Sunday, April 24, 2011

You're Invited

I wanted to share my recent adventures in invitation/ card making with you.

Justin's sister Elysia is getting married on the 30th and I needed to make invitations in a hurry for her bridal shower. My friend Megan has amassed a very impressive and large collection of scrapbooking supplies, so I asked if I could use her stuff and pay her for anything used. We spent an hour and a half going through paper and ideas, but I eventually threw my hands in the air and said "Forget it! Let's go to Target!"

So, we went to Target and I picked out what I deemed to be a reasonably adorable pattern. I don't know if printing on the invites was even an option, but I decided to hand write all of them. Ugh. I was sickened by the site of my own handwriting by the end.

When it came time to list Elysia's bra and underwear size I couldn't think of appropriate wording, so I decided to draw a stick figure and point to the bra and underwear areas to indicate sizing. Classy!

My friend Katie is getting married in June and even though I did not enjoy the invitation process for Elysia's, I still volunteered to make the invites for Katie's shower. Why?? With more than 30 people on Katie's guest list I knew I would not want to handwrite anything.

I picked up some neat petal envelopes at Paper Source in a Tiffany blue color and decided my other colors would be black and white. Dear, dear Megan also helped me assemble all of these invitations and provided me with some additional supplies. The invites for Katie's shower also included an inserted piece of paper in the same blue color that listed her registeries and lingerie sizing. No stick figures this time.

I sealed the petal envelopes by using punched out pieces of printed paper. I had to glue around all edges to keep it secure. Turns out the petal envelopes were my downfall because they were all returned to me with an ask for more postage. Apparently envelopes can't be square?? Bah!

Big thank you to Megan for helping me!! In fact big shout out to Megan in general. My lovely friend helped me with two sets of invites, gave me a bottle of Pasek Blackberry wine today and helped me be less dumb at Math. Love ya, lady!


My friend Heather asked me to help her with an Easter cupcake project and I readily accepted. Cupcakes soon became cake balls (the non-stick version of cake pops), which I've never made. Heather brought all of the supplies over and I served as her reluctant assistant.

I know cake pops/ balls are time consuming, but I did not know they are virtually impossible to make attractive. I think I became discouraged quickly and pouted through the entire experience. Poor Heather! You can see how difficult they are by how - interesting - they turned out. Haha. I think I'll stick with cupcakes! It was great to spend time with a friend trying something new, though.

Haha awesome

I made a frowny face to represent my feelings about cake balls

This woman must be a witch. Her cake balls and pops are flawless!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Upcoming Adventures

So, coming off the Hawaii high makes me long to travel again. I don't have any BIG trips coming up, but I have some small adventures planned. Also have ideas for big plans. : )

ACTUALLY HAPPENING - Photos come from the first image in a Google search for the name of the destination city

Trips to Chicago

I just booked two trips for work that both take me to Chicago. My first trip will be May 4-6 and my second will be June 19-21. I am not the biggest fan of Chicago, but I also haven't really seen the city. My distaste comes from the O'Hare airport, which always ruins any flight that comes near it. I don't have any friends who live in Chicago, but in case I have time to do anything fun I would love any tips on restaurants or must-see sites.

Lodi Roadtrip Wedding Extravaganza

My friend John is getting married on August 6th in Lodi, CA. I kind of pushed Justin out of the journey to be able to roadtrip with friends Sarah, Jessica and Holli. We don't even have the invites yet, but we already have a schedule in place (that requires a ::GULP:: 3 am start time) and reserved a room at the posh Holiday Inn Express. I'm super excited for the trip and to hang out with some of my favorite people (like this girl) at the wedding.

Malibu Wedding Trip

Oh, did I mention I've been invited to like 7 weddings that all take place before November? Yeash! One of these is between Justin's lovely aunt Sherry and her boyfriend Mark. I'm not positive I will be going to this wedding, but I'm hoping to. Wedding on the beach in Malibu when it is gross and grey in Seattle October? Yes, please!

Texas Christmas Trip

Justin's wonderful grandparents live in Texas. It is a tradition in the family to reunite at Christmas. Justin and I went down to Texas for Christmas in 2009, but didn't go this past Christmas. It is usually pretty pricey to fly down, but will be worth it for family and a possible trip across the border to Mexico for cheap margaritas!


Alaskan Cruise

I really fell in love with cruising after our honeymoon cruise in 2009. It is a great way to see many different places and considering it includes food, lodging and entertainment is pretty cheap. I haven't been to Alaska and we can leave right from Seattle on a cruise. The summer is the only time I would want to go on a cruise, so if we don't go this summer we will have to wait until next summer. I think I will look for last minute travel deals for August and September.

Ireland/ Scotland/ England

These destinations have been at the top of my list for places to visit FOREVER. I want to visit them so very, very much! I would love to get a vacation rental in Ireland or Scotland and journey to the other countries from there. Or backpack and go on the cheap. I've talked to my friend Heather about a possible couple trip, but this is just talk. ; )

Abu Dhabi 

Haha okay this one may be a long shot. My friend Jill lives in Abu Dhabi and I believe still plans to stay there another year. Whyyyyy? I have toyed with the idea of visiting her. Mostly because I like her, but also because when else would I ever, ever go there?

I ran into Jill's friend Shauna (twice in a week actually) and she actually did visit Jill quite recently. She echoed my thoughts - when else would you go there?? I'd like to combo it with a trip to Egypt or India. Okay, Egypt is out for obvious reasons. Traveling by myself to these places is maybe not the best idea.

Volunteer Travel

I like helping others and I also like travel, so combo those two and wam bam awesome. Habitat for Humanity has trips to New Zealand (yes, please!) and other cool places. My friend did a H for H tript to Bali and loved it. See Bali-themed cupcakes to celebrate her departure. There are also super cheap trips through this organization. Maybe South Africa, India or Thailand?

What do you think? Where are you going in the next year?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Discovering Happiness

I'm going to pretend for a little bit that this blog isn't seen by lots of people - many of whom I don't even know. I'm not going to try to include a lot of photos to catch your eye or try to make you laugh. Not this time.

I don't talk about this to many people because it is, frankly, embarrassing but I struggle with sadness. Depression is the technical gross word for it. I like to just say I'm sad - it's less depressing sounding. Bunnies can be sad. Kittens. Pandas. Cute things can be sad. Lately, I've been much sadder than I can remember being in the last few years.

Mostly, I become sad for no real reason. Feeling lonely is the main cause. But I've felt lonely in a room full of people celebrating me. I can feel lonely if I write a blog and no one comments on it or send a text that doesn't get a response. I can feel sad and lonely when someone is shouting compliments at me. I can feel sad when it's cold and grey (which is alot in Seattle, right?) or when I work at home and have no one to talk to. I can feel sad when a purring cat is nuzzling me.

When I'm sad I want to have a concrete reason for it - someone or something to blame. The weather. My job. Where we live. My weight. My husband. My friends. Not having many hobbies. In actuality, it's no one or no things' fault that I'm sad, but my own. I need to change my thinking and my outlook. I need to find happiness in the small and the large. I need to do more. See more. Live more. You can't be sad when you have no time to realize you are, right?

But how does one change their thinking and discover real happiness? Happiness that runs deep. Is there more to it than changing outlook? Do I need to change my surroundings? Wait for the sun to come out?

What makes you happy? How do you combat sadness?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Latest in Cake

So, I've been asked to make the wedding cake for my friend Katie's wedding in June. Since my skills are still very limited I'm happy that she wants me to make only the portion her and Peter will cut into and not enough for 250 guests. : )

Katie sent me a bunch of photos from The Knot of cakes she likes. I asked her to narrow them down to 3 and she narrowed them down to...8. Haha. These are just ideas and I'm still not sure what route I want to take.


She thinks the cutest is the one with orange flowers in the bottom left corner.




LIZ'S FAVES (Not that what I think matters when it is her wedding!)
I like both the first one and the bottom one with buttercream the most.


So many ideas are swirling in my head. The cake will be either 1 or 2 tiers. I am leaning toward 2 small tiers. I am also one of Katie's bridesmaids, so that is the main reason I don't want to take on more than I can handle. I'm not sure if I want to do a finished-looking all frosting cake or attempt fondant. 

When I saw Katie's dress it gave me an idea for the cake that would mimic her dress. The cake would be an all shimmery champagne color on the bottom layer and the top would be ivory and mimic lace. Just an idea.

What do you think? Which cakes do you like? Do you have any cool ideas or amazing cakes you've seen that would be good inspiration?

In other cake/cupcake news:
  • Using one of my many Michael's gift cards, I signed up for a beginning cake decorating class. It was kind of a process because I had to wait for them to print out all of the documents. I just kind of assumed the class was on Tuesday or Wednesday. When I got home I looked at the flier and the class is on Fridays from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. I am not going to take 4 classes on a Friday night! Boo!
  • My friend Sarah had a gathering for high school friends a couple weeks ago. She recently made her own kitchen island (crazy awesome) and joked about it being an Island Party. I took this as a reason to make island-themed cupcakes. I was also filled with longing for Hawaii at the time. Check out the results on Sarah's blog. Here is a photo Justin took: