And just like that, 2012 is gone and we are about to start 2013. I didn't post quite as much as in 2011, but I feel like I became more comfortable blogging in that I found my voice that I am more comfortable writing in. I also changed up my blog header which is fun. This year was also the year that my 25 Before 25 List was to be completed...Here we go, a review of my baking, crafts and life in 2012.
I think I will refer to 2012 as the year of brown butter, salted caramel and bacon. Not all together of course, but I will try any recipe with either of those 3 things, as I just love them! I baked more than I ever have and now have some go-to recipes, not to mention, I feel like I have drastically improved my food photography skills. Not that they are worthy of being in a magazine, but when I give myself enough time and take my pictures during the day with natural lighting, I do alright. Baking recap begins...
From left to right, top to bottom:
Hunger Games Cake (Olivia's 1st Birthday)
Rainbow Cake (Addison's 4th Birthday)
Bacon Maple Cupcakes
Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling
Boston Creme Pie
Purple Ombre Rosette Cake
Salted Caramel Banana Muffins
Salted Caramel Soaked Chocolate Cake
From top to bottom, left to right, large picture:
Bacon Sun Dried Tomato Grilled Cheese
Bacon Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Nutella Stuffed Sugar Cookies
Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Peanut Buttery Chocolatey Goodness Bars
After looking through all my posts to highlight my favorite recipes from this year, I moved on to crafts. Compared to last year, I didn't craft much. Well, I suppose the things I focused on took a lot of my time, like the memory quilt and my aunt's scrapbook.
From left to right, top to bottom:
DIY 5 Strand Braided Headband
Handmade Under the Sea Blocks
Aunt Sue's Scrapbook Album
And with those quick craft highlights, we are at my life in 2012. I lived with my sister and niece for over half the year so I have many wonderful memories with Addison including pool time, sleepovers, Disney on Ice, playground fun among many other things. I also started Dear Addison, which are monthly letters written to my niece Addison. I spent many weekends in Portland with Michelle and her family, seeing the Sand in the City and even taking a night photography class we both just loved. I was a volunteer basketball coach at my old high school. I did my first 5K, the Color Run. I traveled to Hawaii with my family, Crater Lake with my friends and reunited with my 3 best friends for the first time since college (2010) in Louisiana.
Oh, and for the last 2 months of 2012, I have been living in Cusco, Peru.
I can honestly say this year has been one of the best yet. I have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to in 2013!
Monday, December 31, 2012
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
You are officially on the downward slope toward 5. Jeepers.
Before I left the country, I actually wondered if I would have anything to write about for these monthly letters. Although I haven't been able to see you nearly as much as I would have liked this past month, I am not without stories to remember and share. Thankfully, with you, there is never a dull moment, even if my time is limited and via technology.
For example, you take your momma's phone and text me. A lot. And I absolutely love it. It makes me smile when all of a sudden I have 9 text notifications.
I talked with you on the phone for a little while the first week I was in Peru. Our connection wasn't that strong, but you were so determined to talk to me. You told me all about vampire bats and how they like blood. Then, you explained to me how thankful you were that you will never be a momma bird because they feed their babies with worms from their mouth and since you are a human, you will never have to do that. Whew. You also told me about making your own pizza and how yummy yours turned out. Even though there was some static, you kept telling me, "One more story, Auntie Mal." Gosh, I could talk to you forever. When we finally said goodbye, I told you that I love you to the moon and back. Your response: I love you to Peru and back. You are so smart and adorable.
A few weeks ago, after you all ate Thanksgiving at Papa's I got to Skype with everyone. During the whole conversation you were very quiet. Apparently, you had not been in the best of moods. But, at the very end of the conversation, as we were all saying goodbye, you stated, "I slept in an eagle's nest." You said nothing for the 20 minute conversation and then throw that out there. Everyone laughed and were all quite confused. But that was it. You wouldn't explain what you meant and no one knew where it came from.
You, momma and I Skyped for a few hours the next Saturday afternoon. It was wonderful and actually made me homesick. You sat on momma's lap in the recliner and told me stories. One of the first things you were so excited to show me was your jingle bell nails. Oh, how I miss painting our nails together.
Your mom brought up a story about you spending time with Raleigh and then you wanted to finish it. So she let you and you started off with, "Don't laugh at what I'm going to tell you." I knew I was in for good one. It was the story about Sadie ripping up a stuffed animal. You were worried someone would get mad so you took the stuffing and hid it up your sleeve. No one noticed the rest of the day and you went to bed, sleeping through the night with the stuffing up your sleeve. It's so cute how you were trying to cover for Sadie. She has your back, too. Mom says she has started sleeping by your bed at night. She will keep you safe for sure. Mom says you are under the covers here.
Even watching you zone out on some cartoons and eat lunch made me really miss the simple things. You kept sneaking curly Cheetos. They are your favorite. You can eat a lot of those if no one stops you. Must be the Phelan in you.
Oh, baby girl. I miss you dearly. I can't wait to hear all about Christmas. I just hate that I won't be there this year. Don't forget to leave out a little reindeer food with Santa's cookies.
Love you always, forever and without a doubt,