Monday, April 26, 2010

Some kind of path.

As many of you know, in December I graduated from the University of Missouri with a Spanish degree (although I never actually became QUITE fluent in the language...) I've been working part time at my church hoping that the job would turn into a full time job sometime this summer. Well, as it often happens, life didn't go according to plan, the church can't offer me a job due to financial reasons, and I am back looking for a new direction.

There really are two ways of looking at my situation:
1. Freak out. Worry about my lack of direction and cry. (I've been tempted to do that. Actually, two weeks ago, before I even knew that I didn't get the job, I took this approach. Not fun.)
2. Get excited! I have a world of possibilities in front of me and some awesome parents that are giving me time and support so I can figure things out. (I am resting in Jeremiah 29:11 these days... which is giving me the courage and peace to take this approach.)

So that's where I'm at. Looking for something, pursuing paths, doing a lot of self-examination to see what may be next for me. Here's what I've decided are things that I love doing. If someone would mind analyzing them and telling me what I should do with my life, I'd appreciate that. :)
1. Bake
2. Go to coffee shops
3. Have quality conversations with people
4. Sing
5. Make things pretty
6. Play games
7. Think/create creatively
8. Take pictures
9. Go to concerts
10. Laugh

Let me know when you've figured out my life for me. In the meantime, I'll be working on it, too.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Food Paintings.

I saw this on Design*Sponge today. It's a painting of pretty much my dream bakery. Even though Design*Sponge already gave the artist, Janet Hill, a shout out I thought I would too. Apparently she is selling her stuff on Etsy for really cheap. I love cheap art. Especially when it's art that I don't think I could recreate myself. And especially when it involves painting baked goods.

Here is the Design*Sponge link about Janet Hill's food paintings and here is her Etsy page. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Couch to 5K

The above picture depicts me in a nutshell... To be totally honest with you. I played sports in high school, then quit my junior year because I didn't care enough to try as hard as I had to try to be really good. When I quit playing sports my health and weight gradually went downhill which brings me to today. I'm overweight and out of shape... and I'm ready to change!

I'm sure you've heard me mention a diet before. I've totally been slacking on it lately, and you can probably tell because I haven't mentioned it in a few months. But I'm trying to get back on track. And the exciting thing is, that I've decided I'm going to run a 5K! I'm using the work out regimen called Couch to 5K that is supposed to get me there in 9 weeks. I'm two days in and I'm really liking it. (Although, I must admit that I think my new favorite feeling is when I've just finished a work out...)

So if you are overweight (like me), and don't think you could ever become a runner (also like me) then I encourage you to try this! It'll get you there gradually and, man... just think about how good it will feel when you cross the finish line of that 5K and weigh X amount of pounds lighter! I'm doing it... you, for sure, can too! Go here to find out how. (Alright, sorry for the the cheesy inspirational post, I'm just really excited about this!)

Monday, April 19, 2010


Do you remember about a month ago when I blogged about how much I love the color mustard and how I bought a purse on Etsy that was mustard and I was really excited about it? I finally got it in the mail... today. Apparently it came from Thailand and I only paid $9.00 shipping on it which would explain why it took a month. I have been eagerly checking the mail/looking on the front porch to see if it had come yet for the last 3 weeks... and today was the day!

It's a bit smaller than I'm used to, but that doesn't say much considering the last 3 or 4 purses I've used have been about the size of a backpack. But I'm excited about it. Yay! for a new purse... and the fact that it's mustard. I feel kind of guilty for being so excited about something so superficial, but the arrival of this beautiful purse, plus a nice lunch and Bible study with my mom, and another bakery order placed, and currently sitting on my back porch blogging while I lounge in the sun... It's makes for a great day.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Loose Park.

I didn't really think it was possible... but today I fell in love with Kansas City a little bit more than I already was. A few weeks ago I ventured to Loose Park with my friend Brooke and have been meaning to blog about it since then. Today I went back with my friend Katie and it just has to be blogged about because I love it so much!
It's big and spacious. Tons of green, hilly fields of beautiful grass. And they have nice fountains and ponds. And everyone was outside just enjoying the weather. And it's surrounded by this neighborhood that is filled with beautiful old houses. Yes, I know... a lot of parks have grass, and ponds, and fountains, and people. What is so special about this park? I don't know... but I love it.

I think I may love it because it's totally different and I feel like I'm not in Kansas City when I'm there. How does that make sense? I love the fact that I feel like I'm somewhere else than Kansas City, and that makes me love Kansas City more? I guess I like it because I've lived in this city for 22 years, and I am still discovering new sides and personalities of it... and I love that. Thank you, Loose Park, for being beautiful and adding to the great city that I love...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm professional... again!

Today I finished my second professional bakery order. I know, I know... This could get old if I blog every time I sell something. The reason why I feel like this order was significant was because:

1. I got to improve this cheesecake. I love trying recipes, learning things, taking the suggestions of others, and creating better baked goods. My brother Joel suggested that I crumble the Reese's instead of having whole Reese's on top. What a great suggestion... now everyone gets Reese's, it's more easily edible, and I think it looks better!

2. I got to use a card that my brother Cory designed for me! He's been diligently working with a picky client (me...) to create the perfect logo and card. He started here, then went here, then here, and arrived here! I love the finish product (although I had to use black and white for today's card. I will get some color when I print it off professionally.)

So anyway, going from my first order of cupcakes that were delivered in cheap tupperware that had "Abby's Bakery" sharpied on them to this is a nice step in the right direction of professionalism. Thanks the my brothers for their great suggestions and creativity.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I have always loved the look of white globe lights. Something about them is so simple and pure... and well, I just have an affinity for lighting in general (you can read about it here)... I've always thought that it would be fun to have them light my wedding or reception (I know, it's dangerous to start planning wedding decorations before you've even met the guy...) Or to have them on a beautiful porch that I someday dream of having. But I've never really been able to find the perfect lights in any stores or they cost to much, so I let go of my dream (if you could call it that...)

Recently I've been reinspired by white globe lights. My brother's friend Cassie (and I suppose she's my friend too, although we've never met) blogged about her porch and she had the lights that I love! (I, for sure, had porch AND light envy.) One of her beautiful pictures is below. These white lights also popped up at my other brother's girlfriends house. She has a balcony off of her bedroom that most people only dream of having. It was beautiful... and beautifully lit with white globe lights.

So anyway... I was at Target today and I found some white globe lights that were reasonably priced... so I bought them. I really shouldn't have... I have spent more money this week (on 3 different flights for my summer trips!) than I have probably in the last two months combined. But I did. I bought them and I have been giddy about them ever since putting them up! So hurray for finally having white globe lights in my life. I truly am giddy...

Monday, April 12, 2010


Happy birthday to my awesome brother Joel! I wanted to make a special card for Joel because I'm lame and my birthday present for him was a shirt that he picked out and paid for himself and I paid him back... I originally wasn't sure what to put on the card but the moment I thought of the Ray Bans I never looked back. I totally associate Joel with all things cool... one of those being his taste in sunglasses (and everything else really...) so I feel like it's pretty perfect... (In honor of his birthday I think I am going to finally buy myself these sunglasses that he suggested to me. Haha... I'm not kidding, though.)

I don't really have a whole lot to say. Just that Joel is great and that I think he's cool... not just in his fantastic taste in music, movies, art, books, fashion, etc. (which you can read about here at his also cool blog) but he's cool because he's an awesome, passionate, loving guy. Anyway, happy birthday, Joel! Thanks for being a great brother! I love you!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Peanuuuut, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate!"

Do you remember that old song, it was from Barney or Sesame Street or something... It went, "Peanuuuut, peanut butter, and jelly!" Well, I don't like jelly, PB&J was just never for me, but I have decided that peanut butter and chocolate is probably my favorite food combination ever. It has somehow crept up as a trend in my baking as you can see here, here, and here. What can I say? I bake things that I think I will enjoy... that's why you don't often see pies, mousse, pudding, coconut, cherry, etc. I'm guilty... I'm a selfish baker.

Moving on... because I love this combination of peanut butter and chocolate I made a cheesecake this weekend that although I haven't tried it yet, has the potential to be the best piece of dessert that has ever graced my mouth. It has an Oreo crust, a layer of fudge, a layer of crumbled Reese's, peanut butter cheesecake, ganache topping, a little bit of peanut butter frosting and Reese's for decoration. Once again, I realize it's borderline over the top rich, but hopefully it will turn out to be delicious. (P.S. I can't take credit for this amazing recipe... I got it here in case you want to try it out yourself.)

Anyway, I won't be able to try it until later tonight because I'm bringing it to a party, but I'll have to let you know how it turns out. I can't imagine the beautiful combination of peanut butter and chocolate leading me astray.... it never has, and likely never will.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Creativity... kind of.

Yesterday I was "in the mood to be creative." (In response my friend Katie said, "When are you not in the mood" which made me smile...) I decided that I wanted to make some cards. And because of Katie's cute comment I made one for her and kind of bridged from the idea of a spring card to something a little more simple. The card I made her reminded me of a card that I recently saw on Etsy that simply said, "How are you?" I was tempted to buy the card but thought I would make my own. These cards are a melding of the idea of the card for Katie and the simple Etsy card.

Nothing genius or even that well made, but kind of fun. Maybe you'll get one in the mail... You'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chuck and more...

I feel like my blog has been more baking centered than "things I love" centered lately (although we all know that I do love baking). So I thought I'd give a quick shout out to 5 random things that I am currently loving:

1. Chuck. I love this tv show. It is probably one of my favorites on right now. I love Zachary Levi. I love the perfectly cheesy blend of action, comedy, and romance. I love it all. What a great show...

2. Fink. Some friends of mine recently introduced me to this band/guy... (I hate it when it's not clear if it's a singular musician or a whole band.) I love them/him. "Sort of Revolution" is currently my favorite song.

3. This nice weather. I am regularly reminded of how thankful I am for the seasons. God was so smart in making the weather change right at the perfect moment because spring couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

4. Driving with the windows down. I have mentioned this before... But I still love this. Windows down with good music blaring pretty much is a guaranteed mood upper for me. I just love it.
(Sadly I don't have a current picture for this because it's dangerous...)

5. Mocha chocolate chip cookies. I made some of these today with the recipe from this blog. Honestly, when I pulled them out of the oven and saw a pan full of flat, ugly cookies I thought these were going to be bad. But as they say, you can't judge a book by its cover because the cookies were pretty stinking good. I think I'll go have another right now.

Anyway, there are a few things that I'm currently loving. Hope you are taking time to think about what you love, too!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Top 10, babay!

My mom has asked me before why I am always looking for new recipes when the current recipes that we have are already good. Sometimes I tell her, "It's just a hobby, Mom. I like looking for good recipes." I still don't think she TOTALLY gets it, but the other day I was reading a baking blog and the author put it better than I have in the past:

"Even though I may have a legitimate recipe for something, I never stop trying out new ones just in case I discover something better. This is probably why I bake so ridiculously much; I need to test out every single recipe just so I know which one is superior compared to the rest. It may sound nuts, but it seems somewhat tangible in my head. Does that make me crazy? Maybe."

So that's why I'm constantly trying out new recipes... But you know one recipe that I have decided has "arrived" and there is no need to search for a greater recipe? My sugar cookie recipe. It's great. (It's not me that came up with it, I just found it online and altered it a tiny bit so that's why I can say that it's great without sounding egotistical.) I've mentioned this recipe before, here actually. (I now use 1/2 tsp vanilla (instead of 1) and 1/2 tsp. almond extract for the frosting, just fyi.)

Anyway, do you want to know how I know that it has arrived? My uncle Dave is a man of lists. He has made personal lists for everything: top 10 movies, top 10 cookies, ok, so I can't think of any of his other lists, but I know he has more. Anyway, this man loves cookies, so he has created a list of his top 10 favorite cookies. Today, after having some of my sugar cookies, he officially bumped off oatmeal raisin from his list and added my sugar cookies to it! WHAT an honor!

Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm professional...

It's official. Yesterday I had my first customer as a baker! Well... I had lots of customers as a baker at Kaldi's, but I have never sold anything I've baked on my own! A friend from church bought 3 dozen cupcakes from me! She said I could make whatever kind I wanted so I went with half Snickerdoodle cupcakes and half chocolate chocolate cupcakes.

The main thing that I learned from my first professional baking experience: make a complete shopping list before you go to the grocery store. I went to the grocery store 4 times yesterday... yes, I said 4. I have no idea where my brain was. First it was sugar, then eggs, then cream cheese, then containers to carry them in. I'll never make any money if I spend hours at the grocery store... But overall, I'd say the experience was good for learning and I will only improve from here.
(It's only fitting that I finish at this time the night before.)