sip swirl clink

Is champagne in the bathroom a luxury or a necessity?  Debatable, I suppose – we probably don’t need it while going to the bathroom but it might be nice while taking a bubble bath.  On the other hand, if champagne in the bathroom is reason enough to get you excited — then it’s absolutely necessary.

A group of friends had brunch at Blackbird Cafe, and I made a quick trip to the bathroom before we left.  I’m easy to please, I guess, because I got all kinds of excited about a ‘press for champagne’ button on the wall.  I texted my friend Lauren to “meet me in the bathroom ASAP.”
Lauren entered a few seconds later, and she loved the quirky artwork as much as I did.  We loved it so much, in fact, that we did the little photoshoot you see above.  All in all, we went home more happy about the bathroom decor than the brunch menu.
Like I said, easy to please, right?  But the thing is, I like when people get excited about small, seemingly unimportant things.  On the surface it might seem like dramatic or silly behavior, but, on a deeper level, it’s revealing of a strong sense of appreciation.Image
If you can appreciate quirky bathroom decor then you’re without-a-doubt able to appreciate kindness, generosity, friendship and loyalty — the larger things that make life special.

Remember the coffee picture above? Transformed into a reminder:IMG_6184

do you carrot all?

An easy way to find out if your friend ‘carrot alls’ is to ask them to watch your puppy for a weekend.   For some reason, ‘carrot all’ made me think of ‘carrotalls’ – like carrot overalls, and I ended up drawing this picture:

But, dear reader, what we’re here to talk about today is not carrot alls, but thanking people with carrots.  Jon and I are going out of town for my birthday, and I sent my next-door-neighbor a text to see if she would mind puppy sitting for me:

I know, I know, she is the best.  She said presents aren’t necessary, but I disagree 100%.  I figure everyone loves carrot cake, and what could be nicer than carrot cake in a mason jar?  An ‘Eat now or save for later’ sort of thing?  I decided to fancy-it-up a bit and do three layers: caramel,  carrot cake, and homemade cheesecake frosting.

I used a box cake:
Made the cream cheese frosting from scratch:Image
Put caramel bites on the bottom of the jar:
Added the carrot cake:
nd then topped the cake with the homemade cream cheese frosting:ImageImage

Lastly, I gave Kinzie a bath to prepare for her weekend away.  Here is the during and after photo:Image

donut mind if i do

Imagecelebrate the opening of Apricot Lane, that is!  If you’ve been reading the blog, you know how excited I am for Laura to be opening her dream boutique.  She’s filled the place with stylish clothes and even more stylish girls to help you figure out how to wear them.  

Since we all know I love parties, I stopped by this morning with a donut cake for the Apricot Lane team.  We ate a little bit, laughed a lot, and used those candles to wish Laura good luck.  Congratulations again!!


party in the streets for my favorite dead author

i spent six months teaching english at a school for impoverished children at the municipal dump in puerto vallarta, mexico.  you probably just read that sentence twice for all the abnormalities– as in, this girl taught english at a dump?  and the dump had a school?  the short answer is yes, yes i did.  i volunteered to teach english (as in zero pay) six hours a day to 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students living off the waste found in the area.  many of the families living at the dump built homes on the side of the pit, and they sold recycled waste to tourists in trendy downtown puerto vallarta. a group of canadians opened a nonprofit english school near the dump so that the children would have a healthy breakfast and learn enough english to work in the tourist zone.

i made a game of finding english books by scouring hostels, coffee shops, and, when necessary, simply asking tourists if they had recently finished anything.  i got lucky when I found Walden Pond in a hostel while visiting the fishing/surfing village of sayulita. i knew a little about the author, Thoreau, from my philosophy minor, but i had never read about the transcendentalist’s solo sojourn into the woods. the first chapter convinced me that we were kindred spirits, and I finished the nearly 500 page novel by the end of the weekend (as in, no surfing or swimming for me – i never left the hammock).

three years have passed since I volunteered in mexico, but I still try to live by the simple wisdom imparted throughout Walden Pond.  this year, i decided to celebrate thoreau’s 197th birthday with the people of minneapolis.  now, you’re probably wondering who celebrates a dead author’s birthday? quite simply, i do.  i baked cookies to look like Walden Pond, and i made cards out of my favorite Thoreau quotes.  with treats in hand, i took to the streets to get the party started:ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage