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Monday, February 28, 2011

iPhone Tubing Pictures

I've majorly been slacking on this here blog but the good news is that it means I've out living life.  :)  Ryan & I have been on the go none stop, and I have been bringing my camera along but just not snapping pictures.  Oh well.  I promise I will snap out of it.  Ha!  

Just this weekend alone we went to a friend's party that had all the neighbors our age over, snow tubed, went to a small group party and went shopping for our up coming vaca.  I brought the camera along to all of these events but just managed to snag some pics tubbing.  I didn't bring my big DSLR b/c I didn't want to hurt my baby.  So I brought my point and shot and of course the battery was dead.  My last resort was my handy dandy iPhone which actually worked pretty well.
After the hubs and I watch K-State beat up on MU (oh ya!) we headed to Weston, MO for some snow tubbing this past Saturday.  We were meeting some of my family out there.  It thrilled me to be able to participate in the annual tubing event.

The weather was pretty corporative and the "fake" snow was descent to tub on.

I am so glad they had a track that took you up the hill.  I don't think I would have made it other wise.

There were three different areas of the hill to tub down, and they were all about the same.  So we had to get creative with our techniques each time.

Ryan about to take his first run.  Isn't he cute??


It's actually a lot scarier then it looks!


Here's my family screeching to a holt at the bottom.

They went all the way to the gravel!

Uncle John & Aunt Darla

Cousin-in-law Bryan (his wife was home with the kids) & Cousin Shyla

Mike & Carol

Ryan & I

Can I just tell you how much I love the iPhone's video capability?!  Amazing.  I put together a little montage of my video clips below.  There's Ryan & I going together spinning the whole way down and then group attempts to go down together.  Our famous formation was the "Flying T" and the square that just ended up turning into a circle. 

Tubing from Lindsey Ebright on Vimeo.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fun Award

 One of my good friends from college, Kelley, tagged me in some bloggy love.  She writes all about her sweet adventures parenting her first baby and the joys of married life.  I love how this blogging world has made it so easy to keep up with friends!


How it works is I'm suppose to tell you 10 things about me that you don't already know and then pass the award on.  This may be tough but I'll give it a go.

1.  I'm an only child, and I was raised by my lovely mother.  You all have probably gathered that by now.  I'm not very good at this!

2.  I changed my major at least 5 times in college but still graduated in 4 years!  Now that's an accomplishment.  However, I still don't know what I want to do.   :)

3.  I am such a homebody.  My dream weekend is spent being lazy at home (doesn't happen very often).

4.  I'm terrified of fish! I don't like to eat them or touch them. I will view them from afar in a tank.  But when it comes to snorkeling (especially in shallow waters where I can't get away very fast) it freaks me out!

5.  I've been sky diving.  It's true I have.

6.  I've owned 10 different vehicles in my life.  Crazy, I know!

7.  I have accumulated quite a stash of pens and lip glosses.  I don't know what it is but I can't resist them!!  (Another confession is that I pick my lips all the time and it drives Ryan crazy!)

8.  I can blow spit bubbles off my tongue.  I discovered this talent in elementary school and have been doing it ever since.  Sometimes I'll blow bubbles at Ryan just to gross him out.  TMI?

9.  I am SO not a morning person.  It's too bad that I have to be at work at 7:00 freaking AM!!!!

10.  I'm really into vintage.  I guess I always have been but now I'm just loving everything vintage and I want to go back in time and swipe up all my Nana's mason jars, bubble glass wear and crochet blankets.

P.S.  Add bonus, I can't spell even if my life depended on it.  You've probably already picked up on that too.

I'm not going to tag anyone because I want everyone to participate.  I think it's so fun finding out random facts about each other.  Just drop a comment if you created a post so I can check it out.

Since I didn't have any pictures to share with you I thought I would leave you this gem.  It's from a cute email I got from one of Ryan's Aunts.  It makes me think of the line from Austin Power's "Get in my belly!"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cupcakes & Sugar Cookies Oh my!

One thing you should know about me, is that I am always on the hunt for the "perfect" sugar cookie recipe.  So if you have come across a fabulous cookie & icing recipe, do share!
This past weekend, I tried out a new recipe that I very much liked, but the icing was just ok.  It didn't have enough flavor for me.  The cookies were so easy to roll out and keep their shape, and you don't have to refrigerate the dough before rolling!  I had some issues with the icing being to thick and not "flooding" the cookie.  So I just made pretty designs on two of them before I thinned out the rest of the icing.  :)

Here are a few that flooded nicely.  I did pipe the border too thick but oh well. 

My mom decorated a few of them with sprinkles to dress them up a bit more. 

She was the first to try them and I think they were a hit! 

Here is the super easy recipe.

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
1 egg
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and backing powder, set aside.  Cream the sugar and butter.  Add the egg and extracts and mix.  Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes.  Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shape on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Royal Icing
(This will cover 2-3 dozen 3-5 inch cookies in 2 colors)
(Link to recipe here.)

4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (what ever flavor you want)

Combine the meringue powder and water.  With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.

Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine.  (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired.  (I think the corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.)

Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.

(You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming.  To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup.  This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding".

I also decided to make cupcakes because it would not be me to not make them for this special occasion!  The first batch were specially made for Ryan's Grandpa with Splenda instead of real sugar.  They do taste different but still very good.  I snagged the idea to box them up with cute labels from OccasionsKC.

These were jumbo cupcakes too!  I made another batch of regular cupcakes for my mom and anyone else who wanted them.  You HAVE to try this recipe because anyone who has tried them LOVE them.  It's a family fav.



Chocolate Cupcakes
1 chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 stick of melted butter
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla (good vanilla, vanilla beans, or vanilla bean paste)
Combine ingredients and whip in an electric mixer (paddle attachment) for 5 minutes. With an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes... or until the tops spring back when you touch them on top. Cool at room temperature.

The Best Butter Cream Icing
4 sticks of softened butter
4 cups of powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla (good vanilla, vanilla beans, or vanilla bean paste)

In a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip for 5-7 minutes - very important! The icing will actually transform in the 5-7 minutes into a really lite whip.  You can add food coloring and enjoy!



Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of my mom's cupcakes and the flowers that we gave her.  I was in a hurry because I was trying to get them over to her house before she got off work to surprise her.
I also packaged up some of the cookies for mom & papa.  They turned out so cute! 

This picture makes me laugh because I ran out of wrapping paper so I just wrapped half of Ryan's gift!  I was too lazy to run out and by more.  :)  KC is next to Ryan to see what he got too.

I totally surprised the hubs this year with his gift.  He had no idea what I got him.  We usually find out each others gifts before hand some how.  This year I got him his very own Poker set that included a nice Mahogany case, clay poker chips, dealer chip, dealer timer, new cards and a 4 deck card shuffler.  Ryan was over the moon with excitement.  I don't think he put it down all afternoon and immediately set up a Poker game for this week.  Hey, I know my man!

And my man knows me!  I am getting to take a photography class starting later this month that is once a week for 8 weeks!!  There are no words to describe how excited I am, and Ryan's mom is in the class too.  It will be so much fun.  I will have to start a weekly Photography 101 blog on what I'm learning and pictures I've taken.  I took a photography class in high school and loved it.  I've always wanted to take another one, and I can't wait for this one!  The hubs also surprised me with another fun gift that I was not expecting at all.  We are going on a trip in March and he got us an excursion to go zip lining.  How fun is that??  It will be like one of the episodes on the Bachelor! Ha!  More on the trip later.

 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fluffy Sweet Goodness

One of the recipes I decided to tackle this weekend were homemade marshmallows made from scratch.  I saw them on one of my favorite blogs here and just had to try them.  These little lovelies were beckoning me.
I know it sounds crazy to make your own marshmallows but they are so delicious!  Plus, it's fun to cut them out into different shapes.  They were perfect for Valentine's.

They really were not that hard to make but I have to admit I was a little nervous boiling sugar.  I was so afraid I was going to burn it!  If you would like the recipe for these go here

It is a must to make s'mores when you have a plethora of delicious marshmallows.  So we started a fire in our fireplace, got all the ingredients and invited friends & family over to join in on the fun.

I grabbed our skewers which were perfect for this occasion. 
These babies tended to melt more quickly then a normal marshmallow. 

Oh the ooey gooey goodness... 
Thanks Mom for being my model!

I couldn't wait to try my hand at making the perfect s'more, so yummy.

Another amazingly tasty treat you can boost up is hot chocolate.  Just throw one of these mallows in there and it's the perfect Valentine's drink.
 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's!

Hope you all are having a wonderful Valentine's Day.
We have spread out our Valentine celebration all weekend and it's been so much fun. 

We've spent time with family and friends but of course had lots of time to cuddle.  :) 

I also was a baking fool this weekend. I don't know what got into me, but be sure to check in this week b/c there will be a lot of fun recipe's headed your way.
What are you doing for V-day?
 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Super Bowl Party

This past weekend one of the couples in our small group had us all over for a Super Bowl Commercial Watching Party.  :)  Since nobody really had a team that they were invested in we just casually watched the game and rated the commercials.  (A moment of silence for the Chiefs...)  I was rooting for Green Bay though because of Jordie Nelson.  He played football for K-State while I was there, and he was always one of my favorites.  He rocked that game!
Little Annie even showed up in one of her favorite team's cheerleading outfit.  She was the cutest cheerleader of the night!

I was planning to bring a fun little Valentine inspired dessert to the party but Ryan overrode me.  He demanded his Monster Cookies.  Ha!
That's ok, I will get in my Valentine baking in this weekend.  He can't stop me! There was still plenty of love in the air at the party without my little treats.  Oh ladies, the man on the right (Greg) is single and ready to mingle!  :)

I love this picture of Jeremy sipping his tea with his pinky up!  Actually, I think it's coffee but still.

It was a lovely night of spending quality time with friends and the team I was rooting for won!  Go Jordie!  Now I'm gearing up for V-day and planning out what delicious treats I want to bake this weekend.  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Birthdays

The end of January and beginning of February is chalk full of birthdays!  It definitely brings cheer to the dreary winter months.  
Sean & Emily flew back from Arizona/Utah (I like to call it Utazona) for Georgia's funeral and it just so happened to be Em's birthday.  So even though it was a tough weekend it was great that we all got to be together for her big day.  Emily requested to have lunch at one of her favorite places to eat as a child, Brookville Hotel in Abilene, Kansas (formerly in Brookville, KS).  I think I was the only one who had never eaten there before and I was excited!
The birthday girl sat at the head of the table.  (Sorry this picture is so dark! I tried to edit it but it wouldn't save.)

She got lots of fun jewelry and gifts.



The food was absolutely amazing.  It was all homestyle cooked food.  I can still taste it... mmmm.... It reminded me a lot of when we went to Stroud's here in KC for Ryan's birthday.

Susan & Papa
I love the wallpaper behind them!

The whole gang but a blurry picture. :(  

Sean's parents were even able to join us!

Sally, Emily, Sean, Ryan, Susan, Harlan & Papa
It was actually Harlan's birthday a few days after Emily's.  Sally & Susan surprised him with a birthday party in their home town that we unfortunately couldn't attend.   I hear he had a blast.  :)

Here is Papa & Susan remembering Mimi (Papa's wife & Susan's mom) would have been 85.  Mimi & Emily shared a birthday.

The siblings

It was also Papa's birthday today!!  He would tell you he's in his 84th year and 9th decade (so he's 83).  This was a picture I snapped of him on our way home.  Even after that ginormous lunch at Brookville, Papa requested to stop off for Freddy's ice cream.  You gotta love Papa!