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Archive for the tag “relaxation time”

How do you challenge yourself?

This past weekend was an adventurous weekend full of a few wonderful exportations & challenges Idaho has to offer in terms of outdoor summer activities. These satisfying but rewarding experiences that were sometimes a bit terrifying but they give me the chance to test myself over and over. Exploring new ways to challenge myself and test my limits. (And, part of the reason I started this blog…)

After my accident on Thursday I needed to take my bike in for a tune up and a once over to make sure it was in good working order.  I had planned on a long bike ride Saturday morning but that is now out of the picture so I needed something to do on Saturday morning. There was a concert, festival rather, with multiple bands, in town. It was going to be hot that day thou and it just didn’t sound like a great time in the sun and heat. What did sound like a good plan though was heading north for a day on the river…so I made last minute plans to join my good friends, Chelsea & Jocelyn on the water instead.

We headed three & ½ hours north of Boise to Stanley, Idaho and camped out on Friday night. Along the way we experienced a summer lightning storm and the fires they often cause.

The bright red glow over the hill from the highway lit up the otherwise dark sky reminding me that there are some very powerful things out of our control.  When I awoke in the Sawtooth mountain range I was reminded of one reason I love this state.  It was quite, cool and we were surrounded by snow covered jagged mountain peaks.

The put for the float was north of Stanley in the Salmon River. This stretch would have class II rapids for us to have a little bit of fun on in our kayaks. Only the third time in a small boat for Jocelyn, Chelsea and her family were taking a newbie and a semi-newbie on the water for some good ol’ fashioned water fun!  And it was just that, great fun with AMAZING views!!

The girls and I headed back to Boise that evening to prepare for another day of adventure and beauty on Sunday morning. Jocelyn and I were going with some other friends to repel in the desert canyon lands of Idaho. I wasn’t really certain what I was going to run into with this experience, but I still wanted to go. I’m afraid of heights and I tend to not remember this little tidbit until I get to a spot where I am terrified.  It’s not a limiting fear, but I do have to make a conscious effort to move past the fear.  I’m sure I’m just reacting to the basic human instinct that falling is not the best idea, but it can still cause a few problems.

The hike to first repel was up and over a hill, down into the canyon where a stream was running.  We were to follow the stream from where it entered the canyon to its exit point.  Along the way the stream created several waterfalls.  A few of them were traversable by scrambling the rocks along the canyon wall while there were two that were not so easily done.

For those two waterfalls we repelled down with nothing holding us from falling but a line

connected between a harness around our waist and a boulder. It was a great experience that really tested my ability to set free and relax. A quality I sometime have difficulty doing. The hard part, stepping over the edge without letting go of the line to hold on to the rock…I failed at this task and scared everyone above me out because that was really the one thing keeping me from falling, my right hand on the line. I recovered quickly and had a wonderful repel.

Both activities this weekend were wonderful experiences and ones I hope to continue for a long time to come!

Sesame Street Cupcakes

I am so EXCITED to share these cupcakes!

My cousin’s little girl (Abigail Jo) turned two this week.  For her birthday party on Saturday I was asked to make some special Sesame Street themed cupcakes. Sesame StreetMy cousin (Roni Jo) planned to use Annie’s Eats Sesame Street party as inspiration for her little girl’s birthday party and had hoped I would take on creating the cupcake tower Annie had created. I’m always up for a challenge so of course I said yes! Plus, it was a reason to bake, I don’t get many chances for that – I eat most of what I bake and it’s not very healthy to eat a whole cake on your own!

Some relaxation time baking was nice to schedule in – however it was just that. I had to schedule it in and break up the cake making process. The timeline for these cupcakes was spread out over several days.

Wednesday: Attend a friend’s party – can’t stay long. Make buttercream frosting & fondant.

The fondant will be used for several features on the characters and the iconic street sign with Abby’s name on it. The buttercream will be used for the fur and feathers of the characters.  Of course I had to make both – no store bought stuff here (well almost – black is almost impossible to make look good when coloring it yourself).

Thursday: Meet with my realtor.

The beak for Big Bird

Identify & create feature pieces for the characters.

  • Mouths – fondant
  • Tongues – red hots
  • Eyes – purchased candy eyes
  • Noses – orange Reese’s pieces
  • Beaks – marshmallows & red fruit leather

Bake 70+ cupcakes – I used a different flavor of cake for each character. Yumm!

  • Elmo: Strawberry cake
  • Cookie monster: Chocolate
  • Big Bird: Vanilla and Party Confetti
  • Oscar the Grouch: Mixtures – each one is different and a surprise.

Friday: Frost 70+ cupcakes – Fun part!! Decorate cupcake stand…

Saturday: Get up at 6:30 am to volunteer at a the See Jane Run ½ marathon until 1:00pm.

Finish frosting cupcakes and then somehow transport them to Roni’s house.  Set-up display for party by 4:30pm – help with the rest of the set-up.  Enjoy the party, take pictures, play Sesame Street themed games, and of course EAT cupcakes!

Go dancing to the sounds of Willison Roos.

Annie’s tutorial is very thorough, making the party and cupcakes super easy to replicate. I appreciated this. She has such great ideas, it is wonderful that she shares them with us on her blog, Annie’s Eats.

This was the first project of this kind I have been asked to partake in and it was so much fun. I hope I get to do more of them in future!!

My question to you – When am I baking a cake for you?

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