Monthly Archives: February 2014

stop-time

Photo Club Week Six: Stop Time

Oh man I have just been too busy the past week, sorry I didn’t get any other posts up. Hopefully next week will bring better luck with that. But I will sneak in my photo club picture of the week for you.

Stop Time, was a very hard concept for me. I really need to work on getting my creative juices flowing.

We have been having a really good winter for snow. Which means we are having a horrible time of school around here. Snow days left and right. But sometimes on these snow days it feels like time is stopping when I take a relaxing morning walk with the kids in the snow. I love observing how adventuresome my little Andie bear is and how excited Kacer is with simple things. I love the winter time and I am grateful I have taken the time to get out and play in the snow. 

Happy Valentines Day! Nothing too exciting happening around these parts, the Mr. is headed to work tonight so I get to spend a romantic evening with the kiddos.

Also have a good weekend.

Bonus: This was my runner-up for photo club this week. I sort like the angry scowl I have on, it is just something different for me. 

jessi-and-adam

A Bridal Shower to Wrap Things Up

The last event of all the craziness in our home was a bridal shower for my to-be SIL Kendal. Seriously, we are so grateful to be adding Kendal and Adam to our family! They are both great people. I mean look at these adorable couples!

Jess and Adam
Kendall and Ian

My MIL, Valarie, and other SIL, Amy, and I hosted a bridal shower for Kendal while she and Ian were visiting good ole PA. Amy and I did the decor, here is what we came up with.

We made tissue paper tassles and tissue paper pom poms. I also made a simple name garland by printing out the letters in a circle template then I went around the edge of each circle with chalk and used a paper towel to smear it a bit.

The tassels are so easy and something new and fun! You can find hundreds of tutorials with a simple google search. Also you can bust out hundreds of these tassels in a couple of hours. I used this pom pom tutorial because I loved the shape of theirs.

It took me about four or five bad pom poms to get the knack of it. The trick is in how you pull the layers apart.

I didn’t get a picture of it but I did make a simple table runner from brown packaging paper. I then sponge stamped it with a flower design. It was cute but I just forgot to get a picture of it.

We had a great night with lots of food, a Disney love song match up, a rousing game of Do Ian and Kendall Know Jack About Each Other and Wedding Charades because Kendal is a theater major.

This was a super fun and busy week and I loved learning new things and feeling like I added some skills to my repertoire. The chance to create and be creative, to use my hands and see a final product and to plan and execute are all things that really get me going!

If the crafty thing isn’t really your cup-o-tea, stay tuned I have some interesting parenting and emotional topics next week, well that is if my hectic crazy life allows for some decent writing time. Have a great weekend.

jess-invite-final

Wedding Announcement

My husband has two siblings getting married in one months time. It will be crazy for my in-laws but a lot of fun too, it is great to be adding two new people to our family. I had a great learning opportunity to design his sister’s wedding announcement.

(Personal information was changed to protect their privacy.)

I used Adobe Indesign and Illustrator to design this. There was a lot to learn but as I already told you back here, I love learning and having an opportunity to increase my knowledge and skills.

So thanks to Jess and Adam for trusting me with this. 

morning-5

Photo Club Week 5: Good Morning

Good Morning

If I had it my way I would sleep in until 9:00 a.m. every morning, that is about perfect for me.

But as life currently stands I have a little cutie pie who wakes up every morning by 6:30 a.m. This has been our norm for quite a while now, so long in fact that my body now wakes up between 6:00 and 6:30 all on it’s own. Ugh. But if I have to be up at 6:30 on a cold snowy day at least I can have my hot cocoa to warm me up.

Oh and I totally forgot to put it on yesterdays post, but a huge prop goes out to my sister-in-law Amy who helped me out big time with the second baby shower cake. She pretty much rocks and I want everyone to know that. 

cream-puff-tower

Thank You Martha

As a junior in high school I became fascinated with cooking and baking. I had probably read all of my moms cookbooks five times over. Saturday mornings were spent on the couch watching Julia, Jacques, Yan, and the Two Fat Ladies. Every week day I would pop my VHS into the TV and set it to record from 10:00-11:00 a.m. so I could come home from school, pop my cardboard Totino’s pizza in the oven, and Martha Stewart. (By the way I totally love Totino’s I know they are not that great in taste or health but let’s be honest I at two this weekend.) And Martha is totally my idle.

That year for Christmas I was given a mixer, pans, baking sheets and a CD ROM of 1 Million Recipes! I was in heaven. At a youth activity for church we were having a baking contest, most kids brought mom’s best cookie recipe, or some variation of a box cake mix, I brought a two foot tall Croquembouche or cream puff tower.
Image Source: Wilton.com

So to say that I have mildly obsessed with cooking for a looong time, is pretty correct.

While in an ideal world recreation would to a huge part of my life, I have definitely been doing way more cooking the past four years than mountain climbing.

And I feel blessed that my cooking is now leading to something that helps me feel fulfilled and useful to our family.

A family friend trusted me with catering her wedding last Spring, and then another friend that Summer. And while I do enjoy cooking of all sorts, I really love to bake, and coming up this March another friend is trusting me with her wedding cake. Let’s all send our prayers heaven ward that it turns out ok.

So in preparation for this wedding I have been getting my feet wet in the fondant world.

When I mentioned last week that I have been busy I wasn’t lying, last week was one baby shower cake, one wedding open house for my brother-in-law, one bridal shower for my to-be sister-in-law, shopping for Kacen’s birthday, making Kacen’s birthday cake, and all the other day to day that is my life.
 
Today I will share with you the two baby shower cakes I have done in the past couple of months.

The first was back in December. My dear friend Christie and her husband Derek have received their handsome little guy through adoption. Christie and Derek love motocross and hope their little guy will love it too.

This was my first attempt at fondant. And I was pretty happy with the final result.


I used box cake mixes and tub frosting. Not that those are bad but, if I am going to be selling these things in the future the craft needs to step up a little bit.

As a baker and chef I care waaaaayyyy more about taste than looks, my personal style is rustic charm when it come to food. I don’t care if things look just so, as long as they taste AMAZING! So the pretty cutesy cakes kill me. I need the inside to be just as amazing as the outside. However with two kids running amuck all day it becomes a three day long process baking from-scratch cakes, making from-scratch frosting and fondant, dyeing, rolling, cutting, yada yada yada.

The second cake was for my friend Vai. She will be having her their child, a baby girl named Neilani. And if this third baby is anything like the other two she will be just too adorable to handle.

The top tier was this Pineapple-Coconut Cake the bottom tier was a yellow box cake mix, doctored up and dyed ombre, with this super yummy Fresh Strawberry Frosting. Both were crumb coated in my favorite Butter Cream, of course found on MarthaStewart.com. and covered with Marshmallow Fondant.

That was quite the process; two cake batters, three frostings, plus homemade fondant. I will definitely have to take a smarter approach next time. But it was super yummy. Yeah my hand writing needs a little practice, I will definitely work on that for the next one.

I have to take the same approach to baking and cooking as I would school. It takes a lot of time and money to get myself properly educated and equipped to do these things. It will take a lot of practical hands on experiences to become skilled at this craft.

Now, is this my ideal job? No. But I do feel useful doing it. I feel like I am learning and growing as I study out the best recipes and techniques.

Tomorrow I will show you the other Martha-esque things I was up to last week.

Sometimes My Life Be Like

While giving my kids a bath the other night I was thinking about Kyle, he was out at a late night child birth class, a requirement for his nursing course. As I thought about how great it would be to get to go out to classes like that my thoughts floated into the lyrics of nonsense song and I began to sing,
 “Agga do do do,
press pineapple shake the tree,
to the left to the right,
jump up and down and touch your knee,
agga do do do
press pineapple shake the tree.”
(check out this music video to see the song, totally weird)

We all seemed to be having a jolly ole time signing this song until I began to think about what I was doing.
“Wow!” I thought, “How sad is it that I mull around this house for 12 hours a day, feeding, changing, playing and singing songs with nonsensical words, (I mean what does that song even mean?) while Kyle gets to go off getting smarter? It is likely that half the things I do each day with my kids probably does nothing to increase my knowledge.” Thinking this made me begin to cry. Well not only that, but thinking that I am no longer going to be equal with my husband in the knowledge department, how he was going to be so smart with his two extra degrees, out there saving peoples lives and all I do is play make believe, sing silly songs, and wrestle with kids all day.

The other day as I sat down to write this post I really couldn’t say anything positive about my situation. I was totally bummed. Two days ago this post ended with something lame like this “I know there are also a lot of wonderful things I learn as a mom but, ehhh, I’m just not feeling it.”

Today on a beautiful, somewhat warm Sunday, I am feeling a little different and a little more clear headed about life. So I will share some further thoughts.

Education is so important to me. I am one of those weirdos that loves school. I love the challenge of writing a good paper, and I love having random facts to share at the dinner table and intriguing conversation topics to explore with my peers.

On the other side of this story, I feel it is right that I am home with children right now. We are blessed that I do not have to work, we are blessed that my husband gets to go to a great college and get a degree in a certified trade with positive assurance of a job after graduation. I don’t feel like enrolling in a masters program is right for me at this point in my life but in full disclosure sometimes I do feel jealous that Ky gets to go off to school each day. Sometimes I do worry that he will be bored with me and my topics of conversation. I don’t think the amount of food my kids ate at lunch, the fact that Andie learned to rock her dolly to sleep or that Kacen correctly labeled all his colors are nearly as fascinating as how to assist in a birth, how to set a broken bone, or all the crazy cases that walk into a ER.

While I am not able to go off to school there are many other ways I can learn and grow here at home. This week I am excited to share with you some of those things.