Monday, February 25, 2013

Fat Tuesday reunion

Last weekend, I flew down to Abilene for a long-awaited Fat Tuesday reunion. Although I've seen most of these girls fairly recently, this was the first time we have all been together since the summer of 2011. I got in on Friday morning and was able to spend some extra time with Kalyn and BJ and their two kiddos and Em and Lily. Lydia was in a much happier mood than when I first met her at Christmas, so I held and held and held her. Such a sweet little thing! And little Lily just gets sweeter by the day. Before she went to bed on Friday night, she came to each of us individually and said, "Good night, Miss ______" and gave us a hug. She is wise beyond her 3 years and cracks us up with her insightful comments. Shepherd is talking up a storm, and although I can only understand about 50% of what he says, his impish smile communicates a lot.

Em tried valiantly to get a good picture of me and Lydia to no avail. So, here's what I've got. Lydia likes to nuzzle. :)
Teacher Carolyn displaying her "toddler whisperer" skills with Lily and Shep.

Lily showing off her cheesy smile while reading with Britt.
Saturday was full of memories. Britt and I started out the day with a walk around campus, just like the semester we took "Walking for Fitness" together. Then we got donuts from AM Donuts, which was where Darby and I went every Sunday before church. Saturday afternoon, we went to Sing Song, the annual variety show and singing competition. It brought back so many fun memories. Mainly, I remember everyone getting so stressed about Sing Song. How I wish that was the biggest concern in my life now. :) In general, I tend to think that the best is yet to come in my life; however, if I could go back to one time in my life, it would be my time at ACU. Yes, there were stresses, but overall, I had very little to worry about. I wasn't concerned about budgeting, so I ate out and went to Target whenever I wanted. After the show, Britt, Erin, Carolyn, and I went back to our freshman dorm to visit one of Brittany's friends. Oh the memories! Even though I was happy when we were able to move off-campus, it's hard to beat having all of your friends live in the same building. These girls made my 4 years at ACU awesome, and I'm so thankful that we're still a part of each others' lives.

The whole crew. We just keep adding to our number. Shepherd was content running around inside, so we didn't force him to be in the picture.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cake decorating school dropout

Wow. It's been a while! Things have been super busy lately. I'm planning on catching up with several posts soon.

One of the things I've been bogged down with is making tons and tons of nasty frosting. In order to cross off one of the items on my 30 before 30 list, and because I have a baking friend who was willing to do it with me, I decided to take the Wilton beginner's cake decorating course at Michael's. Well, it was pretty much a big flop. The amount of prep before each lesson is insane, and you have to buy all sorts of Wilton products. And, as it turns out, the secret to making a pretty cake is basically to have it taste like plastic. The Wilton frosting recipe is, I kid you not, shortening, water, powdered sugar, and imitation vanilla. I tried it one week with butter, which was definitely tastier, but it wasn't nearly as smooth as everyone else's (and it was super yellow, which I don't mind, but the teacher found hilarious). So, this past week I made the gross stuff (although I used real vanilla), and it looked better, but who wants to eat that? It tastes like oily sugar. So after the lesson, I was in a really bad mood because I got overwhelmed in class by the million bags of frosting and decorating tips I was trying to maneuver, plus I had several cupcakes I didn't want to eat, and a bunch of leftover synthetic frosting.

Needless to say, I was relieved the next day when Mica tentatively voiced here desire to just skip the last lesson. Neither one of us could stomach the thought of making a whole cake that was just going to go to waste. It's not a total loss, as I think I can recreate some of the decorations with the tools I now own and my own frosting. But I'll do it on my own time. No need to add cake decorating to the list of things stressing me out right now, right?

Mica showing off her star decorating skills the first week. It was all downhill from there.

We could choose whatever we wanted to put on our cake, so of course I chose Hello Kitty! It looks much better from this angle than it did close up.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Super Bowl

I hosted the second-annual MATESL Super Bowl party this year. Just like last year, it was mainly an excuse to eat tons of yummy food. I honestly had no preference about which team won, but I was rooting for the 49ers at the end, just because it was so exciting.

I made baked spinach dip mini bread bowls, pizza dip, Hawaiian roll sandwiches, and homemade Butterfingers. I was skeptical about the homemade Butterfingers, which I had seen on Pinterest, but they were so crazy I just had to try them. They only have 3 ingredients: candy corn, peanut butter, and chocolate candy coating. I had a really hard time getting my candy corn to melt and I was afraid they would be inedible, but they actually turned out well and pretty similar to a Butterfinger except more peanut buttery. Everyone else brought so many other yummy things, and I ate waaaayyy too much. Parties with lots of snack foods are my absolute diet downfall. I try to tell myself that I don't have to eat everything just because it's there. But the little voice in my head says: "Hurry! Eat it alll. If you skip one dish, that might end up being the best one!" The little voice always wins.

The food table. Yum!

Mica's Texas sheet cake. It was delicious!
Mica and me. My goodness I'm pale.
Ester and Marcia