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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june in pictures

here are 10 random cell phone photos of june with captions.

enjoy!

xoxo,

sierra lei

 

a day at the dallas arboretum with my friends. we like to color-coordinate when we go out. this photo was thought of by our friend, alexis (in the hat). it was hot as HELL that day but it was a blast!

a day at the dallas arboretum with my friends. we like to color-coordinate when we go out. this photo was thought of by our friend, alexis (in the hat). it was hot as HELL that day but it was a blast!

oh. just a photo at 3 a.m. after i took my hair down.

oh. just a photo at 3 a.m. after i took my hair down.

i bumped into a mustache necklace at forever 21 one day. dang that store, they have so many impulse buys there! but i do love my mustache necklace. i'm not into the mustache craze by any means, but i had to have that necklace. and i even wear it to work.

i bumped into a mustache necklace at forever 21 one day. dang that store, they have so many impulse buys there! but i do love my mustache necklace. i’m not into the mustache craze by any means, but i had to have that necklace. and i even wear it to work.

my nephew will love taking photos when he grows up. i am to blame. when we are sitting around, we will take a thousand pictures of ourselves...and this is one of a series of photos taken while we were waiting for my sister to finally come out of hobby lobby. my nephew has the best faces, i could make an entire blog post on all my favorites.

my nephew will love taking photos when he grows up. i am to blame. when we are sitting around, we will take a thousand pictures of ourselves…and this is one of a series of photos taken while we were waiting for my sister to finally come out of hobby lobby. my nephew has the best faces, i could make an entire blog post on all my favorites.

my friend/co-worker, christine, had a baby boy at the end of july. her diaper drive was so adorable. the cupcakes were so cute. i did not make them. haha.

my friend/co-worker, christine, had a baby boy at the end of july. her diaper drive was so adorable. the cupcakes were so cute. i did not make them. haha.

my new neighbor across the hall at work. the bigger and better version of apple northpark. i get to stare at apple boys every day! how cool is that! the girls are pretty nice, too. haha.

my new neighbor across the hall at work. the bigger and better version of apple northpark. i get to stare at apple boys every day! how cool is that! the girls are pretty nice, too. haha.

i write to a little russian girl back home. she spends her summers with her grandmother in russia. her grandmother did the silver design on the plate BY HAND. it is one of the most amazing gifts i have ever received.

i write to a little russian girl back home. she spends her summers with her grandmother in russia. her grandmother did the silver design on the plate BY HAND. it is one of the most amazing gifts i have ever received.

my new favorite card line, old tom foolery. this is a card from their footnote collection. they're hilarious. and fun. and i love all their collections. and i follow the owner on instagram. and i met her mother at my work a few weeks ago. i'm a big fan. the cards are so awesome.

my new favorite card line, old tom foolery. this is a card from their footnote collection. they’re hilarious. and fun. and i love all their collections. and i follow the owner on instagram. and i met her mother at my work a few weeks ago. i’m a big fan. the cards are so awesome.

i was my friend's guest at a wedding. it was such a fun wedding. the dress was beautiful, the ceremony was sweet, the food was awesome, the cake was amazing. it was a very sweet wedding, i enjoyed it very much. and i got to capture this funny photo.

i was my friend’s guest at a wedding. it was such a fun wedding. the dress was beautiful, the ceremony was sweet, the food was awesome, the cake was amazing. it was a very sweet wedding, i enjoyed it very much. and i got to capture this funny photo.

um, yeah. this is self-explanatory. representin' my texas rangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

um, yeah. this is self-explanatory. representin’ my texas rangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

may 18, 2013

this post has been long overdue, so i apologize. i left my camera in my friend’s car for a while, and then when i got it back over a month later, i had been busy with so many things….so now i am going to start from may and work my way to the present!

on may 18, i had attended a friend’s wedding. she was a former co-worker of mine. she started working with me when she had started dating her now-husband. i feel so old now that i look back at their younger years together.  my, how time flies! i was very flattered that she wanted to work with me on her wedding invitations, and was very excited to be invited to both her bridal shower and her wedding.

the wedding was held at ashton gardens in corinth, texas. a venue i have always wanted to visit, ashton gardens has a chapel that is 3 walls of glass so you can see the trees all around you. it is voted one of the best wedding venues by the knot, 5 years in a row. it is definitely worth the drive, being that you can’t get a venue like this within the city of dallas. the reception area is in the same building and is already beautiful before any alterations are done. the chandeliers, the tables, the chairs-i don’t even think the bride made any changes to the reception area since everything looked gorgeous as is.

my friend, tony, and i got there as the doors had closed because the bride was about to walk in to the chapel. at first i was sad that i had missed getting a seat before the ceremony started, but being able to see my friend outside before she walked in made me glad i was late. i totally almost bawled when i saw her outside the chapel. her dress was beautiful, she looked fantastic, and it felt like i was in big sister mode. “my little baby is all grown up!!!”  it was so sappy, haha.  she walked down the aisle to christina perri’s “a thousand years” which was very fitting for their ceremony. the ceremony was beautiful, it was exactly as i had expected.

while the bridal party was off taking their photos, i was in charge of making sure the “guest book” was signed. their “guest book” was a huge graphic of a tree that guests had to thumb print leaves on. it was real cute. the bride and groom’s engagement photos hung off tree branches in the lobby area for guests to admire while they got their escort cards (which were in mini frames that guests could later use to put their own photos in).

lunch was fantastic. i know that bride’s aren’t always too fond of having the venue serve their food because they might not enjoy the selection, but ashton gardens has quite a big selection of foods to choose from. and that prime rib…oh, boy. everyone knows that i will try everything in a wedding-and of course i spot the prime rib and am definitely curious to try it. a prime rib at a wedding-it could be good and it could be a downright disaster. i love steak, and i love prime rib. i think i watch too many four weddings episodes (that show in which four brides critique each other’s weddings and rate the food, venue, dress, and overall experience) because every time the brides rate the food, it’s always “bland” and “under seasoned” and “dry.” i was very excited to see the prime rib (i don’t think the other guests were as excited as i was because i noticed them walking by the station of bloody meat) but i didn’t know what to expect. shoot…………i should have just had an entire plate of that thing. it was SO DANG GOOD. now, who would have thought that a fantastic cut of prime rib would be served at a wedding reception! let’s say i was hoping it would be good, but it ended up exceeding my expectations. ashton gardens, you did VERY WELL. that was definitely one of the best dishes i have had at a wedding (automatically into the top 3). it looks pretty obvious, since i just typed up an entire paragraph on it.

i believe the cake was from the cake guys, and some people know i’m a big fan of the cake guys. i don’t even remember what flavor her cake was (she told me once, but i forgot) but it was fantastic. the cake guys are known for their beautiful, over-the-top cake designs, delicious-tasting cakes, and reasonable prices for the price-conscious brides who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for their wedding cakes.  last year, the cake guys participated in the annual platinum wedding cake competition and took first place. you can read about it and see their amazing cake display HERE in my previous blog, i tasted cakes.

after lunch and cake, we danced and hung out and took pictures, and it was all great. it’s always so amazing to be a part of someone’s big day, especially when you have been there since the beginning. i remember jessica buying steven gifts every month anniversary during their first year of dating and steven singing songs to her on his guitar. i always love hearing relationship stories and theirs were always sweet. now, years later, they’re grown up, married, and living together. i swear, i feel so old now. but very happy.

here are some photos of the wedding. cheers to jessica and steven on your marriage. may you celebrate MANY, MANY years of happiness together and may GOD bless you with the happiness that you both deserve. come and see me for baby shower invitations when the time comes. haha!!! love you both!

xoxo,

sierra lei

 

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dress to impress

so…

this project i’ve been working on….

or “these” projects, i should say….

they’re posted on my work blog, which i will link at the end of my message.

my district consists of real awesome people. we all have strong personalities, we blend very well together, we’re fun and funny. i love my co-workers. we’re very supportive of each other. we’re just really cool. some of my co-workers are in the pictures that are on the blog that just got posted.

i want to ask y’all for a favor…

i want tons of feedback on what you think of my project, or the remodel of my store, or whatever you see or read on the blog. it would really mean a lot to me for my co-workers to read about it. and i don’t mean comment on my blog, i mean comment on my work blog. say whatever you want to say, it’s open to your opinions and criticisms. i would greatly appreciate it.

i spent over 100 hours in one week working on the one dress that was featured in the press release. these are the people that i really appreciate and thank for helping me out, because i seriously could NOT have completed it without them:

-mary melissa, who is the personal assistant to the vice president

-jonathan leblanc, store manager of the papyrus shops of willow bend

-lauren schneider, custom print manager at papyrus shops of willow bend

-samantha mitchell, custom print manager at papyrus shops of willow bend

(can you guess where i spent my week working on the paper dress project? hee hee)

-my friend, tiffany, who helped me cut roses until 4:30 a.m.

-my sister and our friend, d, who helped me cut roses even though they had to sleep early for church the next morning. haha.

my store re-opened on april 1 and i decided to take april 2 off work…you know, to sleep in. yeah, guess what i woke up to? swollen fingers. i should have taken a picture of them but i was asleep for 20 hours total throughout the day. i was so beat. my fingers were so fat and swollen, i couldn’t even make a fist. i guess they got freaked out that i wasn’t curling paper or cutting up little pieces like i had been doing for over 12 hours a day. it’s thursday morning-ish (2 a.m.) and i’m still not sure if i’ve been caught up on sleep. ugh!!!

anyways, without further ado, swing on over to my work’s blog and tell me what you think, mmkay?

click……….HERE!

(www.papyruscustomprinting.wordpress.com)

i’m alive.

boy, has it been a long week…..

for those of you who just walked in, i work for papyrus, a stationery boutique. since last year, we have been doing creative projects and window displays. my first project was making a wedding dress out of custom printed invitations, paper dresses and inspirations (click there to see the dress in a previous blog). another project i did was cut out hundreds of butterflies to have them flutter all over the window. i’ve also done huge cascading flowers down the window. some were fun, some made me want to scream. but nothing was like what i did this past week. i will post pictures of the behind-the-scenes process of doing my latest project. i gave my facebook page the final product of the project, but more pictures will be posted on my work blog. i will link it to my blog when they get posted this week.

i decided to break down all the happenings of the past week into separate blogs. since the pictures for my project are in the process of being thrown up this week, i have decided to blog about the bakery i visited last week. a bride ordered a cake topper for her wedding on march 30th, and we had to expedite her order so she could get it in time. as i was working on my project, i had to deliver the bride’s cake topper to her bakery, romano’s bakery. i have been wanting to go to that bakery forever, so i was super excited to deliver my bride’s cake topper. while picking up my jaw off the ground every 2 seconds, i got to chat with the baker who created last year’s cake for the 2011 platinum cake competition. i even got to take a picture of it, among others. they didn’t compete in this year’s cake competition (i tasted cakes blog) because they were too busy. that’s a great excuse not to join a cake competition. they had a cake showroom which made me so hungry. i just wanted to eat everything in there. just sit and eat cakes…they were so beautiful. the baker was just the nicest man ever. he asked me what i did, he talked about working for delicious cakes (one of this year’s platinum cake competition competitors) for almost a decade, he told me about some of the wedding cakes he was in the process of working on for upcoming weddings. he was such a great guy, and he’s so extremely talented. he handed me a stack of their company business cards/flyers. i just wanted to sit and talk and tour the kitchen, but i know that would have gone too far. i had a project on my own that i needed to get to, so i thanked him and went on my merry way. here are some pictures of my visit to the award-winning romano’s bakery…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a few of my favorites were the cake with the 3 bows that is also featured on that magazine page in front of it. it’s gorgeous! i obviously loved the white cake with the fuchsia ribbon around it because i love pink. i love the “slathered icing” look so i liked that white cake with the pink flowers on it. the ombre cake was adorable, i loved it! it also could have been used as my inspiration for the project i worked on this week, which was ombre.

which was your favorite?

xoxo

randomness for 03/21/2012

-exactly 3 years ago, this picture was taken of me and my sister: 

my sister and i went to a birthday party…and bought matching dresses and flowers. =)

-i was reading a bunch of blogs today…most of them were on baking, pastries, cupcakes, weddings, photography, tattoos, and art. i read a lot of blogs. a ton of blogs. i’m obsessed with them. there are a lot of trends when it comes to certain topics. in baking, there were lots of breads that were made this week. in cupcakes, there were lots of irish car bomb cupcakes and green cupcakes, because of st. patty’s day. gluten-free cooking has been pretty big lately, too. i’ll read about anything when it comes to cooking. 

-my store (papyrus) shut down today for a 10 day remodel. we will have a grand re-opening when it is complete. i am very excited. the pictures will be posted on the papyrus custom printing blog. that is the blog for the texas papyrus stores. if you are not familiar with the company, we are a stationery boutique. we sell greeting cards that will blow your socks off, we sell custom printed stationery (wedding invitations, business cards, napkins, whatever you want personalized-do you want an ipad cover with your name on it? we do that, too), we sell journals and books and picture frames and wrapping paper and gift bags and note card sets, and we started selling jewelry (why jewelry? we have always sold jewelry, and they are gift items). i am working on a big project for my store’s grand re-opening. i will be making 3 dresses out of different papers. and they will BLOW YOUR MIND!!! the pictures will be posted on the papyrus custom printing blog when they are completed. IF YOU THINK MY CUPCAKES ARE COOL………prepare for what i’m about to create…i have about 10 days to work on 3 of what took me 7 days to do 1 of last year. so it’ll be like the tv show “dinner:impossible” by chef robert irvine. haha. i like how i just connected my project to food…..

-one of the first cupcakes i’ve done were these:

these were done for the captain of my pool team 3 years ago. 

these were the types of cupcakes i made regularly a few years ago, too: 

 

 

i usually indicated which cupcake was what based on the decoration. =) these were my pre-fondant days. they were fun and simple.

 

it’s almost 2 a.m. so i best get to bed. there are lots to do for PROJECT PAPER DRESSES: 

 

have a good day, y’all!

xoxo

200 mph

i’ve been so busy lately!!!!!!!!!!

but here are little bits of what i’ve been up to…

*i’ve been obsessed with gotye’s song “somebody that i used to know” featuring kimbra. and i’ve been into the black keys lately. i want to attend this year’s edgefest to see them live. anyone want to go with me?

*i’ve been apartment hunting and i found an apartment that i want. the awesome thing is that my best friend and his wife are apartment hunting as well, and the apartments we looked at has 2 vacant apartments that are in the same building, one on top of the other! it would be awesome to be neighbors AGAIN!

*one of my friends is getting married this summer and i ordered my bridesmaid dress today. it feels so official now! i am so excited. this is going to be a fabulous wedding. there will be no pictures posted as the day draws near. they will be posted AFTER the wedding. i can’t wait!

*one of my high school buddies from saipan came in to town this past weekend and it was great! it was the second time i have seen him since 2000 so hanging out with him helped my homesickness. i drove him all around dallas. we went to the bar i frequent on friday nights, we went bowling, we went driving around the rich people homes, we went to eat hawaiian food, and we went to the dallas galleria mall. i had a small dinner arranged for him because his birthday was on sunday and i had to drive to austin (where he currently lives) for work, so i couldn’t spend his birthday with him. but thank you, joe, for coming to dallas. it’s my turn to visit you in austin! fun stuff!

*i shoot in 3 pool leagues this session, 2 on monday nights and 1 on tuesday nights. that means mondays and tuesdays will be my long days because i’d work in the morning and shoot pool at night.

*over the holiday season i was working at northpark center. now i will be working at dallas galleria. a few great things about dallas galleria is that: there is a taco bell and jamba juice in there, the h&m (that will open in late march) is across our papyrus store, and the nestle tollhouse shop is 2 doors down! how is it that 2 of the 3 things i mentioned is food related? so typical.

*new bella pilar cards came into the store. and they are super cute. i will be posting an image blog on the bella cards because i know there are crazy bella pilar fans out there.

*my girl scout cookies have come in weeks ago and i’ve been so busy that i haven’t been able to pick them up yet. i feel terrible because i’m holding the cookies back from all my friends who want them and i don’t want a little girl wondering if a stack of cookies are going to sit in her house forever. i really need to buy my cookies and deliver them to my friends/coworkers.

*i am co-hosting a baby shower for my dear friend, alexis. she is having a baby girl and we are planning a baby shower in may. that will keep me busy on top of my friend’s wedding in june. it’s going to be a FUN-FILLED SPRING! i’m picturing this baby shower to be elegant and feminine and pretty. dusty pink and champagne is what i’m envisioning. and then when i get that visual, i think of a baby shower that victoria beckham would have for her daughter, harper. more details later.

*my pinterest is sierra lei. you can see some baby shower ideas on one of my boards…as well as my pinterest basically being a virtual wish list. i swear, that site is so addictive!

*i am composing a blog on my obsession with tattoos. just a little bit about it, it will be titled “artistic encounter” which is the name of the tattoo shop that inspired me to write the blog. it will feature the likes of stephanie gunter aka “stephanie vixen” (wife of the owner/pinup model), rodney carrera (the really cool tattoo artist i met that worked on my coworker’s tattoo), and michelle katiussa (the photographer that shoots stephanie…who does amazing work on beautiful tattooed girls). it will take me a while to complete the blog, as it takes me forever to compose a blog focused on one subject that i end up being pleased with. so stay tuned.

*i want to make oreo cupcakes. enough said.

*i decided not to blog about my dating life. it’s just always a disaster and although it would make for entertaining reading material, it would just end up reading like this: “i dated someone and then i got too busy to further it….then i dated someone and got too busy to further it….” and that’s not entertaining. so what have i decided to do? keep mum on my dating life, period. done.

that seems to be it for now. where have the past 2 months gone!? time flies when you’re having fun! it has definitely been such a great year so far!!! i’m speechless, it has been that awesome.

xoxo,

sierralei