Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sugar Cookies

I am constantly on the lookout for new sugar cookies recipes--it's my quest to find the perfect roll out dough.  This is the recipe I used this week to make our Halloween Cookies, and it's one of my favorites!  These were a winner with my family...great taste!

Sugar Cookies

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

3 c. all-purpose flour (unbleached)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
2 large or extra large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

In a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder, set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until completely combined.

Chill 1 hour.

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

I used a basic buttercream frosting and food coloring to decorate.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Historic Estes Park Theatre Mall Destroyed By Fire

A week ago the historic Estes Park Theatre Mall was destroyed by fire.  We have frequented this mall many times on our visits to Estes Park.  My favorite store, The Christmas Shoppe, is now gone--very sad. 

Those of you not familiar with Estes Park--it is the eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.  It sits at an elevation of approximately 7500 feet and is a classic resort mountain town.  We take everyone who visits us to Estes Park.  While the mall was just a small portion of the town's businesses, it is sad nonetheless.

As a note, the Theatre portion featured in the pictures I took in 2006 (below) was not destroyed.  The mall was to the left of the theatre. It was originally built in 1914 as a livery.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Taking the Plunge

It's been a long time coming, but after much inner debate and turmoil, I took the plunge and joined Weight Watchers today--for about the 100th time-- and I'm determined it will be the last time.  Okay, I exaggerate...truly more like the 7th time in the last two decades.  It's been a few years since I was last a member, and the program has changed, so I went today with an open mind and heart determined that this will be the last time I join because I'm going to succeed.

I have religiously been attending H2O aerobics 4-5 days a week for the last 4 months and have lost about 15 pounds, and while I've kept those 15 pounds at bay, weight loss has come to a standstill.   It's time to up my game, and Weight Watchers is my weapon of choice.

Although short and sweet, the purpose of this post is to declare my commitment publicly, as I'm going to need all the support possible to keep me on the road to success.  Personal accountability is key.

So here's to my latest health and a long and fulfilling life!

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Photoshop Baby!

Photography is my hobby.  More than that even, it's my passion.  I LOVE trying to capture that one moment in time!  I probably go a bit overboard--for example, I take close to 300 shots at every one of my daughters cross country meets (the ones I attend).  In my defense, I'm putting a slide show together for their season-end banquet, and making a copy for each member of the team, and I want to have good photos of each of the runners.

This weekend I finally settled down with a book from the library on Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.  Actually, I checked out 5 different books, and found the one I liked best before I jumped into buying one.  Now I've found the one I have to have.  I've had the program for months, and fiddled with it a little, but it's not intuitive.  You NEED a book to understand everything, plus there are so many steps you need a reference to use again and again, because you'll never remember them all, at least I won't.

Below are a few pictures of my nephew that I played with in photoshop.  Yup, it's official, I'm addicted.  Enjoy!

Original (or as I've seen several photographers refer to as SOOC-straight out of camera)

Edit #1

Edit #2 (softer)

Ah, now that's my little angel, ah, I mean man.  :)