Follow the Olives... (By Email)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

ABC's of January


A for Addictions
Hi my name is Kate and I am a Twilight addict. Recently one of our movie channels added it to their lineup. I'm watched it a BUNCH since then. No, you don't understand...yesterday I saw it almost five times and I was busy all day! I had it on in the morning as I got ready, running in the background while I cleaned the house for guests. Watched it by choice to fill time before the guests got there and then saw it in the evening as the guests were heading out and my sister picked it. Then had it on as I settled in for the night in bed. It's an addiction! I do love the stories and I agree completely that the first movie may not have been cinematic genius, but more an awesome companion to the story. Anyway...I know the hubby is just dying to delete it from the TV, but the good news is that New Moon, the sequel comes out in March, I think, so I can change things up a bit. Is there where I should mention that for Christmas my sister gave me my very own Edward doll.

B for Blogs & Brunch
I'm proud to say I've done over three posts this month and promise to keep it up. I always try to avoid too many boring random thoughts, but ah well - if I'm boring, I apologize and hope that you will just pass by and come back for something more your cup of tea on round two. Resolutions are looking good, but I'll keep it up for those that care to read on!

For my new thing in January, I did two. My sister and I made and effort to do church and brunch and try someplace new. A great little hole in the wall diner in Villa Park. It was great food, good value (not so great service) but a good time nonetheless!

C for Crafty Day
My friends are awesome. We somehow work to find time to see one another in our crazy schedules. In an effort to create another reason to hang out we added a "crafty day" to the calendar this month. We had a great time yesterday and were super productive. There was card making and lots of it as well as an entire top side of a quilt finished - great job D!!

So as part two of new things in January - I present craft day #1. I realize that new things in January weren't as adventurous as some may have hoped not as outside the box, but I promise to do better. I'm making a running list of things for the other 11 months, but please keep sending the suggestions too!

So as the year keeps moving by I present the closing ABC's of January and look forward to the craziness that 2010 continues to bring...hoping for a lottery win or some phenomenal surprises to pair with my fabulous hubby, the wonder pup and great friends and family! Happy February!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Baking Blunder(s)

I consider myself to be an okay cook. Not a great cook, but good. I can provide meals for myself and my family without poisoning anyone or creating anything inedible too often.

Yesterday was no exception to this - I had a good friend over and the three of dined on steaks, double-baked potatoes, green beans and salad. As a special treat, I thought I would make my first attempt at a Boston-creme pie/cake, much like my Mom would make for my Dad on his birthday - one of his favorites. I knew I'd be making a couple "edits" to the cake to make it suit our needs.

So in my domestic bliss, I baked two 9" round butter yellow cakes in the oven. While those cooked, I made the banana pudding and placed in the fridge to harden. I milked the frosting recipe out of my sister - for her FAMOUS frosting with cocoa added. With all three ingredients assembled. I placed the frosting aside and the cakes on a cooling rack awaiting assembly.

Picture this - pristine cake stand, the first cake is carefully placed in the center. Banana pudding is layered onto the cake in a thin layer, predominantly in the center given that the second cake will force it to spread out. Cake number two is placed on top. A little bit of smoothing with the frosting knife and we're set to frost. Chocolate frosting layered on top. However, the cake is now sliding slightly to the left. A quick prod with the knife and we're all set, continue frosting. But, now we're leaning to the right. Some smoothing with the knife to frost the sides and make it all look nice.

Well, it didn't look nice. All of a sudden the pudding and frosting are mixing on the sides and it's sliding pretty quickly to the side. I placed three extra long drink toothpicks in to try to keep things together. Until we were ready to eat, I put it all in the fridge.

It didn't look nice, but it sure tasted good. So for storage, there was NO way it would go into the cake keeper, instead, we split things up into tupperware and have now named it Smush Cake.

Ah well, there's always brownies!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Time with Tissues

I have a cold. A no good, very bad cold. So I have spent a LOT of time with tissues today and this past weekend. However, I have nothing on our puppy. In the fifteen minutes it took me to shower today Olive decimated an entire fresh box of Kleenex. Yup, tissues streaming from one end of the front room to the other. I mean seriously?! The best part is her innocent act. I come out of the bedroom and Olive is no where to be found. Mysterious. Then I notice the small trail of paper shreds from the doorway to under the bed and there - there I find the offending beast. A small mountain of tissue under the bed along with her. And to top it all off, she looks right at me and cocks her head to the side with a piece of tissue hanging out of her mouth. But honest, she didn't do it.

So I scoop her up and clean up the paper and leave the bedroom and then the true mess. I look at her and she literally hung her head and looked away. Hysterical. At least she shows some remorse.

A resolutions update...
1) This is post #2 this month!
2) Still working on it!
3) Every day since January 4th!
4) I've attended the same church two weeks in a row. So far so good. And a side story. My lovely sister accompanied me to church this week. We totally enjoyed the AWESOME job the choir was doing with the great song "Wade in the Water" and then "Taste and See". And then, she's giggling next to me, she turns and asks, "What are they saying?"
I reply "Taste and See."
The giggling resumes and she says, "Oh, I thought they were saying 'Tasty'." I was without words. But I did giggle quite a bit. We're all going to hell.
5) I've gotten all the holiday SmugMug photos organized into galleries and setup. Feel free to enjoy at www.kate-sam.smugmug.com.
6) Working on finishing up those to send out this month.
7) Already read January's book and excited to see the gals on Thursday.
8) Still trying to figure out where to head this year...Ideas welcome!
9) Still working on this too. Ideas welcome for the January first!! Great Chicago restaurant? Other suggestions...
10) Everyday and every way I can think of!

So between a massive increase in tissue use and the discussion of a "tasty" deity, it's been a great start to the month, but an interesting week.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

And what a year 2009 has been! The hubby and I spent the night together enjoying a fun time in downtown Elmhurst celebrating a year of absolute craziness. The addition of Olive to our family in February, the consistent hectic life of my former job, lots of travel for Sam and happy and sad times with friends and family throughout 2009.

Now on to 2010! Last night, among many glasses of wine, champagne and yummy treats, I decided to make a very ambitious list of resolutions. (And I expect all of you to remind me of these if I stray too far!) Hubby claimed he didn't need to make any since he was perfect, enough said.

Kate's resolutions for 2010 (these are in no particular order)
1) Post to this fabulous blog at least 3 times per month
2) Find great new job - perhaps not lifelong career, but a great job that will allow for work/life balance. Also, continue to focus on Stampin' Up! business to meet quarterly goals.
3) Exercise (in some shape or form, Wii counts if I sweat and burn calories!!) 3 times per week.
4) Put a new focus on mental/spiritual health. Finding the right church? Theraputic journaling, whatever. Make me a better me!
5) Organize photos/scrapbook/memory stuff. Work on scrapbooks and photos in SmugMug.
6) Remember family and friends birthdays and anniversaries and send cards.
7) Read all 12 book club books on time!
8) Travel to at least two new places that I've never been to (or don't remember because I was there before memories)
9) Try one new thing per month - a new food, new experience, new restaurant, etc. Suggestions welcome!
10) Share reminders of love with those most important to me - Hubby, parents, sister, friends. Remind those that I love how very special they are!

Good luck with all your resolutions, if you made them, and all the best for a fantastic 2010!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!