Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hello, My name is Beth and I am a foodie...

I have a problem.

I like food. (explains a few things, lol)

I like to make food and take pictures of it.

Baking is what I love to do, but I enjoy cooking too. It's more than cooking...it's creating. I like to try new things and mix things that don't always make sense. I havestarted keeping a camera in the kitchen so I can take pictures of what I cook, so that I can remember how/what I cooked.

Weird...I know!

Here comes the part where I share the pictures...it's weird, and I know that, but it's more for me, than anyone else.

Tonight for dinner I made a pesto chicken sandwich. I usually serve this with soup and I usually make my own pesto, but I cheated tonight. Sorry.

It's really easy to make and it's always good. It's just chicken tenders marinated in pesto and grilled. Then I put the chicken on ciabatta bread with mozzarella, arugula, and pesto mayo. The mozzarella is perfectly melty, and the arugula gives it just the right amount of pepper. I grill it in a pan like a grilled cheese, and VOILA...you have dinner! :)

 I took the picture while I was flipping it, but you get the idea :)

The Christmas cookie baking begins this weekend...I'll post pictures as I bake them. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Top 10 things I have learned from Christmas movies

Top 10 things I have learned from Christmas movies:

1. That character in the movie whose name is Nick...He's Santa Claus! Even if he doesn't look like Santa (though, most of the time he does) he really IS Santa! Usually the guy has a belly full of jelly and a white beard, but no one seems to figure out who he really is. If he's jolly and called Nick, odds are...he's SANTA.

2. No matter what your husband or boy friend does, no matter how awful...it's ALWAYS ok in the end. Santa will always make everything better! Really. If he cheats (or she cheats), lies or does some other horrible thing Santa will make it better. He will probably send a note from one of you to the other and set up an unexpected meeting, and at this meeting you will realize how much you love the poor sap. Oh yeah, and you will both suddenly believe in Santa again.

3. You can always get home for Christmas, no matter what obstacles are in your way. Even if you don't want to get home. You may have to walk or hitch hike, but you will get there just in the nick (haha) of time. If you don't want to be home (lord knows some of us don't) you will still end up at home with your family. There will be a snow storm or some other disaster and you will be stuck.

4. Every has been/nobody actress get's their very own lifetime original Christmas movie. EVERYONE gets one. Check the Lifetime line up, if you don't believe me.

5. During the most romantic moments of the holidays it always snows. And it's not the kind of snow that whips through the air and pelts you in the face. It's the beautiful, peaceful, gently falling snow, and it's never just a few flurries it's a full blown snow storm (minus the crappy unpleasant part). When it's snowing during said romantic moment someone will always take a second to notice.

6. Santa's elves are socially awkward. They are not very good with human interaction, especially with women. Enough said.

7. Santa really CAN see you. Whether it's through a giant snow globe, a book or some other magical channel, and he can do this at ANY time...whenever he wants. It makes you want to think twice before you drop your drawers...

8.There is always a Christmas miracle...ALWAYS. No matter what. Big or small, there is ALWAYS a Christmas miracle.

9.During the holidays there is always a scrooge. There is always someone who is bitter and hates Christmas. By the time Christmas day rolls around, they usually get over themselves. That leads me to #10...

10. And last but not least...Just when you stop believing in Santa and lose the magic, he comes through for you. If you stopped believing in Santa because he didn't bring you a certain gift...he will deliver. Santa ALWAYS delivers.

There you have it folks...I got a Christmas education from the movies.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Military Spouse Friday Fill-in

It's Friday and time for another Military Spouse Friday Fill-in. Go check it out at Wife of a Sailor's blog.
What do you see your life like in 10 years?  
In my dream world  I would have a heap of kids and be working in a bakery making awesome cakes. In reality, I'll probably have a few kids and will be working in a crappy dead end job with no future. On the bright side, my husband and I will be married for 14 years and we will be planning a fabulous beach vacation for our 15th anniversary. :)

What do you like most about your job? 
I don't have a job. I have no job skills that are going to get me a worthwhile job. I feel like at my age I should have a career by now. When I get a job, it will probably be some thankless, soulless, minimum wage retail job, where I do the job of two people and of the people that get paid more, but the company won't think I am worth more than minimum wage. (Forgive me...I am not feeling too hopeful about the job market today. I swear I'm not usually this cynical and negative.)

What are three things you do every day, no matter what day it is?
I eat, I brush my teeth, and I tell my husband I love him

What would you do with an extra five hours in your day today? 
Today...I would finish sewing a few Christmas gifts, put a few things away in the basement, do laundry and watch a movie with my husband. My too do list, keeps getting longer and longer! I am trying to have my house in presentable shape for when my dad and his girlfriend visit next weekend. 
What is your favorite Christmas (or whichever holiday  you celebrate) cookie recipe (please share!)?
My mom always made peanut clusters. We called them cow pies (thanks dad!), and they were delicious. I make them now and to me, they smell like Christmas.

Mix 2 bags chocolate chips, 1 bag peanut butter chips, and 1 bag butterscotch chips in a bowl. Microwave them for 30 seconds at a time stirring in between until they are all melted. You can also put them in a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water.

Once the chips are all melted and mixed well, add peanuts. You want the peanuts with no skins on them. I think the recipe calls for 1 pound, but I just mix them in until it looks good. I like mine to have lots of peanuts. Drop by the spoonful on to wax paper and let them set.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Great Christmas Card Hunt

The hunt for the perfect Christmas card is never easy! Every year I search and search to find just the right card to send. There was actually a year that I didn’t send cards because I couldn’t find one I liked. It has to have just the right picture and the perfect message on the inside.

I have never sent a photo card before because there was never anything to share a photo of. We don’t have kids, and I HATE to have my picture taken, so that had never really been an option for me. This year is different though. We still don’t have kids, but this year we have a house! We have a house that we own…it belongs to us. We are so proud of our house and we want to show it off. Of course we will be in the picture too, but we want to show everyone our home.

When I started thinking about photo cards I immediately thought of Shutterfly. They have the CUTEST Christmas and Holiday cards, and they have a ton to choose from. When you choose a card from Shutterfly you can include a personal message and you names. For an additional fee you can also have your cards sent to your friends and family directly from Shutterfly!

I have already picked out my cards for this year and I am SO excited to order them! I chose Peppermint Bliss so that we can share a few pictures of our new home! I love the colors and the layout, and the message inside is simple so that I can also include a personal message to each person. All I have to do is upload my photos and place the order.

Not only does Shutterfly have cute Christmas cards, but they have cards for all occasions, photo calendars and address labels. They also do photo books. I made a photo book for my husband so he could take it with him when he deployed with the Marines. That way he could always look at us and remember what was waiting for him at home! It turned out really cute and it was so easy to do!

Shutterfly is my new best friend and I will be ordering all my Christmas cards from them from now on!

This year, Shutterfly is offering 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers. Check it out here!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Military Spouse Friday Fill-in

It's Friday, so I decided to do another Milspouse Friday Fill-in. The Friday Fill-in is from Wife of a Sailor.

If you were given $1,000 right now, how would you spend it?

I would buy furniture for our new house. This house is much bigger than our last house and we don't have closets so I need a place to put everything.

If you had to choose a movie title (a real one that already exists) for your life story, what would it be?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...enough said.

If you were a teacher, what subject would you like to teach?

I was a preschool teacher for a while and that is such a great age to teach. I wouldn't want to teach just one subject. The younger kids are more fun. :)
Has being a MilSpouse changed how you view holidays or how your holidays are celebrated? If so, how? If not, what hasn’t changed?

The holidays have always been about family for me. When the husband isn't around for the holidays it is heart breaking, but I always surround myself with family, be it my blood relatives or my friends who are like my family. I always make sure to have a holiday package for my husband too. A few years ago I got plastic food and glued it to a plate and then put pictures of our whole family together so he could have his Thanksgiving meal with his family. I want him to feel as connected as possible when he is away.

What is your favorite Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) memory?

I don't have just one favorite memory. I love looking back at remembering all of the magic of Christmas though. My family always made sure that everyone felt special. I love that I was brought up in a home where getting gifts was not the most important thing. We always "adopted" a family who couldn't afford gifts. We would collect the gifts from our church and then our family would deliver Christmas to a family. I have always loved to give gifts. I love to make someone else feel special and I never expect anything in return. I also love the times that I spent days baking with my mom and grandma. The house always smelled so good and we had such a great time in the kitchen, dancing, singing and baking up a storm. That's what I love about Christmas...it's not one specific memory and it didn't happen one time, but it's what I think of when I think of Christmas.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Closet...

I love our new house, but there is one major flaw...THE CLOSET!

I am a girl, so naturally I have a lot of clothes. My husband doesn't have a ton of clothes, but he does have to wear a dress uniform to work everyday, so he has a lot of uniforms. This has presented us with a dilemma. Who gets the closet space?

Watch this video all the way to end to see what our closet is like...

The only problem is that our closet...is SMALLER than that one! I lovingly refer to our closet as our future reason for divorce. (It's a joke, of course!)

I tried to put my clothes away today, but now they are just folded neatly in a pile on my bedroom floor (since I can't have a closet like this). Tomorrow, hubby's clothes are getting folded and I am commandeering the closet!! :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

We Did It!!

Well kids...It's done! We have floors!

It took two and a half weeks of blood, sweat, and tears and we have floors (I only cut myself 4 times in the process of putting these floors in, I cried when it got to be exhausting and frustrating!). We still have to put in the trim, but we have functional floors and I can actually start unpacking.

If you ever find yourself saying, "Hey, I think I want to put new floors in my house. I should go buy them and install them myself." STOP!!! Go home and save your money just a little bit longer until you can afford to pay to have them installed.

Home Depot tells you, that you can put these floors down in a weekend. They lied. it took us two weeks...TWO!

It all started with 36 boxes of flooring. You have to let it rest in your house for 2-3 days before you can put it down. I went out and I bought a laminate saw to cut the wood. It didn't work. The only other option we had that wasn't a power tool was a hand saw, so I bought one. That didn't work either because you can't get good cuts with a hand saw. So, I broke down and bought a table saw...That was all fine and dandy except for the fact that I am TERRIFIED of power tools! It worked when my mom was in town and she could use it and when the husband was home from work, but I couldn't work while everyone was gone. I decided to Man up and just use it, but then I got yelled at for using it while no one was home...

After 2 weeks of nagging my husband and countless trips to the hardware store...we are done! The trim will be in before Christmas, but for now...here are a few pictures.

Living Room Carpet Before

Dining Room Carpet Before

That's what's under carpet! Gross!

The ugly (and poorly taken care of) wood floors that were under the carpet

Our BEAUTIFUL new floors!!! So much work, but in the end they are totally worth it, because they look SO good!

And now, I am siting by the fire with my husband, enjoying our new floors!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Military Spouse Friday Fill-in

Since yesterday was Veteran's Day I thought it would be fitting to do a Friday fill-in from Wife of a Sailors blog.

1. Were you named after anyone?

I was! my first name is my maternal grandmothers name an my middle name is my aunt's and one of my mom's dear friends middle name.
2. What color, if any, are your toenails usually painted?

They are usually a dark red. Well, they usually have some seriously chipped red polish on them. I get a pedicure once every 3 months or so and i hardly ever take the time to paint them in between. Maybe I should start painting my toes and pampering myself once in a while!
3. How do you flush a public toilet? Hands? Feet? Something else?

I actually avoid using public toilets t all costs! I will hold all day if I have to. In September The Hubs and I drove across the country and I had no option, but to use public toilets! I swear we found the grossest ones in the country!! if I have to use a public toilet I just flush with my hand, because I immediately wash my hands.
4. When you were a little kid, which TV character did you have a crush on?

Where to start! I had a huge crush on Fred Savage's character, Kevin Arnold, in The Wonder Years. He was so cute and I loved the character that he played. I also had a crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Zachery Ty Bryan's characters in Home Improvement. They were SO cute!
5. Let’s say you had to lose one of your five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell). Which one would you choose? Why?
I would have to say hearing. I love to cook and I love food! Losing my sense of taste or smell would be hard. Without smell, you can't really taste much and I like to taste my food. Without touch, well...you know. Plus, when my husband hugs me, it can completely turn my day around. Without sight, there would be so many things I would be missing, though one of the brightest and most determined people I know is blind. He is 13 and I look up to him! Without hearing I could do almost anything that I enjoy. I would miss the sound of my husbands voice and I would like to hear my children's voices someday, but I would rather see their smiling faces.

Since yesterday was Veteran's Day I just want to say Thank you to my husband and to all those who have served, are serving and who will continue to serve our country! I am thankful for all you have done and continue to do. We, as a nation are lucky to have the brave men and women to protect us and our freedoms. My husband is the love of my life and my hero. Thank you babe, for your bravery and strength!

I dislike being called a military wife or a Marine wife because I am more than just a service members wife. There are so many parts that make me a whole and when people say military/Marine wife, I feel like the rest of me is being lost in what he does. This does not mean that I don't support his career, because it is just the opposite. I am so incredibly proud of him and what he does and will always support him 110%. What he does is amazing and he is amazing, but I am pretty amazing too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Military Spouse Friday Fill-in

I have never done one of these before, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'll share my feelings on being called a Marine wife another time...

Military Spouse Friday fill-in:

1. What’s the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
I don't know that a stranger has ever done anything for me other than hold a door open. I don't think SD was the best place to find nice strangers...maybe it will be different no that we are in the midwest.

2. If you are having a hard time going to sleep, what do you do to help yourself?
I count. Nothing in particular, I just count. I think that makes me weird, but it helps.

3. Name something that makes you wish you were a kid again.
Drama and paying bills

4. What is something you never believed until you experienced it?

Love. It's cheesy I know. I have always loved my family and my friends, but I didn't think loving my husband would be any different. I was wrong! I never knew I could feel this way about anyone. (Like I said...cheesy.)

5. What can’t you say “no” to?
My family (which is why I hate drama). I will do anything for my family. Oh, and my husband can bat his eye lashes and smile and I will do anything. :)

If you’re a Military Spouse, please join the fun and visit WifeOfaSailor at her blog space :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To: Marie Claire From: A "Fattie"

Yesterday I read on article on the Marie Claire website about "fatties". The author, Maura Kelly, discussed her opinion of over weight people and how disgusting they are. I have never been so appalled by an article in my life!

I am not a skinny girl, and I have always struggled with body issues. I have always felt like people stare at me, or that I am not pretty enough or good enough or that people look at me and think I am gross. I am so self conscious about my looks I sometimes worry that my husband will stop loving me because he is thin and I am not. He tells me that I am beautiful, but after years of bullying from people about my weight, I have a hard time believing it some days. It is something I am working on and I don't really talk about with people, but this article made me so angry I had to share.

This is my favorite part of the article, "So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other ... because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room." That just makes me feel so good about myself!

She continues on in her article with nutrition advice for us "fatties" out there, because I have NEVER tried to lose weight, or read a diet book or gone to weight watchers. She also says that obesity is something that the "fatties" have a TON of control over. If I had all this said control over my weight, do you really think I would be heavy and feel bad about myself? I know there are things I can do, but it isn't as easy as she makes it out to be.

I am absolutely outraged by this article! How can someone pass judgment like that, especially on a website for a well known woman's magazine? Furthermore, how can someone approve that to be published?? We should be teaching acceptance of not only other people, but of our bodies, not hate. Apparently, according to Maura Kelly, not all women (and men) are good enough.

After Marie Claire received over 28,000 emails from people about this article, Maura Kelly posted an apology. It's a sad attempt at an apology, and in my opinion it really only makes things worse. In her apology she said that anorexic (which she used to be) and fat people make her uncomfortable. I guess unless you are a size 2 or 4, you are going to gross her out. *Marie Claire stands by what Ms. Kelly wrote* This magazine disgusts me! I know that I will NEVER purchase another copy of Marie Claire again!

No matter who you are or what you look like...YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Remind yourself of this and don't forget it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Detoxing my Feet

I did something really strange yesterday...

I was in a health food store in Louisville, KY with my mom (we were stocking up on gluten-free stuff) and we saw a sign for a foot detox. I have heard about these things before, and I thought it would be fun to try. I am always a little skeptical about things like this, but it was worth a try...right?

I am all for natural healing and avoiding drugs, my parents have encouraged this for some time. With all of the warnings and side effects on prescriptions I am willing to try other alternatives. In fact, I use herbs and different tea, but this rates right up there with physics (all though, I do want to see one for fun someday) and palm readers.

We went in and introduced ourselves to the "practitioner" and began chatting with her. She explained the process and we got started. I, of course, was laughing through the whole thing because it just all seemed so ridiculous. She filled a plastic tub with water for each of us and we put our feet in. Then she poured in about a tablespoon of sea salt. Before she put the "Ionizer" in the tub she put this elastic band on our wrists. She said it was a grounder, which I assume is to prevent us from being electrocuted?!?

She put the "ionizer" thing in the water and away we went. This is where I really began to get skeptical, as if I wasn't already! When the ionizer was turned on it started to bubble and it looked as if it was turning the water an orange color. That is strange because the end result is colored water. The color of the water tells you what type of toxins were removed from your body. The practitioner assured me that the initial color was just the minerals in the water, and the rest of the color would be the toxins that were removed from my body.

Here is the color chart for what the colors of the water means:
Color or Particle - Possible Material or Area of the Body Being Detoxified
Black - Detoxifying from liver
Black Flecks - Heavy metals
Brown - Detoxifying from liver, cellular debris, tobacco
Dark Green - Detoxifying from gallbladder
Orange - Detoxifying from joints
Red Flecks - Blood clot material
White Curd Particles - Most likely yeast
White Foam - Detoxifying from lymphatic system
Yellow-Green - Detoxifying from kidneys, bladder, urinary tract,female/prostate area

Don't scroll down if you don't want to see the pictures...they are kind of gross.

I apparently detoxed from from my lymphatic system, liver and kidneys. There were also black flecks from heavy metals. Here are the pictures I took during the process.

This is after being in the water for 15 minutes:

This is after 20 minutes:

This is just before I took my feet out at 30 minutes:

I still think it's a little hokey! I didn't feel any different when I was done. My mom didn't feel any different, but she said that the bottoms of her feet feet tender or sensitive. My husband thinks it's a scam and I thought it was fun (a little out there, but fun nonetheless). There are all sorts of testimonials on the website, but I have to wonder if there are real people out there who actually do this regularly and think that it works for them.

Click here to go to their website

Monday, October 11, 2010

First comes love...

We bought a house and I love it!! I am so excited to move in! I have already picked up paint cards and fabric samples!

Isn't is a cute house? :) I can't wait to move in!! :)

I haven't been on the computer much in the last month and a half, but I have picture I want to share. On our trip we stopped at my Uncle's house and I made dessert. No one would tell me what they were hungry for so I mixed the two things I had been craving...apple crisp and apple cobbler. The result was an awesome dessert that I named The Apple Cribbler. It was appley, sweet and gooey with perfect biscuits and crunchy sugar!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Where in the World is Wanna Be Baker? Days 8-13

I need a vacation from my vacation!

We have been on the road for 13 days now and I am tired! We have seen so many people, mostly family. I love visiting with family, but DAMN IT, if I have to listen to one more conversation about politics I swear I will kill someone. Seriously, can't people think of anything else to talk about? And...why is that the first thing that Canadians want to talk about?? They don't even live in the US, but they all seem to be freakin' experts on it!

It's not just the fact that politics are less than interesting to me, but every person we see wants to have the same damn conversation!!

We had a nice visit in our hometown in Grand Rapids with my dad and his parents. On Wednesday we drove in to Toronto to stay with his grand parents. Family is great (mine especially) but I can only take so much! I can't wait to visit some good friends in a few days!

Tomorrow we head to New York to see my cousins and their kids which should be fun, then onto a friends house!

I'll share more pictures and stories from our trip in a few days when I have internet again...blogger on my blackberry is lame! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Where in th world is Wanna Be Baker? Days 6, 7 and 8

Last time I posted we were in Cuba, IL with my aunt and uncle...we had an awesome visit.. I love going out to their house because they are on a lake. That was great...we went out on the boat and we went fishing and I laid on the boat and got some sun! i was, however, a little shocked when i went in to town...

They live in a really cute little town. Down town is literally a one block square that has some cute shops and stuff. The scary stuff happens all around town though. We wanted to cook dinner for everyone on Thursday so we went in to town to pick up some groceries. We were shopping in the store and i couldn't find a few items so i asked the kid stocking shelves. i asked for basil and he said they didn't sell that...Really!?! i started to loose it just a little (i love to cook and am a little bit of a food snob), but I asked him where I could get some. He gave me directions to another grocery store. Then I asked if they had Arborio rice for risotto. he gave me a puzzled look and walked toward the rice aisle. He then handed me a bag of long grain rice and said, "we don't carry that brand, but this is a great brand." As he walked away I just sort of stared...maybe I was expecting to much of him...

So, we checked out and headed across town to the other grocery store. Right away i found the basil, but no risotto I stated to panic, because that was the highlight of the meal i was going to prepare. I decided to go back to the first store just to have one more look for the rice. This where things got a little dicey...

I pulled into the parking lot and there was a guy standing in front of me...wearing overalls. he had to have been in his late 30's maybe early 40's, but he was wearing OVERAllS!! My jaw just about hit the pavement. then...when e walked inside, there were two...yes, TWO, old men wearing overalls. Now, overalls are great if you 5 years old or younger, but seriously, these grown men were wearing overalls! Am I the only one that finds this unacceptable??

LAst night we drove into my cousins place in the suburbs or Chicago. We had a really great time and I realized that it really is ok to live near family.

Today we went into the city for a quick lunch before heading to my home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I'll share more on that later because coming back here always makes me feel just a little bit weird...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where in the World is Wanna Be Baker? Day 3, 4 and 5

Where in the World is Wanna Be Baker?
Days 3, 4, and 5:

So, it’s been a few days, but there hasn’t been much to say…I mean seriously, have you ever seen Kansas?!? There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to look at…NOTHING!! LOOK:

We did drive through Colorado though…I would LOVE to go back there. It was absolutely gorgeous. We stayed in the little town called Durango in Southeast Colorado, it was the cutest town ever! I wish I could put into words how absolutely breath taking this part of Colorado was.

Last night we stayed in Kansas City with some of the husband’s family. They were cute little old people, but boy can they talk! I have never met people that can talk so much! I guess his mom talks a lot too…it must run in the family. We said we were going to bed and finally over an hour later they stopped talking so I could go to sleep!! I know, I should be thankful to spend time with family, but I can only take so much.

Today after we drove in to St. Louis to see my cousin and his new baby for lunch we drove to Central Illinois and I went fishing!! I was only out on the dock for about 20 minutes and I got eaten alive by bugs!! Seriously, what have I gotten myself into? This is why I left the Midwest in the 1st place…heat, humidity and bugs! Our next assignment better be somewhere good! :)

Now for a few days of relaxing on the lake with the husband, aunt and uncle and mom! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Where in the World is Wanna Be Baker? Day 2...

(Sung to the tune of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego)
See the hole in the Grand Canyon; make yet another wrong turn,
From the red rocks to Cameron they’ll be taking photos
Well they never thought they’d be on an adventure like this one,
Where in the world is Wanna Be Baker?
(That was my last attempt at creativity, I promise!)

What a day! We started out the morning in Phoenix then drove north.

This was our first stop:

What a gorgeous place! The red rocks were so cool to look at! We only stopped for a few minutes before heading through this (awful) windy road. We stopped at a pull off and got some cool pictures of a canyon...

From there we went to the Grand Canyon…

It’s a giant hole in dirt…but the view was so cool! From there we drove to the four corners. I have ALWAYS wanted to go there (I know…I’m a dork, but...they were closed! We got SOOO close, so I am counting it as visiting the place.

We finished the day by driving up to Durango, CO for a grand total of 10 hours driving time!

Where in the World is Wanna Be Baker? Day 1...

(Sung to the tune of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego)
Well she sneaks around the world from SD to Arizona
She’s an impatient passenger from Yuma down to Pheonix
She’ll take you for a ride on a side road to Sedona
Tell me where in the world is Wanna Be Baker?
(End failed attempt at cleverness)

Where in the world is Wanna Be Baker?
Today we left San Diego and drove to Phoenix.

This is what we left!!

It was an easy day of driving and not too exciting. We did stop at the Museum of History in Granite and the Center of the World Plaza in Felicity, California, though. That was more of a joke than anything, but hey…now I can say that I’ve been there (though I’m not sure how many people would admit that). Then we hung out with a good friend for the evening.

I would like to mention that I only slept for an hour of the trip yesterday!! I have to mention this because I may possibly be the worst road trip companion on the planet! I could fall asleep just driving around the block, so only sleeping for an hour is pretty darn good if you ask me!

Why are we doing this, you ask? Why not? We have to drive to our new home so why not make a trip out of it. We are young and when will we ever be able to do this again? We are seeing some amazing sights and visiting our friends and family along the way.

PS...This was supposed to post yesterday, but I had technology issues.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I think I have lost my mind...

I think I have officially gone crazy...

Since we are relocating half way across the country we decided to make a road trip out of our move. BUT, unlike most sane and normal people, we are not just going to drive to our new location. We have decided to take road trip ALL the way across the country. We will be covering 17 states, 2 countries, 4800 miles, and 80 hours of driving!!


We are mostly seeing family along the way, but we are stopping to see some awesome friends too!

We are driving from Southern California to Michigan and then through Canada, back down the East Coast to Virgina and then across to Indiana! Anyone know of any fun places to stop?

If I haven't lost my mind already...I'm going to on this trip! Wish me luck and I'll keep you posted!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hello Blogging World

I think I am ready to come out of my blogging closet...

I have been writing in this blog for over seven months (even though I only have about a dozen posts) and only one person even knows it exists. I don't have anything that interesting to say, and I usually just talk about baking, but it's a blog nonetheless and I have decided to share it with the world.

Don't expect to get any super personal details or intimate information, because that's just not my style. I keep my personal stuff to myself most of the time. Though, I am hoping that maybe this blog will help me to share some things instead of keeping everything to myself.

Go easy on me...I am new to this whole blogging thing, so it will take me a while to figure everything out. AND...I am definitely not the most technologically savvy person out there (that's why I a bake). :)

So, here it is...my very first published blog post. :)

And I will leave you with a few pictures of the cupcakes I did for a birthday party.

The party was for two sisters. These are their special birthday cupcakes

And these are what their friends had.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bring it on!

I've been thinking about belonging a lot lately...With our impending move and being uprooted from the place that I call home, I am feeling lost. Where do I belong in this world? I haven't really felt like I belong in a while.

I love being in San Diego, I love being so close to the beach! I have always felt at peace when I am near the water, but there are a lot of things about San Diego that I could live without. I have made a some good friends here and I have certainly met some interesting people, and a lot (and I mean a LOT) has happened since I have been here, but I am ready to embrace the change.

Indiana...maybe I'll fit there. I am ready to find the place where I belong (even though I know we will be moving again in 3 years). I want things to go my way. I want this new start to be easy. I want to feel like I belong. Indian...BRING IT ON!!!

The last time I really felt like like I fit was in culinary school. I belong in the kitchen (and not in a bad joke sort of way). I bake. That's what I do and where I feel happy and that's all I can ask for in this life.

So all of my pity and whining aside...let's get to the baked goods, shall we? After my long and stressful week, I decided to make lemon cupcakes with vanilla frosting. I was hoping for something a little fluffier (they are a little cakey), but they are still good. I topped them with a swirl of vanilla frosting (died yellow) and a blueberry on top. Then I decided to make lemon blueberry bread, just for fun :) Some loud tunes, the hum of the mixer, and some sweet baked treats make my life a little sweeter!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Been a While...

It's been a while. Nothing exciting has happened and I haven't baked anything worth mentioning, but I felt like I needed to share.

When I bake I don't just bake for me. I bake for those whom I share my treats with. I want people to enjoy something delicious. I want them to taste the joy and love that put in to everything I make.

This weekend I made 4 dozen cupcakes (with a fish/beach theme) for hubby's work beach party. I stayed up late on Friday night to make them extra cute. I left them on the counter Saturday morning when I left for work so that he could them to the party. He forgot them...I was heart broken. He forgets EVERYTHING, so I shouldn't be surprised, but it still hurt and I still am. Maybe I am being dramatic, but it hurt. It was like a slap in the face and he doesn't get it. He doesn't see that he did anything wrong. Maybe I am being dramatic, but I'm hurt.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I am a control freak

I made scones tonight...they turned out really good. There is something about making dough with your hands that feels right. You are in total control. There is nothing else to mix the dough except for your hands.

I like to feel like I am in control.

These scones turned out perfect. They are tender and moist, just the way a scone should be.

There isn't much in life that you can control, but when that one thing comes along, it feels good. After a week of drama and garbage the control was nice. Plus, the dough couldn't talk back to me. It was peaceful.

When I bake I feel whole. I feel like I belong. When I was in culinary school I truly felt like I belonged there...I just want to feel like I belong somewhere else too.

At least we have determined that I am a control freak. But, what can I say...when I can't control life, at least I can control my baked goods and I belong in the kitchen.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

No Cake For You

I hate making sheet cakes.

I especially hate making sheet cakes for an old employer. Whenever I make cakes for this person something goes wrong. I usually end up having at least one nervous breakdown and 2 huge mistakes before I finish. Plus, she usually only gives me a few days notice to make multiple cakes or it takes her forever to pay me, or she shorts me on $$.

Last time I gave her an ultimatum...I told her that I needed at least 2 weeks notice and that I absolutely, no questions asked, had to be payed at the time of delivery.

That worked this time...or so I thought.

I was SO excited because I finished the cakes with no huge problems and NO nervous breakdowns!!

As I put the last cake in her office, she says to me, "Oh, I forgot to get a check for you...can you wait until the checkbook gets here?"

HELLO...I said I had to be paid at THE TIME OF DELIVERY!!!

I waited for 30 minutes and the guy still hadn't shown up to pay me, so now I have to drive all the way back up there to get my $$ in a few days!

That is the LAST time I make cake for them.

Moral of the story...Pay me and appreciate the cake or NO CAKE FOR YOU.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Heaven is Made with Butter

I made croissants. From scratch. They are A-MAY-ZING! I started on Sunday with the dough. On Monday I put a pound of butter on the dough and rolled it in. I did 4 turns of the dough ( roll it out, fold it over, refrigerate, repeat). Tonight I came home and I rolled the dough out and got it ready to bake. I didn't have very high hopes for these little pieces of heaven, but I was curious to see if they would turn out. Some of the croissants were rolled like a traditional croissant and some were filled with chocolate. Ten minutes into baking the first batch and the whole house smelled like buttery heaven. When they came out of the oven, they were perfect! The shape wasn't very good and the bottoms were a little burnt on some, but they taste A-MAY-ZING!!!

I not one to toot my own horn, but damn it, I am proud of myself.

No matter what kind of day or week I have had, these croissants made all the garbage disappear. Now all I want to do is mail croissants to everyone I know so they can taste my happiness!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Can't help but Laugh

I am one of those people that laughs at the worst times possible. When bad things happen, I laugh. When I am stressed, I laugh. When I don't know what to do, I laugh.

Today was one of those days where all I could do was laugh. I got all the way to work and as I pulled into the parking lot...my car died. Just died. In the middle of the parking lot. It could have waited 10 more seconds and been in a parking spot, but no...I was in the middle of the road. All I could do was laugh. I pushed it in to a spot and after kicking it (and busting my foot) I laughed. When I called to tell hubby, who is out of town at training for 8 more weeks, I laughed. When the tow truck came and charged me $150 to tow it away...I laughed. When the mechanic called and said it would be $700 to fix it...I laughed. Most people would cry or be mad or freak out, but not me. I just laugh.

While I was sitting at work trying desperately to get someone to give me a ride home a guy who just got fired from another store came in to say hi. When he was talking about getting fired (which could be funny, but at the time I should have acted upset for him) I laughed. Way to be an ass. But even after I laughed at him, he offered to drive me home. I accepted his offer, even against my better judgment. I wanted to go home darn it. In the car while I was thinking about how wrong the ride could go, I laughed. He now officially thinks I am insane.

After a day of crappy happenings, bad judgment, and a lot of laughing I came home and I baked. I made Golden Eggs. They are vanilla/nutmeg cupcakes that are dunked in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. They taste like they doughnut, but they are so much better! Baking is what I needed. There is something about measuring out all of the ingredients and adding them at just the right time that is cathartic. No more inappropriate laughing for today, just contented smiles.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Big Change

I have one week left of Culinary school. One week until I am a drop out. I am shockingly ok with it. Big changes are coming for me and hubby. We are MOVING!!! Finally after 5 years in California we are moving on. We are heading back East. We are moving to Kentucky! When most people think of Kentucky they don't think of anything special, but I think of change! It is a change from being in CA. Plus we will be closer to our families which will be nice! The changes that are coming are good and I am excited about everything! It's funny how sometimes things just all come together. Today life is good and that's all I can ask for.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hope and Cookies

Well...It's official. As of March 28 I will be considered a college drop out. The paperwork is done and they are in the process of closing my account at The Art Institute. At least I get to finish this quarter, though, knowing I can't go back is making it hard for me to put my heart into it.

After telling a friend about not being able to afford school, she and her husband have come up with a plan for me to raise money to go back. The first suggestion was to host a fundraiser dinner...too bad I don't know anyone rich to invite. The next suggestion was to sell cookies online. I have joked about this for a while but I never thought it was possible. My friend, however, showed me where I can do it and that it is possible. So, I am currently working on some examples of cookies and I am going to give it a try. Maybe it will make me some money and maybe it won't, but just the idea gave me some hope.

Here's hoping I sell LOTS of cookies!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Good Bye Dreams

Well AI, it’s been a good run. I’ve enjoyed my time with you and I have learned a lot. I’ve had some really great chefs and some really awful chefs. I made some new friends in my short time there as well and I wish them all the best.

I have been in culinary school for just over 6 months and I have loved every second of it. Even when the chef was SO bad, I loved that I was cooking. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time and I was finally doing it, but it’s over. I can’t get a loan to go back. The bank has pulled the rug out from under my dream and I am done. I’m realizing now that it was more of a pipe dream than anything, but still, I sit here heartbroken.

There is a bright side to this though…Men’s Wearhouse now has a really well trained employee that will be there for life.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010...a year if change or just a change of year?

2010. I have high hopes for this year. It’s the beginning of a new decade and I’m ready for change. I wanted to say that this year is going to be about me. Me and only me. But, the girl inside of me that has been walked all over forever says that that is selfish. So I will rephrase that…this year is about figuring out who I want to be, cultivating new friendships and working on others, standing up for myself, being a stronger and better person and being healthy. All my life I have let people walk all over me and I am so tired of being pushed around and treated like garbage. This year I am going to speak my mind, stand up myself and make myself happy. I count too, and I will not let people make me feel differently. I matter and I am important. Part of being better and doing better is treating myself better. I will earn how to relax and to slow down, I will go to the gym. Hell, maybe I’ll do yoga. I just want to be better.I have made some bad decisions and done some stupid things and this year is about being a better person and making better choices. I want to be a better friend, a better wife and a better person. This is a new year’s “resolution” of sorts, so who knows how long it will last, but I hope it sticks. 2010...BRING IT ON!