Monday, March 30, 2009

Monster by Mail

I love birthdays! Even if they aren't mine. Will, my roommate had a birthday Saturday and we celebrated with cake and a party. I wanted to share this present Corey and I got Will because it is way cool and crafty, too!

Will shared a link to a few weeks back and I decided that I would name a monster in his honor and give him the art work for his birthday. This website is very addicting. I watched almost every video on his Youtube channel. I highly recommend getting this as a gift for anyone you know who loves zombies, ogres, or any other monsters.

Without further ado, I present Billy the Broken!

You can also get a video link to your drawing in progress. Here's Billy's.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Favorites!

I haven't done one of these in nearly a month! I've been so busy with various projects. Not to mention that Fridays are my busiest work days, so even on my lunch break I'm not doing any personal Internet stuff. But I just figured out that you can write a post and then choose when you want it published. Yeah, who's the smart one, now? Ok, on to my favorite things.

1. My favorite time consumer this week: March Madness! I have never followed basketball and I especially never filled out a bracket for the NCAA Men's basketball tournament. That all changed this year. I look forward to going out to watch some games and eat some chicken wings. Mmm... wings.

2. My favorite ring tone: I know this is a little sad, but I just realized my blackberry plays mp3's so there's no need for me to buy ringtones anymore. I downloaded several, but my current favorite is "It's Business Time" from The Flight of the Conchords.

3. My favorite stuffed animal. Again, I have lots of good ones. I love my Chubbles that Lonnie bought me for my birthday and a few older ones I've had since I was a kid. But the most fun was making a build a bear in Chicago last year. We were waiting on our friend to meet us at Navy Pier and we decided a good time (and money) waster would be making a stuffed animal. I made a bunny dressed as a fairy (naturally) and Lonnie made a turtle dressed as a pirate. We took a picture to commemorate the event.

4. My favorite job I've had besides my current job: When I was a reporter at APR. I loved meeting people and conducting interviews. Being on the radio is fun because it feels like you're only talking to yourself but in reality you're talking to a pretty large audience. I've always liked radio more than TV anyway, so it was a lot of fun doing the news for the station.

5. My favorite April Fool's joke: It's a little early for April Fool's, but it's on my mind, so why not? One year I tied a white rubber band around the sprayer on our sink. It blended in with the white plastic, so it wasn't noticeable. When someone turned on the sink, they would get sprayed because the handle was already pressed on the sprayer. Very simple, yet effective.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

Two days later... I know, I know. Tuesday night I made corned beef and cabbage for the St. Pat's celebration. And then I decided that we needed something sweet, too. I made some chocolate cupcakes with a buttercream frosting for dessert. This was a new chocolate cupcake recipe and boy was I pleased with it. The cakes were so moist and delicious, I thought I would melt eating them. Instead, I just gained a few pounds. No big, right? Anyway, here is the recipe.

1/2 cup (50 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (240 ml) boiling hot water
1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

And here are my friends Lonnie and Reggie enjoying their cupcakes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ipod Shuffle giveaway

Alice is having a contest and the prize is an Ipod Shuffle!

Here is how you can enter the contest:

Option 1 - counts as one (1) entry

1. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter. Follow us on Twitter (if you aren’t already).


2. Leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite song to clean to. Include the link to your tweet with your comment.

Option 2 - counts as two (2) entries

1. Write a blog post about the giveaway and link to us in your post.


2. Leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite song to clean to. Include the link to your blog post with your comment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day! For years I've found John O'Donohue's words to have a calming and inspiring effect. I was stunned to find out that he passed away suddenly in January of 2008. He was a guest on our show nearly every St. Patrick's Day and we miss his wisdom. I wanted to share with you one of his blessings that I like a lot.

May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wreck This Journal update

It's difficult to carry my journal with me everywhere, but I've been trying. It's become a fun project that I like to work on whenever I get a chance. I've finished a hand full of pages and here are three I chose to share with you.

This one is my favorite. "Write one word over and over." Lonnie and I used to write notes like this to each other in high school. It actually took several hours to complete, but it was satisfying in the end.

I covered this page with office supplies from my desk. I'll probably add some more later on.

Lonnie did this page for me. I think she had fun messing up a page of my journal.

I also threw it, kicked it, and broke the spine. That was the most difficult task I've completed so far. I might burn a page tonight. I have a lighter nearby.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

First Friday cupcake sale

So First Friday came and went and I'm kind of glad that it was so fast. I got a pretty good response from people who stopped by the booth and I sold roughly half of what I made. I ended up giving A LOT of boxes away, but I didn't mind. Mainly I hope to get people to commission me to make cupcakes for parties, etc. I don't know if I'll be doing this again, but I have to get rid of the 14 pounds of butter I have in the fridge and the 70 cupcake boxes I have left over.

Let me also say that the icing tool I bought from Pampered Chef really helped. It's the Easy Accent Decorator I got from Dayna. If you bake or decorate at all, I highly recommend this tool. I normally use pastry bags, and by the time I ice the last cupcake, my wrists are aching. This thing has a trigger that is easy to press down, making icing come out smooth and even. I'm going to another Pampered Chef party this weekend and I plan on buying some more stuff. Too bad they don't offer something that automatically cleans your kitchen after an all-week baking binge.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cooling off

In preparation for First Friday, I made 300 cupcakes tonight. Dayna and Will helped out with the baking and recipe alterations. I will be icing these on Thursday and Friday before the event. We only made vanilla and chocolate and I'll be using vanilla and chocolate icing. I'll take more pictures when we decorate them.