The Gourmet Cupcake Conundrum: To Consume, Or Not To Consume?

sierralei:

this is so cool!

Originally posted on Sugar, Spice, Etc:

I got this interesting infographic via Frugal Dad, about the wonders and blunders of the cupcake industry in the United States. The data in the infographic made my eyes grow wide…the gourmet cupcake industry in the United States is worth about $6 billion! That is quite a statistic. I was also introduced to terms I never even knew existed: butter mafia and flour explosions! There is a darker side to this cupcake revolution.

I realized that urban India is also experiencing a cupcake revolution of sorts. So many gourmet bakeries popping up in our metros, all of them with the promise of the finest, word-class ingredients. (Think butter from Norway, cocoa from Denmark and cupcake liners from France.) When I read Adam’s article, I was reminded of cupcakes during my childhood: they were very much part of our goody basket, but they weren’t such a big deal. My friends brought homemade cupcakes in their lunchboxes once in…

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notes

-sunday inventory consisted of me sitting in one spot for an entire 7+ hours, eating cookies, drinking both red bull and my coffee monster drink, and listening to pandora. radio stations of choice: britney spears, the blow, adele, and ODB. i don’t think anyone appreciates ODB at my work like i do.

-monday started the spring session for my pool league. i am on 2 teams but only shot on one team. i lost.

-tuesday inventory was a highlight because i discovered chocolate peanut butter bugles. it’s a party in your mouth if you haven’t tried it. pandora radio station of choice: britney spears.  after inventory, i went to check on how my tuesday night pool team did for the evening. unfortunately, they lost.

-wednesday was when i took pictures of my nephew in a bare field. i loved it.

-thursday inventory made me sick because all i ate were peanut butter cookies and more chocolate peanut butter bugles. and all i drank were red bull and coffee. and then i ate 2 cupcakes. pandora radio stations of choice: britney spears (big surprise), third eye blind, adele, and nicki minaj.

-friday woke me up with massive back pain, so the first half of the day was rough, but then i shot pool at regal beagle with my awesome friends and saw R. =) he got to meet some of my friends, so that was cool. i had a bit to drink, so i spent the second half of my night making sure i didn’t fall on my heels….! apparently he didn’t notice how messy i felt because he kept telling me how great i looked. aw…! i got to meet one of his friends, who was a sweet guy. so it was a great night!

-saturday was great because i got back to my store and missed everyone. the entire staff was on board, the energy was great, everyone was feeling good, i loved it. i got to see the new NIQUEA.D jewelry that came in which is SUPER GORGEOUS, so i will be taking pictures as i get to try them on! yay!

*this is my birthday week. for some reason, i’m nervous. it is also my oldest brother’s birthday!

*newly added pandora station: the bird and the bee

*i am not keeping up with my daily journal. i need to get on that. i don’t want a repeat of 2010.

*i decided to take off the 2nd new year’s resolution: to meet one new person every week and take a picture of them. i met at least 5 new people last night but didn’t get to take pictures of them, and i’ve already failed this mission from the first week. the coolest person i have met this month is, hands down, the tattoo artist that gave my friend/co-worker her tattoo. i should put that in a blog on it’s own. he was that cool.

*this week, i need to pack and move. and i’m hoping i get it all done or i’m going to have to go through this torture next week. i hate moving.

*one of the highlights of my week was talking to my dear friend, mishi. i call her my sunshine. we talked one night for over 3 hours this week. i devoted a blog to her, friendship is one mind in two bodies, which is about the LAST conversation we had that was this long! she is such an amazing friend.

*my sister’s boyfriend made crab/broccoli salad. it’s one of my favorite things ever:

that is all for now.

xoxo

january 19, 2012

ugh!!!! i’ve been so busy lately!!!!

where do i start!?

love life: 

so after my first date on january 6, i went on a lunch date with R (because i couldn’t think of a nickname, i’m just using a letter for now…haha) that following monday. we had sushi buffet. =) i was happy. things have been going great since then. i’ve been terribly busy so that was the last time i saw R, but it’s okay. i use other ways to communicate with him-we talk on the phone, text, and i shoot him emails often to let him know how my day has been. he’s real sweet. i think this would be the time in which girls ask themselves, “hmm…what IS bad about him? is there something on the other side? there has to be something.” nah, i’m not gonna look or try and figure that out. i’m not out to look for the bad in people. i don’t have time for that, and my first few weeks of the year have been GREAT, so why ruin it? =) he’s REALLY, REALLY sweet…like, “no, sierra, you better not be playing taylor swift over and over again” sweet. okay, enough of this mush…but hopefully, i’ll get to see him tomorrow. =)

moving along….

work life: 

work has been great. this week was inventory week and it’s finally over. when i think of inventory week, i think of all of us getting together, which is very rare, so it was fun. here are some pictures of more gorgeous NIQUEA.D jewelry. the bracelets are new. swarovski crystals. UUUUUUUUGH, SOOOOOOO PRETTTTTTYYYYY!!!! i want THEM ALL!!! and the rings are amazing.

 

my life: 

there are 7 days left until i turn 30. where did my 20s go? to texas. this year marks my 10th year here in dallas, texas. i love it. i’ve definitely enjoyed my 20s. they were spent discovering texas, driving through cities, making new friends, going to new places, meeting and loving my nephew, going to school and working, finding hobbies and passions, reading good books, eating good food, tasting bad alcohol, and breaking hearts. i was half joking on the last one.

i’m very excited for what my 30s have in store for me! =)

my nephew did very well in kindergarten, so he did not fail to remind “aunty ra ra” to give him a prize:

 

on the way home from spending too much money on whatever those things are, i drove by a field that looked great for pictures. the grass was almost all dead, there were no leaves on the trees, the sky looked nice, and the weather was great. i thought, “man…punkin would be great to take pictures of in that field.” and so i did take some pictures….if you consider 92 pictures “some.”

this first picture was just a test shot and it turned out great:

 

out of the other 91, here were some of my favorites. i usually need help from someone to get my nephew to look off in the distance, so i used my sister for that. there were a lot of “look at mommy!” and “look at the cars!” so i could capture some good photos. none of these photos were edited. he just looks that awesome. haha.

 

it was a fun little photo session. =) i’m glad my nephew loves getting his pictures taken or i’d be in big trouble! he’s so much fun to photograph. <3

 

this week, i made 4 dozen cupcakes. my friend (who is also on my pool/billiards team) asked me to make birthday cupcakes for her husband and have them north carolina tarheels themed. all i knew about north carolina was “baby blue and white.” because i was so busy, i never got a chance to practice my piping skills, but i think they turned out pretty good…my friend’s husband was super happy for them…and even more pleased that he got to take them home. usually, when i make cupcakes and bring them to my pool league, they vanish…so what i did was make 2 dozen for him and 2 dozen for the people at pool league.

 

 

i would much rather pipe icing from a ziplock bag than a tip. i don’t seem to have as much control on the icing when i use a tip and i’m piping tiny letters. i think my lettering is pretty alright. the other 2 dozen cupcakes were just strawberry with a banana cream pudding/cool whip topping.

 

the great thing about a pudding/cool whip topping is that there’s not much sugar and it’s lighter. i found the recipe somewhere on the internet and was obsessed…because i hate sugar icing!! i wanted to do a take on strawberry and bananas. everyone seemed to enjoy the cupcakes, they kinda just disappeared. the picture doesn’t look spectacular because i was running late for pool league and i just squeezed the topping on before heading out the door.

next week, i will be working on baby shower cupcakes. i took a picture of a photo i saw on google images from my phone, so it’s not all that clear, but this photo is going to be somewhat of my inspiration for the cupcakes:

the colors will be baby blue, light green, and yellow. i won’t be doing the little baby cupcake there, with the head. i just want the decorations cute and simple, and something that wouldn’t take an entire day to make. i didn’t want to spend my birthday weekend making cupcake decorations. we’ll see what i end up doing, i might change my mind if i see something better.

i must say, i’m really enjoying my first month of the year. i’ve been in such a good mood lately, there’s a high possibility that i could be annoying a lot of people because of it. haha. but i hope you are all having a great jump start to 2012 as well. =)

that is all for now.

xoxo

you have nothing to worry about…

after i had posted the last blog (01/05/12 random post), i got a little worried…i thought, “great…now i’m going to have to go on this date since i blogged about it…………….or just delete the blog………but people have already read it and are wanting me to post about the date after i go on it……unless i cancel the date…..but i’ve already told my mom about it and she’s really looking forward to hearing about what a disaster/success it turns out to be…..” ack!! 

leave it to me to make a coffee date seem like i’m having a blind date in another country. it’s just coffee, sierra…geez.

so i went on it. 

it’s not so much “dating disasters” that i have experienced in the past as much as it is past experiences with meeting people for the first time and it turning into a disaster. i’ve met quite a few people online that i have built friendships with. everything seems great, we share common interests, everything is cool……until we meet. boy, would you love to read those stories. they’re so horrific, i won’t even go there. so it would be normal for me to expect that.

as i parked my car outside starbucks, i sat for a moment. then i grabbed my phone and texted my friend: “i am right outside…terrified.” first time ever. i don’t think i’ve ever been this chicken before. i looked at the coffee shop-it seemed like there were 30 people there. what if i don’t recognize him? i hate that part. so i decided to call him and ask him if i beat him there. he had just parked, too. i got out of my car, hung up the phone, and there he was walking up to the front a few feet from me.

“heeeeeey!!!!!!”

hug. 

it’s all in the hug when it comes to me. 

half hug. full hug. full-on embracing hug. light hug. hug with a rub on the back. hug with pats on the back. hug with one hand. there are many types of hugs.

this one was a full hug.

it took about 1.4821 seconds to know i was giving him a full hug.

what a great first impression, i guess. haha. 

and everything was relaxed from there….phew.

so we  grabbed some drinks (HE DOESN’T DRINK COFFEE!!!!!!!!!! WHAAAAAAAAAT!?!?), had a seat outside (the weather was ah-mazing…70 degrees in january? YES, PLEASE!), and talked.

talked for 3 hours.

talked about life, dating, religion, kids, traveling, friends, family, pool, you name it. it was pretty awesome. i don’t even know what to say.

i love having long conversations. about everything and anything. just talking….and talking…and talking…i’m usually the one listening, so it was very different that i did a lot of talking. it was pretty fun. it felt like i was being interviewed with all the questions i was asked. i love answering questions. it was pretty fun. =) it was 3 hours of laughing and great conversation. that was pretty much it.

so where does it go from there? do you have chemistry? do you not have chemistry? do you go on another date or hang out again? when?

we decided to get together for lunch next week. he happened to pick sushi…at one of my favorite places. now i’m excited!!!

…and then we went our separate ways. he went to meet up with his friends and i did the same with mine.

the night was great. when i met up with my friends, it turned into a semi-reunion. i hadn’t seen some of my friends in as long as a year, so it was awesome. we all just hung out and had a jam of a time. i had a blast.

so that’s that. i’m kinda smiling about the whole thing. the whole night. it was a success. it just added to the fact that my 2012 is going to be nothing short of amazing. cheers to that!

do any of you have horrific first date stories? i really want to know them.

for now, hope you all had a great weekend, and have an awesome week ahead!

xoxo

01/05/2012 random post

it’s an ungodly hour of the night and i’m back to being a night owl…again.

here is a bunch of random thoughts….

a junior high/high school friend of mine is getting married back home (saipan) on the 7th. one of the downfalls of working in the retail industry is that there is no vacation time around the holidays (and that would be in between october and february). i would have loved to be at the wedding, and would have loved to see my parents who i haven’t seen in 3 years (*sob*), and would have loved to bask in the saipan sun during these cold winter months. but for now, best wishes to my friend and her soon-to-be husband! i wish them all the best. =)

after work, i grabbed a late dinner with a friend. we chatted over finger foods, non-alcoholic beverages, and dessert at TGIFridays because it was the only place open late on a wednesday night. we happened to sit next to neat wall decor…and of course, since i have my camera handy at all times, here are 2 winning pictures of the night:

 

 

 

excellent. 

during our late-night girl pow wow sessions, we can talk about anything with or without substance…like the crazy night out we had a few days ago…or the cute boys we recently met…or figuring out where i should live in the next few months…or dating, in general.

which brought up an idea for my blog…

should i start blogging about my dating life?

i’m about to turn 30 and i’m single. 

(alright, so i began blogging to post up shoe and cupcake inspirations on top of posting about everyday random acts of kindness and the positive things that happen in my life…and then i started posting tons of pictures of events that i’ve attended, on top of posting about the jewelry i wear to work…..and now DATING?…..yes.)

but wouldn’t that make for a good blog topic every once in a while? i guess it would if the stories were interesting. i’m not sure how exciting my dating life would be. but the characters that pursue me are pretty interesting individuals, that’s for sure.

i will make sure to change the names of each individual, to prevent embarrassment and shame.

JUST KIDDING…on the latter part, not the former.

i might even go as far as asking y’all, the readers, to name each person i talk about. that would be fun. but let’s not get carried away with the nicknames or anything…we’ll keep it simple.

and with that being said…

i am suppose to meet someone this week….i don’t like to say, “go on a date” because i’m stubborn and it sounds too official. also, it was suppose to be a “date” but because i’m still recovering from being sick earlier this week, eating wouldn’t be a great idea since my tummy still needs to take baby steps before it starts consuming food like a starving man….i didn’t even feel well after eating finger foods tonight. bleh. so this indian dining experience has to be put on hold until a later date (it sounded great, though…like one of those dates in which it would take me 4 hours and 23 outfit changes to get ready before i decide on a cute top and jeans in the end…and maybe a paper bag to breath in and out of because i’d be way too nervous). we might just make it a coffee-grabbing deal instead.

but back to this guy. he’s 35. he’s hispanic. he’s handsome. he’s a libra (for all you zodiac-crazy friends of mine). and he’s very passionate about traveling…which i’m very envious of, because i would be completely content with visiting half of the places he has. he just got back from spending a month out of the country for “christmas break” as i like to call it. must be nice. i can already predict the dialogue when we meet:

him: so how was your christmas?

me: so what was the first thing you ate when you got there?

him: and how was work this holiday season?

me: so did you eat any good dessert?

him: so what are you doing next week?

me: what was the best thing you ate there?

oh, of course i’m gonna wonder if he took pictures of his food, but i already know he didn’t….because only crazy people do that…

why did i tell my mom that i was going on a “date” this week? now she’s going to be sitting around with her phone in hand, waiting for me to call her…every day…until i do. and then she’s going to want to know every detail. i guess i better meet this guy so i can give her good mother/daughter girly gossip. now that i think about it, that would be fun. we have discussed boyfriends in the past, but not prospects or “first dates.” *getting nervous*

i’m going to end this topic now before i ruin anything…tune in later on this week for an update on whether it was a hit or miss or epic fail. thank you.

in other news…

i have a new journal for 2012. and yes, it’s a moleskine. it’s the moleskine 2012 daily diary/planner. it has a page per day, so it will force me to write in it every day. it can’t be hard to write a page a day, right? WRONG. i failed miserably in 2010-not even half the journal was written in. i was very upset. so this year, i am determined to write/draw/scribble in it every day. whether it’s a full page of a terrible rant or a scribble of a song lyric or a drawing of something that i got bored and doodled, i will have something in my journal every day. that is one of my resolutions.

what is my other new year resolution?

to meet and blog about one person a week. that’s 52 new people i meet for 2012. these will not be people i already know-they must start off as complete strangers. i will accept them if they are friends of friends, so long as i have never met them. this one might be hard because i could spend weeks hiding under a rock…so i guess i better be social…and i better be social OUT of the pool hall. i do meet some interesting individuals there, though. my camera will be with me, and there will be pictures of these new and potential friends. =) cheers to this adventure!

my other resolutions are personal, but once achieved, i will definitely blog about them. =)

i haven’t shot pool in weeks…and it feels kinda good…i’m not sure whether i will be shooting pool by the end of the year or not. we’ll see about that. more on that in another blog.

i guess i should get some rest now. thank you for reading my random junk of the evening. =)

xoxo

hello, 2012…

may you bring me nothing but happiness and positive energy. 

thank you, 2011, for everything that you gave me. i do not regret a single thing that happened in those 12 months.

this new year…i turn 30!!!!!!!

and i’m stoked!

cheers!