7.30.2012

Foodie: Frostings Cupcakes... Back So Soon?

Yes, we sweet-toothed people couldn't stay away. Lemon Drop is still the reigning favorite.

www.frostingscupcakes.com
 14 Karrot: Better than carrot cake. Moist, creamy, made-from-scratch goodness. 


www.frostingscupcakes.com
 Birthday Cake: I actually wasn't impressed with this one. The cake part was... just cake. Nothing spectacular. Mike says it tastes just like a sugar cookie. To me it was like a stiff, more bland sugar cookie. The vanilla frosting was good. Decoration is cute. Meh.


www.frostingscupcakes.com
Red Velvet: Great job on the red velvet. Smooth, moist, and the cream cheese icing complemented the cake very well. Nom.


7.21.2012

Lately: New Job

The biggest thing that happened these past few weeks was that Michael got a new job! The place is called CheckPoint Studios and is located in Costa Mesa. He's excited to have a more creative Associate Producer role, and to contribute to a positive gaming community while working more closely with a developer. I'm more excited to have a happier husband at home, and so proud of him for all the work he does to support us while being true to himself.

For me, each week has been quiet. I sold a headband on Etsy (seen here), met investigators with the missionaries, went to the gym, went on a few runs in the trails, went to the temple, decorated our stairway with photos of us and the dogs, AKA our "kids," had dinner with a few friends and went to the Great Park Extravaganza birthday event nearby. It had free admission, a ton of food trucks, planes and skydivers to see, fireworks; it was pretty neat.

I also explored the San Juan Capistrano Mission and took a lot of photos. Check them out HERE and HERE :) Some of my favorites are below.



I've improved my mile time from 8:45 to 8:12 on July 12th. It helps when I'm timing myself to motivate me to stay fast. The trail behind our house is uphill the first half, downhill the second half (which may help my timing). Then at the Pioneer Day 5k I ran on the 21st in the morning, my overall time was 26:29. The MapMyRun app on my phone seems to think it was 3.25 miles and my pace was 8 minutes per mile (which is miscalculated, it should be about 8:09)... but if you calculate my pace according to 3.1 miles, it's about 8:33 per mile. EITHER WAY, I'm happy, because DANG, the course was a bunch of hills with a long hill at the end. Yuck. and, my girl thing had started, so that totally depleted my energy level. I was seriously about to start walking. It was hot and bleh. But I finished! I'm interested to see if I placed in the top 3 in my age group (I know a 19-year-old took first place... no contest there, ha).

I went through our wedding cards after our anniversary and hole-punched them in the top left corner with a heart, strung them together with raffia, and viola. A nice memento. Our anniversary cards from family are in the back. I then hung it on a piece of wall art my Grandma Jean gave me. Love this.



I tried an easy but delicious recipe using the ripe avocados I picked up at Costco. I didn't use as much mayo as it asked for, and because it was a side dish, I excluded the chicken, but plan to do it again with chicken. Yum.

Avocado Chicken Salad - pauladeen.com


I went to a friend's baby shower today in Simi and am staying the night at my parents' house. It's been a good weekend thus far. One of the things I love the most about visiting home is how happy we are to see each other. I love, love, love my family. When we had dinner out tonight and the corn was a little over-cooked, Mom commented how good the fresh corn on-the-cob was at the 4th of July party we had, and I told her I just did it how she taught me. She then told me it was how my Granny Jean and Great Granny Pauline did it: they bought fresh husked corn from the market, peeled it right before cooking so it had the most flavor, and boiled it with a few extra things. Perfect. Even in such a small tradition, I feel closer to my ancestors.

7.20.2012

Foodie: Frostings Cupcakes

After eating a healthy in-home meal, we decided to splurge and get dessert at Frostings Cupcakes {http://www.frostingscupcakes.com}. However, this wasn't our first time trying it - some new friends of ours gave us the lemon drop cupcake and the cookies & cream cupcake. Oh. My. Yum.

www.frostingscupcakes.com


The Menu


Frostings offers most flavors every day, but not all (probably to spread out the ravenous crazies that come only for certain flavors). I wanted to get the Orange Twist since I love fruit-y desserts, but they only offer it Tuesdays and Sundays. *tear*
Their prices are a little high for what you get, but it's meant to be a special sweet treat splurge, which is what we did.

The Cupcakes

Overall: All of their cupcakes are moist and have a lot of frosting on them (hence, 'Frostings') so if you don't like a lot of frosting, don't come here.

First let's review what we had already:

www.frostingscupcakes.com

Cookies & Cream: Rich! But very, very good. I love Oreo shakes, and this was delectable. It even has an Oreo in the middle... mmm.


www.frostingscupcakes.com

Lemon Drop: Has my heart. Melt-in-your-mouth, sweet lemon-y goodness, better than lemon bars. Period.


Now, what we split Wednesday: 

www.frostingscupcakes.com
Bordeaux: Good, buuuut, the Bordeaux isn't very obvious to me. There's a hint of it, but I might've missed the rest of it. The frosting tasted closer to ganache to me. Mike could taste the Bordeaux.

We split Thursday (we spread out our splurges, haha):

www.frostingscupcakes.com
Banana Hazelnut: They had a Bordeaux frosting option but we went for hazelnut since we already had Bordeaux. It was GOOD. Like a moist, fluffy banana bread with yummy icing.


There you have it. Oh, we've decided to come here once a month (er... when we have room for dessert, which is... errr...) in order to have fun trying all of the flavors. When we do, it'll be up here :)


7.17.2012

The Amazing Snowman Wreath

This warrants another post on the same day :)

Christmas in July:
{pin me!}

I make wreaths as a side business and it's going great. Right now I'm building up my inventory for a boutique I'll be at in November. Here's my pride and joy: my snowman!

If you'd like to order one, send me an e-mail at k.anne.burr@gmail.com or message me on Facebook. This guy isn't up on Etsy yet, but replicas of him will be in the future. As of right now, I can make an exact replica. In the future if my suppliers run out, I'll show you pictures of the materials that will be used, as things may look a little different (such as: when faux poinsettias become available, I can put those on the hat instead of the ranunculus). Thanks for your support of a starving teacher ;)

PS - He's about 3+ feet tall!




Christmas in July - Christmas wreath - Christmas decoration - Snowman - Holiday decoration - Winter

Foodie: TK Burgers

Something we've decided to add to our blog is to write a general review of each new place we eat. There are a ton of cultures and eateries to sample from in Orange County, so we have a LOT to try.

Down by Mike's new workplace (more to come on that later) is a place called TK Burgers. They're well known for great burgers, grilled onions, and their in-house thousand island dressing. We weren't disappointed.


The decor was your typical surfer-shack: stickers over everything, ocean wave photography on the wall, beach-y art and window blinds, earthy lamps.




The Menu:


Since we were first-timers, we stuck with the special, which was a cheeseburger and fries combo. However, we-who-diet happily noted that they offer turkey burgers and an Ahi fish filet burger, so we'll have to come back for those. The prices were reasonable and you get a good amount of food.



The Burger:



It tastes like you're literally barbecuing outside in the park. The combination of char on medium-cooked meat and bun taste gives it that. Some people on Zagat compared it to In-N-Out, but for me that was only because of the appearance. The taste is completely different. I also thought their in-house thousand island dressing was unique and tasty. Yum yum.



7.07.2012

The 4th and Beyond

I had a lot of fun planning and decorating for our 4th of July barbecue. One of my favorite things to do is decorate and throw parties - I've known this since I helped organize high school band parties, birthday parties, and college parties in SB. I loved, loved, LOVED having our family here! Sorry to the boys for Maya, but she is a rescue dog and will growl until she gets to know you. She's a little scaredy-cat too, so you have to show her you're her friend and eventually she'll remember :)





Me: "Quick, awkward nighttime flash photo!" Looks like Michael and Joseph got the same memo :)

Parents and aunts and uncles watching the fireworks ♥

Dad being guarded by Ozzy and snoozing Harley (this is Dad's "ehhh" face)


I also ran my first 5K in a looong time that morning. The last one I ran as a race was the Turkey Day Dash in Thousand Oaks in 2009! Oy. I loved it! I did pretty well considering I didn't consistently run until two weeks beforehand. New personal best!

Overall time 26:41.3, pace: 8:53 minute mile, overall place 337, overall in women 101, 6th place in my age group (25-29).



Yesterday I went to the temple in the afternoon and almost finished my stack of names in a sealing session. I also did an initiatory for a family name. It. was. amazing.

Today (Saturday) Michael and I tried a new place for lunch, despite our Bruxie cravings. This place is called Boneheads and it has some DELICIOUS fish. Definitely going back for their low-cal, tasty, affordable options.



It's Harley's birthday! Happy birthday, Harley!! We love you :)


nom nom

blueberry and vanilla dog yogurt

more nom nom

Maya got to celebrate even though it wasn't her birthday :)

7.01.2012

Reaffirmation

I definitely needed this Sunday. It was the first Sunday in a month that Mike and I had been able to go to church in our home ward, and wow, did I miss it. A little personal introspection: Lately I've felt like I've been floating around, not sure of myself. End-of-the-year substituting had its ups and downs; I've applied to every English teacher position I can find that I'd be willing to commute to; I'm branching out and applying to work other places; etc. etc. and I find myself asking: So, what the heck am I supposed to be doing with my life right now?

This is my first summer without work in a long time. I've usually had something to do every weekday that was work-related, but not this summer. A teacher's vacation, imagine that. However, I'm not good at relaxing. It also dawned on me how randomly out-of-touch I felt with church the other day. I know my beliefs and I love them, but since I hadn't been to my home ward, I definitely felt way off. I hit a big rut yesterday when we tried to go to the beach but couldn't find a parking spot, and Maya puked in the car - and no, it didn't smell like puke. It smelled like something that should have come out the other end. I was tired of her being sick and just wanted her to get better (she is, by the way - more "regular" thanks to a de-wormer), and felt like my days lacked meaning - and it's only week one of summer vacation for me.

Sunday couldn't have come any sooner. I realized many things that I knew, but I needed to hear and reaffirm within myself in order to feed my spirit. I'll share with you a few of those things here (though some are more personal and I'll keep those to myself):

I watched the latest Saturday morning session of General Conference. Elder Eyring (his talk is below) always speaks on topics that are deep within my heart, and the other talks were very good too.



#1

"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up.10 And He always keeps His word." Elder Henry B. Eyring, 2012


#2

The Bishop's wife gave a lesson in Relief Society on missionary work. I love when she teaches because she puts herself into her lessons and it usually makes me cry. Part of the quote she had me read:

"We cannot receive the beneficent favor of our Heavenly Father that is bestowed upon us, the knowledge of eternal life, and selfishly retain it, thinking that we may be blessed thereby. It is not what we receive that enriches our lives, it is what we give.” Elder Spencer W. Kimball, 1935

This quote, in combination with this month's Ensign magazine's visiting teaching message, really hit me. I know I have my own struggles, I think about them enough. I thought that by offering up my time to serve in the church, it'd help fill up my summer a bit more, not to mention be a great use of my time - so I messaged the RS president and one of my friends in the ward to keep their ears open for me and let me know if they need me to do anything.



#3

Knowing myself to be an impatient person, I also know that I need the Gospel to help stay calm and keep my head while practicing patience.

"So what kind of waiting was Isaiah describing? The Hebrew word translated as wait also means “hope for” and “anticipate” (Isaiah 40:31, footnote a)." "The same amount of time will pass whether I am squandering it in anger and impatience or using it to serve the Lord and His children. Choosing to “wait upon the Lord”—or viewed another way, to serve Him—yields far more satisfying results." Christy Nielson (article HERE).



I'm praying more, reading more, and I'm spending my Sundays more whole-heartedly on Gospel activities. I fasted today and it was easy to sacrifice because I was happy to do it. I love, love, love the Lord and am so glad He knows me so well.