randomness for 03/21/2012

-exactly 3 years ago, this picture was taken of me and my sister: 

my sister and i went to a birthday party…and bought matching dresses and flowers. =)

-i was reading a bunch of blogs today…most of them were on baking, pastries, cupcakes, weddings, photography, tattoos, and art. i read a lot of blogs. a ton of blogs. i’m obsessed with them. there are a lot of trends when it comes to certain topics. in baking, there were lots of breads that were made this week. in cupcakes, there were lots of irish car bomb cupcakes and green cupcakes, because of st. patty’s day. gluten-free cooking has been pretty big lately, too. i’ll read about anything when it comes to cooking. 

-my store (papyrus) shut down today for a 10 day remodel. we will have a grand re-opening when it is complete. i am very excited. the pictures will be posted on the papyrus custom printing blog. that is the blog for the texas papyrus stores. if you are not familiar with the company, we are a stationery boutique. we sell greeting cards that will blow your socks off, we sell custom printed stationery (wedding invitations, business cards, napkins, whatever you want personalized-do you want an ipad cover with your name on it? we do that, too), we sell journals and books and picture frames and wrapping paper and gift bags and note card sets, and we started selling jewelry (why jewelry? we have always sold jewelry, and they are gift items). i am working on a big project for my store’s grand re-opening. i will be making 3 dresses out of different papers. and they will BLOW YOUR MIND!!! the pictures will be posted on the papyrus custom printing blog when they are completed. IF YOU THINK MY CUPCAKES ARE COOL………prepare for what i’m about to create…i have about 10 days to work on 3 of what took me 7 days to do 1 of last year. so it’ll be like the tv show “dinner:impossible” by chef robert irvine. haha. i like how i just connected my project to food…..

-one of the first cupcakes i’ve done were these:

these were done for the captain of my pool team 3 years ago. 

these were the types of cupcakes i made regularly a few years ago, too: 

 

 

i usually indicated which cupcake was what based on the decoration. =) these were my pre-fondant days. they were fun and simple.

 

it’s almost 2 a.m. so i best get to bed. there are lots to do for PROJECT PAPER DRESSES: 

 

have a good day, y’all!

xoxo

the oreo cupcake

i made oreo cupcakes tonight. how appropriate that oreo cookies celebrates their 100th birthday this year. =)

and because i don’t really taste test my cupcakes, i will be having my co-workers do that for me tomorrow. 

i am backed up on the birthday cupcakes i need to make for my friends and co-workers, and i feel terrible. i have these great ideas for each person, but work has been keeping me busy lately. these oreo cupcakes are for the captain of one of my pool teams, duncan. i’d like to think he is one of my big cupcake fans. last year, i felt bad because i couldn’t make him cupcakes but i brought him some from my favorite cupcakery. the year before that i did make him cupcakes. 

i made this particular icing for the first time. it involved heavy cream. now i have all this extra heavy cream that i don’t know what to do with. darnit! must find recipes that require heavy cream because i hate wasting…there are no oreos that will be wasted. 

and here are the ones for this year.

in other news…

i think i will be attending a bridal show or two this weekend around dallas. i’m curious to see what goes on at different bridal shows, so i will be a “non-engaged” guest. hee hee. and hopefully i get to taste some cakes! woot! 

that’s actually all i’ve got for now. i have to get back to work at 1 a.m….

xoxo

i tasted cakes…

i got sick eating cakes last night. and i loved it.

last night was the 3rd annual platinum wedding cake competition held in dallas, texas. eight bakeries were chosen to compete for “best taste” and “best in show.” the former was chosen by a panel of judges and the latter was chosen by the crowd.

first of all, i really hope i get to attend more of these events. heck, i’ll even attend an elementary school’s cupcake competition if they had one. anything to eat pastries for free! there were also free appetizers and an open bar!  i don’t drink so i sipped on some coca cola classic.

as far as the cakes went…they were all beautiful. gorgeous. now, the flavors…some were a total HIT and some were a complete (dry) MISS. if there is something i absolutely can’t stand, it’s dry cake.

before each cake, i will introduce the bakery and flavor of the cake…and what my taste buds thought of each one.

contestant #1, OPULENT CAKES

Orange Grand Marnier Cake. delicious, and i loved the icing, whatever it was. i had the chance to taste their cake last year at the dallas bridal show i attended in october…they had a 4-layered slice sample that had a different flavor for each layer. might i say that i went nuts. it was one of the most amazing slices of wedding cake i have ever tasted. and i know that wedding cakes don’t usually come with 4-layered slices…but each of those flavors were just amazing. so i was excited that i got to taste test their cake again…and pleased that it was just as delicious. as far as the design goes, i thought it was gorgeous. if you stood in the far back of the room, away from the cakes, your eyes would most likely catch this cake first because of the pop of color. i posted some pictures of some of the cakes that opulent cakes did for the dallas bridal show in october, and if you want to see them, click here to be directed to that blog. i wore a dress made out of PAPER that day! it was fun!

contestant #2, THE CAKE GUYS

White Cake with White Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Fruit Filling. mmmm, delicious…that raspberry was amazing, that icing was amazing…mmmm….and just to let y’all know, the cake was on a generator that spun it around so you could see the cake from front to back, because it was so highly ornate! i also posted a picture of what the cake looked like as i was putting it in my belly. standing in front of the cake is chef chad fitzgerald of the cake guys, who is on TLC’s Next Great Baker. this cake…or shall i say “cake dress”….DUH, TOOK FIRST PLACE FOR BEST IN SHOW! as they did last year, too…i asked chef chad how long it took to decorate the cake and it took about 14 hours non-stop. amazing! each fondant “flower” with the feathers were applied individually to the bottom part of the cake. craziness!!!

contestant #3, FROSTED PINK CAKE COMPANY

White and Black Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Raspberry Filling with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting. unfortunately, i don’t remember how this cake tasted…hm. i feel bad, but then again, in a competition that requires you to stand out, i think it should be important to come out with a flavor that makes a statement. as far as the design goes, i love a white on white presentation, but i could have done without about a quarter or a third of the flowers. my co-worker said that they should have added an extra tier and i agree. this cake was definitely the shortest and smallest out of all the competitors. then again…it was the shortest, smallest, and plainest out of all the competitors. but it was still cute.

contestant #4, SUGAR BEE SWEETS

Vanilla Cake with Honey Banana Jam and Cream Cheese Filling. what a DELICIOUS cake!!!! what a very unexpected burst of flavor! talk about a party in my mouth!!! as far as the design, i loved how clean the cake looked. i also enjoyed how it was the only cake i noticed that i thought of using for other occasions-think of a gentleman having his 50th birthday party. it was very simple, yet very elegant. this design took 3rd place for BEST IN SHOW. 

contestant #5, DELICIOUS CAKES

Vanilla Cake with a mix of Buttercream and Cream Cheese topping, then Raspberry Mouse over Raspberry Liquor Cake with Butter Sauce. umm…there was A LOT going on with this cake flavor…it was an overload of icing. it felt as if i ate a tub of buttercream icing. i looked at the open bar and thought, “i really could use a gallon of water right now to wash this down…” as far as the design goes, i loved the colors of the cake. i thought this was the “busiest” looking cake out of all of them. i didn’t like the tiers that had the covered pearls, especially the bottom tier. it looked unfinished. i loved how “spring” the cake looked, though. 

contestant #6, LEGACY CAKES

White Chocolate Cake with a White Chocolate Ganache and Chambord Buttercream. yummy cake, the white chocolate ganache was on point. i was really enjoying all the white chocolates! it’s not too overwhelming as a flavor. the design was absolutely gorgeous. i especially loved the fondant gathered tiers. in case you don’t notice, this is an 8-tier cake. the base is also a tier! the piping on the gray tiers were just amazing. i don’t know how these chefs do it. i just don’t know. this design took 2nd place for BEST IN SHOW.

contestant #7, CAKE CAROUSEL

Amaretto Cake with Lemon Mousse Filling. this cake was divine. i was very, very upset that chef kelli duffy did not take a win for flavor this evening, i thought this cake flavor was so light and refreshing, definitely something i would have loved to have a HUGE piece of after any type of dinner because it’s not heavy. the cake texture was perfect and the lemon mousse filling was delicious that if i had to eat them separately, i would have really enjoyed each alone. did i mention i was upset that they didn’t take a spot for best flavor? ugh…i loved the design of the cake. i love how clean it looks and how simple it is. the pop of color was pretty and the tiniest details on the cake were flawless.

contestant #8, ESSENCE CAKERY

Cassata Cake with French Mousseline, Raspberry Jam and Cream Cheese Frosting. umm…my co-worker said it best…”it’s like i’m eating cornbread.”  it definitely was the most unusual cake texture out of all the cakes i tasted, but i’m not sure if that was in a good way or in a bad way. i googled “cassata” and based on what i read, i didn’t get that from the cake i had. in fact, i didn’t eat the entire piece. it just didn’t do anything for me, unfortunately. as far as the design went, i loved the blue, quilted tiers. i loved how the design faded into a nice, smooth fondant. i think if the columns were removed, i would have enjoyed the cake design more.

i had a blast tasting all these cakes. i have a blast anywhere there is food, really. haha! but they are usually never pastries! i thought the designs were all very gorgeous, and i commend anyone who does cake because i don’t know if i’d have the patience to do it. i don’t know if i’d be able to work with fondant in large pieces, and i don’t even have a big kitchen to work in, so that would frustrate me. the night was definitely inspiring as far as design and flavor went.

what a yummy night!

xoxo

i believe…

i believe…

…that it is acceptable to wear high heels or pajamas when going grocery shopping (my mom will be upset with the latter one).

…that guys should have their “guy time” like girls have their “girl time.”

…that delivered flowers should automatically forgive a boyfriend so long as the wrong that he did was not cheating, lying, stealing, or anything that would cause an end to the relationship.

…that is is okay to absolutely love something that you would never want to have or never want to do.

…that if you apologize for something you shouldn’t have said, it shouldn’t have come out of your mouth in the first place.

…that pink IS the happiest color. =)

…that there is no such thing as taking too many pictures.

…that i can live every day in dresses.

…that shy guys are the sexiest guys.

…that only 2% of the population of men can successfully pull off wearing v-necks.

…that dogs don’t belong in strollers.

…that if a kid has to be put on a “leash backpack thing,” they should just stay at home.

…that “birth to 5″ are the most fascinating years of life.

…that there is something out there that can get me out of bed faster than coffee. i just have yet to find it.

…that writing in a journal is more effective and much cheaper than having a therapist.

…that it is okay to leave your clean laundry unfolded for days. that’s what an iron board is for.

…that there is such a thing as being “too nice.” guilty.

…in karma.

…that the twilight book is the worst piece of literature i’ve ever read.

…that it is okay to still have your myspace account.

…that you should never cheat on your hairdresser.

…that vertical stripes do not make you look bigger. but white dresses do.

…that it is okay to sacrifice comfort for style every once in a while.

…that no one cares how bad of a dancer you are. they just want you on the dance floor.

…that gay clubs are way more fun than straight clubs.

…that i’m more interesting on my blog.

…that i might get in trouble by about 5 things i’ve said here…

 

xoxo

for those of you who just walked in…

…hi!

 

i looked through my iphoto to find a picture of anything i took a year ago…and the funny thing is that my gravatar image (that would be the thumbnail picture of me, right?) is actually a photo that i took exactly one year ago. so there you go! but if i was to post a picture of THREE years ago, these are some pictures of my little man (a.k.a. my “rent-a-kid”…or “nephew” if we want to keep things simple) and i when a bunch of us friends and kids went to the park for some football and fun:

 

that was one of my most favorite days of taking pictures. we all wore white shirts and blue jeans and the kids (all age 2 at the time) looked super cute and were fun to take pictures of. the weather was nice and it was just a great day. so there’s a bit of a “blast from the past.”

i love reading blogs…or looking at pictures. i love pictures. i love everything visual. the topics of blogs that i love reading are art, photography, fashion, makeup, pastries, dating, and cupcakes. yes, i have a tab for “cupcakes” and a tab for “pastries.” haha.

*art: i have always loved art. i wanted to be an artist when i was little. i love monochromatic art. i love abstract art. i love graffiti. i love cartoons. i love caricatures. i love watercolors. i love sketches. it’s easy to tell what i like because when i see something, my eyes get big. haha.

*photography: i’m just a gal with a sony cybershot camera, nothing fancy. but i can take a trillion pictures in a small amount of time. i just like taking pictures. if i had to frame every picture i took that i loved, i’d need a few houses. i love looking at photographer’s websites. i wish i could be photographed to look editorial. i loved watching “america’s next top model” because there were so many behind-the-scenes activities going on in the show. if a photographer came up to me and said, “i would love to shoot you one day,” I’D BE ALL FOR THAT! that would be so cool! photographers do amazing work, i can’t even get into it. THERE ARE SOME that i am far from fond of. one of my favorite photographers is dave lachapelle. very colorful and crazy.

*makeup: another reason why i love photography. i love looking at the makeup job that is done on the models. i have NEVER been taught how to put on makeup, so i thank youtube for that. i have come to the conclusion that the “crease” eyeshadow look is not for my eyelid type, but the smokey eye definitely is. i love beauty products, but i hate the fact that they’re really costly. i am constantly looking for tips on how to put on makeup, how to have good skin, and how to buy products. i guess the first step is to drink water. that is something i RARELY do and should start getting on. eek!

*pastries/cupcakes: since they’re both in the same category…and they’re self-explanatory…need i say more? haha. i love pastries. i love flaky pastries, mini desserts, cupcakes, moist cakes, marshmallow icing on anything, and AMAZING decorations. when it comes to my love for cupcakes, i actually just like the decorating part. and eating cupcakes, of course…i don’t usually eat my own cupcakes because i am around them all the time. i have taste testers for that. sometimes i’ll have one friend taste test, sometimes i’ll have a few friends. i love reading dessert blogs and food blogs. and when they have pictures, I LOVE THEM MORE. everyone asks how i stay skinny (currently weighing in at 112 lbs.)…i don’t really know. i just say “don’t exercise, eat everything you want, and don’t ever sleep.” but i shouldn’t be saying that because i’d really love to start being fit (toned all over) and start getting into a healthier lifestyle. and, like i said, i guess the first step is to start drinking water…i really don’t enjoy things that don’t have flavor…ugh.

*dating: i’m just a very curious person about the personal lives of others. dallas is such a shallow city. i don’t mean to talk crap about it, but there are trophy wives left and right and up and down in this city. it is quite hard to make friends that you know you WILL keep for a really long time. people think they’re better than you. material things matter. and after your late 20s, kids start popping up and it’s not just dating single people anymore-it’s dating single parents. people’s dating lives are very interesting to me. why people break up, why people stay together, why people keep leaving each other and coming back, there are so many reasons. i am such a sucker for love stories. how he proposed, what he gave her for valentine’s day, what he did to make her day better when she was feeling down, i can’t stop hearing or reading about it. i have some friends who have some of the most amazing boyfriends and husbands i have ever heard of. after over 10 years of marriage and he still gives you flowers at least once a month? he serves you breakfast in bed? he had flowers delivered to you AND your single friends on valentine’s day? where do you GET THESE GUYS? it’s amazing. i have yet to read stories like these in blogs, so maybe i’ll have to do more reading…as if i don’t already do enough.

-this week was my sister’s birthday week. this was us on her birthday week FOUR years ago:

when she turned 21 (8 years ago), i started a tradition of getting us matching outfits for her birthday and taking her out to dinner, whether or not she had a boyfriend. on this night, i took her out for a fondue dinner (her request). this was also the year that we did 2-day celebrations, so this next picture was us the next day when a group of us went out to dinner to celebrate her birthday (again):

it was the middle of the night. we were hot and messy. but still dressed identical. =) and for future reference, she is always on the right and i am always on the left. haha.

i really should get to bed. it’s past 3 a.m. and i have to be up for work at 9 a.m…and i will be hating myself.

don’t get on pinterest, sierra….don’t get on pinterest………………………………

xoxo

randomness at 1 a.m.

-i have a hard time watching tv….probably because i grew up not watching it. yesterday, i decided to explore the channels beyond the food network. i watched “my crazy obsession” which was…insane! it was the episode in which one wife had a collection of 5,000 mickey mouse toys/figurines and a lady had a wig obsession. i’d never collect mickey mouse anything, but i’d probably want to own about 10-20 wigs. it would be fun to have short hair for a day or two. the other show i watched was “wife swap” which was also crazy. the wife (husband/wife income is $200,000+) who has their kids take a shower for the length of only 2 songs and makes them pay for their plane tickets on their family vacations trades off with the wife (husband/wife income is $40,000) who is obsessed with her 12 year old son (who is her best friend) and has never slept in the same bed as her husband of 19 years. i don’t think i picked good shows to watch. are there any shows y’all recommend?

-i’ll admit, i’ve been enjoying my MYSPACE music player. after being curious as to why 1 million users were added to myspace  and discovering the music player, i decided to give it a try a few weeks ago, and have been enjoying it. every time i remember a song that i like, i just add it onto my player and hit “save.” it’s a clusterbunch of songs of all genres, but i love it.

-my parents have an anniversary coming up. i don’t know how many years it has been, but it has been long enough for me to be proud. or long enough for me to want the same number of anniversaries, and more.

-i have decided to finish off the session shooting pool on my 3 pool teams before taking a break. that might be a nice way of saying “quitting the sport” but i’m not sure. it hasn’t been fun in the past year and work has been taking up more of my time for me to commit to shooting pool. aside from my close circle of buddies (a.k.a. “the friends i hug when i either say ‘hi’ or ‘bye’ to), i don’t really care for the others. it’s kinda hard being a girl in a room full of men. i’m sure most girls absolutely love it, but it’s pretty irritating. it’s irritating getting hit on every night. it’s irritating hearing tasteless and inappropriate things from immature men. it’s irritating having new girls come into the leagues and think they’re the new “it” thing. little do they know that men will have their way with these girls, and after a year, a new batch of girls will come in and the process will start all over again. if i was on the team i had 2-3 years ago, i’d most likely keep shooting pool. it was a good team-and by “good” i don’t mean award-winning, even though we were. it was the team chemistry that i loved the most. we practiced together, hung out together, and had fun together. we were structured and organized and disciplined. we were very supportive of each other. and on friday nights, we’d all text each other to meet up at a bar to hang out, and we’d have a blast. those were the good times. i don’t miss the part in which i did pool drills until 2 a.m. because those weren’t fun. but those drills made me the pool player that i am now. i’m alright. i’m a decent shot for a girl, but i’m not the pool player that wants to be THE BEST. if i wanted to be the best, i would be it by now. but other things matter to me at the moment…like wanting to spend more time with my nephew because i get lucky if i even see him once a week now…or spend more time alone because i am constantly surrounded by people…or spend more time doing other activities that i enjoy, like bowling or going to the movies or reading. i used to shoot about 30 hours of pool a week. nowadays i shoot about 5-8 hours, and i can’t even be doing that anymore. i don’t want to be doing that anymore. i have a baby shower to plan and i have a friend who is getting married this summer. i want to focus on THOSE. and focus on hitting the pool every chance i get over the summer.

-i want the new ipad coming out. i will get the new ipad coming out. but i will wait until the lines die down, because i will never be one of those people who stand in line for 3 hours for ANYTHING.

-i like the song “we are young” by fun. i can see myself singing it at the top of my lungs if it comes on the radio when jennifer and i hang out.

-dating is so hard nowadays. why couldn’t i just settle for one of the rich guys that passed through years ago and called it a day? oh, because i have standards. and because money means absolute nothing when it comes to dating. and because i want to do everything right the first time. right. that’s why i’m still single.

that’s all i’ve got for lately.

xoxo

200 mph

i’ve been so busy lately!!!!!!!!!!

but here are little bits of what i’ve been up to…

*i’ve been obsessed with gotye’s song “somebody that i used to know” featuring kimbra. and i’ve been into the black keys lately. i want to attend this year’s edgefest to see them live. anyone want to go with me?

*i’ve been apartment hunting and i found an apartment that i want. the awesome thing is that my best friend and his wife are apartment hunting as well, and the apartments we looked at has 2 vacant apartments that are in the same building, one on top of the other! it would be awesome to be neighbors AGAIN!

*one of my friends is getting married this summer and i ordered my bridesmaid dress today. it feels so official now! i am so excited. this is going to be a fabulous wedding. there will be no pictures posted as the day draws near. they will be posted AFTER the wedding. i can’t wait!

*one of my high school buddies from saipan came in to town this past weekend and it was great! it was the second time i have seen him since 2000 so hanging out with him helped my homesickness. i drove him all around dallas. we went to the bar i frequent on friday nights, we went bowling, we went driving around the rich people homes, we went to eat hawaiian food, and we went to the dallas galleria mall. i had a small dinner arranged for him because his birthday was on sunday and i had to drive to austin (where he currently lives) for work, so i couldn’t spend his birthday with him. but thank you, joe, for coming to dallas. it’s my turn to visit you in austin! fun stuff!

*i shoot in 3 pool leagues this session, 2 on monday nights and 1 on tuesday nights. that means mondays and tuesdays will be my long days because i’d work in the morning and shoot pool at night.

*over the holiday season i was working at northpark center. now i will be working at dallas galleria. a few great things about dallas galleria is that: there is a taco bell and jamba juice in there, the h&m (that will open in late march) is across our papyrus store, and the nestle tollhouse shop is 2 doors down! how is it that 2 of the 3 things i mentioned is food related? so typical.

*new bella pilar cards came into the store. and they are super cute. i will be posting an image blog on the bella cards because i know there are crazy bella pilar fans out there.

*my girl scout cookies have come in weeks ago and i’ve been so busy that i haven’t been able to pick them up yet. i feel terrible because i’m holding the cookies back from all my friends who want them and i don’t want a little girl wondering if a stack of cookies are going to sit in her house forever. i really need to buy my cookies and deliver them to my friends/coworkers.

*i am co-hosting a baby shower for my dear friend, alexis. she is having a baby girl and we are planning a baby shower in may. that will keep me busy on top of my friend’s wedding in june. it’s going to be a FUN-FILLED SPRING! i’m picturing this baby shower to be elegant and feminine and pretty. dusty pink and champagne is what i’m envisioning. and then when i get that visual, i think of a baby shower that victoria beckham would have for her daughter, harper. more details later.

*my pinterest is sierra lei. you can see some baby shower ideas on one of my boards…as well as my pinterest basically being a virtual wish list. i swear, that site is so addictive!

*i am composing a blog on my obsession with tattoos. just a little bit about it, it will be titled “artistic encounter” which is the name of the tattoo shop that inspired me to write the blog. it will feature the likes of stephanie gunter aka “stephanie vixen” (wife of the owner/pinup model), rodney carrera (the really cool tattoo artist i met that worked on my coworker’s tattoo), and michelle katiussa (the photographer that shoots stephanie…who does amazing work on beautiful tattooed girls). it will take me a while to complete the blog, as it takes me forever to compose a blog focused on one subject that i end up being pleased with. so stay tuned.

*i want to make oreo cupcakes. enough said.

*i decided not to blog about my dating life. it’s just always a disaster and although it would make for entertaining reading material, it would just end up reading like this: “i dated someone and then i got too busy to further it….then i dated someone and got too busy to further it….” and that’s not entertaining. so what have i decided to do? keep mum on my dating life, period. done.

that seems to be it for now. where have the past 2 months gone!? time flies when you’re having fun! it has definitely been such a great year so far!!! i’m speechless, it has been that awesome.

xoxo,

sierralei