Monday, April 30, 2012

Life On Vacation

Some people say that being on vacation all the time gets old.  Personally, I would like the chance to experience such a phenomenon, so that I could then disagree with them.  Vacation treats this girl goood!  With Handsome's schedule being what it is, and Paramedic school looming on the horizon, we're trying to make each of his days off like a mini vacation.

These mirrors are called Donkey Ears.
The driver's side mirror is all smashed, thanks to this little fiasco.
Still not fixed.
Yesterday, the hubs and I went out to try my skills on the greens.  I am no golfer.  Hubs, he's a pro, as far as I can tell; played in highschool, BFF's parents owned a course, basically his summers revolved around the back 9.  Or something like that.  Basically I'm just stringing together what I believe to be golf terms, but you already knew that.


That thing I'm doing there with my back leg?
Apparently you're not supposed to do that.
There's your golf tip for the day.
I'm not a great golfer, as I've said.  And as you can see from the picture.  I'm not in love with golfing.  But (a) Handsome only gets so many days off, and so I try and do whatever he wants on those days, and (b) Hubs likes when I come and play his sports with him, even when I'm no good.  As long as I don't lose my temper or just out & out quit (which happens more than I like to admit), it makes hubs happy when I try.  And when hubs is happy, his girl is happy.

I'm smiling because its over.
Speaking of over, I finished +28.
On a 9-hole.
That's bad, in case you didn't know.
I think him and I, we could do well if we lived a life of vacation.  I don't think we'd tire of it, as long as we didn't have to golf the whole time.  Have a good May, y'all.  I hope you find some time for a mini vacation or two!

Knocking "Golf-Pro" off of my list,
TFW

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I have a Dream: Lawncare Edition

I have dream, that one day, this pile of dirt will rise above its circumstances and become something more than just a pile in the middle of my yard.  I dream that it may become a doctor or a lawyer or, most hopefully, a nice place where potatoes live and grow.


I have a dream.  Similar to the way that if you mow over poison ivy, you get it everywhere, I dream that mowing over honeysuckle will make you smell like honeysuckle, instead of just like mulch and grass.


I have a dream that the contents of my yard will not be judged by my neighbors and found wanting.  That someday, my yard will be filled-in to such an extent that I will be able to see where I have already mowed and not mowed, while the mower is still running, and not just after I've put it away.


Most importantly, I have a dream for my children, and my children's children.  I dream that one day, they will be accepted even if they are wearing an outfit similar to this one.  I dream that a painting of this picture will hang in a fine arts gallery.  I dream that this pose will become a symbol of hope for peoples everywhere, regardless if they are wearing pajamas in public or not.



A girl can dream,
TFW

Friday, April 27, 2012

In Case I Disappear

Tomorrow, its happening.  Something wild, crazy, and a little bit reckless.

I'm meeting someone in person who I know through the internet.

Yep.


For the first time.  I'm sure that we've represented ourselves fairly (I may have mentioned my mad under-water-basket-weaving skills...) and there will be no surprises.  I'm sure we'll get along great and have a happy future of laughter and friendship ahead of us.  I mean, c'mon, the girl likes Journey.  What else is there to know about a person??


Oh, thats right, I said girl.  This isn't a love match, silly.  I've got my better half already locked in.  Tomorrow I'm traveling to Asheville, NC to meet up with the one and only, Amy Sullivan for my first eva bloggy conference.  Except its not at a conference hall at all, but meeting in peoples living rooms & coffee shops all over the country.


See, (in)Courage had this idea that making everyone come to them is sort of pushy and just a wee bit egocentric.  So instead, they're bringing the party to us via hundreds of hosts all over the US, and the magic of video.  There's going to be about a dozen of us there tomorrow, eating, laughing, chatting, and connecting in real life in a way that the interwebs make us want to, but doesn't actually allow.  Its called (in)RL.  See?



I think I'm trying to make myself feel nervous, but I just don't.  I am a little concerned about the whole directions thing, since I still don't have a smart phone, so I'm going to have to go all 2002 on this trip and write down the directions before I leave home.  I know, its practically prehistoric.  Aside from that, I'm thinking its going to be 100 shades of awesome.  As a bonus, I'm going to go a little early and sight see a bit of Asheville, which is apparently a MUST VISIT for this side of the U.S.

But just on the far-far-far-off chance that I disappear after tomorrow, I want you to have a picture of the person who I was last seen hanging out with.  Likely, I've just decided to stay because we got along so well and I didn't want to have to deal with life without her.  Its happened before.

Hi Amy!
I live on the edge,
TFW

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Dress: WIW/WFM Wednesday

my super-cool picture
Dress: I got it at Ross.
I love it.
Sunglasses: Handsome found at the bottom of the lake.
Yay for scuba divers!

I love dresses.  As a child, I wasn't a big fan.  Tomboy didn't really even begin to describe how much not-a-girly-girl I was.  And I'm still not super girly.  I don't do drama or reality TV, I can't be bothered to do anything with my hair other than a pony tail, I forget to brush my teeth wear makeup, and I've been seen in public in some atrocious outfits.  However, I do love a good dress.  And because of that, TJMaxx and Ross love me.  Seriously, they have some super cute dresses, $35 and less.  No lie.

The thing I love about a dress is that you don't have to match.  I'm a bad matcher (see above: not very good with fashion).  I won't buy a dress that requires a belt with it, because that takes extra thought.  And I don't like to get something that I have to wear a cardigan over or anything like that; again, bad with matching.  But, if I get a nice stand-alone dress, and I can wear black shoes with it (Currently my only color of heels.  Again, not a good girly-girl), then I can fake being all fashionista-ish.  Of course those who know me don't believe it, and often ask who dressed me, but I still take that as a win.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Why I Love Wifing: A Future

I am no expert in the art of Wifing (you know, being a wife!).  I do not have any market cornered, not FireWife, YoungWife, ObedientWife, or LovelyWife.  Basically, I'm making this all up as I go along, and sometimes it shows.  

But one thing I am is enthusiastic.

Enthusiastic: As in, the opposite of what Handsome is when he takes pictures.
That's his "big" smile.

I'm a big fan of being married.  I pretty much love it and would recommend it to anyone.  Its not always easy, and sometimes it doesn't seem like it will ever be easy.  But good things aren't easy.  And getting to be a wife to a great man is totally worth it.  To remind myself of that, I'm periodically going to post about the things I love about wifing.  Yes, there are less-than-good things that go along with it all, but those are way to easy to remember.  Its the good things that often get forgotten in the midst of life, and its the good things that deserve to be preserved for all time, or at least for as long as the interwebs last.
ASIDE:  Have you ever wondered how long the internet will last?  I mean, I'm sure when all technology was new, people didn't think about the day when it would become obsolete.  Who would have ever guessed that 8-track (or is it A-track?) tapes would go out of style?  This leads to bigger questions, like what will replace the internet?  Mind control, most likely.

The Person I Want to Be

Blue Potatoes.
They dream a little dream of being mashed.
Possibly scalloped.

Positive, a good time in the middle of someone's rough day.
Faithful, to my God and my husband, to my NFL team and to my own convictions.
Kind, to those who cannot repay.
Brave, in the face of external forces and internal doubt.
Creative, trusting my instincts and feeding my passions, even when they're lame.
Active, enjoying my body's ability to move and enjoy life.
Funny, and not only to myself and my mom.
Content.
Still.
Firm.
Settled.
One who extends grace.
One who knows she needs grace.


Learn to like what doesn’t cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different . . . different from you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction of doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
-Lowell Bennion


Who do you want to be this week?

Ready to conquer the world,
TFW

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Outside from the Inside

I'm sitting inside today.  Like, as much as possible.  I'm beat.  Bushed.  Pooped.  Wiped out.  Had a whole bunch of to-do's yesterday, ran all over town and generally enjoyed myself.  Really exercised the extrovert in me.  Today it's all about the introvert, the part of me that needs some time alone.  I mean, not really alone, since I'm sharing with you, but on-my-terms socialization, if you will.  I don't have to smile when you say things, because you're not actually interacting with me.  I don't even have to get dressed up.  Sweatpants, baby dolls, I'm rocking the over-sized sweats and LOVING IT!

I still love the outside, though, in all its out-side-ness glory.  I especially love my garden.  Oh! how I love growing things.  Changing things.  Improvements and whatnot.  The garden gives me ample opportunity to see things change and grow, improve and produce.  Take for example, these guys - the potatoes.  They used to look like this:

Don't keep squinting.
The problem isn't your eyes, but rather a smudged camera lens.
Sorta makes a body dizzy.

Just shriveled up little nubs, growing weird eyes.  Basically, they're gross.  You take the grossness, shove them in the dirt, and cover them up.  Then you pour a lot of water on them.  Then you wake up one morning, and there are little trees growing where there used to be grossness.


We've got approximately ... uh... 8+7+12... 27 (impressive, right?  that's where a master's in math will get you!) potato plants.  Half of them are growing in the beds like above, for easy dirt-piling.  The other half are living on Potato Mountain.

Television Has Taught Me

Television has taught me that opera just isn't as hard as people make it look.  I mean, it sounds impressive, sure.  And those ladies in the viking hats, they make it look like you could die if you attempted it.

But I've watched a few episodes here and there of *insert country's name here*'s got Talent, and apparently people who sing opera well are not all that uncommon.  That opens up a whole new way of thinking, a whole new realm of possibilities.

Maybe I sing opera well.  Maybe you do.  Do you?

I'm not going to try and sing opera, because I like to let the possibility live.  I really like to listen to people sing it, for about 2 songs.  There's just something soothing about not being able to understand these kids and their crazy singing languages.  They also make me cry.  And sometimes, I just love a good cry.

Charlotte and Jonathan can sing opera.




Pittsburgh Native (woop woop!) Jackie can sing opera.




Susan Boyle (can't leave her out) can sing opera.




Sung-bong Choi can sing opera



So the question remains.  Can you sing opera?

Living in the realm of possibility,
TFW

Friday, April 20, 2012

More to the Point

NOTICE: You're about to enter the danger zone.  I'm unloading here, both barrels.  Consider yourself warned.  In case you're not interested in hearing the heavy today, let me just give you this photo, and you can go on your merry way.

He's glad you stopped by today!
**He's also glad I'm linking up with The Rusted Chain**

I'm frustrated.  I feel like I've got so much more in me than I'm currently giving, more than I'm being asked to give.  More than I'm sometimes comfortable giving.  I'm blessed.  Like, beyond crazy, blessed.  Comfortable house, wonderful husband, entertaining dog.  I have all the food I want, a climate-controlled environment if I desire it, and free time to do things like make noodles from scratch.  I could decorate with plates, if I wanted to.  I have SO. MUCH.

So, you say, what's my problem?

That's my problem.  I don't know what the words for it are, but my problem is that I have while others have not.  I'm not comfortable with that.  I hate that people are hungry.  I hate that children are under-loved, and without.  I hate that there is so much hurting, so much need, and yet its possible for me to go about my day without seeing it, without thinking about it, and without it touching my life.  Mostly, I hate that sometimes, I don't care.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Too Much and Not Enough

I often feel as though I am, at the same time, "too much" and "not enough".  I am too friendly, and also not reaching out to others enough.  I am too busy and still not doing enough.  I am not popular enough and also get too many invitations that I can't do them all.  Too "tough" and not strong enough.  Too loud and obnoxious, but not assertive enough


Its enough to make a girl scream, "STOP!"  Go ahead, scream if you have to.  I know you've got the same sort of crazy inside your head.

Those words up there, they may all be true about me.  I may, in fact, be too much and not enough.  I'm no where near a perfect person (Handsome says "AMEN!").  Depending on the measuring stick you use, I'm sure to come up too short or too long.  You do too.  

Up until recently (read: 4 minutes ago) I allowed this to make me feel inadequate.

Then I just decided to stop feeling that way.  Sort of along these lines, but not quite that far.  Those words up there, while they may ore may not seem true, they just don't matter.  I am not measured, in any arena that matters, against anyone else.  I'm not even measured against me.  God looks at me, and sees his perfect Son.  He loves me simply because he chose to.  Nothing I've done, nothing I haven't done.  Just a choice He made.

There is no more or less that I can do to change His love for me.  No matter if I serve more or complain less, pray more or swear less.  None of that changes the fact that the God of the Universe loves me more than anything.  I could even fight more and love others less, and He would still love me.  I'd still have value.  I'd still be His top-shelf gal.  That's what matters, because that is where my value comes from - my identity in Christ.  Just like princesses from long ago, I'm important enough to be kidnapped - because I'm The King's daughter.  

So maybe I do talk about myself too much and I don't show up on time enough.  Yes, those are character flaws that could use some work.  But even if I perfect those, (a) there will still be more to work on and (b) my value doesn't change.  I write this to remember that fact.  I often forget it, and allow myself to get swept away with feeling like too much and/or not enough.  So now, when I forget, I'll just re-read this post.  And this and this.
Kicking my blue mood in the mouth,
TFW

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some Things for You to Know

1.  My husband will never buy me makeup.  I really just can't see this happening.  He recently asked me if I owned any lipstick.  He needed it to see if the fletching on his arrows was rubbing on his bow... or something.  I told him where to find it, and he came back downstairs with mascara.  This girl, her hubs did well.  Mine, well, I just don't see that as part of his skill set.

2.  There's a really really super cool ... thing, I guess, going on over at Tico<3Tina.  I'm going to win, I'm just telling you now.  But I love to crush people in my wake will still need team members... check it out.  They're pretty awesome, I'm just going to say it.  We've been friends for about... 221 hours (don't freak out, Tina, I made that number up!) and I've already decided they're getting a Christmas card.  I mean, if I send any out.  Check 'em out!

3.  Delicate Fortress Creations is DA BOMB.  Remember them from the giveaway?  Well, I'm just sayin', they've got some awesome awesome stuff, and they're totally set up to help you with Mothers day.  How about these, Momma? 

Do you want this one?
I've got a new button over yonder (---->) and it'll link you directly to their store.  It also gives me some percentage, I don't really know what, that I can then use to shop at their store, and together we're all helping women around the globe fight poverty, enslavement, and make a better life for themselves and their families. HOO-Rah.

4.  I've invited people over for dinner tonight.  What they don't know is that we're having grilled steak salads with strawberry shortcake for dessert.  And I'm putting french fries on every one of those salads, because that's how I roll.

5.  I very nearly told my tutor-kid to "suck it" yesterday, after I had done the math right in my head, and he screwed up using the calculator.

6.  I did tell Handsome to "suck it" after I whooped up on him in Corn Hole.

7.  Maybe I should expand my vocabulary.

8.  I'm still without a mason jar to use my cuppow lid.  That makes me sad.  I'm still SO excited about it, though.  There's another mason jar lid company, masonjarcaps.com, (whose link is not currently working!) that I'm going to tell you all about as soon as I get my grubby hands on their products.

9.  My corn has sprouted.  EEK!!!

Now you know,
TFW

Monday, April 16, 2012

Personality Conflict

So I *ran* in a Mud Run yesterday.  And my use of the word *ran* is relative.  Most of the time, we just moved our arms real fast and walked with our feet, yelling back at the Marines who yelled at us, "Look! My arms are moving so fast!  I'm so fast at running! Look at me go!"  And then they would yell again "You MALL WALKERS!  Move your feet!  Get out of my mud! What are you doing still in my mud!?"  And then we laughed and moved as slow as we pleased.

Before.
As in, before we were forever changed by the mud.
Before we knew what it was to be truly filthy.
Before we went to where there is no coming back from.

Obviously, this is the after photo.
My contact was rolled up in my brain at this point.
Our socks will never be pink & white ever again.
Each of us is bleeding at the knees here.
Apparently, I have a problem with being told what to do.  The weird part is, I'm a great listener.  Just ask my Moms.  She said I was (and I quote) "a joy to raise" (endquote).  Tell me what to do, and I do it.  Its even been at the point where I'm trying to stay on a healthy eating kick, and I ask Handsome "Tell me not to eat these chips" and then he says "Don't eat those chips" and then I don't.  Because I'm a good listener.  

Sometimes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Look-Ahead

There's just something wonderful about the starting place.  Before the first step has been made, before the first word written or ingredient added, before any progress has been charted - there's that sweet spot where anything is possible.  Sunday nights are my sweet spot.  I like what I do, so I don't fear Monday morning, although it's not always welcome, either.  Sunday nights, I like to make a plan for the week.  What I have coming up, what I have to accomplish, what I'd like to do.


It's no wonder, when I was situated in the green-upon-green sanctuary that my backyard is currently turning into, that I got a little bit more introspective than normal.  A regular ole' week's plan wasn't enough for me.  I thought I'd take it just a wee step further into "What I want out of life".  You know, because I'm all about things done in moderation #sarcasm
TCofTFW: I've recently started liking twitter a bunch more (find me here!) and I feel like I want to abuse the heck out of hashtags all the time.  So #prepareyourself because you'll probably be seeing a #crapton more of #these.
So, since I've got this over-worked left-side-of-my-brain, I had to make a list.  And it had to be actionable, as in, leading to action.  Another list-that-sits-in-my-purse-until-it-falls-out-in-my-car-and gets-smushed-into-the-side-pockets-on-my-door-destined-for-a-gas-station-trash-can is not going to help me any.  But something that propels me to act, that gives me clear direction, that could work.

A few points off of my list have obvious actions that go along with them.  For example, I want a cleaner house.  Ergo, I need to clean more regularly and/or make less of a mess.  I've been doing better this past week, but I think it's time to step up my game and perhaps make myself a chore chart.  Yes, its juvenile, but if it works, I'm not concerned.  I may even give myself stickers when I do a good job.  Don't judge, you want stickers too.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stay Back

Things have not improved much on my side of the globe.  And by "my side of the globe" I mean my house, specifically me.  Hows that little ego-centric statement for ya? Huh?

As a result, Cake week is still in limbo.  My apologies.

If I had attempted to finish it out in real time, we may or may not have needed this guy:

Mr. Yuk, brought to you by Pittsburgh Hospitals

I never knew, until I moved, that Mr. Yuk wasn't a national thing.  I also didn't know that grilled chicken salads didn't automatically come with french fries.  I'll tell you, as a child, the world revolved around me, and nothing else existed.  And the salads were the bomb-diggity.

Anyhow, my world is much larger, and although I feel like phoo, I'm still hosting a giveaway to make up for my lack of content.  

You know you think it's cute.
You know you like winning.
Finally, to dear dear Sharon, I'm sorry for posting such horrible opening pictures on posts that lead to your darling shop.  Please don't take it personally!

Not Thinking Clearly,
TFW

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Apparently Excess Is Bad For You *Giveaway!*

BLAH.

BLERG.

GAAAAH.

Oregon Trail

You know what I'm sayin'?

Although my current state of feeling unda-da-wed-da *achoo!* could be contributed to my seasonal allergies and the fact that every morning a new layer of pollen, thicker and heavier than before, is brought down from the heavens laid gently devastatingly upon everything, I'm going to say it's a sugar sickness.

I've caught the sugar sickness.  Rest here and go hunting.  Caulk the wagon and ford the river.  It's a snakebite.

What I'm trying to say is, Cake Week might be killing me.  Make no mistake, I go happily, but I go nevertheless.  The icecream cake was made, *NOT* photographed, and then eaten appreciatively.  Sorry 'bout the photo part, I think the sugar sickness was starting to set in around that time.  Then the Lemon Pound Cake was made.  And photographed in really bad lighting.  And also eaten appreciatively by all in my office.  But you're going to have to take my word for it; I don't have the gumption or the moxie to do anything near ambitious as editing/posting pictures.  With sugar sickness, moxie and gumption are among the first to go.  Followed quickly by the desire to move. at. all.  

I'm assuming you forgive me, in light of my limited time remaining in this mortal coil.  

In case you don't forgive me right away, let me bribe you.  You're okay with that, right?  Up for grabs to you peeps, in honor of Cake Week 2012, (and possibly in honor of my untimely demise) we're giving anyone who has ever eaten cake the opportunity to own a piece of Cake Week 2012 memorabilia. 


That's right, I said "we".  Because Sharon from b.haven is back, and better than ever.  Whereas my gumption and moxie have fled, Sharon seems to have both in spades.  I swear, there's new stuff in her shop every time I look.  The worst part is, it's always cuter and cuter!

So here's the deal.  You enter to win, between now and Saturday, 4/14/12 @ 11:59, the official end of Cake Week 2012.  I draw a random number, and that person wins.  They win big.  They win a set of these darling things:


Here's how you get entries:
  • Check out b.haven's shop, and tell me your favorite item, One Entry
  • "Like" b.haven on facebook, One Entry
  • Check out little Ms. b.haven's blog, and leave her a comment! One Entry
  • Share this giveaway in some way (twitter, facebook, smoke signal, telegram...) One Entry
That's it.  You might say, it's a piece of cake.  You might say that.  Or I might have hydrophobie, on top of my sugar sickness.  It's really hard to tell.  Just pay for the Ferry, it's worth it every time.

Shoulda stayed in Jefferson City,
TFW

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two For One: Lemon Cake & American Cheese

(psst... I've posed a secret challenge to myself.  You're the witness.  Here goes!)

So, remember a while ago when I read about the Better World Shopping Guide?  Maybe you don't.  Brief recap, it's a book that lists the best and worst companies in terms of environmental sustainability, human rights, community involvement, animal protection, and social justice.  The good guys and the bad guys of the retail world.


Well, the big boys with the blue box were not listed favorably.  In fact, they come out as quite the villain.  This is a problem for me, as I lovelovelove cheese & cheese product.  Like, love it.

Tuesday Things

Don't worry, it's still Cake Week 2012.  I still made lemon curd last night, and lemon meringue frosting this morning.  I still substituted like a madwoman in order to bring about the Petite Lemon Layer Cake without having to make a trip to the store.

Mine does not look like this.
But it tastes like this.
And that's even better.
Original recipe here

I also left my camera at home, and don't have the pictures to show you yet.  So that post will come later.  Right now, I'm starting to feel the need to think.  To tell you other things, more than just about sugar & butter & cream.  Those things are all good, in moderation excess.  But there's more to life, and more to me.  

Instead of telling you about cakes and whisks and what-to-do-when-you've-used-all-93-glass-bowls problems, I wanted to tell you about my garden.  I love my garden.  I'm so excited about what's already come up, and what is yet to go in!  But, again, the whole camera thing... I could rip some pictures of my favorite plants off the interwebs, but then I'd never show you my actual pictures.  And that would be a travesty.

Since I'm stuck at the office busy working, I'll just throw some awesome links at you today, give you a taste of what life will be like when I truly come out of this sugar coma I keep throwing myself in.
TCofTFW: Seriously, I wasn't even hungry last night, and I still couldn't stop eating chocolate bars.  So I thought, I'll have some strawberries.  And then the alien who lives in my brain and wants to give me Type II said "And I'll dip those strawberries in melted chocolate."  I'm ash-med to say, I obeyed like a little drone.  And I kind of liked it.

.....................

I've re-written something pithy there about 4 times.  The cake at the edge of my desk keeps distracting me.  So please pretend that I said something so witty, you almost want to tell people about it later, except that it's weird to talk about internet life with people in real life (anybody feel me on this?).  *cue laughter*

And now, my list.  Things I like, things I've found, things I'm planing to eat.  An eclectic list. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bird Cake/Bird Brain

Hey kids.  

Baking in progress
How you doing?

Nah, How Yoo Doin??

I hope you're doing well.  I'm pretty sure I'm doing well, but I'm in the middle of a sugar coma right now, and there's not much that I'm certain of at this point.  Example: I spelled "of" wrong, three different ways. You might not think it possible, but I found a way.  It's my own fault.  Since breaking the sweets fast at 1AM on Easter Sunday with a slice (or two) of Grapefruit Cheesecake, I've had
  • 2 more slices of cheesecake
  • 1 doughnut
  • 2 1/2 cinnamon rolls
  • 1 jelly bean
  • 2 York Peppermint patties
  • 1 heaping helping of chocolate cake
  • thin mint icecream
  • 2 chocolate bars
  • 8 left-in-the-freezer-for-a-month chewy chocolate meringues
And that was just  yesterday.  I'm eating carrots right now, trying to find some sort of balance.  It's not working.  

Today, I bring you the Bird Cake (adapted from blissfully domestic), of which I've had a few nibbles, on top of my morning cinnamon roll and smoothie.  

I'm going to try and do a food-bloggy thing, where you get some pictures, and a nice recipe to follow at the bottom.   I don't know if it will work, I'm not really sure of what I'm doing.  But by golly, it's Cake Week, and I'm going to give it my best shot!

The Players:


Laying everything out, measured and ready, is called Mis en Place.
The pro's do it, because they're cool like that.
I do it so I only have to think at the beginning of the recipe.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cake Week Voting Day 6 - The Finalists WINNER


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The Winning Cake: Rainbow Cake
submitted by: Hannah
***
Winning Voter from Day 6: 

 


Congrats JB!  You've put in good work all week, and it finally paid off!
(psst... send me your address so we can get the awesome prize pack from Delicate Fortress Creations sent to you!)
**************

And that, ladies & gents, is how the voting ends.  Next week, I'll be baking and baking,  giving away some more of these super cute towels from  Sharon from b.Haven 



On Sunday, I'll be making a cake of my choosing, which I'll tell you all about as soon as I decide on it!  Then the rest of the week is as follows:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cake Week Voting Day 6: The Finalists

Now, there's no actual "finalists" as there is no narrowing down of your choices.  All the previous cakes that you've chosen will be made during the following week.  But, I thought it added a little sumthin'sumthin to the whole todo.


Our Sponsor today needs very little introduction.  I'll give you an exerpt from their blog, as I think it says a lot about who they are and what they're all about:


We believe women shouldn’t be forced to relinquish or sell their children or themselves in order to allow for their survival.  

We believe in culturally appropriate opportunity, investment and advocacy.

We bet you do too.

So we bring you shopping with purpose.  Each item you find in our store provides dignity, livelihood and fair wages to female artisans all over the world.  We’re fighting for women and their children.  Come fight with us.
Uh, chya!  Isn't that just an awesome mission statement?   It makes you feel like, by buying from their store, you're engaging in a battle!  I love to engage in battle!  Especially on behalf of those who need some extra help.  So today, from Delicate Fortress Creations, we bring you the following prize pack:

It's a food-themed gift pack, just for us!
Citrus Zest & Cucumber Melon handmade soaps from Pure Eden, a Chicago IL group helping women in situations of domestic violence, addictive tendencies, and poverty.
Lip Smoothie lipbalm created by the artisans of Thistle Farms, fighting human trafficking, exploitation, and helping women with addictions in Nashville, TN
White Chocolate Soy Candle from the ladies of Pure Eden
Simple Jute Shopping Tote created by the artisans at Freeset, fighting human trafficking in India.

Better view of the shopping Tote
(flower not included, but I could make you one if you want!)

Now you want to win bad, don't you?  And not just for you!  No, you want to win in support of ladies everywhere.  Well, here's how you can do that, and spread the word about Delicate Fortress Creations!

  • Leave a comment telling me which of our Finalists you're voting for - One Vote
  • Check out Delicate Fortress's Shop, and tell me your favorite item - One Vote
  • Pin your favorite item from Delicate Fortress's Shop, and tell me you did so - One Vote
  • "Like" Delicate Fortress on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment here telling me you did so - One Vote (each)
  • Check out Delicate Fortress's Blog, and leave a comment there, then leave a comment here telling me you left a comment there... :)  One Vote
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter (#CakeWeek2012) and leave a comment telling me you did so - One Vote
And now, for the last time in the public eye, our Finalists!

Cake Week Voting Day 5: The Indulgences WINNER


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The Winning Cake: Caramel Fudge Brownie Cheesecake
submitted by: Dawna
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Winning Voter from Day 5: 



Congratulations to Malisa from her website by the same name!

(psst - Hey Malisa, send me a message, I need your address to ship you the gift certificate from Garnish!)
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And now, we move on to the final round of Cake week voting.
*cue music*

Melodramatic as an artform,
TFW

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cake Week Voting Day 5: The Indulgences

I'm going to be honest here.  I'm a *wee* bit tired of writing the same type of post every day.  I'm a *wee* bit tired of focusing on nothing but pictures of cakes I'm not eating.  I'm a *wee* bit tired of trying to convince people that voting is cool and everybody's doing it.  Just a *wee* bit.



But pushing through when fatigue starts to set in, that's where character is forged.  That's what separates the mice from the men and the men from the boys.  And I'm all about that.

I'm giving myself a reward today.  If I can't eat the cakes, at least I can look at some pieces of the most indulgent cakes EVA.  They're so rich, so "heavy", so ... indulgent, that you would tell me "Oh, trust me, just take a small piece, it's a lot of cake" and then I'd simultaneously disgust and impress you as I proceeded to eat 1/3 of the entire cake in one sitting.  Have no doubt about it, I'm a champ.

I'm also in love with celebrating things.  I hold to a firm belief that everyone should have a birthday cake.  Or a birthday pot roast, depending on your persuasion.  But a birthday treat, and often cake. I'll make a cake pretty much for any occasion, because cakes make things feel special.  

Our sponsor today believes in making the everyday special, too!  Be it a picnic at the park, a barbeque with friends, or even just a packed lunch, our sponsor Garnish believes that it's the little touches that make each moment shine!

In honor of today's decadent indulgences, Garnish is providing one lucky reader with a $25-dolla gift certificate to their store!  I was going to pick the prize for you, but then I realized that it's all in what you want to celebrate!  Do you need some sweet straws for your party drinks?   Garnish has got that!


Do you have a new neighbor that just moved in, or a friend who could use a surprise?   Garnish has everything you need to leave them a basket of goodies, with no clean-up or give-me-back-my-casserole-dish-argument required!


Would you like to buy one of everything?  You can do that too, since Garnish sells their items in individual increments, so you don't get stuck buying 1600 8-inch skewers when you only needed 125.  Hypothetically, of course, don't look at the box on top of my refrigerator.  Personally, I think I'd get some big 'ole gable boxes, and other containers to hand out some of this cake I'm going to be making next week.  Not all of it, but some.

Here's how you can be entered to win, and heaven knows, you want to win this!
  • Leave a comment telling me which cake you're voting for.  Leave your name too, just for kicks.  One Vote
  • Visit Garnish's website, and come back and tell me what you're going to use your gift card on!  One Vote
  • "Like" Garnish on Facebook, then leave a comment here telling me you did it.  One Vote
  • "Follow" Garnish on Twitter, then leave a comment here telling me you did it.  One Vote
  • "Follow" Garnish on Pinterest, and/or pin one of their items, then leave a comment here telling me you did it.  One Vote Each.
  • Share this giveaway on twitter (#CakeWeek2012) or facebook, and link back to this site.  Leave a comment telling me you did it.  One Vote
Can't you just see yourself giving someone a nice slice of cake in one of their boxes, with a little bit of twine tied 'round?  And speaking of cake...

Cake Week Voting Day 4: Cakes formerly known as Cupcakes WINNER


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The Winning Cake: Lemon Cake w/Raspberry Buttercream
submitted by: Achieng
***
Winning Voter from Day 4: 



Congratulations to Tanya from FreeIsALark!

(psst - Hey Tanya, send me a message, I need your address to ship you the great prizes from Crafty Maiden and The Coin Laundry!)
**************

On to the next round! 
Cake on the brain,
TFW

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cake Week Voting Day 4: The Cakes formerly known as Cupcakes

Hehe... you get it?  You know, like

The artist formerly known as Prince?  Except I think he's back to being Prince now.  Someone tell me, this question will stay with me all day!

Makes me chuckle sometimes, these early morning jokes I have with myself...

But now for serious stuff, today is day four of...  *doo-doo-dah-doooo!*


And yes, our Cake contestants are all formerly known as Cupcakes. But we've also got some great sponsors, formerly known as... well, as great sponsors!  Let's hear what our readers can win, Johnny!

First up, we've got an artist formerly known as my creative sister, CraftyMaiden13!  

Specializing in mixed media and home decor, Crafty Maiden has got it going on over at her shop!  The things she does with crayons, I swear, it's like magic.  Her current favorite medium is BUTTONS, and in honor of that love, she is gifting us with this absolutely adorable Tea Tray!




Our second sponsor is the generous Jen from The Coin Laundry!


Gen Jen, as I like to call her just made up now, specializes in hand-done silk screened baby clothes and housewares.  Her inks & solvents are earth friendly, so you can love all of these awesome products with a clear conscious!  She is offering up today, for one lucky reader, this great kitchen-themed Tea Towel!


Jen also wanted me to tell you "You're Welcome" for getting that song stuck in your head.  So, You're Welcome.

To be the lucky winner of these two prizes (yes, that's right, you win BOTH of them!), you've got to enter.  And here's how you enter today:

  • Leave a comment here telling me your favorite cake from today's contestants.  Your name would also be helpful. - One Vote
  • Like The Crafty Maiden and The Coin Laundry on Facebook through their shops.  Leave a comment telling me you did so - One Vote Each
  • Pin your favorite item from  The Coin Laundry and  The Crafty Maiden.  Leave a comment telling me you did so, and what it was - One Vote Each
  • Facebook/Tweet about this giveaway, using #CakeWeek2012 and linking back to this post - Leave a comment telling me you did so, and I'll give you Two Votes

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "That's a lot of votes!"  And you're right.  But I'm a giver like that.  Plus, with these delicious looking cakes formerly known as cupcakes awaiting you just below, you're going to need all the votes you can get.  Feel free to split votes between different contenders, if you just can't decide!

And now, for your voting pleasure, the Cakes-formerly-known-as-CupCakes

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