Monday, May 31, 2010

Ode to Baker's Twine

Image above via Whisker Graphics

Baker's twine, how I love thee...

That's all I could come up with. Pretty pathetic, eh? But I really do love it. It looks good on most everything, and I use to decorate all sorts of things ranging from baked goods to birthday presents.

If I ever get to build a house someday I'll build a packaging shelf just for baked goods. I'll have every color of baker's twine, glassine and cellophane bags of all sizes, boxes, and pretty much everything you could ever need to make beautifully packaged baked goods. I get chills just thinking about it.

If you ever want to buy my friendship, you can buy me baker's twine or make me caramel popcorn. We'll be friends forever.

Sidenote: I currently have a small selection of packaging materials on hand, and I was grateful to have what I needed to bag up some of the delicious caramel popcorn I made earlier this week. That way I wouldn't eat it all. Though, after distributing half a dozen bags to neighbors and friends, yesterday I was admiring the last remaining bag and its red and white baker's twine closure and I couldn't help myself. I shamelessly ate the the whole bag.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

He's Going Places {Graduation/Birthday Party}

Kyle's law school graduation and birthday fell on the same weekend, so while all our family was in town we had a dessert party. We ate out at Goodwood BBQ and then came back to our tiny flat for an ice cream bar and chocolate cake.

The concept for the party was 'he's going places' and I used a paper pack from American Crafts called 'Travel' that had blue, green, red, and black that set the color scheme. The paper pack came from a scrapbook sale where I got about 10 paper packs with 200 sheets each for $1. So I spent $1 on the paper to make all the paper crafts, and then bought a dozen balloons and called it good. I love using paper goods to decorate for a party. There is so much that you can do with a 12x12 sheet of paper... everything from place mats to garlands, bunting, and cupcake liners.

For his actual birthday we left all the decorations up and invited our dear friends Bryan and Ashley over for Sunday dinner of ribs, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, and cake & ice cream.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Caramel Popcorn {the best recipe ever}

I'm reposting yet another recipe. This time for something sweet! My Aunt Lesley's caramel popcorn. Yes, my aunt and I have the same name and spelling... she married into our family, so it was just a coincidence... and it's really confusing whenever they come to visit :) She's an amazing cook and shared this easy recipe to me. I haven't made it in a while, but after trying it again I think it will be hard not to make a batch a week. Or twice a week.

Instead of hand-shaping the popcorn balls, I cheated a little bit. I poured the hot popcorn onto a cookie sheet for a few minutes, and once it cooled enough for me to touch it I scooped the popcorn into muffin pans (both standard and mini sizes) and they did the work for me. I'm definitely doing it this way from now on.


3-4 batches of popcorn (air popper), or 3 bags of microwave popcorn
1 stick of butter
1 Cup Light Karo Syrup
1 can sweet and condensed milk
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

butter, corn syrup, sweet & condensed milk, and sugar. Bring to a soft ball stage (boil about 5 minutes). Remove from head and add vanilla.

Pour caramel over popcorn and stir thoroughly. Spread onto cookie sheet lined with wax paper and allow to cool.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Temple Square Flowers

A few pictures of the flowers from Temple Square a few weeks back...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Getty Center Museum {Los Angeles}

This is definitely one of my favorite places. Richard Meier's attention to detail in the design gives me goosebumps. I love everything about it- the tram you take to the museum, the collections, the layout of the museum and gardens, the seamless overlap of natural and man-made elements, and the stunning views of LA. I especially love the play of light and shadow on the warm travertine throughout the entire complex, the way the entire design is based on a square shapes of varying sizes, the variety in stone finishes both smooth and rough, and the fountains.

If you ever have a chance to go at night, it's magical. Yes, I will border on cheesy because I mean it. Magical.

An aside for art museum enthusiasts: I feel at home in museums. Seeing familiar works are like seeing old friends. I saw this painting for the first time and without much hesitation or consideration I thought "Picasso." Something about the eye and the coloring. Nope. It was a Cezanne, which pleasantly surprised me and made a whole lot more sense considering the treatment of the textile. I'm always happy to be wrong, and it's especially fun for me to see artists overlap in styles. I wonder whether and how much their art was influenced by the other. That's one aspect of the Modern era that I love- you see artists go from realism to impressionism to fauvism to cubism and beyond, trying their hand at every avant-garde art movement. It's like a game I play when I go into a museum- I try to guess who the works of art were created by, and it makes being there even more fun when you see an early or late work by a prominent artist that throws you off. Try it sometime! The image on the right is rough-cut travertine on the interior of the West Pavillion of the Getty... I love how warm and lovely the natural light makes it look.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Alex + Audrey {Groomal Portraits}

I was so excited for this day because Alex and Audrey opted for a first look at their groomal portrait session. If you aren't familiar with a first look or groomals, let me educate you. A groomal session is a bridal session with a twist: the groom comes along for portraits too. That way you have a relaxed, easy-going shoot prior to your wedding and you have portraits to display at your luncheon and reception. There's more time to invest in creating beautiful images, and it's just wonderful. You also get a first look captured through images.The bride and groom meet prior to the wedding ceremony and see each other for the first time, and the photographer is able to capture it. This wedding will be in the LDS Provo Temple where no photography is allowed, and because of this groomal session they will have portraits to remember the moment where they saw each other for the first time. I think it's a lovely idea.

We got their portrait session off to a great start with the first look, and honestly, I don't ever want to do bridals without a groom present again! Alex had Audrey smiling the entire time and the entire shoot was incredibly fun for everyone.

We took a whole series of portraits with their handmade 'thank you sign.' They will print one of the images off and send a thank you postcard to their guests- so clever (and cost effective too:)

then we headed to the beloved orchard for some portraits of this southern belle from North Carolina. I love these...