Silhouette Giveaway!!

Little Miss Momma is doing a silhouette giveaway!!! woohoo!!! Entries started gathering on Christmas day, they end on New Years Eve!

What a great way to start 2011?! Right?!

Go enter!!!

Do it...

You know you wanna!!

<3 Jessica


Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from the Hinz Home!

Christmas morning was spent opening gifts, eating cinnamon rolls, and getting our turkey ready to cook for lunch!

Please remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season! Keep Him in mind during the year! Not just at this time of the year. Thank you Lord for giving us your own son.

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family. You all are in our hearts and minds.

Please have a safe and happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

2010 is almost over, but 2011 is looking bright!


Silhouette SD Machine Giveaway!!!

Hey y'all!!

My friend Allison is giving away a Silhouette SD Machine...

and I want it!!!

Part of her entries say to blog about her giveaway and link her back to it!!!

so here goes:


Alison shows on her blog how she made this fantastic canvas for the house. Also, she's got lots of other links to other projects she's done...

She's sooooooooooooooooo fun to read, I love her blog bunches!! I hope you guys head over to her site, to check her out!!

<3 Me!



Whew!! Am I bushed!

Here's the deal:

This past weekend, I did the Branscum/Anderson Photo shoot, then I went with Tom and saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Now, this week I have Thanksgiving to cook on Thursday, plus two cakes, shopping Thursday night, shopping Friday morning, decorating the two cakes, baking gingerbread cookies, catching up on sleep (haha, yeah right). Saturday, I'm delivering the cakes, doing lunch with hubby, frosting gingerbread cookies.
Sunday, we have to cook green bean casserole and go to my parents' house for Thanksgiving!

I also have to start prepping for a Dora cake for December. I also have to start working on my idea for Tom's birthday cake. hehe!

not to mention decorating the house, working on Christmas crafts - since we are doing an entirely hand made Christmas this year. Handmade gifts, handmade ornaments, handmade decorations... it's fun!

I'm having the time of my life... but buuuuuuuuuuuusssssssssssssssyyyyyyyyyyyy!


And now, we're talking about making a trip to Texas here soon. Hopefully this time we can hit up everyone... who knows, right?

Ok, so I just tried to upload pics from the photoshoot, and i can't get them to upload... rar... I've got the pics tagged to me on my bestfriend's facebook page.

<3 ya!


Leo Reynolds + Adobe Photoshop

Leo Reynolds has a full collections of numbers and letters to use to combine to make AWESOME freaking photos/name plaques.

How cool is that?!?

I love it!!!

PS. 2005 is the year Tom and I got married.


Three Weeks?!

I know, I was doing so good keeping up with blogging on a regular basis... I have excuses though! Are you ready?

#1. Fall Nationals - One of the three National Events where testing and midterming is available to my high ranking Black Belts. It's held in Orlando, so I have to have all of my materials ready almost a week in advance so it can be taken with those that actually GET to go to Orlando... me? I'm a peon, therefore, I get to stay at HQ and pray everything goes well. LOL! Anyway, I get super slammed the few weeks prior to testing and then again the couple of weeks after... it gets a little crazy...

#2. Christmas Ornaments - This year, Tom and I are not buying any Christmas ornaments/decorations for the house, everything is going to be homemade, or reused from years past. For example, I've made 25 Chenille Stem snowflakes, about 30 Chenille stem candy canes, and 25 Chenille stem snowmen. I already have all of the ornaments Tom made as a kid, the very few that I have that I made as a child, plus I have a couple dozen gingerbread men from last year.

I am waiting on supplies to get delivered for bell wreaths. Those should be lots of fun!! Also, I want to make Ribbon Wreaths, but I haven't gotten the gumption to do it yet. lol! I'm also going to take Crepe paper, and make paper snowflake chains for garland - and i think we're going to thread popcorn for a garland.

I still have to come up with SOMETHING for a tree topper. I don't have a clue yet...

I also have a craft to do with Cathy's kids, but I can't say much about it, since my sister may read my blog lol!

#3. I've been on a kind of anti-computer stint here lately. I just think sometimes I'm on it too much, and not doing something else productive... Today, though, I've done a LOT! lol! I've been busy busy!


I am hopefully doing a couple more photoshoots in the upcoming weeks. plus i have a few cakes to do, some cookies, and a couple of cheese cakes. lol

OH! Not to mention the new Harry Potter movie comes out this coming week... I SOOOOOOOOO want to see it!!!

Gotta run!

<3 Me!


Wow... What a loping friggen week... Again. Is it nap time yet??


craaaaaaaaaaazzy week...

wow... between last week to this week, it's been CRAZY.

Last week, I was chewing on some gum (which I had done every day all day for months...) and CRUNCH!!!! I popped out a filling. Son of a fricken BEAN! It hurt! Well, THEN, I thought it had come out of the top of my left side my mouth. So I started babying that side of my mouth, but I was starving, so I decided to take a bite of granola bar with the right side of my mouth... guess what? I was wrong... the filling came out of a tooth on the bottom LEFT side of my mouth... you know, the side of my mouth that I had just crunched with granola...

again... SON OF A FRICKEN BEAN!!! Pain... Holy bananas! So then, after digging that crap out with a toothpick, I finished my day.

Now, for those who have been wondering where I've been, I've been working on Fall Nationals for ATA International Headquarters. Our guys didn't leave for Fall Nationals until today (Tuesday), so i had to haul butt last week and yesterday to finish everything, once I had all the pieces, which of course come in at the last minute. Anyway, because I had Fall Nationals to finish, I made an appointment for today. So that I waiting almost a solid week between losing the filling and getting it filled. Yeah... NOT a lot of fun. But, I made it!

Ok, here's the other thing, I haven't been to the dentist in WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY longer than I would like to admit. Not because I am gross or anything... It's more of a "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of theory. I brush and floss. AND (in a very "Thank you very much" kind of tone) I was told that considering it had been so long since I had been to the dentist, my teeth were in GREAT condition. No cavities, a couple of "worrisome" spots, but nothing that a little extra brushing and flossing won't be able to take care of.

Yay me!

Now, I also asked my boss (Mr. Jacobs) if I could have the day off after my appointment, so that I could relax after doing all of the stuff for Fall Nationals. He said yes. So I went in this morning and worked my butt off, and headed out for my appointment at 11. I got out of my appointment around 1:30, ran through Mcdonalds, and then headed home to wait out the numbness before I tried to eat... my biggest fear is that i'll bite the side of my tongue off... because if you can't feel it, you can't tell if you're about to bite all the way through your tongue. lol

Ehh, ok so that's been what I've been dealing with...

Tomorrow, it's back to work as usual. Darn... well, the fun thing is, our bosses will be gone... and you know the saying "When the cat's away", right? Well, I do tend to relax a bit when the big wigs are out, but I do not PLAY. I still get my stuff done, it's just less stressful. Usually. If everyone will pull their weight, I'd be very surprised. Just because the bosses are gone, does not mean that our customers are gone. We still have a job to do... I know this, I remember this... I just really hope every one will get their stuff done!

lol! I'm off to relax a bit.

<3 Jessica


Work is not the place to do your hair, or study for a test, or talk about someone else's kids physical therapy.

It's not the place to do your make up, or text your ex just to harrass him or her.

Check your email? Fine.
Make a doctor appt for your kids? Understandable.

But really? Work is not your personal little playground to do whatever the heck you want! It's a job. DO YOUR JOB.

This goes for walmart, kroger, burger king, the dollar store, corporate jobs, salary and hourly positions.

Sorry, i didnt realize some people needed it spelled out for them.


Uh oh... too much caffeine?

"I got chills, they're multiplyin', and I'm losin' control
Cause the power you're supplyin', it's electrifyin'"

Yes, I've had three cups of coffee, a 20 oz bottle of Barq's Rootbeer, pizza, and jalapeno poppers...

I think I'm buzzed...

Ok, so the lyrics are from Grease - but it's honestly how I feel when I get into a project. What?? Another project?? Shouldn't I be sick of projects by now... HEEEEEEEEEEEEECK NO! Cuz that's how I roll - yo!

Anyway, so Project #1: My bestie and her hubby are working on getting her two oldest adopted by hubby. Then, the name change - and of course, we don't need a reason for a good ole fashioned get-together, but it'll be partay time! So I'm working on cake ideas for the adoption party. There is not a whole lot of ideas out there on the web, because normally an adoption is a quiet spiritual time for a family. But that's not the Branscum Way! mwhahaha! They love to party! So, I'm coming up with cake ideas, and party decor ideas. Should be fun. We don't have a date set - probably sometime in the spring. I'll know more later.

{Side note!! Tom's playing a game on the xbox called "Naughty Bear" and they just announced in the game that there are "flesh eating Zombie Bears"! And I just watching him defeat one by using his lazer beam eyes! Mwhahaha!! Oh my gosh that's hilarious!! Sorry! Had to jump in there for that!}

Project #2: One of my best friends from high school, Ashley, has a birthday in May - and I'm working on ideas for her cake... oh my goodness it'll be awesome!! Definitely Harry Potter inspired... gunna be awesome!!

{PS. I know, another interruption?? the newest Harry Potter movie comes out next month. I refuse to go on opening night, but maybe that first weekend? Anyone wanna come with?? Should be lots of fun!!}

Project #3: Birthday cake for a girl at work. Normally, we are off for her birthday, but we are going to surprise her with a bday cake... I'm thinking a simple cake with a design on top. The cool thing is, I'll be doing it all by scratch... no pan to help! EEEEK!! Should turn out cute though!

Project #4: Harry Potter cake for the new movie! Yes, I know i broke in earlier with the new movie coming in.. but that's how my brain is working today... haha! oh well. But, yeah, I got an HP cake pan off of ebay for super cheap, I'm planning on making that for the day the movie comes out... or as close as possible to that day.

Project #5: Christmas cake for our family Christmas at my parents' house. Gunna use my jumbo cupcake pan, and decorate it like a christmas tree. Neat, yeah?

Ok. So those are my baking projects - not to mention getting/keeping the house clean, decorating for Halloween, and getting ready for Christmas! I dunno... gunna be busy! But should be lots of fun! Oh! And I spent yesterday evening tweaking the announcements for my besties' sister in law's baby when he comes! They are ready to stuff with info, a pic, and ship to her for addressing and mailing! Whoohoo!

Anyways, I'm out y'all! Gotta get ready for the Nickelback concert tonight!

See ya!

<3 Jess


What. A. Long. Weekend.

I am soooo not ready for Monday.

I have had a looooong weekend!

Here's the fast run through:

Friday night, after getting off of work, Tom and I loaded up the car, picked up Nikki from her gramma's house, then grabbed some Sonic and headed to Conway. When we got to Kandi's mom's house we ran to Wal-Mart to grab some supplies. Came back to the house, and started making chocolate birds nests. Kandi melted chocolate, Kay and Nik crunched up shredded wheat, and i started making cupcakes.

I wound up making 3 dozen cupcakes. After the chocolate was melted, we mixed it with the shredded wheat and the girls started shaping small handfuls into bird nests. Then, Kandi used peanut butter to adhere blue peanut m&ms inside the nests. Super cute! We finished up and the adults crawled into bed around 3 in the morning.

Saturday, we woke up at 7 a.m. We did breakfast, then headed out to the Dollar Tree for some last minute supplies. Went back to Kandi's for a bit, then off to Toad Suck Park to start setting up. It took us about an hour and a half to get everything decorated and set up. At about 12:30, guests started showing up and the party started!

Prizes for the games

Cake and Cupcakes (Cake was made by Jamie's friend, Brian)

Kandi and Kayla

Tom and Jamie opening presents

Jamie opening gifts

After the shower, we cleaned up, then headed back to Kandi's house to unload vehicles and get ready for Jason's very first baseball game. Then, we headed up to the ball field. Joey is the assistant coach for Jason's team. It's called Buddy League, a teaching league, to teach the boys (and girls on some teams) the rules of baseball. They use a pitching machine, and umpires are so great. For example, one of the boys on Jason's team, the catcher, got hit a couple of times in the arm with the ball, and he toughed it out for the first hit, but the second one hit in the same spot towards the end of the game, and he wound up sitting out the last inning of the game. After the game was over, the ump came over and gave the little boy the "game ball". How cute is that?! Anyway, here are a few pics:

Jason's practice swing

Jason was so excited about his game!

Swing for the fence Jason!

First time up, Jason got a good hit and wound up on first base.

Jason plays 3rd base, he's pretty good while he pays attention!

After Jason's game, Tom and I headed home. We stopped at Whole Hog Cafe for dinner. Then came home and started baking TJ's cake. While the first layer was baking, I made the vanilla (Peach colored) icing. Then, Tom pointed out that I didn't save out some of the white icing for the eyes, and some more white to tint pink for the tongue. So, I went ahead and made the chocolate icing, pulled out the first layer. Then, Tom and I went to wal-mart so that we could pick up a tube of white decorator icing. This was at like 10:30. I was sooo tired!

After we got back from Wal-Mart, we baked up the second layer of cake. Then, we set everything to cool over night and went to bed. I woke up this morning at 8, showered, and set to work. When I practiced before, I clocked myself at 2 hours to ice the entire cake. This time, it took me closer to 3 hours. I think it was because I was so tired. I finished icing and boxing the cake at around 11:30 - party was supposed to start at noon. I was going to be late. oh well. At least the cake looked good, right? Well, turned out, they changed the party time to 12:30 and they just didn't tell me... lol! nice, right?

Here are pics from TJ's party:

The party table - All done in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

TJ opening gifts

You got a helmet TJ? What for??

Oh! That's why you needed a helmet!! You got your first bike!!

TJ and his cake! (He was so excited!)

So, after TJ's party, I wanted to come home and clean house... but I just have NO energy! So I got on the computer and started uploading photos. Then, for dinner, Tom and I tried a new restaraunt. it's called Grampa's - it's not too far from the house, and it has really good food, and fantastic prices!

Then, we came back to the house and started watching Dogma! We love this movie!

As soon as it's over, we're putting laundry into the dryer and then crawling into bed... early? Heck yeah!! I'm tired! So I'm getting off the computer now.

Hey check me out on Facebook to see more pics!!

<3 Jessica


Look what I got on ebay!!

I got the Harry Potter cake pan AND the Super man cake pan for... guess how much?


Get out of freakin' town, right? lol!

I'm so excited! I'm thinking about making the HP cake for when the new movie comes out! I'm looking for a decently healthy recipe that I can smother with not at all healthy icing! haha!! It's all a balancing act, right?

Anyway, I'm also planning some cakes... I have 7 birthdays in January and February... i should probably start figuring out what I want to do, huh?

I know for Nikki's I'm doing a Jumbo Cupcake.

Only, Nik's is going to have a pink bottom, and white icing on the top with pink, white and light purple sprinkles... super easy, yeah?

That leaves, Cathy, Dad, Kandi, My mom, Kandi's mom, and Kayla...

Jeez... lol.

<3 Jess
Let's face it

After Monday and Tuesday...
even the calendar says - W T F.

Lol! I couldn't resist!


Blogging from my phone?? Very cool!!


Fun day!

Today has been such a fun day!

This morning, Tom and I headed out around 10:30 or so. We went to Sports Clips to get Tom's ears lowered. {hehe} His normal girl wasn't there, so he had another girl. She cut his hair a shade shorter than he normally gets. It still looks good, don't get me wrong! It's just shorter.

After Sports Clips, went headed into town and went to Michael's. I'm telling you, this is like the greatest store EVA! {lol!} We walked around randomly around the store for a few minutes. Then, we hit up their Clearance Section. {I mean, really, who doesn't hit the clearance area??} Anyway, nothing really reached out and said "Buy me! Take me home!" So, then we went to their Baking section. {Seriously, I could live in Michael's... You can live off of fondant, right?}

I am very, very interested in all things cake & cupcake decorating right now. So, I can drift for hours down the cake isle. Anyway, so I knew I wanted to get a couple more coupler sets. {For those who don't know, couplers are used in/with your icing bags and tips so that you can easily, quickly, and cleanly change your icing tips.} So I grabbed a package of 4. Then, this really nice lady leaned over and asked if we knew where the birthday candles were. She said she wouldn't have asked us, but we looked like we knew about cakes. {Awwww!!! How cute, right?}

Anyway, so we still spent another 20 minutes or so on the baking isle. I had my couplers, and I also grabbed a fondant smoother. I don't use a lot of fondant, but I found a super cool tip online to make your buttercream icing super smooth. {Want to know the tip? Yeah, I knew you would.}

After frosting your cake, let stand until frosting becomes "crusty". You know it's at the right stage when you can tap the frosting and it will move slightly, but not come off on your finger. Once at this stage, place a non patterned paper towel on your cake, and apply slight pressure in circular movements around your cake. You can use your hand, but a fondant smoother also works, and can apply pressure more evenly. Check your cake multiple times to make sure you haven't completely screwed up the icing. {hehe} You can apply this same technique on the sides of the cake as well!

Ok. So after Michael's, we hit up Hobby Lobby. We walked out empty handed, {which is always disappointing} but we did get some good research done. For instance, a lot of the stuff that Michael's has, Hobby Lobby has too. And, some of the stuff is cheaper at HL than Michael's. However, some of the stuff is cheaper at Michael's than HL. Good research!

Then, we hit up Whole Hog! {Nom, Nom!} I got the loaded baked potato, and Tom got the bar-b-q nachos. We got to catch a bit of the Tennessee vs. Alabama at Birmingham {I think that's the school anyway} game. Tennessee was woopin' butt. Grr... Not a big fan of TN.

Anyway, after lunch, we ran through Garden Ridge. I found some super cool stuff... but again, walked out empty handed. {I'm starting to think that "empty handed shopping" is Tom's favorite kind of shopping.} Then, we hit up Sam's Club. Fantastic time to go shopping. We didn't have to dodge 1,000 people! It was busy but not slammed like it usually is! They have this really neat 3 in 1 dish. {Sorry about not having a pic or link... Sam's doesn't sell it online. I wish I had taken a pic with my phone!} Anyway, It's a Cake Plate (with lid), or a veggie and dip platter, or a salad bowl. Still a little out of our price range, but AWESOME! We did pick up potty paper, string cheese, and some buffalo chicken.

We headed home to watch the Razorback/Alabama game. The first half of the game was REALLY good. Good as in, the Hogs scored a TD in the first 45 seconds of the game. The second half of the game was still good, but 'Bama won in the end... and by "end" I mean the last 6 or 7 minutes of the game! Darn it!! Well, once we hit about 10 minutes left in the game. Tom and I headed to dinner, because we knew people would be on the edge of their seats, and we'd have time to get to Chili's and possibly catch the last couple minutes of the game. And we did! Just like at Sam's, we hit Chili's at the PERFECT time! I got my Crispy Chicken Crispers, and Tom got his Buffalo Ranch Burger. yummy!

After dinner, we came back to the house, and started watching Killers, which we got from Netflix, but the disc messed up about half an hour in. So, we notified Netflix that the disc was bad, and put on Mythbusters! We've been watching Mythbusters for about 2 hours now! Yay!

Oh! I forgot to tell y'all! When we went to Michaels, we got a 40% off coupon! The only thing is, it's only good until next Saturday. Since we'll be doing the baby shower next Saturday, we're going to hit Michael's up again tomorrow! I'll be getting a new set of cookie cutters! Woot! I'm thinking about making some cookies tomorrow! Cookies... yummy! I can't wait!

Anyway, it's 11:30 now. I'm almost ready for bed!

I'll talk to you folks later!

<3 Jess


Ok, so you all know I'm a dork about certain things:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Cake Making/Decorating
  • Digital Scrapbooking
  • Photo Editing
  • Crafts
  • Decorating

I wanted to share some of my favorite sites that support my "habits" lol!

Crap I've Made: "Sometimes it's amazing and sometimes it's just crap..." lol!
LollyChops: If you have an aversion to teal - do NOT go to this site! lol!
Mod Podge Rocks: This girl has GREAT ideas... some you wouldn't even think about! It's great!!
Make It and Love It: Such great ideas for home and daily living!
TidyMom: Tidy Mom is great! She has great ideas, great finds on the internet too!
Kreative Knack: Nikki so awesome!! She finds yard sale finds and fixes them up! She's really good!!
House of Hepworths "HoH": Allison is probably one of my top 3 blogs that I read. She's smart, funny, witty, and oh-so-talented!!
Cottage Instincts: Cindy at CI is so amazingly talented when it comes to decorating!! Everything is so elegant!
Skip to my Lou: This is a great site! Join their mailing list you get great ideas straight to your email through out the week!
Shanty2Chic: If you like to reburish stuff, this is a great site!
One Pretty Thing: Don't let the title fool you... This is a site that COLLECTS lots of links throughout the week - multi posts, great theme links. Another top 3 site for me!
Craftster: Another site that links lots of projects! Also has forums that walk you through projects, lets you ask questions, get reviews, etc.
I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar: Cheri has a great site, lots of crafts, definitely a great read!
Mini Mocha: Lots of great family stories, and kids crafts
Somewhat Simple: lots and lots of ideas, decor, and crafts!

Baking/Cake Decorating
I am Baker: TOP THREE Jessica SITE. Such great ideas for baking, recipes, party ideas, cookies, cakes, candies... omg... Also! Sign up to get the email updates!! She'll send you a link every time she updates!
If Life was like a Cupcake: Amanda is so cute and quirky!
Confessions of a Cookbook Queen: great recipes and cake decorating ideas
Cupcakes Take the Cake: Great cupcake ideas!!
Cupcake Project: An Experimental Cupcake Blog: What a great site! The cupcake project started off by the writer being asked to do a wedding with cupcakes, and she's done three weddings now! she's very talented and has great ideas!

Digital Scrapbooking/Photo Editing
Brusheezy!: free brush downloads for Adobe Photoshop
Jessica Sprague: omg - this is such a great site for learning! Some of the classes are free - most cost money, but are TOTALLY worth it!
DaFont: great free fonts to use!
The Blog Train Blog: A bi-monthly list of links for digital scrapbook kits! totally awesome!
Word Art World: cute word arts to use in digi-scrapping
Elegant WordArt 2: Bethany has a great site! Great word arts almost every day! Plus, she's so fun to read when she's blogging about her family!
Living Locurto: "free printables, recipes, fun party ideas and DIY crafts" I love this site for free printables for cards, projects, and like I already said "fun party ideas"!

Ok, so when I'm not on facebook, these are the sites I'm on lol!
If you have any sites that you like, link me, who knows - i may have to make a "Top 5 list"? lol!

<3 Jess


Mr. Jacobs' Big 4 - 0 Party!

Our department at work is lucky enough to have one of the best bosses EVER!

Mr. Jacobs turned 40 on September 20, 2010. We knew he wasn't going to be in the office, so we threw him a party the Friday before!

We had fun... can you tell?

Maddy's Birthday Party

Happy Birthday Maddy!!

The Party Crowd (the "Cool" table)

The rest of the crowd (there's actually MORE people too... this is just part of them!)

Maddy's Monkey Cake!

Banana "Trees" (Vanilla Cupcakes with green banana flavored frosting with Runts banana candies on top!)

I think Maddy likes her Monkey cake!! I can't believe she's 5!!

Oh no!! Icing to the face!! Should have seen that coming! lol!

Time for presents!

It's my party I can stick my tongue out if I wanna!!

Maddy's birthday party was SUCH a success!! She's so darn cute!! I can't believe she's 5!!


Totally spazzed y'all!!

I have completely forgotten to post about Maddy's birthday party!!

omg! What a horrible aunt am i?!?!

I promise to try to do it tomorrow night, it's after 11 and I'm WIPED!!

<3 Me!

PS. Did you see the new blog layout? No? You're reading this on facebook?!?!

Check it out: Hinz Home


Another party to plan


I know, I'm getting caked out. lol! But, my best friend is going through a big change. Well, her family is. Here's the back story:

Kandi had two kids before she met Joey. Then, she and Joey had their youngest child and got married. They've been together for about four and a half years. After a couple of years of searching around they have found a great lawyer who is going to be handling the process of Joey adopting the older two kids.

It is such a great time in their lives. I can't wait for the adoption party! I cannot wait to design up invitations, and create a great cake with their names and new "birthdays"! I can't wait to decorate for it and to make games for it!


<3 Jessica


Just when I want to be a whiner...

ok. so today is not a great day... it's that lovely time of the month... yay... the first couple days are the hardest. I know, hormones, cramps, blech... But some of it has to do with "well, this is another month we didn't get pregnant." and I was feeling all bitchy and whiney... so before I posted my blog I wanted to check up on some of the blogs I follow, and I hit up Bethany's Elegant WordArt blog.

Bethany does some of the most beautiful word art I have ever seen. Also, her daily stories, wisdom and photos normally brighten my day. I'm a "stalker" I guess, because I really do enjoy reading about her and her family. I love how she describes herself on her blog:
"Hi all. My name is Bethany, and I'm a 34 yr old, happily married, stay-at-home mom, with 5 kids. Yes, they're all mine. And they have the same Dad. And we had them AFTER we got married."

Anyway, I really like her and her blog. Well, so I checked her latest update, and it was her husband writing, talking about Bethany being in a mental hospital... WHAT?! Yes, a mental hospital... so then I had to go back about 3 blogs to get the beginning. Let me give you the short version:

Bethany worked for a few years to lose 110 pounds, she's always writing about her meal plan, and her work outs. Well, she says at one point that she just quit eating. there were times she'd go a day or two without eating anything, but she'd drink diet pepsi like it was going out of style. Anyway, a little less than a week ago, she was very down, sleepy, tired, and just wanted to take a sleeping pill and go to bed. She was very depressed and made an offhanded comment to a friend about how she just wanted to hurt herself. The friend rushed over, got her out of the house. Hubby went to lunch with her, and realized things were bad. He took her to the ER at the local mental hospital, and they wound up admitting her. They think that the depression was brought on by her not eating (vitamin deficiency maybe).

She's been there for most of the week, and she seems like she's doing better. They put her on an antidepressant and she's eating better, still foods on her meal plan, but multiple meals a days. Her faith in God is getting stronger too. I think they are Mormon, and her faith was strong before, but she's strengthening it every day. She misses her kids, husband, and friends.

So yeah, I'm whining about having a bad day... I know I'm not depressed, just an off day. It's kind of hard to be depressed with a husband like mine, he's just so much fun... and my friends are wonderful and I have the most precious beautiful nieces and nephews a girl could ask for... I know I have a good life. I know I have faith that in the end, things will work out the way I want them to... it just takes time...

I shouldn't pray for patience, because patience only comes when it's tested, and I don't want it to get tested. So now, I pray for wisdom for my doctor, strength for my husband, and readiness for when it does happen to us...

I feel like I'm about to cry... time to quit blogging...

Sorry for the long post... just the hormones from Aunt Flow, huh?

<3 Jess

(Sorry for the TMI)


Looooooooooooong Weekend.

Ok, so for those of you who read my blog, or watch me on facebook, I'm making my niece Maddy a Monkey Cake for 5th birthday. I've been practicing all week and all this weekend. Let me give you a run down of what I've been doing:

Monday night, I made a cake. It's baked in a stainless steel bowl, so it's rounded... well Round 1 was a failure - #1. I didn't use enough cake mix in the bowl... #2. The bowl I used was too big... #3. I didn't let the cake cool long enough before I pull it out of the bowl... #4. I tried to cut the cake to make two layers... and it crumbled - cuz I didn't let it cool...

LOL! Mega-Fail! lol! But I learned a LOT from the experience.

Wednesday, I bought more cake mixes. Round 2: #1. Smaller bowl, but still not enough cake mix to fill the bowl like I wanted... #2 I guess I didn't learn to take the cake out of the bowl... because it was still SUPER moist (like pull the top "crumb layer" up while I was icing) #3. I forgot to attach the ears before icing the cake. So, I had iced the rounded "head" of the cake, then attached the ears... and they slid WAY down haha! (even using toothpicks to hold them)...

Again, more learning... But, I also did Martha Stewart's "fluffy buttercream" recipe in vanilla, and in chocolate... turned out better than most store bought icing... i was really pleased!

Friday, I picked up more cake mixes... Round #3. #1. Right bowl. #2. ALMOST the right amount of batter to fill the bowl like I wanted. #2. Still didn't learn to take the friggen cake out of the bowl to cool... I PROMISE next time I will! #3. I learned that Martha makes a BUTT load of icing in a "batch". But, it was fabulous.

This one, I knew was THE practice cake... Let me post my pics (I didn't take pics of round 1 and 2... I was not pleased enough to take pics...)

This is my rounded cake and the jumbo cupcake. The cupcake gets leveled off, then cut in half vertically and then attached for ears.

Hehe, this is actually an "oopsie" pic! (Do you notice it's not cut horizontally to create two layers?) I had to remove the ears, cut it horizontal, fill it with chocolate icing, then reassemble it!

After, fixing my "oops," I iced the cake with the chocolate butter cream. (notice the wax paper? It keeps your plate or board clean while you ice! Thanks Martha!)

All iced in chocolate - I know the icing doesn't look FANTASTIC. The icing was just a bit stiff (cuz I made the icing Wednesday or Thursday night, and I didn't ice the cake until Saturday) I'm also looking into techniques to get the icing to be smoother. Practice makes perfect, right?

I added a star border... turned out fantastic!! I was very, very pleased! Oh! Real quick, the ears are NOT even. Tom's my "Level Man", and he was working on the OTHER weekend project (more on that in a bit). When I do the final cake in a couple weeks, I'll DEFINITELY have Tom's eyes the whole time. *Promise!*

I used the same star tip for the border to create the hair. I was really pleased with how it came out. The hair will be super sturdy to hold up a number 5 candle for Ms. Maddy's birthday.

I asked Tom to take a pic of me icing the cake, cuz I wanted proof that I was doing it. lol! However, this is the part that i had not practiced at ALL. So I think I went a little TOO quickly and impatiently. Tisk Tisk... I will definitely imprint a pattern for me to follow.

The ears turned out ok. I definitely want to do them the same way, just slower next time. First, I marked out where the inside of the ears were going, then filled it in with the yellow butter cream. Then, I smoothed out the icing so it didn't look all "gloppy". (Is that even a word? idk...)

This is the semi-finished picture. I was NOT happy with the yellow for the mouth part... It's too high, too thick, not symmetrical, too low. However, again, that's why this was practice, right?

I don't have a final picture. I've already wrapped it up so that I can take it to work and let the girls at work have some... I'm so friggen sick of cake right now... lol!!!

So, ok, I mentioned Tom had another project he was working on Saturday. We had some errands to run, and a trip to Sam's Club in Little Rock to do. Now, again for those who follow me or Tom on facebook, you remember when we were on our trip back from visiting Tom's dad, we had the air compressor on the truck start rockin' really bad, and we thought it was going out on us. Well, we made it back to little rock, and basically were just waiting for it to go out before we made the purchases to replace everything. So, we were in Sam's Club, got done buying supplies, after loading everything up in the back of the truck, we started the Durango up, and heard it SCREAM. The poor girl was in pain... then, it started smoking and we realized the air compressor had seized up on us, and fried the serpentine belt.

I had to call "Daddy Auto Recommendations" lol! Yes, I'm 27, Yes, my husband is HIGHLY capable to fix vehicles, and yes, I called my daddy to come rescue us. lol! After Dad said we CAN fix it ourselves, but it would be easier (read: more expensive) to put it in the shop, we decided to have the car towed to the house so we could take apart the a/c to figure out how bad the damage was. Dad went ahead and took me to the house so i could put away our groceries. Tom stuck around at Sam's to help the tow truck guy to get it to the house.

I think my sis said it best "dont you hate seeing your baby on the tow truck???" lol! Poor Tom was so sad his truck was being put on the back of the tow truck.

We got the truck back to the house, Tom started disassembling the a/c stuff while I was icing the monkey cake (thus the wonky ears lol!). Anyway, he came in at one point and looked like he was almost in tears - the compressor clutch, which we originally thought was the problem is not the problem. The bearings actually had crumbled inside the compressor, and we were going to have to replace it.

This was a pain, because no one had one in stock - except O'Reily's in North Little Rock. Well, we decided we needed to replace the accumulator dryer, and the orrifice tube. We ordered the parts from a local place (this was at like 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon), then went to dinner, because neither one of us wanted to cook after such a frustrating day.

Sunday, we picked up the parts, got everything back to the house, and then come to find out, it was the wrong friggen compressor. There are two for his model. Yay. We put the accumulator/dryer and the expansion valve on. When we were putting the new expansion valve on, we had to remove two bolts. While we were removing that bolt, Tom said "It feels like it's misthreaded." And almost immediately the darn thing snapped in half. There were a few choice words used from both of us. We thought we got it back together as well as we could without drilling out the bad bolt. Then it was back to the compressor. We called O'Reiley's to find out if they still had the one we needed, and they did, so we drove out to NLR, picked up the part, returned the wrong compressor and headed back to the house. We got the new compressor in, attached the hoses and hooked up the vacuum pump and got it "vacuumized" lol! (nice word right?) Well, it very quickly said it was a vacuum. Which kind of worried me, but Tom didn't seem worried. Then, we started the recharge kit, and we heard our biggest fear - a leak. Then, we started seeing the coolant spitting out of the darn expansion valve. Yeah... more choice words. Well, we didn't want to mess with taking it apart. again. lol We decided that redoing that stupid expansion valve and drilling out that friggen bolt was not a "this weekend" project. Tom has a drivable truck, and that was the biggest thing.

So yeah, that was my weekend... haha! I have to say, even with some ups and downs, I feel blessed that I got to spend the whole weekend with Tom. It was so much fun to get frustrated and dirty with Tom. lol! not dirty but like, grimey lol! He appreciated the moral support. I kept telling him that my daddy taught me well. He taught me how to hold a flashlight, and how to give support and be company while someone is working on a vehicle lol!

Alrighty, I'm off to get ready for bed!

Sorry for the long post!!

<3 Jess