Monday, December 28, 2009

Bon Jour my sweets.

Let me preface this entry with the inevitable apology for getting caught up in the holidays. I can't apologize for such a thing.  Without the holidays where would I, the queen of theme, be?  I love Christmas.

I love going home to bake cookies with my family (ladies only) and then enjoying the fine work for the following week.  I'm sad to report that I didn't take any photos of the cookie filled weekend I had since I had no memory card at the time.  However, we're back in business now and things are moving along at a nice clip.

So, how was your respective holiday? Mine was fantastic.  Let's leave it at that for now as I'm sure my upcoming posts will surely demonstrate the wonderful gifts I've received.

But oh ho ho (picture that as a deep French sounding laugh). What's thees? (this is my typed out French accent.  Keep up.)

I have some peectures yet for you to see.

Behold zee death of any diet plans een our future.  Zee deep fryer!  And to explain my accent:

Deelicious beignets.  French doughnuts! (okay I'm done with the accent thing.  It is too hard.)

These babies were AMAZING.  A great first choice for my newest appliance.  Based on the success of this endeavor I'm greatly looking forward to deep frying some empanadas for my New Year's Eve party. mmm.

I plan on having a wonderous time.  You should too!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear Friend,

Do you ever worry that you won't be able to fit into the conventional idea of what success is?  When I was a kid I would talk about how important money was and that when I was older I would live in a mansion with a guest house for my mom to live in.  I guess that I always assumed money was the most important thing that could lead to a happy life.

When I was in high school I got it set in my little head that I wanted to be a clinical psychologist and that I should definitely study that in college.  So I did. And I never doubted it throughout my college career until I was a senior and realized that I just wasn't feeling it anymore.  I still love the idea of having a career that revolves around helping people but I have no interest in a career that has me in a room with no coworkers and only crazy people (i.e. people like me).

Maybe that's why I didn't like my most recent job.  I hated working alone everyday in a building filled with people who didn't work for the same company.  I very much dislike being lonely.  But who doesn't hate that? Exactly.

So, now I talk about going to school for baking and pastry arts.  Because I truly love baking.  And I love the way that a cupcake or a cookie can brighten someone's day.  Because I'm good at it.  Or so people say.

But how can I know that is something I really want to do? How do I know that it's not something that will be another waste of time and money?  How do I know that in the end I can make a career out of something like that?  I don't know.  Maybe that's good though.  Not knowing.

By definition blogs are selfish.  They're about talking about your thoughts so that you can normalize the way you think. Feel.  With a community of strangers who need the same recognition.  Man. I love the community.

I would love to write old fashioned letters.  And share my hopes and dreams with someone who you know will read it.  Because there's no way to know if this internet letter is reaching anyone on a personal level.  But that's what you're for friend.  For sharing and divulging secrets.

Here's one: I'm terrified that I won't be able to maintain this life I love if I can't figure out what I'm doing in the next few weeks.  How's that for a doozie?

I clearly have too much time on my hands with this whole unemployment thing.  Look what I'm doing to this letter.  Babbling on about myself.  Ha.  How are you old friend?  Did everything work out for you in the end?  I hope that life is treating you well.  And I hope to hear from you soon.

Your Friend,


Monday, December 14, 2009

Cookie is Mine

This is why we can't have nice things

Well, I'm officially sick.  Which means that it is officially winter.

My body has this tendency to get throat sick a lot this time of year.  And attack any plans I may have had to having fun.

Luckily, I was able to go out on the town last weekend before my impending doom.  I had a lovely visitor from the east side of the state agree to join the gang at the Ritz for some imbibing.  (Is that right?) Not only were drinks had but there were a few fantastic karaoke sing alongs.  I sang Cher.  I've been told that it was amazing.

And then we walked home in the cold and icy night. Drunk.  Thinking back, this may be the cause of my current sickness.  The whole singing real loud accompanied by snow frolicking is not good on the immune system.

And now I'm under a self imposed house arrest.  Wherein I've begun reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels and knitting scarves and whatnot.  And watching the cat run around making a mockery of my balls of yarn.  And sleeping til noon because of an off bran Nyquil induced coma.  Ahh yes.  It certainly is winter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Weather Outside is Delightful

Seriously now. It's completely beautiful outside.

Ash spent the morning begging me to come outside and play.  Finally, at around noontime I gave in and we ventured out.

Since last night's post, we received a gift of like 3 to 4 more inches of snow.  It's amazing how fast things can change.  One week ago we were walking around without jackets.  Now I'm bundled up in my new parka, romping around in several inches of snow. What?

Where are my toesies?

I really think that winter is only beautiful when you don't have to drive in it.  And the fact that Karaoke Friday is in walking distance excites me to no end.  I mean, come on.  Running through the snow with a group of awesome friends while inebriated sounds utterly fantastic, doesn't it?

Mommm. Can we pleeeease play now?

There's nothing cuter than my baby, Ash in the winter.  He may be 6 years old now. But that's not stopping him from acting like a puppy when there's snow on the ground.

It makes me insanely happy to see him like this.  I think he's happy I'm home all day to cater to his playful whims.  And to bake cookies that he can sniff.  And to snug.   Mostly to snug.

Seriously, look at this face.

I'm so excited to finally be enjoying seasons that aren't summer.  I still hate snow when it comes to travel.  And when it gets all slushy and gross.  And when it covers my car.  But right now, it's not terribly cold.  And there aren't too many foot prints ruining the blanket of fresh snow.  So I'm happy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First Snow

We got our first real snow tonight.  It really is beautiful.

I'll take better pictures during the day but Ash is SO excited! This is his absolute favorite time of year.

[caption id="attachment_222" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Trust me. He's excited. All the other shots were blurred from running."][/caption]

This is the kind of thing that makes me excited to watch bad movies while wrapped in a blanket, sipping on a hot chocolate. Mmm.

What are you looking forward to this season?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shacking Up: Everybody Poops

I've decided that this blog is missing some structure.  And that it's a good idea to introduce a little structure by way of segments.

Now you'll be able to check in periodically (or subscribe) and see posts that are somewhat cohesive. Or something.

Anyway, my first new addition is going to be titled "Shacking Up".  And it's my guide to living in sin with your significant other.  It's very much only related to my experiences in this department and is in no way meant to generalize towards the rest of the shacking up population.

One of the biggest differences between not living with your boyfriend and living with your boyfriend is poo.

See, a lot of guys are completely not ready for the shared bathroom scenario.  As my brother once said, girls don't poop.  And it's hard to shatter that image.  But trust me, girls poop.  And if you live with one you'll learn that a lot of them poo only at home.  So get used to it.

After a few months of communal bathrooming, you become more comfortable with you SO and then something kind of weird may happen.  You may (or maybe it's just us) start tinkling with the door ajar.  I've decided to view this as a sign that we're just that much more comfortable with each other.

That's right, hearing a steady stream is a sign of accomplishment in a relationship.

However, do not think that it's okay to drop a deuce with the door open.  That's a never gonna happen - never want to hear situation.  But you will become more comfortable discussing bowel movements while watching reruns of Scrubs.  And you'll be surprised at the frequency with which you toot in mixed company.

It's a sign of the times. And times they are a changing.

...Oh God. Did I really just talk about poop? It looks like we're all shacking up now...

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's the Holiday Season

Lola: Not Quite a Showgirl

My time management skills have been somewhat lacking as of late.  Mostly in the sense that I have no idea what day it is or how long it has been since I've updated my blog.  (For the record, it's been too long).

For the holiday, the mister and I drove our two snuggly pets two hours across the state to feast on things like turkey and stuffing.  Well, the animals didn't eat those things but they joined us on our trek.

Thanksgiving dinner was spent at the familial home of the mister.  Around a warm table of his close family.  And adorable Boston Terriers.

Forgetful Lucy

The evening ended with me not quite sleeping on my dad's couch, watching American Dreams on DVD until about 1am.  Though I'm usually an expert couch sleeper, I failed to catch any z's this time around.  Most likely because I knew I had to wake up at 5am for some insane deal hunting.

I must say that hanging out with family while shopping is surprisingly fun.  Due to a lack of sleep on all parts everyone was quite slap happy.

But the BEST part about this past weekend has to be the fact that I got to clean the apartment and decorate for Christmas. Man. I love Christmas.  The apartment looks like magic when it's all lit up.  Granted, I didn't photograph all of it, I thought I'd share some of my holiday cheer.

Village People

John's Owl: Amanda's Cupcake <3

The end.

Friday, November 13, 2009

C is for Cookie...

I finally did it.  I baked some delicious sugar cookies using the recipe from Bake at 350.  I even made my own royal icing and tried my hands at flooding.

Now, I should tell you that daily savings time sucks and that by the time I was finished it was too dark out for good photos.  But they're impressive.  Next time I'll document it better.

1st Attempt
Nom nom nom

So, there you have them folks. I'm honestly really excited about them!! I'm ready for custom orders ;)

So, you'd think that's the tip top of my cookie excitement, right?  Well, you are so wrong!!

When shopping at Michaels for cookie stuff, I was unable to find any good cookie cutters.  A fact I complained about to my loving boyfriend for at least 30 minutes.  That's a tip for you: Don't go to Michaels looking for cookie cutters.

But now it's Friday.  And Friday the 13th no less.  But something AMAZING happened.  I received a package.  This is huge.  I never receive packages. Ever. What could it be?

What could it be?

Oh man. Who's it from?  Why is it here?  What is it? Oh man, oh man!

Did you guess yet?

Is that a LOBSTER???

Oh man.  SOMEBODY loves me.  I say somebody like that to emphasize that I'm not entirely sure who this anonymous gift is from.  I say that...but I'm certain it's a certain awesome lady.

But how amazingly sweet is it to receive an anonymous gift and have it be cookie cutters?  Just when I'm all mopey about things I get this nice gift.  I love you mystery gift giver.  You made my day.  Now, I'll make you cookies. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I need a bigger kitchen


My recent bout with unemployment has taught me a lot about the importance of hobbies.  And a lot about the way my mind works.

Here I am, sitting on the couch with some huge headphones on, watching the mister play video games.  All of a sudden my boredom bursts out of me and I decide that if I ever want to get anywhere in the baking world, I need to take inventory of what I have to use.

That apparently means that I needed to go through the apartment and find all of my cookie cutters and take a photo of them.  Now, I somehow lost all of my halloween cookie cutters but that's besides the point.

The point is this: I need more non Christmas specific cookie cutters. I need moustache cookie cutters. And cake shaped ones. And cupcake shaped ones. And acorn shaped ones. And so on.  But I'm unemployed. So I have no idea what to do with that.

Anyway, I blame this on my recent reobsession with baking blogs. Particularly Bake @ 350.  It's fantastic for inspiration. And time wasting. And teaching me how to do royal icing.

You just wait. I'm going to bake something gorgeous soon. I might buy one cookie cutter for this endeavor.  Eventually you'll be able to pay me for my efforts. Yep. Special orders for my goodies.

If you have any baking requests, let me know. I'm bored and want to bake tasty goodies.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Even a fall can be beautiful


My life as of late has been a little insane.  Trust me.  I'm not going to go into details but it's been a little too much to handle.

So I've been ignoring writing about it.  But then I uploaded these photos to my computer from the month of October and realized that my life is still amazing.  I've had visitors. And I've visited. I've been to the orchard.  I've picked out pumpkins (mine was named Steve).  I've carved. I've had hard apple cider.  I've even baked an apple pie.  Yep. I love autumn.

Om nom noms.

What a pretty view back homeIMG_3029

Boots and leaves

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday Dinner

As with most of my stories, this one has a familiar beginning:

When I was a kid....

We used to have pizza every single Saturday. Saturday was Pizza Night.  Clearly we were healthy kids.

Well, on Sundays, my mom used to go all out and cook a really well rounded meal.  Some sort of meat. Pork chops. Meatloaf. Or the most common, pot roast.  Then we'd have some starches.  Mashed potatoes. Scalloped potatoes. Basically lots of potatoes. There would be rolls. And sliced cucumbers (though she doesn't eat anything green - ever).  And corn. And a glass of milk.

It's possible I'm forgetting something but you get the gist of it - there was some serious home cooking going down.  And it was fantastic.  Pretty much the only time my family ate together at the table.

So, when I remembered this fond memory last week I set out to recreate it for John and I.  Let's see. There were super tasty, well seasoned steaks (courtesy of John).  Seasoned redskin potatoes baked in my snazzy vintage Pyrex (though next time we'll cook them longer). And a new favorite of mine - asparagus tips.

Enjoy our Sunday dinner.

I really missed out on some tasty green foods as a kid.
I really missed out on some tasty green foods as a kid.

Smokin steaks anyone?
Smokin steaks anyone?

Really, potatoes? Do you have to be so tasty?
Really, potatoes? Do you have to be so tasty?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Doodle - Use Your Doodle


If you haven't heard of The Scribble Project, but you love to doodle, you should definitely check it out.  They provide you with a blank "scribble sheet" for you to interpret however you'd like.  Good for wasting time.

Now, I don't dare call myself talented in the art department.  I just love to doodle. I have decided to keep a folder of my doodles lately.  Which is funny since they're mostly post it notes with robots and bikes on them.

It's been getting cooler out as of late and that has me really contemplating the best way to enjoy Autumn.

Step 1.) Hard Cider - Check.  This delicious concoction is really a great part about fall.

Step 2.) Tights with dresses - Check.  Is it wrong that I look forward to my ensembles that involve this combination? Nope.

Step 3.) Pumpkins.  Tentative plan for pumpkin carving and seed eating is in the works. I'm super pumped.

Step 4.) Apple orchard/Cider Mill.  Well, I may just join the family tomorrow for a bike ride to a Cider Mill for my Dad's birthday.  Let's pause for a second to point out how awesome it is that my dad wants to go for a bike ride for his 50 somethingth birthday. Very cool, Dad. Very cool.

Step 5.) Costumes, Candy, Cadavers (i.e. Halloween). Okay, so cadavers sounds disgusting....I just wanted a good alliteration.

Step 6.)  Scawy Movies.  Yes, Scawy. Throw on a good gore fest or foreign horror movie and I'm thrilled.  Give me a little Kiki's Delivery Service on the side and I'm smitten.

Step 7.) You tell me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tally Ho!

The Grand Rapids Tweed Ride was this past weekend. And despite the weather, it was a rousing success.

At about 3:30, during a terrential downpour (or so it seemed), we set out from our apartment for The Winchester.  I must say that receiving compliments while in our nice duds riding in the rain made me feel a lot better.

Once there, we met the rest of our nine person band of merry men (and ladies).  Including two strapping lads from the Windy City.  But what am I babbling on about. The photos speak for them selves.






There are more photos, but these are the best of the lot.  I had a blast! I hope everyone else did too!

Grand Rapids was not prepared.  Many on lookers and photo takers.  Next time will be even better! for my shirt design! The contest ends tomorrow!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

ShirtPrize Finals Time!

It's time! It's time! It's time!

All of a sudden, it's Sunday. And the good folks at ShirtPrize are letting me know that the voting for the finals is open for one week starting today!

Oh my gosh! I wasn't prepared!

I need your help! And your friend's help! And your dog's help! Anything!

It only takes a minute.  Just go here (that's and vote for The Cupcakerator!  That's it! That, and tell anyone you know to vote for me ;)

I promise to give you a fantastic post soon. I'm working on a few lovely things to share with my much loved readers.  And the tweed ride's in a week! Gah! Where has the time gone?


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's a whale of a tale

Heads up, I won my round for ShirtPrize!  Now we just need to show up en masse the first week of October and vote the poo out of my design.

Moving on.  This past weekend was my dear friend Jessica's birthday! And boy do I love when my friends come to visit.  We had a lovely fancy dinner on our own followed by fireworks and many drinks downtown.

Fancy dinner? Oui!
Fancy dinner? Oui!

I finally got the chance to wear my  own birthday present from a month ago.  It's an adorable dress from Modcloth.  Man, I love their stuff. I just have no monies with which to purchase it.  Therefore, I really treasure this gift. :)

Birthday girl!
Birthday girl!

The birthday girl looked equally impressive.  And I must say it was strange to get shouts from people telling us we were 'workin it'.  But I like it.  I haven't seen many people in GR riding in dresses.  I still get excited when I see classy bikes around town.

Cupcakes with Whale
Cupcakes with Whale

Btw, I also made some delectable treats (modesty is not my strong suit).  These little guys are cookies and cream cupcakes.  They were surprisingly light.  And quite tasty. And they had a whale candle. I mean, come on.

PS - I'm quite excited for the Grand Rapids Tweed Ride. And you should be too!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grand Rapids Tweed Ride (and other things)

Well, fall is fast approaching. And what better way to celebrate the cooler weather and lack of sweating than with a slow paced bike ride about this beautiful city.

tweed ride

So, grab your wool skirts and herringbone and bow ties and head on out here to have a grand time!

The ride will begin at The Winchester and saunter onward throughout this fair city, ending (eventually) at The Hopcat for drinks and general merriment.  All of this takes place on Saturday, October 3rd at 4:00 PM.

Invite your friends! Invite yourself! It's going to be awesome!

In other, less bikey news, The Cupcakerator is currently in contention to become a T Shirt! And we need your help!!  If you would be so kind as to venture over to Shirtprize and cast your vote for my design, I would be eternally thankful.  And if you could convince some friends to do the same....I just may have to prepare something special.

I've never won anything like this before so it would be phenomenal to do well at all.  I'm working on my doodles to incorporate a nice old fashioned bike for my boy Cuppie.  Cross your fingers for me! And don't forget to come out for the Tweed Ride!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Cupcakerator

He will eat. Your cupcakes.He will eat. Your cupcakes.

This, my dear blog readers, is The Cupcakerator.  Or his lates reincarnation anyway.

He's my current favorite doodle and the mascot of this here blog.  Yesterday, he thought about cupcakes sooo much that he ended up baking some. In doodle form of course.  He also enjoys riding bikes, just like me!

It's funny, I don't consider myself to be talented in the art department.  However, someone must, because my boss sent me a link to enter an art contest of all things.

Perhaps it's because of this little gem that I created for our company picnic.

om nom nom.

Well, I'll enter my lil robot friend.  Maybe he'll end up on a t-shirt. That would be completely awesome.  I hope you'll vote for me if I'm entered! (I'll post a link if I even get nominated.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Family Affair

Bike Family

This is our bike family.

It's not going to get any bigger any time soon and that's okay with me (for once).

Starting left to right, here we go:

Lil Hidalgo - Worksman Folding Bicycle.  This little guy is deceiving.  He's ridiculously heavy for a folding bike, making it illogical to travel with on public transportation.  But we rarely take public transportation.

Main points - He folds up for easy storage and semi easy travel.  He provides a smooth ride for our guests who may not normally want to ride a bike.  He has coaster brakes, which have proven to be a foreign concept.  And he has fenders and a rack, making him highly capable of pizza delivery to our patio.

Fiona - This is my darling love, Fiona, the Raleigh LTD-3 that we all know so well.  I found this bike when hunting for a bike for Johnpants and I called on her instantly.  She was a steal at $50 and is the best bike for me at this time.  Very little damage or rust or blemishes at all.  And look at those fenders! Hoo doggie!!  I added the gorgeous wicker basket and the leather saddle bag was a great birthday present from my mister.  Since this photo I've added a brass bell from Velo Orange. Erich really helped out by fixing her up for me and now I can't imagine my days without her.

Just yesterday I rode her to the doctor. It was sublime.  But then it turned out that I forgot my key to my ulock.  I about had a panic attack worrying about her fate not locked to anything.  Luckily, the pharmacy let me store her inside with minimal jokes. She was safe! Huzzah for strangers!

Felix - This is John's Fuji Special Racer that I bought him for our 2 year anniversary.  He previously had a Schwinn Racer that wasn't quite his style.  Since upgrading to this beast, he can take hills with ease (much more ease than Fiona).  He's a fast lil bugger - Perfect for my mister.

Our bike family is perfect for us. How about yours?

Monday, August 17, 2009


Last Thursday was a great day.  It was like a Friday for the mister and I since we both took Friday off.  To celebrate, we took Miss Sampants out for sushi and a bike ride.

Sam Rides Hidalgo

Hidalgo, the folding guest bike, proved only semi intimidating for Sam.  Coaster brakes are not natural past the age of 7 to me.

Fiona and I
The lovely Fiona and I were ready to roll after a filling fishy meal.  Despite a slight hesitation to be in photos that I soon got over.

Johnboy rides
Johnboy just wanted to get on the road.  He was not having this photo safari.

Eventually he gave in to the fun and became our photographer extraordinaire. It was a you can see.



Panda John

And that's the end of the end of the week bike adventure.  This week looks less promising for the evening rides, what with the rain and all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's a little wild and a little strange...

There's one sure fire way to tell if you're loved in this world.  And that's when you open your e-mail on your birthday to find something like this little gem.

You see, this past Sunday was my birthday and as the Queen of Theme I decided to have a Wild West themed bash.  This meant that I had a good group of people show up at my apartment in their finest cowboy gear.

We ate "Get Along Lil Doggies" and drank "Pink Prairie Hoe Downs".

We did the "Jump on it" dance with pistols and a horse on a stick.

In general, we had a nice themey time!  (With minimal puking).

And then the unthinkable happened - the party got even better! My brother and newly acquired sister in law, who recently moved far far away, attended the party in spirit by reenacting the theme song from one of my favorite childhood tv shows (and a perfect fit for the theme).

So thank you Nick and Kat for being so awesome. And thank you everyone else in my life for being so flipping fantastic to me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Urge to Splurge Subdued

Let's do a comparitive shopping analysis, shall we?

Miz Mooz - Randi
This gorgeous boot is made by Miz Mooz, I found it at (btw...Check that store out) when searching for some leathery riding boots for fall.  Granted, I was looking in the summer because of a recent fascination with them, but still.  I was in love.

Now, these boots cost roughly $100...on sale.  That's a lot of money.  You can see the conundrum I was faced with.  Still, I struggled for months. And then one day, they no longer had my size so my problem was solved.

Not quite.  I still desparately wanted a pair of riding boots.  I had this mental image of myself in them, riding Fiona around Grand Rapids in the chilly weather.  Watching the leaves change.  Eating sushi.  Oh life is grand in my mental images.

And then BAM! It hit me like a truck.  Browsing on, I saw what I considered to be a contender for fall boothood.

Old Navy Boot
What do you think? I think they're great! And at $35 they're an obvious deal.  So, miss Sam and I went out to the local Old Navy shop and there they were.  Very adorable.  In my size and everything!  I opted to get the darker brown color since I do already have a light brown boot.

Man, when I got them home and really tried them on, I was doubly sold.  They're super cute with jeans.  I'll need to practice wearing them with tights and dresses.   And now my feet are toasty in my cold, cold office! Everyone wins! Well, I win...

Monday, July 27, 2009

I can explain, I swear


Meet Hidalgo, the newest member of our bike family.

Now, I know what you're thinking, how many bikes do they need? Well, I need one. And John needs one. And our guests could use at least one.

That's where this little feller comes in.  I'm not sure why, but I got it in my head that a folding bike is the perfect guest bike.  I mean, it FOLDS up!  It's not going to be in the way or anything. And if I want to bring a bike home or something, I have this little guy.

He fits in my trunk.  He's surprisingly well kept, hardly used by his former owners (who also had a twin of his for sale).  And he has 3 speeds with an internally geared hub.  And a coaster brake that I need to practice on.

Did I mention his inaugural ride was to go pick up a pizza? That's right, Hidalgo is capable of great feats.

So now you all can come to my apartment and ride my bikes. It'll be grand.
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