Friday, April 27, 2012

The Sweet Tooth Bakery

This week has been a crazy week, to say the least!











 

Just call me the Crazy Cake Lady.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

This post wasn't in the original plans for the week, but I think my parents' anniversary is worth a big "Congratulations!"

They have been married for 31 years today!

While I'm am not a romantic person (I'm the complete opposite actually), I am a sucker for wanting to know how people met. If it wasn't for my mom and dad meeting, I wouldn't be here today!

I never get tired of hearing my dad tell this story:

My parents dated on and off again throughout high school and college. Unfortunately, the college years were rocky and they were not dating during their senior year of college. After graduation, my mom went back to Martinsville for the summer, and I think my dad moved to Virginia Beach at that time.

By chance (or fate?), my dad ran into my mom's dad at the store one afternoon while in Martinsville, and he was informed that my mom was leaving for Durham, North Carolina the very next day. She was going to school at Duke University to become a nurse. My mom's dad (my grandpa) invited my dad over to their house for a cookout that night. Though they hadn't been dating in about a year, my dad decided to go over to her house.

Well, apparently they rekindled their relationship that evening. My dad ended up moving to North Carolina with my mom, and she had to pay for a U-Haul to move his stuff from Virginia Beach to Durham! (She always likes to mention that she paid for the U-Haul)!

So that's that...And here we are 31 years later!



One of these days I'm going to take the time to write down the stories of how my parents met and how my grandparents met so that I can have a record of it for future generations. It's important to know these things.

Perhaps I'll make that one of my goals for next month, but we all know how likely I am to accomplish any of my goals.

I'm still working on that scrapbook from 2010.

 

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! Love you !

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thirty Never Looked So Good

Brian turns 30 years old today.

When I was looking back on some pictures of the last couple years, I was shocked by how much Brian has aged!



Brian looks like a Western cowboy....an old Western cowboy. But even so, I must say that thirty has never looked so good!

In honor of this special day, I was going to list thirty of my favorite memories spent with Brian, the love of my life. But let's be honest...there were only about ten good memories that immediately came to mind.

So I've decided to go with Plan B and abort that bad idea.

Plan B involves writing a poem.

 

Ode to Brian on His Birthday

You were twenty four years old when we first locked eyes.

You asked me to the fair, and I rejected you with lies.

Now that you're thirty, people will think "that old fart."

But with me by your side, at least you'll look smart.

 

Your roaring twenties sure were a blast.

It's a shame those ten years had to go by so fast.

Late nights at Sharky's now people will mock...

"That old guy's still here and it's past 9 o'clock!"

 

Though your looks have faded and you're now sort-of- hot,

I hope you'll learn to accept your new lot.

And although you're now undeniably old,

Thirty's a good age... from what I've been told.

 

I'll find out in six years.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Life in the Fast Lane

I'm gonna predict that this week will be the busiest week of my entire life.

My entire life, people!

I had a relatively relaxed weekend in Nashville, TN for a family wedding. I only snapped one picture of my mom and dad at the reception.



After returning from Nashville, I was able to seek a moment of solace on the couch yesterday afternoon, curled up with a magazine and a blanket.

Today the madness begins.

The Sweet Tooth Bakery is filling a cake order every single day of the week. My handsome boyfriend is celebrating the big 3-0 on Tuesday. I'm house-sitting and child-chauffeuring for some wonderful people starting on Thursday. And I've stayed constantly busy at work lately.

I'm truly looking forward to everything that's on my mile-long list of things to do this week, but come next Monday I'm gonna kick back and enjoy a night of laziness and leisure (I hope).

Update on the puppy:



They were two weeks old on Saturday, and I received some recent pictures. I can't stop staring at these precious puppies, and I keep trying to decide which one I think we will end up taking home with us! Six weeks can't go by fast enough!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Raleigh Beer Festival

Last Saturday, Brian and I went to the Raleigh Beer Festival with several of our friends.



The weather was absolutely perfect, and I really like the location at Morris Square in Downtown Raleigh.

I had my fair share of beer, and I think the most memorable brew was Carolina Brewery's Spring Bock.

Talk about delicious!

It was both a good idea and a bad idea to bring my camera to the beer festival.

Good because I got pictures like the one below, where Brian looks sunburnt and I look way too happy.

Bad because it's never a good idea to consume mass amounts of alcohol while toting around your expensive gadgets.



I had a brief panic attack the next morning, fearing that I had accidentally left my camera at the festival...or at The Big Easy bar...or in the taxi...or on the sidewalk....or perhaps I had even decided to give my camera to a stranger as a gift (because decisions made while drinking are always logical)....

I ransacked my purse and tore through the house before finally discovering my precious camera in Brian's pant pocket.

It's a good thing I found it because my memory of the night got a little fuzzy after about, um, one hour into the festival.











I am blessed to have such an awesome group of friends.

Awesome, crazy, fun, and ridiculous.

ATM machine, anyone?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Better than Killer Naked Sex Brownies

Two weeks ago I made brownies.

They were divine.

Heavenly... Scrumptious... Delicious...Oh My God Amazing.

A brownie layer followed by a thick caramel layer, which is then topped with another brownie layer and a heavy coating of powdered sugar.



They even seemed to get better with each passing day. By day five, I had eaten my body weight in these brownies.

This recipe was adapted from three sources: the famous "Killer Brownies" from Dorothy Lane Market, the Pioneer Woman's "Knock You Naked" brownies, and also the Food.com "Better than Sex Brownies."

So basically I had no other choice but to call these brownies "Better than Killer Sex and You'll be Knocked Naked Brownies" or "Better than Killer Naked Sex Brownies," for short.

Ingredients:




  • 1 package German chocolate cake mix

  • 1 small can evaporated milk

  • 1 (14 ounce) bag caramels

  • 3/4 cup melted butter

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup chopped pecans



Directions:




  1. Mix together: cake mix, butter, pecans, and 1/3 cup evaporated milk.


  2. Press 1/2 of mix into a 8x8-inch greased pan.


  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.


  4. Melt together caramels and 1/2 cup evaporated milk in microwave safe bowl. Heat for one minute, stir, and repeat until all caramels are melted.


  5. Sprinkle on chocolate chips.


  6. Shape the remaining mix (it will be very thick) and place batter on top of caramel and chocolate chips.


  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

  8. Refrigerate for 3 hours or more. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

I served these brownies at my book club and they were good, but they got better as they rested over the next few days.




If anyone wants to order me a tin of the Killer Brownies from Dorothy Lane Market, that would be a nice gesture. Just sayin'.



When I first heard of these famous Killer Brownies, I wanted to buy some; however, I felt gluttonous ordering an entire tin of brownies for myself. (Seriously, who does that?).



So instead I ordered a tin of Killer Brownies and sent them to Brian's mother.



She said they were the best brownies she's ever eaten.



On that note, I'm going to now go stare at the Dorothy Lane Market online ordering form until I justify a reason why I need a tray of Killer Brownies in my life.






Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Welcome to My New Site!



My new site is pretty much complete!

Come on in and look around....

The Main Page

When you come to thesweettoothblog.com, you'll see all of my blog posts on the home page, with the most recent post at the top.

The Sidebar

Over there on the right hand side of the page, you'll see some ads and my popular posts.

Other Pages

At the top, you'll see links to my "About" page, my "Bakery" page, and also my "Archives."  I've also tried to categorize my posts into some of my most common blog topics, and you will find those posts when you click on the appropriate category.

The Bakery

Here you'll find the history of The Sweet Tooth Bakery. One of my favorite features on the new site is the Bakery Order Form. As always, you can order a cake by contacting me by phone, email, Facebook, or in person. The order form, however, is a quick and convenient way to let me know that you'd like to request a dessert, especially for people who may not know me personally.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There may be a few slight changes, but there you have it! I've had a wonderful experience collaborating with Empowered Designs to finally bring this blog to life! A huge thanks to Ben who took the time to work with me on this, and also for his ability to remain patient while I remained indecisive about every little detail.

Creating a website was fun, but it was also a lot harder than I expected. Ben, of Empowered Designs, had to put in all the work, but it was exhausting for me to make the decisions and envision the overall "big picture."

Switching from Blogger to WordPress was huge for me. It wasn't easy letting go of the comfort and familiarity that was Blogger, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hope you all enjoy the new look of the website!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The More Dogs the Merrier

I'm sure that, by now, you all are aware of how much I adore dogs.

You may not know that I spent years of my childhood begging my parents mom to get me a dog. My mom was not a dog person, most likely due to the fact that we once had a hyperactive puppy named Jacoby. In the six months we had him, he ruined our house and ruined our lives.

My mom swore that there would be no more dogs after Jacoby, but a couple years later she finally caved to my dramatic pleas.

Chelsea was our family dog for ten years. She roamed the neighborhood with me when I was a kid. She got me through my traumatic teenage years. I remember burying my face in her fur and crying my eyes out whenever I was fighting with my parents. I remember the sound of her biting her nails at night. I remember her always laying at the top of the steps. Sometimes even now, I will cry when I struggle to remember every detail. I'll try to think of her face, but Colby is all that will come to my mind.

If there's a heaven, Chelsea better be there waiting for me.

I once thought I would never be able to love another dog in the same way, but then Colby came into my life and I was suddenly complete again.





Throughout my lifetime, my family has been a "one dog, one cat"  kinda family. Even so, our dog and cat pretty much did their own thing. They would stay outside roaming around, but then they would always eventually come back to the house.

I never thought in a million years that I would ever walk into my parent's house and get bombarded by three dogs.



The dogs have pretty much taken over everything.


Well, I say all this to preface my announcement that Brian and I are getting a new English Bulldog puppy!


When I told my parents this news, I was expecting to see fear in their eyes. I imagined they would be less than thrilled knowing that there may one day be four puppies in their house at one time.


Fortunately, my parents love our dogs. I'm pretty sure they now spoil Colby more than they ever spoiled any of their own children (ie. me and my sister).


And now they will have one more puppy to spoil.


The more dogs the merrier, right?


I am super excited that Brian and I will have a puppy in our lives. My whole world just got a little brighter! (Until it pees and poops on our carpets, of course).


I'm hoping it will be a little girl, but we can't guarantee anything at this point, since we don't get our first pick of the litter.


We have seven weeks to prepare for the chaos that will soon consume our lives.


I'll keep you posted on everything. I have pictures to share, but I'm not sure I am allowed to share them with you at this point. These are championship show dog puppies, and the pictures are not my own.


Okay, that's my only exciting news for now.


Note to Colby: You will always be my entire world.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Editing Your Pictures

Hello and...uhh...Happy Friday?! Seriously, where did this week go?

It's been a busy week at work and a busy week at the Sweet Tooth Bakery. Not to mention I've been toting around three books that I'm attempting to read, and occasionally trying to work on this new blog site!

Today I wanted to share with you some quick tips that I've learned over the past few months related to photography.

Truth be told, I am no photographer. If you've seen a good picture on my website, odds are that Brian was the one behind the camera.

I  never had too much interest in photography until I entered into the world of food blogging. When I started The Bakery, it was also necessary that I started photographing my desserts. Luckily, Brian and I have an awesome camera that I absolutely love!

Our camera is a Canon PowerShot S90. It's no SLR, but it produces amazing quality for a small digital camera.

When it comes to photography, especially food photography, it's much better to take the photos during the daytime. The natural daylight makes the biggest difference! Unfortunately, due to the fact that I work full-time, most of my cakes and cookies are made during the evening or nighttime.

Take a look at this photo from Wednesday night:



You can tell that the lighting is not very good because it was taken at night.

Thankfully I have a Macbook and am able to edit my pictures using iPhoto. Another great resource is PicMonkey. As you all may recall, I was a dedicated member of Picnik for the past year. They sadly are shutting down their website in the coming days, but they have fully refunded my money and have recommended some other great editing websites (Google+, PicMonkey, etc).

Using these websites, the possibilities are endless!

Here is a photo (same lighting as above) edited with PicMonkey:



It makes a world of difference!

A couple sites to check out:

http://taylortakesataste.com/

http://sweetapolita.com/

These people  have great photography skills and tips.

Alright, enjoy your weekend! I'll be updating the blog much more regularly in the coming days, now that I finally have a moment to relax!

TBD,

Kelly

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Single Again

Well, basically, I'm single again.

For one week.

Brian is abandoning me every night for practically the next nine days. Shooting pool, shooting guns, shooting this, shooting that. Heck, I have no clue what exactly he's doing, but I just know he has a lot to do. Tonight it's some sort of gun class.

Just so you know, I enjoy having nights to myself. It means savoring my dinner, sipping wine, and taking a long shower. I light candles, read books, and eat ice cream. (It's embarrassing how much of a girl I can be sometimes.)

Remember Kevin McCallister?

Of course you do.

Me and Kev are like two peas in a pod when it comes to being home alone.

During my first hour alone, I suddenly morph into Ms. Independent. I think of all the things I will conquer in Brian's absence. I linger over dinner, pour my huge goblet of wine.

I'm rockin' around the house, and I'm loving every second of it.



During hour two or three, sometimes boredom may set in. To offset the boredom, I usually opt for spa treatment- painting my nails, washing my hair, or plucking my eyebrows.



After those few hours have past, the thrill has finally died.

I've usually wound up on the couch, with a book, doing nothing. (Or writing a blog post, I should say.) This is also when I start making a mental note of all the things I need to tell Brian when he gets home. Whether he wants to or not, he will be forced to get a recap of every detail of my day.

This is also the point in the evening when everything decides to make a noise.

The ice maker will rattle and I swear somebody is trying to break into the house.

The fish tank pumps suddenly get louder and I swear somebody is trying to break into the house.

The wind will blow and I swear somebody is trying to break into the house.



Brian's Conceal and Carry gun class isn't doing me much good if I'm the one being left alone in the house sans gun.

Thank God for my ten pound rolling pin.

It doubles as a weapon of mass destruction.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

This Has Not Been My Week!

This week I decided to create a new website, get sick, and get swamped at work.

Correction: I decided to create a new website. Getting sick and swamped? That was just bad timing.

How are you liking the new website? I think it's coming along nicely. As always, I would love to hear some feedback!

Oh, remember the GIVEAWAY I mentioned earlier?

That's still happening...only a matter of time! Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to win an awesome prize!

As you can tell, I finally figured out how to insert the picture into my post.

Let me tell you: WordPress ain't easy yet. Between work, baking, and everything else occupying my time, I've tried to set a few minutes aside each day to learn the new system.

While my blog is under construction, I haven't been able to post as normal this week. What does that mean for you? Well, you can expect a lot of good stuff comin' at ya in the near future. My Blogs-to-Write list is getting long.

Please check back daily for new posts and exciting announcements!

TBD,

Kel :-)

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Cat's Outta the Bag

In case you didn't notice, I'm updating my blog!

In case you also didn't notice, I have no idea how to use WordPress at the moment and that friggin' cat picture is actually supposed to be embedded into my post.

This frustration is honestly making me hate cats even more than normal.

Regardless, I am so excited to finally be working with Empowered Designs to create a new and improved website. With my blogging audience rapidly growing, I figured it was time that I relinquish some control and let an actual website designer do all the work. Now that I have a very small baking business (emphasis on very small), I also wanted to rope in some more customers.

Please be patient as my blog undergoes numerous changes, edits, and tweaks this week! Feel free to comment on things you like, or things you don't like about the new site! I'm all ears (eh..eyes?).

I realize that most people don't actually launch their new website until it's actually finished, but to that I say "Screw it."

In celebration of my new, in-progress blog launch, I will also be hosting a giveaway. Details later in the week.

Before you go, here's a little something YOU can help me decide.

I need a blog signature.

For instance,

xo, Kelly

...Only not so predictable.

Thoughts?

It would need to fit my personality. Maybe relate to baking. Maybe sarcastic in tone. Maybe random.

So far I've tried working with the following:

Peace, Love, and Cake, 

Cheers, 

ttyl, 

No Cake for You, 

XXXOOO, 

XXOOXO,

Lots of Loathe, 

Over and Out,

Enough Already, 

It's Been Real, 

Yours Sweetly,

Blah,

Yeah Whatever,

Ok. You get the idea. My mind is drawing a blank. I need your help! Be creative, or be uncreative; leave a comment, and I will love you forever.

___TBD__ ,

                       Kelly