short update

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a bunch of my friends raved about how much they loved this photo when i posted it on instagram. i took it at 3 a.m. after shooting pool for 7 hours. all i did was throw my hair down (to measure my bangs, because they’re in bad need of a trim) and add a filter. boom. done.

my sister recently got engaged. it has taken precedence over shooting pool now, and sometimes sleeping. i have realized how much of a perfectionist i am when i found myself spending weeks trying to decide on paper colors (wedding invitations) and ribbon shades. roll your eyes if you must but this is my only sister and the closest i will ever get to being this involved in someone’s wedding (excluding mine, which i do not have a plan for when the time comes). i want it to be PERFECT. i want it to be so perfect that my sister can’t stand it. save the dates, wedding invites, menu cards, escort cards, programs, napkins, you name it, i’m doing it all. some will be a surprise for the couple. i will ask my sister if i can share any information on the wedding, but for now, my instagram will only show abstract images of planning and preparation. it’s very exciting. i can’t wait to see my parents!!!!!!!

next week is restaurant week and I AM EXCITED! i will be dining at 3 restaurants i have never been to, so i am stoked. i will also be attending my sister’s wedding venue tasting and going to NOLA for my brother’s birthday weekend. there will be lots of food for the next week and a half. lots of new food. lots of good food.

for now, i will get back to sister-wedding stuff.

hope you all have a wonderful week!

xoxo

the most fun that taxes will ever get

i have a co-worker named kim.

kim is fantastic. she’s funny, she’s beautiful, and she’s super awesome-you know, the perfect co-worker. i like to write her notes at work.

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kim is so sweet. she always brings snacks to work (she got us girls into gluten-free pretzels. have you tried them? they’re FLIPPIN’ AMAZING! all $7 of the bag!!) and would get me drinks while i worked my gift wrap station during the holidays (i was so busy that i pretty much never had time to even get myself a drink or a snack) or on any day, really. she brings me little gifts. for my birthday this year, she gave me flowers and a balloon!!!!!!

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kim is my mom’s age and what’s great about working with her or knowing her is that she is definitely more wise. she has dated, she has been married, she has kids, she has grandkids, she owned companies, she travels, she has had her shares of ups and downs, and she gives great advice. she’s great to talk to and confide in, and she’s non-judgemental. she’s very caring and kind. like i said, “the perfect co-worker.”

well, now we go to her husband. he’s pretty perfect, too. talk about a power couple. you want to hear a good love story? you talk to kim. kim and her husband are just a fantastic couple. the couple you look at and think, “i want THAT.” you can also look at them and want to cry and eat a 10 pound tub of ice cream because you don’t have that, but it depends on how you look at it-so think positive. haha. they are very loving and fun and romantic and sweet. they are so great together, i really could hear kim tell me stories all day. well, i’m not going to dive into their personal history (she really could write a book about her life, let me tell you), but kim’s husband’s birthday had passed a few weeks ago and i had the pleasure of being a part of it.

kim asked if i could make her husband some cupcakes for his work (and if so, she would cancel her cake order at a bakery). he loves white cake with white frosting. it can’t get any more simple than that. he’s a CPA. she thought it would be cute to put mini pencils on the cupcake. i suggested writing his name on the icing in front of the pencils. white cake, white icing, a pencil, his name. done?

nope.

the night before i was to make the cupcakes, i decided to google images to think of other ideas for the cupcakes and i came across this:

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of course, i took a look at it and thought, “hm, i can make that better.” i like to look at cupcake decoration photos and try to make mine better, yes. i mean, who doesn’t try to be better? now, whether my decorations were good or not is up to you. i made a few “tax-themed” cupcake decorations until 4:30 a.m…i made mini 1040 forms. mini 1040 forms!!! try piping THAT! a ziplock bag was needed to pipe the finest lines i’ve ever piped. i also made another basic calculator and a monthly calendar of april, circling april 15, tax day.

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of course i did the 1040 form wrong when i put “2013” but that’s okay. i knew i was going to do something wrong somewhere. the office still loved the cupcakes.

i thought it was funny that i was planning on making simple cupcakes but ended up doing what i always do-staying up late with an exacto knife. it was fun-it was surely something i wanted to put on my blog (and duh, it was on instagram the day i made them-so i know i’m way late!) because i notice how rare these cupcake decorations are. i thought they were fun to make and i’m surprised not many people made accountant-themed cupcakes. i hope i impressed some of my accountant friends, and of course, my co-worker’s husband.

i made vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream icing. i decided to dye the icing pink because it’s kep’s favorite color-and mine. i couldn’t find my wider piping tips, so i had to improvise. i really need to invest in 2 of every wilton piping tip, i swear. and a case to put them all in.

well, here is my final result. what do you think? =) thanks, kim, for liking my last-minute designs for the cupcakes!

xoxo,

sierra lei

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happy terrific two

today is my 2 year anniversary of blogging. 

first of all, i want to say thank you for reading my blog. and all of its randomness. 

i have enjoyed meeting as many of you as i can (via blog comments, emails, facebook, instagram, etc…). i have enjoyed reading your blogs. i have enjoyed trying your recipes and experiencing your life through your stories. i have enjoyed reading about ingredients i don’t even like, and have not “enjoyed” reading about your dating woes and disasters. but you are all fantastic writers, and that’s what keeps me reading. 

there’s nothing sophisticated or themed about my blog. it’s just a bunch of random experiences that i want to share. 

and with that said, stay tuned for more random experiences that i will still be sharing!

may you all have a fantastic week. =)

xoxo,

sierra lei

 

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what a lovely sunday

today was jessica’s bridal shower. i worked with jessica back in 2008. she had been dating her fiance, steven, for a few months. now, 5 years later, they are getting married. my, how time flies! the bridal shower was so much fun. i usually don’t like going to events if i don’t know many people, and i only knew jessica at the bridal shower but it was such a nice atmosphere with everyone chatting and meeting everyone. the hostess, one of the bridesmaids, was so very sweet and accommodating. she did a great job with the decor and food (i can’t BELIEVE i did not take a picture of the food! whatwasithinking!?!?). i love watching the opening of the presents because i find it very exciting. i got jessica the wilton ultimate bake and carry set, which was on her registry. i thought it would make a great gift coming from me, being a baker (well, i like the decorating part, but whatever).

 

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that’s such a neat gift to give someone who wants to start baking! jessica got so many cool gifts, i was keeping a mental inventory of everything i wanted for my kitchen.

i am SO excited for jessica and steven’s wedding. i have watched the couple evolve over the years and i can’t believe the big day is quickly arriving. jessica was one of those girls who knew what she wanted before she got engaged. i slowly start to realize how much easier it is when a bride has a sense of what she wants for her wedding before she gets engaged. i’m going to be in deep trouble in that department. you’d think that since i work in a stationery boutique i’d know what i want. haha! not at all. i did jessica and steven’s wedding invitations and it took all of 5 minutes or something (totally over exaggerating but you get the idea). i didn’t expect to be able to go to the wedding because last year i had left the country, but i came back 3 months later, and now i get to go!!!!! i can’t WAIT to take photos of the wedding. the venue is SUPER BEAUTIFUL and absolutely breathtaking. it was voted as one of the best venues by the knot for 5 years in a row. i am looking forward to everything: the ceremony, the food, the cake, and everything in between. i think my photos will come out great because it’s a daytime wedding.

until those photos make it to the blog, here are some of the bridal shower photos. enjoy!

 

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did i mention how excited i am for the wedding?

😉

xoxo

random thoughts. a recipe. future plans. and stuff.

warning: this blog is not in any chronological order…or in any organized format. i’m sure it will be randomness that will bounce around from thought to thought. enjoy.

i realized that i didn’t post a picture of the decorations of those lemon cupcakes that i baked a month ago. they were done for a captain of one of my pool teams, penny. she’s the best. she’s one of the most thoughtful friends i have. she helped me during my juice fast by informing me about which store was selling their fruits and veggies at what prices. i’m terrible at shopping so she saves me a lot of money! she shoots on both 8 ball and 9 ball teams, so i decided to make little decorations! i know a lot of the guys were envious. too bad because i don’t replicate the decorations i create (don’t ask me why, maybe it’s because i want them to be exclusive for the person i’m making them for). here they are:

8 ball and 9 ball cupcakes!

alrighty then. the recipe for the mini nutella cheesecakes…here we go!

mini nutella cheesecakes, done on may 25, 2012

the recipe makes 12 mini cheesecakes:

for the crust:

-6 oreos without the cream filling. i throw away the cream filling. you can eat it. i actually don’t like sugar icing or filling.

-1 tbsp butter (i put 1 1/2 because…well…i love butter?)

—->preheat oven to 325 degrees.

—->crush the oreos until they are fine. my friend had a PAMPERED CHEF chopper, so i went to town with it and then threw them in a sifter so i could make sure it was VERY FINE…pre-PAMPERED CHEF CHOPPER, i was taking a hammer to the oreos in a ziplock bag. i. will. never. do. that. again. SHOOT ME.

—->after you crush the oreos, melt the butter and stir it in with the oreos. distribute them into the 12 muffin cups. i don’t like pressing the oreos with my fingers. i use the bottom of a spoon and twist the muffin cup around as i press down on the oreo crust. it works much faster. (i really should have taken pictures of this process, i’m sorry, y’all…)

for the filling:

-4 oz. of cream cheese which should be room temperature and soft.

-1 tbsp of sugar (i never really measure, to be honest. i just take a heaping spoon and throw it in)

-a dash of vanilla

-2 tbsps of nutella (i, once again, use heaping spoonfuls. why not?)

-1 egg yolk

—->with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it’s creamy. mix in the rest of the ingredients, scraping the bowl in between mixing. use a little spoon to distribute the mixture into the muffin cups. it will be enough to fill each cup.

—->bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. i pull them out after 12 minutes.

my brother was my first taste tester. he loved them but he said he couldn’t taste the nutella. he’s ALL ABOUT tasting the nutella. so what i did was throw some nutella in a piping bag and zig zagged a design on the top of the cheesecakes…for more nutella goodness. and there you have it, folks! i did more nutella cheesecakes for my friend’s bridal shower this past weekend and although i love my new dozen pan, i had to run to the store to get a 24 mini muffin pan.

new toy!

i want to make more “mini anythings” with this now…yay!

rewinding a little bit…

i think i have a post-it on my forehead that says “HIT ON ME NOW” because i’ve been experiencing something unusual with guys lately. i got hit on by 2 different guys while just grabbing a drink in a gas station one night. i got hit on in the parking lot of a bar once but i think the guy was hammered off his butt and shouldn’t have been driving. i met a guy who ended up wanting to know where i was every night, and would invite himself over. no, i don’t hand my number out like candy. i was doing a friend a favor and that backfired on me. darnit. *glares…….then laughs* one of my guy friends had some epiphany in the middle of the night that i was “the one” and when i say “the one” i mean “the one he wants to be with because he knows that i think his kids are adorable and he wants to date someone to share his responsibilities.” yes, my friend said he wants to date because he wants someone to help him with his responsibilities, aka his kids, because their mother abandoned them. wow. that’s pretty…..crazy. and then he instantly fell in love with me around 2 a.m. of texting me during one of my late night baking adventures and i pretty much lost all my interest in being his friend. because you don’t do that. and you don’t get drunk and call me at 3 a.m. thinking it’s cute, either. another guy friend decided to be brave as well and try to transition from “guy friend” to “potential boyfriend.” that didn’t work, either. especially when i haven’t seen you in over 6 months, buddy. what are we going to have, a text message relationship? some of my guy friends have gotten pretty ballsy lately, and it has failed on their part. and it makes me sad sometimes, because it just….makes our friendship take an uncomfortable route. one of my married friends asked me if i thought he was cute. what!? what does it matter!?!? it was the way he asked it that threw the red flag up. i swear, some people…

people wonder why i’m single. it’s been almost a year. the answer is this. it’s because i have spent a majority of the year being hung up on a guy that won’t give me the time of day. story of my life. i’m surrounded by great guys and my dumb self is too fixated on someone who genuinely likes me but is not ready to commit. that’s who i am. i’m the girl that you can see yourself settling down with, but you’re not ready to settle yet because you still want to be a boy. the past year has really dragged me down because i couldn’t snap out of it. when you’re told by a few guys about how wonderful you are, but are also told that you’re the type of girl that shouldn’t ever be hurt…therefore they don’t want to pursue you…it kinda hurts for a while. but then it also saves you from wasting your time. i am fully aware that i am not perfect. i know that i may have those days in which i might blame my boyfriend for something he never even did, maybe because i’m just in a bad mood or i’m PMSing (fine, i’ve never done that before, but still). i am fully aware that i make mistakes on a weekly (or even daily) basis. i might have an argument here or there that shouldn’t have even be made in the beginning. i’m not perfect. but if you think i am, then fine. i’ll just find someone who is as “perfect” as i am. and i’ll most likely think of him the way the guys think of me. oh, story of my life.

i feel like deleting those 2 paragraphs, but i’ll just move along…

last week, i decided to get a kiddie pool, some bubbles, water balloons, water guns, and a slip n’ slide for the backyard so my nephew and i could have a wateriffic day after he got out of kindergarten. i ended up babysitting my niece as well, so we had a mini water park set up in my backyard and went to town. i don’t get to be a fun aunt as much as i want to-in fact, i don’t remember the last time i was a fun aunt, and that makes me sad…i must do it more often.

it’s not a slip n’ slide, it’s an army crawl mat!

on may 25, in between my late night baking adventure, i went bowling with a bunch of friends. i love bowling. i mean, I LOVE BOWLING. i don’t think i’m good but i don’t care. i even convinced duncan to wear his gray v-neck because i found a gray v-neck that i apparently bought sometime i-don’t-know-when that still had the tag on it…so we took a picture together.

the crew. we fight to be the worst bowler or the best bowler.

of course my name is CUPCAKE! our results after game 1.

we were v-neck twinkies!

after hours dining with….aunt jemima?

i enjoy hanging out with friends at least once a week and doing activities that don’t include shooting pool. i want to bowl every friday night now. woot!

i was going to post about the 10 day juice fast that i did, but it’s past 2 a.m. and i have to be up in 5 hours for work. that was the reason why i asked the question about the nicest thing you have done for yourself.

my friend is getting married this week. i am one of her bridesmaids. i am going to have one heck of a week this week. it’s going to be so much fun and so draining at the same time. but that’s usually what happens when you have fun. =) my friend, tony, will be my date, as usual. i blogged about him being my wedding date back in october, here is the blog. he will be my date for this week’s wedding, and i will be his date for a wedding at the end of june. it’s going to be fun, as always! i have a wedding in may, 2013, and guess who will be my date to that one!!!…..yes, tony. =)

i apologize for not responding to many comments posted on my blog. this month has worn me out. i thought i wouldn’t be as busy this year as i was last year, but it seems to be a repeat. hopefully things slow down enough for me to have a few days by the pool and a few chances to do more activities this summer!!

i really should go to bed now…

xoxo!

for those of you who just walked in…

…hi!

 

i looked through my iphoto to find a picture of anything i took a year ago…and the funny thing is that my gravatar image (that would be the thumbnail picture of me, right?) is actually a photo that i took exactly one year ago. so there you go! but if i was to post a picture of THREE years ago, these are some pictures of my little man (a.k.a. my “rent-a-kid”…or “nephew” if we want to keep things simple) and i when a bunch of us friends and kids went to the park for some football and fun:

 

that was one of my most favorite days of taking pictures. we all wore white shirts and blue jeans and the kids (all age 2 at the time) looked super cute and were fun to take pictures of. the weather was nice and it was just a great day. so there’s a bit of a “blast from the past.”

i love reading blogs…or looking at pictures. i love pictures. i love everything visual. the topics of blogs that i love reading are art, photography, fashion, makeup, pastries, dating, and cupcakes. yes, i have a tab for “cupcakes” and a tab for “pastries.” haha.

*art: i have always loved art. i wanted to be an artist when i was little. i love monochromatic art. i love abstract art. i love graffiti. i love cartoons. i love caricatures. i love watercolors. i love sketches. it’s easy to tell what i like because when i see something, my eyes get big. haha.

*photography: i’m just a gal with a sony cybershot camera, nothing fancy. but i can take a trillion pictures in a small amount of time. i just like taking pictures. if i had to frame every picture i took that i loved, i’d need a few houses. i love looking at photographer’s websites. i wish i could be photographed to look editorial. i loved watching “america’s next top model” because there were so many behind-the-scenes activities going on in the show. if a photographer came up to me and said, “i would love to shoot you one day,” I’D BE ALL FOR THAT! that would be so cool! photographers do amazing work, i can’t even get into it. THERE ARE SOME that i am far from fond of. one of my favorite photographers is dave lachapelle. very colorful and crazy.

*makeup: another reason why i love photography. i love looking at the makeup job that is done on the models. i have NEVER been taught how to put on makeup, so i thank youtube for that. i have come to the conclusion that the “crease” eyeshadow look is not for my eyelid type, but the smokey eye definitely is. i love beauty products, but i hate the fact that they’re really costly. i am constantly looking for tips on how to put on makeup, how to have good skin, and how to buy products. i guess the first step is to drink water. that is something i RARELY do and should start getting on. eek!

*pastries/cupcakes: since they’re both in the same category…and they’re self-explanatory…need i say more? haha. i love pastries. i love flaky pastries, mini desserts, cupcakes, moist cakes, marshmallow icing on anything, and AMAZING decorations. when it comes to my love for cupcakes, i actually just like the decorating part. and eating cupcakes, of course…i don’t usually eat my own cupcakes because i am around them all the time. i have taste testers for that. sometimes i’ll have one friend taste test, sometimes i’ll have a few friends. i love reading dessert blogs and food blogs. and when they have pictures, I LOVE THEM MORE. everyone asks how i stay skinny (currently weighing in at 112 lbs.)…i don’t really know. i just say “don’t exercise, eat everything you want, and don’t ever sleep.” but i shouldn’t be saying that because i’d really love to start being fit (toned all over) and start getting into a healthier lifestyle. and, like i said, i guess the first step is to start drinking water…i really don’t enjoy things that don’t have flavor…ugh.

*dating: i’m just a very curious person about the personal lives of others. dallas is such a shallow city. i don’t mean to talk crap about it, but there are trophy wives left and right and up and down in this city. it is quite hard to make friends that you know you WILL keep for a really long time. people think they’re better than you. material things matter. and after your late 20s, kids start popping up and it’s not just dating single people anymore-it’s dating single parents. people’s dating lives are very interesting to me. why people break up, why people stay together, why people keep leaving each other and coming back, there are so many reasons. i am such a sucker for love stories. how he proposed, what he gave her for valentine’s day, what he did to make her day better when she was feeling down, i can’t stop hearing or reading about it. i have some friends who have some of the most amazing boyfriends and husbands i have ever heard of. after over 10 years of marriage and he still gives you flowers at least once a month? he serves you breakfast in bed? he had flowers delivered to you AND your single friends on valentine’s day? where do you GET THESE GUYS? it’s amazing. i have yet to read stories like these in blogs, so maybe i’ll have to do more reading…as if i don’t already do enough.

-this week was my sister’s birthday week. this was us on her birthday week FOUR years ago:

when she turned 21 (8 years ago), i started a tradition of getting us matching outfits for her birthday and taking her out to dinner, whether or not she had a boyfriend. on this night, i took her out for a fondue dinner (her request). this was also the year that we did 2-day celebrations, so this next picture was us the next day when a group of us went out to dinner to celebrate her birthday (again):

it was the middle of the night. we were hot and messy. but still dressed identical. =) and for future reference, she is always on the right and i am always on the left. haha.

i really should get to bed. it’s past 3 a.m. and i have to be up for work at 9 a.m…and i will be hating myself.

don’t get on pinterest, sierra….don’t get on pinterest………………………………

xoxo

randomness at 1 a.m.

-i have a hard time watching tv….probably because i grew up not watching it. yesterday, i decided to explore the channels beyond the food network. i watched “my crazy obsession” which was…insane! it was the episode in which one wife had a collection of 5,000 mickey mouse toys/figurines and a lady had a wig obsession. i’d never collect mickey mouse anything, but i’d probably want to own about 10-20 wigs. it would be fun to have short hair for a day or two. the other show i watched was “wife swap” which was also crazy. the wife (husband/wife income is $200,000+) who has their kids take a shower for the length of only 2 songs and makes them pay for their plane tickets on their family vacations trades off with the wife (husband/wife income is $40,000) who is obsessed with her 12 year old son (who is her best friend) and has never slept in the same bed as her husband of 19 years. i don’t think i picked good shows to watch. are there any shows y’all recommend?

-i’ll admit, i’ve been enjoying my MYSPACE music player. after being curious as to why 1 million users were added to myspace  and discovering the music player, i decided to give it a try a few weeks ago, and have been enjoying it. every time i remember a song that i like, i just add it onto my player and hit “save.” it’s a clusterbunch of songs of all genres, but i love it.

-my parents have an anniversary coming up. i don’t know how many years it has been, but it has been long enough for me to be proud. or long enough for me to want the same number of anniversaries, and more.

-i have decided to finish off the session shooting pool on my 3 pool teams before taking a break. that might be a nice way of saying “quitting the sport” but i’m not sure. it hasn’t been fun in the past year and work has been taking up more of my time for me to commit to shooting pool. aside from my close circle of buddies (a.k.a. “the friends i hug when i either say ‘hi’ or ‘bye’ to), i don’t really care for the others. it’s kinda hard being a girl in a room full of men. i’m sure most girls absolutely love it, but it’s pretty irritating. it’s irritating getting hit on every night. it’s irritating hearing tasteless and inappropriate things from immature men. it’s irritating having new girls come into the leagues and think they’re the new “it” thing. little do they know that men will have their way with these girls, and after a year, a new batch of girls will come in and the process will start all over again. if i was on the team i had 2-3 years ago, i’d most likely keep shooting pool. it was a good team-and by “good” i don’t mean award-winning, even though we were. it was the team chemistry that i loved the most. we practiced together, hung out together, and had fun together. we were structured and organized and disciplined. we were very supportive of each other. and on friday nights, we’d all text each other to meet up at a bar to hang out, and we’d have a blast. those were the good times. i don’t miss the part in which i did pool drills until 2 a.m. because those weren’t fun. but those drills made me the pool player that i am now. i’m alright. i’m a decent shot for a girl, but i’m not the pool player that wants to be THE BEST. if i wanted to be the best, i would be it by now. but other things matter to me at the moment…like wanting to spend more time with my nephew because i get lucky if i even see him once a week now…or spend more time alone because i am constantly surrounded by people…or spend more time doing other activities that i enjoy, like bowling or going to the movies or reading. i used to shoot about 30 hours of pool a week. nowadays i shoot about 5-8 hours, and i can’t even be doing that anymore. i don’t want to be doing that anymore. i have a baby shower to plan and i have a friend who is getting married this summer. i want to focus on THOSE. and focus on hitting the pool every chance i get over the summer.

-i want the new ipad coming out. i will get the new ipad coming out. but i will wait until the lines die down, because i will never be one of those people who stand in line for 3 hours for ANYTHING.

-i like the song “we are young” by fun. i can see myself singing it at the top of my lungs if it comes on the radio when jennifer and i hang out.

-dating is so hard nowadays. why couldn’t i just settle for one of the rich guys that passed through years ago and called it a day? oh, because i have standards. and because money means absolute nothing when it comes to dating. and because i want to do everything right the first time. right. that’s why i’m still single.

that’s all i’ve got for lately.

xoxo