Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sweet 15

My niece Amanda's 15th birthday was last week, and she asked me to help her make her birthday cake. She came over Saturday night, and we decorated the cake that I bought "naked" at the grocery store bakery.

We borrowed this idea from Women's Day Magazine. Here's how our version turned out:

We giggled so much as we worked on the various parts and pieces that Amanda lost her voice! When we brought the cake to the party the next day, everyone was amazed. My nephew Bryan was the only one who figured out right away what this was:

(Tom Hanks and Wilson escaping the island in "Castaway").

Then it was time to cut into the cake, and big laughter. Seems when we iced the top of the lower layer of the cake we failed to notice that, because it was originally the bottom of the cake, it had a sheet of parchment paper baked into it! Made it a little harder to cut, to say the least. But it still tasted great!

Happy Birthday, Amanda! Start thinking of the cake you want next year...I want to do this again!

Friday, March 10, 2006

I'm sleeping with Alton Brown

Well, actually with his book.

It takes up a lot more room than the usual books I read in bed, but we all make sacrifices for love.

You can keep George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Give me a man who makes me laugh and makes me dinner, and my heart melts like butter.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A journey of a thousand miles...

...starts with one step. Or several hundred in my case.

I joined the gym located in my apartment complex. This morning I walked 1.3 miles on the treadmill. I also weighed myself for the first time in two months. My total weight loss is 51 pounds since September. I really do need to post an updated picture in my profile.

Whatever your journey, take that first step or you'll go nowhere.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Thought for today

Guideposts Magazine is a treasure. Sometimes it's a longer article that gets me thinking. Sometimes it's just a few words in The Up Side quotes section (only available in the print edition):

"The antidote to fear is action."

Sometimes I don't realize that my hesitation to do something is actually based in fear because I don't think about it. I guess it's the fear of not doing something right that has most often caused me to not even try. But sometimes I did move past the fear, and it lead me to important and sometimes wonderful experiences.

Like what? Let's year living in California when I was 20 (remind me to tell you about that) marriage (not all wonderful but mostly) job (which I had to step foward and claim when they didn't want to give it to me)...and lots more.

And what if I had let the fear of not doing it perfectly prevent me from embarking on my cookie adventures? I'm doing so well with the cookies that it might just turn into a real business for me. Look out Mrs. Fields!

Action truly is the antidote for fear. Move forward. Ask for God's blessing and step out in the faith. Don't pray and ask for the fear to be removed before you act...ask for the guidance and strength to take the next step.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I love Chicago radio

The only time I listen to the radio is in my car. Reception both in the office and at home is spotty, unless it's a really powerful station.

When I moved last year, my commute tripled - from five minutes to 15! So I've been able to enjoy more radio variety. I probably change stations at least three times every trip.

I listen mostly to AM talk radio. The six preset buttons are positioned in such a way as to allow me to move from news to talk to Christian talk to sports (that one I hit usually by accident).

My favorite time is the drive home after work. I've got three stations comedy guy from Chicago, one super-liberal political gal from Florida and one super-conservative guy from San Francisco. I especially love it when the political hosts are both screaming about the same subject. It's fascinating to hear two sides of the same story spinning in different directions. But when the screaming gets to be too much noise, I go back to the comedy guy.

Give it a try. In Chicago, its 560, 850 and 890 AM.