Explore 2019 #242: Piping bees

Currently hoping no one bumps into or knocks anything onto this bumblebee cake I just finished (it's precariously arranged in a rather full fridge). Piping is so humbling. I keep seeing the imperfections of the and Vi is like, "Mom, relax! It looks great!" Donating this cake for a school fundraiser tomorrow. Design inspiration via Wilton Cakes.

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Explore 2019 #236: The power of saying yes

I talk a lot about the power of saying NO but wow, sometimes it feels really good to say YES. This week has been really tough for me personally and the last 6 weeks have felt way too busy all around. For a few weeks Violet has been asking to make cupcakes and we literally have not had a free afternoon for it. But this week I was like, YES, LET'S DO THIS, and then when we went to the store to get some last minute items and she asked for Halloween candy I was like YES, WHATEVER YOU WANT, GIRL. And when she asked if we could experiment with sinking marshmallows in the center of the cupcakes I didn't overthink the baking science and was like YES, JAM THOSE MARSHMALLOWS IN.

The marshmallows completely melted and sunk the centers of the cupcakes but we leveled it out with chocolate buttercream (#winning) and then the girls had such fun decorating with sprinkles and Halloween candy (Vi claims the pumpkins taste better than the candy corns...agree or disagree?). Anyway, it felt really, really great to say YES to this project, and to make things even happier, we delivered cupcakes to some friends + our amazing single mom neighbor, whose birthday is a day before her daughter's birthday...which means her birthday totally takes a back seat (#momlife). Seeing the surprise and delight on this mom's face when we delivered the cupcakes really put life in perspective for me.

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Explore 2019 #226: October photo challenge

I have decided to participate in my friend LaShawn Wiltz’s October photo challenge .

The 1/31 prompt is Hello October (intros). Here are 12 things about me since my birthday is October 12! 1️⃣ In my previous life I was a music and brain neuroscientist 2️⃣ I now wear a lot of hats...writer (blogger/author), podcaster, creative director, designer. Some days are a dumpster fire but ultimately I'm unbelievably grateful to have built a creative, lucrative career on my terms. 3️⃣ I'm married to a wonderful, smart, sexy therapist...Jon is my favorite person in the whole world and I am grateful to have found him given that I have not had the greatest experiences with men either as role models or in relationships. 4️⃣ My beloved Laurel and Violet are pretty far apart in age at 15 and 8. I experienced what I thought was secondary infertility and got pregnant about a month after letting go of the idea of getting pregnant and giving all of my baby things away! 5️⃣ Having a natural VBAC after 58 hours of labor is one of my proudest life accomplishments. 6️⃣ I am the 6th of 7 siblings but everyone assumes I'm a first-born. 7️⃣ I love making fun, fancy cakes for loved ones (purely recreational...I don't need any other side hustles!) 8️⃣ Tennis is my favorite form of physical activity. 9️⃣ I believe every human being needs to get their ass out and vote. 🔟 I am an enneagram #1. 1️⃣1️⃣ As someone who used to be super insecure about friendships, I feel so grateful and blessed to have the best friend squad. 1️⃣2️⃣ In service of my inflammatory issues, I have not consumed dessert, alcohol, gluten, or junk food snacks of any kind since August 27 and not only have I survived, it has weirdly not been difficult!

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Explore 2019: Local Artist Love

Creativity is powerful (quite frankly, I think it's the thing that will ultimately save us!) and one of my favorite things is connecting with awesome artists. I met Carolyn Mackin this past winter at my friend Paige’s holiday party and she is just such a lovely human being and I love the light and energy in her work! Carolyn sent me a couple of pieces from her new acrylic blocks summer series (which just went live this morning) and OMG they are so rad! Check out the whole series at her website; these blocks now have a home as art pieces on a table in my office, but they would be awesome styled in a bookcase or atop a series of books on a coffee table. Ysy, women artists!

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Explore 2019: Peace + Therapy Via Baking

This morning with Violet was really hard. I'm not sure what was going on but she was alternately OK and grouchy/sensitive/melting down and quite frankly, I didn't have a ton of patience for it. I spoke sharply to her and she burst into tears and I apologized. I know it's not fair to expect this of my kids, but when I'm coming off a crazy work week I want weekends to be happy and relaxed.

We're seeing friends tonight and were charged with bringing dessert. Normally iced cookies feel like a special occasion project but then I was thinking of how tactile, focused projects like this are really good for Vi. She just seems to go into the zone and chill out. So I took a deep breath and we rolled up our sleeves and got going.

Three hours of baking + piping later (seriously, she just sat and quietly piped!), different kid. And honestly, it was a good cool out period for me, too.

Also, piping cookies is really, really humbling! I consider myself a pretty good baker and decorator but after you see something like Hayleycakes And Cookies in person you sort of start imagining you can pipe in brush lettering (OK, maybe not that!).

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