I bought a Cricut cutter...

i'm in love.


Best. Day Before My Birthday. Ever. pt. 2

So, Tom and I had desert after my birthday dinner tonight.

We went to Scrumdiliumptious IceCream.

Tom was looking around on the internet for ice cream shops and just stumbled across it. It's in Sherwood. He thought, man! It's called Scrumdiliumptious, that's cool! and thought that I might like it.

He was beyond right!!

We walked in, and right away, you could tell it was an ice cream parlor, but then, the lady had us take a look at the menu, and said she'd held us as soon as we were ready, and pointed out that their were photos of the menu items on the wall.

So i looked at the menu, and low and behold, half of the menu was named after Willy Wonka characters, the other half, were named after HARRY POTTER STUFF!!! There was the Haggrid, Dumbledoor, Fizzing Whizbeez, the Weazlee, and so on... everything was just BARELY misspelled, so that there weren't any trademark infringements.

Everything was delicious!! and fantastic!!! I can't wait to go back next week!! I'm going to bring my big camera next time i think though. hehe!!

Here are the pics we got!!

Me at Platform 9 3/4!!!

Hagrid, on one of the doors

The sign on their little half door that led behind the ice cream counter. "No Muggles Allowed."

The door to the bathroom, painted to look like the Fat Lady, who normally guards the gateway to the Gryffindor common room.

How fun is that?!?!?!?!

ok gotta go!

<3 Jessica

Best. Day Before My Birthday. Ever. pt. 1

What a great birthday!

Well, the day before my birthday...

Ok, let me start with Thursday.

When I got home from work Thursday, I found this "big dang box" on my front porch:

I didn't open it until today, (Saturday). It is a wrapped package from my Father-in-law and Stepmother-in-law. It is a GORGEOUS 12 spot cupcake tower. IT IS AWESOME!! I can't wait to use it next weekend when we have friends over!!! Thanks Dad and Pam!!!

After opening my gift, Tom and I sat down to watch the first movie of our Harry Potter-athon. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Woohoo!!

Friday, I took the day off from work. Tom was doing flex-time, which means that he was working from home. So we watched Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the morning. Then, we went to lunch, I stopped by the office to pick up a file from work, then came back home.

We watched Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, then headed off to my parents' house. My parents' had gotten me a cake, and we hung out there for a while. I had my picture taken in the dreaded birthday hat.

I got this hat for my dad's birthday a couple of years ago, it has been passed around throughout the family over the past two years lol. it's ummm... nice, right?? lol!

After coming back home, Tom and I watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, my lease favorite book and movie of the entire series. Anyway, after the movie Tom said "You want to open another birthday present? I've got a scavenger hunt for you!" It was a photo scavenger hunt... of DOORS IN OUR HOUSE. lol!! when I made it to the right door, I got another text with the next door on it. After about 7 or 8 doors, I was in our bedroom at our closet door, I got a text with a video of our closet door opening. So I opened the closet door, dug around a little bit in the closet and found this!!!

Do any of my fellow Disney fans know what this is??? It's Andy's Toy Box from Toy Story!!!! Look what it had inside:

It is a ten disc, blu-ray, dvd, special edition Complete Toy Story set!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been telling Tom for MONTHS, I wanted to get the movies, but I wanted to get the full set! And that's what I got for my birthday!!

Then, we went to bed. I got up around 1030 Saturday morning, we hung out for a while, then headed out to lunch, then to Home Depot looking for new grill racks for our grill, then did some dreaming for remodeling stuff we'll be doing on the house over the next couple of years. Then, we picked up our Harry Potter tickets for the show next Friday. We got our 3D glasses which are awesome:
They look like Harry's glasses!! They are freakin' awesome!!!

After getting our tickets, Tom stopped in the middle of the parking lot and said "Pick a number 1 through 10." I laughed really hard! and said "7!" So then, Tom reached into his wallet, and pulled out a Best Buy Gift Card! It was to cover getting me an Ipod radio charger for my office, he wanted to make sure I got to pick it out!! How awesome is that?? Well, the card was actually for TWICE what the radio I wanted cost! So I got my radio AND Cars and Wall-E on Blu Ray!! woohoo!!! Then, we hit up Starbucks for some iced frappuccinos. Then, Tom said "Pick a number 1 through 10". I laughed again, and said "4!" Then we went to Goodwill to donate some stuffed animals, and to look around for an old Monopoly set. Didn't find the set... if anyone has one they are willing to part with, please let me know!!

Anyway, then, we stopped at the house to drop off our purchases for the day. Then, we left for dinner. We went to Red Lobster in North Little Rock. We both got drinks.

I got a pina colada, and Tom got a Lobsterita! lol! It was great!

After dinner, we grabbed some dessert - See Best. Day Before My Birthday. Ever. pt. 2 for the details - and now we're at home watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

It's been a great birthday celebration!! Tomorrow I'm going to chill and relax!

Love you all!!
<3 Jessica


needed to post...

hey guys, i had to post this pic of the mickey cake to link for a fellow baker, cake decorator.

I'm sure you have all seen this one before:

<3 Jess


such a great weekend...

So, this has been a great weekend.

Friday, was a long day that ended a long week. sometimes I feel like the weekends don't last long enough, but this has been great. Lot's of Tom and Jess time.

Friday afternoon after Tom picked me up from work, we stopped at our local gas station and picked up a couple of sodas and headed to the house. We stepped out onto our deck to get the grill going, and when we opened it up for the first grill of the year - what do we find? A wasp nest! eek!! We don't want to spray chemicals into our grill, so currently we are researching non chemical ways of getting rid of a wasp's nest.

So, we cooked our steaks indoors, along with broccoli and some of the best bread EVER. Then, we spent the evening watching some Netflix, just hanging out. it was AWESOME.

Saturday morning, we got up and hung out in our bed, playing on our phones, then got up and headed out to shop around for a graduation gift from Tom's younger cousin, TJ. He's graduating from UT Austin... which we're going to go! ME!!?! at UT?!?! woot! Gotta hit up the book store... I don't have enough burnt orange stuff. lol.

Anyway, then we met Tom's mom in Maumelle for lunch at Beef O' Bradys, which none of us have ever been before. It was really good, I got their chicken tenders (of course... i go to a place for beef and i get chicken lol!) Had a good time hanging out with Tom's mom. After lunch, Tom and I did some more shopping around... we had an idea about what we wanted to get for TJ, but couldn't find it... come to find out, the company that made what we wanted to get him, quit shipping to the US a while ago... they are GOING to be shipping again, just not yet. Oh well! we found something EVEN better! I can't say what it is, because Teej is on my facebook page. lol!

While we were shopping around for TJ, I found something that I just had to get!!

I love, love, LOVE Harry Potter. And you have to know, I have passed up on a LOT of board games, with no interest because they are based on just one book of the series. However, this one... This game is not based one one book... it's more of based on the series as a whole... and it is AMAZING!!!!!! Tom and I've played like 6 games already!

Ok, so that was Saturday. Oh wait! I forgot! I also baked and decorated Ashley's birthday cake! It's based on the cake that Hagrid made for Harry on his 11th birthday:

Hagrid's cake

The cake I made for Ashley

I think it turned out cute! lol!! So Sunday, Tom and I met up with Ashley for brunch at IHop. Well, I guess I should say Lunch. We met up at 1130 and all three of us got lunch items. haha! The waitresses and waiters came and sang to Ashley, even though her birthday was last Tuesday. It was hilarious!! I have to tell you, that i can not explain how funny it was... Ashley was so freakin' embarrassed. oh it was great. I'm laughing as I'm typing this from the memory of Ashley's face "Oh my God, they're coming this way!" lol!!

Ok, so after lunch, Tom and I went back to the house, played another couple of rounds of Harry Potter Clue, then I starting playing my Sims2 game for the PSP that I got the other day... it's for the Texas trip. yay! and Tom got to play a couple of hours on his game on the xbox... THEN, we cooked dinner, and i played for a solid HOUR on the solitaire on my phone...

omg. I needed a weekend like this...

How was y'all's weekend??
mine was great...

<3 Jess


Super Excited Much?




Ok, so my best friend, Kandi, just told me that her boss - the owner of one of the day cares in Conway, AR - wants ME to come and take photos of the kids in the day care!!!


How cool is that? Kandi said that her boss loved the way I "capture the moment" when I take kids' pictures! I've asked for a practice run - working with two of the younger classes in the day care. I think I've got a decent idea of a system to utilize, I have GREAT organizational skills, and a THRILL every time I pick up my camera... That should be good enough right?! lol!

So, in light of this new found appreciation of my "work," (I can't actually call it work, because of how much fun it is in the process) I am going to post some of my pics here on my blog, so I can share some of my favorites!


Bling Bling Shamrock Pin!

Ok, so since it's a few minutes after midnight, technically it's St. Patrick's Day! wooohoo!!

Honestly, I have no clue how the holiday started, or why we actually celebrate... but it's a GREAT holiday!!

I get to wear green! I don't look good in green... but i love wearing it! I don't get to wear it often, so when St. Patty's Day comes along... i milk it... big time...

like sparkly green bowler hat with a green Christmas bow attached...

like green ribbons in my hair...

like green Mardi Gras beads around my neck...

I know... I'm awesome... LOL!!

Anyway, so I found a few places online were people were making Shamrock Pins, or buttons... and they looked SUPER cute, so I said to myself "Self... we're going to make some of these..." and so we did... I mean... I did...


All I needed was:
1 Green Pipe Cleaner
1 Pin Back (or whatever those things are called)
1 Rhinestone (you can barely see it on my crimper)
a Jewelry Crimper
a Glue Gun

First, you are going to play with your pipe cleaner:

Bend it, shape it, twist it against itself. whatever you gotta do to get a leaf shape, DO IT! (this is where all the websites lost me... I know there is some magical, graceful way of making leaves... I just couldn't grasp it, I guess...)

When you have one leaf, do a second, then a third - and if you must, a fourth if you are doing the elusive 4-leaf clover!

After you have your leaves "built," shape them.

After I shaped my leaves, I used my crimper to crimp the wire inside the pipe cleaner against itself. I normally crimp one direction, then flip over my piece, and crimp again - making my "crimping" an X.

After I crimp, I shape my stem, and depending on the length you want, cut the stem.

Then, I grab my pin back. These that I bought had a foam sticker on it, so i peeled that off, then hot glued it to the shamrock, trying to be careful to make sure the pin back didn't peek through where my leaves were.

Then, I flipped it back over, and hot glued a rhinestone in the center! Viola! Isn't she purty?? I made one for Hubby, minus the rhinestone. lol! He doesn't want to get pinched tomorrow!

Anyway, If you guys get a chance to throw one of these together for tomorrow... err... today... i mean, after i fall asleep... err... never mind! Go make one!!


It's only been a minute...

I know, it's been a little more than a minute since my last post...

I'm doing LOTS of cakes, LOTS of photography, and LOTS of cleaning house! haha!!

Hopefully I'll have pics of everything here soon!!

I did want to share this link...

actually, i'm lying...

I don't want y'all to do these... I wanna do them... but the only way I can save the video is to post it to my blog!!! lol!!

I'm a sleeze, right?

You love me though!!!

Anyway, I got this video from Alison at How Does She? OMG! If you have not been to How Does She? you have not lived!!! lol!! I love it!!!

Anyway, the vid:

Gosh I hope this works!!!




ok so here's the deal:

You get two choices - The Short Version or the Long Version.

The Short Version:
Truck is Dead. Long live the Neon. Jetta is the new black. Brett is going to be an adult. I need to go to church more often.

The Long Version:
While we were in Texas we started having some oil problems with the truck. Sounds like the oil sending unit was going out. We were able to make it back home, no major issues. The day after we got home (Sunday), we started getting snow and ice. We wound up hitting a patch of ice on the road, less than half a mile from our house. We lost control of the truck (at like 10 miles per hour) and hit a light pole. No one was hurt, but it crunched in the front passenger side quarter panel and the headlight. Called the insurance company, filed a claim.

Monday, because of the snow and ice, the body shop was closed. so we had to wait until Tuesday to have them come pick it up. We were left with only my car - which i have always called "arthritic" because it doesn't like to work really well in cold weather. We knew we were going to be blowing our whole savings on the $1000 deductible that was on the truck to fix the front end damage. So we had no money for a rental car. My dad let us put the rental on his card, and we were riding around in a 2010 Honda Accord for a week and a half.

The Friday of the second week, we were able to pick the truck up from the shop. I guess from it sitting idle for almost two weeks, it was clanking and banging in the engine - BAD. so we had to take the rental back - bc the insurance wasn't going to pay for it, now that we got the truck out of the shop.

We basically decided then and there that we were going to have to trade the truck in on whatever we could. #1 to get a vehicle that was going to be reliable, and #2. to get the truck out of our hands, we didn't have the money to fix it, better to just cut our losses - it was paid off in August.

Tom talked to our credit union, and got some figures and rates, and we started looking online for vehicles. We found a few that were in our price range, but most were previous rental cars - which i refuse to buy, and they ALL had really high mileages for the years they were.

During this time, we also did some work on my Neon. Come to find out, the thermostat was bad, and it was causing my car to not operate at "Normal Operating Temperature". We drained the coolant, replaced the thermostat, and replaced the coolant, and, pardon my French, "I'll be damned" if she doesn't work like a newer car! She doesn't die on us like before, the heater works. It's amazing!

Wednesday night, while I was on the treadmill, Tom decided to hit up Landers Imports' website on a whim - and there it was: a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta, great mileage, pretty car, decent amenities. Great price. So we decided to put in a dealership info request through the internet to get some more info about it.

The next morning (Thursday - 1/27), Tom got a call from one of the sales women, saying that they had just gotten the car in, and weren't sure if we'd be able to test drive it that night, but if we wanted to come look at it, we were more than welcome to. We jumped at the chance, and went after work. She was right, the service guys were still checking it over, and we weren't allowed to test drive it. They hadn't even cleaned it by the time we got there.

Come to find out, they had only made the trade in for the car less than a week prior, and they had only had it on their lot for 2 days. Now, somethings gave me goosebumps on this first day: 1. When Tom got into the driver's seat, he went to kick the seat back for his long legs, and said "Woops, I'm too far back!" It's the first time i have EVER heard my husband say that in a car! 2. When we were shopping for houses, we found our house when it was only on sale for - get this - TWO DAYS. How funny is that?!?

Anyway, we really liked the car, and asked when we might be able to test drive it. She said either Friday evening, or Saturday. She also said she'd give us a call. Well, we didn't get a call on Friday, so we gave her a call Saturday about 9 a.m. She said the car is available for test driving, if we are still interested (well, no duh! we are still calling about the car... ding dong. lol!) They also requested that we bring the trade in.

This worried us, because of all the clanking in the engine - I was really terrified that it wouldn't make it. So, tom drove the durango, and I drove my little car. I followed him, the whole time, keeping my eyes peeled, in case he threw his hazards on to pull over. From where I was, behind him, I didn't see any problems. When we pulled into the lot, I didn't hear any problems. Here's why:

We took back roads to the lot, that way, we weren't putting extra stress on the truck. Also, in case we broke down, we were stuck on the freeway lol! Anyway, so on these backroads, they are kind of hilly, so from what Tom said, whenever he crested a hill, he'd throw the engine into neutral, to try and save what cylinders he had. He said he could tell when we lost a cylinder - because of the scraping and stuff. Well, at one hill, when he threw it into neutral, the engine DIED on him... and wouldn't turn back on. So, he kept trying and FINALLY it started back up for him. There is a huge hill right outside the dealership. Tom said that when he crested that hill, he turned the engine off, and just coasted down into the lot, and into a parking spot.

We are thanking God right now that the truck made it. Technically, it should NOT have made it. Tom says that the 8 cylinder engine MIGHT have had 3 or 4 cylinders still working when we turned it off. It's honestly by God's grace that we made it.

It was so weird, whenever the manager went out to start it, to value the trade in amount, because we could hear it inside, and on the far end of the building. it was a scary, terrifying sound. and it did NOT want to start. So they gave us bare minimum on trade in value. I'm thinking if we had traded in my pink bicycle, we might have gotten more on trade in value. lol!

Anyway, after that, we did the test drive. Tom and I each drove it on the highway, backroads, hills and curves. I was very pleased with the handling, lots of safety amenities, lots of cup holders, moon roof. it was nice. We were very happy. So, after the test drive, I didn't even ask Tom, I just asked the lady "So what do we need to do to make it ours?" lol!

Then, we did the financing, which took about an hour and a half. The guy we talked to was AWESOME! We had financing through our credit union, but he was able to get us a MUCH better deal. for a 2007 Jetta, we are paying $40 more than we were paying on the 2003 Durango. Plus Gap insurance (basically if you total out the car, and you owe more on it than the total amount, the Gap insuarance makes it to where you won't have to keep paying on a car that is totalled.), it also includes a warranty - bumper-to-bumper, and Taxes and Sales tax. We are so pleased with our experience.

The only downfall is, they still had some service work to do - for example, the headliner (i always call it the ceiling carpet lol!) was coming down in one place, so they ordered a whole new peice - it was supposed to be there on Friday, but it didn't come in, so it'll have to be done on Monday. and when we were test driving it, we noticed that one of the blinkers was accelerated, which means there is a light out on that side somewhere. So they are SUPPOSED to get all that done on Monday and/or Tuesday at the latest. So we should have our car in the next two days.

We are SO excited. If anyone is wanting a great experience while buying a car, please try out Landers Imports - the sales woman's name was Susan, and our financing guy was Jonathan. They were AWESOME. They do have an expensive lot: Land Rovers, VW, Jaguar. we are hoping, when it comes time to trade in my neon, to work with them again.

That's been the frustration of my January. The good points: 1. I was asked to make a wedding cake for one of the girls in the office. She's having a "low key wedding" so nothing super fancy, but white cake, white buttercream, black fondant ribbon, and black frosting squiggles. I'm also thinking about making red chocolate candies to put on the middle of the three tiers. I think that will tie in everything nicely. Their colors are black and white, with a touch of red (basically the roses).

Also! I got a promotion! I am now the License Director - at least that's what I think my title is anyway! I have my own office! I love it! I LOVE the new position, and I really like still being able to help the girls doing testings.

AND! my nephew Brett is getting confirmed in the next few months, and I'm so proud of him. I remember my Confirmation, and it meant so much to me. Basically, for those that don't know: Catholics get Confirmed around the age of 14, 15, 16. It is when a Catholic Young Person becomes an adult in the eyes of the church. The sins of a child fall on their parents, basically because the parent should be teaching them better, or taking better care of them. When a Young Person is confirmed, those sins are on their own shoulders. Each Young Person chooses a Sponsor, who is supposed to help them in the learning process. I have been told by my sister, that my nephew wants ME to be his sponsor. Before today, I had not been to church in almost a year. Not because I didn't want to. but I felt I didn't have to. I pray to God every day. I try to thank Him for everything we have, and I always believe their is a reason for everything. i never thought about what it was doing to my neice and nephews. I forget sometimes that these kids look at EVERYTHING I do, and they either admire it, or they dispise it. I've tried very hard during their whole lives to make sure I was not a bad influence with things I do, I never thought about the things I don't do. y'know?

Ok, enough rambling! Sorry it's so long! I guess my "Short version" was too much of a teaser, ehh?

<3 Jessica


Checking in!

Hey guys! I'm on vacation! I know things get super hectic and super crazy this time of year!!

Slow down!!

Love you all!!