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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butterflies and princesses

last year i blogged about the baby shower of baby showers. click HERE to see the baby shower madness.

today we celebrated ashton’s 1st birthday.

the theme was butterfly princess. the colors were lime green, purple, and hot pink.

it was so cute. and it was a blast.

ashton’s grandparents own a mexican restaurant in colleyville, costa vida. there was a taco bar at the birthday. last year, for the baby shower, it was a fajita station. the food just keeps getting better and better. i ate 3 plates today. veggies and ranch dressing, crackers and cheese (the cheese was in the shape of a CROWN. a crown!), fruits, and chips with salsa, guacamole, and queso.

and then there’s the dessert table. oh, boy.

ashton’s grandmother made the cutest butterfly cake. she has never worked with fondant before. you would have never guessed, the cake was sooooooo cute. i gained 5,000 calories just looking at the dessert table. there were cookies and chocolates and marshmallow lollipops. i made pink and purple rice krispy treats and butterfly cupcakes. i was going to make crown-shaped sugar cookies using the same crown cookie cutter from the baby shower, but i was piping grass on the cupcakes until 5 am, so i didn’t get to the cookies.

the decorations around the house were amazing. the entrance had a sketch of baby ashton that one of her relatives did for her. the staircase had all the gifts. there was a table for the guests to sign in and take party favors. balloons and tulle and butterflies everywhere. it was just so cute and fun and bright.

it looked like a million bucks and costed next to nothing. it’s all about shopping sales and finding great bargains.

the party was awesome. my friend’s family is amazing. they’re so easy to talk to and so much fun to be around.

here are a ton of photos from the party. i had a long day today (after the party, i had a work dinner to attend…and it was at a mexican restaurant-haha) and i am exhausted.

i hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

xoxo

 

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MARIO BROS. CUPCAKES

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Here’s to another night of cutting fondant with an exacto knife. Buttercream icing was the choice of icing. I tried elevating the cupcakes to make them look like a screen shot but I’m running late for The Taste of Dallas, so I threw this together. The flowers were my favorite, but most time consuming. The Mario and Luigi are collectible dolls because I wasn’t going to take on the headache of making them with fondant. It was a really tight week this week with work and everything. How did I do?

xoxo,
sierra lei

cupcakes

i had to make baby shower cupcakes for my co worker’s sister’s baby shower. i saw this picture and thought it was cute:

 

the color palette i was working with was blue, green, and yellow. this is what i ended up with:

 

my little man helped me out by punching out blue circles. he was pretty happy that he got to help. and happier that i actually used the blue circles. =)

 

i have a co worker, madeleine, who made me a peach cobbler for my birthday…so for her birthday, i wanted to make her cupcakes…i knew she was in a book club, so i did some research of books for decorations.

 

 

i thought it was adorable…but i wanted it to look better…so this is what i came up with after 2 days of fondant coloring and blade slitting of little book pages (as shown in the first picture of the 2 pictures above)…

 

 

karon, my other co worker, got me an apple gift card for my birthday, so i wanted to make him a little something, too. he sings for his church, so i wanted to do musical notes.

 

this is what i came up with…after pulling up pictures of music sheets…

 

 

those were fun…but they were pretty hard. working with fondant is hard because my hands take a beating. every time i walk off to do something, i have to wash my hands well before i get back to the fondant, so my hands were super dry and unable to heal…until now! i’m in need of an amazing moisturizer right now…

my dear friend, jessica, also celebrated her 30th birthday…she is the one who gave me the cupcake holder for christmas, so i got to make her birthday cupcakes and display them in my cupcake holder!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my favorite tool to pipe lettering is a ziplock bag. until i find something better, it will be a ziplock bag. i pipe better when i write in cursive. my print is good on paper, but awful on a cupcake. i don’t know why that is.

i found this yummy buttercream icing. that is what the white icings on the cupcakes are. on madeleine’s cupcakes, i used a chocolate icing, which i also loved. i don’t even like sugar icing but those 2 recipes turned out great. i was very pleased. =)

anyways, there you are! cupcake madness!!!!!!

xoxo

 

january 19, 2012

ugh!!!! i’ve been so busy lately!!!!

where do i start!?

love life: 

so after my first date on january 6, i went on a lunch date with R (because i couldn’t think of a nickname, i’m just using a letter for now…haha) that following monday. we had sushi buffet. =) i was happy. things have been going great since then. i’ve been terribly busy so that was the last time i saw R, but it’s okay. i use other ways to communicate with him-we talk on the phone, text, and i shoot him emails often to let him know how my day has been. he’s real sweet. i think this would be the time in which girls ask themselves, “hmm…what IS bad about him? is there something on the other side? there has to be something.” nah, i’m not gonna look or try and figure that out. i’m not out to look for the bad in people. i don’t have time for that, and my first few weeks of the year have been GREAT, so why ruin it? =) he’s REALLY, REALLY sweet…like, “no, sierra, you better not be playing taylor swift over and over again” sweet. okay, enough of this mush…but hopefully, i’ll get to see him tomorrow. =)

moving along….

work life: 

work has been great. this week was inventory week and it’s finally over. when i think of inventory week, i think of all of us getting together, which is very rare, so it was fun. here are some pictures of more gorgeous NIQUEA.D jewelry. the bracelets are new. swarovski crystals. UUUUUUUUGH, SOOOOOOO PRETTTTTTYYYYY!!!! i want THEM ALL!!! and the rings are amazing.

 

my life: 

there are 7 days left until i turn 30. where did my 20s go? to texas. this year marks my 10th year here in dallas, texas. i love it. i’ve definitely enjoyed my 20s. they were spent discovering texas, driving through cities, making new friends, going to new places, meeting and loving my nephew, going to school and working, finding hobbies and passions, reading good books, eating good food, tasting bad alcohol, and breaking hearts. i was half joking on the last one.

i’m very excited for what my 30s have in store for me! =)

my nephew did very well in kindergarten, so he did not fail to remind “aunty ra ra” to give him a prize:

 

on the way home from spending too much money on whatever those things are, i drove by a field that looked great for pictures. the grass was almost all dead, there were no leaves on the trees, the sky looked nice, and the weather was great. i thought, “man…punkin would be great to take pictures of in that field.” and so i did take some pictures….if you consider 92 pictures “some.”

this first picture was just a test shot and it turned out great:

 

out of the other 91, here were some of my favorites. i usually need help from someone to get my nephew to look off in the distance, so i used my sister for that. there were a lot of “look at mommy!” and “look at the cars!” so i could capture some good photos. none of these photos were edited. he just looks that awesome. haha.

 

it was a fun little photo session. =) i’m glad my nephew loves getting his pictures taken or i’d be in big trouble! he’s so much fun to photograph. ❤

 

this week, i made 4 dozen cupcakes. my friend (who is also on my pool/billiards team) asked me to make birthday cupcakes for her husband and have them north carolina tarheels themed. all i knew about north carolina was “baby blue and white.” because i was so busy, i never got a chance to practice my piping skills, but i think they turned out pretty good…my friend’s husband was super happy for them…and even more pleased that he got to take them home. usually, when i make cupcakes and bring them to my pool league, they vanish…so what i did was make 2 dozen for him and 2 dozen for the people at pool league.

 

 

i would much rather pipe icing from a ziplock bag than a tip. i don’t seem to have as much control on the icing when i use a tip and i’m piping tiny letters. i think my lettering is pretty alright. the other 2 dozen cupcakes were just strawberry with a banana cream pudding/cool whip topping.

 

the great thing about a pudding/cool whip topping is that there’s not much sugar and it’s lighter. i found the recipe somewhere on the internet and was obsessed…because i hate sugar icing!! i wanted to do a take on strawberry and bananas. everyone seemed to enjoy the cupcakes, they kinda just disappeared. the picture doesn’t look spectacular because i was running late for pool league and i just squeezed the topping on before heading out the door.

next week, i will be working on baby shower cupcakes. i took a picture of a photo i saw on google images from my phone, so it’s not all that clear, but this photo is going to be somewhat of my inspiration for the cupcakes:

the colors will be baby blue, light green, and yellow. i won’t be doing the little baby cupcake there, with the head. i just want the decorations cute and simple, and something that wouldn’t take an entire day to make. i didn’t want to spend my birthday weekend making cupcake decorations. we’ll see what i end up doing, i might change my mind if i see something better.

i must say, i’m really enjoying my first month of the year. i’ve been in such a good mood lately, there’s a high possibility that i could be annoying a lot of people because of it. haha. but i hope you are all having a great jump start to 2012 as well. =)

that is all for now.

xoxo

i should be blogging every day…

i have too much to say on a daily basis, but once i get on my computer, my brain goes blank. this is why i should write everything down. i have personal jotter cards, a journal, a pocket calendar, an address book, and a planner in my purse and i can’t even write down what i want to put in my blogs. i should just write them on my hand so i don’t forget…

so here goes my past few days…

yeah, i’ve never been this obsessed with anyone’s cupcakes. sugar queen cupcakes are cupcakes i want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. i love how dense and moist their cupcakes are. but these cupcakes weren’t for me. they were someone’s special surprise a few days ago. 

 

the papyrus holiday cards have arrived! and the HANDMADES are prettier than ever!! i’m so stoked! guess which one in that picture i will be getting! i love our papyrus handmade boxed sets. they come in a box of 8 cards and lined envelopes for $24.95. they can have anything from felt cutouts to gems, laser cuts, glitter, ribbons, and more. i had the picture enlarged so y’all could see the embellishments on the cards. enjoy.

 

i had a nice and relaxing past few days. it’s rare that i don’t think about doing work when i’m at home, so the past 2 days felt like a semi-vacation, which was nice. my dad would get a kick out of the fact that i probably watched more sports in the past 2 days than i have in the past year. that’s probably including the movie “moneyball” that i watched recently…i’m not sure. haha.

 

i have the motherload of all cupcake projects.

150 cupcakes with purple high heels.

aaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!

so i did my research…

this was the best decoration i saw online, but i don’t know if that’s edible…if it is, then that’s one TINY BRUSH being used to make that zebra print on there!

when i was told that the color was purple, i IMMEDIATELY thought of these gorgeous cupcakes that my friend, michelle, made last year. she made them for her daughter, and i thought they were AH-MAZING:

that purple/silver combo is one of my favorite color combinations. this picture looks like it came out of a magazine. i love following michelle’s facebook because she bakes and makes these amazing creations that i’ve either never heard of or never tried…like PIG CAKE! i have known michelle for about 10 years now. back when i was 19 (now you all know my real age), i went to a valentine’s dinner with my mom, aunt, and grandmother. a few days later, my friend, grace, told me that michelle saw me at the dinner and wanted me to join the 2001 MISS NMI UNIVERSE pageant. first reaction: NO. second reaction: WHAT!? third reaction: take grace with me to watch “miss congeniality” with sandra bullock to see what this beauty pageant business was about. fourth reaction: if one of the most beautiful women on the island tells you to join a beauty pageant, you take it as a great compliment and you join it. i think all of us looked at michelle as the women we wanted to be-she’s so elegant and feminine and classy. she was engaged at the time and would tell us stories of her then-fiance-now-husband and all the sweet things he would do for her or surprise her with. we were just a bunch of giddy girls every time michelle told us stories. i loved it. i loved that year. now michelle is happily married with 2 beautiful daughters. she’s such a beautiful fairy tale. ❤ there’s my little story and picture inspiration that michelle kindly allowed me to post! thank you, michelle!

in between thinking of what i could do for the cupcakes, i got the chance to pick up my little man from school! he’s my favorite shopping partner, so i decided to plan a trip to michaels right after the school pick up. i was hoping to find edible silver paint, but i didn’t find any. i found silver powder, though. and halloween products:

i always have fun when my nephew poses for pictures and gets creative!

my mom told me that i needed to take my nephew on a mc donald’s date…well, she told me this months ago…but better late than never. besides, he knew it was going to happen.

walking into michaels…

“ra ra, can we get something to eat in here (michaels)? i’m actually hungry” (“actually” seems to be his word of the month)

“no, punkin. there’s no food in here. what do you feel like eating?”

“i think we should go to mc donald’s. i’m sure there’s one around here somewhere.”

there you go, mom. proof that i have completed my task. he needs about 5 more years on him before i take him out to a dinner date like you want me to do. i can handle him in any store and any fast food place, but NOT in a restaurant. not yet, at least.

the project high heel cupcakes will be for october 22, but i decided to try cutting some today just to get some creative ideas going. i bought a bunch of magazine last week to read up on some current trends:

back home, in saipan, my mom and i would stock up on our monthly magazines. i decided to start that habit again, just to make sure i’m up to date with everything that is going on in the fashion world. one of these came in handy when i was looking for pictures of heels that i could cut out…i didn’t know whether i wanted to do one type of heel or a few. i decided to do 3 pairs of heels:

 

all my supplies were brought to you by wilton. it’s a good thing i am starting early on this project because i don’t like the first run i did on the shoes. i want embellishments on the shoes, definitely. the silver powder didn’t show up how i thought it would. the pearl sprinkles will not be used on the shoes because they just don’t look right. there will be some painting, but i also want BLING. hopefully there is such thing as edible crystals. little edible crystals. i could make these shoes look spectacular with NON-EDIBLE supplies, but i’m too scared that someone might take a bite into the decoration on accident. i’ll do more decoration research before i decide on how to decorate the shoes. for now, i made 4 blank cut outs of each shoe because i dyed and rolled out a lot of fondant and i didn’t want to waste it.

my shoe inspiration is one of the cut outs that i blew up to fit the whole page and taped to my bedroom wall:

i thought that was just a graphic until i found out that it really is a shoe….that costs about $530. woooooo! that brand, jellyfish, sells hand painted shoes and accessories that are out of CTRL. they’re so cool, and that shoe is just insane!

my next few weeks are going to be jam-packed with tons of fun and work. parties. weddings. the state fair of texas. TAYLOR SWIFT! pool league. project high heel cupcakes. business training. the beginning of the holiday season. where has the year gone!? i wish i blogged earlier this year so i could read back on how the past 9 months flashed before my eyes. this has definitely been the busiest year i have had to date. “time flies when you’re having fun.” wow, it’s so true. i have many, many people to thank for that. and that leads me to my next paragraph.

next year is going to be big. it’s going to be my year. it’s not so much the part about being the big 30 (although it’s not all that bad), but more because all good things will happen. and i’m excited. i don’t think i’ve ever been this excited going into the next year as i have been lately. i thank all my friends and family for their support in the decisions that i make and have made.

on that note, you all have a good night, and enjoy my little fondant fun:

xoxo