Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Hunt Is On: The Summer Of Cupcakes

2 years ago when fro-yo was really taking off in Fort Worth, I went on the quest to find the best place to get it. I came up with a ranking system and everything. (I know, it is a little odd and MAYBE a little overboard. But don't wished you would have thought of it first!) 

This weekend I was running errands with with Kipper and we spotted a new cupcake place we wanted to try. After talking we decided that we should go on the hunt for the best cupcake (ranking system and all) and then I could blog about each of our tasting adventures!  But we agreed we would have to stretch this adventure out, otherwise all the work we have been doing to improve our eating would be down the drain. (Not to mention our waistlines would NOT be happy with us either!) 

The Summer of Cupcakes was officially born!!

Here is how it will work:
  • Over the course of the next 3 months we will taste test cupcakes at 15 different bakeries in the metroplex.   
  • At each stop we will taste 2 flavors: 
    • Red Velvet (Kipper and I's all time favorite, that will be used as our baseline flavor)
    • Then we will decided on another flavor based on that days flavor selection 
  • During each tasting adventure both Kipper and I will use a scale of 1-5 to rank the following factors: 
    • Atmosphere: location, decor, etc
    • Sales Experience: how helpful/friendly was the staff etc
    • Presentation: both pre-sale and after
    • Price
    • Flavor Variety 
    • Icing
    • Cake
    • Overall Experience
  • Then I will sum our experience up in a blog to pass on the results of our yummy research to YOU! :) 
Before we could get started we had to have our map of all the places we would hit and the requirements were simple - They had to be in the metroplex and they had to have cupcakes available to walk-in customers.

We received tons of suggestions on places that needed to be on our list, but we had to narrow it down! (at first it was upwards of 28-30 places!!)  After going over and over all our suggestion here are the 15 bakeries we have selected for the first ever The Summer of Cupcakes! 

Be on the look out this week for the first blog in The Summer of Cupcakes series!! We can't wait!!!! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Solving Our Problems One Brilliant Idea At A Time!

Let me start this off my saying Kipper and I both loved our college experiences, but student loans SUCK! Long story short, both of us went to private colleges, I work for a small nonprofit, Kipper works for a nonprofit hospital and our combined amount of student loans are killing us financially.

A few nights ago we had a panicked/heated discussion about our options and what we were going to do. After a while I was just done talking about it but my loving, OCD husband wanted to "talk it out" a little more. At that moment I came up with a BRILLIANT idea!

     Me: I've got it! I know what we can do and it will solve all our issues! 

     Kipper:  okay.....

     Me: One of us needs to fake our death.

     Kipper:  (stares at me...face turning a little red

     Me: Think about it. They forgive your student loans when you die and when you die your spouse gets your insurance money. So one of us fakes our death, the loans are forgiven and we use the insurance money to pay off the others loans. 

     Kipper:  (long pause...) REALLY??? That is your freaking brilliant plan. REALLY?? I mean, REALLY???????? 

     Me: Yea! Pretty good, huh?

     Kipper:  Oh yea, breaking the law by committing insurance fraud is a great idea.

     Me: Yea well that is a slight issue. 

     Kipper:  (long pause...) What the hell is wrong with you? 

     Me: Just thinking outside the box. 

     Kipper:  (just glares at me) 

     Me: But really, it would make most since for you to be the one who faked their death because you owe way more than me in student loans. So your loans could be forgiven, then we could pay mine off and use the extra money to move off the grid.  
     Kipper: (just glares at me) 

     Me: Now if we could make it look like a work related death, we would get even more money! 

If you can't tell my idea didn't go over very well. And don't worry, we won't be faking anyone's death to commit insurance fraud. 

But I still think it was a pretty brilliant idea to come up with on the fly! Well minus the illegal part....

Monday, May 14, 2012

Allie Facts: Learning To Ride Edition

Yesterday afternoon Kipper and I planned on going out somewhere so he could teach me how to use my freaking bike. (I almost died 6 times the first time I rode it. Like for real 6 times, this is not just Allie being dramatic people!)

Since we needed to take his mom to Grapevine to his Aunt and Uncle's house, we loaded up the bikes (which is like a journey in itself) and decided we would try out the trails around Lake Grapevine.

- No matter how many times Kipper tells me my bike seat and handle bars are in "perfect riding position" I still think it would be better if my handle bars were higher.

- It really bothers me that my riding attire sort of clashes with my bike.

- Of course I have a hair bow to match my riding shirt. Hello, I want to make sure people know I am a girl under that helmet!

- Not really sure why the above statement was such a shock to my hubby.

- When Kipper gets into his zone before riding (I now refer to this as "Lance Mode") it is way worse than his pre-running zone and I sort of want to bite him. 

- I don't bite him in fear of him biting me back.

- Just so you all know, I don't make a habit of biting people (or anything that isn't food or a package I am opening with my teeth) But ever since I was little when I would get made I always have the urge to bite verse hit. Apparently the lesson of "Hands aren't for hitting, but for hugging" really stuck with me. 

- My bike pedals on the other hand did not learn this lesson. They like to bite your ankles and calves. 

- When riding with Kipper, never assume you are going for a nice, pleasurably ride to learn how to use the gears on your bike. If you do think this, you will be wrong. 

- I found myself thinking that if Kipper would have just bought me a pink bike with fenders this would be SO much easier. You know cause pink bikes with fenders are magical. 

- Yea, pink bikes with fenders aren't really magical like Harry Potter magical. But I would look so adorable riding it that I am convinced that it would help me forget how hard the ride was and how much I am going to hurt when I get off the bike and that is a special kind of Allie magic my friends.
- It really sucks when old guys who have been getting their senior discount at IHOP for 20+ years fly by you no effort at all. 

- I am terrified of falling off my bike. Like more terrified than I was when I was little learning to ride my bike with out training wheels in my Dorothy costume. (yes, I wore my Dorothy dress to ride my bike. This shouldn't surprise anyone but I do have photographic proof! ----->)

- I am very picky about water. Some water just taste funny. Never again will I drink from Kipper's CamelBak without making sure I am the one who puts the water in. Apparently he thought leaving water in there over a week wouldn't affect the taste. He was wrong and for a moment I thought he was trying to poison me. 

- While riding, I realized that if Kipper wanted to ever kill me, biking riding might be a good method. 

- I hurt in places and ways they I am pretty sure God has reserved for childbirth. 

- I think all of you who keep telling me "Keep riding, it will get easier" are big fat liars and must not have any feeling in your lower regions.

- And just when I want to give up and admit I just want to be Mary freaking Poppins riding in the park (if you are confused or are not laughing at this statement read this!)that crazy competitive girl starts to come out and I want to prove to everyone (including my vajayjay) that there is nothing to this riding thing. 

- I know without a doubt that once I rhinestone my helmet, riding is going be so much easier cause rhinestones make EVERYTHING better!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy 18th Birthday Little J!!!

I feel like just yesterday you were in middle school excited about starting high school! (And to your Secret Dad I think you will always be 13! Everytime I mention your birthday he says, nope Rei can't turn 18!)

Yet, no matter what Kipper says, you are 18! You are now officially old enough to share in the "adult in charge" duties! (but who are we kidding...we will make Kipper or Jor the adult in charge! lol) 

Love you sweet girl!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Moments Like These: Baby Brady - Part 2

Picking up were I left off in Part 1 of this project. Mr. Brady's debut was only a few weeks away and the piece I had been working on for his nursery was finally done!  I couldn't wait to see Jen and Bobby's faces when I gave it to them, but at the same time I was nervous.

As I said before this one didn't just come to me, I had to really wrap my head around it. But the hours I spent figuring it all out were so worth it when I saw everything come together!  It is something that I hope once Brady is too old for his nursery things to still hang on his wall, that Jen and Bobby can hang this in their home. Not only a something to remember the birth of their first child, but also so many things that lead to that point in their relationship. 

I planned on giving it to them a our friends Sean's birthday dinner, but I got tied up and wasn't able to make it.  I have to tell you the location of the presentation was a little out of the ordinary to say the least - in front of Showdown. (Actually when you think about all of us, it isn't really that shocking! lol!

When I handed it to them, Jen kept saying how much she loved it, but Bobby didn't say much. He just stood there for a moment and by the look on his face I knew - I got this one right!  I loved watching the two of them comb over the canvas.

Of course seeing it hanging in his nursery the night we got to meet little Brady for the first time was also very special. (The painting right above it what Bobby painted for Jen's birthday the first year the dated!) 

Then again, I am not sure anything could top the look on Bobby's face and the big hug that followed the night I gave it to them! 

Again congrats to Jen and Bobby and welcome to the world Baby Brady and!!! We can't wait to watch you grow up!