Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In the Months Gone By

I feel as though the last couple months have been a whirlwind, and yet I look back and wonder what makes it feel so. There hasn't been any one thing particularly exciting, but maybe it's all the little things that makes time fly.

We love having our friends over for a formal party around Valentines Day. It's a night of scrumptious food, laughing and dancing.

Back in December, I chopped my hair short! Well, it's short for me. I cut off a braid that measured 15" and then cut about 4 more inches off so it came just above my shoulders. I do this every couple years so I can donate it to Locks Of Love which makes great wigs for kids going through chemo.
Last year I helped the local florist make boutonnieres for the prom, which was lots of fun (I got to see my corsage ahead of time too) and this year I was asked to come back and help again with the corsages which are more complex and time consuming. We had a little refresher course a couple weeks ago and I made one that was lighter and smaller than most of them. They really are rather bulky and heavy sometimes, it makes it awkward to wear them when they are slipping and sliding all over your wrist. I do like the combination of the spray roses, carnations and daisies though.

Ohhh my! Have I discovered the most wonderful chocolate meringue recipe! I shall have to share it with you all once it is perfected! (yes, these are the things I get excited over!)
I woke up on the first day of spring to several inches of fresh snow on the world. While everyone at work was complaining that it should be warm by now I couldn't help but love how beautiful it looked sparkling in the sun that afternoon.

Have you ever chased the sunset?
It makes for such a beautiful past time.
Last night we celebrated Seder with some good friends.

It is amazing to think of how this tradition has been carefully carried out over so many hundreds of years.
Maybe you've heard of the Jane Austen stamps that are being made in the UK to honor the 200th birthday of Pride & Prejudice. I couldn't resist ordering some because while I obviously can't use them here, I love stamps and keep my favorites in a stamp collectors book my Opa gave me years ago.
Now since I bought my stamps, The Royal Mail service is mailing fliers to advertise new collections. The newest one coming it Doctor Who stamps. I don't know if my bank would like me to keep ordering them though, I accidentally froze my account trying to order the Jane Austen stamps!
Speaking of the UK and whatnot, look at my new tea tin! I know its terribly cliche, but I do love it!
I've been reading a textbook from the Culinary Institute of America. It's quite fascinating too. Though it makes me rather hungry.

Oh look, I've officially been accepted into a small college about an hour away. I'm now getting the paper work taken care of, dreading the placement test, lost in the mess of financial aid, and so excited to be enrolled in the Culinary Arts program!
I recently did my own taxes too, but there is nothing exciting to say about that, nor a picture that adequately describes my feelings on the subject. So I shall close this post.
Have a happy day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

U.S.M.C Birthday Ball 2012

I have so much to catch up on my blog, and I figured I need to start somewhere and seeing as I'm still (!!) sorting through my pictures from Europe, I thought I'd go back to the week after I got home from my time abroad.
A good friend of mine is a United States Marine and shortly after getting home, he invited me to go to the annual Marine Birthday Ball. I was honored to be asked and of course accepted. The Birthday Ball celebrates the birth of the Marine Corps and what every Marine puts on the line when making the commitment to serve the country.

The ball was held in a ballroom of a beautiful (and ritzy) hotel. A long hallway was decorated and set up for the cocktail hour where couples strolled elegantly arm-in-arm through the crowd, balancing a drink in one hand, while shaking the hand of a new acquaintance with the other. Every uniform was donned with the utmost care. Every button on the jackets were shined, every belt buckle perfectly centered, every shoe was a smooth glossy black. Dozens of clean shaven faces smiled and laughed as they greeted friends and introduced new ones. There were a few brave women who were also in uniform. With their uniforms just as pristine as the men's, their hair pulled into a conservative bun and just a bit of makeup, there was something about them that made them just as beautiful (if not more) as the other ladies in attendance. The dates of the Marines were wearing beautiful evening gowns, some flashier than others, but all in a variety of deep reds, blues, blacks, whites and other colors that are complimentary to the uniforms or a black tuxedo with a bow tie.
Horrid picture, but the lighting was awful so I had to use the flash.

The hall led into the ballroom where the tables were set up around the dance floor. The dimmed lights made everything from the chandlers on the ceiling and the mirrors on the wall to the glasses tables and the jewelry on the guests look magically sparkly. There was a pageant, some wonderful speeches, and the moving ceremony of the oldest and youngest marine cutting and passing the cake. I have to admit, my eyes were not dry for the whole evening. When the formalities of the ceremony were completed, the dinner was served and shortly after the dancing began. The upbeat music of the oh-so sophisticated Cha-Cha Slide soon had the dance floor filled with couples having fun. After a several hours of formal behaviour and food, and a couple of fun dancing (some not as graceful as others), we left the ball.
Now, if you are like most of my friends, you are no doubt wondering what I wore, so here we go. I found a very elegant deep red gown, the top is draped as a one shouldered bodice. Its silhouette is a bit like what you'd get from a mermaid gown; fitted at the waist and through the hips and gently flaring at the knees. The hem of the gown grazed the floor in the front and swooped down into a small train in the back.

Two small straps held the gown up.
I love how the back drapes into the train.

Tiny fabric flowers and seed beads cover the seam under the bust.
I accessorized with pewter and garnet earrings, black satin heels and a vintage beaded clutch. My hair was very long, so I just pinned it up in a soft, low, twisted side chignon.

 It was an incredible evening, one that I will not forget. If you have a chance to thank someone in the armed forces or a vertran, don't ever pass up that oportunity. Because freedom isn't free.



Saturday, January 26, 2013


Words…what are they? They make a kind of communication, to make the human race work. These sounds that immerge from a hole in our face, more commonly known as a mouth, is somehow is our way to communicate with each other. The different inflections and intonations, tones and pitches we give to the words make all the difference in what we say.

They sort things out and yet cause problems. They are conversations, fights, songs and poems. They are speeches, apologies, books and newspapers. People buy them, sell them, trade them and steal them.

You see them everywhere you go, the store, school, signs, television, and you hear them even more. Sometimes kind and sweet, sometimes harsh and cruel. Sometimes stupid and regretful, but sometimes meaningful and unforgettable. They can make someone’s day better, or can completely ruin it.

Words are love and promises one day and then hate and brokenness the next. They can give happiness, joy and excitement, but those feelings can be taken away and replaced by sadness, sorrow and depression, all by merely using different words.

Words can have an effect that no one could imagine. They can do more damage than one would expect or ever knew was possible.

Words…what are they? They are power. They can change the world for better or worse…its up to you how you use them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

When I say...

The following is something I saw posted on facebook, and I unfortunately do not know who the original author is, but I read it and thought, "I want to read this everyday." So I wrote it out and hung it up in my studio/work space.

When I say that "I am a Christian," I am not shouting that "I am clean living." I am whispering, "I was lost, but now I am found and forgiven."

When I say "I am a Christian," I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I am weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say "I am a Christian," I am not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say "I am a Christian," I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches, so I cal upon His name.

When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not holier than thou. I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

Monday, October 15, 2012

From the City to the Peak District!

Now, I shall finally start to get some posts and pictures going here! This post is from the 11th of September.

Such a busy day! We went to Platt Hall and got to handle some of the costumes there. It was amazing to be able to see a hold to gowns, spencers, petticoats and jackets and examine the construction of them. I took so many pictures of the items, but unfortunately, I am not allowed to post them on the internet or show them to anyone who was not there. :( . However, there were other adventures throughout the day that I can happily share!
Suzie, trying to make us understand a lacing technique.


Inside Platt Hall was so beautiful!

                     I went to lunch at the Witworth Gallery with a bunch of the lovely ladies
                                       I had a wonderful bruschetta with fresh mozzarella.

 Jeanie and I saw wonderful Sarees in some window displays. Look at all that beading/embroidering!
Inside the shop. So many colors!
Another shop we found sold the Saree fabric on bolts. Jeanie couldn't resist! The shot on the right shows one of the kinds she got.
We all met up again at our hotel and enjoyed some tea while waiting for our bus.
Super cool chairs in the lobby. I want them.                                   The doorman outside our hotel.

We packed up and left Manchester that afternoon.Then all twenty-something of us on a huge bus, chatting or reading (or sleeping), made our way out of the city and into the breathtaking peak district!


Two Photos of the Peak District
Jennie and her sweet little baby
Left: rainbow in the peak district.                   Right: our room in the Rutland Arms Hotel in Bakewell.
The view from our room (my room mate Joy, and my room)
I needed a cuppa tea after the drive.
We were told to meet in the dining room for dinner, and this is what awaited us!
I know this post has been filled with more pictures than explanations, and yes, there are a few more coming. If you have no interest in food, feel free to consider this post done. However, if you love to eat and wanna see some good food, keep reading! (well, looking and drooling is more like it.)
My starter was a tomato basil soup.
My main course was chicken with leeks and mushrooms and a brandy cream sauce.
And to finish up, fresh fruit with raspberry sorbet and a brandy snap!
Bakewell is famous for its bakewell pudding (which is not at all like American pudding) so this was another popular dish.