Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

*Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.

**Times five.

5 years. 

I have no words.  

We have not pulled our paperwork.  

I can't even say why.  I ever imagined it would be this hard to let go. 

I have no idea why we are still hanging on.

I have been praying for the strength and guidance to know what to do.

Yet I am still at a loss.


*Oh how I love that song

**2,628,000 minutes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fun filled weekend

Last weekend was wonderful. Jam packed with fun.  It started on Friday night, when I met up with Kayce at the Long Beach convention center to see Joyce Meyer speak.  So inspirational and moving.

The themes for the two talks I saw were Perseverance, and Letting go of Anger/hurt and resentment.  Both of these topics I needed to hear.  She is so good!

Then Phil Wickham performed. This was my first experience with him. I didn't know who he was before this.  Love him!  Am going to have to download some of his C.D.'s from Itunes.  The concert was awesome.

It was so good to see Kayce again.  I have missed her so much!

This is the only picture I got of us because we were too busy being inspired and amazed by Joyce Meyer and Phil Wickham.

Saturday was the 15th annivesary of my Mom's death.  It is unbelievable to me that it has been that long.  I just can't wrap my head around it.  15 years.

Luckily I had plans to meet up with Kayce to see Joyce speak again, so that kept my mind off of it.

Until Phil Wickham came out and played Amazing Grace.  And then I started crying right there in the convention center.  Nice.  It was very moving.  He is such a great artist.

Saturday night Joe asked me to bake him his birthday cake a couple of days early, so off I went to the store to pick up the ingredients.

It has become tradition for me to bake him a super duper chocolaty cake. It has also become tradition for me to forget the candles.  Two years ago we stuck flaming wooden skewers into the cake. Last year  we stuck one huge candle that I pilfered from one of my candlesticks in it.

This year I was NOT going to forget the candles.  I made a list of things I needed.  Candles were at the top of the list.  Right before I left Joe said "Oh, you don't need candles.  I just saw some in the drawer.".  I asked him if he was sure and he said yes.  I didn't check to make sure.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

I baked the cake and looked in the drawer for the candles.  I couldn't find them.  I asked Joe to come show me where they were.  He couldn't find them.  We looked and looked.

Not one candle was to be found in our house.

Well actually  there was ONE.  It was this one:

Yes, that is a girl snoopy candle.  I have NO idea where that candle even came from.  But it was in the bottom of our junk drawer and it's all I could find, so I had to make do.  

Joe just shook his head when I showed him the cake with that candle on it.  But he still posed for a picture with it.  Oh how he humors me.  :)

He got a new coffee maker for his birthday since our ten year old one broke a week ago.
These new fangled coffee makers sure are fancy!  Look at all those buttons.  Our last coffee maker had two buttons.  "On" and "Off".  This coffee maker even has a water filter in it.  Fancy, I tell you.  And this is the cheapest one we found.  The other more expensive ones had tons of buttons and features.   We're pretty simple.  As long as it makes a cup of good, strong(and hot) coffee, it's good enough for us.  Love having a cup of coffee in the morning again. That was torture waiting until I got to work to have one.

A new coffee maker is nice and all, but Joe's real present was me taking him kayaking yesterday in Newport Beach.  A few weeks ago Groupon had  a really good deal on kayaking packages so I bought two of them.  It was the perfect way to celebrate his birthday.  We had a blast.

Except now I REALLY want a kayak.  It's so fun and such great exercise.   Loved it.  Can't wait to go again.

Here's a few pictures:

Love this view.  I could get used to it.

I was the only kayaker out there that actually wore my life vest.  Safety first.  
Plus I am not that great of a swimmer.  So what if I look like a dork?

This little guy was just chillin' on a buoy. All of these pictures look a little cloudy because I realized later that water had gotten on the lens.

These gondolas look so fun.  Would love to try them sometime.

Attempt at a self portrait.

It was such a beautiful day 

Kayaking suits me.  I can't wait to go again.

We were supposed to go out to dinner last night at Ruby's to celebrate but when I got home he said he just wanted to stay in and chill so we'll use the gift card another day(this is so typical of us).  Overall it was a great weekend and he had a wonderful birthday. He said to say thank you for all the birthday wishes on FB and here as well.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Joe!

Today is my husband's birthday.

He asked for his cake on Saturday so I baked his traditional super chocolaty cake.

(Yes, that is a girl snoopy candle on his cake. It's an inside joke).

We went Kayaking yesterday to celebrate and we are using a gift card we have had since my birthday last year to go out to dinner at Ruby's.  Nothing fancy for him.  He's a simple kind of guy.

Happy Birthday Joe!  I hope your day is wonderful!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Halloween craft

Last week someone ordered a banner from me on Esty.  Things have been kind of dormant over there so it was kind of a nice surprise when I got the e-mail informing me of the order.

It was an order for a Chinese New Year Banner.  My first thought was "Boy this person is really thinking ahead" but then I realized it will be here before you know it!  The holidays are right around the corner and they always seem to fly by so quickly.

I came very close to buying some Christmas cards at Michael's yesterday.  They were cute, and in the dollar bin and I had them in my basket even, but then I chickened out and put them back.  I'm just not ready to make a commitment like that yet.  I can't even think about Christmas until after Halloween.

Anyway, making the banner put me in a crafty mood and I decided while I was at Michael's I would pick up a couple of things to make this Halloween craft I saw. (On Pinterest of course).

So here it is:

Pumpkin seeds using orange tic tacs.  Aren't they cute?  I copied them almost exactly how I saw them done and I am really happy with how they came out.  They are super easy too.  Here's how to make them:

Here's what you will need:

--Container(s) of orange tic tacs, however many you want to make. 
I bought a package of 8 at the grocery store.  These are the "Big Packs" which are a little bit larger than the regular containers of Tic Tacs.  The larger box made them a little easier to work with.

--1 sheet of decorative paper.  This is a black and white damask print I found at Michael's, but any cute Halloween paper would do.

--1 piece of orange cardstock

-1 sheet of pumpkin embellishments.  I found these stickers in the Halloween craft aisle at Michael's but the original projects I saw used some really cute little Jack O' Lantern buttons.  

--Black ribbon.  This is velvet ribbon I got in the dollar bin.

First cut your strips of paper.  These are 1 and 3/8 inches wide by 4 inches long.  If you are using the smaller containers of Tic Tacs, I'm guessing  these measurements would be slightly narrower and shorter.

Trace your pumpkins.  I drew these free hand but I'm sure you could find a template online, or just use circles.  I traced these on the back side of the card stock so you wouldn't see the pencil marks after I cut them out.

Sorry for the crummy pictures.  I took all of these with my cell phone.

Cut out your pumpkins and color the stems green.  You can distress them with a little ink too, as I did here, or just leave them orange.

Write the saying on them with a thin Sharpie marker.

Glue the strips onto the tic tac containers.  I found it easier to bend the paper around the containers and then crease the bends a little before gluing so they didn't pop off while they were still wet.  I used regular scrapbook glue and held them in place for a few minutes and they stuck just fine.

Tie the ribbons around them.  I went with a simple knot.  You can move the knot to the left or right, depending on where you want to put your embellishments.

Stick on the pumpkin embellishments and glue on pumpkins and there you have it!

Cute little Halloween favors.  These are going out to some of my favorite girls this week.

Now I am in the crafting mood and may see what else I can whip up for Halloween.  I love the Fall holidays!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

I heart Fall

I love Fall.

Come to think of it,  I don't know anyone who doesn't love Fall.
Do you?  Know anyone who really doesn't care for Fall?  

It's my favorite season.  For me Fall will always be the start of a new year.  I worked at a school for 15 years and September was always the beginning of a new year for me, not January. 

It is also the start of the holiday season.  Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  All three tied for my favorite holidays.

I hate the way the retail stores just skip over Thanksgiving and move right on to Christmas. I want to savor all of the Fall holidays and not be rushed into the stress I often feel at Christmas time

I love apple cider and pumpkins.  Cooler weather, although we won't start having that until November at the earliest.

I love all things pumpkin.  Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes.  Pumpkin everything.

I love pumpkin baked goods but I'm not much of a baker myself.  Baking to me seems like an exact science and that is not my strong suit.  Every time I bake something it comes out differently, even though I follow the directions to a tee every time.  More often than not the things I bake taste great but they don't look great.  That bothers my perfectionist side.

But I found this recipe on Pinterest (of course) and I knew I had to try it.

It's two ingredient pumpkin cake with apple cider glaze.  

Two.  Ingredients.  I mean, anyone can do that, right?

So last night Joe and I went to the store to pick up the ingredients.  All two of them.  Heh.  Well, plus the ingredients for the glaze that goes on top, which consisted of three things.  So really it was five ingredient pumpkin cake.  Still simple enough for me to try.

Here are the two ingredients for the cake.  A box of yellow cake mix and a can of pumpkin.  That's it.  How easy is that?

I can't get these pictures centered.  Drove me crazy.

Dump them both in a bowl

Mix them up.  The batter is pretty thick.
Pour it in a pan and bake for 28 minutes.

Mix up your apple cider glaze.  Apple cider, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Once cake is cooled slightly (about 10 minutes or so), flip it upside down onto a serving platter and drizzle glaze over cake, letting it fall down the sides.

(O.K. I will be perfectly honest and admit I didn't take this "after" picture.  Mine didn't turn out that pretty.  Thus the reason I don't bake).

But it tasted awesome.  Seriously.  If you like pumpkin and apples, this cake is dee-lish.  And super easy.

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze
For the Cake:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
For the Glaze:1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl.  Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated.  The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.

Pour batter into a greased  7 x 11 X 2 pan.  This is the small, rectangular-sized pan from your Pyrex set.  You know, the set you had to have when you got married and rarely ever used all the pieces.  Finally, you have a use for it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Do not overbake.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a platter.

Make the glaze while you're waiting.

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice.  Glaze should be thick but pourable.  Add more sugar or cider if needed.  Pour over the cake while still warm.  Reserve some to pour over each slice when served.

Serve warm or room temperature.

 While we were at the store Joe picked up this beer.  I don't usually mind the taste of beer but this was gross.  Seriously.  Don't buy it.  At least the bottle was cool.  I will be saving that.

What's you favorite part of Fall?