Friday, August 28, 2009

It's almost that time of year...

My friend Jessie (I mention her a lot, it's because she's great) has been talking about knitting lately and I think it's finally time to join her. I don't really get into knitting until it gets cold enough to wear what I knit, but today I wore jeans, a cardigan, and a scarf and I was still cold... so I think it's time. (Granted, I know Missouri, and that tomorrow it could possibly be in the 90s, but that's ok...)

So I busted out my box of knitting stuff. Along with the beautiful materials pictured above and below, I found some hats that were pretty tragic... I thought I would show them to you.

My first project is going to be yet another hat. Hopefully I will be more successful this time. If I can pull a beret off... I will be pretty pumped. So anyway... happy knitting!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A more talented version of me...

A few weeks ago my friend Jessie sent me a link to the top 10 cupcake blogs. I have been taking my time looking through all of them, but I've found my favorite and I think its author is maybe my more experienced, more talented twin. Her name is Bakerella (cue "Oh Abby, you are the biggest nerd..." comments.) Her blog is great!

Why I think we are twins:
1. She loves cupcakes and just took a cake decorating class (which I want to do) and became on fire for cupcakes, and now blogs about her adventures with baking.
2. I'm pretty sure she really likes Diet Coke. I know, I know, a lot of middle aged women like Diet Coke, but look at this... It's a cupcake... drinking Diet Coke...
3. She loves taking pictures of her cupcakes, and they are beautiful. That was one of the first things I noticed about her blog... her pictures are awesome.

Anyway, I love this blog. If you are at all interested in baking or cupcakes, you should check it out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Good Intentions

With the beginning of every semester I start fresh with a set of good intentions. I tell myself that I'm going to actually read all of the assigned text and stay on top of studying so there is no more stressful cramming the night before a test. This semester, my last semester ever, I am being realistic. The truth is, 9 times out of 10, I will choose going to Sonic happy hour, visiting a friend, going for coffee, taking a nap, etc. over getting ahead in this thing called college. I always get the school stuff done, I just choose other things first and get the school stuff done last minute.

So this semester, I'm not even going to say that I'm going to stay on top of reading and studying. It'll get done (no worries), but my first priority is to spend time with the people I love (especially because now it's going to take a little more effort to be with my 3 favorite girls because we aren't roommates anymore...) Anyway, hurray to my last semester, dedicated to people first and school second. I'm excited to see how it all plays out...

(Above is my new favorite place to study, the couch on the patio in my new backyard. It's pretty much the greatest place ever.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My New Home

Obviously this isn't a picture of the actual home, but this is the backyard of my new home for my final semester at MU. My bible study leader and her husband, Sara and Joe Haslag, have opened up their house to me. They have set me up with quite the wonderful living situation, it's way better than I deserve.

One of my favorite parts of living here is that every day, I walk out of my room in the basement to see this wonderful view. Beautiful green trees with the light peaking through... and a bench. It's pretty perfect.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

¡El verano está terminado!

The end of summer is slowly approaching and I feel like it is time to reflect. At the beginning of the summer I made a wish list of things I wanted to do and thought I should revisit it to see how I did.

1. Read at least 5 books. Unsuccessful. I only read 2.
2. Visit Valeria in New York. Check! And I had a great time!
3. Watch all 10 seasons of Friends. I just completed this on Saturday. I would have to say trying to get this done is why I wasn't as successful with all of my other goals, because this took so much time.
4. Catch up on some shows. I didn't do this at all, but I think that is ok. The less TV the better, really...
5. Hang out with my family, specifically watching lots of Wheel of Fortune. I did this and it was lovely... and I must say that I dominated in WOF. :)
6. Spend lots of time with Jessie and the boys. I definitely did this and had a great time doing it!
7. Be crafty with Sarah. We had one day where we were crafty, just one. But we did it, so that's all that matters.
8. Hang out with my relatives as much as possible. I would have liked to do more of this but I enjoyed the time I did have. (And Anthony and I didn't start a band... too bad.)
9. Learn some more songs on the piano and write my own. I played some this summer but I didn't learn anything new and I didn't write my own...
10. Spend lots of time with the Lord. I could have done better at this but I did find some time, and it was great.

So there it is... relatively successful as far as the list goes.

Here are some highlights of my summer:

1. Working at the church. It was GREAT. I hope I can work there full time someday...
2. Traveling. I went to Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and New York. I saw a LOT this summer.
3. Making some new friends. I hung out with people that I hadn't really hung out with much, like my friends Rob and Corrie. They are the greatest! To think that I barely knew them at the beginning of the summer, and to compare that with how close we are now... it's just plain awesome!
4. Furthering my love for cupcakes and deciding to pass them on to other people. My parents said that if I made cupcakes that I couldn't keep them in the house because they would be too tempting and we are all trying to lose weight. Well, that gave me an excuse to have the courage (why courage? because I'm lame and thought people wouldn't want my cupcakes) to give them to other people. This is just something new in the past two weeks, but baking cupcakes and giving them to people may be one of my favorite things to do.

There you have it. I suppose this is one of those egotistical, all about me... and my summer, kind of posts. But I just thought I should reflect on the great things I've done this summer and how thankful I am for everything that I've been able to do!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Themed Birthday

I have never had a themed birthday before, but I did this year. Cupcakes. Everything was centered around cupcakes this year. Does that surprise you? Probably not. 

I got birthday presents that were cupcake-centered: Martha Stewart's Cupcake cookbook (which is where the above picture came from), piping bags and tips, a homemade cupcake recipe book, an apron that says "Cupcake Queen" on it, and multiple birthday cards dawning cupcakes... We also had cupcakes instead of real cake at the Burrichter Family birthday party this year. My aunt Charlotte even brought extras that weren't decorated so that I could practice with my new piping bags! And I sang worship at church this weekend, s0 a friend from church brought me Babycakes cupcakes which was very fun! And then to end the birthday weekend, I baked cupcakes all day today. It's been great (minus spending almost an hour trying to whip this frosting into fluffiness and never having success).

I have used the word "cupcake" more in the last 72 hours than I have in my entire life. But it's been a great weekend and a great birthday. Thanks to everyone who made it so special...

Birthday cupcakes and the recipe book from Charlotte.

Babycakes cupcakes and eating them with everyone at church!
My "Cupcake Queen" apron and the Snickerdoodle cupcake whose frosting took me all night to make. I was happy with the end results though!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Frank: The Soundtrack to My LIfe

I was just upstairs cleaning my room for the arrival of Bre, my brother's girlfriend and my future best friend, and downstairs I hear my dad turn on some of his music. I think he thought I was already gone to work so he cranked it up. One of many things I like about my dad is that he loves a variety of music. It went from Chris Tomlin to Michael Jackson to Frank Sinatra...

When Frank was playing I had this surreal moment. I was tidying my room and heard his smooth voice fill our house and it made me feel like I was in an old, black and white movie. I wanted to start singing as I was making my bed or turn around to find the man I had been waiting for arrive and tell me he loves me and give me a completely tasteful kiss.

It's funny how music can change the whole atmosphere of what you are doing. I wouldn't mind if I had Frank Sinatra playing all the time. There is something about his music and others from that era that reminds me a simpler times. Maybe all of our lives would seem a little more simple if we listened to Frank's love songs more often...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quality Conversations

There are times when I don't really feel like thinking about the world or anything deep. I want to just take it as it is and not go beneath the surface and think about things and why they are the way they are. It's generally easier that way.

There are other times when I want to discuss, theorize, question, and figure out the world. Tonight was one of those nights. I had the best conversation with my friend Corrie. We talked about everything: family, our dream jobs, the meaning of life, where we find joy, how we want to dress when we're old, God, husbands and all that go along with them... We talked on a variety of levels. It was quality.

I love quality conversations. I love a conversation that begins at surface level and gradually gets deeper to the point where you feel like you can discuss anything. I love it when people are ok with thinking critically and taking the time to do so. 

Needless to say, I had a good night just chatting... for hours... about nothing and everything at the same time.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Enjoy Cupcakes Inspiration

Warning: Copycatting is about to occur!!! I saw a cool thing on Design*Sponge and I'm stealing their post, like I have done oh, so many times.

They posted about this cupcakery in Los Olivos, California called Enjoy Cupcakes. The author of the blog post said, "I’m a sucker for a place that combines my two favorite things- food and great design." Change the food part to cupcakes and I totally agree. (Well, I guess you can keep the food part because that's true as well, I just really love cupcakes.) Anyway, this place is beautiful, the actual design of the shop I mean. If I ever have a cupcakery, I hope that it is something like this.

In other related cupcakes news, I was informed by my wonderful aunt Cindy last night that we are having cupcakes instead of normal birthday cake when we celebrate August birthdays this year! (Every month my mom's side of the family gets together to celebrate the birthdays of the family members born in that month. This month it's my and 5 or 6 of my relatives' turn!) Anyway, I'm very excited about the inclusion of cupcakes this year! My request: some kind of lemon something, whether it's frosting or the actual cake. We will see how a family that normal sticks with chocolate or white cake will do when they see it!

(More pictures of Enjoy Cupcakes!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie & Julia

Last night I saw the movie Julie & Julia with my friends Jessie and Dana. While some people have no desire to see this movie because they think it looks dull, I was way excited. After seeing the first preview and realizing it was a movie about cooking and blogging, I knew I had to see it! I really enjoyed it... It was probably about 30 minutes too long for me, but overall, I liked it a lot.

Something that was brought up a lot in the movie was how egotistical blogging can be. People just use blogs to talk about themselves and highlight their lives. It made me a bit scared and I started thinking, "Man, I hope that's not what I'm doing." I suppose I'm guilty at times... especially last night's "I got a Mac!" post... it was all about me. But I would say that the purpose of this blog is not to bring attention to myself but to bring attention to things that I find beautiful. It's not to say, "Look at me!", it's purpose is to say, "Look at that!" I guess I hope that it is a blog of compliments to the world (aka God) and the little things it (He) provides. There is a lot of messed up stuff, so why not highlight the things that are still good. That's why I blog.

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie, and I am glad I was reminded of the purpose of this blog because I don't want it to be about me, I want it to be about everything else.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm a Mac person now...

Today, I purchased a Mac.

I think I have been waiting for this day to come since April of my senior year of high school when my dad walked down the stairs to inform me that he had ordered me a Dell laptop for my graduation present instead of a Mac. (Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly grateful to my parents for that laptop. My Dell was a great companion to me over the past 3 years. But in the last year the CD rom has broken, the battery now only lasts 20 minutes, and every time I turn it on it gives me this terrifying "You're computer is going to die unless you push this button" message.)

So anyway, I did it. I have been dreaming about it for years, and obsessing over it for weeks. (Today at lunch my mom said, "What happened to my calm, even keeled daughter?" But the Mac has been bought and I'm back.) And it's done. No more obsessing, now just relaxed enjoyment.

This is my first post from my new Mac. May it provide many inspirational posts in the future...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just to prove my point...

Tonight's dusk. Exact same time. Exact same place. Still beautiful...

P.S. Two things I forgot to mention that I love about dusk.
1. The way it makes everything a silhouette.
2. The fact that my dad loves it which is where a lot of my love comes from.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The daily departure of the sun...

Tonight I was driving (with the windows down, of course) and I was admiring the setting, or actually it had already set, sun. The sun had disappeared below the horizon and the sky was transitioning from a rich orange to a darker and darker blue. It was beautiful.

Then I started thinking, "The sun sets every single day, how in the world do I still find it as beautiful as ever?" I really have no idea. Generally things that you have constant exposure to lose their attraction, but not a sunset and the whole period of dusk. It's still beautiful.

Above is tonight's sunset, or the tail end of it. I am housesitting this week and the owner's of the house told me they had a good view of the sunset... They didn't lie.