Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Next week, I'm going to be a leader at Girls' Camp, and our ward's theme is Japan. So naturally I took it upon myself to make as many complicated origami flowers and birds as possible to decorate the camp. In the process, I learned that once you get to the last few steps, you can just kind of skip and fudge, because the actual folds are really confusing and difficult. You'll miss out on some of the detail, but they'll be fine hanging from a tree at a campsite for a week. Here is a bit of what I ended up with.

WARNING: The pictures are pretty bad, it was late and inside and my camera was out of batteries. Sorry, I should have planned ahead, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


About a year ago I got into cake decorating. So much fun! I still have a lot to learn, but it's easier than I expected. Fondant is great, it's just like clay so you can make anything. Of course fondant is more decorative than it is delicious.

I modelled this bulldog after one I dogsat for. It's people share my love of cooking and the Food Network Challenges that inspired me to try cake decorating.

A Dora cake for my niece's 2nd birthday. I learned that it takes a VERY long time to make a detailed cake like this.

And where is the Dora for this Dora cake you ask? Well, I also learned that it's not a great idea to save the main detail of a cake for last, when you've stayed up all night (literally, I think I only slept for an hour) making the rest of it first, and especially when you've never tried anything like it before. I did make her, but she's kind of embarrassing, I'm not sure I could even post it. But my second try wasn't so bad—stay tuned to see the Diego I made for my Nephew's 4th earlier this year...

Books, Glorious Books

Besides cooking, the hobby I've been at the longest is reading. My siblings are all a lot older than me, so I was reading long before kindergarten, and I started reading the books they were reading in junior high and high school when I was still in elementary. I've always loved books,especially really old, really fat ones: Les Miserables, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, you get the idea. In my opinion, the best books are over a hundred years old, or at least fifty. That's not to say I don't read the newbies too—Harry Potter, Twilight, A Series of Unfortunate Events—they're fun, they just aren't the best books I've ever read.

What I love in a book is something that takes me to a time or a place that I'm unfamiliar with and makes me feel like I'm there. Or, even better, puts me in the mind of someone completely unlike myself, and makes me see what they see, feel what they feel, think what they think, understand the way they see the world. I try to be non-judgemental, because you never know what a person's experiences have been or why they act the way they do, and I think these kinds of books help me to be more understanding of others. A couple of books that I've read in the last few months are particularly good at this: The Catcher in the Rye and One Flew Over the
Cuckoo's Nest. The characters in these books are far from my sheltered naïve self, but I felt I could still understand where they were coming from.

I especially appreciate books now that I don't have the opportunity to be in school. Another thing I've always loved is learning, and I hope to be able to continue finding out about the world in my own "classroom" built with books rather than bricks. I learned more about the Civil War in two days reading The Killer Angels than in 13 years of school, but my lack of good social science and history teachers is a different story. The point is, now that I have more time on my hands, I'm going to try to start being an avid reader like I used to be before the days of crazy homework and sports and clubs. I'm starting with these—all of the books left in our house that I still haven't ever read:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I Like to Take Pictures of ~ Bugs

I know, I know, GROSS. But it's about the closest I've got to "wildlife" here in Lincoln, so it'll have to do.

Simple Starter Cookies

So far I've neglected to talk about what is arguably my favorite hobby, and the one I've been doing the longest: cooking. I was raised never using recipes, they're just a hassle right? Even though I've learned to love them more over the years, I still like to have a basic starting point then make it my own. Baking is much more precise, but if you know what you're doing (I hope you do, because I don't) you can still be creative. Here's a great jumping off point for basic cookies—I can't guarantee that they'll be amazing, but they're easy to memorize and add to.

Just remember TWO:

2 sticks of butter
2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

Bake at 350 for 10 min? (I'm making this part up, so you'll want to check them every so often)

Play around with it. Add some chocolate chips or nuts (guess how much, that's right 2 cups). Switch out half the fat for peanut butter or shortening. Let me know if you come up with a great twist!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Girls' Night In

Today's hobby is manicuring... being a manicurist... doing manicures... that sounds awkward, today's hobby is painting nails. When my nephew went to his friend's birthday party, my niece had to stay home. To try to keep her mind off not being able to go, we got her excited about a special-Auntie-Kelli-Eden-date. Like any good girls' night, there were movies, ice cream, building a zoo out of blocks, and of course mani-pedis.

I'm not sure if you can tell, Eden painted my big toenails all by herself. Not bad for a 2-year-old.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Things I Love to Take Pictures of ~ Food

I love cooking. I love making yummy food, but even more than that I love making pretty food. Sure food tastes good, but it's just so beautiful!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guest Hobby ~ Superhero Cape

I helped my sister make this awesome reversible cape for a birthday party that my nephew was going to today. I just love it, one side has an "A" for Adrik, and the other is Batman, his favorite superhero.

Of course my niece had to test it out.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love These Kiddos

Aren't my niece & nephew just too cute? I love being an auntie.

My First Follower!

It's amazing, and a little bit embarrassing just how much it boosts my self esteem to have someone comment on a picture of mine on flickr. And tonight I discovered an even bigger high, my first real follower! (Even though I love my sister, she doesn't really count) So M&M Studio, thank you. I don't know who you are, but you're my new best friend!


My project for the last few days has been making these adorable (if I do say so myself) clutches. I got ideas from pictures on blogs and Etsy, made some doodles...

cut out patterns...

chose fabric...

cut them out...

put them together...

and sewed them.

Now I just need to add buttons, zippers, and maybe a few flowers, and I have 8 new clutches. Not only are these fun, but they also will help me budget. I got the idea from a friend to have a separate wallet for each category and put in only the allotted amount of cash each month. When you're out of cash in your clothes clutch, no more clothes 'till next month! It's a lot easier to fudge when all you do is swipe a card, so hopefully these will help. And hey, even if if they don't, they sure are cute!

Monday, June 21, 2010