Saturday, July 30, 2011

Say Yah to Da UP, Eh! (or, Our Trip to Michigan)

Hello, my pretties, I've missed you silly!

Todd and I have been in lovely Michigan for the last week.

Our trip started off with the Kiss Me in Ann Arbor Lindy Exchange.  Todd thought I wouldn't take pictures of anything besides food ...


The Grange

Until ...

It's the Royal Garden Trio, a gypsy jazz band out of Ann Arbor.  This band is amazing, the best I've heard at a lindy hop event.  Their music was perfect for the Sunday afternoon dance in Fuller park.  You'd never know from the picture, but the guest singer was out of this world.  His voice sounded like he was right out of the 20s, and he really played up the part with his outfit, cigarettes, and hairdo.

The Ann Arbor exchange did not bring out as many good dancers as other events, so I would not go to Michigan specifically for the exchange.  However, we still enjoyed meeting the organizers, exploring the city, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some really fun dances.

After Ann Arbor, we headed North to Gladwin (Todd's hometown), where we met up with his family en route to camping in da UP (Michigan's Upper Peninsula)!  

We camped in Germfask, which was great because we got to spend a lot of time with family and it's beautiful up there.  We also did some kayakin', boatin', and a whole lotta eatin' (my favorite was probably hobo packs - 4H beef + onions + carrots + red potatoes + canned mushrooms mixed up + a bazillion shakes of montreal steak seasoning wrapped in foil and cooked on a spit over the campfire).   

I'm pretty sure Todd took this picture of me as I discovered the cheez-its!  You can tell I'm interested!
We also went to Oswald's Bear Ranch (love!) and Tahquamenon Falls.  Todd also managed to fit in a pastie along the way.

And we met to Mackniac Island on the way back!

Then, we hit up Gladwin again for a taste of country livin at Stone Cottage Gardens and the Buckeye Farm Market.

I think I want to move out to the country and raise chickens and grow vegetables and wear cute hats.  Or open a bakery in the country.  Or open a really good risotto place in the country (no idea from whence that idea came).  Or move to the country and become a judge.  I believe I've gone a little nuts after seeing Gladwin in the summer...

And finally, we met up with Dave J - one of our absolute favorite people -  for pizza en route to the Detroit airport.

Now, back home, I'm totally exhausted but happy after having such a good time.  It's going to be an easy night in with Omish blue corn popcorn we picked up in Gladwin :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

1st Anniversary Weekend

It's our first anniversary this weekend!  I can't believe how quickly this year went by!  I feel like I just met Todd and I'm still his girlfriend ... but I think that's a good thing!

To celebrate our anniversary, we spent the night at the Omni resort in Tucson.  

I loved our room!

Todd found something!


Todd, sitting pretty...

We spent most of the day poolside with lots of drinks!  It's crazy, but even the hot tub felt amazing in the heat!  I started reading Andrew Weil's Healthy Aging, although I'm not sure how much I picked up between the sun and the mango margarita ;) 

JAX KITCHEN!!!!  My new favorite restaurant?  

My meal = divers scallops, eggplant and corn risotto, arugla salad on top

Todd's meal = hunky piece of sea bass

Guest services brought us champagne and strawberries after they heard it was our anniversary!

It's been a great weekend so far!  Looking forward to celebrating the rest of the day with my kind, bright, and hunky husband!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

CWWL: Cheap Wine We Like

Picked up this wine at Sunflower for $6.99, and it's really good!  Very sweet, hardly any bite at the end.  I did some research, and it looks like 2009 was a good year for California wine, too.

We drank a few glasses as we watched Mao's Last Dancer this evening.  That movie is so captivating and beautifully done!  Definitely suggest adding it to your Netflix que!

And look what Todd made!

Honey wheat bread for the week!

Today has been an AMAZING, relaxing Sunday for us!  Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Cupcakes like whoa.  I made these for a Fourth of July party yesterday.

Cute as they look, these cupcakes are not for the faint of heart.  That is, these are super sweet.

I'm more of a savory than a sweet lady, but people I talked to liked these cupcakes.  I got compliments on the frosting, but I didn't have the heart to tell people it's just basically butter.

Oh, and give it up for Todd, who frosted the cupcakes while I curled my hair. 

And, you might be wandering why there are cocktail swords sticking out of my funfetti cupcakes.  Since I don't have a cupcake carrier, I took the unfrosted cupcakes out of their muffin tin, frosted them, and then put them in this 9x13 with swords and put saran wrap on top to preserve the frosting.

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
From How Sweet Eats, makes 12 cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup assorted brightly colored sprinkles + more for top of frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Fold in assorted sprinkles.
Pour into cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool, then frost.

Vanilla Buttercream
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of milk, if needed
Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixture until completely smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar slowly. Gradually increase mixer speed and add vanilla, then beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl. If frosting is too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached If it’s too thin, add sugar gradually until it thickens. Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I love our lindy-hop students!!

We finished up the series tonight with some lindy-hop styling (READ: swivels) then had a few celebratory drinks at with everyone at Bob Dobbs!  Our students are awesome ... loved chatting with everyone outside of class!

New Glasses!

I love my new specs!!  Wore them to work for the first time on Friday...makes life so much easier!

My outfit for Warehouse Stomp yesterday:

Love this belt...snagged it at Forever 21 for under $10.  I originally bought it to go along with a longer baggy cardigan, but I've recently started wearing it with summer dresses...using old things in new ways is almost as good as getting new clothes ;)