Friday, December 31, 2010

A Fresh & Clean New Year!

So I stroll into our local Borders the other day and after about 3 seconds in the store I let out a huge gasp and start to blush. The cause for this?That's right! The latest issue of the wonderful Storage magazine!
Seriously, BHG needs to make this a monthly thing that I could subscribe to, not just a specialty publication.
If you think that the dork level couldn't rise any higher, let me prove you wrong. I spent an hour in that store looking at everything but that magazine, because in my mind it's the 'dessert' that needed to be taken home and read by myself while my boys were sleeping. I'm a little loopy about this magazine. I can't help it though! I don't look at design magazines when I'm in the mood to change up our place or when I need the motivation to work on a specific project. I just break out all 30+ Storage mags and get the oomph I need based on all the clean surfaces on each page :o) Here are some of my favorites from this issue.{I'd love a more macho version of this for my sons room. We're still working on getting his room pulled together. All I have is a mattress right now. I'm a bad mom, but I'm working on fixing it!}
{Ok, now doesn't every kitchen look better with a KitchenAid mixer and a stack of Cupcakes? I see this all the time and I love it!}

{Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that we have a washer/dryer in our little apartment, but I'm still dreaming of the day when I can get a set of these babies!}

Alright, I've off to rearrange some closets! Hopefully I'll get some new pictures up of our place. It's changed around a bit, thanks to my Mom adding her touch to things!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

*Snickety Snacks* Giveaway

Just in case you didn't know, one of my fun friends, Marian from Miss Mustard Seed is hosting a *Snickety Snacks* Giveaway! If you're up for some free goodies hop over there and enter-It's good for anyone in the U.S., not just my local buddies!

http://missmustardseed.blogspot.com/2010/12/snickety-snacks-giveaway.html

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Someday....

I hope to be this good someday.
{Before}
{The Amazing After}Yes please. I'd like some of this.
Viv, the creative brains behind ish and chi is one of my design hero. Fun colors, great patterns, and all done for just under $900. Pretty amazing consider the huge changes. Can she come do my place?

Monday, November 29, 2010

#8~See The Trans-Siberian Orchestra Again

My husband has really gotten on board with this whole list thing, and thanks to him I was able to cross off #8. A short back story, I've always loved the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Andrew and I were able to see them 5 or 6 years ago in California and it totally blew us away. The laser light show and pyrotechnics were a total surprise, and since that year we've always said we wanted to go back. After throwing it on my list, Andrew bought the tickets within a few days. Yea!
We had some super far away seats, but with a straight on view of the stage, I was thrilled! Here are some of the pictures of the concert I snagged.

This last picture sums them up for me. I love TSO!
My favorite song they play is Wizards in Winter, and I managed to grab the last minute of the song, just to give you a better idea of the kind of show they put on. They're the little blips running around on stage, and playing guitars/violins! And the images running across the displays are just pictures from their current album. If you like a little electric guitar mixed in with your Christmas or classical music, these guys are for you!
(Turn down your speakers)

video

#4~Meet Bakerella

A few weeks ago I was able to cross one of the goals off my 26 Before Twenty-Six list, and honestly it should have been #1 on my list based on my anticipation level. I got to meet Bakerella! Now for anyone who doesn't know much about my life right now, I started a small baking business about a year ago that has grown substantially(thank goodness!). We're thinking all kinds of expansion ideas because of it, and it all started with Bakerella. A little over a year ago I started baking anything and everything that sounded good or came with a great picture. I stumbled on Bakerella's site and was instantly inspired to make everything! The big thing she's known for are Cake Pops, starting with the Cupcake Pop. I attempted a non-stick version of this for my first Cupcake of the Month installment and they were a huge hit. Long story short, I played with her 'recipe' for a few months, started selling those babies, and now I'm running to catch up with orders for these and other treats. Yea! So anywho, Bakerella ended up publishing a how-to book and going on a signing tour. Typically D.C. attracts book signings pretty well, but the closest she was coming to this area was King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. 3 hours away, but a day after getting back from our California vacation, we started the road trip.
As always, we got lost along the way(thank you, Wonderful Husband, for being my real life gps!). I've gotta say though, K.o.P. knows how to make a shopping mall. That sucker was full of every kind of place I love to window shop at :o)
Williams-Sonoma hosted the signing and I was thrilled to hear they had the place set up for a demonstration. There was a big hole in the planning of this though. It seemed like all the tall people were at the front of the signing line, making them first to get front row standing space. I was about 3 or 4 'rows' back on my tip toes. See?

Yeah, you probably can't see it, but as I was scrolling through the slideshow she puts after each signing, my first thought was 'Who's that tall dork by the tree? Oh yeah, that's me.'

After the demonstration and questions, it was back out to the line. Now here's where 'Dork Brittanie' really set in. I was so zoned out after seeing her that I just stood in line with a huge grin on my face, completely blocking out my Mom as she talked up my business to other Bakerella fans. She was doing such a phenomenal job of this that she insisted on showing people my blogsite on my Blackberry and giving out my cards. Hilarious huh? I need to hire her.

So, skip about an hour and we're almost to the front of the line. My Mom looks at me and says, 'So what are you gonna say to her?'. No joke, I went totally white and almost passed out. Nutty me, I completely forgot that I'd actually have to say something to her. I don't know why I thought sitting next to her with my mouth open in awe would be ok. I'm just gonna glaze over my lack of conversational skills once I actually sat down and just say that she was super sweet and it took a lot to resist hugging her. As she started signing 5 books(gifts for some lucky ladies in our family!) I listened as my Mom talked to Bakerella's Mom about how much of an inspiration her daughter had been to me and she actually gave her a business card too. Crazy! The 4 of us took a picture together and right after her Mom kinda half hugged me and said she was so proud of me! It was completely surreal. I said 'Thank You' to the both of them 3 or 4 times and then skipped over to get our books and freebie buttons. I floated out of that store grinning and giggling like a nuthead.

It was quite an amazing day, and every day since I've looked at her book amidst my other cookbooks and thought how incredible it is that a little piece of her lives in my dining room. She's been a huge inspiration and I'm so grateful to women like her who make me want to try new things!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crown & Crumpet-Part 2

So if you've read through my blog, you saw this post where I showed you some pictures from the tea shop Crown & Crumpet that is in San Francisco. Talk about an amazing twist of fate this past week. We ended up in California for a family wedding and ended up staying for a whole week. Tuesday was dedicated to San Francisco, and a trip to Ghirardelli Square made my day. I'm moseying along, staring at all the over-priced shops that I'd be afraid to walk into, and then Whammo! It hit me.
Ta-Daaaa! Talk about awesome. I actually stopped in my tracks and let out the biggest gasps ever. What a dork moment. I felt like a 6 year old that had just been given a pink pony. After I started breathing again I looked at Andrew and said 'It's gonna be a while'. My Friend Courtney and I both walked into that place as if the floor was made of glass. We started off the in 'shop' area.
I'm gonna have to post some of the pictures Courtney took because I was too awe-struck to take pictures. Seriously, I feel like such a dork even thinking about the place again. I'm sure it looks like overkill, but if the things in this area had been separated or done up in any way other than being slammed together, it would have taken away from the overall feel. I'm not a huge fan of red, but mixed with pinks, teals, greens, greys and white, it was perfect. The lady that worked in this section was super patient with me. I don't know how often people just come in and stare at the place, but she seemed amused by us.
On to the tea section. Now I'm not a tea drinker at all, but this place makes me wish they had something other than tea and coffee they could serve me in those adorable tea cups. I would've paid for some warm water if it meant I could stay in there and really take it all in. I settled for lots of giggling and picture taking instead.
I fell in love with these chairs. They were all the same base, but the cushions were all done in different bright colors, the kinds I'd be too afraid to try but absolutely love when someone else does it.
The same goes for this couch. I never would've been awesome enough to actually make this happen, but I couldn't stop staring at it.
I gotta say, it was pretty cool to look at the pictures in this corner and actually recognize some of them. This Tea For Two print by Black Apple of Etsy first caught my attention. And those polka dotted chairs were so comfy!This corner of the shop really caught my attention. In a room full of so many bright colors, this heavy dark brown table was a beautiful weight. The women at the table are the owners(I believe) and had the cutest setup. The table was covered in colored fabrics, tea cups, storage containers, and of course teapots. I had to snap a quick picture while they weren't looking, but I wish I could have taken more, but after some quick research, it looks like this is the best shot of this corner online anyway. Oh well, it's good enough for me! I let Andrew know that someday I was planning to have something similar. Poor guy. I'll have to mellow out the pink I think. Maybe.
On my way out I passed by a display full of cute marshmallows. These Magic Mushrooms and the Pink Acorns were my favorite.
So in case you couldn't tell, I love, love, loved this place! It made me want to go home and get brave with colors. That has yet to happen, but I'm working on it slowly. I'm ready for my next trip to Ghirardelli Square. Anyone want to come with me?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

26 Before Twenty-Six!

Today is my birthday! Wahooo!
I had a fantastic pre-birthday dinner last night with family and a wonderful friend, and today has been ideal. The weather has changed resulting in gorgeous trees (I inherited the tree obsession from my Mom. You should hear her scream when the leaves start changing). I took a long drive to deliver an order today and was in awe of all the beautiful colors. I've taken that drive many times before, but Fall finally hit me today and I loved it!
Anyone seen the tv show The Buried Life? Long story short, it's a group of 4 guys who got out of college and decided to make a collective Bucket List. I found the show once it was into it's second season, but the intro caught my attention.
"If you had one day left to live what would you do? Ride a bull? Throw a legendary party for everyone you love? Vegas? Now if you had your whole life to live, would you lose that drive, or would your list just keep getting longer?"
If you haven't heard of it, look it up. I think everyone but me has seen the movie The Bucket List, or at least understands the concept, but me being a bit behind everyone else, this MTV show is what got me thinking.
Instead of wasting time putting together a list of life altering experiences that will probably never happen, I've shortened the process. I'm making the next year a jam packed one full of fun ideas, new challenges, and of course a bunch of memory-making events. Here's my 26 Before Twenty-Six:
1. Take Dylan on a horse and carriage ride
2. Pay off all debt
3. Read all of Jane Austen’s books
4. Meet Bakerella
5. Go to a taping of the Martha Stewart Show
6. Take Andrew to see a Red Sox game at Fenway
7. Get my 'work' published on a baking blog/website
8. See the Trans-Siberian Orchestra again
9. Have new business branding launched by January 2011
10. Have quarterly Girl’s Weekend with Mom
11. Take professional family pictures
12. Successfully make Macarons
13. Move out of this apartment
14. Create and launch a website for the business
15. Make Hi-Hat Cupcakes
16. Feel calm and peaceful in my bedroom
17. Get into single digit jeans
18. Write every day in a journal starting in Jan 2011
19. Go on a new D.C. cupcake tour
20. Complete all painting projects
21. Make a family of snow angels with my dudes
22. Donate blood
23. Host a Surprise Party
24. Complete a sewing project from start to finish by myself
25. Decorate a cake Ribbon/Ruffle style
26. Go on a real honeymoon with my husband
The best part is that everything is 100% attainable. No insanely priced plane tickets or obvious chances of being arrested. I've got some in the works already(#8-Tickets already bought for Nov. 18th-Wahooo!), but most of them step outside of my daily routine. In an effort to make sure I do all of these, I'm planning to post each time I am able to cross a number off the list. It should be fun! Let me know if you have any questions! What things are on your short or long term Bucket List?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Another Cupcake Saturday!

A few weeks ago my Mom, sister and I headed out to crowded ol' D.C. for a Girl's weekend. We didn't want something super structured, and with all the times we got lost, it's a good thing we weren't on a strict time schedule! Time getting lost #1-on the way to the hotel near National Harbor. Once we finally got there, we snapped this picture before heading out. (Technically, I took 5 pictures, but this one was the best of them all, despite my finger covering the flash.)

At least it's something! We ended up taking one of those open top double decker bus tours through D.C. and ended up in Georgetown. Now, I wanted to be one of those crazy cupcake people who was willing to stand in line at Georgetown Cupcake, but after staying in this line for 10 minutes, I was done.
The reason I was so willing to get out of there was because of a bakery a few streets down that I heard was a 'you can't ditch this place' kind of place. Now I know that Georgetown Cupcake has a huge fan base, but with two bakeries closing at 9, I was happy to go to Baked & Wired instead. I've heard amazing things about this place, and I can honestly say there is no way some little rinky-dink fluffy cupcake with butter cream frosting could hold a candle to the dense, incredible and gigantic cupcakes that Baked & Wired has to offer. This is all that was left by the time my Mom was able to remember to grab the camera out of my bag and snap a quick picture.That's what was left of the Chocolate Cupcake of Doom(love the name!) I split that one with my sis, and then we each snagged a different kind to have later back at the hotel. She picked Red Velvet with Cream Cheese, and I went with my favorite kind of cake, Carrot!Without a doubt, my all time favorite Carrot Cake. No raisins, pecans(of which I'm not usually a fan), and delectable cream cheese frosting! I think I'm going to buy my own Carrot Cake birthday cake from them :o) After this stop, it was Time To Get Lost #2. Finding the nearest Metro stop was a nightmare. I think we ended up walking for almost an hour before we finally got to one. I was thrilled to lay down in a comfy bed after that. Nawnie was a bit wired after the second sugar rush.Next day, National Harbor! Along with the awesome view, they've got some really great shops. We stopped in a few, walked through a market where I grabbed a Sugar Cookie from the girls at Sweet Cheeks Bakery, and oooh'ed and ahhh'ed our way through an art gallery. For lunch we stopped at Potbelly's and then went to CakeLove. Now, I've seen the owner of this bakery team up with Duff from Charm City Cakes a.k.a. the Ace of Cakes team, so I figured it had to be good. They actually keep their cupcakes refrigerated which I think helps keep the cupcake thick. I'm over the fluffy air kind. We went with the Chocolate Fuzzy Wuzzy, and while the base was nice, I'm against the butter cream, so one bite and I was over it. I was happy to be distracted by our next stop, the Peeps Store!My Momma is too cute!
Me and my cute Peeps!
Just outside that place was an incredible iron/metal horse creation. Nawnie is a huge fan of horses, so I just had to grab a picture of her in front of it.Wow, huh?
Alexandria was next! I used to work there, so we headed to Old Town and ran right into another Cupcakery. I wasn't even looking for it, but I'm glad my Mom spotted it! It was a tiny little place, and before even trying a cupcake I fell in love with something else in their shop. Brown bakery boxes!Ok, so I knew before we headed into this weekend that I wanted to try a coconut cupcake at some point. Alexandria Cupcake uses butter cream frosting on all of their cupcakes, so I was a bit up in the air about what to try until I saw this.Coconut Baby! This was such a perfect cupcake. Moist, sweet, tasty, but way too small! I wish I'd bought a dozen. I'm definitely motivated to come up with a Coconut Bite now for my little biz! Next we hit a great little candy shop called Candi's Candies that specializes in lesser-known candies and especially water taffy! Barrels and barrels of it.
These are my personal favorite. I found this flavor in California in Old Sac and Candi's is the only place on this side of the country near me that has it too. It's yummy purple-y goodness!
We headed out of there, stopped by a bunch of other little shops, and then rounded out the day at another great place, Ikea! I picked up a few things that I'd seen in the catalog and managed to score a pink sofa cover for $20!!! I love it when they discontinue colors!
So, I had a fantastic weekend with the girls, can you tell? Here's my sum-up/lessons learned:
1. Ditch Georgetown Cupcake's stupid line and run as fast as you can to Baked&Wired!
2. Avoid D.C. on the day before or the day of a ralley, unless you actually want to fo to the ralley. Traffic sucks.
3. Really get to know D.C. ahead of time, or be prepared to get lost a few times. Any time my Mom and I are together in an unfamiliar area, we expect to have to ask for directions many times!
4. Support local small bakeries! The Sweet Cheeks girls were super fun, and I know what it's like to man a booth and hope and pray for people to buy my stuff.
5. Don't wear flip flops to D.C.-I'm such a dork.
6. Plan a tour of some kind where you live! I'm happy I had a chance to try other peoples' creations. It's got me moving forward with ideas for my little business!
Anyone up for Round 2 of the D.C. Cupcake Tour?
Have A Sweet Day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Mail!

Guess what wonderful little surprise was waiting for me a few days ago in our mailbox. The new Ikea Catalog!
I'm a sucker for Ikea. I used to drag Andrew hours away to San Francisco mostly because I knew on the way back we'd stop off at the awesome gigantic blue store. Thank goodness our closest one now is only 25 minutes away! Honestly, the best thing about the place is all the displays. I'd love to live in the local version of about the 200 square foot space! Their catalog is awesome because it's setup after setup. Here are some of my favorite things.
So simple, but I'm snagging up a few of these White Frames
I get my love of baskets from my Mom. I love that these ones are flexible.
Ok, I just had to throw this in here. The other half of the page had the 'Mom' washing dishes. I'm one of those o.c.d. Moms that couldn't leave my little dude with free reign over sprinkles and icing. That picture almost gave me a panic attack :o)
I'm all about the little details. I really hope Ikea sells that gigantic heart over the bed. If not, I think it should be a rule that they only use Ikea items in their catalog.
Cupcakes make any tray look better (even when the cupcakes aren't too fantastic looking)
I don't want anything on here, I just love that her hair is hot pink!
I LOVE these candlesticks. They seem totally out of the norm for Ikea, but I'm all for it!
So, who wants to come with me to Ikea?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cupcake Time!

I received this awesome gift from my Mom last year for my birthday and fell in love with it right away.

Well almost completely. It seemed a bit dark for such a fun item, so I finally fixed it. My Mom is the great motivator, and a few days ago she came over to my place to get me going. Primed and painted, I think the Giant Cupcake fits in much better. What do you think?

Ahhh, shiny pinkness. Along with that I had to condense and reorganize all my business junk. I'd been using a small dresser for a bunch of supplies but after selling that I've slammed everything into the awesome cabinet. Tadaaa!

It may not seem like much, but short of the pans and ingredients, everything else I need is in here. It's fantastic! Cookie cutters, boxes, labels, chocolate, bags, icing colors and a couple of other things all managed to fit. Yea for being organized! Onto the next project. I'm making those stripes happen on the awkward wall this week!