Friday, April 29, 2011

Girls, Just Wanna Have Fu-un: Teresa's Bachelorette

Teresa's Big Day is tomorrow and no wedding can commence prior to a proper send off - the bachelorette party!!

Since all her bridesmaids were from out of town, they agreed the Thursday prior to the wedding would be most suitable to throw the bash. A hangover the day of the wedding didn't seem appealing to them for some reason. Why? Sure beats me! Not like bride needs to look pretty or anything for pictures on her wedding day. Ha!

To kick things off - food and margaritas!!! We had dinner at the Riverwalk Cantina at the Gaylord Texan. The restaurant brought the outside scenery of the riverwalk indoors. It's what makes the Gaylord so beautiful!

The bride-to-be!

All the pretty ladies

We even got swooned by the mariachi band!

Since dinner was much later than my normal dinner time, I completely devoured my food before realizing I didn't take a picture. Surprise, surprise right? I'll try to be better about that in the future. I did remember to take some pictures of us girls while we waited for our food though. Does that count for something? No? Didn't think so, but thought I'd try.

Sopie and I

Me and the bride-to-be

After our bellies were full of chips and salsa and the ridiculous Texas sized Tex-Mex meals, it was time for dessert! We each got a different flavor cupcake topped with a different design purple teddy (her wedding colors are purple and silver). How cute are these and they were super moist!!

Vanilla flavored - nom nom nommmm
FYI: the pearl isn't edible. Not that we tried to consume
it or anything...

After being stuffed well beyond our stomach's capacity, it was time to open presents and for Teresa to take down 2 Patron shots to kick off the remainder of the evening!

Next stop, Gaylord Texan's nightlife it spot - Iron Cactus.

On the shuttle to the club

At the club, Teresa threw down quite a few more shots while we quickly realized tonight's crowd wasn't our scene. It was country theme tonight. Oops! So we left and hit up Chaucer's for $1 well drinks!! Not even a couple hours later, our bride-to-be was all partied out.

Here's to your final two nights as a single lady, Teresa! Can't wait to see you and Andrew tie the knot tomorrow!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stamped, Sealed, Delivered !

I wanted the post title to look like this - "Signed Stamped, Sealed, Delivered!" as a spin off of Stevie Wonder's song, but Blogger doesn't allow strikethroughs in the title. Lame!

Moving on. Ever since wedding planning resulted in finding THE perfect stamp to accompany our wedding invites' journey to our guests' mailboxes, I've been slightly obssessed with periodically checking on the USPS' website for new stamp releases. For example, when the Evergreen Forever stamps were released, I had to make sure all mail correspondence in November, December, and January (aka wedding Thank You letters) doned these stamps.


When I went to the post office to purchase more, the USPS personnel informed me they were out and will not be producing them anymore* since the holidays are over. Until this day, I don't know why I did, but I gasped in sadness at the news. I immediately called the hubby to check the post office near our shop on the availability of these beauties. His response, "They got 'em here. How many you want?" My response, "LOTS!". He purchased 15 of the 20 stamp sheets. Anyone in need of an Evergreen Forever stamp because I totally got you on this one!

On May 23, 2011, USPS will release the Garden of Love Forever stamps, and they're oh so pretty! And that's coming from non-girly girl me! Yikes!!

I feel like I should rush out to the post office on May 23rd and purchase these eye candy like it's the new iPad 2 or something. I know, I know, I know. I need to display some self control on the amount purchased if I do purchase the Garden of Love Forever stamps. Aren't they pretty though?

Here are some other fun new release postages:

Perfect for a wedding invite!


Go Green!

I'm glad USPS is still coming out with fun new postages despite heavier utilization and reliance on e-communication. Do you have thing for postage or is it just me? 

*USPS still sells the Evergreen Forever stamps, but I digress! I see you laughing at me, that's not very nice of you. at. all! At least I'll always have a stamp readily available that's of correct postage - pfttt! And no, I'm not 5 years old.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Extreme Blog Makeover

Take a look around. Notice anything new today?? I HAVE A NEW BLOG DESIGN thanks to Rachel at just b.CAUSE. What do you think because I LOVE it!!

Rachel was a sweetie to work with and I'm completely jealous of her creativity and handiwork with blog designs. She designs headers, badges, and even full on blog makeovers in exchange for your donation to a non-profit organization. Her devotion to supporting and bringing awareness to non-profit organizations is inspiring. I'd say that's a pretty awesome deal if you ask me! It's like paying it forward to a non-profit organization that is constantly researching and supporting a good cause. Can't beat a win, win situation.

Stop by her blog to say hello and a thank you from me for her awesome work! Or maybe you need a little sumpin sumpin for your blog? Rachel's got you covered!

Thank you so much, Rachel!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Random Mondays!

I'm replacing my weekend recaps with Random Monday posts because 1) my weekends are fairly consistent (aka nothing happens because I'm lame); 2) I take random pictures that never get blogged about; and 3) who doesn't love a confused or smiley expression on a Monday right?

Today's Random Monday emoticon rating:

Item in question:
While visiting Jamaica, your duty free allowance includes 200 sticks of cigarettes (or 50 sticks of cigars), 230g of tobacco, 1 liter of spirits, 1 liter of wine, 170ml of perfumed spirits, and 340ml of toilet water. *disc scratch* Wait, huh?! Toilet water?! According to Wikipedia (because in the 21st century, if you don't Google everything, you Wikipedia it duh! Or Google will lead you to Wikipedia. Either which way), toilet water is referred to as eau de toilette, but the paper already mentioned "perfumed spirits" so...

During our Christmas 2010 trip to Montego Bay

What's your take on the duty free allowance of "toilet water"??

Friday, April 22, 2011

And pose! And pose! And pose!

With each photographer's flash going off, that was one minute slipping away from us from booking the perfect photographer. Our criteria for our photographer - photojournalistic style capturing candid moment pictures like this:

And then Vanity Fair-esque pictures like this:

And my heart always melts when I see the bride and groom kissing like this:

From Mrs. Nachos Wedding Recaps
on WeddingBee courtesy of Bill Payne

Unfortunately, everyone I inquired of was either A) not available on our date, B) they required my first born, or C) if they were available and didn't require my first, I was feeling "eh" about them. Sigh...

Enter Facebook and tons of my high school classmates getting married. I decided to photo stalk 2 of my friend's wedding albums (hey! They put it on Facebook so it's free game to browse right?). I instantly fell in love with their photos and immediately contacted their respective photographers.

Very Vogue no?

So dramatic - swoon

I love how the photographer captured
the emotions here

Another dramatic photo while getting ready

Can you tell why I was swooning so much? I was in. love. After much debate between the two, we chose Colorband PhotoArtisans to be our photo capturing companions for our wedding! We are so excited to have Roy and Jamie be part of our entourage and can't wait to see what they will capture on their lenses!

How did you choose your photographer?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why did the chicken cross the road?

My foodie bestie, Van, invited me to be her date to an improv show where a co-worker of hers would be performing that evening. I used to love watching Whose Line Is It Anyway so I figured, why not! Plus, who doesn't love a good laugh after a stressful work day right?

The show requires a minimum purchase of 2 items (can someone explain this concept to me? I already paid admission and now you require me to purchase at least 2 things???) and the food was straight up - yuck!! We sat at a table of 6 friends and we made sure to order different items to give ourselves a buffet of samples. Man, oh man, oh man. The drinks were poorly made and the food selection was limited to appetizers only. You figured with a selective menu, the food would be aiight. Nope. Sigh. Thankfully, the comedy lived up to expectations!

There were about 15 comics that evening, and some definitely got the "it" factor of doing stand-up comedy like this African American guy. He was flipping hilarious!!

Would I go again? Depends on who's performing I suppose. Wayne Brady? Yes please! Shawn and Marlon Wayans? Heck yea!! Steve-O from JackAss? Eh, maybe not so much.

Oh, and when Van asked me to be her date, she wasn't kidding! She picked me up at my place and paid my admission to the show. So traditional and sweet of her no? Thanks for inviting me Van!!

Have you ever been to an Improv show? Who's your favorite comedian?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm dreaming of a....


Work at both the corporate job and the shop have been uber stressful lately. As in I have at least 4 - 1.5 hour meetings a day (on the phone because I'm responsible for overseas business units) and then those side ones where your manager calls you over to his desk "real quick". As for the shop, business is getting better and better, which is awesome, but since we man the ship ourselves, we get burnt out. Fast! I mentioned several times in the past we only close the shop once a year (Christmas till New Year's), but this year, the hubby is thinking about closing the shop sometime in the summer since the kids will be out of school. As in the kids in town. You didn't think... Oh no. no. no. no. Although there will be a post about that later on. Our shop is located directly in front of the high school and junior high so the kids make up a good chunk of our clientele and in the summer, they sleep in well past our closing hours. With this exciting news (while it's not set in stone that we will be closing), I couldn't help but daydream about potential vaca spots.

Only problem is, I have no idea where to go! The hubs and I got scuba certified on our honeymoon last year so I'd love to go somewhere that has lots to offer in the underwater world like

Or we could return to Hawaii. Where it all started!

Then there's the option of being a tourist and visiting places like

Or we can take a cruise, visit a place neither of us have ever been to, or just stay home and be bum bums and sleep in every day! There are numerous options available, but yet, I don't really have yearning for one in particular. Hmph!

What's your favorite vacation spot? Any suggestions on where we can go?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Recap (Apr 16 & Apr 17)

You know how when some one asks you if you want the good news or the bad news first? And you always respond with bad news first in hopes the good news will help buffer the pain cause by the blah news (no? Brave soul you!)? That's kind of how my weekend was, but I wasn't asked which I wanted first. Fortunately, I'm glad I got the bad news first because I would have hated to end my weekend/start my work week on bad news. *shudders*

Bad (might qualify as horrible) news: Friday was a rough, rough day y'all. Firstly, I had to wake up at 2am because the hubs forgot to bring some things to the shop and forgot to leave some things I desparately needed at the house so naturally I had a major small stress meltdown. After taking lots of deep breaths, I packed all my things necessary for work that day (e.g. work clothes, hair straightner, etc) along with the things the hubs forgot (e.g. suit, dress shoes and socks, etc.) and drove 45 minutes to the shop. Work day commenced as usual. Then, on the DART ride home, I was stuck IN a TUNNEL. for 2 flipping hours!! 2 frucking hours in the flipping dark!!!! Really? Sigh. When we finally were moving again, we experienced 2 more delays prior to reaching my stop - the last one on the line. Total commute time for a normal 40 minute commute - 3 hours. What a Friday.

= Not my friend that day{source}                          

With bad news, comes the good news right? Right!

Good news: We went over to a friend's house later that evening to celebrate Cambodian/Thai New Years and our dear friends Sopie and Ly were going to reveal the sex of their second child - with cupcakes!! Yum! How? They bought 2 dozen cupcakes (1 dozen red velvet, 6 strawberry shortcakes, and 6 chocolate passion) from

and one of the cupcakes was injected with a colored cream filling indictating the sex of the baby!! We were so excited about digging into the cupakes to look for the pink or blue icing, I totally didn't take pix! Boo! With all 24 cupcakes distributed and tore in half, the filling could not be found! WHAT?! Someone's holding out and we were all yelling with frustration and excitement as to who holds the special cupcake. Not cool. Not cool at all! Turns out, the filling wasn't in the middle. It was an itsy, bitsy, weensy squirt of icing underneath the mammoth cream cheese icing. It looked like this, but with the dap of icing inside the cupcake.

Pic from here, dot added by mwah

Yup. The dot literally was that big under all that icing! Who would have known it was there?! Natural assumption is in the middle right??? Tell me this is what you thought too? Common sense right? Any way, luckily someone noticed before devouring their cupcake. And as my awesome dot indicated above, they're having a girl! Perfect because their first born was a boy. Aw... perfection at its finest don't you think? I think so even if you don't!

More good news: Saturday was girl's day while the boys went fishing and shooting! For us girls, girl's day means eating. all. day. long. non. stop. while shopping. I literally put on 2 more pounds this weekend (d'oh!!), but all the delicious food was soooo worth it. That day. Now I have to workout 4x as hard so back to the grind. Tomorrow. Ha! Having quality time over yummy food all day with the girls is always worth it though. Always!

Even more good news: The hubby took me to the mall on Sunday and I got a mini shopping spree! Yay! Thanks hubby! In 1.5 hours, we found me a dress to wear to a wedding next weekend, panties at Victoria's Secret because I'm a coupon queen, and baking/counter mats from Crate and Barrel with their new Wedding Completion discount. Which means.... dum dum dummmm! I forsee baking cookies (as in different types of cookies) in my very, very near future. YES!

How was your weekend? Happy Monday everyone!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Friday!!

Guess what I did last niiiiight?? *hopping foot to foot with excitement* Oh come on!! Take a guess! (waits for response). Eh! Nope! Okay, okay, okay, I'll tell you, or rather show you! Look what IIIII made...

Chocolate Thin Mint Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Frosting

I finally had the opportunity to make these guys and was super stoked!! Seriously. I was doing a happy dance when I pulled the first batch out of the oven. The hubs shook his head in disbelief he married this crazy lady, but it's okay, our marriage is set in stone and I was elated with satisfying my baking itch. The frosting turned out runnier than I expected. Maybe I should have added more powdered sugar? It was awfully sweet already though... Hm...  

Chocolate Thin Mint Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Frosting (try saying that five times fast!)
Recipe replicated from The Farm Girl

½ c. Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ c. hot water
2 c. all-purpose flour
¾ t. baking soda
¾ t. baking powder
¾ t. coarse salt
1 c. butter, softened
1½ c. sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1¾ t. vanilla extract
2/3 c. sour cream, at room temperature
1 box Thin Mints
Mint Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
6 T. butter, softened
1/2 c. cocoa, for medium flavor
1/3 c. milk
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. mint extract

Got everything together? Great! Let's satisfy that mint chocolate craving (and getting rid of that LAST box of Thin Mint cookies)

Alright, first things first, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pans with paper liners and place one Thin Mint cookie in each liner.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Did I do fabulous job of mixing or what?!

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat.  

Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted.

Like this!

Transfer the sugar and butter mixture to an electric mixer bowl.  Beat on medium-low speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled.  

Not in a KitchenAid Mixer, but I told the hubs if this
mixer makes these recipes okay, I'll stop obsessing
daydreaming about the coveted KitchenAid Mixer

Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated.  

And just to show you what my mixer does - it mixes with centrifugal force so it looks like this, therefore, I have to hand scrape down the sides simultaneously as the mixer is mixing to get the above picture results, but I digress.

With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.

I forgot to take a picture of the completed batter. Sorry!

Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full

I wiped up the splatters prior to putting the pan in the oven

and bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Meanwhile, let's make the frosting!! Combine the butter, cocoa powder, milk, powdered sugar, and mint extract and mix until smooth.  

When the timer says baking time is up! Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes

then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Apparently, I need to quit taking overhead shots. Oops!

And last, but definitely not least - frost with lots of frosting (since mine turned out runny, it wasn't very pretty and made a big ole mess on my counter. Maybe the "missing" ingredient is heavy cream instead of milk??) and consume! The decision to share is purely up to you!

Ta da!! Not pretty, but they tasted yummy!!

And since I ran out of Thin Mints on my second batch (I may or may not have eaten one. or two Thin Mints at the beginning of this baking extravaganza. Don't judge!), I just poured the cupcake batter in the liner and they came out HUGE like muffins instead of cupcakes. So weird!!! I wonder why....

Happy Friday everyone, and have a fabulous weekend!!!


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