Thursday, March 31, 2011

My new obsession

Its well known I love cupcakes, but my new obsession is shortbread cookies! I don't know what it is about these little things, but I adore them! I've gone out of control! Unlike with cupcakes, I truly enjoy the taste of  of the cookies and could probably eat 3-4 in one sitting. Not "probably", I HAVE eaten 3-4 in one sitting. And worth every minute of the stomach ache that followed.

This newly found addiction started about a month ago when I had the priveledge of doing a cookie tasting for an event at work. The cookies that won, according to my taste buds, were from this great bakery here in Austin, called Quacks.  Shortly after biting into their delicious shortbread cookie, I had to have more. I looked them up online, and low and behold, the bakery was only a few miles from work, and not to far out of my way on my drive home. Even with gas prices nearing $4 a gallon, these cookies are well worth the extra mileage! 

I arrived at Quacks, walked in, and was immediately greeted by cases full of all sorts of sweets, from cupcakes, to brownies to pies and other pastries! But I had my heart set on these cookies! I picked out a few and could not wait to get home and eat 1 (or 3) with a glass of milk! The fleur-de-lis were the cookies I got that day, since it was around Mardi Gras. 

I went again this past week to get some more (this time to share with friends and family). Look at how adorable these were! Almost too cute to eat! So much talent on such a small space!

Preppy Pigs and birds and snails, oh my!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cupcake Quilt- Round #2!

As promised, I have started another cupcake quilt. My dear friend Lindsey (check out her adorable blog!)  is the lucky recipient. We have ben friends since Freshman year of high school (we had a crush on the same boy). Through the years we have had so much fun together- never a dull moment. And  even though she lives in Virginia and I live in Texas,  we still talk practically every day in some form of communication (thank God for BlackBerry Messenger!). Lindsey loves Anthropologie (the store, not the subject) so I used their designs and fabrics as "inspiration" for my choices in fabrics. 
These are the fabrics the cupcakes are made from
 This is the fabric that will go along the border of the entire quilt. 

 Here they are together, so you can see how great the colors work together.

I drew a pattern for the cupcake and cut it out. After washing and ironing all the fabric squares, I began to trace the pattern on the fabric, and so started the long process of matching a top to a bottom. For a perfectionist like me, this took forever because I did not want duplicate cupcakes, nor did i want the same color of the same shape in the same row. Around 11pm I finally gave up  and realized that "hey, its a quilt, of course there will be duplicates of pieces and clashing fabrics. Thats the science of the art!". I finally settled on this layout and combination. Now to start the sewing!  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink"

   Of course, another blog about cupcakes. How can I resist? It doesnt help that Im slacking on my commitment to this blog, making it look like I just wrote about cupcakes, when really, that was a week ago. But tonight I shared with someone this amazing invention, so I thought I should keep on sharing the greatness with the rest of the world. This really is the best thing since sliced bread, or the handwash cycle on washing machines, or toothpaste that whitens as it cleans, or alarm clocks that reset themselves when the power goes out! (all great things that I could not live without). Its called CUP-A-Cake. Yes, the name says it all. Its a cup, for a piece of cake. Check. It. Out.

   Where the heck were these when I was in the lunch-box toting days? Back when my mom would make cupcakes, and I'd want to take one to school the next day, but after the trip to school in my backpack, my cupcake would be smooshed, and the icing all stuck to the sides of the ziplock bag.....Id have to eat the cupcake with a fork! Who am I kidding, I still had this problem up until about 18 months ago. 
    I love to pack lunches for myself, and plan on being a very enthusiastic lunch-packer for my kids some day. And these little containers will help me climb to the top of  the 'Rockstar Mom" list. You just place the cupcake in the little container, close, and viola!  Your cupcake stays put! No more mashed cupcake! A friend gave me one for my birthday in 2009. I've guarded it with my life ever since.  It really is a great invention. Better late than never, I suppose! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Lady Thursdays

    As many of yall know, my dream “job” is to be a First Lady. Because of my interest in politics and legal career goals, I am always asked if I plan to run for political office. My polite answer is simply “No, but I do plan to marry someone who does!”. I feel this is a much smarter approach, as I’ll get the best of both worlds. As a First Lady, you not only stay in the loop on policy and political drama, but you also get to do all the fun stuff, such as events, philanthropies, fundraisers, and parties. Not to mention the ear of the politician-that’s some coveted “pillow talk”! I love and admire everything about the position of a First Lady-both at state and federal level. Whether the wife of a state representative, governor, US senator or even better, the President, I know I would enjoy it! Obviously, like the men who seek political office, I dream of reaching the top—The White House. Ohhh, to be FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States). Sigh....  Now, my head is not so far up in the clouds to think this position is not without its pitfalls, but no job is perfect. So I choose to focus on the positives. And living in the White House is a major plus!
    I’ve toured the White House many times, and each time I ignore the tour guide and instead am distracted by the details: the curtains, the carpet, the furniture arrangement, the photos and paintings, the themes of the Christmas trees, the Christmas ornaments, and so on. I image myself walking the hallways in my pajamas on a Saturday morning with my cup of coffee and my dog. I brainstorm the possible code names the Secret Service will give me ( I have yet to come up with a good one, and am open to suggestions). I’ve also mentally exerted my power of bypassing the men posted at the doors to the Oval Office, trying to tell me I can’t go in there to ask my husband, the President, what he thinks of my new nail polish color and hair cut. The nerve of those agents to tell me I must knock first!
    With all this daydreaming, you can imagine how my obsession has grown! So you understand how much I just died when I heard a few months ago that one of my favorite childhood book characters was traveling all the way from Paris to Washington, DC. Yes, Madeline has gone to the White House! The book is finally available and I am getting it tomorrow! I absolutely cannot wait!

And heres the sweet story behind this long anticipated book:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink"

A day for all things pretty AND pink. 
      And what fits that definition better than my all-time favorite icon, the Cupcake!! Yes, I absolutely LOVE cupcakes. I don't know what it is about them, but I idolize these precious little things, from jumbo to mini, they are absolutely adorable. Now, thank goodness I do not actually enjoy eating them as much as simply looking at them, otherwise we'd have some problems. In the Spring of 2009, that time between the last test of the semester and finals, I was bored. Randomly, I decided to make a cupcake quilt. Now I'm not great at following instructions, or patterns, or directions well. I like to do things my own way. So this quilt, while cute, would be an engineer's nightmare. Nothing is symmetrical. I pieced everything together by "eye balling it". No measurements. Made up everything as I went (so don't ask me for a pattern or directions). This did cause a problem when it came time to sew the back onto the quilt, because it wasn't a perfect rectangle. But I love it nonetheless. I take this quilt everywhere. It made its debut in the fall of 2009 when I took it DC for the semester. And we haven't been separated since. You can tell, by the faded colors, that it has been washed many, many times. I'm sure it will be solid white by the time I pass it on to my little girl some day, who yes, will undoubtedly share my obsession with cupcakes. 

Here are the cupcakes cut out & pinned to their little squares before sewing

The finished product. Still going strong 2 years later...
I am seriously toying with the idea of making another one this spring, but with more details. Perhaps, little ribbon bows or buttons on the top of each cupcake? textured cupcake liners? The possibilities are endless!