Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Year Day!

Happy Leap Year Day, everyone! I have no idea why the thought of Leap Year Day tickles me so, but it seriously does. I think it would be way cool to have a Leap Year Day birthday. Anyone out there celebrating one?

I was born on a leap year, the hubby and I met on a leap year, and we were married on a leap year! I remember because we had our engagement party on Friday, October 4, 1991. Our wedding was on Sunday, October 4, 1992. This year is our 16th anniversary. 16 is a significant number for us since we dated 8 years before we were married. This year we'll officially be married twice as long as we dated, and just as many years as I lived my life before I met my hubby.

So, leap years are cool. Leap years are lucky. Happy Leap Year Day and Happy Leap Year to you all.

(Cute pic courtesy of this site.)

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Scarcity

Still scarce, but I think I'm starting to feel better. Sunday is weigh day and guess what? I lost 3 more pounds! Finally! The last few weeks have been very slow.

I've lost 35 pounds total since last July now. Last night, a couple of people asked me if I was done losing weight now, which made me feel really good. I've got 20 to go to reach my goal. Yippee!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Today's 400th Beautiful Thing

Today's Beautiful Thing, my other Blog, is celebrating it's 400th post today! I hope you'll stop by and visit me over there on those days you need a little pick-me-up. :)

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Sorry still so scarce (Say that five times fast!) but I still have the blahs. Weekend was busy. Hubby had oral surgery and Ace hurt his paw. So, I basically played nurse and got no writing done. Sigh.

The good news is that I haven't gained any weight back since I started dieting in July. I've had a few weeks where I lost a half a pound or nothing, but haven't gained. It's slowed down considerably, but I've still lost 32 pounds. Unless I start being more vigilant about every calorie I eat and start exercising every day again, I won't make my goal of 23 more pounds (exactly a pound a week at this point) by my birthday in July, but I'm cool with it. I'll aim for 15 by then, and 23 by the end of the year and I'll be very happy with that. I could have gained 32 pounds since July very, very easily. So, I'll take a 32 pound loss. Oh, yeah!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

RIP Tom Lantos

I was suprised and saddened to learn this morning that CA Representative Tom Lantos,the first and only Holocaust survivor to be elected to congress, passed away on Monday. I've watched Mr. Lantos on CSPAN for many hours over the years and I admire his work on behalf of our country, as well as for people suffering around the world.

His memorial service was on TV tonight, and I watched it from start to finish, amazed at the people who spoke on his behalf: congressmen, world leaders, even Bono! But I was most impressed by his wife, children and grandchildren. Their eloquent words were delivered with poise and dignity. His granddaughter, Charity, sang the most incredible song in his honor. It gave me goosebumps. His wife Annette, also a Holocaust survivor, spoke of their 70 year love affair and there wasn't a dry eye in the house--or in mine.

It makes me sad to realize that Tom Lantos no longer walks this earth, but there are a few ways we can pay tribute to him every day. Remember to stand up for people who have no voice. Remember to love your family. Remember to lend a hand to those in need. Remember that sometimes we have to fight, fight, and keep on fighting for what's right and just. Finally, remember to enjoy life to the fullest--Tom sure did.

Rest in Peace Tom Lantos

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Happy Valentines Day!

It's Valentines Day and I wish all of you beautiful day. We don't have any plans this year, and I'm fine with that. I bought my honey a card and some candy and he'll bring me home something after work and we'll figure out what to do about dinner. We probably won't fight the Valentines Day restaurant crowd this year, but I'm sure we'll pick up something. We're having dinner with some good friends on Saturday. They moved far, far away and are back in town, so we're happy about that. I made goodie bags for everyone in my department at work and bought mom a little gift. We always exchange them. :)

NOW sent me this quiz today and I was surprised that I only got 5 out of 10 questions right. You should take the quiz too.
Take the Body Image Quiz

Happy Valentines Day once again. How are you celebrating?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Blahs

Sorry I've been so quiet as of late. I'm afraid I have a case of the "blahs." Nothing bad has happened to me. I'm not sick--though everyone around me is. I'm not overly sad. I'm not depressed. I just feel blah. I'm also a little antsy, but I'm not sure why. Hopefully, I'll get over it soon.

Until then, I'll spend my evenings watching CNN's primary coverage. I can't seem to work up interest toward anything else lately. Sigh.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Fat Tuesday

Today is a very important day. Not only is it Marde Gras (AKA Fat Tuesday), but it's election day for 24 states including my own state of California. If It's your pimary day too, don't forget to vote. Remember, your vote is your voice.

My voice is filled with hope this year and that hope rests on Obama, who seems to have picked up the hope message John Edwards began with "hope is on the way" in 2003. May he be successful in his quest for the nomination. Our country and its people sure could use a little hope right now.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Cake Tips Part I: Tools

Making a basic birthday cake is actually very easy. With these simple tips, you'll be on your way to making better cakes in your own kitchen. You don't need special ingredients, but there are a few tools to make the job easier.

* Large bread knife: for splitting and leveling

Some people use string or dental floss or professional cake levelers, but I love my giant bread knife. You'll find what works best for you.

* 11" spatula: for icing the tops of large cakes

* 8" spatulas: for icing the sides, the tops of smaller cakes & spreading filling

* Large icing bag with Kwik Icer tip: for icing the sides

~*~If you have a few dollars to spend~*~

* Medium icing bags with couplers & various tips

Otherwise, buy a few star (21 & 32), rose (104), round (4 & 5) & leaf (352 & 87) tips to get started, and learn how to make paper bags out of parchment paper. Some people actually prefer paper bags, anyway.

* Flower nail for making roses.

Do not bother purchasing a flower lifter to lift the rose off the nail.. Any small pair of scissors will do.

~*~If you are going to be doing a lot of decorating~*~

* Turntable

Thurntables make frosting cakes so much easier, but good ones can be costly. I bought mine from the bakery where I used to work when they were getting rid of it. it's ancient and ugly, but it spins like nobody's business, and that's all that counts.

Remember, you don't need a turntable to decorate cakes. If you can't afford one, don't worry about it.

* Various Wilton gel or paste colors

If you are on a budget, just purchase the colors you need for your project. Each time you make a cake, you'll add to your collection and soon you'll have a rainbow of colors. I suggest you purchase the gel or paste colors rather than the liquid. Gels and pastes are concentrated and will last for ever. Liquids will thin your icing as well. No one wants to attempt to make red icing roses with icing colored with red liquid dye--which is next to impossible anyway!


On cakes

In my previous life, I was a cake decorator. I decorated ice cream cakes for three years and bakery cakes for ten. I now make cakes only for special occasions. It takes much more time to do cakes at home, you see, and I don't have a whole lotta time on my hands.

I am going to be making cakes for my cousin Staci's wedding in April, and her sister Kristin's wedding in July. Yes, my poor cousin Sheri has two daughers getting married in one year! Kristin's wedding is the month after she gets her BA in nursing. Staci was supposed to wait two years and do the same (her BA will be in science) but matters of the heart and young love are seldom logical. And Sheri really couldn't argue. Nearly all of the woman in my family marry young. So, I will be making two wedding cakes this year, as different as the brides themselves. Staci likes things simple. Kristin's wedding will be far more detailed, like my own.

Today, however, I have a simple job. A basic birthday cake for my husband's family birthday dinner. Since people often ask me what my cake secrets are, I thought I'd take pictures while I put this one together. Hopefully my tips might help you too. When I'm rushed for time, I don't use anything special other than my equipment (turn table, decorating bags, big bread knife, tall cake pans). Except for my nephew (& Godson) Jeffrey who loves carrot cake, cake mixes are the norm around here for the most part. (Carrot cake mixes are garbage.)

Anyway, I'm off to make Abner's little bithday cake. I will check back later with photos and tips. Happy Saturday everyone.

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