Thursday, February 21, 2008


So I have a dilemma right now. A friend has asked me to help her with patternmaking for her company.

The dilemma is that if I help her, I will probably have to put my own line on hold again. (It's been on hold while I was taking care of sicky.) Since I have been putting it off for so long, I really don't want to continue delaying it.

But helping her would bring in extra money that we always could use, you know, with all the medical bills we have pouring in right now. I could also then put some of the money towards my own projects too. And the more capital I have for my own line, the better it will be & the easier it will be to get it really going.

My job has gotten a little more intense lately with more work & better projects. And I still have my commute, which will get longer here in the next couple of months when we move buildings. And I have the property business that takes time for me every week too. So really how much time do I want to spend working?

I don't have too many details yet on how much work it would entail though, so that part is hard to weight at this point I guess.

So really I guess the dilemma is do I put my own business on hold even longer to make additional money that we could really use? And that in the end would help my business?

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pure yumminess

OK so I know that yumminess is not really a word. But it is the best way to describe these cupcakes that I made last night.

Yesterday was my boss's birthday. Since she was traveling on a business trip & HATES big celebrations, we decided to just fill her office with goodies so that she would be surprised when she came into work today.

I made the cupcakes pictured above because she is a cupcake lover. They are coconut cupcakes & are absolutely delicious. She loved them & so did everyone else. I was a little worried since I had never tried the recipe before, but I was pleased with the way they turned out. Where did I get the recipe, you ask? Why from Martha Stewart of course.

Want the recipe? Well here you go:

Ina's Coconut Cupcakes

  • 3 cups cake flour, (non self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pound sweetened flake coconut
  • Cream cheese frosting

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients together into a medium mixing bowl, and set the bowl aside. Break eggs into a small bowl, and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, carefully pour in eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.
  3. Mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk by alternating between 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup buttermilk; be sure to start and end with the flour mixture. Add half the coconut, and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill each cup with batter using an ice-cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity; the batter should nearly reach the tops of the cups (but not all the way). Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Remove cupcakes from the oven, and allow them to cool briefly in the tin before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes. Generously ice them with cream cheese frosting, and sprinkle with remaining coconut.
Makes about 24-30 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners' sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine.

Makes enough to frost about 15 cupcakes.

I also toasted the extra coconut for the tops. To toast, put in 350 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes. Stir several times during cooking. And keep a close eye on it because coconut burns quickly. (Trust me, I know from experience.)

Did I make you hungry? Are you going to try the recipe?

V-a-l-e-n-t-i-n-e-s D-a-y

Here's how I spent my Valentine's night. Bet you are jealous, right?!?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Political Philosophy

A quick, fun little quiz...

What's Your Political Philosophy?
created with
You scored as New Democrat

New Democrats emphasize fiscal conservatism, and have a strong preference for the free market. They believe in small-scale programs that provide targeted help to those in need, while working with the business community.

New Democrat


Old School Democrat


Pro Business Republican






Foreign Policy Hawk


Socially Conservative Republican


Monday, February 11, 2008

Organization #1

Remember, my New Year's resolutions??? Well, I started working on #3.

So last night while I was waiting for my husband to finish an open house, I started organizing our linen closet. I, of course, forgot to take pictures before I pulled everything out. But rather than not take any pictures, I decided to take pictures from when I thought about it.

So here are the shelves emptied out.

Here is some of the stuff that I pulled out. I could not believe the amount of medicine that was shoved in there.

And here is the rest of the stuff. I could not believe how much stuff we (really, I) had stashed on these shelves.

It was a little hard to decide what to keep & what it was time to get rid of. Like the crimping iron, I haven't used it since college, but my niece did a couple of years ago. And having it makes a quick for a quick Halloween costume. So I decided to keep it.

But I did get rid of the home spa, hot rollers, jewelry cleaner and shower shelves. None of which I have used since we moved into our house. And I had not used most of them since I moved back from Seattle

This is all of the medicine that I got rid of. My sister suggested a better way for the environment than flushing them down the toilet to get rid of them. She suggested putting them in the dirty cat litter before I throw it out. The odor will get into the pills & no one will want to take them.

Rather than put all the medicine back into the linen closet, I moved it into the medicine cabinet in the 1/2 bath. You know, the medicine cabinet that has been empty since we moved in.

But it is now being put to good use.

And here are the shelves, all neat & organized. Oh, and not packed to the gills.

Each drawer is separated out. All the band-aids in one, all my spa things in another. I need to get a label maker so I can mark each one. I know I am a dork, wanting a label maker, but I do.

Now to tackle the top shelf with all of the bedding, blankets, etc. that are shoved up there. That will have to wait until another day though. I have to figure out a better place to store it all first.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


So here are the "after" pictures of the condo. It is essentially done. All that is left is a few minor details like a couple vent covers, a light bulb and a little cleaning. We hopefully will have a renter for it after this weekend...

This is the first bathroom. We ended up having to replace the vanities because the old ones were infested with cockroaches. Gross!!!

This is the 2nd bathroom with its new vanity. We got this one for $100 off because there were some scratches on the inside (yes, the inside).

Remember the nasty shower from before? Well, here it is now. Much cleaner.

And here is the living room with new carpet & fresh paint. Much more inviting this time....

Finally, here is the kitchen. It has new cabinets (complete with doors on all spaces). AND we added the little pantry so that the stove would not ruin the refrigerator like before.

Another view of the kitchen.

So what do you think? Does it look livable now?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Crunchy Granola Squirrels

I would love to say that no actual squirrels were harmed in the making of this post, but well, I would be lying...

The other day, Ben saw Sammy with a squirrel hanging out of her mouth. While he was out showing homes, apparently one of the squirrels that regularly tortures my dogs by running across the fence taunting them was stupid enough to go down into the yard. And well, my dogs decided to capture the squirrel.

We called the vet & she said not to worry about it. Dogs are natural hunters. So they will hunt. So we should not be concerned about the behavior. And unless the squirrel bit them, they did not need rabies shots. So I am trying to be calm about it, but it is freaking me out a little. Time to do some reading on dog behavior I guess.

(Was anyone else humming that song "the other day I saw a bear" after reading the 2nd paragraph? Maybe it was just me, but now that song is stuck in my head.)

I am sure you are wondering where the crunchy granola part comes in... Well, I have turned my husband crunchy granola. When he was going into the office on Wednesday, he took an empty travel coffee mug with him. I found it a little strange since he was taking an empty cup. Turns out that he does not like the cups at the office. I figured they were just small & he did not like having to keep refilling them. He said no, it's that they are those styrofoam cups & he does not like wasting styrofoam. He would rather use a reusable cup!

I have turned my husband into a crunchy granola!!! How did that happen?!?

Oh, and the carpet goes in tommorow so I should have "after" pictures this weekend.