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The Shopping Fiend

Those of you who know me best are aware that I am generally very stingy, miserly, frugal... in a word, cheap,  Generally, I do not find whimsy in searching the mall for outfits and purses and shoes and other treasures.  However, the past two days I have been like someone with bi-polar on one of their manic episodes with my money spending ways.  Granted, as usual, much of my money was spent on sales.

Yesterday, I was all about dresses.  I have been on a kick with wearing casual dresses all the time lately.  They are so much more comfortable than pants.  I purchased a total of 5 dresses yesterday.  Today I'm wearing this delicate spring cotton dress with layers and lace.  Delightful purple flowers are printed down the length of it.  And a darling bow is tied beneath my bosom.  In addition I have a flowing off-white cover to provide modesty by shielding my shoulders from the lustful eyes of unclean men.

Today, the objects of my affection were shoes and purses (and a sexy man named Mike).  I ended up with three new pairs of shoes.  One of which was usually over $150.  With an old card for store credit from a return from years ago, and the blessing of the Von Maur clearance shoe room, the price came down to about $40.  They were worth every penny.  They are these lovely light tan sandals with a gold trim.  And they go wonderfully with today's ensemble.  In addition, I purchased a long-coveted fossil handbag.

As previously stated this is most definitely out of my nature  to shop so much.  But it was fun.  And I met up with Mike at the mall and showed him things he could buy me for my birthday in August.  After he left, I ran into Shane Corsini.  It was great to see an old familiar face.  We both promised to contact one another sometime this summer to catch up and reminisce on old times.

The Cupcake Champion

Yesterday was the ultimate test of my cupcake making abilities.  They were brought to a school psychology barbecue to be judged by all of my peers.  They were a smashing success.  Several classmates commented that they looked like they were professionally decorated.  One person even commented that I could compete at the level of Jayme Jones.  For those of you unfamiliar with Jayme Jones, she has been voted as the class "mom" in my grade because she brings cookies to class for every holiday imaginable, and plays the role of the perfect hostess at event after event.
But alas, I have jumped ahead of myself.  The cupcake adventure began on Friday afternoon.  Using my new hand mixer, I began to beat together the chocolate cake recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook.  The recipe required me to beat the batter for 3 minutes, which resulted in a mousse-like consistency for the batter.  Scooping the batter into each little cupcake hole in the pan, I wondered what the product would be.  As the time approached to remove them from the oven, the air was full of the delicious aroma of freshly baked cake.  Alas, I was able to taste my creation.  The cupcakes were ultimately quite different from the boxed mixes as they were much less sweet, yet they were delicious.

After allowing them to cool much longer than was probably necessary, I whipped up some delicious vanilla buttercream frosting.  If the cupcakes were less sweet than anticipated, the frosting would provide the perfect balance to complete the masterpiece.  Each cupcake was first given a light layer of the cream colored frosting as it's base.  Then I colored a portion of the remaining frosting with a vibrant pink to create beautiful petals for the flowers.  Delicately, I made each petal one by one upon each of the cakes, with varying success.  A yellow dot in the middle and a green stem with leaves completed each work of art .

In the end, they turned out so wonderfully Jordan was willing to eat one after it landed frosting down on the ground outside.  If that doesn't say success, I don't know what does.

Flowers and Cupcakes

Today was one of those dreary midwestern spring days when it rains all day and you just want to stay in bed.  Although, like every other day, waking up is ultimately inevitable.  Since the semester finally came to an end, I'm now enrolled in summer classes at ISU.  One of which is a real class, the other is an online monstrosity.  I've had my share of technical problems figuring out how to do the online class thing.  But alas I'm up and running, so this morning I started my day posting away on discussion boards.

After the boring part of the day was done, I decided to experiment in the kitchen.  I purchased a beginner's cake decorating set the other day at Walmart.  So today I made some buttercream frosting.  Unfortunately, my hand mixer was broken, so I had to use a whisk to prepare it.  The frosting turned out surprisingly well despite this setback.  Although I only made the frosting for practice, I did perform a few taste tests as I made assorted shapes on aluminum foil and tried to look up several different techniques to use with my new found creative outlet.  I was just about to give up on getting anything more complicated than a star or a dot when I figured out how to make petals!  Glorious petals of vanilla buttercream frosting began to cover the sheet of aluminum foil.  I was a decorating fool!  Since I was merely experimenting today, I did not bother to color the frosting.  In fact, I frequently scraped up my mess and put it right back into the frosting bag to be squeezed out again in a slightly different form.  However, tonight or tomorrow morning, I shall make some cupcakes... from scratch.  I have never made a cake without a cake mix before, so I'm overly excited about this upcoming adventure.  I wonder if the batter will taste even better than the Betty Crocker pre-made cake mixes... Mmm...

My frosting adventure was a delightful success.  However, the broken hand mixer had to be replaced.  Therefore, I made a random trip to Target in the afternoon.  While I was there, I started browsing around at all of the things I would get if I had more money.  A new vacuum, the Sims3, a sponge holder for the kitchen sink, and all sorts of other glorious Target products, when I heard a voice say, "Can I help you find something?"  Not just any voice, but Meg's voice!  It was great having the chance to catch up with her after so long.  Too bad she was working and therefore couldn't be bothered for too terribly long.

All in all, this miserable rainy day ended up being quite delightful.  Although, I'm still hoping for sunshine tomorrow :-)

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August 2011


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