Scraps of Life

Life As a Scrapbooking Newlywed

Adventures in Baking

Today was a momentous occasion in the life of Jess. To understand this, you must know that I avoided all things cooking and baking growing up like the plague. I haven’t used most major kitchen appliances besides the oven, stove, microwave and the toaster. The only cookies I’ve baked up until today were the idiot-proof pre-cut cookies at Christmas and Valentines Day. Today, I took on this recipe for Jell-O cookies I found on Pinterest:

Jello cookies

jello cookies

  • Yield: 2 dozen
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Ready In: 30 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 cups salted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 (3 oz) pkg jello You can use any flavors you want (I’ve been using 2 packets and still had some leftover)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Beat butter in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  2. Divide dough into 4 sections. Sprinkle 2 Tb of jello onto each section. Knead together with dough. You may want to add a few drops of food coloring to make the dough more vibrant.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in the extra jello from the packets. Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets. Flatten with bottom of bowl.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 min at 350 on lined baking sheets. Cool on baking sheets 2 min. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.

Credit to http://www.iheartnaptime.net/jello-cookies/.

Once I got past being afraid of the mixer (have your laugh, go ahead), everything else went smoothly and it was super fun. Next time, I know I’m going to make them smaller and not put nearly as much Jell-O  on the 1-inch balls. These are super sugary – but delicious. I chose strawberry, berry blue and lemon to use. Strawberry is one of my favorites so I actually used that for 2 of the sections instead of one.

I’d consider them a success as Matt has already eaten one of each and I’ve had a strawberry. He declared the strawberry his favorite. Here are my beautiful cookies!

Other than that, we only left the house to get a few things from the store and go to Hot Heads. It was one of the best Saturdays ever. I also scrapbooked a little more of our honeymoon album. I’m in to the Hollywood Studios portion of our honeymoon and so glad to be back into scrappin’!!

Last night we went out to Larosa’s and a movie with Matt’s parents. I was never really into the Bourne series because it confused me but this one was really good. Matt even said that it answered some questions on how Jason is able to do all of the things he can do. Now I want to watch the others again. My brother would be proud. One thing that I did call them out immediately on was her fake passport photo. She was wearing her glasses. I have glasses and I can tell you for a fact they don’t allow you to wear them in the pictures for passports. Boom. Caught.

After the movie, we went to back to their house to see Max and Matt’s dad told me that besides the people who live there, Max has warmed up to me the most. 🙂 He’s so adorable!! He looks like grandma’s old dog Pebbles and last night, as weird as this sounds, he even smelled like him.

Tomorrow we’re taking Matt’s sister, her husband and our niece to her first Reds game. It’s a Cardinals one and whoever wins this one *cough*us*cough* wins the series. She’ll get a first game certificate and a Gapper cup (that they only give to kids…jerks). We even got seats in the shade for her. Heres to hoping she’ll enjoy it!

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SURPRISE!!

Surprise parties are by far some of the most fun parties, especially when you actually pull it off like we did today for my cousin’s birthday. Her kids are awesome and did such a wonderful job planning and conspiring with friends that she was completely shocked and had a wonderful time. She totally deserved it!

On the way to this party, we stopped by a liquor store to pick up some beer/wine for said party and happened to come across some specialty wine we just had to have. Barry Larkin Merlot and Homer Bailey Chardonnay, on sale, two for cheaper than on normally costs. Since Barry Larkin is my favorite, we’re taking a chance I’ll actually enjoy this Merlot. At least we know dad likes it so it won’t go to waste.

But….I’m keeping the bottle for our baseball wall. That’s mine. 🙂

In completely other “news”, Baxter can be so funny. Our bedroom and dining room windows are set up to where if you are looking out one of the windows, you can look into the other room. So a right angle outside. It was gorgeous today, so we had the windows open and allowed Baxter to sit on the windowsill. Then we proceeded to go into the other room and he was confused as to how we were over there, meowing his cute little face off. Later today he waits to lick my fingers from the chips I snack on, as if we never feed him.

Tomorrow is youth Sunday, so my brother is playing/singing again. I’m loving that he’s getting out of his shell and sharing his talent with the church. Love. After church, we’re going to the Reds game with a bunch of church members for Faith Day, a sell out, complete with after-game concert from Mercy Me.

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Weekend in Columbus

Matt and I went to Columbus for the weekend, originally with tickets for the Crew game until they postponed it due to a death of a teammate. I’m proud of the team’s administration for allowing them to have the day off to attend the funeral of their teammate.

All of the depressing news out of the way, we had our hotel room booked already so we dug up some other things to do on Friday and had a blast over the weekend. I rode the bus out to Matt’s office after work and we left immediately from there. We stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way down there and used a gift card from one of my wedding showers (woot woot!). Matt even bought me a small singing Christmas penguin. 🙂

Saturday we slept in a little bit then went to the Ohio History Museum complete with an outdoor village filled with people  all in character. One of the guys was particularly into his part and once he found out we were from Kentucky, he had to ask if we had any slaves and what our view on them was. He was happy to hear we were against slavery and went on a rant about how they just never know what Kentucky is up to. As another little perk, and somewhat depressing reminder, it was also educators day which means there were several booths set up with interactive lessons. My favorite building by far was the schoolhouse. It was adorable and made me want to teach in it. See, isn’t it cute?

After we were finished with the museum, we went to the most awesome outdoor mall I’ve ever seen in my life, also known as Easton Town Center. Everything looked like a piece out of time and it was filled with people! Perhaps the best part (okay, it is the best part) was when we went into the Barnes and Noble and Matt bought me my birthday present a whole month early. My Nook! I’m kind of in love with it. He also bought me Words With Friends, Watchman, Angry Birds Rio and a subscription to TV Guide. Reading a comic book on that is really awesome with the zoom feature because it zooms in/out depending on the frame sizes and moves to the next part when you tap the right hand side.

Matt also has a new favorite store and for good reason too. They had really awesome shirts about local sports teams (including our beloved Reds) and gave us each a FREE coke in a glass bottle. Heart won over.

 

That night we found our way to the recreation center of the city for a 100 Years of Broadway show. Let me just say I am jealous of their facilities. The show was really neat and simple as well. Just five stools/music stands with singers each in a different vibrant colored shirt or dress and a pianist. I kind of felt sorry for the only guy, but they did a wonderful job. They walked us through the history of Broadway songs by talking about each era and singing several songs from each.

Something I learned from that show? I haven’t seen nearly as many musicals as I thought and I plan on fixing that ASAP.

Sunday we ate at a donut place not available around us called Tim Hortons and my blueberry bagel was delicious. I really loved how they use real plates too. Sustainability!

After that new experience, we went back to the town center for some more shopping, mostly of the window variety and hanging out. The Container Store is amazing and I’m so so glad they have one in Kenwood. Then we went to a truly unique move experience, a Dine-In with the most comfortable seats known to possibly all of existence. We saw The Campaign whilst enjoying delicious chips and queso dip, soft pretzels and cheesy bread. Yum yum. Plus they have the bajillion flavor pop machines so I enjoyed a Peach Mountain Dew as well. The Campaigns was hysterical and if you’re a fan of either Will or Zac, you must see it. Ted was still funnier, but I loved this as well.

We decided to wait until Monday to pick up Baxter before taking him to the vet for his yearly checkup. He wasn’t too happy with me that night but he turned around quickly, as I figured he would. The vet had called earlier to ask if I could get there earlier, so I did and they still didn’t see us until the original time. No big deal, just not too happy for my baby who hates being in his cage and going to the vet.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is Olympics at work and I’m super stoked. I freaking love my office. Events include putt-putt, cornhole, rubberband shooting and ring toss. Plus lots of free food.

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NKU is Division One Now!

Last night Matt and I went out to dinner with his parents at a little place in town called the Hayloft Tavern. We got our typical appetizer of fried pickles but I was somewhat disappointed because half of the pickles were falling out of the breading. They still tasted good so no big deal I suppose. His parents were late because there was traffic pretty much everywhere and they were pretty worn out by the time they got there. Sadly, they were understandably unable to make it to the NKU exhibition game afterwards.

Matt and I still went and it was so much fun! Not only did we have a great time, but we found out Alumni get a discount! (Really great news since I can’t use my all-card anyone as they’ve changed the design and would know I’m not a current student…) We lost 2-1 but it was a pretty good game none the less, and almost more importantly, a good crowd. We’re looking forward to going back several times to watch them integrate into D1 competition.

My Reds have forgotten how to play baseball and I’m hoping they remember by tomorrow. That’s all I’m saying about that. :-p

Matt surprised me with Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games today and we are going to play it together!

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Water Balloon Fights, Scavenger Hunts & Baseball

So it’s been a few fun days, yet again!

Right now we’re relaxing from going out to breakfast with my mom and grandma, shopping with them and meeting my in-laws new dog, Max. He’s adorable, in case you were wondering and I love him already.

Wednesday, I don’t really remember anything particularity exciting beyond seeing a bunch of people in Reds gear walking around downtown with reusable bags I was jealous of. They were also apparently on some kind of scavenger hunt.

Thursday was one of those days that went from normal to awesome pretty quickly. It was one of my closest cousin’s 22nd birthday and she had just finished all of her college courses, so she decided to celebrate (and rightfully so). She invited Matt & I, my brother, her boyfriend, parents and her brother to a water balloon fight in pitch black darkness. It was some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time and I don’t care if that makes me a kid. I don’t really ever plan on “growing up”.

At one point, her mom had gone back in the house claiming it was so she wouldn’t get wet but filled up some more water balloons for us to play with. Her son was sneaky and kept one of those with him once we had finished the rest off and waited for her to come back out. This time, she had one balloon for each of us and on his way over, he popped the balloon right over her head and grabbed another. We decided to gang up on the birthday girl and were very successful. 🙂

Friday was one of the longest days ever at work, especially the last half hour. It was almost torture. Probably because I was looking forward to going to Goettafest and the Reds game with two of our best friends.

While waiting for Matt to get off work, I went to Barnes and Noble to kill some time which apparently involved trying to read and falling asleep in a chair. I did see one of my favorite former coworkers from Home Depot and got to talk with him for a while about the wedding and his teaching. It was a wonderful surprise!

At Goettafest, I tried goetta macaroni and cheese while Matt got a goetta burrito and devoured it in about 2 seconds. Okay, maybe that’s an over exaggeration but it was pretty quick. I chose to savor mine…or I just eat slow. Your choice. Our friends enjoyed a goettaway (3-way with goetta) and some goetta conies. While in line for Matt’s burrito, we ran into even more friends of ours, one of which is the reigning champion for the goetta coney eating contest. We’re going to cheer him on from afar tomorrow as we’ll be at the Reds game…again.

Reds game was nothing short of amazing. It was a sell out crowd vastly made up of screaming Reds fans having an absolutely wonderful time cheering on their first place, best record in baseball, team. The environment was full of inexplicable excitement! We won, got to see Marty’s head shaved and saw the best fireworks show we’ll probably ever witness.

Marty also managed to make me cry because as soon as all of his hair was gone, he unbuttoned his Reds jersey to reveal a blue shirt with yellow lettering that said “I’m still me”. Then he started talking about this organization and the children with cancer and blood disease that it supports while walking up to two of those children and giving them a hug and kiss on the forehead. I was gone. He told the story of how those children reacted when they heard Marty was going to shave his head. One of them said something along the lines of “He’ll be just like us.” Lost it again.

Oh, and the fans alone raised the $20,000 for the Reds community fund for him to get this done on the field. With corporate donations, the total soared to $50,000. I love this team and everyone involved with it.

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