Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas: Part 1

So, not only is Christmas the busiest time of the year, but I have caught some disgusting illness and have been sick for the past 9 days!  Hopefully I'm on the tail end of it now, but I thought I had better write a short update before y'all forgot about me!

I made some eggnog cookies with butterscotch centers for my Sunday School Christmas party.

They were pretty good.  I didn't think they tasted like eggnog, and neither did anyone else I asked.  However, I would not be the best judge since I'm pretty sure that I have never tried eggnog since it sounds disgusting.  Yes, I'm one of those people.  :)  At least I tried the cookies.

I had some work training in Hot Springs.  I got this awesome hat.

Now, I can't remember the last time that I actually wore a baseball cap, but I'm pretty sure that you won't catch me in this one anytime soon.  :)

My friend Elizabeth had a housewarming/Christmas party at her new house.  This is me and my friend Ashley:

I don't know why the picture is so grainy.  The best I can figure is that there was not a lot of light in the room when we took the picture. 

After Elizabeth's party, I went to a party hosted by my boss.   That was a strange experience. But, it sure does make you feel good when you come in a place and everyone yells "JESSICA!!!!!!" haha! 

We had snack day at my office.  I made this peppermint twist biscotti and some chocolate candy cane cookies.

See this is taken with the same camera as the picture above with me and Ashley.  I just don't get it.  The only difference is that this one was in a room with a lot of natural light.

Also I almost had a heart attack when I couldn't find my roommate for a while.  Apparently she had a family emergency and went home for a while.  I couldn't get ahold of her and I almost called the police because I thought she was kidnapped.  Luckily, she was not.

My picture was in my sorority's national magazine, The Adelphean.  That was a surprise.  And of course it is not a super cute picture- I have my hair in a ponytail and I'm wearing my glasses.  Oh well.

Well that's enough randomness for now.  Hopefully I'll be feeling better soon and can recap the rest of this year before we hit 2012!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December is here!

I love December!  There is always something going on and somewhere to go.  I think it is catching up with me a little bit though.  I took a long nap (like after lunch until 4) this afternoon so I think I have time to write a quick post since I am thinking that sleep will not come easily today!

Here's what I've been up to:

Last Tuesday, my friend Shannon had a spare ticket to see Fiddler on the Roof.  I have never seen this before, and really didn't know what it was about, but who would pass up a free ticket?  We had a good time watching the show and catching up.

I have officially completely finished my Christmas shopping.  I have 2 things that I am waiting to ship, but that is it.  I have this amazing wrapping paper, and unfortunately the last few presents were too big for the piece that I have left.  I wrapped one really big present, one fake present for under the tree at my office, and my secret santa present in it, and it is almost gone.  I was hoping to get one more out of it, but I guess I can save the leftovers for next year.

I decorated my office at work.  I left up my tailgate decorations and went with a Razorback Christmas theme.  Here are some pictures:

Please ignore the giant map of Arkansas... that lovely piece of artwork is always gracing my office for those times when I am like you want me to go WHERE?!?   :)

And my silver garland and red ornaments.  I have several Razorback ornaments hanging on there too.

I cooked some 3 bean BBQ chili.  It was so bad that the dog wouldn't even it it.  ha!

I babysat my little brother.  My house is not toddler-proofed at ALL.  That was an experience.  Also, here's my PSA:  if someone says a baby is trying to sleep, do NOT go pick up said baby and start playing with him!! ugh!

My church had a potluck dinner tonight.  I was supposed to bring a dessert (it was split by last name).  I bought a gingerbread man cookie pan last year after Christmas, and so I made this for the potluck.  I don't like gingerbread, so I went with a sugar cookie.  I forgot to take a picture before he was eaten up, but he was super cute!

It has been raining like crazy today!  Better now than when it is freezing I guess.  The forecast is 40 degrees and raining for tomorrow morning.  Gross.  Not a good way to start off a Monday morning.  :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cupcakes, Cookies, Cold, and Christmas!

This post is brought to you by the letter "C."  ha!

So Cupcakes.  I made some creamsicle cupcakes the other day to take to church.  They looked like this when they came out of the oven:
Six of the 24 exploded.  I'm not exactly sure what happened since I haven't ever had that happen before.  Maybe the batter didn't get mixed well or something.  Anyway, since you can't serve ugly cupcakes, those had to be eaten straight out of the oven.  And they were delicious when they were warm.  I didn't like them as well when they had cooled.

Cookies.   We had a Thanksgiving potluck at work, and I brought cookies.  I tried out three new recipes: heart warming brownie cookies, apple raisin with lemon glaze, and banana chocolate oatmeal.  They all turned out pretty well, and almost all of them got eaten.  I think I only threw away one cookie.

Also last week my office had a "tailgate party" where we brought tailgate type food and snacked all day in anticipation of the big game between Arkansas and LSU last Friday.  Unfortunately the game was a bust, but our party was not!  Here are some cookies that I made for our party:

I also decorated my cubicle with a new border and pom poms.  haha!
I decided to leave the streamers and pom poms up and decorate my cubicle with a Razorback Christmas theme.  I'll try to get some pictures of that once it gets done.  It is a work in progress because I don't want to seem like the crazy Christmas lady since it is still November after all!

Cold.  OK I don't actually remember how cold it was or if it was hot, but for the sake of the title of my post, we will assume that it was cold.  I went to the Little Rock game when the Hogs played Mississippi State.  It was a good one.  We had an extra ticket, so my friend Melissa got to go with us.
Christmas!  I started decorating for Christmas.  This is my Christmas tree when I first put it up.
It looks a little different now since my sister decided that it needed more ornaments, and there are a few more presents under the tree.  Speaking of presents, I only have one more present to get!  I am waiting on a few more to come in the mail so that I can wrap them, but my shopping is almost done.  The only hard part about that is that I have to control my spending now since I don't have an excuse to buy more stuff.  :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Almost caught up!

I really have been bad at blogging.  If we could just add a couple more hours to the day, it would be so much easier!  Ever feel like you are supposed to be doing something, but you can figure out what it is?  That's me right now!

So one of my co-workers got married on Halloween.  We had a shower for her and I got selected for cupcake duty.  We went with a spooky theme since obviously she likes Halloween.  I made 3 different types of decorations for the cookies.  These were my favorite.  The bugs (there were several kinds but I only took this one picture) were made of chocolate and M&Ms.

Now that I know how easy it is to make chocolate things, there is a whole new world of possibilities!

These cupcakes were supposed to be bats.  I think they look like bowties, and they were a huge pain, so I probably won't make them again.

We arranged the cupcakes on the food table to say "Boo." The rat cupcakes were brought by another co-worker.

Some of my friends and I went to a corn maze that is about 30 minutes away.   Before that, we went to eat at PF Changs.  I like their crispy green beans, but I definitely like Pei Wei alot better!  Here we are waiting for dinner:

It was very muddy at the corn maze.  I took this picture of our shoes to document the muddy adventure!  It actually didn't take us that long to do the maze because Daniel was really good at reading the map.

My church had a Fall Festival and I made some cupcakes for the Cake Walk.  I thought they turned out so cute.

My work had a costume contest for Halloween.  I did not participate in the contest, but I did dress up a little bit for fun.

I went up to Fayetteville for the Homecoming game against South Carolina.  I stopped by my sorority house for an alumni event.  They have so many different set of letters.  Back when I was there, I'm pretty sure we only had one set.  These were decorated for game days.

This is a Razorback statue that was donated to the University by my sorority a long time ago.  I don't think I have ever taken a picture with is, so I thought I would get one.

"U of A" during the pregame show.

And the Big A.  I love this stadium!

And the Go Hogs spellout.  There are so many kids now that they had to add an explanation mark.

The real reason for my trip to NWA was to see baby Graham!  He was so tiny!

I think that is enough for today!  But I have a bunch of other pictures from the past few days.  I have had an extra busy weekend!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy November!

This post is courtesy of my employer, who let us go home at 3:00 and have tomorrow off in honor of Veteran's Day.  Woot!  I finally have time to write a post...

Let's recap what's been going on!

My friend Ashley's (who never updates her blog or I would like to her...  haha.  hi Ashley!)  daughter had a super fun birthday party at a pumpkin patch about 30 minutes from where we live.  This is me and Ashley.

I carved this awesome pumpkin at another Ashley's house!  (And completely unrelated- another Ashley just texted me.  Too many people named Ashley!!!)  Go Hogs!

Well actually that will just have to be enough until tomorrow!  :)  I forgot that I have to go to the pharmacy before a meeting!

Monday, October 24, 2011

More catch up!

I still have a lot of catching up to do on this poor blog!

This is a picture of me at the Cream of the Crop party that I blogged about last time with those pumpkin cupcakes.  The sun was bright!  There is this huge spider down by the road and I think he is so cute!

I worked at the pumpkin patch at my church a couple of times.  I also helped unload the first shipment of 1200 pumpkins and that was a lot more work than I thought it would be!  Next year, I think I will make a batch of refreshments because after 2 hours of pumpkin passing down the line, we all we hungry and thirsty!  At least I was!

I went to the Arkansas State Fair!

I ate some chili cheese fries.  They obviously were good:

I also had some fried oreos.  I wanted to try at least one thing that I had never eaten before.  They were definitely not worth as many calories as they were!  I would much rather just eat a regular Oreo!  I think it was because they were mushy, but they did help warm me up since it was so cold outside.

I answered a question about cows correctly and won this awesome glow bracelet and we saw a monkey show.


I got sent to jail where they gave me a sucker.

And I visited the farm.

My Sunday School class had a Halloween costume party last Friday.  I bought a tie and learned how to tie it by watching a You Tube video.  Took me three tries, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

I was a Gryffindor from Harry Potter.  I wasn't a specific character, just one of the students.

Please ignore the dirty mirror.  One of these days I will remember to clean it.  For some reason it never looks dirty in real life, only in pictures.

Well I think that's enough for one day.  I'm also watching the World Series game right now and blogging on commercials.  :)  I don't really have a favorite professional baseball team, so I pretty much only watch during the World Series....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin cupcakes

My church had a Cream of the Crop party a while ago to celebrate the opening of our pumpkin patch.  There was a chili cook off and a pumpkin dessert competition.  I entered the dessert competition with some pumpkin cupcakes that looked and tasted like pumpkin.  They were pretty tasty!  Unfortunately they did not win the competition, but I thought they were cute.

First I made some pumpkin cupcakes and then iced them with some orange icing.

Then I rolled the iced cupcakes in a bowl of orange decorating sugar.  I love sprinkles!

The next step is to make the ridges in the pumpking with some different colored orange icing.  Mine were ugly- I started out actually using a toothpick to make indentions and then filling it in with the icing, but I decided it wasn't worth the effort.

Then I cut some green apple flavored licorice for pumpkin stems, and here is the final product!

A lady at my work is getting married on Halloween and she saw these and asked for them at her shower that we are having for her at work.  I am going to do these as well as a couple of other designs if I can get all the supplies in time. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

30 before 30 check-in

So I'm 26 now.  Time to check in on my progress on the 30 before 30 list.

1. Get Married
2. Finish all the cookie recipes in my first cookie cookbook (500+ recipes)
3. Get a job I actually enjoy
4. Get to my goal weight
5. Finish the cake decorating classes that I started
6. Get a new car
7. Get a master's degree
8. Get a pet
9. Become a regular volunteer at Stone Soup
10. Learn how to mow the yard
11. Read the whole Bible
12. Learn to sew
13. Remember to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store on a regular basis
14. Get into the habit of flossing my teeth everyday (maybe TMI?)
15. Run (not walk) a 5K
16. Get a pedicure
17. Get eyebrows threaded
18. Be a bridesmaid in someone's wedding
19. Go to some sort of "pick your own" farm
20. Learn to parallel park without looking like an idiot
21. Go deep sea fishing
22. Attend my high school reunion
23. Take a picture with someone famous
24. Be truly 100% surprised
25. Ride in a helicopter
26. Visit a new state
27. Visit a new country
28. Ride a horse
29. Make a good meringue
30. See Beth Moore in person

11/30 = 36% completed.

The highlighted ones are the tasks I'm trying to check off the list before my next check in!

Who wants to do one of these with me?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkins and picnics

First things first- I got this fortune in my fortune cookie last time.  :)

I somewhat decorated my house for Halloween.  I wasn't going to decorate but then I found this pumpkin that I love so much!

I made some spinach mushroom ravioli from Giada's recipe.  It took forever!  It turned out pretty well though.  Pics with and without the homemade sauce:

We had our Employee Appreciation Picnic at work.  This is cactus ring toss and jalapeno eating contest.


This is the sack race.  Check out that awesome hair!

I was the winner!  I got this chili pepper necklace.  Obviously this was a high- budget shindig that we had going on.

And I won a door prize.  It actually was not that awesome, but it is now decorating my cubicle.


OK... so this post was lacking on the pumpkins in the title.  At least there was one!  More to come later!