Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Bathroom.

A week ago my mom told me that she wanted to redecorate the upstairs bathroom/my bathroom/the bathroom formerly known as "Joel and I's bathroom" (I'm sure he's loving his new, non-"covered in curly hair" bathroom that he has all to himself.) Mom said she was thinking about doing something in blue and brown. My creative juices instantly started flowing and I couldn't be stopped after that... I stopped by Home Depot with a friend the next day and picked up a swatch of blue that I thought was nice... Mom approved so I volunteered to paint it. Then I happened to stop by Target and look at brown shower curtains and towels. I came back with Mom and she approved of my suggestions so we bought some. I gradually shared more ideas, she approved, and before you knew it I had totally taken over decorating the whole bathroom. With her approval, of course...

I'm learning something about myself that I never realized while I was in college. I love projects. I don't think I had a lot of time, energy, or money in college so I just did what I had to do and spent the rest of my time with my roommates or in some local coffee shop. But I'm not in college anymore and I've got all this time of my hands, and I love getting things done. At home and at work. (I recently decorated our green room and my office (side note: I still need to show you pictures of my office) just because I love projects.)

Anyway, I love projects and I loved working on the bathroom. Unfortunately I have no "before" pictures but here are some "after" pictures of our newly decorated bathroom.
(You know I decorated a room when tree photography is involved.
These were taken by my brother Joel and I.)
(I liked the simplicity of these flowers. And no, that's not dirt,
it's actually coffee (decaf, no worries, I didn't waste the good stuff.))
(Lamp, candle, and frame: all totally unnecessary,
yet I love them... a lot.)
(Mood lighting...)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lessons from Solitude.

I survived my 24 hours of solitude! And it was actually really great... I relaxed a lot, read a lot, spent a lot of time with the Lord, and just was overall recharged. I've written 3 different posts to tell you about my time... but none seem to appropriately say what I want to say. Here's my 4th attempt to try to concisely communicate what I took away from my 24 hours.

-I (and everybody else) live a hurried life and it is affecting me more than I realize. A book called "The Life You've Always Wanted" by John Ortberg said this, "The great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it." That's my life right now in a nutshell.

-I also realized how much society and technology affects my life after being away from it for 24 hours. It's kind of ridiculous how often I have to check my phone, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, etc. to make sure I'm still connected to the world... Needless to say, it was good to get away from all of that. Another quote from Ortberg, "Solitude is the one place where we can gain freedom from the forces of society that will otherwise relentlessly mold us." I'm still deciding how I need to change my life and my addiction to society and technology now that I'm back.

-The third main thing that I realized about my life that wasn't given to me by a book or scripture was this: I am so concerned about my future and how everything in my life will turn out that I'm totally neglecting taking care of myself and my relationships (with the Lord and with the people around me) here in the present. Things have to change.

So there you have it. The things you learn while away for a day. I didn't have a camera to take pictures of the beautiful amenities where I spent me my retreat, so instead I took a Photo Booth pic of myself, currently on the patio at Starbucks, willingly choosing to be by myself after a day of solitude. Craziness, eh?

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Yep, this blog post is going to be about people. No one in particular, just people in general. I love being around people. I used to think everyone loved, even needed people as much as I do... but apparently it's not true. Some are what we like to call introverts... I am not one of those people. Recently I took a Meyers Briggs personality test and my results classified me as an ESFJ. I don't know if that means anything to you, but in the description of my personality it said this: "Friendly, outgoing, neighborly - in a word, ESFJs are gregarious, so much so that they become restless when isolated from people" ... among other things, but you must know this about me to give the following paragraph significance.

My boss recently encouraged me to basically fall off the face of the earth for a little while and have some time of solitude to see what God's doing in my life. (That's the beauty of working at a church...) She knows that I'm a "people person" and that I rely heavily on my relationships so she encouraged me to cut myself off completely, for at least a day. (I know, a day, that's not long, but for a person like me, it is.) So that's what I'm doing. In about 30 minutes I'm heading off to a friend's home for a retreat and I'm not bringing my laptop, and I'm only bringing my phone in case I get a call about a job (P.S. I'm looking for a job, I don't know if I've mentioned that.) Just me, my Bible, a few books, and my iPod. It should be great... But gosh, pray for me, that I'll be able to survive my 24 hours alone.

(P.S. Here's a link to the free, short, online Meyers Briggs test that I took, if you're curious to learn a little bit more about your own personality.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Delay Brew.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I really enjoyed waking up to coffee when I was on vacation. So I made it a goal to obtain a new coffee maker (either by buying it for myself or asking for one for my birthday) and to buy some nice coffee. Well, it's done. My parents gave me a beautiful new, stainless steel looking Mr. Coffee coffee maker and a couple of pounds of Starbucks coffee, and I'm good to go.

My favorite feature is the Delay Brew button. I know... these have been around forever, but man, I love it. I love getting it all ready the night before so it's all brewing right when I want it the next morning. I love how after hitting the snooze button five too many times (yes, I'm that person who sets her alarm 30 minutes early just so she can hit the snooze button a few times before crawling out of bed) and hurriedly getting myself ready for the day... I walk down the stairs to the wonderful smell of coffee and my lovely recycled plastic (yep, I'm green sometimes...) Kaldi's thermos sitting there waiting for me... Thanks to the Delay Brew button, I'm out the door in a few minutes (gotta take the time to add a couple of Sweet n' Lows and some creamer; Fact: I'm not man enough to drink my coffee black) with a perfect cup of coffee.

Basically, I'm just saying I love the Delay Brew button. That's all.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And another...

Yesterday I got a call from my cousin Anthony asking me to make him a birthday cake. It kind of made me sad that he had to ask, but then he told me that it was for his youth group and that the church would pay for it. I didn't feel as bad after that... The only direction that I got was that he wanted "white wedding cake like aunt Charlotte makes." So I got work...

Anthony loves disc golf... and rightfully so, he kicks butt at it. So here is my attempt to honor Anthony's 27th birthday with a disc golf cake (that thing to the left is supposed to be a disc golf hole). Happy birthday, Anthony! You're awesome...

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm no Cake Boss...

It's been a while since I've had a bakery order. I just haven't been baking much this summer because things have been so busy. And I think people haven't been asking for baked goods for the same reason... at least that's what I'm telling myself. :) But tonight I got a call from a guy that I work with asking me if I could make a cake for his son... for tomorrow. Luckily I didn't have any plans tonight besides painting my bathroom (which can wait) so I said yes. His son wanted a cake like "one of the ones that Cake Boss makes."
He also really likes Godzilla, and is turning 13, and likes chocolate cake. With all those factors in mind, I got to work... I'm no Cake Boss, but here is the finished product. I'm pretty excited about it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Frozen Yogurt

One of my new favorite treats is frozen yogurt. I know... it's been around forever, but for some reason it is just now showing up in the midwest. We got a Yogoluv in Columbia a few months before I graduated. It was good, but I only went once... It's probably not the brightest idea to open a place like that mid-fall/early-winter. This summer I heard some of my relatives from the Kansas side talk about how a few places have opened near them. Last week I tried two: Peachwave and Yoberry. Then I saw one up north, near me, called Yogurtini (who thinks of these names...) They're popping up everywhere!

I love the fresh tasting frozen yogurt, the variety of flavors, the abundance of toppings, the fact that it's self serve, and the idea that you weigh it and pay according to that (Genius!) What I find is funny and therefore also love about all of these frozen yogurt places is that every single one of them looks alike... So, if you want to open a successful (well, they all just opened up, so we'll see just how successful they are and if they last the winter) frozen yogurt place, here is the recipe:

1. Pastel walls (usually green)
2. Some kind of tile or mosaic work
3. Funky lights
4. Futuristic looking and inevitably uncomfortable chairs
5. A cheesy name (many include "yo" somewhere in there, but Peachwave decided to be a little more original.)

Anyway, I've enjoyed checking out all of these places! I have decided on a favorite yet, but because my brother Joel thinks Peachwave is the best and I respect his opinion, I'll go with that....


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blackie's Dead

I really shouldn't judge a person without knowing much about them... Actually, I shouldn't judge a person even if I know EVERYTHING about them. But I've judged Scarlett Johansson... I'm sorry, but I have. Nearly every movie she's been in she has played some version of an adulteress (i.e. He's Just Not That Into You, The Other Boleyn Girl, Match Point, In Good Company, etc.) and I'm thinking, "Hm, learn how to play a new role." Anyway... I'm sorry, Scarlett, for judging you for the shady roles you get paid to portray in movies... I'm sure you're a very nice girl. And I'll give you this, you make some pretty decent music.

My friend Corrie played Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson's album "Break Up" for me the other day when we hung out and I kind of fell in love with their sound (although you don't get much of that sound because the entire album is only 28 minutes long.) Despite the short length, I bought the album today and can't stop listening to the song below: Blackie's Dead. I love me a good catchy song (although after looking at the lyrics, I'm still unsure of what this song is about.) The album recording of this song is better than the live version below, but I still thinks it's fun!
P.S. Dear Scarlett, you are singing a catchy song... you're allowed to smile. Sincerely, A Fan of Smiling

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Happy birthday to my mom... my very favorite person in the whole entire world. (I know, you probably wish it was you, but I'm sorry, the title goes to my momma.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fall Party

It's hot outside. I know, it's the midwest in the middle of August, what do I expect... But it's hotter than I remember. I just looked at the forecast for the rest of the week and one website said it would be 99 degrees on Friday and had the caption, "No relief yet. Flirting with 100." I like the website's humor, but man, I'm ready for things to start cooling down. I'm ready for fall.

My friend Corrie had the brilliant idea to throw a "Fall Party" to get us excited for the fact that fall is just around the corner (wait for it, that expression is going to become significant in about two sentences). Corrie, Jessie, and I gathered and celebrated... and it was lovely. We drank cider, ate molasses cookies, wore scarves, watched You've Got Mail... Corrie even set out a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils and Scotch tape (if you're a You've Got Mail fanatic like we are, you can appreciate that as well as the expression above.) It was pretty splendid.

Anyway, it's hot, and it sucks. But I loved celebrating fall and how great it is and how it will be here soon (well, not soon, but soon enough.) It was a great evening!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I've taken the time to bake something pretty. Today I got to do it and it kind of gave me warm (but not too warm because it's flipping HOT outside) fuzzies all over.

I don't really have a lot to say except for I really enjoyed baking today. I made some Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes, a recipe from one of my favorite baking blogs Joy the Baker. Here is the recipe... she calls for everything organic, but I went for a different "o" word... that being off-brand. Who has the money to go organic? Not I, said the part-timed employed recent college graduate living with her parents...

Man, I'm in a funny mood. I guess it's the baking...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday's Really Little Thing

Today concludes this series of "Really Little Things." Are you sick of it? I hope not... but if you are, don't worry, today is it:

Last week my brother Joel blogged about his love for oldies music, specifically 50s and 60s. I don't want to rip off Joel's post so you should really check it out here, just know that I concur with everything he said. I, too, loves oldies. And I, too, think my love can be attributed to this tape of oldies that we used to listen to when my aunts took us on trips with all of our cousins. We listened to songs like, "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," "Lollipop," "Wake Up Little Susie," the list goes on. Man, do I wish we still had that tape.

Anyway, Joel sent me a text tonight reminding me that on Sunday nights our local oldies station plays just 50s and 60s. I turned it on and heard all sorts of classics, my favorite being "In the Jungle" because it made the heat outside seem a little more appropriate. It was just pretty great.

Alright, the finale: Sunday's Really Little Thing: Oldies

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday's Really Little Thing

So... I'm a little late on this one. I'm not going to lie, I fudged the numbers on this one and pushed it back an hour. The OCD-ness of my personality needs to look at the top of this post and see it was written on Saturday... even if it's a falsehood.

Saturday's Really Little Thing: JP Wine Bar

I wouldn't call myself a partier... not even a person that "goes out" on a regular basis, but my favorite place to "go out" is for sure JP Wine Bar. I love that place! It's got a crazy selection of wine... which I am just beginning to appreciate (although my favorite is still Moscato D'Asti which basically tastes like a glorified sparkling grape juice.) It's also a coffee house so it's got some good coffee (well, let's be honest, I don't really know what good coffee is, but this stuff tastes good to me.) The atmosphere is really chill, which I like. And it looks really cool...

Tonight I went out for a spur of the moment outing with Jessie. It was lovely... We sat outside (they have white lights hung in the trees which I love...) We drank yummy (and cheap, compared to how expensive wine can get) coffee. And we ate deliciously beautiful dessert... It was great! I love that place. If I had to choose a place to "go out" in Kansas City, I would choose JP Wine Bar every time.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday's Really Little Thing

I have 5 minutes to post this before Friday expires. Granted... I could always lie and change the post time, but I won't.

Thursday's Really Little Thing: Neighborhood Pools

I don't think I've ever realized that a neighborhood pool is something special. I thought pretty much everyone had them. My friend Katie is in town, and she is fascinated by the concept because they don't have neighborhood pools in Rochester, MN where she's from. I've been taking them for granted all this time.... So anyway, today we went swimming with my friend Jessie and her boys and it was great. And it was free! Well, minus the home owner's association dues that John and Jessie probably had to pay. But it was great... A pool that is quite the ample size, that's within walking distance of their home, that isn't too crowded with people, and is free (to me). It's quite the luxury and I loved the afternoon we spent there today.

There you have it, I made it just in time! Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday's Really Little Thing

I love IMDB (Internet Movie Database, for those of you who are out of the loop). It's pretty much one of the greatest things that has ever happened in the film business (besides, you know, cameras, DVDs, HD, and all that stuff...) This is going to sound kind of funny... but I kind of have an IMDB in my head. Let me explain...

It's not like someone pops up on the movie screen and I think, "Zac Efron, born *blah blah blah*, became crazy famous as Troy on High School Musical, most recent release is a strange film about talking to dead people that is disguised as a chick flick..." No, the only skill I really have is telling you other movies that that actor (or maybe just their face, because a lot of times I don't actually know their names) has been in. Whenever I watch movies with my friend Mary she is constantly asking, "What's that guy/girl from?" and I tell her and I feel like I've really accomplished something.

Maybe I'm good at that game because I have a decent ability of recognizing faces. This "ability" also causes me to be that person who is always saying "she looks like..." (It's my dad's fault really, he does that all the time.) Tonight, for example, after seeing Charlie St. Cloud (weird movie) I have decided that my brother Joel looks just like Zac Efron and that my cousin Morgan kind of looks like the lead girl (I also thought the actor who played the small character Sully reminded me a lot of James Franco, and turns out... it's his brother. I'm amazing!) Other resemblances that I've decided on are that my dad looks like Tom Hanks (more in the Catch Me If You Can kind of way than the Sleepless in Seattle kind of way), my brother Cory looks like Ashton Kutcher, the guy from CSI looks like Chad Michael Murray... the list could go on, but you don't really care, so I'll stop

All you really need to know is that Thursday's Really Little Thing is IMDB (and the fact that I kind of have one in my head.) ¡Hasta el viernes!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday's Really Little Thing

I'm a single, 22 year old girl, but somehow, the majority of my friends are married with kids. I don't really know how it happened... but it did, and I love them.

One of the things that I love about having friends with kids is that they recruit me to help them bake their kids' birthday cakes. I love baking creations that are a bit more fun and creative. I love doing it alongside a good friend. And I love making it for a kid that I love. We have had some successes, and some, well, I hate to call them failures, but not such great successes. I think my favorite it probably Gracious's Princess Tiana cake and frog cupcakes. Eli's Cookie Monster cake was pretty fun too, although I have a long way to go in my character drawing.
Anyway, I made two cakes/cupcakes this week. The first, the lovely picture below, Liam's monster truck cake, would fall in the "not such a great success" category. We decided this could go on that website of bad cakes (Cake Wrecks, you should check it out, maybe you'll see ours on there...) Today I made Hulk cupcakes with my friend Corrie for her son Justice's birthday. They turned out pretty cute but I didn't have time to take a picture of them.
Alright, well, Wednesday's Really Little Thing: Baking Kid Cakes with My Friends. I love it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday and Tuesday's Really Little Things

I haven't blogged in over a week... That kind of makes me sad. I had a busy week last week and nothing incredibly exciting happened, so I thought, "What is there to blog about?" Which makes me even more sad....

SO, this week, I have made it a goal, to blog about the little things... well, the really little things, that your typical blogger wouldn't waste their time writing about, but I am going to because I think it's worth the time. So, every day this week (although I didn't write yesterday, so today will count for both), I will be writing about the REALLY little things. Here comes Monday and Tuesday's:

Monday's Really Little Thing: Phase 10 App
I bought an iPod Touch last week and it's pretty great. The first game I bought was Wheel of Fortune (yes, I AM a loser). It's pretty fun... but not as fun as my new favorite, Phase 10. I love playing Phase 10 in real life... now I can play it all the time, and I'm not going to lie... I kind of HAVE been playing it all the time. Anyway, I love games, I love music, and I love being able to do both anytime I want. Therefore, I love the Phase 10 app.
Tuesday's Really Little Thing: Latte Land
I've decided Latte Land is my favorite coffee shop in Kansas City. It's a chain, but a small one, and Kansas City based, so I love that. They are owned by the same company as Kaldi's, my favorite coffee shop of all time. The employees are friendly. The coffee is good (you can get a large iced coffee for less than $3.) They decorate with green. The one at Briarclif has an amazing view of the city. I just love it.

Join me next time for Wednesday's edition of Really Little Things. :)