Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day.

Tonight my family went to this thing called Celebration at the Station at Union Station. The Kansas City Symphony performed and there were fireworks. My brother Joel covered Union Station and the entire evening on his blog and was way more informative and well-versed than I could ever be, so you should read about it here. As for me, what I loved about the evening:

1. The symphony. Holy cow... I've been wanting to go to the symphony for a while now and this was awesome. I still say that the moment the new Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts open, I will be there enjoying the amazing music of the Kansas City Symphony.
2. The patriotic-ness (uh... I feel like there has to be a better word for this but I can't think of it.) I'm not always big on all the red, white, and blue, salute your flag, scream the Star Spangled Banner at the top of your lungs thing. But tonight, I was reminded of how cool it can be when everyone comes together... especially to celebrate all of the men and women who have served and are serving our country.
3. The fireworks. Fireworks are always fun... Especially when they are displayed right above a one of a kind World War I Memorial.
4. The company. I went with my parents, brother Joel, and aunt and uncle. Always a great time and lots of laughs with them. Plus we played games while waiting for the show to start, and I won, which is great! (Plus there were 50,000 other of my closest KC friends there.)
5. The weather. The whole evening everyone was convinced it was going to start pouring rain... but it didn't. It ended up being perfect!

Here are some pictures of my splendid night. Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I love reading magazines. Something about them is so frivolous and fun (that's probably because I don't read anything deep like Time, or the New Yorker, or anything like that.) I love looking at the pictures and reading about how lavender is the fingernail polish color of the season, and taking quizzes on what color fits my decorating mood and shamefully enjoying snippets about what Justin Timberlake's drink of choice is. All totally unnecessary information... but sometimes it's just fun to read.

My friend Mary and I play this game when we're together and I happen to be reading a magazine (which happens more than you'd think.) I take a page of outfits, we both look at it and in our heads decide which is our favorite and which we think the other's favorite is and then compare out loud to see if we know each other's style. Such a silly game but it's one of my favorite things to do involving magazines.
(My favorite on this page! Go
figure... it's kind of mustard. )

Another thing I love about magazines is that there are times when their presence seems so natural. At a nail salon (it's a given that while you're getting a pedi, you're reading the most recent issue of some fashion magazine, actually it's probably more common that it's NOT the most recent issue). On a plane (and I'm not talking about Sky Mall, purchased at the airport then read on the plane.) And for me it's when I make a small purchase at a grocery store and feel like I can afford the spending little extra money for a magazine. I love those days.

Anyway, getting a new magazine, whether in the mail (which I didn't even mention, but I also love; what a great day when you open the mailbox and see the most recent issue of Real Simple!) or in the check out line at a grocery store... is one of those little things that I really love.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rose Garden.

I know it probably seems like I mention Loose Park about every other day. I went back today though... with my mom, and saw a part of it I haven't seen yet: the Rose Garden! It was great...

Here are some pictures from my mom and I's adventure. We decided it probably wasn't prime rose time but that they were still beautiful... and for sure worth a little highlighting on the ol' blog here.
(Mom's favorite)
(My favorite, named "Julia Child",
maybe because they're the color of butter?)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


A couple of summers ago I interned for a youth group and became really close with a couple of the kids that were in the youth group. We haven't really hung out consistently over the past couple of years because we've all been at different colleges in different towns but we try to hang out when we can. Tonight we got together and our conversation was a bit unique to most conversations people have...

Although we hadn't seen each other in a while, we started our conversation with the intention of being real with each other. When I asked my friends Becca and Nathan how they were doing, I said something like, "How have you been? I mean how have you really been?" So often someone asks, "How are you?" you say, "I'm good," and move on whether you are really doing good or not. Tonight our entire evening was based on real conversations, hard stuff, great stuff, and everything in between. It was just refreshing to me.

I guess I just love when people are real. In a day, I'd rather have one real conversation with someone who told me what was truly going on in his or her life and heart than ten conversations where someone answers "good" when asked how they're doing then we move on to further meaningless discussion. I love real friends, real community, and tonight was a demonstration of that... I loved it. (Plus we were at Loose Park at sunset... you can't really beat that.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Oven Light.

I've got to say, one of my favorite inventions (after, you know, electricity, the internet, the cell phone, the iPod.... and a few other things) is the oven light! I can't bake without it. Sometimes I'll wait a few minutes to turn it on and get all anxious until I can't bare it any longer and have to turn it on to see how my precious baked goods are doing. The days where the light comes on and they look like crap: cookies are flatter than they should be, cupcakes are overflowing, etc.... I resent the oven light. But days like today, where my cupcakes are rounding out perfectly (no thanks to me, don't tell anyone, but I used a cake mix), I turn it on, and a big smile comes to my face. It brings me peace (in my shallow, the only thing that matters is baking, world that I allow myself to live in for a couple hours every couple days.) Today, I love the oven light.

(Here's the finished product, in case you were curious. I had some leftover frosting from the graduation cakes, hence the teal.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'll always and forever be LOST.

LOST remains Number 1 as my favorite TV show. The finale tonight didn't disappoint (I'm ashamed that I ever doubted it...). I cried almost nonstop but overall I'm content with how it ended. I'm pretty sure I haven't wrapped my head around it all yet, but that's the beauty of LOST. It's a gift that keeps on giving...

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I love fountains. It comes with the territory, I guess. Recently I read an article in the New York Times travel section about Kansas City and it said that we have more fountains than any city in the world (ok, so we're second to Rome, but still...) I guess I like them so much because they combine water, light, and creativity. And they are a symbol of my favorite city... so why wouldn't I love them.

One of my favorite fountains in Kansas City is the fountain outside of Crown Center. When I was little, my mom would always take my brothers there to meet my dad, who worked for Hallmark at the time, for lunch we always ran through the fountain afterward. Wonderful memories... I went with my friend Jessie last night to the fountain to take some pictures of it. We had a great time! Here are a few...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Didn't love it, but it's good for me.

Today I spent the majority of my day decorating three different graduation cakes. It took WAY too long. I charged $35 a cake, but I'm pretty sure after you take out the cost of ingredients I made about $3/hour. It was kind of a frustrating day to be honest with you. I spent a lot of time, and they aren't as perfected as I'd like them to be.

This isn't your typical "I love this, it's so great!" kind of post. Today was hard work. It's not a half empty situation though. Because the truth is to get good at anything you have to practice and that's what I did today. For about 8 hours. So while, no, I didn't love today, or even really love my finished products, I do love the fact that I am a little bit closer to becoming the baker that I hope to be someday. So that's good news.

(Cake descriptions: above, Kathleen's cake: chocolate cake, buttercream frosting, what is supposed to be tie-dye design on top, and "I love you, Lord; you are my strength. Psalm 18:1" written along the side; below, Robbie's cake: chocolate cake, buttercream frosting, silhouettes of worshipping kids made from chocolate candy melts; below that, Brandi's cake: white cake, buttercream frosting, musical symbols.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's all go to the movies...

I guess I'm on a movie kick lately, but oh well...

I went and saw Iron Man 2 at a really neat theater in Charleston this weekend and was reminded of something... One of my very favorite things to do is to go to the movies. I love watching movies. And then add a big screen and surround sound... you just get totally encompassed in the story. It's more special than renting a movie and watching it on the couch. Plus movie theater popcorn is one of my favorite snacks ever. I can't get enough.

Give me a chick flick, a bag of popcorn, some Diet Coke, and a comfy seat at a movie theater and I am one happy camper. That is all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Top 10 Favorite: Movies

I feel like my taste in movies says a lot about the different sides of me. The variety on this list is pretty ridiculous... but that's ok. Here goes...

Top 10 Favorite: Movies
1. Pride & Prejudice (Design*Sponge did a "Living In: Pride & Prejudice today that was really fun, check it out here if you love this movie as much as I do.)
2. The Bourne Identity
3. You've Got Mail
4. Once
5. Sound of Music
6. 10 Things I Hate About You
7. Dan In Real Life
8. The Italian Job
9. The Parent Trap (the "Lindsey Lohan (before she got crazy)" version)
10. Beauty and the Beast

I didn't give this list as much thought as I could have, so these are my favorite that I could think of off the top of my head. What a funny list...

Monday, May 17, 2010

You've Got Mail.

Tonight I watched the movie You’ve Got Mail and was reminded of how much I love it. It came out 12 years ago, but man… it never gets old. I love that its setting is in New York and that it shows the cute, quaint parts of NYC. I love that it talks about Pride & Prejudice. I didn’t grasp the references the first time I saw it (at a basketball team sleepover in 5th grade) because I didn’t actually read Pride & Prejudice until just a few years ago. But I love them now. I love the recurring mention of coffee and bookstores (two things I love.) I love the lines in the script that make you smile, “I hear nothing, not a sound on the city streets, just the beat of my own heart.” ("Mister 152 insights into my soul!")

Most importantly, I love the main characters: Kathleen Kelly/Meg Ryan (my friend Emily recently told me she could picture me being the “Kathleen Kelly of bakeries” and it pretty much made my day because I love Kathleen Kelly) and Joe Fox/Tom Hanks (strangely, Tom Hanks is far from the most good looking man in Hollywood, but he may be one of my favorite leading men.) Ryan and Hanks have been in many movies together but I’m certain that this is my favorite.

Anyway, I just love the movie. I think I always will.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Holy cow, technology!

So... I hate to double post in a day but: I'm flying in a plane right now. I'm blogging and I'm in the air. It cost me $10 for the duration of the flight (only an hour and a half) but I was so fascinated with the fact that you could get wireless IN THE AIR that I had to do it.

So, hello blog world. I am somewhere between Kansas City and Charleston and I'm blogging. Holy cow. Technology amazes me!(P.S. The above picture was taken by my brother Joel on his way to Atlanta last week. He's awesome, you should check out his blog and/or his Flickr page.)

Top 10 Favorite: TV Shows

I really like TV. Probably too much. But thanks to DVR, Hulu, and seasons on TV on DVD I can enjoy it without losing my life. I'm behind on a lot of these shows actually... So I'm excited to catch up this summer on everything I've missed...

Top 10 Favorite: TV Shows
2. Chuck
3. Modern Family
4. Glee
5. The Office (if it was as good as it used to be, it'd be higher on my list.)
6. Friends
7. Project Runway
8. Top Chef
9. Ace of Cakes
10. Wheel of Fortune
10b. Amazing Race (I enjoyed this season but I don't know if it can be classified as a favorite yet.)

I'm hoping that with the arrival of the series finale of LOST (for some reason I always feel like I have to write that in all caps... I don't know why...) all of my questions will be answered and it will continue to be my favorite. BUT, it has the potential to move way down on the list if the finale disappoints (as I'm preparing myself that it will.) We shall see in a few weeks...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Frozen Grapes.

Sometimes I enjoy something and think, "I should blog about that!" I bust out my camera, take some shots, bring them to the ol' Mac, and type away. Tonight I was enjoying a delicacy I like to call frozen grapes and thought, "I love these! I should blog about it!" I got out my camera, took some pictures, and was trying to artistically capture these grapes when the thought crossed my mind...

"What are you doing? You are literally taking a picture of frozen grapes in a piece of plastic tupperware in your freezer. And you plan on writing about this... And expect people to read it... Really?" Part of me thinks that it's just because I enjoy the small things (the REALLY small things) in life and part of me thinks I just have too much time on my hands. It's probably a combination of the two...

So here I am... blogging about frozen grapes. I think they're tasty. You might even say that I love them... But you know what I love even more than frozen grapes? YOU for reading this lame post about frozen grapes. So... thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top 10 Favorite: Bands

This is a HARD one. Especially when deciding what order to put them in. And especially since my favorites generally change according to who's put out a new album recently (P.S. when did we start saying "album" again, instead of CD? ... I kind of like it.) So, as of TODAY, May 11, 2010, these are my Top 11 Favorite Bands. I went to all the work to make links for each of them, so you should probably check them out. Obviously, I think they're worth a listen.

There you have it! Enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

City Market!

I was lucky enough to have a few more bakery orders this week (that makes like 6 or something! Yeehaw!) and I had to drop off one of the orders at the City Market (so apparently it's technically called "Kansas City River Market," but I've never called it that so I'm not going to start now.) I've been wanting to go to the market for a while so I invited two of my favorite people: my mom and my friend Jessie, and we made a morning of it!

As you know, I love anything special to Kansas City. I loved being at the market. I loved seeing all the vendors selling things from dream catchers to potted plants to mangos to curry powder. We bought some fruit and vegetables and I just love the idea of buying fresh, local produce! I also bought some prints of paintings of Kansas City done by an incredibly friendly, talkative :) local artist.
It was a beautiful morning, we purchased some beautiful food (yes, I think food is beautiful), ate a tasty lunch, and enjoyed each other's company. We ended the outing perfectly with my driving and getting us kind of lost. BUT, I think we all enjoyed the sight seeing of downtown KC during the detour. So it turned out great...

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I'd say if someone asked me who my favorite person in the world was, I would answer my mom without a moment of hesitation. My mom... she is pretty much the coolest person I've ever known. And I know her, warts and all, and still think the world of her which says a lot. She's just great...

I could go on and on but I won't. I am just thankful that I was blessed with a mom like mine. Wow...

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Clarity... kind of.

I have become the queen of odd jobs since graduating from college: dogsitter, housesitter, babysitter, "Assistant to the Assistant Pastor of the Arts" (that's my job title at the church...), Spanish teacher, baker, tutor... This week I added proctor to that list because I have been proctoring finals at a local university. It's an easy job, I basically sit there, tell people to write in black ink, to put their name on every page, and to not cheat. I have actually really enjoyed it though... This seemingly meaningless task of giving tests to students was a lot of fun. I got to smile at them, wish them luck, get excited for them when they were finished, basically just love on them in the 30 seconds of interaction that we had. It wasn't anything grand, but the chance I had to love on people in that little interaction was really cool.

So I got to thinking, "What job can I do where I can have lots of interaction with various people so I can quickly love on them like I can here?" Then it dawned on me... open a bakery. (DUH!) I know, I know... I talk about baking all the time, but I have never seriously considered or thought it would be possible to actually open a bakery some day. Opening a bakery would allow me to do so many things I love to do: bake, love on people in quick, passing interaction (customers), love on people in meaningful relationships (co-workers), be creative, be a leader... It would allow me to do all of the things I've been gifted to do.

So I'm doing it (I think...) Here's the plan: go to culinary school (or some kind of school that focuses on baking), work at a bakery, open a bakery, the end. Is this the direction I've been looking for? Maybe... maybe not. My dad says this is the perfect time to take a risk. So I think I'm going to go for it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Top 10 Favorite: Games

I have talked about my love for games before. (It's hard to be original and non-repetitive after blogging for a year and a half...) I even gave a list of what my favorite games are, but I thought I'd update the list and repost it today. So list number two, my Top 10 Favorite Games. Here it comes...

Top 10 Favorite: Games
1. Hand and Foot Canasta (hence the picture of my hand and foot above... just a picture of cards would have been too boring. This is probably my favorite game, here are the rules, you should play it.)
2. Settlers of Catan
3. Ticket to Ride
4. Nertz
5. Hearts
6. The Marble Game
7. Hit or Miss
8. Hollywood Bowl
9. Catch Phrase
10. Scattegories

There you have it. I know you really care... :) I just challenge you to take some time and make a list of something you enjoy. You'd be surprised how much fun it is...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Top 10 Favorite Cookies

I've mentioned my uncle Dave before. He makes lists of things he enjoys like his favorite cookies (which is why I've mentioned it before... my sugar cookies made his list!), favorite Western movies, etc. He started writing down his lists in a book which is kind of inspiring to me. Him writing down his Top 10 *fill in the blank* is similar to me writing out the little things I appreciate here on this blog. So I decided to start making my own lists. It was so fun just sitting down, taking time to think about all of the things I really enjoy... You should try it!

These lists will be appearing on this blog periodically over the next week or so (unless I think of something better to write about.) Tonight I will start with my Top 10 Favorite Cookies in honor of my uncle Dave!

Top 10 Favorite Cookies
1. Peanut Butter with Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
2. Peanut Butter with Hershey's Kiss
3. Peanut Butter (can you tell I love peanut butter?)
4. Frosted Sugar
5. Chocolate Chip
6. Scotcheroo
7. Lemon Bar
8. No-Bake
9. Cranberry White Chocolate Chip
10. Oatmeal Fudge Bar

How about a little bit of reader participation? What is YOUR favorite kind of cookie? (Seriously, I really want to know... Don't be one of those people who is too cool to comment, just do it!)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday Nights Watch Parties!

I'm not going to lie, I really can't think a better way of ending each weekend than having a watch party with my parents to watch the Amazing Race on Sunday Nights. I know this show has been on forever, but it has become a new thing with my family. We started watching last season because some guys, Dan and Sam, that I graduated high school with were on the show. It was fun because I got to watch guys that I knew be on TV, but really... they screamed at each other more than they said nice things so I was eager to cheer for someone else...

This season has been so much fun to watch! I am rooting for more people on the show than I'm rooting against. I like pretty much everyone... except for "the lesbians" which had nothing to do with their sexual orientation and everything to do with the fact that they were mean, and Brent & Caite who are also mean.) My favorites are Jet and Cord, the cowboy brothers who are humbly good at everything, never fight, and have some of the best Southern catchphrases around. I also really like Dan and Jordan, the straight/gay brother duo who love and support each other like few brothers can in high intensity situations like the race.

Anyway... I love this show. I love the combination of competition, team work/relationships, and traveling. And I love watching it with my parents. Next week is the season finale and after that I will for sure will be feeling a void on Sunday nights around 7:00.... What shall I fill it with?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Family Birthday Parties!

I know I talk about my family a lot. I've blogged about them specifically, and I include them in many of the posts I write. I love them. A lot. One of the many things I love about them is our monthly birthday celebrations. I was literally looking forward to it all week. Because I was so excited about it I thought it deserved its own post. So here it is: "Family Birthday Parties!" I love them. :)

We gather, eat a good meal (and always TOO MUCH of a good meal, I often leave sick from overeating...), talk about life, open presents, laugh, eat cake and ice cream, hug, and play games. Normally the guys play Hearts and the girls play Nertz or Hand and Foot. I love that tradition. We do the same thing every time, and we gather about once a month, but it is equally as fun every time.

This month we celebrated my cousin Julie, brother Joel, and cousin Chris's birthdays. It was great... I'm so stinkin' lucky to have the family that I do, it's not even funny. :)
(Fun in the backyard.)
(Ladder ball!)
(Opening presents, tomatoes?)
(Cousin love!)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wedding cake.

I don't know if you know this about me... but I enjoy baking. Cookies, muffins, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes... I love it all. I have a long way to go before becoming an excellent baker so I love learning and expanding my knowledge of the craft of baking. Yesterday I had the chance to learn a few things about baking cake from an expert: my aunt Charlotte. She and my aunt Cindy used to (and occasionally still do) bake wedding cakes. So yesterday she passed all of her wedding cake knowledge on to me, and it was great!

Here are a few (of the MANY) things that I learned about cakes:
1. You don't ever need to bake a cake for as long as the box says. We baked our cake for 20 minutes and the box said 30-35. (Box? You used a cake mix? Yes. And it was DELICIOUS!)
2. If you wrap a strip of wet bath towel around the edge of the cake pan, it causes the cake to bake flat instead of puffing up in the middle.
3. If you freeze the cake then frost it it holds in all of the moisture. When it thaws it's magically delicious!

Well, the list goes on and on and I'm sure you don't really care. BUT, I had a great time. And now I know how to make delicious cake so if you're getting married and are daring enough to have a novice baker make your cake... you know where to find me.