Getting ready for Valentine's Day

Monday, January 31, 2011

So I love Valentine's Day.  Not because I get an electronic every V Day.  But, I did pre-order my camera, hopefully it ships before Valentine's Day.  I love Valentine's Day because I love love.  I'm such a girl, I know.  I am a hopeless romantic and I just love what it stands for.  I love the kids giving out Valentine's cards, the heart shape boxes with chocolate, the balloons, the flowers.  Valentine's will be exciting the year because I have already planned a month ahead of time for what I am creating.  I want to do something special for Addison's teachers and our friends and family.  And since I have started making cards, the Valentine's cards this year will be extra special.

So I was going through my Martha Stewart Living magazine for this month and I found some really cute things for Valentine's Day.  Like these


You can download the template to make the cones. Just print it on white or cream cardstock and you have the cutest carnation cones.  I so want to do this for Addison's teachers.  I love it when Addison brings flowers to his teacher, it makes me believe he will have a lucky wife.  When his 2nd grade teacher's dog died he made me take him to  Whole Foods to get her some flowers.  I just love flowers and I feel like these cones make them really special.

I am also going to bake, of course.  I just bought Wilton's heart shape whoopie pie pan and I'm so excited.


I am thinking I will make red velvet, chocolate, and strawberry ones.  But they might just end up all being red velvet.  I do have the weekend to bake but I know what happens when I put to much on my plate.  

Oh and I will also be baking cupcakes.  I get the cutest cupcake wrappers at Bake it Pretty.  I order a month before a holiday and then can't wait to use them.  I purchased these this time.  

Don't they look like little hearts?

I also purchased cute boxes to carry all my goodies.

This in pink.  I'm also thinking about decorating it.

If you love to bake I would recommend Bake it Pretty, they are located in Asheville, NC but they have an online shop.  They have the cutest stuff.  They even have straws, that I haven't bought yet because I don't see the purpose of paper straws unless you having a party.  Maybe this will give me a reason to throw a party.  :)


So last night, we just made steak, green beans, and mashed potatoes.  But I would like to share two things.  One is a while back a purchased theses potato gloves, and potato ricer from Williams-Sonoma




I keep telling people I will share my favorite things I get from there because they make my life so much easier.   The gloves can be used with any hard vegetable, like carrots.  Instead of peeling you just scrub your veggies, so you keep all the good nutrients since a lot of the vitamins are in the peel.  We love these gloves.  They are so easy and fun that Addison scrubs the veggies for me.  The potato ricer just makes mashing potatoes a snap.  It turns your potatoes to rice like grains and also gets rid of the peel, which I still put a some peel in my mashed potatoes.  

I also baked desert last night.  I got a recipe for Ooey Gooey Taffy Tart Squares from one of my favorite baking blogs Sweetapolita


 I was worried if they had come out right at first, they came out really gooey.  But, after putting them in the refrigerator over night they turned out good.  They taste like little pecan pie squares.  Addison has been snaking on them all day.  I had to give some away to classmates so they would get out of my house.  They are addictive.  

Well, I need to go work on some Valentine's cards and desk calendars.  I will keep everyone updated.  Let the Valentine's Day countdown begin.  



Lazy Sunday

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's beautiful here in Atlanta, sunny and in the 70s.  Instead of going outside and riding bikes or playing with the dogs, we actually spring cleaned.  JT has been out of town all week and I just wanted him to help me get some stuff done.  So we moved everything around in the kitchen and scrubbed.  We also organized and cleaned are bedroom.  Our bedroom always is the worse.  JT works so hard he just washes his laundry and then leaves it in a basket in the bedroom.  I also have the habit of trying clothes on and then putting them in the chair in our bedroom.  So because of this wonderful sunny day, that made us realize we needed to get some stuff done we cleaned.  We actually enjoyed the day together, we took breaks, talked, and did not turn on the television once.  Our kitchen and bedroom look great!!!

I found another craft project I love.  I can't wait to make these.  They are flower zippers.




I'm thinking about making these for my nieces so they can put them on headbands and hats.  I so need a little girl.  :)

We also made mint chocolate chip ice cream last night and it turned out Minty and Yummy. 


It's amazing how fresh mint taste compared to store bought ice cream.  I think Addison thought it was a little to minty but I loved it.  I got the recipe here from Williams-Sonoma.  My next flavors will be strawberry and raspberry chocolate.  The Godfather asked for raspberry chocolate ice cream.  

Super Bowl Sunday is next weekend and I'm already deciding what to make if The Godfather has a Super Bowl Party.  I'm thinking Shrimp de Gallo, Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas, Mexican Layer Dip, and Olive and Artichoke Dip.  I got my inspiration and the recipes from The Pioneer Woman.  I love her blog. 

I also told Val I would make the girls (Alissa and Alexis) their birthday cake this year.  With luck, I ran across this cake from Sweetopolita.




Doesn't it look amazing.  It's a Neapolitan cake.  I told her I would make homemade ice cream also.  I just had to make chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream if I was going to make this beautiful cake.  I hope it turns out.  JT is professional at icing (he's more patient than me) so he will be helping out on this one.  I'm thinking maybe I could make one for the Super Bowl party for a trial run.  All the men will be wondering why I brought a pink cake.  :)  I guess I'll need to throw a football cake in there to man it up.  I'll let you know how everything turns out.  


Is today Wednesday?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I totally forgot what day it was.  I don't know if it's because it was cold and rainy yesterday or because Addison usually has robotics on Wednesdays and he didn't but all day I thought it was Tuesday.  Well, I have to get some homework done before my class at 6 so this will be short.  It's my least favorite class.  One reason is because it's at 6 o'clock at night and I just want to cook dinner and stay warm.  Another is there's only 8 people in the class and I'm the only girl.  Why are there so few woman engineers?  I guess we will touch on that subject later.  Another reason is my teacher talks really monotone so I start getting really bored and sleepy very easily.  But the class is interesting it's Audio Technology, so it's all about sound, what we hear, acoustics, and music.  Maybe I can be the engineer at Philips Arena one day.  :)

Well, let's talk about paper.  One of Ayanna's co-workers asked me to create some bridal party invitations.  I thought I would show you my process.  It basically entails making a card taking a picture and texting it to Chamel and The Godfather.  Oh and of course asking my husband, but he is color blind so his opinion doesn't count.  Oh and he also thinks everything is wonderful and beautiful I create so he's not a real critic.

Well here's the process.....


First I started with this card but I felt like something was missing and The Godfather said it was too white.


Then I tried to change the background, make the white a cream and add a flower.  I thought the flower was too big and I still didn't love it.  


Then I decided to flip it around and add a frame.  I also decided to let the birdcage hang instead of using the stand.  I really liked this and so did The Godfather but I felt something was missing. 



This finish product.  I decided to add and empty cage to symbolize how they are getting married and together now.  Do you like it?

 Once I figure out a design it doesn't take me long to mass produce.  The design part is what takes forever, this process took about 3 days.   I hope she likes it, so I can start making these.

Oh and before I go we have to talk about food.  I used my ice cream maker last night.   Addison wanted chocolate ice cream so I made chocolate ice cream.  It was about a 3 - 4 hour process but the end result was delicious.  I'm so excited about all the other flavors I can create.  I'm thinking Neapolitan ice cream with a Neapolitan cake.  Someone needs to have a birthday pronto.  I'M READY!!!!

Back to reality

Monday, January 24, 2011

So Sunday was my birthday!  I had a crazy birthday week.  Whatever could happen happened but my birthday weekend turned out great.  We all went ice skating at Piedmont Park and then went to Flip Burger for dinner.  Skating was fun but we didn't realize Piedmont's rink was so small and the ice was horrible.  Who would have thought we would appreciate Centennial's ice skating rink?  But the lights and music at Piedmont were nice and I think everyone had fun.  Flip Burger was great because they have great food.  I didn't realize how popular it has become, our wait was 55 minutes.  But I think it is worth it, their hamburgers and milk shakes are incredible.

Here are some pics from skating:







These are from The Godfather's camera.  I think they are so cute.  I need to download the pictures from my camera.  I will post those soon.

Well, my DSLR  will not be available until mid-Febuary so I guess that will be a Valentine's Day present.  I have gotten electronics for the past 5 years for Valentine's Day so I guess we shouldn't break that tradition.  Here's a picture of my soon to be beautiful camera.


So since no camera,  JT and Addison took me to Williams-Sonoma and Anthropologie for a shopping spree on Sunday.  I'm so excited about two things I got at Williams-Sonoma.   The Prepara and a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker.

The Prepara is a herb savor.  I buy so many fresh herbs at the grocery store, like rosemary.  And they are dry in 5 days.  The Prepara will be a money saver.  The herbs are always in water so they won't dry out and you keep in your refrigerator door.  So simple, I could have thought of that.



My ice cream maker is what I'm really excited about.

There's blog a read call Oh Joy! and they have a recipe for a Coconut Frozen Yogurt that I have been dying to make.


The recipe is here.  Doesn't look yummy.   Of course I will be making homemade chocolate ice cream for Addison.  I don't think Addison has had homemade ice cream so I'm excited to make it for him.  I remember my grandmother making homemade ice cream and I tried to help turning the handle on the ice cream machine.  It was impossible to to turn.  Thank god for electronics.

Well, before I go aren't these spatulas the cutest?


Williams-Sonoma has a whole Star Wars line.  We got Addison the apron and the pancake molds but we definitely have to get these spatulas now.

Peace!

Happy Humpday

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yesterday, was a very busy day so I did not post or cook but I did bake.  I went over to Melissa's house last night and we baked honey oatmeal wheat bread.  It turned out great!  Pictures will be posted soon.

I also started my new semester yesterday and it was great being back at school.  My college has been building a new Engineering building for the last year and it is finally completed and opened.  So I get to have my classes in a new state of the art facility.


Isn't it nice?  Yes $33.3 million later we have 23,300 square feet with 36 labs, 12 classrooms, 2 seminar rooms and a 200-seat lecture room.  This is a big deal because our old building was really old, I think it was built in the 60s.  So it's great that I get to spend my last two semester and this new building.

So every morning I see Addison off to school, clean up, start some laundry, and while I'm eating breakfast I surf the internet.  I look at cooking blogs, tech blogs, photography blogs, baking blogs.  Something usually inspires me to make that, cook that, bake that, or buy that.  But, today nothing.  Anthropologie is even having a sale and nothing.

So I thought I would let everyone know where I get my stamps.  I found a wonderful place online called Papertreyink.  I love them because they sell clear stamps that you just put on an acrylic block.  I like being able to see where my stamps is going to be.  I also love them because you just don't buy one stamp it is a collection of stamps and they also show you pictures for inspiration.  I also love love them because they have the best paper.  It's thick enough to make cards that stand up and it's not expensive.  I have looked around at other paper and this is the cheapest by that amount you can get.  You can get 50 sheets for $9. Mentioning the paper they have matching ribbon, matching buttons and matching felt with any color.  They call it Perfect Match.  This makes it so easy for me. There all lot of different shade of reds, blues, and greens.   I also love love love them because they come out with die cuts that match the stamps.  So you never have to worry about cutting around a stamp to make it 2D.  They come out with new collections of stamps, paper, and dies every month on the 15th.  They preview what's coming out about 5 days before and then everyone goes online and talks about it on a forum.  Then at midnight everything goes up for sale.  I have stayed up many times deciding what to get.

This month I'm excited about this stamp.



and these dies to go with it.



My shipment arrives tomorrow.  I can't wait to make birthday cards.  So if you know anyone that's having a birthday soon let me know I'll make a card.

I also purchased this stamp and die last month


These will be used for our Valentine's cards.  

And this stamp and die I purchased last month 



Which I already showed two cards I made.

Well for nothing to say today I sure did say a lot.  :)  I will post pictures of Melissa and I baking later.  Bye.







Hard drive is dead

Monday, January 17, 2011

Yep, I was right.  My hard drive crashed in my MacBook Air.  I knew it because it started making a clicking sound about 1 month ago and then I noticed it started running really slow.  Luckily, I have a Time Capsule that backs up all our computers everyday so I didn't lose anything.  So I want to remind everyone get an external hard drive and back up your computers.  You don't want to lose 3 years of pictures and documents.  Ok I'm done being a geek.

I didn't end up cooking because after the Apple store took forever and Addison needed to go to karate I was not in the mood.  But, I will be cooking and baking tomorrow.

I did get two thank you cards done.


Aren't they cute?  Addison's godmother sent him the coolest Christmas present and I told him he had to send her a Thank you card.  I let him choose one to send to her.  

I am also trying to finish up desk calendars for people.  



I love the way they are turning out so I want to make them for everyone, which is bad.  Sending JT to Michael's looking for a certain stack of paper is not good.  I think it's funny that JT is getting good at shopping at Michael's and Joanne's fabric.  Hey he's an Eagle Scout he can do anything.  

Oh and one more thing.  If you all didn't know I have a passion for architect.   My favorite architect is Frank Lloyd Wright.  He has created this:

And of course my favorite Fallingwater:


Isn't it beautiful?  Can you believe this was someone's family house?  Wright built it in the 1930s for the Kauffman family.  You can read about it here.  I keep crossing my fingers that we can win the lottery and JT can build me my own Fallingwater.  :) 

Oh wait, where was this going.  The reason why I mention this is Addison's godfather (gay husband) bought him is own Fallingwater.  Well, it's the Lego Fallingwater but it's still breathtaking.  It took JT and Addison all Sunday to complete it.  The building instructions were over 100 pages.  


Don't they look serious?  Well here's the finish product.  





Isn't it cool?  Don't you just love how they did the windows and the water?  We are excited about theses Lego Architecture.    Oh and The Godfather (I like that better than Gay Husband, it seems more scary)  also got Addison the Lego White House for his birthday.  



Love it!  We were thinking about putting a Lego Darth Vader on the steps, since Addison's has a shirt that says Darth Vader for President.  As you can see we love Legos, we can't wait to collect them all.

Whew!  That was a long one.  Bye for now.

Happy MLK



I guess I'll start with a quote.


“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”  -Martin Luther King Jr.


Wasn't he a great man?


Well I think my hard drive has crashed in my MacBook Air so I'm off to the Apple Store.  Ugh!  But at least it's still under warranty.  Yea!!!


But before I go I found some cute stuff today that remind me off people.  


An ode to my gay husband.


Gay husband has the coolest bikes and I thought of him when I saw this on anthologymag.com.  You can see their post here.  It's not in production but hopefully it will be soon.  




Also an for our new book club.  


Clutches that look like books.  I also found this on anthologymag.com.  You can see their post here.  I'm not a clutch girl but I was thinking this would work for my artsy and book nerd girlfriends. :)


Ok off to the Apple Store. Tonight I'm going to try to make for dinner Southwestern Chicken and Dumplings  and Toasted-Almond Sponge Cake with Crispy Toffee.  I got the recipe from tastingtable.com.  I'll let you know how it works out.