Thursday, September 10, 2009

The One With The Most Awesome Cake in All the Land

For Ryan's very  special, once-in-a-lifetime, 27th birthday I decided to make him a cake just like he had said he wanted. Chocolate with peanut butter frosting. While I searched the interwebs for a recipe I found one that fit the bill: Chocolate with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze on top. Before reading all of the directions and assessing the equipment needed, I pretty much had my heart set on making this cake and Ryan's birthday would be ruined without it. And so it began.

First of all, I should note that I have very limited kitchen utensils and appliances and the ones I do have are of notably shoddy craftsmanship. I try and hold out on purchasing these items for it is a mere 338 days until we get married and, allegedly receive gifts in the form of bakeware and gadgetry. But I digress. I needed to go out and buy all of the fixin's to make this cake from scratch as well as some essential items: a hand mixer, a flour sifter, and a pyrex measuring cup because I thought I would outsmart a double boiler with it. 
I came home with all my goods and got to work. I had forgotten to get wax paper but thought that if I just used enough butter on the bottom of the pan it wouldn't be necessary. So I mixed up my cake batter, put two pans in the oven and sat down thinking about what an amazing baker I am and how I should open up shop. 
35 minutes later, cakes come out, looking all sunken and sad in the middle. This should have been a red flag for me, but instead I just decided that they would cool and it would firm up. I imagined it to be like letting the sauce thicken on Pasta Roni after it's done cooking. 
Wrong. As soon as I tried to take them out of the pan it completely fell apart and turned into a hot mess. There was no way that I could even just load up the pieces with frosting and shove them back together. 
But I would not be defeated. Today after class I stopped and got more supplies and wax paper, and set about remaking the cake. The structural integrity of the top most layer might be called into question, but all three layers are there, frosted, glazed and delicious. 
Cake: 0, Ashley: 1. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The One With Total Insect Warfare Resumed

I realize my blog has been on hiatus, but, truly not that many interesting things happen here unless I wanted my blog to turn into a customer service gripe-fest, but, I know that the daily happenings of Ryan and Ashley has a HUGE following so I shall do my best to update more frequently. At least until school starts! 

Most of my daily activities include reading wedding blogs, looking at wedding dresses online, forcing Ryan to listen to and act interested in all of my wedding ideas. For the week that Ryan was at his Annual Training in West Virginia I also spiced up my afternoons by playing the Harry Potter video game on XBOX and reading Twilight. Full dork mode. 

One of those days however, while I was getting ready to go to work I saw that we had an unwelcome visitor creeping down the hall away from the kitchen. I frantically searched for the giant can of roach spray and called Ryan in a panic. There was no more roach spray and I suddenly couldn't find my friend again. Ryan told me to trap it under a glass until I came back from work. I did, and there was a lot of squealing involved. 

After work, I marched myself right down to the Harris Teeter, picked myself up an arsenal of insecticides and came home to make sure that Penny hadn't knocked over my glass and allowed my prisoner to escape. She hadn't. So, I lifted up the glass, sprayed the crap out of the bug and trapped him again when he tried to run under our wine rack cabinet. Every 5-10 minutes I liked to lift up the glass again and spray and trap him in a cloud of DEATH. After about an hour I decided he was good and dead and I sucked him up in the vacuum tube, emptied the vacuum into a trash bag and promptly took it outside. 

Currently I am waiting for the exterminator to come since Ryan found a dying roach by our back door this morning. It is clearly time for a full frontal attack! Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The One With Mr. Jefferson's House, No Jefferson.

This weekend we visited Monticello with James and Jennie. I did not realize that the Monticello was so close to us, but James is in Charlottesville at his JAG course and evidently that is where Mr. Jefferson lived. His house was actually a little more awesome than Mt. Vernon, the only thing really missing was people dressed up in period costumes to make me feel so very excited and so very scared all at once. 

Also, a little fun fact for you: The back of the nickle is the same as the view of the back of Monticello...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The One With Shamrock (cold, wet) Fest

Apparently every year, DC has a huge, giant, St. Patrick's day festival that involves bands and booze. Ryan and I heard about it and were pretty excited to go to it. We purchased some tickets, Ryan got out of drill early and luckily I got off work in time to hit up the festivities. First of all, we road the metro down there and it was insanely packed with people wearing crazy green outfits. This probably should have been our first indication of what was in store. I wish I could have taken a picture of the sea of people getting off the metro at the Stadium-Armory stop, but, I did not and just imagine that it was like when I took a picture of the metro during Inauguration, only more people in green. 

Anywhoodle, I should also note that it was cold, and rainy, but we had already paid for our tickets and the beer was included so we figured why not. (The website also had mentioned several fun INDOOR and outdoor events, so we figured we would be able to go inside and get dry if need be, but I will discuss what this "fun" "indoor" event"s" really entailed. 
The event also included, evidently, carnival rides. Is it just me, or does it seem like an incredibly bad idea to include carnival rides (particularily those gravity ones like the kids from the Sandlot threw up on) at a beer fest? Needless to say, we did not partake in the rides, no need to get vommed on in the name of St. Patrick. 
Overall it was a really cool event. Had it even just been sunny, even if it was cold, I think it would have been an A+ event. There were a few different stages (the website had claimed 9, but we found 4) and lots of little booths (where we purchased more clothes when we started to freeze our fannies off) and food and such. 
The indoor event that we encountered was actually a sideshow, and involved a girl putting herself in a straight jacket and trying to escape, and a guy who swallowed swords and bent up hangers. The latter was kind of eerily fascinating, but I had to look away when he swallowed a 2 ft sword that went all the way into his stomach. Thanks but no thanks. 
Hopefully next year it will be sunny and we can recruit some friends to attend with us, although Ryan did stalk and befriend a guy wearing an Oregon sweatshirt...

Friday, March 13, 2009

The One With The Most Magical Shirt In All The Land

Today was the best day ever because my magical Barack O'Unicorn shirt arrived in the mail. Behold the magic: 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The One With The Washington Monument

Ever since we moved her I have been wanting to go up inside the Washington Monument. Actually no, that's a lie, because originally I did not even know that you could go inside, but once I found that out I was really wanting to go. You have to get tickets ahead of time though, because evidently it is very popular and they sell out quickly. Caitlin and I went down there this morning, and barely made it in time for our 11 AM tour. I was pretty confused as to how it works, so rather than wait in line like everyone else, we just squeezed through the barrier and went up with the first group. I feel like that was a pretty good decision because it was very cold and a little windy outside.Anywhoodle, it was about as cool as I thought it would be, only it might be a little cooler if it had been nicer out! Whoooo wants to go back on a sunny day?! 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The One Where We Shaved Penny

Every couple of months we like to take Penny to the groomer to get her nails clipped and her bedroom slippers trimmed. We always try to be pretty careful to make sure that they clip her leg hairs a lot because they get really long and bushy. I also like to have her ears trimmed so that the hairs are shorter and she looks younger. It makes her oh so much more lovable. 

Today I dropped her off at the groomer, and they asked me a question which I thought was "is she a cocker spaniel?" so I said yes. Evidently the question truly was "would you like us to give her a reverse mohawk and make her look incredibly stupid?"
I understand that the typical cocker spaniel hair cut invo
lves shorter hair on top and then long hair on bottom, but literally there was no hair on top, and what was basically a grass skirt made of hair on the bottom. 
We went in to pick her up and they make you go pay at the front counter, so I waited in the grooming section while they brought her out and Ryan went to pay. When I saw her I 
could not stop laughing and barely concealed my look of disgust as laughing at her having bows in her hair. I wish I could have taken a picture of Ryan's face when he walked back in, because he was clearly horrified and trying as best he could to hold it in.
As soon as we walked out of the building the consensus was: "What the eff did they do to our dog?!?!" At what point did they look at how Penny was groomed, clap their hands and say "Welp, it's been a good day at the grooming salon!" and think that they should leave her like that. 
We decided to remedy the situation at home, and are now the proud owners of $50 grooming sheers and a naked dog.