Thursday, February 28, 2008

Resolutions Check In


So we are just about ending the second month of 2008 and so I thought I should check in and let you know how I am doing on the resolutions I have set for myself this year.

1. My first goal was to go to the gym 3 times a week and I am happy to report that I have been working out 6 out of 7 days a week (an average of 4 times at the gym and 2 times outside). I have been training for the Avon Walk and also trying my hand at a body flow class (I wrote about this a few weeks ago).

2. My second goal was to lose 20 lbs. I am on my way - last time I weighed myself I had lost 6 lbs! I know that as I continue to work on goal #1, I will make this goal too!

3. My third goal was to read to Jasmine everyday. I am doing pretty well on this one. The days I miss, Lorne takes over, so the little one is being read to everyday even if I am not always the one doing the reading.

4. My fourth goal was to read my scriptures every night before going to bed. This one is actually a hard one and I am sad to report I haven't been doing as well on that one. Our bishop asked us to read the Book of Mormon this year so I am going to buck up and get this goal to where it should be.

5. My fifth goal was to purge the house of unnecessary things. This is not something that can be accomplished in only 2 months but I did purge the yellow guest room (that was a wreck) so that is clean now and have been slowly going through my clothes to get rid of the ones that don't fit or that I don't wear. This will be something I work on all year I think!

6. The sixth goal was to organize my home and keep it tidy. I think the house is beating me on this one but I will prevail - I am still working towards this one!

7. My seventh goal is going well. I resolved to keep up this blog with at least 2 entries a week and I have not failed yet! Yay!

8. My eighth goal is not yet reached. I have not yet finished Jasmine's first year scrapbook but I am up to month 9 so hopefully I will finish before she turns 3!

9. My ninth goal was to make healthier food choices and take my vitamins daily. Well, I suck at remembering to take my vitamins but I am making better food choices so that is alright I guess.

10. My last goal was to plant a garden. As it is not yet spring, I have not even gone towards this goal except to gather seeds for some of the flowers I would like to have in the garden.

All in all, things are not that bleak and I feel like I am getting on track and have not broken the resolves. It is good for me to do a self-evaluation every so often so I can keep my goals and I know that when you have them written down and feel accountable, that helps you reach them. So don't forget to ask me now and again how it's going and how I am doing - I promise not to be offended if you ask about the weight loss! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dr. Campbell

Jasmine has decided to become a doctor. It is really cute. The only person she has decided needs her healing services is Daddy. I got some great pictures and movie the other day as Jasmine healed daddy. She got on his lap, put her cute little hands on his face and said, "Daddy, you need to relax. I am Dr. Campbell, close your eyes Daddy." Then she looked at him and said, "You need some stickers on your face." Lorne happened to have some so he let Jasmine plaster his face with stickers and then they went to "nap" on the couch. Also, last week at school, they had a doctor come talk to them and gave them a plastic stethoscope and coloring book. Jasmine listened to Daddy's heart with her plastic stethoscope and had Daddy listen to her heart.I just love watching Lorne play with Jasmine. He is such a good dad to her and I know that Jasmine will grow up in a loving and secure environment because Lorne understand the importance of being a good father to his little girl. He feels passionate about making sure he is there for her and builds her confidence because he believes that girls that have a good relationship with their fathers have good self-esteem and don't go looking for comfort from other stupid boys when they are teenagers. I sure hope that is true! I believe it wholeheartedly!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Jasmine Update


Things Jasmine is into right now -


Ballerinas
Princesses
Dressing like a Princess
Marrying a Prince
Reading books
Putting "moneys" in her money box
Her Daddy
The Jungle Book movie
Playing with her friends
Going to school
Asking to see her extended family
Singing songs
Eating Lollipops

Things Jasmine is learning -

To speak Spanish better (she is only allowed to watch Disney movies in Spanish)
To go on the potty (we are beginning to see the light at the end of the changing diapers tunnel)
To sing more songs
To share her things (this could be going better than it is)
To identify letters (she is quite smart!)
To pronounce words correctly (boy will I miss some of the mispronounciations)

Milestones -

Jasmine now has 2 new molars on the bottom (for a total of 4 molars on the bottom)
She has 2 new ones coming in on the top (you can see them breaking through the gum)
She is wearing 3T clothes and size 7 shoes (big feet from Mom)
Her favorite color is pink
She has broken her first bones (those that have followed know about the wrist)

Last Week in Cake

So we did some fun cakes last week. It was nice to have a slightly slower week as the week before was Valentine's Day and I think I am still trying to recover from that!

The first one was a cake for a birthday party for a 9 year old girl. They gave us some scrapbook paper with all her favorite colors and we matched the paper exactly. The little girl said it was the prettiest cake she had ever seen! That made me happy as I thought the cake was a bit busy myself.
The other cake was made for Cindy's Baby shower (entry on that coming soon!). We based our design on her invitations and took some creative liberty. It turned out great!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Castoff!

Today was the big day that Jasmine got her cast removed. It is also a school day so we arrived a bit late to school. We got to our appointment at 8:30 AM and Jasmine was so excited to get the cast off. I took some fun pictures and a video so enjoy! My favorite part was when the cast came off and Jasmine exclaimed, "It doesn't hurt anymore!" The Doctor was impressed that she had great mobility in her wrist and didn't appear stiff. They did an x-ray and the bones looked 95% healed and they have asked that she come back in 4 weeks for one more x-ray as the fractures were near the growth plate but she doesn't need another cast or anything and the Doctor was happy with her progress! I was happy that she has been using it today and eating well with a fork again.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Busy Last Week

Last week began at the end of the previous week - on Saturday. I wanted to throw a great baby shower for my dear friend Jill, who is expecting a baby girl next month (we can't wait to meet her!). If you are an avid reader of this blog, you may have already seen the cake I made. Well, we threw the baby shower and it was a lot of fun. We ate great food (thanks for all the help, Lorne) and played some fun games. Jill got some totally cute things for the new baby and we had a lot of laughs. Here are some pictures from the event!Monday began the prep for the busy Valentine's Day week. We put out a special for the big romantic day (cupcakes and cookies) and we had a significant amount of orders. I do not need to tell you I didn't sleep much on Tuesday night or Wednesday night (3 hours Tuesday night and 2 hours Wednesday night). Not only did we bake 8 dozen cupcakes and 8 dozen sugar cookies but we also baked 2 cakes. It was super productive but really reminded us about the space issues we have. I use a simple metaphor to illustrate how it feels to work this business in my home. It is like a child when it grows out of their shoes. They will complain that they are too small and then the parents disagree and shove the shoes on. Eventually the child complains louder and when the parent forces the shoe, the child cries and limps. We are at the crying and limping stage.
Also, as is tradition for me every Valentine's Day, I worked at Godiva for the 13th and 14th dipping hundreds of strawberries for eager (and impatient) strawberry wanting costumers. This was my 6th year doing it and as hard as it is to get to Godiva (in DC) at 5 AM, it wouldn't feel like Valentine's Day if I didn't do it. By the way, should you ever want to buy chocolate dipped strawberries, white chocolate is the best on strawberries. I don't even like white chocolate but the properties that it has makes it the best tasting combination as the white chocolate brings out the sweetness of the berry. Many people don't give the white ones a chance, do not overlook this amazing taste opportunity!

I could not have done everything I did over those 2 days without the help of my grandmother and my dad. Abuela Meme came over Tuesday afternoon and watched Jasmine while I got work done. Jasmine loved it because she had Abuela Meme all to herself. Also, Abuela had a good time because she had a change of scenery and she adores Jasmine. She spent the night through to Thursday and she was a huge help. She helped clean, watched Jasmine and was a great compaion for chats while I worked. My dad came over Thursday morning to take Jasmine to school and I was a bit sad because I would have loved to have taken her on such a fun day, but alas, my responsibilities were such that I had to entrust someone else. Dad did a great job and Jasmine came home from school bouncing around (they had a party of course) and showing me all the Valentines she had received from fellow classmates. My parents also came over the night before and helped Jasmine make the Valentines for her classmates - I took some cute pictures in between working on cupcakes!
I had made reservations about 3 weeks ago for a nice Valentine's Day meal at a restaurant in Old Town Alexandria called La Tasca. They are a Spanish tapas restaurant and they had a 4 course dinner for the special night. Lorne had to travel and was worried he wouldn't make it back in time. He did however and we had a great night. He gave me a card that made me bawl and told me that my gift would be arriving the next day. He bought me the Nikon D40X that I had been begging for for about a year! We gave Jasmine some fun Valentine's stuff and we had a great and tasty dinner. The best part was dessert. It was the best dessert I have had at a restaurant for a long time. It was a dense rich brownie volcano lava cake with fresh sliced strawberries and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. It was so good! They even did a heart-shaped design on the plate - so pretty we had to take pictures.
Friday we had an appointment to look at a potential space for our business. I love it, it is the perfect size, the location is right and I just feel really good about it. Lorne of course was Mr. Negative Nelly. He will say the he is just being realistic but I know that he uses his hard cold exterior to negotiate. That is just not my style. Jasmine had a great time running around this big empty space and did a little ballet for us!All in all, it was a busy but very fulfilling week. Maybe it will be a bit quieter this week although I doubt it!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Some Male Musings...

Hey All, after many many moons of Sabrina writing this family blog I have finally decided to force myself (Lorne) to sit down and write. Obviously I'm very proud of all the things Sabrina has done, and I'm very supportive of the blog (...I confess, I sometimes use it to stay in touch with my own family when I travel...sad. I know.).

I also know most of the website has been about Jasmine and Cake. Just wait - one day there'll be a Jasmine Cake, and then the universe will implode. So today you'll get my perspective.

As has been common for the past several months, I've been traveling for work Monday through Friday. I had hoped that when I made my quota for the year (YAY!) the work would get easier... but in fact when you prove you can achieve - more just gets lumped onto the plate. So its obviously a mixed blessing. A typical week for me : Monday 7am, flight from DC to NYC. In meeting with customers Monday and Tuesday... Late Tuesday travel (drive) to Philadelphia...or Harrisburg, and have meetings Wed and Thursday. Thursday afternoon flight to (fill in the blank, Norfolk VA, Charlotte NC, or Miami FL)... then flight back to DC Friday night. EXHALE. Urgghhh. Finally to be back with the family for the weekend (...and generally church meetings for several hours on both Sat and Sun). You think I'm kidding about losing the weekends to Church meetings? A typical example: today I have 4 hours of Stake conference (5 hours with travel time)... and then tomorrow conference...only 2 hours.

This has been the same every weekend this year... around 7 hours each weekend of Church stuff. Last weekend, there was a Church Training session on spending more time with our families... I think I'll follow that instruction, and try to limit my attendance at these extraneous meetings.

So this week we celebrated Valentine's Day. For some, a time of romance... for me, my main priority was simply to be home with the family. It took a great deal of effort, canceling meetings, turning down others, rushing to airports, praying flights would leave on time...All to arrive home 10 mins before taking my wife and baby out for a nice dinner. Funny, when I think about it - I had been looking forward to being home with my family all week long. For me, that's what made my Valentine's day special. Just to be home with them. No flowers, no chocolates... all I had for Sabrina was a card telling her how much she means to me. Even to say I love her isn't enough - since when you love someone with your whole self, words can never be enough. She is my life, and my joy each day and night. She is the one perfect thing about my life, and I pray every day that she is kept safe - and blessed for all she brings to our family. Thank you my Angel for all you are, and all you do.

Finally a blog here wouldn't be complete without a reference to Jasmine. She's my little valentine. I was thinking this morning about how the cute things she says are starting to go away. She used to pronounce 'ketchup' - "Ke-pup"... and 'sleeping beauty', "sleepy budda".. but now she's starting to pronounce the real words. Its sad she has to grow up and lose that. But wait... she did say something to me last night that melted my heart, "Daddy I love you...You are my Sweet!". I guess I can replace Ke-pup with that. Kisses to my Little Bee.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I've Been Tagged

OK - I have been tagged a few times so I will do it now - thanks Tallie & Shelly

4 "people" who email me regularly:
1. Kelleen Trauger (my awesome neighbor and close friend)
2. Cindy Zarcone
3. my mom
4. The comment e-mail from my blogs (thanks to all of you who leave comments - I love them!)

4 places I would like to visit:
1. China (we are trying to go this year)
2. Italy
3. Egypt
4. Really, the whole world - why narrow it down to only 4?

4 favorite restaurants:
1. The City Square Cafe (my uncle's amazing restaurant)
2. The Melting Pot (can you say fondue?)
3. Bilbo Baggins (amazing Beef Stroganoff)
4. Cheesecake Factory (I know it is totally a chain commercialized restaurant but I do love it)
5. I too will add a 5th one - I love restaurants that are unique - that are one and only - I recently ate at Perilla 9 in New York City and it was amazing - and that is the only one of those in the world!

4 things I am looking forward to in the coming year:
1. My 30th birthday party - Disco Mania (you all better be planning on it - June 27th)
2. Family Vacations - especially the one to China
3. Having Lorne close some more deals so we can remodel our kitchen
4. Opening my bakery

4 things I am not looking forward to in the coming year:
1. Jasmine getting older - I love spending time with her right where she is at any given time and I miss when she was a baby!
2. Actually turning 30 - I have had a blast in my 20's - it is sad to leave them
3. If we don't have another child this year
4. Lorne being gone all the time

I tag Shelly, Jill, Cindy Z and Emily Slusser and Dayna Barolin for this one!

Here is the other one I have been tagged on...

4 Jobs I've Had
The Slimmery (a weight watchers store when I was a teenager)
Neptune Interactive (an internet provider company in Northern Virginia that no longer exists)
Ernst & Young - Executive Assistant
Godiva Chocolatier

4 Movies I Could Watch Over and Over
Great Expectations
Any Disney Movie
Harry Potter
Gone with the Wind

4 Places I Have Lived
Alexandria, Virginia
Columbus, Ohio
Arizona
Wurzburg, Germany

4 Favorite Places to Visit
Any one of my friends houses no matter where they may be
Australia to see Lorne's family
My own families homes
Any beautiful place on the earth

4 Favorite Desserts
Cheesecake
Cake
Pie
Banana Wontons from the Thai restaurant

4 Favorite Dinners
Beef Stroganoff
Pasta
Mexican food
Thanksgiving dinner (when it is done right)

4 Websites I Visit Daily
All of my friends' blogs (that's right folks, get writing!)
People magazine online (have to see what the pesky celebrities are up to)
My e-mails (gmail and hotmail)
Cake Central (that is an obvious one)

4 People I Tag
Emily Slusser
Tallie Menzie
Cindy Zarcone
Dayna Barolin

Cakes from the weekend

I know you all look forward to this post - when I show you my works of art! :) Anyhow, here are the 3 cakes we did this weekend. We did a Chinese New Year Cake (it is the year of the rat in case you missed it!), a baby shower cake, and a Michigan birthday cake. Actually, I had Marcia make that one all by herself as I can't do it (Ohio State Buckeye in me screaming).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

How her little mind works


I love that Jasmine is so communicative because she always says things that make me laugh and give me insight on how her mind is working.
We have been doing some potty training and typically these days she wakes up with a diaper that isn't full (if we get to her right when she wakes up). We have been putting her on the potty and she will go and is very proud of herself. A few days ago, I wasn't sure if she would go, the diaper was half full and I didn't know if I had gotten to her in time. I asked her if she wanted to go to the potty and she said yes. She sat for a few minutes and then looked into my eyes very seriously. She said, "Mom, I can't do it, I need batteries." I just looked at her and said, "Jasmine, where would we put them?" and she said sternly, "In the fridge Mom". I burst out laughing because she knows I keep the batteries in the refridgerator and she has been really into opening and looking inside the fridge for a while.
A few weeks ago I had an experience that let me know I really do need to be careful of what I say. I used to get really mad and scream and yell at people when they did stupid things on the road. After I had Jasmine I made a conscious decision to be better about that because it was not appropriate behavior for her to see. I toned it down to just calling people idiots under my breath when they do something dumb.
We were cruising down the road and I saw this guy who was having a hard time staying in his lane and as I got closer to pass him on the left, he began to mosey into my lane so I honked at him but said nothing. Jasmine, from the back seat says, "Mommy? Is he an idiot?" I was stunned that she had picked up on that and said to her, "No honey, he is just confused." Now I am trying not to call people idiots! Having a 2 year old is tough on my vocab!
I am having a lot of fun teaching Jasmine her self worth and building her confidence. She is very into princesses and knows she is one as well. We have bought her several princess dresses for her to play dress up and she loves to wear them and prance around the house. Last Saturday, I promised her that after her nap she could dress like Sleeping Beauty when she woke up and she didn't let me forget it. When she woke up, I got her into her gear, tiara, earrings and all (she calls the earrings her jewels). When I was done getting her prettied up she looked up and me and smiled and said, "Mommy, now I can marry a prince." This little phrase touched my heart and I told her that she would mappy a prince someday and he would take her to the temple. She just looked and me and smiled and scampered out of the room. What a sweetie!
Jasmine is quite the little planner. It amazes me that she has grasped the principle of waiting for things and planning for later. Many kids her age can only think in the now. When Jasmine wants something and I tell her no, she will often look at me and say, "Ok Mommy, we can do it later." She also makes plans all day. For example I will say to her, It's lunch time." and she will say, "Mommy and then after lunch I want to play and watch tv and then have a noni (nap)." The most amazing thing is that she tries to proceed and follow through on the plans she makes for herself. She is also fine if I say no to her and tell her she can do whatever she is asking for later. She accepts it and will wait for later. It is amazing to me that she comprehends that she can't always have everything now.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I LOVE IT!!

OK so as you all know by now I am training for the Avon Walk and have a schedule to help me be ready in time. I am a person who loves schedules and lists that I can mark off my progress. I like to know I am on track and have visual proof of it. That being said, yesterday I went and walked 3 miles (after being sick for a week it was tough) and today is supposed to be what they call a cross training day. Well, I had no idea what that means except that I know it means I shouldn't necessarily be walking (I have to do another 3 miles tomorrow according to the plan) so I went to the gym and decided to try a Body Flow class.
The body flow class includes tai chi and yoga. This sounded like something I wanted to try because as I was watching Oprah yesterday (many of you know how I feel about her) Dr. Oz was showing some yoga moves and explaining how good they are for you. Also, if you know me well, you will know that I am not a very flexible person at all and I am starting to get old so my flexibility will worsen (if that is even possible for me). So all in all, this sounded like a positive way to spend my time.
Well, can I just tell you how much I loved it. I didn't think I would but it is the right amount of exertion and workout and stretching to make me feel challenged but also good at the end of it all! So every Wednesday and Friday you can find me at the Body Flow class!

Cakes from the weekend

In addition to our winning chocolate masterpiece, we also cranked out 2 other cakes for people this weekend. We really felt they all turned out great so here they are for your viewing pleasure!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Yay for us!

So, this weekend was very fun for us at the Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax. As you may have read previously, we entered a cake in the Chocolate Challenge to be judged by famed cakers Norman Davis and Zane Beg (check them out at http://www.thesweetlife.com/). It was so neat to meet them because I have watched them compete on the Food Network in many challenges and win! It was intimidating to know our work would be judged by people who really know all about cake and are stars in the field!We sketched our design about a month ago and began working on some of the details on Monday night of last week. We worked a marathon 10 hours Thursday night to finishe the cake and took it to City Hall in Fairfax Friday night. We also had to include a tasting cake for the judges as this was not only a decorating contast but a taste one as well. When we finished our cake, we knew we had a solid entry and felt that no matter what happened, we put our best foot forward. We also did not know how stiff the competition would be. We arrived Saturday morning for the judging and waiting with anticipation for them to announce the winners. We were competing in the amateur category and we had 9 other cakes in the category with us. There were only 3 in the professional category. Well, we were so excited when we saw them place the first place Best in Show ribbon beside our cake. A few minutes later they placed a second ribbon by our cake for Best in Taste! We were so elated!

Lorne asked Norman Davis what the judging criteria was and how we won. Norman said that we had more techniques on our cake and that we had executed them well and that was what helped us win. So yay for us!