Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taste of Childhood

I did it. I did what every person should do at least once in their lives. You know, just to say that they did.

I made Moon Pies.

Are you impressed? Or confused. Probably confused. 

Moon Pies are more of a southern thing. I know that I technically live in the south, but come on now, Maryland is really part of the central Pacific states. I think I may have just made up that term. 

Growing up I remember my mother loving moon pies. Whenever we could get a special treat at the store, she would pick one of those. Honestly, that habit was a bit curious seeing as she is from California.

I've been on pinterest for a while, and it has sucked a lot of time away from me. One thing it has done, however, is lend itself to giving me new recipe ideas. Moon Pies popped up on my adventuring one day, and I knew that I must make them.

I found the recipe at this lovely little blog. And the recipe proved to be delicious.

I did not in face document the entire moon making extravaganza, I just captured the end result. And badly. Meaning the pictures I took were mediocre.

It was a pretty involved process. But it was worth it to eat a moon pie with homemade graham crackers and marshmallow.

Since they are my mother's favorite treat, they were gone in a few days. I recommend them for school snacks, or a really special treat. But why can't that be one in the same?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Strawberry Goodness

Can you believe that it is almost Christmastime? Can you believe that Maryland suffered an earthquake [okay, so that was back in September]? Can you believe that the seasons change so quickly? You blink once and fall is practically over. I am a bit ashamed at my lack of blogging-ness as of the past few months. I've been focusing on other things I suppose. Time has passed quickly, however. 

I just want to show off some delicious-ness that I baked up for my sister's birthday in September. She turned 14. She is generally quite awesome. Quite the little artist. And by little artist I mean that she kicks artistic butt. She is incredibly talented at what she does, and I can only imagine that she will grow in leaps and bounds in the next few years as she develops her talent. Well done, sister.

So, the few days before her birthday I was brainstorming cakes. I almost always make chocolate cakes. It is like I am incapable of baking anything else. Legitimately. It's sad. It's just that when I think of dessert I always think of chocolate. That's what I would like to eat when I am indulging [or on a regular basis really]. So I thought to myself, "what can I whip up that isn't chocolate for once?" The answer? Well, I wanted to do something simple. So I opted for a cake layered with strawberries. But that's not all. I then thought that I should incorporate red velvet cake in there somewhere. And probably white cake. So why not both? Throw some cream cheese frosting in there and we are good to go.

The cake ended up being a monster of a thing. But isn't that the way most of my baking escapades end up? [If you don't know the answer to that question, it is an undeniable yes]

Did I say I was pleased with the results? Cause I was. The white cake recipe I found was especially wonderful. It was so fluffy and perfect. I never knew that whipping meringue into a cake works wonders for the consistency! Joy and joyness abounded in my heart at one am in the morning.

The final result included frosting the outside of the cake with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. I'd like to claim that I did that on purpose, but the real reason was that I ran out of frosting and was too lazy to make more. So it got the "rustic look." And lots of sprinkles.

I found fantastically long candles at Michaels which claimed to be those re-lighting sparkler candles. They didn't re-light so well. Also, my sister tried to blow them out with her nose. Disgusted yet? They were pretty though. I like using them despite their inability to cause surprise. I think they look distinguished on huge cakes.

I told Jannie to look nice for the picture. This is what I got:

Then I told her to look excited for the cake. This is what I got:

Obviously other members of the family were more enthused about the cake. Clearly.

I do have to show case the intense inside of the cake in order that you understand how tasty this thing was despite the lack of chocolate.

 Also, I have a weird habit where I get my picture with almost all the cakes I have baked. I say almost because now someone is going to fact check that statement and discover that I have not in fact gotten a picture with all of them. So to cover my rear end I inserted the word almost. Works like a charm every time.

And in case you forgot what the Bigelow girls look like, here's a picture. I am the midget of the family, and I embrace that fact. And fact checkers, you can check that fact because I am 99.9% sure that it is true. Unless we are counting dogs, then not so much and I retract my former statement.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby Eliot

My dear friend Abi had a baby back in March [I think]. He is just the cutest, sweetest thing ever. Very good natured and happy. I got to visit him [and her] in June. The visit was too quick. Time seems to just seep out of my hands. I have no control in elongating it or making days go by quicker.

Eliot James Noble.

I think I've said this before, but Eliot's name exudes a famous life. He will be some poet laureate or the next great American novelist. His name says that to me.

I miss Massachusetts. I've been trying to find a time to go visit soon, and I think the soonest I can go is the beginning of November. I requested the time off from work today, so hopefully I will be able to venture up there to see friends.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tye Dyed CupCakes

Baking is a hobby of mine. I love it. Someday I hope to own my very own bright yellow Kitchen Aid Mixer. I'm hardcore like that. And legitimate. 

So wanted to make funfetti cupcakes as requested by older [and quite needy] sister. She loves white cake. And she especially loves it with sprinkles throughout. 

I think I got a little too sprinkle crazy, however, as my cupcakes turned out essentially tye dyed. Waaawaaaa. They didn't just have a few different colors throughout, they were almost completely a different color.

They were pretty though. Like a picture. Like a picture of a cupcake taken by someone who was really bored and had nothing else to take pictures of.

Now I'm hungry. Fantastic. Celery just doesn't cut it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Celebrating the Ending of an Era

Better late than never, right?

I had a Harry Potter party for the midnight premier of the last movie. My sisters and I put together a lot of delicious food, and then no one showed up. Except for two people. A little sad, but the food was still great. And we were also still able to watch the first half of the last movie(s) so we could get all caught up.

We were a little too excited about the signs and such. 

My pastry-chef friend made cake pops to look like snitches. They were undeniably awesome and oh-so-tasty.

It was fun to sit in the theater beforehand and reminisce about all the emotions attached to my Harry Potter journey. As I have stated before, it was a bittersweet evening. The movie left quite a bit to be desired and didn't quite sate my Harry Potter appetite. The cake pops, however, did.

Whenever I want to feel magical again though [like a unicorn really], all I must do is make some wizard wands [chocolate covered pretzel sticks] and butter beer [a secret recipe, duh] and wave them around. Maybe not the butter beer. If I wave it around it would get everywhere. 

I have to re-think this.

Go eat some Bertie's Botts! My friends boyfriend was telling me today that he had a friend [sounds like I'm making this up... I heard from a seventh party...] that took all these different flavored Bertie's Botts and smushed them together thinking it would cancel out. It did not. And apparently the room smelled bad for days because of the vomit, booger and other flavors/scents. Ummm... gross.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quote It

I'm figuring life out one step at a time. 

I don't think it is meant to be figured out though.

How's this for thought provoking?

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before 
starting to improve the world."
Anne Frank

How does this thought become reality in my barista living life? 

How does living each moment for the people around me, for my community, for the global picture look? What does it mean to make a difference when you work at a Starbucks? I want to make a difference. Even if it is minuscule in comparison to what others are doing around me. Which it will be. 

I am figuring out life.

I think this is a good place to start:

"Never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes those little things 
occupy the biggest part of their hearts."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


My brother done went and got his professional engineer certificate. Well, I actually have no idea if there is a certificate involved. I do know that there is a massive test involved which took literally months of studying for. I know because Beau missed book club to study. LAME. Ah well, at he least swapped out one intellectual thing for another.

My second attempt at fondant.

It looked "pretty", but the consistency and flavor of fondant just can't beat out regular frosting.

I attempted an electrical board since he was getting his professional engineer certificate/award/honor/right of passage. I know nothing about electrical boards, so I kind of just drew a lot of lines and hoped for the best.

I tried a new frosting inside the cake as well. Mint. Also, I put mint extract in the fondant to give it a little flavoring. Everyone said it tasted like toothpaste. Waaawaaaaa... At least I was giving everyone that nice, freshly brushed mouth taste. Which I have right now. Score.

To my brother who never ever reads this: Congratulations... and stuff.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Settling Back In

While this may be disjointed and entirely unhelpful to anyone reading it, I am still going to just write whatever is coming to mind at the moment. Kind of a cathartic exercise for the mind.

My attempts, or lack thereof, at keeping up with this "project" is dismal at the moment and not at all on my mind when I return home at the end of a work day. Nor is it on my mind when I am on the computer, connected to the Internet. I lost the steam that was pushing me, nay, throttling me forward. I have hit what may be referred to as the "one-year slump." Let's be unequivocally truthful in this moment. This collapse is false. I just made it up. Like that. With the snap of my finger. When in moments of mindful clarity, I am actually quite talented at inventing truth on the spot. Only those who know my facial expressions can read through the bull that settles upon my face. Smirking gets me every time. 

What am I supposed to write about? How awesome my life is. How perfect everything is. How I go on these wonderfully adventurous escapades in my free time wherein I naturally look cute and adorable in whatever outfit I have happened to throw together. How well I cook and bake without even trying. Well, we all know that my cakes often fall over. Not many of us know this, but I have a tendency to wear not so cute outfits. In fact, I really need to take a shower right now. So no pictures from today will be posted on this stream-of-consciousness rant. 

So I was watching the Bachelorette last night. Go ahead and mock me now. I dare you.  One of the bachelors explained some insight he had recently discovered in himself and then was promptly voted off the island, or chopped. For all his soul-searching, intuitive and well educated ways, the bachelorette simply could not be that well-informed on a daily basis. The bachelor, still a bachelor by the way since he was kicked off, spoke about the Renaissance ideal of making every moment in life beautiful and romantic. He explained that you take the ordinary things, making breakfast for example, an act of romance.

Now before you get all mushy gushy thinking that I've fallen in love... Okay, I have. 

Not really. But that's not the point. The point is that I want to make day to day living more magical and special and beautiful. I want to enjoy life to the fullest and not have any regrets. I may not know where my life is going from here on out, but I never have been given longevity of clarity. Instead I act on instinct and what seems to have been given to me. I desire to act in every stage of my life like the journey is a gift that I don't deserve. Which I don't. But I excited to see where I am taken.

What does this have to do at all with how this post started? Amidst the insecurities that my life demands more adventure in order to lure other people into thinking that it is at all interesting, there lies a gem of hope that everything I do can be wonderfully beautiful. 

Thus I now share with you one of those moments that makes life beautiful.

Plus a picture of a homemade pretzel dog for good measure:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Flashback Fridays - Five Years Ago

Sitting on the steps of an outdoor ampitheater, basking in the sun, I thought to myself, "Soak it all in. This adventure will quickly dissapate leaving a renewed and changed soul." In reality my seventeen year old self was not that eloquent by any means. In all probability my thoughts went something like this; "Awesome! I'm here and I should enjoy it... dude." Confused yet? Five years ago I departed in July for my first overseas mission trip with an organization called Global Expeditions. My trip came about this way: I had a core group of friends in my homeschooler group in highschool. One weekend we decided to live it up and have a sleep over. The next morning while joking about drinking coffee [because i would never actually partake of it] I spied a magazine on the counter of my friends kitchen. Filled with colorful pictures and words like "Go" and "Adventure of a lifetime" I was soon filled with the desire to go to Romania and minister to those orphans.

After applying and raising over $3,000.00, I was off on a plane to Texas and then Romania. It was month filled with newly made friends, good looking translators named Sebi, dramas on the street complete with bruised hips and scraped ligaments, cuddling babies in a hospital, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday, whole loaves of bread for breakfast, quiet times, exploring a humongous boarding school, meeting Jesus and sharing him with those I encountered. I miss this. I miss being in an unfamiliar environment and being stretched. I miss being thrown together into a team where none of the faces are familiar, but they are all wonderful.

My little sister departed last Saturday to go on a trip with the same organization that I had gone with to Romania all those years ago. At 15 years old, she wisely decided to stick with a two week trip instead of a month or two months. She is basking in the sun of Trinidad as I write, ministering to the locals and loving little children. It would be so wonderful to be in her place right now, but it's not my time. It is her time to have adventures and explore new places.

I will always remember that trip. I made lifetime friendships and made eternal memories.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Excitement caused by others excitement. Feeling old because the characters you have grown up with are coming to a close on the big screen. Their story has run its course, and despite the fact that it leaves us wanting more, we are instead turned loose upon the world hoping to have gained insight from their adventures. I greatly dislike that feeling. Wanting more but not having it. Coming to the end of a wonderfully engaging book and being left dissatisfied with the epilogue. Certainly there is more to their lives. But no. We are left wondering, dreaming up the possibilities of what happened next.

Oh Harry Potter. Why does it have to end so soon? Reminiscing back four years to when the last Potter book was released is bittersweet. I had just returned from a two month missions trip in Africa where all I heard was that Harry Potter was an evil book series, and Christians should not read stories with magic and witchcraft. Being the rebellious [yeah right] eighteen year old I was, the first book I picked up upon my return was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I read it in two days staying up to un-seen hours in order to finish it. I cried multiple times. When the book ended I cried again. I couldn't believe it was over. I wanted more.

So here we are again. Why do endings have to occur multiple times. It is like rubbing salt in the wound. I am hosting a pre-movie watching party before the midnight showing. I am trying desperately to be creative and throw together some cute Potter decorations and food. There are plenty of ideas out there, I just have to scale back and figure out what will work best!

Any other Potter fans going to the midnight showing?

Monday, June 27, 2011

The 1920's and Collegiate Rivalry

Apparently something ginormous and hugely cultural to my hometown had been missing in my sad and bleak life. That something included donning Gatsby-era clothing whilst laying on nicely manicured lawn. That something included bringing a picnic basket full of delicious treat to consume while "watching" a "sport." That something included filling that mentioned picnic basket with only alcohol and drinking at noon [it's okay, everyone else was doing it]. That something included an intense collegiate rivalry held between the two prestigious colleges in my hometown.

If you are not from Annapolis, if you have no idea what St. Johns is and if you have only heard of the Naval Academy because that of that movie "Annapolis" [with the hottie James Franco no less], then your brain is in for a delightful treat as I uncover the secret of intramural croquet.

Once a year the midshipmen [read: the young men and women who attend the Naval Academy. they are called "mids" for short] and the St. John's students in our town gather on the prestigious lawn of St. Johns [read: incredibly well manicured because the school is so stinkin' expensive] to battle using their athletic prowess and accuracy in the gentleman's game of croquet. Generally the mids are dressed in a pristine white outfit that includes a sweater with both the Naval Academy logo and the St. Johns logo. For my first time attending this legendary event they did not let me down.

I thought to myself, "excellent, I will be able to distinguish the two teams without a problem!" False. Generally the "Johnnies" dress in ridiculous outfits. One year they wore togas, another they donned the outfits of painters in bleak, paint spattered coveralls. This year they decided to dress exactly like the mids. It made for a super confusing game.

Perhaps you can catch what their differences are, however. To the common man [ie: not from Annapolis] they look exactly the same. However, you will note that the physique of the gentleman on the right is quite leaner than the gentleman on the left. That is because midshipmen are required to work out all the time. I was able to tell the two groups apart by the ones who had beer bellies, and the ones who looked like they were shoulder pads [actually just impressive muscles under those sweaters].

The Johnnies seem to have an innate keenness for croquet. It is rumored that the week before the big event they traverse over to the retirement home in Annapolis and practice with the retirees. It's true. Who knows croquet better than grandparents? Because of this fair and earned advantage, the Johnnies apparently almost always end up winning.

Not to be left gasping for what the assumed was theirs, the Johnnies outdid themselves again and won. Several thousand picnickers and Gatsby-era folk came out for the event. The lawn was absolutely mobbed. Tailgating tents decked out with delectable goodies took over the far side of the lawn while picnic blankets, oversized hats and swing dancers took up other various parts. Everyone relished in the unusually warm April day and basked in the sun while downing alcoholic beverages left and right.

Some brave soles who preferred to keep their seersucker suits on the non-green-grass stained side dragged large couches out onto the lawn. This entire event was simply a site to behold. I was disappointed that I carried no picnic basket or cluster of grapes with which to join in on the fun. Next year I plan to have my parasol, large hat and chilled bottle of wine all ready to go.

This was just a trial run preparing me for the full immersion in 2012. So if you are in the Annapolis area, perhaps you had better don your seersucker suit and join the throngs as they drink and pay no attention to what is actually happening. Because honestly, do any of us know the rules to croquet?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Model Girl Gets Married

You could take the title of this post two different ways [as far as I can see... comprehend]. First, this could be pictures of the person that I look up too and respect's wedding. Perhaps this person is a hero in my life and should be copied in every way possible. Perhaps it is a Stepford wife, perfect in every way. 

Or you could take this as someone super hot getting married.

We can go with both definitions here.

Cute couple, and Marieke has killer legs. Am I allowed to say that kind of thing?

Cute flower girl. Marieke gave her Smackers for a flower girl gift, and I am pretty sure that Vera had consumed all three tubes by the next day. 

I went up to Marieke when she was getting her hair done and commented that "she should keep it in the rollers! It looks hot that way." Then she and the hair dresser told me that I was only the like the 29th person to tell her that. Waaawaaaaa. My jokes are so not original as it turns out. 

So Marieke and Ryan got married in April [and you are blogging about it now...!] in Connecticut in this cute little church. Their ceremony was really special and filled with their personality. For example, their program was a comic book. Yes. A comic book. I almost cried with delight. The bridesmaids dresses were the perfect shade of yellow. Meaning bright bright bright. They were stinking adorable. The entire wedding party wore navy Toms, which were also stinking adorable. It was a lot of cute personality shoved into one chapel.

I felt incredibly honored to be a part of their ceremony as I read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. I stood up at the front and yelled in the sanctuary because there was no microphone for me to speak into. Unfortunately I have a lot of practice yelling [at small children to move so they don't get run over. obviously all positive yelling], so there was some definite wincing going on as I sounded like Darth Vader only twenty times louder.

I loved that the entire reception was one huge party. Everyone danced. I thought the floor was going to break. 

Marieke and Ryan are very dear to me. They are a model couple. They love each other very much, and they support each other in every decision made. I am so grateful that I am friends with them. And I plan on staying friends with them for a very long time. I am going to spoil their kids. Legit.