Category Archives: products

Tour de Austin, y’all!

IMG_2010I really enjoy Austin, I’ve been twice to visit my aunt, and we actually thought about moving here before we ended up in Charlotte.

I had been toying with the idea of going to BlogherFood for a few years, but couldn’t get it together. This year with the conference in Austin and the fact we have family there, it was almost perfect. The problem was the Blogher Food ticket price was INSANE. Sorry, but over $400 to attend a conference and listen to people talk about things I kinda know about, and I have a successfully run kitchen already? Nah. I spent $40 on tickets to see Mumford & Sons instead. YEE-haw! Wasn’t the timing so convenient? Marcus must have received our travel memo.

IMG_2031We stayed at my aunt’s where the kids were treated like royalty, giving us the ability to take the city by the beer glasses and GO. I deemed the trip “Tour de Austin,” as we hit as many bars and restaurants as possible. A few spots included The Bat Bar, The Ginger Man, Dizzy Rooster, Pete’s dueling pianos, and Maggie Mae’s. Thanks to the wafts of patchouli and weed up and down 6th street, I deemed Austin “The Asheville of Texas.”

Texas heat is definitely not like the Carolinas, it’s hot as hell but the air isn’t sticky and humid. For every alcoholic beverage consumed, it’s necessary to drink half gallon of water so you don’t pass out, vomit, or scream obscenities at strangers. All things that this crowd has done at some point. Actually, Tricia did have a bonding moment with a group of strangers on this trip, but that’s a story for her to tell.

We tried out Roaring Fork for dinner, it was nothing short of a bunch of foodgasms. We shared things like beef tenderloin fondue, green chili mac & cheese, and little cornbread muffins. I’m not a huge “meat” orderer, but the filet was unbelievable. Orderer may or may not be a real word, now that I typed it, but I don’t care because that filet was the best.

IMG_2023We made half an ounce of effort to do something “educational” and checked out the Texas State Capitol Building. And by checked out I mean we all dragged our feet and walked to the front gate, paused to see who was was going to volunteer “eh, let’s skip this because BORING…” I can’t be a bad example for Maeve (haha) who was with us so I had to pretend I wanted to see it. (zzzzz) At least we went inside, I even took an interior picture of the dome to prove it.

Sunday before the concert we headed out to Lake Travis. My last visit to Lake Travis was in 2000. The land was green, lush and the lake was covered in boats. I didn’t even recognize it. The lake is so low that there are giant islands of dry land above the dam.

IMG_2075Totally shocked. You can see it in this picture a bit:

Okay, I’ll fess up, we did pop in to The Oasis on Lake Travis for some queso, chips and cheap beer before lunch. Apparently it’s an Austin rite of passage (my second visit, I forgot about noseeums sneaking around chewing on my flesh). But we had lunch at Soleil next door. Food? Amazing, classy (yet they let the kids in) fancy, all with a view.

I had a beautiful cheese plate, but after 3 glasses of wine we ordered fish and chips because alcohol makes you want to eat bad things that are not swimsuit sporting approved.

I can drive like a Texan (lunatic), and this proved to be very handy as I toted everyone around in my super sexy minivan. (thanks for the major hook up, Enterprise!) And did I mention we were going to see Mumford again? Yeah, I’m starting to sound like a groupie, traveling around the country stalking a band, maybe I’m already there….

IMG_2065Austin built this new Formula 1 racetrack called Circuit of the Americas out in the middle of the EBF boonies, with a 30 minute drive outside of the city, with only cows, hay and a VFW nearby… but it’s also really awesome. The Austin360 Ampitheater is located in the middle of it. They had tons of food and booze trucks set up (Titos sponsored) with a tent, beer pong, and cornhole for entertainment while you waited for the show.

Which was amazing, obviously, except the ampitheater was like being slow cooked in a crockpot with 2,000 other bodies. Whatever, it was worth it. I even kept my mouth shut, not uttering any bully words at Mary Katherine Gallagher screaming in my ear for 2 hrs like she was being murdered. Thank you, mango tequila slushie.

The flight home seemed like it was going to suck, since American Airlines cancelled our flight. But somehow they rectified it, we made our connection and ended up home on time. So, I probably won’t be seeing Mumford again this year, and we didn’t get to meet the band this time, but just before we left for Texas OUR HOUSE SOLD! We close July 9th and then we are homeless. I’m currently googling tent options, or maybe I’ll get an RV and end up back in Texas in my aunt’s driveway, because she did extend the invite.

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A few of today’s favorite things.

My new necklace, picked this up from Urban Outfitters. A mini vase with tiny dried flowers inside? It made me happy.

This is awesomeness.

What does that mean, a modern Maeve woman?

Maeve and I were messing around on the computer and came across the C U T E S T magazine! http://www.maevemagazine.com/home.asp

My new favorite.

It led me to this awesome shop:

http://www.bluecaravan.net/

which leads me to wanting THIS:

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Bakery update waaaaay late!

Something had to give, and it was my internet addiction! Not that it’s a bad thing, of course!

I really don’t know where to begin by trying to describe how crazy this past 6 months has been.

It took a month to write a 67 page business plan, a few weeks to negotiate for a location and choose our builder, and six week after they started, I technically had a bakery.

This entire experience has been a whirlwind of insanity. Yep, I’m back on medication because anyone who REALLY knows me is familiar with my attention issues and occasional maniacal behavior. FYI- it’s all good. (thanks, prozac)

Here are pictures and some plugs, because I have so many people to pat on the back and say thank you to. The ideas were mine, but it took wonderfully talented people to make my ideas a reality.

First, my contractors were completely and 150% wonderful! Beck Design Group I really can’t say enough great things in this little blog blurb, but bottom line- they were done AHEAD of *my* schedule. Any delays due to opening were totally me, and my panic, or changing my mind, or a glitch with my…oh say, OVEN showing up on time. The build itself was incredibly painless and I am so grateful! You will see more about these guys here. Thanks for putting up with me on an hourly basis, David. I hope I didn’t drive you too insane!

Here are some pictures:

I wanted the walls to look like concrete, so my contractor found Dawn who did an outstanding job. I am totally in love with my walls, and yes they really are covered in stone. I need to get the exact details of what the product is, but it’s awesome. When she adds the bakery pics to her website, I’m sure she’ll explain what this product is. I – love – it. http://www.tegacaydreamrooms.com/

…and my mason jar lights. Jenn makes them, and they’re incredible. I drove down to Atlanta to pick these up and bring them home myself. My sisinlaw and I were totally thrilled to see the other projects she’s working on. This girl is crazy talented. I loved everything she had! http://www.reclaimedlighting.com/

and then there is the furniture.

After weeks of thrift shopping ( http://sleepypoetstuff.com/ and http://depotgibsonmill.com/ especially!!), hunting, bargaining, and begging we (Deb and I) found all of the furniture. I swear, our butts sat in more chairs over the past 3 months than an entire semester of college students. The amazing paint colors were donated from my girlfriend Alex (mostly) a few cans from the recycle center leftover paint shed, 2 containers from the leftover junk at Lowe’s and my garage.

You can see my girlfriend Amy’s kneecap at the end of my driveway. I DO NOT KNOW how I would’ve gotten it all done without her help those two very long days (while she quietly dealt with me coughing my bronchitis face all over the damn place). I owe her free cupcakes for life, for real. (and wait until you see the chair covers and stuff she made for me, ridiculous! So awesome)

Super huge thanks to my darling Debbie, my sisterinlaw has been my wingman the past few weeks, letting me cart her around, yell in her ear, ask her advice, helping me make decisions, snapping her fingers at me when my eyes glaze over or I forget what the hell I was doing, or where I was going, or what I’m forgetting…..

And the biggest thank you of all goes to my saint of a husband, who encouraged me to do this and is completely supportive (in all ways) of my, as he calls it, “hobby”. No one uses a level for more shit than you, babe. Thank you for this, I hope I make you proud. :)

I love you all, this is so exciting and surreal and in all honesty WAY scarier than finding out I was a pregnant teenager.

Wish us luck!

I have to log off now, Shaye is drawing on my purse with lip liner. Some things will never be easy.

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Do you Create Cool Logos? Enter to win $200!

So… CUPCRAZED needs a logo!

We’re looking for something special to represent US! But, I am a photoshop dingbat and I just don’t have the time to learn about making graphics!

My business savvy friend and hero Lilium told me about http://99designs.com/

This site is fantastic!! I did the custom contest option, and since posting it last night I’ve received seven entries already! I’m serious, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! You get to see different graphic artists take your idea and bring it to life! As you receive their entries, you give feedback so they can tweak it to your requirements.

So here is the contest listing! You can click it and see what people are creating and dreaming up for me, you can even enter if you’d like!

http://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/start-up-cupcake-bakery-dessert-bar-needs-logo-42385

And for those that already knew about this fantastic site, go HERE and vote for them for the Webby Awards. I did!

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