Archive for May, 2013

Baking, Lately

May 26, 2013

Thanks to our weekly small group meetings and two recent baby showers I’ve had the opportunity/excuse to bake…A LOT. It’s been so much fun! I love to find new recipes, try them out and share the goodies with all of my friends. This cake was for a friend’s birthday, it’s dark chocolate with chocolate buttercream frosting.

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These are sugar cookies that I made for my friend Elisha’s baby shower. I used a biscuit cutter instead of a cookie cutter and the icing is thinned out Royal icing that I simply dipped one side of each cookie in {super easy way to ice a bunch of cookies quickly}.

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These mini cakes were also for Elisha’s shower, they were given away to guests as party favors. I found the little paper loaf pans on clearance at Joann’s and filled them with classic yellow cake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting. They were really fun to eat because when the paper wrapper was removed they looked just like twinkies!

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My latest batch of cookies were inspired by some that I saw in a restaurant’s dessert case, they are salted oatmeal white chocolate chip cookies and yes, they are as delicious as they sound. The recipe I used came from Smitten Kitchen {every recipe of hers that I’ve ever tried has been amazing}.

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Gosh, I sure do love baking :)

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You Might Be a Texan if…

May 20, 2013

As much as I love California I’m a Texas girl through and through, always will be. I heard somewhere that you become more Texan once you leave the state and I couldn’t agree more; there’s something about living in a place where people don’t have much {or any} state pride that makes you want to stand out and be even more Texan.

Some of our close friends here just found out that Chevron will be moving them to Houston and they seem to be a little nervous about assimilating into the Texas culture. I assured her that I would help her learn to love the Lone Star State and so I’m sharing a list of all things Texas that I’ve been compiling over the past few years.

You Might Be a Texan if…

– you buy your groceries at HEB
– your favorite ice cream is Blue Bell
– you know at least one person who wore cowboy boots under her wedding dress
– you don’t think it’s hot until it’s over 100
– you can smell the rain coming
– your soda of choice is Dr Pepper
– you know that tea = sweet tea
– you have an inexplicable desire to own/drive a big truck
– you’d rather take back roads than the interstate

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– in school you pledged to two different flags every morning
– you took at least 3 years of Texas history classes
– you spent summers as a kid playing in the sprinklers
– you’ve gotten stuck behind a tractor on a two lane road
– you’ve taken family portraits in a field of bluebonnets
– you know that small towns are speed traps
– you know who Reveille and Beevo are {and which one is best}
– you say yes ma’am and yes sir

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– you open all the doors and windows to let your car cool off before getting in
– you have been branded by a seat belt
– you have laid out in a bikini in February and November
– you have witnessed snow/hail in late April
– you think 70 degrees and below is chili eating weather
– you know there’s no better place to be on a Friday night than at a high school football game
– when buying clothing, you consider how well it will hide sweat or if it will show sweat
– you pull into a small town and instantly know their high school mascot, school colors and if they’re in the football playoffs
– your high school released early on Fridays for away and playoff games
– your high school is closed during the county livestock show week
– BBQ or fajitas are served at every school function

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– you pull over onto the shoulder to let someone pass
– they wave thank you :)
– you’ve worn shorts on Christmas morning
– you think that Dairy Queen started in Texas
– you know that Chicken Express serves Dublin DP
– you once went on a vacation to San Antonio to go to Sea World, Fiesta Texas, the riverwalk and the Alamo
– you know not to keep chocolate in your car in the summer
– you know that the true value of a parking space lies not in it’s proximity to the door but in its shade

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– you know several people who have hit a deer or cow with their car
– you can find orange jello salad with marshmallows at every potluck
– you know how to pronounce Mexia, Waco, Humble and Bexar
– you’ve brewed tea in the sun
– you measure distance in minutes
– you learned how to shoot a bb gun before you learned to multiply
– you know that making a trip into “town” is a special occurrence
– you’ve ever paid back favors in cookies or banana bread
– you’ve ever been on a field trip to see the Capitol or tour the Blue Bell creamery

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Bluebonnets

May 3, 2013

I’ve been feeling a little homesick lately but for the past couple of weeks I’ve had something very special living on my balcony to make this place feel more like home…we have bluebonnets!

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You have no idea how happy it makes me to look outside and see these beautiful blooms, I go out and sniff them almost every day :)

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Our lone surviving poppy finally has a couple of buds but no flowers yet, maybe within the next couple of weeks!

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Elisha’s Baby Shower

May 2, 2013

A couple weekends ago all of my small group gal friends threw a baby shower for our friend Elisha, she’s expecting her first baby {a little boy} in just a couple of months. I was in charge of decorations and had a total blast putting everything together! I chose a yellow, lime and navy animal theme because it matched the crib sheets that Elisha was registered for, that way she could reuse some of the decor in the baby’s room if she wanted to. Here’s the dining table all decked out…

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And also a pic of our beautiful, Pinterest-worthy food table; we had fresh lemonade, pear and walnut salad, mixed fruit cups, watermelon caprese bites, deviled eggs, edamame hummus with endive spears, homemade macarons, sugar cookies and lemon blueberry cupcakes.

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Remember this photo I posted a while ago? The very beginnings of my decoration inspiration came from an idea I saw online to spray paint plastic animals. I found these elephants, tigers, lions and giraffes at Walmart for $1 each and also grabbed a can of dark navy blue spray paint.

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It took quite a few coats to get in all of those little nooks and crannies but they looked pretty cool once they were all solid blue.

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The blue animals sat atop a lime green table runner that I made using some fabric I found at Joanne’s. I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make some tissue paper pom poms, they are just way too easy to make and they are so pretty!

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It’s still strange to me that I’m at that point in life where I’m going to or planning a baby shower every month. It’s definitely a fun place to be, though, because I love having an excuse to be creative and bake!

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