Friday, April 29, 2011

4. externship update: urban's customers are the best.

yesterday morning, we decided to take donations for the victims of the tornadoes in alabama.  before i even knew we were accepting them, our customers were bringing in donations by the bag full.  {& i started working at 6 am!}  there were bags & bags & bags of clothes, blankets, & other non-perishables by lunch.  we seriously have the greatest customers.  thank you all so very much.

in other {& now so much less important news}, we got a new mixer!!!  it is huge.  & i am so excited about it.  i actually shrieked with joy when i first saw it.  we also are going to have a new work table & rack for baking.  it is going to be fabulous.  think of how much buttercream i will be able to make at a time.  an entire week's worth :)

did i mention the purchasing of these great items means we are going to start making our own bread?  yes, i, kendall porter, might have to dabble in bread making.  i, who am terrified of bread & said i would not make bread for a living, might make bread.  oh, the irony.  i need a culinard extern!  or maybe just a little patience.  probably the extern.

next week, i am going to start making some changes in our plated dinner desserts menu.  warm chocolate sheet cake with pecan fudge icing :  i think so.

have a wonderful weekend, friends!  blakey & i will be celebrating our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!  can you believe it?  we certainly cannot.  one year.  one absolutely fabulous, beyond anything i could've ever hoped & dreamed year.

love love,

Thursday, April 28, 2011

thankful thursday # 16.

huge storms rolled through alabama yesterday.  tanky & i woke up to the sirens going off early in the morning.  luckily, nothing major with that storm.  then as blakey was driving home from work yesterday evening, the sirens started going off again.  not so lucky this time...

{found through msnbc photos}

a huge tornado went through tuscaloosa {home of the university of alabama, 45 minutes SW of birmy} causing quite a bit of havoc.  a hospital was on a back up generator, buildings down, crazy stuff.  as it was headed right towards downtown birmy, debris started falling from the sky!  among the papers buzzing around, a crazy big chevron sign fell from the sky!  {two fellas from our building retrieved it later.  haha.  it was big.}

so i did the normal kendall thing & started freaking out :)  blakey, tanky, fuchsia, & i headed down to our basement to sit out the storm.  you know how you always talk about what are the things you would grab in your house if you had to evacuate quickly?  i actually got to live out this game.

{disclaimer: we have a GIGANTIC sky light in our bedroom.  it is quite old.  as are the big windows in our living room.  strong winds with big things flying through the air could surely break them open.  i'm not that crazy.}

the things i grabbed, other than my "everything is fine" husband & pets:
my wedding ring.
the diamond necklace my dad gave my mom years ago & she gave me.
our external hard drives with every digital picture i've ever taken on it.  {which i need to update!}
my camera with the best pictures that haven't been put on the hard drive yet.
our cake topper birds.
tanky's green man.  {haha...i knew he would be annoying downstairs.}

& i moved all of our picture albums that are stupidly on the bottom of our bookshelves right next to the window into the one room of our loft with a door & its own ceiling - the bathroom.  those may find a new home.

downstairs, we got to hang out with one of our neighbors that we've become friends with.  her husband was working at the hospital, so we were happy to ensure her everything was going to be fine.  {we are from oklahoma, after all.  we know tornadoes :)}

so i'm thankful.  i'm thankful everything here was just fine.  i'm thankful blakey was home from work to keep me semi-calm.  i'm thankful i grabbed the most important things.  i'm thankful i have renters insurance.  i'm thankful we had a friend to hang out with.  & i'm so thankful for all of you who checked on us during the storm.

we are blessed.

i hope you can think of something for which you are thankful today.

love love,

ps prayers to those who were affected by the storms.

pps a video of the tornado passing north of downtown {here}.  tall buildings = downtown, where we live.  red buildings = uab's campus.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

wedding wednesday # 34: one year ago...

the first twenty-five years of my life i dreamed about my wedding day.  the church, the cake, the flowers, the bridesmaids, the dress, the boy.  i dreamt about it being the best day of my life.  & it was the best day of my life, up to that day.

on the day of your wedding, you can not imagine loving this man more than you do at that moment.  but you will.  you will love him even more during each fabulous vacation, each special date, each fun night out with "our" friends.  you will love him even more when he drives you crazy, when you fight about tiny things, when you fight about enormous things.  but you will love him more.  because each day you get to choose to love him.

so now instead of dreaming about the wedding, i get to dream about the marriage.  a good marriage.  a very good marriage.  & that makes every day after the wedding even better than the wedding day.

i love you, kendall, as i love no other.  all that i am, i share with you.  be mine, as i am yours, & i will shield you, trust you, & cleave to you alone.  i take you, kendall, to be my wedded wife; to have & to hold, from this day forward, in sickness & in health, in poverty & in plenty, to love & to cherish, so long as we both shall live.  this is my pledge to you.

i love you, blake, as i love no other.  all that i am, i share with you.  i come to you in confidence & trust.  i now choose you, out of all the world to be my wedded husband; to have & to hold, from this day forward, in sickness & in health, in poverty & in plenty, to love & to cherish, so long as we both shall live.  this is my promise to you.

happy wedding, brides & grooms.  happy marriage, wives & husbands.

love love,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the most beautiful kitchen tool i've ever seen.

oh my gosh, i want it.

a hot pink kitchen aid mixer with a tilt head & a glass measuring bowl?!

so gorgeous.  & a bigger bowl.  & the scraping paddle will fit.  & you can see when cream cheese is still stuck on the bottom.

if any of you out there need to buy me a {really expensive} gift, this would be a great one :)  {jokes jokes} 

oh, but the best part: being that i am now in the restaurant industry, i get 20% off at williams sonoma!  that is fabulous.  i have to send in a couple things to prove it, but then i get a card to always get 20% off!  & that means the mixer would "only" be $280 :)

tanky got a gift yesterday to match "my" mixer!  aunt julie & uncle ben sent him this lovely pink fluffy squeaky toy.  he LOVES it.  it has not left his side since he got it.  green man hasn't even been touched.  & that is huge, my friends.  {i'm pretty sure that means the mixer & i are meant to be.}

{thank you, aunt julie & uncle benny boo!}

love love,

Monday, April 25, 2011

thank you, Jesus for easter!

a wonderful & happy easter to you & yours.  i hope your day was filled with the beauty of the Lord.

for our first easter in birmy, we invited our alabama family to have an easter potluck with us!

the mcgowans, potters, & hobgoods all joined in the fun.  & we are so grateful to have all of them over to celebrate the day with us.

{candid!  sarah is always ready.}

{my beautiful friends}

{tanky loves lola!!}

 {ogden & asher potter}

 {the fellas.  super cute.}

apparently, one of my new hobbies is decorating our table for dinner parties:

 {our super cute birds from the shockeys!}

 {bird salt & pepper shakers galore!}

 {an adorable easter tea towel from lisa!}

desserts first: a friend of mine posted a picture of a gorgeous rose cake on facebook awhile back.  i had to find out how she made it, & she was super kind to share her secrets.  this is my first attempt.  i will have to practice a little more, but it is such a neat cake.

 {it was lemon.  i know you are surprised.}

 {pistachio cookies!
a recipe from our harvey loft french friend.}

i'll tell you what: our birmingham friends can cook.  every time we get together, we share a phenomenal meal.  the mcgowans made a scrumptious beef tenderloin.  the potters made blake's favorite: deviled eggs.  & we got to try a new fabulous dish from the hobgoods: pineapple casserole.  sounds super weird, right?  no, super good.

 {a rendition of my mom's holiday favorite potatoes}

{a rendition of my stepmom's baked beans}

we hope you all had a joyous easter!

love love,

Friday, April 22, 2011

3. externship update: i love piping.

another great week at urban!

this past weekend, there was a fun event on second avenue north {our front door} called paint the town red.  it was a digital art show & fundraiser for the red cross.  lots of people outside means lots of people inside buying cupcakes!  i got to bake & ice so so many cupcakes.

{now that is what i call a full case.
more cupcakes below & in back.}

i introduced a new cupcake to urban: the lemon cupcake with lemon frosting!  it is light & fruity & very spring.  my wonderful friends at work say it is fabulous.  {they are so sweet.} & a customer even tweeted about them on twitter!  success.

after getting the urban way of icing cupcakes down, i decided it was time to make a change.  i love piping frosting onto cupcakes.  it is fast, efficient, easier to be consistent, & super adorable.  so we made the change!  little kisses of frosting now sit atop our cupcakes.

{red velvet}



as with everything else, practice will make them much better.  but i think it is a great start.

happy friday, friends!

love love,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

thankful thursday # 15.

today, i am thankful for my friends, both old & new.

cari & armstrong & i have gotten to hang out on gchat a couple times this week!  cari & i are planning her trip to birmy to see us!  i'm already thinking of all of the places we are going to go see, which, as you know, really means all of the food we are going to eat :)  flip burger, urban, bettola, maybe a brunch at v richards, wings & LITs on the patio at moe's, & a sooner football game any where that will show it.

armstrong has been very excited about the thunder play-off games!  {it's game time; it's game time.  let's thunder up!} & we may or may not have been discussing a potential text message.  hahaha.  love you love you.

as for new friends, blakey & i are super excited to have our birmy friends over for an Easter potluck on sunday!  since we are all away from our families this holiday, everyone is bringing a dish that reminds them of their family Easter.  you know a blog post will follow.

cheers to our friends we have known forever & to our friends we look forward to knowing forever.

i hope you can think of something for which you are thankful.

love love,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

wedding wednesday # 33: save the date!

save the dates are the perfect way to kick off your wedding celebration.  they set the tone, the style, & the formality of your day.  sure, you could say the same thing about the actual invitation, but these are up for 6 months, instead of just 6 weeks.  even better, my friends.

the wonderful & amazing cards was the brilliant mind behind our save the dates.  they came up with the tri-fold idea, the "our story" idea, the old school picture idea.  & then made it all beyond my wildest dreams.

i adored our save the dates.  if just one thing summed up our entire wedding, this is it.

it reads:

kendall & blake's love story began at a piano recital as children.  their parents, however, claim they have known each other since birth.  as far as they can recall, sixth grade was the beginning of their relationship.  blake had a huge crush on kendall after first seeing her at longfellow middle school.  after a year of pining, kendall gave in and agreed to “go out with him.”  it was a serious relationship with monumental consequences: kendall’s first kiss was blake.  the magical moment happened during a birthday party held at the norman young life building.  after a few months of their long middle school courtship, they decided it was time to move on.

blake still had not gotten over kendall when they reached high school, but they maintained a close friendship within a great group of friends.  kendall attended blake’s soccer games; blake watched kendall dance with her pom squad. they continued as best friends even as other relationships came and went. after graduation, kendall remained in norman to attend the university of oklahoma, and blake decided to play soccer at depauw university in indiana. we now know the story does not end there.

throughout college, kendall & blake stayed in touch, but it was the holidays that drew them together.  during their senior year, the group of high school friends which had remained close, decided to take a road trip for blake’s final collegiate soccer game.  it was on this journey that kendall realized that her feelings for blake never faded.  finally at the annual thanksgiving celebration, their friends gave her the courage to reveal the crush that was hiding all these years.

after many moments of silence, blake admitted that he still had feelings for kendall, too.  a romantic, surprise proposal before the annual christmas caroling party started the newest step in their journey towards a life full of love together.  now, they want to share their love with you.

{senior prom circa 2002.
yes, i wore a white dress.
fabulous decision, 17 year old kendall.}

so we continue to share our love with you.

love love,
the porters.

Monday, April 18, 2011

the shuffleboard bar!

last summer, when blakey was on a less time consuming rotation, he had one of his BIG ideas - to build a bar on the side of a shuffleboard table. 

he has BIG ideas often.  & usually the come & go.  so i always go with them for a little bit, until he starts thinking about the next idea. 

but this one stuck.  he researched how to do it, what tools he needed, where to find an inexpensive shuffleboard table...  so off we went to atlanta to buy a shuffleboard table.  {by the way, if any of you haven't heard the story of this trip, please ask next time you see me.  it is hilarious.  & i am glad blakey & i are still happily married :)}

{blakey screwing the legs back on,
since we had to take them off for it to fit in our car}

{sawing, yes, on my kitchen table}

{those would be tanky tongue prints on the right}

{my husband is so manly}

 {this is the base on which the shuffleboard sits on top.
it needed to be higher to be at bar height}

 {the super awesome OU coozies & bottle opener
that go on the sides of the bar}

 {shuffleboard time!}

our board is set up to play one of two ways: the first is with little itty bitty pucks and using the triangle & the 7, 8, 9, & 10 points scoring.  the second {& the way we always play} is with the normal sized pucks & the 1, 2, 3 points scoring.  that's the o'connell's way, so it's the porters' way.

 {i kicked blakey's butt the first time we played with the little pucks.
which is probably why we always play with the big pucks now :) }

{ta da! our shuffleboard bar!}

many many fun nights at the shuffleboard bar.  four people can play at a time & four more can sit at the bar & cheer on the competitors.  on the window side, there are shelves that blakey built that hold all of our bar needs.  handy & fun.  

well done, husband.  a great idea :)

love love,

Friday, April 15, 2011

2. externship update: macarons with 1 o.

french macarons: the cute little cookie sandwiches with chewy yet crisp "cookies" made from meringue.  supposedly the next big thing after cupcakes.

macaroons: the, usually coconut, cookies that you normally think of when you hear the term "macaroons."

note: these two things have very little in common.

i made both this week :)  pictures of the french version:

 {vanilla with strawberry}

{coconut with white}

& i learned that, although my book devoted specifically to french macarons with every single little detail spelled out on how to make these delightful treats mentions nothing of it, you should bake these on silpats.  not baking them on silpats results in a very long time spent trying to peel them off of parchment paper.  do yourself a favor & just use a silpat.

other than that, they were great!  & adorable.  & will hopefully be even better next time.

by the way, biggest challenge of real world vs school thus far: trying to wrap up full sheet pans in plastic wrap without the help of my favorite class partner in crime, jess.  we always joked that it would be hard to do without each other.  but, seriously, it is.  i dropped a sheet pan full of cupcakes on the ground.  {only 30ish, not iced.  but STILL.  not my proudest moment.}

more new stuff next week!  still trying out all of our recipes & creating some new ones myself.  if you're in birmy, stop by urban & get yourself a treat!

love love,

Thursday, April 14, 2011

thankful thursday # 14.

today is my first day off in a week & a half!  & i am so happy about it.

i plan to head to the gym for the first time in far too long, run some errands & maybe even buy groceries, do a little summer wardrobe sprucing, & probably spend a little time at work reading a book & drinking a delicious beverage. 

so funny & ironic.

love my life.

i hope you can think of something for which you are thankful today.

love love,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

wedding wednesday # 32: the invite.

 our wedding invitations were so near & dear to my heart.  

from the beginning, i knew i wanted them to be in my handwriting.  i wanted to see the words "announce the marriage of" & our names in my handwriting.  the same as i had doodled it since we got engaged.  {ok, maybe earlier.  maybe :)} 

so i wrote it over & over & over... & over & over & over...

& then i got graph paper & practiced it over & over & over...  

with a little help from cari suggesting how to actually get it accomplished & from ben brilliantly noticing my first attempt's miss of the word "to" {before printing, thank God!}, they came out perfectly us.

 {the invite}

 {the reply card}

{the fancy doily inner envelope - 
martha's idea!}

so, brides, whatever that big thing is you want to do for your wedding but have no idea how to do it & know it is a little off - do it.  dream big.  & you'll be so happy.

love love,