Sunday, March 29, 2009

I believe In Miracles...



After months of research, practice, and preparation Preston and Mindi's wedding came and went, and so did the cake. It feels good to have completed my first ever wedding cake! I ended up making a Ancho Chili Powder Chocolate Cake with a Coconut Butter cream Frosting. I only had one frosting debacle and besides that everything went smoothly. Zach and Shannon were a big help with the creation of the cake as well. Zach was in charge of the structural integrity and engineering of the cake which he was excited about and Shannon was the dish washer slash my hero and ribbon gluer. So a big thank you to them! I am not a great cake decorator but I will get better. The cake tasted really good which is the important part. My favorite part of the cake is the little Mindi and Preston owls that my mom made for the top. They turned out great and go with the cake really well. I am thrilled with how the cake turned out and the whole wedding for that matter. It was a beautiful wedding and a tun of fun. It was great to see a bunch of people I havent seen for a long time! We are all so excited for Preston and Mindi and I am very excited that I have a new sister! Now I need to go back to school so I can have a break!



Arent they adorable?









Yeah!!! We finally cut that bizzle up!


My Dad loves to dance and loves us to dance with him. I used to refuse to dance with him but I have learned that dancing with Dad requires pretty much zero effort on my part. I stand there and dad dances around me. Perfect. That is my kind of dancing.


video

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Acceptance

This semester I have been applying to Universities around the state because I really felt like it was time to move away from Safford and get on with my life. I decided to apply to all three in-state universities just so I didn't close any doors before I made any decisions. I am happy to say that I did get accepted to ASU. This isn't a huge accomplishment or surprise, since by law they have to accept my because of the amount of credits I have from a junior college, but I am glad to at least be accepted somewhere. I am also expecting acceptance letters from NAU and U of A once the transcript sending debacle gets all worked out. So where am I going next semester? No where...It is funny how these type of decisions work out sometimes. One day you can be set on one path and then totally change the next day. For example, a week ago I was basically decided that I was going to go to NAU, up in the mountains in Flagstaff. I never really felt right about that decision though. I knew that I wanted to leave Safford but ASU and NAU did not feel right. So the other night I was laying in bed thinking how scared I was to leave and how unsettled I felt about it and it hit me that I could stay at home for one more semester and finish up my English associate degree and the math I have to take. I immediately felt much better about this decision and talked to my family about it and they all thought it made sense as well. I had not even considered this as an option before because I wanted to get out of here so badly. So I made my choice and prayed about it and through a course of unlikely and surprising events I got my answer. I know that I am suppose to be here at EAC next semester. Part of me may not be happy about it but I feel peace and I know I am doing the right thing. It is just a testimony to me that the Lord knows you and knows what you are suppose to be doing and where you are meant to be. I am so thankful for my savior and for his influence in my life. I know he answers prayers even if they are insignificant ones like where I should go to college. And in less than a year I will venture away from home to wherever I am suppose to go but for now I know I am suppose to be here and that is a great feeling. 

Happy Trails...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Accidents

I have baked enough that I really should be beyond making rookie mistakes in my kitchen. Like forgetting to put coco powder in a chocolate cake. I am obviously not beyond that realm of mess ups because on Monday the chocolate cake I made lacked a half a cup of coco powder. I was forced to make another cake and we were left with the mess up. At least I didn't forget the sugar. I am happy to say that sometimes something brilliant comes from failure and this cake really wasn't bad at all. In my personal opinion although the cake may have just been okay the decoration is definitely brilliant. My dad has obviously has mad baking skills. Look at that beautiful Four Leaf Clover made out of limes!


The proud decorator.


Happy Trails...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today I am presenting on... Cupcakes?

My cousin once told someone "Tessa bakes something everyday!" I quickly refuted him by saying that I don't bake EVERYDAY. I am now admitting that perhaps he is right. I don't do it purposefully but there are always reasons to bake, especially when people find out that you like to do it. This last weekend we had company so I needed to make some treats. Monday I needed to make a cake for a Doctor at my dads office. The list of baking opportunities and responsibilities are endless...


Tuesday I needed to make some treats for my British Literature Presentation so that everyone would pay attention to the cupcakes they are eating and not the actual presentation. I feel like Maggie Gyllenhall's character on Stranger Than Fiction when she was in law school but ended up worrying more about the treats for the study groups than actually studying. I was much more concerned with what to take in as treats for the presentation than the actual presentation. I think the candy bar cupcakes I came up with will be delicious enough. Sugar always helps a boring presentation go down a little easier. I am not very good about picking authors to present on. Last semester in British Lit I picked The Faerie Queen to present on because I thought "I like Fairies" and I will like this. Let me just say that it was not like I thought it was going to be. It was a long epic story that did not make hardly any sense to me and Edmund Spenser was spineless. Then this semester I was determined to choose something a little more manageable. So I picked the author with only 5 pages of reading but along with the compact nature of the reading came the compact nature of his personality. Lets just say that I know Gerard Manley Hopkins revolutionized poetry but the explanations of how are so confusing that I really have no idea. So... the cupcakes, I choose to focus on the cupcakes. I love my British literature class though and am gaining insight into modern British fantasy from it which is fantastic. I am beginning to feel that my obsession of fantasy is actually a substantial academic pursuit which is wonderful even if it is just a perception. Whoa... now that I am done with that rant... how about some pictures? I will get the recipe up as soon as I can.




mmmmmmmm... Happy Trails...

Read about TV... only rot half your brain!

I admitt it... I am addicted to TV. I have a problem and it needs to be stopped. I follow 5 shows that I watch religiously every week, and that is just the ones I watch regularly there are others I follow non religiously. I think that for me the halt in this habit is going to have to take place from life events that I plan to happen far into the future (marriage, kids, malfunctioning of a vital or non vital organ) so for now I will follow my shows and feel very few pangs of guilt about it. I just wanted to share this blog I found for those of you who love not only watching TV shows but then reading about them the next day (I realize I may possibly be the only one). This is a really good blog with alot of good insights into some of my favorite shows. He is an entertainment columnist and blogs about all the episodes of Lost, House, Scrubs, 24, The Office, American Idol and many many more and pretty much has a critique on each episode from many TV series by the next day. If you are much better than I am and dont watch alot of TV it is also a great way to stay on top of what is going on on some of your favorite shows. I thought about doing some episode critiques of my own and posting them, and I still will, but this guy knows TV and gives us a pretty darn good blog to read so check it out. It is called What Alan Watching?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Morning Glory

I always take progress pictures of my paintings and never post them so they rot in a folder with all my other pictures. I decided that these progress photos were not going to be cursed with the same fate as the rest. This is called Morning Glory because that is what Mindi said it should be. I hope you like it and if you are a frequent visitor of my blog you will see it alot because it now resides at the top of it. Ahhhh I love trees.




Happy Trails...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Brief and Bright

Ahhhhhhhh... It is so pretty after it rains. This is not a normal occurance in Arizona so it is necessary to blog about it. Check out that sweet tree!

Happy Trails...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

House Painting

There is some repetitive behavior that goes in the Smith household when big events are coming up. Projects that have been on the to-do-list for years are suddenly urgently moved up so that they can meet the deadline of the coming event. Shannons wedding reception, that we had at our house, inspired an array of big and little projects that needed to be done for years to be crammed into a 2 month period. So a couple years later, with Prestons big wedding party taking place at our house, it is mad project time again! So frantically we are trying to get the house painted along with mad flower and garden planting, and other things. I guess I know where I get my procrastination from and all I can say is thank heaven for these events every once in a while to give the necessary inspiration to get all the projects we have procrastinated done!


It really does look alot better and it will be wonderful to have it all done. It hasn't been painted in 16 years! My friend Dustin was recruited to help us with the painting. I dont know if you knew what he was getting into but we sure appreciate the help! Thank you Dustin!
Mom wanted me to make sure to take a picture of her on the very high eve. I am now realizing that this isnt the best picture to show how high she was but that is okay, use your imagination (very high).
End of day thoroughly covered in paint!
Happy Trails...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Desmond

Meet the newest addition to my technological family. Desmond is my new computer! I am sure he will be good friends with Stella (Ipod), and Hue (Camera). I hope he will also be good friends with me!


Happy Trails...

Arizona

This week is my Spring Break! It is very nice to not have any school or work or responsibility for that matter. I was getting the traveling itch, which seems to infect me often, so I went on a road trip for a couple of days. I went from Safford to Phoenix and then up to Flagstaff to visit a friend. I really do enjoy traveling even if it just a couple hours driving somewhere. It was a great trip. I enjoyed the time alone in my car with my copious amounts of music.

These were taken outside of Shannons house in Mesa. I love Arizona Sunsets!

On my drive home from Flagstaff today I couldnt help but notice what a beautiful state I really live in. I think it is astounding that in a couple of hours you can go from frigid, snowy, tree covered landscape to complete and utter desert. Here are some pictures I took on my journey today. Looking at these pictures makes me think that perhaps I live on the wrong end (the treeless part). Both ends, however, are beautiful in their different ways and I really do love this beautiful state I live in.

Happy Trails...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Square Knot Had A Birthday!


Although birthdays are nothing to Square Knot because super heroes like him do not age. Square Knots human persona, Lynn, turned 53 yesterday. It was a great day with lots of festivities. The day began at 12 AM when Dad and I started watching Gettysburg. I only lasted about 30 minutes and Dad ended up watching half of it. Later on after church we had a wonderful dinner and Dad opened (or sat in) his presents. He got a wheel barrow which is great for barrowing and apparently also good for lounging. He also got Jerky, and the new PBS Masterpiece Theatre Jane Austen Collection that included Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park. He also got himself Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. So it was a birthday of contrasts on the movie front. He now has marathon war films and marathon chick flicks. What more could one ask for?

Dylan drew this depiction of Dads super hero self Square Knot and Dad thinks it is an exact likeness. I am not so sure. The hair and muscles throw me off a little. Notice the bike shorts and sandals, those do look familiar.


The excitement for his new the new Jane Austen Movies.

Dad giving Grant and Zach rides in the wheel barrow.
Later in the evening we invited our friends, the Montierths, over for cake and other goodies. Dads favorite kind of cake in orange cake so I made a citrus cake covered in strawberries that has now been named Tropical Explosion. I would highly suggest this recipe it was very good, easy, and people think that you worked very hard when you didn't which is the kind of recipe I like. I also made Candy Bar Cupcakes and Mint Brownies and mom made some fabulous Lemon Squares. Everything was good, looked beautiful and the important thing is that we had plenty for everyone!


Dad asked Grant what he should wish for and Grant said "wish that no one will smash their heads into the cake," and it must have comes true because no ones heads got near the cake, just Zach's feet.

This is everyone that came! Dad apparently was distressed about the absence of party hats and had to improvise by putting a cup on his head.
In all I think it was a successful birthday! Another great year has gone by with my our favorite super hero and now on to another!
Happy Trails...