Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Post CFA

So although he survived the exam please keep praying for him and Trey to get PASSED results within the next month or two.

After studying non-stop for his exam Ty hasn't had a second of downtime because as a gift for all his hard work I signed him up for guitar lessons with our friend Kapena!

Our friend Craig let Ty borrow his guitar (since he's a new daddy and he is a bit busy with his beautiful new daughter Evelyn these days) Thanks Craig for sharing your amazing guitar!! The neighbors may not be as happy as Ty is though!

I've created a monster. Actually, Kapena YOU have created a monster! He practices all the time now! Whether the guitar is in his hands or not! He is running drill after drill after drill! There just isn't enough time in the day to practice!

His favorite thing to do is "serenade" me when I am trying to fall asleep. I love it even if it sounds more like Plink Plink Plink right now.

Here's what the first few weeks sounded like:

He's gotten better though. After nearly a month of lessons he's gone from "Plinking" to "strrum-plink"

See he can even play "Smelly Cat" already...

Ha! Ok he's still working on that one. We just thought we'd give it a try.

Once Kapena has him playing an entire song we'll showcase his skills on our blog. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Royal Mess

Week 2 of our Wilton's Cake Decorating Course and it was a Royal Icing Mess!

We did however learn A LOT. For example, how to fold parchment paper (Marlene showed up with hers perfectly folded, but Sarah and I had to learn and quickly fold as many as possible in order not to fall behind!) Luckily we are all fast learners.

We filled them with the Royal icing that Monica helped me make last week (Thanks Mon!)

Thanks also to my Dad for the cool icing stand! It's been SO helpful!
We learned how to put templates on our "flower nail"

AND how to make Roses. (We weren't actually supposed to make the entire Rose, but we were determined to learn!) Our icing was a bit too soft-oops; so our flowers melted down. By next week we'll be PROs though!

Our token "lefty" was learning the Left handed technique in the background and was apparently outstanded by her results! :) See her excited face behind Sarah?!

Sarah mastered the Apple Blossom (of course)! It was so pretty!

My favorite was the Primrose!

AND although my expression makes me look like a goon in the picture below I HAVE to include it to show off the new aprons Marlene got us! I LOVE aprons!! I only (had) one and when it was dirty I was a sad little person, but not anymore!!! Marlene got us these as a thank you for doing the shower but now we are the ones thanking her!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS MARLENE!!! You're the BEST!! (Everyone in the class now wants to sit in the backrow with the 3 Stooges!!) Order yours soon so we can all 3 wear them in class together!

In case you're wondering if we were quieter and less giggly this go around...um...no! We weren't!

Here's probably my favorite picture of last night! Marlene said her flower looked like it was blowing in the wind so Sarah provided the wind while Marlene held her flower for the picture! I think a video of us in this class would make millions!

When they thought no one was looking... I caught my 2 partners in crime snacking. One on a Cakeball (yes the new Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cakeballs that I made for Father's Day and I MUST say were DELICIOUS! They tasted like a Resses Peanut Butter Cup!) so anyway, one was eating a cakeball and the other...

...was eating her flowers.

I was no saint either. I just have power over the camera! I was sitting in my corner making icing stars on Cheese Crackers! :-)

Then came the fun flowers! We were all good at these! Marlene mastered the art of Rose buds first but we quickly learned too!

Here's the teacher showing the class with OUR icing!! Yea that's right we couldn't use the "icing is too runny" excuse when she used it as the class example!

A proud Flower Girl! :-)

We loved our little Rose buds!

But we had no way of taking them home and so...

...we'll have to make them again.

I think Marlene will be making her final cake with Rose buds. I am still very undecided!!

Next week... Roses (we'll be ready!)

Monica in LA!

I'm totally stealing this blog so if you'd like to see the original you can HERE! For Monica's birthday her hubby and family sent her to see me!! June 12th seemed SO far away at the time, but it finally came!!!

She flew in late Saturday night and we took her straight to Manhattan Creamery! It's always a MUST after a long flight! We walked down Manhattan Pier afterwards to show her the ocean, but it was too cold to go play in the sand. It's still beautiful to walk down at night but you know how cold June can get!

The next day we had beach plans, but the weather did NOT cooperate! It was so frustrating because we were all so excited about our beach day. We had packed all our beach gear in the car and thought that by the time we finished lunch the sun would be out to burn the June Gloom layer of cold grey clouds, but no it only got colder the closer we got to the beach.

It's hard to explain June Gloom especially when January had its warm days and even our May Gray wasn't that bad this year. We try warning people, but I think we forget that it really happens until June arrives every year. I did have a Cakeball order that day and Monica helped me with it! Thank goodness because it was probably my most challenging order yet! We made Apple Cakeball Bouquets for Teacher Appreciation orders. Wanna see?

Click HERE to see them all.

We finished at 10am right when Ty walked in the door from teaching Children's Church. It was perfect timing! We got dressed and headed off to the beach for brunch! We walked out to the beach for a photo shoot (to prove there IS a beach) and then we had a great Brunch at Martha's. It is THE place to Brunch on Sundays so Monica got to meet our friends Sarah & Richard who were also eating there with a friend!

We shopped along Hermosa Pier and after we decided it was MUCH too cold to lay out we took a much needed nap and then had dinner at PF Changs before seeing Iron Man 2 on the IMAX! We hung out at Starbucks before the movie started and warmed ourselves up with warm teas and coffees! Thanks Starbucks! We needed that after our freezing cold day!

Monday was BEVERLY HILLS day! Monica had never been to Rodeo Drive so we had a blast walking through all the shops!

We had lunch at 9021-pho. It was Mon's first time to experience Vietnamese Pho! It is my & Ty's favorite dish!! The bowl was bigger than her head, but it was good. I wish we had ordered the non-meat one though because they added some weird meat ball things (beef balls in Vietnamese =) and they just looked weird. Veggie would've been less intimidating for a first timer! I think she liked it though!

Dessert was at Crumbs (which in my opinion is BETTER than Sprinkles!) for a huge and yummy cupcake. It was vanilla and chocolate filled with vanilla and chocolate and topped with cookies and brownies! We split one! Then we were off to our shopping excursion. She bought her hubby a Father's Day present at the Polo store and we felt SO COOL to be making a purchase on Rodeo Drive!!

We walked and walked and shopped and shopped and even found a place that was giving 10 minute free foot massages. YES PLEASE. I think we were supposed to buy something afterwards, but we didn't. =)

After Rodeo Drive we headed to the Santa Monica Promenade where we had some coffee (Danielle had a Nutella Latte- super healthy!), people watched (it was very entertaining!), watched the sunset behind some mountains, and ate at Buddha's Belly...Thai Food. Are you noticing a trend here? Yes we ate LOTS of asian food, it was delicious! Monica's baby is going to need an Asian name because that's all he/she is going to eat!

Tuesday was "Operation Beach Day". We were determined. One way or another we were going to the beach. We decided to try out Laguna Beach. I hadn't been there either so it was an adventure for us both. We drove down there that morning, had a nice lunch, found some AWESOME candy/caramel apples for dessert (seriously, they were sinful!) and went to the beautiful beach. It was gloomy. We were hesitant to even go, but we thought we might as well. We got our chairs all situated and sat there in our dresses/jackets for a while then decided to take them off. Sure enough, the fabulous SUN came out! It was PERFECT weather. As soon as it got to be a little hot, a cool breeze would blow. Ahh it was heaven. We could have stayed there forever. We both got some sun (YAYAYAYYYYYY!) and caught a nap or 2 also. We did a little shopping on our way out. Laguna Beach was a really cool little town. I can't wait to go back! That night we went to In N Out Burgers, and yes totally went Animal Style! I probably should've let Monica get regular fries because they were too animally for her but it was a yummy meal!

The AMAZING (totally healthy) caramal + some apples! I'm craving another one right now!!

Her last day...Wednesday. She was to head home around 3:30 that afternoon, but we wanted to squeeze in some HOLLYWOOD action before that.

We drove there and started on our journey through the street of Hollywood.

We saw tons of stars and the Grauman's Chinese Theater where all the handprints/footprints of the stars were. We hit up Zara for some last minute shopping - I LOVE that store!  After our shopping it was time to find some lunch (we were starving) and head home to get her stuff and head to the airport.

We found an awesome sushi place and we chowed down (no worries, we only got COOKED stuff...it was still awesome!!!) Then came crunch time. We were still in Hollywood and her stuff was still at the house and she only had 2 hours before she HAD to be at the airport. YIPE! I got her there in time though! It was easier to say goodbye because she had to RUN to catch her flight. Otherwise that would've been really tough! I had such a blast with you Mon! It was great to get some girl-time in with you! I feel like I got a birthday present too! I LOVE YOU!! (Thanks to everyone that sent her to me! You guys are AWESOME!)

Piece of Cake

Well since we've had no proper Cake training the Engineer, HR Director, and Financial Planner have all signed up for Cake Class.

We are better known as the 3 Stooges to our instructor. We came to our first class VERY unprepared!

We thought we knew what we were doing. We bought all our supplies but failed to bring the other half that we thought were supposed to be left at home not "brought from home"

So off to a bad start, but after lots of giggling we got our act together and actually produced some pretty amazing flowers.

CONFESSION: It's not entirely true that we've had NO training. We have had "some" training. Sarah completed the 3rd Wilton's course and Marlene and I have completed the "Watch Sarah and learn" course; because of this we all agreed we should skip the Basic Course and go right into Course 2 - Flowers & Cake Design. This wasn't allowed by Michaels but after begging the teacher she agreed to let us do it. I hope she isn't regretting this decision!

Which is why when our flowers got stuck in the "flower printer cutter thing" (VERY technical term) we all died laughing. Step one. Roll fondant press into "flower printer cutter thing" and take flowers out. Hmm...seems so simple!

Eventually all 3 Stooges were sucessful!

Here's our practice area. That little purple square of fondant & gumpaste was pressed into the purple former beside it to make some really cool looking flowers. (Flowers we decided were too time consuming to include in our final project!)

Next came the Pansies! Marlene laughed at me for making 4 cut outs in case mine messed up. She bragged about how her first one would be perfect and well, it nearly was.

Except she formed it for too long and it cracked and she had to beg me for one of my extras. Another fit of giggles broke out from the back row. Her 2nd Pansy WAS perfect though.

Sarah was actually able to make a few of each flower to keep for her final. I think she's got her cake picked out already! Luckily one of us has our act together!

Here are some of our "work in progress" flowers!

Yes the picture above is a comparrison of my chewed gum and Marlene's flower petal. I have no idea what the joke was but again I'm sure all 3 of us were laughing our heads off while everyone else worked quietly.

Finally, our pretty flowers! See even with all our laughing and mess ups we were able to show that we belong in the class afterall!

Even our Pansies looked like Pansies!

If we were on the Food Network we'd get bonus points for keeping our work space so clean!

Next week...Royal Icing. (THIS should be interesting)