Saturday, July 31, 2010

100 Cookie Cutters!!

I think I've lost all sense of self preservation. I am so tired. I've been on the go everyday this week. On Wednesday I attended a presentation at the animal shelter where I volunteer. It was about the spread of disease, an important concept to grasp in a shelter environment. The most memorable thing I learned was, "If feces fluoresced, the world would glow."

Thursday I was invited out to happy hour with two friends from school, Jillian and Angela, in celebration of Jillian's birthday. I didn't like the idea of showing up empty handed to a birthday celebration so I decided late Wednesday night to make cookies. I think I forgot how labor intensive making cookies is - make the dough from scratch, cut and bake cookies (with only one cookie pan), let cool, make all frosting by hand, decorate cookies using a toothpick because I can never seem to get the frosting consistency right, and boxing them up after they've dried. I didn't get to bed until around 2:00. (Then I got up that morning before class to go swimming with Casey and Stephanie which was really fun, but left me with little sleep.)

So anyway, I wanted to make Jillian cookies but I didn't have the time or energy to be very creative. Thankfully I bought the best thing ever last week - a bucket of 100 cookie cutters! I poured them onto the table and giggled (literally) with glee. I don't know why I thought it was so funny, but I laughed the whole time I was picking random cutters, having decided to make all of her cookies different shapes. I guess I figured funny shapes would make up for the fact that the cookies weren't that extraordinary.

Cookie Cutters
So many choices

Birthday Cookies! Birthday Cookies!

Happy Birthday Jillian!
My cookie cutters set has the whole alphabet!

Oh No! Birthday Cookies!
T-rex's head broke off. :( I was forced to eat him.

Jillian seemed to really like them, and we had a fun night - we ate at Sushi Zushi, had tea at the Steeping Pot, and shopped around the Domain. Friday was a blur at work, but thankfully we were busy all day long. If I had been idle I think I would have fallen asleep at my desk. I was able to wake up at a respectable 8:00 this morning with enough energy to blog! Now I need to go exercise with all this eating out and baking I've been doing.

Hope your weekend is fabulous!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Needles and Old Friends

Hello friends! My life has been super boring lately, just work and school, so I don't have much to report. I went to the doctor this morning and got a shot. :( I needed to get blood drawn for an antibody titer for work, and the doctor noticed that I needed an updated tetanus shot. I don't remember the last time I had a shot, but it was when I was still scared of them. To my surprise, it hurt a lot less than getting blood drawn, which is something I do every 8 weeks. I was so proud of myself for not feeling anything, but now of course my arm is throbbing.

And tonight I went out to dinner with an old friend, Carrie. (We go all the way back to first grade... she and Stephanie have known each other all their lives, and I met Carrie through Stephanie. All three of us lived in the same neighborhood and were best friends growing up.) Anyway, Carrie and I went out for some sushi. Stephanie was supposed to go but got sick, dang her! Carrie is exactly how she's always been, which is comforting. I had a good time, and we had a lot of stuff to talk about - a year's worth of stories. We're already planning to do it again soon, this time with Stephanie. I love having all of my friends live in the same city again! That's something you really take for granted in high school!

And since those stories were rather dull, I'll leave you with a fun picture. I don't know what's more amusing, our pose or the stuffed monkeys between us!

Me, Stephanie & Carrie circa 1998

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fish Tacos!

I got to sort through frozen urine today! What does that mean? It means I finally have an internship. A paying internship. Once I finish 160 hours with this company, I'll be certified in Biotechnology. Huzzah! Right now I'm in the sample receiving division, which isn't very science-y. It's mostly data entry, but there is a lot of stuff to learn! Once I'm trained in sample receiving I may even get to move to the testing department which looks the most fun. Everyone I've met is really nice, and I'm really glad I have a chance to work there.

My first day was Wednesday and my two bestest friends took me out to dinner to Matt's El Rancho for some celebration and fish tacos! We should have got our waiter to take a picture of all three of us, but we didn't. All I have are these two gems where I said, "Hey smile or something! I need to put it on my blog."

Oh, I also learned - via the Walgreen's check-out lady - that there is a full moon soon. So if your cash register isn't working this weekend, that's probably why.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Puppy Breath

Maia & the puppies

I went to visit the puppies today! They are so big, I can't believe it. They were all being squirmy and they all look really healthy. I counted 6 girls and 2 boys. Maia is such a sweet girl! She was so happy when I showed up. She was being such a good momma, taking care of her pups. I'm excited to watch them grow up!

Puppy Sandwich
Eight Little Puppies Maia & Puppy
Puppies Puppies

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kayaking Down the Colorado and Puppy Alert!

mrrph. so tired.


I went kayaking with Casey and her crew today! We drove over to Webberville to a place called Cook's Canoes. The place was like a tiny, broken down house. It was a little sketchy at first, but the man (Mr. Cook I'm guessing) who met with us was very nice. It turns out he is an Aggie - class of '67. He even gave us a discount! After the initial scare the place was pretty interesting. The front of the house was bordered with a bunch of deflated soccer balls as if they were some type of flower arrangement and there was a big, huge - like 3 inches huge - spider on the mail box. (It was possibly a yellow argiope; it looked like this.)

Alyssa Jenny

It was scorching hot, which isn't really surprising for Texas in July at 2:00 in the afternoon. We couldn't get into the water fast enough. Casey's mom & dad were in one canoe, and her sister (her very pregnant sister) and her sister's husband had the other. The rest of us - Casey, myself, and Casey's friends, Alyssa, Joel, and Fro - were in kayaks.

Kayaking Casey's Dad

There was a little mishap starting out as Joel seemed to be too big for his kayak. He immediately flipped over, lost his glasses, then his paddle, and was then swiftly pulled under a tree where he lost his kayak too. Casey grabbed the paddle, I rescued the kayak, and Fro rescued Joel. We mourned his glasses. Alyssa switched kayaks with Joel and we were good to go.

Clouds Casey

It felt so much better in the water and we paddled a relaxing five miles down the Colorado. At one point we stopped and did some swimming and had some snacks. Alyssa gathered some sea shells and I flung mud around using my paddle (I'm very mature). We also bypassed some very loud cows and an army of little, chirping birds. At the end of the trip we were picked up by Mr. Cook and his gang, wherein it immediately started raining. Good timing! Fun was had by all and I got a funny souvenir.

One Round Tuit

It's for when someone says, "I'll get around to it." And then I guess you hand them the token to show how clever you are. :D

As soon as a got home I got a text from my cousin Dana that read, "Just had the first born!" with this picture attached:

I didn't even know Maia (momma) was pregnant until a few days ago. My uncle asked me to visit tomorrow while he is at work to check on the pups. (Me, "okay!") As of now I am watching facebook updates. So far there are 8 pups. Grabbed this picture from Dana's facebook photos:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stories of a Mundane Life

Nothing new is going on here, except for the fact that my face is peeling. This is not wanted!

On Friday I went to the DMV. I got there 10 minutes after it opened and that place was packed! Apparently, the DMV is the place to be. I had to change the address on my drivers license since we moved uhm... three years ago. Man, time got away from me on that one. I know I could have changed it online but I didn't like my 16-year-old-self's picture, I wanted to change my height from 5' 5" to my real 5' 7", and I wanted to be an organ donor. Watching all of those medical shows like House and Grey's Anatomy has helped me understand how valuable organ donors can be. (Having said that, I rather hope I'm not ever in the situation to donate my organs. :-/) The guy at the counter next to me had to get a new drivers license because he had lost his old one. When he was finished he walked away and left both his wallet and cell phone on the counter. He rushed back a few seconds later with a, "This is exactly how I lost my license!" It was funny.

That night I went to bed at about 8:30 so I could read and get to sleep early. I probably stayed up until about 12:00. My book kept getting interesting! I would be like, "Okay, I'll read to the next chapter." And then my book would build up to this cliff hanger ending after every chapter! Anyway, so now I'm pretty tired today. Even so, I did do some shopping. When I was in a dressing room a little kid was singing that song from a mop commercial or duster or something... you know, "Who's that laddddyyy? *who's that lady* Sexxxxyy lady!" And her mom was all, "You can't say 'sexy' you're only 3 years old." And the little kid said, "I can see your boobies!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I need some aloe!

What was yesterday? Wednesday? Geez, it felt like a weekend!

My two BFFs and I drove over to Hamilton pool to go swimming, but it was closed due to high bacteria levels. (eww!) It's a shame because the place looks really pretty. Fortunately there was a river close by at Milton Reimers Ranch Park where we could swim. We had lunch on the river bank and then spent a couple of hours swimming and hanging out. It felt so good in the water, but it was so hot when we got out! I think we all got sunburned. :( But it was worth it, I had a lot of fun.

Casey & Stephanie


Group Picture! (I had the camera timer on - it was set to take 3 pictures. Good thing too!)

Casey, Stephanie & Lindsey Casey, Stephanie & Lindsey
Casey, Stephanie & Lindsey

We hung out at Casey's house that evening, ordered in some pizza, and watched Juno since Stephanie had never seen it. Casey is dog sitting two Bernese mountain dogs this week for her neighbor so we watched the movie with them. They were soooo pretty! And big! We played a little in the backyard before it got dark.

Stephanie making friends with Casey's dog Pyro on the stairs:

Pyro & Stephanie

Gretchen and Anja, the two beautiful puppies:

Gretchen Anja

I love summer.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Geography Binge

Okay guys, I think I just spent the last hour and a half at this website. I was originally looking for a US map quiz where you have to label the states, which is where that link goes. (See how well you do! I had them down after a couple of tries.) But then on the right there is a "Try another quiz" option, and ohmygosh I am having so much fun! I can now get a perfect score on the Europe, Middle East, and Asia maps. Next I want to try Africa! I know I sound like an absolute dork, but for some reason my brain is enjoying the memorizing. I forgot that I needed to get to bed early tonight. I also forgot to snack all night long, or to put my sheets in the dryer. School has been boring me lately, and couldn't even get myself to study for longer than a couple of hours yesterday. But this! This is fun!

Speaking of not studying, my nails always get painted the day before a test.

High fives for procrastination! *slap*

Monday, July 12, 2010

i iz blind!


hmmm... I think it may be time to give Teddy a haircut. :P

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kayaking with Casey

Is it already Sunday night? Why must the weekends go by so fast? It's been a pretty good one, though admittedly pretty lazy.

Yesterday I went kayaking with Casey. See, she bought a kayak but none of her friends have one and the kayak rental place isn't anywhere near the convenient kayak drop off place. This resulted in both of us sitting crosslegged in her kayak facing each other as we took turns rowing to the rental place. Hah, good fun, though we had a few people staring at us. (We also had a scare when I sat on the back and it started sinking.) We saw tons of turtles, two snakes, heard the bats under the bridge, and at one point got stuck in a really shallow spot. I filmed it for your (okay, really for my) entertainment. My arms were burning by the end; I had to have Casey row us all the way back from the rental place, hee hee.

Afterwards we ate at Chuy's (I love their "Mexi-Cobb" salad) and then went and donated blood. Because that's what Casey and I do for fun. I came home tired and determined not to do anything for the rest of the day. I rented Remember Me from RedBox (yes, that movie with Robert Pattinson) and it was actually really good. I napped after the movie then read my book (I'm currently reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes) with the dogs curled around me for the rest of the night. Life is tough.

Today I woke up early and took the dogs around Town Lake. I felt bad keeping them cooped up inside yesterday. Tinker pooped out about a third of the way through, but they had fun playing in the water and getting out. The rest of the day was spent eating and sleeping and playing with the rats (who are currently sleeping somewhere in my closet). I had all of these plans to study today, but I guess I'll do a cram session tomorrow for my Tuesday test. It's hard to get motivated on lazy, summer days.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Checkerboard Cake

Last Thursday I was showing off my Fourth of July cake to a classmate while we were waiting for the HPLC to run. She then asked me if I had ever made a checkerboard cake, which apparently involves using a special pan insert. I asked if you could just make separate cakes and cut them up and assemble them - but she said that would be way too hard. I don't know about you, but to me that sounded like a challenge. She also had problems making a chocolate/vanilla checkerboard cake because the chocolate was so much heavier than the vanilla, so it would sink under the insert and mix with the vanilla.

Friday morning I made two 9" French vanilla cakes and two 9" Germain chocolate cakes. (Very international huh?) I leveled both to 1" and after some calculations grabbed a bowl and a cup to use as stencils for the two circles I had to cut out. (The cakes turned out to be 8" after baking, so the math was slightly more difficult than 9 divided by 3. Don't lose faith in me!)

Checkerboard Cake

I stacked the cakes, cut a small inner circle using the cup, and a larger outer circle using the bowl. I then switched them up and assembled the pieces, using buttercream frosting in between each layer.

Checkerboard Cake
Checkerboard CakeCheckerboard Cake

Then I got a tad bit fancy and frosted the outside in two flavors - chocolate and vanilla. I figured it was only fitting since the inside represented both flavors too.

Checkerboard Cake

Cutting into it was the funnest part!

Checkerboard Cake

Eating it was pretty fun too.

Checkerboard Cake

And if you are ever at a loss for what to do with the cake top scraps and extra icing, I have an idea for you.

Checkerboard Cake Scraps

Make a mess! (A delicious mess.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dad's Birthday

It's my dad's birthday today. He would have been 57. I wish he were here. I would give anything, anything, to get that look from him again. And here's another picture just because it is hilarious.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

mmm... Freedom.

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I'm still on my baking roll. I saw this at i am baker, an idea inspired by 17 and Baking.

Just an ordinary white cake...

Fourth of July Cake

Or is it?

Fourth of July Cake
Fourth of July Cake

My family seemed to enjoy it. I think just about everyone asked how I made it, and I fumbled through an explanation of layers and cutting. (If you want to know how it's done look at 17 and Baking's blog post.)

My baby cousin having the first taste.

Hope you have a fun weekend. Enjoy your freedom and stuff. :P

p.s. I used Duncan Hines classic white cake mix and homemade buttercream frosting. The frosting recipe is here. i am baker suggested adding 1 tsp of almond extract, and it was gooooood.