Thursday, July 30, 2009

If It's Too Hot in The Kitchen....

I recently celebrated my 29th birthday! My friend Zak offered to host a party at his house so that I could invite more people to celebrate. I had a summer dress-up cocktail and Hors D'Oeuvers party. About 25 people showed up, all with amazing offerings of appetizers, wine and cocktail fixings! Unfortunately no one took pictures at the party, but trust me, it was an amazing time!

One of the best gifts I received was from Nick, of course. I have been talking about betta fish for some time --- he surprised me on my birthday with a whole setup for two! I have a red and a blue. They're in the same tank, but there's a plastic grate between, so they can't get at each other -- not that attempts haven't been made! They have natural rocks and they each have their own houseplant! I'd like to introduce you to Bebop and Rocksteady:

The coolest fish ever! I've mentioned the attempted aggression - they are both pretty fiesty! They both come up to the glass when I touch it, and they even come up to the surface for a pet when I dangle my finger in the water!

As most of you know, we're having a bit of a heat wave in the NW these days. Last Wednesday hit 103 in my neighborhood, 112 not too far away. Friday only hit 99 and it was a bit of a relief, actually. It's currently 80 degrees at 9pm. Crazy by normal standards, but damn refreshing in Seattle these days.

Of course, when it rains it pours, so to speak. Last week when we were in the midst of our high temps, the AC went out at school. Let me remind you that my schooling involves baking. with ovens. hot ovens. lots of them.

In spite of the heat, amazing things are happening. Take Exibit A:

Unfortunately this is not my handiwork, but a fellow student. One day... ;>

To beat the heat, Nick and I took an overnight trip to Anacortes, WA this weekend. We have a friend who has parents who own a house. What an amazing trip. Beautiful house on amazing property, right on a serene lake. We were there for less than 24 hours, but felt we had been gone for several days by the end. It was so rejuvinating, it seemed we had been on a mini vacation! While we were there, our friend Zak took this great shot:

So, that's this week's update! I hope it has been as enjoyable to read as it has been to retell!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Holy Update, Batman!

Good grief, has it really been that long??? I've received a number of comments lately that my site updates are particularly enjoyable, which has only made me feel guilty, regardless of the intent!
SO! Nick and I took a really amazing trip at the beginning of the summer! We went camping for a week and saw some really cool things. We started our trip at Glacier National Park, and ended at Jasper National Park, with a midway stop at Banff National Park. It was quite the week! I took some great pictures, as evidenced below. Also, as an added bonus, we stopped at campgrounds the entire way, so we're a good reference for what is good and what isn't worth your time along the way!

For more great pictures from the trip, please visit my Flickr album.

Also, I have been baking! No big surprise, I'm sure! I hosted a cake tasting for some very good friends who are getting married in September. I made and decorated 6 different cakes - we celebrated with champagne! The happy couple were made even happier with my creations, and they walked away with 3 flavor choices for their special day! I also made graduation cake for a friend. Rather than making a typical graduation sheet cake, I decided to make something to fit the barbeque theme:

Yes, those are made out of cake, and yes, I did fool a few people! I had several moms stop me on the way to our picnic site to take a look at my creations, and I had more than one person tell me that if I hadn't been in attendance they would have been totally fooled!
So, that's what I've been up to...Oh! And my garden, of course:

I have four MONSTER tomato plants - I can see tons of tomatoes, and they aren't even ripe yet - can't wait to see what my harvest will be once they start turning color and I can actually see them in that mess! I also have a red pepper plant, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme and strawberries!