Friday, April 06, 2012

How to Frost Cupcakes Like Someone Who Used A Pro's Advice

So, next in the series of DIY projects are some cupcakes I made for Dave's work.  Folks at Dave's job have been working their booties off for the last 6 months and he wanted to give them a little thanks.  (Like most organizations, an actual raise is out of the question)

So I followed this woman's recipes and advice for cupcakes, icing and how to ice them.

I often find that advice on the web for cooking (especially) is more assvice.  Nonetheless, I think this woman's site on cupcakes is fantastic.  The recipes are easy and delicious and there is even a video on icing the cupcakes!  Yes, you do need some special equipment (icing bags and frosting tips), but she even gives good hints on how to use them.

Here is my version.  Two things:  1) yes, there is room for improvement on my part, but considering this was the first time I've done it, they turned out great (some of mine do look like poop, and none of hers do).  2)  I need to figure out a better way to photograph my projects.   I could not get a good picture of these and they looked much better in real-life than this picture.  Suggestions welcome.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The First Garment I've Knit

It is "knitted" or just "knit?"  I don't know.  In any case, I made this!!

The pattern came from this one on Ravelry.

Mistakes were made (on my part) and I think that I knit too tightly.  Nonetheless, I think that this one came out well.  I'd say this DIY was a success.  It's one of those things where I say if *I* can do it, anyone can.

Fashion for The Rest of Us

I submitted this column to the Charlotte Observer for consideration for their Guest Fashion column.  It hasn't shown up, so I'm thinking it was rejected.  It's not a surprise for a variety of reasons, the main one being this is an anti-fashion column.


I walked back to the front desk to tell my friends good-bye.  One said, “Your former student?  The one from 10 years ago?  She held up her pinky finger and said that you used to look like this!  And you were Ms. Corporate America that first year you were teaching at UNC Charlotte.”  We all laughed. But I let out an inward sigh.

When I moved here 10 years ago, I was very thin and in shape, running marathons and eating all I wanted because all I wanted was healthy food.  I was not yet married and not yet a mother.  I loved dressing in nice clothes because I had the money and the body to do so.

Then I became a mother and learned about sleep deprivation and crack-of-dawn nursing.  I apologized to all my working mother friends for wondering why they couldn’t find time for a 3-hour run at 5 am on Saturday. And then we had our twins.  And I wonder why we didn’t recognize all that time, money and sleep that we actually had with just one child.

So when my former student commented on my former body and former fashion style, it reminds me that it used to be a lot easier to look nice.  After the twins, my body took a completely unrecognizable shape.  Let’s just say that I am pretty sure my pre-twin pants fit better if I put them on backwards.  Yesterday, my new fancy scale, which provides information about muscle mass and bone density in addition to my weight, just called me fat. 

But it’s more than that.  My fashion choices have devolved into two: 1) Try To Be Fashionable or 2) Try Not To Be Naked.  Occasionally, the right clothes are clean at the same time in my closet and I have an opportunity to fiddle with the accessories. I can meet Fashion Choice 1. But most of the time, I just try to find some pants that that I haven’t worn twice already in the last week and a top that doesn’t have too many stains on it. My one accessory is my trusty athletic watch that serves as an alarm clock instead of a run chronometer. I have met my fashion goals for the day.  I just have to convince the rest of society that at some points in life, Fashion Choice 2 is also valid.