Thursday, December 24, 2009


Stranded at work on Christmas Eve! It all began with a brilliant plan and ended in a huge debacle.

At happy hour with my sister, e:

me: want to stay at my place tonight & wake up early to hit the mall?
e: yes! awesome.
j: that is the worst idea ever. there is no way you will wake up in time to go shopping before you go to work.

this morning:

wake up at 6:30 am.
shower and get dressed
e is making scrambled eggs and coffee
we leave at 7:15 and are shopping by 7:20.
no one is at the mall.
it is glorious.

7:55 we leave mall and my sister drops me off at work. j is my ride home. j calls at 9:15.

j: do you have an extra set of keys?
me: no.
j: i am blocked in by your car. cannot pick you up.

9:30 am
I call e. she can pick me up. relief, but anxiety because she is like me and is never on time.

11:30. everyone leaves office. it is time for me to leave. call e. she has not left yet. she is 40 minutes away.

11:31. finally realize that all of my friends live about 10 min. away.
call mm. goes straight to voice mail.
call mr. answers. can pick me up!

11:49. waiting for ride. wrap up some leftover xmas cookies for mr. she is the best.
mr: +1
me: 0

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

run run reindeer

My friend S just ran the 5k on the new highway 40. I was impressed, as I am very far away from running a 5k anytime soon. In fact the only time I have been close to running a 5k involved rolling out of bed at a friend's apartment after a night of shenanigans and making my roommate grab my running clothes and race t-shirt, pick me up, and drop me off at the race. I finished the 5k, but did not run the whole time. I did learn a couple valuable lessons:

  • Do not attempt the 5k if you drank close to a gallon of milwauke beast the night before.
  • Do not attempt the 5k if your undergarments consist of a thong and strapless bra.

Anyway, my point is, I have decided it is time to take up running once again. So far, I have managed to run two nights in a row this week with my trainer, J. J as in my husband who does not have school or work until the end of January.
I am pretty impressed with myself so far as we were able to make it around the park one night and around the library last night. However, all of my progress has been negated by ice cream, reeses cups, and cookies. If anyone else brings food to the office, there could be trouble. (okay, totally empty threat - food and gifts still accepted)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flavor Me

Found this new site where I can put my whole online life in one place. I still need to figure out if I can get an etsy feed or not.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Photo and Card Holder

Had some wire laying around from who knows what project and came up with this little card/photo tree.

Eco-Friendly Cozy Dog Bed How-To

After we got our Christmas tree up and our home decorated for the holidays, our pup's bright orange and blue tie-dyed blanket seemed to clash with our red and green decor. I decided to make a pillow cover that was a little more in tune with a winter mood, and stuff it with our puppy's old blanket I was trying to hide. You can try the same thing for your home with items just laying around the house.

You will need:

an old blanket or two (try a thriftstore like Goodwill if you don't have one in your possession, or ask around)
tape measure

needle or sewing machine
straight edge
padding (I used my dog's old fleece blanket that I was trying to disguise. You can use memory foam, a bag of fabric scraps, an old pillow or two, or anything else that is soft and cozy.)
Chalk or fabric marker

First I determine the dimensions of the final product. I decide on a 24" x 30" pillow/bed. I measure and chalke the outline of the top on my blanket.

If you are working with very specific diminsions, remember to add a seam allowance. In my case, I'm working with a more general size so it doesn't matter too much.

Next, I cut out the shape.

Now I have the top of my dog pillow. I could add the bottom pieces right now, but this is a homemade project - you've got to personalize it at least a little bit! I have another old blanket in a contrasting color that I use to cut out lettering for my dog's name. After the letters are cut out, I arrange them how I want them, being careful to leave a little room on the edges for the seam.
Before sewing the letters on, I pin them to make sure they're secure and stay where I want them.
I machine sew the letters on, but you can hand sew them as well.

For another embellishment, I cut out the pocket of an old flannel shirt and sew it into the corner. Now onto the bottom of the pillow. The bottom will consist of two overlapping panels, like a pillow sham. Each panel will be 24 inches wide and 18 inches long (half of the pillow length + 3 inches so the sides will overlap). I want to make the pillow a little thicker so I can fit an extra foam pad in it at some point. So I add 1 1/4" seam allowance to three sides of each back panel to give me about and inch thickness to the final pillow and cut out the corners. Now I'm ready to sew the pieces together. Each panel has two corners like the one pictured above. First I sew each corner together. Then I sew both back panels to the front panel.

Voila, your pillow is finished - all in one afternoon!

Now all that's left to do is stuff your dog bed with something soft and snuggly! It's a cost effective, sustainable, easy project!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Presenting This Year's Office Christmas Poem

Each year my office sends out a gift to our clients, and I am the lucky girl who gets to compose the Christmas poem that adorns the package and gives hints as to what might be inside. This year's gift is a mini gift box of Penzey's spices.

Friday, November 6, 2009

When Pigs Fly...My Etsy Treasury

Made my first etsy treasury. This one features cute piggly wigglies handcrafted in a variety of ways beyond the piggy bank. You can check it out here. (until treasury expires)

image from here

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Romper

I saw the cutest pumpkin romper on Etsy, but it was $75. That's a new pair of heels that I can wear to work every day. So, feeling ambitious, I tried to recreate it myself for a much more conservative price of $20. I think it turned out pretty awesome. Maybe not as awesome as James' Larry Byrd costume, but pretty awesome.

The best part was running to the fabric store at the last minute after I had broken the needle on my sewing machine. I was explaining to the cashier about how I was working on a halloween costume and sewed right over a pin and broke the needle. When she asked what the costume was, I wasn't quite sure how to describe it, so I said it was a pumpkin romper. Her and about four other ladies around me start gushing, "Awww, how old is the baby?" I probably should have just made something up, but instead I was like, "Actually, it's for me." Everyone pretty much looked at me like a huge weirdo. I couldn't get out of there fast enough! Either way, I think it turned out cute.


I love my sunny little nook in our office for doing all of my sewing.

New Wrist Warmers for Emily

Made the cutest warm fuzzy fingerless mittens/wrist warmers for my sister. I kind of don't want to give them away! Soooo happy with how they turned out. Happy Birthday Em!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LEED AP Certificate...

Image Courtesy of
LEED AP Explained
...finally came in the mail today. I had totally forgotten about it, so it was a good surprise on an otherwise mediocre day. If you don't know, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the AP is for accredited professional. It's probably the number one standard for building green, whether it be new construction, renovations, additions, etc. and addresses commercial and institutional buildings. Basically, LEED is a point system for showing quantifiable reductions in energy and other resource use. It's a little more expensive to build a LEED building in the beginning, but the payoff is a reduction in operating costs. There was one LEED project that my company bid on before I was even considering becoming a LEED AP, so I didn't know much about it then. Since then, I haven't seen any LEED projects come to bid that we've looked at. Although, there isn't much building going on period, and owners are already having trouble getting financing without extra LEED costs. Hopefully, if the economy ever turns around, I can actually use my certification. Until then, I guess I just have to keep upcycling sweaters from Good Will!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Whale of a time...

Betz White had the cutest tutorial on cashmere bunnies, so I thought I would give it a try. Instead of a bunny, I decided to go with a whale, no big deal - it's not rocket science. So I drew a whale, cut out my pattern and sewed it together. But I just felt like something was missing. I had to look at a picture of a real whale to realize I'm missing fins! Not the tale fin, but the side fins. I mean it's a pink cashmere whale, so I'm not trying to get that anatomically correct, but come on. Fins make the thing a whale.

image from here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crafting Goals

The trouble with being a part time Etsian is never a lack of ideas, but being organized enough to make them a reality. It's difficult to capture an idea long enough to put it on paper so it can be revisited at a later date. So I've made an excel sheet to track all of my projects from conceptualization to the finished project. I've also included potential keywords, pricing, shipping, product names and descriptions. Also helpful are reminders of upcoming events. I opened up shop in the beginning of September, and it already seemed too late to work on any Halloween-specific items. And here it is, the middle of October and hints of Christmas are everywhere. The point is, you need a little forsight to be successful. Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Moon release (look for my Bella scarf) seem to be coming at me like a freight train. Hopefully I can get my little engine to chug along quick enough to maximize on some holiday sales.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

First Sale!

I made my first sale on Etsy today! It feels so good to have my first sale under my belt and add credibility to my shop. I have to admit, I feel a little unprepared since I was reluctant to think out my packaging and business cards before I made any sales. Looks like I will be doing some graphic designing when I get home tonight. And once I get packaging in order, I can concentrate on my pending projects:

Cute cashmere whale
cashmere leaf scarf
cashmere brooch pins

If only I were as good at finishing projects as I am at starting them!

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Signage

Monday, September 28, 2009

MLA - My Life is Awesome

Image Courtesy of
Strawberry Luna

Who could think otherwise on a gorgeous cool and crisp fall day in St. Louis? Some days are just so beautiful, it makes you glad to be alive. Can't wait to get out of work, take my pup for a really long walk and work on some fall projects.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Etsy Shop

Just posted my first item for sale in my Etsy shop, Jessy Ray. I already have seven views and one heart since last night! I have another pair of gloves I'm working on right now, and then I'll be on to working on some felted pillows. I grew up watching my grandma sew, and she would always have needle points for me to work on. I also liked to crochet and had started many a unfinished scarf. But I kind of got away from doing crafty stuff in high school and college, and I'm glad I rediscovered sewing and whatnot as a past-time. It's been really theraputic finding things I love to do outside of work, since work has been very slow lately. It's so relaxing to make stuff without a intended purpose (besides going in my Etsy shop). And it is something interesting to do while my husband watches football all Sunday...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fresh Idea

Had brunch at the Benton Park Cafe on Monday with my in-laws. The best surprise was a slice of cucumber on my glass of water instead of the traditional lemon wedge. Tasted so refreshing on a hot and humid St. Louis day. A nice unexpected twist to a late breakfast/early lunch.

(image from here)

Friday, August 28, 2009

For Lease

Company signage I designed

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dry Cleaning

What is it about dropping off dry cleaning that makes you feel so mature and chic? Dropping off my husband's suit for his interview on Monday!
(image from google)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kirkwood Pioneers Ad

Ad I did for the Kirkwood Pioneers Boosters Athletic Program

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Note to Self: Be Smart, Be Funny

So, I got this forward today. The sigificant thing about it is that I actually read it. Usually as soon as I see FW:, I delete it without a second thought. But my friend had taken the time to put "Read this, this is funny" in the subject line.

"Okay friend," I thought, "I will read this. Just because you specifically recommended it."

So I read the forward. The thing is, it was truly funny in a sarcastic and relevent way. What it actualy said really isn't my point though. My point is, at the bottom of the forward was this guy's digital signature. Grant Thorton: Tax. Audit...blah blah blah. But you know what, I was so impressed by the forward (I had to restrain myself from laughing outloud - at work) that I had to check this guy out.

"This guy gets me. He knows what is going down around here," I thought.

I mean, I actually googled him. And, okay, Grant Thorton isn't a guy - it's the company.
Brilliant marketing strategy. I sooo wish I would have thought of it first. Viral marketing.

Public Transportation Access: Access Isn't Enough

The object of LEED Sustainable Sites credit 4.4 - Alternative Transportation: Public Transportation Access is to build or renovate in areas where existing (or planned and financially backed) infrastructure supports access to public transportation. But how is "access" defined? Is it all about location? And does "access" equate "usage"?

Access, in the simplest terms, means ability to use. Having access is a green light, but it does not necessarily = go. We may have access, but we also have a choice. We may have clearance to enter a building, but what is it that compels us to go in?
If we're talking about people, we say they are "accessible". Accessible people are approachable. They're friendly and they encourage interaction. Having access to public transportation isn't enough to generate a significant shift from personal transportation. Public transportation needs to be accessible.

Perhaps proximity most obviously defines "access". LEED says (in NC 2.2) that public transit within a 1/2 mile that has pedestrian access is "accessible". But let's look at pedestrian access. We could say it is simply a sidewalk, but I think it has to be more than that. A side walk is great, but who wants to walk along a busy road with all of the noise and fumes that entails? Pedestrian friendly should mean not only the infrastructure, but safety and freedom from excessive noise and pollution.

LEED addresses public transportation usage with a nice, neat formula. Basically, LEED says that in order to double ridership, the frequency must be quadrupled. So, if the bus stops four times a day, as opposed to twice a day, four times as many people will ride it. I think this equation does have merit. A transit system is not accessible if it never runs, or if it runs at weird hours, or if you miss one bus another one doesn't come for two hours. So, frequency is a valid factor for usage.
At the same time, I drive past multiple bus stops every day. I drive under the light rail system. Why aren't I, and others like me, riding? Personally, I have several excuses lined up. I don't know the schedule; I don't know how it works. There's a fear factor. I don't want to walk down Manchester from the bus stop to work. There's a sidewalk, but it's a busy street - traffic flies by and consists of not only passenger vehicles but semis, dumpsters, trailers - you name it. Plus the shoulder space between sidewalk and street is nervously small. Then there is my "American" aversion to being in close proximity with strangers, i.e. I might have to sit next to someone I don't know! What if they smell? What if they have a rash? What if I smell!?

But then I think back. Not that long ago, I was a student at the University of Illinois, and I road the bus class, to Dr. appointments, to the mall and the movies. I didn't have a car, because I knew I didn't need one. I didn't need one because there was a great student/public transit system in place.

So what's the difference? At the U of I, we were initiated into the transportation system. We were handed schedules and routes. Everyone knew "how" to ride the bus. It was part of the lifestyle.
So what will it take for a city (like St. Louis) to operate on mass transit? I would argue it will take a shift in attitude. Public transit will have to be a lifestyle choice - and an appealing one at that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Couple's Guide to Vegas (or How We Survived)

If you’re thinking about going to Sin City with your significant other, take this opportunity to rethink. If you’ve already booked your flight, definitely read on. This is not your normal romantic getaway - there will be obstacles. To make the most out of Vegas with your one-and-only, it is advisable you dress up, drink up, and then get out!

With all of the glitz and glamour of the strip, the pools and fountains, and the freezing temperatures in the casinos, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the middle of the desert. Moisturize, apply your sun-block often, and stay hydrated. If you start feeling extra cranky, not only will it detract from time spent with your love, it could be a sign of dehydration. If walking down sunny Las Vegas Boulevard only renders stormy broodings and dismal thoughts, it may be time to walk into one of those ice cold casinos and grab an h20. You’ll feel pepped up in no time, and your beau will thank you for it. If water does not alter your mood, get yourselves to a bar. Spend some time out of the heat, distance yourselves from the dinging din of the casinos, relax and let the bartenders entertain you.

We all want to look our best, but just be forewarned that there will always be someone better looking than you in Vegas. Between the Pussy Cat Dolls, Chip and Dales, the high rollers and their arm candy, there is an endless supply of hot people. Be prepared to watch your significant other’s jaw drop to the floor at one point or another. Chances are, you’re probably staring too. It’s really not worth getting too worked up over. Don't get jealous - just pretend the hotties and freakshows are another eye catching casino or national treasure, like the Hoover Dam. Even take this opportunity to be a little more daring and baring with your own wardrobe than you would back at home.

Gambling is fun. But not always when you’re playing with your hunny bun. It’s hard enough to come out ahead on your own, but for both of you to win at the same time is a whole other story. Inevitably, you will end up watching your partner lose the hand you just won. It can still be fun, but just remember that “what’s mine is yours” takes on a whole new meaning when sitting around the black jack table.

Finally, the key to a truly fabulous Vegas get away with your sweetie is to leave there as soon as possible. This is not your ordinary lounge-on-the-beach-and-recharge type of vacation. It is a grueling test of how much fun you and your better half can handle. As a general rule, the longer you stay, the more sleep deprived and broke you will end up - major strains on any relationship. If you arrive that night and leave that morning, you have a chance of remembering what an awesome time you had (hitting your lucky number on the roulette wheel! Spotting Lindsay Lohan at Pur! Best hot dog you ever had at three in the morning! Watching the sun come up over the desert!) You might even look forward to your next Vegas trip.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stadium Wedding

Getting married at Busch Stadium basically says, me and/or my fiance love baseball/cardinals. Other than that, it's hard to let your personality come through when having your event at a larger than life venue like Busch stadium. Definitely a unique experience for your guests, but lacks a wedding vibe. Maybe it's because no matter how large your wedding party, you'll be dwarfed by the huge stadium. A Busch Stadium wedding totally lacked the intimacy of a traditional wedding. The nervous twitches, tears, and laughter are all lost in the void that is an empty stadium. Even with your picture displayed largely on the scoreboard, you seem distant.

One other note, planning an outdoor wedding in August at 3:30 in the afternoon is a little risky. I blame the heat for slamming down one too many rum and cokes (just trying to rehydrate!) and spending a good portion of the night with my face in a toilet at the Ballpark Hilton.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Shopaholic Made Me Sad

I was ecstatic when I saw they were making the Shopaholic into a movie. I considered the Shopaholic series a guilty pleasure that was passable reading because it fell under the chic-lit category. So it's literature - I mean I took a class on this stuff in college!

Even my husband got on board and agreed to rent it with me.

[There are two plausible explanations for this:
1) secret crush on Isla Fisher (Rebecca Bloomwood)
2) thinly veiled man crush on Sacha Baron Cohen lived vicariously through his wife (Isla Fisher)]

So as we watched it, I began to feel more and more disappointed. First of all, Rebecca Bloomwood is a character defined by consumerism. And if you haven't notice lately, consumerism is part of a certain predicament our country is in. The magical plastic that may have seemed nice and shiny a year ago just seemed dull and foreboding. Bex's uninhibited spending just seemed cutesy when I read the book years ago (oops, went over my limit again!), but seems criminal in the current climate.

Also, Bex is clueless. She lands her job at a financial magazine through a mistake. The need for a fluke to get her the position undermines any brains or talent she may really have. Instead of being competent and qualified, she sort of trips and stumbles her way into a job she doesn't really want because it has to do with "finance" and not "fashion". Also, her boss who she falls in love with just so happens to be secretly from a filthy rich family. So convenient!

What did I find so charming about Rebecca Bloomwood the first time around? How is it that I am jealous of and annoyed with a fictional character?

My only hope is that perhaps she totally redeems herself in the end. I can't really remember the ending of the book. Plus, it was Sunday, so we had to stop the movie to watch "Kendra" on E. So maybe I'll never know.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How The Fray Turned Me Against Isaac Slade

I'll preface by saying this is less of a review, and more of a rant...

I wasn't forced to see The Fray in Houston last Saturday; I'll just say it was strongly suggested.

I am not a particular fan of the Fray's music to begin with, but don't mind hearing a song or two in the background while I'm at work. However, reflecting on the evening, it's a little ridiculous for the droning noise in the background at the office to be headlining a show.

There is a reason The Fray makes great background music - there's a pleasant formula applied to every song that is soothing in small doses, but will put you in a musical coma if forced to listen to for more than fifteen minutes. Each ballad by the band starts out with this slow pulsing beat, sometimes intertwined with a moaning vocal riff by lead singer Isaac Slade, eventually culimating in faster pounding piano - pause - and then back to the slower pulsing. This might actually be prefereable if you're say studying, taking a nap, or talking to friends over coffee. But as a live show, the music was painfully monochromatic - just like the black and white live performance video on either side of the stage.

In addition to disliking the music, I was annoyed by Slade, belting out the same musical riff over and over again, coaxing the audience to join him. I don't like to be told what to do, and if you are actually a compelling artist, I'll sing with you on my own.

Not only did I feel no appreciation toward his bleating vocals, Slade's little inspirational quips interspersed throughout the performance made me want to projectile vomit on the camera obsessed teenagers sitting in front of me (they are a topic for a whole other post). I don't really need a guy who stands on stage for a living to tell me to "hang in there if you're looking for work or hate your job," or to muse that, "the closer you are to someone, the easier it is to get hurt." If I wanted to be preached to, I'd go to church. Seriously, Isaac Slade can just shove it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday, Munday, Mondae

What I love about Monday:

Opening the mail twice (Saturday's & Monday's)

Quiet in the office while Monday morning meeting is going on

Prospects for the rest of the week

Clean office and empty trash cans

Thursday, March 5, 2009


There is a yoga studio about three blocks from my house. It caught my eye right away. For the past nine months that I've lived there, I've driven past it at least twice a day. Finally, I made it to my first class last night.

Maybe yoga is a little less trendy than it was several years ago, but living in the midwest it's not unusual to be a little behind trend. Yoga still meant fresh, young, fabulous, and female in my mind, and a month ago I decided it was time to sign up.

Let me back track a little. I'm the only woman in my office. Mostly it's fine. I have great friends and two sisters that I hang out with all the time on the weekends. But sometimes I do feel a little gender isolation. I go to work for eight hours with five guys and then go home to my husband, a different kind of guy, but still a guy. So I was hoping yoga would be a way to reconnect with the gal pal in me during the week and forge a few new friendships.

So before I went to class, I had this whole fantasy giggling with the other girls at something funny the yoga instructor did, our bonding eventually turning into a ritual to go out for drinks after class ever week. Of course going out with my new friends would open some doors for me and eventually land me a new fab job where I could work with equally cool people who did trendy stuff like yoga/hot yoga/power yoga or whatever the latest yoga trend is supposed to be.

My plan hasn't quite panned out yet. Last night during class I began to suspect that maybe I don't really even like other women. I guess what I was looking for was the fun, independent single girl type. Instead there was the mom who smelled like an ashtray and her daughter who was still in highschool, the girl who is potentially close to my age, but just had a baby (eww!), the middle aged lady, and the boy who helped me set up and then did this weird upside down triangle pose hanging from a strap on the wall. I just don't see any friendships being forged here!

In conclusion, my alterior yoga purpose has already been defeated. However, the actual work out was fantastic. My whole body is sore today, but in that almost pleasant post-work out way. And I didn't have to break a sweat or anything!

Baby Shower: DIY Diaper Cake

Looking for the perfect centerpiece or memorable gift for the next baby shower you throw or attend? Try making a diaper cake so delectable, you'll want to eat it all up, and the mom to be will just eat it up too. Both functional and whimsical, a diaper cake is a thoughtful and fun shower gift you can put together in one afternoon.

If you are a bit on the creative and crafty side, you can really take your diaper cake to the next level with colors, themes, and accessories. If you're not so craftily inclined, it's still an easy project and you may even surprise yourself with your creation. When putting together materials, you might draw inspiration from the colors that have been picked out for the nursery, the style of the shower invitation, or maybe the shower has a theme with which you can coordinate.

Supplies you will need:
· White disposable diapers, in size of your preference (around 100, depending on the size of your cake)
· Wide Ribbon (1 1/2 to 2 inches)
· Rubber bands - large, medium, and small
· Diaper pins or hot glue gun
· Colored tissue paper or paper shreds
· Round or square piece of cardboard to act as the base of the cake

Cake accessories/toppers - these are up to you. Cake accessories could range from a teddy bear or doll as a cake topper to several smaller objects placed around the cake such as socks, onesies, diaper cream, thermometer, rattle...infinite possibilities here!

You will also need three or four cylinders of various sizes to act as the frames for your cake layers. Different sized bowls, paper towel roll, or any other cylindrical shaped item you have in your household.

Step 1 - Making the Layers
Take your largest bowl, turn it upside down and place an extra large rubber band around it. Place the first diaper under the rubber band, hugging the bowl horizontally. The bottom edge of the diaper should be flush with the lip of the bowl to facilitate easy removal.

Place the next diaper under the rubber band. Have the smooth edge (where the baby's bottom would be) overlap the first diaper. Continue this pattern so that only the smooth edges of the diapers are showing until they are fanned out evenly around the diameter of the bowl.
Roll up a diaper lengthwise and secure it with a rubber band. It should stand at the same height as the diapers around the bowl. Roll several more diapers and place them in a tight circle around the first diaper. Continue to make the circle larger until it is about the size of the opening of your bowl.

Place the bowl over the circle of diapers. Now, remove the bowl by lifting it up and sliding off the outside layer of diapers. The rubber band should hug the pretty outside layer to the inside layer. This is the base layer of your cake. Add or remove diapers to the inner circle to make the base larger or smaller.

Repeat the steps above using sequentially smaller and smaller bowls. A paper towel roll may suffice for the top layer, depending on the size of your cake.

Step 2 - Decorating
Use your ribbon to cover the rubber band that secures each cake layer. Secure the ends with colorful diaper pins or hot glue.
Stack layers on the cardboard plat form. You may want to wrap the platform with wrapping paper to match the cake first.
Put paper shreds or tissue paper between the layers to act as the "icing".

Step 3 - Final Touches
The icing on the cake will be those other little items you picked up for the nearly-newborn. Get creative with placing around the cake little socks, hair bows, bibs, pacifiers or whatever goodies you have for the new addition. Some items can be tucked into the rubber band behind the ribbon. A cute teddy bear or pretty baby doll can make great cake toppers.

Step 4 - You Take the Cake!
Get ready to be showered with compliments on your creation as you walk into the festivities for the little newcomer!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Brunch: Hodak's

Somehow, I managed to make it out on a Friday night. I was very reluctant to go, but sometimes you end up making the best of a bad situation and end up with a fun night. And sometimes you end up compensating for your lack of expectations for the night with beer.

Luckily, our brunch plan for the next day was Hodak's for fried chicken. Nothing helps a hang over like fried chicken, crinkle fries and a giant pepsi. I really thought I might throw up on our way there, but I knew what awaited me was sweet releif. So, I just gripped the door handle and took really deep breaths until we drove far enough down Gravois to get there. After two drumsticks encased in a crispy shell fried to perfection and about five pepsis, I was cured. I was a new woman and the house was spotless by the time my in-laws arrived later that afternoon.

Brunch: Rooster

My friends and I have been on a brunch streak lately. When Friday night plans kept collapsing on themselves over and over again due to our inability to stay awake past 10 anymore, we resorted to a mid-Saturday gathering. And sometimes Saturday afternoon begins to look a lot like Friday night.

A few weeks ago we decided on Rooster in downtown St. Louis for crepes. I will eat just about anything, and I eat fast, so I can't really critique food. Mine was delicious, but I will say that about a lot of things. Probably the stand-out at Rooster was their extensive list of Bloody Marys and mimossas. Also, it was a really cute and cozy place with exposed brick and several sketches of roosters and chickens everywhere that looked like they were done by school kids.

After round one of drinks we were feeling pretty wonderful, so we decided to head up the street to an irish pub for more drinks. Things probably would have escalated to a full-blown bar crawl had some of us not had other engagements that day. The point is, Saturday day can be just as fun as Friday night. Besides, who doesn't love a little day drinking?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On Carpenter's Handwriting

I love how it's always in cursive - not perfect, but each letter displaying all of the little curly-ques you learned when you first learned to write in cursive. As if they hadn't written a thing since third grade penmanship class, and today they decided to pick up a pencil. The rules for writing each letter are taken into consideration - no short cuts taken here. My own grandpa is a carpenter and always boasts about wining a penmanship award in grade school. And he does have wonderful handwriting. He addressed my cousin's wedding invitations. There is a certain meticulous-ness a good carpenter has about him. You can't read it from the worn work boots, stained cover-alls, or black fingernails. But it's definitely there in the handwriting.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1111 Mississippi

So, one of my good friends suggested we go to 1111 Mississippi for dinner last weekend. I love to eat and will try pretty much anything. I also enjoy having a cocktail or glass of wine every once in a while. And I have a great group of friends. So to combine those things is always a recipe for a great time - which 1111 Mississippi was. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, our server was knowledeable and attentive without being annoying, and the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin melted in your mouth.