Thursday, February 28, 2008

I am in trouble!

I have a confession. I, Jessica Lee, am addicted to sugar. And chocolate. And baking. And, oh my gosh, I have a problem.

This problem manifests itself mostly after dinner, when I get these extreme, intense, all-powerful cravings for brownies, apple crisp and 99.9% of the time, warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. Once the craving is too much, I make up an excuse, scurry my little booty upstairs, pre-heat my oven and all hell breaks loose.

I recognized this problem, about 4 and a half months ago, when G told me he has eaten more dessert during his short marriage to me, then he has in his entire life (I know?! What kind of husband complains about that!?) Anyways, I realized that I might have a problem.

Since then, I haven't baked.

Not once. Not one batch of cookies, not one pan of brownies, no carmelitas...oh wait, I did make carmelitas one night for a ward party, but I didn't even eat one, I swear! (stop judging me) Anyways...my oven has been cold & lonely, my mixer misses me. Colbie & Nora wonder why I am never in the kitchen anymore. It has been a long, tough road for someone who baked on a weekly basis.

And now, today, I came across this recipe and this one. Oh, and this one, too. I swear Pioneer Woman is going to be the death of me. I can't remember why I stopped baking? My mind is getting all jumbled and confused. My will power is fading. Fast.

If someone doesn't intervene soon, I may fall back into the cycle of addiction.

This is a cry for help, people!!!


images & recipes via the lovely, pioneer woman

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

happy.




1. finally happy to be home

2. happy for lovely weather

3. happy that the plant jennie gave us for Christmas has bloomed & is reminding me of Spring

4. happy to have gone on a walk with the pups

5. happy to have a clean house

6. happy to have a best friend

7. happy today is little toby's first birthday

8. happy for a nice person who gave me an awesome phone

9. happy for photo shop

10. happy to have read this and been reminded of what matters

"You can boil your life down to a single suitcase, if you desperately have to. Ask yourself what you really need, and it won't be what you imagine. You will easily toss aside unfinished work and bills, and your daily calendar to make room for the pair of flannel pajamas you wear when it rains; and the stone your child gave you that is shaped like a heart; and the battered paperback you revisit every April, because it's what you were reading when you fell in love. It turns out what's important is not everything you've accumulated all these years, but those few things you carry with you."

-from the book "Vanishing Acts"
by Jodi Picoult
p. 74


Monday, February 25, 2008

I left my HEART in HAWAII

*click on the photos to read the caption!*


Arighty friends, I promised you great things to come and I am now rested and ready to chat. So strap in, grab a cold one and let's talk all about my trip to Hawaii. This might take a while.

While in Hawaii, we visited the Island of Oahu for 3 days & then flew to Kauai for 7. Oahu was so much fun. We stayed in an amazing house right on the beach with G & I, Ty, Jennie & Makayla and Erik & Heidi. Some of the fun things we did during our 3 glorious days there:

-Ate the biggest banana pancakes I have ever seen in my life at the Cafe made famous by "5o first dates"
-Visited the Temple
-Went to the PCC
-Watched the surfers on the North Shore (biggest waves I have ever seen!)
-Swam in the ocean in our backyard.
-Snorkeled in Hanauma Bay
-Ate shrimp sold on the side of a road from a trailer and did not die.
-Went to Pearl Harbor
-Ate lots of food
-Went to a swap meet (and I managed to only make one purchase)
-Watched the sun rise

On Sunday, we flew to Kauai to meet Margaret & Geir for the rest of our trip. Oh my, is Kauai beautiful! You have to see that place to believe it. It is insanely lush & green; pretty much my idea of paradise. I loved Kauai for several reasons, but partly because there are wild chickens everywhere you turn, firds (funny birds, dubbed "firds" by G & I), the juciest pineapple you can imagine, road-side pineapple freezes & whales all over the place!!!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I am terrified of whales. I don't know what it is, they just scare the crap out of me, so it shocked my entire family when I informed them that I would be going on a whale watching tour. And yes, we saw whales. Tons of them, in fact. All over the place. You couldn't escape those freaking things. We saw them from our kitchen window, at the beach, on the boat. I about peed my pants when one swam right in front of us during the whale watching tour. They are so huge & so scary, I seriously cannot fathom how people swim with them or scuba dive with them, how can you get that close to something that could swallow you whole!?!?!

Anyways, the whale watching tour was terrifying. And thrilling...and terrifying.

The coolest thing we did was take a helicoptor tour of the Island. Tyler had his heart set on this & was nice enough to get it all arranged. It was pretty amazing & if you check out my slide show you will see why I am saying that. The Island of Kauai is breathtaking and seeing it from a helicoptor was just unbelievable. I even got to sit right next to the Pilot & watch him fly the plane. I am 92% positive I could fly a helicoptor now. 92 PERCENT! (name that movie)

We spent a few more days snorkeling and visited the beach as much as we could. I love the beach so much. It was always hard for G to get me to leave, I just can't imagine a more perfect place. We body surfed, which is always a blast & had fun taking Tyler, Jennie, Erik & Heidi for their first time. Everyone got the hang of it quickly and caught plenty of waves.

The house we stayed at was incredible. I can't describe it and the pictures don't do it justise, but you should take a look anyways. We could see the ocean from our backyard (whales and all) and had the most beautiful view.

Other than that, we spent lots of time relaxing, swimming, shopping, eating, playing cards & basically just being in Heaven. I am so sad to be home. I want to move immediately. Preferably to someplace where it is always 80 degrees and sunny.

It was the trip of a life-time and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to go. Thank you Margaret & Geir!!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

home sweet home?

Okay, so I do mean that, this is "home sweet home" but seriously, it's freaking cold, people! It seems the more I travel to warm climates, the more I wonder why I don't live in one.

So...we are back. Yes, it's true--10 glorious days later. We took the red-eye from Honolulu last night & are now enjoying (?) a day of lots of sleep and LOTS of homework (for me atleast).

I don't have enough energy to post about our amazing adventure, but I am sure I will soon, so keep your eye out for a new, lengthy, photo-filled post from me. In the mean time, I will post a teaser pic to get you all reved up and excited for what's to come.

I wonder if anyone is still reading this little blog of mine?

(Doesn't this just get you all reved up & excited for what is to come?!!?) No.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Buddies,

I have been off in la-la land for the past hour reading "Black heels to tractor wheels: A love story" written by the talented Pioneer Woman.

I am finally coming up for air & realizing I need to go do something productive, but first I had to share her with you. Her story has provided me with a nice, long, relaxing trip out of reality and into la-la land which, I have to admit, is where I always prefer to be.

And now I am thinking that someday I will write down the story of G & I, as boring as it may be..I don't want to loose the memories. Pionner woman is a talented writer, go read the tale of this L.A. city slicker turned country mom.

PS. Pioneer woman cooks, too!

Friday, February 8, 2008

No more girlfriends.


This week has not been my favorite. Let's just put it that way. I know that I have absolutely no right to complain, because I am heading off on a 10 day tropical getaway next week, but seriously, this week has sucked.

It all started Monday morning when a certain professor of mine decided to cancel class. Cancel class? Sounds great! Why would that make me mad? Well, friends--I am ALL for a canceled class. In fact, I would argue that no one enjoys a cancelled class like I do, however, I appreciate a warning before said class is cancelled. That's right, a little heads up. In other words, I do not appreciate getting up early, scraping piles of snow off my frozen car, almost getting in a wreck on 13th (slick, icy, snowstorm roads), wasting 20 minutes trying to find a place to park & finally resorting to a pay lot, walking across campus in a blizzard, up 3 flights of stairs and down the hall to find a friendly little note: "Class is Cancelled--Have a good one"

"Excuse me?!?!?! Have a good one? Alright, I'll just traipse back out into the Arctic & dig my car out off an igloo (again) waste another 40 minutes driving home (on a day that I, otherwise, would have avoided driving anywhere) and have a good one!"

Grrrrr.

That basically set the tone of my entire week & things have progressed accordingly.

So 4 crappy days later, here we are at Friday. I took these pictures (and yes, they are awful) of Jack & Toby laying on my lap (which is why they are so awful). Jacky has had a rough couple of days. Yesterday the poor little man was stripped of his man-hood when his heartless parents decided it was time for him, like his brother, to be neutered. As you can guess, he is very upset. Making matters worse for him, the doctor found a hernia on his belly, so Jack had to have 2 operations yesterday. All he wants to do is sleep, cry, shake and be held. As you noticed, Toby is also on my lap. I don't know if he is just wanting attention or feeling sympathy pains for little J, or what, but he has decided that he, too, is not feeling well and is also whining, shaking and needing to be held?

Ugh.

Like I said, I shouldn't be complaining. Next week, I am going to Hawaii & that basically gives me no right to complain about anything for at least a year. But still, poor little sperm-less men.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wishful thinking...

My birthday is coming up and what I really want is a fabulous robe to lounge around the house in. I'm not talking a fuzzy, white, i-just-took-a-shower robe, I'm talking a cute, stylish, i-could-wear-this-all-day-and-not-feel-ugly robe, like the one Mandy Moore wore in "License to wed" (okay movie, amazing robe).

In the hunt for the robe of my dreams, I was delighted to stumble upon this beauty by Derek Rose. Love the length, love the kimono style, love the toile, HATE the price! $275.00 for a robe? Thanks, but no thanks! So...that brings me to you, dear blogger friend. I am hoping one of my buddies has a fabulous robe hanging in her closet & can tell me where she found it. I have looked everywhere & the only store that comes close to perfecting my vision is Anthro. They have some darling ones, but they are a little too short. I want one I can wear over my g's (too much info?) Anyways, let me know if you can steer me in the right direction...I am sure all of you fashionistas can!

Love, J.

Carmelitas

I have a request to post this delicious recipe for Carmelitas. I love making these because they are so easy, amazingly yummy & they stay great for days (arguably even better after a few days) so nothing gets wasted!

You will need:

1 jar Mrs. Richardson's butterscotch caramel fudge ice cream topping (try to get this specific kind, if you can, the consistency is much better than other caramel toppings)
12 oz. milk chocolate chips
2 c. flour
2 c. oats
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 sq. butter

Combine flour, oats, sugar, soda & salt in a bowl. Melt butter & pour over dry mixture. Mix with spoon. Pat 1/2 mixture in the bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 17 minutes at 325'. Sprinkle layer of chocolate chips. Warm caramel in the microwave for 60 seconds, pour over chocolate chips. Top with remaining dry mix. Bake 17 min at 325'. Cool completely.

These are heavenly! Enjoy!