Sunday, August 31, 2008
I have to admit that around 9 pm on Friday night, I was ready to smash the cake and buy one from Safeway. I went to do the writing, and icing exploded over the cake. I fixed it and decided I needed a break. Went to put the lid on and it smushed the corners of the cake. Sigh. At that point I felt completely done. The wise side of me took a break, and came back to it an hour later, fixed it all up again, and made the chocolate candles. Here's the nitty gritty on the cake. It is a marble cake with a oreo buttercream filling. The keys on the cake are done in chocolate, and as mentioned, the candles on it are chocolate also. I loved the buttercream so much that I used for the filling I want to share it all with you. It says that this buttercream can be used for decorations, but I found it isn't thick enough. It also doesn't 'mix well with others' so if you plan to use it on a cake, other types of buttercream can't be iced overtop unless you do flowers or snails or something of that type. All credit for this basic buttercream goes to Kaye Hansen & Liv Hansen out of the book 'Little Cakes'.
In the bowl of an electric mixer at low speed sitr together:
3C confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
With a whisk attachment, add and whip at low speed:
1/2C boiling water (1/3C on hot days)
Whip until smooth & cool.
Add and whip until smooth:
1 1/2C high-ratio shortening
3 ounces (3/4 stick) slightly chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces.
Increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Whip until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume (10-20 minutes... it took mine about 11 minutes). If the buttercream still appears too soft, add butter 1 Tbsp at a time until it is spreadable consistency.
I took about half of the recipe and stirred in 1C oreo cookie crumbs. It was aboslutely delicious. A perfect amount of sweetness with just a bit of crunch. Would be splendid on a chocolate or a vanilla cake. YUM!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
So I guess I did it to myself. But honestly - for 75 people??? I'll post a pic up once I have this feat completed. Off now to go make a million chocolate candles :)
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
This is not the first time that Grace has been 'bullied', but I still don't know as a Mom how to handle it. What do you say to your child, to the other child, to the other child's parents? I am thankful at this stage, that Grace doesn't fully comprehend other kids saying they don't like her, but at some point she will and how do I reassure her that she is lovely and wonderful and sweet, and that it doesn't matter if some stinky nasty little three year old who likes to push over babies doesn't like her - that she wouldn't want him as a friend anyways? (Sorry, my bitterness took over there).
From the same playground, a woman with four kids tells me that three year old girls are a challenge. That her daughter was a great baby, really sweet toddler, and then she hit three and grew an attitude. When people tell a complete stranger things like this, are they looking for you to commiserate, to feel sorry for them, or are they telling me that I'm doomed since I have a little girl? If so, my little girl isn't your little girl. Mine I know will come with all sorts of challenges and battles, but they may not be the same as yours. Can I not just enjoy the journey that me and my daughter are on. We have a ways to go until three. And maybe she will be fine at three and four will be hard. Who knows?
I was reading a parenting magazine tonight which made me think about all of this, and it said that alot of learning can happen at a playground. I tend to agree as I watch Grace walk, run and explore. Figuring how to go up stairs so that she can slide down a slide. Or climb in and out of tubes. But perhaps it isn't all positive. The question then is how do we take negative experiences and make them into positives, so that in the end, we have learned something beneficial that we can grow and learn from?
Monday, August 25, 2008
And, I thought I'd also show you how much I really needed this challenge. Here is my overflowing box of scrap paper - eek!
Onto some very exciting new, Nate has finished the second coat of lacquer on our pantry. My task this afternoon while Grace is at the dayhome is to touch up the paint, and to, hold your breath..... actually fill the pantry with things! Woohoo! I'm so excited to get all of our appliances off of our kitchen countertops and have a pantry to use. By the end of this week the doors should be up and that job shall be complete.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Not the best pic, but the best we could get with a moving target wearing the forementioned hat! That little flap sticking out on the side needs to have a button sewn onto it that will attach it to the hat. My mission tomorrow is to hit Make 1 and buy a cool big button. I'll repost a pic once it's attached. Here's a better photo using Grace's Dragon as a model:
On the cold front, I'm only just starting to beat it. This morning was the first morning I woke up without a killer sore throat. I'm now just congested and still pretty beat. Grace has a nasty chesty cough and is pretty congested too. I'm going on two weeks and Grace is going on one. We will continue to accept any healthy vibes you would like to send our way :)
Last but not least, scroll WAY down to the bottom of my blog. What's that map you ask? I'm stalking you! Eeek!! Ok, not really stalking, but I was curious as to how many visitors I was getting to this site and it's a neat little way to track it. So for those of you who have stopped by from outside my little hometown of Calgary, thank you and welcome! Don't hesitate to say hello - I try not to bite ;)
Friday, August 22, 2008
Onto the craft store though. This morning I picked up extra yarn for Grace's blanket, an icing tip to finish off some cupcakes I'm making for Alicia, a stitch ripper for the quilt (I have been picking out stitches off and on with a pen lid), and some felt hearts. What are the hearts for you ask? My 1/2 Marathon Disney socks! Those felt hearts are going to be sewn onto a pair of white knee high soccer socks. I have never run in knee high socks so there will have to be many trial runs done in those. I am thankful I am running as the 'Queen of Hearts' just for the half, not the full. There, my character revealed! Pretty exciting heh? Erin and I are! Now, what do you think she is running as?
Anyways, off to drink my chai latte and bake some cupcakes. Please send Grace and I some healthy vibes!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
And here is my design:
I started this card based on striped Pumpkin Pie ribbon I had that I rarely use. In the end, it never became part of the card, but it got me started with the colour palette. It led me to using Ballet Blue paper and an accent of Rose Red and Old Olive. I hardly ever use the Hodgepodge Hardware but really enjoyed adding a little 'bling' with it . The edging of the Old Olive border was done with the Scallop Punch Edger and I used a hole punch as an accent to some of the scallops. I think what I like most about this card is that it feels complete just by using paper and accessories rather than a whole ton of stamping.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
There it is! Half the quilt is done! Not the best photo, but I took it from the stairwell so I could capture it all. The length will stay the same, but it will double in width... then I just have to add a border, add the basting, add the backing... As you can tell, alot of work to be done still, but I love how it's turning out.
There have been alot of projects happening, or soon to be happening though at our home. Nate is almost done the pantry needing to apply only one more coat of lacquer, then I have to do some paint touch up, and we can load it up with all our stuff! Here he is, hard at work staining the doors.
We are also busy organizing all the upcoming renovations. We are replacing all of our windows, doors, and flooring... and perhaps re-doing our ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet. The windows and doors are on order but will be a six week wait. Yesterday we went and picked up carpet and tile samples, and had a guy in today to measure our flooring. The estimate should arrive by Friday. Similar to the quilt, there is alot yet to do, but it is nice to see everything start to come together! I can't wait to be in a fresh new home!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
This was my first medal I received for running a trail race. It was my first trail race done in Canmore, Alberta. I love that it is made out of clay - seems so appropriate for a trail race.
This was the medal that allowed me to acheive this:
And, here are a few fun ones. These are my favorite aesthetically:
Chili Pasta Skillet
Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Makes: 6 Servings
1 pound ground beef
3/4 C chopped onion
1 15 1/2 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 C dried elbow macaroni
1 4 oz can diced green chili peppers
2 to 3 tsps chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 C shreed monterey, Jack or Cheddar Cheese (I just don't add this part)
1. In a large skillet cook meat and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.
2. Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, uncooked macaroni, chili peppers, chili powder, and garlic salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender, stirring often. Remove skillet from heat; sprinkle mixture with cheese. Cover and let stand 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Monday, August 18, 2008
The Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs was beyong my wildest imagination. From the women's lounge, to the retreat area, to the three pools with waterfalls, to the mineral pool, to having lunch brought right to us, and last, but not at all least, the amazing treatments. I had a Sensitive Skin facial where I was lathered in all sorts of amazing lotions, massaged, and just sillingly spoiled. Then I had a pedicure done leaving my toes sporting a polish called 'Strawberry Field'. All I can tell you is trust me, that spa is WELL worth the money. Erin and I are already planning a second trip. Amazing, truly amazing.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
I tried searching back furthur than that, but alas I was still a film based girl then and don't have many photos online or searchable by date.
Today Erin and I head for Terwilliger. I woke up with the start of a cold a couple of days ago so have been taking Vitamin C and Echanacia like an addict the past two days. I did do a 3K steady run last night which felt ok. I just need to make it through the trail run and then I can let my cold take over if it would really like too. Originally I had signed up for the 16K double loop portion of the race, but last week changed down to a single loop - +/- 8K. Trail is alot harder to run than pavement, with alot more hills (think hike, then try to run it). So I opted for the shorter distance which should enable me to be more on my A game for shopping afterwards :)
Last but not least - knitting. I'm not very good at staying indoors, especially when it's so beautiful out. I have been eyeing Lexie Barnes knitting bags for quite some time. Make 1 never had them in stock however. Yesterday, doing some googling on them, led me to kpixie, which led me to these. I found the Namaste bags at Pudding Yarn. This is my newest acquisition:
I am usually not a pink person, associating pink more to Erin, but it was what they had. I love it, and am trying to become a pink person. I can't wait to stuff all my knitting into there!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I wanted to reassure you though, that with all my mad quilting I have not forgotten about knitting. Here is what I'm working on right now:
I also haven't forgotten about running. On Sunday we were supposed to run 12K and came in at 11.2. Tuesday night we were doing a 4K tempo and did a 4.5K instead. It all evens out? Here's the exciting running bit though - this weekend Erin and I head up in her Smart car to Edmonton to do the Terwilliger 5 Peaks Trail Run. SO excited! While we are there we will be taking in Jubilations Dinner Theater and some crazy shopping at West Ed. We head out Friday night - can't wait!!!!
Ok, off to phone my Mom to sob about my sad little quilt....
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Thank you - I love it too! I'll be back on to post later on tomorrow/today. For now, there's a morning treat for you!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Today Grace got a new gizmo.
I have been wanting to get her a wagon for a long time, and finally decided today was the day - and it was on sale!!!! I whopping $30 off at Toys R Us. With a gift certificate from her birthday, the wagon only cost Nate and I $13. Not too bad heh? Now I can wheel her and her buddies around! We test drove it with her Otter 'Sammy' down to the mailbox.
She hugged him the whole way :) Ok, off to go prep dinner...
Monday, August 11, 2008
Ok, a little break for news about Olivia. She was born around noon hour yesterday, a healthy 8 pds 6 oz, with a thatch of hair. Very excited that Grace has a new second cousin :) Ok, back to my post.
My dear friend Alicia has been trying to conceive a child with her husband for two years now - two years exactly. After a second IUI round, they were able to test on the weekend to find out if they were pregnant or not. I was ANXIOUSLY checking her blog all weekend hoping for some news. They were away in BC so I didn't expect to see anything, but one can still hope. This morning, my girlfriend Erin called to ask if I'd seen Alicia's post today, and that her and her husband are pregnant (insert happy dance here). Where the title comes into all of this, is I really thought I would have received a phonecall, or a random drop in on their way home from BC. But, this is not me and that's what I would have done. I have to keep myself in check sometimes that I don't overread into things or react to things the wrong way emotionally. If everyone was as emotionally crazy as I am, could you imagine the state of the world? There would be either constant laughing or constant crying. For sure it would be madness and there would be nobody keeping anybody sane. Plus what is to make me think I'm on the top of their list for people to tell? Obviously sometimes I think I'm the Queen of Sheba too ;)
Grace is away at the dayhome today and I have already finished my task of cutting out all the pieces for her quilt. The rest of my day will be spent doing random things like grocery shopping, returning bottles to the depot, making a couple cards, prepping for my Stamping Group tonight, and perhaps making some cookies. Sounds relaxing no? Unfortunately, these past two weeks where Grace has been in the dayhome all day have been really hard for me. Her presence fills my days with so much joy, it feels like part of me is empty when she's gone. But, that's why I have been starting her in the dayhome slowly, not only to wean her, but to wean me. I think I'm having the harder go of it. I am hoping that each week it will get easier and that by September, both she and I will be pros at being able to do the goodbyes.
It's another dreary day her in Calgary. Have you all stopped by my Card Challenge Blog to see this weeks post? Can't wait to start seeing the submissions rolling in!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
The pouch on the inside left is designed to hold a wallet sized photo. I think the cards are super cute and hope that Candace loves them as much as I do!
Here's my fabric swatch photo of the day (I promise this will end at some point, but right now, I'm still in love with wanting to show them off!)
Onto running news, this weekend my long run jumps to 12K - eek! My run last weekend of 10K felt nearly impossible as I ran through the hilly communities of Hawkwood, Dalhousie & Ranchlands. I am still in awe that 2 years ago, that distance felt easy. By about 8K usually I start to really watch the kilometers count down. After the scare a couple weeks ago of a woman being attacked during a solo run in Edworthy, I'm hesitant to head to the river to run alone. The idea of running through the hilly community of Country Hills with my Running Group seems ugly, but sounds safer than running solo. Here's to hoping Sunday morning isn't as hot as yesterday! (+27C)
Now a confession - I was doing SO well with my Starbucks ban, but on Wednesday I dipped my leg off the wagon. I was at Coffee & Scream with a girlfriend and ordered a vanilla latte. Now it wasn't Starbucks, which is why it was only my leg dipping off. But yesterday, I ROLLED off that wagon. With the blistering heat, I couldn't resist. I guiltily went into the store and ordered the biggest coldest drink I could - a Venti Chai Frap. Sigh. But 5 days is pretty good right?
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I have been busy doing step one of Grace's quilt which is washing all of the fabric. Last night as I was pulling them out of the dryer I had to ooh and ahhh at each one. There are so many favorites within that stack that I want to show you all just a couple more. Aren't they wonderful?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Then, I went upstairs to check my e-mail and had a message forwarded from my Dad with the dates for our Hawaii trip next April! I was REALLY excited to see that I will still be here for Elliotte's birthday on April 20th as we don't leave until the 24th. The goal is to spend two weeks there before Grace turns 2 on the May 5th to save a few sheckles on the flight. Is it crazy if I already start a countdown for the trip? The idea of the beach and the ocean sounds just fantastic!
The rest of my day may not be quite as delightful but I will try to make the most of it. We are babysitting Chase again this afternoon, but this time I am solo. It may be a bit more challenging without Nate's help : Chase thankfully is in the dayhome for a bit though so I don't need to pick her up until closer to the dinner hour. That whippet is going to keep me on my toes!
Hope you all get out to enjoy some of this fantastic sunshine we are having today!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Fat Quarter Delights:
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
It is only fitting that one of Grace's new words this weekend was 'Dog'. She followed Chase around for a good five minutes pointing and saying, 'Dog, dog, dog'.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Nathan Drysdale and Carmen Ashton
St. Peters Lutheran Church
August 1, 2002
Entrance of Officiant, Groom and Best Man
Entrance of Wedding Party
Bach, “Siciliano”, Slow Movement
Derek Drysdale and Allison MacLeod
Rob Parsons, Rebecca Jensen, and Christopher Ashton
Rebecca Jensen: Ephesians 5:22 – 24 NIV
Rob Parsons: Ephesians 5: 25-31 NIV
Entry of Bride
Statement of Purpose
Giving of Bride
Barry and Sharon Ashton
Scripture and Personal Remarks
Dr. Miriam Mollering
Exchange of Vows
Exchange of Rings
Prayer of Blessing
Dr. Miriam Mollering
Barry and Sharon Ashton
Douglas and Susan Drysdale
Declaration of Marriage
Lighting of Unity Candle
Signing of Register
Soloist: Diane Trew, “When I Found You”
Composed by: Jim Brickman
Accompanist: Dave Klinger
Presentation of Bride and Groom
Pachabel Canon, Klinger Arrangement
Like every couple, we have good days, hard days, bad days & great days. Overall though, I am blessed to call myself Nate's wife. He can make me laugh when all I want to do is cry. He brings a joy to my life that I could not imagine living without. Thank you my dear, for choosing me to spend your life with.