Utilizing the power of chocolate at the most opportune moments in life.
Taken at key times it can unlock a power within us
To take on and seize almost any moment
Of any day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!

This Valentine's Day was made special thanks to my kind and loving husband and our adorable little daughter.

My husband gave me a manicure, a pedicure, and a hair brushing! It may or may not sound incredible and impressive to you, but he really does know how to do all this and he does it really well. I would take his manicures and pedicures over the mall nail salons anytime! Where and why did he learn all this you may ask? Well, let me explain.

It goes back to our honeymoon (4 years ago). My soon-to-be husband planned an amazing ending to our week of honeymooning. For several months prior he planned and prepared all that was needed for spa treatments ranging from manicures and pedicures to facials and sea-salt body scrubs. He researched each spa treatment on the internet and learned how to do each one! He even bought all the essential products. On the last day of our honeymoon he presented me with a spa day packet and I got to choose whatever treatments I wanted and the following day he offered me a full day of pampering. He did a great job then and since he has continued to offer me spa days three times a year over the past four years and with all this practice he has gotten even better!

In addition to all the pampering today he also brought me a beautiful planted pot of red tulips. He knows I love flowers to brighten our home.

Cookie Making With My Daughter

I have a confession to make; until this week I had never made sugar cookies. I had never even used a cookie cutter. Now this is probably not fully accurate, because I am sure that my mother and maybe even my father sat me down as a young girl and made sugar cookies with me and I probably used cookie cutters too. However, as an adult I had never attempted this on my own.
For those of you who know that I really do enjoy baking this may be a surprise to you. I have made thousands of cookies in my life, but for some reason I have always felt a little intimidated by the "sugar cookie."

I read many recipes for sugar cookies and all (or most) of them required a long period of chilling in the refrigerator for the dough (at least 2 hours) before they can be baked. Although I really do enjoy the process of baking, I also really enjoy the sampling of the goodies. So, I would always choose a cookie recipe where I could be assured of a yummy sample, after assembly of the ingredients, in about 10-12 minutes. Although the concept of delayed gratification was intimidating in itself when it came to sugar cookie making, I was also a bit intimidated by the process of rolling out the dough and cutting them into shapes while trying to keep the dough chilled enough to maintain optimal processing. Furthermore, the cookies needed to cool before they could be iced and then there is the complications of choosing the consistency and color of the icing and whether or not to use sprinkles, what kind and what color. Perhaps I should mention I have slight issues with perfectionism.

Well, images of sharing the experience with my daughter of making sugar cookies in cute heart shapes with icing and sprinkles overruled all of my hesitations. It took us three days, but we did it! I must admit that my two year-old does not exactly have a mastery over delayed gratification either but it was well worth all the work, time and even the wait. Elizabeth and I also got a chance to share in the rewarding experience of offering up some of the special treats with our neighbor friends for Valentine's Day.

I am so grateful for my family!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

For the past couple of years I have enjoyed making my own greeting cards. It allows me to explore my creativity and is a lot of fun! For Christmas my fantastic husband went out on a limb (I have never mentioned or asked for one) and bought me a Sizzix Big Shot Die-Cut & Emboss Machine. I was a little intimidated at first but I have used it a few times now and today I made a card for a friend using the flower and letter cutouts.

A Big Shot-Out to my Husband for a great gift
(pun intended of course)!