Cookies

I have one more 'felt food' project after this, and then I have to let it go for awhile and move on to a new crafting area in my life. I saw this at Etsy too, but they even had a cute little apron with theirs. I just used quilt scraps to make oven mitts, and that was good enough for me.

Happy New Year, 2009!

The year ended much as it began, with many stories told (and untold) to reflect upon from 2008. I now am anticipating many fun events to look forward to in 2009!
An evening spent with family:

Games, or rather a really long game of dominoes:

A 'Baptist Toast' of Sparkling White Grapejuice ;O):