Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes!

I think we should rename cupcakes.  They should really be called cutecakes.  I went a little cupcake crazy these past two days.  Baking the real deal and jazzing up some plain ol' greeting cards.  

Let's start with the cards.

 The cupcake cutout stamp is by Martha Stewart (I hate to love her...) and I got it at Michael's along with the stamp.  The ink pad and photo mounting squares I already had thanks to previous (s)crapbooking endeavors.  I had pain white cards with a colored border and plain solid red cards.  With some bright colored/patterned paper I already had and a little bit of time, presto - cutecakes on cute cards!

 I just had a birthday so I need to write some thank you notes.


I might like gingham...a lot.

 With the all the red and yellow going on I feel like I should write to Ronald McDonald.

 What's better than one cupcake?  Three.  Duh.

 What's better than one cupcake?  Two gingham cupcakes!


What's better than cupcake cards?  Real cupcakes.  Duh.

I have learned this lesson the hard way: make sure you have all the ingredients before you start to measure or mix anything!

 Don't forget the cupcake underwears!

 This recipe called for melted, but slightly cooled, butter.  Which is great because I hate having to wait for butter to sit out and soften.  Yeah yeah, just soften it in the microwave, but I feel like that's cheating.

 The recipe for these pumpkin bad boys said the batter would be thick but that was an understatement...

  Nom nom nom.  Oh wait, we need frosting.

 Those look better!  A little cream cheese frosting never hurt anything.  And by a little, I really mean a rather generous amount.

 You could eat your cupcake like this...

 ...or you could make it a cupcake sandwich - easy to eat and frosting in every bite!

So there you go, something actually made by maura!  I'm still looking for that bakery job somewhere though...

I didn't feel like posting the recipe I used since this post is already pretty lengthy.  It is the "Spiderweb Pumpkin Ginger Cupcake" recipe from the collection of recipes in The Cupcake Deck by Elinor Klivans.  My cupcakes did not have any crystallized ginger in them like the recipe originally includes and I also did not do the spiderweb design on the frosting.  It's weird enough I made pumpkin cupcakes in May, I'm not going to go decorate them for Halloween on top of that!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love Letters

I love letters, postcards, notes, greeting cards, smoke signals, Morse code beeps, carrier pigeon messages, etc.  Are you getting the point?  I love letter-writing and letter-receiving.  It's an art form.

Stationary - you can never have enough stationary.  You might think you have plenty, but then you'll see a pack of note cards and realize, "I don't have any cards with cupcakes, dinosaurs, stars, dinosaurs-eating-cupcakes-under-the-stars, fill in the blank, therefore, I need this pack of thirty note cards..."  Believe me, I face realizations like this all too often.  The lesson is: buy the darn note cards.  Especially if they are on sale for cheapsies at Marshall's, have cupcakes on the cards, and sprinkles on the matching envelopes.  Come on people, sprinkles on the evelopes, how adorable?!?!  Why did I not purchase those...

Return Address - I have a personalized return-address stamp - and.I.love.it.  Don't forget your return address.  If you're like me, you can mail something from school (Virginia), remember to put down your return address (Massachusetts), and forget a stamp...oops.  But hot-diggity-dog, it is "returned to sender" and makes it all they way from VA to MA.  It's just a few streets away from its intended final destination.  This is when you think you've accidentally cheated the U.S. Postal Service and your mother will just drop it off at your friend's house, but no, Mom is honest.  She slaps a forty-two cent stamp on that sucker and sends it back on its merry, snail-mail way.  I guess I still saved myself forty-two cents...

Wax Seal - I also have a personalized wax seal and stamper kit.  It is awesome.  Another wonderful birthday gift from my sister.  She's a really good gift-giver, you should get in on that if you can.  But about this wax seal thing, you might suffer a minor burn or potentially set fire to your apartment - it doesn't matter.  A letter sent in an envelope with a wax seal might as well have EPIC written all over it.

Stamps -Don't forget a stamp.  Sometimes I do.

So what brought about my post about the post (ha. ha.)?  In my attempt to unpack all my shizzit from school, I sat down to go through....drum roll, please...the birthday box.  Behold:

 It came with yummy cookies inside.
The cookies are long gone.
It plays "Happy Birthday" when you open it.
And it is full of treasures.

Those are just some of its treasures.
It looks like a bunch of trash paper recycling.
Don't be fooled.

Oh yeah, it also holds practical things.
Things your roommate gives to you,
because she knows you won't lose them. 
Like housing assignment forms.  
As you can see, I successfully kept sophomore year's form.
And I am now responsible for senior year's form.

Why did I save a bill from the University of Mary Washington?
Oh right, because the bill was for twenty-six cents...ridiculous.

 I love quotable cards.  
They are amazing and I want them all. 
You can't read them when they're in the box.
They were promoted to the bulletin board.

For some reason I only like running in races
that take place around St. Patrick's Day.  
Also, those fish are in love.  
You can tell because they're blowing bubbles - 
with hearts in them.  
That's a sign you're in love. 
Check your bubbles, folks!

 If someone sends you a handmade Valentine,
you should check their bubbles.  
The only thing cuter than a cupcake card, 
is a miniature cupcake card.

A roommate loves you when she leaves you one note,
telling you to meet her for breakfast (not shown).  
And then adds another note, with the temperature.  
That way you'll know it's fricker-frack-freezing outside
and you can dress accordingly.

The Birthday Box has tatz - win.

You thought Mom sent you a cute Halloween card last year...

...Then this year's card had finger puppets.

He does not look so sure about the whole
"follow a rainbow" thing...

The Birthday Box is awesome and it just reminded me tonight of how much I love getting mail.  Hint hint.  Just kidding!  I'll send you some though if you'd like!  Really, how else will I get rid of all my note cards featuring dinosaurs eating cupcakes under the stars?  I really wish I had note cards like that...

So to sum up a super long post - snail mail rocks my socks.