Sunday, February 22, 2009

weekend recap.

as usual, the photo-uploader is unpredictable so these might be a little out of order.

this weekend, katie and i took a trip to Nyack College in New York to visit with some of her friends there and her boyfriend. I had a GREAT time just hanging out. I look forward to going back to hang out again, and also to go to the Palisades (the biggest mall I've ever seen... ever!).

This is Baby Nait (the boy on the left), Gus Gus (the alligator), Pelly (Katie's boyfriend), and Henry (the big stuffed bear Katie gave Pelly for Valentine's Day).

Henry and I made an instant connection.
I wanted to take a picture of the sign that said "Welcome to New York!" BUT I didn't know it was coming up until it had passed, so this was the next sign I saw :)

Chris and Laura invited Katie and I out on Saturday night to help Anita celebrate her birthday. We were VERY EXCITED, but we were nervous about what to wear. I believe Laura's words were 'Smart Casual'. We didn't know what that meant. So, we went shopping at 5:15pm and they were going to pick us up at 7:30pm. We didn't leave the mall until 6:40pm. We were running around like crazy (but they ended up being late...even though we were ready at 7:30 anyways). Anyways, this is what I came up with. It's truly a Gap outfit. The black shirt I already had (from Gap). I found the pants and sweater at Gap also. I borrowed Renae's peep-toe semi-flats from Old Navy (also in the Gap family). Meg let me borrow her headband also. I don't know where that's from. Meg also obliged and took this picture of me and Katie in all our loveliness after we returned from our adventure.
And this one also. I didn't know which one was better :)
MOMMMM!!!! I saw this building when we were walking in the city. It made me miss you. So I took a picture of it for you!!!

Laura, Anita, Katie and I on the steps of some building in the city. It's blurry if you make it big. I don't know why, but I'm sorry. We went to Chris' Jazz Cafe also in Philadelphia. The music was good. The guitarist was really drunk and he kinda ruined it. The bassist, drummer and pianist though were amazing. My favorite was the bassist. I took some video of the music, and of the drunk guitarist's ranting but I can't figure out how to get it in the right format so I can play it on my computer. Hopefully I'll figure that one out soon.
Before we went to the jazz cafe, we went out to eat at Estia's in Philadelphia. It's an amazing, fancy Greek restaurant. My first impression, which I shared with Katie and Anita, was that it was a Philadelphia Mafia hangout. I wouldn't be surprised if I was right. But the food was amazing, the atmosphere was so lively (so many people in there and talking all loud- I felt like everyone was part of a big Greek family in there, even though they obviously weren't), the waiter had a special contraption to sweep the crumbs off the table after he cleared our plates, the bathrooms were crazy fun.... get the idea? It was great...and so was the Chocolate Souffle for dessert! Happy Birthday, Anita!!! I'm so glad Katie and I got to share it with you, Chris and Laura!!!

UPDATE: i realized after the fact that parts of this blog were messed up. so i did some editing. then i came back to preview the blog and saw that one of my photos had been deleted. arg. hopefully it all works now. love love love.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Balentine's!

Today I scrambled to get my work done in the office so I could leave campus promptly at 1pm. That done, I told myself that I would start slow with the baking. Take it in shifts. I'd do part mid-afternoon. Another step Friday night and then I'd do the rest on Saturday before people show up.

Sure. Good plans.

And then I just did everything.

I've been baking and chilling and icing and dipping and decorating and rolling and crying (not really, but almost) since 3 o'clock today. And I have to say, I'm tired. My back is sore and my arms feel jelly-ish.

But! I don't think I completely failed.

My goal was to recreate Bakerella's Valentine's Box of Cake. I follow Bakerella's blog daily, so I've been planning to make this cake for over a week. If you check out Bakerella's site, which I highly recommend, you'll notice that her box of cake is... well... perfect.

Mine is not.

But without further ado, here you go. Judge for yourselves.

I'm fairly pleased with my fondant first run. Fondant is the red stuff, by the way. The top and bottom are not bad, but the side pieces got pretty dry and corn starched by the time I got to them. I should have scrapped those pieces and used new, but live and learn! I might go back to the cake and redo that part tomorrow, but I couldn't face any more fiddling tonight. The arms, remember.

The cake balls (also Bakerella's recipe - you can find them linked on the same page) are so cute and quite delicious, but, alas, I failed a little bit making them too.

I read Bakerella's suggestion to add a little bit of icing at a time to avoid putting too much in the cake bit of the truffles. And I took that in. And then I put too much icing in the cake right off the bat. So, they are stinkin' moist and heavily cream cheesed, but still tasty. Next time I'll be more careful.

Honestly, how can you stay mad at anything that looks like this?

So now you know the highlight of my Valentine's weekend. Some friends are coming over tomorrow night to help me eat all this red velvet cake - did I mention it's all red velvet cake? - so, those of you who can't make it... feel free to be jealous all day long.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Luchadors love Jesus too.

Mexican wrestler Hijo del Santo receives communion during a Mass honoring the 25th anniversary of his father's death, the legendary wrestler El Santo, at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Today, on campus, we had an igloo building demonstration!

I know, right?!

So, Evan, Rachel, and I trudged over there and watched this man hack into the snow and carve out these blocks and... you know... assemble an igloo.

And... now I know.

By the way, that picture is not at all the way the guy taught us how to do it. Blogs are just more fun with a picture.

I have a picture of me in the half finished gigloo, but it's on my phone. So... I'll send it out and you guys can use it as my contact photo?

Ah, the things I have learned in Maine.

And just because I happened upon this when I was looking for a good picture, here you go.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

snow day tactics.

the following guidelines should be adhered to in order to secure a snow day.

numero uno (Spanish): wear your pajamas (also clothes of any type) inside-out and backwards. if you feel too dumb about wearing your clothes backwards, just try the inside-out trick.

number 2 (English): flush as many ice cubes as is toiletly possible down the 'commode'. NOTE: after writing this, my snow day researcher (the lovely Megan Markloff) informed me that you should flush one ice cube per inch of snow you are requesting from the toilet gods.

nombre trois (French): place a cotton ball (or a spoon...) under your pillow.

anzahl vier (German): scream the phrase "snow day" into the freezer (if you live in an apartment building where noise is restricted, please consider speaking softly and not screaming).

numero cinque (Italian): summon the snow gods by enlisting a native friend to teach you snow day dances. perform these dances while running around your place of residency and laughing with friends.

aantal zes (Dutch): begin calling the emergency weather cancellation line to check the status of the day's events immediately after midnight. when you wake up in the morning, call at least 2 times to be sure of what you heard (either negative or positive).

nummer syv (Norwegian): sleep with your head at the oposite end of the bed.

skaits astonus(Latvian): place your planner in the freezer. i, personally, am too attached to my planner and cringe at the thought of anything happening to it... i might skip this one.

szama kilenc(Hungarian): lick a spoon and place it under your mattress before bed (and hope you don't feel it like the princess and the pea).

numer dhjete (Albanian): finally, combine all of the tactics above into a mish-mash of insanity. try to remember to document it so you can show your friends and family later, and try not to be too embarrassed about it.

so, there you have it folks, a multi-lingual, educational feast of snow day knowledge. most of these things were carried out last night in hopes of a snow day today. it did not work. HOWEVER, it has been snowing for approximately 24 hours now and the roads are getting nasty. one of my roommates in fact used a naughty word on the shuttle from main campus to our apartment in fear of slippery doom. i say all this to say that the odds of a snow day tomorrow are growing by the minute. i'll be getting to bed on time tonight, just in case this doesn't happen. but i really hope it does... and you better believe i'll be calling the cancellation line as soon as my alarm goes off in the morning.

i love you all.
happy snow day.
<3 j

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Groundhog Day!

Does this post even really need words?

Alright, I guess I'll give you some anyway.

I got to bake on Sunday! I've been holding off because I knew that Groundhog Day was the one and only day (this year) for me to make these adorable groundhog cupcakes. I followed the recipe and decorating instructions from Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor.

K-Dog helped me out with the decorations and I must say that the assembly system was extremely helpful for this multi-faceted cupcake.

I just have to say, when living in Central Maine in January, there is nothing more exciting than the coming Spring. And what says "Spring is Coming!" like a herd of groundhog cupcakes? I don't think much.

And this shot is for those of you who won't have the joy of biting into one of these suckers today.

The cake is absolutely perfectly chocolate (and reduced sugar because of my choice of cake mix). The icings are sweet for sure, but not so chocolate as to compete with the cake. As usual, the Cake Mix Doctor knows exactly what she is doing.

So, today I'm bringing the cupcakes. And whether or not Punxsutawny Phil sees his shadow, Spring will come. It just will. Don't argue with me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

i don't have a good title... sorry.

the roommates and i were a little bored the other night and decided to break out my luchador mask. it was a big hit. i have more pictures but i didn't know if i'd embarrass anyone... and i figured meg could take it :)
so... this is my room... i believe you've seen this corner before... i'm wondering if you notice anything peculiar about it...










if you guessed that the peculiarity was that i had two calendars, then you're right. on the left is my Bangor, Maine Hose 5 Firefighter calendar...and on the right is my brand new Ballerina calendar. The one from Bangor was *obviously* a gift from Mandi, and Renae just bought me the ballerina calendar on friday. i'm very excited. i love the subject matter of both... i mean, who wouldn't love firefighters? and who wouldn't love ballerinas/want to be a ballerina? amazing.

ok... this next picture is not a picture of the slob-level living in this apartment. this is actually quite clean, but notice the silverware drawer hanging half-way out. yea... it's broken. there have been several offers by residents of this apartment to take care of it (i.e.- file a maintenance request through our PBU maintenance department... can be done online in approximately 2 mins). SOOOOO, since everyone volunteered to file a request, I didn't do it. then i kept asking the people who said they were going to do it if they actually had done it... the answer was always "i'm about to do it right now!" or "oops, i forgot! i'll do it later tonight." i should've just done it myself... but i didn't. *2 weeks have gone by!* the drawer is still hanging out... but a request is being filed as we speak by Meg. Praise the Lord!

Like Amanda, I also had some book success this weekend. I found this little beauty at Barnes & Noble in Neshaminy (I usually go to the Oxford Valley Barnes & Noble but I switched it up this weekend). I'm very excited about my new SPLENDA COOKBOOK!!!! It has a recipe for pomegranate jelly that I can't wait to make when I get home. I think, Amanda, you'd like it on your toast or something. I'm still trying to figure out what I can put it on, but I'm excited nonetheless.

Ok... that is all. I love you guys. Sorry to piggyback off of your blog Amanda. It's just that I realize I have things to blog about after you post :)