Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I had a revelation the other morning. My thought-train was taking me to the comment that I usually say deprecatingly about how my sister is the doctor and I'm the poor starving artist. Now, my mother always taught us never to sell ourselves short, and while it's a derisive statement, because I think my sister is super super brainy and I think of myself as less so because she's so brilliant, I do however consider myself (rather modestly, I might add) to be a fantastic artist.

Granted, this enthusiasm in my own talent is only buoyed by my fiance thinking I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread and my family equally catering to my skills. Though we all know they're biased, as the community of graphic designers in Bend keep refusing to hire me. Thus, the statement I make above which is usually in response to the query by someone of what my degree is in and why I'm selling cellphones.

Basically, in my heart of hearts I'm not sure that I'm as awesome as I think I am.

But that's besides the point.

So, to recap briefly since we were sidetracked (see? this is what happens when we're following the thought train, please try to keep up): my sister is amazing, wonderful and freakishly genius, and I'm fantastically, artistically talented.

My revelation was that the two are not mutually exclusive.

I'm not sure why we do this, but I know everyone does...we get stuck in the rut of thinking of ourselves as solely "this" and definitively not "that." Which is entirely untrue.

My sister, for one thing, is decently skilled at photography (whereas I'm not so good). And that's art. Me, on the other hand, am a true, self-proclaimed-in-the-best-braggiest-way-possible nerd. I get proud of myself when I am at my geekiest of setting up the wireless printer on the first try. I am the one in our little family (of two fuzzies and Tyler and myself) who plugs everything in and knows what goes where in order to make the whole technological jumble work just so.

I mean, Tyler thought the Wii was broken one day because I had been watching a DVD and in order to switch between the two there's a button you have to push on a box in the armoire and he didn't know that. He just assumed the Wii was broken.

Which, in all honesty, is a valid assumption when the thing doesn't work the way he thought it was supposed to.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though my beautiful, wonderful sister is absolutely genius, she's also an artist. And while I think of myself as a struggling artist rather than delightfully brainy, I'm also a pretty smart cookie.

I'm not sure if that means as much to you as it does to me, but I just wanted to share it and see if it takes your thought train somewhere positive too.


Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Snowing!

This morning, I was brought out of bed by the sound of my handsome fiance dancing and singing...

"It's snowing, it's snowing, it's s-s-s-s-snowing!"

Me: "Hey honey, is it snowing?"

Silence for a minute in the other room.

Him: "Sorta..."

Be prepared for a white Christmas in Bend!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Birthday Cupcakes

I didn't fill you in on the wonderful cupcakes that I made for my birthday!

I made Pumpkin Spice Latte cupcakes, thanks to Pinterest, and Chocolate cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream frosting. Delicious!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. espresso powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
½ cup coffee or espresso, for brushing

For the frosting:
2¼ cups heavy cream, chilled
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
For garnish:
Ground cinnamon
Caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Stir together and set aside. To the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachement, add the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, buttermilk and oil. Mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them two or three times with the coffee or espresso, allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating. Let cool completely.
For the frosting, place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-low speed at first, gradually increasing to high speed. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar gradually. Whip until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat. Use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to frost the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Enjoy! These are perfect for the season...