December 21, 2011

A Christmas Centerpiece

I found this picture searching on pinterest and since I had some empty wine bottles around, I decided to recreate my own version of it.
Here's the original-

the picture and idea came from the blog, cleverly inspired. Click on the link to access the original and the how-to instructions!

Here's my version-

December 17, 2011


Pinterest is my newest favorite thing. I admit, when I first joined up, I was skeptical and confused for a while. However, once I figured out what it all was and how to navigate...oh my goodness...I am on there all the time!
Remember back years ago, how when you planned a wedding or decorated a house, you might cut up a bunch of pictures from magazines from things you liked and then put them in a big binder?
Yeah, well this is like the ultimate electronic version of that. And it goes Way beyond wedding or house pics.

For those of you who are intrigued but also confused by the whole process-here is my pinterest tutorial...

First, you go to the site and request an invite (i got mine in about 5 minutes,but that was several months ago and I've heard it can take a week or so now). Once you get the invite, sign up. When you sign up, there will be instructions on adding a "pin it" button to your favorites drop down menu-this is important, so do it!
From there, they will give you a couple people to "follow" and they will also use your facebook to connect you to people you know. As you start to maneuver the site, other people can and will also choose to "follow" you.

Once in and set up, you can create different boards for things like baking, food, home, wedding, flowers, rings, shoes, kids stuff, etc.
You can browse the pinterest site and any picture you like, you can "pin" to one of your boards. SO, say you are looking for ideas for a wreaths to make, you can make a board for it, and then every pic you find, you can pin to that board.
You can also "pin" any picture you find on the Internet (cooking site, a blog, wikipedia, etc) you can also pin to one of your boards.

The best part...whenever you click on a picture that has been pinned on pinterest, it will take you back to the original site where the picture was found! From there you can read the original recipe, or the DIY how to, or just know that credit goes to the originator of the picture.

It's like a big, virtual bulletin board for everything you are interested in.

So there you go, for those of you who have been wondering what on earth this pinterest thing is (and for those of you who haven't, but or whatever crazy reason actually read this post), now you have it!

December 6, 2011

The road to success certainly must include some failure...

A while back, I discovered this thing called royal icing. It's basically an icing you can use to make flowers and other decor details, then let it harden completely and store the details until you are ready to use on a cake. Remember the little packets of letters and flowers you can buy in the grocery store to put on cakes? It basically looks, tastes, and feels like that.

I tried it out myself a month ago or so and made some very simple flowers and was excited by the prospect of what this icing meant. I ha visions in my head of making elaborate and not so elaborate flowers that I would have stored nearby ready to pull out for any and all appropriate occasions. It sounds like a great idea, right? decoration pieces that you could make weeks or months ahead of time and then just place on a cake or cupcake?

And then...reality [and a bit of failure] hit.

I made a batch of this icing the other day and had instructions that I had printed off on how to make about 6 different types of flowers using this icing. I actually remembered this time to split the batch into 3 bowls so I could work with different colors. First off, this icing is a bit tricky and dries really quickly, so if you aren't using it, you have to keep it covered with a damp cloth. second, the only liquid in the icing is water and the littlest amount can change the consistency very quickly.
Well...with my first batch,  I made some purple icing. I didn't put enough water in. I was afraid I hadn't, but didn't REALLY know I hadn't until it was already in the icing bag and by that point I wasn't about to take it back OUT of the bag. So, I learned what happens when the icing is too dry. Not only is it impossible to work with, but you get a result like this-
See those purple ones and how crackly they look? ugh.
Being stubborn, I attempted to work with the purple for a while before I finally just gave up. For my next batch, I chose a teal/blue. I made sure to add a little more water and this was much easier to work with. However, then I came to the realization that I Could NOT make the flowers. Seriously, I had simple instructions on making flowers apple blossoms, violets, daisies and another I forget. they were all labeled "easy" or "somewhat easy" and it was impossible. I spent 45 minutes trying to get something decent and this is all I ended up with....

yeah...not quite the pretty flowers I was hoping for. I had also printed out the instructions of making roses, which was in the "medium" category for difficulty and seemed difficult. I figured though, I've already royally screwed up all the other flowers, why not screw up the rose too?
Imagine my surprise when I started these and they were actually looking decent-even good! what? It doesn't make sense at all. But hey, I'll take it.

I actually still have the 3rd batch of frosting set aside in a Tupperware. After the several hours of working with all the stuff previously, I just didn't have the energy to try any more. Maybe one day I'll give those other flowers 1 more shot and If I can't make them decent, then I'm giving up royal icing flowers!
Here's my roses-

November 23, 2011

A wedding!

A Couple weekends ago, my MIL got remarried :) She married a great man in a sweet and simple ceremony that fit them perfectly. There were less than 30 guests and many were around the entire weekend for a weekend of fun, laughter, and good food.

My MIL has seen the pictures of cake pops I had previously made and had asked me to make some for the wedding in lieu of the traditional wedding cake. I was thrilled to make them. She gave me no specific colors, just that she wanted bright colors. I took to the candy color options I had and spent time just figuring out how many different colors I could come up with (in the effort of full disclosure, this *may* have been more about me playing around and having fun than about the cake pops themselves). After being torn between 2 color combinations (and I'm still only 90% convinced I chose the right one), I decided upon blue, purple, and pink.

I was asked to make them with white cake, which was fun since I hadn't done it before. At the last minute, I realized I would need an additional cake so I decided to bake a red velvet cake as well. I'm not sure if I will make red velvet again since myself or my husband didn't like it nearly as well as the other flavors I have made. If I do make it again,  I will need my husband around to take pics because it was quite the colorful and messy experience! The white cake tasted really good.

Here are the pics of the final products...

October 30, 2011

First REAL Snow of the Season!

I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I think its soooo pretty and love the look of a sunny, snowy day. However, I hate driving in it, dealing with ice on the roads, and being cold :) We did technically get snow a couple weeks ago, but it was only an inch or two. Last Week though, we got a real snow-I have no idea how much fell, but there was easily 6-8 in. on the ground (the ground was warm so lots melted).
Now, this is first snow of the season was the BEST kind of all (in my opinion). Since it had been practically 80 degrees just a couple days earlier, the ground was still warm. Which meant, that when the snow hit the ground, it just melted instead of turning into ice. Let me tell you, when I can get a day where there is snow covering everything beautifully, yet, I don't have to deal with icy roads or it snowing as I drive (it mostly snowed during the night), that is the kind of day when I like snow a lot.

These pics are of our snow covered backyard

In case you're wondering, the days when I LOVE snow are when I don't have to be anywhere and can just enjoy it from the warmth of my home :)


Peter and I had the privilege to attend one of his co-worker's weddings back in August. I have always been one of those girls who liked weddings. I actually didn't have my planned from the time I was 7, but that was mostly because my tastes would change every couple of years and therefore, my ideal wedding changed with it. I can tell you, had I gotten married younger, I most certainly wouldn't have considered a winter wedding (which, for a number of reasons, I'm SUPER happy we did. It was a beautiful day with just a bit of snow on the ground). Had I gotten married before just out of high school or in early college, the main color would have lavender. Mid college till about a year after-it would have been a bright, summery version of blue. As it was, I was torn between a dark eggplant purple and a deep, almost royal but not quite, blue. And truthfully, as unromantic as it sounds, my final decision really was decided based on which venue we choose. Wedding venues often come with a choice of linen colors and therefore, you are sort of limited to what they have. As it was, the venue we chose had a great dark purple linen and therefore, the decision was made! deep purple it was!

As I started to say at the beginning, I've always liked weddings. Since planning my own however, I notice EVERYTHING about weddings! All the little details about a wedding, I pay attention (just think brides, If I'm at your wedding and you are thinking NO one will actually notice all the little details you spend hours putting into your wedding, fear not-at least one person will notice and appreciate!)

Anyways, this co-workers wedding was at the beautiful Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. The hotel was really pretty and neat. see for yourself...

The ceremony was supposed to be outside (which would have been a gorgeous view), but threatening rain kept in inside in a very pretty concert hall. Her main color was also a purple and everything looked beautiful. My favorite aspect of the wedding was her centerpieces, particularly for the head table. They had a very romantic, but kinda woodsy feel to them. I loved them as soon as I saw them. Using floating candles and branches is a pretty popular idea these days. I loved that she used them in a unique way that I haven't seen very often (if ever). (often, branches are used as more of "trees" on a table or put into a vase and frequently there are crystals of some type hanging from them).

October 25, 2011

Painting Nails

I mentioned a couple posts ago that I spent a week with my family in NC. It was a lot of fun and with 6 nieces and nephews under 8, quite entertaining as well. I love watching little kids minds work and process things. My Sister in law became the instant favorite by painting my two nieces nails,-fingers AND toes. They are 2 and 6 and enjoyed it tremendously.
Check out the picture-

Now take a closer look at the Bethany's (the littlest) hands....Do you see her nails? nope-but in her 2 yr old brain she's doing what I asked-showing them off. I told her I couldn't see her nails and so I asked her to turn them around (and showed her with my own hands). She looked at me and then Mikayla with a very confused expression and after about 30 seconds of moving her hands in various ways, this is what I got

Don't you just love this?

October 19, 2011

Names are confusing

At my counseling internship site, there are about 10 interns and 2 of us are privileged to have the same name (which, I will not actually be posting since I'm trying to keep my name off my blog). Since we both started our internship around the same time, it has proved to be interesting and entertaining as clients and the people we work with try to keep us straight. 
Case in point...I was meeting a new client for the first time and we had scheduled a 10am appointment. Now, Even though we call new clients, give them our names, and set up appointments ourselves, it isn't uncommon for them to forget who they were meeting with. At 9:30 that morning, I get a call from our coordinator asking whose number this is, I tell her and it turns out my client thought she had a 9am appointment. Our coordinator wanted to help her out by calling her counselor, but since she didn't remember my name, she had to search through her phone and guess which number might be mine. Thankfully, she put the client on the phone,we figured out the mix-up of the time and all was good.
SO here is a girl, who's a bit nervous already, has shown up an hour early and then I walk in right at 10 and hear this conversation happening with the OTHER intern with my name-
Client " I had a meeting at 10 with ___(my name)___"
Other intern with my name- "uhhh...we had a mtg at 10? I don't have a 10am client....I have an 11am client.....???"
Client- ".......????????????????.............."
thankfully, I walk in at that moment and explain that I have a session with her, not the other intern! Both the other intern and the client looked visibly relieved.

October 17, 2011

Broncos cupcakes!

My husband and I had a chili cook-off/broncos game event to go to the other week. As what typically happens, guys were supposed to bring soda and girls a dessert or other item of some sort. It was a Younglife leadership event, and since I'm his wife and he's the actual leader, I didn't really NEED to bring anything, but he knows I like to make stuff and so let me know about the request. Since I was studying, I wasn't sure if I would have time, but it turned out that one day I really needed a break, and baking cupcakes seemed like a fun break to take. I bought new icing colors and was determined to do some fun colors...........Once I remembered it was for a football game, I figured Broncos colors would be ideal. I will totally admit that I had to look them up on the Internet to find out what the actual colors were (good thing I did, too-my guess was quite off)
I decided to make mini cupcakes since people tend to like the little bite size deals :)

More baking!

Well. I found out I passed one of my exams! I won't know about the other one for a while, but at least it's done with!

In early September, I made my birthday cake! It certainly won't win any awards and the writing is quite crooked, BUT, it was my first layered cake (just 2 layers), it didn't fall over, and it sure tasted good-so I was pleased.

A little while later, a friend and I made some more cake pops. They turned out pretty well, though I learned the lesson that even though making them bigger might SEEM like a great idea, it really isn't-unless I want them all to fall off their sticks, that is :) oh well, ya live and learn.

October 10, 2011


I've been busy, and thus no blog posts have been written. Truthfully, one is only being written now because I am at my internship, ready to head home, but if I leave right now, I will be running into a lot of traffic.

I've heard from a couple people that they weren't able to post comments on my blogs. I'm not really sure why, but I changed a setting that will hopefully help. If you find you cannot post a comment, please email or facebook me and let me know.

For the last month or two (with the exception of a week I spent in NC), I've been studying pretty much non stop for two major comprehensive exams I have. One of them, which I took last weekend, I have to pass in order to graduate from my Masters program and the other, that I take this weekend, I have pass in order to become licensed as a counselor. It's even more fun that one was all essay and the other all multiple choice, which really means 2 different study methods! yay! (please note the sarcasm) I look forward to having a life once again after next Saturday :)

As I mentioned, I did take a little time off from studying and spent a week in NC with my family (I still studied a bit here and there and on the plane) which was amazing. I plan to add pics at some point. For the time being, I recommend that you check out my Sister-in-law's blog. She has already added a lot of pictures that are really fun from the week. I haven't taken the time yet to  figure out how to add other blogs to the side of mine, so if you want to get to hers, head here-

It's time for me to head home, but I will be back soon with more pictures and stories :)

September 2, 2011

I think I'm actually a homeowner now.

Technically, I've been a homeowner for the last 7ish months, since I got married and moved in with my husband. People have asked me, at various point along the way, if its felt like "my" home or "our" home, since lived there 3 years previously. I've told them it has and I meant it. Living here felt like home pretty quickly. It probably helped that I was only in my previous residence for 4 months and it wasn't long enough for it to truly feel like home.  Though, I think it really has do with the fact that we spent the first month or two re-organizing all the rooms. We unpacked my things and moved some of his around. Here's the thing, I'm an organizer-I like things to be organized and to have a place. Of course, my living space doesn't always reflect a high level of organization and things don't always end up in their place....but they DO have a place to go! Regardless, organizing for me is much more about the act of doing the actual organizing than it is about keeping things organized. [Have I sufficiently confused you?] Anyways, I say to only to point out that I really have felt at home here since the beginning.

In the last few months, my home ownership has including organizing, painting the kitchen, putting a few frames up (and letting a bunch more just sit in a box waiting to be put up), and a very sad attempt at yard work.

However, I think it was last night when I experienced what it really means to  be a homeowner. What is that? well, our washing machine broke...more specifically, the hot water line broke to the washing machine got a nice hole in it.
Here's what happened- We sat down after spending the evening painting our dining room to watch our latest netflix movie (Prince Caspian, in case you were wondering). P had put a load of wash in just a few minutes earlier and I realized it sounded REALLY loud. I figured he had just forgotten to close the doors and thus, it was just louder than normal (upon reflecting back, it sounded like a waterfall gushing). I went upstairs, saw the doors were closed and almost turned around to go back downstairs, figuring I must have been mistaken. Then I saw it. Water seeping onto the carpet. I turned the light on to see if that was really what i was looking at and then opened the doors a few inches to confirm that water was in fact spewing quite forcefully from the back of the washing machine somewhere. I called for Peter and he began the mad dash of trying to turn the valve off at the machine (which wouldn't turn off) and then running downstairs to turn all the water off.
So there we were, with the water off, no movie watching going to happen and a desperate attempt to clean up the water that encompassed the entire floor of the washer/dryer closet, about 2 ft in front of the closet in all directions, and a 2 ft square in front of the guest bathroom. I started pulling out towels to clean it up, and being the good wife I am, started with they older, "yucky" get dirty towels and the beach towels....and then went to the nicer, but we don't actually use them towels...and then went to every stinkin' towel and hand towel we have in the house. Finally, it was relatively cleaned up and at least not sopping wet anymore.
I sit here today, listening to a box fan that is blowing over the still damp area and am aware of the towels I wrung out earlier to day and strung over pretty much any available surface upstairs hoping to dry them out. I'm also remembering that I need to have Peter show me how to turn the water off. I can only shudder of what would have happened had he not chosen to do that load of laundry last night and I had been doing it today when i was home alone. Ack! Thank goodness for good husbands, right?

So even though I've previously painted, patched, cleaned, organized, weeded, cooked and baked, I think this is what sealed the deal. I own this place and I'm responsible for it thankfully not by myself and I have my awesome resourceful husband who already has 3 years experience of house maintenance under his belt.

August 30, 2011


When I made my cake pops, I had to buy a few decorating tips. I had not previously used decorating tips, so I really didn't know how it would go. Well, since then, I've been itching to use them again, mainly to decorate cupcakes or a cake. Well, this weekend was going to be the time! I made cupcathe cupcakes friday (with my new mini cupcake pan), bought a couple more tips at Michaels (since I had previousy been on the search for ones that would make tiny decorations for the cake pops and now I needed bigger ones), and got to work Saturday!

I wasn't sure how different it would be using homemade icing versus store bought icing, so I decided to try both. Both worked pretty well, though I had a little trouble with the homemade frosting keeping its shape or structure. I kept having to putting it in the fridge to make it workable. Whereas, the store bought was a bit easier too work with. I ended up with nice cupcakes from both though. Upon tasting, both were great! I've had multiple tasters/cupcake eaters confirm the good taste as well.

I made a batch of pink homemade frosting and then used food coloring to make the white store bought yellow. Then, disaster hit (ok, that could be some *slight* exageration). I had about 8 cupcakes left and no more frosting. I was curious to see how much frosting I would use since I had grand ideas for icing my cupcakes, and I used quite a bit ;) For the last few, I figured I would just make one more batch (or actually half batch, which is what i did before) of homemade frosting and color it blue. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong, only that something did. It ended up grainy looking and not holding shape well at all-even after it spent a few minutes in the freezer. I'm guessing I either didn't get the butter soft enough before making the frosting or my husband's finger swipe of butter before I added the other ingredients messed up (he thought it was frosting and it wasn't until after he ate a fingerful of butter that he asked what it was! oops!). Anyways, I learned a lesson and it wasn't a big deal. I just have a few sad little blue cupcakes that had icing spilling all over the edges since it wouldnt hold when I tried to build the icing up.

A few pictures to make you hungry :)

August 20, 2011

Painted Kitchen!

To be honest, we painted out kitchen a couple months ago, but that was pre-blog days and so I thought I'd share about it anyways.
When I met my husband and was at his house the first time ever, probably over 2 1/2 years ago now (long before we were dating), it was for a pumpkin carving party. We (those of us who were there) got the tour of the house. I remember noticing then the wallpaper in the kitchen and how I didn't like it.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take pre-paint pictures, but I have some in progress that let you see what the wallpaper was like. There was a border around the top of the room as well.

So here we are, 2 1/2 years later and I'm married to the guy, moved into his/our house, and could finally get rid of the wallpaper! Yay!
After looking through an entire book of paint chips and choosing 3 samples, we picked a color.
We probably finished the project sometime in May/June, but it was in  early July I think that I was able to go back through and do all the touch-up work that I wanted. Unfortunately, these pictures are not that great and don't do the new paint job justice at all :( Pre-painting the kitchen also had mini aluminum blinds which neither of us really liked. We added nice new, white, faux wood blinds as well. In the 2nd picture you can also see the nice, big curtain in front of our patio door that we recently put up. It is a much needed and much liked replacement for the vertical slats that used to cover the patio door!
Here's my new kitchen!

July 28, 2011

Crock pot failure

Considering I shared my success with cake pops, it seems only fair to also share my failures in the kitchen as well. Particularly, ones involving my crock pot. Crock pots seem like a great idea in theory. And I'm sure, once I find a recipe that actually works, they are great. Currently though, my crock pot and I aren't exactly friends. It's failed me twice. OK, lets be real, either I failed me or my recipes have failed me. I prefer to blame it on the recipes. Other bad cooking, I can totally blame on myself-but for a crock pot? come on! Tonight, it was a roast, last time it was chicken. Both seemed like a good idea pre-cooking. And in theory, they were a good idea. However, while both were edible, they certainly weren't that appealing and definitely not the kind of dinner where its worth saving the leftovers. The idea that you can stick stuff together in a crock pot, leave it for hours and then have it ready to go is genius. However, something has gone wrong and I'd like to chat with the people who wrote or came up with both the recipes. One was from an iphone app. The other-none other than Betty crocker herself (or her cookbook actually). I really just want to ask them-Did I really manage to screw up so few ingredients? Or do you just have crazy taste buds that actually thought that was good enough to publish for others?? For the first (aka, lemon chicken failure), I'm pretty sure it was the latter suggestion. After I made it, I went back to the app and actually read the comments posted for the recipe (which I learned, I should do BEFORE I make something) and many other posters had a similar reaction that we did. too lemony. too sour. too SOMETHING

Unfortunately for tonight's dinner, I had only Betty crocker to consult and no trustworthy comments to let you know if it actually works or not...though maybe I should have been suspicious when they recommended that you also make horseradish potatoes on page something or other as a side dish. After all, who Really wants to make horseradish potatoes?

I'm not giving up on my crock pot yet, but maybe next time, I will try to stick with something that seems like a more "typical" crock-pot meal, a soup or stew or something.

My little slice of the orange...

You may not have wondered yet, but at some point, you may look at my blog title and url and wonder about it. My little Slice of the Orange. Sure, we've heard of someones slice of a pie or your part of the world...but an orange? Well, if you've read The Secret Garden, it may sound more familiar. I was re-reading the Secret Garden recently and falling in love with the contrary Mary Lennox, Colin and Dickon all over again. Dickon's mother, who is raising 12 kids well, shared a bit of advice that she once gave one of her kids. She told them the world is an orange, and each person gets a little slice of the orange, but not the whole orange-and the sooner they learned that, the better off they would be. Well, aside from my occasional ramblings about trying to take over the world someday, I know quite well I don't get the whole orange. It did seem though an apt title for this blog. I'm really not sure exactly what direction or form this blog will take. In some manner though, it should promise to be a small insight into the little slice of the orange that is mine.

July 24, 2011

Cake Pops!

I've been contemplating starting a blog for a while, one full of random thoughts and fun adventures, or more likely, the less exciting bits of life ;) However, I've never been able to come up with a good starting point (and to be frank, I fear I will start gung-ho and then promptly forget about it and let it die, which, if I'm honest, is still within the realm of possibility).
My recent venture into the world of cake pops seemed like a good and fun place to start! After all, what isn't fun about bits of cake and candy that you can eat off a stick? and there are sprinkles!

I had seen these a while back and considered making them. However, last Thursday, I came across someone online who had made them and was inspired to give it a go! My first thought, was that I should wait until I have a "reason" to make them-a party, or at least a family gathering of some sort. After all, my husband and I didn't really need 30-40 of these lying around. Friday came though, and I was getting antsy. I figured since I was already going to Michael's to get some picture frames (for those who know my house....they are frames to use on those 3 blank white shelves in the living room!), I may as well pick up the various things I needed from Michael's to make the cake pops-for you know, whenever the situation arose that I had a reason to make them. So, I picked up the Styrofoam, candy melts, popsicle sticks, some decorating bags and decorating tips. I already had the cake mix and frosting. There was a lot you have to gather just to start the process.

Then, I woke up Saturday and knew I couldn't wait. I had to seize the day and make my cake pops-who cares if some go uneaten cause it's just me and P? These simply were not going to wait! I read about 3 different recipes online and compiled in my mind what seemed like the best tips of each and went to work. I could tell you my exact process, but at the moment, I don't have the patience to write it out. If you are interested, I can certainly tell you what I did. If you live in the area, feel free to join me in making some and learn that way, since I most certainly will be making more. All in all, it was a fairly simple, though time-consuming process. I actually didn't finish decorating them all until today.

If you happen to want to try them, here are a few tips I have to share that I didn't see elsewhere
1) If you want purple, just buy either the purple candy dye (you have to used oil based food coloring, normal liquid won't work) or buy the purple candy melts to start with. Don't try mixing red and blue. I ended up with a decent color, but it certainly wasn't what I was going for.
2) Use a mug to dip the pops into the candy coating, not a bowl
3) Don't put them to set next to a window that is likely to have sun streaming in on them in a half hour, nothing terrible happened, they just got a little soft and mushy-thankfully I saved them before any real damage was done!

The decorating is a bit funky, but i figure between having never decorated with an icing bag and tip before and my wonderfully UNsteady hands, they turned out much better than they could have.

Of course, this also meant that when I was done decorating, I had extra melted candy in my bag and nothing to do with it! SO of course, I played!
As you can see, I grabbed a cookie sheet and just started practicing, playing around and making the mess I had already made even bigger!

And thus, the end of the cake pops project!