Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fall Photo Shoot

As promised (from several blogs ago), here are some pictures of me and David in case you forgot what we looked like.

The first ones are of us at a park nearby. The sun was setting so we got some good ones with a handy flexible tripod (I'm not sure about the brand, but we love ours... it hooks onto lots of things like trees etc. and is really small and lightweight).

This one....

.. was actually cropped from a picture like this one to look like we were sitting on something.. we were trying to go all Olan Mills on a budget, ok!

And here is the only picture I got of us from Aly's wedding. I guess I was too focused on taking pictures of my cakes :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Wedding Cakes Galore

This weekend David and I ventured to believe (or really I did) that we could pull off three wedding cakes for two weddings, nine tiers in all, two chocolate iced German chocolate cakes, and seven buttercream frosted cakes in flavors butter pecan, vanilla, chocolate, carrot, and strawberry!

We really felt blessed by several things along the way. First, a church that we no longer go to (but one I once worked for) allowed us to use their church kitchen space for free. Second, my industrial mixer broke halfway through the icing making process, but after seven or so hours it still wasn't going. So we prayed over the mixer (sounds corny, but we needed God to heal it through the laying on of hands :). David took it apart, looked around, got some goo on his pants, and then decided to put it back together. Then after a few times of starting it it magically worked the rest of the day!

The deliveries went pretty smoothly and I was proud of the weekends worth of work. God really help me not to stress out like I would have. Actually a friend of ours talked about the verse where the Israelites ask God to give them only what they need for the day (not too much so they would forget Him and not too little so that they would be angry with Him). Sounds weird to have a scripture motto for a cake making process, but it totally helped me!

Here is the first cake. Please ignore the fire extinguisher in the background. We set up the cake in the kitchen because the wedding and reception were all in the same place. So they did a turn around after the wedding-- everyone went outside and they transformed the sanctuary.

This next cake was of my friend Alyson Williams' wedding. She married Stephen Strickhausen (think about that monogram for a sec...and we'll come to that in a bit:) Her wedding was in downtown Franklin. Cute church and old historic home that is not a catering company. It was beautiful. This was the first wedding where I made a cake that I actually got to go to and hear peoples comments. I would try to be all stealthy and walk around the tables of people eating cake and watch their faces and try to hear their reactions :)

Funny side note: We had stored the cakes in the freezer the night before the weddings. Apparently the freezer was negative 100 degrees because after five hours the bottom two tiers were still frozen when they cut the cakes, well there was an outer perimeter of about two inches that they could cut. I was really embarrassed at first. The catering guy who was cutting the cake was like, "Oh don't worry about it, you're new at this.... you'll know for next time". HA! Little did he know this was my twelfth or so wedding cake + delivery! It turned out to not be that big of a deal. Except that they broke their lovely serving knife on the cake toward the end, oops :) But one of my friends I overheard saying, "Wow there is one chocolate cake that has a frozen strawberry center.. I've never seen that before!" Even though that wasn't the intended effect, I think the frozen thing turned out to not be too big of a deal after all.

Here are Aly and Stephen taking their first dance.

And here they are cutting the cake.


So back to the monogram thing. Alyson and Stephen decided that it would be a funny joke to put their monogram on the grooms cake. They had been getting wedding gifts with their monogram (towels and mugs and such) with "SSA" and they just wanted to have one momento of the "real" monogram. Since their parent okayed it, I decided it would be alright to draw a lovely A** monogram for them, trying to make the middle "S" look significantly bigger and pronounced. Apparently someone took a picture of it and sent it to Jay Leno for his headlines bit!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Here is a clip from our favorite episode so far of Glee. If you haven't been able to see this yet, David and I recommend it. Background: The football team has been loosing all year so the captain (who is in glee and also the quarterback) decided to read up on how to help the team win. He found out that alot of pro footballers are good dancers so he gets the glee coach to teach the football team how to dance. They even make a play called "ring on it"'ll see.

And thanks to Mel, my sister-in-law who's post reminded me of this clip :)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

My Nashville Favs

Looking back to four years ago when we were looking at moving somewhere unknown, I remember being SO READY to leave Nashville! Yet, now that we are back, I am secretly loving this good ole Southern town full of wonderful restaurants and a lot more culture (in more ways than one... see Sweet Cece's below- sorry for the pun :) than I had thought.

Here are my top places/ things I really like about this town:
1. Pfunky Griddle (Berry Hill Area)- many restaurants are getting behind the wave of more healthful eating. The Pfunky Griddle offers yummy whole grain pancakes, gluten free pancakes, and also the not-so healthy white kind. BUT the best part is that you have this cute little griddle built into your table (the tables kind of look like a smaller version of a hibachi grill's table) that you can grill your own pancakes (hence, makes them healthier because there is not some cook in the back cooking them on a fake-butter laden grill right beside some greasy breakfast sausage. ALSO, you get all you can eat (per person). So when you are craving breakfast for dinner/ lunch/ or breakfast :) don't head to the local Ihop, head to the Pfunky Griddle.

2. Sweet CeCe's Yogurt (Belle Meade)- This place is Nashville's PinkBerry but better. It's self serve yogurt, and their no sugar options are yummy! You can also pick your own toppings from everything from Lucky Charm-type cereals to FRESH fruit (I'm talking fresh here peeps, not the kind that comes in a plastic tub with so much sugar has been added to preserve it it comes in a syrupy sauce). They just weigh it and you pay when you are done. I walked up with my giant tub of rasperry and tart yogurt topped with fresh kiwi, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries and expected it to be $9! But is was only $4 so I was pleased. To learn more click here:

3. A New Idea for A Cheap Date- Recently my mom and I discovered that P. F. Chang's offers GIANT soup bowls (I'm talking 2 quart size soup bowls) for around 6-7 dollars! And they don't skimp on ingredients. You could go and get two to share and get whatever you wanted to drink and manage to get out of there for about $20 + tip. And P.F. Chang's has some nice romantic atmosphere goin on.

4. Baja Burrito- David cannot ever get enough Baja. Unfortunately for our pocketbooks, it is about 1/4 mile down our street! I usually get a taco salad that is free of sour cream and cheese, and David has begun to join me in the healthier Baja option. We like going here because it's very filling ingredients while being very fresh and flavorfull. We will always love Baja, even if we move :).

5. Mad Platter and Flyte: For fine dining, I cannot think of two better restaurants in Nashvegas. Thanks to my friend, Elizabeth, we went to the Mad Platter a couple of weeks ago with a $25-off-coupon from (We still have one more that I plan on using soon :). And Flyte has one of the best Pastry Chef's in the city, if not the best! I have been a couple of times for dessert and my mouth has been blown away by her creativity. I think the last item I ordered was a rice pudding with raspberries and rhubard topped off with olive oil ice cream (for all non-foodies, this sounds wierd but is delish!).

6. Sweet Ole' Southern Sayin's: So I just have to post about this for all of our CO friends. I was at the YMCA the other day and I had lost my keys. So I went back to the eliptical machines I had been in that day and there was on older lady on one of them. I aksed her if there were any keys in that machine, and she got off to let me look. Then I told her they weren't there and she just exclaimed, "Well, bless your little heart!". It made me smile that, even though I couldn't drive home, my heart was blessed by a sweet southern lady :)

7. Greek Restaurant... so I do not know the exact name, but I think it is called Greek Taverna and it is also in the Berry Hill area on Bransford Ave. It is TRUE authentic Greek food. Last time we went we ordered the Baklava for dessert, but the chef said we should get this custart filo thing that I could not pronounce so we did. It was AWES! Tasted like Greek funnel cake sprinkled with cinnamon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mom's Visit

Most of you know that my mom had a tumor removed earlier this summer and had several surgeries. She has been recovering well, and this weekend she decided to brave a trip to Nashville (David and I have crazy schedules this fall, so she decided to come to us). Since she hasn't eaten since before her first surgery on June 17, she has had plenty of time to think about food and so she decided to prepare us gourmet meals ALL WEEKEND! It was great. Here was our menu. And since I never remember to take pictures, you will have to settle for the yummy BH&G's pics.

Saturday Night:
Roasted Beet and Clementine Salad with homemade Spicy Orange Vinaigrette

Sweet Potato and Hominy Stew made with barbecued chicken

Creamy Pumpkin and Rice Pudding topped with Apples, Cranberries, and Walnuts

And for Sunday she made us fresh, healthy Sirloin Burgers with a kick

We had a great time. Thanks Mom!

Be looking for upcoming posts of my favorite Nashville deals and places and my fav Fall cooking ingredients... Also, if you are lucky, I will actually post pictures of me and David :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our New Venture

Hello all. We have had some changes in our lives recently. David has decided not to go back to Vanderbilt to finish his PhD right now and he will be teaching at some local universities this fall. But.....he also has decided to put a recent hobby of his to good use.

That means.......
We have an ETSY page!


So far he has just posted a couple of purses to see what the interest is. We decided to only use unusable clothing (like torn jeans that can't be given to Goodwill) and scrap fabric. So........if anybody has any good items that fit that description, please send them to us (we will pay you for the shipping if you want :).

Here are some pics of David in action (I love that my husband is secure in his manhood:)

Here are some pics of the latest purses:

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

No longer in the west

To the five of you who still check this blog with the hopes that there will be something new, this blog is for you!

You may be wondering why the blog still says "Tales from the West" when we are clearly back in the South. I just didn't have the heart to change it... I feel like we are not southerners anymore, and maybe one day we will have more tales from another western place.... or Florida :) So, I decided to write some things that we miss from Fort Collins.

While I don't miss seeing this in MARCH, or even MAY!

I desperately miss seeing this everyday...

Granted, this picture is taken from the I-25, not our house, but it's still quite frequent a view. And the snow doesn't always stick around... there are plenty of 75 degree days sprinkled in the spring months...lovely, sunny, DRY 75 degree days....ahhhh how I miss the dryness.

Another thing I miss about Fort Collins is the smallness. Average car trip in Fo Co: about 5 minutes, average car trip in Nashville: 20! So much more time in the car. These picture were taking of Down town Ft Collins, and it only took us about 4 minutes to get there by car... sometimes we walked...People- I live 1.2 miles away from my school here in Nashville, and sometimes is takes TWENTY MINUTES to get there, ugh! (I'm really not that bitter about it, just sometimes frustrating :) As you can see, downtown Ft. Collins is definitely a place you can just hang out... downtown Nashville is not quite the same scene.

And finally, this one is for you, mom....I know you will miss this place (there were gardens open in the Summer and Fall of all sorts of flowers- it was really beautiful- the pic doesn't do it justice)

We also miss our friends:

Carly, I have no idea why I don't have a picture of Grayson other than when he was about 3 months old! And Kimberly and Bruce-- Why don't we have pics of you guys???

Despite what you may think, I really do like living in Nashville. It has taken some adjustments, but we are grateful for being close to family and old friends. Also, there is a plethora of new restaurants to try, and I LOVE finding new foodey places!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ok, ok........ I'll try to get better

So, a WHOLE LOT has happened sice the last little teaser post. But I am just going to blog about this one thing-- for now. More to come with pics of our new house (well, apartment really) and details on our new and very different life.


This last weekend we went to Orlando to see my sister at UCA Nationals. We thought Daisy might enjoy it, so we took her as her birthday present (little did we know her little wheels were already turning toward cheerleading instead of her curret basketball career). So needless to say, I think she enjoyed her time with us at the competition. Melanie (who if you are reading this post- it's basically a copy of yours, so if you need to save time- it's not going to be that exciting:)got to go too, and we had a good time.
Here are some pics............
A whole lotta cheerleaders

JCS got 6th in the nation!!

The event was at Wide World of Sports at Disney and it was cool to see- we had never been there before

Who knew that my sister would someday be equal to Mikey Mouse or Cinderella in a four year olds eyes!

Daisy had a great memory of the cheerleading stunts and wanted to recreate one when she got home. She gave David and Daniel instructions :)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Nashville, Here We Come!

Yes, we are moving back. More to come...........