Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Texas beginnings...

On thing I throughly enjoy about Texas: having a Space Shuttle on my license plate.

Don't agree? you should.

So far we have been settling in to our new surroundings in Dallas pretty well! Although leaving Arkansas has been hard, we've been blessed for a couple opportunities to head back and visit friends and family this summer. We are so blessed by all of our relationships back home, but are looking forward to the many more wonderful memories that are to come with all of them.

TI is a fantastic company to work for. Tons of great benefits, support, and a fabulous community. I've still got a lot to learn on the job, but they are keeping really busy with lots and lots of information to absorb.

Nick's starting up with his PhD full swing this fall and is enjoying it so far. He's a fantastic planner so he rarely has to stay up all night working on projects (totally not me).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kimistry of Cakes

As a gift to my best guy friends and in honor of their coming marriages, I like to do something special for their bachelor parties. I think its partly because I've always been a tomboy and I secretly wish I could attend the bachelor party and celebrate with them. But alas, that little small detail about bachelor parties being "only men" shindigs.

So I send my cakes which I make with much love. A couple of my girl friends were around for the baking of the cakes expressed interest in wishing that they could be there for the decorating process. So this time I decided to document what it takes to make a boob cake.

1. First I baked to 9in rounds. Usually I use Wilton Bake Even Strips to bake a cake that is essentially flat, which is essential for layered cakes. However for this design, you want the cakes to look "round" so I used two normal metal pans. The cakes are on foil covered cardboard cake board that can be purchased to Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby.

2. Make a batch of buttercream icing, yes its super fattening, and yes its super delicious.

3. Color half the icing a nice fleshy tone and the other half the bra color of choice.

4. I cover half the cakes in the flesh toned icing and the other half in the bra color icing.

4. Decorate, Decorate, Decorate....

5. And wahlah!

Put it in a cake box and go!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reflections in my last week at the UofA

I can't even begin to explain how good it feels to write "last week"....ahhh....so nice. I have a lot of fun times at the UofA in my research lab, but there have been a lot more stressful, time consuming, and not enjoyable moments.

My first year was the most trying. I had already worked one summer in the "Lab" (which is mostly just computers) and my professor was confident in my skills and work. So when I started full time, he dropped me right in the middle of things. This was great because it enabled me to finish in 2 years but it felt like I just got thrown in to a hurricane. Although I learned a LOT, there were many nights of tears and doubts wondering if this field was really for me. I really felt so lost and inadequate in the depth and breadth of knowledge and how fast I was asked to come up to speed on it.

Then came my internship with Texas Instruments. I was so nervous about starting, but it was really a fantastic experience. I came home almost every day saying, "I really enjoyed work today." Of course there were the boring days, but I loved what I was working on and the people I was working with. I was blessed to have TI offer me a job at the end of the term in spite of the beginnings of the economic downturn.

I began my second year of the master's with the "get it done and get out" motto. I wanted to lie low, finish what I had to, and get back to TI and actual work that I liked. However, my research group was rocked with the sudden death from aggressive brain cancer of one of our PhD students. He had been the lead on our most important project (at the time) with our NASA Space electronics project. My professor asked us all to step in a help pick up where he left off.

This project was more of a big picture, top level design than the one I had spend my 1st year on. The more I learned about it, the more I was intrigued by it. Once again I was completely blessed to emerged as the new leader on this bigger project. Even though it was complex it was much more up my system-minded alley. As the months passed, more and more issues started to come up which I had to figure out and come up with solutions. The result was a better system which was the focus of my Master's thesis.

Even though that 1st year was really tough, my second year was such a blessing. I can say now that I'm truly proud of the work that I have completed in my Master's. Everything seems to be falling into place as I look at starting my engineering career.

Thankfully, I've got a couple of months to do some serious de-tox before starting in July! Sun and pools here I come!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


can I tell you how bad I want some cookie dough right now? Or an amazing glazed sugar cookie from Rick's bakery....I think a celebratory trip to Rick's is in order for this week!

I can tell you one thing....

Diet Dr. Pepper is good...but its not cupcake good.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm so bad!

I know I said I would update after my defense...and look at me, its almost a week later! But hopefully most of you saw via Facebook that I passed! It went really well; there was only one long set of questions but it was more like a discussion and then the rest of it went smoothly.

I was hoping my UofA life would settle down so that I could focus mainly on wrapping things up for graduation and leaving my research group. Unforunately, the research is still going full swing even though I'm on my way out the door...and its difficult to remove myself from responsibility. This difficulty is mostly due to the fact that everyone else in my research group is busy with their own stuff and don't really want pick up a new project and also because I'm a stickler who likes things done in a certain way. If you know me at all, you definitely know that I'm stubborn.

So this week was crazy. Defense on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesay (all nighter!) were spent working on homework and a project before heading to Austin on Thursday for the UT senior fashion show. My sister's work in it was amazing! Here's a little peak, you can see more on facebook:

I know she's amazing! I can't wait to see what she's going to do next!

But back on the road to Arkansas and this week will probably be as crazy as last....my thesis is due for real on Friday and my professor still hasn't read it....cross your fingers he read it this weekend!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thesis Defense

There are 37 minutes until the start of the thesis defense for my master's degree. Am I nervous? Hell yes! My professor has already told me I'm going to pass, but of course I'm still sweating and filled with butterflies!

I'll update after I'm through the valley...

Friday, April 10, 2009

I found you!

the last version the cookie dough cupcakes was a keeper. So delicious and enjoyed by many! Pictures to come later.

Most importantly, I turned in my thesis this week. After so many hours of writing, its finally coming down to the last few steps. I was truly bless that God made it pass by quickly and fairly painlessly all 138 pages of it. Okay so a lot of that is figures (there were over 70 of those!) and the required 10 pages of "fluff" - title page (below) , table of contents, etc.- but man, I really wish it would have been shorter!

Now all I have to do is pass my defense and my classes this semester....I really can't believe the end is so close! I'm so ready for the almost 2 months of nothingness that I have in store for me before starting at TI in late July. Here I come summer!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

the kimistry of cupcakes

After my fabulous encounter with Molly's Cookie Monster cupcake in Chicago, I search the internet trying to find a good recipe for cupcakes with cookie dough filling. This version I tried out this week. Simply make a typical cupcake and drop some frozen cookie dough on top of each cupcake before baking. It was very easy, although may of the cupcakes drooped in the middle. It did appear that the longer you baked them, the less they drooped, but since I hate dry cake, I error on the side of underbaked.

The end result was still delicious. The droopiness could be covered up with icing, and wah-lah yummy cookie dough cupcake. However, still not as good as Molly's. One of the main flaws was that the cookie dough sunk to the bottom of the cupcake. Still doughy, but not exactly the filling like at Molly's. I'm still searching for a better way to acheive the cookie dough filling, and I've got some ideas that I'm going to try next time.

Several people got to try out this first version, and I think people like them. Nick and I had a great dinner date with Silvy. Her husband, James, whipped up some tasty tacos and we had a great time visiting with them! I do have to say nights like tonight make me sad that the move to Dallas is coming up so quickly! April is going to be packed for us with finishing up our classes and getting ready to graduate in early May.

Here's a couple more pictures from our trip to Chicago: Me in front of Cloud Gate, and Nick and I out experience the city's nightlife (one of my favorite pictures of us in a long time!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Meet the best cupcake i've EVER eaten. The Cookie Monster at Molly's Cupcakes in Chicago. I can't even explain how truly delicious this was...but i'll attempt. It was a moist vanilla cupcake with just a few chocolate chips filled with gooey chocolate chip cookie dough topped with a light buttercream frosting more chocolate chips and a mini cookie. OH MY GOODNESS. Sooo good.

I've committed myself to replicating its goodness.

Otherwise Chicago was a really fun trip. We arrived friday on Amtrak. I've never traveled by train before and it was a lot of fun. Tons of space for each seat with an awesome leg rest and electrical sockets. It takes about as long as driving (minus the traffic) but you can do other things like sleep or work on your thesis.

Nick's brother Cal showed us a great time around the city on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. We tasted Spanish tapas, great chinese food, smoothies with tapioca balls (a lot better than it sounds...and I don't even like tapioca pudding), great homemade pork tenderloin.

Hopefully we'll be back up here again soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

thesis...you never end

Did I say 40 or 50 more pages to go? I've got those done, but its still not done yet! I just want it to end already! Unforunately I've got to finish talking a few things before I can really wrap this thing up....

may graduation...may graduation....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Life is moving so fast! Where did this year go? Nick and I are both busy trying to finish up our masters here so we can move to Dallas and start the next "stage" of our life. I'll be starting my career (eek!) and Nick's looking to start his counseling PhD.

I'm really looking forward to getting off my graduate research pay and on to a salary with all the great benefits...like health care! My job offer with TI still stands, so I'm hoping it makes it until July. With the current economic condition, I know that I'm totally blessed to still have that job offer out there when so many people are losing their own.

Am I going to be able to talk to my kids about what it was like in the Great Depression 2? I really hope not, but the economic conditions in the country look bad. really bad. And our Roth IRA, interest on our money market, and my TI stocks are VERY representative of that. Thankfully we are still young with many working years ahead of us...I feel terrible for those who were hoping to retire in the next 5 years.

What's that? Oh its my thesis calling me back....30 pages down and around another 40-50 to go!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

what's on Kim's tv?

Right now I'm addicted to several shows. Maybe addiction is taking a tad bit too far, but let's just say I thoroughly enjoy them. Since Nick and I have cable, I keep up to date with them online...thank goodness for the tv internet revolution! But let's get on to the good stuff:

1. 24

Jack Bauer is the MAN. Every episode is 1 hour in this life of counter terrorist agent. Season after season this show is liking watching full length action movie every episode. Its thrilling, its intense, and it has some crazy plot twists. But trust me, once you start watching you can't stop...I've heard of several people who have blown through all the seasons in just a few days. Perfect for action lovers! I do recommend starting at season 1 and working your way up...there are several story lines that build up through the seasons, and its definitely worth it to know them!

2. Dexter

I'm careful who I tell that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. For those of you not familiar with it, yes, it is about a serial killer named Dexter Morgan who works as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department. When I first heard about the show, I thought to myself, "what kind of people watch this?" but when CBS picked it up during the writer's strike I got interested...and addicted to it. Although Dexter act like the typical fun loving, caring, nice guy to the majority of the people on the show, he speaks to the audience as the narrator in his "true" voice--one that doesn't understand human emotion and interaction.

Dexter does only kill people who "deserve" it (although this still doesn't make it right); he tracks down criminals that he can prove committed their horrible crimes but have some how escaped the law by flaws or mistakes in the justice system. Each season (they've completed 3) takes a different view about why Dexter is the way he is and deals with the complex issues of your past, addiction, relationships, and justice. Its not very bloody at all (which surprised me) but does have nudity and quite a bit of cursing, after all it is Showtime! I would recommend it for people who love complex characters and little bit of suspense and surprises!

3. Heros

This show is a winner. I love the story line about normal people discovering they have extraordinary abilities. There's good versus bad both corrupt and just plain evil. But every character is interesting and has multiple layers. This is one of those shows that you would do best from watching it from the beginning. Its another show for action lovers, but it can go off on plot tangents that are seemingly not important although they do a good job of bring it back in to the main story line. Season 1 starts off a little slow, but it picks up and the rest of the season(s) are thrilling.

4. Lost

I have a love/hate relationship with Lost. I really just want the show to end so that all the loose ends are tied up and I see what the heck is going on, but at the same time I love watching every week. So far this season, the episodes have been great revealing a little bit more about what the heck is going on at that crazy island. I have told several people that I wouldn't be watching the show unless I had started watching it from day 1, but now I've just got to see how it ends. Although I really enjoy this show, I can't really recommend you to get started because you would be falling down the rabit hole with no end in sight.

5. Fringe

Another show by the Lost producers, but I like this one much better. Its PERFECT for all those X-file fans out there! Each episode wraps up fairly nicely, but an underlying mystery is carried from show to show. The show follows an FBI agent who is asked to become a member of a team investigating events referred to as the "Pattern" this events always involve fringe science (essentially impossible things made possible). Its a twist on the typical crime show, and the paranormal. Also for all those Dawson Creek lovers...Pacey's on it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

finally an update

I know I know, its been way too long. I'd expand on what's been keeping me from updating but most of that would just include a long of engineering mumbo jumbo which would put you to sleep!

Life's crazy busy as always. There was a day a couple years ago when I figured out that life was always going to be crazy. No more summers between school years where all you are concerned about is going to swim in the neighborhood pool. When I have this realization, I was devastated..."WTF! I'm always going to be the busy?!?" But I'm come to love my busy weeks when Monday to Friday fly by and before you know it the month is over. Although its great to have those lazy days when you don't leave the house for a whole weekend.

This weekend will definitely not be one of those. Insert more engineering blah blah blah.

Phelps is still not toilet trained. He's working on it, but definitely hit a plateau. We are still trying to work on that transition over to water. Hopefully it will come soon. He's being a stinker about it. Here's a little peek: