Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thoughts of a tired mom after Christmas.

Why is it I can't wait to see this on Monday.  I enjoyed the holidays this year, but I admit, I am ready for them to be over.  Oh how I wish I didn't feel this way.  I remember being so heartbroken as a child when Christmas decorations would be packed away until next year.   Right now I am tired of looking at them.

 I wish all the presents and commercialism and busyness of Christmas would just go away.  Ha!  That sounds great in theory, but I play into it as much as anybody.  I wouldn't mind just a simple Christmas with minimal gifts and a lot more service.  How does one accomplish this?  How do you get away from the mad rush,  endless shopping, and everything else that pulls at your time and detracts from the real meaning of the season? 

Wouldn't it be great to pack up the family and head to a third world country for Christmas.  I would love for my children to fully realize how good they have it.  How blessed they are, and how little they really need, and how much they could do for others.

Oh hum.  I will try harder next year to slow it down, have quiet Christmas moments, teach my children about our Savior and why we are celebrating.  I will try to tone down the gifts and still not disappoint the teenagers (that is quite a feat).  It has to be possible right?

I truly love the Christmas season.  I love the Christmas story.  I am grateful and forever indebted to my Savior, Jesus Christ.  This needs to be my focus, my center, and my strength in the seasons to come.  The Christmas Spirit was here this year, I just forgot to slow down and look for it and take time to let it sink deeper into my heart. 

You know, just recognizing it at this moment, suddenly makes me feel better and know that I will have many bright and special Christmases in my future.  

Merry Christmas, and a happy Christ centered New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

I would like to think that I would have joined in the fun! I actually started tearing up while watching this! Enjoy!  (It's a lot clearer if you watch it on YouTube)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beautiful Cake!

Brittany, my hairdresser, just happened to be getting married.  
How convenient - I happened to decorate cakes!
It was meant to be!  Isn't it beautiful! 
(It tasted amazing too - white cake with fresh whipped cream and ripe strawberries - mmmmm)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Date Night with the "Beloved"

Nathan, (also known as the beloved by his 2 older sisters) got to spend a night out with mom and dad this weekend.  On the agenda - Suns game!!!
He was pretty excited to get to go out with us all by himself.  
We had some pretty sweet seats.  One of the suns cheerleaders stood right in front of us periodically and shook her stuff not wearing much stuff.  Lovely.  When she wasn't disrupting my view and distracting my dates I realized that Steve Nash really isn't that short - the other guys are just freakishly tall.
We had a great time munching on junk food and cheering with the crowd.  I sure love these two guys!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Almost there!

Finals are coming up.  I need to study like crazy.  Can't wait until next week so I can start doing this!

Oh Santa!

Nathan thinks he is to big to sit on Santa's lap.  So some of his friends decided that he indeed needed to sit on his lap, and forced him there.  Look at the grip Santa has on his wrist just to keep him still for the picture.  
 Allison and and her friend Cameron had no trouble at all posing with the big guy!  
Oh how I miss the good ole days when my kids were little and slightly scared of the man in red.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Cold Thanksgiving

So we made it to Utah for the holiday, just in time for the cold temperatures to set in.  As we sat around Thanksgiving morning, we decided to give the Y mountain a try. After all, it's ONLY 16 degrees outside - how bad can it be?
 Actually, it really wasn't that bad.  Once you got movin that is.
 Yes, that's me in my ASU sweatshirt.  Go Devils!
 Allison and Randi were so hot from the hike, the steam was coming off their backs.
 On Friday we checked out the LDS Church History Museum in Salt Lake.  Pretty cool.  Did I mention it was cold outside?
 We headed indoors for a bit to warm up - loaded the kids with hot chocolate - then made our way outdoors again to see the Christmas lights on temple square.  Very pretty.
After that, we took them all to a hot dinner at the Blue Iguana in Salt Lake.  (It's official!  I can never move to Utah!  I would die without good mexican food.) 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Madness

Cleaning, packing, studying, and running around like crazy!  We are headed out of town to see the fam for the holiday.  Sheez, I am pooped!  Can't wait for some relaxing time with the gang cuddled around the fire cause it's going to be cold where we are headed!  Hope your holiday is a good one!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brownies From Scratch

Allison asked me yesterday, "Mom, do you think we could have a treat in our lunches?"
"I put treats in your lunches every once in a while" I said.
She looked at me funny, "Mom, really?  When was the last time?"
"Okay, okay" I replied. "What treats do you want in your lunch?"

I am not a big fan of brownies - especially because of the ingredients on the box mix.  (Partially hydrogenated oil for instance).

So I searched for a brownie recipe from scratch and found a winner!!!!  Seriously - these are really easy and good!  I admit that I was to lazy to sift anything - it still turned out great.  These taste better the next day for some reason.  Resist eating them right out of the oven.
Here ya go!

Cocoa Brownies


  • Soft butter, for greasing the pan
  • Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces melted butter
  • 11/4 cups cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it's done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it's mostly cool.
Alton Brown : food network

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finding the Fire

I think my husband has talked me into an olympic distance triathlon in March.   I have always been competitive and loved to push myself, but over the last few years, I seemed to have lost my fire.

I don't know why that is exactly.  Maybe because my kids are busy with sports and school and homework. Maybe it's because I am busy making cake.  Maybe because I went back to school.   Maybe it's because of health problems.  Maybe because my body is getting older and doesn't recover quite as fast as before.  Whatever the reason, I just lost it.

But I really miss that part of me.  I want her back.  I want to allow myself to compete and let a little of my competitiveness go.  No need to win the race - just enjoy the ride - right?

So as I am stepping it up again - getting myself out of bed at 5 am - I am rediscovering the old me - the fire.  It is good.  I like this.

I think it might just be the trash talk that will soon come into play and my deep rooted desire to beat my husband in the race so I can gloat for months afterwards - who knows?  All I know is SHE'S BACK!

Win or lose - GAME ON!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just Dance

Favorite game on the Wii.  I got moves!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Rusty is not allowed on the furniture in our home.  He is actually really good about this and we never have a problem - EXCEPT for the bean bag on the floor.  He KNOWS it's off limits, but occasionally when we are away, we will come in and find this.  He curls himself up into the tiniest ball possible, in hopes that we might not see him there.  Then he always acts so surprised when he does get caught.

He really is a naughty dog and I have considered sending him to the sausage factory!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Silver Anniversary Cake

Simple and sweet

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back to School

Did I mention I went back to school?  Well I did.  Here's a few things I have learned so far...

  1. I like math.
  2. I am fascinated by my professors.  Some are extremely eccentric and I find myself wondering what kind of lives they lead when not in the classroom.
  3. Irresponsible 19 year olds drive me crazy.  We all are busy - so get over it and do your homework!
  4. Running a household and homework don't mix. 
  5. I wish I knew what I know now back then.
  6. I wonder what all these 19 year olds think of this almost middle aged women raising her hand.
I can't believe this semester is almost over.  Wonder what I will learn in the next!

Enchanted Cake

Sammi and I worked on this cake for a 10 hour project she needed for her church class.  The theme of the night was "Happily Ever After".  The room was decorated as an enchanted forest.  How cool was that!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Elegant Wedding Cake

Last week I worked with stencils.  I love the way it looks!  So pretty.  To bad I only have a picture from a phone.

Friday, October 1, 2010

airplane cookies

I made these for Mason's birthday.  Super cute!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pretty Cake

I made this cake for a little girls baptism. So pretty. I love the white on white!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Angie's Cake!

This cake had three of Angie's favorite things on it. My favorite was the kindle on top.
Laurel wrote the story and we printed it onto a fondant sheet with edible ink. Pretty cool!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cousin Camp

It's that time of year again. The kids are getting ready to head to San Diego to spend the week with their cousins! They are crazy with excitement. The hubby and I don't know what we will do with ourselves. Oh yeah - scratch that! We are headed to Seattle for a fun filled week doing whatever we feel like! WhooHooo!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Peanut Butter Jelly Cake

For teacher gifts this year, I made the kids peanut butter jelly sandwich cakes for their teachers. It's white cake, layered with peanut butter buttercream and homemade strawberry freezer jam. It's really good! I love the giant ziplock bag! Adds a nice touch!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Plain Adorable

Here's a cake I did for a two year olds birthday. Seriously - I think this is the cutest cake. It's a take off of the first stacked I did a long time ago. It was yummy lemon cake with fresh lemon buttercream. Yum!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Todd Heap 30th Birthday Cake!!!

A while back I was asked to make a cake for Todd Heap's (Baltimore Ravens) 30th Birthday.
Apparently when you turn 30 in the NFL, you are considered over the hill. His wife asked me to sculpt Todd in a wheelchair on top of the cake. The rest of the tiers are loaded with detail and different sayings that have personal meaning to Todd. This is by far one of the most fun cakes I have worked on. The bottom tier represents the 3 football teams Todd has played for as well as the cookie favors that were passed out to the guests at the party.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mary Engelbreit Cake

I made this cake for my cousin Debbie's daughter. She told me she liked Mary Engelbreit - so I tried to capture of little of her style in this cake. I thought it turned out really cute!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Online Photography Classes

My sis-in-law is teaching a 4 week online photography course. I have signed my teenage daughter up in hopes that she will become an expert and help me out. (She LOVES to take and edit pictures).
So if you find yourself in need of some help with the camera or have a kiddo that needs something to do this summer - click here and check it out!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Castle Cake

I made this cake for Kendall's birthday. Seriously - could there be a cuter cake for a 4 year old?

Cell phone cake!

Again I forgot my camera so this phone shot will have to do. This was a cake modeled after the birthday girls phone she was getting for her birthday. It looked better in person.

Shoe cupcakes!

I made these for my friend Becky who was throwing a bridal shower for her niece who LOVES shoes. I made the shoes out of candy melts and added a fondant flower. They were really cute - to bad my real camera had a dead battery.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wedding Cake

Here's another cake I got to work on at the shop last week. Turned out cute.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ragnar LA

I must be getting old. Ragnar Relay's are fun, but oh so exhausting. 200 miles, 12 people, no sleep! The weather was beautiful in California, and I felt good running! Now I have to make a cake and paint my bedroom. Not quite as much fun, but at least I get sleep!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Simple Cake

Here's a cake I got to work on last week. I love how simple it is. It matched the brides invitations.